Cart Wars

All page references are to The Fantasy Trip In the Labyrinth rulebook, unless noted otherwise.

A collection of my own musings, not to be taken too seriously. -HJC


The Cart

The typical small cart listed at ITL 67 is a crawling(+4 to hit rear attack bonus from all sides) two hex figure with 15 HP and four points of "wooden" armor. It takes at most one point of damage (after armor) from any physical attack on its structure other than a fall or tumble, the rest of the damage blows through. Roll to see if each occupant is hit. It has two or four wheels (treat as legs for attacks) and a yoke (attacked as if a head shot). It is pulled by one large horse or up to two ponies or smaller equines. There are rumors that some goblins hitch up to four dire wolves to pull their war carts, but naturalists doubt this is possible. Some carts have skis instead of wheels. These work exactly the same way, but are mostly used on ice or snow.

The maximum movement of the cart is the same as the MA of the horse pulling it and the acceleration rating (the amount the MA can change each turn) is five. These are both adjusted as per my Weight Carried rules. So if the horse is carrying an adjusted load of 7.5x its ST then MA is 60% of the unladen rate and the acceleration rating is 3.

The weight of the cart and the load carried by the cart is divided by the following factor and then added to the load actually on the horse to determine the total load for this movement adjustment.

Weight divided by Conditions
10x Wheels on paved roads, skis on ice or snow.
8x Wheels on gravel roads.
6x Wheels on level dirt paths, skis on frozen ground.
4x Wheels on uneven ground or ice. (+1 die difficulty)
2x Wheels on mud, skis on level ground. (+1 die difficulty)
1x Skis on mud. (+1 die difficulty)

Hence a ST 25 mule (normal MA 20, two hex figure) that is carrying no load on its own back can pull up to (25*2*10*4) 2000 pounds of cart and cargo over uneven ground at 40% speed or maximum MA 8. Note that traveling any distance at this top speed will be extremely fatiguing for the animal, which will normally just walk at the standard three hexes per turn.

The driver

The driver needs to be within one hex of the hitched animal. This is usually accomplished by kneeling (or standing) in the front hex of the cart, but can also be done while walking alongside the animal or riding on or an animal adjacent to it (as modified by the driver's Horsemanship talent). If there is no driver then the hitched animal acts as an untrained driver to the best of its ability. The GM must rule as to the motivation of the animal which could stop and eat the flowers, run away from the dragon, follow that kid, or whatever. If multiple figures are attempting to control the same cart then roll a contest of DX (modified for talents and conditions.) If there is no driver or hitched animal the cart has an untalented DX zero driver that simply decelerates by five MA a turn, unless it's on a down slope.


Each hex of the cart can hold one adult human kneeling (or standing) comfortably. If there are more people in the hex then count the hex as a fallen body hex with a body count equal to the number of other figures in that hex.

Small one-hex figures (human children, halflings, goblins, etc.) count as one less person than the total count. For example if a human were seated next to two goblins then all three would be at the one fallen figure level.

Control Rolls

A typical control roll is a 1/DX roll (i.e. automatic success) for the driver. Add one die if the driver doesn't have the Driver talent and add one die for each additional level of difficulty. On a critical failure the driver needs to make a 2/DX roll (modified for difficulty) or the cart topples over doing falling off cart damage (see below) to itself, the animal and each occupant.

On an ordinary failure roll one die:
(adjusted for side slope by the GM)
1 or lessTurn left
2Slip left
3 or 4Go forwards
5Slip right
6 or moreTurn right

Hitting a "bump in the road" or another figure requires a control roll of at least one level of difficulty.


At the start of the driver's movement she can set a speed up to the cart's acceleration rating (see above) above or below (up to maximum speed or down to zero) last turn's speed. The GM can modify this range to account for up-slope (reduce speed and acceleration) and down-slope (increase both). This requires a control roll even to maintain speed. The driver can exceed the acceleration rating, but each additional point beyond the normal range adds one die to the difficulty.

Turning radius

The driver can take a maneuver as a normal difficulty control roll after the cart has moved half its current speed (round down) in hexes straight forwards since the last control roll was attempted this turn. (Note that setting the speed at the start of the movement required a control roll as above.) For each hex short of this add one die to the control roll difficulty.

The available maneuvers are to turn the horse one hexside left or right and then move the horse directly forwards (expends one hex of the current speed). The cart will then follow in the horse's footsteps, or to slip both hexes of the horse and both hexes of the cart either to the forward left hex or to the forward right hex.

Backing up

If the cart stood still last turn then the driver can back up horse and cart by one hex this turn.

Falling off the wagon

If the cart topples over or if a figure jumps off the cart then it takes damage as if it had fallen the current speed in hexes. (See ITL 118 for falling damage.)

Goblin Cart

Typical goblin driver
ST 9, DX 13, IQ 10, MA 10
Javelin (1d-1), Spear thrower (1d-2), dagger (1d-1)
Small shield(1)
Animal Handler, Driver, Goblin, Knife, Pole Weapons, Shield, Spear Thrower, Thrown Weapons.

The goblin cart is $50 and 50 pounds. Add 110 pounds for goblin and gear giving a total load of 160 pounds. Divide that by four for the uneven ground of the labyrinth gives 40 pounds load on the ST 16 Dire Wolf gives full MA of 12.

The Fantasy Trip(t.m.) is a trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and their rules and art are copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games.
This game aid is the original creation of Henry J. Cobb and is released for free distribution, and not for resale, under the permissions granted in the Steve Jackson Games Online Policy.