Sad Lance Noises


Advice


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I am fully aware of the advantages of mounted combat and i very much like it, expecially when compared to the clunky mess that it was in pf1. What I am rather disappointed in is the lance. It is a pretty mediocre martial weapon than becomes better at the expence of action economy and quite a lot of feats to remain relevant. It is straight up bad if you do not fight mounted (duh) but even then it really lacks. It basically becomes a scythe with no trip only if you keep moving around limiting you to only one attack per round or so, it loses the main advantages of reach if you are not small and using it one handed hampers your damage potential even further (why using it if you don't get loads of damage on a single strike?). The horse support makes it better at the cost of the same action but it still pretty much limits you to only one strike per turn if you still want to use the mount main advantage, its mobility.
But cavalier's charge! Yes, alas it would seem that cavalier's charge does not stack with the horse support.
But even if it did, why not just use a d12 weapon? It will be pretty much just as good on the charge (reach rules when mounted) and straight up better the rest of the time.
Maybe I am exagerating a bit but I do not quite see the point in lancing with a medium sized character and therefore I am sad since cavalier used to be my favourite class. No sir, I don't like it.
Anyone willing to lift my spirit by telling me why I am wrong?

Liberty's Edge

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Yes. The Jousting trait is not good really. Maybe use Power Attack, or another 2-actions attack.

I wonder if a mounted Swashbuckler could benefit from the additional damage on a finisher.


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The Raven Black wrote:

Yes. The Jousting trait is not good really. Maybe use Power Attack, or another 2-actions attack.

I wonder if a mounted Swashbuckler could benefit from the additional damage on a finisher.

I thought about that but alas the devs specified that extra weapon dices gained from feats etc are not counting for the jousting trait so even on a power attack it will still max at 4 (12 with the horse support).


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The problem is not with the Lance per se, but with all Reach weapons as long as your mount is Large. So, if you want to use the Lance (and get something out of it), you need to be small. Otherwise, just grab a weapon with a higher damage dice and no Reach.


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SuperBidi wrote:
The problem is not with the Lance per se, but with all Reach weapons as long as your mount is Large. So, if you want to use the Lance (and get something out of it), you need to be small. Otherwise, just grab a weapon with a higher damage dice and no Reach.

Yeah but the lance is supposed to be a mounted weapon, so it makes me grumble in frustration. I feel like it should be the exception to the mounted reach rules, then it would be rather nice. I suppose you could make something out of it by using lunge but it feels like a rather annoying limp noodle regardless


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RaptorJesues wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
The problem is not with the Lance per se, but with all Reach weapons as long as your mount is Large. So, if you want to use the Lance (and get something out of it), you need to be small. Otherwise, just grab a weapon with a higher damage dice and no Reach.
Yeah but the lance is supposed to be a mounted weapon, so it makes me grumble in frustration. I feel like it should be the exception to the mounted reach rules, then it would be rather nice. I suppose you could make something out of it by using lunge but it feels like a rather annoying limp noodle regardless

I fully agree. I think the rule about Reach weapon on mounts shouldn't be there. And if it wasn't there, the Lance would be clearly an excellent mounted weapon.


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You are talking about this, yes?

Mounted Attacks wrote:
You occupy every square of your mount’s space for the purpose of making your attacks. If you were Medium and on a Large mount, you could attack a creature on one side of your mount, then attack on the opposite side with your next action. If you have a longer reach, the distance depends partly on the size of your mount. On a Medium or smaller mount, use your normal reach. On a Large or Huge mount, you can attack any square adjacent to the mount if you have 5- or 10-foot reach, or any square within 10 feet of the mount (including diagonally) if you have 15-foot reach.

So if you are small and on a medium mount and have 10 foot reach, then you get to keep your 10 foot reach and attack things up to 2 squares away. But if you are medium and on a large mount and have 10 foot reach, then 5 feet of that reach gets lost and you can only attack adjacent enemies.

Yeah, that seems ... not very well thought out. It was definitely done deliberately. It is obviously the intent of the developers to drop your reach by 5 feet while mounted on a Large+ size mount. I'm just not sure why. What game balance reason would there be for that?


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The only thing that I can think of would be that being on a large mount and having your full 10 foot reach as well as being able to be considered to be in all squares of the mount would increase the area of coverage that you have. Instead of being able to reach a 5x5 area around yourself, you would be able to reach a 6x6 area around your mount.

Which seems like a minor benefit. Preventing that bonus doesn't seem worth the penalty of removing the primary purpose of having reach - being able to attack an enemy from a location where they have to spend an action moving to get within their own reach and be able to attack you.


