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Riding an unwilling Huge or bigger monster


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So here's a question I've been thinking about lately. When it comes to Huge monsters, they take up a 3x3 space. I don't see a reason why an acrobatic character can't make an acrobatics check jump on the monster's back and hold on for dear life? Would this be the monster's CMB vs character CMD to shake off the character? Would it be something like a Balance check?

Also, would a Huge or greater monster be able to take Bite attacks vs. the character if they are on the back?


There is no rule for it, and if you have to make ride checks to stay on a large animal that does not mind you being there I think it would be very hard to find a huge one, that does not want you there.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Basically, you're grappling.


theheadkase wrote:

So here's a question I've been thinking about lately. When it comes to Huge monsters, they take up a 3x3 space. I don't see a reason why an acrobatic character can't make an acrobatics check jump on the monster's back and hold on for dear life? Would this be the monster's CMB vs character CMD to shake off the character? Would it be something like a Balance check?

Also, would a Huge or greater monster be able to take Bite attacks vs. the character if they are on the back?

I forgot to answer part of your question. A creature can attack into its own square so yes if you try to ride a creature it can attack you. The GM can rule that certain attacks can't reach certain parts of its body, but other than GM fiat expect to be attacked.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Basically, you're grappling.

I think that's a poor way to simulate it. I'd say that clinging to a creature would be better represented by a Ride or Climb check of some kind. But I would hesitate to throw out a suggestion for a house rule without thinking about it a little more.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, rules-wise, it's grappling.
Should you decide to do something else, a houserule of sorts, then you should stick to CMB vs CMD for any checks to be made.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Had a chat with a friend of mine who suggested Spider Climb and a Climb check. I like that idea as well.

I also like to think that since it is a huge creature it takes a 3x3 squares space. Shouldn't there be room for a Medium creature to just stand on it and make an Acrobatics check?

I'm not in the strictest sense trying to grapple the creature, I am trying to hold myself onto it. If I were using grapple rules then it would have to take the penalties associated with grappling. In essence I'm not holding it down or grabbing a leg to hinder it, I am just trying to stay on it.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Regardless, it is still a CMB vs CMD situation.


I would probably use the ride skill, but you would take heavy penalties.

Actually since you can't occupy the same square as another creature so the move is not legal anyway.

Mounts are an exception, but they assume cooperation.

PS:I think that if a creature is so many size categories bigger you can. I think it is 3, but if you are medium a huge creature is only two category sizes larger.

PS2: I was incorrect.

Quote:
Square Occupied by Creature Three Sizes Larger or Smaller: Any creature can move through a square occupied by a creature three size categories larger than itself.

You can move through such squares. By the rules you can't occupy them though. Swarms seem to be the only exception due to the small size of the individual creatures that make up the swarm.


I know what you want. You want your Pathfinder character to be able to do what your Dragon's Dogma character can do. I love how I can track recent RPG video game releases on the Paizo boards.


wraithstrike wrote:

I would probably use the ride skill, but you would take heavy penalties.

Actually since you can't occupy the same square as another creature so the move is not legal anyway.

Mounts are an exception, but they assume cooperation.

PS:I think that if a creature is so many size categories bigger you can. I think it is 3, but if you are medium a huge creature is only two category sizes larger.

PS2: I was incorrect.

Quote:
Square Occupied by Creature Three Sizes Larger or Smaller: Any creature can move through a square occupied by a creature three size categories larger than itself.
You can move through such squares. By the rules you can't occupy them though. Swarms seem to be the only exception due to the small size of the individual creatures that make up the swarm.

Wasn't there a rule that you can occupy the same space as a creature 2 categories larger than you? I think it is restricted to allies though. Or maybe I'm remembering something from 3.5 which has since been omitted. Or maybe I only dreamed it.

Edit: Ok, I am wrong in two ways, but I'm still proud that I remembered the gist of it. These old synapses got some life in them yet.


