Other Players Mounting You - What are the Rules?


Say you are a Centaur Katana Duelist Samurai, and the Human Rogue goes to mount you. Do you get separate turns? What modifiers apply when an enemy targets either you or your rider? What if you don't want that character to ride you because you're saving the saddle for the Dwarf Cleric? Can you do anything to make it easier for your rider to do whatever it is they're doing?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

First and foremost- are you allowing them to ride you?
If yes, proceed the section. If no, i'd rule it a CMD check to "jump onto you".
Every turn after, you'd try to shake them off- which would be a ride check, or acrobatics depending on the gm to stay on you. At that point, if you're not cooperating, you're both wasting turns.
If would take a move action for them to get off of you, unless they fail a ride or acrobatics check to stay mounted.

If you allowed them to ride you, then typically the Rogues turn gets "delayed" until your turn- since you're the one moving. You get your attack off, he gets his.

in regards to combat, both you and your rider have your own AC and enemies can target either of you. If your Rogue had the "Mounted Combat" feat, then it would be up to the GM if that feat would effective in regards to your own sentient PC.
Attack modifiers won't change- depending on who wants to do what.

Don't take my word for it, as this is just how i'd handle things and there's many ways to interpret how an intelligent creature that can be mounted, and the nuances of mounted combat.

Haha, right.

I guess this would be too corner-case for there to be any official ruling, vague or otherwise.

For a corner case, it sure comes up a lot. Players are the strangest people.

Shadow Lodge

Uh, consent?
I mean it in every sense: if the centaur PC and the, let's say, half-elf PC are both fine with it, use the mounted combat rules as normal, except the rider can't really make Ride checks to "guide the mount"; instead, the rider says, "Go for that one!" and the centaur gets to decide where they're going to go.
If the centaur charges, and the half-elf also wants to aim for the same target, then they're both charging, the half-elf attacking with the lance and the centaur attacking with whatever weapon. If they're attacking in tandem, you can presume rider delays until the mount's turn.
If one of them doesn't want to do that formation, then you'd have to ask for grapple checks, and tell them that they aren't being funny.

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The thread title is one of my favourite ever! :)

Get your minds out of the gutter! Ugh, I really need to work on my phrasing...(I just now realized how dirty the title sounds)

That being said, any other suggestions?

I actively attempt to discourage players mounting players within my games. So take everything here with a grain of salt. I rule that riding a character is significantly different than riding a mount.

Mounts have been trained to obey and cooperate with their risers, and acting of their own volition in very limited and specific ways (attacking enemies). Having rode and competed in horsemanship events, I can tell you that there is a world of difference between riding a mount that is doing what you want it to and riding a mount that is doing what it wants to. And I'm not talking about the mount wanting you off and trying to buck, no, I'm just talking about it having an independent thought and doing something you were not anticipating. Yes, this is applying a real-world argument to an in-game problem, which makes it a weak argument.

More importantly. Having a character as a mount significantly changes the action economy of the game. Suddenly one character is moving around for free. I've seen many a wizard give up there turn to dimension door a rogue into position. That is the power boost this is giving to your characters, free dimension doors.

The action economy the character gain from mounting is similar to what they would gain from having a mount, but this is still very unbalanced; Characters can go places mounts can. Survivable mounts are rare, expensive, or are entire class features. In a crowded fight normal mounts take up valuable space, sometimes preventing multiple character from entering melee.

So, to allow characters to carry characters and maintain game balance. I rule that one character must use a standard action to hold on every round. So if you are riding on the barbarians shoulders, you must use your standard action to hold on every round, this is like a grapple check except that it is impossible to fail. Alternatively the barbarian can hold on to you to keep you steady, or be careful to make no abrupt moves to un-seat you and that would be their standard action.

I'm not interested in trying to change anyone's mind here, but these are some arguments and house rules to use if you wish.

Lazaryus wrote:
Get your minds out of the gutter! Ugh, I really need to work on my phrasing...(I just now realized how dirty the title sounds)
Lazaryus wrote:
That being said, any other suggestions?

if other players are mounting you (the player) then I think you must be winning at something. If other characters however are mounting your character that's a completely different situation.

