Paladin Mount

Written by Martin K.

NOTE: This is an old writeup that I did before mounted combat rules were published with 13th Age Monthly #20. Please refer to this list of Paladin adventurer talents for a streamlined and updated version.

 


 

Paladin mounts have been one of the most-missed features in 13th Age, so here you are. Note that the rules are pretty much a mashup of the d20srd paladin mount and the 13th Age ranger / druid animal companion.

You only pay one talent for the mount. Unlike the 1-talent animal companion, you can still have your mount with you in all combats, but it can only attack every second round, when the escalation die is even. Think about it - the mount will be busy listening to your commands, and it won't always have the chance to get an easy kick in without throwing you off.

The game doesn't really have any mounted combat rules yet. That pretty much means that your paladin will fight from horseback as he does on foot. If that is too abstract for you and you'd like to see some difference, you'll have to agree on something with your DM.


 

Paladin Mount

You gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in your crusade against evil. The classic image of a Paladin mount is a heavy warhorse, but feel free to reflavor it to fit your character's race, backgrounds, icon relationships and one unique thing. An elf might ride a slender white horse, a halfling a pony or a large dog. A giant lizard would fit a Dragonborn. It's up to you whether the creature you summon is the same each time.

During a short rest, you may magically call your mount from the celestial realms in which it resides. The mount remains until dismissed. The mount appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed.

 

Recoveries, Healing and Dying

Add a recovery to your total recoveries. You can use a recovery on yourself or your animal companion.

The steed retains injuries between summonings, unless you take a full rest. It can be healed like an ally. If it gets healed without you being healed, it uses one of your recoveries. When you use a recovery while next to your mount companion (including riding it), your animal companion is also healed using a free recovery.

Instead of dying like a monster or NPC at 0 hp, your steed follows PC rules for falling unconscious at 0 hp and dying after four failed death saves or when its negative hit points equal half its normal hit points. If your mount dies, you can summon another one on the next full heal-up, but it will be one level lower than a mount would normally be. At the start of a new adventure, or when you gain a level, bump the mount up to its proper level.

 

Actions

Your mount acts on your initiative turn, either immediately before or after you, as appropriate for the combat situation.

Each turn, your mount gains a move action. When the escalation die is even, it also gains a standard action that it can use to attack. This means your mount will only be able to attack every second round.

The mount does not get a quick action but there is nothing special to do with one anyway.

If you have powers that care about the 'first time you attack an enemy,' an attack by your mount counts as your attack.

 

Mounted Combat

When you are on horseback, your steed can use the following special move action.

Mounted Charge: Move next to and engage a far away enemy. This requires a flat, straight path between you and the target. Obstacles can require a skill check to direct your horse to jump over them.

If you are wielding a lance (one-handed martial weapon), you gain a +1 bonus to attack large and huge monsters as well as other mounted combatants.

 

Stats & Levels

Each mount has roughly the same base stats as listed below.

Your mount is always one level lower than you. As a 1st level paladin, you'll have a level 0 mount. Once you gain a level, your mount rises to 1st level.

On top of the base stats, each type of animal has a zoologically appropriate power or advantage.

Companion Bonuses

Each type of mount is a little different.

Warhorse

Trample: The horse gains a +1 attack bonus when it moves before its attack during the same turn.

Nightmare Steed

Fiery Breath: The steed deals extra fire damage equal to 1d6 per level on a natural attack roll of 18+.

Champion Feat: The fire damage is 1d10 per level instead.

Epic Feat: The fire damage triggers on 16+.

Riding Dog, Dire Wolf

Pack Tactics: The wolf gains a +1 attack bonus against enemies its master hit the same turn, and vice versa.

Armored Bear

Armor plates: The bear gains a +1 bonus to AC.

Vampire Steed

Suck blood: The steed gains temporary hit points equal to its level each time it hits with an attack.

Champion Feat: The temporary hit points increase to double its level.

Manticore

Poison Tail: Once per day, the manticore can make a melee attack that deals 10 ongoing poison damage.

Champion feat: You can use the attack once per combat. Increase the ongoing damage to 20.

Epic feat: The attack is a free action after you hit with a normal melee attack. Increase the ongoing damage to 30.

Riding Raptor

Apex Predator: The raptor's crit range expands by 1.

Champion feat: Deal 15 ongoing damage on a critical hit.


Baseline Stats

Use the following stats as the baseline for your paladin mount. Remember that your mount stays a level lower than you.

Level Attack Damage AC PD MD HP (staggered)
0 +5 vs. AC d8 16 14 10 20 (10)
1 +6 vs. AC d10 17 15 11 27 (13)
2 +7 vs. AC 2d6 18 16 12 36 (18)
3 +9 vs. AC 3d6 19 17 13 45 (22)
4 +10 vs. AC 4d6 21 19 15 54 (27)
5 +11 vs. AC 5d6 22 20 16 72 (36)
6 +13 vs. AC 6d6 23 21 17 90 (45)
7 +14 vs. AC 7d6 25 23 19 108 (54)
8 +15 vs. AC 8d6 26 24 20 144 (72)
9 +17 vs. AC 9d6 27 25 21 180 (90)
10 +18 vs. AC 10d6 28 26 22 216 (108)

 

Paladin Mount Feats

Paladin mount feats are designed so that they do not build on each other. Unlike other feats, you don't have to take these feats progressively, one after the other as long as you qualify for the correct tier.

Adventurer Feat

Once per battle, your mount gains a standard action when the escalation die is odd.

Adventurer Feat

Once per battle, your mount can turn a disengage success by an enemy it is engaged with into a failure.

Adventurer Feat

Once per day, reroll one of your mount's missed attack rolls.

Adventurer Feat

Increase your mount's hit points by 3 + its level.

Adventurer Feat

Your mount adds the escalation die to its attacks.

Champion Feat

Once per day, your mount can force an enemy to reroll an attack that hit it.

Champion Feat

Increase your mount's Physical Defense and Mental Defense by +1.

Champion Feat

You have an empathic link with your mount. The conversation between you two is more like unspoken words between longtime friends than intellectual debate or precise battle reports. It does, however, reach over very long distances. The mount can also communicate with others in a limited fashion.

Champion Feat

Your mount ignores damage and other effects from missed attacks.

Epic Feat

Increase your mount's damage die by one size (for example, from d6s to d8s, or d8s to d10s)

Epic Feat

Increase your animal companion's AC by +1.

Epic Feat

When the mount is the target of a spell or magic attack, it can immediately roll a hard save (16+) to make the spell a miss.

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