halfling mounted archer


Rules Discussion


I was looking at a mounted archer(shortbow) with animal companion(goat using pony statistics) for my halfling ranger
As I read it, you get twice the number of dice bonus to dmg until beginning of your next turn when you use mount support action....with all attacks....even ranged right?

so, from second level, i can use support for animal companion(double move + support effect) and shoot 3 arrows at my prey with +2 dmg....all for 3 actions?

Am I reading this right?

Dark Archive

Replied to your reddit post, but I'll duplicate my response here as well:

I think at best you'll get this off twice a round on 3 attacks in the second round at level 6 with the Mature Companion feat (also makes your companion large, which may mean you don't have it in dungeons).

Turn 1:

1 - Hunt Prey

2 - Command Animal (support, move)

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with support bonus) - You'd have to convince your GM to give you 2 if the mount can move between your action flurry shots (not hard to conceptualize with a charging mounted archer, but likely not going to be accepted by a rules lawyer gm)

Turn 2:

1 - Command Animal (support, move)

2 - Strike (with support bonus)

2.5 - Companion uses L6 Mature Companion free move against hunted prey - trigger the support benefit which last until end of turn for next action.

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with bonus)

Its a cool concept.


Red Griffyn wrote:

Replied to your reddit post, but I'll duplicate my response here as well:

I think at best you'll get this off twice a round on 3 attacks in the second round at level 6 with the Mature Companion feat (also makes your companion large, which may mean you don't have it in dungeons).

Turn 1:

1 - Hunt Prey

2 - Command Animal (support, move)

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with support bonus) - You'd have to convince your GM to give you 2 if the mount can move between your action flurry shots (not hard to conceptualize with a charging mounted archer, but likely not going to be accepted by a rules lawyer gm)

Turn 2:

1 - Command Animal (support, move)

2 - Strike (with support bonus)

2.5 - Companion uses L6 Mature Companion free move against hunted prey - trigger the support benefit which last until end of turn for next action.

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with bonus)

Its a cool concept.

Thanks for your help

hmmm....reading it a bit better....RAW would allow giving support bonus on both hunted shot attacks right? It states if on your previous action you moved 10ft....which I did...for both shots...right? because hunted shot(and flurry) should work RAW with this?

it doesn't seem broken...


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I can't wait to see a halfling goat-rider at the table. Plus, there are some great halfling goat-rider figures out there.


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Red Griffyn wrote:

Replied to your reddit post, but I'll duplicate my response here as well:

I think at best you'll get this off twice a round on 3 attacks in the second round at level 6 with the Mature Companion feat (also makes your companion large, which may mean you don't have it in dungeons).

Turn 1:

1 - Hunt Prey

2 - Command Animal (support, move)

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with support bonus) - You'd have to convince your GM to give you 2 if the mount can move between your action flurry shots (not hard to conceptualize with a charging mounted archer, but likely not going to be accepted by a rules lawyer gm)

Turn 2:

1 - Command Animal (support, move)

2 - Strike (with support bonus)

2.5 - Companion uses L6 Mature Companion free move against hunted prey - trigger the support benefit which last until end of turn for next action.

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with bonus)

Its a cool concept.

That's not what Mature companion does.

It just allows the companion to get 1 action (strike or move) even if you didn't spent an action to command.

If you did spent an action to command, it doesn't activate again "for free".

Dark Archive

shroudb wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:

Replied to your reddit post, but I'll duplicate my response here as well:

I think at best you'll get this off twice a round on 3 attacks in the second round at level 6 with the Mature Companion feat (also makes your companion large, which may mean you don't have it in dungeons).

Turn 1:

1 - Hunt Prey

2 - Command Animal (support, move)

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with support bonus) - You'd have to convince your GM to give you 2 if the mount can move between your action flurry shots (not hard to conceptualize with a charging mounted archer, but likely not going to be accepted by a rules lawyer gm)

Turn 2:

1 - Command Animal (support, move)

2 - Strike (with support bonus)

2.5 - Companion uses L6 Mature Companion free move against hunted prey - trigger the support benefit which last until end of turn for next action.

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with bonus)

Its a cool concept.

That's not what Mature companion does.

It just allows the companion to get 1 action (strike or move) even if you didn't spent an action to command.

If you did spent an action to command, it doesn't activate again "for free".

I disagree with you. The ability is stated as:

Rule wrote:
Your animal companion grows up, becoming a mature animal companion and gaining additional capabilities (page 214). If you have the Hunt Prey action, your animal companion assaults the prey even without your orders. During an encounter, even if you don’t use the Command an Animal action, your animal companion can still use 1 action that round on your turn to Stride toward or Strike your prey.

