D&D 5E Equine travel, Longstrider, and other considerations


First of all, I enjoyed reading the following thread for an overview of travel pace as defined in the PHB 182: D&D 5E - Mounted Tavel Pace

Disclaimer: all my info about horses and their abilities have been gleaned from internet searches. I have no actual experience or clue if anything I read is factual.

  1. Forced Gallop- how much longer could a rider force his horse to gallop past the 1 hour limit before it would physically give out?
    • Mechanically: use a handle animal (or in some circumstances possibly intimidate?) check to force the beast to continue running?
      • Grant advantage to all other riders in a group as long as 1 rider passes the check (herd mentality)
        • failure means the animal refuses to gallop and may even refuse to move at all for a short while
        • Success no more animal handling checks required (the animal is sufficiently spooked, panicked, cowed, etc.)
    • Mechanically: increase the frequency of con saves to each 15 minutes of gallop beyond the first hour (DC 10 + 2 / 15 min increment of forced travel)
      • success, another 2 miles traveled
      • failure, another 2 miles traveled and then mount acquires 1d3 levels of exhaustion (potentially reducing speed to 1/2 for the remainder of forced travel)
      • When the rider chooses to stop pushing his mount, another con save for the mount (with the DC 10 + 2 / 15 min increment of forced travel)
        • success 1d3 levels of exhaustion gained
        • failure 1d6 levels of exhaustion gained
  2. Longstrider- casting Longstrider on your mount increases base movement by 10' for an hour. How would this improve travel times?
    • +10' to a creature with a 60' move is only an 16.67% increase in speed, which would convert 8 miles into 9.33 miles during an hour spent galloping (if I did my math correctly). Not amazing, unless that extra 1.33 miles covered during the hour is somehow a matter of life and death. It would be fun if this spell could somehow grant a better benefit to overland travel. casting it on a creature with 30' of base movement grants a 33.33% increase which is nicer, but would only up a fast movement speed of 4 miles / hour to 5.33 miles / hour. Again, not super impressive.
  3. Galloping in darkness - what kind of light source is needed to provide enough light for horse and rider with adequate visibility
    • According to online sources I found, headlight beams are recommended to be aimed at the ground 100' in front of the car. While this wouldn't be the extreme limit of visibility it at least gives a starting target. Vehicles traveling at legal freeway speeds range between 65 and 80 mph in the U.S. The average horse maxes out at 30 mph (according to unverifiable internet sources). I'm not sure the reaction time required for speed traveling is a linear progression, but seems like a lantern ( 30 ft. bright / 30 ft. dim) held aloft by a rider could get the job done in a pinch and a daylight spell ( 60 ft. bright / 60 ft. dim) or an everbright lantern ( cone 60 ft. bright / 60 ft. dim ) would be more than adequate.
Also to note, according to internet sources, the pony express averaged 8 - 10 miles per hour, with horses not galloping but a combination of canters, gallops, and trots. Most horses can only gallop at top speeds from 1 to 2 miles before tiring out completely... so where the PHB allows for 1 hour travel at a gallop would more realistically be described as trotting at an advanced pace. 30 mph top speeds would allow for 30 miles of travel in single hour if such a rate could be sustained, and this obviously isn't the case.

With some decent luck, someone could get another 8 miles out of a 2nd hour of "galloping" travel - would have to pass con saves of 12, 14, 16, and 18 for their mount - add in some magic buffs and who knows what could happen!

Would love to hear others ideas, opinions, clarifications, thoughts, etc. on the matter!

Thanks for reading!
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Actually, as of now I haven't come across any spells that buff con saves, or effect endurance. I might consider modifying Longstrider to grant advantage on con saves to avoid exhaustion when performing a forced march (in addition to the 10' speed increase). Of course since the duration of Longstrider is only 1 hour it would only assist with 1 hour of the forced march per cast.

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