Animal Companion -- How to gain Support Benefit (and use Horse Support Benefit)


Rules Discussion


I'm using Archives of Nethys and can't find how to use an animal companion's Support Benefit. There's one line where it calls it a Support action but I can't find the description for that action. Is the process: Command an Animal -> grants the companion 2 Actions, the companion uses 1 action to Support and I gain the benefit? Are there any other requirements (besides the "you can't be mounted unless it has the mount trait" restriction)?

Also, under the horse entry it says:

"Your horse adds momentum to your charge. Until the start of your next turn, if you moved at least 10 feet on the action before your attack, add a circumstance bonus to damage to that attack equal to twice the number of damage dice. If your weapon already has the jousting weapon trait, increase the trait’s damage bonus by 2 per die instead."

(By the way, I find it weird that it doesn't say I have to be mounted.)

Does this mean I can do this as a ranger using a shortbow while mounted on a horse companion with the hunted shot feat?:

Spend 1st action to Hunt Prey, Spend 2nd action to Command an Animal, spend horse's 1st action to Support me, spend horse's 2nd action to Stride at least 10 feet, spend 3rd action to Hunted Shot, potentially dealing 2d6+4 damage?

Liberty's Edge

That sounds legal, yes. Also pretty neat thematically given the long history of horseback archery.


Tiene wrote:

I'm using Archives of Nethys and can't find how to use an animal companion's Support Benefit. There's one line where it calls it a Support action but I can't find the description for that action. Is the process: Command an Animal -> grants the companion 2 Actions, the companion uses 1 action to Support and I gain the benefit? Are there any other requirements (besides the "you can't be mounted unless it has the mount trait" restriction)?

Also, under the horse entry it says:

"Your horse adds momentum to your charge. Until the start of your next turn, if you moved at least 10 feet on the action before your attack, add a circumstance bonus to damage to that attack equal to twice the number of damage dice. If your weapon already has the jousting weapon trait, increase the trait’s damage bonus by 2 per die instead."

(By the way, I find it weird that it doesn't say I have to be mounted.)

Does this mean I can do this as a ranger using a shortbow while mounted on a horse companion with the hunted shot feat?:

Spend 1st action to Hunt Prey, Spend 2nd action to Command an Animal, spend horse's 1st action to Support me, spend horse's 2nd action to Stride at least 10 feet, spend 3rd action to Hunted Shot, potentially dealing 2d6+4 damage?

yes, that's how it works.

keep in mind (since you can't find the support entry on nethys) that if you command a companion to support, the ONLY other action he can perform is "basic move actions to get into position to
take advantage of the Support benefits"

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Unless it's a mount.


Tiene wrote:

I'm using Archives of Nethys and can't find how to use an animal companion's Support Benefit. There's one line where it calls it a Support action but I can't find the description for that action. Is the process: Command an Animal -> grants the companion 2 Actions, the companion uses 1 action to Support and I gain the benefit? Are there any other requirements (besides the "you can't be mounted unless it has the mount trait" restriction)?

Also, under the horse entry it says:

"Your horse adds momentum to your charge. Until the start of your next turn, if you moved at least 10 feet on the action before your attack, add a circumstance bonus to damage to that attack equal to twice the number of damage dice. If your weapon already has the jousting weapon trait, increase the trait’s damage bonus by 2 per die instead."

(By the way, I find it weird that it doesn't say I have to be mounted.)

Does this mean I can do this as a ranger using a shortbow while mounted on a horse companion with the hunted shot feat?:

Spend 1st action to Hunt Prey, Spend 2nd action to Command an Animal, spend horse's 1st action to Support me, spend horse's 2nd action to Stride at least 10 feet, spend 3rd action to Hunted Shot, potentially dealing 2d6+4 damage?

I was under the assumption that Support benefits happen if the only actions taken by the companion is move. So 2 moves and Support.


https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=149

Under companion types about halfway thru the paragraph, and the following section listing support action.

Requires a command action (1 action), and the companion can only move and provide the support action listed for it for that round during it's turn.

The Exchange

Support action rule (support action is 1 action)

"If the animal uses the Support action, the only other actions it can
use on this turn are basic move actions to get into position to
take advantage of the Support benefits; if it has already used
any other action this turn, it can’t Support you. (p215)

The only move actions it can use are those needed to get into position for the support action

Normally, an AC cannot both move and use its support action IF it is carrying a rider BUT a Mount ability allows it ("If it is carrying a rider, the animal companion can use only its land Speed, and it can’t move and Support you on the same turn. However, if your companion has the mount special ability, it’s especially suited for riding and ignores both of these restrictions.")

I would hazard a guess that the charge action/definition was inadvertently omitted from the CRB. The Deer is given the Charge instinct under barbarian but it is never defined. The Sudden Charge ability allows for a MELEE strike after moving and it. Since the rules do not preclude ranged combat benefiting from charge, it would seem to be allowable (regardless of what a person might think)

Shadow Lodge

Here's the actual Support action entry in AoN.

As previously noted, using the support action sacrifices all other actions other than movement, but that restriction doesn't seem to hinder your plan.


