Request - Fix Mounts In General


Round 1: Cavalier and Oracle

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Grand Lodge

For the Past few weeks I been pondering over the concept of the Cavalier as a mounted fighter yet I'm always left with the same concern, A cavalier rides a mount why does D&D require a dedicated class to make mounts viable beyond 5th level?

So it got me thinking that mounts for along time have been only viable for the low end game unless your either a druid or a paladin.

What I propose is that within the Advanced players guide the Cavalier's abilities are tied in with a revamped rule-set for mounts.

Proposed Rule
Mounts are a template that can be applied to any animal or magical beast. The ability to teach a creature to be used as a mount is tied to Handle animal which sets the DC based on the CR of the creature plus the levels of mount.

The Mount Template (Simple) CR +1*
Creatures with the mount template are trained to bear a rider for extended periods of time and are trained for control during battles. The creatures name is often prefixed with the Title of War such as Warhorse or Warpony.

Quick Rules: Gains Run feat and Endurance Feat; +4 to AC and +2 CMD; +2 hp/HD, +1 to all saves; Gains Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor Proficiency if it does not already possess it;

Rebuild Rules: Creature Gains Run feat and Endurance Feat; AC increase natural armor by +2; Ability Scores +4 to Dex and Con; +1 Will Saves; Gains Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor Proficiency if it does not already possess it.

Handle Animal is required to train an animal with the mount template. The DC is 20 plus the CR of the base creature. *For every 5 the DC is increased the modifiers to the creature can be applied again further increasing the creatures CR. A trainer can take a 20 on this check.
The check may be improved on (and thus more templates added) as the characters handle animal skill improves (generally every 5 levels).
The cost of a basic animal trained in this way is multiplied each mount template applied to it (100gp mount would cost 200 for 1 mount template, 400 for a second mount template, 800 for a 3rd template, 1600 for a 4th template etc.).
For Magical Beasts the CR is doubled before being added to the base DC. If the Magical Beast has greater than animal intelligence it will only gain the mount template if it is willing to devote itself as a mount for a single person or cause. A Magical Beast with greater than animal intelligence may abandon the mount template at any time it chooses.

Key Abilities for the Cavalier A cavalier could further build on the mount in the following ways...
While being used as a mount, use riders saving throws instead of own.
Add the mount template again at 1st level and again at 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th.

Now I know these templates aren't perfect but the main principle behind them is to enable players to improve their mounts AC, hit points and saves (thus increasing the mounts survivability) without having to maintain a complex creature or introduce a creature that a DM would deem too powerful. The idea is that, if applied to a particularly powerful creature such as a large dragon the player can improve the creature using the mount template without having to go through the standard monster advancement (or age increase for dragons) and does not have to change his mount just to keep it in line with the game.

Thoughts?


This kind of thing can already be handled under existing rules, but what you're getting at is making Cavalier mounts stand out from an average horse, and that...I'm all kinds of in favor of.

A good deal of modification to the way Cavaliers and thier mounts interact, how the Ride Skill and Mouted Combat Feat are employed, and the capabilities, Skills, Feats and powers available to Cavalier mounts needs to exceed that which is available to standard mounts acquired and modified through the existing Handle Animal rules.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Cities of Golarion has THREE mounted combat feats that REALLY make mounts MUCH MORE viable... check them out!!! (DHTBIFOM right now...)

Dark Archive

This is awesome! You have thought this out wonderfully.


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Cities of Golarion has THREE mounted combat feats that REALLY make mounts MUCH MORE viable... check them out!!! (DHTBIFOM right now...)

That's great...but these aren't intended to be Golarion exclusive Classes. The Cavalier is meant to be a Pathfinder general Class and, as such, shouldnt'rely on Golarion campaign world Feats to be more viable.


cliff wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Cities of Golarion has THREE mounted combat feats that REALLY make mounts MUCH MORE viable... check them out!!! (DHTBIFOM right now...)
That's great...but these aren't intended to be Golarion exclusive Classes. The Cavalier is meant to be a Pathfinder general Class and, as such, shouldnt'rely on Golarion campaign world Feats to be more viable.

Agreed, as much as I love the Vigil feats, I dont think every mounted-combat player should be forced into being from Lastwall just to be viable.

Dark Archive

Kjob wrote:
cliff wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Cities of Golarion has THREE mounted combat feats that REALLY make mounts MUCH MORE viable... check them out!!! (DHTBIFOM right now...)
That's great...but these aren't intended to be Golarion exclusive Classes. The Cavalier is meant to be a Pathfinder general Class and, as such, shouldnt'rely on Golarion campaign world Feats to be more viable.
Agreed, as much as I love the Vigil feats, I dont think every mounted-combat player should be forced into being from Lastwall just to be viable.

You forget that you can of course wave that rule, or perhaps change it from lastwall to a similar city in your campaign world.

Dark Archive

Am I mistaken in thinking a cavalier's mount, like a pally's mount, improves following the Druid progression?


Dissinger wrote:
Kjob wrote:
cliff wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Cities of Golarion has THREE mounted combat feats that REALLY make mounts MUCH MORE viable... check them out!!! (DHTBIFOM right now...)
That's great...but these aren't intended to be Golarion exclusive Classes. The Cavalier is meant to be a Pathfinder general Class and, as such, shouldnt'rely on Golarion campaign world Feats to be more viable.
Agreed, as much as I love the Vigil feats, I dont think every mounted-combat player should be forced into being from Lastwall just to be viable.
You forget that you can of course wave that rule, or perhaps change it from lastwall to a similar city in your campaign world.

I can DM fiat anything I want in my games. Personally, I really hate it when someone says something is ok because you can just DM it otherwise. I guess because in real life Im an extremely lawful person (who's lawfulness is only challenged by my typical DM) and, honestly, in most cases I side with the rules as written by Paizo. Tack on to that, if going into a new gaming group I can't expect them to DM fiat rules away from Paizo's intent. Also, I really enjoy PFS where rule following knows no bounds!

Grand Lodge

Thalin wrote:
Am I mistaken in thinking a cavalier's mount, like a pally's mount, improves following the Druid progression?

It does indeed. But I think the original intent of the thread is to show that you shouldn't need specific class abilities to keep a mount alive past your 5th level. You know, when enemies just ignore you in order to take out your 15 hp, 12 AC mount in order to nullify any mounted feats/abilities you may be using.

