Players Riding Players


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, my question is simple, can a player ride another player and attack while riding said player? Someone said they had seen a ruling saying now, but couldn't show me said ruling.

The reason I ask this is due to the Vine Leshy's change shape ability and the leshykineticist archetype. Basically I want to know if I can have a leshy become a vine, 'ride' another pathfinder, and throw blasts while riding.

Grand Lodge *

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Players aren't Mounts, so they can't really "ride" one another. At that point, it's more a case of being "carried".

Whereas mounted combat is a thing, though rarely used, in PFS- with saddles and other abilities that make combat easier to handle with Ride checks.
Player-Carrying-Player wouldn't benefit from those same abilities, and it goes into a grey area of GM discretion and the possibility of Ride vs CMD or some such.

Remember- mounts are animals specifically trained for someone to ride them into combat. Players, not so much. It sounds like a cool idea, of having a sentient vine that can blast things on your arm- but then comes the questions of how does it hinder the player?

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

This is a furniture stores worth of table variation.

The first major thing you absolutely need to not let happen is to let player 1 move player 2 so player 1 can full attack in ways they ordinarily couldn't. (raw aside, you can't cheat the mount action economy to do that with a swift dismount either)

Other than that you need to not let the two cheese the initiative system

A vine leshy tossing full action fireballs while riding another player has some pretty big advantages, but nothing huge. I mean, if you're full attacking at range usually the rest of the party is in between you and the thing. How often does an archer/kineticist have to move? I'd borrow a line from the mount rules so that you have to make all the attacks halway through movement

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Selvaxri wrote:

Players aren't Mounts, so they can't really "ride" one another. At that point, it's more a case of being "carried".

Where does it say that Players can't be mounts? The Core Book just says this:

Core Rulebook Page 103 wrote:
If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount, you take a –5 penalty on your Ride checks.
Core Rulebook Page 104 wrote:
If you are riding bareback, you take a –5 penalty on Ride checks.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Your players must be more acrobatic then the ones we have at Dreamers. I can't imagine my guys riding each other, and besides we have such low ceilings. I think I'd disallow players riding players just for safety reasons, to prevent them from bonking their heads.

Hmm

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

What BNW said.

Mounted combat with a PC and a well defined mount is ALREADY a huge mess of unclear rules interactions masquerading as a system. It totally doesn't make sense in all sorts of "edge" cases.

Add PCs riding PCs and the whole thing becomes a nightmare. Sometimes players want to do it because it is cool and funny, sometimes they're looking for some serious cheese.

There are good RAW arguments for disallowing it (more than good enough for me to instantly squash it at PFS tables I GM) but, basically, its just way too complicated, confusing and potentially broken to be a good idea.

My personal rule is that I allow characters to ride each other out of combat (at one point in an AP it got REALLY silly with us having Gargantuan all the way to tiny creatures riding one on top of another :-))but as soon as initiative is rolled everybody needs to dismount.

[Aside]IMO the best RAW argument against it is that
1) All PCs need to roll and act on their own initiative
2) Mounts and riders act on the same initiative
therefore PCs can not be mounted on PCs
[/Aside]

Grand Lodge *

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Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I don't think Paizo ever intended on players being mounts. if you think about the various mounts Cavaliers and Paladins, and other archetypes can get- are mostly quadrupeds with basic intelligence- beasts of burden that aren't hindered by it's handler, when ridden into combat.

Ask yourself- If you're a vine, are you really "riding" an ally, or are you just wrapped around their waist or arm? More over, what's your dexterity/flexibility/cognisense while in your vine form?

As a vine, wrapped around an ally, i'd say you were more engaged in a "friendly/allowed" grapple- but even then, comes the hindrance of being grappled

Also, if you claim to "ride" an ally, i wouldn't be surprised if a GM starts making you do RIDE check when you try to do what you want to do.

As NorseWolf said, this is a possible cheesing situation: allowing a race with slower movement a "Free ride" on an ally to get full-attacks at no consequence of positioning.


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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Your players must be more acrobatic then the ones we have at Dreamers. I can't imagine my guys riding each other, and besides we have such low ceilings. I think I'd disallow players riding players just for safety reasons, to prevent them from bonking their heads.

