Letters from the Flaming Crab: Winged Cavalry (PFRPG) PDF

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Letters from the Flaming Crab is a monthly series of Pathfinder-compatible supplements. Each Letter focuses on exploring a different topic to give gamemasters and players new, exciting options that can be dropped into any campaign.

Welcome to our first issue: Winged Cavalry! Our team of writers brings you the master of aerial combat: the wind warden, an alternate class for the cavalier. And 4 orders for the wind warden: the order of the feather (pegasus), order of the hunt (pteranodon), order of the spire (magic carpet), and the order of talon and mane (griffon). In addition, we have a few advanced flying maneuvers in the book. "Do a barrel roll!"

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

4/5

The first of the installments of Flaming Crab Games' series of experimental pdfs clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this pdf with a well-written letter sent by Molly Shell, captain of the UCs Flaming Crab, which, thanks to the cooperation of Einstein and Tesla, has obviously managed to transcend the borders of an alotopia of our world - and ended up in a storm, which brought it to J Gray's house...

Flavor-wise, we begin well here. The pdf begins with the Wind Warden, a class that gets full BAB-progression, good Fort-saves, d10, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons and all armors and shields (excluding tower shields). At 1st level, they get Challenge (+1/day at 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter) and they gain a mount animal companion at full druid level., with light armor proficiency, but sans share spells. Similarly, at 1st level, the wind warden chooses an order. Now where things become interesting is with Winged cavalry - which explicitly states that a mount may now fly in medium armor and it may carry the warden, even if it usually wouldn't be able to, provided it has fly speed - so yes, the two most commonly stumbled over pits in the basic assisted flying rules are addressed - kudos. Instead of Ride-bonuses, we get Fly-bonuses and 1st, 9th and 17th level, the mount receives a bonus feat. Better charging, 1/2 class level to Ride and better attacks versus flying targets are solid. 6th level and every 6th level provide a teamwork feat to warden and mount. All in all, a solid cavalier variant for aerial combat!

The pdf goes on to present a total of 5 orders, all particularly suited for the wind warden - the first one would be the order of the feather, mostly known for the pegasus mounts. Their challenge allows the knight to still perceive the target in darkness, blur and similar trickery, negating concealment thus granted- unique! 2nd level provides an ability for heroes: Nonlethal damage sans penalty and targets of challenges thus damages must save or be shaken. Damn cool and distinct. 8th level provides constant at-will SP detect evil that also allows the warden to increase damage versus targets confirmed as evil a limited amount of times per day...cool, though I *think* the ability should be SP as the text says, not SU (as the ability header) for spell-level and magic interaction purposes. If the target is detected as evil, high level wardens may basically get a kind of pseudo-smiting benefit: + Cha-mod to atk, with increased potency versus evil outsiders and the other usual suspects.

The order of the hunt rides pteranodons into battle and gets scaling Perception and Sense Motive boosts versus the targets of their challenges. Order ability-wise, they get better tracking, nonlethal damage and +Wis-mod to CMB versus targets of their challenge as well as attack/grapple synergy with the mount.

The order of the spire grants allies scaling deflection bonuses to AC when issuing a challenge and gets less distance penalties to Perception as well as a 1/hour speed burst. 8th level provides bonus precision damage that scales when charging foes from above (or astride the mount) and finally, the order grants an increasing luck bonus to rider and mount. Speaking of which: Know what's awesome here? THE MOUNT. You see, these guys ride magic carpets. CR 3 construct stats provided,a s well as the mount-stats. Awesome.

The order of the sting can apply challenge bonus to melee and ranged attacks, gets poison use, at 8th level sneak attack at 1/2 level and at high levels, a victim to the warden's poison (or that of the mount) is considered flat-footed against the warden - ouch! These guys ride giant wasps, btw..