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breithauptclan wrote:

The only thing that I can think of would be that being on a large mount and having your full 10 foot reach as well as being able to be considered to be in all squares of the mount would increase the area of coverage that you have. Instead of being able to reach a 5x5 area around yourself, you would be able to reach a 6x6 area around your mount.

Which seems like a minor benefit. Preventing that bonus doesn't seem worth the penalty of removing the primary purpose of having reach - being able to attack an enemy from a location where they have to spend an action moving to get within their own reach and be able to attack you.

4x4 and 5x5 actually but yes, i agree. While you sure would cover quite a bit of squares if you were allowed to use your reach (32 squares against the 11 you currently can), I am quite comfortable saying that it would not be game breaking or even unbalanced since the mad investment that a mount is


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wait, a small cavalier covers 5x5 while a larger cavalier only covers 4x4?

In what world does that make sense???


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Ravingdork wrote:

Wait, a small cavalier covers 5x5 while a larger cavalier only covers 4x4?

In what world does that make sense???

I KNOW RIGHT?? That is precisely the source of my grumbling. This really calls for an errata, I hope devs are reading


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RaptorJesues wrote:
4x4 and 5x5 actually but yes, i agree. While you sure would cover quite a bit of squares if you were allowed to use your reach (32 squares against the 11 you currently can), I am quite comfortable saying that it would not be game breaking or even unbalanced since the mad investment that a mount is

Unless I am missing something, a small or medium creature with a 10 foot reach would be able to reach two squares in any direction - which means a 5x5 area (minus the corner squares, I think).

A large (tall) creature takes up a 2x2 area and has a 10 foot reach. meaning that they can still reach two squares away from their space - which would be a 6x6 area (again probably minus the very corner squares).

And yeah, having a small creature with a reach weapon climbing onto a medium mount and still having a 5x5 area reach, but a medium creature with the same reach weapon climbing onto a large mount and therefore only having a 4x4 area seems wrong.

Liberty's Edge

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breithauptclan wrote:

The only thing that I can think of would be that being on a large mount and having your full 10 foot reach as well as being able to be considered to be in all squares of the mount would increase the area of coverage that you have. Instead of being able to reach a 5x5 area around yourself, you would be able to reach a 6x6 area around your mount.

Which seems like a minor benefit. Preventing that bonus doesn't seem worth the penalty of removing the primary purpose of having reach - being able to attack an enemy from a location where they have to spend an action moving to get within their own reach and be able to attack you.

Actually, you occupy all squares of your mount's space for the purpose of attacking others. Not for others attacking you.

But yes, reach 5 and reach 10 being treated the same is definitely bad.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Actually, you occupy all squares of your mount's space for the purpose of attacking others. Not for others attacking you.

So you have to pick one of the squares of your mount for you to actually be in for defensive purposes?

Well, then why not have your reach determined from that same square - with the additional rule that if you have a 5-foot reach you are always allowed to attack all squares adjacent to your mount.

That would mean that you don't benefit from your reach weapon on two sides of your large mount, but you would on the two opposite sides. That at least seems reasonable and provides some strategic options.


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breithauptclan wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Actually, you occupy all squares of your mount's space for the purpose of attacking others. Not for others attacking you.

So you have to pick one of the squares of your mount for you to actually be in for defensive purposes?

Well, then why not have your reach determined from that same square - with the additional rule that if you have a 5-foot reach you are always allowed to attack all squares adjacent to your mount.

That would mean that you don't benefit from your reach weapon on two sides of your large mount, but you would on the two opposite sides. That at least seems reasonable and provides some strategic options.

Yeah, that would be rather nice


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Mounted combat is totally screwed up in PF2. We just have to hold our noses and play it anyway.

Mechanical Support for the classic mounted knight is burried in the Cavalier archetype and its a moderate +1 circumstance bonus to hit if you move. It is good for fighting monster without attack of oppourtunity but not anything constructed as a fighter. You also don't get to use it much in typical encounters.

But the reach problem of the traditional human with lance on a horse means that it is basically pointless. The lance is a pathetic weapon in practice for PF2.

You have to invest a lot in it and you get stuff all out.

On a role playing, and on a balance basis its a total failure.


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Gortle wrote:

Mounted combat is totally screwed up in PF2. We just have to hold our noses and play it anyway.

Mechanical Support for the classic mounted knight is burried in the Cavalier archetype and its a moderate +1 circumstance bonus to hit if you move. It is good for fighting monster without attack of oppourtunity but not anything constructed as a fighter. You also don't get to use it much in typical encounters.

But the reach problem of the traditional human with lance on a horse means that it is basically pointless. The lance is a pathetic weapon in practice for PF2.

You have to invest a lot in it and you get stuff all out.

On a role playing, and on a balance basis its a total failure.

None of it would be that bad if you could use the reach of your weapons if mounted

Liberty's Edge

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RaptorJesues wrote:
Gortle wrote:

Mounted combat is totally screwed up in PF2. We just have to hold our noses and play it anyway.

Mechanical Support for the classic mounted knight is burried in the Cavalier archetype and its a moderate +1 circumstance bonus to hit if you move. It is good for fighting monster without attack of oppourtunity but not anything constructed as a fighter. You also don't get to use it much in typical encounters.

But the reach problem of the traditional human with lance on a horse means that it is basically pointless. The lance is a pathetic weapon in practice for PF2.

You have to invest a lot in it and you get stuff all out.

On a role playing, and on a balance basis its a total failure.

None of it would be that bad if you could use the reach of your weapons if mounted

I think this is what Jousting should give so that the lance would be the prime mounted weapon it is supposedly designed to be.


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The Raven Black wrote:
RaptorJesues wrote:
Gortle wrote:

Mounted combat is totally screwed up in PF2. We just have to hold our noses and play it anyway.

Mechanical Support for the classic mounted knight is burried in the Cavalier archetype and its a moderate +1 circumstance bonus to hit if you move. It is good for fighting monster without attack of oppourtunity but not anything constructed as a fighter. You also don't get to use it much in typical encounters.

But the reach problem of the traditional human with lance on a horse means that it is basically pointless. The lance is a pathetic weapon in practice for PF2.

You have to invest a lot in it and you get stuff all out.

On a role playing, and on a balance basis its a total failure.

None of it would be that bad if you could use the reach of your weapons if mounted
I think this is what Jousting should give so that the lance would be the prime mounted weapon it is supposedly designed to be.

agreed, it should be included in jousting


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I have to admit I have mixed feelings on it. One I agree that effectively losing reach property from a weapon, especially a lance when riding a large mount is a big deal. I think it makes sense to have a lance have some sort of advantage when mounted or braced.

On the other hand, the loss of reach from any weapon at all seems like it is a relevant and big loss for all such weapons. Although wanting a lance to be a strong option, I don't necessarily want it to be like in 1st edition where it was almost necessary for a mounted individual who was going to charge, kind of had to choose lance as their weapon if they were going to be effective.

My goblin cavalier, who owned a Horsechopper, was kind of required to keep a lance around for challenging boss encounters that they were going to need to charge.

The current process of allowing the lance to be used one handed from horseback for the cost of one step in die size seems reasonable. And the circumstance bonus for using it mounted makes up for the die lost size lost from using one handed, although it also doesn't seem to require you to only use it one handed, so if you can keep 2 hands, it is just bonus damage.

Adding in the Horse support damage it makes the damage quite significant, using it from horseback.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The problem is that once you lose the reach, it doesn't actually have any properties that stand out from other, similarly reachless weapons.

"Extra damage when you charge" sounds good... but the lance is already doing less damage because it's a reach weapon. The bonus ends up pretty much just getting you back to zero once you take away Reach.


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Squiggit wrote:
Horse + Jousting instead upgrades Jousting to 2 damage per die... which is the same thing as what Horse support gives you anyways.

Horse increases the bonus damage that the Jousting weapon already has. So it would be 3 damage per weapon die in total.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Horse + Jousting instead upgrades Jousting to 2 damage per die... which is the same thing as what Horse support gives you anyways.
Horse increases the bonus damage that the Jousting weapon already has. So it would be 3 damage per weapon die in total.

Whoops, misread a line-


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Squiggit wrote:

The problem is that once you lose the reach, it doesn't actually have any properties that stand out from other, similarly reachless weapons.

"Extra damage when you charge" sounds good... but the lance is already doing less damage because it's a reach weapon. The bonus ends up pretty much just getting you back to zero once you take away Reach.

Without reach a longsword gets the same average damage while adding the option of using slashing damage. The bastard sword offers the Two-hand d12 property, which beats lance 2h for d8 by a ton.

Losing reach while mounted is silly and needs to be dropped, because it just makes reach weapons pointless - you're universally paying at least one die increment for reach, and a horse takes it away without making up for it.


