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4E Proposal: Make Mounted Combat Viable for all Races

Son of Meepo

Registered User
I was starting to work on my second LEB character. I wanted to create a mounted paladin that served as part of the Liondrake’s Roar Mercenary.

The problem is I wanted him to be a goliath and there isn't a single mount listed that can carry a goliath and his gear. Even if I were to invest character resources in the level 3 mount slot item to increase a mount's carrying capacity, there is no way I can stay under any mount's normal load, which would result in the mount being constantly slowed. Moving around with a speed of 2 just doesn't really sound like a lot of fun and certainly not what I had in mind when I envisioned the character.

I'd like to see 1 of 2 things done to remedy this.

Proposal A: Ignore carrying capacity for mounts.

Proposal B: Keep the carrying capacity for mounts, but reduce the penalty to carrying a heavy load. Instead of being slowed (speed 2), reduce the mount's speed by 2. This is in addition to other speed penalties such as heavy barding.
 

Son of Meepo

Registered User
Secondary Proposal

In 3rd Edition D&D carrying capacity was modified by the number of legs a creature had as well as its size. In 4e, a creature add 25% to its carrying capacity if it is a quadraped, but there is no additional modifier by size.

This sub-proposal would implement a size modifier for carrying capacity for creatures larger than medium.

Edit: In 3rd edition, a creature's carrying capacity was doubled for each size category above medium, perhaps implementing the same rule in 4e would be enough of a fix. So perhaps we can just call this Proposal C.
 
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Son of Meepo

Registered User
Well, a naked Goliath is 280-330. That alone exceeds the normal carrying capacity for most mounts. (I think elephants are somewhere around 320).

Add my gear plus barding for the mount, and I'm pushing 500 pounds easily.


Point of Reference: A dire boar (the mount I was looking to acquire) has a normal load limit of 237 lbs. In D&D 3.5 the same creature could carry 600 lb as a light load.
 
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I like the first option, with a note that the DM can step in if there are concerns about realism. A goliath's warhorse should be able to carry a goliath, but it shouldn't be able to carry a mansion.
 

KarinsDad

Villager
Well, a naked Goliath is 280-330. That alone exceeds the normal carrying capacity for most mounts.
It also exceeds the normal carrying capacity of most PCs.

I do think that a player who takes a Goliath or any other extremely large PC should have difficulties. For example, I sometimes make the DC of breaking through a weak floor area of a dungeon dependent on how much weight is actually being put on it.

In the case of mounts, mounts have advantages:

1) Speed.
2) Unusual movement (like flight).
3) They can sometimes fight or have other benefits.

So, I have no problem with mounts having downsides to them.


I don't like the concept of blowing carrying capacity off completely, just for simplicity sake.


The actual equation is a bit hidden. It seems to be str related, but not totally consistent. Changing the equation to 10 * Str * size category (i.e. *1 for medium, *1.5 for large, *2 for huge, etc.) would give reasonable capacity:

Code:
Blade spider               300 250
Camel                      285 237
Dire boar                  285 237
Elephant                   500 312
Giant ant                  285 237
Giant lizard, draft        285 237
Giant lizard, riding       300 250
Griffon                    300 250
Griffon, rimefire          360 300
Hippogriff                 285 237
Hippogriff dreadmount      315 262
Horse, celestial charger   345 287
Horse, riding              285 237
Horse, sea                 270 225
Horse, skeletal            300 250
Horse, warhorse            315 262
Manticore                  315 262
Nightmare                  345 287
Rage drake                 285 237
Rhinoceros                 315 262
Shark, dire                180 210
Shark, riding              285 190
Trihorn behemoth           520 325
Wolf, dire                 285 237
Wyvern                     360 300
The first number is the revised number, the second number is the original.

This forces a heavily armored Goliath to use a huge creature in order to not encumber it. I don't find that unreasonable. But, a lightly armored or unarmored Goliath of some type could easily get on some types of large creatures, especially with a bag of holding or some such.

For all intents and purposes, Goliaths are supposed to be Giants. Small ones, but giants nonetheless. It's not unreasonable for them to have to find the largest possible mounts because they are 50% heavier than most other medium sized creatures.
 

WEContact

Villager
Goliaths are Medium, not Large. All Large mounts should be capable of carrying a Medium rider.

Restricting appropriately-sized mounts to PC races of average weight (and/or PC classes that don't wear heavy armor) is unwarranted and unbalanced.

