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Riding Dogs


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

Grand Lodge

Okay, I really need to know. How do Riding Dogs work in PFS?

Lately, at least at early levels, it seems like Riding Dogs are just /insane/. They apparently come battle-ready, and have 2 HD with a decent attack, so if someone buys one, can it really participate in combat just like a Druid's animal companion?

Grand Lodge ****

They can participate in combat. However, do not forget the rules for handling animals in combat.

It takes a DC 10 handle animal check to make an animal follow a command that it is trained to, such as Attack, and you cannot take 10 in combat. It takes cha and ranks in handle animal to hit that reliably at low levels.

Also, by RAW, combat-trained animals such as riding dogs only know the basic attack trick, which is limited to attacking humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, and animals. You would have to push the riding dog (dc 20 handle animal, dc22 if the dog's been injured) to get it to attack the undead which are so common in society play.

So yes, they are legal. However, your average 7 cha fighter with no ranks in handle animal won't be getting the dog to actually do much in combat.

Grand Lodge ** Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

A riding dog is brave in combat, so you don't have to make a Ride DC 20 check just to prevent it going nuts. It isn't trained for combat, but is trained for riding (tricks: come, heel, stay). If you (or, as far as I can see, anyone else at the table, but that may not fly with many GMs) want to teach it more tricks, see the next question at the above link.


To add to what was said, remember that handling an animal is a move action Handle animal check, and pushing an animal is a full round action handle animal check. Only Druids/Rangers/Cavaliers can handle as a free action with their class feature.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Michigan—Alma

Starglim wrote:
A riding dog is brave in combat, so you don't have to make a Ride DC 20 check just to prevent it going nuts. It isn't trained for combat, but is trained for riding (tricks: come, heel, stay). If you (or, as far as I can see, anyone else at the table, but that may not fly with many GMs) want to teach it more tricks, see the next question at the above link.

Are you sure you read that right?

Quote:

Do purchased animals come fully trained or do I have to train them myself?

The entry for Handle Animal on pages 97–98 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook details which animals come trained—namely, some riding horses and riding dogs have training, but they only come trained to bear a rider into combat. All other animals are subject to Handle Animal to learn additional tricks. See the “Mounts and Related Gear” table on page 159 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook for additional details.
PRD wrote:

Combat Training (DC 20) An animal trained to bear a rider into combat knows the tricks attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel. Training an animal for combat riding takes 6 weeks. You may also “upgrade” an animal trained for riding to one trained for combat by spending 3 weeks and making a successful DC 20 Handle Animal check. The new general purpose and tricks completely replace the animal's previous purpose and any tricks it once knew. Many horses and riding dogs are trained in this way.

Riding (DC 15) An animal trained to bear a rider knows the tricks come, heel, and stay. Training an animal for riding takes three weeks.

Only one of those match the FAQ, and its not the one with the tricks you posted...

Grand Lodge ** Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

OK, I've thought about this from a couple of angles. The core rules and FAQ could both be a lot clearer, if that was the intention - but it's the right decision. It's natural for players to want to buy wardogs and the cost (gold and actions) is not unreasonable. I'm happy that the "riding dog" is a combat-trained large dog and that halflings and gnomes sometimes happen to ride them.

Dark Archive ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All riding dogs come trained with attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel, as Eric posted. That's because they are trained with the combat riding/training package.

There's a reason each one costs 150gp, which would be a veritable fortune for the average Joe.

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