Posted by okcstephens
It’s pretty common to want a unicorn companion in Pathfinder. It’s a neat idea, a common fiction trope, and a strong theme for mounted characters. The problem is, unicorns have lots of special abilities that make them too useful at low, and even mid levels, if they are just added to a character or are replacing a traditional animal companion. On the other hand, by higher level, unicorns are sure to be killed by high-level monsters.
In short there’s a very narrow level band where unicorns make sense (and even then they are a significant power boost), and that’s just not very satisfying for players who want a unicorn companion as a major part of their character concept.
With a little work, however, there’s another way to do the same idea. Rewrite unicorns using the animal companion rules, and require characters accessing them pay a price for the extra (balanced, scaling) power in the form of a feat.
You have attracted the attention, and loyal service of a unicorn.
Prerequisites: Animal companion class feature (or ability that works as the animal companion class feature), alignment within 1 step of chaotic good.
Benefit: You can select a unicorn as your animal companion, using the special rules and Unicorn Companion Starting Statistics listed below. It otherwise follows the normal animal companion rules.
Special: If the campaign allows for unicorns of alignments other than chaotic good (ranging from black or red unicorns to simply a world with varying unicorn morality), this feat can be taken by a character of any alignment, and the unicorn companion gained is within 1 step of that alignment.
Unicorn Companion Starting Statistics
Size Large, Speed 40 ft.; AC +3 natural armor; Attack gore (1d6), 2 hooves (1d3)*; Ability Scores Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 17; Special Qualities darkvision (60 ft.), low-light vision, scent.
Speed 50 ft.; AC +1 natural armor; Attack gore (1d8), 2 hooves (1d3)*; Ability Scores Str +2, Dex +2, Con +2, Wis +4, Cha +4; Special Qualities +1 Unicorn progression.
* This is a secondary natural attack, see Combat for more information on how secondary attacks work.
While the base unicorn companion is essentially a smart horse with a hron, it has access to a “unicorn progression” of special abilities. Each time the companion (not the player character it is a companion to) gains a feat, it may spend that feat to advance one more step along the unicorn progression, gaining more abilities. The abilities must be taken in order. One free progression occurs when the unicorn gains its 7th level advancement. The abilities are listed below, in order.
- Agent of Light: You can cast detect evil and light at will as spell-like abilities. You also gain a +1 bonus to saves against charm, compulsion, and poison, and on a single successful save negate such effects.
- Cure Light Wounds: You can cure light wounds as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + ¼ your HD. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +2.
- Powerful Charge: You may end a charge attack with a single gore attack, that does double damage (as if using Spirited Charge). If you have a rider, the rider may also make a single melee attack at the end of your charge. If your rider has charge-related feats (such as Ride-By Attack) you may benefit from them when charging, though your charge damage multiple does not stack with any other effect that multiples your damage done on a charge. Also your gore attack is treated as magic and good for purposes of bypassing DR. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +3.
- Mystic Creature: You can cast cure moderate wounds and neutralize poison, each ones per day, as spell-like abilities. Your movement speed increases by +10 feet. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +4.
- Magic Circle Against Evil: You have this in effect constantly, as a spell-like ability, as an aura. Your bonus to saves against charms, compulsions, and poisons increases to +6.
- Alicorn Maxima: You can cast greater teleport (as the spell) as a spell-like ability once per day. You are immune to charms, compulsions, and poisons.
Patreon Exclusive Content
Of course once you are giving unicorns special abilities on a progression chart, you can use that same idea to add optional powers, like flight and magic horn abilities. I explore that idea over at my Patreon.
Check it out!