View Full Version : Help with my mounted fighter build.

01-26-2010, 02:16 PM
Hey everyone good news my sorcerer died!

Now I get to re-roll and I'm trying to build a mounted character, one who focuses on ride by attacks and the spiked chain.

I'm stuck on what feats to pick as a fighter, or if there is a better prestige class I should be looking at.

I'm level 9 so I have a lot of feats to work with.

I know I want all of the mounted combat feats, improved initiative, and exotic weapon specialization with the spiked chain.

01-26-2010, 06:46 PM
Take 3 lvls fighter and then 5 lvls paladin to get a superior mount and then the 9th lvl as a Cavalier (Complete Warrior) and you're set.
Feats you absolutely need are: Mounted Combat, Spirited Charge and Ride-by-Attack. I also like Trample. Power Attack is always great as a frontline fighter, and you should have Weapon Focus. Initiative is not your biggest problem as a mounted character, so I would skip Improved Initiative if I were you.

I do not see why you want the spiked chain besides that it has a cool and nasty feel to it, and it will cost you a feat. You are going to use a lance if you are to make the most of this character.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Also you want to make sure your character is effective when not mounted as you will inevitably have to dismount sometimes to raid dungeons and rescue damsels in distress...

01-27-2010, 07:07 AM
While spiked chain is nice, I agree with d- -b and say go with a lance, because a spiked chain tends to be better used by a ground based fighter type in my opinion.

01-27-2010, 10:35 AM
Improved Initiative may be worth it for a charger, but only if you have no other feats to spend - unlikely! I also highly, highly recommend using a lance as well. The lack of close range reach isn't a problem, and gaining that extra damage multiplier is huge. The spiked chain also only really works well if you get the tripping feat tree, which is hard to do when you're mounted.

Spirited Charge and Power Attack are the core of your experience. Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization help a lot, and so should be grabbed if possible. Improved Critical is also a damn nice feat, as scoring x5 hits on a charge when you crit is ridiculous.

Cavalier is a pretty decent PrC. Remember that paladin levels aren't your only option for special mounts, though! Pegasi can be bought, and are amazingly fast and come with useful spell-like abilities. You can also take the Leadership feat and grab a special advanced pegasus or similiar creature. If you are unable to get a flying mount at your level, be sure to get a decent bow and a moderate dexterity score. By level 9, you *need* to be able to deal with a swarm of manticores on your own.

Finally, consider playing a halfling as well. Halflings give up some minor damage (only a -2 damage), but gain +2 AC, +1 to all saves (with another +1 to reflex and +2 vs fear), their movement penalties are negated due to being mounted, and they also have a much wider variety of mounts to choose from, including many that can fit in the tight spaces of a dungeon corridor.

01-28-2010, 03:01 AM
I hate mounted haflings... it feels like a child is leading the charge.

-but yes, I concede that if you're going to be mounted a hafling or a gnome character is a great tradeoff and should be considered.

01-29-2010, 08:19 AM
Take 3 lvls fighter and then 5 lvls paladin Why would anyone ever take an odd number of Fighter levels? A third level of fighter gets you absolutely nothing, while a 6th lvl of paladin offers a couple of marginal benefits like remove disease 1/week, a 1st lvl spell. Just wondering.

Also, if you're going the halfling route, by all means consider the Strongheart variety from FR if the DM will allow it. They get a bonus feat instead of the (I think) save bonus. Which is much better IMHO. I mean would you ever spend a feat on a mere save bonus? They're basically like humans, only better. You're not playing with multiclassing penalties though, are you? Because if you are, then human is still the best bet so that your base classes don't all have to be within a level of each other.

01-30-2010, 01:45 AM
Oh- I just thought of this- forget that 6th Paladin/3rd Fighter lvl level and consider throwing in a level of Crusader from the Tome of Battle instead. If the DM allows that rulebook, anyway. Take that class as late as possible, because that will allow you to get higher lvl maneuvers from it. Crusader also happens to be quite thematically compatable with the paladin/cavalier archetype.

