Find Steed – Second Level Paladin Spell

D&D 5e

So I popped in at the end of a one-shot that a friend was DMing and as they were finishing up one of the players in my Slaves of Troustar campaign asking me a weird out of the blue question.

“Hey I’m probably gonna level up soon to level 5 and I can get this Find Steed spell. It looks pretty cool and its says that the DM could allow all kinds of creatures and I was thinking cool. I really like to have a [I honestly can’t remember because it was a ridiculously overpowered creature.]”

I’m on a horse! No, I can’ fly!

I was ill-prepared for this out of the blue question and just said that I would have to take a look.

It turns out that Find Steed (D&D 5e Player’s Handbook p240) is a 2nd level conjuration that summons a spirit-like creature that bonds with its caster. The creature is intelligent and understands the commands of its master.

The steed is essentially a mount D&D 5e Player’s Handbook p198, 155-157, 181-182) that you can use in combat and on the trail. The creature has all the features of a mount but must have at least 6 intelligence.

Difference Between a Mount and Find Steed Creature

Unlike the basic mount, the steed and mount can can fight as one. Does that mean that the payer has their attack moves as well as the attack moves of their steed?

To me, it appears that considering the creatures intelligence, it could be considered independent and intelligent and would roll it’s own initiative if the creature is not mounted in battle. Because the creature was conjured by the paladin it is fair to say that the creature can be controlled by the player.

So, for example, your paladin could charge his warhorse into battle using Trampling Charge (D&D 5e Monster Manual p340) as an attack from the warhorse and then the Paladin would carry out their attack.

If the paladin mounts the creature in combat. AC of the Paladin and creature is not combined. The DM decides where the attack goes – on the paladin or the steed.

Choosing a Steed

For my campaign, steeds generally come from the basic list provided in the Player’s Handbook on page 240 of Find Steed: warhorse, pony, camel, elk or mastiff.

It would seem a little odd for a massive half-orc fighter to be riding a Mastiff into battle.  I think the type of mount needs to depend on the size and weight of the character.

My human paladin in this game, would then need to choose from large beasts. Other beasts could be an option for the paladin but the beasts also need to keep their challenge rating under 1/2(100xp).  So for example, the player could create a creature out of the basic form of a creature like a Giant Goat and call it a War Ox.

Of course, this limits the choice to non-flying creatures – don’t get me started on flying in D&D, ugh!

I also think that a creature summoned by the paladin should be relevant to their experience. They are not going to summon an emu into battle if they have not seen one before.

Finally, steeds are for riding. I think it is unfair to summon a steed you couldn’t possibly ride in a cramped dungeon just to give you a little edge.

How to Deal With an Over Powered Conjuring In-Game

Just tell the paladin that their skill and purity to the cause was not yet suitable enough for them to summon such an exotic creature. With time and dedication they may be able to call forth such a creature but in the meantime, here’s a three-legged donkey names Rufus.

Hey! I found yer steed!


Wood Elf Hermit Druid – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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You in the World

You know little of the world outside your special part of the forest. You know the capital of the elven empire Myrast lies across Lake Holoust to the east and even you have heard of the multicultural hotpot of Ac Rumb in the Vesluvian Empire.

Something has been troubling your forest of late. You can’t put your finger on it, it is more of a subtle scent – no stench on the wind that knots at your stomach. Your desire for your peaceful home and your curiosity conflict with each other until you awake one night in a sweat. You need to move…the nose out the abnormalities…the wrong. You leave your forest home set between Holoust Lake and the Brafous Range and head South for the first time out beyond the protection of the great elven forest of Alastian and into the realm of dwarf and human.

You make your way south across the great Melefous River and over the Garuhm Range and into the Turm Forest. In the Turm Forest you notice what could be described as a smugglers track recently used. You follow…

Wood Elf Outlander Ranger (2) – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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You in the World

If your short life – for elf years – has taught you anything, it’s that you don’t quite fit in anywhere. You might be an elf but you have the curiosity of a human and the drinking capacity of a battle dwarf. This made you unpopular among your classmates in the elvish capital of Myrast and soon you had had enough and decided to explore the forests of your world making a living trading furs and foraged items from the Palarian Forest where you picked up Dwarvish, trading with the Todmin Empire.

