Riding Huge mounts: breaking down the rules so we can know how to do it


Rules Questions


Ok, the Mammoth Rider PrC has been reprinted in Adventurer's Guide, making it a LOT more accessible to players and GMs alike. The main gimmick for this PrC is that your animal companion becomes Huge and you use that extra bulk for various tactics.

However, this... brings up a LOT of questions about the rules for riding such creatures.

1) Where's the rider?
Huge mounts are 15ft. by 15ft., and unlike D&D 3E, those are square areas. Take this little figure here:

1 - 2 - 3
4 - 5 - 6
7 - 8 - 9

2 is the front, 4 is left, 6 is right and 8 is back. Does the rider sit at 2, at 5 or at 8? 2 would be at the neck (like on elephants, or even behind a triceratops's crest), 5 is in the center (on the back) and 8 is at the back, like a horse.

2) How high is the rider?
Huge mounts are... 15ft. high, like the space they occupy, but is it the right thing to assume? Does he get a high ground bonus? How does it affect enemies that want to attack the rider?

3) How can a rider attack in melee?
On a horse, or any Large mount, a lance can hit targets in front of the horse as a reach weapon. On an elephant, your lance isn't going to reach pass its head, and the elephant as a 10-ft reach, as opposed to a horse's 5-ft reach. That's also without considering the rider's height.

4) Taking all of this in consideration, how can a rider be efficient in melee with a Huge mount?
This all boils down to this. I feel like these rules need clarification for future builds.


The first part is easy, CRB combat chapter, mounted combat section tells us "For simplicity, assume that you share your mount's space during combat."

A few lines down we have a partial answer to #2 "When you attack a creature smaller than your mount that is on foot, you get the +1 bonus on melee attacks for being on higher ground."

The standard abstractions seem to treat rider and mount as some sort of Lovecraftian fused monstrosity, so anything that can reach/target the mount can affect the rider. Attempt to apply logic at your own peril.


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As Java Man says, the rules state you "share your mount's space during combat."

That pretty much answers all your questions.

1) You occupy all the mount's squares.

2) You aren't any specific height, you occupy all the mount's squares.

3) You have 5' reach from any/all of your mount's squares. You get a +1 to attacks, for higher ground, on any Large or smaller unmounted combatant in melee.

4) It works just fine.


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Java Man wrote:

The first part is easy, CRB combat chapter, mounted combat section tells us "For simplicity, assume that you share your mount's space during combat."

A few lines down we have a partial answer to #2 "When you attack a creature smaller than your mount that is on foot, you get the +1 bonus on melee attacks for being on higher ground."

The standard abstractions seem to treat rider and mount as some sort of Lovecraftian fused monstrosity, so anything that can reach/target the mount can affect the rider. Attempt to apply logic at your own peril.

You mean, you don't do a fusion dance with your mount?

Weird.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The only restriction with unusually large mounts (2+ sizes bigger than rider) is that you can't fast mount/dismount.

Everything else works just fine.


So... the rider threatens every square around the mount?

The Exchange

Yes.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yup.

Of course, that also means the rider can likewise be attacked from anywhere around the mount.

There are some builds that utilize this advantage, but I haven't encountered any that were very practical.


So, the only way to attack in melee for the rider is by using a sarissa, or a 15-ft spear?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No, they can attack with a dagger provided the enemy is within 5' reach of the mount.

If they have multiple attacks, they can spread those out amongst all creatures within 5' of the mount.

Likewise, a goblin can attack the rider with a dagger provided he is within 5' of any part of the mount.

Do not try to apply real-world logic to this area of the rules. It will not work.


BretI wrote:

No, they can attack with a dagger provided the enemy is within 5' reach of the mount.

If they have multiple attacks, they can spread those out amongst all creatures within 5' of the mount.

Likewise, a goblin can attack the rider with a dagger provided he is within 5' of any part of the mount.

Do not try to apply real-world logic to this area of the rules. It will not work.

You... don't consider the height difference here either?


Nope. Monk on a mammoth can punch rats, and said rats can bite the monk.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The person on the mount would get the +1 for higher ground against the creatures that were afoot and smaller than the mount.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
JiCi wrote:
BretI wrote:

No, they can attack with a dagger provided the enemy is within 5' reach of the mount.

If they have multiple attacks, they can spread those out amongst all creatures within 5' of the mount.

Likewise, a goblin can attack the rider with a dagger provided he is within 5' of any part of the mount.

Do not try to apply real-world logic to this area of the rules. It will not work.

You... don't consider the height difference here either?

You do. That's where the +1 to-hit is coming from.

Although Pathfinder doesn't explain 3D very well, your 15' wide 2D Mount is really taking up a 15' cube, and you as the rider are similarly occupying all spaces of that cube.

So an Angel flying above, and a Snake slithering below, can both attack you at the same time, and you can similarly attack them back.

Silver Crusade

While I agree with all of the above I wouldn't be amazed for there to be some table variation, especially when you toss in charging with lances/swords

(can you charge with a sword given the mount has a 10 ft reach? Who knows.)


pauljathome wrote:

While I agree with all of the above I wouldn't be amazed for there to be some table variation, especially when you toss in charging with lances/swords

(can you charge with a sword given the mount has a 10 ft reach? Who knows.)

the mount do not have 10 ft reach, only large biped has 10 ft reach, quadruped need to be huge to have 10 ft reach, unless stated otherwise


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John Murdock wrote:


the mount do not have 10 ft reach, only large biped has 10 ft reach, quadruped need to be huge to have 10 ft reach, unless stated otherwise

And since we are specifically discussing huge mounts, they would have reach.


The conceit here is that the character and his mount are in motion, moving to whatever position is most advantageous (or disadvantageous) at any given moment, thus they occupy all squares (cubes) in their space simultaneously, as well as concurrently with other characters' turns.

It does break common sense, but sometimes I think we forget that miniatures are mere placeholders for our characters. For instance, our characters, unlike our miniatures, are not standing motionless while they await their turns to act. They are assumed to be part of a dynamic action sequence jockeying for position, protecting their flanks, attacking, feinting, twirling, parrying, etc., even when it is not their turn. Heck, a character's mount could momentarily stumble and fall, exposing its rider to a snake on the ground, then recover to put the rider within reach of an attacking angel above.

With a little imagination and narrative description, it makes perfect sense.

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