Help improving Familiar Rider Warlord:

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I was playing with some builds at CB and i ended with a fun idea.

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 6
Human, Warlord|Cavalier
Warlord Leadership: Battlefront Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Fortitude
Hybrid Cavalier: Hybrid Cavalier Reflex
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 17, Wis 13, Cha 19.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 16.

AC: 25 Fort: 17 Reflex: 23 Will: 20
HP: 49 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 14

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +13, Insight +13, Intimidate +12, Diplomacy +12, History +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics, Bluff +7, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance, Heal +4, Nature +4, Perception +6, Religion +6, Stealth, Streetwise +7, Thievery, Athletics -1

FEATS
Learned Spellcaster: Ritual Caster
Human: Learned Spellcaster
Level 1: Arcane Familiar
Level 2: Active Familiar
Level 4: Quick Familiar
Level 6: Ninth Legion Student

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Virtuous Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Direct the Strike
Hybrid encounter 1: Powerful Warning
Hybrid daily 1: Glorious Charge
Hybrid utility 2: Martyr's Blessing
Hybrid encounter 3: Holy Smite
Hybrid daily 5: Scent of Victory
Hybrid utility 6: Reorient the Axis


ITEMS
Heavy Shield, Magic Finemail +2, Rhythm Blade Rapier +1, Catstep Boots (heroic tier), Amulet of Protection +2, Impenetrable Barding (heroic tier), Familiar's Baldric +1
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Familiar defenses:

AC:      30
Fort:    22
Reflex: 28
Will:     25

DR 5 (needs to take 10+1/2level damage to lose Familiar Mount buff)

 

Its a low lvl build right now, that im still improving. Probably i will add Nightmare Saddle and a power swap of utility power to get the wizard atwill that teleports the familiar 10 squares, and retrain one or more of the familiar feats.


Well at lvl 6 the idea of the build is to keep flying over the enemies with a Cour Attendent or Floating Weapon Familiar used as mount via Familiar Mount Ritual.

The familiar feats adds to the familiar defenses, and enables me to take a move as a minor, or to double move with a move action via Active Familiar. This way i can reach anywhere i want on battlefield without taking attacks of opportunity because i can shift the necessary distance and them move to where i need to be.

Since the Familiar have a +2 to defenses naturally (both of them) and the feats gives +2, and Familiar Baldric +1, and my defenses arent bad either, it ends being really hard to hit.
And with Impenetrable Barding, its alittle harder to be destroyed, because it needs to take 13 of damage on a single hit. (and remember that i have a defender aura to plus -2 vs melees)

Even if it hits, i can use Powerful Warning, and picking as a Theme the Guardian i can take the hit myself once per encounter. This will enable me to stay at my familiar.

Them comes how i annoy the monster team. Since the game is 3d, my aura affects all squares directly under me too, so if i fly over their heads, i will affect an area of 4x4 squares. (all 16 squares not just 12 as normal for a Large creature)
And since im a lazylord, i will just give extra attacks each of my turns, and if one enemy ever moves without shifting on my 4x4 area of threat i will punish it with a direct the strike, because im really lazy to attack myself. (In case of no allies able i can virtuos strike the enemy...)

This build isnt a real defender, its more a 5th or 6th man of the party.
The idea is to help the party controlling the battlefield wille the real defender takes the most dangerous enemy by himself.


Idk if this build can be improved in any way, but i found it really fun.
I know its not really optmical and that i still can lose everything if my familiar get hit, but thats why i invested so much in making it not get down.

One think im wondering now if i can use a Barding on it... lol






I don't think your Familiar is consider an Ally, is it?  If it isn't, you can't use Powerful Warning when it gets attacked.  Also, if you take the Order Adept theme, at level 5 you can retrain your level 2 Utility and get the Wizard at-will Utility you mentioned (Familiar Harrier).
I have finished a lvl16 version too.

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 16
Human, Warlord|Cavalier, Knight Commander
Warlord Leadership: Battlefront Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Fortitude
Hybrid Cavalier: Hybrid Cavalier Reflex
Hybrid Talent: Paladin Armor Proficiency
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 12, Dex 11, Int 20, Wis 14, Cha 22.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 16.


