Paladin's Bond Special Mounts, Hunter's Bond Animal Companion, and Elks?


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Uh, yo. I've got a player who wishes to be a Ranger 6/Paladin 10 and I was wondering if both his "Bonded Mount" choice for a Paladin's Divine Bond and "Animal Companion" for a Ranger's Hunter's Bond would stack together to make a total for his effective druid level. Could he choose to apply both class features for the same animal? Also, are Paladin's allowed to choose other mounts other than warhoses or ponies? This player was hoping he could ride an Elk as his character is from northern arctic regions in the setting we're using.

Scarab Sages

The paladin's mount feature does not stack with any Animal Companions from another class. The character would have one constant animal companion based off their Ranger level, and one animal companion they could summon based off their Paladin level.

As for the Elk, the easiest fix would be to use the Horse animal companion statistics and just call it an Elk.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Nethys wrote:

The paladin's mount feature does not stack with any Animal Companions from another class. The character would have one constant animal companion based off their Ranger level, and one animal companion they could summon based off their Paladin level.

As for the Elk, the easiest fix would be to use the Horse animal companion statistics and just call it an Elk.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

I don't know that I agree with this.

PFRPG Druid wrote:


If a character receives an animal companion from more than one source, her effective druid levels stack for the purposes of determining the statistics and abilities of the companion.
PFRPG Paladin wrote:


The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using the paladin’s level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

So,

While the Paladin says 'As a druid's companion', that entire phrase is a bit ambiguous. To me, saying something functions 'as' something would mean 'just like' or 'equivalent to'. The fact the Druid says any other animal companion levels stack would, to me, say that you can apply the Paladin levels to the Druid Animal Companion. You wouldn't get the Paladin mount abilities then, since you'd be adding to the Druid's animal companion. That means the special abilities the Paladin's mount get's go byebye.

Alternately, as the GM, I would probably let them spend a feat to 'merge' the two, and gain both benefits at the same level (IE: Call to side, intelligence 6 minimum, and druid level benefits).

And, both the Druid and the Paladin seem to indicate an Elk would be fine (exotic mount, but not more powerful than a horse).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Whether the officialness supports it or not, I would have them stack. It is not unbalanced IMO. And the ability to be able to call your mount/companion is pretty weak so yeah, go for it :-)

Elk=horse would work for me too.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
mach1.9pants wrote:

Whether the officialness supports it or not, I would have them stack. It is not unbalanced IMO. And the ability to be able to call your mount/companion is pretty weak so yeah, go for it :-)

Elk=horse would work for me too.

Really, the only bonus that's important is the huge bonus to INT to the animal companion. You're talking about boosting an animal companion's int by at least 3 right off the bat. That's really kind of huge. You don't have to teach them tricks, they're as smart as some player characters. Now, each GM would have to decide just how important that is in their campaign.

As to Elk=Horse, not quite, but it only needs a few tweaks (Elk don't get hoof attacks, they don't fight that way, instead they get slam and horns, really really big horns). :)


I was going to quote the rules, but yeah, it's pretty clear they stack.
Furthermore, nothing exists to suggest "it would no longer have the special Paladin Mount abilities".
Those *ARE* linked to Paladin Level separate from the scaling of the "base" Companion itself, though.
As said, this doesn't seem at all un-balanced: Any less and the Companion/Mount no longer scales to be remotely survivable, which if you're familiar with the playtest discussion on this topic, was largely the point.

I really don't see many Paladin/Druid/Ranger multi-classes happening, but I think the fact that Paladins now have the entire Companion options available to them is quite an interesting change. We will have to wait for the Bestiary to see what further Companions get detailed there, and if they require an "Improved Companion Feat" or not (for 'high level Companions'). Halfling Paladin with Velociraptor Mount sounds like fun though!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

The original character in question is 16th Level, folks. Giving him a Paladin's mount that has:

11 HD instead of 9 HD
+2 BAB
+1 Fort and Reflex saves
11 Skill Ranks instead of 9
1 extra Feat
+8 Natural Armor instead of +6
+1 Str
+1 Dex
5 Tricks instead of 4

...isn't going to overbalance the character.

