Horses and the docile quality


Rules Questions


The bestiary horses light horse and heavy horse) both have the Docile quality which says:

"Docile" wrote:
Unless specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill), a horse's hooves are treated as secondary attacks.

Ok, so when Combat Trained a horses hooves become primary natural weapons, makes sense so far.

The combat trained pony and combat trained heavy horse (fiendish since that is the only version I could find) seem to agree.

The issue I have come from this thread and this thread which both say that removing the docile condition mean nothing if the creature has a bite, but they are then contradicted by the combat trained heavy horse which uses both it's hooves and bite as primary natural attacks. Is there any clarification on how this is supposed to work?

And more importantly, how does this affect an animal companion horse? Should it work in the same way when combat trained given that the both are horses, one is just wild? Or does it need to have the docile condition which then gets removed by combat training for this to work in this way? I'm in a home game and we've treated the horse as using both as primary natural weapons for the past 16 levels since it's war trained but I'd still like some clarification if we are doing this wrong.


Having a primary attack doesn't make other attacks secondary.

Unless hooves are always normally secondary regardless of the docile quality. However, if that was the case there were be no need for the docile quality to exist.

I think somewhere there is some confusion about whether hoof attacks are regularly secondary or primary attacks.

Unfortunately I don't know of a list that codifies this. Usually the only time you know is that secondary attacks will specify they are secondary.

Edit: Found the list that specifies them as secondary.

This is ultimately a contradiction. Either combat training makes hooves into primary attacks when they are normally secondary (due to docile) or their is no reason for docile to exist.

My personal conclusion is that the attacks become primary attacks when the animal is combat trained and stat blocks tend to agree with this conclusion. Ignore those other older threads.


Claxon wrote:

Having a primary attack doesn't make other attacks secondary.

Unless hooves are always normally secondary regardless of the docile quality. However, if that was the case there were be no need for the docile quality to exist.

I think somewhere there is some confusion about whether hoof attacks are regularly secondary or primary attacks.

Unfortunately I don't know of a list that codifies this. Usually the only time you know is that secondary attacks will specify they are secondary.

Edit: Found the list that specifies them as secondary.

This is ultimately a contradiction. Either combat training makes hooves into primary attacks when they are normally secondary (due to docile) or their is no reason for docile to exist.

My personal conclusion is that the attacks become primary attacks when the animal is combat trained and stat blocks tend to agree with this conclusion. Ignore those other older threads.

Docile is needed because if you're only type of natural attack is secondary it becomes primary for you.

Quote:
If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type.

so a horse with only hoofs would have those as primary attacks were it not for docile.


But all horses have a bite, so they will always be secondary.

Either docile does nothing and is not needed because horses have a bite and the hooves would be secondary.

Or combat training upgrades what are normally secondary attacks to primary by removing docile, in a special effect.


So just did some double checking, your Horse, Heavy, Combat Trained (Fiendish) was overfiend_87 translation, and he messed it up. So there's no officially made combat trained horse. But if you look at a light horse it only has hoof attacks too with the docile. So combat training helps ponies and light horses but not heavy horses since they have a bite.


Claxon wrote:

But all horses have a bite, so they will always be secondary.

Either docile does nothing and is not needed because horses have a bite and the hooves would be secondary.

Or combat training upgrades what are normally secondary attacks to primary by removing docile, in a special effect.

Light Riding Horses and ponies don't have a bite. Thus they get a bonus from being combat trained. A heavy horse with a bite gets no benefit.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:
Light Riding Horses and ponies don't have a bite.

For the record, IRL I've been bitten out of me by both ponies and "light riding horses." I suppose it was more of a non-lethal attack, but sure hurt like hell when I was 9.


Chess Pwn wrote:
if you look at a light horse it only has hoof attacks too with the docile. So combat training helps ponies and light horses but not heavy horses since they have a bite.

Why would that matter? A non-trained heavy horse has a primary bite and two secondary hooves. A combat trained heavy horse has primary bite, two primary hooves.

The Horse companion has Docile until level 4, unless it's a Cavalier's mount.

Liberty's Edge

Casual Viking wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
if you look at a light horse it only has hoof attacks too with the docile. So combat training helps ponies and light horses but not heavy horses since they have a bite.

Why would that matter? A non-trained heavy horse has a primary bite and two secondary hooves. A combat trained heavy horse has primary bite, two primary hooves.

The Horse companion has Docile until level 4, unless it's a Cavalier's mount.

This is not correct. Being combat trained removes the docile special quality. Being combat trained does not make hooves primary attacks.

Hooves are secondary attacks. A horse would use its hooves as primary attacks if it were not for the docile quality, because its hooves is the only type of attack that it has.

The heavy horse's hooves are always secondary attacks, because it has two types of attacks, regardless if it is combat trained or not.


It would be kind of odd if a combat trained horse that you bought could make its hooves primary attacks but an animal companion horse could not.