I don't know if we need all that was presented here, but yes, I have to agree that non-paladin/cavalier/druid/ranger mounts lose their value pretty early on unless you have a class ability that includes the animal companion rules.

It could be just as simple as increasing the amount you can do with Handle Animal and Ride?

Although, as someone pointed out on another thread, you COULD just travel with a herd of horses to cover emergencies... ;)


In 3.5e games I've seen people take Leadership and then have people use their mount as a cohort, though the rules are a little vague on how to do that. (It can be extrapolated, but the rules don't specify)

I wonder if it would break anything to simply have one feat for 'animal companion at level-3' and then Natural Bond to bump that up to full level.

I doubt it.

Dark Archive

Man did I have to look through some ancient crypts and tomes to find this:

Wild Cohort

I allow this feat for people to keep mounts useful.

Grand Lodge

The most common mount in D&D is the horse which only has 15 hps average (as a DM in the past I have allowed high quality horses to have maximum hit points which is still only 22) while a heavy horse has and additional 4 from the advanced template.

having hit points that low means that most area effects will likely kill the mount and by 10th level will probably kill them even on a successful save meaning that basic mounts are worthless.

Taking a closer look at my proposal A 5th level character with the handle animal skill maxed out could improve the horse as follows.

Base DC to add mount template to a horse = 21 (20+ 1(CR1))
A 5th level character with handle animal as a class skill and a Cha of 13 has a modifier of +9 meaning he can add an additional mount template to the horse at a DC of 26, at 7th level he can add a 3rd.

The new horse now has +8 AC +4 CMD, +8 hps (bringing his total to 23 average, 30 max), and a +2 on all saves.

a min-max horse trainer could possibly get a modifier as high as +19 by taking skill focus handle animal and animal affinity at 5th level allowing up to 4 mount templates.

If you go with the "Cavalier adds an additional mount template at 1st 5th, 10th etc" then the mount would gain an additional +8 AC +4 CMD, +8 hps (bringing his total to 31 average, 38 max), and a +2 on all saves while being ridden by a cavalier.

Taking a look at the higher end a 20th level half-elf druid with skill focus handle animal (+6) and animal affinity (+4) and a cha of 20 would have a total modifier of +38. The highest DC for a typical horse would be 56 (8 mount templates) resulting in +32 AC, +16 CMD, +32 hps, and +8 on all saves. If ridden by a 20th level cavalier it would gain an additional 20 AC, 10 CMD, 20 hps and +5 to saves.

Looking at the DCs of other creatures;
an elephant would be base DC 27. from a single template it would gain +4 AC, +2 CMD, +22 hps, and +1 to all saves. High end elephant would get a grand total of +24 AC, +12 CMD, +132 hps, and +6 saves.
a griffon would be base DC 28, High end griffon would get +24 AC, +12 CMD, +60 hps, and +6 saves.

A Tarrasquue would be a base DC of 70 so untrainable :)

Some Notes to the rules above.
I think the AC might be a bit much considering armor can be worn so drop the +2 in the rebuild rules (reducing the quick rules to +2 AC).

The Rule could be opened up to Dragons as well assuming they agree of course. Assuming an Adult dragon (generally size large), say black the DC would be 22 requiring an unmodified DC of 42. even at 20th level min max could only add the mount template two or three times. even with a cavalier rider this is still significantly weaker than an ancient black dragon but alot more acceptable as a large creature over a huge.

A footnote on Animal Companions and Paladin mounts should be added to indicate they cannot gain the mount Template unless applied to by the Cavalier ability.


Heh, still on about the whole mount thing, eh Quijenoth?

I actually like this direction you're going, opening up mounts to other classes, but it needs some work yet.

The issues I see with your idea as it stands:
At high enough levels, all the ability scores in the world won't help a creature that's only got 2 hit dice. A horse dies to cloudkill, even if it's got a constitution of 40.

You're also essentially allowing people to *purchase* large ability score increases for their mounts, which is a very poor way to control power level. 3 of your templates combined is chump change to a character at level 6, but even if it weren't, its a poor way to police how strong a mount can become. 'Craft' checks alone should never be able to dictate such significant shifts in 'equipment' power.

I think that basing the improved mount on a feat would be a better way to go about it. What do you think of this:

Feat: Wrangler
Prerequisites: Animal Affinity or wild empathy class feature, Handle Animal 5 ranks, Ride 5 ranks.
Effect: With constant training, you can teach a single mount to surpass others of its kind. By spending 24 hours training a friendly creature of the animal type, you may increase its base HD by 1, its natural armor, strength, dexterity, and constitution by 2, and grant it a +1 training bonus to it's saving throws. You may only have one animal trained in this fashion at a time; training a new one causes the previous one to return to its original abilities. The effects of this feat may not be applied to animal companions or other such creatures gained as part of a class feature.
You may select this feat any number of times. Its effects stack.


I'm still not seeing where any of this new stuff would be better than:

Boon Companion
Prerequisites: Handle Animal 5 ranks
Gain an animal companion. Effective druid level is character level-3.
Rangers are considered to gain this if they choose the Hunter's Bond as animal companion.

Greater Boon Companion
Prerequisites: Handle Animal 5 ranks, Boon Companion
Effective druid level equals character level.

There. Done.


Or just let higher level characters (who don't have animal companion/cavalier mount/paladin mount) get special mounts from the bestiary.

A Fighter could grab leadership and ride around on a young dragon, or some other feasible intelligent mount. Or he could find a trainer (or do it himself) and get a combat trained griffin or the like.

The big thing you can't do now in pathfinder is use a Horse in high-level combat, and seriously I think that since there's alternative mounts for high-level combat I've got no issues with this.


Mounts have always been one of my favorite concepts regarding the fantasy genre in general. As such, I was also somewhat disappointed in the lack of improving mounts as the campaign wears on, much like Quijenoth and other posters. What I've done is I created a system where mounts are quantified as an "item" using the item level system in MIC (I know, ain't Paizo or PF, but bear with me), with a roughly analogous correlation between their CR and their effective item level - a CR 1 Worker Giant Ant might be valued as an item level 1 creature. This corresponds to the middle of the item level range, and certain traits that the creature in question has modifies it's level up or down by a certain amount - flight's an effective +1, while a timid nature's a -1, for instance. Using the above example, the Worker Giant Ant would be priced as an effective CR 2 creature because of it's possession of a Climb speed (+1), and thus cost 275 gp. For a higher level example, a Rust Monster would be an effective CR/item level 6 (base 3, +2 for Rust, +1 for Aberration type) and price it at 2,050 gp. Low-level exotic creatures could go below an item level of 1/2, and I just eyeballed a price of 3 gp for 1/6 "CR" and 15 gp for 1/3 "CR" with these bottom two tiers being there for anything that goes below an effective item level of 1/2.

