Wandering Monsters: Flying in Style

Wandering Monsters
Flying in Style

By James Wyatt

Say you want to get from Point A to Point B in style. How are you going to do it? Horses? So mundane. Phantom steed? Teleport? Sure, if you’ve got access to those spells or the money to pay for them. But if you want to impress the bystanders, what you really want is a flying mount. James talks this week about the things that adventurers, villains, and the occasional elite cavalry use to fly in style.

Talk about this column here.

Fairest of Them All

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Arg. Unaligned.
President of the OTTer Research Council on the Universe
I thought it was perfect griffon, hyppogriff, roc and pegausus and definitely think that making them celestial is a great tweak. Lastly, it was definitely a wyvern, but not quite there with its poison sting. I don't think in its current form ''a wyvern’s stinger holds one of the most deadly venoms in the D&D worlds.'' It used to be in older incarnations, but not in this one (DC 13 CON save or 5d6 poison damage)

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Do rebember all potential mounts need stats about maximum load limit. And if it can be mount or be used to carry load (for example elephant) its stats must be there. I don´t want wait until a new Oriental Adventures to have got elephant like mount. (Have I explained it badly?)


* One of coolest D&D mounts is the drakkenstedd from "Dragon Magic".

Come back, please.

 


 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I used to have a roc with a ballista and repeating crossbow attachments on the massive saddle.

Anyway no mention of Hypogriffs being the offspring of a male griffin and a mare? How can professional breeders like Good o' Orzel make gp in this edition?

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I thought it was perfect griffon, hyppogriff, roc and pegausus and definitely think that making them celestial is a great tweak. Lastly, it was definitely a wyvern, but not quite there with its poison sting. I don't think in its current form ''a wyvern’s stinger holds one of the most deadly venoms in the D&D worlds.'' It used to be in older incarnations, but not in this one (DC 13 CON save or 5d6 poison damage)



I don't know about the venom.

I use to have a roc with a ballista and repeating crossbow attachments on the massive saddle.

Anyway no mention of Hypogriffs being the offspring of a male griffin and a mare? How can professional breeders like Good o' Orzel make gp in this edition?



Yeah, we need this.


Arg. Unaligned.



I have already made out my argument about this issue.
I used to have a roc with a ballista and repeating crossbow attachments on the massive saddle.

Anyway no mention of Hypogriffs being the offspring of a male griffin and a mare? How can professional breeders like Good o' Orzel make gp in this edition?


When was this a possibility?

Griffons eat horses, why would they ever stoop to mating with one. A hippogriff is the magical cross between a horse and an eagle, just as the griffon is a magical cross between a lion and an eagle.
Let´s rebember lots of gamers love exotic fantasy mounts. 

But PC riders can be too powerful, or weak, if they use monster mount. For example a paladin who rides a drakkensteed. He can kill flying monsters, but for adventures in undedark where flying mounts can´t be used..(but climber ones do) he became too weak.

My suggestion (to solve it) is the "extra help" (allies, magic pets, magic item) should be like extra PC when DM design adventure to calculate XPs rewards.

 * Sooner or later somebody will wish a bizarre mount, for example Spelljammer setting, where steapunk technology is allowed by DM. A PC is a tinker gnome, and he wishs a flying bike created with carvorite ( carvorite is a fictional antigravity metal from H.G.Wells´book "the first man in the moon"; when it cools, whatever it covers will be impervious to gravitational forces). 

Can you imagine it?





 



The aerofex, a flying cycle, isn´t sci-fi. (and let´s imagine when light aerographite material can be used by real world aircraft industry).

It would be realy exotic mount...isn´t it?



Something like a technostrider (mechanical gnome mount from Warcraft) with flying movement.



Could the phatom flayer be a shadow countruct flying mount? (it was canon for AD&D Ed.) 

* Do you rebember the mechanical flying horse from 1001 Arabian nights tales?