Hmm

I'm 6'5" and over 300 pounds. I may not be able to use a player as a mount, but I'll bet some of our players could use me as one.


As far as PCs riding PCs, I have seen a pair of half-orc bloodragers carry a pair of ratfolk in a certain scenario involving limited equipment and a race so that the party would have better average move speed, but they set down the rats when combat started IIRC.

*

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it's time to pull forth a rule from a different roleplay setup.

"No Stunts".

...I really don't want to have to do first aid on two of my players because they tried to do this at a table. Or call the paramedics, etc.

As far as characters riding characters? If the character being ridden gets a backpack 'harness' and has their rider done up like 'Blaster' of 'Master-Blaster', and they spent the appropriate feats to be able to ride? I don't see too much problem with that?

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

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Paul Jackson wrote:

[Aside]IMO the best RAW argument against it is that

1) All PCs need to roll and act on their own initiative
2) Mounts and riders act on the same initiative
therefore PCs can not be mounted on PCs
[/Aside]

All creatures need to roll their own initiative

Mounts and riders act on the same initiative
Therefore no one can ride anyone.

The mount acting on your init thing is a specific exception to the normal rule. The only way it doesn't work is if you rule that players can't ride other players, which means using it as justification to say that players can't ride other players is a mite circular.

I don't think you can apply any hard and fast rules to this. The circumstances range from there's no way this shouldn't work...

"the cavaliers mount died, the cavalier is built around his mount, the druid will turn into a horse and only do horsie things for the rest of the night so the cavalier can be useful"

To some Golda grade cheese that definitely shouldn't.

"My gnomes gonna ride on the barbarian using mounted combat feats to be his armor class cause all he's got is a Loincloth , then swift action hop off and circling mongoose the bad guys"

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

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BigNorseWolf wrote:


"the cavaliers mount died, the cavalier is built around his mount, the druid will turn into a horse and only do horsie things for the rest of the night so the cavalier can be useful"

To some Golda grade cheese that definitely shouldn't.

"My gnomes gonna ride on the barbarian using mounted combat feats to be his armor class cause all he's got is a Loincloth , then swift action hop off and circling mongoose the bad guys"

You're absolutely right. I'd allow the first and forbid the second (with some very pointed eyebrow raising) without a seconds hesitation even in PFS.

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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There was a thread about a year and a half ago, so I’ll just quote myself.

Kevin Willis wrote:

I see this every now and then. It's really not how the mount rules are intended to work but as long as the player are doing it for fun and whimsy I usually allow it. Basically my rule of thumb is that if they are less effective than they would be as individual characters I'll let it go. This means the "carrier" can't be attacking with weapons and they can't be using any feats that are meant to be used by mounted characters (ride-by, spirited charge etc.)

But any GM is well within her rights to not allow them to do this at all. It's pretty obvious that the mount rules weren't written with humanoids in mind (you can't even take the mount evolution on a bipedal eidolon). If you choose to make characters like this you have to be willing to accept that not everyone will be OK with it.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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Game rules do not govern the actions of your players, only their characters. So, if one of your players wants to run around the game store with another player mounted on their back, who are we to tell them no. LoL

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

I would argue no, not to limit shenanigans.

**

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Thanks for all the thoughts here that ...

1) Give me good ideas if folks want to have one of their characters ride another

2) Convince it's up to the store about whether or not players riding players should be allowed

Scarab Sages *****

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Even though it isnt written anywhere I would say by inference or to quote my favorite Venture Lieutenant "metaphorically" bipedals arent supposed to be mounts.

Silver Crusade ***** ⦵⦵⦵ RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka GreySector

GM Eddv wrote:
Even though it isnt written anywhere I would say by inference or to quote my favorite Venture Lieutenant "metaphorically" bipedals arent supposed to be mounts.

LOL.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

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It is possible and normal looking for players to ride another player("steed") IF the steed is a humanoid polymorphed into a horse(or mount). Magic is a loophole. In PFS Mounts have a defined role but it could be an active animal if the rider doesn't have another animal. A ring of eloquence or Beastspeak makes this more amusing.

