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Special Mounts

Gentile da Fabriano Anbetung der Heiligen Drei Könige, Haupttafel: Anbetung der Könige, Detail: Pferde Year 1423, Special Mounts
Gentile da Fabriano Anbetung der Heiligen Drei Könige, Haupttafel: Anbetung der Könige, Detail: Pferde Year 1423

The Quintessential Paladin
Author Alejandro Melchor              
Series Quintessential Series
Publisher Mongoose Publishing

Paladins can call a special mount when they reach 5th level. The SRD gives the details on how this mount grows in power and mentions that a paladin may receive a mount other than a war horse, but it does not address matters of game balance or how the mount may develop if it is weaker or stronger than a regular war horse. Advancement tiers allow players and Games Masters to determine quickly what powers a stronger or weaker mount would have when its paladin master is of certain level, by comparing the advancement tier each belongs to.

A paladin’s advancement tier is determined by his level according to the table below, while a mount’s is determined by a tier rating. The mount’s tier rating not only measures its power, but also its usefulness as a special mount, and is calculated as follows:

Mount’s Tier Rating = Challenge Rating + 3 + other modifiers.

Tier Rating Modifier

Tier Rating
Can fly+1
Has Intelligence equal or higher than 6+1
Is an Animal, Beast or vermin+0
Is an Aberration, fey* or magical beast+1
Is a Construct or outsider**+2
Is a Dragon+1

* fey creature must be capable and willing to bear the rider

** ‘Natural’ outsiders only, creatures who become outsiders because of a template do not apply this modifier.

Advancement Tiers

TierPaladin Level / Tier Rating

* Tier Rating only.

If a mount’s tier rating is equal to the highest rating for a tier, the paladin cannot call the mount until he is one level higher than the lowest level in that tier for Tiers 1 and 2, and two levels higher for Tiers 3 and 4.

For example, a 5th level paladin (Tier 1) wishes to call a dire boar as his special mount. The dire boar has a Tier Rating of 7 (CR 4 + 3 + 0 animal), which is the highest rating in Tier 1, which means that the paladin cannot call it until he is 6th level, one level higher than 5th level, the lowest level in Tier 1.

Tier Summary

Paladin can first call mount at

* Should the Games Master wish to continue his campaign beyond 20th level.

Effective Tier Power

A paladin’s mount gains special bonuses and abilities as the paladin advances in level but, if the mount was naturally stronger or weaker than a normal war horse before becoming a special mount, it may not gain the same bonuses and abilities. The effective tier power of a mount depends on both its own and the paladin’s tiers. It determines the corresponding powers it can have to compensate for its natural special abilities or lack thereof.

Compare the paladin’s tier with the mount’s in the following table. The number in the matching row and column indicates the special mount abilities that the mount receives from the paladin’s tier. The next section applies the advancement tier system to the special mount’s advancement table found in the SRD as well as providing more options of advancement.

Effective Tier Power

Mount Tier
Paladin Tier012345

For example, a 12th level paladin (Tier 3) calls a new war horse mount (Tier 1); according to the table, the horse receives the bonuses and abilities that correspond to a Tier 3 (11th to 14th levels) paladin. If the same paladin were to call a griffon (Tier 2), the griffon would receive the bonus and abilities of a Tier 2 (8th to 10th level) paladin instead.

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