Cave goats and teamsters

by mshrm

I originally picked up the idea of the cave goat from The Rusty Battle Axe and threw it in on a whim during some colour commentary for session #1.

Imagine my surprise when I found that there really was a cave goat:  the Balearic Islands cave goat!

The core idea is to have a creature that can be used as a beast of burden in the dungeon. Some of the characteristics of the real, prehistoric critter seem appealing to me, like the loss of their fear reaction. On the other hand, the same goes for the version from The Rusty Battle Axe, particularly the bit about the use of their coats for bedding. I think mine, when I finally stat them up, might be a blend of the two. Smaller, but more shaggy.

I find myself wondering what the party’s going to pull next. Encumbrance has already been an issue. I figure there’s going to be a big rush towards horses, the first time a wandering monster comes up on the way to the dungeon, and the party is ambushed, without armour, by a scruffy bunch of bandits. The first time they get weighed down by a load of treasure, they’ll be looking for a way to haul more weight.

This being Dungeon Fantasy, aside from the cave goat and the donkey, we’ve also got the slorn. Given the wilderness map, llama would be available, but I have no idea how well they would do underground. I would assume they’re good climbers, given their habitat. I suppose one could fit a big dog with a harness, and get both cargo capacity and a fighter, but what happens when they’re climbing ladders or scaling cliffs?  Any other creatures that the PCs might use to haul their gear?

I’m also re-reading the Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser stories, and I’m half through “Stardock”. The heroes climb a mountain – there’s some understatement for you! – accompanied by a feline companion. Has me thinking about the route the party is going to take through the dungeon, based on the limitations they place upon themselves. If half the party can’t climb a ladder, they won’t take ladders. One of the characters is a heavy fighter, relying on armour that’s a hindrance to movement, so there’s a trade-off between utility and mobility, right here. And what about the day they try to move the grand piano out of Level 3?

It’s bemusing how many of my campaigns are starting to wrap around logistics…