Shadow Lodge

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If players riding players will attract more players to PFS, it should be allowed.

If it will get us kicked out of the venue or cause serious medical issues it should not be allowed.

In game, it should come under 'creative solutions' and not be disallowed.

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

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Kerney wrote:

In game, it should come under 'creative solutions' and not be disallowed.

Creative solutions are solutions for solving a problem in the scenario, like in this case if there was something 9 feet off the ground or to have the barbarian get the gnome across freezing water. They are not for empowering general munchkinry, which is something this can fall into easily.

Shadow Lodge

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Kerney wrote:

In game, it should come under 'creative solutions' and not be disallowed.

Creative solutions are solutions for solving a problem in the scenario, like in this case if there was something 9 feet off the ground or to have the barbarian get the gnome across freezing water. They are not for empowering general munchkinry, which is something this can fall into feasibly.

Letting them try reasonably weird stuff is not the same thing as letting them always succeed.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

We had a player's character in our lodge that always wore a saddle in case small character wanted to ride him, he gave bonuses to AC and other stuff related to mounted combat and having a rider on him.

It was amusing, but also had some layer of shenanigans, but as a whole it was a fun diversion.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

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Being creative is fun and part of the game.
My philosophy as a GM is generally not to say "NO" unless it violates RAW. Characters should try crazy stuff and have it fail rather than be told NO as GMs play the universe and react and do, GMs do not predict or give away results before people try (it's called experimentation). Experimentation may cause a standard to full action to go by. A lot of experimental stuff just plain doesn't work or accrues negative circumstance bonuses. If it's a good idea and reasonable then it gets positive circumstance bonuses. In PFS you have to stick close to RAW so many things outside of RAW just have no mechanical benefit. As GMs we don't want to punish people for trying stuff or being creative and it's our job to kinda deal with the craziness as best we can. Laugh and have fun with it.

To the original post; there is no ruling that I'm aware of on this topic. it is up to the table GM. There's lots of corner cases and silly stuff that falls into GM territory.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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IMO, Bipedal humanoids, especially player-characters were never meant to be mounts and are not suitable. While it is reasonable to allow one character to “piggy-back” on the back of another, that is not the same as being an official mount and I have disallowed it at my table. I believe the RAI supports that perspective. Unless/until a designer/developer provides commentary to the contrary, i will continue to view it that way. YMMV

Sovereign Court

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With a custom saddle and a beefy dude, it is possible. In fact, something similar happens in real life. We have those baby carriers so we can wear babies on our chest. While most models have the baby facing the adult (like they are hugging), some have the baby facing forward, like a true saddle.

The biggest Gnome male is 3'8" and 43lbs, which is well within the light load of many beefier characters. Halflings and females are smaller and shorter.

The 6' tall half-orc rocking a 20 STR could easily have the Gnome in a custom saddle, allowing the Gnome to move faster.

Since it is a mount, there could movement-related concentration checks if the mount PC and the riding PC aren't working together (Vigorous/Violent Motion while Casting per 206-207 of the CRB).

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

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Its not a matter of whether the gnome can be carried its a matter of whether or not the baby battle bjorn (tm) is a feasible mechanism of fighting. if there was ever a group that specialized in that mode of combat I'm really not surprised they didn't last long enough to leave a historical record....

The Exchange ***

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Its not a matter of whether the gnome can be carried its a matter of whether or not the baby battle bjorn (tm) is a feasible mechanism of fighting. if there was ever a group that specialized in that mode of combat I'm really not surprised they didn't last long enough to leave a historical record....

Show me a historical record where 25 pound people could launch fireballs

The Exchange *****

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Like so many other things in this game of ours where "the rules" that exist don't directly address this, it is a grey area...

and when these come up I tend to have the same answer, so I am going to quote myself from a different thread here, and please realize that I know there are no rules for this situation - YET. So maybe we'll get some in the future?

Now for the quote:
It's kind of the GMs call, supported by what is fun for the other Players (the people other than the GM, who I consider to be one of the Players...)

