Avalonian Griffonrider

"If only I could put into words the poetry in flight, my brother griffon and I."

The Avalonian Griffonriders are an elite force able to defend their homeland from the skies.

Hit die

Alignment: Any nonevil.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Diplomacy 5 ranks, Ride 10 ranks, Spot 5 ranks, Knowledge (local) 2 ranks
Feats: Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack.

class skills
Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis)

skill points at each level 2+int modifier

Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Bonded mount, Flyby Attack
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Aerial evasion
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Improved mounted combat (1)
4th +4 +1 +4 +1 Hover
5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Improved mounted combat (2)
6th +6 +2 +5 +2 Power dive
7th +7 +2 +5 +2 Improved mounted combat (3)
8th +8 +2 +6 +2 Superior aerial evasion
9th +9 +3 +6 +3 Superior flight
10th +10 +3 +7 +3 Fell swoop

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An Avalonian griffonrider is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

Bonded Mount: When a character becomes an Avalonian griffonrider, she is gifted with a griffon as a willing, bonded mount. It gains the advantages listed on the table below, based on the griffonrider’s level.The griffon retains its own type and gains no abilities other than those listed, although the griffonrider may be able to confer the ability to perform special maneuvers. The griffonrider can have only one bonded mount at a time, and either party may sever this relationship at any time without penalty (although the griffon almost never does so unless the griffonrider violates the griffonrider code described below).

If the griffonrider is a paladin, she may designate the griffon as both her bonded mount and her special paladin mount. In this case, the mount abilities described under Paladin in Chapter 3: Characters of the Player’s Handbook supersede those listed here, and the paladin adds her griffonrider levels to her paladin levels to determine which abilities her bonded mount gains.

Griddonriders Level Bonus Hit Dice Natural Armor Bonus Strength Adjustment
1–3 +2 +4 +2
4–6 +4 +6 +2
7–9 +6 +8 +4
10 +8 +10 +4

Griffonrider Level: The character’s griffonrider levels only. If the mount receives negative levels, treat it as the mount of a correspondingly lower-level griffonrider.

Bonus Hit Dice: These are extra ten-sided (d10) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Constitution modifier as normal. Extra Hit Dice also improve the griffon’s base attack and base save bonuses.

Natural Armor Bonus: This number is an improvement to the griffon’s natural armor bonus.

Strength Adjustment: Add this figure to the griffon’s Strength score. This is not a cumulative adjustment.

Flyby Attack: While an Avalonian griffonrider is on her bonded mount, both she and her griffon have access to the Flyby Attack feat described in the Monster Manual.

Aerial Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, when an Avalonian griffonrider is airborne on her bonded mount, both she and her mount gain the benefit of evasion. If exposed to any attack that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, the character and her mount may attempt a single saving throw at the better of their two Reflex saving throw bonuses. If successful, both the griffonrider and her mount take no damage. Aerial evasion can’t be used if the griffon is carrying a medium load.

At 8th level, the griffonrider and her mount gain superior aerial evasion. This works like aerial evasion, except they take only half damage on a failed saving throw.

Improved Mounted Combat (Ex): At 3rd, 5th, and 7th level, an Avalonian griffonrider increases by one the number of Ride checks she may attempt each round to negate a hit against her mount (two times per round at 3rd, three times per round at 5th, and four times per round at 7th). The hit is negated if the griffonrider’s Ride check result is greater than the attack roll.

Hover (Ex): Starting at 4th level, when an Avalonian griffonrider is on her bonded mount, her mount gains the ability to hover much as some dragons do. When flying, the griffon can halt its forward motion and hover in place, fly straight down, or fly straight up, regardless of its maneuverability. While hovering, the griffon can perform a full attack action but cannot rake.

Power Dive (Ex): At 6th level, an Avalonian griffonrider gains the ability to direct her bonded mount to perform a power dive attack while she is riding it. The griffon must begin its move at least 50 feet above its target, and it uses the charge action to attack with both foreclaws simultaneously, making a single attack that deals 2d4 + (Strength bonus × 1 1/2) points of damage. The griffon may fly past the target and alter course after it makes its attack.

Superior Flight (Ex): From 9th level on, when an Avalonian griffonrider is airborne on her bonded mount, her mount’s fly speed increases to 100 feet (good). The griffonrider knows how to encourage the best possible performance from her mount.

Fell Swoop (Ex): When an Avalonian griffonrider reaches 10th level, her mount deals double damage in a power dive attack, as if it knew the Spirited Charge feat.