(Interesting note however: now 5th Level Paladins can Share Spells with their Mount.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quandary wrote:

I was going to quote the rules, but yeah, it's pretty clear they stack.

Furthermore, nothing exists to suggest "it would no longer have the special Paladin Mount abilities".
Those *ARE* linked to Paladin Level separate from the scaling of the "base" Companion itself, though.
As said, this doesn't seem at all un-balanced: Any less and the Companion/Mount no longer scales to be remotely survivable, which if you're familiar with the playtest discussion on this topic, was largely the point.

I really don't see many Paladin/Druid/Ranger multi-classes happening, but I think the fact that Paladins now have the entire Companion options available to them is quite an interesting change. We will have to wait for the Bestiary to see what further Companions get detailed there, and if they require an "Improved Companion Feat" or not (for 'high level Companions'). Halfling Paladin with Velociraptor Mount sounds like fun though!

As I said, it's a little ambiguous, would love to hear Jason Buhlman's take on it. I should have said in my post above, 'at worst' I'd add it to the Druid companion and use a feat to merge the two. It's honestly not that overpowered, as you say.

As to the Velosciraptor, that's a huge improvement over a Halfling Paladin. I'd rule the halfling paladin was the Velociraptor's companion, not the other way around. :)


mdt wrote:
mach1.9pants wrote:
and horns, really really big horns). :)

Sounds like they make you horny too. ^_~

Grand Lodge

I'd say that for now, sure, may as well let them stack as I don't think it is overpowered.

My instinct is to agree with Nethys though. Because I suspect that at some time an errata will come out defining how long a Paladin can use his Divine Bond.

It is clear that the celestial spirit or animal can be summoned X number times per day. However, what is not clear is how long they last.

Does a Paladin's celestial spirit remain the entire day or forever or a few rounds? The only reason to dismiss it is to change its abilities. Does a Paladin's mount stay the entire day? Darn few reasons to dismiss it.

But, I would say sure combine them, though I would want to keep the elk mount separate, even if that meant I had two elks hanging out with me, cause then I would have TWO animal companions to help out.

Scarab Sages

The main reason they don't stack is because the multiclass isn't possible, and likely wasn't even considered in the design process. The wording in the Druid's text about animal companions stacking was intended for the Ranger/Druid combination.

A druid must be any Neutral alignment.

A paladin must be Lawful Good.

"A druid who ceases to revere nature, changes to a prohibited alignment, or teaches the Druidic language to a nondruid loses all spells and druid abilities (including her animal companion, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She cannot thereafter gain levels as a druid until she atones (see the atonement spell description)."

"A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate."

Since you would need to house-rule it to even let this multiclass be possible, you would likely need to house-rule how the Celestial Mount stacked with an Animal Companion.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Pedant!

OK Correct Pedant ;-) LOL didn't see the woods for the trees!

Dark Archive

That's all well and good guys, but in this case they're asking about a Ranger/Paladin, NOT a druid/Paladin.

This is a combination that IS legal BTW. As Rangers have no Alignment Restrictions.

And in that case, yes, the levels stack apparently.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Nethys wrote:

The main reason they don't stack is because the multiclass isn't possible, and likely wasn't even considered in the design process. The wording in the Druid's text about animal companions stacking was intended for the Ranger/Druid combination.

A druid must be any Neutral alignment.

A paladin must be Lawful Good.

"A druid who ceases to revere nature, changes to a prohibited alignment, or teaches the Druidic language to a nondruid loses all spells and druid abilities (including her animal companion, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She cannot thereafter gain levels as a druid until she atones (see the atonement spell description)."

"A paladin who ceases to be lawful good, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all paladin spells and class features (including the service of the paladin's mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a paladin. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description in Spell Lists), as appropriate."

Since you would need to house-rule it to even let this multiclass be possible, you would likely need to house-rule how the Celestial Mount stacked with an Animal Companion.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

Ah,

Ok, I concede that point. The two classes are mutually contraindicated.

