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cost formula for mounts

I'm thinking of adding a ton of new potential mounts to d20, but want to create some sort of formula in order to ensure it scales well.

here's what I got?

# of Hit Dice (squared) x 20
Pretrained skill package (trained for combat) +50%
Individual tricks +10% each
Creature can never be used a mount (to small, unusally, or dangerous) -25%

Unusal creature/template x 2 all costs
Flight: x 2 all costs

***********************

will it work, and is their anything I need to take into account?
 

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ValhallaGH

First Post
Start with Warhorse stats. 4 HD, trained for combat, cost: 400 gp.
If trained for combat adds 50% to the cost, that's 1/3 (~133 gp).
So the horse itself costs ~266 gp. For 4 HD of large creature.

Now you have a basis for setting consistent costs.
 

let me make sure I got this right

warhorse

base: 400 gp


disection
trained for combat: 200 gp

so 200 gp left

divided by 4: 50 gp

so 50 gp/hit dice untrained
or 75 gp/hit dice trained for war?

I think I'm missing something.
 

ValhallaGH

First Post
75 x 4 does not equal 400gp.

Being trained for combat is 1/3 of the final cost (no extra tricks, no special movement, etc). Combat training makes total cost 150% of animal cost. So combat is 1/3 of final cost.

1/3 of 400 = 133.3333333...
400 - 133.333333... = 266.6666666...
1/4 x 266.666666... = 66.6666666... per hit die.
~66.67 gp per hit die, base animal.
100 gp per hit die, combat trained animal.

Now, the Light Warhorse is 150 gp. By the same math process you get:
~33.33 gp per hit die, base animal.
50 gp per hit die, combat trained animal.


Going from 3 to 4 hit dice doubled the cost per hit die.

Extrapolating, a 2 HD war mount would cost 25 gp per hit die = 50 gp total. A 1 HD war mount would cost 12.5 gp per hit die = 12.5 gp total. Base die costs are 16.66... and 8.33... respectively.
In the reverse, a 5 HD war mount would cost 200 gp per hit die = 1,000 gp total. A 6 HD war mount would cost 400 gp per hit die = 2,400 gp total. Base die costs are 133.33... and 266.66... respectively.

Turning that into a mathematical formula requires more skull-sweat than my brain wants to do right now. But that should give you a solid starting point.
 

Ilja

First Post
Going by Valhalla's counting, the formula would be:
HD*6,25*2^HD (and for untrained, it would be 4,17 instead of 6,25).

Light Warhorse: 3*6,25*2^3 = 3*6,25*8 = 3*50 = 150
Heavy Warhorse: 4*6,25*2^4 = 4*6,25*16 = 4 * 100 = 400.

Anyways, I don't think that is completely correct anyway. You can't use it for creatures lower than 3 hd; a warpony is 2 hd and costs 100 gp, not 25.

I think that you should modify for intelligence too. A pegasus is basically a flying heavy horse with intelligence and minor magical abilities (reaaally minor by the time you get it). It costs 4000 gp.
Pegasus (with x2 for flight and x2 for unusual) = 1200 gp with your counting. 1600 if you mean to have x2 + x2 stack into x4 instead of the normal x3.
I don't know where you got x2 for unusual and x2 for flying from, but I would have put at least x4 for flying, x3 for unusual, and x2 for every 4 points of intelligence score. So a pegasus would be 400*(4 for flying, 2 for unusual, 2 for intelligence 8+)=400*8=3200.
 

ValhallaGH

First Post
Thank you, Stringburka. (Check your final pegasus formula; there's an inconsistency in the "unusual" variable.)

I'd forgotten about the warpony (all the Small characters in my games end up on riding dogs). That's a serious point.


Well, it's apparent that the existing economy doesn't follow a predictable formula. The combat training seems to double the cost, if not more than triple it. Alternatively, it doubles the cost, to a minimum of 100 gp.

I suspect that Pegasus cost is x2 (not Animal type), x3 (Flight speed), x3 (Rare), x2 (Smart) = x10, which converts 400 to 4,000 gp.

Regardless, good luck to the op. I hope some of this stuff has been helpful.
 

Ilja

First Post
I see no inconsistency though. When multiplying in cases such as these, you lower each factor beyond the first. A factor of x3 should be +200% cost. So base 100% + flying +300% + unusual +200% + Int 4 100% + Int 8 100% = 800% of base cost.

Don't know how you count in the second example, but x2+x3+x3+x2=/=x10 though. What you do is basically add +100% for not being an animal, which I think is a great idea, but it still adds upp to 3600 gp.
 

