Dragon 393 Class Acts: The Cavalier's Steed

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DnDi_Large.png Dragon 393
Class Acts: The Cavalier's Steed


Mounted warfare is the cavalier’s forte, and all cavaliers possess a mystic bond to the spirit of a virtuous steed or charger ready to serve them in battle. For cavaliers who select the Pace of the Virtuous Charger class feature, this spirit settles over any mortal mount they ride, blessing the most ordinary horse with outstanding speed and stamina. However, other cavaliers choose to manifest their noble companion spirit by summoning it in the form of a celestial steed. The Summoned Steed ability provides these cavaliers with an alternate class feature to replace Pace of the Virtuous Charger.

Talk about this article here. 

Cavalier
Surprising how fast they caved and returned to tiered feats.

The amount of flavor text on these feats is getting alittle extreme though.

Overall a cool article.
I also thought it was interesting to see the tier feats back. It's also nice to see the summoned mount feature that so many people were asking about that didn't show up in the book.

I like the celestial tiger. Reflavored as a panther, it makes me think of the Huntress for the Night Elves in Warcraft III.

AD&D is powergaming – powergaming for the DM. And back then, DM stood for "Dire Munchkin."

 

I suppose people are entitled to their uninformed opinions; I just don’t see the point when that opinion won’t be respected. Proper research can be the difference in appearing a fool vs. a respectable dissident. 

 

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Dragon Riding.

It's enough to make me want to play a Dragonborn Cavalier.

You dawg! I saw you liked dragons, so I put a dragon on your dragon so you can smite while you smite! 
Great article, as I read it campaign ideas kept popping into my head

I really like the flavor from this article. Defintely NOT too much fluff, because it was necessary to distinguish this class from the basic paladin. Mechanics wise, I can't wait to see the full cavalier entry from the book and then see it in action. However, it will require that party and DM makes mounts a big part of their game. If your campaign is mostly dungeon crawls, the cavalier would be severly underpowered (assuming the mounted features are taking the place of other features).

My campaigns uses mounts a LOT so I expect sooner or later to see one these show up. When it does I'll write up a report on how it plays.
I've linked to this thread as the official discussion thread.  Thanks for starting it Lord_Ventnor.  And good job on the formatting.
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Style75, the class feature this takes the place of also relates to mounts, it just gives divinely-flavored benefits to any mundane mount. So while a Cavalier's full usefulness will be situational depending on the campaign (true of every class, to differing degrees... radiant damage is more valuable in some campaigns than others, and it's the divine classes' bread and butter), it'll be about the same no matter which feature you choose.

I don't see the tiered feats as "caving"... the current design style deprecates them, but Essentials' changes were about opening up the design space, not replacing old limitations with new ones. "Dragon vs. pony" seems like a situation where epic vs. heroic designations are appropriate. Though... I kind of would liked to have seen them give a choice of mounts at heroic tier that grow into their powers. 
...and that's the news from Lake 4th Edition, where the Gnomes are strong, the Half-Orcs are good-looking, and all the PCs are above average.
You dawg! I saw you liked dragons, so I put a dragon on your dragon so you can smite while you smite!

"Pimp My Steed" would give all the wrong connotations, though. "Odo Cleantoes was the richest and most visited riding-sheep rancher in the Halflingshyre... but also the least respected."

I liked that this article had the Jade Horse and Mounted Combat feats. Everyone gets in on the bow-legged fun.
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
From an Essentials point of view the problem with this article is that Mounted Combat feat itself is missing from Essentials. There is no way to benefit from the "Mount" feature of the summoned mounts!
That might present a problem if somebody wanted to use it at Encounters (I'm not sure where the fine divisions come down there, exactly), but that might be why this is on Dragon and not in the Heroes book... anybody who has access to this feature has access to that feat.
...and that's the news from Lake 4th Edition, where the Gnomes are strong, the Half-Orcs are good-looking, and all the PCs are above average.
Two questions:

(1) The mounted combat rules say that a creature mounted by a character without the mounted combat feat takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls.  Would this apply to a summoned steed's attacks?  One could argue that the mount, as a summoned creature, does not make attacks.  And that instead, the summoner makes attacks through the mount.

