Possible Cavalier Rebuild.


Round 1: Cavalier and Oracle

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Now, I don't want to tread on any toes, but I wanted to present a couple of ideas I had about tuning the cavalier class.

My objectives are to
1) Simplify some of the oath mechanics
2) Get away from the Cavalier as a mounted-warrior-only class, while leaving that style a viable option.
3) Develop the challenge mechanic into something more interesting than a simple die progression. I've tried to keep the power level at the level as presented in the test document - which means it's an awfully powerful, defining ability of the class.
4) Avoid treading on the Fighter's toes as the best straight-melee class.
5) Adopt ability templates more in line with the core Pathfinder rulebook.

Its definitely not complete, but I'd like to think it's a reasonable skeleton to work off of. Here's what I've got so far:

Cavalier – Full BAB, d10 HD, good fortitude save, 4 skill points/level.

Progression Chart:

Lv. Abilities
1 Challenge +2, challenge power, Mount, Oaths
2 challenge power, Armor training.
3 Oath of Mercy
4 challenge power
5 Oath of Protection
6 challenge power
7 Challenge +4, Oath of Pursuit
8 challenge power
9
10 challenge power
11 Oath of Vengeance
12 challenge power
13 Challenge +6
14 challenge power
15 Oath of [something awesome]
16 challenge power
17
18 challenge power
19 Challenge +8
20 challenge power, [some ultimate ability]

Challenge:
Challenge (Ex): A cavalier may challenge a foe as a swift action. The cavalier gains a +2 bonus on damage rolls against the target as long as the challenge persists. A challenge ends if the target is killed, the cavalier is knocked unconscious, or the cavalier cancels the challenge (a free action). A cavalier may not declare a new challenge for 3 rounds after canceling a challenge, and my not have more than one challenge active at once.
At 7th level, the bonus damage increases to +4.
At 13th level, the bonus damage increases to +6.
At 19th level, the bonus damage increases to +8.
He may use this ability 3 times per day plus one half his cavalier level.

Challenge Powers:
At 1st, 2nd, and every even-numbered level thereafter, the cavalier may choose a challenge power.
Challenge powers:
-Social warrior: The cavalier may declare a challenge in noncombat situations. He gains a bonus to opposed bluff, diplomacy, perception, and sense motive checks against the challenged target equal to his bonus damage. (Thanks Zurai, you got me started on this train of thought!)
-Dual challenge: The cavalier may declare a challenge against two opponents as a swift action by spending two daily uses of his challenge power.
-Lancer: The cavalier triples his bonus damage when charging a challenged target.
-Nimble challenge: The cavalier gains a +2 dodge bonus to his AC against attacks from the target of his challenge.
-Resilient challenge: The cavalier gains a +2 bonus on saves versus spells and spell-like abilities cast by the target of his challenge.
-Zealous Foe: The cavalier chooses a creature type, such as Undead or Humanoid (elves). His bonus challenge damage against creatures of this type increases by +4.
-Determined: The cavalier gains DR 3/- against attacks from the target of his challenge. The cavalier must be level 10 or higher to select this power.
-etc:

filled out fully, this list should be quite long. You should have general idea from these, though

Mount:
A cavalier has an animal companion as a druid of equivalent level. Note: I can't see a reason for specifically making cavaliers wait to get a new mount when other classes can just pick them up.

The class definitely needs an alternative to having a mount, a'la druids, rangers, and paladins.


Oaths:
Oath (Ex): A cavalier may swear an oath to accomplish a specific task. Swearing an oath takes a full minute of speech and concentration, at the end of which the cavalier immediately gains the benefits of the oath. He retains the benefits as long as he abides by the restrictions; if he violates the restrictions of any oath he has sworn in the past week, he loses the benefits of all oaths and may not swear new oaths for 24 hours. Any specifically broken oath may not be renewed until a full week has passed, or the cavalier receives an Atonement spell. A cavalier may only have one oath active at a time.
At first level, the cavalier has access to the oaths of chastity, loyalty, purity, and valor.
Oath of Chastity: As long as the cavalier refrains from engaging in intimate activity, he gains a +2 morale bonus on saves against enchantment spells and effects. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.
Oath of Valor: As long as the cavalier does not retreat from a conflict, he gains a +2 morale bonus to will saves against fear spells and effects. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.
Oath of Purity: As long as the cavalier keeps his body free of poisons and disease, he gains a +2 bonus on fortitude saves against poison and disease. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter. Note that alcohol and tobacco are poisons for the purposes of this oath, and failing a save against an effect breaks the oath.
Oath of Loyalty: As long as the cavalier immediately acts to help his allies when they are in need, he grants a +4 bonus while using the Aid Another action (instead of +2). This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter. Note that as this oath is open to wide interpretation, it is rather hard to break.
At 3rd level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Mercy. As long as the cavalier refrains from killing or shedding blood, he takes no penalty to attack rolls for dealing nonlethal damage with lethal weapons. Additionally, he deals +2 damage when making attacks that deal nonlethal damage. This bonus increases by +1 at 8th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.
At 5th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Protection targeting a single creature. As long as the cavalier's ward is unharmed, both they and the cavalier receive a +2 bonus to AC and reflex saves while they are adjacent to one another. This bonus increases by +1 at 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter.
At 7th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Pursuit against a single creature. As long as the cavalier moves steadfastly to confront this creature, he gains a +4 bonus on rolls made to locate or track the target with the Gather Information, Search, or Survival skills. This bonus increases by +2 at 12th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.
At 11th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Vengeance against a creature that has caused him or his allies specific harm. He gains a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls against the creature and it's (known) agents. At 15th level, this bonus increases to +3, and at 20th, it increases to +4.
At 15th level, the cavalier may swear an oath of [something awesome]. Someone help me out here.

Armor Training:
Starting at 2nd level, a cavalier may reduce the total penalty inflicted by armor (and shields) to ride checks by 2 points. At level 9, this reduction increases to 4 points. At level 13, he may ignore armor penalties to the ride skill entirely.


I like the armor training and week long hold to the oaths.

However, I feel that Challenge is more like sneak attack, your not drawing on holy justice, inner reserves of rage or supernatural music, its more like sneak attack, precision damage acheived through focus and skill.

Maybe make it useable at will but the Cavalier takes either a -2 to AC, -2 to attack other creatures wouldn't really be a free action what with challenge cancellable at will, and the cavalier might just be focusing on his one opponent.

The challenge powers are intersting, but I just really love the Orders.

As for the mount, I prefer them using it as a mount, but this doesn't stop me, so it's fine, but I get the feeling Jason won't change it.


I was thinking of the restructured challenge to be something similar to a ranger's favored enemy bonus. I see no reason a flat bonus to damage against a designated target isn't, as you characterize rogue sneak attacks, a manifestation of skill and focus.

Using the challenge at will makes it too powerful. As I've got it here, anyhow, it's already pushing a bit hard against barbarian rage, and barbarians can only use that for a few rounds per day.

Penalizing AC seems fine, but there's the inevitable sticking point: why would an enemy you're specifically focused on gain a bonus to hit you?

Instead, giving the cavalier -2 to hit everyone else seems like a good hindrance... as long as they have a finite number of challenges. That way, changing challenge targets mid-combat isn't arbitrary, but has a real cost.

I like the orders as an excellent roleplay portal. What I don't like about them is the shallowness of the rules behind each one. If all it takes to distinguish Cockatrice from Dragon is three narrow abilities scattered across 20 levels, then I'm not convinced it wouldn't be simpler to just have lists of abilities (such as I've presented for challenges) that players can choose from, creating whatever order they see fit.

If the orders were more robust, providing significantly different strategies and strengths from one another all throughout the level progression, that would be different. Picture sorcerer bloodlines gone martial, with skill bonuses, specialized mounts (or no mounts at all), bonuses to some maneuvers, weapon and armor specialties, etc. I'll cobble together something in this vein later to see how it looks.


I've already commented on your challenge powers and oaths on other threads, so you know I like them. Armor Training to help with ride is awesome and probably necessary for the class.

The mount as a straight animal companion leads to sort of a weird mental image to me. I like an alternative to a mounted warrior, but a Cavalier with a wolf that helps him in melee just looks odd to me. Maybe not a bad thing, but I'd probably prefer an ability like the Paladin's, a mount companion or something different entirely. A bonded weapon would be too supernatural for the class, perhaps bonus feats similar to a Ranger's fighting style? Maybe the ability to learn a couple extra Challenge powers? I realize the bonus feats might go against your goal of the Cavalier treading on the Fighter's toes, but if it were a more limited list maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

Ooooh. They could perhaps get a Mount/Companion or choose an order, if you're going to rewrite orders. How does that sound?

Non-casters in the PF core book have 0 dead levels. I realize it's a bit of a nitpick, but it's true. I think your rebuild is probably powerful enough as is, so something minor to fill in 9 and 17: maybe put Expert Trainer back in, especially as you kept the mount, perhaps some sort of Skill Mastery so they take 10 on Diplomacy, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) and Sense Motive even in stressful situations. I wish I had more than two suggestions but nothing else springs to mind right now.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I like it!

Suggestions:

Come up with some other Oaths for levels 9 and 17. Maybe even every odd level.

For Social Warrior, add Intimidate to the Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive checks.

As an alternative to the Mount Companion, maybe allow the Cavalier as a move action to grant half his Challenge bonus to his allies for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma bonus.

I think the Mount Companion should explicitely state that the animal chosen must be an appropriate mount for the Cavalier. So Small Cavaliers could choose riding dog or pony, and Medium Cavaliers could choose Camel, Horses, etc. A new list of advanced animal companions of suitable mounts would also need to be made.

Also, in the Oath of Pursuit, you might want to re-word the skills affected to be Diplomacy checks to gather information, Perception, and Survival.

EDIT:

Some Challenges that might be cool would concern specializing in your mount. For example, the ability to use Mounted Combat more than once per round, the ability to use Mounted Combat to affect your mount's Reflex, Will, and Fortitude Saves, and the ability to share your mount's evasion. Or maybe an Oath made to your mount.