Iunno, maybe you'd want to adopt something similar. It's worked pretty well for our game so far, since it gives a quick and easy way to give a price for an exotic creature (mount or not) and you can just more-or-less follow the standard Ride and Handle Animal rules from there. I'll just copy what I've been using for extra price modifiers in case anyone's interested.

*Edit - If you wanted to use such a system with standard mounts, maybe allow players to find elixirs or some such to advance their mounts by a CR or so and gain some HD to keep them competitive at higher levels?

Template(s)
Add Templates' CR increase(s); add other modifiers resulting from template(s)

Additional Movement Forms (any)
+1; applies once regardless of how many additional forms

Fast Fly Speed (speed 100 feet or more)
+1; stacks with Add. Movement Forms modifier

Highly Maneuverable (good or perfect)
+1; stacks with Add. Movement Forms modifier

Dragon or Outsider
+2

Aberration, Construct, Magical Beast, Plant, or Undead
+1

Non-Combatant (runs from all dangers)
-2

Timid (doesn't normally fight)
-1

Poisonous
+1

Ability Damage/Drain or Energy Drain
+2 per attack form

Breath Weapon / Damaging Natural Ranged Attack
+1

Swallow Whole
+2

Improved Grab
+1

Above-Animal Intelligence (Int 3+)*
+1

Brilliant Intellect (Int 13+)*
+1; stacks with Above-Animal Intelligence modifier

Spellcasting Ability
Add highest level spell available on a daily or at-will basis

* Creatures with either of these traits cannot be taught Tricks, and must spend a skill point to accept riding and battle training instead. These creatures are not otherwise subject to Handle Animal and must be reasoned with using Diplomacy and other social skills.


William Timmins wrote:

I'm still not seeing where any of this new stuff would be better than:

Boon Companion
Prerequisites: Handle Animal 5 ranks
Gain an animal companion. Effective druid level is character level-3.
Rangers are considered to gain this if they choose the Hunter's Bond as animal companion.

Greater Boon Companion
Prerequisites: Handle Animal 5 ranks, Boon Companion
Effective druid level equals character level.

There. Done.

There's some elegance to that, but I'd be wary of making up feats that accumulate so much power with levels. For druid-level animal companions, I can see a whoooole lot of characters throwing down for the low, low price of two feats.

I know the leadership feat does that sort of thing, but it comes with lots of baggage, whereas animal companions are just a class feature. Find an animal, any animal, and you've got a blunt instrument to rival a mediocre barbarian. Doesn't seem wise to just hand that option to the likes of fighters and wizards.

On the other hand, requiring some significant and ongoing character investment in the ability *would* be fair. Say some feats like

Boon Companion
Prerequisites: Animal Affinity
Benefits: You gain the ability to acquire an animal companion as though you were a 1st level druid.

Animal Bond
Prerequisites: must have an animal companion or special mount, either from the Boon Companion feat or as a class feature.
Benefits: Increase your effective druid level by 3 for the purposes of determining a single animal companion or mount's abilities. This feat may be selected multiple times and stacks with itself, but may not increase a character's effective druid level beyond their total character level.

This way, you allow other classes to acquire companions, even up to druid standards, but they've really got to pay for it.

Joshua wrote:
<wall of text>

I'm not familiar with the resource you're pulling from for those creature-as-item rules, but I'd like to know the formula for determining the prices.

As far as I can tell, they seem decent, but they reek of the messy flip-through-the-bestiary-and-re-engineer-critters deal that was rampant in old 3.x.

Also, while I'm a believer in markets, I suspect many campaigns simply would not support a system designed to put a price on creatures, no matter their traits. It works alright for a griffon or a giant spider, but what about when a player figures out they can afford an angel, genie, or wraith? At best, it posits an unequivocally vile and powerful slave trade. At worst, it inspires all sorts of obnoxious player habits - such as participating in that trade to unbalancingly great profit.

There are lists of magic items and prices in the book so players know they can save and either purchase, commission, or build such things for themselves. It's an understood fact of the game: if you accumulate X wealth, you can get Y item. Putting living creatures into that format sets up the same expectation in players, which just isn't appropriate for all settings. A GM obviously has last say over all shopping availability, but you're just asking for trouble when so many GMs are going to have to tell players "No, you can't buy a pet red dragon/gelatinous cube/tribe of kobolds". Gods know my players would never let me hear the end of it (they're ridiculous).

Better to create a limited, realistic list to work from - pack in all the low-intelligence aberrations, animals, magical beasts, and vermin that could theoretically be reared and sold, and leave the rest for the leadership feat.


All this is great, buit it seems to be attempting to bring all other classes in line with Druids, when the problem I see is that (A) we're talking about Cavaliers and not all other classes, and (B) there's still nothing suggested really that exclusively boosts Cav mounts excepot what I've suggegsted, which may be happening anyway for all we know (eg. addition of new mount skills and feats as well as Cav only feats that affect mounts).


PF took steps to coordinate all 'extra animal classes have' into one system to avoid multiple unnecessarily overlapping systems.

I think there _shouldn't_ be an exclusive Cav mount boost, and, moreover, I think the design of the system seems consistent with that.


William Timmins wrote:

PF took steps to coordinate all 'extra animal classes have' into one system to avoid multiple unnecessarily overlapping systems.

I think there _shouldn't_ be an exclusive Cav mount boost, and, moreover, I think the design of the system seems consistent with that.

Generally I agree with you - coordinating all the animal helpers is excellent. That said - don't paladins get to add the celestial template to their mounts? I'd be okay with cavaliers getting something comparable, oriented towards making their mounts more effective (or useful) specifically as mounts.