AC: 35 Fort: 29 Reflex: 32 Will: 30
HP: 110 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 29

TRAINED SKILLS
Nature +15, Insight +19, Intimidate +21, Diplomacy +19, History +18

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Arcana +13, Bluff +16, Dungeoneering +10, Endurance +5, Heal +10, Perception +12, Religion +13, Stealth +4, Streetwise +14, Thievery +4, Athletics +3

FEATS
Learned Spellcaster: Ritual Caster
Human: Learned Spellcaster
Level 1: Arcane Familiar
Level 2: Active Familiar
Level 4: Quick Familiar
Level 6: Ninth Legion Student
Level 8: Hybrid Talent
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Shardbound Familiar (Eberron)
Level 12: Shield Mastery
Level 14: Lend Might
Level 16: Skill Power

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Virtuous Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Direct the Strike
Skill Power: Practiced Rider
Hybrid encounter 1: Powerful Warning
Hybrid daily 1: Glorious Charge
Hybrid utility 2: Martyr's Blessing
Hybrid encounter 3: Holy Smite
Hybrid daily 5: Scent of Victory
Hybrid utility 6: Reorient the Axis
Hybrid encounter 7: Friendly Fire
Hybrid daily 9: Warlord's Recovery
Hybrid utility 10: Dragonshard Shield
Hybrid encounter 13: Pincer Maneuver (replaces Powerful Warning)
Hybrid daily 15: Divine Vengeance (replaces Glorious Charge)
Hybrid utility 16: Warning Shout

ITEMS
Heavy Shield, Catstep Boots (heroic tier), Chieftain's Javelin +3, Bracers of Tactical Blows (heroic tier), Amulet of Warding +3, Belt of Vim (heroic tier), Martyr's Saddle (heroic tier), Familiar's Baldric +2, Helm of Exemplary Defense (heroic tier), Guardian Shield Heavy Shield (heroic tier), Magic Warplate Armor +4
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



With many interrupt powers to protect the familiar, and his defenses being:
AC       42
FORT   36
REFL    39
WILL   37

Giving +2 to hit for allies, and 1 extra on the extra attacks he gives.
With a bonus to opportunity attack damage equal +8 for allies in 3 squares.

Any idea of how to improve this?
Or it suck so much that doesnt even worth considering?
I know its not the best build ever, but is it playable?
I like the concept, but I'd like to hear more input from others who are more familiar with the mechanics of the game.
Are you planning on casting the ritual everyday?

I only ask because I'm building a home campaign and one of my players is trying to build a playable character off a mini he fell in love with.  It is a dwarf riding a bear, but it is a large bear.  There is technically a bear familiar, but I'm not that familiar with using lots of rituals.   Is it really feasible to keep casting the ritual everyday?  Are there rules for making rituals have permanent effects?  Like super high cost, etc?
If I remember correctly, the ritual cost is only like 175 gold.  So I suppose even if you were to use it daily, it would not be that big of a deal.  Plus, if the familiar mount takes too much damage, it reverts to its standard form anyway, so a "permanent" Familiar Mount Ritual might not even be that beneficial.
25 Gp/day

It reverts back if takes damage = 5 + 1/2 level, thats why im trying the hard as possible to increase his defenses, and have alot of immediate reactions to protect him.

Even them im not sure hes durable enough... 
Phillip, it costs 175 gp to buy the ritual, yes. But it only costs 25 gp per use. You'll likely be able to get away with using Familiar Mount before every encounter and barely make a scratch on your wallet.

EDIT: Ninja'd


Its a low lvl build right now, that im still improving. Probably i will add Nightmare Saddle and a power swap of utility power to get the wizard atwill that teleports the familiar 10 squares, and retrain one or more of the familiar feats.


Well at lvl 6 the idea of the build is to keep flying over the enemies with a Cour Attendent or Floating Weapon Familiar used as mount via Familiar Mount Ritual.

The familiar feats adds to the familiar defenses, and enables me to take a move as a minor, or to double move with a move action via Active Familiar. This way i can reach anywhere i want on battlefield without taking attacks of opportunity because i can shift the necessary distance and them move to where i need to be.

Since the Familiar have a +2 to defenses naturally (both of them) and the feats gives +2, and Familiar Baldric +1, and my defenses arent bad either, it ends being really hard to hit.
And with Impenetrable Barding, its alittle harder to be destroyed, because it needs to take 13 of damage on a single hit. (and remember that i have a defender aura to plus -2 vs melees)

Even if it hits, i can use Powerful Warning, and picking as a Theme the Guardian i can take the hit myself once per encounter. This will enable me to stay at my familiar.

Them comes how i annoy the monster team. Since the game is 3d, my aura affects all squares directly under me too, so if i fly over their heads, i will affect an area of 4x4 squares. (all 16 squares not just 12 as normal for a Large creature)
And since im a lazylord, i will just give extra attacks each of my turns, and if one enemy ever moves without shifting on my 4x4 area of threat i will punish it with a direct the strike, because im really lazy to attack myself. (In case of no allies able i can virtuos strike the enemy...)

