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Helderik
Looking around
(3/6/03 6:31 am)
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A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
One of the PCís in my group is a 4th level human female paladin. Iíve been wondering what to do with the paladinís mount when she becomes 5th level. Personally I like the idea of her having this special mount because I think itís one of the special advantages of being a paladin. On the other hand, I donít think the warhorse will be of much use in the RttToEE-campaign. Because of the large number of dungeons, caves, towers, temples etc, I think the warhorse will be spending more time waiting for her master outside. In other words, is it really an advantage for a paladin to have loyal mount waiting outside, or is it just a burden taking care of the horse?

Iíve read DotF, and I like the rules about mounts presented there. The paladin could wait and summon a stronger mount later on. However, this adventure will (hopefully) continue until the characters reach 14th level. That would take away the paladinís advantage for a very long time, and personally I have some doubts with a paladin summoning a juvenile dragon as a mount.

I know a lot of groups have paladin PCís and I was wondering about their special mounts. Is it true that a paladinís horse will not see much action in a RttToEE-campaign. Or do you think a warhorse can (and should) enter the CRM (doesnít seem like a good idea to me)? The idea to replace the mount with a special item (or other reward) also crossed my mind, but Iím not certain if that would be a right decision.

Can anybody give me some advice about this?

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/6/03 6:43 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
In Monte's The Book of Hallowed Might, you'll find some alternative paladins. There might be some ideas right there.

Otherwise, I think the player might want to wait for another kind of "mount" (and no, it doesn't have to be a dragon...). You might consider a Good Outsider cohort, maybe using the critters mentioned in Savage Species as inspiration.

I don't have a paladin in my group, so I'm sorry that I can't give any concrete advice. I know of one group here where the paladin has a rhinoceros (!).

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

HeresDaryl
Here for a while
(3/6/03 6:49 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
I have a Paladin in my group and I thought long and hard about this very same issue. In the end, when the Paladin reached level 5 and attempted to summon his bonded companion, I picked a leopard (3HD, same as a light horse) and added the bonded mount bonuses from the Paladin write up. It seems to have worked really well so far...

Please let us know what you decide to do when your Paladin hits L5.

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(3/6/03 7:03 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
Does the paladin have any specific mount related feats? That would be a real bummer if, say, the paladin had Ride (horse) maxed out, Mounted Combat, etc., only not to be able to use any of it. If you decide to let the paladin have an alternate to a horse, you'll need to come up with a solution to this dilemma (e.g. do you let the paladin change his feats and skills to accommodate a different mount?).

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/6/03 7:12 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
When choosing his character did the player know that the adventure would by and large take place in a dungeon environment?

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Helderik
Looking around
(3/6/03 7:19 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
Luckily the paladin has not chosen specific feats for mounted combat. She has spent some skillpoints on (horse) riding, but not that much.... It would still be possible to change the mount in something different. I'm however still wandering if a "normal" warhorse could function in this campaign? There must be people out there that have tried this....

And how about a reward in an other way like a magic item, or something like that? Some sort of substitute mount:rolleyes
Maybe something like the "drizzt/Guenhwyvar" -thing?

edit:

And yes, the paladin knew about the campaign. I've talked to the player about it. The player knows that a warhorse could become useless in this campaign. The player is'nt bothered to much with this fact, although personally I would like to find a nice solution for this problem....

Edited by: Helderik at: 3/6/03 7:27:10 am
Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/6/03 7:24 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
That's definitely an option. Just remember that if you use the figurine of wondrous power approach, it's a HUGE benefit, because it allows the companion to retreat at almost any given time (I don't know the stats for Gwenhwyfar, but it is kinda like a Fig. of W.P.)

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(3/6/03 7:25 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
i have a paladin in my group and he rides...

a horse... a standard heavy warhorse!

why? well, because the way i see it, there's a world out there that has to be taken into account...

say for instance that you're playing in the greyhawk campaign setting. What are the chances that the paladin will find and bond with a leopard or a dire lion? close to nill. Same goes for most other worlds... although it's nice to give your paladin a powerhouse-kickass-mount... where and how did he come by it? A dire wolf won't suddenly come out of the bushes and say 'here i am master, bond me...'

so i opted for a standard heavy warhorse. my paladin doesn't have any ranks in ride, nor does he have any mounted feats... but that is because i explained that he wouldn't need any of those, because basically, RttToEE is a dungeon crawl...

it's always nice to give him something else (dire animals or exotic species) but make it plausible as to where he or she got it!

well, this is of course my opinion... if you really want to give the paladin a cool mount, you're free to just 'give' him one...

just one remark... some tunnels and rooms are cramped... so there will be no way several fighters AND a large mount can engage the same enemy...