Here's a big one that's pretty much necessary for cavaliers, but also very difficult to thematically give them as a class ability:
The ability to have their mount fly, or shrink (so as to not be left at one end of a passageway-type dungeon).
I know you can remedy these with magical items, but those items are pretty much necessary after a certain level for every single cavalier.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I fixed the issue by giving the mounted fighter/knight/barbarian/etc an eternal horse. :)

Basically just two magic items that cast Mount or Spectral Mount at will (one mount at a time).

You can find them here and here.


mdt wrote:

I fixed the issue by giving the mounted fighter/knight/barbarian/etc an eternal horse. :)

Basically just two magic items that cast Mount or Spectral Mount at will (one mount at a time).

You can find them here and here.

Those are... really freakin' clever. What a perfect way to create consistent, transportable, useful mounts, enabling high-level mounted combat without breaking class or creature power thresholds.

Props, mdt, I think you win this thread.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Maeloke wrote:
mdt wrote:

I fixed the issue by giving the mounted fighter/knight/barbarian/etc an eternal horse. :)

Basically just two magic items that cast Mount or Spectral Mount at will (one mount at a time).

You can find them here and here.

Those are... really freakin' clever. What a perfect way to create consistent, transportable, useful mounts, enabling high-level mounted combat without breaking class or creature power thresholds.

Props, mdt, I think you win this thread.

LOL,

Thanks. Just seemed the best solution to the mount problem.


Most people overlook items as ways to solve various 'but I want to do X...'

For example, eternal youth = disguise self broach. Heh. You are disguised as a younger version of yourself!

Or, more interesting for adventurers, 'I want to change shape without having to be a lycanthrope or druid.'
Skin of the Bear (black bear), Sealskin of the Selkie (seal), etc., Beast Shape I 1/day, 5400 gp. Go nuts.

Grand Lodge

Maeloke wrote:

Heh, still on about the whole mount thing, eh Quijenoth?

Yeah, The cavalier is one of those classes that so far all the people I have discussed it will have said cool id love to play a mounted character but after reading the cavalier themselves they are generally left unenthusiastic about playing one. My players like the idea of being diverse and different when creating characters but they all agree the cavalier has very little diversity beyond the defined orders.

Maeloke wrote:

I actually like this direction you're going, opening up mounts to other classes, but it needs some work yet.

The issues I see with your idea as it stands:
At high enough levels, all the ability scores in the world won't help a creature that's only got 2 hit dice. A horse dies to cloudkill, even if it's got a constitution of 40.

You're also essentially allowing people to *purchase* large ability score increases for their mounts, which is a very poor way to control power level. 3 of your templates combined is chump change to a character at level 6, but even if it weren't, its a poor way to police how strong a mount can become. 'Craft' checks alone should never be able to dictate such significant shifts in 'equipment' power.

you raise some good points and I had been thinking increasing dex and con could be a bit abusive too. I hadnt thought about HD spells such as sleep and cloudkill either

Correcting them wouldnt be that hard though. lets just rewrite the Quick rules and completely drop the rebuild rules.

Quick rules: +2 AC, +2 hp/HD, +1 to all saves. Gain Run feat and Endurance feat, Gain Light Medium and Heavy armor proficiency feats. Counts as HD equal to riders level/HD when targeted by detrimental effects.

The last part solves the save problem while preventing it from inadvertently increasing the DCs of the creatures own powers.

Maeloke wrote:

I think that basing the improved mount on a feat would be a better way to go about it. What do you think of this:

Feat: Wrangler
Prerequisites: Animal Affinity or wild empathy class feature, Handle Animal 5 ranks, Ride 5 ranks.
Effect: With constant training, you can teach a single mount to surpass others of its kind. By spending 24 hours training a friendly creature of the animal type, you may increase its base HD by 1, its natural armor, strength, dexterity, and constitution by 2, and grant it a +1 training bonus to it's saving throws. You may only have one animal trained in this fashion at a time; training a new one causes the previous one to return to its original abilities. The effects of this feat may not be applied to animal companions or other such creatures gained as part of a class feature.
You may select this feat any number of times. Its effects stack.

I like the feat but I'm never entirely happy about making everything "new" controlled by feats, it puts too much emphasis on what is key to the fighter. It would however work in conjunction with the mount template for characters wishing to specialise in mounted combat such as the cavalier. (although perhaps only allow it once with a greater version for higher levels)

Cliff wrote:
All this is great, buit it seems to be attempting to bring all other classes in line with Druids...

The intent isn't to give all other classes animal companions just viable mounts. having 4 mount templates applied to a horse doesn't even match the power of a 3rd or 4th level animal companion. The mount template doesn't increase attack, damage, or powers associated with the creatures hit dice.

While a few people have suggested magic items that's fine as a workaround but it is not a solution. The cavalier is inherently non-magical and if someone wanted to run a magic free campaign you would run into serious problems.


Well, I for one think all th other classes can stuff it, and leave great mounts to Cavliers. (lol) That's my point. Don't improve how mounts operate unless you are a Cavalier, and it makes the class more viable, especially compared to power houses like the Summoner.


cliff wrote:
Well, I for one think all th other classes can stuff it, and leave great mounts to Cavliers. (lol) That's my point. Don't improve how mounts operate unless you are a Cavalier, and it makes the class more viable, especially compared to power houses like the Summoner.

Bingo. The major point of the Cavalier is the mount. Hence the name. If everyone has a comparable mount then what's the point of the Cavalier? The challenge and oath abilities are nice, but the mounted part is where the name of the class derives from.


I think the class is pretty good. In addition to the normal "mounted knight" style, i'm sure you can come up with some neat ideas if you try. This is just the biggest one to come to mind since i think I may use it

-Dinosaur riding lizardfolk who do not formally declare challenges, but they choose specific targets. They favor the dragon order for personal glory, or the cockatrice or shield orders for devotion to their tribe/hunting parties

Grand Lodge

R_Chance wrote:
cliff wrote:
Well, I for one think all th other classes can stuff it, and leave great mounts to Cavliers. (lol) That's my point. Don't improve how mounts operate unless you are a Cavalier, and it makes the class more viable, especially compared to power houses like the Summoner.
Bingo. The major point of the Cavalier is the mount. Hence the name. If everyone has a comparable mount then what's the point of the Cavalier? The challenge and oath abilities are nice, but the mounted part is where the name of the class derives from.

and I'm not suggesting any different, The cavalier should have a better mount than the non-companion classes which I have said in the rules presented here. I just don't agree that the cavalier mount should be as good as an animal companion or paladin mount considering the non-magical nature of the class. But on the flip side I would like to see cavaliers have the option of selecting mounts from a larger list compared to animal companions such as magical beasts, dragons or even vermin. This would set the cavalier apart from the druid ranger and paladin entirely and I think the mount template is a step in the right direction to making that option viable while remaining balanced and at the same time fixing the void that is mounts in general.


Quijenoth wrote:
and I'm not suggesting any different, The cavalier should have a better mount than the non-companion classes which I have said in the rules presented here. I just don't agree that the cavalier mount should be as good as an animal companion or paladin mount considering the non-magical nature of the class. But on the flip side I would like to see cavaliers have the option of selecting mounts from a larger list compared to animal companions such as magical beasts, dragons or even vermin. This would set the cavalier apart from the druid ranger and paladin entirely and I think the mount template is a step in the right direction to making that option viable while remaining balanced and at the same time fixing the void that is mounts in general.

The Cavalier's mount is not as good as the Paladin's mount. It's not as smart (Paladin's mount Int=6+, Cavalier's mount Int=2), does not have the share spells ability, cannot be called magically to his side (up to 4 times per day at 17th level), doesn't acquire the Celestial Template at 11th level or gain spell resistance at 15th level. In short the Cavaliers mount is not magical. It's just one tough war horse (or war whatever). I'd say the Cavaliers mount should be typical for his / her race and culture. The classic human mount would be the heavy warhorse. The medieval heavy war horse was a very dangerous animal. The Cavaliers mount fulfills that role.


I'm confused... what's wrong with the Trample feat?

Grand Lodge

R_Chance wrote:
In short the Cavaliers mount is not magical. It's just one tough war horse (or war whatever). I'd say the Cavaliers mount should be typical for his / her race and culture. The classic human mount would be the heavy warhorse. The medieval heavy war horse was a very dangerous animal. The Cavaliers mount fulfills that role.

See thats the problem - What would you say would be the "classical" mount for a human in Krynn? Dragonlance had dragon riders which you would imagine the cavalier would excel at, but by the definition of the class he cannot have a dragon because it wouldn't fit the confines of the class. The same would apply to the gold dwarves of Faerun who ride griffons. I'm sure there is a Golarion equivalent some-place but I cant think of one ATM.

I don't want to divert this thread into, what people think is right for them, suffice to say that the rules I have presented where done so to facilitate the more extreme possibilities of mounts for a mount focused class, without breaking the class or forcing GMs to house rule the class doesn't exist. The Cavalier is non-magical but in a world of dragons and magical beasts his choice of mounts may not always be so mundane. And I again say why must such powerful, non-magical versions of normal animals be defined to a particular class that has no viable way to make a creature so powerful?

Yes you could create prestige classes for more exotic mounts but how would that work with the current cavalier build? With a fixed progression such as the animal companions there is not a lot of flexibility for adding exotic mounts outside the animal type.

The current rules are just too shortsighted and the Cavalier is just so bland and unimaginative to restrict itself to horses or similar animals. This is why people suggest it should only be a prestige class.


Quijenoth wrote:
The current rules are just too shortsighted and the Cavalier is just so bland and unimaginative to restrict itself to horses or similar animals. This is why people suggest it should only be a prestige class.

Man, you're just all over the place. First it's that everyone should get mounts, then it's that cavalier mounts shouldn't be as good as paladins because they aren't magical, and now it's that gigantic wolves, rocs, and tyrannosauruses are just way too bland for cavaliers to have to choose from, and they ought to get dragons and griffins if it's setting appropriate.

Remember, your thesis for this thread was that everyone should be able to get useful mounts, not just cavaliers and their druid-y friends. You were on solid ground there, but you're getting sidetracked by what you think cavaliers 'ought' to be given.

Seriously, if you want special cavalier mounts, just make up a couple new ones and add them in with the existing format. Make them cavalier-only, if you really must. Here, look at this:

Wind Drake:
Wind drakes are distant ancestors of wyverns, lacking their stinger, but sharing their aggressive nature and hunting habits. They look almost exactly like the greater chromatic dragons, lacking only the cunning intellect behind their gaze.
Wind Drake
Starting Statistics: Size:
Medium Speed: 50 ft., Fly 50 ft. (average)AC: +2 natural armor Attack: Bite (d8), 2 Claws (d6) Ability Scores: Str 13, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 14. Special Qualities: Low-light vision.

10th level advancement: Size:Large Speed: 50 ft., Fly 90 ft. (poor) AC: +6 natural armor Attack: Bite (2d6), 2 claws (d8), 2 wing buffets (d4, secondary attack), Ability Scores: Str +8, Dex -2, Con +4 Special Attacks: Grab

Kinda powerful, but not to paladin standards. Marginally better than a standard druid's companion, but clearly that's not an issue for you. Now you can have dragonriding cavaliers, without unbalanced rebuild template rules or degenerate power creep.

Although honestly, I'm still not convinced the mount is worth this hullabaloo, much less all the new rules people are cobbling together (myself included).

Human dragon riders and dwarf griffin riders could really all just take Leadership. It's not like in those settings *every* knight had a freaking dragon to ride; it was only the most elite, awesome, high level characters that were so fortunate (or it really ought to be, for the sake of game balance). Same can go for your average wizard or fighter who wants a mount that doesn't die in the first round of combat.

Tweak Leadership: ignore the followers, just work with the cohort. You'd be surprised how far that'll take you.


This is just off the tp of my head, without looking up the mount rules or animal companion rules again...but what if it was as simple as allowing a Cavlier's mount to choose an Animal Feat any time the Cavalier could gain a bonus feat when leveling up, and they may selelct Fighter feats if applicable. Training still works, Cav mounts get better. Done.

For other classes, this ability is truncated to be a Feat that requires a certian Rank in Handle Animal, and allows the mount to gain an immediate Feat from the AnCo list.

How's that work?

