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D&D 5E Mounted Combat Question


Id say a simple handle animal check to coax the horse to attack (using the paladins action). Possibly with adv for a paladins steed. And normal check for a fighter or other character.

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First Post
I would absolutely allow it, at least if the rider had Handle Animal or the Mounted Combatant feat. But while I think that's the sensible way to go, I don't think it's RAW. :-S

5e seems to be less about the RAW and more about the RAI.

Reading the section on Mounted Combat, it seems to me that you usually only give up the "movement" part of your turn, which allows your mount to take one of the three D actions (Dash, Dodge, Disengage). If you're willing to give up your actual action, I see no problem in letting your mount take an attack action (including Trample).


Mount related, Find Steed makes your steed's Int at least 6. Does that give it it's own set of actions (aside from having a joint move together)?


It also gives your steed a language it knows, telepathic connection to you, so yes that counts along with the 6 intelligence as an intelligent mount.


First Post
What about elephants?

I notice in the PHB that you can purchase an elephant (even cheaper than a warhorse) - one of my players showed interest, I was wondering where you would even find one on the Sword Coast. Would any of the big towns have access to them.

In rereading the description, it actually seems to me like you are able to choose from turn to turn whether or not you control the mount (so long as it's not intelligent like a dragon).

On turns you choose to control it, it acts on your initiative, and can only perform three actions options: Dash, Disengage, and Dodge.

On turns you don't control it, it acts on its own initiative and can take whatever actions it could normally take. The text states: "It might flee from combat, rush to attack and devour a badly injured foe, or otherwise act against your wishes."

So a Warhorse that you controlled on a turn and moved into a group of enemies, then chose not to control it the next turn, it might hoof attack on its own. A riding horse that wasn't trained for combat might just run away.

The only thing that might seem to contradict the above is that it states "The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it." That could be interpreted to mean you do not choose to control the mount or not from turn to turn, but it is simply a one time choice when you first get on the mount.

I just re-read it, and I like your analysis. As long as it keeps to your initiative for the remainder of the combat once your decide to control it, I'm not seeing an easy abuse here in allowing you to choose whether or not to control it from round to round.

I'd probably allow exactly that. With a warhorse, you might control it to get into melee, and then let it act on its own as you and it both strike out at foes nearby. In fact, if you mount a creature that is more dangerous than you are (say a griffon compared to a lower level character) it might be advantageous for you to just ready an action to attack the first creature that enters your range, and then allow the griffon to fly around attacking whoever he wants, while you use your readied attacks as support.

(This is also making me think that perhaps that might be a good precedent for how to handle animal companions. All of the rules regarding what actions you can give it and direct it to perform only take effect on a turn when you choose to "control" it. If you decide to control it, then it only does what you direct it to do, and if you direct it to do nothing, it does nothing. On a round when you don't choose to control it it acts independently. At lower levels you're mostly better off allowing it to act on it's own (except when you need to specifically direct it) while at higher levels you might get more bang for your buck by directly controlling it. I'll have to wait until my PHB arrives to read the precise rules so I can get a feel on how balanced that would be versus my alternative house rule of just allowing your directions to add to it's normal actions.)

A non-agressive mount not trained for combat (riding horse) would likely flee if you didn't control it, and I'd even ask for a handle animal check to be able to control it at all.


I'm assuming that much like the Warlock Pact of the Chain that allows you to use your action so that a familiar can attack, you could sacrifice your action to make your mount attack, but it doesn't specify that in the rules. Thoughts?

Interesting question. Per p198 you control the mount, so if you direct it to make a charge (as a Dash), it makes a charge. You also get your own actions. Alternatively, you leave the mount uncontrolled and it does what it wills.

Game-wise this seems right. If a mounted character got an extra attack over an unmounted one (say a flying wizard) purely from being mounted, would that unbalance the game? It also introduces a degree of risk: control but no direct attack or no control and, well, who knows. This does break down at higher levels with intelligent mounts, but perhaps that's deliberate to balance the fighter-types against wizards?

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