On Skill Deconstruction: Fly & Ride
What can you do with Flight?
This is a system for resolving flight maneuver. Normal flight is assumed and these maneuver are used and based on a pass/fail resolution. You may attempt to move half your speed, hover, perform a steep turn or even a 180° turn, or fly up at an angle more than 45°.
What can you do with Ride?
Well, use a horse. It's assumed that if you don't have the skill that you need at least 1 hand to guide the mount, that you have a 70%+ chance to stay in the saddle if you get hit, you take a move action to mount or dismount, and that if the mount attacks you will lose your attack. The rest of the selections are tricks like use your mount for cover, take no damage when falling off a mount, getting the sucker to jump or go faster than normal, use a non-combat trained animal as a mount in combat or get on or off the mount as a free action.
Which of these have ground for use?
A randomized method of resolving aerial and mounted combat maneuvers. Determining flight results in pathfinder is a much larger issue in pathfinder where after level 6-8 most casters are in combat while flying and invisible.
What do we lose?
Time. Is the added complexity of tracking aerial or mounted combat worth the benefit the skill provides?
Conclusions & Suggestions:
Flying is difficult enough without adding more complexity. Ditch the skill and go back to maneuverability classes - if running pathfinder, assume that every monster and character can accomplish whatever taking 10 allows them to do.
Why not simply allow people to either know how to ride or not? This is almost what the skill does already. Put 1 point in ride, +3 class ranks, +1 stat means that with a take 10 you can do all the mount skills without chance of failure except for using non-combat mounts and fast mounting and dismounting.