Mount (Animal Companion) speed increase suggestions?


Advice

Scarab Sages

Working on a PFS character that sports a Giant Tortise (B4) animal companion and uses that as a mount. The Tortise has 10ft base land speed, and no other movement options. Unlike the monster entry, the Tortise animal companion has no "slow and steady" rule, so that 10ft base speed is often 5ft due to encumberance or armor, which then means no movement through difficult terrain and such.

I want this Tortise to work. I am wanting to use armor for this Tortise (though maybe not at first level). Final product doesn't need to be amazing, but it shouldn't impair the party too much.

As I see it, I have 3 main issues regarding speed. 1st, the base 10ft speed. 2nd, reduced speed for armor. 3rd, reduced speed for encumberance.

I'm looking for PFS legal suggestions to fix any of these 3 issues, without ditching the Tortise Companion's role as a mount.


Wand of longstrider?


Racer archtype for animal companion?

EDIT: Horseshoes of speed? Not sure on PFS rules for using those on a turtle.


Louise Bishop wrote:

Wand of longstrider?

Longstrider has a range of personal, and share spells doesn't work with wands.


Some race had a favored class bonus. I'm pretty sure Muleback cords can be given to animal companions to increase carrying capacity. .

Edit: You can use your FCB to add 1 foot of speed per level as a Gnome, Kobold, or Half-Elf Cavalier. Pick Beastrider to get the tortoise. I don't know if other classes have it.

The Exchange

As long as you are willing to stick to light armor you can do the following:

1. Racer Archetype gains 10' of movement
2. If you increase your tortoise's Intelligence to 3, you can take the Fleet feat as many times as you want.
3. A gnome cavalier or a half-elf hunter has an alternate FCB to increase their companion's speed by 1 foot per FCB.

Sadly, the horseshoes can't be used by a tortoise in PFS. Also the Turquoise Sphere Ioun Stone only works for a horse or pony.

But you're going to have to stick to light armor (or mithral/darkwood medium armor). I wouldn't worry about encumbrance too much; don't forget that a tortoise is a quadruped and as such gets a x1.5 multiplier on carrying capacity when it is medium and x3 when it gets to large size at 7th level.


I think some Barbarian archetype lets you apply the movement speed to the companion. I can't remember if they get all mounts or not however.

Scarab Sages

Last Session, I attempted this in PFS with a Male Human Sorcerer (Mutated Sylvan Bloodline, undersized mount feat). It was fun and well recieved, but I realised late in game that with a starting strength of 14, even a quadruped's light load caps at 87lbs. So while carrying my Male Human, even with minimum weight, a male human is 130lbs, making it a medium load for the Giant Tortise without any gear (I had a wand and clothes).

Louise Bishop wrote:

Wand of longstrider?

Doesn't work as a wand, but Longstrider is a valid option here. It's on the Druid, Hunter, and Ranger spell lists, plus it's the 1st level spell of the Travel Domain. And there is a Greater Longstrider spell at higher levels.

Belafon wrote:

As long as you are willing to stick to light armor you can do the following:

1. Racer Archetype gains 10' of movement
2. If you increase your tortoise's Intelligence to 3, you can take the Fleet feat as many times as you want.
3. A gnome cavalier or a half-elf hunter has an alternate FCB to increase their companion's speed by 1 foot per FCB.

But you're going to have to stick to light armor (or mithral/darkwood medium armor). I wouldn't worry about encumbrance too much; don't forget that a tortoise is a quadruped and as such gets a x1.5 multiplier on carrying capacity when it is medium and x3 when it gets to large size at 7th level.

Fleet is Light or no armor, and not while carrying a medium or heavy load.

The Race archetype 10ft increase to speed only applies while completely unarmored, and without a medium or heavy load. And this ability swaps out Share Spells (Su).

Ideally, I want to be able to wear at least Medium Armor, on this Tortise, while carrying a rider.

Hunter is an option and I will consider the Favored Class bonus route, despite the 5 level investment. I'm unclear, but I don't think the Cavalier can take a Giant Tortise companion.

I did find that there is a feat, "Cut Your Losses" in the PFS Primer, which grants a +2 strength bonus for carry capacity purposes (does other things too).

If I stick with the Human, I can certainly take the "Eye for Talent" racial trait, to increase the strengthy by +2, which would move the light load to a max of 114lbs. And if I switch to female, my Human minimum weight goes down to 95lbs. So it can be done as human, if I want to stay human.

Anyone find any others?


Totem Beast?
If your not a hunter.

Scarab Sages

On the Sorcerer list, Expeditious Retreat would work for a minute/level. Hardly a solution, but useful in a pinch.

Louise Bishop wrote:

Totem Beast?

If your not a hunter.

Yeah, that could work for the strength increase. Good find.

As for my character class, I'm undecided. My character concept is basically an old man that rides a turtle. Ideally, I'll have minimum strength and dexterity, spending those points on mental stats, to futher establish that I'm just an old man.

But I can change my character concept if it just isn't compatible with the Tortise.

Grand Lodge

I have no idea how a full plate turtle is supposed to 'work' but whatever paints your fence.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/h-l/horse shoes-of-speed

Do these help?

