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5E Rogue’s Aim+Mount

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I think that for a lot of campaigns it makes sense to go with the mostly hand-waving approach that's in the core rules. No real conditions and modifiers, with animal handling to cover fancy riding. If the campaign was going to be one where the party is often outdoors and for whatever reason will feature a lot of mounted combat, then I'd start thinking about some homebrew to flesh out the details. Same goes for ships really, I don't need complicated ship rules unless I'm running a nautical campaign.
 

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the Jester

Legend
I think it's probably the intent that moving while mounted counts as moving for this rule; you might not being using your own movement, but you're still moving. I'd rule that you couldn't use the Aim cunning action option if you were on a moving vehicle or the like, either.

The donkey can move, taking you with it. But the donkey moves on the donkey's turn, not your turn.
You and your mount share a turn, unless it is an intelligent creature that is acting independently. A donkey is specifically described as being a controlled mount, assuming it has been trained to bear a rider- so it shares your turn. A DM could allow it to act independently, but that's not the default.

There are no rules for controlling a mount, it does not cost the PC any actions or movement. So by strict reading of the rules you could do this. Move, have the mount stop, fire, and continue moving would be technically legal.
There are indeed rules for controlling your mount- page 198 of the PH even has a section called "Controlling a Mount"- but you are correct that it doesn't take any of the rider's actions or movement.
 

You and your mount share a turn, unless it is an intelligent creature that is acting independently. A donkey is specifically described as being a controlled mount, assuming it has been trained to bear a rider- so it shares your turn. A DM could allow it to act independently, but that's not the default.
Unintelligent mounts may be controllable if trained, but are not not automatically controlled.

This is the quote from the rules:
While you’re mounted, you have two options. You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently. Intelligent creatures, such as dragons, act independently.
i.e. Animals act on their own turn unless controlled, dragons (etc) always act on their own turn.

So, if you cease to control your donkey it acts independently on it's own initiative.

In this situation though, it probably makes more sense to rule that moving spoils your aim. Mounted Archery deserves to be a separate feat.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I think it's probably the intent that moving while mounted counts as moving for this rule; you might not being using your own movement, but you're still moving. I'd rule that you couldn't use the Aim cunning action option if you were on a moving vehicle or the like, either.



You and your mount share a turn, unless it is an intelligent creature that is acting independently. A donkey is specifically described as being a controlled mount, assuming it has been trained to bear a rider- so it shares your turn. A DM could allow it to act independently, but that's not the default.



There are indeed rules for controlling your mount- page 198 of the PH even has a section called "Controlling a Mount"- but you are correct that it doesn't take any of the rider's actions or movement.
I said it wrong: there is no rule that says it takes a move or action to control a mount. There is no penalty for attacking either.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Not sure I see the problem here. Horse archery is already a thing, it's not like it wasn't already an "I win" against slow melee enemies and easily countered by anything else. It's totally OK for a fighter to shoot 3 arrows in 6 seconds from atop a horse, but a rogue can't concentrate and line up a shot?
 

Pauln6

Explorer
Not sure I see the problem here. Horse archery is already a thing, it's not like it wasn't already an "I win" against slow melee enemies and easily countered by anything else. It's totally OK for a fighter to shoot 3 arrows in 6 seconds from atop a horse, but a rogue can't concentrate and line up a shot?
I think the issue is that the description implies not.
 

Not sure I see the problem here. Horse archery is already a thing, it's not like it wasn't already an "I win" against slow melee enemies and easily countered by anything else. It's totally OK for a fighter to shoot 3 arrows in 6 seconds from atop a horse, but a rogue can't concentrate and line up a shot?
Not if the ability that lets him do it requires not moving. At least, that’s how I would interpret RAI.

Also, you make it sound like the fighter is so much more potent than the rogue, but a rogue of the same level is adding 6d6 to his one arrow. 3 arrows in 6 seconds certainly sounds more epic, but numerically the rogue is about equivalent.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
As a ruling, I'd probably let a Rogue with Animal Handling aim on horseback, but not one without the skill (assuming I wasn't just going to handwave the whole thing, which is a viable option). That seems closest to using the RAI and not creating additional entities. When I say RAI I mean both Aim and the AH skill. It would also make sense to rule that any character without AH has some sort of negative to shoot from horseback, although I'm not sure what context would warrant that ruling, or what additional bonuses might be needed to balance it out.

This is one of those places where having a success with complications component to the mechanics would be really useful.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Not if the ability that lets him do it requires not moving. At least, that’s how I would interpret RAI.

Also, you make it sound like the fighter is so much more potent than the rogue, but a rogue of the same level is adding 6d6 to his one arrow. 3 arrows in 6 seconds certainly sounds more epic, but numerically the rogue is about equivalent.
Depends. If the argument is purely based on the simulationism aspect (it's not realistic for a rogue to be able to do that), then I'm not going to argue the point, because I simply don't care about what other people view as realistic.