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The one thing i could see as an argument for this is the fact that:

1) a bigger mount means that you could body block a specific area where the enemy can’t move easily because of the need of using tumble through. I, however, have no clue how valuable is that.

2) A small mount would be agile to move in many places due its size, but while the cover part of Mounted Defenses is hard to make a solid asseveration about the line "you have lesser cover against attacks targeting you when you’re mounted if the mount would be in the way" i think you have even less reasons to give this bonus to a small creature.

Does that reasons make justification for the medium 5x5 vs large 4x4? I don’t think so, but maybe Paizo made these oddities in relation between each other and a solution might be in there.


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SH3R4TA5 wrote:

The one thing i could see as an argument for this is the fact that:

...

Does that reasons make justification for the medium 5x5 vs large 4x4? I don’t think so, but maybe Paizo made these oddities in relation between each other and a solution might be in there.

I feel pretty sure that it was just an oversight, it seems very counter intuitive that a longer weapon weilded by someone with longer arms has a shorter range than the small guy with the pointy stick riding a pony. To support my thesis, I did not see anyone bring this up until now, so...

Shadow Lodge

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RaptorJesues wrote:
SH3R4TA5 wrote:

The one thing i could see as an argument for this is the fact that:

...

Does that reasons make justification for the medium 5x5 vs large 4x4? I don’t think so, but maybe Paizo made these oddities in relation between each other and a solution might be in there.

I feel pretty sure that it was just an oversight, it seems very counter intuitive that a longer weapon weilded by someone with longer arms has a shorter range than the small guy with the pointy stick riding a pony. To support my thesis, I did not see anyone bring this up until now, so...

Given that it is a specific exception to the general rule, I'd say it's not an oversight:
Chapter 9: Playing the Game / Encounter Mode / Special Battles / Mounted Attacks wrote:

Source Core Rulebook pg. 478 2.0

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.

You occupy every square of your mount’s space for the purpose of making your attacks. If you were Medium and on a Large mount, you could attack a creature on one side of your mount, then attack on the opposite side with your next action. If you have a longer reach, the distance depends partly on the size of your mount. On a Medium or smaller mount, use your normal reach. On a Large or Huge mount, you can attack any square adjacent to the mount if you have 5- or 10-foot reach, or any square within 10 feet of the mount (including diagonally) if you have 15-foot reach.

Offhand, I'd guess the developers felt that threatening a 6x6 area by just getting on a horse was too good and threatening a 5x5 area from a 2x2 mount doesn't really fit on the grid, so they 'rounded down' to a 4x4 area: I don't know if this is really justified or not, but it seems very deliberate to me...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The case you can make to justify the lance is its flexibility. Two handed it is comparable to most polearms.(And I think it is the best Spear in core.) One handed it compares well to the longsword or what have you. Being able to do both has some occasional utility, and it can still net you reach when you're off the mount. The more runes you stick on a weapon, the more valuable it being adaptable becomes. It may combine especially well with "dropper" shields like the Forge Warden where they don't take many hits to break. Or if you get knocked out and get back up again, grabbing your lance with two hands is probably a better call than another action to grab your shield.

I don't think it is a very strong case though, and would rather use a bastard sword in such circumstances myself. Switching between having reach and not having reach is super wonky because you make different build choices if you're focused on attacks of opportunity.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Taja the Barbarian wrote:
Offhand, I'd guess the developers felt that threatening a 6x6 area by just getting on a horse was too good and threatening a 5x5 area from a 2x2 mount doesn't really fit on the grid, so they 'rounded down' to a 4x4 area: I don't know if this is really justified or not, but it seems very deliberate to me...

One consideration to make is that it's not a 5×5, 6×6, or 4×4 area that's involved. There's an entire third dimension that comes into play. The rider of a Large mount naturally occupies 4 vertical spaces that all exist in the first threatened territory of a Medium mount's rider's threatened territory and then threatens the next space above that which represents the Medium mount's rider's maximum reach. So in the same way that Small and Medium characters are abstracted down to using the same weapon values, Medium and Large mounts with riders both have a controlled territory that caps their maximum vertical reach at 15' (20' on corners for riders of Medium mounts due to the simplification of threatening diagonals.)

That means that with PC climbing speeds generally clocking in at between 10-15' per action and the base unit of speed for average primary movement modes being 25', an encounter against flying enemies or where climbing is a tactical option should typically play out the same way with reliable consistency. A Huge mount is the only way to consistently push up into that 20' range, but it still means your natural space and threatened territory are less than the value of a typical action used to move at a standard Speed.

