The first printing of the AD&D 2nd Edition Player's Handbook (TSR 2101) from 1989 lists the carrying capacities for horses in Table 49 on page 78. "Light" encumbrance causes movement rates to be 2/3 of normal. As an example, this table shows that a Draft Horse would be lightly encumbered moving at 2/3 movement rate while carrying between 261 lbs and 390 lbs.

Horse Movement Rate AD&D 2nd Edition 1995 Player's Handbook

In the second printing of the Player's Handbook (TSR 2159) from 1995 in Table 49 on Page 105 there is a printing mistake which leaves out the movement rate modification in the column headers. The weight ranges in the table conform to the ranges in the 1989 printing (Draft horse is still 261 to 390 lbs.) so one could assumed that the printing mistake was to leave out the 2/3 and 1/3 movement rate modifiers present in the 1989 printing.

Horse Movement Rate AD&D 2nd Edition 1989 Player's Handbook

The Monstrous Compendium Volume 1 (TSR 2102) from 1989 says the following on the horses page:

On the following chart, the first number is the animal's normal carry-ing capacity, the second is its encumbered, half-speed load, and the last is its fully encumbered, 1/3 movement load.

The weights in the chart conform to the weights in the two printings of the Player's Handbook but the text indicates that the middle encumbrance level is moderate or 1/2 movement rate, not light or 2/3 movement rate.

Horse Movement Rate AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium

The Monstrous Manual (TSR 2140) from 1994 on page 194 in Horse Table 1. agrees with The Monstrous Compendium and contradicts the Player's Handbook, again with the same weight ranges, with a column heading for the center column of Half speed instead of Two-third speed

Horse Movement Rate ADnD 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual

Finally, just for context, the AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual (TSR 2009) from 1979 indicates on page 53 that a draft horse can carry up to 4,000 gold pieces in weight or 400 lbs and be unencumbered. It can carry between 4,000 and 8,000 gold pieces in weight or 400 lbs to 800 lbs and be encumbered, moving at one-half speed.

Horse Movement Rate ADnD 1st Edition Monster Manual


Which books are correct? Does a, for example, draft horse carrying between 261 and 390 lbs move at 2/3 movement rate as indicated in the Player's Handbooks or at 1/2 movement rate as indicated in the Monstrous manuals and compendiums?


1 Answer 1


The reprints of AD&D 2nd edition core books are not new editions in the game sense, just new editions in the book-printing sense. They are the exact same rules, with a new layout, art, and trade dress. Any changes in the rules, such as leaving out the movement rate in the table header, are errors and aren't changes in the rules.

So yes, it's supposed to say "⅔ Move" and "⅓ Move" in the table headings in the reprinted AD&D 2e PHB. It was only omitted because the vulgar-fraction characters (which I've used in the previous sentence, notice, not the approximations made of three character as in "2/3" and "1/3") are special characters that appear to have been lost due to a text encoding error by TSR or their printer — notice how the headings make no sense as currently written, saying just "Move" above both.

As for the discrepancy with the Monstrous/Monster Manual, that's a long-standing error. Resolve it as you like. Because horses and their carrying capacity are mostly relevant as beasts of burden used by the players' characters, rather than as monsters; and because the discrepancy is usually judged to be due to a repeated copy-paste error from 1st edition to 2nd edition that wasn't caught during the editing of either 2nd edition book; the usual ruling is to use the more generous numbers in the PHB and disregard the text in the Monstrous/Monster Manual that discusses ½ movement rate.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yep, official errata from TSR/WoTC has "Table 49; page 105: Carrying Capacities of Animals: The third column should have a header that reads: "⅔ Move." The fourth column header should read: "⅓ Move." -- wizards.com/dnd/DnDPlayersHandbook2ndEditionErrata.asp \$\endgroup\$
    – Erics
    Aug 10, 2021 at 5:24

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