View Full Version : Wanna help make a PrC for riders of giant birds?

The Vorpal Tribble
2005-10-08, 11:29 PM
A'ight, first off I'm working on a campaign and one of the main guards of the cities is an organization refered to as the Blue Phoenix's.

They are composed of riders of giant eagles, owls and ravens, who have a strong bond with these intelligent mounts of theirs. More like a comradery than master and pet/servant.

These Blue Phoenix's basically patrol the mountains of this artic land, so their abilities might want to reflect this. I'll definetely be giving them the Altitude Adaption feat and perhaps Cold Endurance as well. Any other suggestions would be great for these giant-bird riders of cold rocky peaks.

2005-10-09, 12:14 AM
A good point of reference is the Dragonrider class in the Draconomicon and the Ashworm Dragoons from Sandstorm.

2005-10-09, 03:03 AM
You're definatly going to want some handle animal and ride skill ranks.

Probably some ride feats, too.

Perhaps instead of requiring them to have the Altitude Adaptation feat, simply require them to become acclimated as a special requirement and then give them a form of permanent acclimation (even if they return to sea level for lengths of time) at 1st level of the PrC.

Something that might be good to explore is bonus to archery, similar to the skylord PrC.

2005-10-09, 03:27 AM
You could always check out Skylord from the book of Exalted deeds.

2005-10-09, 05:06 AM
All depends what kind of bird rider you want. In all seriousness, a mounted-combat specialist fighter would do just as well.

Failing that, maybe just use the Cavalier PrC from Complete Warrior.

2005-10-09, 06:03 AM
You might want to look at the Aglarondan Griffonrider (Unapproachable East). No need to write up your own class when WotC has done all the work for you. Just swap out, say, the second level of Improved Mounted Combat and replace it with cold resistance 10, tinker a bit with the prereq feats, and you're set.

2005-10-09, 06:11 AM
I knew it!

Masters of the Wild
Page 77

The Vorpal Tribble
2005-10-09, 09:37 AM
You could always check out Skylord from the book of Exalted deeds.
Had forgotten about that one! Thats very close to what I'm going for, though I'll still have to adjust it so you don't have to be an elf, have an exalted feet, or summon a celestial giant bird.

2005-10-09, 10:42 AM
Not to be pedantic, but the plural of Phoenix is either Phoenixes or (my personal fave) Phoenices (pronounced "FEE-ni-sees.") The Blue Phoenices is a very cool-sounding name :)

It sounds like a great idea. You could even subgroup them by mounts - the ravens and eagles patrol in the day, whereas the owl-riders take the night shift.

The Vorpal Tribble
2005-10-09, 01:23 PM
Ok, I've not added all the flavor text and everything, but here it is in a nutshell. Opinions/comments welcome.

(Btw, thanks for the suggestiion, Guy :D )


Blue Phoenices

In many stories of the cold climes there are tales of the ancient phoenix Cheyokot, a friend of the goddess Hleid who upon hearing of her death started to burn emotionally and physically with a cold raging fire. It sought to spread the word about the evil Iborighu and his followers, and teach those who would listen to defend themselves from the deity and other artic evils.
Taking the advice and teachings to heart, an aerial battalion came into being. They made pacts with the giant birds that lived on the icy mountain peaks such as hawks, owls and ravens, and promised to defend the homes of one another. The hatchlings would be raised by those that were pure of heart and together earn each other's trust friendship. Soon they would become inseperable, and most human cities in the cold lands began to have their own squadron. These towns do not own or dictate to those of the blue phoenix, whom often as not call no town home, and soar from city to city, offering their services and giving warning if anything is seen from the great heights. In return aeries are constructed on the peaks and kept well stocked with provisions and other commodities. Towns who do not show thanks to the riders find the blue phoenix do not abandon them, though patrols show in these areas irregularly at best.
As the mount and its rider's bond strengthens and they strive to grow closer to the ways taught by Cheyokot, the large bird begins to resemble more and more the organization's namesake. By tenth level they still retain a vague resemblance to their original nature, but on the whole appear as great lean birds afire with a strange blue flame.
Whatever their purpose all blue phoenices love the feel of frigid wind in their face and the sight of the rugged land beneath them, and even lawful members are wont to possessing a wild, daredevil streak to their natures.
Rangers are best suited and have the easiest time meeting the prerequisites for the Blue Phoenix class, though druids, barbarians and the odd paladin are also attracted to the class.
NPC blue phoenices are usually found as scouts and aerial guards of far northern and southern cities, always keeping an eye out for invasions and other dangers that pose a threat.

Hit Dice: d10

To qualify to become a blue phoenix, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Any good
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Skills: Handle Animal 8 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 6 ranks, Knowledge (geography) 4 ranks, Ride 8 ranks.
Feats: Mounted Combat, either Mounted Archery or Flyby attack
Special: Must be present at hatching of his chosen mount and spend the time required to train it.