Is it fun? Yes? Allow it. make up rules for doing it... and let the monsters do it too.

No? don't allow it. make up rules for WHY it can't be done and stick to them (realizing that the Players will come up with workarounds to any obstacle put in their path. In fact, just stating that it can't be done will get the PCs working on HOW to do it...).

so - does someone have some ideas on how to make this idea (PCs as mounts?) work in the existing game system?

The Exchange ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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nosig wrote:
so - does someone have some ideas on how to make this idea (PCs as mounts?) work in the existing game system?

As so many of us (including you) say, we kinda make it up depending on the situation. Here's the three times I can remember running into it as a GM. All at low levels:

One: Dwarven cleric carrying a halfling archer

Quote:
The players had clearly put thought into making it unmunchkiny. They explained how they were handling it from the very beginning. The cleric had a basket on his back that the halfling would sit or stand in. The cleric could move them around, but he couldn't take a standard action if he moved (even a single move). The archer took penalties as if moving on a mount. "Sounds fine" I said.

Backstory:
They were kind of a reverse Master Blaster. Even though the halfling was mounted the cleric did all the thinking and told the archer what to do and when to attack.

Two: Half-orc (?)ranger(?) carrying a gnome barbarian

Quote:
They said the gnome was riding and I let them know we'd see how it worked out. First combat: "I delay" says the gnome. "I tighten my hold on Jimmy (mimes giving a piggyback ride), and charge him! I'll bite him at the end." says the half-orc. "And I swing my greataxe at the end of the charge" adds the gnome. I think for a minute, don't see any particular cheese (other than a little bit of extra movement for the gnome), and say "sure, but treat the bite as a secondary since you are using your hands."

Backstory:
Their backstory was that they were adopted siblings who grew up roughhousing together. Lots of sibling rivalry banter. They also preferred their opposite weapons - the gnome also had a falchion while the half-orc used a ripsaw glaive when they weren't mounted up.

Three: Aasimar cleric carrying an Aasimar monk

Quote:

"Eh, I'm not sure about this" I said "I've allowed this before with a smaller PC being carried, but we'll see how it goes." First combat the cleric starts "OK, with my +10 initiative I go first. I'm travel domain so I can move 40'. I charge to 10' of him, attack with my longspear, then drop the monk in front of me as a free action." Monk: "I flurry him."

"Whoa guys, you are really breaking the action economy here. Among other things you are essentially giving the monk pounce. Here's how we're going to do it. If you're mounting, you'll go on the lower initiative. If the carrier moves, the rider only gets a standard. If the carrier charges, you both charge. Just like regular mounted combat. And it's not a free action to 'drop' the rider. Let's make it a move action for the rider to dismount or a standard for the mount to set him down without him falling prone. I'm also going to say you'll need a concentration check to cast while he's mounted."

Backstory:
Pretty sure the backstory was "look at the way we can get extra attacks!"

I also gave each of them a -4 penalty to AC as a squeezing penalty, except for the first pair. Since the cleric was doing literally nothing but carrying the archer and speaking, I let it go. Probably should have still penalized for consistency's sake, but they were the first ones I ran into and hadn't thought it out.

*** Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

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My go to has been: Both get the grappled penalty and one of them has to use a standard action every round to 'maintain' the grapple. It has a little wiggle room for cheese but has some flexibility for some more narrative uses.

Dark Archive

Ride another player. Hmmm....Did you mean characters? I think you guys might've spooked Hilary. Anyways, as a GM, I'd be looking at the carrying characters strength, they gotta be strong enough to carry what they're carrying, plus what the carried char weighs. Including armor and gear and pot belly n' all. Then I'd be curious how fast the carrying character could still possibly move. As for a riding charge, I believe there's a rule for mounts needing to be 4 legged for an effective mount charge for 2Xdamage. And I don't know how many barbarians would be willing to be outfitted with a saddle.....Let alone paladins, if they wanted a mount, they'd have one...And it wouldnt be themselves. But, as for teamwork, I could see clever ideas like this. Although how effective they'd be would be dependant on alot of contingences. Maybe the ride along ninja trick?? might be one of the best bets to pull this off. Also, rider and ridden would need serious skill checks if performing this is melee. Acrobatics is hard, but riding someones simple? is it?? I dont know bout that. Regardless of ride skill checks written in book. A familiar might get away with this, if they're small enough. Or have natural or SLA's or supernaturals to allow their form to attach like that. A snakes used to climbing tree's so it'd be normal for them to slither on someone... As for a dwarf riding the half-orc.....did you ask him before doing this?? that might be important..

