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SwordChucks
2014-10-07, 11:10 PM
Hi playground,

I'm trying to homebrew up a setting I've had in my head for a while, but I'm pretty new to homebrew. My current challenge is trying to make a 20 level base class, for a modified D&D 3.5 setting, based around a dwarf paired with a griffon animal companion. If anyone has any ideas or examples for class abilities they would like to share it would help me greatly.

Currently the setting only uses core material that has been modified (condensing feats and skills, with the ultimate goal of replacing the PHB classes that are not tier 3 i.e. most of them), so combos that involve splat books won't work.

I would put what I have so far in a table but right now it would mostly be question marks so sorry in advance for the wall of text.


Calderians: Dwarves that lived on a plateau formed above a possibly active volcano, which due to an earthquake became a basin. The earthquake led to the discovery of rare materials in the sheer walls surrounding the city. The city is known for its adamantine and mithral as well as rare gemstones, particularly Calderian Rubies. The city is well defended by the difficulty in reaching it and the well trained guards: the griffon riders and the fortifiers.

Calderian racial traits:

+2 CON and +2 to either STR or WIS

Medium: as medium creatures calderians have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Calderian base land speed is 20 feet. However, calderians can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).

Darkvision: Calderians can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and calderians can function just fine with no light at all.

Stonecunning: This ability grants a calderian a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isnít stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A calderian who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Perception check as if he were actively searching, and a calderian can use the Perception skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A calderian can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up.

Weapon Familiarity: Calderians may treat weapons with "dwarven" in the name as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.

Stability: A calderian gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
+2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal.

Spell-like abilities: At will Ė Draw Fire: as a move action a calderian can create a 20ft burst at close range. Each opponent that fails a will save versus 10+caster level (caster level equal to HD) +CON bonus must attack the caster if able. If the subject is too far away to attack the caster, it moves closer. If the subject is unarmed it will try to arm its self the best it can before attacking. This effect lasts for 1+CON modifier rounds.

Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon.

Favored classes: Griffon Rider or Fortifier



Goal: Tier 3 melee/ranged

Proficiencies:
armor: light armor, light shields, and bucklers
weapons: all simple and martial weapons

Full BAB, Good fort and reflex saves

Large sized (takes up two squares instead of four) griffon animal companion with slight build (http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060420a). I'd like the griffon to be viable from 1st level and grow as you level without overshadowing the rider.

I think the class should promote reach weapons and ranged weapons but I'm not sure how to do that.

VoxRationis
2014-10-07, 11:36 PM
They should get bonuses to Escape Artist or Tumble; think how flexible someone with such short legs would have to be to try to mount a horse-sized creature.

SwordChucks
2014-10-07, 11:39 PM
I assume that the saddle would be designed for it :smalltongue:

The griffons are supposed to be smaller versions of wild griffons bred for use by the dwarves. I knew I left something out of the OP.

Extra Anchovies
2014-10-07, 11:53 PM
I feel like it would be easier to create a griffon-rider base class without the dwarf bit, fluff it as being primarily dwarves, and make some dwarf-only substitution levels and/or a prestige class. If you want, I could help out with that.

Also, I feel like a combat class should get full BAB. The Paladin gets a mount and full BAB and manages to be T5, so a T3 character should probably be fine with both.

SwordChucks
2014-10-08, 12:06 AM
I feel like it would be easier to create a griffon-rider base class without the dwarf bit, fluff it as being primarily dwarves, and make some dwarf-only substitution levels and/or a prestige class. If you want, I could help out with that.

The dwarf part isn't a prerequisite it's just they're the most common to take the class. No part of the class would need to be dwarf specific. The griffons being specifically bred for dwarves is there for flavor reasons but "over sized" griffons unsuitable for dwarves could be used for the other medium races. In world, the griffons live in the same mountain range as the dwarves so the dwarves snatched a few eggs to raise as guard animals/mounts.


Also, I feel like a combat class should get full BAB. The Paladin gets a mount and full BAB and manages to be T5, so a T3 character should probably be fine with both.

That's a good point, I'll update what I have.

toapat
2014-10-08, 01:21 AM
2 impossible goals here:

1: Griffons from first level: at first level, even with decent nerfs, they will outclass anything players can bring besides a an extreme optimization to level wizard.

2: Mount not overshadowing the PC: only wont happen if you have the warhorse situation paladins are natively stuck with.

SwordChucks
2014-10-08, 04:30 AM
2 impossible goals here:

1: Griffons from first level: at first level, even with decent nerfs, they will outclass anything players can bring besides a an extreme optimization to level wizard.

The goal is to create a tier 3 class. If I have to adjust numbers to bring the class down I'll do that. If there's a way to balance the mount's extra actions I would appreciate advice. I don't want to use the griffon from the monster manual as these are a smaller breed and a CR 4 creature tacked onto a level 1 PC would be nuts. If you're concerned about flight being available at such a low level do you have any ideas on how to make that less game breaking. Personally I was thinking of how raptorans get better at flying as they level.


2: Mount not overshadowing the PC: only wont happen if you have the warhorse situation paladins are natively stuck with.

Could you elaborate on this? I think I understand what you mean but I'm not sure. I'd like to get the mount to be roughly half of the class's overall power level. I'm not sure how much of a paladin's power comes from their mount (obviously a lot more in the case of uberchargers).

Shimeran
2014-10-08, 06:23 AM
For flight, you might try starting them with gliding (horizontal flight and diving, but limited ability to rise).

For the action economy, start them off using instinctive standard actions instead of player controlled ones. You should be able to phase the extra actions back in later, possibly by making the player give up on full attacking. Fluff it as the gryphons being unruly.

toapat
2014-10-08, 09:22 AM
The goal is to create a tier 3 class. If I have to adjust numbers to bring the class down I'll do that. If there's a way to balance the mount's extra actions I would appreciate advice. I don't want to use the griffon from the monster manual as these are a smaller breed and a CR 4 creature tacked onto a level 1 PC would be nuts. If you're concerned about flight being available at such a low level do you have any ideas on how to make that less game breaking. Personally I was thinking of how raptorans get better at flying as they level.



Could you elaborate on this? I think I understand what you mean but I'm not sure. I'd like to get the mount to be roughly half of the class's overall power level. I'm not sure how much of a paladin's power comes from their mount (obviously a lot more in the case of uberchargers).

mounts are one of the largest multipliers published. Theres a reason the lance is awesome with them, any lvl 2 can have a Warhorse + Lance and deal obscene damage as a standard action, Having a free one at lvl 1 is just that much stronger. Lances being 1H while one handed just helps at that too.


Mounts come mainly in 2 varieties: Underwhelmingly irrelevant (any Sovereign Glue based Mounts, such as warhorses), and Monsterously overpowered (Dragons). Gryphons and Wyverns are the only creatures which approach reasonable mounts for mid-late game but they fall on the underwhelming side, if only because the monsterously overpowered side is dragons and druids, The problem with giving a gryphon so early is that they are so far ahead of the curve relative to other creatures (even with nerfs) when you get them at lvl 1. However if you nerf them, then they have lategame scaling issues, which leads to the class falling appart later.

Seerow
2014-10-08, 10:42 AM
The problem with giving a gryphon so early is that they are so far ahead of the curve relative to other creatures (even with nerfs) when you get them at lvl 1. However if you nerf them, then they have lategame scaling issues, which leads to the class falling appart later.


So you make the mount scale in power with the Griffon Rider's class level. What's wrong with that?


Also, a high level mount doesn't need to be a ****ing dragon to be relevant. If it can fly/run with good maneuverability at a high speed, and is durable enough to survive a high level fight, it's already doing pretty well. If it has some way to contribute beyond the extra mobility it gives the Rider, so much the better.



Anyway OP: You said you are aiming for T3. How do you feel about magical effects in general? Offensively you can still make this a weapon based class, but how do you feel about the Griffon Rider gaining various forms of teleportation at high level while riding his griffin? Or the two of them gaining a passive miss chance a la blur/displacement? Like the way I see this working best is have the Griffon scale enough that it is powerful and useful, but then the class gains a bunch of special abilities that activate only while riding its bonded Griffon.

Also I do worry about the desire to focus on reach/ranged weapons, as that has the potential to make the mount less relevant except as a form of mobility. If what you want it for is primarily mobility while the character does everything, that's fine. But if you want the mount's combat ability itself to be relevant, you're going to want some emphasis placed on melee combat (or granting the mount reach somehow or another).

Extra Anchovies
2014-10-08, 12:48 PM
(any Sovereign Glue based Mounts, such as warhorses)

Sovereign Glue? What?


Also, a high level mount doesn't need to be a ****ing dragon to be relevant. If it can fly/run with good maneuverability at a high speed, and is durable enough to survive a high level fight, it's already doing pretty well. If it has some way to contribute beyond the extra mobility it gives the Rider, so much the better.

Exactly. Mounts only overshadow riders when they're brokenly powerful mounts (dragon and/or druid ally) and/or it's a supermount Paladin/Beastmaster/Wild Plains Outrider/Halfling Outrider build. The mount can be good enough to augment the rider's abilities without being irrelevant and without overshadowing the rider, the trick is in striking the right balance. We've already eliminated brokenly powerful mounts by requiring griffon riding, and we can prevent supermount stuff by having the griffon's advancement be class features, rather than stuff drawn from a level-based table.


Anyway OP: You said you are aiming for T3. How do you feel about magical effects in general? Offensively you can still make this a weapon based class, but how do you feel about the Griffon Rider gaining various forms of teleportation at high level while riding his griffin? Or the two of them gaining a passive miss chance a la blur/displacement? Like the way I see this working best is have the Griffon scale enough that it is powerful and useful, but then the class gains a bunch of special abilities that activate only while riding its bonded Griffon.

Miss chance is a good idea. Maybe miss chance = class level * 1.5, rounded down? Also possibly a morale bonus to attack/damage/saves for both griffon and rider when they're adjacent, are flanking the same creature, or the rider is mounted. Giving some benefits that apply when the rider is dismounted but still fighting with the griffon would improve the class's versatility. A few that spring to mind are:

Double the to-hit bonus for flanking
+1 to attack, damage, and saves per four class levels
When rolling initiative, the griffon and the rider roll separately; both of them act on the higher of the two initiative counts
bonuses to some skills (listen/spot, plus maybe survival when traveling together)

Seerow
2014-10-08, 01:41 PM
Miss chance is a good idea. Maybe miss chance = class level * 1.5, rounded down? Also possibly a morale bonus to attack/damage/saves for both griffon and rider when they're adjacent, are flanking the same creature, or the rider is mounted. Giving some benefits that apply when the rider is dismounted but still fighting with the griffon would improve the class's versatility. A few that spring to mind are:

Double the to-hit bonus for flanking
+1 to attack, damage, and saves per four class levels
When rolling initiative, the griffon and the rider roll separately; both of them act on the higher of the two initiative counts
bonuses to some skills (listen/spot, plus maybe survival when traveling together)


On this note: My recent Ranger Fix's Beast Mastery style included things like letting the animal companion move when you take a move action, take an AoO when you make an attack. Increasing synergy and providing extra action economy. Not sure how well that sort of thing interacts when you are mounted, but it's a consideration.

For the mounted combat aspect of things, bonuses like "When you and your mount both threaten a target, they are considered flanked" could be nice.

brian 333
2014-10-08, 02:41 PM
Level 1: Stableboy (equivalent to level 1 Ranger)
This character is learning from the ground up, (literally!) how to care for griffons and their harnesses. He must, in addition to cleaning the stables and caring for the leatherwork, train with the guards on a regular basis, and at least one hour per day on his days off.

Level 2: Groom (equivalent to level 2 Ranger)
This character is learning to actually care for the mounts under the tutelage of a seasoned rider, possibly one whose mount has died or who has retired from active service. He must keep the mounts in his charge clean and free of vermin, feed them, and report any illnesses or injuries he may detect to the veterinarian. He must continue his martial training.

Level 3: Apprentice (equivalent to level 3 Ranger)
This character begins his training as a potential rider, undergoing strenuous tests intended to weed out the clumsy and foolish. "Training Griffins" (barrels suspended by ropes with the saddlery mounted on it and manipulated by trainers,) become a part of the routine and the difficulty of remaining on-board and oriented grows more difficult as the trainers increase the complexity of the simulated maneuvers. At this level he must take Ride, (Griffin,) and train with a appropriate weapons such as shortbow or crossbow and flying lance.

Level 4: Griffin Handler (equivalent to level 4 Ranger)
Animal Handling skill becomes paramount at this stage of training as the young potential rider is given an egg to hatch, under the watchful eye of an elder Rider. The conditioning and training of the griffin is such that while it may allow grooms to handle it, it will obey only its true master. Thus, each egg is a treasure and any mishandling of the egg or its hatchling will result in the dishonor of the young potential rider. However, if the hatchling is successfully reared then the pair bond as companions, and upon completion of their training take their first flight.

Level 5: Griffin Rider (follows fighter progression hereafter for feats/skills/etc.
Animal Handling, (Griffin,) is always a class skill, as is Ride, (Griffin.) The Mounted Combat feats are available and may in fact be required by different levels.

If the PC begins at level 1 then he must be allowed to adventure as part of his training or he will never earn XP to progress. However, any time off from adventuring must be spent on the training and duties of his class and level.

There is a parallel path for Druids who become Griffon Riders: that of the Veterinarian. These dwarves learn to heal the injuries riders allow their mounts to suffer, and to a lesser degree learn to treat the riders as well. Depending on the percentage of vets to riders, they may be attached to units at the Flight level, (1 in 6 riders are Veterinarians,) Squadron level, (1 in 20 riders are Veterinarians,) the Wing level, (1 in 63 riders are Veterinarians,) or the Force level, (1 in 195 riders are Veterinarians.) Of course, elite units will have at least one Veterinarian no matter the ratio found elsewhere.

