Dog Sleds

17 posts / 0 new
Last post
The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55
Dog Sleds

In polar climes, where snow is common, dogs become useful for transport. Sleds may be made from wood or from bone and hide; they are tied or sewn together, because flexibility is critical to prevent the sled from shaking itself apart.

 

A sled must be at least five feet long. It weighs five pounds per foot of length, and has a capacity of one hundred pounds per foot. This capacity includes the driver and any passengers, plus cargo and supplies.

Any number of dogs may be used (maybe some bonus from Animal Handling?). Each dog requires a stone of food per day, often fish supplemented with fat and a small amount of grain. It's generally fed to them as a soup so that they get water at the same time, and so that diseases and parasites are cooked out of the food.

Dogs may pull up to their body weight at their standard movement speed. From their body weight to double their body weight, take the dogs' speed, subtract 120' from it, then subtract double the result from their speed (so dogs with speed 150' normally will have speed 90', and dogs with speed 210' will have speed 30'). This represents that the slower dogs are built for strength and thus are better with heavy loads.

A "racing sled" with dogs of 210' movement will have a movement rate of either 15 miles per hour if lightly loaded or 2 miles per hour if heavily loaded. A "freight sled" with dogs of 150' movement will move at either 9 or 6 miles per hour based on weight. (Note that there's some rounding involved here to make it work best with 6-mile hexes)

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Awesome! Jutland dog sleds, here we come.

tire_ak
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2015-05-27 22:24

As a resident of said polar climes I am happy to see sled dogs make their appearance.  Hike!

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

As a (until recently) Floridian, I'm amused that nobody got there before I did!

It came around because I've been watching Yukon Men (among other shows), and the portions on the various kennels are what interest me the most. The sled rules are based on the old Juneau mail sleds, which a Canadian historical site stated were 7 feet long, weighed 35 pounds, and carried 600 pounds of cargo plus a musher. I couldn't find enough information on the qomatiq/komatik to create a rule for it.

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Some maths:

In the 1890s, a sled dog was supposed to weigh 80-100 pounds (for comparison, modern Ititarod dogs are usually 40-45 pounds, and police German shepherds are 75-85 pounds). For purposes of this calculation, we'll use 100 pound dogs. With an 8-foot sled, you've got 40 pounds of sled and around 200 pounds of musher (weight and warm clothing). Assuming you go with the full 800 pounds of capacity, you need 8 dogs, so 8 stone per day of food. If you want to be able to travel for two days (around 180 miles with good weather and flat land), that will require 160 pounds of capacity; with that, the sled, and the musher, you end up with 400 pounds (40 stone) of cargo, although food for the musher is still needed. With gear (tent, pack stove, food, emergency equipment), you're probably looking at around 375 pounds of cargo. This is somewhat risky, though, since losing a dog will drop range by 1/3, so if the distance is longer than 120 miles, there's a chance of running out of food for a day before reaching the next town/cache/whatever.

 

A much larger sled would be a 20-footer, which would weigh 100 pounds, need 20 dogs (and 20 stone/day of food), and have a maximum capacity of 2,000 pounds. That would mean 300 pounds of musher/sled, 400 pounds of food for 2 days' travel, miscellaneous equipment, and around 1250 pounds of net cargo. If you're willing to travel slower, you could drop to 10 dogs. You'd only need half the food per day, but a 2 day trip would become a 3 day trip, so you'd save 100 pounds of food and increase cargo to 1350 pounds (but reduce costs significantly, since you'd need 10 fewer dogs and 100 fewer pounds of meat/fat).

 

These also provide maximum limits for travel, based on carrying just food and no cargo. The 8-foot sled can carry a maximum of 6 days' food for a full-speed complement of dogs (around 540 miles) or 13 days' food for a partial-speed complement (around 780 miles). The 20-foot sled can carry 8 days' food for a full-speed complement (720 miles) or 16 days' food for a partial-speed complement (960 miles). These are maximum distances, though, with virtually no cargo space, so it would be used only in emergencies.

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Hmm...Arcanine are 341.7 pounds each...six of them would be enough to pull a 20-foot sled. Just sayin'...

Jard
Patreon SupporterDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters Contributor
Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

wait, like the pokemon?

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Yep

I go off on weird tangents sometimes.

Capheind
Patreon SupporterLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-12-02 18:38

Nice, I wonder if this could be tweaked for the dog cars used in europe for most of history. Dogs are actually very good at pulling and very terrible at lifting... which is why I scratch my head that carting breeds dont show up alot in RPGs but riding dogs/wolves do.... 

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

I don't see why not. The rule of thumb for weight seems to be similar to sledding (keep it under triple the dogs' weight). The only really thing that would be needed would be figuring out how much a wheeled cart weighs relative to what it can carry.

