Ride

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Description

Ability Score Used: Dexterity
Usable Untrained? Yes
Armor Check Penalty Applies? Yes

The ride skill allows a character to control a mount in or out of combat. It does not apply to skill checks made to move under your own power, such as innate flight, which is the domain of the Movement skill, nor does it apply to the piloting or operation of vehicles (even those propelled by draft animals) which is the domain of Piloting.

Most typical riding actions don't require ride checks: you can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount from a mount without a problem. Riding long distances over roads or level terrain require no checks. However, quite a few actions are so challenging that they do require checks. The most common of these are combat, and doing challenging things both during and out of combat.

You can only ride a mount that is at least one size category larger than your current size. If you grow too large to obey this rule, you are forced to dismount as an immediate action. When you dismount, place yourself as a separate figure on the board in any available space adjacent to your mount. If there is no available space, you dismount anyway and suffer the consequences of a forced dismount (see Mitigate Forced Dismount Damage below).

While mounted, you are considered to be merged into the upper spaces of your mount. Choose which space or spaces you are occupying at the start of each encounter. You may change your space within your mount by spending a move action to re-designate your space. You are not considered to be squeezing, and neither is your mount.

Once you have chosen your space within the space of your mount, this is the space you now occupy, and all your attacks are calculated as coming from that space. For example, if you are size medium and riding a size large creature, you choose one of the four 'uppermost' spaces of the large creature, and that is the square from which all your attacks are made. Note that if you have a very large mount, it may be so large that you cannot make attacks that reach the ground. The Cavalry Whip is designed to remedy this issue.

If there is more than one creature riding a single mount, each chooses their space in the upper surface. In theory, up to four small or medium creatures can ride a single large creature, nine can ride a huge creature, etc. Referees are allowed to lower this theoretical maximum to "what makes sense." A size titanic dragon may theoretically fit thirty six size medium creatures, but it makes sense that only eight or nine could fit single-file along it's sinuous spine. Similarly, more than two people on a size large horse would require squeezing, but four could fit on the wide shell of a size large turtle. All odd cases are adjudicated by the referee, such as howdah towers, or large fighting platforms suspended beneath Rocs. Honestly, Rocs with castles tied to their bellies are just too cool not to allow.

As a free action, up to once per round, you can move up to 5 feet to a different square within the uppermost surface of your mount, assuming that the square you are moving into is not already occupied by another rider. This movement does not count against your or your mount's movement for the round.

If your mount is at least two size categories larger than enemies present in the encounter, you and your mount are subject to the Clamber rules, but may also make use of the Stepover rules.

If you are forcibly dismounted from the mount, it rolls an initiative roll and begins to take actions on its own. The GM plays the loose mount as an NPC, and works with it accordingly. Non-combat trained horses and other domesticated creatures tend to flee combat if uncontrolled, while monsters will frequently act in ways they feel best for themselves, which can... complicate things. Combat trained mounts may stay in place if uncontrolled, but will take actions to preserve their life.

Fast Mount / Dismount

Typically, mounting or dismounting on a mount is a move action that does not require a skill check. However, this can be sped up to a swift action by a skilled rider.

This skill check must be made any time you wish to mount or dismount from your mount more quickly than a move action, even if you have already made a ride check this round.

Action Required:

Swift action

DC of Check:

20 + double the mount's CR

Modifiers to Check
  • Not Combat Trained: If the mount is not combat trained, the DC is increased by +15.
  • Fatigued: If the mount is fatigued, the DC is increased by +20.
  • Bareback: If the mount does not have a saddle, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Military Saddle: If the mount has a military saddle, the DC is reduced by -2.
  • While Moving: If you attempt to mount or dismount from a mount which is moving, the target DC is increased by +5 per 10 feet of the mount's total movement this round.
  • Non-Provoking: If you attempt to mount or dismount from your mount without provoking attacks of opportunity, the target DC is increased by +20.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 1 ally). Assisting ally must already be mounted on your mount.

Results of Success

You quickly mount up onto the mount, or dismount from the mount.

Consequences of Failure

You are unable to mount or dismount from the mount as a swift action.

Retry Allowed?

You may try again next round. You may not attempt a swift mount / dismount more than once per round.

Provokes AOO?

Yes (unless you included the non-provoking modifier in your check).

Mounted Combat

During combat, you may employ your mount to grant you several advantages, if you make a successful mounted combat check each round:
  • You can use your own move actions to use the mount's move speed(s) in lieu of your own.
  • If your mount is at least one size category larger than your enemies, you gain a +1 bonus to melee attack rolls for having higher ground.
  • You deal bonus weapon damage equal to your mount's CR with all attacks.

You only need to make a single mounted combat check each round, regardless of whether you are making a full attack while mounted, moving and then attacking, or some other combination of moving and attacking. Note, however, that other special ride maneuvers, such as using your mount for cover, will require separate ride checks to resolve.