P.

Andorax
Still here? Wow.
(3/6/03 7:47 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
Quote:

where and how did he come by it? A dire wolf won't suddenly come out of the bushes and say 'here i am master, bond me...'



As often as not, that's exactly how I run it. I usually see a Bonded Mount as being a reward from the Deity to the Paladin for faithful service, and I *try* to make the Bonded Mount's appearance an "event" of sorts, which is why it virtually never just "appears" upon reaching the appropriate level.

I've had wild horses running free, a particularly beautiful white stallion in a lot of horses for sale, even a seemingly-old and broken-down plowhorse being mistreated by a farmer that is an unexpectedly quiet well of great strength and determination (yes, I usually stick to horses).


Under the circumstances, I wouldn't think it amiss to go the route of an alternate creature, and I *will* echo one of The guy from Belgium's cautions...make it region-appropriate. Please, no Tigers, Leopards, or Pteradactyls, however HD-appropriate they may be.

Might I suggest, though, that a Cougar (Mountain Lion) would have nearly identical stats to a Leopard, while being very likely to be native to the region?

Hmm...I even wrote a short encounter with a Cougar as a main character. Imagine that ;)

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

smetzger
Here for a while
(3/6/03 7:54 am)
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Re: A paladin's mount in a RttToEE-campaign
I just started my game and I have 2 Paladins a Cleric and a Druid. I started everyone at 5th lvl with money for 4th level. So the Paladin's have Warhorses.

I plan on cutting the players slack whenever I can when it comes to the Warhorses. Currently my players have just finished up the stuff in the Obelix chamber, however, the cultists from Homlett know the PCs are in the moathouse and have recently arrived and have set up an ambush for when the PCs emerge. The warhorses are outside and have seen the cultists, the warhorses are going to send mental messages warning the Paladin's. Should be interesting.

Infiniti2000
Here quite a while
(3/6/03 8:02 am)
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ezSupporter
Druid's Mount
Although not quite the same scenario, the druid IMC (Verilia, a halfling) chose a wolf and taught it to be a riding mount. She eventually advanced her animal companions to 5HD (making it large, via the rules in the MotW), and it works reasonably well so far. I don't think a large warhorse paladin mount will be much different.

HeresDaryl
Here for a while
(3/6/03 8:21 am)
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Re: Druid's Mount
As to the unlikelihood of the 'Dire Wolf appearing out of the bushes'...well as a magical creature sent to aid the Paladin by their god, thats exactly how I do it. IMC, the first night after the Pal had gained 5th level, he dozed off on his watch and when he opened his eyes there was a large mountain lion (used the leopard stats from the MM) sitting across the clearing from him, watching him. He approached it, warily, and spoke to it...and it answered in his mind. Voila!

SSShadowcat7
Here for a while
(3/6/03 9:26 am)
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Re: Druid's Mount
Kind of a "me too" post.

I have a paladin IMC who has a HeavyWarhorse for a bonded mount. For the most part it stays outside the mines and dungeons and stuff, so my experience has been that it does not play a heavy role in the campaign. When they were in the CRM he would bring it inside when they were near the gates, but not much further than that.

I've found that the mount just doesn't come into play that often with a horse. An alternate creature could see a lot more action, but remember, a paladin's mount becomes an increasingly powerful entity. Take that into account when planning encounters also.

