PFS and Riding Dogs from the Bestiary: Are they Combat Trained?


Pathfinder Society

4/5 *****

This occurred in a game tonight, and I am likely going to rule that the animal becomes frightened in combat per the rules on page 294 of the CRB:

Core Rulebook wrote:
Most animals panic in battle. When combat begins, they become frightened 4 and fleeing as long as they’re frightened. If you successfully Command your Animal using Nature (page 249), you can keep it from fleeing, though this doesn’t remove its frightened condition. If the animal is attacked or damaged, it returns to frightened 4 and fleeing, with the same exceptions. Warhorses and warponies are combat trained. They don’t become frightened or fleeing during encounters in this way.

We can infer from this that all animals are frightened in combat unless they are warhorses or warponies .

However, the player pointed out while that the Riding Dog in the Bestiary (page 102) doesn't say it's combat-trained, the flavor text implies it:

Bestiary wrote:
Riding dogs are as loyal and devoted to their masters as guard dogs, and are ferocious in battle, regardless of whether they bear a rider or not.

So, I think the intention is there that the dogs are combat-ready. However, that's also subjective flavor text and not a rule.

Is telling the player partway into the adventure that their mount isn't combat-ready too strict a ruling here?

I don't want to shut players down with an overly-conservative ruling, but it seems clear that the riding dog isn't combat trained.

5/5 5/55/55/5

The type of animal is irrelevant. What matters is whether it has combat training or not

Combat Training (DC 20) An animal trained to bear a rider into combat knows the tricks attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel. Training an animal for combat riding takes 6 weeks. You may also “upgrade” an animal trained for riding to one trained for combat by spending 3 weeks and making a successful DC 20 Handle Animal check. The new general purpose and tricks completely replace the animal’s previous purpose and any tricks it once knew. Many horses and riding dogs are trained in this way.

Riding Dog: This Medium dog is bred for carrying Small riders, and is combat trained. Breeders select dogs with strong backs, endurance, and loyal dispositions and train them for riding and combat before sale. Reputable breeders can be found in major cities.

Look under the dog as equipment rather than the dog as a bestiary critter

Grand Lodge 4/5

My sixth printing CRB says under Equipment "It is brave in combat like a combat-trained horse," which answers the initial question, though leaves some others open.

5/5 5/55/55/5

Ahah.. ultimate equipment has the explicit combat trained language

Grand Lodge 4/5

I suspected so. Presumably Ultimate Equipment is a legal source, provided the player owns a copy.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 **** Venture-Captain, Ohio—Columbus

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Guys, this is clearly a PF2 question, since the text quoted iis from that book (though Doug didn’t specify). So while your answers are correct, they are not useful to OPs situation.

According to the text quoted on p.294 of the PF2 CRB, NO, Riding dogs are NOT combat trained and will take the Frightened penalty. Only Warhorses and Warponies are exempt.

I don't know of any rules that allow animals to be trained by the PC.

Justification: the text clearly calls out warhorses and warponies, not riding horses or riding ponies or riding dogs. I see nothing in the CRb that gives a riding dog this ability. The flavor text from the Bestiary doesn't matter in this case. We are only using it for stats, if needed.

As an aside, for purchased animals, the Command an Animal action only gives the animal one action, not two like a minion (familiar or companion) would get.

4/5 *****

Janice Piette wrote:

Guys, this is clearly a PF2 question, since the text quoted iis from that book (though Doug didn’t specify). So while your answers are correct, they are not useful to OPs situation.

According to the text quoted on p.294 of the PF2 CRB, NO, Riding dogs are NOT combat trained and will take the Frightened penalty. Only Warhorses and Warponies are exempt.

I don't know of any rules that allow animals to be trained by the PC.

Justification: the text clearly calls out warhorses and warponies, not riding horses or riding ponies or riding dogs. I see nothing in the CRb that gives a riding dog this ability. The flavor text from the Bestiary doesn't matter in this case. We are only using it for stats, if needed.

As an aside, for purchased animals, the Command an Animal action only gives the animal one action, not two like a minion (familiar or companion) would get.

Yeah, should have marked it as 2e :)

Great catch on the purchased animal action cap too — thanks!

4/5 *****

Looking at costs, a War Pony is 24 GP; a War Horse is 30. The riding dog is 4 GP. It's also far too cheap to be combat-trained.

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