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So, I'm experiencing some confusion which is likely a result of a lack of original sources for the feats and features involved.

  • Level 11 Paladin
  • Divine Bond chosen to be a mount.
  • At level 11, Paladin's Divine Bond Mount is given the celestial creature simple template and becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it (may be relevant).
  • Has the choice of whatever feats are necessary to make this happen.

The feats I suspect that I may need are any to all of the below:

  • Monstrous Mount
  • Monstrous Companion
  • Leadership

The Unicorn is:

So, my questions are:

  • Is it possible to use these three feats in some combination to make Unicorn an available Divine Bond option?
  • If not, is it possible with other feats and if so which other feats are necessary?

I want to emphasize that I want the Unicorn to be my Divine Bond animal (i.e. an Animal Companion). Simply purchasing a Unicorn on the black market is not a valid answer to this question.

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You can't.

The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the paladin's level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

The enhancement at level 11 adds the celestial creature simple template and "becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it."

The Monstrous Mount feat can give you something a little cooler than this, but of the mounts listed, unicorn is not one. The options listed there are:

  • Griffon
  • Hippogriff
  • Hippocampus
  • Worg

Monstrous Companion also gives you access to a companion which is monstrous, but again unicorn is not listed there.

Leadership can grant you a cohort in addition to your animal companion, but doesn't modify your divine bond class feature .

This does not mean you can pick a celestial creature or magical beast, only that the bond you already have (since level 5 when you chose to take a steed) becomes a magical beast.

Without GM fiat, there is no way to gain a unicorn as your divine bond mount (and I think most unicorns would be quite offended by the notion that they are mere beasts of burden, to be mounted and ridden upon by men, for noble purposes or otherwise!).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This does not tell me "everything I need to know" about the divine bond mount as there are feats (which I have listed at least some of) which augment the feature to include more than just the above listed creatures. The question seeks to find an avenue through which some augmenting feat or feature gives access to previously unavailable companion options. \$\endgroup\$ – Axoren Aug 17 '16 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Though I must agree on your take on the Unicorn's impression of being summoned as a mount, I believe there are ways we can come to an agreement. \$\endgroup\$ – Axoren Aug 17 '16 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Of the three feats you mention, only monstrous mount modifies the Divine Bond class feature, and that feat does not list unicorns as an option. I'll update my answer to include this when I have a moment. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Aug 17 '16 at 22:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Monstrous Companion also requires and modifies Divine Bond. It gives you a companion in place of your Divine Bond animal. Leadership is the only of the three feats to give access to a Unicorn ally. \$\endgroup\$ – Axoren Aug 17 '16 at 22:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can obtain an unicorn cohort and use it as a mount, but they will never be your divine bound sans gm fiat, or yet unreleased sourcebooks. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Aug 18 '16 at 11:38
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From what I found, I have to agree with LegendaryDude.

According to the Divine Bond section of the Paladin page on D20pfrsd:

The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the paladin's level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

And,

At 11th level, the mount gains the celestial creature simple template and becomes a magical beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it.

Following the link to Animal Companion we can find this:

One of the surest ways to complicate the relationship between an adventurer and her animal companion is to cast awaken on the beast.

And for those of us who have yet to memorize all the spells (ex. myself):

An awakened animal gets 3d6 Intelligence, +1d3 Charisma, and +2 HD. Its type becomes magical beast (augmented animal). An awakened animal can't serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount.

Two final pieces of information are needed before we can begin our extrapolation: the "animal companions" accessible to a paladin of 11th level, and the stat block of a unicorn.

The list of "animal companions" available to a player with an effective druid level of 11 but is not an actual druid according to the Sample Animal Companion page is:

Badger, Bird, Camel, Constrictor Snake, Dog, Horse, Pony, Shark, Small Cat, Viper Snake, Viper Snake, Wolf

Presumably, you could select any of those animals as your mount, as long as you cloud justify it to your GM.

Yes, unicorn is not on that list, that is where the second piece of information ties in along with where I mentioned the awaken spell earlier.

Unicorn

(Blah blah blah)

STATISTICS

Str 18, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 21, Cha 24

(Sarcasm: me.)

Okay, now for extrapolation.

What We Know

  1. The paladin's divine mount class feature functions similar to the druid's animal companion class feature.
  2. Upon reaching 11th level, the paladin's divine mount gains the Simple Celestial Template and is now counted as a Magical Beast for the purposes of determining which spells affect it.
  3. The possible "mounts" for a paladin of 11th level are Badger, Bird, Camel, Constrictor Snake, Dog, Horse, Pony, Shark, Small Cat, Viper Snake, Viper Snake, Wolf; as long as they can be justified to the GM.

What We Want to Know

Is it possible for a paladin to have a unicorn as it's divine mount through the effects of feats (such as Monstrous Mount, Monstrous Companion, and/or Leadership) and the effects gained at 11th paladin level.

RAW (Rules as Written)

No.

Unicorn is not on the list of accessible companions to a paladin through any listing that I could find in an hour of searching.

RAE (Rules as Extrapolated)

Not really.

The reason I brought up the awaken spell is that it contains a pretty important point. "An awakened animal can't serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount" because they are too intelligent to be considered a "regular beast." Having an awaken animal as your mount would be akin to having an Elf or Dwarf throw you on their shoulders and sprint through the land.

And for our purposes, technically a Unicorn would be considered to be an "awaken animal." It has an intelligence score of 11 (which is above average for humans) and a charisma score of 24 (which is heads and shoulders about most of the top tier influential people of any race [except goblin, but that's different]). Thus being awaken, it can't serve as a mount.

However...

If one had a high enough leadership score (which for an 11th level paladin of all classes should be a piece of cake), you could possibly attract a unicorn as a cohort. Then, if your GM is feeling nice/lenient/bribed you could possibly be able to ride a unicorn then, but that is still doubtful.

TL;DR

Unless your GM specifically says you can, there are no rules that allow you to be this guy:

Welcome to the Internet

Sorry.

(Though if you're gun-slinging Catfolk paladin, you play paladins waaay differently than I have ever seen them played.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Too intelligent" can't be the intended reason. The feat Monstrous Companion allows you to upgrade your animal companion or paladin mount to any of a bunch of species, including Kirin (Int 18, Wis 21, Cha 23) or Shedu (Int 19, Wis 22, Cha 19) or Gynosphinx (Int 18, Wis 19, Cha 19). It so happens that Unicorn isn't on the list, but its mental stats aren't out of line. \$\endgroup\$ – topquark Aug 18 '16 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ And in addition, paladin's bonded mounts always have Int 6+ \$\endgroup\$ – Delioth Aug 18 '16 at 19:23
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A paladin can never (well almost) have a unicorn mount as the only way to get one appears to be via a monstrous cohort with leadership as neither monstrous companion or monstrous mount allow it (as mentioned above). Cohorts have a rule that explicitly states that a cohort can not oppose the PC on either alignment axis, meaning a LG Paladin may not have a CG unicorn.

Exceptions would be the Grey Paladin archetype, or a fallen/atoned paladin.

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