Does he make the worg shrink? (Geddit? Because "worg" is "grow" backwards? Eh? Anyone?)
Originally Posted by GobtaGobta, Goblin Worg Rider
Spoiler: BuildShowRace: Goblin
- 9 STR (11 base, -2 race)
- 16 DEX (14 base, +2 race)
- 14 CON
- 10 INT
- 10 WIS
- 16 CHA (17 base, -2 race, +1 LVL4)
Level Class BaseAttack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features 1st Sorcerer 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Kn: Arcana 4, Ride 2 (CC) Precocious Apprentice (Invisibility) FamiliarAnimal Companion ACF (Wolf) 2nd Sorcerer 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Kn: Arcana 4, Handle Animal 1 (CC), Ride 2 (CC) 3rd Sorcerer 3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Kn: Arcana 4, Handle Animal 1 (CC), Ride 3 (CC) Obtain Familiar (Hawk) 4th Sorcerer 4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Kn: Arcana 4, Handle Animal 2 (CC), Ride 3 (CC) 5th Sorcerer 5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Kn: Arcana 4, Handle Animal 2 (CC), Ride 4 (CC) 6th Sorcerer 6 +3 +2 +2 +5 Kn: Arcana 4, Handle Animal 3 (CC), Ride 4 (CC) Improved Familiar (Worg)
Feats after level 6:
- Companion Spellbond
- Enspell Familiar
- Martial Study: Shadow Jaunt
- Martial Stance: Iron Guard’s Glare
- Mounted Combat
- Shape Soulmeld: Riding Bracers
- Bonus Essentia
- Shape Soulmeld: Fellmist Robe
- Share Soulmeld
- Martial Study: Shield Block
Spells, in order of acquisition:
0 [6/day] - Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Message, +4
1 [7/day] - Enlarge Person, Shocking Grasp, Shield, Expeditious Retreat
2 [7/day] - Invisibility, Augment Familiar
3 [4/day] - Haste [but see the note on items below]
Spoiler: EquipmentShowWe’re a sorcerer, so we’re not getting away without some items to help us out a bit. A suggested item set with level 6 WBL follows:
- Runestaff of Enhance Familiar, Fortify Familiar, Greater Mage Armor 1/day ea. (3600 gp)
- Lesser Rod of Extend Spell (3000 gp) (To be used with the runestaff each morning.)
- Collar of Healing (5000 gp) (A bit pricey, but it helps us keep Worg alive)
- Light mithral shield (1009 gp) (No ACP, no ASF, used with Shield Block)
- Total gold remaining: 391 gp
As wealth is accrued beyond this point, it would be worthwhile to invest in some Memento Magica or upgrade the Runestaff into a true Staff, or both. Any items that buff the animal companion and the familiar are a strong investment. Scrolls, wands, potions, staffs, form doesn’t really matter to us much as long as we’re getting a few of these buffs in play. (Ideally we’d grab some Knowstones and cast them ourselves, but alas, they are not to be found outside the Forbidden Pages). If we can boost CL on any of these buffs, every point will help. If we have serious trouble finding the suggested items, Enhance Familiar should be taken in place of Haste as our spell known as a last resort. As always, AC improvements or a permanent Greater Magic Fang are both worthwhile if we can make them happen. If by some miracle we could get our hands on a rod of Quicken, it would be ten Christmases come early all at once, as it would cut our buff time in half at the start of a fight.
Spoiler: Level BreakdownShowLevel 1-2, we start strong. Already we have our mount, though it’s not Worg yet, it’s Wolf which will have to do until we hit level 6. We have our signature tactic, too (most of the time) with Invisibility. Drop that at the start of a fight that we’re worried about, and participate from safety atop Wolf’s back. Wolf will run in and deliver an attack from invisibility, then with us still invisible on his back he will use Trip potential and our Enlarge Person buff to rip out throats and tendons alike. These tactics will persist throughout our entire career, so it’s great to get started on them now. Outside of fights, we operate as a scout. OK, our skills are pathetic compared to an actual scout, or even a ranger or rogue. Realistically, it’s Wolf’s move speed, our small size, and our Invisibility spell that really come in handy, along with our cantrips for signaling the party. So, more of an early warning system, I suppose?