While mounted, the rider may use the mount's movement abilities to move around the battlefield, but doing so uses the rider's move action for the round. If the mount moves, full-attack actions are not possible, although you can direct the mount to take a five-foot step and still make a full attack action, as normal.

Riding a mount in combat often gives a +1 bonus to melee attack rolls for being on higher ground than your foe (assuming your foe is at least one size category smaller than the size of your mount).

Mounts cannot attack on their own, even if combat-trained. Instead, combat trained mounts provide bonus damage to each of the rider's attacks, equal to the mount's CR.

Mounts are always counted as allies for purposes of receiving benefits from class abilities, spells and other powers which grant benefits to "all allies".

Ranged attacks made while mounted take no penalties if the mount is stationary, but they take a -5 penalty if the mount moves, or a -10 penalty if the mount runs. You cannot make a melee attack from a mount which is moving unless you have the Ride-By Attack feat.

Action Required:

Varies, but generally matches the action types for normal combat (e.g. move action to use mount's movement, standard action to make a standard attack, full attack action to make a full attack).

DC of Check:

5 + double the mount's CR

Modifiers to Check
  • Not Combat Trained: If the mount is not combat trained, the DC is increased by +15.
  • Fatigued: If the mount is fatigued, the DC is increased by +20.
  • Bareback: If the mount does not have a saddle, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Military Saddle: If the mount has a military saddle, the DC is reduced by -2.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 1 ally). Assisting ally must also be mounted on your mount.

Results of Success

You are able to gain the benefits of the mount and successfully coax it into complying with your commands this round. You gain bonus weapon damage equal to the mount's CR, and may make use of the mount's movement speeds. If the mount is at least one size category larger than your enemies, you gain a +1 bonus to melee attack rolls for having higher ground.

You must make another mounted combat check at the start of each round of combat in which you are still mounted, and wish to employ the benefits of your mount.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by 4 or less, you are unable to get the mount to comply with your wishes this round. You gain no bonus weapon damage, and you can only move at half the speed of your mount. If your mount has a flight speed, you may not ascend, but you can descend or maintain your current elevation. If you make a melee attack, you still gain the higher ground bonus if your mount is at least one size category larger than your target.

If you fail by 5 or more, you are forcibly dismounted (see Mitigate Forced Dismount Damage)

Retry Allowed?

No. You must wait until next round to try again.

Provokes AOO?

The ride check does not provoke, but your mount's movement (or other actions) can provoke, per the normal attack of opportunity rules.

Stay In Saddle

Any time your mount suffers damage greater than or equal to 10% of its total health, or is afflicted with a status condition of any kind, you must make a skill check to stay in the saddle, as it bucks and rears unexpectedly.

In addition, you may attempt the stay in saddle skill use in reaction to an effect which attempts to forcibly dismount you from your mount, such as being knocked Prone or subjected to forced movement. If your mount is knocked prone, you are also knocked prone, and you both must resolve the outcome of that (the prone condition may have varying effects, if the mount is using an unusual movement type).

Even if you successfully stay in the saddle after being knocked prone, you are still prone and must clear the condition normally. The same is true for any other condition — you retain your seat on your mount, but the condition must still be remedied.

Action Required:

Immediate action

DC of Check:

10 + double the mount's CR

Modifiers to Check
  • Not Combat Trained: If the mount is not combat trained, the DC is increased by +15.
  • Bareback: If the mount does not have a saddle, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Military Saddle: If the mount has a military saddle, the DC is reduced by -2.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You are able to prevent yourself from being forcibly dismounted.

Consequences of Failure

You are Forcibly Dismounted

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

No

Mitigate Forced Dismount Damage

When you are forcibly dismounted, you take damage based on how fast the mount is going at the time, or the distance to the ground from your position on the mount, whichever is greater. Because of the way diagonal movement works in Epic Path, if you fall 30 feet while also moving forward 30 feet, the total distance traveled is still 30 feet (Pythagoras be damned; we're playing a game here). The damage dealt by forcible dismount is identical to the damage dealt by the falling damage and collision damage rules — namely, you take 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet of distance traveled.

Note that distance traveled is the total speed that the mount is planning to move this round, not the amount moved up to the point the dismount may have occurred. Getting knocked off of a mount moving at a full run can be quite deadly.

Any time you are forcibly dismounted from your mount, you may spend an immediate action to attempt to mitigate the damage caused by falling off your fast-moving conveyance.

Action Required:

Immediate action

DC of Check:

15 + double the mount's CR

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

The first 20 feet (2d6) of damage you suffer from being dismounted are ignored. In addition, for each 5 by which you exceed the target DC, you alter 1d6 of the remaining damage to become Non-Lethal Damage. If you take no lethal damage from the collision, you are not knocked Prone. (Conversely, if you take any lethal damage, you are knocked prone.)

