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Since a centaur has the body of a horse I thought it would make sense that they would be able to have a saddle pack since it covers the back of a horse and on the sides.

enter image description here

With that in mind, can a centaur use saddlebags? Would the saddlebags be the equivalent of two backpacks?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Saddlebags specifically are part of a saddle, or bags you can attach to a saddle. The picture you've shown here is something different. So if you want to wear saddlebags, keep in mind you'd need a saddle. \$\endgroup\$ – Joninean Aug 14 '15 at 7:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Joninean - Those would be panniers. Nowadays mostly seen on bicycles in the developed world. \$\endgroup\$ – Davor Aug 14 '15 at 11:06
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The game doesn’t say; this is beneath its abstraction level.

Basically, the game assigns all items a weight which represents how much it encumbers you (and in some cases, an item’s “weight” is higher than its actual physical weight, because it is particularly cumbersome). Then you have a limit on how encumbered you can get before being penalized, based on your Strength.

The game does this because it is quicker and simpler than trying for anything more “realistic” (though actually, many players ignore even this because it’s still obnoxiously fiddly and time-consuming to track). This is what is known as abstraction, and it’s an important part of any game.

Thus, the game does not really care how or where you store things. You can have bags, or not, as you like. There are limits on how much any one bag can hold, but not on how many bags you can have. Your DM may put a halt to particularly ridiculous amounts of them, but that’s purely up the DM.

So in short: the game doesn’t really care whether or not a centaur has saddlebags. Ask your DM; I doubt it will be a problem.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you were to use saddle bags on a centaur, I would bring in the optional Encumbrance rules. Treating the party centaur like a pack mule will greatly reduce his manoeuvrability, which some players may be trying to get away with... \$\endgroup\$ – Grond May 24 at 1:16
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I don't see why not. Ultimately, what your gear-carrying-gear looks like is really just fluff. But Centaurs are quadrapeds, which means they have much higher carrying capacity than ordinary creatures of their size and explaining that by them having saddle packs seems perfectly reasonable.

Although they might have trouble removing gear from their own saddlepacks with their short arms. But I don't think Centaur mythology really goes into the subject.

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Makes sense to me, and wear a backpack too, if they want.

I'd say saddlebags would conflict with pulling a cart,wagon or travois unless somebody found proof/way of making them compatable. Likewsie they could wear a saddle, and carry a passenger.

I see centaurs as a (good) combination of horse body and human torso, so things that can be worn/attached to that part should be usable. Now things like barding(armor) gets interesting, and would probabbly be the combination price of barding and human armor. Sure, not getting the head of barding, or legs of human armor, but the complexity of putting the 2 together, by somebody that doesn't normally make centaur armor, has a cost. [what it would be from a centaur armor, I've no clue].

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "combination price of barding and human armor." - I think it would rather simply count as barding. For saddles, there is distinction between normal and exotic, but for barding there isn't any. Unless, of course, you plan to punish humanoids in centaur lands similarly. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Aug 14 '15 at 10:49
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What? Blasphemy! ;-) To have saddlebags you need a saddle. No centaur would wear a saddle! To put on a saddle is a symbol of being enslaved by humans like a mere horse.


According to page 97 of Races of the Wild:

Personality: As thinking, civilized creatures, centaurs frown upon those humanoids who look on them as potential mounts. It is a grave insult to ask a centaur to serve as a mount, and centaurs usually offer to carry their companions only in dire circumstances.

Roleplaying Application: Serving as a mount is beneath you. Only when the life of a close companion is at risk should you deign to carry a humanoid.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Many types of saddlebags do not indeed use a saddle, as the OP's picture illustrates. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Aug 14 '15 at 15:19

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