I’m trying to create a proficiency that will allow characters (such as paladins) to bond with a special mount. This is typically going to be taken by high level characters who must also possess the appropriate riding proficiency, and who have already established a relationship with or undergone some sort of quest to find the appropriate mount to bond with. Take a look and let me know what you think:
Bonded Mount: The character forms a preternatural bond with a specific willing creature that chooses to serve as their companion and mount. The bonded mount gains +2 hit points per Hit Die and a +2 bonus to saving throws. In addition, the mount serves loyally and possesses a morale score of +4 as long as the character is mounted or within sight and alive. Finally, the mount and the character possess a limited empathic bond while within sight of one another, allowing basic emotions (fear, anger, sorrow, etc.) to be discerned and very simple commands (stay, come, attack, etc.) to be communicated through the bond.
The character must possess the appropriate riding general proficiency to successfully ride a bonded mount under difficult circumstances, such as combat. For good or ill, a bonded mount retains the typical attitudes, will, and instincts of a creature of its type, though the creature’s behavior may be kept in check by a strong-willed, charismatic, or particularly potent character. Powerful, intelligent mounts who allow themselves to be bonded to a character will consider themselves companions, equal partners, or even advisers and teachers, and will expect to be treated accordingly. Should the bonded mount be killed, the character must save vs. Death or instantly take damage equal to the mount’s total hit points. The character may not bond with another mount until they gain another level of experience or until ten years have passed. It is possible to raise a slain mount from the dead through spell or magical item. Deliberate mistreatment, neglect, or abuse of the bonded mount may cause it to abandon or even betray the character at an inopportune moment in addition to the bond being severed.
Typically a creature possessing more Hit Dice than the character has levels will refuse to become a bonded mount. Creatures able to be bonded by this proficiency may include a paladin’s divine warhorse, giant eagles, pegasi, nightmares, griffons, hippogriffs, unicorns, dire wolves, wyverns, and even dragons. The Judge is the final arbiter on which creatures may be bonded with this proficiency in the campaign world.