Consequences of Failure

You are unable to mitigate the damage from being forcibly dismounted. If you take any lethal damage (after DR or other defenses), you are also rendered Prone in the space you were dismounted.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

No

Use Mount For Cover

You can drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as cover, granting you a +4 bonus to your AC versus attacks which target you without including your mount. You cannot attack or cast spells while using your mount as cover.

You may expend a move action during your turn to recover to a normal riding position. Doing so does not require a ride check, but ends the AC bonus from cover.

Action Required:

Immediate action

DC of Check:

15 + double the mount's CR

Modifiers to Check
  • Not Combat Trained: If the mount is not combat trained, the DC is increased by +15.
  • Bareback: If the mount does not have a saddle, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Military Saddle: If the mount has a military saddle, the DC is reduced by -5.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

No

Results of Success

You gain a +4 cover bonus to AC versus any attacks which target you but do not include your mount, until such time as you spend a move action to move back into a normal riding position.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by 4 or less, you do not gain the cover benefit, but may otherwise continue to act normally.

If you fail by 5 or more, you are shifted out of position, and must use a move action to recover back to a normal riding position.

Retry Allowed?

Yes

Provokes AOO?

No

Mounted Maneuvers

Mounted maneuvers covers nearly all of the other possible skill-like abilities that a mount might attempt, if given the order to do so by a rider. Mounted maneuvers cannot include actions which cause damage to another creature (that is the domain of the mounted combat skill use), such as attempting a combat maneuver against an enemy. However, you can perform a combat maneuver against an unattended object (such as sundering a door), if the GM allows it.

Mounted maneuvers can also be used to order your mount to leap over obstacles, cross difficult terrain, cross narrow ledges, or other potentially risky actions which the mount would not normally do without coaxing. Doing so carries risk for both you and your mount, however.

Mounted maneuvers are limited by the physiology of your mount. That is, a horse can't turn the knob on a door to open it.

This skill use is resolved as a ride check made by you to represent the appropriate skill use (or maneuver offense) of your mount. The DC can vary wildly, but is generally covered by other skill uses of other skills.

Action Required:

Same as the action for the skill check or maneuver being attempted.

DC of Check:

Same as the DC for a player character attempting a skill check. Often, this will be one of the Acrobatics skill uses, such as Long Jump. While the DC is based on another skill (e.g. Acrobatics), you resolve it on behalf of your mount as a ride check.

Modifiers to Check
  • Not Combat Trained: If the mount is not combat trained, the DC is increased by +15.
  • Bareback: If the mount does not have a saddle, the DC is increased by +5.
  • Military Saddle: If the mount has a military saddle, the DC is reduced by -5.
  • High Speed Jumping: If the action being attempted is a High Jump or Long Jump, your mount's higher Walk speed reduces the DC by -4 per 10 feet of speed above 30 feet.
Take 10? / Take 20?

No

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 1 ally). Assisting ally must also be mounted on your mount.

Results of Success

You goad your mount into performing the required maneuver. In some cases, even with a success, the mount may take damage from the action (such as smashing through a barrier, or jumping over a raging bonfire), at the GM's discretion. A success which exceeds the DC by 5 or more removes all possibility of incidental damage.

Consequences of Failure

If you fail by 4 or less, the mount simply fails to comply with your command, wasting the action.

If you fail by 5 or more, your mount attempts the requested action, but fails it. If the requested action carried risk (such as leaping over a chasm), both you and your mount resolve it as though you both failed the action. This can result in severe injury or even death, if you foolishly attempted something truly reckless.

Retry Allowed?

No

Provokes AOO?

The ride check does not provoke, but your mount's movement (or other actions) can provoke, per the normal attack of opportunity rules.

Spur Mount

You can spur your mount to greater speed as part of a move action. A successful ride check increases the base speed of all of the mount's movement types by 10 feet for 1 round but deals 1d3 points of damage to the creature, which cannot be mitigated by any defenses the mount might have (DR, etc.). You can use this ability every round, but the mount becomes fatigued after it takes spur damage equal to its challenge rating (CR). This ability cannot be used on a fatigued mount.
Action Required:

Part of a move action

DC of Check:

15 + double the mount's CR

Modifiers to Check

-

Take 10? / Take 20?

You can take 10 (outside of combat only), but you cannot take 20.

Allows Assists?

Yes (up to 1 ally). Assisting ally must also be mounted on your mount.

Results of Success

Each of your mount's movement types have their base speed increased by 10 feet until the start of your next turn. Your mount suffers 1d3 points of spur damage, which cannot be mitigated by any defenses the mount might have (DR, etc.).

Consequences of Failure

Your mount's speed is not increased. Your mount still suffers 1d3 points of spur damage, which cannot be mitigated by any defenses the mount might have (DR, etc.).

Retry Allowed?

You may only attempt this skill use once per round.

Provokes AOO?

No