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View Full Version : {3.5 d&d} Do (or How do) mounts level up for non-paladin PCs?



Ursan
2011-01-11, 11:34 AM
Hi all

Recently returned to tabletop after a long absence (About two editions' worth at the last count :smallbiggrin: ) and still getting to grips with many of the intricacies of character management so apologies if the question is naive and/or lame.

My character is a 4th level ranger and I (think) I understand the animal companion rules and how that creature will advance in level/ability over time.

However my character also acquired a mount in our last session and I was curious as to what happens over time with the mount as compared to the companion. Unfortunately I can only seem to find details of how paladin mounts advance.

Do mounts level up for non-paladin PCs and if so can anyone explain it or point me to the relevant handbook? (We're only using PHB, DMG and MMI so far as many of us are newbies or returners)

many thanks in advance

Chilingsworth
2011-01-11, 11:38 AM
The only ways I can think of are Druid/Ranger animal companion mounts Or Improved Familar or Draconic Familiar to get something big enough for you to ride. Oh, there's also the Healer class' unicorn companion. Or, you could take leadership and maybe get something that could serve as a mount and could gain either levels or hit dice.

Other than those options, the only way to "level up" a mount is to replace it with something better, or to give it equippment (barding, amulets of mighty fists, horseshoes of speed or the zypher, custom magic items, etc.)

EDIT: the above is by WotC 3.x and afaik. There may be some third party supplement that allows mounts to level up.

Yora
2011-01-11, 11:39 AM
Usually, they don't. They always have the same stats, which has the effect that they still have crappy saves and hp when you reach higher levels. And with the kinds of creatures you encounter, your mounts will constantly die on you.

What you could do is increasing the animals Hit Dice. But this makes sense only for so long. Once you doubled the original number of HD, you get a horse that can easily kill smaller monsters and even some of the larger ones.
Or you use (non-standard) magic to have your horses enchanted so they get templates. But for that you need the gms approval, as the normal rules don't support this.

The best way would simply be getting more powerful creatures as mounts. But that causes its own problems.

Ernir
2011-01-11, 11:39 AM
If it's a regular horse, it doesn't level up at all. It just stays the same. Animal Companions and Paladin Mounts gain extra "hit dice" as their master levels up, but normal animals don't. You need a feat or class feature to have that happen.

Greenish
2011-01-11, 11:59 AM
Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) gets you a scaling mount.

bokodasu
2011-01-11, 12:22 PM
On the one hand, they don't. We have a running joke in our group about the poor fighter who's allowed to get a free horse whenever he wants - it always dies in the first round anyway.

On the other hand, it's not expensive to buy things like dire crocodiles and elephants and triceratopses, and Ride is Ride, no matter what it is you're riding.

Greenish
2011-01-11, 02:32 PM
Then there are acquired templates, some of which add HD, such as Warbeast (MMII).

A warbeast tiger or bear, for example, is a great combatant at levels when buying one becomes economically feasible (625gp for either).

Thurbane
2011-01-11, 08:45 PM
Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) gets you a scaling mount.
This is the simplest way...

ajkkjjk52
2011-01-11, 09:49 PM
Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) gets you a scaling mount.


Then there are acquired templates, some of which add HD, such as Warbeast (MMII).

A warbeast tiger or bear, for example, is a great combatant at levels when buying one becomes economically feasible (625gp for either).

You seem to have missed the part about newbies.

OP, under normal conditions the answer is that no, mounts do not improve except for paladins. A ranger's animal companion improves, and if it's an appropriate size/shape can also be ridden. For this reason, few other characters use mount, unless the can get a dire crocodile with magical equipment or other options as described above.

Coidzor
2011-01-12, 02:00 AM
You seem to have missed the part about newbies. Hence the education by sharing the link and discussing the methods available.


OP, under normal conditions the answer is that no, mounts do not improve except for paladins. A ranger's animal companion improves, and if it's an appropriate size/shape can also be ridden.

Also, Druid's animal companion which makes the ranger's animal companion cry itself to sleep at night.

big teej
2011-01-13, 09:24 AM
I've a question

would it be ridiculously overpowered for a normal mount to "level" with its owner?

like increase its HD every time the owner does
or every other level?
or perhaps every third?

Coidzor
2011-01-13, 09:42 AM
I've a question

would it be ridiculously overpowered for a normal mount to "level" with its owner?

like increase its HD every time the owner does
or every other level?
or perhaps every third?

Well, they consider wild cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) worth a feat for gaining first 1 HD after the 1st three levels and then 2 HD/3 levels for the rest of the character's pre-Epic career. Along with some special abilities.

So nixing evasion, devotion, and improved evasion...

+1 HD/3 levels with nothing else is definitely not outclassing the feat. Nor is, I think, +1 HD/2 levels. +1 HD/level is more advancement than the Druid's animal companion gets (which is 2/3 all the way through).

I'd personally probably add some increased GP cost in the form of a ritual in order to get the mount's HD to be connected to one's own in that way.

Choco
2011-01-13, 10:22 AM
In my experience, "mounts leveling up" == "players buying new and better mounts every few levels". And after a certain level, mounts are really nothing but a burden to everyone except mounted chargers, so by the time no viable "level appropriate" mounts are available, they are not needed anyway.

That being said, the only time the group I am currently playing in uses mounts is if they have to travel a long distance quickly, and for some reason magic can't be used.

big teej
2011-01-17, 05:57 PM
Well, they consider wild cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) worth a feat for gaining first 1 HD after the 1st three levels and then 2 HD/3 levels for the rest of the character's pre-Epic career. Along with some special abilities.

So nixing evasion, devotion, and improved evasion...

+1 HD/3 levels with nothing else is definitely not outclassing the feat. Nor is, I think, +1 HD/2 levels. +1 HD/level is more advancement than the Druid's animal companion gets (which is 2/3 all the way through).

I'd personally probably add some increased GP cost in the form of a ritual in order to get the mount's HD to be connected to one's own in that way.

in that case, we'll be trying 1/2 levels

mounts may be sub-optimal, but I REALLY like the idea of being able to ride my landshark and eat people in the surprise round as a signature tactic. :smallbiggrin:

Coidzor
2011-01-17, 06:03 PM
Or maybe a HD-cap related to leadership on mounts but having a scaling GP cost for each added HD. Say, something like 10% of the gain in WBL to get to the level that is 2 levels above the HD value that it's being raised to.

I'm thinking bulettes are only sub-optimal in terms of places one can take them, though.

Mark Hall
2011-01-17, 09:33 PM
If your mount is not your animal companion, it does not level up in the game.

I tend to use some house rules which let you use NPC classes to level up animals conveniently.