If the rider of a Large mount had full reach with a lance, they'd threaten 25' out on the corners, or an entire action's worth of distance. They'd have notably more controlled space than the rider of a Huge mount (where it makes sense that you should really need a reach weapon just to even make attacks against creatures the mount is capable of reaching), and they'd have enough controlled territory to significantly change encounter balance dynamics using some pretty cheap and readily available character options in a way that other characters just wouldn't be able to replicate.

That being said, riders of Large mounts do get a bit screwed by a combination of several simplifications made to make gameplay more accessible, and a geometric quirk of Large creatures having an even number of occupied spaces with no central square while Small and Huge creatures have an odd number of occupied spaces with a distinct central square. Right now, the riders of Small and Huge mounts have the same total amount of controlled territory on a 3D grid, while the riders of Large mounts lose a wedge of controlled territory. If you gave the Large rider reach, they'd be too powerful, but as-is they aren't quite where you'd want them to be.

To get a better simulation that doesn't have encounter-breaking dynamics, you'd probably need to make two significant but relatively easy to implement adjustments:

1) Require Medium (or smaller) riders of Huge mounts to use a reach weapon so that you don't have the weirdness of reach being devalued as a trait while mounted.
2) Give the riders of Large mounts reach but require them to pick a single square of their mount's space to occupy and threaten from, and require them to use an action to change which of their mount's squares they occupy.

That would bring in several complicating factors and would mean that how you adjudicate mounted combat changes depending on the size of the mount, which isn't really stuff that works well for common options presented as part of a mass-market approach. But, it does solve the issue of mounted combat on a Large mount and the dynamics of the lance feeling a bit underwhelming, and it can do it without introducing new issues.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
Taja the Barbarian wrote:
Offhand, I'd guess the developers felt that threatening a 6x6 area by just getting on a horse was too good and threatening a 5x5 area from a 2x2 mount doesn't really fit on the grid, so they 'rounded down' to a 4x4 area: I don't know if this is really justified or not, but it seems very deliberate to me...
One consideration to make is that it's not a 5×5, 6×6, or 4×4 area that's involved. There's an entire third dimension that comes into play.

Thanks for responding.

a) Three dimensions is a concern but it can't really be the major one, as three dimensional combat is uncommon and not generally considered in the rest of the rules. Yes it does come up but mostly GMs handle it well enough. The bottom line is that we play on two dimensional table tops or screens, so we normally play 3D in a very simple way when we do it.

Size large has major disadvantages:

b) Combat density - that they take up the space of two size medium creatures in a front but only have the fire power and defences of one. In this balanced system they will always lose if space is a factor. The number gets worse if you consider 2 or 3 dimensions. It is really only mitigated but the fact that Fireball is a thing.

c) Flanking - its just much easier to flank a size Large target. There are more places to do it from.

d) Many adventures are entirely indoors. I'm talking about ceilings.

e) Yes Attack of Opportunity is a problem with large sizes. But Enlarge is a level 2 spell, and there are ancestries that do it, plus of course Giant Instinct Barbarians.

So this is not a mount problem, its an Attack of Opportunity problem as it interacts with larger sizes. I really don't see why mounts are being picked on here.

I agree its an issue, but how bad is it, as we only have one reaction per round (Yes Combat Reflexes and some level 20 feats)

To which my response is fix Attack of Opportunity by
f) offering other interesting alternatives to players so they take it less. Retributive strike is one at the moment. But there could be others. Cleave in particular could use redoing. (I'll make some suggestions in Homebrew)

g) stop adding it to monsters. We were promised a more free moving game. Some monsters have really good reactions. Please use more of them and less of AoO.

h) more feats like Mobility and Shielded Stride, especially on some common monsters.

i) put a penalty on AoO if you are using a reach weapon or when you are larger (but the fans will hate that as its the heart of several popular builds)

Finally
j) Could we also get an errata so that we aren't forced by the Mature Animal Companion feats to make our mounts larger than they are need to be for the characters to ride them? My Halfling who is riding his medium Camel companion at level 1 doesn''t actually want to be riding a large Camel.


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Even just looking at the 2D ground-based scenarios:

* bumping up to a 6x6 range when mounted is too much.
* dropping down to a 4x4 range when mounted is too little.
* trying to keep to a 5x5 range even when mounted may be too complicated.

No really good, easy answers here.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:


* bumping up to a 6x6 range when mounted is too much.

