In the dark wanderer's answer to "How can my party improve our overland travel speed?", it is quite seriously suggested that (skeletal) horses should use trekking poles to increase their speed.

As far as I understand, trekking poles are held in hands. Horses would have a hard time grasping them and taking advantange of them due to reasons of anatomy.

For similar reasons, we might want to say that elephants have difficulty climbing, even though they have high strength. We might want to say that snakes have problems using lockpicks.

There is, of course, also the question is a horse would need some training to use those trekking poles, or would even agree to it. But let us focus on anatomy for now.

Do the Pathfinder rules have any provisions taking into account such anatomical features of animals and monsters, or do they explicitly leave this up to the game master, or are they completely silent?


I think it's mostly assumed. The rules are largely humanoid-centric, and don't weigh in on whether horses can climb a rope, light a torch, or use trekking poles.

If one's DMing style tends toward realism, your answer is easy: those poles were made for a humanoid with hands.

If you wants RAW, you're mostly on your own...but I think the are a few places in the rules that suggest that Anatomy Matters, e.g.

The Eldritch Guardian Fighter archetype shares all combat feats with one's familiar, but goes out of the way to note that anatomy is still a thing: "For example, an eldritch guardian’s pig familiar with access to Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain) would not gain the ability to use spiked chains, since it doesn’t have any limbs capable of properly handling them."

If you're looking for RAW to generalize from, I think this strongly implies that some real life animal anatomy is assumed.


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