Pathfinder 2 Special Battles
Sometimes fights occur while the characters are atop mounts or when the PCs take to the sky or seas.
You can ride some creatures into combat. As noted in the Mount specialty basic action (page 472), your mount needs to be at least one size larger than you and willing. Your mount acts on your initiative. You must use the Command an Animal action (page 249) to get your mount to spend its actions. If you don’t, the animal wastes its actions. If you have the Ride general feat, you succeed automatically when you Command an Animal that’s your mount.
For example, if you are mounted on a horse and you make three attacks, your horse would remain stationary since you didn’t command it. If you instead spent your first action to Command an Animal and succeeded, you could get your mount to Stride. You could spend your next action to attack or to command the horse to attack, but not both.
You and your mount fight as a unit. Consequently, you share a multiple attack penalty. For example, if you Strike and then Command an Animal to have your mount Strike, your mount’s attack takes a –5 multiple attack penalty.
You occupy every square of your mount’s space for the purpose of making your attacks. If you were Medium and on a Large mount, you could attack a creature on one side of your mount, then attack on the opposite side with your next action. If you have a longer reach, the distance depends partly on the size of your mount. On a Medium or smaller mount, use your normal reach. On a Large or Huge mount, you can attack any square adjacent to the mount if you have 5- or 10-foot reach, or any square within 10 feet of the mount (including diagonally) if you have 15-foot reach.
When you’re mounted, attackers can target either you or your mount. Anything that affects multiple creatures (such as an area) affects both of you as long as you’re both in the area. You are in an attacker’s reach or range if any square of your mount is within reach or range. Because your mount is larger than you and you share its space, you have lesser cover against attacks targeting you when you’re mounted if the mount would be in the way.
Because you can’t move your body as freely while you’re riding a mount, you take a –2 circumstance penalty to Reflex saves while mounted. Additionally, the only move action you can use is the Mount action to dismount.
Many monsters can fly, and PCs can use spells and items to gain the ability to fly. Flying creatures have to use the Fly action (page 472) to move through the air. Performing an especially tricky maneuver—such as trying to reverse course 180 degrees or fly through a narrow gap—might require using Acrobatics to Maneuver in Flight. Creatures might fall from the sky, using the falling rules found on page 463. At the GM’s discretion, some ground-based actions might not work in the air. For instance, a flying creature couldn’t Leap.
Use these rules for battles in water or underwater:
- You’re flat-footed unless you have a swim Speed.
- You gain resistance 5 to acid and fire.
- You take a –2 circumstance penalty to melee slashing or bludgeoning attacks that pass through water.
- Ranged attacks that deal bludgeoning or slashing damage automatically miss if the attacker or target is underwater, and piercing ranged attacks made by an underwater creature or against an underwater target have their range increments halved.
- You can’t cast fire spells or use actions with the fire trait underwater.
- At the GM’s discretion, some ground-based actions might not work underwater or while floating.
Drowning and Suffocating
You can hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier. Reduce your remaining air by1roundattheendofeachofyourturns,orby2ifyou attacked or cast any spells that turn. You also lose 1 round worth of air each time you are critically hit or critically fail a save against a damaging effect. If you speak (including casting spells with verbal components or activating items with command components) you lose all remaining air.
When you run out of air, you fall unconscious and start suffocating. You can’t recover from being unconscious and must attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save at the end of each of your turns. On a failure, you take 1d10 damage, and on a critical failure, you die. On each check after the first, the DC increases by 5 and the damage by 1d10; these increases are cumulative. Once your access to air is restored, you stop suffocating and are no longer unconscious (unless you’re at 0 Hit Points).
In aerial and aquatic combat, you might need to track positioning in three dimensions. For flying creatures, you might use one of the following methods:
- Find platforms to place flying creatures’ miniatures on.
- Set a die next to a creature with the number indicating how many squares up in the air it is.
- Make a stack of dice or tokens, 1 per 5 feet of elevation.
- Write the elevation next to the monster on the grid.
In underwater combat, choose a plane to be the baseline, typically the waterline, the sea floor, or a stationary object you can measure from.
As with ground-based movement, moving diagonally up or down in 3-D space requires counting every other diagonal as 10 feet. Measure flanking in all directions— creatures above and below an enemy can flank it just as effectively as they can from opposite sides.