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Mounted exploits


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


I find that the rules for mounted movement and combat as they are written in the CRB are unbalanced and unrealistic. As it stands now a rider can double move his mount, quick dismount and move twice more - essentially moving faster than a rider who stays on his mount for the whole turn. A rider on a war-trained mount can take a full attack for himself and for his mount (so long as the mount only takes a 5 foot step) with no penalty to the attack. This means that a druid on a mountain lion mount gets the full 5 attacks of his mount, and can still take a full attack. With the pounce feature of the lion, this becomes even more ridiculous.
There needs to be some measure of synchronicity between the mount and rider that restricts them from moving and attacking more than a single creature. I don't claim to be a master equestrian, but I can assure you that riding a horse is not a completely passive activity. Horses (and cats) do not hover across the ground when you are sitting on them. They jostle and bounce, and if one should decide to rear up and kick its front legs out, you need to be holding on with more than just your knees. Steering a mount so you can attack a target would also interefere with the mount's own attempts to bite/claw/kick at an enemy in reach.
In the issue of fairness and balance I propose that you institute a rule that makes manipulating your mount a move action. One move action by the rider would allow the full two actions of his mount. This would restrict the full attack action to just you or your mount (instead of both of you getting all attacks). Further, dismounting/mounting requires a move action from both you and your mount. You would still be able to do this as a free action with the quick dismount ride skill ability, but you have to remember that in order to quick mount/dismount you need to have a movement action available to use. This would prevent the exploit of double moving, galloping or charging then quick dismounting and moving even further on foot in the same turn.
With these rule changes mounted characters would still get the advantage of the mount's greater speed, as well as height advantage, trampling attacks, using your mount as cover and charging with a lance that is essential to mounted combat. Cavaliers, paladins and druids would still have some advantages when they are mounted, but in a more balanced fashion.


Sormsby wrote:
A rider on a war-trained mount can take a full attack for himself and for his mount (so long as the mount only takes a 5 foot step) with no penalty to the attack. This means that a druid on a mountain lion mount gets the full 5 attacks of his mount, and can still take a full attack. With the pounce feature of the lion, this becomes even more ridiculous.

Uh, why don't you read the mounted combat rules in full before you start proposing fixes? Only way that happens if you have Mounted Skirmisher, which is a late feat unless you dip Sohei.


Mounted Skirmisher (Combat)

You are adept at attacking from upon a swift moving steed.

Prerequisites: Ride rank 14, Mounted Combat, Trick Riding.

Benefit: If your mount moves its speed or less, you can still take a full-attack action.

Normal: If your mount moves more than 5 feet, you can only take an attack action.

Thanks for pointing out this feat. It actually clarifies my complaint about the rules as they are written : both you and your mount can make a full attack so long as you only take a 5 foot step - with no penalty or feat required.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds like you're doing a lot of reaching/specialization to prove that if you concentrate your resources into 1 cool thing, it becomes overpowering... which is basically like anything else in the game. At the high levels, reality starts losing focus anyway when wizards can teleport and grant lesser wishes, clerics can bring back people dead for years, and synthesists getting 7+ attacks on their own, without said mount.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Working as intended.

If you want to rage at the rules more, check out archery next. Follow that up with carrying capacity, and then round out with lesser restoration to avoid sleeping altogether.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mergy wrote:

Working as intended.

If you want to rage at the rules more, check out archery next. Follow that up with carrying capacity, and then round out with lesser restoration to avoid sleeping altogether.

What??! There are penalties for not sleeping?

Andoran

There's also a ride check required to not have to spend your move action controlling your mount. Granted it's a DC 5 but....
And as pointed out by others, you can only make a full attack with a melee weapon if you have Mounted Skirmisher, a fairly high level ability if you're not a Sohei.
Now, archers on mounts are a different story....


Ssalarn wrote:

There's also a ride check required to not have to spend your move action controlling your mount. Granted it's a DC 5 but....