(2) The mounted combat rules say that a mout and rider share their space, but that effects with areas originate from a single square within the mount's space.  Seeing as the Cavalier now uses the Defensive Aura feature in place of marking, would a paladin mounted on a summoned steed have the effect and range of their aura cut down by intevening horse-flesh?
That might present a problem if somebody wanted to use it at Encounters (I'm not sure where the fine divisions come down there, exactly), but that might be why this is on Dragon and not in the Heroes book... anybody who has access to this feature has access to that feat.



I thought Encounters allows Dragon articles that are associated with the books permitted for that season? Isn't that why articles now come with a tag at the start to indicate which book they are associated with?
I thought Encounters allows Dragon articles that are associated with the books permitted for that season? Isn't that why articles now come with a tag at the start to indicate which book they are associated with?



I believe that's the point he's making:  Essentials encounters allow essentials material, which means this article is allowed.  But currently, the Mounted Combat feat is not in Essentials material.  So while you could make use of this article for essentials encounters, you could not benefit from the "mount" traits of your summoned steed.
Good article overall, but the lack of mounted combat feat certainly is a problem, anyway seemingly perfectly timed as one of my players wants a boar mount item so might suggest/use some of this article with a little refluffing.
This isn't going to effect Encounters.  They only go to 3rd level.  The cavaliers get their mounts at 4th.

If only for the Rule of Cool...


Improved Steed (Celestial Harley)


You have learned how to summon a powerful Harley Davidson V-Rod motorcycle from the celestial realms to serve as your steed. In addition to being faster and better armored than your typical motorcycle and arriving with a full tank of biofuel, the celestial Harley can let loose with a powerful roar that deafens and stuns your enemies.
Prerequisite: Cavalier, summon celestial steed power.
Benefit: When you use your summon celestial steed power, you can choose to summon a celestial Harley instead of a celestial warhorse. 

Celestial Harley Summoned Vehicle
Medium immortal vehicle (mount)
HP Your bloodied value; Healing Surges none, but you can spend a healing surge for the Harley if an effect allows it to spend one
Defenses your defenses +2, not including any temporary bonuses or penalties 
Speed 30
Traits
Spirited Charge (Mount)
The Harley's rider gains a +3 bonus to attack rolls on charge attacks instead of +1. If the attack hits, the rider can make a saving throw.
Standard Actions
Wheelie Crush * At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); Your level + 8 vs. AC
Hit: 2d10 + your Charisma modifier damage, and you knock the target prone and you both shift forward one square.
Rev The Throttle * Encounter
Attack: Close Burst 2 (creatures in the burst); Your level +8 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 3d8 + your Charisma modifier damage, and the targets are Deafened and Stunned (save ends)
"Turns out having Eberron's equivalent to a Spectre flying close-air on your side is a good way to level the field when the bad guys send Warforged Titans after you." -M4kitsu
Loved this article. Made me wish my current level 12 paladin/cleric was a cavalier! Pegasus refluffed as griffon baby yeah!! Also liked the harley.
From an Essentials point of view the problem with this article is that Mounted Combat feat itself is missing from Essentials. There is no way to benefit from the "Mount" feature of the summoned mounts!



That's not really a problem, since anyone who can (legally) view this article also has access to the D&D Compendium
From an Essentials point of view the problem with this article is that Mounted Combat feat itself is missing from Essentials. There is no way to benefit from the "Mount" feature of the summoned mounts!



That's not really a problem, since anyone who can (legally) view this article also has access to the D&D Compendium



But its a problem for people who do Organized Play. 

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

From an Essentials point of view the problem with this article is that Mounted Combat feat itself is missing from Essentials. There is no way to benefit from the "Mount" feature of the summoned mounts!



That's not really a problem, since anyone who can (legally) view this article also has access to the D&D Compendium



But its a problem for people who do Organized Play. 



why would lfr matter here?

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

From an Essentials point of view the problem with this article is that Mounted Combat feat itself is missing from Essentials. There is no way to benefit from the "Mount" feature of the summoned mounts!



That's not really a problem, since anyone who can (legally) view this article also has access to the D&D Compendium



But its a problem for people who do Organized Play. 



Come to think of it, maybe not. IIRC it's only the Dungeon's Master Guide (edit: and the glossary of Monster Manual) that says that you need the Mounted Combat feat to make use of the mount keyword. I can't check right now, but I'm pretty sure doesn't say that anywhere in Rules Compendium.

