Knight of the Wild (3.5e Class)
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Knight of the Wild
Nature-worshippers that specialize in mounted combat, Knights of the Wild have a supernatural knack for taming the wildest and fiercest of creatures. Often mistaken for druids due to their striking similarities, their true nature is often only identifiable when they are seen charging aboard their exotic mounts.
Making a Knight of the Wild
A Knight of the Wild is much like a paladin that worships nature. Due to being bound by nature's code much like a druid would, he is heavily dependent on his mount for survival, especially at early levels. When riding a powerful mount, though, the Knight of the Wild is a major force in battle.
Abilities: Every stat helps the Knight of the Wild in some way or another. High Strength makes his charges deadly. Constitution helps keep him alive, though it tends to become more of a dump stat when faster mounts are available. Dexterity is especially important, as the Knight of the Wild has strict limitations on what can be worn as armor. Intelligence augments his Monster Knowledge ability. Wisdom augments spellcasting ability, which can be important for augmenting the abilities of beasts. Charisma, however, is probably the Knight of the Wild's most important stat, as Handle Animal, Diplomacy, and his creature-subdual ability all stem from Charisma.
Races: Though any race can become a Knight of the Wild, elves and halflings are best suited due to their connections with nature. Humans are also good candidates.
Alignment: Any neutral (on at least one axis.)
Starting Gold: As druid.
Starting Age: Moderate
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Mounted Combat, Animal Affinity, Subdue Beast, Summon Tamed Beast, Mighty Steeds, Summoned Cohort||4||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Summon Tamed Beast 2/day||6||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Subdue Beast 2/day||6||2||1||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Ride-By Attack/Mounted Archery, Summon Tamed Beast 3/day||6||3||2||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Mount Speed +10 feet||7||4||2||1||—||—||—|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Summon Tamed Beast 4/day, Subdue Beast 3/day||7||4||3||2||—||—||—|
|8th||+6/+1||+2||+6||+6||Ride-By Attack/Mounted Archery||7||5||4||2||—||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+6||Summon Tamed Beast 5/day, Summoned Cohort 2/day||7||5||4||3||1||—||—|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Spirited Charge, Subdue Beast 4/day||8||6||5||3||1||—||—|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+7||+7||Summon Tamed Beast 6/day, Mount Speed +20 feet||8||6||5||4||2||—||—|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Summon Tamed Beast 7/day, Subdue Beast 5/day||9||8||6||5||3||2||—|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+9||Summon Tamed Beast 8/day||9||9||8||7||5||3||1|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Subdue Beast 6/day, Mount Speed +30 feet||9||9||9||8||5||4||2|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Summon Tamed Beast 9/day, Summoned Cohort 3/day||9||9||9||9||6||5||3|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+11||Summon Tamed Beast 10/day, Subdue Beast 7/day||9||9||9||9||8||7||5|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||Deadly Charge (at will)||9||9||9||9||9||8||5|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Knight of the Wild.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient with Simple and Martial Weapons. Also proficient with light armor, but cannot wear anything metallic (as Druid.)
Spells: A Knight of the Wild is capable of casting a limited number of divine spells, drawn from the spell list below. He must choose and prepare his spells in advance, much like a cleric or druid does, except he cannot spontaneously cast cure or summon nature's ally spells.
To prepare or cast a spell, the Knight of the Wild must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Knight of the Wild's spell is 10 + the spell level + the character's Wisdom modifier. The number of spells a Knight of the Wild can cast is listed on the table above, and takes into account bonus spells; subtract 1 if the character's Wisdom score is not high enough.
Mounted Combat: A Knight of the Wild automatically gains Mounted Combat as a bonus feat.
Animal Affinity: A Knight of the Wild automatically gains Animal Affinity as a bonus feat.
Subdue Beast (Ex): The Knight of the Wild uses a dangerous, but potentially very effective, method of taming creatures. As a full-round action, he closes his eyes, kneels (and thereby prone), and surrounds both him and a creature at Close range with concentric rings of light, if Good/Lawful, or darkness, if Evil/Chaotic. For a true neutral, it can be either. If successful, a gate to the creature's natural habitat is opened, and he forms a bond with the creature. In 24 hours, the creature's attitude toward him becomes favorable. If unsuccessful, the target creature becomes particularly hostile towards him. A Knight of the Wild of sufficiently high level can attempt to subdue the same creature more than once. A Knight of the Wild can only forge bonds with a number of different creatures equal to his class level.
During an attempt to subdue a creature, a Knight of the Wild must make a check based on the following formulae:
Check result = 1d20 + class level + Handle Animal (for creatures with 2 or less Int) or Diplomacy (for creatures with 3 or more Int)
DC = 10 + HD of creature + (creature's HP - lethal damage) / 5
The base DC of the check (for most animals it's 10) can be adjusted at the DM's discretion (for instance, if the character is trying to subdue a dragon.)
Only creatures capable of being used as mounts can be subdued in this way (again, DM discretion). Generally, any creature in the same size category as the character, or of a larger category, and is also able to bear a rider, is eligible (see Summon Tamed Beast, below.)
Summon Tamed Beast (Ex): Once per day and once per day every two levels thereafter, as a standard action, a Knight of the Wild can summon a creature he has subdued in the past. These summons have a duration of one round per class level. Creatures summoned this way are augmented according to the difference between the creature's Hit Dice and the Knight of the Wild's class level. The creature receives extra Strength, Dexterity, and natural armor equal to half the difference between the character's class level and the creature's original Hit Dice, rounded down. If the creature has fewer Hit Dice than the Knight of the Wild does, the creature gains extra Hit Dice equal to the difference minus 3. Creatures do not increase in size as a result of these extra Hit Dice. For instance, if a 15th level Knight of the Wild summons a creature that has 5 Hit Dice, the creature is advanced to 12 Hit Dice.