ValhallaGH

First Post
I would have put at least x4 for flying, x3 for unusual, [sic] So a pegasus would be 400*(4 for flying, 2 for unusual, 2 for intelligence 8+)=400*8=3200.

1) That is the inconsistency I was referring to. No need to get defensive about it.

2) I used the same computational method you did. (4 + 2 + 2 = 8; 400 x 8 = 3200. 2 + 3 + 3 + 2 = 10; 400 x 10 = 4000.) I just used different numbers for parts of it.

3) I do think that getting a creature type other than animal is a powerful factor, and one that should bear on the cost. I'm glad that you seem to agree with that part.
 

Ilja

First Post
I'm not going to the defensive, sorry if it sounded that way. English isn't my main language, so sometimes it comes out wrong.

I think we do count differently.
When adding together factors such as x2, x3, and x4, everyone but one should be reduced by 1.
So if we say that flying is x3 (that is, a flying heavy warhorse is 1200 gp), non-animal is x2 (a beast heavy warhorse is 800 gp), rare is x3 (an extremely unusual heavy warhorse is 1200 gp) and intelligent is x2 (a smart warhorse is 800 gp), one that has several of those doesn't have it added up like x3+x2+x2+x3. The increase in cost is what is added, so a flying heavy warhorse costs 800 gp more than a normal one, and a smart warhorse costs 400 more than a normal one. A smart, flying warhorse costs 1200 more, that is it costs 1600 (a factor of x4, not x3+x2).

When you write x2, you include the base price of the mount (400 gp). I'm of the opinion that you only need to pay this once, and that the modifiers are added onto that. Thus, your example of x3, x2, x2, and x3 is added as Price*(3+1+1+2). My example of x4 (flight), x3 (unusual) x2 (int 4) and x2 (int 8) is Price*(4+2+1+1).

This is the same as is done for criticals - imp. crit increases crit range by x2, keen increases by x2, the total is crit range is x3 (15-20 for keen longsword with imp crit).
(Don't remember if keen and imp crit stacks in 3.5 though [blush])

However, you could simply add the multipliers together. It's a little unorthodox, but it could fill the purpose of dramatically increasing price for several lighter abilities.
 

ValhallaGH

First Post
Well, yes, that's how multiple multipliers (and the English gets confusing no matter what your native language is) are combined in D&D. (And no, keen and imp. crit. do not stack in 3.5; apparently the 3.0 kensai with a keen katana and improved critical for a threat range of 13-20 [or 9-20 if your group applied the +2 threat before multipliers] convinced them that it was a wee bit over-powered. ;) )

I was choosing to simply add the multipliers and go from there. It gives results that map to at least a few points in the SRD options for mounts, and provides a system that allows for pricing home brew mounts on an equivalent scale, which was the point of the original post.
 





CapnZapp

Legend
Just noticed this thread isn't actually tagged Pathfinder 1 only (it was started in 2009 so I guess there was no need).

But this does allow me to discuss the thread topic from the perspective of Pathfinder 2!

First off, the price of anything in PF2 is simply set by its level. No, PF2 doesn't provide a direct formula (of the price = LEVEL x 1000 gp kind) but it's still easy to set a price based on a level only. Just check the Treasure Table and you'll see that with few exceptions, every item of a particular level is priced roughly the same.

So if your player is asking if she can purchase a Griffon to have as a mount, you could do much worse than reasoning a Griffon is a level 4 creature, 4th-Level Permanent Items cost roughly between 75 and 100 gold, and put the price on the Griffon on the expensive end of that range: 100 gp or even a little more.

In this I noted that Griffons aren't actually uncommon creatures. I'm aware the fantasy trope says rearing and training Griffons is incredibly hard, but isn't creating a magic sword incredibly hard too?

Anyway, if you do want to treat a trained Griffon as one rarity category higher (i.e. Uncommon) - which for the record is totally reasonable - let's talk about how to interpret the DC adjustments for rarity that are in the game. I'm talking about that Hard +2 is associated with Uncommon, Very Hard +5 is associated with Rare, and Incredibly Hard +10 is associated with Unique. (The most common application would be Recall Knowledge tests for monster information)

Anyway, if we observe that a +2 modifier equates to a 1-2 level increase (the DCs by Level increase by either 1 or 2 points each level), then we can say that an Uncommon Mount (or any other item, for that matter) should cost as if 1 to 2 levels higher.

Now, again per the Treasure table 5th-Level Permanent Items cost between 125 and 160 gp (again ignoring outliers) and 6th-Level Permanent Items cost approx 230 gp or so.

So if you rule that a common Griffon is one that tries to eat you, and that you need an Uncommon Griffon to use as a Mount, you're totally justified to set a price anywhere between 150 to 200 gp I would say. A price hike of at least 50%, which feels reasonable given the nature of the item purchased.