The ability is written poorly, as "EVEN IF" is an inclusive logic statement that infers the ability applies in all event cases (i.e., "Command Animal" is used and "even if" "Command Animal" is not used). If it was intended to be exclusive they should have said "ONLY IF" as that removes the inference that it can be used in all event cases and can ONLY be used when "Command Animal" is not used.

RAW it reads as the AC now has a free additional limited action to stride/strike against a hunted target independent of the PC's actions. ACs are already pretty "meh" and letting a large horse that can't fit in a dungeon have an extra move to give the PC a +2-+6 circumstance bonus on damage on one additional shot per turn if they hit isn't anything I would worry about as a GM.

As well, even if they were using it to 'strike' with a more melee AC, you share your MAP with you AC so good lucking hitting anything with that extra strike on an AC with a bad attack modifier. It would only be beneficial for a Caster Druid, where the AC could get the full 3 strikes with command animal, and the caster casts a spell without an actual attack roll. Even then, ACs are pretty meh and that third attack isn't going to hit the broad side of the barn (~maybe statistical 5-10% net damage increase if they're standing right next to the thing you want them to hit)


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Red Griffyn wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Red Griffyn wrote:

Replied to your reddit post, but I'll duplicate my response here as well:

I think at best you'll get this off twice a round on 3 attacks in the second round at level 6 with the Mature Companion feat (also makes your companion large, which may mean you don't have it in dungeons).

Turn 1:

1 - Hunt Prey

2 - Command Animal (support, move)

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with support bonus) - You'd have to convince your GM to give you 2 if the mount can move between your action flurry shots (not hard to conceptualize with a charging mounted archer, but likely not going to be accepted by a rules lawyer gm)

Turn 2:

1 - Command Animal (support, move)

2 - Strike (with support bonus)

2.5 - Companion uses L6 Mature Companion free move against hunted prey - trigger the support benefit which last until end of turn for next action.

3 - Flurry (two shots, 1 with bonus)

Its a cool concept.

That's not what Mature companion does.

It just allows the companion to get 1 action (strike or move) even if you didn't spent an action to command.

If you did spent an action to command, it doesn't activate again "for free".

I disagree with you. The ability is stated as:

Rule wrote:
Your animal companion grows up, becoming a mature animal companion and gaining additional capabilities (page 214). If you have the Hunt Prey action, your animal companion assaults the prey even without your orders. During an encounter, even if you don’t use the Command an Animal action, your animal companion can still use 1 action that round on your turn to Stride toward or Strike your prey.
The ability is written poorly, as "EVEN IF" is an inclusive logic statement that infers the ability applies in all event cases (i.e., "Command Animal" is used and "even if" "Command Animal" is not used). If it was intended to be exclusive they should have said "ONLY IF" as that removes the inference that it can be used in all event cases and can ONLY be...

Minions activate only once IF you spent an action.

The ability modifies the second part (the if you spend an action) but it does nothing about the 1st part, which is that a minion can act on a turn only once.

it's in the Minion trait.


A horse/ goat

"Support Benefit 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."

I would say yes you add +2 damage per dice.

I could see some dms saying it makes no sense with a ranged weapon, melee only. Or even only when you move towards a target.

Even more in depth only when you move towards a target, but if you move away you don't get the bonus.

But as I see it written it's work.

Horizon Hunters

So the biggest challenge here is how many actions you actually are able to use. When mounted (and following the mounted combat rules) the way Command an Animal works changes.

"Source Core Rulebook pg. 478
You can ride some creatures into combat. As noted in the Mount specialty basic action (page 472), your mount needs to be at least one size larger than you and willing. Your mount acts on your initiative. You must use the Command an Animal action to get your mount to spend its actions. If you don’t, the animal wastes its actions. If you have the Ride general feat, you succeed automatically when you Command an Animal that’s your mount.

For example, if you are mounted on a horse and you make three attacks, your horse would remain stationary since you didn’t command it. If you instead spent your first action to Command an Animal and succeeded, you could get your mount to Stride. You could spend your next action to attack or to command the horse to attack, but not both.
Mounted Attacks
Source Core Rulebook pg. 478
You and your mount fight as a unit. Consequently, you share a multiple attack penalty. For example, if you Strike and then Command an Animal to have your mount Strike, your mount’s attack takes a –5 multiple attack penalty. "

Instead of two distinct entities they are treated as one with one pool of resources and share everything even a MAP. For most NPCs that means you're going down to 3 actions from 6 (3 for the rider and 3 for the animal). Many would argue that this means that your Animal Companion just like an enemy mount would waste the actions that don't fit within your usual 3 action limit. The actual text on Core Rulebook pg. 214 states

"Your animal companion has the minion trait, and it gains 2 actions during your turn if you use the Command an Animal action to command it; this is in place of the usual effects of Command an Animal, and you don’t need to attempt a Nature check."