However, as pointed out, the original question was for a Ranger/Paladin. So I'll concede a Druid/Paladin loses out because the Druid abilities go bye-bye. I'll maintain at worst a ranger/paladin should have to spend a feat to merge them, but, I think they should probably stack as is after reading through this thread. I hope the powers that be comment on this and add it to the errata, an official ruling would be nice.

Scarab Sages

I'm shocked I missed that. Yes, the original question was a Ranger/Paladin. Still, I believe they are different abilities. The Paladin's mount not only gains unique abilities normally not available to an animal companion, including a smarter Intelligence, but it is not around all the time like an AC, it must be summoned. When class abilities state that they stack with other class abilities, they typically mean ones that are exactly the same (Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Animal Companion, etc.). The Paladin's is different enough that, by the book, they do not appear to stack.

I will concede that it is a strange issue, and it is fair to see that it could go either way.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

Dark Archive

Nethys wrote:

I'm shocked I missed that. Yes, the original question was a Ranger/Paladin. Still, I believe they are different abilities. The Paladin's mount not only gains unique abilities normally not available to an animal companion, including a smarter Intelligence, but it is not around all the time like an AC, it must be summoned. When class abilities state that they stack with other class abilities, they typically mean ones that are exactly the same (Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Animal Companion, etc.). The Paladin's is different enough that, by the book, they do not appear to stack.

I will concede that it is a strange issue, and it is fair to see that it could go either way.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

Are you sure about the need to summon it? The paladin has the ability to call the mount to his side but there's nothing about the mount disappearing or anything indicating a duration.

Scarab Sages

Jadeite wrote:


Are you sure about the need to summon it? The paladin has the ability to call the mount to his side but there's nothing about the mount disappearing or anything indicating a duration.

The need to call it is what I was referring to. You are correct, there is as yet no information on the duration.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Actually, I asked Jason about the mount issue. A Paladin's mount is a normal critter, given intelligence, strength, and a host of other abilities through the bond between the paladin and her god.

The paladin can summon the mount to her. If anybody else is riding it at the time, that person falls off. The calling can be over any distance, and even from one plane to another. Once there, the mount remains. If the paladin's in a deep dungeon when she calls her mount, she can climb out and re-summon it to her side the next day.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:

Actually, I asked Jason about the mount issue. A Paladin's mount is a normal critter, given intelligence, strength, and a host of other abilities through the bond between the paladin and her god.

The paladin can summon the mount to her. If anybody else is riding it at the time, that person falls off. The calling can be over any distance, and even from one plane to another. Once there, the mount remains. If the paladin's in a deep dungeon when she calls her mount, she can climb out and re-summon it to her side the next day.

Hmmm,

Then it sounds more like the Paladin's Mount is a superclass of animal companion. It has all the Animal Companion powers, plus some extras (Higher Int and Summonable if they are seperated). Letting the Ranger's animal companion levels boost the Paladin's mount seems more like it would be ok, mainly because the special bits of the Paladin's mount (int and summonable) don't scale with level. So boosting the effective druid level of the paladin based on the ranger's effective druid level isn't boosting the paladin mount special abilities, only the abilities they both have in common.

If the ranger levels are higher than the paladin levels, that breaks down a little (since it would be the paladin levels 'boosting' the higher ranger levels), but, it's still not boosting the Paladin mount special abilities... so I don't see any reason not to let them stack.


Well, since the paladin AC rules say:

"This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the paladin's level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6"

While the ranger rules say:

T"his ability functions like the druid animal companion ability (which is part of the Nature Bond class feature), except that the ranger's effective druid level is equal to his ranger level – 3."

So, to me, it a 16th level Palanger char's ac counts as a 13 druid's ac with int 6. I don't know why druid would stack with ranger if paladin wouldn't. All of the other abilities, like sharing favored enemy or the celestial template are features of the class, not the animal companion, so the ACs aren't very different at all.

More importantly, from a DM perspective, think of it this way: Paladin and ranger don't synergize particularly well, and that player is missing out on a lot of cool abilities. Likely he or she made this choice as a roleplaying choice, and I certainly wouldn't want to punish a player for a roleplaying choice. As it stands, the pet is probably the only cool thing that player is getting from this combination, so I'd let him or her have it. Having a level 3 AC and a level 10 AC is lame for a 16th level character, and won't really be useful to your player.