Oath of Fealty: You make an oath to be loyal to a lord. You get a bonus against compulsion effects.

Maybe change the name of Armor Training to Armored Rider or something. Fighters already have a similar, but different ability with the same name, so it could be confusing.


Seems cool to me. Nice work. This REALLY feels like a cavalier. Have you playtested it?


Thanks for the feedback, guys, I appreciate the help!

Tim4488 - Yeah, armor training seems fairly critical for a mounted heavy. That only Order of the Sword gets that from their levels seems odd, when most cavaliers expect to be riding.

As for mounts - sorry, I meant to include the 'rideable' clause. What didn't make sense to me was the 'Only one mount per level' restrictions.

I like the idea of getting more challenge powers in lieu of a mount, but I'm not sure challenge powers are necessarily the direction the class wants to go.

The trouble with choosing order vs. mount is that most of the orders want mounts. I'm tinkering with orders now, trying to come up with a particular one to

SmiloDan - I'm compiling a new list that fills every level. Will present it when done.

I like the idea of sharing the challenge bonus - it plays to the whole party-interaction angle that I was generally neglecting.

Oops! Its amazing how often I forget which skills Paizo did away with from 3.5. Consider Gather Info swapped for Diplomacy.

I'm trying to squeeze the mount-centric stuff into the Order powers, so tell me what you think of them when I've got an example spec'd out.


Redesigned Level progression:

Lv - Abilities
1 - Challenge +2, Order, Oaths, Mount
2 - Challenge Power, Mounted Armor Training
3 - Order Power
4 - Oath of Protection
5 - Challenge Power, Whistle
6 - Order Power, Mounted Armor Training 2
7 - Challenge +4
8 - Challenge Power
9 - Order Power
10 - Oath of Pursuit, Mounted Armor Training 3
11 - Challenge Power, Advanced Mount
12 - Oath of Vengeance
13 - Challenge +6
14 - Challenge Power
15 - Order Power
16 - Oath of [something cool]
17 - Challenge Power
18 - Oath of [something even more cool]
19 - Challenge +8
20 - Capstone [something impressive. Possibly order-based?]

Challenge & challenge powers: as the previous build worked.

Mount: As druid animal companion, but must be appropriately sized to ride.

Advanced Mount: At 11th level, the cavalier adds any animal up to his size to his list of available mounts. If the animal is normally too small for the cavalier to ride, it receives the Giant simple template. If the cavalier is already of an appropriate size, his mount gains the Advanced simple template.

Note: this is way to expand the list of available mounts. Basically, I want a way for orcs to ride dire boars and halflings to ride (dangerous) giant crabs. I mean, how cool would that be? On the other hand, this definitely pushes up the power level of animal companions, which may not be appropriate. I find they're usually pretty irrelevant at higher levels, but other peoples' experience may differ.

Mounted Armor Training 1: Reduce armor penalty to ride by 2
Mounted Armor Training 2: Reduce armor penalty to ride by 4
Mounted Armor Training 3: Eliminate armor penalty to ride

Whistle (Ex): As a standard action, a cavalier may whistle for his mount. As long as the animal is within one mile, and there are no insurmountable barriers between it and the cavalier, it arrives beside the cavalier (or just outside the window, or at the bottom of the cliff, etc) within 3 rounds. If the mount's journey to accomplish this feat is an especially harrowing one, the DM may rule the creature is Shaken for 1d6 rounds after arriving.

Order: Here is my example for a slightly more complicated order, though I'll admit it's not especially different from the original version. Turns out its pretty hard coming up with appropriate abilities when you don't allow supernatural sorts of powers to creep in.

I've been contemplating limiting some of the starting oaths to particular orders, because there's still oaths like Greed or Cruelty (not spec'd yet) that just don't fit in with the rest, and I'm loathe to give too many options to starting cavaliers.

Order of the Cockatrice:
Order of the Cockatrice:
<flavor text>
Bonus skills: Perception and survival. The cavalier gains a +1 bonus to these skills for every 4 levels he attains (maximum +5 at level 20)

Order Challenge: At 1st level, whenever the cavalier threatens the target of his challenge, his allies receive a bonus to hit that creature equal to half the cavalier's bonus challenge damage.

Inspiration: Starting at 3rd level, a member of the Order of the Cockatrice inspires his allies with his presence alone. Allies within 30 feet gain a +1 morale bonus to will saves versus fear and enchantment (compulsion) effects. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

Rejuvenation: At 6th level, the cavalier may inspire his allies to fight on through their wounds. As a standard action, the cavalier may call out to all allies within 30 feet. They gain temporary hit points equal to 5 + 1/2 the cavalier's level + his charisma modifier. These hit points last for one hour. The cavalier may use this ability once per day, plus one additional time at 11th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

Tactics: at 9th level (see test document)

Move As One: at 15th level (see test document)

Liberty's Edge

I like the changes you've suggested, especially the advanced mount and the whistle.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

I like it too - I get more of a vibe from the class like this. I would actually play one now ;-)
I like the challenge giving an AC penalty because he is focused on one enemy. Maybe a straight -4 to AC vs every enemy except the challenged one?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Can you please explain how Advanced Mount is supposed to work (in particular the "add any animal up to his size part")

Whistle shouldn't be (Ex) if you want to insist the mount can show in 18 seconds from a distance of up to one mile though... :P

Cheers! this stuff is good!

Grand Lodge

Maeloke wrote:
Advanced Mount: At 11th level, the cavalier adds any animal up to his size to his list of available mounts. If the animal is normally too small for the cavalier to ride, it receives the Giant simple template. If the cavalier is already of an appropriate size, his mount gains the Advanced simple template.

Yay for riding into battle on the back of a giant chicken! :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Quijenoth wrote:
Maeloke wrote:
Advanced Mount: At 11th level, the cavalier adds any animal up to his size to his list of available mounts. If the animal is normally too small for the cavalier to ride, it receives the Giant simple template. If the cavalier is already of an appropriate size, his mount gains the Advanced simple template.
Yay for riding into battle on the back of a giant chicken! :)

What are you, a hedgehog??? ;-)

Grand Lodge

"Don't mess with the chicken rider of DOOM!"

PS this isnt me - just some random pick from the net :) LOL

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Hmmmm, cavalier with Gelatinous Cube mount ;-)

Liberty's Edge

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:


Whistle shouldn't be (Ex) if you want to insist the mount can show in 18 seconds from a distance of up to one mile though... :P

Yeah, maybe a greater amount of time should be allowed... though I wouldn't mind a few extraordinary abilities for mounted combat being slipped in, even if not particularly powerful.


just remember that while physics and logic in general are fun every time we use them in a fantasy setting G-d kills a cat girl and boy, now then take into account that every time someone writes a bad fan fiction 20 more cat folk are born.

So the question is with this whistle ability how many cat folk do we want to kill, and take into account that not everything has to make sense. A vamp at least used to be able to summon a pack of wolves in 2d6 rounds so an average of 7rds that might not have been great against a party but sometimes it made all the difference. We can also take a thematic stance on this the mount is believed to be somewhere within a mile it arrives in 1d4 rounds let say, stating of the random probability of it not being as far as we though it would be, but it can't hear us outside of a mile or if it does it still takes longer to get there and by the time it does what we needed it for is no longer usually important (I give the idea of 1d4 because it averages to 2.5 and I would like some variables on the amount of rounds)


I like that there's more clashing over the little tacked-on power to make mounts more useful than there is over the completely overhauled core abilities. Personally, I think it's also farfetched for a mount to hear a whistle from a mile off, in most scenarios. We could get really finicky and calculate maximum move speeds, listen checks, and restrictions for barriers... or we could assume our pets are *extraordinarily* clever, and have a nice simple, flavorful ability. I like your 1d4 round delay idea, TheJew.

On the subject of mounts, what do people think about spicing them up for the cavalier? It's a martial class, so we can't really go for magical beasts and their ilk, but plain 'ole mounts are kind of dull when the class is supposed to be all about riding. Wouldn't it be great to ride a giant chicken, spider, or rat? Maybe I've just played too much final fantasy and am having trouble taking the cavalier seriously.

My goal with the Advanced Mount rules is to make available animal companions who normally hit a maximum of small or medium size - and are thus never large enough to support the average PC (boar, giant toad, owl, bear, badger, shark, velociraptor, etc.). That said, its a very stopgap sort of support; it would be far better to actually lay out full stats for new mounts that become available to cavaliers at level 11.

Since I'm talking about special mount options, do people think it would be appropriate to tie particular mounts to particular orders? Suppose each order has an 'official mount' that's definitively better than the average animal companion. Order of the Cockatrice might get the Giant Chicken (picture a chocobo):

Starting Statistics:
Size: Large
Speed: 70 ft, fly 20 ft (clumsy)
AC: +8 natural armor
Attack: Peck (2d6)
Ability Scores: Str 20, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 15, Cha 14.
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Big Silly Bird.

At level 11, you'd have the option to take your order's official mount, or apply either the Advanced or Giant simple template to a standard animal companion.

Grand Lodge

I think for mounts limiting it to just animals is too restrictive.

I would love to see displacer beasts, wyverns and dragons as mounts but obviously those at lower level are kind of restrictive for game balance reasons.

I think tying a cavalier to a particular mount (like a druid bonds with his animal companion) is too restrictive for the class. I think a cavalier should be able to ride any mount based on a table structure tied to his class level. The table structure, however should be free of HD dependancy so that multiclass cavaliers dont ent up with a mount far too weak for the combat its injected into.

for example:

1st level a cavaliers mount can be any medium or large animal.
2nd level cavaliers mount can be any animal up to size large applying the giant template.
4th level a cavalier adds large magical beasts to his choice of mounts. either limited to a specific list or by abilities (limited by CR, cannot have ability to fly or burrow, cannot cast spells)
8th level a cavalier adds magical beasts that can fly
12th level a cavalier adds dragons (limited by age category)
etc...

The entire build of the mount however is based on the cavaliers character level and uses its own monster stat block entry with each new "form" adding something unique to the mount (e.g. a dragon adds wings and the ability to fly). That way the mount can look like whatever you want it to but only increases in flexability as the cavalier levels.

