In my game, the DM decided that an awakened heavy horse would start at cohort level 5. A heavy horse is CR 2 with two hit dice, but he felt it was more on par altogether with CL 3. Then, the Awaken spell added two levels, so it came out to CL 5. From there, I leveled him up as a Fighter. He also allowed it to have d10 had instead of d8. It's worked very fairly.
Beyond that, I'm not aware of any rubric that neatly translates it for you. If you search the forums for discussions on CR and CL, you'll see what I mean.
That's how I use my heavy crossbow. Mounted paladin build with improved vital strike. Opening with 3d10 and a smite ain't bad. Then I drop it and grab my other stuff. Actually, it's large sized, because a well advanced full BAB character can usually handle the minus to hit.
That would be fantastic. Poor corrections are counterproductive. That is to say, their hastily drafted FAQ's are counterproductive. They don't even take that long to discuss issues; they just take forever to address them in the first place. It's a good game, which is why we're here. But that doesn't mean they do everything right.
I guess we could all join the fawning contingent who favorites every blessed dev post that appears, but I'd rather keep it real. They were so backward on the mounted charge FAQ, for example, that they had to redraft rage lance pounce as a result. Mounted combat nevertheless remains a mess. The FAQ request system is poor. They must be aware of this fact. I wish they would own up and correct it. Blaming fans of the game for being disappointed in stuff that's legitimately disappointing is not the answer.
I thought they were only both considered charging in unison the rider uses a lance and wants the double damage or uses Spirited Charge. Anyways, yes .... mounted combat rules are poorly written, and the design team is in no hurry to give it proper attention. The latest FAQ is a good example of how a small fix can actually make things worse. Regardless, they are workable with a few basic house rules to anchor a group's reading.
I used to quote JJ to bolster my points, but I've been burned by that way of thinking quite enough. I would consider his input as any other experienced gamer's educated opinion. Do not assume that his thinking on this issue is better or more correct just because he's a dev.
If it were me DMing, I would rebuild the AC as a cohort. For the most part, you should be able to duplicate its feats, abilities, etc. as you level it up. It's so much surer if you start this cohort NPC from scratch instead of trying to come up with a fair conversion. It's not that much work to do it this way. I haven't worked it out, but I have a feeling adding two HD to an AC would make its Cohort Level to high for you to qualify for anyway. Just rebuild it. That way, you know it's legit, and no one can accuse you of taking advantage, which is generally I personally see any effort like this. Awaken says that the animal is no longer a animal companion. Why make it complicated? Take 20 extra minutes to work it up and be firmly legal.
If he's interested in extra story depth plus xp, consider giving xp bonuses for writing between sessions. Our Kingmaker campaign has only benefitted from players filling in with downtime stories, flashbacks, journal entries, etc. An entry garners the player a 10% xp bonus next session. It's a fun system, encourages character development, and doesn't need to break anything. Based on what you've said about this guy, you may need to make it very clear that these entries are not intended to rewrite or otherwise take over the AP.
The players are given a stage, presumably because they want to be in the show. If someone insists on repeatedly leaving or trying to change the scene, then the rest should be tugging back, I think.
Are other players having a problem with this? I realize you've budgeted freedom into your Gattacan utopia of documented and back-edited fun, but is it working overall? If it's one of those situations where one person is clearly at odds with the flow and everyone else involved, then I'm surprised an exasperated player hasn't said something. At our table, in-character (gentle) mocking (at first) of another's refusal to play along would wrangle such behavior into acceptable parameters. Are your players doing their part to improve this, or is "it's my character" so sacrosanct that no one feels they can say anything?
That said, I don't know how to cure abject self-centeredness.
An authoritative tone isn't enough. Your bullet points are not persuasive. Got anything else?
Diego Rossi wrote:
Says what where?
You must have a very different idea of resolution than I do.
To quote Ssalarn from last week, "The only upside to this is that it brought attention to an issue very much in need of it, and hopefully at the end of it there will be one consistent set of rules."
Because a designer wandered into a topic he thought he understood, then realized he didn't so decided to nip it in the bud, we have a ruling that highlights way worse issues with the system than were originally under discussion. We also know for a fact that different devs had totally different ideas about how mounted combat worked. Official or not, we know from SKR and JJ, the most prolific dev posters in the forums, that they did not see the rider as charging when the mount was charging. So, the idea that this "clarification" communicates how the designers always intended mounted combat to work is a joke, and actually a bit insulting.
before the FAQ, it was perfectly withing the rules to say "i, the rider, am making a charge using my mounts movement speed, but the mount is not."