Mighty Steeds (Ex): All summoned beasts a Knight of the Wild summons can bear a rider of the same size category as the character. (Without this ability, a creature can only bear a rider if it is at least one size category larger than the rider.)
Summoned Cohort (Ex): Once per day, a Knight of the Wild may extend the duration of a summon to 24 hours. This is not cumulative with any other effects that extend the duration of a summon. This increases to twice per day at 9th level, and three times per day at 17th level.
Monster Knowledge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a Knight of the Wild can use his Knowledge (Monster Lore) skill to determine a creature's vital statistics, regardless of whether he can subdue the creature or not. The DC is 10 + the creature's HD, but can be adjusted at DM discretion. Successful checks reveal the following information, including information from lower DCs:
|+0||The creature's level and HP (both current and max), as well as a short description of its tendencies and attack patterns.|
|+5||The creature's abilities (Str, Dex, &c) and elemental and status weaknesses/resistances.|
|+10||The creature's Attack Bonus, Grapple, Armor Class, Saving Throws, and any other special characteristics, such as damage reduction.|
|+15||The creature's attack list.|
Ride-By Attack/Mounted Archery: At 5th level, a Knight of the Wild gains Ride-By Attack or Mounted Archery as a bonus feat. At 8th level, he gains the one he didn't select at 5th level as a bonus feat.
Improved Mount Speed (Ex): At 6th level and every five levels thereafter, all of the Knight of the Wild's summoned creatures get a movement speed boost of +10 feet. This bonus is cumulative.
Spirited Charge: At 10th level, a Knight of the Wild gains Spirited Charge as a bonus feat.
Deadly Charge: At 20th level, when a Knight of the Wild charges, the base damage multiplier increases by one (e.g. from 2x damage to 3x damage.)
Epic Knight of the Wild
|21st||Legendary Rider, Summon Tamed Beast 11/day, Mount Speed +40 feet|
|22nd||Subdue Beast 8/day, Swift Steed|
|23rd||Summon Tamed Beast 12/day|
|25th||Summon Tamed Beast 13/day, Subdue Beast 9/day, Summoned Cohort 4/day|
|26th||Mount Speed +50 Feet|
|27th||Summon Tamed Beast 14/day|
|28th||Subdue Beast 10/day|
|29th||Summon Tamed Beast 15/day|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
The ability of the epic Knight of the Wild to subdue and summon creatures increases at the same rate as a nonepic character of the same class.
Legendary Rider (Ex): At 21st level, a Knight of the Wild gains Legendary Rider as a bonus feat, if the character is eligible for it.
Swift Steed (Ex): At 22nd level, any creature the Knight of the Wild summons is hasted as long as the summon lasts.
Blitz Charge (Ex): At 24th level, a Knight of the Wild becomes so proficient at charging that his mount can charge back and forth in a single attack. When a Knight of the Wild charges, if the mount has sufficient movement to reach a second target (including the target he just charged, after applying appropriate movement penalties), the mount can charge a second time that round, using the remainder of its movement for the round.
Playing a Knight of the Wild
Religion: Much like druids, Knights of the Wild revere nature. How that is manifested depends on their origin, but most outsiders would call a Knight of the Wild part of a nature-worshipping cult.
Other Classes: Knights of the Wild get along best with druids and paladins, for they both know how to care for and ride exotic creatures. They also respect rangers. They are generally indifferent about most other classes, though anyone who practices necromancy or other forms of nature-destroying magic could easily draw negative attention.
Combat: Knights of the Wild do best in open settings where their swift mounts can charge back and forth. In cramped quarters such as dungeons, they are reduced to support roles.
Advancement: Knights of the Wild are already fairly well-rounded with the ability to heal and support, or deliver devastating charging attacks. A Knight of the Wild that wants to focus on making his charging assaults even more devastating should look into taking levels in a prestige class focused on mounted combat.
Knights of the Wild in the World
|“||With compassion and trust, the fears of even the most savage beasts can be subdued.||”|
|—Shalin, Elf Knight of the Wild|
Daily Life: Knights of the Wild are usually nomadic, traveling the world in search of a greater creature than the ones they have trained previously.
Notables: A druid exiled from her community for being "too dangerous", Shalin pioneered the technique that Knights of the Wild use to tame beasts.
Organizations: Because Knights of the Wild are nomadic, they have few organizational ties.
NPC Reactions: Most people gasp in either shock or awe upon seeing a mounted Knight of the Wild, particularly if his mount is a creature previously thought untamable. Animal trainers, particularly ones that train unusual mounts for paladins, enjoy talking with Knights of the Wild.
Knight of the Wild Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (nature) can research Knights of the Wild to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Some summoners enlist the help of only riding beasts and charge into battle. These are the Knights of the Wild.|
|15||Knights of the Wild can effectively turn their tamed beasts into permanent companions, much like a druid's animal companion. As they increase in power, they can even have multiple companions at once.|
|20||Knights of the Wild channel either positive or negative energy to influence and subdue creatures, but the process leaves them highly vulnerable while doing so.|
|25||The pioneer of the technique Knights of the Wild use to subdue creatures was Shalin, an elf girl exiled from her village because her powers were deemed too dangerous.|