A 1st level cavalier 19th wizard would be limited to a horse or wolf as a mount but the mount has 20 HD while a 20th level cavalier could be swooping in on the back of an young red dragon, also with 20 HD.

It needs alot of balancing and play testing though and I think it may be a bit late for such a major overhaul.


I get where you're coming from, but there's a few good reasons why I don't think it will (or should) be changed in the ways you suggest.

First, there's precedent. Pathfinder has been very good to us in standardizing animal companions/mounts, presenting a nice table that results in useful (but not devastatingly powerful) helpers for classes that get them. To throw out a balanced system in favor of a loose list of 'choose your own monster x' undoes much of the hard work that went into improving PF over 3.5.

Second, while picking and choosing mount statistics makes some sense from a player standpoint, there's no justification for it in-class. Why does your mount suddenly sprout wings/venomous fangs/a magical horn? What has your totally-non-magical Cavalier done in his career to find such a weird, custom critter? I would believe (and happily support) subtle training-based abilities like faster speed or resistance to fear, but you propose a bit much.

Third, the cavalier is supposed to be a mounted warrior. The focus is on the cavalier's riding skills and might of arms. Riding, as a skill, is dependent on the idea that a mount needs to be guided. When you start throwing in creatures that could very well be more intelligent than the cavalier (unicorn, giant eagle, dragon, efreeti) then that dynamic falls into insensibility. The monster's shape works as a mount, but nothing else does. In the case of paladins, such exceptional mounts are deity-sanctioned partnerships. Cavaliers have no comparable privilege.

Fourth, animal companions are a class/level based ability. If it was appropriate for a wizard to have a ridiculous mount (and yes, 20 hd is ridiculous even if it doesn't fly or shoot fire), it would have been a class ability for them. You cheapen classes like druid and ranger if you give benefits to a player's mount for levels they never acquired. May as well suggest my rogue 11/bard 1 have partial level 12 bard spellcasting.

Lastly, if people really want an intelligent mount, there's already a precedent for it: the Leadership feat. Appendix in the PF Bestiary lists several possible cohorts that *could* double as mounts, including dragons (if they could really be persuaded to go for that...)

Grand Lodge

Maeloke wrote:
First, there's precedent. Pathfinder has been very good to us in standardizing animal companions/mounts, presenting a nice table that results in useful (but not devastatingly powerful) helpers for classes that get them. To throw out a balanced system in favor of a loose list of 'choose your own monster x' undoes much of the hard work that went into improving PF over 3.5.

agreed and I think this is the biggest issue inherent within the system - to balance druids they have effectively created an animal companion class, for a mount they would need to redesign this again.

Maeloke wrote:
Second, while picking and choosing mount statistics makes some sense from a player standpoint, there's no justification for it in-class. Why does your mount suddenly sprout wings/venomous fangs/a magical horn? What has your totally-non-magical Cavalier done in his career to find such a weird, custom critter? I would believe (and happily support) subtle training-based abilities like faster speed or resistance to fear, but you propose a bit much.

This wasnt actually my approach more along the lines that once a cavalier reaches the level to use a dragon as a mount, he must then find/purchase a dragon to use as a mount.

Maeloke wrote:
Third, the cavalier is supposed to be a mounted warrior. The focus is on the cavalier's riding skills and might of arms. Riding, as a skill, is dependent on the idea that a mount needs to be guided. When you start throwing in creatures that could very well be more intelligent than the cavalier (unicorn, giant eagle, dragon, efreeti) then that dynamic falls into insensibility. The monster's shape works as a mount, but nothing else does. In the case of paladins, such exceptional mounts are deity-sanctioned partnerships. Cavaliers have no comparable privilege.

The cavalier holds no special powers over intelligent mounts so must treat them with respect and would likely be the centre of some quest to gain the creatures aid as a mount. Agreed this makes the ride skill less useful but as long as the "allowed" creature is not more powerful than its rider the mount should at least look up to the cavalier rather than looking down on him (which would be commonplace for powerful dragons.

Maeloke wrote:
Fourth, animal companions are a class/level based ability. If it was appropriate for a wizard to have a ridiculous mount (and yes, 20 hd is ridiculous even if it doesn't fly or shoot fire), it would have been a class ability for them. You cheapen classes like druid and ranger if you give benefits to a player's mount for levels they never acquired. May as well suggest my rogue 11/bard 1 have partial level 12 bard spellcasting.

Good point, perhaps a better approach would be to include feats that improve the mount in a similar vein to practised spellcasting and most certainly through some prestige class (dragon rider would be a good prestige class for a cavalier that favors dragons).

Maeloke wrote:
Lastly, if people really want an intelligent mount, there's already a...

And leadership feat has never settled well with any DMs I have played with. It doesnt work and probably never will but Pathfinder kept it to maintain backwards compatability.


Hmm...
Thank you for mentioning my 1d4 rounds.
Now then on to the craziness that is me.

First off back in 3.5 we had a dragon rider prestige class as well as several other classes that got you dragon cohorts. Also dragon rider was a 5 level prestige class. You can find it in the draconomicon.

Now then there is also a book called feats 101, which is made to function with pathfinder, while I don't think that paizo made it, I would say that most GM's would probably consider letting you take feats from it, as long as you check the feat with them first. The reason I bring this up is there is a feat that gets you the cohort but not the mooks from your leadership feat. Allied Cohort, need a charisma of 13, and a 4th level (so I am guessing it is available to fighters) they mostly have feats falling on the odd numbers the way pathfinder does it. in the description you gain a cohort as if you had the leadership feat. Except that your cohort cannot exceed 3 levels lower than your total level.
so when you hit 7th level you are still better served by taking the leadership feat but this means that you can pick up the cohort a little early. Still not so great as a cavalier would receive the special mount at 5th level, and it would only be 2hd. Still using the rules from pathfinder you could get special mounts in this way.

Also Pathfinder doesn't only have rules for cohorts that could be mounts it also explains how much exp the cohort receives (1/2 the xp you gain per fight, not from the actual xp amount one from the battle) and that it can go up to a level below yours in this manner, other wise it always must start at least 2 levels lower than you, and of course has to obey the leadership score cap for cohort level, and mooks do not get XP.

Lastly, Leadership has not settled well with many GM's for many reasons I personally in the past 5 years of being a GM have not had many problems. Pathfinder does provide fixes to the problems many of us GM's had. One of those was the XP for the cohort. The second was that having an army makes a player more powerful than his allies. Sometimes true but it comes at costs, one feeding your troops (as they are your responsibility) arming your troops and keeping them from bringing shame and other such unwanted things upon your head. I feel it will function fine in pahtfinder and any creative or half good GM will be fine dealing with a player and his small but worhtless army especially when if your troops die a lot you start taking stacking penalties to your leadership score.

Just some food for thought


Mount says "loyal and trusty steed" (onward, Chnchord!) and steed means horse. The other animals are listed for character races that have size restrictions, but it would be better for them to clarify that it must be a creature of animal intelligence (1-3).

I'm also increasingly of the opinion that Mount related class abilities should be split from Challenge related class abilities in the same way a Ranger must choose melee or ranged. I jsut can't see Challenge being feasible if you're pulling off a charge. Riding tricks and stufflike that factored into the Mount bond would be cool, or having the ability to select more intelligent or magical animals. But I'm thinking ther should be a choice at 1st level which track you want to concentrate on.


TheJew wrote:

Hmm...

Thank you for mentioning my 1d4 rounds.
Now then on to the craziness that is me.

First off back in 3.5 we had a dragon rider prestige class as well as several other classes that got you dragon cohorts. Also dragon rider was a 5 level prestige class. You can find it in the draconomicon.

Now then there is also a book called feats 101, which is made to function with pathfinder, while I don't think that paizo made it, I would say that most GM's would probably consider letting you take feats from it, as long as you check the feat with them first. The reason I bring this up is there is a feat that gets you the cohort but not the mooks from your leadership feat. Allied Cohort, need a charisma of 13, and a 4th level (so I am guessing it is available to fighters) they mostly have feats falling on the odd numbers the way pathfinder does it. in the description you gain a cohort as if you had the leadership feat. Except that your cohort cannot exceed 3 levels lower than your total level.
so when you hit 7th level you are still better served by taking the leadership feat but this means that you can pick up the cohort a little early. Still not so great as a cavalier would receive the special mount at 5th level, and it would only be 2hd. Still using the rules from pathfinder you could get special mounts in this way.

Also Pathfinder doesn't only have rules for cohorts that could be mounts it also explains how much exp the cohort receives (1/2 the xp you gain per fight, not from the actual xp amount one from the battle) and that it can go up to a level below yours in this manner, other wise it always must start at least 2 levels lower than you, and of course has to obey the leadership score cap for cohort level, and mooks do not get XP.

Lastly, Leadership has not settled well with many GM's for many reasons I personally in the past 5 years of being a GM have not had many problems. Pathfinder does provide fixes to the problems many of us GM's had. One of those was the XP for the cohort. The second was that...

Just a small note, the xp rules for cohorts is exactly the same as 3.5. And "having an army" has never been a problem, because these mooks are at least 5 levels lower than their master. That's a pathetic speed bump to monsters of appropriate challenge. Keeping your "army" alive is the real challenge when you have Leadership.


Quijenoth -
Rebuilding the Animal Companion chart for Mounts sounds like an exceptionally tiresome, unproductive job. If you keep mount-companion power levels consistent, there's nothing to change. Every bonus companions get is just as relevant in a mount - feats, str/dex bonuses, multiattack, etc. Making mounts more powerful means you have to cut cavalier power elsewhere, making them even more tragically dependent on their steeds - something many people (including myself) are already unhappy with.

You haven't really addressed the issue of what business *all* cavaliers would have with bizarre, supernatural mounts. PCs may well want more exotic options, but I can tell you most NPC cavaliers in games I run will be riding horses. If 'dragon mount' becomes an option at level 12, then every cavalier will have one. I don't know about your sense of fantasy worlds, but I don't buy that there are enough idiot dragons and unicorns in the world to afford one for every cavalier to ride, especially when they are easily replaced after falling in combat.

