Eclipse – Companions, Flying Steeds, Firehawks, Riding Weasels, and Stormcrows

   Our next group of companions are Companion Creatures and Mystical Mounts – creatures that are still deeply bound with their owner, but less tightly so than Familiars. This allows them more personal power and control than Familiars, and greatly limits the backlash from one being killed – although it’s usually still pretty painful and debilitating and they still take a long time to replace. Unfortunately, it also limits their effective intelligence, means that they can misunderstand what their owner wants, and makes them far more personally independent than Familiars – a feature which can be both good and bad.

   Mystical Mounts and Companion Creatures normally use the base statistics for a non-sapient creature of CR 2 or less The basic modifiers for them are provided at the end of this article, but are fairly straightforward – so we’ll get right down to some of the possible variants.

   For some of the quick and simple ones:

  • Higher-level characters are fond of infusing heavy warhorses with the various “half”-creature templates – most often Half-Dragon, Half-Celestial, and Half-Infernal – to create winged mounts. This is simple and easy; simply buy the Template modifier two or three times to attain the required ECL modifier.
  • The Firehawk is also pretty simple: If you want living weapons, just buy Might (6 CP), and spend the 12 CP it provides for your companion on Inherent Spell (Fireball, Lightning Bolt, or some similar effect, 6 CP) with +4 Bonus Uses (6 CP).
  • Want a riding Cheetah? Or, for that matter, a riding Dire Weasel? Simply buy the Template modifier twice (+6 CP) and apply the Upgraded Warbeast Template with the necessary size increase.
  • Want a robotic leopard? Again, simply buy the Template modifier and apply the Robot template. If you want to make it a Warbeast as well, buy that template as well. You can’t normally apply more than one template to a Companion, but – since Eclipse allows you to extend and upgrade templates anyway – that mainly applies to templates drawn from other sourcebooks, which have imprecisely-rated powers and unpredictable interactions.

   Our local Beastmaster-Ranger has several companion creatures – a Black Bear, a Cheetah, and a Hawk (18 CP) – who grant him Berserker, Celerity, and the Eagles Claw martial art – and has purchased Might (+6 CP), Transform (+6 CP), and Great Form (+6 CP) for them. They are dangerous fighters on their own, whether in animal or elven form – and he can also take on their forms, granting him a great deal of versatility as a scout. Admittedly, that’s come at the cost of 36 CP – no small expense – but he is getting 18 CP back in special bonuses, and the shapeshifting abilities are pretty handy.

   Tarkann is a powerful (level 12) Druid, and his three Stormcrows have been imbued with Might (+6 CP) – giving them a total of 48 CP (12 CP from Might plus their level-based allowance of 36) to work with. In this case (being a villain who destroys villages and such to return areas to unspoiled wilderness) he’s basically eschewed skills, focusing on granting his Companions several Inherent Spells each – Call Lightning (6 CP), Ice Storm (6 CP), Control Winds (6 CP), and Control Weather (reduced to three level six component spells, it takes all three of them to make it work, 6 CP), with +2 Bonus Uses Each (12 CP total). He’s also provided them with Reflex Training/the “Combat Reflexes” variant (6 CP) and Block/Missile (6 CP), allowing them to dodge many attacks – especially since Tarkann has bought himself a very good base Reflex save. Of course, with 6d8 bonus hit dice, they’re pretty tough crows in any case.

   Basic Companion Creature and Mystical Mount Bonuses:

  • Use the base statistics for a non-sapient creature. If of CR 2 or less, there is no penalty. If of CR 3+, reduce the Master’s effective level for determining their bonuses by 3 per +1 CR, the effective level must be at least 1 to have such a companion.
  • Intelligence 8
  • Improved Fortune (Evasion)
  • Use their master’s base saving throws with their own attribute bonuses.
  • Their master may communicate with them, and opt to share the effects of spells and powers used on him or her with them, at ranges of up to one mile.
  • Animals become magical beasts, most other creatures types are unchanged.

Master’s Level

HD

BAB

Natural Armor

Str & Con

CP*

0

       

0

1

     

+1

3

2

+1d8

+1

+1

 

6

3

       

9

4

+2d8

+2

+2

 

12

5

       

15

6

+3d8

+3

+3

+2

18

7

       

21

8

+4d8

+4

+4

 

24

9

       

27

10

+5d8

+5

+5

 

30

11

     

+3

33

12

+6d8

+6

+6

 

36

13

       

39

14

+7d8

+7

+7

 

42

15

       

45

16

+8d8

+8

+8

+4

48

17

       

51

18

+9d8

+9

+9

 

54

19

       

57

20

+10d8

+10

+10

 

60

   *Mystical Mounts and Companion Creatures do not automatically gain skill points – or, for that matter, any other special benefits – with increasing hit dice. Skill increases, feats, and other special abilities should be purchased with their character point allotment.

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One Response

  1. […] Liflings, and Shadow Guardians and the Wealth Level Templates from the Practical Enchanter), Mounts and Companion Creatures (Flying Steeds, Firehawks, Stormcrows, and other beasties), and Animal […]

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