But the issue is according to the mounted combat rules it seems as if those extra actions you generate would be wasted.

So to make the combo work it seems RAW would point too

Action 1 - Hunt Prey

Action 2 - Command an Animal

Action 3 - Move

and you're out of actions.

Being mounted isn't very good early on but the animal is young once it grows up things become a bit more manageable.

Action 1 - Move without commanding an animal first due to Mature Companion

Action 2 - Command An Animal

Action 3 - Support

And we're out of actions again. I don't have the link but I am pretty sure Paizo is aware mounted combat needs some adjustments because there is not a lot of incentive to actually use a mount in the game currently. Especially considering they don't move as fast or have as many movement options available than certain builds on foot because to move more than once you are always going to need to use a command an animal action first and then run out of actions after two strides or one gallop as opposed to a monk who can just stride 3 times. Lastly RAW it would seem the Horses support benefit is almost impossible to use.

My players have not wanted to do mounted combat so it hasn't really come up but if someone was interested in a mounted build I was thinking of implementing these house rules.

1. For all horses base stride speed to 60 from 40. (To make riding a horse worth while).

2. If you're mounted the Horse companion support benefit becomes a free action but you still must meet the 10 foot stride requirement. (It makes sense as well given the text for the support benefit).

So once we had a mature animal companion a round could very well look like

Action 1- Move
Free action- Support Benefit
Action 2- Hunted Shot
Action 3- Anything else.

Some additional things to consider if someone wants their Animal Companion to be a mount is that this makes some feats like Companions Cry worthless. They have extra actions and no way to spend them. However this also makes things like Side By Side mean that your opponents are always flat footed to you.

I could understand though if your group prefers to give 5 actions total (even in mounted combat scenarios) specifically for classes with an Animal Companion (one command an animal action, 2 animal companion actions, and then 2 more actions) the biggest impact is that it gives rangers a huge leg up against other mounted combatants when it comes to maneuverability and options. It would be almost like a house rule in itself but it would remove the need for other house rules.

Hopefully we will get word soon on some updates for this part of the game.


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The mature animal companion cannot take another move after you have commanded it, even if you take the reading that it is allowed to without an order, because if you have commanded it, it used up the 2 actions minions have. The Mature Companion rule specifies that it would still be an action, and the minion has none left available. It only works if you didn't use both of the actions granted by the Command an Animal maneuver.

Horizon Hunters

I agree with that point.

If you're going by the Mounted Combat rules, I was mostly showing that even if it could activate that way you don't have the action economy to do what you're trying to do.

Ideally if you had a mature animal companion horse the only time you would want to actually use command an animal is when you are trying to stride twice or gallop.

Otherwise you probably are best of using the mature animal companion's commandless move and then striking with your weapon or using other abilities.


Goldryno wrote:

So the biggest challenge here is how many actions you actually are able to use. When mounted (and following the mounted combat rules) the way Command an Animal works changes.

"Source Core Rulebook pg. 478
You can ride some creatures into combat. As noted in the Mount specialty basic action (page 472), your mount needs to be at least one size larger than you and willing. Your mount acts on your initiative. You must use the Command an Animal action to get your mount to spend its actions. If you don’t, the animal wastes its actions. If you have the Ride general feat, you succeed automatically when you Command an Animal that’s your mount.

For example, if you are mounted on a horse and you make three attacks, your horse would remain stationary since you didn’t command it. If you instead spent your first action to Command an Animal and succeeded, you could get your mount to Stride. You could spend your next action to attack or to command the horse to attack, but not both.
Mounted Attacks
Source Core Rulebook pg. 478
You and your mount fight as a unit. Consequently, you share a multiple attack penalty. For example, if you Strike and then Command an Animal to have your mount Strike, your mount’s attack takes a –5 multiple attack penalty. "

Instead of two distinct entities they are treated as one with one pool of resources and share everything even a MAP. For most NPCs that means you're going down to 3 actions from 6 (3 for the rider and 3 for the animal). Many would argue that this means that your Animal Companion just like an enemy mount would waste the actions that don't fit within your usual 3 action limit. The actual text on Core Rulebook pg. 214 states

"Your animal companion has the minion trait, and it gains 2 actions during your turn if you use the Command an Animal action to command it; this is in place of the usual effects of Command an Animal, and you don’t need to attempt a Nature check."