As for ACs outside the normal paladin list, I'd play it by ear. By the rules, no, you're limited to that list. But I would and do encourage DMs to change that list as fits flavor and roleplay. Unless you're running an officially sanctioned game, that's an incredibly minor tweak to make (I wouldn't even call changing the list a houserule). An Elk is a logical mount (I have a player who rides a buffalo in my game) so I see no reason not to allow it.


I haven't read the Paladin yet (sorry my liege Nethys!), but I had thought that the Paladin mount was permanent, not disappearing, and not being "summoned" to him whenever he liked. Like every version except 3.5.

Could be utterly wrong, but ... oh yeah.. the PRD.. I love Paizo!... I see! "Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin may magically call her mount to her side." That's awesome compromise between the summon utility and the "this is my constant companion" fluff!

Scarab Sages

Correct. They are 'called' but otherwise last indefinitely, and can be called to the Paladin's position a number of times per day.

After re-reading the abilities, I am willing to accept that these abilities could work together. The effective druid level would be equal to the Paladin's level plus the Ranger's level - 3.

Thus, a Paladin 10/Ranger 10 would have an effective druid level of 17.

The animal companion would not get any of the Paladin bonuses in this case though, as the Paladin would need to reach level 11 for it to gain the Celestial template or level 15 for the Spell Resistance. These I firmly believe are part of the Paladin class and could not be acquired by multi-classing.

A Paladin 12 / Ranger 8 would give the mount the Celestial template and let it become a magical beast. A Paladin 1 / Ranger 19 would not.

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'd have to agree that they would stack. The wording of the abilities mention that it functions "with an effective druid level." This to me means they would stack. As others have also stated, the extras that a paladin gives (Celestial template, SR), are based solely on the Paladin's level and not the effective druid level.

Even past this the animal companion is going to be at least 3 levels behind, so I don't see it as overpowered at all.

Sovereign Court

mdt wrote:


PFRPG Druid wrote:


If a character receives an animal companion from more than one source, her effective druid levels stack for the purposes of determining the statistics and abilities of the companion.
PFRPG Paladin wrote:


The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using the paladin’s level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.
PFRPG Ranger wrote:


This ability functions like the druid animal companion
ability (which is part of the Nature Bond class feature),
except that the ranger’s effective druid level is equal to his
ranger level – 3.

I'm sorry I'm not seeing the confusion, the parts I bolded make it pretty clear to me. Yeah they stack in this case your level 6 ranger provides 3 levels of AnCo, and your paladin level provides 10. for an AnCo of 13th level that when you get to paladin level 11 will be a celestial animal.


I don't mean to go all 3.5 on y'all, but the complete adventurer has single feat that wraps up this problem nicely: Devoted Tracker.

Basically, you designate your paladin mount as your animal companion, and gain all the bonuses for each. They don't really stack in terms of achieving higher abilities like multiattack and such, but it definitely allows you to consolidate your companions into a single beast.

As a bonus, your ranger/paladin levels stack for smite evil damage.


Berselius wrote:
Ranger 6/Paladin 10 ..."Bonded Mount"..."Animal Companion" ...stack together to make a total for his effective druid level. Could he choose to apply both class features for the same animal? Also, are Paladin's allowed to choose other mounts other than warhoses or ponies?

Damn it, Ninja'd by Sean!

Yes, there is a Feat in the Complete Adventurer, pg. 108... DEVOTED TRACKER. Ranger & Paladin stack for companion/mount and for favored enemy/smite, as well as a few other things. It may require some tweaking between you and your player.

Also, don't forget, it's your game... the goal is suppose to be FUN. Mind you FUN has limits, but as long as it's not screwing the rest of the party it's good to go.

Nethys wrote:


As for the Elk, the easiest fix would be to use the Horse animal companion statistics and just call it an Elk.

I also agree with this.


Chris Mortika wrote:
(Interesting note however: now 5th Level Paladins can Share Spells with their Mount.)

This isn't as hot as it seems however. Share spell was nerfed. It just allows you to cast spells with a 'you' target on your companion.

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