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Wild Rider

Wild riders, like many druids, form close bonds with their animal companions. In the case of wild riders, though, the druid and animal companion ride into battle together, acting as one entity to bring down their foes, their movements in perfect tandem and harmony. Each learns to anticipate the other’s actions, and the two move in concert.

The wild rider is an archetype of the druid class.

Nature Bond (Ex)

The wild rider must select the animal companion version of her nature bond class feature, and cannot choose to gain a domain instead. Additionally, the wild rider’s animal companion counts as one size category larger than it actually is for the purposes of what size creatures it can carry (for example, a Medium-sized animal companion could carry a Medium-sized druid, etc.)

This ability modifies nature bond.

Animal Companionship (Ex)

The wild rider gains a +2 bonus on Handle Animal and Ride checks.

This ability replaces nature sense.

Bonus Feat

At 1st level, the wild rider gains Mounted Combat as a bonus feat.

At 5th level, and every four druid levels thereafter, she gains an additional bonus feat, chosen from the following list: Mounted Archery, Mounted Shield, Mounted Skirmisher, Parting Shot, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, Trample, Trick Riding, or Unseat.

This ability replaces spell proficiency and the additional uses of the wild shape class feature gained at 7th, 11th, and 15th level, and delays when the wild rider gains access to some forms.

The shapes normally available at 9th level instead become available at 11th level. Those normally available at 11th level are now available at 15th level. Finally, those forms normally available at 13th level are now available at 19th level.

At 19th level, the druid is still able to use wild shape at will.

Nature’s Stride (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, the wild rider’s animal companion may move through any sort of natural undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at its normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect it. If the wild rider is riding her animal companion, she is also unaffected by any damage or impairment that the animal companion avoids.

This ability replaces woodland stride and, essentially, grants it to the wild rider’s animal companion, instead.

Smooth Ride (Ex)

Beginning at 3rd level, the wild rider need not make concentration checks in order to cast spells while riding her animal companion. This affects only concentration checks made as a result of vigorous motion. If the wild rider is damaged, or something besides the movement of her animal companion would cause her to have to make a concentration check, she still has to.

This ability replaces trackless step.

Wild Rider