Mount questions

SabreCat

First Post
One of the PCs in my game just acquired a Nightmare as a mount. It's stylistically fantastic for the character, but as I haven't had to mess with such things much before, it's introduced some new rules wrinkles for me.

1) The Nightmare has a teleport speed. There's text in the Mounted Combat section of the Rules Compendium that talks about rider or mount being teleported, in the passive voice, which suggests that's talking about unwilling teleportation from an attack. And the introductory section mentioning an advantage of a mount being that it gives alternate movement modes suggests the teleportation is an intentional perk. But all that said, at-will teleport 10 seems pretty crazy--do rider and mount teleport together like that?

2) This fellow's likely to stick around for a while, so the question of its level scaling could become a problem. If we'd like the mount to level up with the owner (staying, in this case, at her level -2, which I'd think reasonable), I can easily do up the stats with the Monster Builder. But does that have any cost to the owner? Is there a formula for gold cost for training up a mount by a level? Or if we want a scaling beastie, should I be using the Companion Character rules, meaning our new friend takes a cut of party experience and so forth?
 

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1)No, but there is a magic item which allows you to teleport with your mount, Saddle of the Nightmare (level 15 uncommon Mount slot item).

2) This fellow's likely to stick around for a while, so the question of its level scaling could become a problem. If we'd like the mount to level up with the owner (staying, in this case, at her level -2, which I'd think reasonable), I can easily do up the stats with the Monster Builder. But does that have any cost to the owner? Is there a formula for gold cost for training up a mount by a level? Or if we want a scaling beastie, should I be using the Companion Character rules, meaning our new friend takes a cut of party experience and so forth?

Well, the standard mount rules are designed around a fairly ordinary mount that is treated basically like equipment (albeit with its own hit points etc). A Nightmare, being a powerful and intelligent beast might best be treated like a CC. It is really kind of up to the DM. A CC does share XP and counts as a party member for encounter balance as well.
 

mneme

Explorer
Note that if you do decide to treat it like a CC, that will also mean it gets to act on its own initiative rather than using its rider's actions.

(and for maximum fun, should get played by the GM despite being ridden -- where dose a teleport 10 mount go? Anywhere it wants! Part of the fun of allied NPCs is that they don't always make decisions the way the party would want them to, despite clearly being in line with the party's goals)
 

Solvarn

First Post
Preserve the Balance

1) The rider doesn't teleport with the mount unless he has Saddle of the Nightmare (AV)

2) The best thing to do would be to use the excellent rules for cavalier mounts in Dragon 393. Essentially you are looking at making the nightmare have:

HP = Bloodied value of PC
Defenses = PC defense, +1 to all at paragon, +2 at epic

How can this be accomplished in-game? Two ways.

1) Let the PC swap out a utility for a Summon Nightmare utility that summons the nightmare as a standard action. The nightmare stays until dismissed or the next extended rest. If killed it cannot come back until after the next extended rest. It can only be summoned twice per day, so can be summoned, dismissed, then summoned. If it is dismissed again cannot come back until the next extended rest.

2) Make a ritual to bind the nightmare and the PC together. They feed each other strength. If you want the PC to be able to teleport without the saddle make the ritual as expensive as the saddle.

You can even add some feats for the nightmare that the PC can take. Make a feat that the rider can take to do like a Fey Switch. Or one that gives the nightmare wings and a flying speed like a pegasus. Or gives it fire breath or improves its Fire Hooves thing. Use Familiar feats and those feats from 393 as a guide.
 

Saagael

First Post
I had this problem with a player acquiring a Drakkensteed mount. We agreed that, in order to level up his mount (which is normally not allowed), he would have to pay gold as if he were upgrading a magic item.

For example, the drakkensteed was level 16 when he got it. So to level it from 16 to 17, he would have to pay gold equal to the difference of a level 16 and 17 magic item (forgive me, I don't have a book with me so I can't quote numbers). This gold would be spent towards training equipment, replacement saddles, reins, and the like.

This also partially solves the issue that the players get too much gold, as this becomes something of a gold-sink.
 

SabreCat

First Post
We agreed that, in order to level up his mount (which is normally not allowed), he would have to pay gold as if he were upgrading a magic item.
Oh, wow. I totally had not noticed that the mounts were priced so close to the value of a magic item of their own level. That's a very simple and effective way to go about it!
 

Oh, wow. I totally had not noticed that the mounts were priced so close to the value of a magic item of their own level. That's a very simple and effective way to go about it!

Yup, they are pretty close to item costs. Not exact, but pretty close. You can pretty much price them like items, though there are a few outliers.
 


I've long wished for WotC to make a mount system that paralleled the magic item system. I want my hippogriff +4, dammit.

Hmmm, mount costs same gp as equal level magic item. Level up whatever monster you want to the appropriate level. Maybe there's some kind of extra thing that should be in there, but I can't think of it. Technically it isn't a rule about mounts per-se, but no new mechanics actually are needed. hehe. Kind of one of the nice things about a system that has a good foundation, the different parts play well together.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
You know, they should probably experiment with generic mounts with different qualities (like weapons) in Gamma World, and then port them over once the bugs have been worked out. Perhaps give feat and power options that let you give your mount advanced abilities or to make it work better with your character - say, being able to shift along with you when you use a shifting power out of turn.
 

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