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

I was re-reading the first post, and need to clarify the "stone of food." It should be a stone of food and water. Generally, each stone will be 2 pounds of food and 8 pounds (~1 gallon) of water. A soup is preferred in the morning because dogs often decline to drink plain water before hard work, which puts them at risk of dehydration.

koewn
koewn's picture
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-07-17 20:11

Nice, I wonder if this could be tweaked for the dog cars used in europe for most of history. Dogs are actually very good at pulling and very terrible at lifting... which is why I scratch my head that carting breeds dont show up alot in RPGs but riding dogs/wolves do.... 


-Capheind

That does make a better image. Old friend of mine breeds Samoyeds and occasionally does pull competitions for the ones that seem to like it.

Chariots perhaps, rather than sleds depending on the climate, but I can totally see a small race like Halflings doing dog-sleds/chariots and stuff in lieu of riding.

Or, perhaps more on point, goblins in sleds being pulled by large versions of the Who's Who of the Ugliest Dog Competition. Chinese crested chihuahuas and the like.

 

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

 

 

Nice, I wonder if this could be tweaked for the dog cars used in europe for most of history. Dogs are actually very good at pulling and very terrible at lifting... which is why I scratch my head that carting breeds dont show up alot in RPGs but riding dogs/wolves do.... 

 


-Capheind

 

That does make a better image. Old friend of mine breeds Samoyeds and occasionally does pull competitions for the ones that seem to like it.

Chariots perhaps, rather than sleds depending on the climate, but I can totally see a small race like Halflings doing dog-sleds/chariots and stuff in lieu of riding.

Or, perhaps more on point, goblins in sleds being pulled by large versions of the Who's Who of the Ugliest Dog Competition. Chinese crested chihuahuas and the like.

 


-koewn
Chariots we can do. Especially since L&E gives us carry weights for a lot more creatures, so we can have things like hyena chariots or boar chariots.

susan_brindle
Patreon SupporterLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-05 15:49

This is fantastic! My mad-max gnoll raiders needed dogsleds and I was thinking about finally statting them up!

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Dog Sled Costs

A dog sled costs 4 gp/foot to purchase. Sled dogs cost 12 gp each. They have similar statistics to a war dog, but with Workbeast training instead of Guard training (and so have -2 ML compared to a war dog, and are not trained with combat commands). The sled dog harness allows a user to only need to command the lead dog, so even a driver without Animal Handling can manage a sled team.

Lodging costs per day are 7 cp per dog and 6 cp per foot of sled.

Logic: Each foot of sled is 10 stone of capacity. The cost to buy works out to 1 gp per 2.5 stone. By comparison, a large cart is 3.2 stone per gp and a wagon is 1.6 stone per gp, so this puts it in between the two. Likewise, large carts and wagons cost 6.25 cp per 10 stone per day, so the sled is very slightly cheaper to make the math simpler. The dog's cost is based on taking the hunting dog's trained/untrained cost (as Hunting training is the same number of skills as Workbeast training) and applying the multiplier to the war dog's untrained cost, then rounding up to the nearest gp. Their lodging is based on 0.5 gp per week of supply cost, divided by 7.

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Let's look at cost of market time for some of the sleds that have been mentioned previously.

With an 8-foot sled,...you need 8 dogs...you're probably looking at around 375 pounds of cargo.

A much larger sled would be a 20-footer, which would...need 20 dogs...around 1250 pounds of net cargo...If you're willing to travel slower, you could drop to 10 dogs...and increase cargo to 1350 pounds


-The Dark
The 8 foot sled will have a storage cost of 48 cp per day, and 8 dogs will be 56 cp per day, for a total of 104 cp (or 1 gp, 4 cp) per day. The 20 foot sled will be 120 cp (1 gp, 2 sp) per day for storage and either 140 cp (1 gp, 4 sp) or 70 cp (7 sp) per day for the dogs, for a total of either 2 gp, 6 sp or 1 gp, 9 sp per day. Long stays at the markets are not recommended. It does show the greater efficiency of larger sleds, since you're paying slightly more than twice as much for a little more than three times the cargo capacity with the same speed.

The Dark
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-07-05 19:55

Halfling raiding sled:

These sleds, ridden by halfling bounders and their followers, are used to raid small Jutlander communities. Using swift 60-pound dogs to haul their 10-foot sleds, they rely on speed to quickly hit communities then scatter back to the hidden underhill warrens where they skulk. The sled has a cargo capacity of 1,000 pounds (100 stone), though the typical raider only has a dozen dogs, limiting them to 720 pounds (72 stone) at full speed. 5 stone is taken up by the sled's weight, and another 4 stone for the raider. Raiders are typically equipped with leather armor (2 stone), a shortbow (1 stone) and a quiver with 20 arrows (1 item), and a hand axe (1 item). This leaves the sled with 59 stone and 4 items of capacity. Generally they will carry 56 stone of food to start, 48 for the dogs and 8 for the raider, giving them 4 total days of range. This is typically used to raid two days' journey (approximately 240 miles) from the warren; at the time of the raid, 28 stone will still be reserved for food, allowing the raider to take up to 31 stone of goods. Shorter raids would allow for more goods, but the halflings do not like to raid too close to their dens for fear of being tracked back to them.