Inspiration for a Mounted Boss Fight?

solomanii

Explorer
Hi all,

My PCs are going up against a mounted combatant. I wondered if there were any examples in D&D history I could steal for this encounter - especially 4e since it did these kind of combats the best. Thanks.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
That is very little info. Is it for 5e? Movement and such is different for 5e than 4e. Do you look for an exciting plot?
Well the headless horseman and his skullmob from 2e Ravenloft are the best I ever done on that one.
Basically like in that film with Jonny Depp, sleepy hollow, the ghost of the Hesse mercenary but with flying skulls behind.

Use charge: Attack with advantage does double damage but also gives advantage to defenders who are set for the charge.

But a bit more detail would be helpful.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
I don't know of any specific examples, but I can give some advice. First you have to decide if the mount is an intelligent monster that participates in the combat on its own, or if its more of an extension of the rider. In the second case, the mount acts on the riders turn and can only take the Dash, Dodge, or Withdraw actions. In the first case, the rider either needs to ready their action to attack on the mount's movement (limiting it to a single attack) or be able to attack at range.

A simple example would be a mounted knight on a warhorse. Using the 60 ft movement and the dash action, the knight could move in, attack with a lance at 10 ft, then move around without triggering any attacks of opportunity (unless a PC is using a polearm). The party then needs to rely on ranged attacks/spells to be able to affect the knight, or use terrain to limit the knight's ability to continue this tactic.

A more complex example would be a wizard mounted on an adult dragon. They would each work on their own initiative, with the wizard dropping spells down on the party while the dragon either uses its breath weapon or engages in melee. Since the dragon would be huge, the wizard would be in the center of the dragon's space, keeping him at 10 ft, and out of most melee range, even when the dragon is in melee.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
You might plan for it be a multi-stage combat with a separate the rider from the mount be one goal. (If the mount is presented as a significant part of the enemies power I can see the players coming up with that part so if you have considered it in advance it will work smoother)
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
Use a mindflayer riding a beholder.

Teach your PCs the meaning of the word 'fear'.


But if you're one of those GMs who worry about CR, you should still look at a winged mount: they cut through a lot of the rules. Make one or two strafing runs, and then come in to hover and mop up.
 

solomanii

Explorer
I see CR as a flexible concept so not wedded to it. Flying creature. Hmm. Good idea but too late as I ended the session with the swine shogun emerging from the castle and challenging them to a fight. But a Japanese/Chinese dragon may have worked quite well in retrospect.

Party is level 9 and most likely x6 PCs. So will most likely beef up the shogun's HPs if nothing else. One of the reason I gave him mobility and a lot of knockdown is to better deal with so many PCs.

Zero planar travel.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
I see CR as a flexible concept so not wedded to it. Flying creature. Hmm. Good idea but too late as I ended the session with the swine shogun emerging from the castle and challenging them to a fight. But a Japanese/Chinese dragon may have worked quite well in retrospect.

Party is level 9 and most likely x6 PCs. So will most likely beef up the shogun's HPs if nothing else. One of the reason I gave him mobility and a lot of knockdown is to better deal with so many PCs.

Zero planar travel.
No problem about the swine/shogun, he can easily polymorph into his "true form" when at 50% hit points. I would definitely use the dragon and flight. The boss stat block looks good. My concern is that SIX 9th level heroes are going to kick his ass in probably two rounds.
 

Eltab

Explorer
You may not have the time for the research, but a duel or joust with Dragonlances by definition is a knight on a (flying) mount.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
No problem about the swine/shogun, he can easily polymorph into his "true form" when at 50% hit points. I would definitely use the dragon and flight. The boss stat block looks good. My concern is that SIX 9th level heroes are going to kick his ass in probably two rounds.
Single opponent for six level 9 needs 400-500 HP at least and 20 HP regeneration per round. Also give him some minimum AC 18. Make him a hard hitter, if 3-4 of the PCs are still standing after the combat then you did it right.
And superimportant he needs legendary resistance, to shrug of impairing spells.
 
I see CR as a flexible concept so not wedded to it. Flying creature. Hmm. Good idea but too late as I ended the session with the swine shogun emerging from the castle and challenging them to a fight. But a Japanese/Chinese dragon may have worked quite well in retrospect.

Party is level 9 and most likely x6 PCs. So will most likely beef up the shogun's HPs if nothing else. One of the reason I gave him mobility and a lot of knockdown is to better deal with so many PCs.

Zero planar travel.
Ah. My idea wouldnt have been very plausible then.

If it was high level and there was planar travel i was gonna recommend the shogun come out riding either a young astral or an adult styx dragon depending on how evil he was (styx dragons are nasty boys). Both are serpentine and fly. Both are closer to norse dragons but not dissimilar to chinese or japnese dragons in some respects and could have been slightly refluffed.

Isnt plausible if there is zero planar though.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
Single opponent for six level 9 needs 400-500 HP at least and 20 HP regeneration per round. Also give him some minimum AC 18. Make him a hard hitter, if 3-4 of the PCs are still standing after the combat then you did it right.
And superimportant he needs legendary resistance, to shrug of impairing spells.
If you (the OP) want the swine to be a memorable badass boss monster, you might want to take his advice. Hundreds of hit points and legendary bonuses. The dragon form will help, but heroes have so many, many ways of effing your stuff up, especially if there are no other minion targets to sap their resources. Hell, you might even want some illusory dragons to siphon off a few high level spells...

Now, if he's more of an intermediate boss monster, tough but more of a speedbump, well, he won't need 400 hit points.
 

solomanii

Explorer
adult styx dragon
I like this, it fits thematically. Will use it. Thanks for the tip.

Now, if he's more of an intermediate boss monster, tough but more of a speedbump, well, he won't need 400 hit points.
Not the adventures main/final boss fight (which will include minions) but should be significant and memorable. Probably want it to last more than 3 rounds.
 

solomanii

Explorer
Is he a shogun who is swine or a shogun of swine? Is he a pigman ridding some sort of less anthropomorphic pig or more zoomorphic human?
No, she is actually an okami - a half-breed oni - birthed but ja-noi oni (hobgoblin looking oni) - though the PCs don't know this. They are all female. They are essentially an evil version of Amazon women from Western mythology.

She is called the swine shogun because her mount is a boar. Nothing more than that really :)
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
No, she is actually an okami - a half-breed oni - birthed but ja-noi oni (hobgoblin looking oni) - though the PCs don't know this. They are all female. They are essentially an evil version of Amazon women from Western mythology.

She is called the swine shogun because her mount is a boar. Nothing more than that really :)
I've been putting together minis for Brimstone: Forbidden Fortress, and the oni is a featured baddie. Only one of these, the unpainted one, comes from the set, the others are oni I already had.

 

solomanii

Explorer
Never heard of this game! Looks right up my alley. Ordered! Thank you.

Here is my one and only oni mini (actually an ogre-magi, its an old school model)

IMG_0816.jpeg
 

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