In those cases, if the character being mounted is a quadraped (which is the case in your example), then I would treat it the same as someone trying to ride a wild mount if neither character has any sort of training.

My ruling would be as follows

As a full round action the "mount" can allow themselves to be maneuvered by the rider. This causes the mount's initiative to be delayed to be the same as the rider's initiative, otherwise the rider can not "make" the mount move on their turn. If the "mount" decides to stop being controlled by the rider they now go right before the rider.

If the mount attacks and the rider is not trained to fight with the mount they must make a check to stay on the mount. If the rider is trained but the mount is not they are treated as if they were attacking with an improvised weapon, if they are already using an improvised weapon then this penalty is doubled.

If the mount is not trained in mounted combat then they suffer an armor check penalty as if they were wearing heavy armor.

training would probably take the form of the mounted combat feat for both rider and mount if they want to reduce/remove penalties.

If a rogue mounts a sentient creature like a PC Centaur, the Ride check to avoid a hit using the feat Mounted Combat cannot apply. The enemy mob simply has to make an attack roll against the AC of the Centaur as normal.

It was covered in the Centaur-only Cavalier Archetype called Charger: "A charger can never gain the benefit of the Mounted Combat feat (or other similar feats or effects, such as Trick Riding) if ridden by another creature." I know it doesn't specifically say Katana Duelist Samurai here, but I would agree that this same rule applies to your situation.

I also believe everything in the Ride Check only applies to non-sentient animal riding, except the DC checks to "stay in saddle", "fight on a combat trained mount", and "fast mount/dismount" would apply to riding sentient creatures. Also, getting a military saddle could help the rogue's ride checks towards staying in the saddle, if he ever has to make any:

"Equipment: If you are riding bareback, you take a –5 penalty on Ride checks. If you have the Animal Affinity feat, you get a +2 bonus on Ride skill checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in Ride, the bonus increases to +4. If you use a military saddle you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Ride checks related to staying in the saddle."


I formed my own rules and wrote them here (at the bottom). What are your opinions?

It seems to heavily favor the steed, but I don't find that to be a problem. More than that, I can't really say.

Thanks, Loxsis.

Anyone else?

This all looks really good and per the rules. Except I believe that the following should be move actions rather than standard actions:

At any time, the steed may attempt an opposed escape artist check against the rider’s ride check as a standard action. Success makes the rider fall off, knocked prone, and taking 1d6 fall damage, while failure still makes the rider lose a turn. The rider can decide not to contest the steed and instead make a ride check to soft fall as a free action.

When the rider dismounts, the steed may sacrifice their next standard action to provide a +4 circumstance bonus on the rider’s quick dismount check.


My reasoning entirely is because this a Sentient creature making these attempts, not some simple combat-trained animal, and should not take 4 seconds, and rather should take approximately 2 seconds. This also frees up the steed to still have a standard action in the round after performing any of these skill checks, thus it "hurts" their action economy in a round much less and makes this form of combat just a little more fun, because they can at least use a standard to make an additional move action (as a full round move action), cast a spell, or make an attack. It can be argued that the two sentient creatures, the rider and the steed, are working together, and should not require 4 seconds to make these decisions. Obviously of course, that is up to you.

Just for frame of reference, I've always considered a Standard action to be roughly 4 seconds and a Move action to be roughly 2 seconds, while a swift action takes as much time as a free action, and the entire round lasts exactly 6 seconds.

Anywho, I read through your rules, it all looks solid.

Fixed it! Any other suggestions?

Okay, I re-read thru your rules and I noticed this:

Any action the steed takes to move also expends the same action for the rider on their turn, except charges, which leave a standard action that can only be used to make an attack modified as though they were charging.

I believe that this is covered in mounted combat, specifically the Cavalier, but I believe that a Standard or Movement action expended by the rider upon the steed is therefore transferred to the rider in terms of an expended action (whether a movement or standard action).

So, and of course this isn't RAW, this is merely a suggestion because this is a sentient steed, that this rule doesn't apply. For instance, if the Centaur makes a charge action of his own volition, and is higher than the initiative of his rider, the rider acts AFTER the actions of the steed. Therefore, the rider does not consume any actions while riding the steed, and rather only the Sentient steed consumes his own actions. Also therefore, the rider is allowed his full round action, at the end point of the steed's final action in the given round.