 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

@lawrencehoy

That is the point. Hippogriffs are extremely rare due to the situation behind their creation. The near impossibility and their speed are the attractive elements of the mount.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I've never heard of that creation story for the hippogriff, Orzel. I recall the griffon having the head of an eagle, but the hippogriff had a head of a falcon or hawk (i.e. a smaller predator bird). I've always thought of both creatures as simply a mad wizard's experiments, like the owlbear.

My favorite mount has always been the roc, so I was happy it made the short list for mounts. Still, not sure if Gargantuan is the right size category, since a 60+' wingspan would make it more like Colossal+. Any animal that can regularly carry elephants and whales(!) deserves its own size category of ZOMG BIG!

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I've never heard of that creation story for the hippogriff, Orzel. I recall the griffon having the head of an eagle, but the hippogriff had a head of a falcon or hawk (i.e. a smaller predator bird). I've always thought of both creatures as simply a mad wizard's experiments, like the owlbear.

My favorite mount has always been the roc, so I was happy it made the short list for mounts. Still, not sure if Gargantuan is the right size category, since a 60+' wingspan would make it more like Colossal+. Any animal that can regularly carry elephants and whales(!) deserves its own size category of ZOMG BIG!


Tiny
Small
Medium
Large
Huge
Gargantuan
Colossal
ZOMG BIG

 
About monster stats I suggest the module of bodymass points.


Medium - 1 point.
Large    - 2
Huge     - 4
Gargantuan -8
Colossal - 16 bodymass points.


Why? For example more bodymass means better resistance to poison and toxins. Rebember a dart to make sleep a African beast could kill a person. 

Or if meat (or skin, bones and other body parts like ingredients of recipes or magic potions) from a hunted monster can be used...the quanty or food. A monster character like a vampire could wish hunt monsters with highest quanty of bodymass, or a tree troll could need eat 4 bodymass points to recover regenation power. 

* Wait a moment. We need stats about quanty of food beasts (mounts and pets) is necesary. A horse need grass, but...what if the adventure is for winter? or crossing a dessert zone. Monster mounts or allies could need hunt flesh.. (OK, no problem about those dead goblins... if they weren´t undead) 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Those are OK. I'm honestly more curious to see the flying movement and mounted combat rules. Those probably have more bearing on these things turning up in my campaigns.

The wyvern seems a little off with the emphasis on the stinger being really deadly. It might be the best solution though, as wyverns have always had problems caused by their body layout making them poor mounts in combat when they are supposed to be fairly dangerous.
Re: Paladin's Mounts

To address the concern about flying mounts in the Underdark or similarly inhospitable environment...

I'd like to see the Paladin have the ability to summon their mount from a list of options based on their Kit (alignment and/or deity) that expands/upgrades as they level. Paladins could get Pegasi as their flying mount while Blackguards get Nightmares, for instance. There would be other mounts that were suited for underground, frostfell, aquatic, and arid environments, just to name a few. A spelunking paladin riding a celestial Bullete sounds cool.

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Everything was pretty good to me, but I don't really like pegusi as intelligent, well as that intelligent.
* Can giants ride rocs? OMG!!!

---

Do you rembember the winged template from "Savage Species"? 

I wonder somebody could "remake" the template like homebreed rule to  trycreate exotic flying mounts. 

 

* The article has tried introduce the Pegasus like a "exclusive" mount, like a special challenge, something only can be got by adventure (nothing of automatically got by feats or class features).

 The idea isn´t bad, but... a newbie DM didn´t know create that scene correctly. I suggest a half-page of MM to describe the "encounter" like a mini-module. That "encounter" could be "generic" to be used to get other magic mount or beast ally (for example a drakkensteed instead of Pegasus).

I don´t like pages of my expensive MM 4 were wasted for things like maps of caves or temples, but this could be a exception. (A page or appendix about getting monster allies like mounts or pets).