<Side rant: GMs depriving players of viable/essential companions and/or requiring quests to replace them is obnoxious beyond belief. It's a class feature, ergo druids and cavaliers are *supposed* to have a companion at their side. 24 hours of mystical work with limited choices is already sufficient penalty for losing a companion without GMs throwing on extra work.>

I know in some 3.5 expansion there was the Natural Bond feat, which raised your effective Druid level by 3 for the purposes of determining animal companion abilities (to a max of your character level). Powerwise, it always seemed fine to me; I make it an option in my games, if anyone is playing a class that would care.

And Quijenoth, if you've honestly had consistent trouble with the leadership feat, then I'm not sure you have any business proposing a mount system where cavaliers must extensively roleplay finding their exotic mounts. It's exactly the same sort of labor that would go into acquiring a cohort (if not more). We've got a nice table laying out great mount-cohorts and their specific level equivalents - Worg at level 5 means a goblin cavalier could ride one as soon as the leadership feat opens up. A human could ride a griffin at 10 or manticore at 11. I can't imagine making this complex or difficult enough to dissuade a PC from finding that sweet new mount if they really wanted it.

I'll acknowledge that followers obstruct some campaigns... which is why they should be ignored or left behind if your party is the questing sort. A good player works with the GM to make provisions for followers within the game world; they do *not* just drag a bunch of 1st level warriors along into their dungeon crawls. If a player of mine tried to pull something like that, I'd mow down their little army with a vrock, then get back to the real fun.

If there's a crappy skeleton vs. NPC battle going in the background, that's fine, but I never bog down actual turn-based combat by playing it out. Followers have no business meddling in PC-level fights.

TheJew -
Yeah, a Dragon Rider prestige class makes plenty of sense to me. That's the sort of thing one embeds in a campaign world; I just wouldn't want something ridiculous like dragon mounts to be a default option of a core class.

I haven't read the Allied Cohort feat you mention, but it sounds somewhat amusing. I'm just not sure it's really relevantly different from leadership (never mind that only fighters get feats at 4). For the time being, I'll just make my players wait 'til 7.

cliff-
The thing is, challenge + mount makes nothing but sense. It's the core ideal of the class - a horseback warrior with a lance challenges the dragon, then charges it! I think if you're going to give alternatives to having a mount for the class, it should be something useful but small (a'la druids and paladins) - not class-defining like Challenge is.


woops okay so I was wrong leadership hasn't changed it just has been a while since I did a full read of the 3.5
With only one exception.
That is the rules of towards the level of the cohort and the cohorts XP

Cohort Level: You can attract a cohort of up to this level.
Regardless of your Leadership score, you can only recruit
a cohort who is two or more levels lower than yourself.
The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate
for its level (see Chapter 14). A cohort can be of any race
or class. The cohort’s alignment may not be opposed to
your alignment on either the law/chaos or good/evil axis,
and you take a –1 penalty to your Leadership score if you
recruit a cohort of an alignment different from your own.
A cohort does not count as a party member when
determining the party’s XP. Instead, divide the cohort’s
level by your level. Multiply this result by the total XP
awarded to you, then add that number of experience points
to the cohort’s total.
If a cohort gains enough XP to bring it to a level one
lower than your level, the cohort does not gain the new
level—its new XP total is 1 less than the amount needed to
attain the next level.

The cohort in 3.5 was granted XP and loot as a full member of the party, this is no longer the case.

Dragon riders are a simple prestige class so if you want them in your game Draconomicon should give anyone interested a good starting spot.

As for allied cohort, it is amusing but that is about it, you get a minion around 1hd for a fighter, and 2hd for everyone else (at 5th) it would do alright but not make a difference and then two levels later you take leadership and all of a sudden your fifth level feat has been wasted. basically if they have any plan of taking leadership, this feat should be avoided if they just want a cohort and don't want to take leadership then it is a useful feat if not superb.


TheJew wrote:

woops okay so I was wrong leadership hasn't changed it just has been a while since I did a full read of the 3.5

With only one exception.
That is the rules of towards the level of the cohort and the cohorts XP

Cohort Level: You can attract a cohort of up to this level.
Regardless of your Leadership score, you can only recruit
a cohort who is two or more levels lower than yourself.
The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate
for its level (see Chapter 14). A cohort can be of any race
or class. The cohort’s alignment may not be opposed to
your alignment on either the law/chaos or good/evil axis,
and you take a –1 penalty to your Leadership score if you
recruit a cohort of an alignment different from your own.
A cohort does not count as a party member when
determining the party’s XP. Instead, divide the cohort’s
level by your level. Multiply this result by the total XP
awarded to you, then add that number of experience points
to the cohort’s total.
If a cohort gains enough XP to bring it to a level one
lower than your level, the cohort does not gain the new
level—its new XP total is 1 less than the amount needed to
attain the next level.

The cohort in 3.5 was granted XP and loot as a full member of the party, this is no longer the case.

Nope, it reads exactly the same. You are thinking of 3.0 Edition.


actually no I am not, I checked the 3.5 DMG it is the same except for the one section mentioning the XP that the Cohort obtains.
The cohort statement I posted is directly from the pathfinder core book
Okay page 106 of the DMG core book 2, v. 3.5
Paragraph titled attracting a cohort.
A cohort is effectively another PC in that party under that PC's control, one whose share of XP, treasure, and spot light time is bound to take away from the other players' characters.

word for word even the punctuation, maybe they changed this in an errata I don't have but this was what they had for 3.5


TheJew wrote:

actually no I am not, I checked the 3.5 DMG it is the same except for the one section mentioning the XP that the Cohort obtains.

The cohort statement I posted is directly from the pathfinder core book
Okay page 106 of the DMG core book 2, v. 3.5
Paragraph titled attracting a cohort.
A cohort is effectively another PC in that party under that PC's control, one whose share of XP, treasure, and spot light time is bound to take away from the other players' characters.

word for word even the punctuation, maybe they changed this in an errata I don't have but this was what they had for 3.5

Guys, you are getting distracted by ridiculous minutiae. It's irrelevant what 3.x did for cohort XP. PF gives very clear rules for cohorts. Go argue about it somewhere else if you really must, otherwise can we get back to discussing cavalier rules?


sounds good to me.
hmm what would be a good oath of something cool
Oath of battle? courage? extreme unnecessary violence?
I think building an oath to boost the CMB or one of the actions through it would be nice Trip, Overrun, Bullrush, Grapple if not mounted maybe.

I am more of a crunch source than a fluff source. So I am not so good with names.


Maeloke wrote:
Guys, you are getting distracted by ridiculous minutiae. It's irrelevant what 3.x did for cohort XP. PF gives very clear rules for cohorts. Go argue about it somewhere else if you really must, otherwise can we get back to discussing cavalier rules?

I aplogize Maeloke (and TheJew), I didn't mean to hijack the thread. I just try to spread the knowledge. It seems that everyone has lost track of some rules, and they mistakenly attribute them to Paizo, though they are in the SRD. But, you're right it doesn't matter. (psst...hey TheJew....3.5 DMG pg 104 under Cohort-Experience Points. The problem is with the horrible organization of the 3.5 DMG)

As far as your work on the Cavalier, I must say Maeloke, it is impressive. In fact, I think that most of your ideas are a vast improvement over the written class. I am not one of the masses who seem to object so strongly to the class as written, but that doesn't mean that I don't think it can use improvement. I, for one, favor using themes from other class designs (such as rage-rounds-per-day, or favored enemies) as the basis for the new classes whenever possible.

I was thinking that the Challenge might be modeled on the barbarian Rage. Something like Combat Focus or some-such, that would grant the bonuses (whatever they end up as) for a number of rounds per day. You could then model the "Challenge Powers" the same way, with "once per Challenge" for certain ones, etc.

Cheers


(psst... sorry you were right, and yes it is poorly written, also the section under leadership on page 106 is misleading at best.)

we have to think what the challenge is bringing to the table in this rewrite it brings +2 damage and this increases as you gain further levels up to +8 damage

Now then a ranger who chooses a favored enemy can get one all the way up to +10 if they throw all of the +2s they get for free onto the main favored enemy (not likely but I can see it being done) now then this a bonus to attack roles and damage, as well as several skills.
this is always active but can only be used against a chosen race

Okay now then barbarian:gets a +4 str and +4 con bonus and a +2 will save at the cost of a -2 to ac. which is limited by the amount of rounds it can be used 3+con+2xlevels in barbarian. this increases to +8 STR and CON and +4 to will saves. So extra HP, +4 to attack and +4 to damage (+6 if two handed) and a boost to will save, with a -2 penalty to ac and a time limit of at least 45rds at level 20 (of course we should not consider everything at there maximums)

So a barbarian has a +20% to attack but about half the damage bonus that the cavalier would gain, or 3/4 if two handed (more than likely) the barbarian gets rage powers which are nice bonus as well and the ranger has the skill buffs from his power so we will say those counter the boosts from oaths and orders that enhance the challenge for the most part for the time being

if we compare challenge on its own to favored enemy and barbarian rage where does it stand.


okay
Challenge (Ex): A cavalier may challenge a foe as a swift action. The cavalier gains a +2 bonus on damage rolls against the target as long as the challenge persists. A challenge ends if the target is killed, the cavalier is knocked unconscious, or the cavalier cancels the challenge (a free action). A cavalier may not declare a new challenge for 3 rounds after canceling a challenge, and my not have more than one challenge active at once.
At 7th level, the bonus damage increases to +4.
At 13th level, the bonus damage increases to +6.
At 19th level, the bonus damage increases to +8.
He may use this ability 3 times per day plus one half his cavalier level.

so this is the challenge power we are working with
so when compared to favored enemy going under the estimate that most are not going to put all their bonuses into one enemy they have probably lets say 1-2 +6, 1-2 +4, and the rest +2 (about 2-3) you can have 2 +6's but then all others are +2, and if you have two +4's you get one +6, and 2 +2's

you thus have worse damage but far superior accuracy against certain types of monsters, as well as superior bonus to hit on 4 other types, and some bonuses to damage along side bonuses to skills used on those monsters.

