The Dragonlance Nexus

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Royal Griffon

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Damien

Royal Griffon
Large Beast
Hit Dice: 8d10+21
Initiative: +2 (Dex)
Speed: 30 ft., fly 90 ft. (average)
AC: 18 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +7 natural)
Attacks: Bite +8 melee, 2 claws +3 melee
Damage: Bite 2d6+4, claw 1d4+2
Face/Reach: 5ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Pounce, rake 1d6+2
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +3
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 8
Skills: Jump +8, Listen +6, Spot +11
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm hill and mountains
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pride (1 royal griffon and 2-8 griffons)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 8-10 HD (Large); 11-21 HD (Huge)

Royal griffons are even more majestic and powerful than their lesser kin. They are more intelligent and far more rare. Though the royal griffon looks much like a normal griffon, there are some significant differences: the royal griffon males have proud manes that trail down their backs and all royal griffons are usually just over 9 feet from nose to tail with a wingspan of 35-45 feet.

The armies of Silvanesti and Ergoth and much later - Qualinesti, have been known to use royal griffons as part of their griffon companies, often as the mount for the commander. However, even this is rare considering the royal griffon is an extremely difficult beast to find. The majority of royal griffons are found in and around Silvanesti where they serve the elves as mounts.

Note: The royal griffon here was originally created for a Third Dragon War era campaign. In campaigns where Silvanesti has been destroyed, there may or may not (at the DM's option) be more royal griffons roaming the skies, since many of their masters were destroyed, along with their homes.

See the Third Edition Monster Manual, page 113, for general information on all griffons.


Royal griffons prefer to pounce on their prey, either diving to the attack or leaping from above.

Pounce (Ex): If a royal griffon dives or leaps upon a foe during the first round of combat, it can make a full attack even if it has already taken a move action.

Rake (Ex): A royal griffon that pounces on an opponent can make two rake attacks (+8 melee) with its hind legs for 1d6+2 slashing damage each.

Skills: Royal griffons receive a +4 racial bonus to Jump checks. They also receive a +4 racial bonus to Spot checks in daylight.

Training A Royal Griffon

Royal griffons are not trained as mounts so much as they are befriended. Intelligent enough to be able to decide whether or not they want to be a mount for a particular character, royal griffons can be extremely choosy about whom will ride them. Because of this, a potential rider (only elves and humans, as a royal griffon will not allow members of any other race to ride them) must make a successful Handle Animal check (DC 28). If the check is successful, the griffon will allow the character to take him as a mount. If the check fails, the royal griffon can be considered displeased and will most likely attack the character and any allies.

An exotic saddle is required to ride a royal griffon. Though unlike normal griffons, riders do not need to make a Ride check to fight while mounted. The griffon's intelligence and understanding is such that it will move accordingly in battle and will aid the rider in any way possible during combat. Therefore the rider and griffon may fight simultaneously without a Ride check, provided the exotic saddle is of the military design. If the saddle is not a military saddle, the standard Ride check for the rider of a normal griffon applies for the rider to fight.

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