But the issue is according to the mounted combat rules it seems as if...

main benefit of mounted combat is to get 2 moves from your mount for 1 action. So for 3 actions you could attack twice and move twice(by mount's speed). Or in this Ranger's case, attack 3 times if he already has a hunted prey from previous round

Horizon Hunters

Debelinho wrote:
main benefit of mounted combat is to get 2 moves from your mount for 1 action. So for 3 actions you could attack twice and move twice(by mount's speed). Or in this Ranger's case, attack 3 times if he already has a hunted prey from previous round

Please explain your logic a little clearer because I am not following.

In the example provided by the book in normal mounted combat situations you have a total of 3 actions to spend on your turn. Some of them (up to two) can be actions performed by your mount if you use Command an Animal. The example in the book assumes a normal mounted rider, nowhere does it state that this example shows how this works in conjunction with the Animal Companion class feat.

So are you stating that the Animal Companion class feat version of the Command An Animal action still grants your mount two actions for the mount to use? Because by that logic one would feel that a NPC/or PC rider and normal horse would have a total of 6 actions available since each normally has 3 actions as long as the horse were not an animal companion.

The example in the book seems to go against this and indicate that this is not the case while you are mounted. You seem to share an action economy. Through which you can either strike 3 times while on horse back or use command an animal and use a combination of horse and player actions, but they still stop at 3 as shown in the example.

Another thing I'd point to is they specifically mention the Ride General feat changing how the Command An Animal skill interacted but they do not mention it changing the action economy any. However one effect of having the Ride general feat is bestowing the minion trait to your mount which makes it work exactly like an Animal Companion. One would think further changes to mounted combat or the action economy would be mentioned or illustrated here or in the example if it was having a significant effect on how the rules worked.

Animal Companion states that the Animal gains two actions during our turn but the issue isn't how many actions we've gained, it's whether or not we have the ability to spend them. Under normal conditions I would wager we could, however the mounted combat example indicates that even if a separate creature is acting as a mount for us during our turn we still only have 3 actions to spend.

I feel as if there is almost no 100% consistent way to interpret this rule combination but the most consistent way (to me) points to under mounted combat rules all mounted rider/mount combos have 3 actions to use total. If one is command an animal the next 2 could be animal actions or character actions but unlike when they are unmounted and being treated as two separate creatures you are not able to spend 1 Command an animal action, have your Animal Companion spend two actions, then getting two more actions for yourself to spend.

Grand Lodge

An Animal Companion is a minion. Minions have 2 actions, not 3, per round. When you Command an Animal, the only additional restriction in order to ride it is it needs to be 1+ size category bigger than you. In addition, it cannot Stride and Support and it can only use it's base land speed unless it also has the mount class feature (in which case it ignores both those restrictions.)

The companion still gets 2 actions. So you can Hunt Prey, Command an Animal [horse] (Support+Stride), and for the third action use Hunted Shot. It all tracks.

In regards to non-companion animals being used as mounts, those animals only use a number of actions equal to the number of actions used in Command an Animal. IE you have to use a 3 action Command an Animal in order to make your mount Stride 3 times. So the total effective actions you+ your mount has is 3 when said mount is NOT your animal companion, and 4 when the mount has the mount trait and is your animal companion.
And to clarify, I'm talking about the maximum number of action the PC+ the mount can make, minus the number of actions required to use Command an Animal.
And that's not accounting for Mature Animal Companion, but that doesn't allow the AC to Support, only Stride or Strike. No matter what, unless the Ranger specifically uses Companion's Cry, it's still a minion so can't take more than 2 actions a round, therefore if Commanded the minion cannot also independently take a 3rd action.

Horizon Hunters

Syries wrote:

An Animal Companion is a minion. Minions have 2 actions, not 3, per round. When you Command an Animal, the only additional restriction in order to ride it is it needs to be 1+ size category bigger than you. In addition, it cannot Stride and Support and it can only use it's base land speed unless it also has the mount class feature (in which case it ignores both those restrictions.)

The companion still gets 2 actions. So you can Hunt Prey, Command an Animal [horse] (Support+Stride), and for the third action use Hunted Shot. It all tracks.

