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I've built a ranger for a game recently, and am stuck on my choice of combat style feat. There's an option to get Ride-By Attack as a bonus feat (sans prerequisites, because it's from ranger), and I was thinking that it'd be incredibly cool to have a pseudo-Spring Attack that works with charges.

So with that in mind, is there a way in D&D 3.5 to count oneself as mounted without actually being mounted? I've looked but couldn't find one, so I'm hoping the combined wisdom of this site might know of a way.

Ideally, this would be something available to a LA +0 race (through feats, class levels, items, or the like), but it's not strictly necessary.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wielding a battle stepladder maybe? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 11:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a reason you don't want to actually be mounted? E.g. a small ranger riding a dog could work fine for most situations. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 16:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @fectin Off the top of my head I can think of many reasons not to want to be mounted, but ultimately it really does not matter for the purposes of answering this question. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 18:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan it matters in that it looked a lot like an X-Y problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 20:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ It really isn't. If I were looking to play a mounted character I would have said so. The question is about exploiting a ranger's no-prerequisites-needed bonus feat to get a charge-enabled Spring Attack. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 15:21

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No official feats allow a creature to be counted as mounted when the creature's not actually mounted, and no class features, mundane or magical items, or special abilities that I'm aware of have such an effect either.

However, the centaur on Combat says, "A centaur employing a lance deals double damage when it charges, just as a rider on a mount does" (Monster Manual 32). Savage Species on page 109 expands on this, saying, "Even centaur characters benefit from" the feats Mounted Archery (Player's Handbook 98), Ride-By Attack (PH 99), Spirited Charge (PH 100), and Trample (PH 101-2) (but not, apparently, the feat Mounted Combat (PH 98), sadly). And Races of Faerûn piles on, saying that "centaurs can acquire the Spirited Charge and Trample feats (ignoring the prerequisites) and apply the benefits to their own melee attacks" (132).

Taken as whole, it's reasonable for the DM to make a house rule saying that a centaur both counts as mounted and doesn't need the feat Mounted Combat to meet a feat's prerequisites (much like because of "its centaurlike construction, a zelekhut qualifies for feats as if it had the Mounted Combat feat" (MM 160)).

Then it's just a matter of assuming the form of a centaur. The path of least resistance for the typical ranger is likely a wand of wild runner [trans] (Spell Compendium 239) (4th-level spell at caster level 7) (420 gp/charge; 0 lbs.), although the 2nd-level Sor/Wiz spell alter self [trans] (Player's Handbook 197) when employed by, for example, a lupin (Dragon Compendium Volume 1 18-21) would also work as both centaur and lupin share the type monstrous humanoid.

You may also want to ask the DM if other creatures with similar body types—like the bariaur (Planar Handbook 7-8), dracotaur (Monster Manual III 42-3), hybsil (Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn 61), and wemic (Races of Faerûn 149-51)—benefit like a centaur from their tauric forms. (Those are—if you're curious—ram, semidragon, antelope, and lion, respectively.)

(Also, instead of an actual, living or undead mount, consider something requiring less upkeep or less necromancy like a construct that can be ridden; a magic item like maybe the broom of flying (Dungeon Master's Guide 250-1) (17,000 gp; 3 lbs.) or the figurine of wondrous power (golden lions) (DMG 256) (16,500 gp; 0 lbs.); or even a spell like the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell mount [conj] (PH 256) (caution: it's not war-trained!), the 3rd-level Sor/Wiz spell phantom steed [conj] (PH 260-1) or the 3rd-level Drd and 3rd-level Rgr spell bottle of smoke [conj] (SpC 27-8).)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Consider adding the Bariaur (Planar Handbook p7) which is medium, and LA +1, 0RHD. It only shares the centaur's shape, not the lancing bonus though, so the DM would need convincing that the unlabeled text in the centaur's entry is a feature of the centaur's shape, and not of only centaurs. Actually Savage Species p109 says "Even centaurs benefit from [spirited charge, et. al.]..." \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also note the zelekhut entry (centaur-shape counts as Mounted Combat feat), and there's info in Races of Faerûn (p132) re: Spirited charge and Trample being available to centaurs. And the BoED Bariaur is higher HD and LA than the one from PlH. That book calls the BoED Bariaur 'Exalted Bariaur' \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Commented Jun 3, 2017 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus I always liked the Planar Handbook reference to the Book of Exalted Deeds bariaur, just for being about the closest any WotC book gets to throwing shade at another (and the authors of BoED deserve it). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 2:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chemus This answer would be less than half of what it is without your help. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ My pleasure. I had considered making my own answer early on, but it wasn't necessary; you had the right answer. I just wanted to reinforce it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chemus
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 3:45

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