Given this setup, the organization of this type of unit would be:
3 griffons and riders are a Talon with the senior member being a corporal or sergeant
2 Talons are a Flight commanded by the senior corporal or sergeant
3 Flights are a Squadron led by an additional Lieutenant aided by a Squadron Sergeant or a Veterinarian
3 Squadrons are a Wing led by an additional Captain aided by his Wing Sergeant and a Veterinarian
3 Wings are a Force, led by an additional Captain Major aided by his Force Sergeant, Veterinarian, Standard Bearer/Signalman, and 2 Messengers/Orderlies

Support units for this organization are composed of older or less combat capable riders and their mounts, but if you get much more than 200 griffons in any one place it's going to be hard to keep enough horses to feed them all. Griffins are high-energy creatures which require a lot of food, (like birds,) so your typical griffon will eat a quarter of a horse a day.

Because of this and because of the vast territories a flying mount can cover, griffon rider units tend to be scattered in times of peace. However, when a threat materializes they can rapidly converge on the trouble and with advanced tactics and training, superior mobility, and audacity, to rapidly reduce the enemy's will and ability to fight.

brian 333
2014-10-08, 02:44 PM
Given my scenario and organization presented above, the typical adventurer/griffin rider will be a scout out riding the edges of civilization, dealing with any issues he can and reporting those he cannot handle himself. As a scout he will cultivate a group of adventurers to aid him in his goals of keeping an eye on the potential troubles afflicting his homelands.

SwordChucks
2014-10-08, 03:19 PM
Thank you all for the ideas and concerns so far. It's been a lot of help.

I don't mind giving magical abilities to the class, I was having trouble figuring out what abilities would help out the most. When you say teleportation do you mean Teleport (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/teleport.htm) or more like Dimension Door (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dimensionDoor.htm)?

The idea that it's a reach/ranged weapon class was so the rider and mount could attack at the same time (griffon fights an adjacent enemy while the rider fires at someone else, or the rider attacks from the mounts "back" square to hit the enemy in front of the griffon). Would something like the Short Haft feat help for this?

Seerow
2014-10-08, 03:31 PM
I don't mind giving magical abilities to the class, I was having trouble figuring out what abilities would help out the most. When you say teleportation do you mean Teleport (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/teleport.htm) or more like Dimension Door (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/dimensionDoor.htm)?

I was thinking both, at different levels. I figured you'd have a big focus on mobility, and an obvious high level extrapolation of that is being able to get wherever you want to go very quickly.


The idea that it's a reach/ranged weapon class was so the rider and mount could attack at the same time (griffon fights an adjacent enemy while the rider fires at someone else, or the rider attacks from the mounts "back" square to hit the enemy in front of the griffon). Would something like the Short Haft feat help for this?

In that case what happens when you have a single enemy, or enemies don't position themselves well for your griffon to hit one while you hit the other? Short Haft, or simply having a flexible reach weapon, would help with that.

SwordChucks
2014-10-08, 04:52 PM
I was thinking both, at different levels. I figured you'd have a big focus on mobility, and an obvious high level extrapolation of that is being able to get wherever you want to go very quickly.

Long range teleportation seems a bit much considering you can already fly. How about an increased overland movement speed, like 100ft/move action when not in combat? Takes longer, but still gets you there way faster than walking and could still be used with Run. Short range teleports would be harder to explain fluff-wise but are too helpful to pass up.


In that case what happens when you have a single enemy, or enemies don't position themselves well for your griffon to hit one while you hit the other? Short Haft, or simply having a flexible reach weapon, would help with that.

Draw a different weapon or re-position using your mount's increased mobility would be my suggestion. The class wouldn't require the player to use reach/ranged weapons but I wouldn't mind incentivising players to use them when possible. How would you handle that?

Also if you could provide a link to your ranger fix I'd love to have a look and hey free plug for the work you've done.

SwordChucks
2014-10-08, 05:11 PM
Miss chance is a good idea. Maybe miss chance = class level * 1.5, rounded down?

I went ahead and made a table (in word) for this using your suggestion. I've never made a table in forum though so I hope this works.
(Edit: Thank you ChristianSt (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?341034-table-s-in-the-Playground-All-you-want-to-know-about-the-table-code) for an awesome guide.)




Level
Miss Chance %


1
1%


2
3%


3
4%


4
6%


5
7%


6
9%


7
10%


8
12%


9
13%


10
15%


11
16%


12
18%


13
19%


14
21%


15
22%


16
24%


17
25%


18
27%


19
28%


20
30%




When should a griffon rider be gaining this miss chance? Whenever you're mounted or maybe whenever you're mounted and in flight? Also, would you say these percentages are too high, to low, or on the money for the levels they appear at?