I mean, is it? I'm not really convinced that "Just have reach weapons work normally" is an unworkable solution.

Mounted combat is already pretty niche and it's not like there aren't already ways to do similar things in PF2.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Gortle wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Taja the Barbarian wrote:
Offhand, I'd guess the developers felt that threatening a 6x6 area by just getting on a horse was too good and threatening a 5x5 area from a 2x2 mount doesn't really fit on the grid, so they 'rounded down' to a 4x4 area: I don't know if this is really justified or not, but it seems very deliberate to me...
One consideration to make is that it's not a 5×5, 6×6, or 4×4 area that's involved. There's an entire third dimension that comes into play.

Thanks for responding.

a) Three dimensions is a concern but it can't really be the major one, as three dimensional combat is uncommon

This is entirely dependent on the table. I don't know that I've ever played a block of more than 4 sessions at any level range without someone climbing, flying, swimming, etc.

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and not generally considered in the rest of the rules.

Entirely untrue. In addition to the fact that there are multiple ancestries with climb, swim, or fly speeds available, skill feats like Rapid Mantel come into play as early as 2nd level, introducing distinct 3D dynamics. And that's before getting into the fact that there's over 150 monsters with fly speeds, starting as low as level 1.

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Yes it does come up but mostly GMs handle it well enough.

YMMV. Based on my personal experiences this comes off as the statement of a very experienced GM significantly overestimating the skills of newer GMs or the value of clear and consistent rules. Once you know how to fly, it's easy to underestimate the struggles of folks who are still learning how to walk.

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The bottom line is that we play on two dimensional table tops or screens, so we normally play 3D in a very simple way when we do it.

We do to, and we describe it in the CRB. It just happens to lead to this result.

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Size large has major disadvantages:

b) Combat density - that they take up the space of two size medium creatures in a front but only have the fire power and defences of one. In this balanced system they will always lose if space is a factor. The number gets worse if you consider 2 or 3 dimensions. It is really only mitigated but the fact that Fireball is a thing.

Conversely, Large mounts provide a huge advantage in that they occupy 8x as many squares as a Medium mount and can more effectively tank or block movement in a tactical environment. Even something as simple as Tumbling Through a creature's space becomes notably more difficult when that space is 8 blocks of difficult terrain occupied by two different creatures.

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c) Flanking - its just much easier to flank a size Large target. There are more places to do it from.

See above.

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d) Many adventures are entirely indoors. I'm talking about ceilings.

5-foot high ceilings are pretty rare, and if you have 10-foot-tall ceilings then everything I noted above in regards to combat density is doubly true.

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e) Yes Attack of Opportunity is a problem with large sizes. But Enlarge is a level 2 spell, and there are ancestries that do it, plus of course Giant Instinct Barbarians.

All of which involve significantly more character investment than cheap horses and a few skill feats, or even downtime spent looking for more exotic and powerful mounts. The closest comparison would be a scroll of enlarge against a riding horse; the riding horse costs costs 8 gp and lasts until it dies while enlarge costs 12 gp and lasts for 5 minutes. The horse gives you an always-on +1 circumstance bonus to AC against Medium and smaller enemies and can provide standard cover to your allies, and generally increases your movement speed by a lot, while enlarge gives you reach and makes you clumsy for the duration of the effect (so the enlarged character is easier to hit, easier to Tumble Through, more likely to fail saves against effects that do Hit Point damage, etc.

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So this is not a mount problem, its an Attack of Opportunity problem as it interacts with larger sizes. I really don't see why mounts are being picked on here.

They're not, you're just looking at the picture through a particular lens.

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I agree its an issue, but how bad is it, as we only have one reaction per round (Yes Combat Reflexes and some level 20 feats)

And that's exactly a benefit the rider of the Large mount has that the rider of the Medium mount doesn't (at least until 20th level). Once the rider of the Medium mount blows their reaction, their footprint on the map is no different than any other Medium character's. The rider of the Large mount can still provide cover, still gets his constant AC bonus, can still block hallways and doorways more effectively, so on and so forth. All for cheaper than the cost of a scroll of enlarge or even just free with the right location and skill feat.

And sure, some adventures and adventurers will be better able to capitalize on those advantages than others; it's a very big game. That's one of the reasons I suggested the house rules above. And I'm not responding to your points to say "you're wrong". You're not, because I 100% believe that your stated experience and assumptions are consistent with your groups and community.

