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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    So a while back I realized that a Paladin's Special Mount is often more powerful then the Paladin. The Special Mount gets Shared Spells, Improved Evasion, Shared Saves, Improved Speed, Command creatures of its kind, and Spell Resistance, and bonus hit dice, Str, Natural Armor, and Intelligence.
    On top of all this, you get the general benefits of mounted combat - faster movement, extra attacks from your Mount, double or triple damage on a charge with your lance, etc. Now, if you're just using a horse or pony, then your mount is a useful perk. But if you take the time to improve it, it can be ridiculous.

    Feats:

    Celestial Mount: Your Mount gains the Celestial template, granting it DR, Energy Resistance, and Spell Resistance.

    Leadership: Probably the most powerful feat in D&D for a Paladin, you can pretty much get whatever you want, with DM approval. This instantly balances out the Paladin against almost any build. Oh, you're playing a Batman Wizard? Well, Dudly Do-Right has a Gold Dragon. Have fun fighting the Tarrasque together. PHB.

    Devoted Tracker: You can designate your Special Mount as your Animal Companion. Open to all sorts of abuse.


    Prestige Classes: Interestingly enough, virtually all of these prestige classes are weaker then a strait Paladin with Leadership. But most DMs I know ban Leadership, when really they just need to be intelligent about what they allow, balancing it against other party members. But here you go:

    Ashworm Dragoon: You get a giant sand worm that you can Burrow with, the ability to use Mounted Combat with every melee attack (thus your Mount will rarely be hit in melee, since it's easy to boost Ride), plus Pounce and a few other helpful abilities. Sandstorm.

    Aglarondan Griffin Rider: You get a Griffin, Evasion -> Improved Evasion (for you and your Mount when mounted - a rarity for full BAB classes, and especially helpful considering a Paladin's high Saves), Improved Mounted Combat, and other moderate perks. Unapproachable East.

    Cavalier: Progresses you Special Mount, some bonuses to Ride, hit, and damage, gives limited charge damage multiplier, plus limited Pounce. Nothing particularly exciting, but it's playable. Comp Warrior pg 19.

    Halfling Outrider: Levels of this PrC stack to determine both Special Mount and Animal Companion abilities. Combine with Devoted Tracker for a Supermount. Complete Warrior pg 38.

    Knight of the Iron Glacier: Although the pre-reqs include 2 useless feats, a 1 level dip into this PrC will give you a kick butt giant moose as a Special Mount. Now you may be laughing at the idea of riding around on a Large moose, but consider that your moose has more hit dice then you, Improved Grab, Toss (free Bull Rush of Grappled enemy), Scent, and all of your Paladin Mount special abilities. Frostburn pg 63.

    Prestige Paladin: All the benefits of Paladin 5 crammed into 3 levels. Unearthed Arcana.

    Triadic Knight: Grants you a Special Mount (or stacks to determine your existing Special Mount) and 5/7 caster progression (with dead first and last levels) for any divine caster class. Champions of Valor.


    Spells: Never forget that you can Share Spells with your Special Mount. Spells like Shield Other (essentially giving you a collective pool of hit points), Cure spells, and various other buffs. With Sword of the Arcane Order (Heroes of Valor) you can memorize Wizard spells, and with Battle Blessing (Complete Champion) you can cast Paladin spells as Swift Actions.

    Also remember that you can use any spell trigger item that's on your spell list, even if you're not currently capable of casting the spell. So a Paladin 5/Ashworm Dragoon 10 can still use a wand of Holy Sword. Or you can invest in UMD, a Cha based Skill which is a reasonable cross class investment for anyone. That opens up Alter Self and Polymorph craziness, times 2.

    Finally, you can always take Leadership and go Cleric 2/Prestige Paladin 3/Triadic Knight 6, and get 9/11 Cleric caster progression and Share Spells with your uber mount, and all bets are off.