The order of talon and mane provides scaling bonuses to atk and saves versus fear to nearby allies and gains Bodyguard - however, here's the interesting thing: Using this feat extends the duration of the bonus granted to allies by 1 round. Cool idea! Similarly, In Harm's Way is granted and may double the bonus granted to allies and at high levels, the mount gets unlimited access to Mighty Charge and Wind Warden's Charge. These guys ride griffons.

This is not where the pdf ends, though: The final page of this book provides a VERY useful Fly/Ride-cheat-sheet, including sudden dies, barrel rolls, etc. and a variant suggestion to consolidate Fly and Ride.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant issues. Layout adheres to Flaming Crab Games' two-column full-column standard and the pdf sports a great full-color artwork and a no less awesome b/w-piece. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and sports a second, printer-friendly version.

J Gray's take on Winged Cavalry is concise and well-written - the variant aerial cavalier, while not too unique on its own, streamlines the crucial issues for first level assisted flight - kudos for being one of the few designers who get that right. The orders themselves all sport awesome mounts and these alone may be well worth the asking price. For the most part, the respective orders are also creative and feature some nice ideas, with pegasus and spire being the most interesting, at least to me.

So is this good? Well, if you're planning to run a campaign sporting a lot of assisted flight/aerial combat, there is still no way past the superb "Companions of the Firmament"-tome, which I suggest just about everyone to get. HOWEVER, if you want an inexpensive, fun take on the aerial knight...then this will certainly do it and it actually can be used to complement CotF! All in all, this is a very promising start for the series, with me arriving at a final verdict of 4 stars for a good little pdf.

Endzeitgeist out.


A great option for aerial mounts

4/5

This PDF contains an alternate class for the cavalier, new cavalier orders, a variant rule to reduce the number of skill rolls that must be made when riding a flying mount, and new tricks to perform while flying. It also includes an amusing introduction that I will not spoil here.

The wind warden is an alternate class for the cavalier, emphasizing flying mounts. It trades away the cavalier's tactician, banner, and expert trainer class features, and trades bonus combat feats for bonus teamwork feats. In return, the mount gets bonus feats, a bonus on Fly checks, and the ability to fly in medium armor; meanwhile, the rider gains Fly as a class skill, a bonus on Ride checks, reduced fall damage should he plummet from his mount, and bonuses against other fliers. Overall, the class features are appropriate for a mounted flier, granting him superiority over others he faces in the skies.

The wind warden's mount must be an animal companion that can, or at some point gains the ability to, fly. They list some options, while leaving it open-ended, so as to not disqualify future flying companions from service as a flying mount. Almost all listed options either start Large or become Large at some level, but some never reach Large, or worse yet, start Small, preventing them from being ridden (at least without the Undersized Mount feat) until higher levels.

The PDF also includes five cavalier orders that are ideally-suited for use by wind wardens, though they can be taken by standard cavaliers or samurai as well. Order of the Feather wind wardens ride a pegaus and gain bonuses against evil, while the Order of the Hunt grants the warden a pteranodon mount to aid in tracking down and killing – or capturing – their prey. The Order of the Spire is a protective order who can identify trouble from a distance, then quickly close that gap atop their flying carpet. An Order of the Sting wind warden is a mounted rogue, poisoning foes and using their giant wasp mount to get through the defenses of the enemy and strike their weakest points. The Order of the Talon and Mane protects those around her atop her griffon mount.

Animal companion stats are presented for pegasi, pteranodons, flying carpets, giant wasps, and griffons. In addition, a statblock is provided for flying carpet creatures.

Lastly, the PDF includes a variant rule for reducing the number of Fly and Ride skill checks that must be rolled each round, as well as four new maneuvers for flying around the skies – the barrel roll, the loop-de-loop, the roll-off-the-top, and the sudden dive.

The PDF does not include much artwork, though the art that is there does look nice. I did notice a couple of non-critical typos, and this doesn't solve every issue that a mounted combatant will face, but it does provide a solid alternate class for riding upon a flying mount. As such, I give it 4/5 stars.

Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this PDF in a drawing.


Left me wanting more!

4/5

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product.

Letters From the Flaming Crab: Winged Cavalry is a 13-page supplement that delivers an alternate class for the cavalier – the Wind Warden. The Wind Warden, rather than inspiring and commanding allies, gains the services of a flying mount, and a host of abilities to help lessen the dangers of aerial combat. Abilities such as Order and Challenge remain unchanged from their Cavalier equivalent and will not be discussed here.

First off the bat, the Wind Warden’s mount – which can be any Druid companion that has or gains the ability to fly - gains bonuses to Fly checks, the ability to fly in medium armour (but doesn’t automatically receive proficiency in it), and can carry the wind warden at normal speed. It can always take 10 on Fly checks, and gains three bonus feats from a restricted list over the course of advancement.

As the Wind Warden levels, he can decrease falling damage, gain teamwork feats which his mount shares, and gain bonuses to attack rolls against flying targets. At the highest levels of play, he can use Trip combat maneuvers to knock flying enemies out of the sky, and even expend two uses of his Challenge to apply it to all flying enemies.

The wind warden can choose from all orders available to cavaliers and samurai, but the pdf also presents five new cavalier orders that have the wind warden specifically in mind. Firstly, the Order of the Feather wind warden gains a Pegasus mount (complete with statistics for the companion), and is expected to patrol for the presence of evil creatures with her mount, taking action depending on the strength of their aura. Her challenge allows her to see her target through concealment, and as she progresses in level, she gains more and more bonuses against evil creatures – including extra damage, and leaving them shaken on a successful hit.

Order of the Hunt wind wardens track and recover bounties with their pteranodon mounts, but unfortunately this order seems to lack something. The ability to track by scent more effectively is nifty, and dealing nonlethal damage with a lethal weapon is a bit plain, but what confuses me is the fact that the wind warden can add his Wisdom bonus to combat maneuver checks made against the target of his challenge. While it makes sense, I feel as though it doesn’t stand up to the eighth-level abilities offered by other orders, such as the Order of the Dragon’s strategy, or the Order of the Cockatrice’s steal glory. However, the final ability of the Order of the Hunt allows the mount to grapple as a free action when the wind warden hits the target of his challenge, which is very cool.

Order of the Spire wind wardens, sworn to protect an object or place of great spiritual significance, receive perhaps the coolest mount among the new orders – magic carpets. In addition to this super cool construct mount (which can hover and, at 7th level, wield weapons in its tassels!), the Order of the Spire wind warden can charge from a distance up to four times his carpet’s speed, deal precision damage when attacking from above, and, at 15th level, gains spell resistance. The pdf also includes a statblock for magic carpets as a creature – a perfect thing to slip into a treasure hoard!

The Order of the Sting presents a stealthy, giant wasp-riding, poisoning, criminal-oriented option. The Order of the Sting wind warden gains poison use, sneak attack – including an ability like pack flanking with his mount – and as a high-level ability, opponents poisoned by he or his mount are flat-footed against his attacks. The last order presented is the Order of Talon and Mane. Wind wardens belonging to this order take griffon mounts, swear to protect the weak and inspire those less fortunate than themselves, and gain abilities based around defending their allies- the feats Bodyguard and In Harm’s Way, with added effects, and granting the effects of Spirited Charge and Mighty Charge to their mounts.

As added bonuses, the pdf then presents a chart of the most common checks made in aerial combat by both mount and rider, and a simple mechanic for cutting down on dice rolls from both parties. It closes with four new advanced aerial maneuvers – barrel roll, loop-de-loop, roll-off-the-top, and sudden dive.

Letters from the Flaming Crab: Winged Cavalry is a well-formatted, visually clean product.It includes three pieces of art – a wind warden of the Order of the Spire, one of the Order of the Feather, and Captain Molly Shell of the eponymous Flaming Crab (tucked away near the OGL). The pdf includes a printer-friendly version without borders and backgrounds.

