Dire Destiny - Mounted Combat
The following rules are changes or clarifications to mounted combat. They're based around the publication The Very Last Book About Mounted Combat by Dire Destiny! A big thanks to the author for his work, and be sure and check out the publication. He has been kind enough to give us his blessing to reshare some of this great material.
While we do not use the full ruleset, we do rely on an important section of them to make mounted combat easier and work more smoothly. This section is outlined, below.
As with all new things, these rules are subject to adaption and change over time. For general usage, assume these abilities only work when actively mounted. That is the purpose of them, after all.
Trained versus Untrained Mounts: Horses, ponies, and riding dogs can serve readily as combat steeds. Mounts that do not possess combat training (see the Handle Animal skill in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook) are frightened by combat. If you don't dismount, you must make a DC 20 Ride check each round as a move action to control such a mount. If you succeed, you can perform a standard action after the move action. If you fail, the move action becomes a full-round action, and you can't do anything else until your next turn.
This check is only necessary when the mount is within 15' of any creatures engaged in melee or has taken a ranged attack within the last round. If you so chose, instead of forfeiting your standard action, on a failed check the animal moves directly away from the nearest combatants at its base speed before your standard action is taken.
Initiative: Your mount acts on your initiative count as you direct it. You use its movement speed on the field.
Shared Save: It is assumed that rider and mount generally act together. For general usage, assume that rider and mount share a single Reflex save (whichever is highest). This also reduces the number of rolls required in combat.
Adjacent: The rider and mount count as being adjacent to one another for the purposes of the Aid Another combat action, as well as any Teamwork Feats that both rider and mount possess.
Shared Maneuvers: For the purposes of combat maneuvers and reducing headaches, assume the rider and mount share a single Combat Maneuver Bonus and a single Combat Maneuver Defense. Compare her CMB and CMD to that of her mount and use the higher value for each.
Any stability bonuses against Trip and Bull Rush that the mount has due to being four-legged are applied to the combined CMD, and do not stack with any racial stability bonuses that the rider possesses.
This ability may only be used when actively riding a combat-trained mount. Non combat-trained mounts are incapable of such mobility and response and tend to be terrified of combat. The rider will spend more time trying to control such a beast than doing anything productive.
Charging: Mount and rider must charge together. Both gain the bonuses and penalties associated with a charge. This otherwise follows the rules for charging. Note that if the mount can't reach the creature at the end of a charge (usually because the rider is using a lance) then the mount does not get an attack if it does not possess the needed reach.
Ranged Weapons: You can use ranged weapons while your mount is taking a double move, but at a -4 penalty on the attack roll. You can use ranged weapons while your mount is running (quadruple speed) at a -8 penalty. In either case, you make the attack roll when your mount has completed half its movement. You can make a full attack with a ranged weapon while your mount is moving. Likewise, you can take move actions normally.
If your mount makes a single move at its base speed, there is no penalty for shooting. The Mounted Archery feat reduces the penalties for shooting while moving faster. Characters possessing the Shot on the Run feat may split up their full ranged attack routine so that each shot occurs at a different point during the mount's movement.
Casting Spells: You can cast a spell normally if your mount moves up to a normal move (its base speed) either before or after you cast. If you have your mount move both before and after you cast a spell, then you're casting the spell while the mount is moving, and you have to make a concentration check due to the vigorous motion (DC 10 + spell level) or lose the spell. If the mount is running (quadruple speed), you can cast a spell when your mount has moved up to twice its speed, but your concentration check is more difficult due to the violent motion (DC 15 + spell level).
Higher Ground: A mount counts as higher ground when larger than the creature being attacked. For example, a medium creature on a large mount counts as on higher ground versus another medium or a small creature, but not against a large.
If Your Mount Falls in Battle: If your mount falls, you have to succeed on a DC 15 Ride check to make a soft fall and take no damage. If the check fails, you take 1d6 points of damage.
If You Are Dropped: If you are knocked unconscious, you have a 50% chance to stay in the saddle (75% if you're in a military saddle). Otherwise you fall and take 1d6 points of damage. Without you to guide it, your mount avoids combat.
A rider may be pulled down off their mount using either a Drag or Dirty Trick combat maneuver. The rider may either use their normal CMD or 10+their Ride Skill bonus, whichever is higher. A saddle adds a +2 defensive bonus against this maneuver, and a military saddle adds a +4 defensive bonus.
Readying a Weapon against a Charge: You can ready weapons with the brace feature, setting them to receive charges. A readied weapon of this type deals double damage if you score a hit with it against a charging character.
The Ride Skill
Skill Checks: The Ride skill replaces Handle Animal when used to control a mount. However, Handle Animal is required to train a mount and similar creatures.
- In addition to the uses outlined in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, a character can also use her Ride Skill in place of certain other skills when she is mounted on her steed. This lets there be one skill check instead of two.
- Acrobatics: when the rider is guiding her mount along a narrow path or ledge, when directing her mount to jump, or when attempting to avoid attacks of opportunity when guiding her mount through threatened spaces.
- Athletics (Climbing):when the rider is guiding her mount over obstacles or up difficult inclines. The GM is the final arbiter of how difficult a climb the mount may attempt.
- Escape Artist: when attempting to break a grapple involving both rider and mount, or when the rider is guiding her mount through a tight space. Make a single roll that affects both rider and mount.
- Entertain: to entertain an audience as though she was using the Perform skill. In such a case, her "act" encompasses dressage and show jumping. Rider and mount require a large open area to create such a performance.