I thought there was a rule for 3 times bigger, but I never heard of 2 times bigger. I could not find either one though. I am assuming I mistook the rule for moving through a square as occupying a square.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd treat it as grappling with these differences:

- The creature you are riding is only considered grappled against you. I may MAY allow it to be flatfooted against you to model that it can't quite reach you.
- You'd need some ride checks.
- You cannot pin or tie-up the creature.

That's probably what I would allow, in addition to extra damage for attacking the head. Or other weak point.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

At the very least, it should be a climb or ride check vs CMD.


I was wondering about that. not even a HUGE creature. what if I just wanted to tame a horse with a little bronco busting?

should be a grapple to get on, another grapple to essentially find a riding possition, then ride checks vs opposed CMB or escape artist checks to stay on. next you have to figure out ways to simulate controlling, exhausting or generally breaking the spirit of your victim (not to mention what if the ride does something unusual like running under a low roof or rolling to crush you.


@BBT
which makes it fail horribly as skill points don't scale to CMD at all if your looking for something huge+. If said character had the movement I would say climb check to hang on initially, and ride checks to stay on if the creature is more interested in eating the character than getting them off. Since this is not a combat maneuver per say (the creature takes no penalty except they now have a person on them) and for the character its basically the worst place you could possibly be, I would not use the CMB CMD system at all.

Also for natural attacks, depending on where the person is located I might limit them to some back appropriate attacks which is pretty much all except bite, gore, and wings.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This seems like a run around to what is essentially a combat maneuver.
You grab on to a creature, well, you're grappling.
You want to inflict a condition of sorts on it, it's a dirty trick maneuver.
Everything you are trying to do falls into the combat maneuver territory.
Trying to bypass that, because your simply unhappy with how hard that is to do, is silly, as such a thing should be hard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Mechanically you are looking at a grapple as if the creature had the Grab(EX) ability, taking a -20 to not be considered grappling. Though as Grab only works on creatures up to your own size it would all be house rulings.

RAW, there isn't any way to do exactly what you want, but the Grab is the best mechanical fit for what you are looking for. You aren't considered grappling so have free access to do whatever you would want minus whatever limb you are "grabbing" with (holding on by your hand, use your other to stab; holding on by your legs, can still swing a 2h weapon).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't know about Dragon's Dogma, but I was thinking more about Shadow of the Colossus type of gameplay. Where I would jump up and climb on. Maybe that is the key where it could be colossal sized and this would make more sense.

Or think like Dune when he is riding the Sandworm. All you are doing is jumping on and holding on/climbing up, not trying to wrestle it. I agree that it should be hard to grapple something that is Huge or bigger. It doesn't quite make sense to me though that I couldn't treat its Huge body as an unstable surface and climb it or run across it with Spider Step and an acrobatics check for balance.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

In 3.5, you needed a feat, just to be able to do this.

The feat, by the way, was Giantbane, and is in the Complete Warrior.

Talk to your DM about it.


OH!

thats a totally different situation.

in that case if they are simply climbing a very large creature I would have them run simple climb checkes each round but vary the climb check DC by setting a base and adding a die roll each turn. in other words make the base DC for the climb something like 10 then add a D10 or D12 to the roll to represent that the creature is moving around and the surface may be more difficult in places. every round you re-roll the DC or make an opposed roll vs the active players climb check.

its actually very fun.

I once had a story point where a Mad Wizard who specialized in creating constructs had finally made his ultimate weapon (a colossal construct that was going to destroy the city)

it was kind of a silly story but was fun due to the combat scenarios. anyway the characters were trying to get to the monsters head which was kind of a control room. They were able to ride griffons to the monsters waist and jump onto a ledge there. (couldn't get higher because of anti air spells from the head which could not shoot straight down) from there they had to climb up. I made it a dc= 10+d12 each round and once they reached the shoulders there was a last round of DC 15+d10 because at that point they were under attack by guards taking pot shots with arrows. once they got to the shoulders they were able to fight a few caster and melee guards defending the main boss and his second in command.

the battle was epic. every other round the colossus took a step and they were forced to make a roll to stay standing or else fall and roll 5 or 10 feet to the left or right (depending on the step)

it was truly a great night. especially when they were so frustrated by the main boss they accidentally (on purpose) killed him and had to figure out how to control the colossus before it marched a line of destruction through the city and out to sea.


theheadkase wrote:

I don't know about Dragon's Dogma, but I was thinking more about Shadow of the Colossus type of gameplay. Where I would jump up and climb on. Maybe that is the key where it could be colossal sized and this would make more sense.