But that still was not enough to sate your wanderlust. One drunken blurry night in the Dwarven capital of Vem Lodur you meet a very charismatic and considerably handsome blond warrior – well for a human anyway – named Bartleby who seduces you with stories of adventure, mystery and intrigue. As you leave his cot the next morning you eyes caress his muscled body. No regrets. While the love of the previous night was a joy, what he has to offer for your future is far more interesting – Spying for the most multicultural nation ever known, Velsuvia.

Over the last year, your tasks have been simple, keep to your favoured environment, the forest and observe and report. At last a purpose for your travel instead of a soulless whim.

Your latest mission was to travel to the Turm Forest and observe the unusual movements of brigands in the area who seem to be kidnapping people and using old smuggler’s trails. A side mission for you has been to observe the progress of three companions an elf like yourself, a dwarf and a human monk. Should they get into trouble you are to intervene and if you see fit join their party.

NOTE: Don’t give away who you work for or who is your controller, Bartleby.

At last you finally come across some brigands. You have been observing their whereabouts for two days now until you recognise the three companions described to you. What to do…

Human Paladin Soldier – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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You in the World

The military has always been in your bloodline, but something is just not right about it. You grew up in the warmer southern reaches of the Vesluvian Empire in Raglow. Even before the reign of Lord Vecevious, Raglow has been the training grounds for the Vesluvian military. It is a strategic place too. To the west lies the Orcan Planes and it requires no small amount of presence to keep the peace with the Orcs who are often want to forget that raping and pillaging is no longer the status quo in the world. And across the Bellofaster Sea to the East lies the dragonborn empire of Ch’Rath. The Ch’Rath are merchants and the very loosest sense of the term and often need to be deterred from the Vesluvian shores.

Over the past months your concerns about the increasing hostilities with the Orcs and rumours of the Vesluvian navy being compromised have started to stir the barracks. Your superiors are tight-lipped to point of cruelty to those who ask too many questions.

You have had enough of the lies and the corruption. Clearly Lord Vecevious is running Ac Rumb for his own sinister designs. Your posting has come to an end and it is not a hard decision to hand in your discharge papers. The only pull at your heartstrings is the disappointment from your family. You excuse your discharge as a pilgrimage to find deeper knowledge alluding to the chance to return to the military once you are done. That seems to have appeased them.

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Half-Elf Bard Sage – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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And so it begins

Maud. What a disgusting name of a town to be found near. You are surprised they didn’t just call you Maud to add insult to injury. That merry band of bards who betrayed you…saved you from the forest, fed you, took you under their wing, gave you a trade, loved you. Yep. You guess you were overreacting, but then again, that is your trade – The drama of the song puts the coins in the cup. You’re sure they know you didn’t mean the things you said when you left to find your real parents and a little adventure of your own. Perhaps you will send a letter back to apologise about how you left things with your bard ‘family’.
It is time to leave the confines of your regular circuit in the north. You’ve seen a few flyers lying around inviting the brave and inquisitive on an adventure like no other offering coin and glory both. You bet there will be a story and a song in it too.

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Dwarf Barbarian Outlander – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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You in the world

You embark from the western midlands of the Garuhm Ranges on the far western edge of the Dwarvan empire of Todimn. Few villages inhabit this area and the midlands provide more than enough hunting and foraging to sustain you. To your south is the Orcan Plain.

Depending on your wanderlust, you may have journeyed south to live among the Orc’s for a time, ventured east to the great Dwarvan mountain capitol of Vem Lodur or further East into to the very reaches of civilisation in the Forgotten Territories. However, considering your inexperience, there is little chance you have travelled further.

What has your life given you? What secrets do you hold? Why did you decide to take this journey?

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Barbarian Human Fighter – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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You in the World

The claws of Bane dig deep inside your skull at the excess of the previous night’s debauchery hurtle back painfully into your mind. This can’t go on – do a job, drink, fight, maybe some love. Your antics are making you enemies. It’s time to leave. You have had enough of the nursing of merchants on their regular journeys to the remote villages on the frosted edges of the north. You want to see more than this frigid place.