Scarab Sages

Jader7777 wrote:

I have no idea how a full plate turtle is supposed to 'work' but whatever paints your fence.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/h-l/horse shoes-of-speed

Do these help?

Don't think so...I don't think the Turtle can benefit due to a lack of Hooves. Good idea, though.

As for full plate, no, I'm thinking no more than medium armor. That way I can take Endurance and not have to worry about donning the armor for a turtle....

As for "working" the main thing is that 10ft movement is too slow to really participate as a companion in the adventure. I'm not looking to dramtically speed up the turtle, but if I can get it to a point where it has a base speed of 20ft AFTER medium armor (like a dwarf) and WHILE carrying my PC, that is enough to get some use out of the companion. It's thematic for a Tortise to be slow, but 5ft or less is too slow.

And, for the record, I do have some solutions already, as posted by others and myself. I'm trying to understand all the options here, especially for a low level character.

Scarab Sages

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If you're only worried about when you're adventuring, then a Wand of Ant Haul can help with the encumbrance. Each charge lasts 2 hours, and it's creature touched. And if you're a Druid or Hunter, just cast Longstrider. It'll take up 1 of your limited spell slots at low levels, but it'll last the length of a lot of dungeon crawls. Invest in a Pearl of Power or two when you can.

I think the only way you're getting around the reduction in speed from medium armor is mitral or dark leaf cloth.

Scarab Sages

Linebreaker, from ARG on half orcs, increases speed for charges.

In another thread, someone pointed out that speeds 10ft and less, ignore the rule that reduces speed due to encumberance or armor (armor check and such still applies).

Scarab Sages

Ferious Thune wrote:

If you're only worried about when you're adventuring, then a Wand of Ant Haul can help with the encumbrance. Each charge lasts 2 hours, and it's creature touched. And if you're a Druid or Hunter, just cast Longstrider. It'll take up 1 of your limited spell slots at low levels, but it'll last the length of a lot of dungeon crawls. Invest in a Pearl of Power or two when you can.

I think the only way you're getting around the reduction in speed from medium armor is mitral or dark leaf cloth.

Good suggestions.

Scarab Sages

Now you've got me wondering... I've been working on a ratfolk cavalier with a Riding Rat mount. Riding Rat is also STR 14, and ratfolk are surprisingly heavy for a small race. 71-89 pounds for a male. I may have to invest in mule back cords or a wand of Ant Haul myself.

Is the shoulder slot one of the ones animal companions get for free in PFS? Or is that only Neck slot?
EDIT: Found it. Neck and Barding only, unless it's an item made for that animal. Wand it is! Even when the rat's strength gets to 16, it'll only have a light load of 114 pounds. My ratfolk won't be carrying more than 43 pounds worth of stuff, or he'll be encumbered. But adding barding on as well and it'll be close.

Scarab Sages

Ferious Thune wrote:

Now you've got me wondering... I've been working on a ratfolk cavalier with a Riding Rat mount. Riding Rat is also STR 14, and ratfolk are surprisingly heavy for a small race. 71-89 pounds for a male. I may have to invest in mule back cords or a wand of Ant Haul myself.

Is the shoulder slot one of the ones animal companions get for free in PFS? Or is that only Neck slot?
EDIT: Found it. Neck and Barding only, unless it's an item made for that animal. Wand it is! Even when the rat's strength gets to 16, it'll only have a light load of 114 pounds. My ratfolk won't be carrying more than 43 pounds worth of stuff, or he'll be encumbered. But adding barding on as well and it'll be close.

Yeah, the metagamer in me is whispering that I should stop playing male characters for the lower weight characters....

Scarab Sages

As an aside, the Tortise boasts some very impressive AC (for an animal companion), especially after the 7th level increase.

At 7th, the Tortise has +18 natural armor (6 base, 8 at 7th level, 4 from animal companion). Add some medium armor, like a non-magical breastplate (6 AC), and that's 34 AC. Unfortunately, Tortise has Dex 8 at 7th (Base 8, -2 at 7th, +2 from animal companion). So 32 AC after Size and Dex modifiers.

And that's with an 18 Con at 7th (16 base, +2 at 7th). So at 7th, he's got 6HD, which is 75 HP. Not lacking for a companion animal, especially one with high AC.


Sorry for the slight neco, but any one know a way to get faster movement speed for a t-rex with out taking fleet or the racer archetype?


Pretty much the same solutions. A t-rex has slots for armor, belt, chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, ring, shoulders, and wrists. Not a lot of speed-increasing options there. So you're left with mostly spells and weird feats.


It's just for a round, but cheetah's sprint is a spell which can be fun to use.


There are a number of archetypes that gives speed to an animal companion/mount:
* Mounted Fury Barvarian gives +10 speed
* Hussar Cavalier gives +10 speed +5/5 cavalier levels up to +30, +FCB
* Hooded Knight Cavalier gives +10 speed at certain levels up to +30, +FCB
* Asavir gives +10 speed at 4th, and inceases to +20 at 8th. (Might only work on horses)

There is also the Lighting Rider trait, but that only works while charging.

Honorable mention: Empyreal Knight Paladin gives fly speed equal to 2*base land speed.

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