The players handbook was completed before the bestiary rules were finalized. This is one of those things that was a little lost in the translation.


HangarFlying wrote:


This is not correct. Being combat trained removes the docile special quality. Being combat trained does not make hooves primary attacks.

Hooves are secondary attacks. A horse would use its hooves as primary attacks if it were not for the docile quality, because its hooves is the only type of attack that it has.

The heavy horse's hooves are always secondary attacks, because it has two types of attacks, regardless if it is combat trained or not.

1: But the hooves are only secondary attacks because of the Docile quality, so removing that makes them primary attacks.

2: Outside the Docile quality, why would hooves be secondary attacks?

3: Where are you getting this from? Creatures can have multiple primary attack types.

EDIT: Are you referring to the Horse Companion?


Casual Viking wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:


This is not correct. Being combat trained removes the docile special quality. Being combat trained does not make hooves primary attacks.

Hooves are secondary attacks. A horse would use its hooves as primary attacks if it were not for the docile quality, because its hooves is the only type of attack that it has.

The heavy horse's hooves are always secondary attacks, because it has two types of attacks, regardless if it is combat trained or not.

1: But the hooves are only secondary attacks because of the Docile quality, so removing that makes them primary attacks.

2: Outside the Docile quality, why would hooves be secondary attacks?

3: Where are you getting this from? Creatures can have multiple primary attack types.

EDIT: Are you referring to the Horse Companion?

Universal monster rules.

Hoof, Tentacle, Wing — 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 2d8 B Secondary

Hooves are a secondary natural attack, which would mean either the docile property does nothing, removing the docile property does nothing...or something got a little wonky at some point.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Casual Viking wrote:


3: Where are you getting this from? Creatures can have multiple primary attack types.

Universal monster rules.

Hoof, Tentacle, Wing — 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 2d8 B Secondary

Hooves are a secondary natural attack, which would mean either the docile property does nothing, removing the docile property does nothing...or something got a little wonky at some point.

Ah, thanks.

"Unless specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are treated as secondary attacks"

translates into

"If specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are not treated as secondary attacks".

Specific trumps general, and a creature with hooves as a primary attack would be totally valid.

(Also, I hope we're all just splitting hairs for the mental exercise here; the intent is obvious). EDIT: Not actually obvious. Can you combat train your horse companion before level 4?


Casual Viking wrote:


Ah, thanks.

"Unless specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are treated as secondary attacks"

translates into

"If specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are not treated as secondary attacks".

Specific trumps general, and a creature with hooves as a primary attack would be totally valid.

(Also, I hope we're all just splitting hairs for the mental exercise here; the intent is obvious).

I believe that your translation is common sense and RAI, and its how I run it for horses and horse animal companions. Some folks are stricter raw, especially as horse animal companions don't actually have the docile property.

Quote:
EDIT: Not actually obvious. Can you combat train your horse companion before level 4?

Yes, and you probably should. Near as I can figure that ability really doesn't do anything.


So, a few questions have now arisen from this thread.

1. Does the Docile SQ on the heavy horse do anything?

HangarFlying wrote:
The heavy horse's hooves are always secondary attacks, because it has two types of attacks, regardless if it is combat trained or not.

but if this the case then why have the Docile quality on it?

2. How does this affect the horse animal companion and since Casual Viking brought it up, the Cavalier mount?

Casual Viking wrote:
The Horse companion has Docile until level 4, unless it's a Cavalier's mount

. Do you mean that because it begins combat trained it automatically has it's docile nature removed and begins with hooves as primary weapons? Or because it begins Combat Trained then it never gets the chance to have the Docile SQ and so no conclusion drawn from this discussion affects the Cavalier's Mount? And more importantly, does this even apply to the animal companion horses and ponies or just Bestiary horses?


RAW:
Heavy Horses (as normal creatures) have the Docile SQ because they are horses with a special version of the Advanced Simple Template added, which also gives them a Bite. Effectively, they inherit Docile from the normal horse, even though it doesn't do anything for them.
Note that Animal Companion Horses either way DO NOT have the docile quality. They thus do have Hooves as Secondary Attacks, as is also noted in the PRD.
Pony Animal companions on the other hand have the hooves as primary even without Combat Training.

RAI:
Since animal companions do not seem to have the docile quality, its mostly moot either way. I thus would go with RAW for the monsters and rule secondary. Otherwise a Heavy Horse would become an absolute beast for a CR2 animal with 3 attacks at full attack bonus.

Quote:


"Unless specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are treated as secondary attacks"

translates into

"If specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are not treated as secondary attacks".

Actually, mathematicaly speaking:

"Unless specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are treated as secondary attacks"

only translates to

"If not specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are treated as secondary attacks"

which is not equivalent to

"If specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill, a horse's hooves are not treated as secondary attacks".


Finkmilkana wrote:
Actually, mathematicaly speaking:

You do not read rules like a math equation. They're not written that way. If someone tells you no purple dragons, that tells you that dragons of other colors are allowed.