    So, did I miss anything? Has anyone actually played with a Special Mount, or is it strictly the realm of forum optimization?
    Last edited by Person_Man; 2009-03-10 at 05:26 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Isn't there something in the Draconomicon for Dragon Special mounts? Can be useful?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    So a while back I realized that a Paladin's Special Mount is often more powerful then the Paladin. The Special Mount gets Shared Spells, Improved Evasion, Shared Saves, Improved Speed, Command creatures of its kind, and Spell Resistance, and bonus hit dice, Str, Natural Armor, and Intelligence.
    On top of all this, you get the general benefits of mounted combat - faster movement, extra attacks from your Mount, double or triple damage on a charge with your lance, etc. Now, if you're just using a horse or pony, then your mount is a useful perk. But if you take the time to improve it, it can be ridiculous.

    Feats:

    Celestial Mount: Your Mount gains the Celestial template, granting it DR, Energy Resistance, and Spell Resistance.

    Leadership: Probably the most powerful feat in D&D for a Paladin, you can pretty much get whatever you want, with DM approval. This instantly balances out the Paladin against almost any build. Oh, you're playing a Batman Wizard? Well, Dudly Do-Right has a Gold Dragon. Have fun fighting the Tarrasque together. PHB.

    Devoted Tracker: You can designate your Special Mount as your Animal Companion. Open to all sorts of abuse.


    Prestige Classes: Interestingly enough, virtually all of these prestige classes are weaker then a strait Paladin with Leadership. But most DMs I know ban Leadership, when really they just need to be intelligent about what they allow, balancing it against other party members. But here you go:

    Ashworm Dragoon: You get a giant sand worm that you can Burrow with, the ability to use Mounted Combat with every melee attack (thus your Mount will rarely be hit in melee, since it's easy to boost Ride), plus Pounce and a few other helpful abilities. Sandstorm.

    Aglarondan Griffin Rider: You get a Griffin, Evasion -> Improved Evasion (for you and your Mount when mounted - a rarity for full BAB classes, and especially helpful considering a Paladin's high Saves), Improved Mounted Combat, and other moderate perks. Unapproachable East.

    Cavalier: Progresses you Special Mount, some bonuses to Ride, hit, and damage, gives limited charge damage multiplier, plus limited Pounce. Nothing particularly exciting, but it's playable. Comp Warrior pg 19.

    Halfling Outrider: Levels of this PrC stack to determine both Special Mount and Animal Companion abilities. Combine with Devoted Tracker for a Supermount. Complete Warrior pg 38.

    Knight of the Iron Glacier: Although the pre-reqs include 2 useless feats, a 1 level dip into this PrC will give you a kick butt giant moose as a Special Mount. Now you may be laughing at the idea of riding around on a Large moose, but consider that your moose has more hit dice then you, Improved Grab, Toss (free Bull Rush of Grappled enemy), Scent, and all of your Paladin Mount special abilities. Frostburn pg 63.

    Prestige Paladin: All the benefits of Paladin 5 crammed into 3 levels. Unearthed Arcana.

    Triadic Knight: Grants you a Special Mount (or stacks to determine your existing Special Mount) and 5/7 caster progression (with dead first and last levels) for any divine caster class. Champions of Valor.


    Spells: Never forget that you can Share Spells with your Special Mount. Spells like Shield Other (essentially giving you a collective pool of hit points), Cure spells, and various other buffs. With Sword of the Arcane Order (Heroes of Valor) you can memorize Wizard spells, and with Battle Blessing (Complete Champion) you can cast Paladin spells as Swift Actions.

    Also remember that you can use any spell trigger item that's on your spell list, even if you're not currently capable of casting the spell. So a Paladin 5/Ashworm Dragoon 10 can still use a wand of Holy Sword. Or you can invest in UMD, a Cha based Skill which is a reasonable cross class investment for anyone. That opens up Alter Self and Polymorph craziness, times 2.