But your table experience isn't the universal table experience, and in part, your experience is specifically created by the current rules environment. I've sat at many a PF1 table and even a few home games where the party composition was - oracadin, gunadin, zen archer or sohei, vivisectionist (until it was banned, and then only in home games where it was still pretty popular), [knife master or equivalent depending on venue], person-who-feels-bad-because-they-didn't-know-there-was-a-meta. There's already very little reason not to at least have a spare riding horse around just in case; they're dirt cheap, packed with benefits, and replaceable in most any settlement. If they were also the best way to control a 6x6x6 battle grid at level 1 using a fraction of the cash you'll pick up from a day of adventuring you'd be bringing in feel-bads (from "can you believe this guy didn't bring a horse" to "I wish these guys would stop ragging on me for not having a horse"), and quite possibly finding that what you believe to be true now suddenly becomes a completely different problem later.

If something isn't balanced against what a skilled and tactically savvy player can do with it, then it isn't actually balanced at all. Compound that with how extremely tight this system is and something being a bit too weak but with its own advantages is generally just much, much healthier than things that are "only a little bit" overpowered.


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A 30gp war horse is either a large part of a parties cash resources or from about level 5 dies in one hit. They probably also don't benefit from the nice dying rules that PCs and animal companions do CRB p459. Leaving its rider on the ground likely prone.

Riding horses are supposed to be frightened 4 and flee in battle, a savy GM would have them cause problems for the players. The abusive tactic you are describing should not be a problem.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Gortle wrote:

A 30gp war horse is either a large part of a parties cash resources or from about level 5 dies in one hit. They probably also don't benefit from the nice dying rules that PCs and animal companions do CRB p459. Leaving its rider on the ground likely prone.

Riding horses are supposed to be frightened 4 and flee in battle, a savy GM would have them cause problems for the players. The abusive tactic you are describing should not be a problem.

If you keep reading that section, you'll notice that they don't flee as long as you successfully Command an Animal using Nature (a very useful skill), which is actually easier to do if the animal is frightened since that lowers its Will DC. The only thing you have to do to keep the mount from fleeing is keep doing the thing you were going to do anyways, at a lower DC.

The guidance on adjudicating mounts also notes that "When the PCs are mounted, their enemies should focus most of their attacks on the PCs, not their mounts. Having foes target PCs’ mounts too often gets really annoying, so have the enemies remember who the real threat is!"

As well as- "If a mount is knocked out, the rider might be able to dismount without trouble if the mount was stationary, but if they were in motion, you should probably have the rider attempt a Reflex save. If they fail, the rider is thrown a short distance and falls prone. Setting a simple expert DC of 20 often works well for such checks."

So falling prone is only a concern if the mount is moving when it's killed (not relevant to AoEs or using the mount for battlefield control purposes). I think you're also wrong to characterize using a mount tactically as an abuse.

(All of this ignoring that the higher the level you go and the more downtime you have to play with, the more options you get in the form of things like bonded animals or stables of "disposable" mounts.)

So again, it all comes down to playstyle and relative system mastery. While the inherent issues might not be a problem for your table, they will be a problem for someone.

And of course, the rules aren't written for savvy GMs. A savvy GM can do whatever they want. The rules are written for the super-majority of other GMs who expect the system to handle things like encounter balance for them and who may not have much experience with crunchy RPGs.


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A bit of a tangent but this entire conversation is reminding me of the time when I found/realized that there's nothing in 1e's ruleset that prevents someone from forcefully dismounting someone from their mount, whether by grappling, bull rushing, or repositioning (theoretically also by tripping the mount but that's a bit more murky). No bonuses from being saddled, no class bonuses to CMD, nothing, it's just a "Oh, you thought you were safe? Well say hello to that happy thought being crushed."

This whole thing feels like the offensive version of that.


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Of course but now you are spending actions on it so there is a real cost to the players. Plus you have bought a skill. Nature is useful but not generally useful.

Further what has happened to the rest of the horses that the party is keeping? They will have panicked. They will have broken their restraints or hurt themselves trying. So there should not be spare horses around. The party has to go back to town to continue this tactic.

Guidance is just guidance. If the players are abusing anything too much then the GM has a responsibility to control it. GMs should absolutely be dealing with mounts if they are being abused. Thats one of the key roles of the GM. Its also not unreasonable to increase the DC of the Nature check based on the magnitude of the threat the horses face, rather than leave it based on the mount. What I would do as a GM which is have some of the Riding Horses panic and flee out of initiative in response to being attacked - on the justification that a panicked horse is not really controlled. Maybe even roll to see if the riding horse tramples someone as they run away. Then let the player roll to bring it under control on their turn.