In all, I found this to be an enjoyable read, and a must-have for mounted aerial combat (an underrepresented niche). From the new animal companions to the advanced maneuvers, this product delivers page after page of options that are mechanically sound, and just plain cool. I’ll clock it in at a solid four stars – the Order of the Hunt feels lacking, and I would have loved to see more maneuvers, maybe even suggestions for representing 3D combat on a 2D grid, but other than these quibbles, the product is worth the price of admission. Well done!


A very interesting journal!

4/5

Review of : Letters from the Flaming Crab Winged Cavalry
Company: Flaming Crab Games

Hello all! Flying mounts have always been a favorite of mine regardless of gaming system so when I had the chance to review Letters from the Flaming Crab, Winged Cavalry I could not pass up the opportunity.

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) – If you like any type of flying mounts, or flying items for that matter and especially if you have a Cavalier, then this is something you probably should pick up.

Construction: 13 pages with a cover, Contents and Writers, and 2 pages of OGL at the end give us nine total pages of content. Let’s take a look shall we?

First off, Letters from the Flaming Crab (LftFC) is a monthly feature from Flaming Crab Games. Each month they touch on a new subject all from the view point of a vagabond sky-ship thrown into the planar void due to an experiment by two people we all know well. A Mister Einstein and Sir Tesla. LftFC follows an alternate history that quite honestly fascinates me. I am looking forward to getting to know these people right from the start as I read the letter the captain of the ship writes to “The Honorable Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lord-President of the United Commonwealths of America.”

All of that, and we are only through the first page of the content. Intrigued we move on.

Ultimately, this book contains an intriguing premise, a new alternate class of cavalier, the Wind Warden, 5 Knightly Orders, and a breakdown of aerial mounted combat for the newly initiated knights.

The Wind Warden – Evocative text starts out the description of this interesting addition to the classes of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Basically what we have here is the flying cavalier, with all of the bells and whistles that you would expect to come with such a class. They are the undisputed masters of the skies and have special advantages when flying and using their unique mounts in aerial combat.

Combat Mounts – There is a list of mounts that are suggested for the Wind Warden, and I was surprised (and pleased) to see not only regular flying beasts such as the Pegasus, but dinosaurs and even the option for a magic carpet as a possible “mount”. There were interesting choices here but some of the names I did not recognize and there were no references as to where to find them. I LIKED the choices, don’t get me wrong, but for the odd ones I think that a pointer in the direction of the reference would have been nice.

There are lots of neat abilities that come with being a higher level Wind Warder including Soft Landing, Air Superiority, and of course the Wind Warden Charge. It was also nice to see the seldom used Teamwork feats being incorporated into a class.

The Orders –
Honestly here is where the book starts to really shine. The Wind Warden was cool unto itself, but as we all know a cavalier has to belong to an order, and we have plenty to choose from.

The unique thing about each of the orders is that each one is based upon a different type of flying beast and take on a bit of the mystery and persona of the creature in doing so.

A good example is the Order of the Feather, devoted to the amazing Pegasus. Goodly knights charging across the skies on their winged steeds as staunch defenders against evil. Interesting abilities such as Eyes of the Pegasus and Smiting Challenge are just some of the powers that this Order is known for.

Each of the other orders fall into the same line, putting a beast and its attitude/reputation out as the driving force for the Order. Bounty Hunters riding fearsome pteranodon’s while pious knights flit about on flying carpets protecting holy sites and churches.

All in all, the five provided Orders each give a great theme, and lots of role playing potential should the Wind Warden choose them. Well done with all of them.

The Magic Carpet – I was pleasantly surprised to discover the existence of a construct in this book, the Magic Carpet. Reading through the description of this incredibly cool item I could not help but wonder whose twisted mind decided to throw basic sentience into a rug. Whoever it was I have to congratulate them on a well-made creature that is not overly powered, and have to ask them where I can get one for my ranger.

