Class Acts: Cavalier Archetypes
By Thilo Graf
All right, you know the drill – published by Abandoned Arts, 4 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of content, this time depicting 3 new archetypes for cavaliers, so let’s take a look!
The first one would be called the Dragonrider. And if you’re like me, you’re groaning right now. This is a very subjective opinion, but in my game, dragons should not be the mounts of player characters – ever. They are the masterminds and engineers of vast schemes, the apex-predators of their niche, the quintessential, primal entity that is the ultimate challenge. NOT some mount. And that is before the dragon outshines the rider in combat capabilities. The Dragonrider herein thankfully only gets a drake, but I don’t like the concept nevertheless. Plus: There’s a whole base-class devoted to the concept by SGG. Balance-wise, I’m wary of flying mounts at low levels and the combat capabilities of drakes, but without some playtesting that’s hard to say and that’s not going to happen in my game. Sorry.
Another one that won’t ever see use on my player’s side in my home campaign, but which in contrast to the dragonrider wills see use, albeit only by me, is the Tauric Cavalier: Intended for centaurs, driders etc., players of Mor Aldenn’s Centaur-race should take a look, since it is essentially a class that helps make your charges more devastating and essentially be mount and rider in one person. Cool!
The final archetype is the Warlord who may rule by strength, using their str-score instead of cha to determine their leadership-scores, cancel demoralizations and the shaken condition of allies, accelerate crafting (also that done by allies, cohorts etc.) and share challenge-benefits with cohorts and allies.
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to Abandoned Art’s 2-columns no-frills standard and the pdf has neither bookmarks, nor artworks, nor does it need any.
These 3 archetypes have been a very mixed bag for me – the dragonrider rubs me the wrong way in all possible ways, but the tauric cavalier is rather cool for DMs. The warlord should especially in settings like the kingmaker AP shine and be glorious. The 2 latter archetypes offset my distaste for the dragonrider and my minor concerns regarding said archetype’s balance and in the end, I feel justified in rating this 4 stars – a solid, good offering of the class acts-line.
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