Seerow
2014-10-08, 05:19 PM
Long range teleportation seems a bit much considering you can already fly. How about an increased overland movement speed, like 100ft/move action when not in combat? Takes longer, but still gets you there way faster than walking and could still be used with Run. Short range teleports would be harder to explain fluff-wise but are too helpful to pass up.

I'd expect it to get faster than that by high level, but yeah something like that could work. If you're worried about the teleporting being explicitly supernatural (which is why I initially asked about magic), then you could make short range teleports still require line of sight, which prevents teleporting through walls and could be fluffed as really fast movement.



Draw a different weapon or re-position using your mount's increased mobility would be my suggestion. The class wouldn't require the player to use reach/ranged weapons but I wouldn't mind incentivising players to use them when possible. How would you handle that?

I'd probably make them favor a lance or similar weapons (favored mounted weapons) and give them a special ability at some point that lets them use a lance on adjacent enemies while mounted. Requiring back up weapons sucks (weapons are stupid expensive), so if the class is going to favor a weapon type at all, the weapon type chosen should be versatile enough to fit the vast majority of combat situations.


Also if you could provide a link to your ranger fix I'd love to have a look and hey free plug for the work you've done.

Here you go: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?375449-The-Ranger-Revitalized




Edit: I'd bump that miss chance to *2.5 (so it caps at 50%) and have it come online somewhere between level 6 and 10. (10 means it starts out at 25% miss chance which seems to work).

Extra Anchovies
2014-10-08, 05:19 PM
I went ahead and made a table (in word) for this using your suggestion. I've never made a table in forum though so I hope this works.
(Edit: Thank you ChristianSt (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?341034-table-s-in-the-Playground-All-you-want-to-know-about-the-table-code) for an awesome guide.)




Level
Miss Chance %


1
1%


2
3%


3
4%


4
6%


5
7%


6
9%


7
10%


8
12%


9
13%


10
15%


11
16%


12
18%


13
19%


14
21%


15
22%


16
24%


17
25%


18
27%


19
28%


20
30%




When should a griffon rider be gaining this miss chance? Whenever you're mounted or maybe whenever you're mounted and in flight? Also, would you say these percentages are too high, to low, or on the money for the levels they appear at?

Mounted whenever the griffon moved ≥ its speed that turn (i.e. a full single move, or a double move, but not just scooting 10 feet forward), I'd say.

SwordChucks
2014-10-08, 06:07 PM
Mounted whenever the griffon moved ≥ its speed that turn (i.e. a full single move, or a double move, but not just scooting 10 feet forward), I'd say.

Sounds great. I'll call it "Do a Barrel Roll" for now :smallbiggrin:



you could make short range teleports still require line of sight, which prevents teleporting through walls and could be fluffed as really fast movement.

I'd like to limit long range teleportation in general for this game. Line of sight sounds great, it would help against grapples and nets. Maybe I should make the teleport an ability of the griffon when they reach a certain HD and say they're like blink dogs.


I'd probably make them favor a lance or similar weapons (favored mounted weapons) and give them a special ability at some point that lets them use a lance on adjacent enemies while mounted. Requiring back up weapons sucks (weapons are stupid expensive), so if the class is going to favor a weapon type at all, the weapon type chosen should be versatile enough to fit the vast majority of combat situations.

Back up weapons do suck. I like your solution but I'll extend it to all of the reach weapons so the guy that wants to use a trident or longspear doesn't get left out.


Edit: I'd bump that miss chance to *2.5 (so it caps at 50%) and have it come online somewhere between level 6 and 10. (10 means it starts out at 25% miss chance which seems to work).

I like this too, I'll start it at 6th. I'll try to make a progression using all of the ideas so far in Word then when I have a bit I'll post it here. Feel free to throw more suggestions my way while I'm working on this.

(Edit: With the miss chance set to Lvl*2.5 , every even level the %chance is a multiple of 5. It should make it easier to remember if it increases at those levels instead of every level. 15% at 6th, 20% at 8th, and so on.)

Extra Anchovies
2014-10-08, 06:41 PM
I'd like to limit long range teleportation in general for this game. Line of sight sounds great, it would help against grapples and nets. Maybe I should make the teleport an ability of the griffon when they reach a certain HD and say they're like blink dogs.