    Finally, you can always take Leadership and go Cleric 2/Prestige Paladin 3/Triadic Knight 6, and get 9/11 Cleric caster progression and Share Spells with your uber mount, and all bets are off.


    So, did I miss anything? Has anyone actually played with a Special Mount, or is it strictly the realm of forum optimization?
    I've not played one myself, but I've seen an unoptimized version in play - Paladin with a Hippogriff. It wasn't vastly beyond what a normal Paladin could achieve, though we did make a couple of jokes about the player having a hippogriff character with a paladin cohort.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Dragon Steed and Dragon Cohort-feats both need a mention. Dragon Steed is only really useful for a Paladin (normally it just gets you a Dragonnel, but with some Mount-level boosting you'll be looking at a veritable Dragon), while Dragon Cohort works like a Super Leadership as far as getting a Dragon mount goes.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Dragon Steed and Dragon Cohort-feats both need a mention. Dragon Steed is only really useful for a Paladin (normally it just gets you a Dragonnel, but with some Mount-level boosting you'll be looking at a veritable Dragon), while Dragon Cohort works like a Super Leadership as far as getting a Dragon mount goes.
    Dragon Cohort allows the borken Infinite Cohort trick. Normally, Leadership requires your cohort to have a lower ECL than your own, so while you might be able to chain together a few cohorts who take leadership to gain another cohort, the chain eventually stops working once ECL drops below 6.

    Dragon Cohort, however, allows your cohort to be 3 ECL higher than normal. So you can take a dragon cohort that takes another dragon cohort that takes another cohort, etc. ad infinitum.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    A good DM won't allow a mount or 'side-kick' of any sort to overshadow the PC. In my games those henchmen end up with very short life-spans. {especially when the player uses them too much}

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWizard View Post
    A good DM won't allow a mount or 'side-kick' of any sort to overshadow the PC. In my games those henchmen end up with very short life-spans. {especially when the player uses them too much}
    Except when it's intentional. Tiger with a Halfling rider or such. There's a lot of ways to make your pet tougher, and if you do so enough, you've completely abandoned your own character as anything except a source of power for the pet. I've got a theoretical build that's Druid/Bard/Beastmaster/Arcane Heirophant where the backstory is that the Caster has been imprisoned and the Familiar/AC is the one adventuring to try to save him.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    I've always wanted to make a character that's just some full-of-himself aristocrat and it's his mount or cohort that keeps his oblivious head on his supercilious shoulders.

    If I'm remembering right, Caelic's Supermount was something like paladin5/beastmaster1/halfling outrider10, right? There must be a better way using the prestige paladin, somehow... Maybe Cleric1/Druid4/PrestigePaladin3... or not. I'm not a very good CO.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Another solid mount-enhancing PrC option is the Beast Heart Adept (Dungeonscape). You can pick from a variety of mounts, including many solid flying ones, and they advance at an accelerated rate (as with the Ashwurm Dragoon). At first level, for instance, you can pick up a pegasus, hippogriff, giant eagle or giant owl, and later you can trade in for a chimera or wyvern. You also get the ability to flank with your companion from any position (so, for instance, if you were mounted on it...) and eventually gain an ability that causes enemies to provoke an AoO from you whenever your companion hits them (which you'll always be in range to take, since you're mounted on it).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    I'm currently playing a Hound Archon gestalt character and they've got the ability to get a Bronze Dragon (Juvenile) as a Special Mount. Normally, with the Dragon Steed feat you can't even get close to a dragon of that Age. Also you can't get the best, a Gold Dragon(young I think), until paladin level 20. I should be able to get mine well before then.

    Not that my guy is optimized in regards to his mount but I do plan to use him in an interesting fashion.

    My plan is whenever I am in town or traveling, to use my Hound Archon ability to change into a Riding Dog. Then use my dragon mounts polymorph ability to change into a halfling to ride me. Player becomes the mount, mount becomes the player. Should make for some interesting roleplaying/encounters.