In regards to non-companion animals being used as mounts, those animals only use a number of actions equal to the number of actions used in Command an Animal. IE you have to use a 3 action Command an Animal in order to make your mount Stride 3 times. So the total effective actions you+ your mount has is 3 when said mount is NOT your animal companion, and 4 when the mount has the mount trait and is your animal companion.
And to clarify, I'm talking about the maximum number of action the PC+ the mount can make, minus the number of actions required to use Command an Animal.
And that's not accounting for Mature Animal Companion, but that doesn't allow the AC to Support, only Stride or Strike. No matter what, unless the Ranger specifically uses Companion's Cry, it's still a minion so can't take more than 2 actions a round, therefore if Commanded the minion cannot also independently take a 3rd action.

The issue with this interpretation is that it goes directly against the rules and examples presented for Mounted Combat. I would post again but I keep referencing the same rule set and example and everyone seems to want to ignore it for the standard Command An Animal rules. Which is ok for a home game but just isn't supported by what's in the CRB.

As far as I can see there are three interpretations.

#1) the rules don't really change for mounted combat. A mounted enemy can spend 3 command an animal actions to make their mount act 3 times. The example they present in the CRB is flat out incorrect or extremely misleading. On top of this every NPC rider is going to be faster than your animal companion or a mount you control with the ride feat. You would want to avoid animal companion mounts or the ride feat if you wanted to move as fast as possible while mounted.

#2) the Animal Companion and Ride feat rules override how Mounted Combat special rules work. If this is the case the example they put is misleading but not necessarily wrong they just cover someone without those skills. We reduce NPC actions but don't do it for our Animal Companions (or mounts with the minion trait). This has the effect of giving us 5 actions to use (one for commanded animal, two actions the AC can use, and two we can use) while NPCs have a total of 3 they can use (one for command an animal, and then two available actions from either their own action pool or the animals). This certainly makes our PCs much more epic but skews things really heavily in there favor. Besides the command an animal action the Ranger with an Animal Companion has 4 other actions they can take and their opponents only have 2. It also has this strange effect where these feats are supposedly about the animal but are just giving the rider more things they can do while riding. It's a bit more supported than option 1 but I can see the argument. I do not believe it is the correct one due to how they specifically call out the effects of the ride feat and don't mention or indicate these changes in anyway. That in conjunction with the example and text about sharing a MAP being treated as a single unit etc.

3.) Which assumes the example they provide in the CRB and the text for mounted combat is accurate and informative. In which case rather than their being a rule conflict (both rule sets can coexist, just one only applies when a combatant is mounted) the remaining issue is that the horse animal companion seems to be designed poorly. That can be fixed with a few house rules. House rules are needed anyway because in any of the three interpretations I can think of someone with a speed of 30 who strides 3 times will be able to out run a horse.

Option 3 keeps standing out to me as the best option. The others seem to hold the most water when you throw the mounted combat rules from the CRB out the window.


Humans, Elves, and Halflings are the most common followers of the mounted archer krogerfeedback.


Goldryno wrote:

#1) the rules don't really change for mounted combat. A mounted enemy can spend 3 command an animal actions to make their mount act 3 times. The example they present in the CRB is flat out incorrect or extremely misleading. On top of this every NPC rider is going to be faster than your animal companion or a mount you control with the ride feat. You would want to avoid animal companion mounts or the ride feat if you wanted to move as fast as possible while mounted.

..

The ride feat would only ever be a benefit. It lets you automatically succeed your Command check. It does nothing to change how many actions you get.

I believe #1 is the correct interpretation. It does have the problem of being worse in a race, but it is better in combat. The combined AC and PC get 4 usable actions (not counting the one for Command) where as just a trained animal such as a mount get 3 actions they get to share.

Horizon Hunters

Mellack wrote:
Goldryno wrote:

#1) the rules don't really change for mounted combat. A mounted enemy can spend 3 command an animal actions to make their mount act 3 times. The example they present in the CRB is flat out incorrect or extremely misleading. On top of this every NPC rider is going to be faster than your animal companion or a mount you control with the ride feat. You would want to avoid animal companion mounts or the ride feat if you wanted to move as fast as possible while mounted.

..

The ride feat would only ever be a benefit. It lets you automatically succeed your Command check. It does nothing to change how many actions you get.

I believe #1 is the correct interpretation. It does have the problem of being worse in a race, but it is better in combat. The combined AC and PC get 4 usable actions (not counting the one for Command) where as just a trained animal such as a mount get 3 actions they get to share.

I can get that. Its just the most contradictory one with the printed mounted rules. Meh hopefully we will get official clarification before too much longer.

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