best small knight (mounted combatant)


I was inspired by the gnome fighter thread and want to build a small knight for my next campaign. We use all Paizo-books and a 20-point buy. I would appreciate your advice:

halfling vs. gnome

lance vs. archer

purchased mount vs. companion mount

What's the most effective build out to level 10?

thanks in advance

Halfling and Gnome are quite close. Halfling wins for me because of the save bonus and ability to get a (slight) riding bonus, but it doesn't terribly matter. Will probably be determined by how high you want your Dexterity and Constitution to be.

Lance can be grossly powerful if you build for it. Archery is always powerful, but you only get a bit of extra mobility out of it. If you are going to the trouble of being mounted the lance will be a more interesting experience.

Companion mount. No question. At higher levels you would need to keep a sack full of purchased mounts, since they will be dying every battle. Using Leadership for a cohort you can ride is also an option.

Best build: probably a Mounted Fury Barbarian (with Boon Companion) or a Cavalier (Beast Rider if you can get a dinosaur of some sort). Make sure to take Spirited Charge and seriously consider the Mounted Combat -> Trick Riding -> Mounted Skirmisher line (or just be an Emissary).

Grand Lodge

I have a beast rider cavalier playing in a RoRL campaign that I am GMing. He's a lot of fun, but when put in a tight dungeon setting a lot of his charge feats (wheeling attack, ride by attack, etc) become useless.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Alternate Tiefling. No strength penalty. Still small.

Goblin is good too.

Is it worthwhile looking at a "switch-hitter" build with maybe a ranger than concentrate on a lance or archer build?

Are their any cool halfling, gnome, alternate tiefling, goblin traits and feats that would add to the build? What book is alternate tiefling in?


Scarab Sages

There is a character (Cohort) Kobold Cavalier/Rogue(Scout) in my Kingmaker game that kicks a lot of butt.
This was an organic character (I roll NPC stats, in order...) and, obviously, Goblin would do it better than Kobold.


Dark Archive

Gnome wins in my opinion for either; the reason for this is 1/day speak with animals. If you can talk to your animal you can then set conditions for it to do things it otherwise wouldn't do; you can also talk it through things like spider climb, etc.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My vote is still for small sized tiefling. These are descendants of gnomes and halflings. The lack of strength penalty is key.
Blood of Fiends outlay this.

Didn't know about the small Tieflings. If that's true, then them by far. A melee class with a strength penalty is painful.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Page 4 of Blood of Fiends.


Consider a summoner with a Medium quadrapedal eidolon. You can take the mount evolution and basically have a customizable mount that you can always have with you, scales up fairly well with level, and you get Bard-level spellcasting on top of it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If you hit the list of abilities that replace your spell-like ability, you can find a number of goodies, such as:

1) You have oversized limbs, allowing you to use Large weapons without penalty.

2) You gain an additional +2 racial bonus to your Charisma score.

3) You gain DR 2/silver.

4) You gain an additional +2 racial bonus to your Intelligence score.

5) You possess the scent special ability.

6) You gain an additional +2 racial bonus to your Wisdom score.

Now this option is a gamble, but could be worth it.

Here's where I'm at

20-point Halfling buy with Outrider alternate
Str 14
Dex 16
Con 13
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 14

1: bonus-Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack
3: Power Attack
6: bonus-Mobility, bonus-cavalier?, general?
9: bonus-Trick Riding, general?
14: bonus-Mounted Skirmisher

Does he need Quick Draw for bows or swords?
Should he pursue the Powe Attack? line?
Anything else cool?


Liberty's Edge

Lots of ways you can do this, lots of classes to. My only suggestion is if you don't have an Animal companion as a class feature take leadership at seven and use that to get a decent mount.

Power Attack with a 2-handed lance is pretty brutal on a charge, I would go that route. With spirited charge you're getting +9 damage per -1 you take.

You could do Cavalier straight (you generally want to dip a level in a full BAB class before Cav 10 due to the way the Tactician ability works out, though) to 20, or do 4 levels for Expert Trainer. Which sucks, but is needed for the Horse Master feat (UC), to stack levels in all classes for determining your mount's progression. You could then move on to Dragoon Fighter or something if you prefer. Sohei, assuming you can still use flurry properly, is nice for flurrying with the lance on a full attack. Sohei also lets you take mounted feats w/o pre-reqs, so you could snatch up Trick Riding and Mounted Skirmisher early.