Barbarian: gets 3/4 your damage, and +20% hit chance not to mention a +4 to will saves. you have a time limiter rounds per day, and an amount of time of fatigue before you can rage again.

In this form of cavalier I notice we do not have the ac penalty (at least yet) so we have no penalty only the time limiter, in this case number of times per day and how long we have to wait to use the ability again. I would say I would be happy with a penalty to attacking other targets besides your main of -2 (so 10%) and a bonus to hit your challenge starting at maybe +1, and increasing by 1 at every increase maybe, of course if we keep the orders then we can still get a bonus like this to hit.


TheJew wrote:

(psst... sorry you were right, and yes it is poorly written, also the section under leadership on page 106 is misleading at best.)

we have to think what the challenge is bringing to the table in this rewrite it brings +2 damage and this increases as you gain further levels up to +8 damage

(snip)

if we compare challenge on its own to favored enemy and barbarian rage where does it stand.

(I loved the 3.5 revision, and still do, I think everything they changed was for the better, but they destroyed the DMG. The 3.0 DMG was the best organized of any edition, it lead you through the chapters in the order you needed the info. 3.5 just put it in a blender, I still can't find my way around intuitively.)

As far as the task at hand, I don't want to micro-analyze Maeloke's write up. I prefer to treat it all as concepts, as only concepts or parts of concepts are likely to see the light of Mr. Buhlman's pen.

But, don't let me stop you guys from working it up.


(yeah it was a lot better organized, while 3.5 is a lot like my writing random and improperly placed)

Well I figure we still need to do the crunch work otherwise I will have to fight the munchkins at my gaming table, and if I know it was partially my fault that it happened then I just won't be able to bring myself to use violence to solve the matter. I will actually have to use my words.

So Maeloke, What do you think of your current challenge bonus,
would it be a good idea to add in a penalty like a -2 to hit non challenge enemies, and then throw in a boost against the challenge target.
Or would you rather keep it as is?
Or any thoughts anyone else has on how that function should flow
I am still big on whistle taking 1d4 rounds maybe 1d6 (still leaves a chance of them being there in 1 round unlike 1d4+1)
Does anyone have any ideas for the challenge powers, and on the orders what should we do with them?
Me I am going to crash and in the morning re-read this entire section then come up with some ideas Jew man up up and to wall street.


Thanks Can'tFindThePath, you've read this correctly. I'm pretty much tossing this whole thing out there as a massive hey-wouldn't-this-be-a-cool-way-to-do-it. I'm not concerned with its particular balance, so much as providing an interesting alternative to the originally presented cavalier. Hopefully the notions are potent enough to pique interest and liven up the final version of the class.

TheJew - I've changed Whistle to be a free action (I mean, that just makes sense, right?) and changed the delay to be 1d6 rounds, to compensate.

I'm about to post a truly massive, more-or-less completed build of the class using the second progression. I've added in a number of oaths, challenge powers, and spec'd out a couple more of the orders. Tell me if you have ideas for contributing to those lists, 'cause I'd be happy to share the creative work around :)


Ok, here it is, the fully filled-out, probably overpowered build! Particular things to note: Knight's Bond (named for the other animal companion abilities), new Orders, expanded Oath list, Greater Knight's Bond. Also level 20 is pretty sweet.

So, help me out here. What works? What doesn't? What's too-friggin'-powerful? Yes, I know the progression is too busy with ideas. Help me pick out the best ones!

Cavalier:
HD D10, 4+Int Skill pts/level
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Abilities
1 - +1 +2 +0 +0 Challenge +2, Knight's Bond, Order, Oaths
2 - +2 +3 +0 +0 Challenge Power, Oath of Cruelty
3 - +3 +3 +1 +1 Order Power, Mounted Armor Training 1
4 - +4 +4 +1 +1 Oath of Mercy
5 - +5 +4 +1 +1 Challenge Power, Whistle
6 - +6 +5 +2 +2 Order Power, Oath of Destruction
7 - +7 +5 +2 +2 Challenge +4, Mounted Armor Training 2
8 - +8 +6 +2 +2 Challenge Power, Oath of Protection
9 - +9 +6 +3 +3 Order Power
10 - +10 +7 +3 +3 Mounted Armor Training 3, Oath of Pursuit
11 - +11 +7 +3 +3 Challenge Power, Greater Knight's Bond
12 - +12 +8 +4 +4 Oath of Vengeance
13 - +13 +8 +4 +4 Challenge +6
14 - +14 +9 +4 +4 Challenge Power, Greater Oath of Chastity
15 - +15 +9 +5 +5 Order Power
16 - +16 +10 +5 +5 Greater Oath of Purity
17 - +17 +10 +5 +5 Challenge Power
18 - +18 +11 +6 +6 Greater Oath of Valor
19 - +19 +11 +6 +6 Challenge +8
20 - +20 +12 +6 +6 Challenge Power, Master Challenge, Oathbound

Challenge:
Challenge (Ex): A cavalier may challenge a foe as a swift action. The cavalier gains a +2 bonus on damage rolls against the target as long as the challenge persists. A challenge ends if the target is killed, the cavalier is knocked unconscious, or the cavalier cancels the challenge (a free action). A cavalier may not declare a new challenge for 3 rounds after canceling a challenge, and my not have more than one challenge active at once.
At 7th level, the bonus damage increases to +4.
At 13th level, the bonus damage increases to +6.
At 19th level, the bonus damage increases to +8.
He may use this ability 3 times per day plus one half his cavalier level.

Knight's Bond:
Knight's Bond (Ex): At first level, the cavalier forms a knight's bond. This can take one of two forms - Mount or Champion.

If the cavalier chooses the Mount as his Knight's Bond, he gains the services of an animal companion as a druid of equivalent level. This mount must be large enough to serve as a steed.

If the cavalier chooses the Champion form of Knight's Bond, he gains the ability to inspire his allies in combat. As a move action, the cavalier can grant his bonus damage against a challenged target to all allies within 30 ft. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to 1 + the cavalier's charisma modifier.

Order:
Order: At first level, the cavalier chooses an order to be a member of. Orders grant skill bonuses, a unique challenge power, and additional thematic abilities at levels 3, 6, 9, and 15. I've listed 3 orders here, so you should have a pretty good idea how they should work.

Order of the Cockatrice:
Order of the Cockatrice:
<flavor text>
Bonus skills: Perception and survival. The cavalier gains a +1 bonus to these skills for every 4 levels he attains (maximum +5 at level 20)

Order Challenge: At 1st level, whenever the cavalier threatens the target of his challenge, his allies receive a bonus to hit that creature equal to half the cavalier's bonus challenge damage.

Aid Allies: Starting at 3rd level, Whenever the cavalier uses the Aid Another action to help an ally, he adds +3 to their AC, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. This bonus increases by +1 at 8th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

Rejuvenation: At 6th level, the cavalier may inspire his allies to fight on through their wounds. As a standard action, the cavalier may call out to all allies within 30 feet. They gain temporary hit points equal to 5 + 1/2 the cavalier's level + his charisma modifier. These hit points last for one hour. The cavalier may use this ability once per day, plus one additional time at 11th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

Tactics: at 9th level (see test document)

Move As One: at 15th level (see test document)

Order of the Dragon:
Order of the Dragon:
<flavor text>
Bonus Skills: Appraise and intimidate. The cavalier gains a +1 bonus to these skills for every 4 levels he attains (maximum +5 at level 20).

Order Challenge: At 1st level, whenever the cavalier is the only combatant threatening the target of his challenge, he increases his bonus challenge damage by 50% (+3 at level 1, +6 at level 7, etc.).

Braggart (Ex): At 3rd level (see test document)

Dragon's Pride (Ex): At 6th level, the cavalier becomes resistant to coercion. He adds half his level to the DC of any attempt to influence him through intimidation or diplomacy. He also gets a +2 bonus on saves agains enchantment (mind-effecting) spells and fear checks.

Steal Glory: At 9th level (see test document)

Moment of Triumph: At 15th level (see test document)


Order of the Shield:
Order of the Shield:
<flavor text>
Bonus Skills: Heal and Knowledge(local). The cavalier gains a +1 bonus to these skills for every 4 levels she attains (maximum +5 at level 20)

Order Challenge: If the target of the cavalier's challenge strikes someone other than the cavalier, he gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls against the challenged creature. The bonus lasts for one minute and does not stack with itself. The bonus increases by +1 at level 5, and every 5 levels thereafter.

Resolute: At 3rd level (see test document, but amend 'heavy armor' to just 'armor')

Gallant Defender: At 6th level, as long as the cavalier remains stationary during his turn, he (and his mount, if he is mounted) gains a +2 dodge bonus to armor class and CMD. This increases by +1 at level 11, and every 5 levels thereafter.

Stem the Tide: At 9th level (see test document)

Protect the Meek: At 15th level (see test document)

Oaths:
Oath (Ex): A cavalier may swear an oath to accomplish a specific task. Swearing an oath takes a full minute of speech and concentration, at the end of which the cavalier immediately gains the benefits of the oath. He retains the benefits as long as he abides by the restrictions; if he violates the restrictions of any oath he has sworn in the past week, he loses the benefits of all oaths and may not swear new oaths for 24 hours. Any specifically broken oath may not be renewed until a full week has passed, or the cavalier receives an Atonement spell. A cavalier may only have one oath active at a time.
At first level, the cavalier has access to the oaths of chastity, purity, and valor.

Oath of Chastity: As long as the cavalier refrains from engaging in intimate activity, he gains a +2 morale bonus on saves against enchantment (compulsion) spells and effects. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

Oath of Purity: As long as the cavalier keeps his body free of poisons and disease, he gains a +2 bonus on fortitude saves against poison and disease. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter. Note that alcohol and tobacco are poisons for the purposes of this oath, and failing a save against an effect breaks the oath.

