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In Elder Evils, there is a bodak blackguard who has a really cool mount. It's a flying construct with a nightwing's essence bonded to it. Very reminiscent (perhaps borderline steal?) of the Hobgoblin. Needless to say, one of my PCs asked if he could have a wyvern at a sufficiently high level instead of an ill-tempered pony.

Are there any rule precedents for blackguards or paladins having alternate monstrous mounts? I'm most interested in published variant rules (if any). Short of those I'll take any reasonable suggestion. So far I've just been treating them like additional party members, such as cohorts gained from the leadership feat. Is this the only choice available to DMs, currently?

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In AD&D 2e, The Complete Paladin's Handbook had a list of creatures that are alternate mounts for paladins. It's not up-to-date, but it can act as inspiration for what sorts of creatures to allow. –  Dakeyras Jan 11 '13 at 20:25
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First and foremost, that bodak's mount doesn't look like it is a special mount or fiendish servant or something. Just a cool construct, bound to him by a property of the construct, not by a class feature or feat.

As for special mounts, let's take a look what DMG says.

PALADIN COHORT MOUNTS

At the DM’s option, she may allow a paladin or other character with a special mount class feature to combine the special mount with the cohort feat. The special qualities such as the empathic link and shared spells make this quite potent and worth a minimum of a +2 level adjustment to the cohort mount ECL.

Despite the confusing wording, that's your primary option for getting something weird. Other options include:

  • DMG has a list of alternative paladin mounts on page 204. Is Large Monstrous Spider nice enough? There are also guidelines for new alternate mount creation.
  • Sandstorm, page 48, suggests two alternate special mounts.
  • Dragon Magic, page 13, has Drakkensteed Mount ACF.
  • Draconomicon, page 105, has Dragon Steed feat, which gets you Dragonnel as a special mount. Page 139 contains the rules for it, and a list of other dragons, available as special mounts.
  • Stormwrack, page 51, suggests two alternate special mounts.
  • Celestial Mount feat allows you to add celestial creature template to your special mount.

There may be more.

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Never realized that it means you can potentially have a Celestial Dragon Mount... –  Cristol.GdM Jan 12 '13 at 18:25
    
In the last D&D campaign I was in the Paladin rode a Pegasus. Since the plot involved a war, the value of her aerial scouting was enormous, besides the sheer cool factor. The GM imposed a limit - the Paladin had to wait enough extra levels for her mount to account for the ECL difference between horse and pegasus - and I strongly recommend a similar rule for any group. –  Tynam Jan 13 '13 at 12:04
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This rule is actually present in DMG. Stronger mounts have higher required paladin level than standard ones. –  Jeor Mattan Jan 13 '13 at 16:06
    
You're correct, EE lists the bodak as not having a fiendish servant. –  LitheOhm Apr 13 '13 at 7:45
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Yes, there are some!

But the list I can recall off of the top of my head is by no means comprehensive. Draconomicon has rules for getting a dragon cohort, and also has a feat for paladins gaining a draconic mount, and since Wyverns are [Dragons] they're available. The Wild Cohort feat gives an animal companion, minus a few of the ranger/druid bonuses, and is worth looking into. If you can access outside resources, having a friendly spellcaster use Planar Binding or Planar Ally can provide an exotic mount or companion, and the Effigy Master prestige class (Complete Adventurer, I think, but if not it's Complete Arcane) can produce constructs on the cheap that act as mounts.

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