Shadow Lodge ***** ⦵⦵

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Quote:
As for a riding charge, I believe there's a rule for mounts needing to be 4 legged for an effective mount charge for 2Xdamage

There isn't. Axe beaks are a popular choice for two legged charging Calvary.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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carson mazeppa 308 wrote:
Ride another player. Hmmm....Did you mean characters? I think you guys might've spooked Hilary.

Nope, I don't spook easily. I'm just not big into rules arguments.

As someone who was acrobatic in my youth, I know how hard it is to balance on the shoulders of another person, especially when that person is running. As such, I'd love to see a fantasy short story with battling gnomes chasing after each other while riding hired human mount partners. I'm not sure WHY they'd be doing it -- tradition? Perhaps some game with a challenge prize? But part of the fun would be watching how often the rider tumbled off, or the efforts they went through to remain seated.

I would likely not allow it in PFS unless the PC shapechanged into a proper mount, though. I don't want to have to stop the game by calculating encumbrance on the mount, or figuring out how mount and rider managed to strap on the saddle. (However, like Kevin Willis, I would probably review each case as it came to me. I like in PFS that GMs get to make rulings in gray areas.)

This is one bit of silliness that might be best reserved for one shot home games or campaign mode.

Hmm

*** Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

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As someone who has ridden 4-legged mounts, there is another thing that is overlooked:

It is very very hard to ride something that has its own mind and will.

Horses used as mounts are very trained to only respond to their rider's cues and only use their own initiative for a limited number of circumstances. The sudden change of direction from the mount taking an action without direction has put many many amature riders into the group (veteran riders are only a little better at staying in the saddle but are much better at predicting the mount taking action without direction).

As with any argument that pulls real world examples: fireballs.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Well, color me a liberal. I'd allow a lot more than many people in this thread. Is it going to get silly? Absolutely. Do I care? PFS parties are usually silly anyway.

So the first thing to ask is: who could be a mount in the first place? I don't see any rule saying you can't ride a biped (axe beaks come to mind, but there's also deinonychus cavalry). There's also the question of how big a mount needs to be - there isn't actually any literal rule insisting a mount is one size larger than you, but feats like Undersized Mount are written assuming such a rule exists. And classes with specific mount choices like cavaliers and paladins only get to select mounts bigger than themselves. Finally, it's a tough act for a creature to have enough encumbrance limit to carry another creature of the same size.

Altogether, I'd allow small humanoids to ride medium ones. Or medium ones to ride medium ones with an Undersized Mount feat. However, there are downsides: the Ride skill mentions:

CRB, Ride, p. 103 wrote:
If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount, you take a –5 penalty on your Ride checks.

I'd rule humanoids are unsuitable.

Furthermore, can they wear saddles? There's no direct answer, but we can find some inspiration in the FAQ about companions:

Can my animal companion, plant companion, or vermin companion wield weapons? Can it wear or use armor or magic items? Can it wear or use saddles or horseshoes?

The table below lists all item slots that companions possess. If a creature has an item slot, it can wear nonmagical items of that type. Regardless of body shape, class-granted mounts can always wear saddles. Saddles for creatures that could not normally wear them—such as the serpent companion of a First Mother's Fang cavalier—may take the form of a set of harnesses or straps that serves the same function and has the same price as an exotic saddle. Magical versions of these alternate saddles have the same price and function as typical magic saddles.

(...)

Biped [hands]* (all item slots): Ape, baboon, chimpanzee, devil monkey, homunculus (promethean alchemist archetype), megaprimatus

Also:

In organized play, what is the difference between a saddle and an exotic saddle? Do magical exotic saddles cost extra?

For organized play purposes, creatures listed in the equipment section of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (dogs, mules, donkeys, ponies, and horses) can wear standard saddles. All other creatures use exotic saddles. Magical saddles have the same price whether they are standard saddles or exotic saddles.

So biped (hands) companions can wear saddles but they'll usually be exotic. Since humanoid PCs are similar to biped (hands) companions, but have more liberal item slot access, it makes some sense to allow it.

---

TL;DR - just getting on another PC as a mount seems possible.

There are significant action economy downsides to mounted PC combat though. Stay tuned.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Action economy consequences of riding a PC

It's fairly obvious actually: if you want all the benefits of riding a PC (like being able to protect them with Mounted Combat or attack people in passing with Ride-By Attack), then you have to use all the rules for riding. That means -

CRB, Ride, p. 104 wrote:

Guide with Knees: You can guide your mount with your knees so you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount. This does not take an action.

Stay in Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when you take damage. This usage does not take an action.

It's only a DC 5 Ride check, but remember that you have that -5 to Ride checks because the PC is an unsuitable mount.

CRB, Ride, p.104 wrote:
Fight with a Combat-Trained Mount: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally. This usage is a free action.

This one is DC 10, and important. If you don't pass this check, and your mount-PC attacks, you can't attack.

CRB, Ride, p.104 wrote:
Leap: You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. If the ride check to make the leap succeeds, make a check using your Ride modifier or the mount’s jump modifier, whichever is lower, to see how far the creature can jump. If you fail your Ride check to make the leap, you fall off the mount when it leaps and take the appropriate falling damage (at least 1d6 points). This usage does not take an action but is part of the mount’s movement.

Now we're up to DC 15 (and still a -5 for unsuitable mount). It's not guaranteed to come up, compared to high-speed horses PCs don't have great jumping skills anyway. But it's an extra hoop you have to jump through.

CRB, Ride, p.104 wrote:
Fast Mount or Dismount: You can attempt to mount or dismount from a mount of up to one size category larger than yourself as a free action, provided that you still have a move action available that round. If you fail the Ride check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. You can’t use fast mount or dismount on a mount more than one size category larger than yourself.

This is a DC 20, getting tricky. I suppose someone could try to use this to have the mount move, then fast dismount and then try to take a full attack. That's something I wouldn't allow, because of the rules for full attacks from mounts (see below).

CRB, Mounted Combat, p. 202 wrote:

Combat while Mounted: With a DC 5 Ride check, you can guide your mount with your knees so as to use both hands to attack or defend yourself. This is a free action.

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. If your mount moves more than 5 feet, you can only make a single melee attack. Essentially, you have to wait until the mount gets to your enemy before attacking, so you can’t make a full attack. Even at your mount’s full speed, you don’t take any penalty on melee attacks while mounted.

If your mount charges, you also take the AC penalty associated with a charge. If you make an attack at the end of the charge, you receive the bonus gained from the charge. When charging on horseback, you deal double damage with a lance (see Charge).

You can use ranged weapons while your mount is taking a double move, but at a –4 penalty on the attack roll. You can use ranged weapons while your mount is running (quadruple speed) at a –8 penalty. In either case, you make the attack roll when your mount has completed half its movement. You can make a full attack with a ranged weapon while your mount is moving. Likewise, you can take move actions normally.

There's a lot of stuff in here, let's unpack it step by step. First we get a callback to the Ride rules for guiding with knees. Not a new rule, just a reminder of a rule described in more detail in the skill.

Then we get a bit about higher ground that's unlikely to apply if you're riding a Medium creature. But it's immediately followed by a very important rule, saying you only get one attack if your mount has to move more than 5ft. Now someone could try to cheeseweasel a Fast Dismount at the end of a mounted move to try to claim a full attack after all ("I'm not mounted anymore so why would the mounted combat rules apply to me?") but that's stretching the rules farther than I would allow.

Ranged attacks from a mount are a bit finicky, because at some point in the middle of the move you make the ranged attacks and after that your mount has to move that amount of distance again. How does that work if your mount would get stopped earlier than that? Best way to handle this is to do the whole movement first, and then process the ranged attack. It's actually fairly tricky to make ranged attacks from the most advantageous point (regarding cover and AoOs), and also end up in the most advantageous ending space.