Oath of Valor: As long as the cavalier does not retreat from a conflict, he gains a +2 morale bonus to will saves against fear spells and effects. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 2nd level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Cruelty. As long as the cavalier deals lethal damage at every opportunity, takes no prisoners in combat, and makes no use of the diplomacy skill, he gains a +1 bonus to weapon damage and intimidate checks. This bonus increases by +1 at level 7, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 4th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Mercy. As long as the cavalier refrains from killing or shedding blood, he takes no penalty to attack rolls for dealing nonlethal damage with lethal weapons. Additionally, he deals +2 damage when making attacks that deal nonlethal damage. This bonus increases by +1 at 9th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 6th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Destruction. As long as the cavalier creates no lasting works himself and steadfastly wrecks the creations of others, he gains a +2 to his CMB on sunder attempts, and ignores 2 points of hardness when dealing damage to inanimate objects (attended or not). This bonus increases by +1 at level 11, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 8th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Protection targeting a single creature. As long as the cavalier's ward is unharmed, both they and the cavalier receive a +2 bonus to AC, CMD, and reflex saves while they are adjacent to one another. This bonus increases by +1 at 13th level and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 10th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Pursuit against a single creature. As long as the cavalier moves steadfastly to confront this creature, he gains a +4 bonus on rolls made to locate or track the target with the Gather Information, Search, or Survival skills. This bonus increases by +2 at 12th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 12th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Vengeance against a creature that has caused him or his allies specific harm. He gains a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls against the creature and it's (known) agents. This bonus increases by +1 at 17th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 14th level, the cavalier may swear a Greater Oath of Chastity. As long as the cavalier refrains from intimate activity with others, he is immune to Enchantment (compulsion) spells and effects.

At 16th level, the cavalier may swear a Greater Oath of Purity. As long as the cavalier keeps his body free of poisons and disease, he is immune to disease and poison. As with the basic Oath of Purity, alcohol and tobacco are poisons for the purposes of this oath.

At 18th level, the cavalier may swear a Greater Oath of Valor. As long as the cavalier does not retreat from conflict, he is immune to fear spells and effects.

Challenge Powers:
Challenge Powers (Ex):
At second level and every three levels thereafter (5th, 8th, etc.), the cavalier may choose a challenge power from the following list. Unless otherwise noted, these powers only apply with respect to the target of the cavalier's challenge.
Powers:
-Social warrior: The cavalier may declare a challenge in noncombat situations. He gains a bonus to opposed bluff, diplomacy, perception, and sense motive checks against the challenged target equal to his bonus damage.

-Dual challenge: The cavalier may declare a challenge against two opponents as a swift action by spending two daily uses of his challenge power.

-Lancer: The cavalier triples his bonus damage when charging a challenged target.

-Nimble challenge: The cavalier gains a +2 dodge bonus to his AC against attacks from the target of his challenge.

-Resilient challenge: The cavalier gains a +2 bonus on saves versus spells and spell-like abilities cast by the target of his challenge.

-Zealous Foe: The cavalier chooses a creature type, such as Undead or Humanoid (elves). His bonus challenge damage against creatures of this type increases by +4.

-Determined: The cavalier gains DR 3/- against attacks from the target of his challenge. The cavalier must be level 11 or higher to select this power.

-Distracting Challenge: As long as the cavalier threatens the target of his challenge, the target takes a -2 to attack rolls against opponents that aren't the cavalier.

-Hindering strike: Once per challenge, the cavalier may declare a deadly strike. This is a standard action, delivered as a melee attack against the target of the challenge; if it hits, the target takes normal damage, and must make a fortitude save (DC = 10 + 1/2 cavalier level + cavalier's strength mod) or have it's speed halved until it's recieved a DC 20 heal check or as much magical healing as the original strike dealt damage. You must be level 8 or higher to select this power.

-Wounding Strike: Once per challenge, the cavalier may make declare a deadly strike. This is a standard action, delivered as a melee attack against the target of his challenge. If it hits, the target takes normal damage and must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 cavalier's level + cavalier's strength mod) or take 4 strength, dexterity, or constitution damage (cavalier's choice). A creature may only be the target of a wounding strike once every 24 hours, whether or not it is successful. You must be level 11 or higher to select this power.

-Penetrating Challenge: The cavalier may ignore up to 3 points of damage reduction possessed by the target of his challenge. You must be level 5 or higher to select this power.

-etc. Still coming up with these!

Mounted Armor Training:
Mounted Armor Training (Ex):
Mounted Armor Training 1: Reduce armor penalty to ride checks by 2
Mounted Armor Training 2: Reduce armor penalty to ride checks by 4
Mounted Armor Training 3: Eliminate armor penalty to ride checks

Whistle:
Whistle (Ex):
As a free action, a cavalier may whistle for his mount. As long as the animal is within one mile, and there are no insurmountable barriers between it and the cavalier, it arrives beside the cavalier (or just outside the window, or at the bottom of the cliff, etc) in 1d6 rounds. If the mount's journey to accomplish this feat is an especially harrowing one, the DM may rule the creature is Shaken for 1d6 rounds after arriving.

Greater Knight's Bond:
Greater Knight's Bond:
At 11th level, the Knight's bond grows stronger. If the cavalier chose a mount at 1st level, he may choose to apply the advanced or giant simple template to any standard mount he chooses. Note that this will make some previously unfeasible animal companions large enough to ride, and thus become viable mounts. Alternatively, the cavalier may select an advanced companion from the following list. These creatures are exceptional, trained specifically to serve as mounts for expert riders, and do not gain the benefits of additional templates.

A plainsrunner (giant chicken!) is a large, long-legged bird with a limited ability to fly.
Plainsrunner
Starting Statistics: Size:
Large Speed: 80 ft, fly 20 ft (clumsy) AC: +8 natural armor Attack: Peck (2d6) Ability Scores: Str 22, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 15, Cha 14. Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Limited flight.

A rage drake is a ferocious, distant relative of the Linnorm.
Rage Drake
Starting Statistics: Size:
Large Speed: 50 ft, Burrow 20 ft, Climb 30 ft AC: +10 natural armor Attack: Bite (2d6), 2 Claws (d8) Ability Scores: Str 24, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 16. Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Pounce, Rake, Scent.

An etherial charger (space goat!) is a large, winged capric beast, found most commonly on the etherial plane.
Etherial Charger
Starting Statistics: Size:
Large Speed: 60 ft, fly 40 ft (average) AC: +8 natural armor Attack: Gore 2d8, 2 hooves (d6) Ability Scores: Str 22, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 17, Cha 15. Special Qualities: Darkvision, Powerful Charge (4d8), Trample.

I could do more, but you get the gist.

If the cavalier elected to choose the Champion form of the Knight's Bond at first level, his champion power improves. Whenever he grants his allies his bonus challenge damage, he may elect to also share the effects of one challenge power he knows with his allies. The shared power may not be from his order, and if it normally has a restriction of one use per challenge, the cavalier must designate one ally to give the power to. The ally has access to the single use power for that encounter, rather than the cavalier (in other words, the power may only be used once, no matter who gets to do it).

Master Challenge:
Master Challenge (Ex):
At 20th level, whenever the cavalier strikes the target of his challenge, he may choose to forego his bonus challenge damage and instead deal 1 point of strength, dexterity, or constitution damage to his target, in addition to his regular weapon damage. This ability may not be shared with allies via the Greater Knight's Bond ability.

Oathbound:
Oathbound:
At 20th level, the cavalier may swear up to 3 oaths at once, gaining the effects of all of them as long as he abides by their restrictions.


Maeloke wrote:

Ok, here it is, the fully filled-out, probably overpowered build! Particular things to note: Knight's Bond (named for the other animal companion abilities), new Orders, expanded Oath list, Greater Knight's Bond. Also level 20 is pretty sweet.

So, help me out here. What works? What doesn't? What's too-friggin'-powerful? Yes, I know the progression is too busy with ideas. Help me pick out the best ones!

(snip)

Very nice! I'm sorry, but I am unable to contribute usefully right now. Keep it up, the only thing that should interfere with Jason poaching some of these.....is pride.


Okay it is crunch time

So we will start with what all character builders must due the acid test,
I would play this class in a heart beat without looking at the fluff, which means I need to figure out why it is that powerful and lower it to a more realistic play level.

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Abilities
1 - +1 +2 +0 +0 Challenge +2, Knight's Bond, Order, Oaths
2 - +2 +3 +0 +0 Challenge Power, Oath of Cruelty
3 - +3 +3 +1 +1 Order Power, Mounted Armor Training 1
4 - +4 +4 +1 +1 Oath of Mercy
5 - +5 +4 +1 +1 Challenge Power, Whistle
6 - +6 +5 +2 +2 Order Power, Oath of Destruction
7 - +7 +5 +2 +2 Challenge +4, Mounted Armor Training 2
8 - +8 +6 +2 +2 Challenge Power, Oath of Protection
9 - +9 +6 +3 +3 Order Power
10 - +10 +7 +3 +3 Mounted Armor Training 3, Oath of Pursuit
11 - +11 +7 +3 +3 Challenge Power, Greater Knight's Bond
12 - +12 +8 +4 +4 Oath of Vengeance
13 - +13 +8 +4 +4 Challenge +6
14 - +14 +9 +4 +4 Challenge Power, Greater Oath of Chastity
15 - +15 +9 +5 +5 Order Power
16 - +16 +10 +5 +5 Greater Oath of Purity
17 - +17 +10 +5 +5 Challenge Power
18 - +18 +11 +6 +6 Greater Oath of Valor
19 - +19 +11 +6 +6 Challenge +8
20 - +20 +12 +6 +6 Challenge Power, Master Challenge, Oathbound

Okay challenge at this point leave as be.
Knight's bond, this is a good solution, the reason you can give the full damage bonus is simple you are upping party damage not accuracy, and it is costing you a move action.
Okay orders, I like what you have done with them and honestly we are getting nothing extra at 1st level so that level is fine, we have three potential oaths which should also leave variety.