Class Skills
Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis)
Skill points at each level: 2 + Int modifier

Class Level BAB FS RS WS Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Breath of the Heights +4, Clearsight
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Cold Endurance, Ride the Wind
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Breath of the Heights +6, Improved Mounted Combat
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Resistance to Cold 5, Deadly Charge
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Breath of the Heights +8, Rimefire Shot
6th +6 +5 +5 +2 Flame of the Blue Phoenix, Storm Kinship
7th +7 +5 +5 +2 Breath of the Heights +10, Soaring Spirits
8th +8 +6 +6 +2 Resistance to Cold 10, Howling Dive
9th +9 +6 +6 +3 Breath of the Heights +12, Winter Mist
10th +10 +7 +7 +3 Immolation

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A blue phoenix is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields.

Breath of the Heights (Ex): At 1st level the blue phoenix gains a +4 bonus on all Fortitude saving throws against fatigue caused by high elevation abd altitude sickness. This bonus increases by +2 every other level.

Clear Sight (Ex): A blue phoenix has eyesight clear as the air above the highest peaks. While airborne, a blue phoenix receives a +4 insight bonus to spot checks.

Cold Endurance (Ex): At 2nd level a Blue Pheonix gains the Cold Endurance feat.

Ride the Wind (Ex): At 2nd level, a blue phoenix becomes a master of the winds, guiding his mount through them with ease. While riding a flying mount, the blue phoenix's penalties on ranged attacks in windy conditions are reduced by 2 (no penaly in strong winds, -2 penalty in severe winds). The blue phoenix can make ranged attacks in windstorms, albeit at a -4 penalty. In hurricanes the ranged attack penalty increases to -8. Neither the blue phoenix nor his mount take penalties on Listen checks in windstorms and hurricanes.
Both the blue phoenix and his mount can move normally in severe winds and windstorms (instead of being checked), and hurricane winds reduce the flying speed of the blue phoenix's mount by half.

Improved Mounted Combat (Ex):
At 3rd level, a blue phoenix skill at mounted combat improves, enabling him to better protect his mount. This ability works as the Mounted Combat feat, except that the skylord's Ride check recieves a +2 bonus. This bonus increases by +2 every other level.

Deadly Charge (Ex):
At 4th level a blue phoenix deals an extra 2d6 points of damage on a successful attack made during a charge. The blue phoenix must be riding a flying mount to deal the extra damage.

Resistance to Cold (Su):
At 4th level a blue phoenix gains resistance to cold 5. This increases to resistance to cold 10 at 8th level.

Rimefire Shot (Su):
At 5th level, while riding his mount, a blue phoenix can imbue his weapon or one piece of amunition with rimefire as a standard action. This deals damage equal to 1d6 + the blue phoenix's charisma modifier. Half this damage is cold, the other half fire. At 7th level the damage rises to 2d6, and 3d6 at 9th level.

Flame of the Blue Phoenix (Su):
At 6th level a blue phoenix's mount burst into a heatless, eerie blue flame that illuminates an area of 100 feet. This flame negates magical darkness in its area as a spell of the blue phoenix's level.

Storm Kinship (Su):
At 6th level a blue phoenix is less likely to lose his bearings in a storm. He retains full visibility during rains and storms and does not take the usual penalties on Listen, Search and Spot checks.

Soaring Spirits (Ex):
While flying in temperatures below freezing a blue phoenix and his mount are energized by what is to them a bracing chill and gain a +2 morale bonus to all saves and attack rolls.

Howling Dive (Su):
At 8th level a Blue Phoenix and his mount can become as a Howl of the North three times per day for up to a minute that sends them shooting out at the minimal speed of a Windstorm (see p. 95 of the DMG). This produces wind of the same intensity and effects as well as causing 2d6 sonic damage/round to all within 60 feet they pass (DC 19 Fortitude save half).

Winter Mist (Su):
At 9th level a blue phoenix and his rider can weave the frigid winds and freezing rains into a thick cloud of coldfire (see p. 17 of Frostburn) that extends out to 10 feet for a minute per PrC level. This mist can be discontinued or brought forth at will. This coldfire deals 2d6 points of frostburn damage per round of exposure to anyone within 5 feet of this cloud. Total immersion into the cloud deals 10d6 points of frostburn damage per round. In addition, those damaged by coldfire are at risk of contracting coldfire ruin (see p. 14 of Frostburn). The blue phoenix and his mount also become immune to coldfire ruin, but unless wreathed in their winter mist still take damage from coldfire. While producing the mist the mount and his rider gain one-half concealment (20% miss-chance). Though it is difficult to see the blue phoenix because of the mist rising from its body, the mist itself is visible, provided that the area has sufficient light by which to see it.

Immolation (Su): By 10th level a blue phoenix and his mount have become so close to the pure ideals the original phoenix set that they have learned the way of ressurection. When the blue phoenix and his mount collectively sense their death is near, they may, as one, immolate themselves as a full-round action once per week. This produces a cloud of flame in a 20-foot-high, 15-foot radius spread. Each creature in the area takes 20d6 points of rimefire damage (Reflex DC 20 half). Half of this damage is fire, the other half cold. This action kills the original blue phoenix and his mount and ressurects them fully grown and unharmed from the ashes. The rider and mount rises at the end of the round.