Level 3. Here we get Hawk as a familiar unless we’re concerned with the year-and-a-day wait between dropping it and getting Worg our improved familiar, in which case best not to. Assuming we do, this adds a new element to our tactics. We cast our touch attack spell, Hawk delivers, we stay invisible.
Level 4-5. Finally we have invisibility of our own and some consistent repeatability to it, our ability to play our game in more than one fight per day will be really enjoyable. The shield spell shows up for some added durability, too. Level 5 we pick up Augment Familiar but aren’t really using it yet.
Level 6. This is where it all comes together. We upgrade from Wolf (animal companion) to Worg (familiar), and our mount can now deliver those touch attack spells we spoke of earlier. Should a flying scout be needed, we can trade Wolf over to Hawk for a while, but we prefer Wolf for the flanking and second trip attack. Buff spells arrive in force now, especially if we can get our hands on those items we’ve been looking at. Wolf gets an upgrade too, as he passes into the next Animal Companion tier.
Companion Spellbond: Now we can include Wolf in our buffs, even when he runs over to flank!
Enspell Familiar: Remember how we had to be in the thick of combat on the back of Worg all the time? No more. Now we can hang back invisibly far away from the fight and let the Worg and the Wolf do the work. Sadly Wolf is out of range of our buffs if we elect to do this, so we’d have to cast his buffs separately. Or ride Wolf and send Worg to fight.
Shadow Jaunt: We’re able to pick this one up thanks to an initiator level of 3 just from being level 6, and it having no prereq maneuvers. While we can’t bring our friends along, it’s an excellent scouting or escape tool should we find ourselves pressed into helping directly.
Iron Guard’s Glare: A passive -4 to all attacks from adjacent enemies? Sign us up! Worg and Wolf both love to get into the thick of it.
Mounted Combat: We like Worg, and we like to keep him safe. Should we ever be riding Wolf, the same applies.
Riding Bracers: This helps us implement our various ride checks, and any handle animal checks we need to make for Wolf.
Bonus Essentia: We can shape a soulmeld, so we gain 2 essentia to double the bonus from Riding Bracers!
Fellmist Robe: Concealment against anyone not covered under IGG of 10%. Or 20% if we pull essentia away from our Riding Bracers. Definitely worth taking.
Share Soulmeld: And now the Fellmist Robe applies to Worg as well, or Wolf if we're riding him.
Shield Block: Once per fight we can intercept an incoming attack and give Worg (okay, fine, or any other adjacent ally) +5 AC against it, just in case our ride check and IGG didn’t do enough good. Stacks with the Shield spell we've shared with him, because it's not called out as a shield bonus!
Spoiler: ResultsShowWe stay invisible and out of the fight so our stats don't matter as much. Worg and Wolf, on the other hand... With Enhance Familiar (all-day), Fortify Familiar (all-day), Greater Mage Armor (all-day), Shield, Augment Familiar, Enlarge Person, and flanking for good measure, we get
They both have 10ft reach and Worg has DR 5/magic and light fortification, and 2d8 temp HP the first hour of the day. A shame he can't use his own HP, that would be 4d10+16 which is twice as much as he has. Appeal to the DM for a houserule if this sees actual play. Wolf got a stat point that he put into Con at 4HD, and a feat he used for Combat Reflexes at 3HD.
Stats Worg Wolf STR 23 16 DEX 17 14 CON 19 16 AC 31 15 HP (half 5d4+16, avg 14) 4d8+12 (avg 30) Attack +13 +7 Damage 1d8+11 1d8+4 Free trip +14 +10 Fort save +12 +7 Ref save +11 +6 Will save +7 +2
Spoiler: ElaborationShowThe odd point out goes into Str because it’s the only one that really benefits from one more point. Cha being at 17 drops to 15 from race, qualifying for Precocious Apprentice and later getting a +1 to give a bonus spell of each level we can cast. Con goes to 14 because we need it for our meldshaping later and it boosts Worg's HP. Dex at 16 so that we have, you know, any points leftover. Wis and Int both set to 10. We only get two points per level, so let's start with Kn: Arcana and Ride (which is sadly cross-class). We'll continue to advance Ride, but we'll put points in Handle Animal as well (
which is a class skill thanks to Blood of EberronI have discovered that this is from the Forbidden Pages, and had to drop back to the simpler Animal Companion ACF which doesn't affect skills. A shame really, I don't like using UA.).