And as pointed out by others, you can only make a full attack with a melee weapon if you have Mounted Skirmisher, a fairly high level ability if you're not a Sohei.
Now, archers on mounts are a different story....

You do not need the Mounted Skirmisher feat to make a full attack from your mount, while your mont is also making a full attack - so long as you only take a 5 foot step.

The movement exploit that I mention is available to any character at first level with a half decent ride skill. You should not be able to move faster than a character who stays on his mount for the full turn by dismounting and moving further on foot. It ruins the movement action/standard action cadence that is the core of the Pathfinder mechanics.

Andoran

Sormsby wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

There's also a ride check required to not have to spend your move action controlling your mount. Granted it's a DC 5 but....

And as pointed out by others, you can only make a full attack with a melee weapon if you have Mounted Skirmisher, a fairly high level ability if you're not a Sohei.
Now, archers on mounts are a different story....

You do not need the Mounted Skirmisher feat to make a full attack from your mount, while your mont is also making a full attack - so long as you only take a 5 foot step.

The movement exploit that I mention is available to any character at first level with a half decent ride skill. You should not be able to move faster than a character who stays on his mount for the full turn by dismounting and moving further on foot. It ruins the movement action/standard action cadence that is the core of the Pathfinder mechanics.

It's a DC 20 Ride check to perform a fast mount/dismount hardly a guarantee for a 1st level character with a half decent Ride skill, given that I would assume decent for a first level character to be about a 6 (2 stat, 1 rank, 3 class skill) you still have a 70% chance of failing. If you successfully pull it off, more power to you for using your mounts momentum to help launch you forward. You're not moving faster than the guy on the horse, because your mount still needs to catch up with you on the next round while he rides by laughing, 70% of the time. The other 30% you can try and use to run ahead of him on foot again at the end of your mounts movement. This doesn't "ruin the action cadence" of Pathfinder, it gives you the ability to seriously haul ass for one round under a specific set of circumstances. Also, Pathfinder is based on a game called Dungeons & Dragons. You know what a pain it is to manage a mount inside a Dungeon? Or a townhouse? Or sewers? Or narrow underground passages?

If you're investing in mounted combat, you're investing in a combat style that is going to be, at best, impractical in 1/2 or more of the situations you find yourself in. Mounted Combatants should be powerful when they're fighting in their element, the same way a wizard who knows what he's getting into should be nearly unstoppable, and a paladin should smite evil better than anything else.

Taldor

Ssalarn wrote:
If you're investing in mounted combat, you're investing in a combat style that is going to be, at best, impractical in 1/2 or more of the situations you find yourself in. Mounted Combatants should...

This is precisely why my mount-based paladin will be a halfling on a dog - a lot easier to get a dog into a dungeon and maneuver around with it than a horse.

Cheliax

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't understand why this is in the rules question forum, actually.

If you want to nerf mounted combat (not that it's particularly powerful), this thread should be in the houserules section. If you're complaining about the way things are, it should go in general discussion.


I agree the mounted/ non-mounted movement is silly but easily houseruled as a GM mounted move actions bars character from using move actions, and the world makes sense once more.. for a little while..

Andoran

Others have pointed out that the Ride checks (for quick mount, attacking with a mount, and guiding with knees) are all there. In PF, armor check penalties apply to all Ride checks, including that to fight with a war-trained mount.

The extra movement by quick mount, double move by mount, quick dismount: This simply doesn't exist. While turns are sequential in order to make the game playable, the time consumed by them is parallel. Meaning, the mount is using the turn to double move...it's the same time as the rider is sitting in the saddle. The rider cannot use that time to both sit in the saddle for a turn then move on his own for a turn.

A strongly recommend the Rules of the Game articles that were written by WotC for D&D 3.5. With a few exceptions, the rules (unfortunately) are the same between the two editions. There is a link to a thread that has the articles in my profile.