Mounts are already extremely costly and difficult to keep alive, and require a feat to use fully. Further restricting them by keeping an arbitrary minority of PCs from riding mounts into areas with choke-points smaller four squares is terrible- it robs those PCs of a significant amount of their invested resources in a common situation, all for the sake of a little added realism.
 

Son of Meepo

Registered User
In the case of mounts, mounts have advantages:

1) Speed.
2) Unusual movement (like flight).
3) They can sometimes fight or have other benefits.

So, I have no problem with mounts having downsides to them.
The problem is a mount that exceeds its normal carrying capacity is slowed (speed 2). So item 1 goes from an advantage to a disadvantage, and a pretty substantial one at that. (The mount would have to run all the time and still wouldn't keep up with the other PCs that are walking.) This also clearly limits the effectiveness of advantage 2 during combat.

As for point 3, mounts share your actions, so even if they can fight, you are usually better off using your own attacks. The only time this really becomes an advantage is when they have a mount power that conditionally gives you and extra attack, but that still costs a feat to use.

For all intents and purposes, Goliaths are supposed to be Giants. Small ones, but giants nonetheless. It's not unreasonable for them to have to find the largest possible mounts because they are 50% heavier than most other medium sized creatures.
The problem is that weight and encumbrance in 4e was clearly not well thought out. A suit of plate that a halfling wears is just as heavy as a suit of plate that a goliath wears. How does that make any sense?
 

KarinsDad

Villager
Goliaths are Medium, not Large. All Large mounts should be capable of carrying a Medium rider.

Restricting appropriately-sized mounts to PC races of average weight (and/or PC classes that don't wear heavy armor) is unwarranted and unbalanced.
I could claim that restricting movement for PCs in armor is unwarranted and unbalanced. This type of argument can be applied to any game aspect that doesn't allow every PC concept to do the exact same things as other PC concepts.

With regard to PC weight, pros and cons. The Goliath might have a problem finding a strong enough mount, but on the other hand, the unconscious Goliath cannot just be carried away by the bad guys like the unconscious 120 pound Female Elven PC Wizard either. Pros and Cons.

The problem is a mount that exceeds its normal carrying capacity is slowed (speed 2).
I agree that this is a problem. There is no "medium load" middle ground. I was posting a medium load middle ground yesterday, but decided to change it to the equation that I posted as a starting point for discussion.

But, a Blade Spider that can carry 375 pounds as a medium load (250 normal, 500 heavy) where medium load is -2 to speed would be another option.

The problem is that weight and encumbrance in 4e was clearly not well thought out. A suit of plate that a halfling wears is just as heavy as a suit of plate that a goliath wears. How does that make any sense?
I don't think that it's a case that it wasn't clearly thought out as much as it's a case of over simplification. 4E mostly handwaves away a lot of the more specific nitty gritty encumbrance rules.

I personally do not think that a PC with 100 pounds of weight on his back should be able to make a 30 foot jump (sometimes without even a running start) without the assistance of magic, but that can happen in the game as well.
 

WEContact

Villager
I could claim that restricting movement for PCs in armor is unwarranted and unbalanced. This type of argument can be applied to any game aspect that doesn't allow every PC concept to do the exact same things as other PC concepts.

With regard to PC weight, pros and cons. The Goliath might have a problem finding a strong enough mount, but on the other hand, the unconscious Goliath cannot just be carried away by the bad guys like the unconscious 120 pound Female Elven PC Wizard either. Pros and Cons.
This is true. In this specific example, however, speed penalties for PCs in heavy armor is a minor penalty that is balanced by waiving the requirement to keep DEX/INT high, and even then can be mitigated with feats or items. There are ways to mitigate the penalties a heavy PC incurs when mounted, (such as items to increase carrying capacity) but they are not potent enough to make a difference, and the penalties a heavy PC faces for choosing to be mounted are many, many times more severe than -1 speed.

There is no benefit for a heavy PC. The example you offered is insignificant, because if a DM is willing to split the party against the party's wishes, it's because doing so is important to the plot of the adventure he's running, (because doing that on a whim is malicious and un-fun) and if capturing a PC is important to the plot of the adventure, a DM will simply ensure that the captor has the means to transport an unconscious PC who weighs 200 more pounds than average- theft by Dragon, for example.

Even it mattered that heavy PCs were slightly more difficult to capture while unconscious, that benefit is still in no way comparable to the penalty represented by forcing the PC to use a mount that occupies 16 squares, when a mount like that simply won't fit into most indoor environs.
 
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