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@Sully: While I understand and even agree with your "it takes some skill to even be able to ride a nag" position, the point of the rule is that all "adventurer" characters in Microlite74 are assumed to have a basic idea of what they are doing when it comes to common adventurer activities and tasks. It's not that they have no skill and should be able to do it anyway, but that they are assumed to have the basic skills to handle common adventuring tasks.

Microlite74, like many old school games, doesn't have selectable lists of skills (as a game mechanic) to begin with so this rule is just a way of reminding players and GMs that adventurers should be assumed able to handle basic adventuring activities.


I'm a city boy, and once went with a friend to a ranch because she wanted me to get to ride a horse at least once in my life. I'm a six-foot, 200 lb man, and that horse was a lot bigger than me. It was trained to accept new riders and even then I was still unsure of what I was doing. Riding a horse is not a simple thing, even down a calm street. So really, it ought to depend on the characters and setting, as far as PCs, off the bat, being able to do "common" tasks like ride a horse. That is one big creature, and if it doesnt want to carry you somewhere, it doesnt have to unless you really know what you are doing. The general assumption in my DM style is that an adventurer-type has probably at some point been exposed to horse-riding, and that it's not fun to impose those kinds of penalties. But for DMs who get after verisimilitude, I think it's justified. You can't just hop on a horse and ride it if you have no idea what you are doing.


@Capheind: You're right, this rule will not stop jerk GMs — nothing except their players waking will stop a jerk GM.

It will give good guidance to the average GM, especially given that Microlite74 is an old school style game that depends more on the GM just deciding if something works or not (instead of skill rolls). This rule reminds GMs new to this style of play that basic adventuring activities should normally "just work".

It will also allow new players to easily tell if their GM is being a jerk so they can walk before they get too invested in the game. 🙂


I doubt this will solve the problem though, the rare jerk DM I've encountered who pulled this did so in systems that often explicitly said that checks were only necessary under stressful conditions.

Greyhawk Grognard

I did something similar with Adventures Dark and Deep (although I explicitly said that dwarves couldn't swim unless there was a reason to let them do so), basically saying that possessing a skill merely means you can do a thing _better_ than someone without that skill.

I didn't include a list of everyday things characters can do, however; that just seems to be an invitation for GMs to say "your character can't do that– it's not on the list". Might be worth re-thinking, though.