A Rare monster would then cost as an item 4 levels higher (since +5 to DC corresponds to roughly four levels).
An Unique monster would cost as an item 8 levels higher (since +10 to DC corresponds to roughly eight levels).

You might think, shouldn't the GM disallow a player from asking for an Unique mount, or at least consider the willingness of said Unique creature? Absolutely, I'm just pointing out that if you spend all your cash to bring along a L-8 creature on your travels, this will absolutely never be overpowered, since even the least important mook monster will pose a lethal threat to that mount. It will - by definition! - be at least four levels higher than the mount.

(If at any time you or the other players start feeling uneasy about how the mount provides unbalancing powers, just have this lesser monster shoot it down, and problem solved. Yes, that particular fight became very slightly easier since one of the weakest monsters became preoccupied. But that's an easy price to pay. Of course, if the player is smart and doesn't abuse his mount (I'm here referring to its movement capabilities in combat), this won't become an issue)

The main takeaway: use level to set prices. It really does work :)

Z

PS. I'm discussing the pricing of mounts in this thread, not whether the GM allows exceptions from the rather draconic Mount rules of Pathfinder 2. Let me just say that once a hero can afford a Griffon mount she will be of sufficient level where any threat will make mincemeat out of the Griffon*, so I haven't found any clear imbalances. (Yes, a Griffon is a flying mount that's clearly superior to anything allowed by the rulebook, but the player is intensely aware that if she uses it in combat it will likely die, and die quickly, so it hasn't been much of an imbalance since the player dismounts as soon as danger presents itself. Perhaps the clearest indicator of this is that the other players haven't followed suit!)

*) I'm assuming your players are like my players - purchasing a mount is possibly a third priority after a weapon and armor. And after having purchased reasonably level-appropriate weapons and armor, we're easily talking a mount two levels lower than the hero, if not more. You simply can't afford an item of your own level unless that is your highest priority.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Let me move that last sentence (previously in the last post) to a new post (here) and expand upon it:

Yes, I consider the mount (and familiar) restrictions of the CRB to be insanely harsh. The only way I'm able to wrap my head around them is looking at the rules as if they were written for tournament play first and home play only second. I'm envisioning a tournament where if even a single combat or other adventure challenge gets trivialized by one player bringing a Griffon (or other mount restricted by money alone), that would lead to an outcry from the other players.

(Just about the only other reason I can think of is the mount rules being written by a dev still in PF1 mindset, a dev not yet realizing how incredibly exponential this game really is. Once you realize the effective way money restricts character power, you understand few other checks and balances need to be in place)

As I said, I trust you and your players are more mature than these hypothetical enraged organized play participants, and sure, the player got to shine brightly once. But if I - the GM - notices any dissent among the other players, I will simply (and I do mean simply) have my monsters shoot it dead, and problem solved. It is since I am assuming any published game is intended for home audiences first and foremost, and that such audiences enjoy capable GMs, I cannot wrap my head around the fact the rules in practice prohibit any mount more cool or fantastical than a horse or camel (there are very few creatures with the Mount trait needed to actually have your cool riding feats apply).
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
I’m having a hard time following your post. There are two classes of mounts in PF2. There are standard animals, and there are animal companions from class features. The thing you cite regarding the mount special ability applies only to animal companions. If someone is purchasing a combat-trained griffon, the it’s going to be a standard creature and work per the animal rules in the equipment section (pp. 294–295). In that case, especially if you bought one specifically for combat (per your suggestion for pricing it at a higher price), I’d expect it to be combat trained and not automatically be frightened in combat.

I admit the the list of animal companions with the mount trait is not particularly big, but I don’t think it’s intended to be exhaustive. It seems more like it’s just incomplete. They added the riding drake in the APG, so flying mounts aren’t even unprecedented if a GM wants to create one for a player as a companion. For other creatures, creating a class feat that lets you treat them as having the mount special ability seems pretty reasonable too. You could even make it a skill feat to let anyone with a mount companion do it (rather than make it class-specific).

However, I also want to say that GMs who grant a player a special mount or companion and then kill it when it does something they don’t like are terrible GMs. Hands down. It’s a petty and immature way of dealing with a problem in the game. If a player does something that’s disruptive, talk to them about it. If it’s because of an option granted by the GM, try to reach a compromise. In fact, custom stuff like that should be handed out with the provision it may need tweaked or dropped if it’s too disruptive and can’t be fixed.