The 5 maneuvers and 1 stance that you get from that lvl in crusader are really nice. Especially considering that a couple of the White Raven powers that you'll have access to just happen to be charging-based if I remember correctly. The Ability to delay a little damage for a round and use it to get a little attack and damage bonus before you lose the hit points is a nice little side benefit too.

01-30-2010, 03:56 AM
Why would anyone ever take an odd number of Fighter levels? A third level of fighter gets you absolutely nothing, while a 6th lvl of paladin offers a couple of marginal benefits like remove disease 1/week, a 1st lvl spell. Just wondering.

I was thinking with my ass, that why I wanted 3 levels of Fighter:lol:. Of course you're right: Fighter levels are taken for feats and in this build 2 levels of Fighter is all that makes sense.

I see why you would want one or more Crusader levels for a Paladin, but I tend to think that if you only take 1 or 2 levels you take them for the stances, but these are not useable when mounted. The other problem is with taking them late as it strictly speaking requires multiclassing the Paladin.
I myself play a Forgotten Realms campaign where Paladins of certain deities are allowed to multiclass, but if this is not the case then I would just take that 6th. level as a Paladin.

01-30-2010, 05:31 AM
Right! Never having actually played a Paladin, I forgot about the Paladin multiclassing thing. I guess I've always found Lawful Good to be boring and for the most part self-contradictory. Though I 'd like to one day play a Paladin who slowly 'falls from grace' due to the internal contradictions of his doctrine and becomes a blackguard while serving what seems to him to be the same worldview that he had started out with. Classic Knight Templar (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightTemplar) thing. But that's neither here nor there.

Even if stances cannot be used while mounted, something like Martial Spirit can (unless the DM thinks that it's cheesy) be used to heal your allies back to health when out of combat at a respectable speed. That's nothing to shake a stick at, and it sure as #$%& beats the excrement out of "lay on hands," even if it happens to bruise your party a bit in the process ;)
Add to this the fact that two Crusader lvls will add your CHA to your will saves- AGAIN!!!

However, I'm not sure if using ToB stances while mounted is against the rules as written. Though the concept of being in a special combat stance while sitting on a horse might seem absurd at first glance, many stances seem to make as much- if not more- sense mounted than on foot. Bolstering Voice and Leading The Charge come to mind. Remember- not all stances are written as a literal placement of arms and feet. A number of them represent supernatural abilities and styles of military leadership.

But back to the multiclassing problems of the Paladin. If I remember correctly, you do not lose Paladin powers for multiclassing, but rather simply lose the privilege to advance as a Paladin in the future. But I ask you this: why take Paladin levels at all beyond the fifth? The Crusader and the Paladin are both attempts at implementing the same exact archetype but from different mechanical angles. Further Paladin levels slowly improve your mount, but if you look at the versatile abilities offered by advancing as a Crusader, a faster spell resistant mount over NINE LEVELS pales in comparison. At the very least, a crusader level or two defiantly takes care of the "effective when not mounted" issue. Even if you prefer to take mostly Paladin levels, one or two crusader levels might be fun to take anyway, and there is a very good argument to be made for modifying the rules slightly to allow this.

If advancing as a Paladin is important to you, it might not hurt to make the argument to your DM that it might make sense to waive the Paladin multiclassing restrictions as far as crusader lvls are concerned since the Lawfull Good crusader and the paladin actually represent the same exact archetype. The idea that a Lawful Good Paladin of Heironeous fails to pursue her calling "to the exclusion of all other careers" (PHB) if she becomes a Lawful Good Crusader of Heironeous does not pass the laugh test unless Heironeous has somehow added Semantics and Meta Gaming to his portfolio. If your DM has already dropped the general multiclassing penalties (if s/he hasn't, then I'd suggest reevaluating the 2/5+x/1+x split between your base classes that we've been suggesting unless you're playing a human or half-elf) s/he might be extra open to this idea.