Okay challenge powers, so far my only thoughts is you might want to drop bonus damage from the favored enemy esc one to +2 or +3, +4 seems a bit much for a reason scratching at the back of my head.
And the bonus DR either give it something behind the dash or drop to Dr2/- /- dr are pretty strong benefits.
Oath of cruelty is fine it caps at +4 (if non epic) which makes it good extra damage and intimidation, but is hard to keep in character with some parties thus promoting not just good/lawful cavaliers, and leading some people to having to be creative.
Okay now then mounted armor training great job it is really needed. In my builds the knights I made had to wait till they could afford mythral heavy nimble armor before going full plate, and that was with a knight of the sword.
Oath of mercy good to have placed at higher level (4th) shows that it is harder to be merciful than to be filled with murder and wrath.

okay I think I know what needs to be done to fix the power level

your challenge power's and oaths or at least one of them needs to be more spread out.
for instance make the oaths one every three levels rather than every odd, this would slime down the list and probably remove the greater but it would lower it to a more reasonable power.
also at 20th level you should probably give 2 oaths at once, if sword still has its ability to allow that, then mention it stacks this way they can get up to 3 but they have to take a specific order to do that.
Other option I can see is that the challenge power could be extended to be gained at every 4 levels after 2 rather than at every 3 levels after.
it cuts back on those abilities but it makes a little tweak difference.

Master challenge really isn't that powerful so leave as be.

So yeah in conclusion all of the high power comes from the large amount of oaths, and the challenge powers. If you fix oaths then you don't really need to do anything to challenge powers, if you fix the challenge powers you might have to do a little to the oaths or something else, and keep in mind lowering the boost from oathbound, Zealous foe, and determined, besides that it looks great to me.


TheJew wrote:

Okay it is crunch time

So we will start with what all character builders must due the acid test,
I would play this class in a heart beat without looking at the fluff, which means I need to figure out why it is that powerful and lower it to a more realistic play level.

(snip)

So yeah in conclusion all of the high power comes from the large amount of oaths, and the challenge powers. If you fix oaths then you don't really need to do anything to challenge powers, if you fix the challenge powers you might have to do a little to the oaths or something else, and keep in mind lowering the boost from oathbound, Zealous foe, and determined, besides that it looks great to me.

Okay, so I will contribute...the cheap way....

I have to disagree with you on this one. It may be that something needs to be trimmed, but the Oaths aren't it. You must remember, though they look like a lot of class abilities, it is really only one class ability. You can only have one Oath at a time (except at high level), and it takes a full minute (combat eternity) to take an Oath, so you must guage the power of the Oaths one at a time. I think they stand up to that test.

My instinct says to give Challenge a drawback akin to Rage, but then I am reminded of the fighter's Weapon Training which is (eventually) +4 attack and damage. Combined with the tunnel vision of the Challenge bonus damage, I think that is more than fair to the fighter.


Can'tFindthePath wrote:

Okay, so I will contribute...the cheap way....

I have to disagree with you on this one. It may be that something needs to be trimmed, but the Oaths aren't it. You must remember, though they look like a lot of class abilities, it is really only one class ability. You can only have one Oath at a time (except at high level), and it takes a full minute (combat eternity) to take an Oath, so you must guage the power of the Oaths one at a time. I think they stand up to that test.

My instinct says to give Challenge a drawback akin to Rage, but then I am reminded of the fighter's Weapon Training which is (eventually) +4 attack and damage. Combined with the tunnel vision of the Challenge bonus damage, I think that is more than fair to the fighter.

Personally, I'm still pretty ambivalent about the Oaths. I think it's important for them to be comparatively powerful (as you're right, you can only have one up at a time), but I'm actually fairly uncomfortable with any mechanical rule whose function is severely roleplay dependent. It makes lots of flavor sense, but adjudicating that is something I hate to leave on DMs- not because they can't, but because it opens doors for all sorts of player-DM conflict.

This isn't so much the case for oaths with very specific game rule fail conditions, but the more abstract ones become quite troublesome. I'm half tempted to just remove the fail conditions altogether. It makes the oaths somewhat nonsensical, but it also makes their function consistent from a gameplay standpoint: You have a choice of several ongoing effects you can have 'up', like an aura, which individually improve and increase in number as you advance in levels.

Doing that, of course, would require ratcheting down the power of some of them. Oaths of Cruelty, Pursuit, and Vengeance are far too potent if you can pick them up whenever you want with no regard for roleplaying. On the other hand, the oaths of Chastity, Purity, and Valor seem perfectly acceptable without failure conditions. Honestly, if I were playing the class, I'd probably just go for Valor and leave it up all the time.

If the oaths went that way, I'd definitely cut the Oathbound ability down to 2 oaths at once as you suggest, TheJew.

As for challenges, I confess I generally like where they're at. The bonus damage is obviously useful, but with no increase in accuracy, I feel it rides well the midpoint between ranger favored enemy, fighter weapon training, and barbarian rage.

I don't like how much *time* the cavalier can spend engaged in challenges, but for the moment I've just tried to replicate the original test document - that obscure 'once per combat' deal.

On that note, TheJew, I think it's important to remember that challenges work a lot like oaths: they're potent, but they only function on one target at a time, and only once per fight. Barbarian DR lets them shrug off a hail of goblin arrows, while the cavalier gains no such benefit. For that tradeoff, I've deliberately left the power level of the Challenge Powers fairly high. Yes, it means cavaliers are really good at fighting the dragon, but they'll never be as good as a fighter or barbarian at fighting dragons.

Now, the ratio of those sorts of fights will obviously vary by campaign, so ymmv. For my part, I know my big bads are never without henchfolk around.


I like it a lot. Not a lot of specific criticism, especially without playtesting.

As an idea for an additional challenge power, some ability to ignore attacks of opportunity caused by movement towards their challenged opponent? Prevents the cavalier charging the big bad from getting smacked by every mook along the way. (If it seems too powerful, make it burn a daily use of challenge).

I think I had more ideas for those in the other thread, but quite frankly I don't remember right now.

All in all, excellent work, glad you're still at this Maeloke.


Maeloke is right about the flavor of Oaths being dead bang on, but making them work ina game is another matter. First off, it is stated that the CAV chooses a task to complete, but most of the Oaths are open-ended solutions. And since this is not a complete lisst, player & GM being essentially allowed to come up with thier own, it's just a can of worms waiting to be opened.

But there's a lot being missed here.

I still feel like a CAV should take and Oath and get the benefits until he BREAKS the oath. Oaths should be strict and definite. Chastity means no ascociating with women (or whatever) AT ALL except casual conversation. Doing so should be a WILL save to maintain the effects of the Oath. Breaking the Oath should be the catch; not taking one. Making a promise is easy; keeping one is hard.

Re: Challenges, I just don't see the current Beta form being a key tie-in to charge damage to be the pointof the mechanic. Precision damage is something you want round to round, and a charge is a one-off attack mostly. Charge from horseback is already 2x damage, which means 5x ona CRIT. Adding an extra +1d6 to that is paltry, and really out of character, wheras reducing Lance threat range or something to make it more lethal, like Mighty Charge does.

As a matter of fact, Supreme Charge is bogus, because normal mounted rules state that charge damage from mounted is doubled for a lance, and trippled...at 20th level? Seems pretty weak, doesn't it?

I do notice that there's nothing about fighting from horseback, really. There's nothing making the Mount combat-ready. Should a CAV really be making tha DC20 ride check? I think not. (see mounted combat rules, pg 201). Having more augmentations to mounted combat rules seems to be in order to make a Cavalier a truly Mounted type class. This is why I suggest having a Mounted/Challenger choice up front. One route takes the CAV down a mounted path, where he and his mount (also needs to be stiupulated as being an Animal steed - no fancy stuff) eventually become one, maybe even fighting as if a single entity (Size category Large +some AC bonus or Huge). Rules to negate the problems of falling over in battle, being dropped...all of that is stuff CAVs shoul dbe able to do easily. Even quick mounting stunts, etc.

I think the over-all goal of what a CAV is trying to be is sort of lost in a mass of neat rules that don't quite fit together, nor do they quite fit with other rules at all yet.


Actually, let me correct myself a bit.

The mount rules as written for the type available to a CAV states that it functions as a Druid companion, which are all plain ol animals. The statement that it has to be a mount that the caharacter can ride simply means no horses for halflings; they use wardogs and ponies. INT can grow, so the CAV mount could get skills and feats the same way.

I still think ride buffs would make the CAV a true mounted class and are needed.


Maeloke wrote:
. Personally, I think it's also farfetched for a mount to hear a whistle from a mile off, in most scenarios.

I disagree. My father used to whistle for us when I was young. We could hear him Several city blocks away on a , for lack of a better term, quiet day. I do not know if a horses hearing is better than a humans, but I do not think that it is far fetched.

The Whistle feature itself is an excellent suggestion. Reminds me of the old Musketeer/cowboy movies.


I have returned from the land of shadows and decimal places, or SIG FIGS.
okay so yes the Oaths are not over powering on their own, and I stand by my advice for the two at a time at high level, seeing as that would be a +5 bonus to three things at that point more than likely. Now then since many of those bonuses are very specific in some cases this would not matter but in other cases this would be munchkin paradise.
On the other hand I would actually agree with the idea of making no breaking part (it will cause lots of player GM conflict, and then we have the pouty player in the corner wearing the dunce cap for arguing with me) The solution would be that you may only swear an oath once every 24 hours, or maybe right after a period of rest. This way while you have the incredible variety the oaths offer, but you still need to plan ahead for the adventure and you can't just switch them up whenever.

As for DR as long as you can't take that at the get go I would be alright with dr 3/-, it is a lot of DR even though it is only against one target, and the barbarian doesn't receive dr 1/- till later in the class.

The fact that you have set it at so many times per day rather than an open book for challenges per day makes a good difference for the class in general, and opens up a chance for feats that use up challenge uses for special effects. Also making a time allotment of 3rds between each challenge is great. It doesn't hurt too much in a running battle, and in a normal battle you might be able to get a second challenge in, but you might not. So I am okay with this setup, in fact I like it more than the original Beta.

As for whistle, yes you can hear those for a while, more importantly a New York cabbie can hear it over the throng of the masses, and traffic.

Also as for avioding attack of oppertunities, I would simply advise them to take mobility and dodge for the extra ac. Also if mounted to remember that they can roll I think it is once per round for their mount to dodge an attack using mounted combat but I would need to reread that feat before arguing vehemently over it.