CRB, Mounted Combat, p. 202 wrote:
Casting Spells While Mounted: You can cast a spell normally if your mount moves up to a normal move (its speed) either before or after you cast. If you have your mount move both before and after you cast a spell, then you’re casting the spell while the mount is moving, and you have to make a concentration check due to the vigorous motion (DC 10 + spell level) or lose the spell. If the mount is running (quadruple speed), you can cast a spell when your mount has moved up to twice its speed, but your concentration check is more difficult due to the violent motion (DC 15 + spell level).

This isn't usually a problem, but it does bear remembering that Combat Casting does not apply to this concentration check, because it's not about defensive casting.

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TL;DR - does it get cheesy? Yes it does. Are there rules and limits? Yes there are. The player playing the mount is mostly reduced to a vehicle for the other player; moving at his initiative, being directed to attack (or not) by that player.

Of course if you have real cheeseweasel players they'll use some of the dirty tricks, like:

* Use a Sohei bonus feat to grab Mounted Skirmisher, allowing the rider to make full attacks at the end. It doesn't really matter that the sohei doesn't get a scaling mount companion because he's got a PC that levels up.
* Sohei could then also use their Ki mount abilities.
* The Escape Route feat is fairly silly with mounts, because both allies will always be in the same space and thus always protect each other.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
does it get cheesy? Yes it does

And that is the point.

I've only ever seen one pair of players build to this. And it WAS cheesy as all get out (I forget the details, but it started with the mount PC having no armour and no initiative).

A blanket no (in combat) seemed like the best solution at the time.

BNW is correct above. I'd allow it in some very selected situations. But absent something like his case (one PC basically leaving the game to enable another PC to function) I'm just not allowing it.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Paul Jackson wrote:
I've only ever seen one pair of players build to this. And it WAS cheesy as all get out (I forget the details, but it started with the mount PC having no armour and no initiative).

Keep in mind that you can use Mounted Combat only once per round, so that's a risky plan.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

There is enough ambiguity in the ride rules, some of which Launpointed out above that I prefer to simply rule that a bipedal humanoid is unsuitable as a mount. To be fair, I’ve only ever seen one pair of players try to do this and it was a number of years ago. In an attempt to be accommodating I started out allowing it and it very quickly escalated into massive cheese and they revealed feat after feat and loophole after loophole. Roughly half-way through the event I stopped the game and told them I was reversing my decision and no longer allowing it and we had a brief discussion on how to continue the scenario.

This has been a question for years and the designers have so far been largely quiet on the subject. They are either unable to comment or unwilling. Either way, it leaves us with ambiguity and at the discretion of the GM. Since the mounted combat rules are misunderstood and misapplied as often as the animal companion rules expect a lot of table variation.

Dark Archive ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

I am happy that the only case I have seen this were 2 times a wildshaped PC offered to serve as a mount (out of combat) and no player in the group was interested in abusing mounted combat rules so it did not devolve into this. (The biggest reason for this is that most players do not know the rules for mounted combat and noone will want to learn them on the fly)

If you think this far enough this can lead to some insane builds but there is little in the rules to prevent it (for bipedal mounts) and none for wildshaped/polymorphed PCs.(Which can be as bad or even worse than bipedals)

I would prefer if a solution like Bobs suggestion (PCs can not be mounts) would be added to the FAQ but at the moment there is not that much support for a ban.

*****

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Related Story Time:

Back before Synthesists were banned, I played with another player who's character was emulating a Nightmare.

They were quadrupedal, had the mount eidolon ability, could fly and had fear powers.

At one point in the adventure they were feebleminded and we weren't in a position to heal them.

I was playing a paladin so I used their character as my mount for the rest of the adventure. The nightmare was not so happy later, but the players loved it.

Shout out to Eric Brittan for GMing that game.

That said I'm generally against using other PCs as mounts.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Bob Jonquet wrote:
There is enough ambiguity in the ride rules, some of which Lau pointed out above that I prefer to simply rule that a bipedal humanoid is unsuitable as a mount.

