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Cavalier Fighter Martial Archetype (PEACH)

Raven3182

Villager
So, I'm looking to create a custom fighter martial archetype around the idea of a Cavalier. I've found a few attempts posted here and elsewhere on the internet, but none of them really encapsulated what I'm looking for. The basic idea to to create a fighter that specializes in mounted combat, but without all the moral/religious/paladin/shining knight tropes that normally accompany characters of this type. (Not that there's anything wrong with such characters, I'm a big fan of paladins myself, but I want the archetype itself to be neutral to such ideas).


The only thing that I'm not very happy with is the fact that I can't find a way around having a "magically summoned" mount as part of the archetype. To me, it simply needs to be there for balance; as a lot of DnD sessions take place in environments where horses can't easily go (ie dungeons) there needs to be some sort of game mechanism to account for that. I Cavalier who has to simply tie up his horse outside every dungeon and go without it is not a very fun character to play. Thus, my hybrid Summon Steed spell based on Find Familiar and Find Steed.


Anyways, I could use some feedback. Thoughts? Suggestions?


(Note: I stole some ideas from this post: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?366470-Cavalier)






Cavalier

Fighter Marital Archetype


Cavaliers are mounted warriors without peer. While anyone with the means can attempt to fight from horseback, few have the dedication, skill, and talent needed to become a true Cavalier. Blessed at their consecration by otherworldly powers, Cavaliers develop a mystical connection with their mounts. This magical bond is can be an expression of either arcane or divine power, or from some other source depending on the individual character’s background. The bond allows you to summon, dismiss and interact with a magical steed as described below.


Level 3
Beginning when you choose this archetype at level 3, you gain two attributes. First, you gain the “Mounted Combatant” feat described on page 168 of the PHB (Copied here for easy reference).


Mounted Combatant: You are a dangerous foe to face while mounted. While you are mounted and aren’t incapacitated, you gain the following benefits:


• You have advantage on melee attack rolls against any unmounted creature that is smaller than your mount.


• You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead.


• If your mount is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, it instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.


Second, you gain the ability to cast the spell “Summon Steed” once per long rest.


Summon Steed (Based on the spells “Find Steed” and “Find Familiar”)
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous


You summon a spirit that assumes the form of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed, creating a long-lasting bond with it. Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the steed takes on a form that you choose, such as a warhorse, a pony, a camel, an elk, or a mastiff. (Your DM might allow other animals to be summoned as steeds.) The steed has the statistics of the chosen form, except that it has a +1 bonus to its Strength, Constitution and Dexterity scores above that of normal creatures of the chosen form. While it appears normal, it is actually a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice) instead of its normal type. Additionally, if your steed has an Intelligence of 5 or less, its Intelligence becomes 6, and it gains the ability to understand one language of your choice that you speak.


Your steed serves you as a mount, both in combat and out, and you have an instinctive bond with it that allows you to fight as a seamless unit. While mounted on your steed, you can make any beneficial spell that targets you also target your steed.


When the steed drops to 0 hit points, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form. Anything equipped on the steed (tack, harness, barding, saddle bags, etc.) disappears along with it. Casting this spell again summons the same steed, restored to its hit point maximum and with all equipment intact.


You can also dismiss your steed at any time as an action, causing it to disappear into a pocket dimension where it awaits your summons. Anything equipped on the steed (tack, harness, barding, saddle bags, etc.) disappears along with it. As an action while it is temporarily dismissed, you can cause it to reappear in any unoccupied space within 30 feet of you.


While your steed is within 1 mile of you, you can communicate with it telepathically.


While mounted, the rider can choose to either control the steed or allow it to act independently (see PHB 198).


The mount is extremely loyal and always has the best interests of its bonded rider in mind. It will never intentionally act in a way that would be to its master’s detriment or against its master’s wishes.


You can’t have more than one steed bonded by this spell at a time. If you cast this spell while you already have a bonded steed, you instead cause it to adopt a new form. Anything equipped on the steed at the time (tack, harness, barding, saddle, etc.) transforms to fit the steed’s new form as well.


Level 7
Mounted Charge
At 7th level, your training allows you to make a special attack while mounted. As an action when mounted, you can have your mount move up to its base speed, but a minimum of at least 15 feet in a straight line and then you can make a single attack with a melee weapon. For this attack, your normal proficiency bonus is doubled. On a hit, you deal extra damage equal to three times your proficiency bonus.


Level 10
Master of the Lance
Your training with a lance is unmatched. Beginning at 10th level, you have advantage when attacking with a lance while mounted. In addition, you score a critical hit on a roll of 18-20.


Level 12
Improved Bonded Steed
You now have further choices as to the form of your chosen steed. Beginning at 12th level, in addition to the previous forms mentioned in the Summon Steed spell, you can also choose to have your steed take the form of a flying or underwater creature. The steed takes on a form that you choose, such as a pegasus, giant eagle, hippogriff, griffon, hippocampus, sea horse, sea lion or dolphin. (Your DM might allow other animals to be summoned as steeds.)


