Help with animal companion plan


Advice


In generic terms, I want to play a small PC that rides an animal companion, but have a problem is with companion advancement. Hopefully someone can help me (a) make it work and (b) understand/not hate the reasoning behind it.

Why do companions have to get bigger when they mature? It makes this situation where either :

1 - you can't ride your companion at all until he gets bigger (at whatever level that's going to happen), which at least makes for (IMO) dumb character logic, or at worst, invalidates the character idea (I'm sickly and have problems with my legs and can't walk well, so I need to ride my dog. I guess I'll just walk around fine until 4th level...)

2 - you can ride your companion at the start, but soon it's too big, so you can't ride your companion a lot of the time, which leads to the same problems as above.

I get a mature animal may be too powerful for a 1st level companion, and giving it the young "template" makes sense in that regard, but the size shift part of it throws this wrench into the whole thing. Why not just do the numeric modifications but let the size stay the same?

Is there an option or rule I'm missing that would help me make this work? I don't want to have to start with one companion and switch to another when they "grow" (for continuity/ story), but it's the only way I see right now.

(Ideally, this would be for PFS use, so would need to be street legal.)

Thanks in advance


All companions meant to be ridden have the mount ability.

This doesn't mean that a character won't be able to ride a companion that has no mount ability, but rather that they might end up doing so later in the game.

For example, a lvl 1 ranger or druid has access to companions.

If you get one with the mount ability, you'll be able to ride it ( most of them have the possibility to be either large or medium, making them appropriate for each character), but if you choose a non mount character ( usually a companion meant for combat rather than a mount), you might end up not being able to ride it until the become mature companions.

Also, keep in mind that if they have the mount ability the are strength based ( no finesse attacks)

This means they will end up with pretty bad reflex saves and armor.

And that's it.

If the character wants to start with a mount ( if the class gives them the possibility) they can do so.

If the character demands to use a non mount companion as mount by lvl 1, if they are small ancestey they might end up able to do so ( if the creature is medium size), but I think this won't be possible for medium size ancestries.

Companions are currently a mess ( STR based ones are useless) and there's diaparity between small and medium ancestries ( as mentioned before). But it's no big deal in the end ( any lvl 4 character can already have a mature companion that they can ride).

The best you can do is, IMO, to talk with your DM, making the one you'd like yo get by the time they become mature companion a skin for a companion with the mount trait.

For example, a lvl 1 ranger will have a a horse companion that is just a wolf or anything else. You will just use the horse stats, without not the mount ability, until your wolf will be medium or large ( depends whether you are small or large ancestry) and then you'll just swap with it.

But for pfs I think you have to stick with the rules. Best you can do is going with a small ancestry and swap companion by lvl 4 with the one you want.


Unless you mean it's too big for some very tight corridors, there's actually nothing preventing you from riding a bigger mount. Contrary to 1e, in 2e, the mount action only states that the creature must be "at least one size larger" than the rider, so a small character can ride a large creature.

All of the mount companions start out as either medium or large, and some let you pick which one (like horses, so you can have a medium pony), so if you pick the more "expected" riding companions, it works. Sadly, "riding dogs" have been left out of this list, however (I just realized that as I was typing out my response and checking my information).

Also, unless you get a megafauna companion, they never get bigger than large, so reach from atop the mount should not become a problem for anyone.

I do wish the size increase for small and medium companions could be optional, though, since it does make some animal companions seem absolutely oversized for what they're supposed to be. Still, mechanically, it should be fine so long as your gm doesn't decide to annoy you with 1 square wide corridors.


JackieLane wrote:
so long as your gm doesn't decide to annoy you with 1 square wide corridors.

Like Abomination Vaults.


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Squeeze puts a note saying that "many tight spaces are difficult terrain that you can move through more quickly and without a check.". Usually in APs corridors and small passagens for 1 size lower are just considered difficult terrain.

So you can use you large creature to walk through 1 square corridor only considering it a difficult terrain and also if smaller like a "space barely fitting your shoulders" you can use Squeeze activity.

