Eldritch Excursion – Rangers and Rideshares

Welcome back to the garage. I can see that the ride I gave you last time is treating you pretty well. How’s the handling? Been keeping it fueled up? Did you forget to change the oil? Yeah, turns out you have to change the oil on a gigantic amalgam of animated zombie parts. Otherwise, the parts grind themselves up and it starts to smell.

No, like smell smell. We’re talking the kind of stink that’ll make your lungs go on strike.

Anyway, hello and welcome to Eldritch Excursion, the blog that explores the intersections of mechanics and flavor and also accidentally created rules for integrating the Cars universe into your Pathfinder game. You’re welcome. In this entry I’ll be offering extra feats to expand upon the Carrier collective archetype from last time, allowing you properly kit out your fantasy battle bus.

Ramming Attack           Feat 4
[Archetype] [Collective]
Prerequisites Carrier Dedication
You’ve altered your carrier mount to ram against opponents and damage them, be it through spiked armor, boarding planks with serrated edges, or by using its own natural weapons. Your carrier mount gains a natural attack that deals 1d8 damage. Choose bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. This melee attack deals that type of damage. The carrier mount’s weapon may be enhanced with handwraps of mighty blows as usual.
Collective Each member of the collective that also takes this feat makes additions to the weapon, increasing its potency. They may increase the damage die by one step (up to a maximum of 1d12) or give the attack one of the following weapon traits: backswing, deadly d8, forceful, grapple, reach, shove, trip, or versatile (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing). The same trait may not be chosen twice.

Aquatic Adaptation           Feat 4
[Archetype] [Collective]
Prerequisites Carrier Dedication, your carrier mount is trained in Athletics
Through natural growth or specialized attachments, your mount can now operate in and around the water. It becomes buoyant, allowing it to travel across the surface of a body of water with a swim speed equal to its land speed.
Collective Each member of the collective may improve the capabilities of your mount’s swimming. If two members have this feat, the mount can swim beneath the surface of the water with a swim speed equal to half of its land speed. At three, the mount can breathe underwater and swim at a speed equal to its land speed. At four, the mount can also accommodate the collective, granting them each one hour’s worth of air while submerged. This air reserve can be restored at the same rate it depletes. Each feat beyond the first four increases the mount’s swim speed by 20 feet.

This is how I imagine the ‘versatile’ trait looks on beasts.

Portable Accommodations           Feat 6
[Archetype] [Collective]
Prerequisites Carrier Dedication
You won’t settle for a simple saddle or a common canopy. Choose one feat from the Hideout dedication (as seen here and here). You gain that feat, treating a 10-foot by 10-foot square of your mount as hosting the necessary features. You count as having the hideout dedication for the purposes of this feat, but you must meet all other prerequisites. The GM may rule that some feats, such as Mobile Hideout, do not function in a meaningful way on a carrier mount.
Collective Each member of the collective may choose their own feat with its own function, but only one such room may be active at a time. It takes at least one hour to pack up the current hideout function and set up your own.

Siege Thrower           Feat 6
[Archetype] [Collective]
Prerequisites Carrier Dedication, trained in Crafting
You integrate a ranged weapon into your carrier mount’s barding or body that allows the mount to make ranged attacks. This is a ranged natural attack that deals 1d8 piercing damage. It has a range increment of 60 feet. It also has the propulsive and reload 2 traits. The mount is incapable of reloading on its own, but any riders may dedicate any number of actions towards reloading for it. As the plentiful ammunition is produced naturally by the mount’s physiology (spines, protruding body parts, etc), it does not need to be purchased and it does not take up any bulk.
Collective Each member of the collective that also takes this feat makes additions to the weapon, increasing its potency. They may increase the damage die by one step (up to a maximum of 1d12) or give the attack one of the following weapon traits: deadly d8, injection, ranged trip, versatile (acid, bludgeoning, cold, fire, or slashing), or volley 40 ft. The same trait may not be chosen twice. If you choose volley, increase the weapon’s range increment to 120 feet.

Advanced Carrier           Feat 8
[Archetype] [Collective]
Prerequisites Carrier Dedication
Through rigorous training and hard work, you’ve improved your carrier mount’s capabilities. Your mount gains an Ability Boost to an ability score of your choice. In addition, choose one of the following upgrades.

  • Your mount becomes Expert in Perception.
  • Your mount becomes Expert in unarmed attacks.
  • Your mount becomes Expert in a skill in which it is already Trained.
  • Your mount’s speed increases by 10 feet.
  • Your mount gains the ability to speak one language you know.

Collective Each member of the collective must select a different option. The only exceptions are becoming expert in a skill, so long as a new skill is chosen every time, and the ability to speak, so long as a new language is chosen every time.

If only they could tie their camels together to form one super camel.

Mystic Cannon           Feat 12
[Archetype] [Collective]
Prerequisites Carrier Dedication, master in a skill related to your magical tradition (Arcana for Arcane, Religion for Divine, Occultism for Occult, Nature for Primal)
You’ve managed to create a magical device that can feed off of your own power to fire destructive blasts. When you take this feat, choose one magical tradition from which you can cast spells. While performing the Direct Carrier action, you may sacrifice an unused spell slot of the same tradition to charge the mystic cannon. The charge remains for one minute, and the mount may expend this charge as a two-action activity that has the concentrate trait as well as the trait matching the magical tradition. Expending the charge releases a 60-foot line of destructive magical energy, dealing 2d6 damage per level of the spell slot sacrificed and allowing a basic reflex save against your Spell DC. The type of damage is chosen by you when the mount expends the charge, and the options are based on your tradition.

  • Arcane cold, electric, fire, force
  • Divine negative, positive, sonic
  • Occult mental, negative, force
  • Primal acid, bludgeoning, cold, electric, fire, piercing, slashing

Collective Each member of the collective may choose a different tradition of magic, adding the ability to sacrifice spell slots from that tradition.
Special If the mystic cannon deals force damage, reduce the d6’s to d4’s.

And that brings the archetype to a grand total of eight feats. A very solid foundation and more than enough for a low or mid-level game, even if there’s still more to be done. Better armor proficiency, burrowing, maybe even flying in the late game? Of course. But the Pathfinder 2e Remaster is less than a day away and I’ve also got a few persistent fascinations to write about, so it’s best that we move on.

Come back next time and I’ll wake the dog up.

Nate Wright

Hey there. I'm Nate Wright, author of the Eldritch Excursion blog. I'm also a credited freelance author on several releases from Paizo. When I'm not scooping up my thoughts and slapping them onto your feed like so much delicious ice cream, I can be found on social media where I retweet pixel art and talk about how great summoners are.