This build isnt a real defender, its more a 5th or 6th man of the party.
The idea is to help the party controlling the battlefield wille the real defender takes the most dangerous enemy by himself.


Idk if this build can be improved in any way, but i found it really fun.
I know its not really optmical and that i still can lose everything if my familiar get hit, but thats why i invested so much in making it not get down.

One think im wondering now if i can use a Barding on it... lol



Some things I'd like to point out. Your familiar is technically not considered an ally. Thus, you can't use powers such as Powerful Warning on it.

Also, you aura will not resize for riding a larger creature, as pointed out in in the passage from the DMG errata below.

errata
Mount and Rider
Page 46: Replace the shaded text with the following
text.
Mount and Rider
A mount and rider follow these rules while the rider is
mounted.
✦ Space: The rider and mount both occupy the mount’s
space. However, the origin squares of the rider’s
powers and other effects do not change to the
mount’s size. Whenever the rider uses an effect that
has an origin square (such as a melee, a ranged, an
area, or a close power), the rider first picks where
that square is located in the mount’s space, and
the effect uses that origin square. For example, if a
Medium rider uses a close burst attack power, the
rider chooses a single square within the mount’s
space, and the burst emanates from that square. This
rule means that if the burst targets each creature
within it, rather than each enemy, it can hit the
mount.

Thanks for the answer but you are wrong. =/

There is a new errata that says that Auras doesnt have a origing point, and it starts from the Space you are, so it is resized.
(if not cavaliers would be the biggest failure ever made by design, because they get a power to summon a large mount warhorse, and needs an aura 1 to work lol)


I'm looking at the rules of Familiars, and either they are a creature and an ally, or its untargettable by enemy attacks because almost all enemy attacks targets a Creature.

There is anything about familiars in rules compendium?

Im still looking for the exact way familiars works.
Interesting fact from mounted combat rules:

  Willing: The creature must be a willing mount. The mount is considered an ally to its rider and the rider’s allies. 

 So even if the familiar isnt an ally by himself, it becomes an ally by mounted combat rules.
 
 When i get back home i will look to see if a familiar is a creature. Since i know its not a conjuration, if its not a creature its immune to almost all monster attacks...
 They need to clarify this rules... badly. 
Interesting fact from mounted combat rules:

  Willing: The creature must be a willing mount. The mount is considered an ally to its rider and the rider’s allies. 

 So even if the familiar isnt an ally by himself, it becomes an ally by mounted combat rules.
 
 When i get back home i will look to see if a familiar is a creature. Since i know its not a conjuration, if its not a creature its immune to almost all monster attacks...
 They need to clarify this rules... badly. 



When the familiar is in Active mode, it can be attacked.  I don't think any of the rules currently say whether or not a familiar is considered a creature, though.
Its a little old but you could have a look at community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

It uses a spider as its mount, but you can quite easily use a bear, if you go that route.
Also the bear rider will have a more robust creature.

just a thought
Oh yeah, and how exactly do you have a 6x6 aura?

EDIT:  Just re-read it, for some reason I thought it said 6x6 rather than 4x4. 
Thanks for the answer but you are wrong. =/

There is a new errata that says that Auras doesnt have a origing point, and it starts from the Space you are, so it is resized.
(if not cavaliers would be the biggest failure ever made by design, because they get a power to summon a large mount warhorse, and needs an aura 1 to work lol)


I'm looking at the rules of Familiars, and either they are a creature and an ally, or its untargettable by enemy attacks because almost all enemy attacks targets a Creature.

There is anything about familiars in rules compendium?

Im still looking for the exact way familiars works.



Hmmm... You're right. The tricky wording used does indeed confirm this, but I can't say that the most current rules on auras were meant to complement Cavaliers as well as they do now.

Interesting fact from mounted combat rules:

  Willing: The creature must be a willing mount. The mount is considered an ally to its rider and the rider’s allies. 

 So even if the familiar isnt an ally by himself, it becomes an ally by mounted combat rules.
 
 When i get back home i will look to see if a familiar is a creature. Since i know its not a conjuration, if its not a creature its immune to almost all monster attacks...
 They need to clarify this rules... badly. 



 I've looked high and low. The only indication that a Familiar is a creature at all is either outside of the rules text, or if you take a particular statement about familiar speech out of context. Hell, they don't even have ability scores, which brings even further questions (primarily, how much weight can a familiar even carry when serving as a mount?). But that's what the errata board is for.