Aerial Mounted Combat – I searched and searched, thinking that this might have been a reprint of the rules, however I was mistaken. Although there are rules for flying combat, there are not clear ones for aerial mounted combat. Taking the flying combat rules and trying to apply the Ride feat (and all of the other mounted combat feats) to them would be crazy.

Unless of course, you had this book.

Printed on the last page is a brief, yet very detailed rules system for aerial mounted combat. Everything from barrel-rolls to loops in the sky is covered in this rules brief. Basic DCs are also provided so that checks can be made as combat occurs. This is amazingly well done for such a short brief and I applaud the author of this section for taking lots of other rules and making simple, easy to follow rules for a part of the game that does not get explored overmuch.

Conclusions:
+1 Buy it for the last page if you don’t want to buy it for anything else. A one page aerial mounted combat brief is worth it in my book.

+1 Buy it for the very neat variant to the cavalier class, the Wind Warden

+1 I liked the orders, and how the orders were based upon the attitudes and mysteries surrounding the beast. 5 knightly orders are a great addition to any campaign, especially ones that are as fleshed out as these are.

+1 The suggestion that the knightly orders could be used by other classes, mainly samurai or other cavaliers was inspired. Neat idea that I could see easily implemented.

-1 What I thought was missing was equipment or perhaps an interesting magical item designed around the concept of a flying cavalier. Special saddles (almost a requirement for a flying beast), amazing lances, or entangling weapons to snare wings and cause your opponent to plummet would have all been welcome additions to this.

Overall though, I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. The look of the book is excellent and the art is nicely done as well. Kudos to the staff that put this together. I am looking forward to seeing how the adventures of the Captain and her crew go next month when they talk about Cooking.

Take care, and good gaming. Troy Daniels 147822

Reviewers Caveat – I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review.


Community Manager

Now available!

Sovereign Court

Huzzah! I would definitely check ths one out everyone. It certainly is a goody.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ohh new stuff from flaming crab! Interested to see what's in this one. Any chance on the usual deal holding up here?


I'll take one if you are giving out free copies :)


I'd like one too, please.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Very cool! I would also like a copy, but if not, at that price I wouldn't mund paying either. :)


Oh man, I'm off my game... I didn't notice this was already up for a few days... Thanks for getting this up, Liz!

Yes, our usual deal still holds! For those of you who don't know, the first 10 people that request a PDF here in the product description get a free copy! It looks like we still have 6 copies to hand out!

As always, we really appreciate any and all feedback, whether it be an email, PM, comment below, or a review if you're feeling ambitious!


I'd like a free copy too.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I'll take one, and I'll review it. :-)


I would like a free copy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just want to pop in and say good on you guys at FCG.

No copy for me thanks - I think I've nabbed at least three others of your releases this way - let some others be introduced to the wonders of your work...


El Ronza wrote:
Yeah, I'll take one, and I'll review it. :-)

Great! Your reviews have been awesome!

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Just want to pop in and say good on you guys at FCG.

No copy for me thanks - I think I've nabbed at least three others of your releases this way - let some others be introduced to the wonders of your work...

Thank you for popping in! And thanks for being a good chap and letting someone snag a copy!

So that leaves us with 3 more copies to hand out.

Silver Crusade

I'd like one if it isn't too late.


TheMindSlayer wrote:
I'd like one if it isn't too late.

Yep, and we've got two more to throw out! We'll close this offer July 2nd, by the way.


Flaming Crab Games wrote:
TheMindSlayer wrote:
I'd like one if it isn't too late.
Yep, and we've got two more to throw out! We'll close this offer July 2nd, by the way.

In that case, I would like a copy as well.


C'mon guys - one free copy left!!!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'll take one for a review copy. Don't believe I've ever looked at a FCG product before.


Yay! The last one's assigned!


