Tomorrow I will be playing my first game of dungeons and dragons ever, and I have decided to play as a mounted ranger. I have a few questions regarding the complexity of animal companions.
My understanding is that a companion can be mounted with a move action(or free with Ride roll) if and only if the weight of the player and their items are within the companions carrying capacity. Once the character mounts the animal companion, all actions to control the mount use a Ride roll instead of a Handel Animal roll.
Are there any inaccurate details with the above statement?
Can a rider "Handle" or "Push" there animal companion while they are riding it?
What causes a mount to qualify as combat trained? Is the only way to exempt the check for "Control Mount in Battle" to train a companion for 6 weeks in the general purpose of "Combat Riding" or are there a few specific tricks in "Combat Riding" that will qualify a mount as combat trained?
Is the general purpose, "Riding", needed to mount an animal or does riding just provide tricks typically valuable to a rider?
When an animal companion is not being ridden by a player, can it only be controlled with the Handel Animal skill? What actions will the companion take naturally when I first get it and as I continue to use it? Will it follow me or will I need to attempt to Push it to follow me? Should my first bonus trick be a trick like heel that allows the companion to stay with me?
Being a ranger with "Link", I am aware that Handling my Companion becomes a free action and pushing it becomes a move action, but do these actions still require a Handling Animal roll? I would assume yes.
I think those are all my questions. In general many of them just relate to what tricks if any I need to mount my companion and what tricks if any that I need to ride my companion in a combat encounter. If I understand this, I can play without feeling like a cheater. I greatly appreciate any consistent answers to these questions that people can provide. My anticipated mount is a dire wolf if that helps answer these questions.