EDIT: Just want to point out that Combat Leader is superior to Battlefront Leader in many ways. The initiative boost to you and your allies will be much more effective in the long run. This gets exponentially better at paragon with the Combat Commander feat, and considering that your putting all the right stats for that feat anyway, I'd say you may as well.

Also, doesn't anyone else find the act of using a Court Attendant as a mount reprihensible? Surprised

ShinQuickMan:
A character that flies away being carred by a Large Fey Girl that serves him seems pretty fun RP xD
(I was thinking on a prince that have fey blood in his bloodline.)
(But mounting a Book Imp is better mechanical wise)

Agree on Combat Leader. I was using it on lvl 6 build, because i couldnt afford hybrid talent for paladin Plate+Shield by that lvl, but when i get hybrid talent for it, combat leader is worst you are right. I need to change this.


yargon: 
Warspider build is really good, but the idea with this build is the ability to fly over the head of the enemies so i can reach any place of the battlefield to have a better position to catch the most number of enemies as possible on my aura/reach.

And since i will be flying i gain 4 extra squares of aura/reach since cubes exactly under me are still adjacent
Use the Tint Gelatinous Cube.  You might be able to convince your DM to let you ride *in* the GC-as-a-mount and be slightly immune to attacks.  Granted, all of your clothing and items and stuff will slowly be destroyed...  Pointing that out might get the DM to approve this plan. 
I like this idea! Have a cool mini to use for it aswell :D
Will go all leader bardlord though I think.
Cheers
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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 16
Human, Warlord|Cavalier, Knight Commander
Hybrid Talent: Paladin Armor Proficiency
Warlord Leadership: Combat Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Fortitude
Hybrid Cavalier: Hybrid Cavalier Fortitude
Human Power Selection: Bonus At-Will Power
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 12, Dex 11, Int 20, Wis 14, Cha 22.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 16.


AC: 35 Fort: 28 Reflex: 31 Will: 30
HP: 110 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 29

TRAINED SKILLS
History +18, Intimidate +19, Insight +19, Diplomacy +19, Nature +15

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Arcana +15, Bluff +14, Dungeoneering +10, Endurance +5, Heal +10, Perception +12, Religion +13, Stealth +4, Streetwise +14, Thievery +4, Athletics +3

FEATS
Learned Spellcaster: Ritual Caster
Human: Hybrid Talent
Level 1: Learned Spellcaster
Level 2: Arcane Familiar
Level 4: Ninth Legion Student
Level 6: Active Familiar
Level 8: Quick Familiar
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Skill Power
Level 12: Space-Bending Spirit
Level 14: Persistent Spirit
Level 16: Bonded Familiar

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Direct the Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Virtuous Strike
Skill Power: Practiced Rider
Hybrid encounter 1: Powerful Warning
Hybrid daily 1: Glorious Charge
Hybrid utility 2: Martyr's Blessing
Hybrid encounter 3: Holy Smite
Hybrid daily 5: Scent of Victory
Hybrid utility 6: Reorient the Axis
Hybrid encounter 7: Provocative Order
Hybrid daily 9: Warlord's Recovery
Hybrid utility 10: Instant Planning
Hybrid encounter 13: Pincer Maneuver (replaces Powerful Warning)
Hybrid daily 15: Divine Vengeance (replaces Glorious Charge)
Hybrid utility 16: Divine Aegis

ITEMS
Chieftain's Spear +2, Bracers of Mighty Striking (heroic tier), Catstep Boots (heroic tier), Wrestler's Gloves (heroic tier), Helm of Exemplary Defense (heroic tier), Amulet of Warding +3, Belt of Vim (heroic tier), Obsidian Steed (heroic tier), Familiar's Baldric +2, Heavy Shield, Imposter's Warplate Armor +4, Mirrored Caparison (heroic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


This is the last version i finished after some polishment... its still need a way to increase the familiar survavibility even more...


Right now the only way to survive lvl 4 to lvl 10 is with a Book Imp and a minor to turn it invisible each round for a +5 on defenses.
At lvl 6, with a normal +2 to defenses familiar monsters of lvl+5 are hitting on 14, and its lethal.
With Invisibility, the monsters that doesnt have ways to overcome it (not much have at heroic) are hitting only at 17.

I changed the barding for a Mirrored Caparison, that enables me to ignore 1 area effect per round on the mount. So i need to deal more with direct hits. (changed most of powers that were reactions to powers i use with standard because of this)
If i count the aura, they are hitting on 19 (or 16 if not using imp).