I usually rule like this:

  • A medium creature try to pass through a small square is a difficult terrain. Try to pass through a tiny square is greater difficult terrain, smaller requires squeeze.
  • A large creature try to pass through a medium square is a difficult terrain. Try to pass through a small square is greater difficult terrain, smaller requires squeeze (usually DC 15 for tiny).
  • A huge creature try to pass through a large square is a difficult terrain. Try to pass through a medium square is greater difficult terrain, smaller requires squeeze (usually DC 15 for small and DC 30 for tiny).
  • A gargantuan creature try to pass through a huge square is a difficult terrain. Try to pass through a large square is greater difficult terrain, smaller requires squeeze (usually DC 15 for medium and DC 30 for small and is impossible to pass through tiny).

  • Liberty's Edge

    YuriP wrote:
    I usually rule like this:

    I’ve not seen squeezing rules delineated quite like this, and I hadn’t really integrated greater difficult terrain into the thought process, but this all makes perfect sense.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Luke Styer wrote:
    YuriP wrote:
    I usually rule like this:
    I’ve not seen squeezing rules delineated quite like this, and I hadn’t really integrated greater difficult terrain into the thought process, but this all makes perfect sense.

    It is an fair interpretation. Just don't get the understanding that squeezing is in the rules like this. Because it is just not. The rules are quite empty in this area. Which for me means that I just don't take these feats at all, as I can't see the value. It is all up to the GM anyway. Twice a vague and undefined number is still vague and undefined. The GM normally ends up with the same ruling anyway.

    Liberty's Edge

    Gortle wrote:
    It is a fair interpretation. Just don't get the understanding that squeezing is in the rules like this. Because it is just not. The rules are quite empty in this area.

    For sure. Jason Bulmahn has given a little insight into the squeezing rules, that sort of track to what YuriP said above, but, yes, its basically a blank spot in the rules.


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    HumbleGamer wrote:

    All companions meant to be ridden have the mount ability.

    This doesn't mean that a character won't be able to ride a companion that has no mount ability, but rather that they might end up doing so later in the game.

    For example, a lvl 1 ranger or druid has access to companions.

    If you get one with the mount ability, you'll be able to ride it ( most of them have the possibility to be either large or medium, making them appropriate for each character), but if you choose a non mount character ( usually a companion meant for combat rather than a mount), you might end up not being able to ride it until the become mature companions.

    Also, keep in mind that if they have the mount ability the are strength based ( no finesse attacks)

    This means they will end up with pretty bad reflex saves and armor.

    And that's it.

    If the character wants to start with a mount ( if the class gives them the possibility) they can do so.

    If the character demands to use a non mount companion as mount by lvl 1, if they are small ancestey they might end up able to do so ( if the creature is medium size), but I think this won't be possible for medium size ancestries.

    Companions are currently a mess ( STR based ones are useless) and there's diaparity between small and medium ancestries ( as mentioned before). But it's no big deal in the end ( any lvl 4 character can already have a mature companion that they can ride).

    The best you can do is, IMO, to talk with your DM, making the one you'd like yo get by the time they become mature companion a skin for a companion with the mount trait.

    For example, a lvl 1 ranger will have a a horse companion that is just a wolf or anything else. You will just use the horse stats, without not the mount ability, until your wolf will be medium or large ( depends whether you are small or large ancestry) and then you'll just swap with it.

    But for pfs I think you have to stick with the rules. Best you can do is going with a small ancestry and swap companion by lvl 4 with the one you want.

    Humble Gamer, while you're not exactly wrong, you're not exactly right here either. Or at least your statements are misleading in my opinion.

    The mount trait only means that your companion can use their support ability (while moving) and use movement types other than normal land movement. It's supposed to mean that "this animal is especially suited to being ridden". Not much else. The only restriction on what can be a mount is that the companion is one size larger than you. Animal companions basically come either large or medium, so unless your character is medium and you choose a medium companion you can ride it.

    OP, if your interested in having a disabled character there are items that can let you adventure without too much difficulty without needing to ride around on a companion.

    If you're interested in playing a mounted (small) character than you simply have to accept that eventually your animal companion will become large. It's intentionally put into the game as a power balance. All other things being equal, for animal companions getting larger is usually a negative thing and is meant to counter balance the benefits you gain.


    Claxon wrote:
    The mount trait only means that your companion can use their support ability (while moving) and use movement types other than normal land movement. It's supposed to mean that "this animal is especially suited to being ridden". Not much else. The only restriction on what can be a mount is that the companion is one size larger than you. Animal companions basically come either large or medium, so unless your character is medium and you choose a medium companion you can ride it.

    Thank you very much Claxon for the correction!

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