That is actually a really awesome use for the horses support ability. Mounted archery is definitely a thing, and this would help out a Crossbow ace Ranger quite a bit.

I will note that unfortunately due to the wording on the Horses support benefit, you would only benefit from it on the first of your two strikes from hunted shot.

While you do add the damage from the strikes together for the purposes of resistances and weaknesses, they are still two individual strikes and benefit from abilities/ suffer from penalties separately.

Liberty's Edge

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beowulf99 wrote:
I will note that unfortunately due to the wording on the Horses support benefit, you would only benefit from it on the first of your two strikes from hunted shot.

I don't think this is correct, the conditional is as follows:

"if you moved at least 10 feet on the action before your attack, add a circumstance bonus to damage to that attack equal to twice the number of damage dice."

Emphasis mine. Both attacks from Hunted Shot are part of the same action, and thus the conditional applies to both of them. When you take the second attack, you still moved 10 or more feet on the previous action, so the damage bonus still applies.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
I will note that unfortunately due to the wording on the Horses support benefit, you would only benefit from it on the first of your two strikes from hunted shot.

I don't think this is correct, the conditional is as follows:

"if you moved at least 10 feet on the action before your attack, add a circumstance bonus to damage to that attack equal to twice the number of damage dice."

Emphasis mine. Both attacks from Hunted Shot are part of the same action, and thus the conditional applies to both of them. When you take the second attack, you still moved 10 or more feet on the previous action, so the damage bonus still applies.

Hunted Shot is an activity not an action. Inside of that activity, there are 2 separate "subordinate actions", the first of which would trigger the bonus damage from the Support benefit.

Rules on Subordinate actions and activities can be found on pages 461 and 462 of the Core Rulebook.

CRB Pg. 462 "Subordinate Actions" wrote:

Subordinate Actions

An action might allow you to use a simpler action—usually
one of the Basic Actions on page 469—in a different
circumstance or with different effects. This subordinate
action still has its normal traits and effects, but is modified
in any ways listed in the larger action. For example, an
activity that tells you to Stride up to half your Speed
alters the normal distance you can move in a Stride. The
Stride would still have the move trait, would still trigger
reactions that occur based on movement, and so on. The
subordinate action doesn’t gain any of the traits of the
larger action unless specified. The action that allows you to
use a subordinate action doesn’t require you to spend more
actions or reactions to do so; that cost is already factored in.
Using an activity is not the same as using any of its
subordinate actions.
For example, the quickened condition
you get from the haste spell lets you spend an extra action
each turn to Stride or Strike, but you couldn’t use the extra
action for an activity that includes a Stride or Strike. As
another example, if you used an action that specified, “If the
next action you use is a Strike,” an activity that includes a
Strike wouldn’t count, because the next thing you are doing
is starting an activity, not using the Strike basic action.

Since the Support Ability for the horse only speaks about a Single Attack, it would only count the first of your Hunted Shot attacks as benefiting from the ability. In reality, after your first attack from Hunted Shot, you no longer meet the requirement that you moved 10 feet on the action before that attack, as your previous action was a Strike.

A case could be made that initiating the Hunted Shot activity could even preclude you from taking advantage of the Support ability at all, though I would largely allow it imho.

You would need to somehow stop your hunted shot mid attack, something the system does not allow, and move another 10 feet with the horse, who would be out of actions, then resume the hunted shot to make your second attack to get the +2/die damage on the second attack.

I'm actually unsure why the ability leaves open the possibility for multiple strikes taking advantage of the ability, since you can't as far as I know have your Animal Companion take 1 action, then act yourself, then have the companion take a second action. I was under the impression that you had to make both of your Animal Companion actions as soon as you command the companion. I don't see any good way of squeezing in another move and attack after having to command the animal, move, then attack.


Upon further reading and thought, I do actually think that rules as written initiating any Activity like Hunted Shot or Twin Takedown would preclude you from taking advantage of the Horses Support benefit. Initiating an activity is itself an action, so any strike made as part of that action would be your previous action, meaning you would not have moved the requisite 10 feet to take advantage of the Support ability.

Liberty's Edge

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I disagree with that interpretation. By my reading the activity (ie: both attacks) is the action following the movement in and of itself. The attacks in question are not the Strike basic action, and would not trigger things that only effected a specific action, but that's not how the Support is worded. It's worded that as long as the previous action was movement you get the bonus, and if the previous action before the activity was movement the attacks should both get the bonus.


CRB. PG 462 "Subordinate Actions" wrote:

As

another example, if you used an action that specified, “If the
next action you use is a Strike,” an activity that includes a
Strike wouldn’t count, because the next thing you are doing
is starting an activity, not using the Strike basic action.

That is pretty clear. Not much interpretation there.

The difference is that an Activity "includes" subordinate actions. Starting an activity is itself an action. Therefore, you would not have "moved at least 10 feet on the action before your attack," you would have started an activity.

Now if you moved then shot with your bow, then you gain the extra damage. At least rules as written. Like I said, largely I would allow one attack from hunted shot to benefit from the Support ability. I would not allow 2.

Mostly that is because I would allow a Hunter's Aim attack to benefit as well, which is an activity that only includes 1 single action.