Blue Phoenix Mounts
A blue phoenix mount is superior to a normal creature of its kind, and has special powers, as described below.

Blue Phoenix Bonus Nat. Armor Dex and Cha Special
Level HD Adj. Adj.

1st-3rd +2 +2 +1 Empathic link, share spells, improved natural attacks
4th-6th +4 +4 +2 Improved Fly speed, deadly charge +2d6
7th-9th +6 +6 +3 Spell resistance, immunities
10th +8 +8 +4 Bonus feat

Blue Phoenix Mount Basics: Use the base statistics for a creature of the mount's kind, but make changes to take into account the attributes and characteristics summarized on the table described below.
Bonus HD: Extra 10-sided (d10) Hit Dice, each of which gains a constitution modifier, as normal. Extra Hit Dice improve the mount's base attack bonus, and base save bonuses. a mount's base attack bonus is equal to that of a fighter of a level equal to the mount's Hit Dice. A mount has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whoes level equals the mount's HD). The mount doesn't gain any extra skills or feats for bonus Hit Dice.
Natural Armor Adjustment: The number on the table is an improvement to the mount's existing natural armor bonus.
Dex and Cha Adjustment: Add this value to the mount's Dexterity and Charisma score.
Empathic Link (Su): A blue phoenix has an empathic link with his mount out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The skylord cannot see through the mount's eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of this empathic link, the skylord has the same connection to an item or place that his mount does, just as with a master and his familiar.
Share Spells: At the skylord's option, he may have any spell (but not spell-like ability) he casts on himself also affect his mount. The mount must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to recieve the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the mount if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the mount again even if it returns to the blue phoenix before the duration expires. Additionally, they blue phoenix may cast a spell with a targed of "You" on his mount (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself. A blue phoenix and his mount can share spells even if the spells do not affect magical beasts.
Improved Natural Attacks: The damage dealt by each of the mount's natural attacks increases by one step. For example a giant eagle mount with this ability would roll 1d8 instead of 1d6 for claw damage and 1d10 instead of 1d8 for bite damage.
Improved Fly Speed (Ex): The mount's fly speed increases by 10 feet.
Deadly Charge (Ex): The blue phoenix's mount deals an extra 2d6 points of damage on a successful attack made during a charge.
Spell Resistance (Su): A mount's spell resistance equals the blue phoenix's character level + 5.
Immunities (Su): A blue phoenix's mount is immune to hold, paralysis, sleep, charms, and compulsions.
Bonus Feat: The mount gains one of the following feats as a bonus feat, provided it meets the prerequisites for the feat: Flyby Attack, Hover, Multiattack, Weapon Finesse, or Wingover

2005-10-09, 01:38 PM
It's a good class, my only qualm is Clear Sight. a +4 insight to -what-?

Im assuming to spot checks, but it doesnt say.

The Glyphstone
2005-10-09, 01:51 PM
For Flames of Illumination, you should make it the equivalent of a spell equal in level to the rider's class level. It'd mesh better with the existing darkness spell vs. light spell system.

"I'm attacking the darkness!" ;D

The Vorpal Tribble
2005-10-09, 04:55 PM
A'ight, adjusted 8)

Now onto the flavor text

2005-10-09, 04:58 PM
I agree with Seerow, it's a good class. Lots of abilities yet not overpowering. I was worried about Immolation until I reread it and noticed the "once per week" park :).

I'd just alter a bit the wording of Rimefire shot :

Rimefire Shot (Su):
At 5th level, while riding his mount, a blue phoenix can imbue a melee weapon or one piece of amunition with rimefire as a standard action. This deals damage equal to 1d6 + the blue phoenix's charisma modifier. Half this damage is cold, the other half fire. At 7th level the damage rises to 2d6, and 3d6 at 9th level.
Just to avoid any potential arguments that you might imbue a ranged weapon which would then bestow the bonus damage on all ammunition fired with it, like the Flaming enhancement (I know, that one specifically says it works, but making it crystal clear that Rimefire Shot doesn't can't hurt, can it ?).

The Vorpal Tribble
2005-10-10, 11:15 AM
A'ight, everything should be in it now. Sure wonder why the code script looks so odd on this forum though :-/

Just to avoid any potential arguments that you might imbue a ranged weapon which would then bestow the bonus damage on all ammunition fired with it, like the Flaming enhancement (I know, that one specifically says it works, but making it crystal clear that Rimefire Shot doesn't can't hurt, can it ?).
Don't quite get you.

2005-10-10, 02:05 PM
The Flaming enhancement says that you can put it on, say, a bow and that all arows fired with it will be flaming.

Rimefire shot doesn't say anything about this. While it should be clear enough that this absence means it doesn't work like that, you might want to clarify even further - else one of your players could just announce he's imbuing his bow with Rimefire Shot and that all his arrows carry the extra damage. This could lead to a potentially long discussion which could easily be avoided by adding just the two words I suggested.

Depends on what kind of players you have, I guess.

2005-10-10, 08:06 PM
Good use of frostburn rules. I may yoink this.