Still if we do end up needing such an ability I would say make it use up ones own attacks of OP to counter/deny your opponents theirs in this way you have a limited amount that you get to dodge for free or you have so many you can dodge per challenge spent.

Just some thoughts for now.

Grand Lodge

Maeloke wrote:

Quijenoth -

Rebuilding the Animal Companion chart for Mounts sounds like an exceptionally tiresome, unproductive job. If you keep mount-companion power levels consistent, there's nothing to change. Every bonus companions get is just as relevant in a mount - feats, str/dex bonuses, multiattack, etc. Making mounts more powerful means you have to cut cavalier power elsewhere, making them even more tragically dependent on their steeds - something many people (including myself) are already unhappy with.

You say rebuilding the chart would be unproductive yet that is exactly what Pathfinder has done to improve animal companions. I agree don't make cavaliers dependent on a mount but at the same time don't give them the freedom a druid has with his companion. Is It possible? I dunno, but ATM the cavalier is simply stepping on the toes of the druid/ranger with nothing really setting them apart.

Maeloke wrote:
You haven't really addressed the issue of what business *all* cavaliers would have with bizarre, supernatural mounts. PCs may well want more exotic options, but I can tell you most NPC cavaliers in games I run will be riding horses. If 'dragon mount' becomes an option at level 12, then every cavalier will have one. I don't know about your sense of fantasy worlds, but I don't buy that there are enough idiot dragons and unicorns in the world to afford one for every cavalier to ride, especially when they are easily replaced after falling in combat.

DMs should control animal companion and mount choices, if Dinosaurs dont exist in the local area for your campaign they shouldn't be an option but the rules should at least consider such creatures for specifically bizarre campaigns. Take for example a campaign where dragons are as common as household pets and you may well find dragons favoured over horses. Just because you cannot envision such a strange campaign doesn't mean they cant exist. Spelljammer was pretty far out there along with planescape and there was a dragon themed campaign where players could play dragons in 2nd edition but the name escapes me ATM.

Maeloke wrote:
And Quijenoth, if you've honestly had consistent trouble with the leadership feat, then I'm not sure you have any business proposing a mount system where cavaliers must extensively roleplay finding their exotic mounts.

My problem with leadership is two fold - firstly the first time I ever took leadership for a character the DM never gave me the time of day for its use. I wasted a feat but the only thing I got out of it was a cohort I couldn't take on adventures.

Secondly no-one has ever taken the leadership feat in any game I have run simply because they cant be arsed to spend the time book-keeping it. I have a hard enough time getting a back-story from most of my players over the past 20 years of playing (except one player) yet I always produce one for my characters at least 2 pages long which none of the 4-5 DMs over that time have ever really bothered to read, let alone include in their campaigns. Even hirelings have never seen any use since 3.0 came out.

I agree the roleplaying tie for mounts isnt a good idea for any class ability but when your dealing with a physical extension of your character into a secondary form the DM must have some say, just as a DM specifies what races and classes he's allowing in his game.

----------------------------------------

For me the biggest concern for mounts is their use as companions. The idea behind a mount for cavalier is its use as a mount yet from comments people have made on these threads they look at ways of using the mount as an ally, providing flanks or other assistance. That's not the intent of a mount or the intended use of a cavaliers ability, its a side effect that turns the cavalier into an combat orientated armored druid without spells.

There is so little detail on how to handle mounts in a game (especially exotic ones) that I think for the cavalier class to work as intended it desperately needs addressing. Rules for fighting while bearing a rider would be nice (not just what the rider can do which is all the core rules addresses). for example a horse generally has a bit in its mouth so cannot bite. often horses have eye guards to focus its vision forward, and rearing up to strike with its hooves should require a ride check to remain in the sadle by the rider. These same issues should be applied to exotic mounts, dragons losing wing attacks and claws. cavaliers could overcome these penalties within level benefits too and I would certainly put penalties on a cavalier fighting from the back of very large mounts like a gargantuan Brachiosaurus or prevent it altogether.

Finally the idea of a mount ability should emphasise that the animal IS a mount; give the cavalier abilities that exceed the use of the animal when its not mounted making the cavalier favor being in a mounted position over a simple footsoldier.

If I had time to sit down and build a new mount structure for the cavalier I would, but RL and work doesn't allow me to so I am posting my concerns here in hopes others might take up the task instead of hashing together past abilities to fit a new theme, this is how the mount and challenge ability feel to me, and they obviously are causing more than just me some concern over the fact. The core rulebook made some good changes to the game that where needed but so far the cavalier and oracle try to expand on the old without bringing new concepts to the table to actually be playtested.

Jason obviously has an issue with names matching intent and I sympathise with him on this - I can come up with some great ideas for characters but its always the names that let me down :).

I'll hold off further criticism until I have seen all 6 classes.


Quijenoth wrote:
You say rebuilding the chart would be unproductive yet that is exactly what Pathfinder has done to improve animal companions.

Animal companions would be very limited for a CAV. The only animal companions that would applie to a M sized character as a mount as Bears, Big Cats, Camels Dinosaurs, and Horses. That's five out of the seventeen possible animal companions listed (pg 53-54). S sized can only ride Apes(!), Boars, Crocodiles, Dogs, Ponies and Wolves. It's a short list, even if you go into the Bestiary (of which I'd say only half the ones described on pg 316 in that book could apply as a valid, regular mount, either M or S).

I think as long as the wording states that the CAV mount works liek a druid companion, but must be a valid mount for the size of the character, then things don't get insane and the limitations are built in.

There are no magical or supernatural creatures listed as being valid mounts. If you were to want to offer that as GM, that's fine, but it's not in the RAW for druid companions, and so it's already int he realm of GM fiat or house rule.

Restricting by campaign is another means of limiting CAV mounts getting out of hand, so Dinosaurs wouldn't be considered "exotic", just either valid or invalid.


First off, I have to say it: bear cavalry.

And, in all honesty, I'm starting to really dig the idea of a primal tribe of ape-riding halflings... some sort of back-pack style saddle.

EDIT: Well, okay, primal cavaliers would be weird, but mostly I saw the mention of apes and my mind got going. Consider the comment mostly in jest and not intended to set off further discussion necessarily.


Tim4488 wrote:
As an idea for an additional challenge power, some ability to ignore attacks of opportunity caused by movement towards their challenged opponent? Prevents the cavalier charging the big bad from getting smacked by every mook along the way. (If it seems too powerful, make it burn a daily use of challenge).

How about a challenge power like:

Nimble Charge: You (or your mount leap) nimbly over and between intervening foes to charge the object of your challenge. Once per challenge as a full round action, a cavalier may move up to his speed (or his mount's speed, if mounted) and make a single melee attack against the target of his challenge. This functions exactly like a normal charge for the purposes of to-hit bonuses, AC penalties, and lance damage. Unlike normal charging, the cavalier and his mount provoke no attacks of opportunity for this movement, and may move to any space adjacent to his target that his movement permits. You must be level 5 to select this power.

It's fairly powerful, but the limited range and the fact that it comes at the expense of other challenge powers seems pretty well balanced. Of course, there's always the option of dodge/mobility, too.

cliff wrote:
I still feel like a CAV should take and Oath and get the benefits until he BREAKS the oath. Oaths should be strict and definite. Chastity means no ascociating with women (or whatever) AT ALL except casual conversation. Doing so should be a WILL save to maintain the effects of the Oath. Breaking the Oath should be the catch; not taking one. Making a promise is easy; keeping one is hard.

While I fully agree with you from a flavor standpoint, it's absolutely impossible to police anything more abstract than an oath of chastity. Honestly, even that one is a pain. Just talking with an appropriate partner is a ridiculous fail condition - an oath of chastity shouldn't mean you can't function in society. I've met plenty of <real> people keeping their own oaths of chastity, and I assure you it's nothing so debilitating. The death pit of Oath rules is that they depend heavily on character intent, which is impossible to judge or police from a rules standpoint. We can make up some abstract conditions by which we deem an oath broken, but I don't think it's possible to fully delineate completely sensible, rules-concrete fail conditions for *any* oath, not even the simple ones.

I'm trying to build clean rules, not get mired down in obnoxious roleplay cul-de-sacs. "Well, you ran from combat, goodbye oath of valor" "I wasn't running, I was falling back to a more strategic position!" is not the sort of debate we should be inviting with our rules for core classes. Alignments are bad enough already.

Dram wrote:

I disagree. My father used to whistle for us when I was young. We could hear him Several city blocks away on a , for lack of a better term, quiet day. I do not know if a horses hearing is better than a humans, but I do not think that it is far fetched.

The Whistle feature itself is an excellent suggestion. Reminds me of the old Musketeer/cowboy movies.

Good to know! I've never done a lot of whistling myself, so I didn't know what sort of range one could 'reasonably' expect. And yes, musketeer movies were exactly what I was thinking, too :)

TheJew wrote:

okay so yes the Oaths are not over powering on their own, and I stand by my advice for the two at a time at high level, seeing as that would be a +5 bonus to three things at that point more than likely. Now then since many of those bonuses are very specific in some cases this would not matter but in other cases this would be munchkin paradise.

On the other hand I would actually agree with the idea of making no breaking part (it will cause lots of player GM conflict, and then we have the pouty player in the corner wearing the dunce cap for arguing with me) The solution would be that you may only swear an oath once every 24 hours, or maybe right after a period of rest. This way while you have the incredible variety the oaths offer, but you still need to plan ahead for the adventure and you can't just switch them up whenever.

As for DR as long as you can't take that at the get go I would be alright with dr 3/-, it is a lot of DR even though it is only against one target, and the barbarian doesn't receive dr 1/- till later in the class.

Glad you see where I'm coming from about the no-fail bit. D'you think a once-daily option to change Oaths is a fair balance between commitment and rules viability? Or should the cavalier be stuck with a choice for longer than that? I wouldn't object to 3 days or a full week, but obviously the daily option has precedent in D&D at large.

And yeah, I know we can't just give away DR 3/- early on. In my build, I've given that one a minimum level 11, at which point barbarian is already 2/- vs. everyone.

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