No it wasn't. If anything, it was the opposite. Some say it was unclear, but "perfectly within the rules"? That's at least an overstatement, if not incorrect.
It also made sense that it could, because it worked with the mounted combat action economy as previously described (your so-called "context of the rules). They nerfed something that didn't need it, because they didn't want Vital Strike to stack, not because inventing a new kind of charge made more sense in the broader context of the system. They didn't address that at all, and so now there is (thankfully) an outpouring of demand to give the mounted combat rules an overhaul.
Really, what SKR said is still true in many if not most cases. If SRMF is to be believed, we have confirmation that a mount and rider maintain separate action economies except in the case where the rider wants the lance/spirited charge benefit. Otherwise, anyone who ever made the argument that a rider atop a charging mount is always considered charging was and is still wrong. It is only the case during aforementioned condition and was "clarified" in this way to keeping from combining with Vital Strike, a misguided mission in itself.
They don't directly say a lot of things. So what? The point is that there used to be good reason to believe that a rider was allowed a standard action when riding a charging mount. Vital Strike is a special standard action. It seemed to fit. Nothing in CRB indicated otherwise, only the wording of some feats. JJ responded generally to complaints concerning these apparent discrepancies that such feats were meant to be read with the understanding that the rider and mount maintained separate action economies, maintaining CRB. That SKR quote was just an affirmation of CRB as well. Others disagreed, but it made sense. But now that they changed that part of the rules to mean something else, we're evaluating the new discrepancies. Ho-hum.
Pink Dragon wrote:
This discussion is very interesting and has many implications for the Smite Evil ability.
I'd say the discussion is mostly absurd and the implications are as they ever were. Once it's clear that Smite Evil is an ability centered on the paladin rather than the target, any pretense that the wording is vague can be dropped.
But seriously, up until this FAQ, two devs provided guidance on how to use the mounted combat rules. This new FAQ overturns those interpretations. That alone tells me that they each may have their own ideas. A clear understanding of how it's supposed to work isn't in evidence. Like others, I'm glad for the attention it's getting. I'd like to see this as a short-term snag before a more satisfying development.
Sorry to make a little fun, but those were some very quotable passages.
After reading the new rules for a lance charge, in the case of a mounted lance charge from horseback, I interpret that the rider charges until the rider performs their lance attack at reach. The rider's charge finishes at this point. However, this does not stop the horse from finishing its charge. After the rider's charge is resolved, the horse completes its charge which results in the horse ending up adjacent to the target, which the horse can then also attack.
During a mounted charge, the rider and mount are counted as "charging in unison." To me that means when it ends for one, it ends for the other. We rule that Ride-By-Attack allows the mount to continue its charge after the lance attack (normal: movement ends when either party makes their charge attack. Whatever though. I've given up trying to do it by RAW, which I'd always insisted was possible, and now feel resigned to devising a house system that feels balanced and follows as many rules as possible. Anyway, that's how I see Mounted Charge working with and without Ride-By-Attack.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Same at my table. But the new Mounted Charge rules make it problematic either way. We'll likely keep our houserules until this is ironed out. As I mentioned earlier, this is a lot easier if your mount is a cohort and treated as an NPC. Or maybe it's a lot harder. I'm probably wrong either way, for some reason or other.
Not an apt comparison at all. Was this just meant to be cute?
Using common sense to overlook obvious peccadillos in the system is what we were doing before. SKR ans JJ showed us how. Now a ruling comes up combined with a stern warning to rely only on official cannon, not forum posts no matter who they come from. Now, we're being told, "Please, use common sense." Uh, sure, lemme get right on that.
I'm still stuck on this mission to keep Vital Strike from being usable in creative niche ways. For me, the rules mastery aspect of the game is as much about the archetypes these mechanics bring to mind as the combat effectiveness they provide. When I originally came across the synergy of Spirited Charge and the Vital Strike chain, it suggested a build less Strength-based: a careful striker who relied an superior technique over brute strength. (The Knight of Flowers versus Clegane comes to mind). Understanding the rules as I did pre-FAQ, I appreciated the flexibility that helped bring about a unique build that I enjoy and hasn't broken anything. Under the new ruling, the archetype of the gentleman lancer who prevails through superior technique over brute force (e.g., max strength + power attack + furious focus) is a harder sell, an also-ran who "doesn't really work" in Golarion. Even though this won't affect my current game, it bums me out to see it unsupported by IMHO unwarranted changes.