Example: The Centaur has an Initiative of 20 and the Rogue has an Initiative of 18. The Centaur Moves, casts a Spell, and uses a swift action for whocareswhat, and his turn is now ended. Once there, after the Centaur has moved, the Rogue with an Initiative of 18 can now make his full round action. He can of course choose to make a full attack action against anyone in range, or a move action to dismount, and consume his standard action to move steathily around a rock to sneak attack a foe next round. (etc, etc, etc.)

TLDR: I don't think it should consume the Rogue's actions when the Centaur makes actions, such as move actions. It makes sense to use this rule when commanding a simple combat-trained creature, but not a Sentient mount.

Removed the rule, but I still think that there should be some kind of penalty, considering how much harder it is to anticipate a sentient steed's actions than a normal mount.

Any suggestions?

I made the rule in []. Any suggestions?

Lazaryus wrote:
Fixed it! Any other suggestions?
It's off-topic, but I'd get rid of your Drakon's Immunodeficiency limitation (which is quite nasty IMO). The race doesn't seem overpowered in other respects, so it shouldn't need such as a harsh penalty to reign it in. (Indeed, I'd actually give them something like the dwarf's Hardy trait, that being in keeping with a lizard-like fortitude and scavenging lifestyle.) If you feel that's too much, then get rid of Skill Bonus (Stealth): I don't think a creature with a larger silhouette due to wings should necessarily receive one, and they're already +1 due to the racial Dex bonus. (On top of that, they're getting your Silent Hunter bonuses.)
I made the rule in []. Any suggestions? ([While riding a sentient steed, the rider cannot use immediate or swift actions.])

Nope; don't like it. Not sure what the point is. (If a drakon doesn't want to be involuntarily ridden, it's already pretty difficult to do so. If it's consensual, then flight capacity is almost certainly hosed to oblivion unless the rider is a halfling or other small race.)

Lazaryus wrote:
Removed the rule, but I still think that there should be some kind of penalty, considering how much harder it is to anticipate a sentient steed's actions than a normal mount.

Yes, this would be a good time to make a Ride check for "staying in saddle" or "fighting on a mount". That's the penalty, the penalty is that you have to make a check. The Rider will probably have a decent enough ride check to pass this about 50-75% of the time, so the penalty here is that there's a small but decent chance of failure, and given enough ride checks throughout a campaign, several will fail just because of long-term percentages.

So, I would primarily do this based on player actions alone, and not GM provocation, as to allow for a good amount of player agency. Such as, the Ride Checks should not be provoked whenever you think they're necessary based on your own observation, but rather should be provoked when the rider takes his free action to say "Go this way!" and the steed chooses to do something different (obviously, you can still throw in your own GM-provoked Ride checks when you feel it's necessary, but I wouldn't do this unless absolutely necessary - let the players provoke these checks based on their own decisions). The rider is expecting to go that way and the steed doesn't, therefore the rider makes a Ride check at the GM's discretion of what is going on with this particular situation (whether it's a stay in saddle or fight while mounted check), and you can even throw in +2 or +4 to DC for Staying in Saddle if the particular action was a complete 180degrees of what the rider wanted the steed to do.

For instance, Rider says "Charge that guy!" and the steed says "eff that" and turns 180 degrees to charge something else. Per GM discretion, that is now a Ride Check with a +4 DC to a Stay in Saddle check (or whatever).


Btw, I re-read through your rules after all the changes you made, and it all looks solid. Well done and Cheers :)

I am curious though as to your reasoning behind a rider not being able to make swift or immediate actions? I don't believe that's per RAW, so I'm wondering why you made this rule?

Edit: I was taking a look at the DC's for staying in saddle (5) and fighting while mounted (10), and they're not really that hard to defeat. One might argue that these DC's should be doubled (to 10 and 20 respectively), because these DC's are considering that the rider has 'mostly' full control of the non-sentient animal they're riding. I think this actually kinda fixes your issue of the rider not being able to anticipate the sentient steeds movements. Double the DC check, because it's a steed you have literally zero control over (unless you have charmed or dominated the centaur, of course).

There, the sentient steed rules should be done now.

Thank you all, by the way.

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