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With some friends of mine, I play pathfinder in a dungeon-crawler way (a bit inspired by the phenomenal game Darkest Dungeon, so the heroes venture into dungeons to gain treasure and rebuild a town, we more or less play the dungeons only, with social interaction limited to the players and interacting with things in the actual dungeon)

In this setting, the horse or camel mount that the Samurai gets is totally out of place, and I am looking for suitable replacements to change only the mount (and maybe the bonuses he gets to mounted combat), but no other class features (like the challenge). What can I offer the player of the samurai? He is level 5 at the moment (started at lv1) and has not yet complained about not having his mount, but still I feel it is unfair and gives him a disadvantage.

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The Sword Saint archetype replaces the samurai's mount and banner ability, it is available in the Dragon Empires Primer Player Companion. Sadly, that is the only archetype for the samurai released by Paizo. Other than that you will have to look at the orders, which, as far as i can tell, none replace the Mount feature.

If the archetype isn't available to you, you will have to figured out some house rule to replace it. Considering that the mount from the cavalier class is a slighly weakened version of the paladin's mount (called Divine Bond). You could replace it with the alternative to the paladin's mount from the vanilla class, the bound spirit on his sword. That way, the samurai could, for example, have his ancestors, or even the spirits of the sword, show up and give it special powers a few times per day.

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Make the mount a giant lizard that the samurai can just ride straight into the dungeon. Lizards are low to the ground and flexible, so I could imagine them coping with dungeon tunnels well.

On the other hand, the climb ability of a lizard might shortcut some dungeon puzzles. You might want to remove it or replace it with something else (poison bite, for example).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The idea itself is not bad, but I don't think it fits the samurai very good ;) We simply made him a sword saint now, that fits his playstile better, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patta
    Jun 20 '15 at 11:02

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