Same size paladin mount


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, the text for a paladin's divine bond (mount) reads:

Quote:
The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the paladin's level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

There doesn't appear to actually be a clause that states that a paladin's mount *must* be one size larger. The closest language is that a medium paladin *usually* has a heavy horse, but usually does not preclude other options. Could a medium paladin have a medium "mount" that they never actually mount, but use as an animal companion like a druid? RAW it looks like that is maybe viable?

So with strict RAW, I could have my human paladin adventuring with a dog animal companion that would technically be a divine bond mount, but would never actually be mounted.

Is there any relevant text forbidding this that I have missed?


Apart from the description, legal mount selection is strictly GM call.


This might be what you're looking for.

To be fair, if you try to use your mount like an animal companion, it won't live very long.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Interesting! Thank you!


The CRB says

Quote:
The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the paladin's level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

You get a mount. It develops according to the Animal Companion Druid class feature, but the text clearly says mount (except the one time it says steed).

Your mount starts as a fifth level AC, and continues to level as you do, but it will always have d8 hit dice. It has 5 HD at fifth level, but will slowly fall behind. Frex: when you are 11th level, it will have 9 HD. It's saves are nothing to write home about, either. be ready to heal your mount a fair bit.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Sir Belmont the Valiant wrote:
You get a mount. It develops according to the Animal Companion Druid class feature, but the text clearly says mount

Right, but it does *not* at any point mandate that the mount must be a larger size than you.


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You could have your dog take Undersized Mount. Then he can ride you.


Samy wrote:

So with strict RAW, I could have my human paladin adventuring with a dog animal companion that would technically be a divine bond mount, but would never actually be mounted.

Someone in my group did exactly that when we played 3rd ed D&D.

Sczarni

Samy wrote:
Is there any relevant text forbidding this that I have missed?

I see that you're a PFS player, but you didn't mention if this character was for PFS.

If it is, then THIS FAQ is relevant for you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No, not for PFS, just throwing around ideas in general.

Scarab Sages

I've never considered that before. Having a Paladin with his loyal canine companion sounds AWESOME.


Under mount rules it has to be bigger than you.. so while your paladin mount can be whatever size you want, if you want to actually ride it it needs to be bigger than you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have no actual interest in actually *riding* it. I don't like the mounted combat rules, and a Large mount wouldn't fit in places and a Medium mount would look silly being ridden, so riding is out. But when the thought occurred to me that I could essentially make the mount into a non-mounted animal companion, that's when the idea started to feel much more attractive to me.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It can be great fun.

A friend of mine played with a dog for a companion. Really the only player I've ever met that truly roleplayed a loving, emotional bond. It was corny at times, but consistent. When the dog died, the character was morose. When the party was offered a Wish each, he wished for his dog back. When his dog died again, the GM transformed it into a Hound Archon for its unwavering loyalty.

Just ask your GM. If you explain it the way you have here, it might sway them.

Grand Lodge

*Thelith wrote:
Under mount rules it has to be bigger than you.. so while your paladin mount can be whatever size you want, if you want to actually ride it it needs to be bigger than you.

There is no rule that says this in Pathfinder. Maybe you're remembering something from 3.5.

Sczarni

They're probably thinking of this line from Undersized Mount:

"Normal: Typically a mount suited for you is at least one size category larger than you."

Several other sections seem to imply that a rider should be smaller than their mount.

The counter argument is that, other than the line I quoted, which comes from an obscure source, nowhere is it clearly stated that your mount must be larger.

And so we're left with a GM call.


The biggest issue with having a mount that is not larger than you is carrying capacity.

I'll play with some numbers. A typical human is about 180 lbs. Add gear, and put another 50 lbs on that (including weapons, armor, etc.). So, we'll call it 230 lbs.

Medium sized dog has 17 str (after 4th lvl advancement). It's carrying capacity is 129/260/390. So, before considering any equipment like armor for the mount, you're already only 30 lbs away from heavy load. This is with the dog which actually has one of the better strength values for a medium quadruped. (There are a handful that get 18 or 19 strength, like the bear at lvl 4.)

This carrying capacity is even more significant if your mount isn't a quadruped (in which case the carrying capacity would be 86/173/260 for 17 strength) or if you want a flying mount that is your same size (most medium flying AC's have relatively low strength values, too low to carry a medium character with gear unassisted).

Sure, there are ways to ameliorate the issue of the mount's carrying capacity with things like muleback cords and such. However, these all take additional resources away from other things you might want to do with money/feats/ability points/etc. instead.

And, of course, if you aren't planning on riding the companion, this is all irrelevant.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So what I'm getting so far is, there's no explicit, clear objection to having a same size mount (frex dog for human).

A different question: is there anyone who thinks that a same size mount would be *mechanically unbalancing*? A lot of people seem to think that the animal companion would just die quickly, so it doesn't seem like people think it would be overpowered at least. So, if I were to allow a Medium paladin to take a dog instead of a horse, would that be unbalancing or overpowered as compared to just taking the horse?


I see no issue with doing so at all if the player wants that choice.

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