The Dragonlance Nexus

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Dragon Rider

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Luis Fernando De Pippo


Dragon Riders are the ultimate flying warriors with a bond to their mounts that surpasses the empathy between knight and trained war horse. Whether they fight for the Knights of Solamnia, the Knights of Takhisis, the Dragonarmies or the Legion of Steel, these warriors are superbly trained in aerial combat.

The Dragon Riders are a recent development, or rather an ancient one. Recent Dragon Riders started a bit after the War of the Lance for the Knights of Solamnia and about one year previous for the Dragonarmies, thought very few of their members belong to this class.

The ancient Dragon riders were shock troops of both the Knights of Solamnia and the armies of the Dark Queen during the Third Dragon War.

A few 'independent' Dragon Riders, especially in the continent of Taladas, are rising in the League of Minotaurs, though they are rare. A somewhat related order, the Dragon Knights, are known in the Conquered Lands.

Hit Die: d10

Requirements

To qualify to become a Dragon Rider, a character must fulfill the following criteria:

Base Attack Bonus: +6
Feats: Leadership, Mounted Combat, Weapon Focus (Heavy Lance).
Ride: 2 ranks.
Equipment: Masterwork Heavy Armor and Masterwork Heavy Lance.
Special: Ridden a dragon into battle before.

Class Skills

The Dragon Rider class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Balance (Dex), Ride (Aerial) (Dex), Spot (Int); Concentration (Con), Profession (Wis), Intuit Direction (Wis).

Skill points at each level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Dragon Rider is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor and shields.

Concentration: The Dragon Rider gains this skill automatically at 1st level without having to purchase it with skill points. This works differently for the Dragon Rider. If the dragon rider is ever knocked off of his mount and is still conscious, he may make a concentration check DC 10 + damage dealt to remain mounted.

Ride (Aerial): The Dragon Rider gains this skill automatically at 1st level without having to purchase it with skill points.

You can ride a particular type of mount (usually a dragon or griffin). When you select this skill, choose the type of mount you are familiar with. If you use the skills with a different mount, your rank is reduced by two (but not below zero).

Check: Typical flying action (takeoff, landing, flying at cruise spells) don't require checks. You can saddle, mount, ride, and dismount without a problem. Mounting or dismounting is a move-equivalent action.

Riding Task DC
Stay on Saddle 10
Fight With Mount 10
Cover 15
Special Maneuvers (*) 20
Fast mount or dismount (+) 25

*Armor check penalty may apply
+Armor check penalty applies

Stay on Saddle: You can react instantly to try to avoid falling when your mount rears, loops, or puts you head down. When you take damage that may force you to fall, you should roll a concentration check instead.

Fight with Mount: If you direct your dragon to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack.

Cover: You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your mount, using it as one-half cover. You cannot attack or cast spells while using your mount as cover. If you fail, you don't get the cover benefit and must make a Stay on Saddle check.

Special Maneuvers: This covers the ability of making the dragon do special maneuvers such as high speed drop and high velocity turns.

Fast Mount or Dismount: You can mount and dismount (provided the dragon is saddled) as a free action. If you fail the check, mounting or dismounting is move equivalent action.

Special: A dragonsaddle (or griffin saddle) adds +2 circumstance bonus to any checks.

Dragon Rider
Class Level Base Att. Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +2 +0 +2 Dragon Companion
2 +2 +3 +0 +3 Aerial Combat Feat (see below), Ride (Aerial) Bonus +1
3 +3 +3 +1 +3 Heavy Lance Weapon Bonus +1
4 +4 +4 +1 +4 Concentration Check Bonus +2, Ride (Aerial) Bonus +2
5 +5 +4 +1 +4 Heavy Lance Weapon Bonus +2
6 +6 +5 +2 +5 Improved Aerial Combat Feat, Ride (Aerial) bonus +3
7 +7 +5 +2 +5 Telepathy with Mount
8 +8 +6 +2 +6 Mount Spell Resistance
9 +9 +6 +3 +6 Heavy Lance Weapon Bonus +3, Ride (Aerial) Bonus +4
10 +10 +7 +3 +7 Dragon Immunities

Dragon Companion: The Dragon Rider has a dragon companion (not Mount), with an age category between young adult and adult. The dragon will usually share the alignment with his rider, but it can be one step removed.

The dragon companion comes and goes as it pleases, but in time of battle it will be with the Dragon Rider. The Dragon Rider cannot always count on the dragon showing when he needs it and cannot expect it to follow all his orders. They are a team and the dragon may disagree with certain actions.

The DM has the final say on the type of dragon the character gets which counts as a cohort for the purposes of the leadership feat.

Aerial Combat Feat
You are skilled in 3 dimensional aerial combat.
Prerequisite: Ride (Aerial) skill.
Benefit: You are able to understand the mechanics of 3-D aerial combat and gain the following benefits: +1 competence attack bonus with any weapons while fighting in the air and a +1 competence bonus to AC as well.

Ride (Aerial) Bonus: The Dragon Rider gains a competence bonus to Heavy Ride checks.

Heavy Lance Weapon Bonus: The Dragon Rider gains a bonus to his attack roll when using the Heavy Lance in Combat against other airbone combatants.

Concentration Check Bonus: The Dragon Rider gains a competence bonus to any Concentration checks.

Improved Aerial Combat Feat
You are a master of 3 dimensional Aerial combat.
Prerequisite: Ride (Aerial) skill, Aerial Combat Feat
Benefit: You are a master of the mechanics of 3-D Aerial combat and gain the following benefits: +2 competence attack bonus with any weapons while fighting in the air and a +2 competence bonus to AC as well.

This feat replaces the Heavy Combat Feat so their bonuses do not stack.

Telepathy with Mount: The Dragon Rider gains the ability to telepathically converse with his dragon companion while mounted. This is a free action if it is used to convey simple combat orders.

Mount Spell Resistance: While mounted on his dragon companion, the Dragon Rider gains the spell resistance of his mount.

Dragon Immunities: While mounted on his dragon companion, the Dragon Rider gains all the Immunities and Resistances of his mount, but he also gains its weaknesses. It also becomes immune to the type of breath weapon (fire, acid, etc) that its mounts uses, while mounted.

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