@ Quijenoth: I think you're pushing the idea of exotic mounts the wrong way. I think a Cavlier would be able to train any creature of animal intelligence to be a mount, and that would be the edge. Normally only suitable mounts can be selected, but the Cav can have the ability to have an Owlbear mount if he manages to find one, subdue it, makes some Handle Animal rolls, etc. Dragons are intelligent in D&D and Pathfinder, and therefore can decide not to be a mount or vice versa. Animal intelligence and the suggested mount list should dictate the normal mounts available and authorized, but allow Cavs to train animals that are normally untrainable as replacement mounts only makes a kind of sense.


Quijenoth wrote:

See thats the problem - What would you say would be the "classical" mount for a human in Krynn? Dragonlance had dragon riders which you would imagine the cavalier would excel at, but by the definition of the class he cannot have a dragon because it wouldn't fit the confines of the class. The same would apply to the gold dwarves of Faerun who ride griffons. I'm sure there is a Golarion equivalent some-place but I cant think of one ATM.

Krynn has cavalry. Not everybody is a dragon rider. I doubt every 1st level Cavalier on Krynn would be cruising around on a dragon. Although Dragon Rider would make an excellent prestige class for a Cavalier to move into. For the most part exotic mounts are just that -- exotic. Different form the norm. Unusual. Unusual mounts that are "typical" for an area / race / culture are, mostly, animals and would fit into the mount category for Cavaliers. The people who ride exotic / magical mounts are typically high level and / or special in some way. Sounds like prestige class material to me.

Quijenoth wrote:


I don't want to divert this thread into, what people think is right for them, suffice to say that the rules I have presented where done so to facilitate the more extreme possibilities of mounts for a mount focused class, without breaking the class or forcing GMs to house rule the class doesn't exist. The Cavalier is non-magical but in a world of dragons and magical beasts his choice of mounts may not always be so mundane. And I again say why must such powerful, non-magical versions of normal animals be defined to a particular class that has no viable way to make a creature so powerful?

As I said above, imo, extreme mounts are no more typical of low level characters than +5 swords are. Those things come with time (and levels). The power of the Cavalier's mount is based on training and experience. Just like a medieval knight's war horse. They didn't just ride saddle horses, the heavy war horse was a highly trained killing machine, attuned to it's rider's every move. It was far deadlier than the stats on the basic warhorse would indicate. If you're wondering why the Cavalier's mount is powerful, why not wonder why the Cavalier (or the Fighter for that matter) goes up in level? Think of it as leveling up for horses (or some other mundane mount). Maybe the Cavalier enables the mount to gain experience / advance beyond the norm.

Quijenoth wrote:


Yes you could create prestige classes for more exotic mounts but how would that work with the current cavalier build? With a fixed progression such as the animal companions there is not a lot of flexibility for adding exotic mounts outside the animal type.

The current rules are just too shortsighted and the Cavalier is just so bland and unimaginative to restrict itself to horses or similar animals. This is why people suggest it should only be a prestige class.

So, he has a horse... and a dragon (or whatever). I don't see the problem with a Cavalier having his "regulation" mount and some special mount / creature. Mount jealousy? If you're on top of a dragon, I doubt it needs a mount type progression. If it's big enough to bear a rider it's better than any normal mount. What is shortsighted is trying to shoehorn every possible special creature / mount into a base class designed to ride a horse (or it's local equivalent). Roleplaying or prestige classes can cover the odd / high level possibilities imo.


Yar!

It seems that which animals are available to be used as mounts is uncertain. How about a list of current mounts available for various combinations! (you will note that some AC’s that are of appropriate size have been left out, like various snakes, as they must also be suitable as a mount, and I can’t see someone putting a saddle and riding on a viper. Also, these are only mounts of the appropriate minimum size requirements. I’m sure it’s possible to ride a gargantuan animal, but for the below list, I’ve gone with the smallest possible animal that qualifies to be ridden). A DM may rule against certain mounts due to environment, local ecology, plot, or whatever.

! = has a land speed
% = has a burrow speed
* = has a flight speed
# = has a swim speed
& = has a climb speed
^ = can climb on surfaces akin to spider climb
$ = can walk on clouds as if they were solid

Mounts for a Small sized humanoid (halfling, gnome), via handle animal (animal stats, no advancement):

Mounts for a Medium sized humanoid (human, elf, halfelf, halforc, dwarf), via handle animal (animal stats, no advancement):

Mounts for a Small sized cavalier / druid @ 1st level via Animal Companion:

Mounts for a Medium sized cavalier / druid @ 1st level via Animal Companion:

Camel !
Horse, various !

Mounts for a Small sized ranger @ 4th level via Hunter’s Bond:

Pony !
Wolf !

Mounts for a Medium sized ranger @ 4th level via Hunter’s Bond:

Camel !
Horse, various !

Small sized paladin @ 5th level via Divine Bond:

Boar !
Dog !
Pony !

Medium sized paladin @ 5th level via Divine Bond:

Camel !
Horse, various !

Small sized humanoid advanced animal companion additions (various classes, various level requirements):

Badger !
Bear !
Cheetah !
Deinonychus !
Dog, Goblin !
Hyena !
Leopard !
Lizard, Monitor ! #
Shark #

Medium sized humanoid advanced animal companion additions (various classes, various level requirements):

Cohort Mounts for Small sized humanoids w/Leadership feat (any class, cohort level listed):

Dragon, Black ! * # C.Lv.15
Dragon, Brass ! % * C.Lv.15
Dragon, Copper ! * ^ C.Lv.16
Dragon, White ! % * # C.Lv.14
Hell Hound ! C.Lv.7
Worg ! C.Lv.5

Cohort Mounts for Medium sized humanoids w/Leadership feat (any class, cohort level listed):

Dragon, Blue ! * # C.Lv.17
Dragon, Bronze ! * # C.Lv.17
Dragon, Gold ! * # C.Lv.19
Dragon, Green ! * # C.Lv.16
Dragon, Red ! * C.Lv.18
Dragon, Silver ! * $ C.Lv.18
Giant Eagle ! * C.Lv.6
Griffon ! * C.Lv. 8
Manticor ! * C.LV 9
Pegasus ! * C.Lv. 6
Unicorn !
Wyvern ! *

Non-animal creatures able to be trained via Handle Animal, bestiary only:

Ankheg ! %
Basilisk ! (good luck, also better for guarding than riding)
Bulette ! %
Cockatrice ! * (good luck)
Froghemoth ! # (DM discretion advized)
Gorgon ! (avoid that breath weapon!)
Hydra ! # (but where would you put the saddle?)
Owlbear !
Purple Worm ! % # (again, saddle issues)
Rust Monster ! &
Sea Serpent ! # (eep, possible saddle issue)

Some small and tiny creatures could also be trained via handle Animal as well, though only used as mounts by standard races is the Giant template is added once or twice.