You still have that poster somewhere; the one offering fortunes and adventure for the young and willing. You fumble around for if before finding it inside your hip pocket. You notice fresh blood on the page where your thumb has brushed it. You reach up to your face and wince at the new cut above your eye from last night’s brawl. Through bleary eyes, you look again at the poster. It’s the right time. It’s the right choice.

You grab your weapons, pack and meager belongings and head south from the city of Bromduhlis to the cultural hotbed of Ac Rumb. With the Bellofaster Sea to your right and the Brofous Range to your left you make your first step on the Great Northern Road.

What has your life given you? What secrets do you hold? Why did you decide to take this journey?

Ac Rumb

The northern people are strongly independent and equally fickle in their relationship with the south making it the most disruptive portion of the Vesluvian Empire. However, since the rule of the Patrician of Vesluvia, Lord Vecevious, an odd quiet has fallen across the northern lands. Instead of the regular clan conflicts that plagued the rule of the Mad King Jelofar and his father before him, now clans have regular games featuring feats of strength, cunning, skill and, of course, violence (at least this time, a little more controlled).

Your Story Begins

You have come far from the north, passing the port city of Caraster along the way, but now you approach the northern gate of Ac Rumb. There are many fur covered peoples of your homeland here though they are but a drop in the sea compared to the sheer mix of humans, elf, dwarves, gnomes and more. What crosses your mind is how puny, weak and girly the city men look here compared to the hard men and women of Bromduhlis. Such strange people.

As you pass under the yellow-stone northern gate, you enter a great bazaar. Produce of every variety cover tables and the smell of roasting meat reaches your nostrils and responds to your empty stomach.

Perhaps a hearty breakfast and then off to find the Butcher’s Arm, you think.

Thief Human Assassin – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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You in the World

Leaping from the crammed rooftops of Raglow you turn briefly to glimpse the torch flames attached to the clanking sound of guards as they attempt to chase you across the rooftops. A bolt flies by your right ear and clangs onto to tiled roof before arching over the gutter and into the street below. You take a gulp of air to control your ragged breathing and hurtle forward into the night.

You failed, your task. You only had one chance to make the kill to become a member of the Assassin’s Guild and you blew it. Was it a false move, a shaky hand or some hidden sense of compassion that should have been tucked away in a dark place a long time ago. No time to wonder. You need to flee; to get out of this city and fast. And you know exactly where you are going to go.

That poster advertising adventure seems like the next best step, but right now you need to make your escape from Raglow.

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Forest Gnome Wizard – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

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You in the World

Leaving behind your homeland, the hidden maze of burrows on the forested foothills of the Pinnacle Mountains, you make your first small step west to the great city of Ac Rumb. Your small band, known as the Tink, inhabit the northern edge of the Palarah Forest. Further south lies the mighty dwarven kingdom of Todimn. To the northwest rests Lake Holoust and upon its edges the beautiful elven city of Myrast. To the east are the forgotten territories – Once might civilisations lost in ruin and decay.

Most gnomes prefer to concentrate on their own projects and bother themselves only with the lives of those in their villages, but as a rare magic user and adept study of life you have chosen to read well of the world and take the subtle clues that cling to the tales of the simple creatures that pass your lands to advances your awareness of the goings on on the borders of your home.

You have noticed in recent times that these communes with the forest animals seem to be unnaturally vivid, foretelling strange things like changes in weather or visits from other members of nearby gnomish burrows. The engineer minded of your village have put these visions down to nothing more than your overexercised observant mind. They jest, as gnomes are want to do, that you have your nose in every corner of the village sniffing for honey, and the occasional murmur of the term ‘sticky beak’ makes you wonder if the it is a referenced to you. It would give you a good chuckle if it did.

But there has to be something more to all of this. It can’t be just the muddlings of old age. Especially, the day you found the offer of adventure to that hotbed of culture Ac Rumb. As you picked up that flyer a surge of energy set you square on your fanny. It was a telling.

You read on. Meh! Young traveller, you thought. Your a gnome you have always been young at heart. It’s time to make farewells and set off for a journey like no other.

What has your life given you? What secrets do you hold? Why did you decide to take this journey?

Ac Rumb

Your centuries on terra firma, the many books you have collected and the whisperings on the wind have given you a pretty good grasp of the goings on of Ac Rumb, though that grasp may be a little dated and strongly biased towards animals.