And with Guardian's Counter, Powerful Warning and Martyr's Blessing plus the Mirrored Caparison, the idea is to improve the defenses of the familiar to so high numbers that the rare hits it will take can be negated via interrupt. (if we are not unlucky...)

If the enemy focus on the Familiar, with so high defences, the amount of damage that the enemies will lose trying to get your familiar down becomes so much that it starts to be a good thing if they try to focus on it.
And if they just leave it there you are doing your job on turning theyr life miserable wile enabling your party with extra attacks each round.


This Lazy build can "throw away" that much feats without much problem, because you already have defender-like defenses, and all you do is enable your party, so there is not much feats that would be mandatory to you anyway.

By lvl 16, the defenses are:
AC       44
FORT   37
REFL    40
WILL   39

Using a familiar with a bonus of 2 to all defenses.
Book imp version would be 3 points higher but would be 2 points lower against things that ignore invisibility.
(10 points over the AC of a good Defender, and 5 points over the NADS on worst NAD)


Note: 6% (316 monster of 4691) have either Blindsight or Truesight.
          Any other way for a monster to see my book imp?
          If not it seems that the book imp makes the build viable by making it hittable only on a 20.
          (sad part is the loss of minor action... but nothing is perfect...)


Any advices will be welcome.
Thanks.








Thanks for the answer but you are wrong. =/

There is a new errata that says that Auras doesnt have a origing point, and it starts from the Space you are, so it is resized.
(if not cavaliers would be the biggest failure ever made by design, because they get a power to summon a large mount warhorse, and needs an aura 1 to work lol)



You say there is errata for this, but you didn't post a source or anything.  Can you link to the errata that states this?  Just posting that there is one build which would be invalidated without such errata doesn't mean that the errata exists.

" Aura's don't have origin squares, they fill every square you occupy (RC pg 116) and then a set distance out from those squares. Since you occupy every square that your mount does, while on a dragon your a knight's aura occupies 16 squares. 

Powers granting auras generally don't have origin squares either. Range Personal doesn't specify an origin square either (though the glossary does mention all powers have origin squares).

Page 253 specifically calls out effects that have origin squares "such as melee, a ranged, a close, or an area power". Page 253 does indicate that you occupy all the squares of your mount, which is necessary to determine what squares your aura affects. "

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

I didnt posted because it was so obvious and easy to find at rules Q&A that i didnt even bothered, but its here.
I'm almost giving up on this familiar thing... =/

Its so hard to make it durable, that even with so much investiment it is still easly killable.
(I just remembered that Book Imp doesnt work because it receives no bonus against area attacks so its weak too)

A Hyppogriff can be acquired at lvl 5-6 and is more durable, and dont cost me so much feats to still be easly killed, and will have the same effect, turning me Large for my aura and for my opportunity attacks, and with Direct the Strike plus Ninth Legion, just float around the head of my enemies and make their life miserable because they cant move.


If anyone know any way to make the familiar durable, any way to redirect all the damage or most of the damage from him to me, without need of an interrupt... anything that can make it resist in combat. Or a way to increase its defenses by 2-3 points.

If not, the normal flying mounts seems to be more viable to this build... and alot less fun... =/
(And i lose the ability to shift+move and move as minor... =/)
 
Am I correct that the familars defences are based on yours then add bonuses for feats+ item?

Edit:
I suspect you saw martyrs saddle? It gives you the option to take half the damage from your mount, not sure that better then your earlier options though.
When a familiar is in active mode, it can definitely take damage, uses the riders skill modifiers and defense

Shardbound Familiar could protect you and your mount for a turn once an encounter, and you can shift with phasing afterwards, and all you lose is a level 10+ utility and a feat slot.

I'll be looking to see how effective this build is in game. It sounds like a huge load of fun.
You know what, I just realized something: familiars technically can't use the squeeze action. Moving a familiar mount through a dungeon would be an elaborate, time consuming process with all those pesky 5 ft. wide corridors lying around.

Im not sure about that, i really thing they are a creature.

It doesnt say anywhere its not. (The flavor text just say they are not a REAL creature, referece to the fact that a Crow familiar isnt a real living crow but a an magical creature that is part of you)

It plays by all rules of creatures.
They have specific rules saying what it cant do, like flanking an OA or Attacking.
If it wasnt a creature those rules would be unecessary.

Since it has a movement mode, and is a creature it can squeeze, by compendium rules.

If its not a creature then its immune to attacks targeting creature. 
You could say that parts with reference to damage and being attacked are refereces for areas/powers/effects that do damage without using the creature word in the target entry.

It has no specific rule saying that it can be targeted by powers that target creatures...