Last week we talked about war mounts. Those beasts were different than normal mounts as they were trained for battle, but still animals that a character would have to purchase. Today, let’s talk about some completely non-traditional mounts…monsters that your party can ride to victory!
We are going to exclude intelligent mounts such as dragons, unicorns and the like. These monsters can be used as mounts and have been discussed many times over. The monsters we will be talking about usually need to be created by some sort of magic or a bargain must be struck between them and the character. Each type of monster will be looking for a different arrangement, as each one has its own needs. These ‘contracts’ between rider and monster are usually tenuous at best, so the character better keep up their side of the bargain. Even if you do, you’ll still want to keep a close eye on them.
Monster mounts are unique among their brethren. They have some minor differences in their abilities versus a regular monster of that type, which makes them an option to be a mount. They still retain most, if not all of the normal stats for a creature of that type, however, they may be slightly less intelligent or have been cast out from their normal society. Whatever the reason, these creatures will do what they need to survive, and if that means carrying you around on their back, so be it.
A couple things to note. These monsters are not companions, but mounts. Being as they all have an intelligence score of four (4) or lower, they are unable to make any independent attacks, unless specifically stated in the creature description.
Let’s take a look at some of the monster mounts below.
For those that don’t care about the why:
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Earth Golem Mount
These golems wander the material plane looking for a new master to serve. Some may not have been given an assignment before their possessor died or they lost the treasure they were assigned to protect. Some will attack when confronted and these golems are not able to be mounts. Others will be found standing still, waiting for someone to come along allowing them to be of service. If the character can find the amulet that binds the golem to them, they will now serve its master. The earth golem mount will perform all commands as stated in the PHB, pg. 167.
An earth golem mount takes on the shape similar to those of other golems, however, it walks severely hunched over with its hands barely scraping the ground. It is unable to stand up straight due to its construction and cannot use its arms to attack. It can deliver a vicious head butt though. Ever get hit in the face with a brick (hopefully not)? It’s just like that, only the golem’s head is harder than a brick.
First, I want to say thank god the owlbear now looks like something we should fear, not laugh at out of pity. Seriously though, what character hasn’t wanted to ride an owlbear at some point in their life… probably those that value their existence. These owlbear mounts have been trained in the far reaches of the wild, and look to serve someone that will feed and provide them with shelter. In return for that, you get to ride around on the owlbear you have always craved.
Tough as nails, these owlbear lose their ability to multiattack, as they risk throwing off their rider when they try to attack twice. They have, however, been trained to release a deafening screech that will scare the shit out of everyone in the vicinity. As if an owlbear bearing down on you isn’t scary enough, now it’s screaming at you too. You’ll probably be glad when you fail your saving throw, as you’ll want to get the fuck out of there as fast as possible.
These ogres have been cast out from their society and wander the land alone. Any time they attempt to make a lair, other ogres and giants that come across them will attack and usually take over their domain, stripping them of their home and possessions. Because of this, riding ogres rarely stay in one place for very long.
When one comes across a riding ogre, they will be able to identify them by the crude ‘harness’ that is attached to their shoulders. Riding ogres, for all their stupidity, understand that to survive, they must be able to have a rider, and that rider cannot be falling off constantly. The harness is usually made of simple leather and rope construction, with straps going underneath the shoulders and armpits of the ogre, which keep a small seat that is fastened to the straps in place. A character slides into the seat, with their legs dangling through two holes that are in the bottom of the seat. Because of the way the seat has been constructed and how it sits on the ogre’s shoulders, only a creature of small stature or less may ride an ogre mount.
These ogres never learned how to swing a club effectively or the proper way to throw a javelin, so they do not have these weapons at their disposal. They can, however, slam people, creatures and most everything else with their fists. Now if your target doesn’t want to get too close so that they aren’t pummeled to death by those meaty ham sized fists, they can be crushed to death by rocks.
Finally, if an riding ogre takes damage equal to or more than 50% of its total hit points, he gets supremely pissed off. The ogre will fly into a rage, allowing it to move twice as fast and hit two times a round with those meaty hands we talked about above. The ogre will rage for three rounds, after which he will be exhausted and not be able to move or attack for a round. It takes time to recuperate from running around and beating the living crap out of everything.
Not understanding the concept of free will like their more intelligent brethren, these warforged look to serve a master like they did on Eberron. Designed to serve on the battlefield, the warforged charger is no stranger to the battlefield. Their creators developed them with the ability to maintain their balance with an unnatural grace one would not associate with the warforged. And even though their primary purpose was to serve strictly as a mount, they were equipped with some basic attack abilities to keep the mount alive as long as possible.
Running across the ground much like a bull, the warforged charger can slam into a creature with its “horns” that protrude from the top of its head. If it is able to gore the target, the charger can then continue to move forward and trample them. It’s kind of like getting run over by a car, but instead of tires, it has hands and feet.
There it is, our list of monster mounts. Agree? Disagree? Have a monster you think would make a great mount. Leave us a comment and let us know!
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