    There's actually A LOT you can do with special mounts. From what I've seen you can pretty much ride anything. I've seen people riding various bugs & vermin. I've seen a player riding an Ogre riding a mount (can't remember what the Ogre was riding lol). I've seen a player riding a gelatinous cube. You name it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by dyslexicfaser View Post
    I've always wanted to make a character that's just some full-of-himself aristocrat and it's his mount or cohort that keeps his oblivious head on his supercilious shoulders.

    If I'm remembering right, Caelic's Supermount was something like paladin5/beastmaster1/halfling outrider10, right? There must be a better way using the prestige paladin, somehow... Maybe Cleric1/Druid4/PrestigePaladin3... or not. I'm not a very good CO.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    I've been trying to figure out how the Ubermount works for like an hour, and I just can't understand it.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Ubermount:

    Start with Paladin 5 to get a Special Mount.
    Take 5 levels of Wizard using the 5th-level High One Warrior Wizard substitution levels from the Champions of Valor web enhancement (the 2nd and 4th level subs are useful but not required.) That gets you an ability called Familiar Mount, which lets you make your Special Mount also be your Familiar. At level 6, the build suggests taking Theurgic Mount, which is a Dragon Magazine feat that lets you combine your levels in an arcane class to determine your effective paladin level for the mount bonus. So at level 10, your proto-Ubermount has benefits as per a Paladin 10's Mount and a Wizard 5's Familiar.

    Then add a level in the Beastmaster PrC, which is kind of a highly compressed Druid in terms of Animal Companions- you get one to start with at (Class level+3), or effective Druid 4. That also qualifies you for the Devoted Tracker feat (C. Adventurer) which lets you make your Mount also be your animal companion. At this point your Ubermount is a Mount 10/Familiar 5/Companion 4. It then adds Theurgic Bond (Same Dragon as the Mount one), which does the same thing Theurgic Mount did for the Mount side; you can add your Paladin levels to determine the Familiar bonus. You now have Mount 10/Familiar 10/Companion 4.

    The post suggests Fleshwarper to finish out the build, which is in Lords of Madness. I'm not personally familiar with it, but the web preview of it has a feature called 'Aberrant Familiar'. Presumably this means the class advances your familiar progression (and probably also adds some aberration features to it), which means that through the rest of the build it also advances your Mount progression. It also focuses on a form of grafts, which can be used to further enhance the Ubermount.

    Finally, Natural Bond bumps up the Companion part another touch. The final tally should be something like Mount 19/Familiar 19/Companion 7. That's the final tier of benefits for both Mount (8 HD, 10 Natural Armor, 4 Strength) and Familiar (10 more Natural Armor, 15 Int) but only the third line for Companions (still good for 4 more HD, 4 more Armor, and 2 more Dex and Strength.) It's going to be a very respectable beast, but a bit short of being a real Ubermount with the goal of full or near full progression in all three companion types; you can make your Mount/Familiar/Companion into one creature, but there doesn't seem to be anything in there that actually helps advance the effective Companion level.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Dragonlance has some good stuff for dragonriding, as one might expect. Although the main book's Dragonrider is basically just a combination of the Draconic Cohort feat and a mount progression, ther Beastiary of Krynn has the feat Mighty Steed, which the mount can take to count itself 1 size larger for carrying people. This makes it a lot easier to get airborne with a true dragon, since they only need to be medium size (they're probably at the top end of medium anyway) and have the feat. It also makes me want to take a bunch of medium sized animals and magical beats, and train them from infancy to learn the feat.

    As for the Dragon Steed feat: who allowed that picture of a Dragonnel to be produced? Someone should smack them over the head with a copy of Dragon Magic, and show them the Drakkensteed picture in there: that is what a draconic mount should look like. Sadly, the Drakkensteed doesn't actually have any claw attacks to go with it's foreclaws, so take the Dragonnel states and glue the Drakkensteed picture into the book. Now you have a decent mount. Or just use the Drakkensteed as is, and accept that you're getting it as an alternate class feature instead of a feat for a reason.