I played with a GM who did that (punished players via the game). This was 4e, and I was playing a bear shaman. He would harangue us about our tactics in battle, so I took his words to heart and started using my spirit companion tactically. He responded by capriciously killing it. Not even just targeting it (though that’s how it started) but having it just keel over and die (no save, defenses, or anything). Absolutely terrible. That game ultimately fizzled out when players stopped showing up. I certainly wouldn’t play with him again.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I'm not killing anything.

I'm being open with the social conventions in my game.

"Sure I can give you a Griffon or other cool thing that would be costly or impossible to gain if we go strictly by the RAW. I just want to make sure we're on the same page as regards how you voluntarily limit your usage of this gift to not upstage the other players. As long as you do this I wow not to kill it off during reasonable usage. But if you use a Griffon to dominate combat or short-circuit challenges then I might be inclined to take off my silk gloves."

The point is that you're entering an unwritten contract here. As long as the unwritten contract isn't broken (such as by me finding discontent among the other players "why does he a get a flying mount while I must spend my best spell slots on Fly...?") no mounts will get killed.

If the player wants to minmax he's better off sticking with the RAW options. If the player can't trust his GM he should stick to... not the RAW, he's better off playing computer games.

I don't have to hand out Griffons just to see that generosity short-circuit spells and items and whole sections of the scenario after all.

The "punish your players" angle is all wrong and I hope it's just a misinterpretation of my post. I was just observing that levels mean so much that you never need to worry about overpowered mounts (the way you're led to believe if you read the rules), since if push comes to shove, you can always shoot down any mount the players can afford to purchase.

It doesn't mean you will shoot them down or that you should. It means you can if you must = it's not a case of handing out a magic item you can then never remove if you find out it overpowers play, where you need to think long and hard BEFORE handing it out.

I'm saying you can just translate creature level = item level = gold price. As long as the player realize it's a social convention and not some RAW option free for him to abuse and minmax.
 
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kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
You suggested a perfectly reasonable approach for pricing something that’s not in the standard price list. I don’t think that’s an issue. What I’m taking issue with is the idea that if it causes an adverse impact on the game, then the way to handle it is to destroy it or take it away via the game’s mechanics. It’s a passive-aggressive way of dealing with a problem. It turns what should be a collaborative experience into an adversarial one.

Also, framing it as a gift when it’s actually conditioned on certain behavior is gross. It’s not a gift if its use is conditional, and carrying out on the threat (implied or explicit) is definitely punishing the player (pretty much by definition of “threaten” and “punishment”). It’s like giving a child a toy as a gift and then stomping on it when they play with it the wrong way.

I’ll reiterate that if the GM introduces something to the game, and it proves disruptive, then the way to address that problem is by discussing it with the player and group. If no one feels like it’s upstaging them, and that’s all that seems wrong, then it’s probably best to let it drop. If it’s more than that, then it’s time for a (possibly hard) conversation about what to do to fix it. That could result in changes to mitigate the problem or getting rid of the source. Whatever happens, since it was negotiated, it’s not just a capricious act by the GM.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
You suggested a perfectly reasonable approach for pricing something that’s not in the standard price list. I don’t think that’s an issue. What I’m taking issue with is the idea that if it causes an adverse impact on the game, then the way to handle it is to destroy it or take it away via the game’s mechanics. It’s a passive-aggressive way of dealing with a problem. It turns what should be a collaborative experience into an adversarial one.
I don't buy your tense here. It CAN turn the experience, but only if handled poorly. Your phrasing suggests the entire notion is bad.

Also, framing it as a gift when it’s actually conditioned on certain behavior is gross. It’s not a gift if its use is conditional, and carrying out on the threat (implied or explicit) is definitely punishing the player (pretty much by definition of “threaten” and “punishment”). It’s like giving a child a toy as a gift and then stomping on it when they play with it the wrong way.
You really start to aggravate me here. Stop assuming bad faith! If you can't envision this working without involving threats and punishments (o_O???), that reflects poorly on you.

I’ll reiterate that if the GM introduces something to the game, and it proves disruptive, then the way to address that problem is by discussing it with the player and group. If no one feels like it’s upstaging them, and that’s all that seems wrong, then it’s probably best to let it drop. If it’s more than that, then it’s time for a (possibly hard) conversation about what to do to fix it. That could result in changes to mitigate the problem or getting rid of the source. Whatever happens, since it was negotiated, it’s not just a capricious act by the GM.
Who said I wasn't discussing things? I have quite specifically explained I am assuming the GM and the players are onboard with the social contract that comes with lifting the harsh limitations on RAW mounts. Doing so is intended as something the players are supposed to appreciate and find fun.

However, you have clearly shown yourself to be exactly the kind of player the GM can't offer generosity to. I suggest we simply drop the issue.

I remain open to constructive feedback or questions from other readers :)
 

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