Sunday, March 31, 2013

Come fly with me

Page X20 of the 1981 D&D Expert rules includes a section titled "Traveling by Air", which includes this neat section rating who can ride what by hit dice.  For example, human-sized characters can ride (or be carried off by) all the canonical BX dragons because all those winged lizards have at least 6 hit dice, the minimum required to lift a human.  My favorite part is that flying creatures rated from 3 to 5 hit dice can carry halfling-sized riders.  (Pegasi and hippogriffs fall in this hit die range, but are specifically granted an exception allowing them to carry bigger folk.)

So I thought I'd look through the BX monster sections to see what sort of flying monsters a band of pint-sized aerial adventurers could ride.  Here's what I found:

gargoyle - a mount immune to normal weapons will probably get you into more trouble than you want
harpy - might require ear plugs or larynx removal
lizard, draco - goblins on dragon lizards sounds pretty cool
cockatrice - illogical, unfeasible but imagine a halfling sheriff enforcing law from the back of one of these
hawk, giant - sounds cool
pteranodon - maybe you'd think a dinosaur with a 50' wingspan could carry a fullsized human, but with only 5 hit dice that isn't the case, still I'm imagining cave halfings on these babies and that sounds cool
wraith - If you see a halfling wearing a necro-harness and riding the back of a wraith, run.  Just run.

The Erol Otus illo at the top of the post is from the page with the Travelling by Air rules.  I've often wondered about that hippogriff-rider.  Is that a cyclops with a ponytail wearing a crown?  And the woman on the flying carpet looks like she has horns on her head, which contributed to my theory that maybe elves or some elves or elf-women or at least some elf women had horns.  See also this Bill Willingham piece from the inside cover:

Triple badass threat.