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Beast Rider

From the inhospitable arctic wastes of the far north comes the mighty beast rider—a fearsome warrior who has trained one of the great beasts that wander the chilly wilds to serve as her faithful steed. Toughened by their harsh environment, beast riders tame their surroundings through tenacious determination and sheer force of will, fighting alongside their bestial companions to take down huge game and carve out a hard existence in the icy north.

The beast rider is an archetype of the chocobo knight class.

Steed (Ex)

At 1st level, a beast rider forms a bond with a strong, loyal companion that permits him to ride it as a mount. The animal chosen as a mount must be large enough to carry the beast rider (Medium or Large for a Small character; Large or Huge for a Medium character). The beast rider does not take an armor check penalty on Ride checks while riding his mount. The mount is always considered combat trained, and begins play with Endurance as a bonus feat.

Each time the beast rider increases in level, he can choose to select a new, more impressive mount better suited to his increased power.

Small-sized beast riders can choose a pony or wolf mount at 1st level. At 4th level, a Small beast rider can also choose an allosaurusankylosaurusarsinoitheriumaurochsbisonboarbrachiosauruselephantglyptodonhippopotamusmastodonmegalocerosriding doggiant snapping turtletriceratops, or tyrannosaurus. At 7th level, he can also choose a dinosaur (deinonychus or velociraptor).

Medium beast riders can choose a camel or horse mount at 1st level. At 4th level, a Medium beast rider can also choose an allosaurusankylosaurusarsinoitheriumaurochsbisonbrachiosauruselephantglyptodonhippopotamuslionmastodonmegalocerosgiant snapping turtletigertriceratops, or tyrannosaurus as his mount. Additional mounts might be available with GM approval.

In addition, a 7th-level or higher Medium beast rider can select any creature whose natural size is Large or Huge, provided that creature is normally available as a Medium-sized animal companion at 7th level (like a bear). To generate statistics for such a mount, apply the following modifications:

  • Size Large
  • Ability Scores Str +2, Dex –2, Con +2;
  • Increase the damage of each of the mount’s natural attacks by one die size.

A beast rider cannot choose a mount that is not capable of bearing his weight, that has fewer than four legs, or that has a fly speed (although the GM may allow mounts with a swim speed in certain environments). Anytime a feat or ability allows a mount to make a hoof attack, it can make a claw, slam, or other analogous attack instead.

This ability replaces chocobo mount.

Rugged Steed (Ex)

At 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, the natural armor bonus of a beast rider’s steed increases by +1.

This ability replaces steadfast mount.

Colossus Hunter (Ex)

At 3rd level, a beast rider gains a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against Large and Huge creatures and a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against Gargantuan and Colossal creatures.

This ability replaces knight’s charge.

Rapid Straddle (Ex)

At 4th level, a beast rider can make Ride checks to fast mount or fast dismount her steed even if it’s more than one size category larger than her, provided she still has a move action available that round.

This ability replaces expert trainer.

Undaunted (Ex)

At 6th level, a beast rider adds her Strength bonus to the DC of Intimidate checks made against her. Additionally, creatures attempting to intimidate a beast rider don’t gain a bonus for being larger than her.

This ability replaces battlefield agility.

Gigantic Steed (Ex)

At 10th level, a beast rider’s steed increases to Huge size. The creature receives a –1 penalty on attack rolls and to AC, and a –2 penalty to Dexterity (to a minimum of 1); its base damage increases by one size category; and its reach increases to 10 feet. It also gains a +2 size bonus to its Strength and Constitution. At 12th level and every two levels thereafter, the Strength and Constitution bonuses increases by an additional +2.

This ability replaces burst of speed.

Combined Might (Ex)

At 11th level, a mounted beast rider strikes with the combined power of herself and her steed. Once per round, when the beast rider hits with a melee attack from astride her steed during a charge, she adds half her steed’s Strength modifier to the damage roll in addition to her own, provided her steed is currently capable of taking a free action.

This ability replaces greater charge.

Pulverizing Assault (Ex)

At 17th level, if a beast rider is mounted on her steed and directs it to charge or use a constrict, powerful charge, or trample attack, then the first time that her steed deals damage with this attack this round, the target must make successful a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the steed’s Hit Dice + the steed’s Strength modifier) or be staggered for 1d4 rounds.

This ability replaces erratic charge.

Lord of Beasts (Ex)

At 20th level, a beast rider is unaffected by the dazed, fatigued, shaken, sickened, staggered, and stunned conditions. If she succeeds at a Fortitude or Will save against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, she instead avoids the effect entirely. If a beast rider and her steed both successfully hit an opponent on the same initiative count, the foe must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the steed’s Hit Dice + the steed’s Strength modifier) or be stunned for 1 round. Whether or not the save is successful, an affected creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours thereafter.

This ability replaces supreme charge.