Also note that although the medium sized cavalier list starts small, at 4th / 7th level, it becomes quite expansive.

{EDIT} added non-animals that can be trained via Handle Animal and noted which ones are better as mounts.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Nice list Pirate! could this be made in one long / saveable text file? :)


Nice List, but I think you're missing a few.
I didn't see Roc (starts medium, advances to large, Bestiary) or Deinonychus (Ridable at lvl 7 for small sized characters via Animal Companion)


Aarrr...

The Roc is in there. The deinonychus was accidentally deleted while I was adding all the links. It has been re-added.

^_^

...and in an attempt to not completely highjack this thread:

Other than having to use a wolf instead of a riding dog for a first level halfling cavalier, I think that the mount system is just fine the way it is. :)


Pirate wrote:

Aarrr...

The Roc is in there. The deinonychus was accidentally deleted while I was adding all the links. It has been re-added.

^_^

...and in an attempt to not completely highjack this thread:

Other than having to use a wolf instead of a riding dog for a first level halfling cavalier, I think that the mount system is just fine the way it is. :)

Ah you're right, I missed Roc.

And I agree with mounts being fine as they are. Cavaliers (especially small ones) have plenty of choices, and anyone can get a good high level mount with handle animal or the Leadership feat.

Grand Lodge

Again your missing the point - Yes krynn had normal cavalry, yes dwarf griffon riders and dragon riders are probably elite units but how does that interact with the cavalier?!??! under the current rules it doesn't and the leadership feat just ignores the mount ability altogether!

There is no way a cavalier can ride a dragon cohort and his enhanced warhorse at the same time and their is no rules to have one replace the other. You DM would have to be pretty lenient or completely crazy to allow a dragon of equivalent power to a levelled animal companion into his game. then add in the fact that the dragon will not advance like an animal companion does and the cavalier player will feel like hes not pulling his weight in a couple levels.

I know rocs and dinosaurs are pretty exotic but so are Griffons, hippogriffs, pegasi, unicorns, and similar creatures which make excellent mounts but because they are not animals a cavalier cannot take them. This is fine for a druid or ranger but is far too shortsighted for a cavalier class.

They don't have to be all powerful dragons to be viable mounts. vermin is the classic example of subterranean mounts but again cavaliers cannot take them and restricting them to a prestige class just seems stupid. Yes I would restrict creatures like dragons to higher levels or even prestige classes but the options should at least be there for the cavalier. The leadership feat is not a keystone ability of the cavalier and many GMs dislike the leadership feat and ban it altogether so creating a class that needs it does not work.

As I said before, the intent of my suggestion was to provide more options and flexibility to mounts in general, but to also provide a solid rule-set to allow cavaliers to build on their mount ability in unique and fun ways that makes them different to paladins rangers and druids, without forcing GMs to make special rules for their games.

YOU may like to house-rule but I know quite a few GMs that play "by the Book".


First of all: Nice work, Pirate! I'm filching that list for my own use.

Quijenoth wrote:

Again your missing the point - Yes krynn had normal cavalry, yes dwarf griffon riders and dragon riders are probably elite units but how does that interact with the cavalier?!??! under the current rules it doesn't and the leadership feat just ignores the mount ability altogether!

There is no way a cavalier can ride a dragon cohort and his enhanced warhorse at the same time and their is no rules to have one replace the other. You DM would have to be pretty lenient or completely crazy to allow a dragon of equivalent power to a levelled animal companion into his game. then add in the fact that the dragon will not advance like an animal companion does and the cavalier player will feel like hes not pulling his weight in a couple levels.

I know rocs and dinosaurs are pretty exotic but so are Griffons, hippogriffs, pegasi, unicorns, and similar creatures which make excellent mounts but because they are not animals a cavalier cannot take them. This is fine for a druid or ranger but is far too shortsighted for a cavalier class.

They don't have to be all powerful dragons to be viable mounts. vermin is the classic example of subterranean mounts but again cavaliers cannot take them and restricting them to a prestige class just seems stupid. Yes I would restrict creatures like dragons to higher levels or even prestige classes but the options should at least be there for the cavalier. The leadership feat is not a keystone ability of the cavalier and many GMs dislike the leadership feat and ban it altogether so creating a class that needs it does not work.

As I said before, the intent of my suggestion was to provide more options and flexibility to mounts in general, but to also provide a solid rule-set to allow cavaliers to build on their mount ability in unique and fun ways that makes them different to paladins rangers and druids, without forcing GMs to make special rules for their games.

YOU may like to house-rule but I know quite a few GMs that play "by the Book".

1st: A leadership'd mount replaces a companion. Yes, such a cavalier forfeits a portion of his class function - but that's his prerogative, if he wants an intelligent mount that flies and breathes acid. His mounted abilities will likely be gaining utility as well, so it's not a straight loss.

2nd: Cohorts gained via leadership gain levels in player classes. At higher levels, they are almost certainly more powerful than standard companions.

3rd: Nobody is suggesting arbitrary houseruling for companion replacement, so chill out about all that. We're discussing rules options to enable more exotic companions. The idea in threads like this is to propose rules that are interesting and *balanced* within the existing frameworks such that Paizo takes notice and incorporates the good ideas into the new book.

4th: Actually, I'd like vermin companions too. The way to do them is with a feat for characters who already have a companion, and a sidebar explaining a couple of necessary rules adjustments (like how to deal with int -), plus stat blocks for your typical spider, crab, scorpion, centipede, wasp, and leech mounts. It is not with training templates, point buy systems, prestige class privilege, or core class abilities.

5th: Your problem is that you essentially want to do exactly what leadership does (enable mounts of every exotic, powerful stripe) without using the feat itself. You're running into a lot of resistance because *most* people are happy with the already massive list of companions, happy with the leadership feat (for those that actually want especially outlandish mounts), and don't see how one facet of one variant fighter class is grounds to do such extensive overhauling of companion precedent. Just write a version of leadership that applies specifically for mounts, then give it to cavaliers as an optional bonus feat.