    As for Beast Heart adept, I agree it's nifty (though the emphasis is on fighting alongside your companion, instead of on or behind), but the fact that it has no way to progress outside the 10 levels of the PrC means that it can only be used from levels 6-16 (first level you can get it to last level of the PrC). It doesn't stack with anything else, so you're kinda stuck.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    Ubermount:

    Start with Paladin 5 to get a Special Mount.
    Take 5 levels of Wizard using the 5th-level High One Warrior Wizard substitution levels from the Champions of Valor web enhancement (the 2nd and 4th level subs are useful but not required.) That gets you an ability called Familiar Mount, which lets you make your Special Mount also be your Familiar. At level 6, the build suggests taking Theurgic Mount, which is a Dragon Magazine feat that lets you combine your levels in an arcane class to determine your effective paladin level for the mount bonus. So at level 10, your proto-Ubermount has benefits as per a Paladin 10's Mount and a Wizard 5's Familiar.

    Then add a level in the Beastmaster PrC, which is kind of a highly compressed Druid in terms of Animal Companions- you get one to start with at (Class level+3), or effective Druid 4. That also qualifies you for the Devoted Tracker feat (C. Adventurer) which lets you make your Mount also be your animal companion. At this point your Ubermount is a Mount 10/Familiar 5/Companion 4. It then adds Theurgic Bond (Same Dragon as the Mount one), which does the same thing Theurgic Mount did for the Mount side; you can add your Paladin levels to determine the Familiar bonus. You now have Mount 10/Familiar 10/Companion 4.

    The post suggests Fleshwarper to finish out the build, which is in Lords of Madness. I'm not personally familiar with it, but the web preview of it has a feature called 'Aberrant Familiar'. Presumably this means the class advances your familiar progression (and probably also adds some aberration features to it), which means that through the rest of the build it also advances your Mount progression. It also focuses on a form of grafts, which can be used to further enhance the Ubermount.

    Finally, Natural Bond bumps up the Companion part another touch. The final tally should be something like Mount 19/Familiar 19/Companion 7. That's the final tier of benefits for both Mount (8 HD, 10 Natural Armor, 4 Strength) and Familiar (10 more Natural Armor, 15 Int) but only the third line for Companions (still good for 4 more HD, 4 more Armor, and 2 more Dex and Strength.) It's going to be a very respectable beast, but a bit short of being a real Ubermount with the goal of full or near full progression in all three companion types; you can make your Mount/Familiar/Companion into one creature, but there doesn't seem to be anything in there that actually helps advance the effective Companion level.
    Thanks, that makes a lot more sense.

    Paladin also counts for companion levels with the Devoted Tracker feat, so I think it'd be about a 12th level companion or so.

    Fleshwarper does increase familiar levels, and gives it three abilities from a list which include a size increase, wings, a tentacle, +4 NA, or immunity to sneak attacks. It also grants 9/10 spellcasting and some graft feats.

    EDIT: Oh, and Theurgic Bond feat from Dragon seems to let wizard/fleshwarper stack for companion, so that's another, what, 14 levels? Companion ends up being 23 by level 20.

    Damn that's tricky. Complicated, but tricky.
    Last edited by dyslexicfaser; 2009-03-12 at 01:53 AM.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Ah, just get a little dragon. Those are badass enough with no feats or bells and whistles added.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by dyslexicfaser View Post
    Thanks, that makes a lot more sense.

    Paladin also counts for companion levels with the Devoted Tracker feat, so I think it'd be about a 12th level companion or so.

    Fleshwarper does increase familiar levels, and gives it three abilities from a list which include a size increase, wings, a tentacle, +4 NA, or immunity to sneak attacks. It also grants 9/10 spellcasting and some graft feats.