Level 15
Improved Mounted Charge
Your mount now charges through enemies at its normal speed. Starting at 15th level, your mount can move through occupied enemy squares as long as the enemy creature is of a size category smaller than your mount. The creature must make a Strength saving throw (DC 8+Proficiency+Mount's Strength Bonus) or fall prone and be trampled for 2d6+4 bludgeoning damage. Enemies with more than two feet on the ground have advantage on this saving throw.


Level 18
Inspiring Charge
The sight of you charging into battle serves as a source of inspiration for your allies and dread for your foes. Starting at 18th level, when you perform a mounted charge you may also chose to use a bonus action and upgrade it to an inspiring charge. You and all allies within a 30 foot radius of your position at the beginning of your inspiring charge receive 10 temporary hit points. Additionally, for one minute all allies that begin their turn within a 30 foot radius of your position receive advantage to their attack, ability check and saving throw rolls. Likewise, all enemies that begin their turn within a 30 foot radius of your position receive disadvantage to their attack, ability check and saving throw rolls. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.






Please let me know what you think! Thanks!
 
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Ezel

Villager
I think it's a bit strange for a completely martial class to have a "summoning" feature. Why not make it more in a style similar to the beastmaster? Maybe with a nearly-supernatural power to "call" the steed towards you even if it is miles away. Still less magicky than teleporting to you a spiritual steed.

Doubling the proficiency bonus in attack rolls is something to avoid in 5e because it breaks the bounded accuracy, I would add only damage.

Master of the lance makes the champion straight up useless and this class becomes a powerhouse. Also it's a pretty boring feature, something like a minor version of the inspiring charge (to improve later) could be more interesting.

I like the idea of the improved steed, perhaps if you go the beastmastery way you could just make it so that they can change steed at that point if they want.

The trampling and inspiring charge are pretty cool. I would tick off the temporary hit points since advantage on pretty much everything seems enough
 

Raven3182

Villager
Thanks for the input.

The beastmaster idea is good, but I don't think it would work. The problem with the beastmaster route is that animal companions, no matter how much you try to avoid it, always wind up getting killed. I guess that's why they finally fixed the Find Familiar spell in 5e so that having the familiar die isn't that big of a deal and can be rather simply re-summoned. I know that having a magical summoning feature added to a fighter goes against the desire to have some realism or logic to the archetype, but from a game-play and functionality perspective, I think it's the only thing that works. For example, besides the fact that a horse would simply be eaten a lot in a dungeon, you need to get over chasms, climb walls, go through narrow passages, etc. The summoning thing, while not ideal, makes room for these things but still allows for the chance to play a character that specializes in mounted combat.

The PHB explicitly states that the proficiency bonus can be multiplied in certain situations. See page 173.

How does the lance feature make the champion useless?

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

AlmirEldignor

Villager
How does the lance feature make the champion useless?
Perhaps if you specified lance attacks only? The Champion Fighter's main purpose is the expanded crit range on all weapons. That, plus a decent regeneration type effect and what is basically Jack of All Trades but for physical skills is basically the entirety of the Champion. If another archetype added the 18-20 crit (at lower levels i might add) then Champion would be basically useless unless you plan on using a lot of different weapons at any given time. Even as it stands it's probably (IMO) the least fun of the archetypes, simply because it doesn't add anything new to do in combat. Without the unique ability to enhance crits like it does it probably wouldn't be played much at all.
 

Raven3182

Villager
Thanks for your response!

Perhaps if you specified lance attacks only?
That's what I meant. Perhaps I wasn't clear in the description. The expanded critical only applies to using a lance.

If this still sounds too powerful, perhaps it could be that the expanded critical only applies to when using a lance and the mounted charge feature.

What do you think?
 

Ezel

Villager
"specific weapon only" restrictions are pretty much like no restrictions at all in 5e, since PCs will end up using their optimal weapon at all times, minus some rare exceptions. "When mounted" sounds more restrictive, but still I would make it 19-20.

I know what you mean with the fact that the animal companion dies easily, however that has an easy fix with decently improved HPs (for example 8 times your level instead of 4 times your level like in the beastmaster's case). About the dungeon problem, I understand, but at the same time that's an issue that makes the whole archetype weaker, I think it makes sense for a cavalier to look for adventures that don't involve too much narrow dungeon delving. Yet you are right, it's much handier to be able to summon a large creature with climbing issues instead of having to find ways to let it move around.

Since a magical mount sounds like a better option than a normal mount, it could be a nice idea to have an "Oath of the Cavalry" for the paladin. Maybe I'll make it if I'll ever have some free time.
 

Raven3182

Villager
After thinking and talking about it, I think that the lance ability is too much and needs to be scrapped. So the improved mount feature will get moved from lvl 12 to lvl 10.

Increased HP works to helping the mount stay alive, but it doesn't address the other issues of bringing a mount along with an adventuring party. I don't think it would be balanced to do both the summoning and have such an increase in HP. I think the summoning wins out.
 

