Martial Archetype: Cavalier

The archetypal Cavalier excels at mounted combat whether it be with lance or trained in mounted archery. Cavaliers are often born of wealth or in a mounted nomadic culture, such as the Halflings of the Talenta Plains. Cavaliers are more at home in the saddle than with their feet on the ground.

You represent the ultimate in mounted warfare. Your charge is among the most devastating weapons any culture can hope to field. Your mobility in ranged combat makes you feared among those who can never hope to master the skill required. Often you command from your steed in open battle against your enemies and charge first into the fray with valor and steel. Your combat skills rely heavily on mobility, harrying your opponents with quick passes through their lines to scatter their defense. When room restricts your movement, you charge into their ranks and hack at them from your mighty mount, giving you an advantage against lower adversaries.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in Animal Handling, plus one of the following skills of your choice: History, Insight, Performance, or Persuasion. You can choose to gain one tool proficiency in place of one skill proficiency.

Born to the Saddle

At 3rd level, you have advantage on saving throws made to avoid falling off your mount. If you fall off your mount, you always land on your feet if you are capable of taking actions. Mounting or dismounting a creature costs you only 5 feet of movement, rather than half your speed.

Combat Superiority

At 3rd level, you gain a set of abilities that are fueled by special dice called superiority dice.

Maneuvers. You learn three maneuvers of your choice, which are detailed under “Maneuvers” below. Many maneuvers enhance an attack in some way a few of the maneuver’s can only be used while mounted. You can use only one maneuver per attack.

You learn two additional maneuvers of your choice at 7th, 10th, and 15th level. Each time you learn new maneuvers, you can also replace one maneuver you know with a different one.

Superiority Dice. You have four superiority dice, which are d8s. A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended superiority dice when you finish a short or long rest.

You gain another superiority die at 7th level and one more at 15th level.

Saving Throws. Some of your maneuvers require your target to make a saving throw to resist the maneuver’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Maneuver save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice)

Master of the Steed

At 7th level, you gain one of the following features of your choice.

Ferocious Charger. The charging attack from horse back with a spear or lance. If you move your mount at least 20 feet and attack with a spear or lance, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the total damage. In addition the target must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Mounted Volley. While you are mounted, you can use your action to make a ranged attack against any number of creatures within 10 feet of a point you can see within your weapon’s range. For this volley you can double the weapons normal effective range before disadvantage comes into account. You must have ammunition for each target, as normal, and you make a separate attack roll for each target.

Improved Combat Superiority

At 10th level, your superiority dice turn into d10s. At 18th level, they turn into d12s.

Relentless

Starting at 15th level, when you roll initiative and have no superiority dice remaining, you regain 1 superiority die.

Maneuvers

The maneuvers are presented in alphabetical order.

Cavalry Charge. When you ride your mount at least 10 feet and use the attack action on a creature, you can expend a superiority die and add it to the attack roll. When you do so, you can continue to move your mount without provoking opportunity attacks on you or your mount from the target of your attack.

Chink in the Armor. When you use a bow and take the attack action while on your mount, you may expend one of your superiority die. You add the result of your superiority die to the attack and damage roll for your attack.

Devastating Charge. When you ride your mount at least 20 feet and you make an attack with a lance or spear while mounted, you can expend up to two superiority die to add it to your damage roll. In addition, the target of the attack must make a Strength saving throw at disadvantage, or be knocked back 15 feet and prone.

Distracting Strike. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to distract the creature, giving your allies an opening. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll. The next attack roll against the target by an attacker other than you has advantage if the attack is made before the start of your next turn.

Evasive Maneuvers. When you or your mount is subject to an effect that would require you to make a Dexterity saving throw, you can expend one of your superiority die. When you do you can add the number you roll to either your saving throws or your mounts.

Ferocious Assault. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to add it to your damage roll. In addition, the target of the attack must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Lunging Attack. When you make a melee weapon attack on your turn, you can expend one superiority die to increase your reach for that attack by 5 feet. If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Master Rider. When you make a check to influence or control a creature you are riding, you can expend one superiority die to add it to the check. You apply this bonus after making the check but before learning if it was successful.

Mounted Charge. When you ride your mount at least 10 feet, you can use a bonus action to direct your mount to shove another creature and knock it prone. You expend one of your superiority die and add it to the attack damage your mount does. In addition, the target of the attack much make a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your mounts Strength or Dexterity modifier) or be knocked back 15 feet and prone.

Mobile Defense. When an enemy moves within 15 feet of you while you are mounted and using a ranged weapon, you may spend one superiority die. When you spend the die, you may make a ranged opportunity attack, and add it to the damage roll of your attack. When you do this, your mount may move up a quarter of it’s movement.

Mounted Parry. If either you or your mount is hit by an attack while you are mounted, you can expend one superiority die as a reaction, adding the number rolled to your or your mount’s AC. If the attack still hits, you or your mount take half damage from it.

Parry. When another creature damages you or your mount, you can use your reaction to expend one superiority die to reduce the damage by the number you roll on the superiority die + your Dexterity modifier.

Precision Attack. When you make a weapon attack roll against a creature, you can expend one superiority die to add it to the roll. You can use this maneuver before or after making the attack roll, but before any effects of the attack are applied.

Rally. On your turn, you can use a bonus action and expend one superiority die to bolster the resolve of one of your companions and your mount. When you do so, choose a friendly creature and your mount, who can see or hear you. That creature and your mount gain temporary hit points equal to the superiority die roll + your Charisma modifier.

Ride By Assault. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack while mounted, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to damage another creature with the same attack. Choose another creature within 5 feet of you at the time of the attack. If the original attack roll would hit the second creature, it takes damage equal to the number you roll on your superiority die. The damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.

Shower Shooting. When you use a ranged weapon and take the attack action while on your mount, you may expend one of your superiority die as a bonus action and make one extra attack with your ranged weapon. You add the result of your superiority die to the damage of your bonus attack and one additional ranged attack during your turn.


martial-archetype_-cavalier

This originally appeared in the Wizards Unearthed Arcana: Kits of Old listed as Cavalier.

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