If I'm right then there shouldn't be an issue for OP, since that shouldn't be using the DMG either .

EDIT: I was right. There's no mention in RC of you needing Mounted Combat to use powers with the mount keyword. Of course it remains to be seen whether this is mentioned in Monster Vault, but I doubt it will.

So if your Organized Play DM tries to force this rule on you, remind him or her that the "Essentials only" rule applies both ways.

True, but the mounts in this article still have the "mount" subtype, and the traits still have the "mount" keyword.  And as far as I could find, that subtype and keyword are not defined in the Rules Compendium.  It seems reasonable to assume (though I haven't seen a copy yet) that the mount subtype and keyword will be defined in the glossary of the Monster Vault, which will hopefully make clear what is required to use such powers.

EDIT: I see belatedly that you already addressed this comment in your edit.  Sorry to be redundant.

From an Essentials point of view the problem with this article is that Mounted Combat feat itself is missing from Essentials. There is no way to benefit from the "Mount" feature of the summoned mounts!



That's not really a problem, since anyone who can (legally) view this article also has access to the D&D Compendium



But its a problem for people who do Organized Play. 



why would lfr matter here?



It doesn't.  PoLand Setting Essentials-only in the Chaos Scar is the current season D&D Encounters, which is also a form of Organised Play. 

But the points made above about mounted combat not being in the DM's kit, Rules Compendium, or Monster Vault, but mount not being defined…   that's tough and ambiguous.  It would be easier if they defined all that here within the article and be done with it.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I hope I finally posted this in the right place.

As written, the Cavalier's Call Celestial Steed power from the D393 article says you can use the power up to twice per day unless the mount you summoned is brough to 0 HP or lower, at which point it disappears and you cannot use it again until after an extended rest.  And when you take an extended rest, the mount disappears.

However, there is no limitation I can find on how many celestial steeds a character is allowed to have active at a  time, only that the power can only be used twice without an extended rest. So you can summon one steed, and then another steed, and neither goes away unless reduced to 0 hit points, dismissed, or you take an extended rest.  Or you could somehow recharge this power and summon another one. Is this intentional?
Tell your DM you appreciate them. Don't let them forget it.
It was reported by The_Great_Grey_Skwid over on the Rule Q&A that Call Celestial Steed was updated stealthily to remove Utility 4 from the Power.

Call Celestial Steed     Paladin Utility. 

A note and date saying it was Updated would be really appreciated.  
Currently as of now, Call Celestial Steed is a Paladin Utility 4 acessible to all Paladins until Updated.


Guess what just got Stealth Updated?




The update shouldn't have happened in the first place, and the way WOTC went about it is just insult to injury.
The update shouldn't have happened in the first place, and the way WOTC went about it is just insult to injury.



What do you mean, shouldn't have happened? It clearly was never meant to have a level and be a valid option for non-Cavalier Paladins, since it required having the Cavalier give up a build option to gain it?

I could certainly see a desire to have something similar made available to normal Paladins, but doing so via a single utility was clearly not the intent of the power - and WotC correcting such a mistake is a good thing.

Now, I'm not sure why they did so without any announcements, and agree that it was handled poorly. But the update itself was entirely appropriate.
Clearly to you, yes.  To some of us, it was pretty clearly intended otherwise.  Indeed, I still think it was, and that someone changed their mind after the fact.

Basically, unless you wrote the article, what is clear to you about it, is pretty irrelevant, just as what is clear to me about it is pretty irrelevant.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Clearly to you, yes.  To some of us, it was pretty clearly intended otherwise.  Indeed, I still think it was, and that someone changed their mind after the fact.

Basically, unless you wrote the article, what is clear to you about it, is pretty irrelevant, just as what is clear to me about it is pretty irrelevant.



Well, considering that the people who write the article have since fixed it, I'd say that goes a long way towards demonstrating which side is correct.

But seriously - the ability was placed on par with the Cavalier's specific level 4 build feature. It required giving up something that normal Paladin's do not have access to.

It would be the equivalent, say, of them publishing an alternate ability for Rogues, who could trade in "Brutal Scoundrel" for some interesting utility power - but with them accidently labelling that power a "Rogue Utility 1".

Yes, you could technically then have other, non-Brutal Scoundrel rogues, take it as a standard Utility power. (Or even have Brutal Scoundrel rogues do so without giving up the Brutal Scoundrel ability). But do you really think that would be what was intended?

