Ride (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

You are skilled at riding mounts, usually a horse, but possibly something more exotic, like a griffon or pegasus. If you attempt to ride a creature that is ill suited as a mount, you take a –5 penalty on your Ride checks.

Common Uses

Perform Special Action While Riding a Mount

Typical riding actions don’t require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount from a mount without a problem. The following tasks do require checks.

Guide with Knees: You can guide your mount with your knees so you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount. This does not take an action.

Stay in Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears or bolts unexpectedly or when you take damage. This usage does not take an action.

Fight with a Combat-Trained Mount: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally. This usage is a free action.

Cover: You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as cover. You can’t attack or cast spells while using your mount as cover. If you fail your Ride check, you don’t get the cover benefit. Using this option is an immediate action, but recovering from this position is a move action (no check required).

Soft Fall: You negate damage when you fall off a mount. If you fail the Ride check, you take 1d6 points of damage and are prone. This usage does not take an action.

Leap: You can get your mount to leap obstacles as part of its movement. If the Ride check to make the leap succeeds, make a check using your Ride modifier or the mount’s jump modifier, whichever is lower, to see how far the creature can jump. If you fail your Ride check, you fall off the mount when it leaps and take the appropriate falling damage (at least 1d6 points). This usage does not take an action but is part of the mount’s movement.

Spur Mount: You can spur your mount to greater speed with a move action. A successful Ride check increases the mount’s speed by 10 feet for 1 round but deals 1d3 points of damage to the creature. You can use this ability every round, but the mount becomes fatigued after a number of rounds equal to its Constitution score. This ability cannot be used on a fatigued mount.

Control Mount in Battle: As a move action, you can attempt to control a light horse, pony, heavy horse, or other mount not trained for combat riding while in battle. If you fail the Ride check, you can do nothing else in that round. You do not need to roll for horses or ponies trained for combat.

Fast Mount or Dismount: You can attempt to mount or dismount from a mount of up to one size category larger than yourself as a free action, provided that you still have a move action available that round. If you fail the Ride check, mounting or dismounting is a move action. You can’t use fast mount or dismount on a mount more than one size category larger than yourself.

Table: Ride Skill DC’s
Task Ride DC
Guide with knees 5
Stay in saddle 5
Fight with a combat-trained mount 10
Cover 15
Soft fall 15
Leap 15
Spur mount 15
Control mount in battle 20
Fast mount or dismount 20


Varies. Mounting or dismounting normally is a move action. Other checks are a move action, a free action, or no action at all, as noted above.


  • Equipment If you are riding bareback, you take a –5 penalty on Ride checks. If you have the Animal Affinity feat, you get a +2 bonus on Ride skill checks. If you have 10 or more ranks in Ride, the bonus increases to +4. If you use a military saddle you get a +2 circumstance bonus on Ride checks related to staying in the saddle.


Ride Unchained

Source PFU

About This Section Optionally, a character who reaches 5, 10, 15, or 20 ranks in a skill unlocks various bonuses and abilities unique to that skill. The unchained rogue uses these rules extensively, but others can gain access to them with a new feat.

In this system, characters unlock additional abilities when they attain 5, 10, 15, and 20 ranks in a skill. The skill unlocks system interfaces with the unchained rogue to make the rogue the true master of skills.

Skill unlocks give characters new abilities and ways to use their skills upon reaching 5, 10, 15, and 20 ranks in a skill. Any character with the Signature Skill feat can earn skill unlocks for a single skill, and they are a prime feature of the revised version of the rogue who uses her rogue’s edge ability to gain skill unlocks for several of her most iconic skills. Alternatively, you might make skill unlocks a universal part of the game, but you should be aware they add significant power and flexibility to skills, so giving them for free to all classes would grant power boosts to other highly skilled classes such as the investigator and bard, particularly in comparison to the rogue. Another alternative is to eliminate access to the Signature Skill feat, limiting skill unlocks to rogues and rogues alone.

With sufficient ranks in Ride, you earn the following.

5 Ranks: Your mount gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves or Constitution checks to avoid becoming fatigued or exhausted. This bonus increases by 1 for every 5 ranks beyond 5 you possess in Ride.

10 Ranks: When you spur your mount, its speed is increased by 20 feet, and it gains a +2 bonus on Reflex saves and a +2 dodge bonus to AC.

15 Ranks: When an opponent targets you or your mount with a bull rush, drag, overrun, reposition, or trip combat maneuver while you are mounted, you can substitute the result of a Ride check in place of your (or your mount’s) CMD.

20 Ranks: When you spur your mount, its speed is increased by 30 feet, and it gains a +4 bonus on Reflex saves and a +4 dodge bonus to AC.

Ridable Creatures


When reared from birth, the following animals can easily be ridden by Small or Medium humanoids, depending on the riding animal’s size. In addition, most of these animals can be purchased already trained for combat. The animals are listed here for convenience when referencing the Ride skill, but are also listed on the Goods & Services Animals and Gear page.