The guy from Belgium
Here for a while
(3/6/03 9:47 am)
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Re: Druid's Mount
true, a powerful mount is like another character... well, not quite as resourceful, but nearly equal in raw power...

imagine a dire lion or something similar exotic...

that's what i meant in my previous reply: don't give them anything that would 'fit in' like a dire tiger or something...

i see two possibilities with paladin mounts:

1) make it a small quest to save some powerful animal

2) make it come to him, but if you do, make it something reasonable...

last time i gave my paladin a dwarven warpony, which just came to him one day...

on another occassion, i made him quest for it. He saved it and the bond between them was much stronger than the usual 'mount appears out of the bushes'

that's all i was saying actually :D

ZansForCans 
Here for a while
(3/6/03 9:52 am)
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Re: Druid's Mount
I'm in the same boat, and our paladin just got 5th level. She is currently riding Xaod's horse, whose death she personally blames herself for since she goaded him into giving up his carousing coming to the moathouse (he was fried by big U). She has even named it Xadito (he plays her with a heavy spanish accent). So, it's likely that the player has the horse in mind (and it makes a decent story too...), but alternate mounts intrigue me. :)

For you that did the big cat option: do you really have the paladin (human-sized) riding it as a mount? Or is it just a companion? I know big cats are big, but they typically aren't as tall as horses and I'm just curious about the feasibility of riding one. Now a shorter humanoid would probably have no trouble... Just curious!


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DM Dan76
Here for a while
(3/6/03 5:41 pm)
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Re: Paladin's Mount
Well the Paladin in my campaign has a special mount, and let me advise any DM thinking that it would be Cool to let the paladin receive a differnet mount to think twice.

The paladin in my group waited untill he could receive a Rhino. I viewed the receiving of a mount event kind of like the paladin would spend a few evening praying to thier god asking for a mount, even being semi-specific (ie: flying mount). So my paladin prayed and his god sent him his Rhino mount.

Now that Rhino has become my biggest headache. The paladin is now 9th level and with the special abilities the rhino has gained it has a +20 attack that deals 2d6+13 damage! With a good suit of barding, the Rhino's AC jumps to 30ish. It is unstopable.

Now I've found ways around this of course, and am still able to make my paladins life misserable by targeting him instead of his mount, or placing obsticals in the way that the rhino can't get around; although let me tell you, the residents of the CRM have seen a flying rhino more than oce already.

All I'm saying is that giving your paladin more than just a horse can be a bit unbalancing. Just think twice before you start handing out "cool" mounts.

Helderik
Looking around
(3/7/03 12:26 am)
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Re: Paladin's Mount
Thanx for all the replies...

Although Iím still not sure what to do, I got a nice impression of the mounts in your campaigns. I think I still like the idea of a (standard) horse best. My player knows not to expect too much use of a warhorse. Also I might be able to transfer some of the encounters to the outside world. Iím not thinking of any specific encounters, but this should be possible.

Also, the characters in my group own 2 more horses (wellÖ one has been stolen:b (see my log)) and a mule. They use the horses to pull a wagon. The wagon is loaded with adventuring gear (perfect for exploring dungeons). I like the idea of them moving around with this wagon, setting up a small camp wherever they go (and trying to hide the encampment). A paladinís mount could become a perfect leader for the small group of horses. Under its leadership the horses might even be able to take care of their own when their masters are awayÖ. (Abandoning the wagon if necessary).

Does someone have any ideas of encounters that could easily be transferred outside? Iím thinking of a number of ambushes (by Tal, or even Dunrat)? Or something totally different?

Siobharek 
Still here? Wow.
(3/7/03 12:35 am)
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Re: Paladin's Mount
Once you reach the CRM, it's going to be a little more difficult. I'd strongly advise that you scrap some of the "dungeon denizens" (the basilisk, the darkmantles, the owlbears, stuff like that) in favour of outdoors encounters based off the random encounter table (see, for instance the excellent To Kill A Dragon).

And once the group gets Hedrack's attention, you might want to use the Spider Eater Riders more proactively than suggested in the module.

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

ronin
Here for a while
(3/8/03 12:10 pm)
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re: paladin's mount
The paladin PC in my campaign had a dire lion for a mount which turned out well. It could dish out a boatload of damage but in turn was fairly easy to hit due to it's low AC. The main benefit was that it the paladin could dismount and fight alongside it if needed.

At first the group liked it for it's damage potential but after they started fighting higher CR creatures it got damaged easily and quickly. Then the group didn't care for it because it was a drain on the party's resources. Of course the paladin PC made every effort to deck it out with various items. It was fun to watch. I would suggest going with the unusual mount myself since it's a change of pace. It did cost the paladin a feat also IIRC.

Let us know how it turns out for you.

ronin

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