Hate on feats governing new abilities all you want, they're still by far the best system for controlling character power and investment.


Am I the only person who wants to know why a Cavalier's mount can't just progress like a Druid's Animal Companion? Seriously. It would be neither unbalancing nor unbelievable. A class that is based around a mount can't have one that progresses like a Druid's animal companion because it would be... too powerful? What? Has everyone forgotten exactly WHAT the Druid is? A class that walks around with a Bear, turns into a Bear, and then casts spells on you. AS A BEAR.

COMPLETELY, unrelated to that. Sure, a Mount template makes some sense, I suppose. Kind of like a Riding Saddle, it adds some benefits for extra cost.


Yar!

Catrigan wrote:
Am I the only person who wants to know why a Cavalier's mount can't just progress like a Druid's Animal Companion? Seriously. It would be neither unbalancing nor unbelievable. A class that is based around a mount can't have one that progresses like a Druid's animal companion because it would be... too powerful? What?

uhm... sorry, but a Cavalier's mount DOES advance as a druids animal companion does. Well, I shouldn't say "does" like that, as it is still in playtesting mode, so every aspect of it is not set in stone, as it were. But as currently written, a Cavalier's mount advances as an animal companion, Cavalier level equal to druid level.


If you really wanted to houserule an expanded list of higher level, more powerful mounts for the Cavalier, let them trade out the feature for Leadership (Cohort Mount only, Cohort fixed to always -2 levels of Character).
Not that it's actually hard to get feats in this system.


Arrr.

I feel that I should also point out the fact that a Cavalier riding a griffon/pegasus/dragon through the leadership feat still gains greater benifit with that mount than a druid/paladin of equal level, especial if sworn into an order that further specialized his mounted abilities.

All cavaliers regardless of order, gain the following usable with ANY and ALL mounts they ride (which are all exclusive to the cavie):

Cavalier’s Charge:
(Ex) The cavalier receives a +4 bonus on melee attack rolls on a charge while mounted (instead of the normal +2). In addition, the cavalier does not suffer any penalty to his AC after making a charge attack while mounted.

Expert Trainer:
(Ex) The cavalier receives a bonus equal to 1/2 his cavalier level whenever he uses Handle Animal on an animal that serves as a mount. In addition, he can reduce the time needed to teach a mount a new trick or train a mount for a general purpose to 1 day per 1 week required by increasing the DC by +5. He can also train more than one mount at once, although each mount after the first adds +2 to the DC.

Mighty Charge:
(Ex) Double the threat range of any weapons wielded during a charge while mounted. This increase does not stack with other effects that increase the threat range of the weapon. In addition, the cavalier can make a free bull rush, disarm, sunder, or trip combat maneuver if his charge attack is successful. This free combat maneuver does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Supreme Charge:
(Ex) whenever the cavalier makes a charge attack while mounted, he deals double the normal amount of damage (or triple if using a lance). In addition, if the cavalier confirms a critical hit on a charge attack while mounted, the target is stunned for 1d4 rounds. A Will save reduces this to staggered for 1d4 rounds. The DC is equal to 10 + the cavalier’s base attack bonus.

and then there are some of the powers granted by specific orders:

Steal Glory, Dragon:
Whenever a creature, other than the cavalier, scores a critical hit against a target that the cavalier is threatening, he can make an attack of opportunity against the same target
combined with a mount that can attack on its own

Protect the Meek, shield: move and attack as an immediate action (dragon mount with 200 fly!? sweet.

I have to leave so I'm cutting it short now.

Lion abilities work for your mount as well, as it's also an ally within range.

the Sword has Mounted Mastery! AND a bonus to attack rolls against his challange while mounted.

so yeah, a Cavalier mount regardless of source (animal companion, leadership) is going to have it's own unique edge over a similar paladin / ranger / druid / any-other PC using leadership mounts. Perhaps it's not as fantastical a difference as some want, but it is there, and I've found it unique and balanced thus far.

(sorry the last bit was so short and paraphrased. I must go to work now.


Quijenoth wrote:
Again your missing the point - Yes krynn had normal cavalry, yes dwarf griffon riders and dragon riders are probably elite units but how does that interact with the cavalier?!??! under the current rules it doesn't and the leadership feat just ignores the mount ability altogether!

No I'm not missing the point. You're trying to "fix" something that most people don't seem to think needs fixing.

Quijenoth wrote:


There is no way a cavalier can ride a dragon cohort and his enhanced warhorse at the same time and their is no rules to have one replace the other. You DM would have to be pretty lenient or completely crazy to allow a dragon of equivalent power to a levelled animal companion into his game. then add in the fact that the dragon will not advance like an animal companion does and the cavalier player will feel like hes not pulling his weight in a couple levels.

No he can't ride both at the same time. No big deal. He can ride them at different times, depending on the need of the moment. I've got news for you a dragon large enough to bear a rider is more powerful than a Cavaliers mount. It doesn't need to level to be survivable / useful.

Quijenoth wrote:


I know rocs and dinosaurs are pretty exotic but so are Griffons, hippogriffs, pegasi, unicorns, and similar creatures which make excellent mounts but because they are not animals a cavalier cannot take them. This is fine for a druid or ranger but is far too shortsighted for a cavalier class.

They don't have to be all powerful dragons to be viable mounts. vermin is the classic example of subterranean mounts but again cavaliers cannot take them and restricting them to a prestige class just seems stupid. Yes I would restrict creatures like dragons to higher levels or even prestige classes but the options should at least be there for the cavalier. The leadership feat is not a keystone ability of the cavalier and many GMs dislike the leadership feat and ban it altogether so creating a class that needs it does not work.

As I said before, the intent of my suggestion was to provide more options and flexibility to mounts in general, but to also provide a solid rule-set to allow cavaliers to build on their mount ability in unique and fun ways that makes them different to paladins rangers and druids, without forcing GMs to make special rules for their games.

YOU may like to house-rule but I know quite a few GMs that play "by the Book".

Exotic. Different. Outside the normal rules for the Cavalier. Yes, I expect they would be. The class does not have to cover every possible permutation of exotic mount. Prestige classes and variant Cavaliers could take care, respectively, of the powerful magical beasts (i.e. dragons - prc) or unusual cultural mounts (i.e. vermin variant Cav). Again, not a big deal imo.

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