* I would like suggest could sentients creatures could "get" hands like a template (shedus, sphinxs, lammasus.. nagas!!). A thumb like a magic prosthesis wouldn´t break the level of power, would it? 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Meh. Flight is overrated.
I always wanted to be a pegasus knight like from Fire Emblem.  
I have been looking for about winged horses from Mythology and I have just found this:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arion_(mythology)

 In Greek mythology, Arion or Areion (Ancient Greek:'Ἀρίων, Ἀρείων, gen.: Ἀρίωνος, Ἀρείωνος)[1] is a divinely-bred, extremely swift immortal horse which, according to the Latin poet Sextus Propertius, was endowed with speech.


I suggest two pegasus subraces. One would the weakest, the primal and wild, and other other would be the Arion, the celestial pegasus. The Arion would the elite mount, the exclusive prize, only could be by a special adventure. And the Arion is sentient creature, and "he" has got hidden fingers in the wings (like bats and claws of  Pterodactylus). 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I always wanted to be a pegasus knight like from Fire Emblem.  



Me too. Wyvern/Dragon Knights too, but that's probably too high-fantasy for D&D.

Meh. Flight is overrated.



More like overpriced, I say.

I have got new crazy ideas.


* In the Greek mythlogy Equuleus or Celeris was the son or brother of Pegasus. A subrace of winged horse could be created with one of both names (why not create a new one, "Celequis", celestial equine?).

Legend says Pegasus mate Euippe (or Ocyrrhoe) and its sons were Celeris and Menalippe.

 (Menalippe could be like the equine equivalent of swanmays)
 
* I have readen too that Pegasus had got a human brother, Chrysaor (= who has a golden armament). I suggest chrysaors like a new D&D creature, a shapeshifter humanoid who can change to equine shape. Girls loves horses because they symbolize the ideal male (strong, noble...). Chrysaor creature could be the symbol of ideal masculinity (by the female point of view). A good writter could get that idea to create a new best-seller of supernatural romance. (I name them "geek-romantic" novels)

* Too crazy ideas? Mabye, but creativity is very capricious and sometimes to get the best ideas lots of previous failed attempts are necesary.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

LADIES AND GETLEMEN, I HAVE GOT THE PLEASURE OF INTRODUCE YOU, THE CREATURE YOU WERE WAITING, THE FLYING FRIEND OF LITTLE PEOPLE...

THE HIPPALECTRYON!!!! 




AND THE PEGACORN!!
(Winged unicorn)



(Don´t moan, the pegataur was canon in AD&D mystara)

I suggest the Pegacorn (winged unicorn), symbol of wisdom and purity, should be one of most exclusive monster mounts. 


Fan art of Unimon, from Digimon franchise.

* Other pegasus subraces could be the oriental tulpar, chollima and tian-ma (Chinese heavenly steed).

* If winged template comes back, I can imagine the most bizarre flying monster mounts. 

---

The nighmare mount of necromancers, the helhest:

 

(It isn´t a mistake, only three legs). 

---

Teptratheron (= four wings). Creature from Avatar movie.



I had thought about a flying monster mount, like a mixture of winged horse and Pterodactylus (and the tetraptheron from Pandora). A mammal with feathers and four limbs what are at the same time wings to fly and legs to run. (The longest finger is to fly like birds, other finger would be a hoof to run. The rest of fingers could be opposite like two thumbs to get things and climb). 

 

Great blue windrunner, bird with four wings, from speculative TV documentary "the future is wild". (Here the term sciencie-fiction couldn´t be said better).  

 http://speculativeevolution.wikia.com/wiki/Great_blue_windrunner

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Does this mean nightmares are low priority for flying mounts in Next? Every blackguard can't ride wyverns.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

You could great the D&D version of Cheval-mallet, the evil horse from French folklore, or Shadhahvar, the evil unicorn from Persian Folklore. 


* Longma = oriental drakkensteed

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longma

 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius