When it comes to mounts, familiars, and minions, who gets to control them at your table, the player or the GM?
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  1. #1
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    When it comes to mounts, familiars, and minions, who gets to control them at your table, the player or the GM?

    My table seems to be a mix. As a chain-lock, my imp familiar is more or less mine to command in battle. Out of combat, however, he seems to have a mind of his own. Some fun stories about the li'l guy over here.

    I am curious about how the rest of you guys handle it though.
    When it comes to mounts, familiars, and minions, who gets to control them at your table, the player or the GM?

  2. #2
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    It is situational. When our paladin is mounted she controls her warhorse, when dismounted I do. Men at arms can be given orders and they will follow them to the best of their ability so long as the orders are clear and not suicidal. They will take the safest path to accomplish a given task.

  3. #3
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    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)



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    For the most part the player controls the critter, I only intervene in extreme situations. This is particularly for creatures that are "special" such as a paladins steed since they the paladin has "an instinctive bond with it that allows you to fight as a seamless unit". Regular animals can get spooked, although it's rare for trained war animals.
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  4. #4
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    If a spell such as Find Familiar or Animate Dead, or a feature such as the Beast Masterís Rangerís Companion or the mounted combat rules allows a player to control another creature in combat, that spell or feature specifies the limits of that control. For example, Familiars, as per the Find Familiar spell, act on their own Initiative, are controlled by the player in combat, abd cannot Attack (with the exception of Pact of the Chain warlocks, which can command their familiars to attack on their turn as an action.) I simply follow these rules as written. If an ability does not specify that a player can control a creatureís action - for example, in the case of an intelligent mount - then I control it.

    The Beast Masterís Rangerís Companion is an interesting edge case, because originally it was not specified what the beast did with its action if the player didnít spend an action to command it. Personally, I filed that under the category of unspecified control, which meant it defaulted to me to choose how it acted, and generally I would have the beastís first priority be to defend its master, and second priority be to defend itself. But then it was errataíd to take the Dodge action if not commanded otherwise, which I personally think is kinda dumb, so I ignore it and run it the same way I did prior to the errata.

    Out of combat, players control their own characters and I control all other creatures. With familiars, mounts, animal companions, and minions, I generally allow the player a great deal of input on how they behave, but I ultimately narrate what they do.
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  5. #5
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    It depends on a lot of specifics but as a rule nocs are gm controlled unless specific player abilities overrule that.

  6. #6
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    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

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    Player can control them until they prove unable to control them fairly.
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  7. #7
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    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



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    Depends upon who's running the game.

    One of our GMs leave all aspects 100% up to the player & give the things zero consideration. Even when that really doesn't make any story sense.

    Some of our GMs will sometimes do something with/to a follower/henchmen. Familiars & such only receive attention in combat if they present as a decent target.

    Me?
    1) I LOVE familiars, animal companions, followers, etc! Thank you for providing me more points & ways on wich to build story. I promise to use them.
    2) Even though you've gained them via class abilities, they are not your character. Since they are not your character, guess who actually controls them? Me!
    That said? I'll let you run them most of the time (especially in combat) simply out of convenience. But I can resume direct control anytime.

  8. #8
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



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    I tend to let the players control them as well as NPC allies in many cases. Anything to spread the DM workload.
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  9. #9
    Immortal Sun
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    Players always control their minions. DM always controls theirs.

    You summoned it, you run it. Bog down the game with it(by not knowing its stats or what it does and so on) and I'll prohibit you from using the spell.

    Sorry, the table doesn't have time for you to say "I cast 'Dm does my job for me'!"
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  10. #10
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    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



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    Players do if for no other reason than the workload of it. The DM already has a lot to do.
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