Animal Price Price if Combat Trained
Aurochs 300 gp 450 gp
Bison 50 gp 75 gp
Boar 100 gp 150 gp
Elk 100 gp 150 gp
Giant chameleon 225 gp 350 gp
Giant frilled lizard 375 gp 550 gp
Giant gecko 100 gp 150 gp
Giant owl 6,000 gp 9,000 gp
Giant vulture 750 gp 1,125 gp
Goblin dog 35 gp 50 gp
Lion 200 gp 300 gp
Ram 25 gp 50 gp
Rhinoceros 1,000 gp 1,500 gp
Roc 7,200 gp 10,800 gp
Tiger 325 gp 500 gp
Woolly rhinoceros 2,000 gp 3,000 gp

Dinosaurs and Megafauna

The following animals are classified as either dinosaurs or megafauna, and garner a significantly higher price than most animals on the open market. The prices listed are for dinosaurs and megafauna that have been reared from birth in order to serve as pets or mounts. Combat-trained dinosaurs and megafauna are incredibly rare and have similarly extravagant costs (if one can even find a seller). Though not normally readily available, combat-trained dinosaurs and megafauna typically cost an amount equal to 1-1/2 × the price of the standard animal.

Animal Price
Allosaurus 3,850 gp
Ankylosaurus 3,000 gp
Archelon 1,750 gp
Arsinoitherium 3,150 gp
Baluchitherium 4,800 gp
Basilosaurus 10,200 gp
Brachiosaurus 9,000 gp
Compsognathus 25 gp
Deinonychus 600 gp
Dimetrodon 600 gp
Elasmosaurus 3,500 gp
Glyptodon 2,700 gp
Iguanodon 2,700 gp
Megalania 3,500 gp
Megaloceros 800 gp
Megatherium 1,750 gp
Pachycephalosaurus 1,000 gp
Parasaurolophus 1,200 gp
Pteranodon 750 gp
Spinosaurus 11,000 gp
Stegosaurus 4,200 gp
Triceratops 5,600 gp
Tylosaurus 4,000 gp
Tyrannosaurus 8,100 gp

Aquatic Animals

Many of the following aquatic animals can be bought at seaside markets or from fisherfolk merchants out at sea. Pirates often make use of sharks, eels, and other nasty sea denizens when interrogating captured prisoners, searching for underwater traps, or retrieving sunken treasure. Some of the larger or rarer creatures, such as whales, are obviously much more difficult to find on the open market, and may only be available in seedy underground bazaars. Most aquatic animals can be trained as normal, though they are rarely sold already trained.

Animal Price
Blue whale 12,500 gp
Crimson whale 8,000 gp
Crocodile 55 gp
Dolphin 105 gp
Dwarf caiman 7 gp
Electric eel 125 gp
Gar 90 gp
Giant frog 75 gp
Giant gar 1,200 gp
Giant moray eel 1,000 gp
Giant octopus 1,800 gp
Giant squid 2,500 gp
Giant toad 150 gp
Great white whale 12,600 gp
Manta ray 25 gp
Marine iguana 6 gp
Narwhal 350 gp
Orca 1,350 gp
Sea krait 5 gp
Seal 45 gp
Shark 325 gp
Squid 25 gp
Stingray 18 gp
Whale 10,000 gp

Dire Animals

These feral beasts are all but untamable, and are typically only sought out by violent brawlers or cruel lords, either for brutish protection or to pit against equally vicious creatures in violent animal fights. At the GM’s discretion, PCs who acquire dire animals may be required to attempt wild empathy or Handle Animal checks every day to keep their pets from running away or attacking them and their allies. Dire animals are not generally suitable as mounts, though the GM may make exceptions at her discretion.

Animal Price
Dire ape 450 gp
Dire badger 125 gp
Dire bat 220 gp
Dire bear 1,750 gp
Dire boar 370 gp
Dire crocodile 2,700 gp
Dire hyena 250 gp
Dire lion 1,000 gp
Dire shark 3,375 gp
Dire tiger 1,055 gp
Dire wolf 380 gp
Dire wolverine 500 gp

Other Animals

The following reared animals don’t fit into one of the aforementioned categories, but can still be purchased by sellers who have access to them. Some may be purchased already combat-trained at the GM’s discretion, and typically cost an amount equal to 1-1/2 × the price of the standard animal.

Animal Price
Antelope 45 gp
Baboon 15 gp
Behemoth hippopotamus 7,900 gp
Cheetah 160 gp
Constrictor snake 90 gp
Dodo 5 gp
Eagle 40 gp
Emperor cobra 1,600 gp
Giant anaconda 6,300 gp
Giant porcupine 135 gp
Giant skunk 190 gp
Giant snapping turtle 5,200 gp
Gorilla 175 gp
Great horned owl 22 gp
Grizzly bear 740 gp
Hippopotamus 1,050 gp
Hyena 80 gp
Kangaroo 30 gp
Leopard 100 gp
Mongoose 4 gp
Monitor lizard 150 gp
Osprey 45 gp
Poison frog 60 gp
Porcupine 5 gp
Snail kite 18 gp
Snapping turtle 5 gp
Thylacine 18 gp
Toucan 40 gp
Vulture 30 gp
Wolf 100 gp
Wolverine 125 gp


There are feats intended for Animals (such as mounts). Here are a few:

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

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