And how do we go about receiving that copy?

Sovereign Court

You should get an email once it had been assigned to you. It should then appear in your downloads.


Also Liz typically posts in the thread saying she sent them out of everyone.

Community Manager

137ben wrote:
Also Liz typically posts in the thread saying she sent them out of everyone.

And done!


Liz Courts wrote:
And done!

Thank you!


Hey you tricksy Crabs - I received one of these! I guess I could do less than give you a review....but that would be bad form. It won't happen right away...


So....

... the line developer and co-writer asked...

... what did you think?

We're putting together book #2 so feedback and guidance would be appreciated.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
JGray wrote:

So....

... the line developer and co-writer asked...

... what did you think?

We're putting together book #2 so feedback and guidance would be appreciated.

Just remembered that I have this so giving it a read through now annd....HOLY CRAP this is cool! ESPECIALLY at this price point! Even if I never score another free copy, I will be buying all of these if you can keep this up.

Mostly what I'm really enjoying is all of the various mounts you are providing. Not only to we get playable griffins and pegasi as one would expect, but there's a giant wasp and a freaking MAGIC CARPET companion/mount! That is SO COOL!

It's all dripping with flavor too. This is such a fun and UNIQUE product. Great job guys! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd use if together with Geek Industrial Complex's Companions of the Firmament and Caged Dragon Games' Magical Beast Companions. All three give solid rules for griffins/pegasi/hippogriffs companions and/or aerial combat.
I love this book and will use it as reference for my aerial players. It's better to use these rules than Monstrous Mount or Monstrous Companion, if you ask me.


Nate Z, Bardess: Thank you for the feedback. I'm really pleased. The writers on the book worked very hard to provide something worth using.

Our next book in the series will focus on Cooking Magic.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed! Sorry it took so long; life had other plans.


El Ronza wrote:
Reviewed! Sorry it took so long; life had other plans.

Thank you for the kind review. It was insightful and, I think, honest. No one ever mentions poor Captain Shell's letters, though. :)

More seriously, it is always a treat to read your reviews. I've long thought you should consider going "pro" at it along with EZG and Malwing.


JGray wrote:
El Ronza wrote:
Reviewed! Sorry it took so long; life had other plans.

Thank you for the kind review. It was insightful and, I think, honest. No one ever mentions poor Captain Shell's letters, though. :)

More seriously, it is always a treat to read your reviews. I've long thought you should consider going "pro" at it along with EZG and Malwing.

Awwww shucks. I'm glad you enjoy reading my thoughts. It's finding the time to write everything up that's tough!


Thank you so much for the kind review, master4sword!

If we expand on the topic of aerial combat in a future book, more Large mounts is a good call!

We've had less art in these books than we'd like. We hope to remedy that with a Kickstarter later this month!


DID I MAKE IT?!?

I'll take (or buy) a copy!


oh wow necro...


Yep. Afraid the book came out months ago. Still, please buy a copy if you can. I like to think it is worth it.


It is worth it, especially at the current sale price!


I did :)


Hi, all! If you like what we're doing with the Letters from the Flaming Crab series, we've got a Kickstarter going to fund it for 2016!


Just a reminder, folks! Sorry for sounding pushy. But 10 people got free copies of this book and there's only 1 review up. Please consider giving us an honest review with your thoughts on Winged Cavalry.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I comoletely forgot about this & all if my other FC products. I actually feel really horrible about that as you guys have been super nice. I will get back to them ASAP. :(


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop and tabletoplibrary.com.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

@Endzeitgeist, thank you for the amazing review. We are glad you liked our freshman effort on the line. I do want to give credit where it is due, though. I conceptualize, develop, and edit but most of the work you praised was done by Thiago Rosa, Jeff Gomez, and Anthony Torretti. The only bit purely mine was the introduction. Well, except for the actual letter from the Flaming Crab. Captain Shell wrote that. I just conveyed it.

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