Careful with the wording there. "Unsuitable" just imposes a -5 penalty to Ride checks. But I can totally understand making a GM rules call not to allow PC (bipedal) mounts.

Originally, PFS had stronger rules on "this thing with familiars (scroll use) is not allowed, not because it's unrealistic, but because we don't want familiars to become too powerful". I prefer those honest bans that just draw a line saying "this is how far we want to go" instead of hiding behind technical excuses. Players can always find their way around technical excuses and it creates bad blood.

I would feel bad though about stopping a shapeshifted druid serving as mount if he changed into an animal that we'd normally allow as a mount if it had been an animal companion.

**

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I would rule using mounted combat on another pc as a no, because its literally jerking your mount out of the way of an attack. The combat trained mount, will follow the action and dodge, whereas the player mount with its own levels, int, ideas etc, is not only stronger hence why they are carrying you, but also not nuanced to what that sharp tug on them suddenly means.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

1 person marked this as a favorite.

well, there are a lot of silly rules about mounts and it's clearly done to simplify the game model.

I'd agree that mostly in PFS a GM should say, "Okay, riding in this case is where one character carries another and mount rules are not used". That holds even for the case of a polymorphed/wildshaped PC steed (baleful polymorph and shapechange are different) where it looks more natural. I like some table variation as it is in the GM's gray area and it will vary from a hard NO to some adjudicated rules.
lets the air out of his horsie shaped balloon animal

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I would feel bad though about stopping a shapeshifted druid serving as mount if he changed into an animal that we'd normally allow as a mount if it had been an animal companion.

Generally speaking a “normal” mount shares it’s turn with the rider. Just because another PC shape changes into the form of a creature that can serve as a mount does not make the PC a mount. That term has a defined role within the game mechanics. The PC would still perform its actions separate from the rider even if it. Many of the standard mount rules would not apply.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I would feel bad though about stopping a shapeshifted druid serving as mount if he changed into an animal that we'd normally allow as a mount if it had been an animal companion.
Generally speaking a “normal” mount shares it’s turn with the rider. Just because another PC shape changes into the form of a creature that can serve as a mount does not make the PC a mount. That term has a defined role within the game mechanics. The PC would still perform its actions separate from the rider even if it. Many of the standard mount rules would not apply.

I think to receive all the benefits of being a mount (like Mounted Combat protection), you also have to abide by all the restrictions of a mount.

And those restrictions are significant: you can basically only attack if the rider directs you (the whole "Fight with a Combat-Trained Mount" rigmarole), and you move at someone else's behest. Spellcasting, isn't really something mounts do.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

Alexander Lenz wrote:

there is little in the rules to prevent it (for bipedal mounts) and none for wildshaped/polymorphed PCs.(Which can be as bad or even worse than bipedals)

I honestly think that this whole rules area is sufficiently ambiguous that a GM is well within their rights to rule however they think best.

That said, to some extent I don't care. The "we've built two characters to maximize this" build that I've actually encountered was so cheesy that, if pushed hard enough, I'd very likely pick one of the two nuclear options that I believe are PFS legal

1) Right, you win. Here are your chronicle sheets. Do the rest of you want to play the scenario without these two or not?

2) Fair enough. I've decided I'm not running tonight.
a) Good night all
b) I'm now running a closed game (assuming the venue allows this). Everybody who is NOT playing either a PC riding a PC or a PC being ridden by a PC is invited.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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While no one can force anyone to GM, when we agree to GM for organized play we accept the responsibility of that task which includes accepting all styles of play even if you don’t like them. No one should “push hard enough” to bully a GM into accepting cheesy use of an ambiguous rule.

Following either the the suggested options would certainly go against the spirit of the community and the campaign behavior expectation. Ruling against an ambiguous rule is fair. It gives the players an opportunity to select different characters and the game can go on to everyone’s enjoyment. Allowing it and then bullying the players from the table would not be appropriate. Please do not do this.

Liberty's Edge

Rules as Written, Vexing Dodger lets me ride most other players even if they don't actually want me to.

So far they've mostly seemed to find it hilarious, though.

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