Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Sub-Classes: Any Warrior
  • Ability Requirements: Balance 13, Knowledge 13, Leadership 15
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: 6d4 x10gp

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Lance (any)
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: By class

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Air-borne Riding, Animal Handling, Animal Training
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Direction Sense, Hunting, Navigation, Soothsaying, Tracking, Weather Sense
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Overview: The Skyrider is a warrior of the air. Carried by his airborne mount, he soars through the clouds with the grace of an eagle and the precision of an arrow in flight. He serves as a defender of both the skyways and the earth.

The Skyrider owes his skills to his unusual relationship with his mount. In certain wilderness societies, tribal elders select the brightest and strongest children to be Skyrider candidates. The elders match each child with a young flying mount. The child and mount are encouraged to share much time training, playing, even sleeping together. Within a few years, their bond is so strong that the mount responds to the rider almost intuitively.

Description: When separated from their beloved mounts, Skyriders do not appear much different from any ordinary warrior. They may be more haughty, but otherwise they appear as any other mounted soldier.

Role-Playing: Though Skyriders make excellent scouts and explorers, they’re particularly useful as soldiers. Their flying mounts enable them to move quickly to distant locations, irrespective of rivers, chasms, or other obstacles. They can target enemies on the ground, breech stronghold walls, and swoop around enemy forces to attack from behind. They can undertake reconnaissance missions to determine the size of enemy armies and monitor their movement.

In peacetime, a Skyrider can take advantage of his bird’s-eye view to look for virgin farmland and new trade routes. He can also watch for natural disasters, such as forest fires and floods. Some teach themselves to track tornadoes and hurricanes, warning those in a storm’s path to take shelter. A Skyrider can deliver supplies to isolated villages, rescue trapped explorers, and visit distant islands without a ship.

A Skyrider fulfills many of these same functions in an adventuring party, scouting ahead for signs of trouble, attacking enemies from the air, and crossing hostile terrain to deliver messages and goods. Because a Skyrider often prefers the company of his mount to that of other people, his companions may find him cold and aloof.

Special Abilities:

  • At 1st level, the Skyrider receives a bonded mount (as the Paladin ability). This mount will be either a griffon, hippogriff, giant eagle, or pegasus (player’s choice). This acts in all ways as the paladin ability-thus the mount gains +2 to its Intelligence, an extra 2 hit dice, +3 to its base speed, and has a morale of 20 when fighting alongside its rider.
  • When they are traveling with their mounts, Skyriders gain a +2 reaction bonus when dealing with members of the upper classes.
  • The Skyrider receives a +2 bonus to Airborne Riding proficiency checks for feats involving his bonded mount.
  • When airborne, all nonmissile attacks made by either the bonded mount or the Skyrider receive a +1 bonus. This includes attacks made against ground or airborne targets. In addition, the skyrider suffers no penalty on ranged attacks when his mount is moving at half-speed or less, and only a -2 penalty on ranged attacks when the mount is moving at full speed.
  • The Skyrider can teach his bonded mount a trick in 1d4+1 days, a task in 1-2 weeks. Like other bonded mounts, the Skyrider’s mount can learn 9-20 tricks and tasks, in any combination.
  • When the Skyrider reaches 12th level, he gains the ability to communicate telepathically with his bonded mount, sending and receiving mental messages at will. This ability’s range is 10 times the Skyrider’s level, in feet.

Special Disadvantages:

  • While they are respected by the higher social classes, Skyriders are the object of great jealousy—sometimes even hatred—from the lower classes. Their arrogant manner and disregard for beings of a lower social status earn them the enmity of the lower classes. They suffer a –3 penalty to their reaction rolls when dealing with these folk.
  • When the Skyrider loses his bonded mount, he feels the loss intensely. If the bonded mount was lost because of the Skyrider’s actions—for instance, the Skyrider’s carelessness resulted in the mount’s death—the Skyrider mourns for 1d4+1 months. If the bonded mount served its full 15 years, or the Skyrider voluntarily releases it, the Skyrider mourns for 2d4 weeks. During the mourning period, the Skyrider suffers a –2 penalty to all attack, ability, and proficiency rolls.

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