Precocious Apprentice and our ACF start us on track right from the start. For the former, Invisibility. For the latter, a Wolf. We ride Wolf, and if we need to we make us and Wolf invisible. When Wolf attacks, we stay invisible. Our spells are used to buff Wolf and let him do the fighting, making plentiful use of the Trip ability. At level 6, we gain Worg and new tactics emerge. Now when we enter combat, both Wolf and Worg are invisible until the first attack, and after that can spread out to flank. Both get trip attempts which is incredibly helpful, and Worg being our familiar opens up that pile of buffs we’ve got now. When not buffing, we can cast one of our few touch spells through Worg, letting him deliver Shocking Grasp for us (via his bite, if the DM is feeling generous). Note that this is not a direct attack by our rider, and indirect attacks are explicitly called out as not breaking invisibility, so we get to stay invisible through all of this.
There is a halfway step between these two strategic moments, when we gain Obtain Familiar at level 3. We are not yet able to gain Worg (not having Improved Familiar or a BAB of +3 yet) but we can grab something else that will help. Any of the flying familiars are excellent choices here, favoring Hawk for combat and scouting, with Owl and Bat serving as suitable scouts under different circumstances (night or indoors, respectively). With a flying familiar, we can arrange for it to deliver our touch spells much as Worg will later on (though sadly they lack flyby attack). Once we’re riding Worg, we can even trade Wolf out for Hawk as an animal companion to focus on the scout role and switch back to focus on the combat role, though doing this too frequently may result in large rectangular or small polyhedral objects flying at our head. Where do they come from? A mystery that will never be solved.
Dancing Lights and Ghost Sound are great spells to have in the scout role because they work wonders for signalling, overtly or surreptitiously. Leveling up, we would trade out the Invisibility spell for a ring of the same if that would also affect Worg; sadly, this is not the case, but in the event of a supporting house rule we might take another spell in it’s place. The spells we have known are the ones we want to use leading into an encounter where they can benefit both rider and mount. A typical fight would engage Invisibility ASAP, Enlarge Person if there’s time left before the fight, and then Augment Familiar. In the next round, the rider will use Shield if the extra AC is needed, and retain the option to cast Shocking Grasp for some additional damage delivered via the familiar or animal companion; otherwise simply continue concentrating on Augment Familiar.
As we gain feats, the first two enable greater versatility in tactical positioning, particularly while buffed. The first one in particular has an immediate benefit for Wolf, being able to approach from a flanking position without losing Enlarge Person and Invisibility. Riding Bracers was chosen to better utilize our friends, and Shadow Jaunt was chosen for thematic reasons based on the source of inspiration (though who's gonna pass on teleportation?). If we have those already, we might as well pick up Fellmist Robe and Iron Guard's Glare, which both serve to protect our mount, complementing each other nicely. Shield Block is a bonus "oh snap" defense, playing off our shield. Sure, while we have the shield spell up it overlaps our shield's bonus, but considering the spell still increases our AC by 3 and gives a +4 to both friends, it's worth it. The shield also serves as a 'weapon' allowing us to threaten the area around us for IGG, which itself does not say that we have to be seen for the penalty to apply! So, that might get pens thrown at me (run out of dice already?), but I hold to my reading of it.
Spoiler: SourcesShowGoblin: MM1/SRD
Animal Companion ACF: UA/SRD
Precocious Apprentice, Obtain Familiar: Complete Arcane
Worg familiar: Complete Warrior option for Improved Familiar
Companion Spellbond: PHB2
Enspell Familiar: Dragon Compendium
Martial Study, Martial Stance: Tome of Battle
Shape Soulmeld, Share Soulmeld, Bonus Essentia: Magic of Incarnum
Enhance Familiar, Augment Familiar, Fortify Familiar, Greater Mage Armor: Spell Compendium
Runestaff, Memento Magica, Collar of Healing: Magic Item Compendium
Everything else: PHB/SRD
Not counting SRD, SpC, and MIC (all of which I expect), I have 6 sources. Not bad... but not as tight as it could have been.