Or think like Dune when he is riding the Sandworm. All you are doing is jumping on and holding on/climbing up, not trying to wrestle it. I agree that it should be hard to grapple something that is Huge or bigger. It doesn't quite make sense to me though that I couldn't treat its Huge body as an unstable surface and climb it or run across it with Spider Step and an acrobatics check for balance.

Dragon's Dogma has a similar combat tactic.

The Fremen used specialised equipment (maker hooks) to anchor them to the outer shell of Shai'Hulud and to pry open the leading edge of a segment to expose the more vulnerable flesh beneath to abrading sand. Shai'Hulud would roll away from the irritation, bringing the exposed segment up away from the sand, and lifting the hookman (the first Fremen up) with it. Shai'Hulud is unique in the known universe, and I doubt this would work on dragons. Although - Worm / Wyrm - hmm...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Right a wyrm should have scales as opposed to segments and more of them! Blue the Wolf that is exactly what I am thinking.


I would saying anything requiring you to penalize, damage, or involve the word pry would def. involve CMB checks compared to just climbing up and hanging on for dear life. Also for the whole grabbing thing and partially on a side note, I'm not finding it but is/was there not a caveat saying you cannot grapple stuff 2+ sizes larger than yourself?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You can grapple creatures of any size. You must be thinking of trip.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think I would house rule this situation, as follows:

Hang On For Dear Life: If the creature being grappled is 2 or more sizes larger than the creature initiating the grapple and has a Strength score sufficient to allow it to carry the initiating grappler under a Light load, the target creature can choose to ignore the Grappled condition, if the initiating creature is only attempting to hold onto the target (rather than actually initiate a grapple). The initiating grappler must make a Combat Maneuver check each round to maintain the hold, and may not choose to move, pin or tie up the target.

The target creature may act normally, including movement and attacks. Any movement takes the initiating grappler along for the ride.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So here are your options:

1) Random Houserule.

2) Convert 3.5 feat, use it.

3) Grapple.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
theheadkase wrote:
It doesn't quite make sense to me though that I couldn't treat its Huge body as an unstable surface and climb it or run across it with Spider Step and an acrobatics check for balance.

Very very very few creatures are going to be "ok" with having another creature just latch on and stick along for the ride. In the real world cases it happens because the smaller creatures are doing something for the larger creature or are so small as to be less than insignificant to it (Even a fly gets swept away by a horse tail, skin shiver, etc). A huge creature while being significantly larger than a medium creature isn't so big as to be oblivious to what medium creatures are doing unless the creature has very good defenses. Medium creatures are still a significant threat to huge creatures typically.

Now moving on to something so big as to find medium creatures beneath notice, you would be out of the realm of combat into something along the lines of environmental challenges. This would entail house rules and would probably be better asked in the advice or suggestions forums.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Basically, you're grappling.

this. Rules already in place.


guys. the OPs use of the word HUGE seems to have been a mistake.

he did not seem to mean in game definition of huge. but rather a real world application.

his characters want to climb extremely huge creatures like sand worms and king kong.

having said that I would imagine what the characters want to do to be something equivalent to a mouse crawling up your leg. if its some kind of intelligent creature its going to eventually notice the characters.

I think, however, that the OP is asking how to run a scenario where the target is distracted or not intelligent, Like a giant worm, mindless construct, sleeping titan or some other such situation.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, that was not clear.


blue_the_wolf is spot on in my intention. Agreed blackbloodtroll, I probably could have worded that better to make it clear.

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