If the argument is that this is a balance "loophole" (as the term the OP used), then I feel more comfortable weighing in. I mean, we already know the rules for mounted combat are finicky and subject to a fair amount of DM fiat, this is just one more corner case.
 

tommybahama

Explorer
As a ruling, I'd probably let a Rogue with Animal Handling aim on horseback, but not one without the skill.
That makes a lot of sense but excludes probably 99% of Rogues. Maybe allow them to buy a warhorse that has been bred for a very smooth gait and trained for mounted archery. At least it's a good money sink for the PC.
 

Depends. If the argument is purely based on the simulationism aspect (it's not realistic for a rogue to be able to do that), then I'm not going to argue the point, because I simply don't care about what other people view as realistic.

If the argument is that this is a balance "loophole" (as the term the OP used), then I feel more comfortable weighing in. I mean, we already know the rules for mounted combat are finicky and subject to a fair amount of DM fiat, this is just one more corner case.
Sorta neither for me. It’s more about the spirit of the rules. The idea behind the feat seems to be that it’s an alternative to hiding as a bonus action, which isn’t always available. But it comes with a restriction. Trade-offs are what make games games.

Arguing that being mounted negates the restriction strikes me as mere gamism and rules lawyering.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
That makes a lot of sense but excludes probably 99% of Rogues. Maybe allow them to buy a warhorse that has been bred for a very smooth gait and trained for mounted archery. At least it's a good money sink for the PC.
That would be in a campaign where the players would have known that capability on horseback mattered before they created their characters. I wouldn't focus on it without making that part of the campaign pitch, and if it isn't a focus but rather an occasional occurrence then I'm happy to handwave it.
 



FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Cunning Action: Aim
2nd-level rogue feature (enhances Cunning Action)
You gain an additional way to use your Cunning Action: carefully aiming your next attack. As a bonus action, you give yourself advantage on your next attack roll on the current turn. You can use this bonus action only if you haven’t moved during this turn, and after you use the bonus action, your speed is 0 until the end of the current turn.


Now if I ride a donkey, can I move and attack still? You can use this bonus action only if you haven’t moved during this turn, part of the wording makes it seem like you can’t move before taking Aim, but after you use the bonus action, your speed is 0 until the end of the current turn. part makes it seem like the mount should be able to move since it’s you that can’t move, the mount still can. Did I read this right or did I create a loophole that isn’t there to begin with?
I see no reason why you couldn't. I also don't see what it really hurts. Your source of movement can be killed - can't go into buildings or dungeons, etc.

I mean it's not really any more powerful than a DM allowing a rogue to cunning action hide stealth most all the time.
 

I would not allow this. A rogue with SS would pretty much ensure himself of a nice bypass of the -5 to hit on his first attack. With advantage, the trigger of the sneak attack damage is almost certain. +10 damage is nothing to sniff at especially in the early levels. No move means no move. From any source. And yes, I have seen my share of rogues with SS.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Sorta neither for me. It’s more about the spirit of the rules. The idea behind the feat seems to be that it’s an alternative to hiding as a bonus action, which isn’t always available. But it comes with a restriction. Trade-offs are what make games games.

Arguing that being mounted negates the restriction strikes me as mere gamism and rules lawyering.
What if the mount is independent (independent mounts have their own initiative)? What if the rogue is a halfling, and the half-orc picks him up on the half-orc's turn and physically moves him? Would you have to retcon the attack to no longer have advantage, since the halfling has now moved?

To my mind, the spirit of the rule is that the rogue does not move, not that the rogue cannot be moved. Arranging something else to move the character is simply planning around your weaknesses, which seems rogue-like to me.
 

What if the mount is independent (independent mounts have their own initiative)? What if the rogue is a halfling, and the half-orc picks him up on the half-orc's turn and physically moves him? Would you have to retcon the attack to no longer have advantage, since the halfling has now moved?

To my mind, the spirit of the rule is that the rogue does not move, not that the rogue cannot be moved. Arranging something else to move the character is simply planning around your weaknesses, which seems rogue-like to me.
Because I interpret the rule to mean that if you remain very still you can aim very carefully. The implication would be that a mount could move more smoothly and evenly than a rogue could.

Ever ridden a horse?

Sorry but I find this to be cheesy exploitation of the language, not good faith gaming.
I could imagine another Feat that would allow this. Or a 3-level dip into Cavalier
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
Sorry but I find this to be cheesy exploitation of the language, not good faith gaming.
Thanks, man. I appreciate being ascribed motives rather than just thinking I have a different interpretation of the intent of the rules.
 

Also, if "being moved" (as opposed to voluntarily moving) didn't affect Aim, then if somebody else held their action to either shove or cast gust when the rogue tried to shoot then it wouldn't affect the shot. Not that there's any RAW that says it would, but I would count either of those as positive examples of clever application of the rules, whereas using the mount is (in my opinion) pure exploit.

And, don't get me wrong, I don't think allowing the mount trick is going to break the game. It's not making the rogue too powerful, and there are a thousand ways to neutralize the strategy if the rogue overuses it. For me it's 100% about the spirit of the game.

AND...at the same time I can appreciate that others might find this sort of tinkering with the rules to be part of the fun. That's cool; have at it. It's just not how I like to play.
 

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