Can a Tiny / Small drone ride a PC in combat?


Rules Questions


So, a drone can only take a single move or standard action in combat.

But can a drone 'mount' a PC and ride around on them? Say, could my hover / stealth drone hitch a ride on my Medium-sized Mechanic's shoulder / back so that it moves with him, using its action to attack from shoulder-top each turn?

I'm explicitly NOT referring to drone meld, nor am I trying to give a drone's abilities to a PC - I simply want to know if my drone can physically hold on to my PC and move with them.

Shadow Lodge

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I'm going to say no.

The actions of one thing riding another get really really wonk and evade built in action economy limits very very quickly.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd say yes, but the drone would need to make the appropriate Survival checks for mounted combat, such as fighting from a combat-trained mount (it seems reasonable to say PCs are combat-trained) or guiding with knees. Additionally, the drone would need the manipulator arm mod, since you need a free hand if you fail the guide with knees check.


Poit wrote:
I'd say yes, but the drone would need to make the appropriate Survival checks for mounted combat, such as fighting from a combat-trained mount (it seems reasonable to say PCs are combat-trained) or guiding with knees. Additionally, the drone would need the manipulator arm mod, since you need a free hand if you fail the guide with knees check.

What if the drone was strapped to someone back? No need for a free arm then.


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Without some heavy house ruling, going to go with no on this one.

For starters, a PC is neither 'combat trained' nor 'a mount.' After that, we don't have rules where a non-sentient being is using a sentient being (let alone a PC) as a mount.

On top of those two things, it would very clearly be a case of trying to use rules for something different to gain a mechanical advantage with no downside (essentially free movement for your drone.)

Liberty's Edge

Pantshandshake wrote:
For starters, a PC is neither 'combat trained' nor 'a mount.' After that, we don't have rules where a non-sentient being is using a sentient being (let alone a PC) as a mount.

Animals are an official creature type, but beasts are not. I don’t know that the game defines what can and can’t be a mount. Combat Trained is also not explicitly defined but I’d say PCs definitely are because they are combatants and have proficiency in weapons.

I think using the survival skill would be an okay way to do it.

The Exchange

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Does the PC have enough strength to handle the drone's bulk?

Is the drone active when mounted on their back/shoulders? Most the time this is going to be a no. As in the PC can carry the drone when it lands on them, but it's not going to be able to use mount rules.

But you can do sneaky stuff like carrying a drone under a jacket and dropping it off covertly. But I wouldn't allow it to attack, etc if being carried by the PC.

Remember the distinction is important carried NOT mounted.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Note: we don't actually have rules currently for what the bulk of a drone *is*.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

While we don't have specific rules, it's worth noting that a typical small creature is 8-60 lbs (page 256 of the core.) It's safe to assume that a drone is probably on the upper end of that, so if you could carry it, it would be the equivalent of around 6 bulk, and might very well count as more since it's not really designed to be carried/ride a human while in combat.

A tiny creature, on the other hand, is only 1-8lbs, or 1 bulk if you round up, so at least could be more feasible to carry.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would disagree that its "safe to assume", because IMO, that's taking the "rule of thumb" for estimating bulk for equipment, and applying it to things it was never intended to apply to.

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