    EDIT: Oh, and Theurgic Bond feat from Dragon seems to let wizard/fleshwarper stack for companion, so that's another, what, 14 levels? Companion ends up being 23 by level 20.
    Hmm. The Dandello text for Devoted Tracker doesn't mention stacking levels, just making the Mount/Companion into the same creature. I will admit that there may be further statements on such in the actual book, but that seems like a kind of huge thing to leave out. I don't think Theurgic Bond works to advance the Beastmaster's companion by a technicality of the ability: "you can combine the levels of your spellcasting classes that grant either an animal companion or a familiar." Beastmaster isn't a spellcasting class. You could sub in Druid instead, which would save you the entry prereq feat but also sacrifice the Beastmaster's free Natural Bond effect. I think it may also state that you'd have to take Theurgic Bond twice to get it to apply to your Ubermount as both Familiar and Companion progression, as every reference is exclusive (ie, familiar or companion.) So you'd probably end up giving up Natural Bond entirely so you could take Theurgic Bond-Mount!Familiar and Theurgic Bond-Mount!Companion. You'd still get a higher level Companion bonus that way than the Beastmaster/Natural Bond technique, however, thanks to stacking in 12 levels worth of Familiar advancement.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    Hmm. The Dandello text for Devoted Tracker doesn't mention stacking levels, just making the Mount/Companion into the same creature. I will admit that there may be further statements on such in the actual book, but that seems like a kind of huge thing to leave out.
    You're right, that was a misreading on my part.


    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    I think it may also state that you'd have to take Theurgic Bond twice to get it to apply to your Ubermount as both Familiar and Companion progression, as every reference is exclusive (ie, familiar or companion.) So you'd probably end up giving up Natural Bond entirely so you could take Theurgic Bond-Mount!Familiar and Theurgic Bond-Mount!Companion.
    That sounds plausible. The text of the feat (I read it over on crystalkeep) was awfully confusing, but it would make sense when taken that way.
    People seemed to like this better, but only marginally so - the way one might prefer to be stabbed than shot. Optimally, one isn't stabbed or shot. Optimally, one eats some cake! But there are times when cake is not available, and instead we are destroyed. This is the deep poetry of the universe. -- Tycho Brahe

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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    So with a Paladin 5/Beastmaster 1/Wiz 5/Fleshcrafter 9, you'd have a ballpark BAB +11 and CL 13 - actually not that horrible, that's most buffs that you'd want to share with your mount anyhow.

    I made some really fun supermount builds a while back, but I'd avoided the ubermount since I'm not too fond of Dragon material. But I'll give it a shot later tonight, should prove fun =)
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    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Antwerp
    Gender
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    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    Would you mind going over the logic of how Shield Other gives you and your mount a collective pool of hit points?

    Are you casting it on yourself or the mount?

    Casting it on the mount seems ineffective, as you simply take half its damage, and it doesn't take any of yours. There is no spell-sharing for spells you specifically cast on your mount.

    Casting it on yourself doesn't seem like it should work in the first place in of itself. It's called "Shield Other" for starters. If you did, it is counted as also casting the same spell on the mount. So you're still in the same situation, no? You take half of the mount's damage, but you do gain the deflection and resistance bonus for casting it on yourself, too.

    The only way I can see this working is if the Mount was able to cast the spell on you as well.



    I just noticed this might be thread necromancy. My apologies. Person Man had linked to this thread in another, recent post of his.
    Last edited by teslas; 2011-01-06 at 11:14 PM. Reason: elaboration

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Retired Mod in the Playground Retired Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    South Korea
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    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Special Paladin Mount

    The Red Towel: Thread necromancy.
    “Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him
    the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read;
    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
    little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
    ~Stoner, John Williams~
    My Homebrew (Most Recent) | Forum Rules
    /veɪnoɚ/

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