Maybe 1/week Teleport to a location they've already visited? A little bit of magic would be a fun thing to add at the higher levels.

toapat
2014-10-08, 07:09 PM
Also, a high level mount doesn't need to be a ****ing dragon to be relevant. If it can fly/run with good maneuverability at a high speed, and is durable enough to survive a high level fight, it's already doing pretty well. If it has some way to contribute beyond the extra mobility it gives the Rider, so much the better.

I wasnt calling Dragons good mounts balance wise, i was calling them excessively overpowered. the problem is trying to get the scaling right for all 20 levels is basically a trap.


Sovereign Glue? What?

Sovereign Glue is made by magically empowering Hide glue, which is made from a variety of livestock waste products, And horses.

Shimeran
2014-10-10, 12:46 PM
Hmm.. when you think about it, griffons are the fusion of the king of beasts (lion) and a king of the air (eagle). Why play off those symbolic ties? Maybe give them some king of "regal might" ability at higher levels. It's default function might work like Freedom of Movement to shake off bonds, but you could also use it to help break through barriers between you and your target. After all, "what puny pile of rubble would dare defy a lord of two domains!" :smallsmile:

I figure something like that would cover a lot of the same functionality as a short range teleport while playing of the gryphon's nature.

Heck, if you wanted to you could pad out the abilities of an "exalted" griffon by drawing on the symbolic and mythologic ties a bit. For example, a quick wikipedia run gives us: "According to Stephen Friar's New Dictionary of Heraldry, a griffin's claw was believed to have medicinal properties and one of its feathers could restore sight to the blind. Goblets fashioned from griffin claws (actually antelope horns) and griffin eggs (actually ostrich eggs) were highly prized in medieval European courts." Giving the creature some thematically appropriate supernatural abilities could certainly work.

I've got no problem with adding teleports, but if you're making a class specifically around griffons, why not tie into the lore a bit.

In terms of balancing this out, I'd be tempted to say just have them start with a fledgeling and have it grow to maturity with the rider. Maybe add some fluff about the rider learning special charms and techniques that promote growth and amplify the creatures own natural qualities. Then you can have a nice fledgling->mature->exalted progression going.

SwordChucks
2014-10-10, 07:48 PM
Snip

These are some great suggestions. I was going to just make a new breed of "warp Griffons" but I think I prefer the idea of your bird kool-aid manning through walls. Also The exalted or lordly aspect of griffons might make for a great prestige class if I can't work it in to my current concept. Thanks a bunch.

I've all most finished writing up the level progression and animal companion progression. When I have them done I'll post them here so everyone can help refine it. Should be Monday if not sooner.

brian 333
2014-10-12, 03:17 PM
I'd go with the various classes Riders might come from as the best way to progress.

Fighters= long on power, short on finesse. discipline and tactics
Rangers= good power, some finesse. great scouting
Rogues= long on finesse, short on power. great infiltration/spying
Clerics= long on power, short on finesse. morale and healing
Druids= some power, good finesse. morale and healing
Paladins= long on power, short on finesse. leadership and morale
Monks= some power, long on finesse. precision attacks
Barbarians= all power, no finesse. wilderness survival and foraging
Wizards= balanced power and finesse. ranged attack and unit support

This way you have very distinct skills which can be brought to bear in cooperative tactics. Give the wizards the teleporting ability, the paladins the heraldic abilities, etc. You could even have the griffons sport different coats to reflect their attributes, such that the black griffins will be scout-griffins, lighter and faster than the others, while the golden ones are larger and more noble in bearing and more suited to a paladin's needs.

Rangers and Druids should be able to treat their mounts as 'companions' while the wizard will have his as a 'familiar' and the paladin's mount will, of course, be his griffin.

Extra Anchovies
2014-10-12, 03:38 PM
I'd go with the various classes Riders might come from as the best way to progress.

Fighters= long on power, short on finesse. discipline and tactics
Rangers= good power, some finesse. great scouting
Rogues= long on finesse, short on power. great infiltration/spying
Clerics= long on power, short on finesse. morale and healing
Druids= some power, good finesse. morale and healing
Paladins= long on power, short on finesse. leadership and morale
Monks= some power, long on finesse. precision attacks
Barbarians= all power, no finesse. wilderness survival and foraging
Wizards= balanced power and finesse. ranged attack and unit support

This way you have very distinct skills which can be brought to bear in cooperative tactics. Give the wizards the teleporting ability, the paladins the heraldic abilities, etc. You could even have the griffons sport different coats to reflect their attributes, such that the black griffins will be scout-griffins, lighter and faster than the others, while the golden ones are larger and more noble in bearing and more suited to a paladin's needs.

Rangers and Druids should be able to treat their mounts as 'companions' while the wizard will have his as a 'familiar' and the paladin's mount will, of course, be his griffin.