Same exact situation here. I mean, every single facet of evidence indicates it wasn't intended to be a regular utility power. The author labelled it Utility 4 because that is when it was acquired, not realizing this would provide a loophole for other paladins to take it. I can understand, absolutely, wanting a way for other paladins to get mounts like that - but claiming that they are taking away something that the author intended for you to get is just silly.
Your evidence that the writer of the article fixed it?  I'd be willing to bet good money it wasn't him at all, but the editors or the R&D team.

I think you're not taking on board the evidence of the other side of the argument.  I appreciate the arguments against Call Celestial Steed being levlled, but you don't seem to be taking on board the fact that there's plenty of compelling evidence that its class level was intentional - not lest the fact that the name of the power was changed between the original release of the power, and the compilation, but the class level remained.

Maybe that's because the writer misunderstood the rules for class-levelled powers.  But the fact remains.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I really don't think you can call a power having a level, nor the fact it was or wasn't removed in an update, as compelling evidence either way.

The level 7 hexblade powers in HotFK as well as the fey pact of the White Well in this very issue of Dragon have levels, when they clearly should not (they require use of a specific pact weapon, which only hexblades who belong to the relevant pact would have) - none of these have been errat'd. However, the level 7 star pact hexblade power, in the exact same issue as the fey pact of the White Well, doesn't have a level, and nor does the level 7 gloom pact hexblade power in HoS. To compel matters further, the original version of the Star Pact article included levels not only for the level 7 power, but the level 1 at-will and encounter powers as well, which were removed for the compilation.

Back to the cavalier though, I would suggest checking out the feat category descriptions. They contain numerous, specific references to cavaliers as opposed to paladins. For example "the cavalier’s celestial steed normally takes the form of a mighty warhorse", and "the Improved Mount feats represent specialized cavalier prayers or traditions that make more capable or powerful mounts available". These descriptions have remained unchanged since the original article was published.

If the feats that modify the power were intended to be cavalier only (and yes, the cavalier requirement was removed from the feats, but this is because since Essentials, most feats no longer a class as a requirement, only the class feature) , that would quite strongly suggest the power itself was intended to be cavalier only.
Same exact situation here. I mean, every single facet of evidence indicates it wasn't intended to be a regular utility power.


Dude, what? Show me this "evidence." Because I reread the article and there was NOTHING to indicate that the mount was to be Cavalier-exclusive. Perhaps originating with Cavaliers, yes. Automatically accessible by Cavaliers without giving up their Lv. 6 slot, yes, perhaps. Cavalier-exclusive? No.

The author labelled it Utility 4 because that is when it was acquired, not realizing this would provide a loophole for other paladins to take it.


You know nothing of the author's original intent with the power level, and indeed I could just as easily argue that the mount WAS intended to be accessible to other Paladins.

I can understand, absolutely, wanting a way for other paladins to get mounts like that - but claiming that they are taking away something that the author intended for you to get is just silly.


Taking away options PERIOD, for nothing in return, is silly. It's never been done before, and it sets a terrible precedent.

Seriosuly, I can't believe that ANYONE could accept this change. It's battered wives syndrome with you all.
If the feats that modify the power were intended to be cavalier only (and yes, the cavalier requirement was removed from the feats, but this is because since Essentials, most feats no longer a class as a requirement, only the class feature) , that would quite strongly suggest the power itself was intended to be cavalier only.



Since Essentials, most feats aren't separated by tier, either. And yet, they were in that article. You can't use this as any sort of evidence.
It's battered wives syndrome with you all.



LOL  
Sigh.  There go my aspirations for my Tiefling Chaladin|Warlock being able to ride a Celestial steed without having to lose an item for it.  Guess I'll have to have a Nightmare on my wishlist.
Dude, what? Show me this "evidence." Because I reread the article and there was NOTHING to indicate that the mount was to be Cavalier-exclusive. Perhaps originating with Cavaliers, yes. Automatically accessible by Cavaliers without giving up their Lv. 6 slot, yes, perhaps. Cavalier-exclusive? No.



It requires giving up a feature that other Paladins do not have. The ability to take it while bypassing that restriction was, I suspect, a loophole that the author did not even consider. Which seems supported by the fact that they have removed the loophole.