If your DM disagrees, that's that. But I think that it's a legitimate idea to raise once. The fact that you are interested in taking any Paladin levels at all (and certainly the fact that you're going above and beyond the cursory 2 level dip for the saves) shows that you're no munchkin. The things that I'm suggesting arn't meant to 'break' the game so much as to give your character a fun and versatile array of abilities that help frame him as a mounted holy knight blessed with divine powers of healing and retribution and an effective battlefield commander- qualities that define the Paladin archetype.

P.S. I almost forgot- any build that does not get full Paladin levels might well benefit from alternate class features that forgo spellcasting (which is seriously crippled by multiclassing anyway, and I don't believe that the Cavalier levels advance it) in exchange for other benefits. Holy Warrior from Complete Champion and Paladin Without Spellcasting from Complete Warrior might be worth a look-see.

01-30-2010, 08:33 PM
If you're going to take Crusader levels... why not just be a pure Crusader? The class is pretty good on its own, and the White Raven abilities are extremely, extremely nasty when charging.

01-30-2010, 09:51 PM
The two fighter levels provide a good source of mounted combat feats. And the Cavalier is a fine prestige class for primarily mounted warriors. While I'm not sure about the necessity of any Paladin levels at all, (there are other ways to get a special horsie, especially if Leadership is an allowed feat) I don't think that pure Crusader is necessarily a good choice for a mounted charger because charging is a full attack action. Most maneuvers require standard actions. A stance or two and a few maneuvers (especially of the swift or immediate action variety) may be both a fine addition to the primary effectiveness of a charger build and great for a bit of versatility when forced off the mount and out-of-combat healing. But more than a couple of Crusader levels (taken as late as possible for higher lvl maneuvers- this makes ToB classes great as part of any masterclass melee build) may not add as much to the effectiveness of a charge as other classes might.

Remember- a mounted charger's main trick is a good powerful charge that does lots and lots of damage. While a level or two in Crusader (or Warblade for that matter) might be good for that, there are other classes that add more to it after that.

Here's a question though- does the Complete Champion variant Barbarian that gets pounce get it while mounted as well? if so then that's another argument against going pure Crusader.

01-31-2010, 05:34 AM
For Pounce to even work you need to be armed with two weapons, as pounce in effect lets you make an off-hand attack. You can NOT attack twice with the same weapon.
I know that this is not strictly as the ability is described in Monster Manual p.313 but IMO it is self evident as, for example, a Lion's full attack is describe as "two claws and a bite" -meaning the front left and right claws. Charging makes use of forward momentum to deal damage. Once you make that initial attack the momentum is expended and hence not available for a second attack. Pouncing is striking with two attacks simultaneously.

01-31-2010, 06:05 AM
Not true. Pounce is just the ability to make a full attack on a charge. It has nothing to do with multiple weapons.

01-31-2010, 05:31 PM
Not true? According to the strict wording on p313 of Monster Manual you are of course right that what I stated above is not what the rule says.
It is, however, in the spirit of the rule. What a lion, or any animal, does when pouncing is to charge you and hit you with all it's got in one fell swoop. It is the momentum of a charge that deals the extra damage. Thus for it to work logically you need to be armed with several weapons, be they natural or otherwise, so you can expend them all at once. A lion has 3 attacks for its full round attack: 2 claws and 1 bite. It can not elect to strike thrice with its left paw, or any other combination of its attacks for that matter, it must go right + left claw and a bite.

01-31-2010, 06:00 PM


When a creature with this special attack makes a charge (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialAttacks.htm#charge), it can follow with a full attack (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#fullAttack)—including rake (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#rake) attacks if the creature also has the rake ability.
There are a lot of ways for PCs to get pounce. Pounce lets you full attack on a charge. I don't care what you think is "logical", that's what pounce does. Your houserules otherwise are not useful to this discussion. The lion also can't make "three left claw attacks" because it's full attacks, and natural weapons in general, don't work that way.

01-31-2010, 07:42 PM
What about the Knight Class from the PHB2?

02-01-2010, 12:14 AM
Isn't the PHB2 Knight a tactical defender-type guy who concentrates on battlefield control? Not really the lightning fast damage-dealer that a mounted charger should be.