You are never going to be able to protect a new GM from an experienced player who is intent on being abusive. The group as a whole has to do that. Its a cooperative game. I once had a game at a conference where a PC rogue was being obnoxious and stealing from everyone. The GM wasn't coping. So I pulled the pin from a grenade and left it wedged in my pocket (yes different system). The rogue obliged and the GM blew his hand off.

If you really still think there is a problem here then look at changing the falling off mount/mount dying rules.

Plus get rid of the Mounted Cover Bonus it is too good a bonus and reduces the value of using shields mounted. If the rider can reach from any square of the mounts space then they can also be attacked in it. Riders shouldn't be able to have their cake and eat it too. But your suggestion of doing the reverse and have the rider choose their square also works.

That's what Paizo should be doing rather than making lances pointless for human knights on horses. They are iconic. They need to be in the game and moderately effective.


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Wholly agree with Gortle here. You cannot just have a small character with a bigger reach than a medium one just because it MAY be overpowered to give more. The 3D thing is very much a non issue in most of the groups I played with (meaning to say it basically never was) and I am playing around non stop form literal day one.

Liberty's Edge

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Michael Sayre wrote:
Even something as simple as Tumbling Through a creature's space becomes notably more difficult when that space is 8 blocks of difficult terrain occupied by two different creatures.

Notably more difficult or impossible? Tumble through specifies that “you can try to move through the space of one enemy.” If the space is occupied by two enemies it isn’t “the space of one enemy.”

Quote:
The horse gives you an always-on +1 circumstance bonus to AC against Medium and smaller enemies[.]

What’s this?

Quote:
enlarge . . . makes you clumsy for the duration of the effect (so . . . more likely to fail saves against effects that do Hit Point damage, etc.

“[W]hile you’re riding a mount, you take a –2 circumstance penalty to Reflex saves while mounted” and Enlarge makes you clumsy 1, so in terms of reflex, Enlarge wins.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've been planning on using the "pick a square and use it for attack and defense" if my players ever decide to do mounted combat, and using the same rule for all larger mounts too.

The default rules are unusable, and fail the "look the players in the eye and stand by the rule" test. I don't use rules that I'm embarrassed by.

Shadow Lodge

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WatersLethe wrote:

I've been planning on using the "pick a square and use it for attack and defense" if my players ever decide to do mounted combat, and using the same rule for all larger mounts too.

The default rules are unusable, and fail the "look the players in the eye and stand by the rule" test. I don't use rules that I'm embarrassed by.

You may not like the RAW, but they aren't 'unusable' by any means...

As for the 'pick a square' idea, I think this creates issues with mounted archers / casters whose mount now blocks foes from occupying 3 adjacent squares: A huge mount would make ranged (or even just a reach weapon build) characters immune to melee foes who don't have reach...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Unusuable is too strong of a word.

But it's one of those janky little rules that will trip players up because it's so specific and makes a category of weapons (including what's supposed to be the mounted weapon) just inferior.

And for what? To keep someone with a specific animal companion from doing something that Giant Barbarians just do better anyways? Meh.


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Taja the Barbarian wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

I've been planning on using the "pick a square and use it for attack and defense" if my players ever decide to do mounted combat, and using the same rule for all larger mounts too.

The default rules are unusable, and fail the "look the players in the eye and stand by the rule" test. I don't use rules that I'm embarrassed by.

You may not like the RAW, but they aren't 'unusable' by any means...

Unusable, no. Embarassing yes. Would any player who knew the rule choose to

use a defective lance other than for pure role playing reasons? No.


Taja the Barbarian wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

I've been planning on using the "pick a square and use it for attack and defense" if my players ever decide to do mounted combat, and using the same rule for all larger mounts too.

The default rules are unusable, and fail the "look the players in the eye and stand by the rule" test. I don't use rules that I'm embarrassed by.

You may not like the RAW, but they aren't 'unusable' by any means...

As for the 'pick a square' idea, I think this creates issues with mounted archers / casters whose mount now blocks foes from occupying 3 adjacent squares: A huge mount would make ranged (or even just a reach weapon build) characters immune to melee foes who don't have reach...

They are abviously not unusable, just really really sad.


sorry for the double/necro posting but it appears that the new Knights of Lastwall book presents a new weapon called the warlance, wich is basically a lance with the addition of shove and parry but *without* reach.
I would say that the devs took a hint on this one about the lance being mostly sub par but I feel like the change was made in the wrong direction.
*sad lance noises intensify*

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