Ah. Oops. Didn't realize this thread was about choosing a specific order among published choices for a published class. Shows that I'm not very well read about cavaliers I suppose.
I saw the thread title and thought someone was making a party named the order of something and wanted suggestions on what that something would be.
We are knights of the order of chaotic chaos!
Sorry. I have nothing meaningfully relevant to contribute. Moving on.
It depends on the focus of the cavalier. If you will be able to stay mounted, Sword is good. If you are the party leader, Dragon will make everyone better. Cockatrice makes a good glory hound. Shield makes a "tanky" character that encourages enemies to focus on them and then mitigates their damage. There are also some great orders by Super Genius games.
|Alexander Augunas Contributor|
Order of the Dragon is the best order in the game if you plan on focusing on the Aid Another action (see Battle Herald PrC), although you won't be seeing its 8th Level or 15th Level abilities.
Order of the Cockatrice is the best order in the game if you are going to build a character focused on demoralizing; Braggart's morale bonus is stupendous and its ability to use Dazzling Display without a weapon has not been duplicated anywhere (even Mythic Adventures) thus far. If you don't want to be a prick, ask your GM if you can use Order of the Cockatrice's stats with a tweaked set of edicts. That's what I personally did.
My cavalier order is "Order of the Dazzling Lotus," which focuses on making a paragon out of one's self; an example for others to follow. Very showy, but more of a romantic than a braggart.
If you plan on going at least 8 Levels in Cavalier, you can't beat Order of the Lion's 8th Level ability. Its very strong for what it does, but Charisma is going to be an important stat to you (similar to Order of the Cockatrice).
Order of the Sword is one of the few orders that actually interacts with Mounted Combat, so if Mounted Combat is your focus, I would go for it. That said, focusing on Mounted Combat isn't a particularly strong option since the game is based on DUNGEONS and Dragons. Ask your GM if your mounted abilities will get adequate opportunity to shine if you focus on it!
|Alexander Augunas Contributor|
|Tin Foil Yamakah|
Cockatrice's ethics are not as complete jerk as the iconic makes them out to be
1:The cavalier must keep his own interests and aims above those of all others.
2:He must always accept payment when it is due, rewards when earned, and an even (or greater) share of loot.
3:The cavalier must take every opportunity to increase his own stature, prestige, and power.
1: The interests and aims don't necessarily be 3. Any sidequest that directly interferes with your "main" quest is questionable in the first place. Even if your aims are 3, you CAN think long term ("I could shank the wizard in his sleep and steal all his stuff, but he's a very useful ally that will eventually earn me far more than that").
2: Accept rewards offered to you and don't try to be cute with the "keep it". Most PCs do that anyways. Even if you have some big reason to refuse the reward, you gain all abilities back in 24 hours
3: What else are you adventuring for?