There is NO reason for the docile quality to exist if it doesn't do anything. At all.


It does something, it makes the hooves of horses into secondary weapons.
The bonus bite attack a Heavy Horse gets might also do that, but just a template that makes some quality redundant does not automatically remove said quality.

And a sentence with "Unless" simply does not give any information about the case excluded (besides maybe that it is different).
And even then, since "secondary, unless only weapon" is different from "secondary", we can not assume it means "primary".
Which makes it default to the normal rules, which say secondary unless only primary weapon.

Otherwise it would also not make any sense that Animal Companions specifically get it as a secondary weapon.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Finkmilkana wrote:
Actually, mathematicaly speaking:

You do not read rules like a math equation. They're not written that way. If someone tells you no purple dragons, that tells you that dragons of other colors are allowed.

There is NO reason for the docile quality to exist if it doesn't do anything. At all.

Just throwing this out here, but it seems like you don't read any posts in the thread that maybe already answered your question.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Claxon wrote:

But all horses have a bite, so they will always be secondary.

Either docile does nothing and is not needed because horses have a bite and the hooves would be secondary.

Or combat training upgrades what are normally secondary attacks to primary by removing docile, in a special effect.

Light Riding Horses and ponies don't have a bite. Thus they get a bonus from being combat trained. A heavy horse with a bite gets no benefit.

Yeah, looks like someone already asked your exact question and I already answered it.

also Finkmilkana has it spot on.

Quote:
The statistics above are for a typical riding horse, called by some a “light horse.” Some horses are larger and heartier, bred for labor such as pulling plows or carriages. These horses are called “heavy horses” and gain the advanced simple template, a bite attack, increased hoof damage, and can be specifically trained for combat with the Handle Animal skill.

So a heavy horse takes the base horse that has docile and adds a bite attack, making the docile do nothing for heavy horses, but it still effects the two that originally have it, the pony and the light riding horse. Because if your only form of natural attacks are secondary they are primary for you. So without docile ponies and light horses would have two primary hoof attacks, but with docile they stay secondary for them.


Finkmilkana wrote:
It does something, it makes the hooves of horses into secondary weapons.

This is nothing. As quoted above hooves are already secondary weapons.

Quote:
The bonus bite attack a Heavy Horse gets might also do that

No, it would not. This is a 3.5 rule that was not carried over to pathfinder. Attacks are primary or secondary based on the chart, not whether you have other attacks. Looks at most creatures in the bestiary: they have claws and bites both at full attack bonus.

Quote:
but just a template that makes some quality redundant does not automatically remove said quality.

It is not the template. It is the nature of hoof attacks.

If a sign says "Do not go on the ice if ice is less than 4 inches thick" the implication is that you can go on the ice if its more than 4 inches thick, not never go on the ice. Its not that "do not go on the ice if ice is less than 4 inches thick" and "never go on the ice" are mathematically incompatible, its just completely nonsensical to leave more than four inches thick as unknown rather than to just say "don't go on the ice"


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Finkmilkana wrote:
It does something, it makes the hooves of horses into secondary weapons.

This is nothing. As quoted above hooves are already secondary weapons.

Quote:
The bonus bite attack a Heavy Horse gets might also do that

No, it would not. This is a 3.5 rule that was not carried over to pathfinder. Attacks are primary or secondary based on the chart, not whether you have other attacks. Looks at most creatures in the bestiary: they have claws and bites both at full attack bonus.

Quote:
but just a template that makes some quality redundant does not automatically remove said quality.

It is not the template. It is the nature of hoof attacks.

If a sign says "Do not go on the ice if ice is less than 4 inches thick" the implication is that you can go on the ice if its more than 4 inches thick, not never go on the ice. Its not that "do not go on the ice if ice is less than 4 inches thick" and "never go on the ice" are mathematically incompatible, its just completely nonsensical to leave more than four inches thick as unknown rather than to just say "don't go on the ice"

I'm beginning to think you must have a filter on me or something, as your questions have clearly already been answered and explained why it's that way, Yet you are continuing to ask the question.

First, you seemingly haven't checked the chart you're talking about because if you had you'd notice that a HOOF is a SECONDARY natural attacks.

If all you have are secondary natural attacks, AKA HOOF, then those attacks are primary for you. So a Light Horse or Pony, having just hoof attacks, have their hoofs as primary, even though hoofs are normally secondary.
But adding a Primary natural attack, AKA BITE, to the two hoofs attacks make them back into secondary attack, as you now no longer only have secondary attacks.
So the Pony and the Light Horse both have Docile to keep their hoof attacks as secondary, even though they otherwise would be primary attacks. The Heavy horse is a template onto the light horse, as quoted in my previous post, as such it doesn't call out to remove the Docile quality, even though for heavy horses it's no longer needed as hoofs are secondary always because of the primary bite gained.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Horses and the docile quality All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.