You know nothing of the author's original intent with the power level, and indeed I could just as easily argue that the mount WAS intended to be accessible to other Paladins.



I admit that I can't claim any absolutely authority on the matter. But every indication, from the way the power was designed to the loophole being fixed, seems to support my theory. Feel free to PM Rich Baker and ask directly, though, if you are confident that he intended the mount for open access and that WotC has 'done wrong' by taking that away.

Taking away options PERIOD, for nothing in return, is silly. It's never been done before, and it sets a terrible precedent.

Seriously, I can't believe that ANYONE could accept this change. It's battered wives syndrome with you all.



And yet, people seem ok with it.

Look, I can get people being frustrated by this, and sad that they can't get a cool mount for their character. What I find hard to understand is that those feeling such emotions still seem to think they are in the right, even after they have fixed the mistake.

There is nothing wrong with taking away an option that was never intended to be given in the first place. I don't think we've seen any comparable situation previously, so I don't think precedent is an issue here, either. As it is, the power is very, very strong for a regular utility power. It requires Cavaliers give up a built-in class feature that other Paladins do not have. It appears in an article entirely focused on Cavaliers and is referenced in the context of Cavaliers alone.

The idea that WotC is doing us wrong by ensuring the material is used in the fashion it is intended and that power balance is preserved in the game (as best they can)... sorry, I just don't see that as being especially reasonable. Feel free to make another analogy that equates WotC's actions here as equivalent to physical violence against their customers, but I don't think that sort of over-the-top exaggeration is going to do your argument any good.

It requires giving up a feature that other Paladins do not have. The ability to take it while bypassing that restriction was, I suspect, a loophole that the author did not even consider. Which seems supported by the fact that they have removed the loophole.


No, it requires for Cavaliers to give up one of their own class features. Whether other Paladins had that feature or not is completely irrelevant. If the power still had a level, the benefit would've been getting the mount 2 levels earlier than everyone else, and without giving up their Lv. 6 utility slot.

Moreover, the feature it replaced was one that is universally considered to be worthless. No one cares about a bonus to non-combat mounted speed.


And yet, people seem ok with it.


Low. System. Mastery.

Seriously, though, most of the people who are "OK" with this don't know how the game works. The people who do know how the game works are thoroughly disgusted with it. You don't make changes to things that don't break the game, and there was nothing remotely gamebreaking about O-Paladins and even Blackguards taking the mount. Especially once you realize how many feats it takes to make it anything more than a cool extra on the character.

Look, I can get people being frustrated by this, and sad that they can't get a cool mount for their character. What I find hard to understand is that those feeling such emotions still seem to think they are in the right, even after they have fixed the mistake.


No, they did not fix a mistake. They made one by literally stripping an option from a class without any good reason.

There is nothing wrong with taking away an option that was never intended to be given in the first place.


You can't prove that it wasn't intended to be given in the first place. No one has. Again, I've read the article and there was NOTHING in it to indicate that it was Cavalier-exclusive. At best, it favored Cavaliers heavily, but that was covered by the fact that Cavaliers already had the easiest, earliest and least costly access to the mount.

As it is, the power is very, very strong for a regular utility power.


I repeat: Low. System. Mastery.

It requires Cavaliers give up a built-in class feature that other Paladins do not have.


Yes, it requires Cavaliers to give up a feature if they wanted to get the mount two levels earlier and without the cost of a Lv. 6 slot. At the cost of a feature that was universally considered worthless.


The idea that WotC is doing us wrong by ensuring the material is used in the fashion it is intended


Again, you can't prove the intent. Stop talking about intent.

And even if you could prove the intent, there's also the fact that many things have worked differently than the designer's original intent and the game came out all the better for it.

and that power balance is preserved in the game (as best they can)...


Low. System. Mastery.

Yes, I have to repeat this. Because it's the truth when talking about people who think O-Paladins getting the mount was unbalanced. It absolutely was not.

sorry, I just don't see that as being especially reasonable. Feel free to make another analogy that equates WotC's actions here as equivalent to physical violence against their customers, but I don't think that sort of over-the-top exaggeration is going to do your argument any good.


You never heard of "battered wives syndrome" before? I'll give you a hint: I was talking more about the people who see WotC doing something clearly wrong, but accepting it meekly.
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