Mounted Archer viable in JR?


Jade Regent


I might get a chance to join a JR game if one of the players quits the game. Now I am thinking about what to play and my current idea is to build a mounted archer type.

He will be a multiclassed samurai weapon master with a level mammoth rider. His mount will be a huge cat. Now what do you think, will this work in JR? I got two opinions on that. One said that it will work find, the other said that there are many dungeons which the mont can't enter.

The pc can shoot his bow without his mount and he can fight with a sword, too. Just much less that with the bow.

Do you think this is an ok char for this AP?


There are quite a few dungeons / castles / villages with narrow walkways / kayaking trips in the game. I wouldn't expect you to be able to use your mount in half the battles unless maybe you can put some kind of Reduce Animal on it some of the time - although if the group as a whole is fairly competent you could do OK fighting on foot.

How far through is the campaign?

And how are they handling caravan battles? There are 'caravan combat' rules where your caravan fights a group of enemies and your character stats play no part. However, they don't work very well and some groups use regular wilderness battles instead - a rider could be very effective for that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A Samurai's challenge ability doesn't work on ranged attacks, by the way.

But I agree that the campaign is not that friendly to mounted combat characters, especially on huge size mounts, unless your GM has chosen to play caravan combat out with individual normal battles. In that case having a mounted combat character will rule for the third module, then it's back to being a semi-useless class feature.

The Exchange

There's only one dungeon past Book Three where a huge mount absolutely isn't usable:

Spoiler:
Shinju no Ie

There's also two dungeons where a huge mount won't fit, but where you should be able to draw encounters outside:

Spoiler:
Seinaru Heikiko and the onsen

And there's one last dungeon where a huge creature will mostly fit, except that you'll want reduce animal for a few sections:

Spoiler:
Munasukaru's Penance (mainly because the House of Withered Blossoms is in the way)

I'm reviewing at the maps right now, and you could easily ride a huge creature everywhere else. It's not even a question.

Book One and Book Two are very mount-unfriendly, but since you're not a Mammoth Rider yet that doesn't particularly matter. Book Three is mostly ideal for mounted combat out the gate if your GM ditches caravan combat (have I mentioned caravan combat is bad lately).


Thanks for all the answers.

Matthew Downie wrote:


How far through is the campaign?

And how are they handling caravan battles? There are 'caravan combat' rules where your caravan fights a group of enemies and your character stats play no part. However, they don't work very well and some groups use regular wilderness battles instead - a rider could be very effective for that.

I only know that the PCs are level 10 now. In which book they currently are is something I don't know. And I don't know how the caravan combats are played, too.

Reduce animal would only work if I cast it myself (which I can't) because the pc is going to be an aasimar with the celestial servant feat. So the huge cat he's riding has the celestial template.


Umbranus wrote:
I only know that the PCs are level 10 now.

Probably on book 4 then. That means they're past most of the caravan encounters already.

Can you get enough ranks of UMD to make use of a wand of reduce animal?


While we haven't started book 5, yet (we do that at our next session, actually), I would say that ANY mounted combatant build will be working without the mount far more than with it.

I agree that based on the character levels that they are in Book 4, which means you are already in the general area of your destination. If you WANT a mounted character, something with a Mongolian flavor should be the most easily explained, actually. It also is a pretty good cultural fit for a mounted archer.

Oh, but if you're looking at an aasimar with a celestial cat mount, you've already thrown any pretense of culturally appropriate builds out. Nothing wrong with doing that, it just means my advice is less useful for you than otherwise.

The core thing I would recommend, however, is talking with your GM to find out if he's going to work with you, to help accommodate your desire to be mounted. If he's not, then you need to decide if story or mechanical usefulness to the party will be the primary driver in your character build. At different times and in different groups I've made both choices. I've had a dedicated mounted combatant Fighter/Ranger multi-class where roughly half of the character build was based on him being mounted, and it stayed that way through the character's entire playing life. I think I was involved in mounted combat like 5 times, total. Optimizers were adamant that I had wasted my build and was far less useful than I should have been. Everybody had fun, though, which is supposed to be the point.


hustonj wrote:


I agree that based on the character levels that they are in Book 4, which means you are already in the general area of your destination. If you WANT a mounted character, something with a Mongolian flavor should be the most easily explained, actually. It also is a pretty good cultural fit for a mounted archer.

The pc I build is a samurai Archer who's been travelling the known world to learn more about the arts of archery and horsemanship. Somewhere he learned to use his bow in a different (perhaps better) way and took some levels as weapon master fighter. Then he learned how to tame and ride a huge cat.

I don't see why it would be a better cultural fit for a samurai to behave like a mongol.

EDIT: Real world samurai learned horseback fighting and archery as well as swordsmanship. So a mounted archer is a very fitting concept for a samurai.


The location in the setting where the PCs start Book 4, and that they finish Book 4 still immediately adjacent to, is populated by a Mongolian-style culture of nomadic horsemen.

I said based on where they are in the story, a Mongolian background was the most obvious mounted character match. Why ask for advice if you are going to attack advice you don't like?

I'm telling you what is commonly and readily available where the PCs are.

If you don't want to hear it, don't listen. Attacking people for answering the questions that you are asking is worse than pointless.

The Exchange

Matthew Downie wrote:
Can you get enough ranks of UMD to make use of a wand of reduce animal?

I don't think it would be necessary to use it more than very occasionally, and certainly not more than a dozen times. So it'd actually be cheaper to just buy potions of reduce animal for 300 gp each.


hustonj wrote:

The location in the setting where the PCs start Book 4, and that they finish Book 4 still immediately adjacent to, is populated by a Mongolian-style culture of nomadic horsemen.

I said based on where they are in the story, a Mongolian background was the most obvious mounted character match. Why ask for advice if you are going to attack advice you don't like?

I'm telling you what is commonly and readily available where the PCs are.

If you don't want to hear it, don't listen. Attacking people for answering the questions that you are asking is worse than pointless.

Sorry for that. I felt attacked myself and reacted wrong.

Might be because of the language barrier (not my native language) and also I'm a bit touchy when someone (real or imagined) implies that I might neglect roleplay over optimising. I sometimes have to play with some jerk who thinks that playing an efficient char can't be good roleplaying. He himself mostly builds rather useless chars and plays them in a way that disrupts the party and calls that roleplaying as it should be. And he often pisses me off by directly or through caustic remarcs insulting me.

When I talked with the GM I got the impression that a Samurai totally fits in where they are going to. Seems that was wrong.

Again: I apologise.

The Exchange

Umbranus wrote:
When I talked with the GM I got the impression that a Samurai totally fits in where they are going to. Seems that was wrong.

It really wasn't.


Umbranus wrote:
When I talked with the GM I got the impression that a Samurai totally fits in where they are going to. Seems that was wrong.

Samurai perfectly fits with where they are going.

Mongol perfectly fits with where they are.


I am still undecided if I stick with the mammoth rider archer or if I make another char. Right now I am brainstorming about a sword saint as a alternative (have opened threads in advice and rules section) but I might still keep the archer.

And my goal was to make a pc that fits the area they are going to and I like the samurai fluff.

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