Ezel

Villager
I noticed just now that one of the features is level 12. That is a plain mistake, you'll have to scrap a feature out or have two features at level 10 or 15. Fighter archetypes are supposed to get features at levels: 3, 7, 10, 15, 18. No more, no less. Any archetype can get usually from one to three features at each level in which they get features, but they have to be at those levels exactly.
 

Raven3182

Villager
Okay. So here's a second draft of the archetype with a bunch of alterations made to it based on various comments and suggestions.

Level 3
Beginning when you choose this archetype at level 3, you gain two attributes. First, whenever you’re mounted you gain a +2 bonus to your Armor Class as well as a +2 bonus to your Initiative.

Second, you gain the ability to cast the spell “Summon Steed” once per long rest.

Summon Steed (Based on the spells “Find Steed” and “Find Familiar”)
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous

You summon a spirit that assumes the form of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed, creating a long-lasting bond with it. Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the steed takes on a form that you choose, such as a warhorse, a pony, a camel, an elk, or a mastiff. (Your DM might allow other animals to be summoned as steeds.) The steed has the statistics of the chosen form, except that it has a +1 bonus to its Strength, Constitution and Dexterity scores above that of normal creatures of the chosen form. While it appears normal, it is actually a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice) instead of its normal type. Additionally, if your steed has an Intelligence of 5 or less, its Intelligence becomes 6, and it gains the ability to understand one language of your choice that you speak.

Your steed serves you as a mount, both in combat and out, and you have an instinctive bond with it that allows you to fight as a seamless unit. While mounted on your steed, you can make any beneficial spell that targets you also target your steed.

When the steed drops to 0 hit points, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form. Anything equipped on the steed (tack, harness, barding, saddle bags, etc.) disappears along with it. Casting this spell again summons the same steed, restored to its hit point maximum and with all equipment intact.

You can also dismiss your steed at any time as an action, causing it to disappear into a pocket dimension where it awaits your summons. Anything equipped on the steed (tack, harness, barding, saddle bags, etc.) disappears along with it. As an action while it is temporarily dismissed, you can cause it to reappear in any unoccupied space within 30 feet of you.

While your steed is within 1 mile of you, you can communicate with it telepathically.

While mounted, the rider can choose to either control the steed or allow it to act independently (see PHB 198).

The mount is extremely loyal and always has the best interests of its bonded rider in mind. It will never intentionally act in a way that would be to its master’s detriment or against its master’s wishes.

You can’t have more than one steed bonded by this spell at a time. If you cast this spell while you already have a bonded steed, you instead cause it to adopt a new form. Anything equipped on the steed at the time (tack, harness, barding, saddle, etc.) transforms to fit the steed’s new form as well.

Level 7
Mounted Charge
At 7th level, your training allows you to make a special attack while mounted. As an action when mounted, you can have your mount move up to its base speed, but a minimum of at least 15 feet in a straight line and then you can make a single attack with a melee weapon. For this attack, your normal proficiency bonus is doubled. On a hit, you deal extra damage equal to three times your proficiency bonus.

Level 10
Improved Bonded Steed
You now have further choices as to the form of your chosen steed. Beginning at 10th level, in addition to the previous forms mentioned in the Summon Steed spell, you can also choose to have your steed take the form of a flying or underwater creature. The steed takes on a form that you choose, such as a pegasus, giant eagle, hippogriff, griffon, giant sea horse, or hunter shark. (Your DM might allow other animals to be summoned as steeds.)

Level 15
Improved Mounted Charge
Your mount now charges through enemies trampling them beneath it. Starting at 15th level, as an Action Surge, you can have your mount charge through occupied enemy squares as long as the enemy creature is of a size category smaller than your mount. The mount must move in a straight line for at least 15 feet before moving into the first enemy space. It can continue to move forward in a straight line up to its total normal movement and trample up to 2 additional enemies. The creature must make a Strength saving throw (DC 8+Proficiency+Mount's Strength Bonus) or fall prone and be trampled for the normal amount of damage done by the mount's type or as is decided by the DM. For example, the hooves of a warhorse do 2d6+4 bludgeoning damage. So, at most, the mount could trample 3 enemy creatures by moving in a straight line for at least 30 feet.

Level 18
Inspiring Charge
The sight of you charging into battle serves as a source of inspiration for your allies and dread for your foes. Starting at 18th level, when you perform a mounted charge you may also chose to use a bonus action and upgrade it to an inspiring charge.
For one minute you and all allies that begin their turn within a 30 foot radius of your position receive advantage to their attack
rolls. Likewise, all enemies that begin their turn within a 30 foot radius of your position receive disadvantage to their attack
rolls. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Thoughts?
 

Ezel

Villager
Sounds pretty cool, straightforward, good but not too powerful, decently fast to read and understandable. I'm still unsure about the whole magical/spiritual "summon steed" concept, even though it is the most usable mechanic. I would allow it if a player asked me to for their character.
 

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