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5E Sneak Attack question

TrueBagelMan

Explorer
If a rogue is on a mount does that mean as long as they don’t have disadvantage, that there sneak attack is always available because there mount is count as an enemy of who the rogue is attacking?
 

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MarkB

Legend
Technically yes. I'd probably only allow it with a mount that was trained for combat (i.e. one that could be relied upon to attack your enemies if you're not controlling it, rather than running away), otherwise I would consider it to be no threat to the target, and therefore not an enemy.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Maybe? If it's an intelligent mount, absolutely. The gray area to me is if it's a controlled mount. The mount isn't really threatening your target if it's under the rogue's control since it can only dash, disengage or dodge but can't attack.

But mounted combat is one of those areas that always felt a bit half-baked. I mean, if you're riding a war horse half the reason for that is so that your horse can attack. But it's not really an option unless you let the horse do whatever they want. In a home campaign, I'd bend the rules a bit, for AL I'd probably say no because by a strict reading of the rules the mount is no threat. If the mount is no threat it is not the enemy of your enemy.
 



MarkB

Legend
Does a mount count as an ally? Certainly an intelligent mount like a centaur who is allowing you to ride them is. But a trained warhorse you’re controlling? Harder to say.
Sneak attack doesn't trigger off having one of your allies adjacent to the target. It triggers off having an enemy of the target adjacent to the target. If the mount is visibly aggressive towards the target, it should count as an enemy.
 

I assume a trained combat mount knows how to fight effectively when allowed to act independently. You can control the mount until you get them where you want them to, then release them to act independently. Otherwise they are just a speed boost that eats a lot.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Sneak attack doesn't trigger off having one of your allies adjacent to the target. It triggers off having an enemy of the target adjacent to the target. If the mount is visibly aggressive towards the target, it should count as an enemy.
Oh, you’re right. My mistake.
 

auburn2

Explorer
In said case you will have SA as long as you do not have disadvantage, the mount is within 5 feet of the enemy and the mount is not incapacitated. That means you will get SA most of the time (unless you are using a whip) but it is not "always available".

That is how I would rule FWIW.
 

Ruling: It only counts as an enemy if it is a threat. So a controlled mount or one that has no attacks does not count. If the mount is uncontrolled and has an attack then it counts.
 

Can a controlled mount make an opportunity attack? I don't remember being told they lose their reactions, so I would tend to rule that they could. That would make them a threat I'd say.
 


MarkB

Legend
Can a controlled mount make an opportunity attack? I don't remember being told they lose their reactions, so I would tend to rule that they could. That would make them a threat I'd say.
They don't lose their reactions, but they don't have free rein (literally) to make use of them, nor do the rules for controlling a mount include the option to direct them to do so. It's putting it too strongly to say that the mount cannot think for itself while controlled, but it certainly can't act on its own behalf.

However, one section where the rules are somewhat lacking is in describing how one goes about deliberately relinquishing control of a mount in order to allow it to act on its own. Can a player say "I take control of my mount" at the start of their turn, then take their full range of actions, then say "I now relinquish control of my mount" and allow it to take reactions and act on its own initiative (both literally and numerically)? Would it require an action or bonus action to make the transition? Or is the decision made at the start of combat, with no option to then amend it?
 





Jediking

Explorer
By RAW and RAI, yes Sneak Attack would work

That's a smart Rogue and one of the benefits of being mounted

As a hostile creature (controlled by the DM) if it becomes an issue, do what any smaller creature has learned when fighting a bigger opponent - attack low and kill the mount.
 



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