You recall a scrap of text you had managed to squirrel away some time ago. You can’t recall where you got it from, but it appeared to be a page out of a history book of the Vesluvian Empire. You hurry back home and dive into you collection (no doubt the dive was quite literal for a gnome). There it is! It isn’t on Ac Rumb exactly but is is on it’s ruler. Close enough!

Wide-eyed you read:

Lord Vecevious – Patrician of Ac Rumb

Since the disappearance of the Mad King Jelofar of the Vesluvian Empire some fifty years previous, Lord Vecevious has reigned as patrician until an heir to the throne is found to replace him.

Since the patrician took power, peace has reigned over the kingdom and a peace of varying degrees has been forged with Vesluvia’s neighbors.

Benevolent? Arguably. Dictator? Absolutely. Lord Vecevious’ takes a unique approach to the care of his kingdom. Rarely seen by his subjects, his policies reflect an eye in every corner of the world that gradually adds to the prosperity of the kingdom and its capital of Ac Rumb. Unlike the crazy spectacle of violence of his former King in response to defiance of the laws of the kingdom, Lord Vecevious takes a more subtle approach. If a threat to the state occurs, the perpetrators just tend to go…missing indefinitely…forever.

Of course there is still crime in the city. There would be no Thieves Guild without it. However, crime in the great city could almost be considered, controlled. As many a commoner would say in the Bleak District, “Ain’t noten wrong with a bit o crime now and then. Keep too’er many visit’ers away and the rest o-us sharp!”

There is little known of Lord Vecevious’ past and what is known is little more than conjecture. Some say he was the fabled, Black, from the Assassin’s guild. Others believed he was the spymaster for both King Jelofar and his father. Whatever else, his claim to Patrician of Ac Rumb was absolute and with little conflict (that wasn’t dealt with swiftly, quietly and mysteriously.)

His age is another conundrum. He has been in power for the past 50 years but on the rare occasion of his public visits has not appeared to age. His tall thin form may give credence to elvish mixed into his human blood but his features are distinctly human which leads others to believe his longevity is a result of some magical influence. …

Your Story Begins

The pain of leaving your burrow that has hung around you during the first several weeks of your journey has suddenly vanished as the great spires of the city of Ac Rumb rise before you.

Even on the outer edge of the city before the outer walls you notice homes, shops, warehouses and more. You delight to find pockets of small small city gardens and vegetable gardens bent around spare pockets of land.

You increase your pace as you spin your head around trying to take in every aspect of this city. A few times you have even tripped over your own feet in your enthusiasm to glimpse it all. You had never been beyond the burrows, of what could loosely be described at the gnomish state, before and the small alien towns and villages that have dotted the path to the city along the Limo Q’esso Road pale in comparison.

Ahead lays the blue-Gray eastern gates protruding from the earth like giants teeth. High above the walls reaches a great tower vibrating a purple glow of magic. A magician’s school, you wonder. Would they let you visit? No time to worry about that, you think. You need to find the Butcher’s Arm first.

Half Elf Water Monk – Slaves of Troustar Character Back Story

This is an example back story for the D&D 5e campaign, Slaves of Troustar.Lint to Slaves of Troustar Contents Page
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You in the World

You embark from Mia Partis heading northeast aboard a small open deck merchant vessel to the mighty centre of culture, Ac Rumb. A lifetime in the Monastery of O has filled you with the refreshing clarity that an only absolute devotion to the element of water can provide. This devotion to the mysteries of O, arduous training in it its secret arts and long hours of contemplation, have prepared you well for a life in the order but not a life in the world. The final step in your novitiate is to embark and explore the world. Is there are secret mission you must undertake or were you sent merely to experience the world and return when the water calls you? Or was there another reason…?

Your small monastery rests on one of the tiny delta islands that make up the river town of Mia Partis. Your monastery’s island is known by the locals as Reg A’sm. Loosely translated from the old tongue this means, shuddering eruption. It was thought, that centuries ago when the first pilgrims of the order of O appeared in Mia Partis and used their powerful ki energy on the waters of the delta to erupt forth the island causing the lands to convulse and shudder.

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