Hm. That's an interesting idea for a sort of modular prestige class, but OP's stated goal is for a base class. Maybe a compromise, and make a 15-level Prestige Griffon Rider?

SwordChucks
2014-10-12, 09:26 PM
Snip

While it wouldn't fit in the game I'm trying to brew I do like the concept of a modular prestige class sort of like the Mythic Exemplar from Complete Champion.

If anyone is reading this wondering where the level progressions are that I mentioned, I had a 13 hour poweroutage that's put a damper on my original timeline. I do have the progressions nearly complete though so it'll mostly be me trying to get everything on to a table here.

The wording of the abilities isn't great and the names are jokey placeholders but thanks to the suggestions, I think I have a decent start of a class.

SwordChucks
2014-10-13, 06:02 PM
Things to remember:
I am using a condensed skill list. If you want to use this class without using the condensed skills, use the ranger's skill list
I'm using updated feats similar to Grod the Giant's 3.5 fix, so Weapon Focus gets better as you level.
This is my first base class. It's gonna suck.
Levels 17, 19, and 20 aren't very interesting. Any ideas?



Here's a lot of text.



Griffon Rider



Level
BAB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special


1
+1
+2
+2
+0
Griffon Companion


2
+2
+3
+3
+0
Eagle Eye


3
+3
+3
+3
+1
Got Your Back:+1


4
+4
+4
+4
+1
Wingman:+1


5
+5
+4
+4
+1
Fly Me Closer!


6
+6/+1
+5
+5
+2
Barrel Roll: 15%, Got Your Back:+2


7
+7/+2
+5
+5
+2
Up To Speed


8
+8/+3
+6
+6
+2
Barrel Roll: 20%, Wingman:+2


9
+9/+4
+6
+6
+3
Wherever I May Roam: 1/week, Got Your Back:+3


10
+10/+5
+7
+7
+3
Barrel Roll: 25%


11
+11/+6/+1
+7
+7
+3
Griffon Growth: 1/day


12
+12/+7/+2
+8
+8
+4
Barrel Roll: 30%, Got Your Back:+4, Wingman:+3


13
+13/+8/+3
+8
+8
+4
Double Tap


14
+14/+9/+4
+9
+9
+4
Barrel Roll: 35%


15
+15/+10/+5
+9
+9
+5
Got Your Back: +5, Griffon Growth: 2/day


16
+16/+11/+6/+1
+10
+10
+5
Barrel Roll: 40%, Wingman:+4


17
+17/+12/+7/+2
+10
+10
+5
Bigger is Better


18
+18/+13/+8/+3
+11
+11
+6
Barrel Roll: 45%, Got Your Back:+6


19
+19/+14/+9/+4
+11
+11
+6
Griffon Growth: 3/day


20
+20/+15/+10/+5
+12
+12
+6
Barrel Roll: 50%



Class skills: Acrobatics, athletics, craft, handle animal, heal, knowledge: dungeoneering, knowledge: geography, knowledge: nature, perception, profession, ride, stealth, survival

Skill points at 1st level: (4+int mod)x4

Skill points at each additional level: 4+int mod

Hit Die: d10

Griffon Companion: At 1st level the Griffon Rider gains the service of a Warp Griffon. As the Griffon Rider advances in level, the griffonís power increases as shown on the table below. If the Griffon Companion perishes the Griffon Rider can obtain a new companion by spending 24 hours meditating under the open sky.

Eagle Eye: Beginning at 2nd level, whenever the Griffon Rider is adjacent to or mounted on their Griffon Companion both gain a +3 circumstance bonus to perception checks.

Got Your Back: Beginning at 3rd level, while the Griffon Rider is mounted on their Griffon Companion, both gain a +1 morale bonus to all saving throws. These bonuses increase by +1 at levels 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18.

Wingman: Beginning at 4th level, when the Griffon Rider and their Griffon Companion both threaten the same enemy, the rider and griffon are considered to be flanking that enemy and both gain a +1 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls against that enemy. These bonuses increase by +1 at levels 8, 12, 16, and 20.

Fly Me Closer!: Beginning at 5th level, while mounted and using a reach weapon the Griffon Rider threatens each enemy within its reach.

Do A Barrel Roll: At 6th level the Griffon Rider and their Griffon Companion become harder to hit. When the Griffon Rider is mounted on their Griffon Companion and they fly a distance equal to or greater than the Griffon Companionís fly speed both gain a 15% miss chance. Every even level after 6th the miss chance increases by 5%.

Up to Speed: Beginning at 7th level, when rolling for initiative the Griffon Rider may roll using the Griffon Riderís initiative modifier and again using their Griffon Companionís initiative modifier. The Griffon Rider and their Griffon Companion use the higher total.

Wherever I May Roam: Beginning at 9th level the Griffon Rider may use Teleport, as the spell (caster level equal to levels in Griffon Rider), once per week while mounted on their Griffon Companion. The Griffon Rider may only teleport to an area they have visited before.

Griffon Growth: Beginning at 11th level, a Griffon Rider may cast Griffon Growth (as Animal Growth at caster level 4th, but only targets the Griffon Companion) on their Griffon Companion once per day. You may use Griffon Growth once more per day at 15th level and an additional once per day at 19th level.

Double Tap: Beginning at 13th level, the Griffon Rider may, as a full round action, have their Griffon Companion move a distance up to their movement speed. At any point during this movement the Griffon Rider and their Griffon Companion may each make one attack at their highest base attack bonus with the benefits of a charge attack.

Bigger is Better: Beginning at 17th level, when a spell or ability increases the size of the Griffon Riderís Griffon Companion the Griffon Rider may also increase in size for the duration of the effect.




Class Level
Bonus HD
Natural Armor
Str/Dex Adjustment
Special


1
+0
+2
+0
Slight Build, Darkvison 60ft, Lowlight Vison, Scent, Weapon Focus (bite)


2-3
+1
+2
+1
Wing-aided Movement, Gliding, Claw Attack (1d6)


4-5
+2
+4
+2
Fly Speed: 50ft


6-7
+3
+4
+3
Second Claw Attack (1d6), Multiattack


8-9
+4
+6
+4
Fly Speed: 65ft, Improved Bite (2d6)


10-11
+5
+6
+5
Oh Yeah!: 1/encounter


12-13
+6
+8
+6
Pounce, Rake, Fly Speed: 80ft


14-15
+7
+8
+7
Oh Yeah!: 2/encounter


16-17
+8
+10
+8
Fly Speed: 95ft


18-19
+9
+10
+9
Oh Yeah!: 3/encounter


20
+10
+12
+10
Fly Speed: 110ft




Oh Yeah!: Beginning at 10th level a Griffon Riderís Griffon Companion can slip free of bonds and break through cover separating it from its prey. As a standard action once per encounter, the Griffon Companion may act as though under the effects of Freedom of Movement and as though its natural weapons were adamantine until the end of turn. In addition the Griffon Companion can move up to 60ft in a straight line, and make sunder attempts against any barriers it encounters. If the Griffon Companion fails a sunder attempt its movement ends. You may use Oh Yeah! Once more per encounter at 14th level and an additional once per encounter at 18th level.

Griffon
Large Magical Beast
1d10+3 (8)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 13 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +2 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+1
Attack: Bite +4 (1d6+4)
Full Attack: Bite +4 (1d6+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Slight Build, Darkvision 60ft, lowlight vision, scent
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: +7 athletics, +5 perception
Feats: Weapon Focus (bite)
Challenge Rating: 2ish


Griffon
Large Magical Beast
11d10+33 (93)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 30 ft., Fly 110 ft.
Armor Class: 28 (-1 size, +7 Dex, +12 natural), touch 16, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+23
Attack: Bite +22 (2d6+11)
Full Attack: Bite +22 (2d6+11), 2 Claws +20 (1d6+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Pounce, rake, Oh Yeah!
Special Qualities: Slight Build, Darkvision 60ft, lowlight vision, scent, wing-aided movement, gliding
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +14, Will +3
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 24, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: +22 athletics, +5 perception
Feats: Weapon Focus (bite), Multiattack,
CR: 9-10

Extra Anchovies
2014-10-13, 07:25 PM
That looks pretty good. Critiques:

Double Tap should be a full-round action that also allows the Griffon to take a single move action, and the two attacks are made at any point during the move and gain the benefit of a charge (bonus to-hit, increased damage with a lance, etc).

Dead levels later on = bad. Also late-acquired 1/day abilities usually = bad. I recommend giving another Griffon Growth use at 15th and 19th levels, and at 17th level have the Griffon Growth ability affect the rider as well.

SwordChucks
2014-10-13, 08:56 PM
Double Tap should be a full-round action that also allows the Griffon to take a single move action, and the two attacks are made at any point during the move and gain the benefit of a charge (bonus to-hit, increased damage with a lance, etc).

Dead levels later on = bad. Also late-acquired 1/day abilities usually = bad. I recommend giving another Griffon Growth use at 15th and 19th levels, and at 17th level have the Griffon Growth ability affect the rider as well.

Good points, I'll edit in a bit. I realized while making this that later prime numbered levels (i.e. 17 and 19) are going to be missed by most "gain a bonus every X number of levels" abilities. 20th level is still pretty barren.

How's the wording? Is it easy to understand or are there any spots that need rewording?