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Tokiko Mima
2007-09-06, 08:17 PM
Hi folks reading this!

I have a question, or actually I'm looking for ideas. I'm helping someone build a character for a campaign I'm in. I have my character all set, but the friend I'm helping wanted a Paladin. His conditions were that his character be a human Paladin, and that the mount flies and is is relatively useful most of the time. Since the campaign starts at level 13, and I own the Draconomicon, I suggested a dragon mount. Long story short, it didn't work out because that's too low a level for any true dragons mountable by a Medium sized human to be in range.

So the DM suggested I convert the Dragon Steed Feat into Leadership, and select a flying mount as a cohort. I'm not sure this is entirely by the rules, but he included that the mount I choose will count as a special mount for the Paladin, and I can include all the goodies from special mount class feature on the flying mount.

So, I looked through and picked a griffon. Large mount, tough in battle, great for charging in with it's Pounce and Rake features, so I figured I was set. Then I applied the Paladin stuff to the griffon and discovered that griffins... tend to get bigger if you give them 6 more HD. They become Huge in fact, which makes them strong enough to lift an entire party of PC's and an elephant with room to spare (I got 34 Str with all the adjustments using the Elite Array).

While it makes it a killing machine, it's going to be tough to get through your average dungeon crawl. Large size would probably be ok, but Huge is a bit much. So I was wondering, is there any magic item I could buy to shrink or shapeshift a Huge Griffon into a more travel sized form? Something perhaps that could be used many times per day? I guess what I want is a Pokť Ball, pardon the reference, but I'm up for anything that keep the power of a monster bird-o-death and still lets you bring him along for the fun.

BRC
2007-09-06, 08:21 PM
Bribe the DM with pizza to forget that you have your mount with you until the moment you need it.

Vonriel
2007-09-06, 08:22 PM
You could always look into a permanent Reduce Animal spell. I assume that since it functions like a Reduce Person spell that only affects animals, it can also be made permanent.

If I'm wrong, bribe the DM with pizza so he'll make it right. DM handwaving > book rules. :smallwink:

Dr. Weasel
2007-09-06, 09:01 PM
The problem is that Griffons don't count as animals so you'll be needing the pizza anyway.

I also believe that bonus Hit Dice don't actually add to a mount's size as they don't even advance them as Magical Beasts (d10 hit dice and good base attack), but as animals (d8s and 3/4 BA)

Tokiko Mima
2007-09-06, 09:21 PM
I also believe that bonus Hit Dice don't actually add to a mount's size as they don't even advance them as Magical Beasts (d10 hit dice and good base attack), but as animals (d8s and 3/4 BA)

I thought so too at first, but I think that the PHB is making a blanket assumption that your mount is an animal (a warhorse or pony, likely) and making sure you don't mix in magical beast HD. How does it make sense to give a magical beast animal hit die? Does it become an abberation, with animal parts sticking out of a griffons body? :smalltongue:

Korias
2007-09-06, 09:26 PM
Give the Griffon a magical item of "Reduce Monster". There. You now have a smaller creature.

Dr. Weasel
2007-09-06, 09:35 PM
I thought so too at first, but I think that the PHB is making a blanket assumption that your mount is an animal (a warhorse or pony, likely) and making sure you don't mix in magical beast HD. How does it make sense to give a magical beast animal hit die? Does it become an abberation, with animal parts sticking out of a griffons body?
All Paladin Mounts count as Magical Beasts:

A paladinís mount is treated as a magical beast, not an animal, for the purpose of all effects that depend on its type (though it retains an animalís HD, base attack bonus, saves, skill points, and feats).

RS14
2007-09-06, 10:11 PM
Bonus HD do not increase the size of animal companions or mounts.

From the FAQ:

An animal companion doesnít get bigger when it adds extra Hit Dice for the masterís levels. The advancement entries for creatures, and the rules for advancing monsters, refer to unusually powerful specimens that are simply tougher (and perhaps bigger) than normal for their kinds.

The animal companion rulesóor, for that matter, pretty much any other effect that grants a creature bonus Hit Diceódonít use the monster improvement rules presented in Chapter 4 of the Monster Manual.

Tokiko Mima
2007-09-06, 10:24 PM
All Paladin Mounts count as Magical Beasts

Quite right, just as unarmed strike counts as a natural attack for the purposes of spells which only effect natural weapons, even though unarmed Strike is actually NOT a natural weapon at all. It's iterative and allows multiple attacks for a high BAB, whereas natural weapons do not..

Conversely, Paladin Mounts are treated as animals for all important advancement purposes. They gain Hit Dice, Save, skills, Feats, BAB as if they were an animal. However, if you you must treat them as Magical Beasts for all effects that target them. So you have an animal you have to treat as a magical beast.

The rules are a little wonky though, since the moment a paladin's mount gains intelligence greater than 2 it should have converted automatically to magical beast HD. The reason it is still treated as an animal is simply that the rules you quoted keep it that way.

Chronos
2007-09-06, 11:15 PM
If it helps, think of "Paladin's mount" as like a class that the mount automatically gains levels in. Just as characters don't get bigger from gaining class levels, so a paladin's mount doesn't get bigger from the paladin levelling up.

skywalker
2007-09-06, 11:17 PM
Did you not see the Dragonnel in the Draconomicon?

I'm also partial to the drakkensteed, which is in dragon magic, I believe. That one's cool. It looks much more like a dragon than the lame dragonnel.

You're also really, really close to being able to have a dragon as your mount. You can pick up a dragon that can carry you while flying as a cohort at level 14-16, IIRC(It's late.)

Vonriel
2007-09-07, 12:55 AM
Hah, quite right, I completely forgot that the griffon wasn't an animal. Imagination at work, give it some room...

kpenguin
2007-09-07, 04:51 AM
How about a quetzalcoatlus? You can qualify for getting one at level 12 and it's HUGE.

Also, you don't really need to shrink your mount for dungeon crawls since you can just dismiss it when needed.