Not sure I'd do Emmisary, though. At least, not as a Cav 20. If you're just dipping Cav it's pretty nice.

>Power Attack with a 2-handed lance is pretty brutal on a charge, I would go that route. With spirited charge you're getting +9 damage per -1 you take.

Futhermore if you take furious focus, you can get rid of the to hit modifiers and since you only attack once while chargeing, there is no downside

Is straight cavalier worth it?

What oath is the best for a straight charger?

Liberty's Edge

Don't go quickdraw for swords. Wear a cestus for the odd time when someone gets inside your reach.

Emissary Trick Riding lets you keep medium armor which seems worthwhile to pursue emissary to 9th and mighty charge for 11th. Then, switch to fighter or paladin with the Horse Master feat at 11th.

So Furious Focus at 5th level.

Any advice about Cavalier Oath? Are there any complementary traits?

20-point Halfling buy with Outrider alternative
Str 14 +1 beyond
Dex 16
Con 13 +1 at 4th
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 14

Cav 1: bonus-Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack
Cav 3: Power Attack
Cav 5: Furious Focus
Cav 6: bonus-Mobility, bonus-cavalier?
Cav 7: general?
Cav 9: bonus-Trick Riding, general?
Cav 11: Horse Master
Ftr/Pal 1:
Ftr/Pal 2:
Ftr/Pal 3: bonus-Mounted Skirmisher

Bump. Oaths? Traits? Other feats?


Having looked extensively recently at all of the oaths, the best for mounted combat is Order of the Sword. It elevates mounted combat above all other forms of combat, so if you don't have your mount you may find yourself without much recourse.

It seems you're going with Emissary. Can't fault you there. It's a good archetype, though you should strongly consider keeping the Tactician ability if you have a Rogue in the party. Tactician + Rogue combined with various flanking feats will make you very, very effective. Emissary is a far more selfish build.

My personal favourite order is Order of the Dragon. The 8th level ability is absolutely fantastic, even if only once per combat. The l5th level ability is mad in its power, if you happen to get there.

Order of the Lion has a slightly more useful 2nd level ability assuming you don't have a bard (as the bonus won't stack) unless you build your character to take advantage of the Dragon's aid another ability (which by all means you should be doing.)

Order of the Cockatrice is not exactly a favourite of mine, but it can be very effective. The 8th level ability pretty well demands you have combat reflexes, but then again most Cavaliers should end up having it at some point. Cockatrice should keep the Tactician ability as it gives incentives to other party members to go where you need them and then you get to steal all their credit.

The Orders listed in Ultimate Combat, aside from the two Samurai orders, would completely alter your concept pending on how you plan it.

The two Samurai orders are also very good, with Warrior having an excellent saving buff combined with a disturbingly good capstone.

My recommendation? If you intend to stay in the saddle, Sword is the best for you. I recommend you plan to not always have your mount on hand and plan for the good of the party, taking either Dragon or Lion. Take Dragon if you have a Rogue and don't take Emissary. Take Lion if you don't have a Bard, and you can give or take the tactician ability. Any of the others are up to your review.

thanks. No Rogue. No bard. Decisions, decisions.

A drawback with the Emissary is that you also lose the banner ability.
While I do not think the tactician ability is any real loss, the banner can be a real loss (granted it matter much more if one is human and get a banner bonus from favoured class).
If starting from first level I would actually recommend Gendarme, it allows you to start with power attack as well as mounted combat, somewhat closing the gap to the medium sized fighters (granted, Emissary does that as well). Just talk to your GM about whether or not spring attack should be on the list, as it prerequisites fests are not on the list, so there is possible to end up with a two feat tax simply to be able to pick other feats.

Order of the sword is the one I would recommend; the ability that allows you to add your mounts strength to your charge damage can often be huge. The point of being small is that there are very few times you will not have your mount within reach, after all a big dog is rarely out of place in an inn or a castle. If small that ability can be expected to add at least 20+pts of damage on a charge at level 8.

For race, I would recommend Halfling, but not the outrider trait. Instead take the trait that allows for reloading slings as a free action. A mounted combatant want some ranged attack options for the cases when charging is not an option and the Halfling sling is superior to the longbow for a non-dedicated archer (as it allows for full strength bonus and can function as a melee weapon).

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