I have yet another unresolved issue with mounted combat. I can't seem to find in the Pathfinder rules where it specifies that a mount's movement must end when the rider attacks, absent feats that forgo the assumed requirement of course. Skip Williams' guide covers it, so that's what I go by, but I don't see it in the Pathfinder rules.
Sorry to bump so soon, but I'd really like to know if this is covered in the Pathfinder materials. As written, with totally separate action economies between mount and rider, the rider can attack in the middle of the mount's movement, basically imitating Spring Attack except that AoO's still apply.
It may seem strange to say in the wake of these threads, but it's not that complicated. It is, unfortunately, poorly packaged and presented. I'd love to see a product called something like Ultimate Mounts that gathers the rules in one convenient place, in addition to other goodies that would make mounts more fun, approachable, and flavorful.
In seeming contradiction to what I just said, I have yet another unresolved issue with mounted combat. I can't seem to find in the Pathfinder rules where it specifies that a mount's movement must end when the rider attacks, absent feats that forgo the assumed requirement of course. Skip Williams' guide covers it, so that's what I go by, but I don't see it in the Pathfinder rules.
I use an Awakened Heavy Horse as a mount cohort. My DM handed me a sheet that represented the the Heavy Horse + Awakened Animal enhancements. I was allowed to level it with class levels and generally design it myself from there. I chose to tread lightly, because Leadership is already a hot button issue. I gave him feats that made sense for a mount, putting style and mechanics on equal footing.. He is also the top tier creature in our Menagerie, the idea being that he has a huge complex largely devoted to him. He's pretty cool, but point-for-point not so much better than the bonded mount. Given that, I think he balances quite well.
Yeah, pretty much. Though I'm loathe to indulge my petty impulse to snark, it is really, really difficult to remain gracious in the face of this very poor ruling. I am playing a mount-focused character in Kingmaker (Dragoon 2 / Paladin 10), an AP which is touted as being very mount friendly, and I still rarely get the chance to lance charge. If I had not invested in Horseshoes of a Zephyr, it would be even rarer. No one has ever raised an eyebrow at the damage output. But the other week when I brought out a large sized crossbow, then enlarged, then used a wand to cast gravity bow, then loaded my huge bolt into my now huge crossbow, and finally shot off a gargantuan bolt using Vital Strike, then we had a little discussion. But my super great charge? Not an issue.
That's unnecessarily dismissive. Anyway, our bureau is in charge of intelligence gathering. It's not The Bureau of Bureaucracy.
I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when they made the decision to rule this way. It's too late now. Even though IMHO it makes sense to scratch the ruling and reevaluate in the wake of very reasonable objections, they won't call their credibility into question by publicly doubting their own rulings. Too bad, because they really should. Oh well. Onward!
There's been some confusion regarding mounted maneuvers, particularly Overrun. To me, it's always been obvious that the mount performs the Overrun maneuver, not the rider. The objection seems to be that Improved Overrun isn't readily available to mounts unless they are either an Animal Companion or Cohort, so those player's want to use their PCs' feats and CMB for this. I think it's clear that this roll uses the mount's stats, but I've felt things were clear before (e.g., the Vital Strike thread that prompted this one), but then came the curve ball, so now all bets are off. There have been contentious discussions without resolution, so it deserves mention. Plus, now that we have this thing called Mounted Charge (boooo!), the issue is even more contentious.
A good concise summary of why this all sits wrong. JJ is the one who had previously posted on how to interpret the feat wording. In fact, he seemed quite exasperated that people would rely on the ambiguous wording of some feats to call core into question. SKR's clarification that the charge is exclusively a mount's was so emphatic that the subtext seemed clear: no need for a FAQ, because the rules are already there to make it work. Coming from this perspective, the new FAQ is a surprising and odd development for some of us.
Remy Balster wrote:
That's what I do using a crossbow. I use a large size crossbow though. When I size up, it becomes Huge. So, with Gravity Bow and my supply of Huge bolts, I'm shooting Gargantuan bolts. The penalty to attack is not a big deal, because I'm at full BAB anyway. Try that with a musket.