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Windlord

fantasy, sky, adler-4713047.jpg

Taking off from the highest treetops, from forested mountains or the decks of delicate ships, the windlords are the elves’ fearsome aerial cavalry.

The Quintessential Elf

Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

Riding upon winged beasts, the windlords dominate the skies by directing their mounts to attack with talons, beaks and hooves, striking with surprise and superior mobility on their side. Windlords come almost exclusively from the ranks of nobility or from special orders of knighthood sworn to protect elven lands from intruders and invaders. Many windlords also serve by complementing elven fleets, dropping fiery death on enemy ships. The relationship between a windlord and his mount is legendary, as the rider must always be present during his future mount’s training while undergoing his own.

While fighters and clerics are more adequate for making full use of an aerial mount’s combat capabilities, wizards and sorcerers also join their ranks, hurling spells upon enemies on the ground and facing powerful flying monsters on their own terms. barbarians lack the necessary discipline, while bards and rogues are unlikely candidates if they are not from a noble house. rangers and druids have many ties to the ground, and paladins may summon their own mounts without necessarily becoming windlords. High and grey elves are the most common windlords, with wood elves following suit. Wild elves prefer to stay close to the ground, whilst sea elves and drow have no version of windlords for obvious reasons.

Windlords found as Non-Player Characters are knights or leaders of a sizeable regiment, or part of an elven navy’s aerial support.

Hit Die: d8

Requirements

Race: Elf.
Base Attack: +5 or higher.
Skills: Handle Animal 8 ranks, Ride (Dexterity)5 ranks for the specific special mount to be chosen (see description).
Feat: Mounted Combat or Combat Casting.
Special: Must have been present during the training of his mount.

Class Skills

The windlord’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Animal Empathy (Charisma), Climb (Strength), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Handle Animal (Charisma), Jump (Strength), Knowledge (Geography) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), Spot (Wisdom) and Wilderness Lore (Wisdom).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier

The Windlord
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1+1+0+2+2Special mount, control mount
2+2+0+3+3Windrider
3+3+1+3+3Empathic link
4+4+1+4+4Swooping dive
5+5+1+4+4Summon mount

Class Features

  • Armour and Weapon Proficiency: Windlords are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with all armour and with shields. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour, equipment, or loot carried.
  • Special Mount: By attaining the windlord class, the character receives a special mount with which he bonds to become its rider. The ranks the character has in the (Ride) skill before becoming a windlord must be devoted to the specific mount received, which includes: Eagle Giant, Adar Llwch Gwin, Dire Goose and pegasus. The Games Master can approve other mounts, provided that they fall within the 4-6 HD and CR 1-4 range and are large sized. If the mount dies, the character must make a Fortitude save (DC 12 + mount’s HD). If the saving throw fails, the windlord loses 200 experience points per class level. A successful saving throw reduces the loss to half of that amount. This loss follows the rules of sorcerer and wizard familiars, and the character receives and bonds with a second mount a year and a day later if he spends that time with the trainer, or training the creature himself.
  • Control Mount (Ex): The windlord has supreme control of his mount, and need not roll a Ride (Dexterity) check to direct the mount with his knees nor to attack with it and still have his own attacks available for the round. He ignores the penalties for riding bareback only with his own mount, applying them normally with other animals, even if they are of the same species as his mount.
  • Windrider (Ex): The windlord knows and recognizes the air currents and is perfectly accustomed to his mount’s movements. The penalty the character suffers when using a ranged weapon from the back of his mount is halved: -2 instead of -4 if the mount is taking a double move, and -4 instead of -8 if the character’s mount is ‘running.’ This benefit stacks with the Mounted Archery feat, reducing the penalty to -1 and -2 respectively. In addition, the windlord has a +4 bonus to Concentration checks when casting a spell from the back of his mount.
  • Empathic Link (Su): The windlord has an empathic link with his mount out to a distance of one mile per windlord level. The character cannot see through the mountÂ’s eyes, but they can communicate telepathically. Even intelligent mounts see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.
  • Swooping Dive (Ex): When the character is mounted and uses the dive action, he may move and attack as with a standard charge and then move again, pulling up his mount in the air as if it had good manoeuvrability, with no needed distance to fly level before Climbing, provided he continues the straight line of the charge. The character’s total movement for the round cannot exceed double his mounted speed. The character does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the opponent that he attacks.
  • Summon Mount (Su): Through the empathic link they share, the windlord can summon his mount from any distance. The mount will make its best effort to come to his side, but cannot travel to other planes by itself. The windlord can use this ability once per week per windlord level.
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