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D&D 3E
PCs as mounts (...not like that!) 
25th-Apr-2005 09:32 pm
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Hokay... so: Here's an interesting situation that we've come up with during character creation. I rolled a 5 for one of my new bard's attributes... I couldn't resist; I made him a halfling, such that he now has a -4 to strength. He is evidently a halfling with dwarfism, weighing in at about 12 pounds, little over a foot high. Yes. Ironic. But the rules start to get ambiguous...

He can't move quickly, so I want the bard to be riding either on the shoulders or the head of his barbarian cohort, firing crossbow bolts from there. I figured the closest thing to this would be riding a nonstandard mount (though obviously not steering it). This is fine, according to the Ride skill: a DC 5 to stay onboard, at a -5 penalty for a nonstandard mount, if the barbarian PC does anything erratic.

But what counts as erratic? Any time the barbarian attacks? And do the halfling and the barbarian act together? If the barbarian fails a reflex save versus a spell, for instance, does the halfling automatically fail also?

These are just the questions that come up off the top of my head; hopefully you can also raise some other points that might help us figure out how to do this fairly. And just to note: I understand some of you, as DMs, wouldn't even allow this. But my DM thinks it's a quirky idea, so that's a nonissue for now. :P
Comments 
26th-Apr-2005 05:00 am (UTC)
I would say that attacking is not erratic, though the barbarian receiving a critical hit or using rage would be.
26th-Apr-2005 05:43 am (UTC)
-4 to strength? Where is that from? In the D&D I play, halflings get -2 to Strength, not -4. Or do you mean he has a strength of 3, which imposes a -4 penalty on stuff?

Anyway, to get to your questions:

See the previous comment re: erratic stuff. Also, I'd say pretty much anything that a normal mount does to count as "doing something erratic" should be the same for the barbarian PC.

I'd say that the barb and the halfling do not necessarily act together, though you might want to play it that way for simplicity.

If the barbarian fails a save, that doesn't affect the halfling. He could, for example, jump off the barbarian's back and roll away in order to dodge a fireball.

And for the record, I'd allow and encourage this kind of thing in my campaign. It sounds like a fun idea that would add a little something extra to the game :)
26th-Apr-2005 05:49 am (UTC)
"-4 to strength? Where is that from? In the D&D I play, halflings get -2 to Strength, not -4. Or do you mean he has a strength of 3, which imposes a -4 penalty on stuff?"

Possibly -2 Str for being a Halfling, and another -2 for being a twelve pound Halfling.
26th-Apr-2005 05:55 am (UTC)
::lol:: Actually, the 12 pounds came after I saw his final Str score. To clarify, I rolled a 5, and then -2 for halflings, so 3 (-4 modifier). He's going to be a very angry bard about it too; all his inspire abilities will manifest as well-formed curses. But that's beside the point. ^_^
26th-Apr-2005 05:58 am (UTC)
*comprehension dawns*
26th-Apr-2005 06:17 am (UTC)
*comprehension crashes into the sun*

:O
26th-Apr-2005 06:25 am (UTC)
doh. I'm really gonna get it for that one. That's three times this week!
26th-Apr-2005 06:38 am (UTC)
According to the ol' rulebooks, I believe the common convention is to reroll anything below a 6 for a PC. PC's are supposed to be "heroic," and a cut above the rest. Hence, reroll scores that are t3h suck.

Granted, you don't have to use that convention, but, I just thought I'd bring it up...
26th-Apr-2005 09:52 am (UTC)
As far as I recall, you reroll if you have no stat above 11, or a total modifier of 0 or lower.
26th-Apr-2005 11:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but sometimes a major flaw can make for a great personality. My last character had a 5 Int. He had a Wis of 12 or 13, so he didn't always do dumb things, but wasn't very good at the puzzles. We used to joke that he'd play rock-scissors-paper and always pick rock.. every.. single.. time. =)
27th-Apr-2005 12:14 am (UTC)
I thought it was a total of +3. Though I'm playing a character with a net +2 right now, but an 18 in Cha.
26th-Apr-2005 05:56 am (UTC)
That would also make sense, but it's not in any rulebook that I've ever seen.

Not that it matters that much; house rules are the mother's milk of the game.
26th-Apr-2005 10:29 am (UTC) - Halfling
Sounds more like a Quarterling! ;p
26th-Apr-2005 06:25 am (UTC)
Now I hate to bring this up but can a 12 pound *anything* really shoot a crossbow? o_0

Off that note and back to the original topic...
Seeing as you don't have to 'lead' this particular mount (aka tell it where to go like what a horse would) I would figure that would a least ease up a little on the difficulty. That would leave concentraiting to holding onto the mount and aiming/shooting for the most part.

As was said, this is all pretty much getting into house rule territory so anything pretty much goes at the whim of the DM. I also would like to lean toward the idea someone put forward about regular fighting not being 'erratic' movement while something that might be surprising/fairly sudden would.

As for the reflex spell, I guess it would depend on what was the result. If the barbarian saves, in most cases the halfling will probably not have to do anything. If the barbarian fails a reflex save and let's say ends up getting tripped up, the halfling would probably have to roll to see if he realizes what's going on and then roll to see if he reacts quickly enough to jump off/avoid going down with the barbarian. I think much of it would depend on what happens with the barbarian. (In the case of spells, think about what would happen if the barbarian was a normal horse/pony.)
26th-Apr-2005 06:37 am (UTC)
I've just had a very silly idea related to this; if your halfling took the mounted combat feat would he be able to replace the barbarians AC with his ride check???

I'd think combat would count as erratic, it's not as static as rules make it seem, but seeing as your "mount" is particularly smart perhaps they could take a small penalty to attack and AC in order to be careful to keep you onboard.

In my current, rather mad, game the pseudodragon cleric frequently rides the paladin; we've yet to decide if the paladin has a "Predator" plasma-caster or if the cleric has a battlemech:>

26th-Apr-2005 06:52 am (UTC)
Might as well call them Master Blaster while you're at it.
26th-Apr-2005 12:35 pm (UTC)
You know, that's just what I was thinking...
26th-Apr-2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
ditto
26th-Apr-2005 03:59 pm (UTC)
*falls over laughing*
26th-Apr-2005 08:42 am (UTC)
RaW say that anything at least one size category above with enough strength to hold the rider can be a mount. Sounds like the barb is acting of his own accord with little more than verbal instructions, so the halfling would just have to roll to stay on, not to guide him. Halfling would have to delay al his action to go right after the barb moves, but he is a crossbowman, so that shouldn't be a problem. Should the barb get into melee the halfling will still incur AoO though. I'd rule against the halfling replacing the barb's AC with his ride check, unless the barb is giving up his choice of movement. Also, Races of Stone has a sidebar about riding a raging mount(gnomish dire badgers), but that's just a variant rule and isn't necessary to use.
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