But that is a house ruling of mine. In reality I don't believe any activity actually qualifies to benefit from the Support Ability.

*edit: it is also important to note that neither hunted shot nor twin takedown have the attack trait, and therefore wouldn't qualify to benefit from the Support Ability on their own, even ignoring the subordinate actions clause.

Liberty's Edge

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beowulf99 wrote:
That is pretty clear. Not much interpretation there.

It's not clear that the attacks are a subsequent action to the activity at all. That's not what that paragraph is addressing.

It's clear they aren't Strikes, but it's not clear that they are specifically subsequent in the way you're stating.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
That is pretty clear. Not much interpretation there.

It's not clear that the attacks are a subsequent action to the activity at all. That's not what that paragraph is addressing.

It's clear they aren't Strikes, but it's not clear that they are specifically subsequent in the way you're stating.

Let's clear that up then.

Hunted Shot:
CRB PG. 171 "Hunted Shot" wrote:


You take two quick shots against the one you hunt. Make two
Strikes against your prey with the required weapon. If both
hit the same creature, combine their damage for the purpose
of resistances and weaknesses. Apply your multiple attack
penalty to each Strike normally.

So the attacks in Hunted Shot are in fact Strikes making hunted shot an activity. Cool. Now:

Actions and Activities:
CRB PG. 461 "Actions" wrote:

Single actions can be completed in a very short time.

They’re self-contained, and their effects are generated
within the span of that single action.
During an encounter,
you get 3 actions at the beginning of your turn, which
you can use as described on page 468.
Activities usually take longer and require using multiple
actions, which must be spent in succession. Stride is a single
action, but Sudden Charge is an activity in which you use
both the Stride and Strike actions to generate its effect
.

And:

Activities Expanded:
CRB PG. 461 "Activities" wrote:

An activity typically involves using multiple actions to

create an effect greater than you can produce with a
single action, or combining multiple single actions to
produce an effect that’s different from merely the sum of
those actions.
In some cases, usually when spellcasting,
an activity can consist of only 1 action, 1 reaction, or
even 1 free action.
An activity might cause you to use specific actions
within it. You don’t have to spend additional actions to
perform them—they’re already factored into the activity’s
required actions. (See Subordinate Actions on page 462.)

You have to spend all the actions of an activity at
once to gain its effects. In an encounter, this means you
must complete it during your turn. If an activity gets
interrupted or disrupted in an encounter (page 462), you
lose all the actions you committed to it.

So we now know that Hunted Shot is an activity that allows you to perform 2 strikes with a ranged weapon with a reload of 0. We know that you perform each of the actions within the activity, they aren't rolled into the same "instance" as beginning the activity. Now:

Subordinate Actions:
CRB PG. 462 "Subordinate Actions" wrote:

An action might allow you to use a simpler action—usually

one of the Basic Actions on page 469—in a different
circumstance or with different effects. This subordinate
action still has its normal traits and effects, but is modified
in any ways listed in the larger action.
For example, an
activity that tells you to Stride up to half your Speed
alters the normal distance you can move in a Stride. The
Stride would still have the move trait, would still trigger
reactions that occur based on movement, and so on. The
subordinate action doesn’t gain any of the traits of the
larger action unless specified. The action that allows you to
use a subordinate action doesn’t require you to spend more
actions or reactions to do so; that cost is already factored in.
Using an activity is not the same as using any of its
subordinate actions. For example, the quickened condition
you get from the haste spell lets you spend an extra action
each turn to Stride or Strike, but you couldn’t use the extra
action for an activity that includes a Stride or Strike. As
another example, if you used an action that specified, “If the
next action you use is a Strike,” an activity that includes a
Strike wouldn’t count, because the next thing you are doing
is starting an activity, not using the Strike basic action.

And finally we know that "starting an activity" is itself an action that does impact abilities that reference previous and next action, such as the Horses Support ability.

Otherwise the second example in "Subordinate Actions" wouldn't exist.

Does that clear that up?

*Edit: Added Spoilers to make the post more clear/ less crazy looking. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hunted Shot has the Flourish trait.

Flourish : Flourish actions are actions that require too much exertion to perform a large number in a row. You can use only 1 action with the flourish trait per turn.

So Hunted Shot is indeed an action. Same as Flurry of Blows in fact.


The Raven Black wrote:

Hunted Shot has the Flourish trait.

Flourish : Flourish actions are actions that require too much exertion to perform a large number in a row. You can use only 1 action with the flourish trait per turn.

So Hunted Shot is indeed an action. Same as Flurry of Blows in fact.

Sigh. Activities are actions that are comprised of other, often basic actions. Beginning an activity is an action.

You then perform the actions within the activity in the order in which the activity designates. You are still performing those actions, you just dont have to spend an "action" to do so, the cost of the activity factors in the actions within it.

Spellcasting is an activity right? You spend the required actions, whether they are somatic, material or verbal to cast a spell.

It is essentially the same with flurry of blows or hunted shot and other activities like them. The only difference is that activities typically have a specific action cost listed, spells simply list the spellcasting actions required.

I don't know how much more I can break that down.

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