Thanks Howie. The four articles are actually pretty clear on the subject and would work even better than my suggested changes.

Andoran

Happy to help.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
You know what a pain it is to manage a mount inside a Dungeon? Or a townhouse? Or sewers? Or narrow underground passages?

No. Please tell me how managing a medium mount (that has the same mobility as a normal human character) in a passage is a pain in the ass.

Medium mounts have zero technical disadvantage to their mobility, compared to medium humanoids.
There is a reason for the plethora of halfling paladins and cavaliers.


Midnight_Angel wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
You know what a pain it is to manage a mount inside a Dungeon? Or a townhouse? Or sewers? Or narrow underground passages?

No. Please tell me how managing a medium mount (that has the same mobility as a normal human character) in a passage is a pain in the ass.

Medium mounts have zero technical disadvantage to their mobility, compared to medium humanoids.
There is a reason for the plethora of halfling paladins and cavaliers.

Well a dog can not get anywhere needing opposable thumbs, ladders come to mind, but since that is the only thing I can think off right now it probably isn't so bad. Are there any 1st lvl spells that can remedy this quickly in a pinch ? Maybe a cheap magical item..


AnnoyingOrange wrote:
Midnight_Angel wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
You know what a pain it is to manage a mount inside a Dungeon? Or a townhouse? Or sewers? Or narrow underground passages?

No. Please tell me how managing a medium mount (that has the same mobility as a normal human character) in a passage is a pain in the ass.

Medium mounts have zero technical disadvantage to their mobility, compared to medium humanoids.
There is a reason for the plethora of halfling paladins and cavaliers.

Well a dog can not get anywhere needing opposable thumbs, ladders come to mind, but since that is the only thing I can think off right now it probably isn't so bad. Are there any 1st lvl spells that can remedy this quickly in a pinch ? Maybe a cheap magical item..

I suggest using a fighter. A medium sized character with a fairly high strength can carry a dog up a ladder quite easily, assuming the dog cooperates.


I for one find the mounted combat rules a bit confusing and frustrating cause there's a few things under Ride and other things under the combat section. I remember in a 3.x game I had players that did very effectively argue that they could move on their horse and still full attack which caused a lot of issues till we cleared some stuff up. Pathfinder cleared up a few things but I think it's something that still could be better written in the rules. It's sad that one of the things that confirms how it really works is a splat book feat that's mentioned above.

As for riding being harder than the rules express, I definitely agree with the OP. In my home games, all Ride DCs are at least 5 higher than printed. If you want to be good at mounted combat, you need to invest ranks into it -- more than 1 rank + 3 class bonus + 1 Dex minimum to be able to do stuff like "Guide With Knees" without even rolling. I'm not an equestrian but I grew up in horse country and have spoken to a lot of riders and based on what they've explained to me, this is one area where--even though I am careful not to get obsessed with simulationism--I think the rules make things too easy.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blueluck wrote:
AnnoyingOrange wrote:
Midnight_Angel wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
You know what a pain it is to manage a mount inside a Dungeon? Or a townhouse? Or sewers? Or narrow underground passages?

No. Please tell me how managing a medium mount (that has the same mobility as a normal human character) in a passage is a pain in the ass.

Medium mounts have zero technical disadvantage to their mobility, compared to medium humanoids.
There is a reason for the plethora of halfling paladins and cavaliers.

Well a dog can not get anywhere needing opposable thumbs, ladders come to mind, but since that is the only thing I can think off right now it probably isn't so bad. Are there any 1st lvl spells that can remedy this quickly in a pinch ? Maybe a cheap magical item..

I suggest using a fighter. A medium sized character with a fairly high strength can carry a dog up a ladder quite easily, assuming the dog cooperates.

Not to mention Climb is a class skill for animals. Failing that, a scroll of spider climb or a rope harness both work.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Aw, man! This thread isn't at all about what I thought it would be...

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