Mount Rules of Combat

Mounts & Mount Licenses

A RPDND Guide to Mounted Combat

Mounted Combat within DnD is one of the most misunderstood and poorly explained types of combat. This is for many reasons, however, namely, as admitted by the original creators, they only conceived of mounts as a form of transportation and messaging. As such, source materials have conflicting information for how to be a mounted combatant. This includes things like how mounting and de-horsing works, what counts as a mount and how to even control / use a mount.

Determining Your Space

There are three conflicting methods to determine your space while mounted:

First, the Point Method.

The point method is a method that states, no matter the size of your mount, you still only occupy one space as a medium creature. What this means is that despite your mount being a large creature, you must choose a space on that creature to occupy. This will be the space that determines when you (the rider) get attacked, and where you can attack from.

Second, the Blob Method.

This method is probably the simplest version in DnD. If you are mounted, your space becomes that of your mount’s size. You can attack and be attacked in this space based on your reach and threaten squares.

Third, the Center Mass Method.

This method assumes you are in the very center of your mount, and by proxy, you can only be attacked or attack by means of reach / ranged weapons. Otherwise, only the mount can be attacked.

RPDND Ruling:

At RPDND, we find the first method unrealistic and burdensome. In order to simplify combat while maintaining realism, we have opted to adopt the Blob Method for mounts that are Large or smaller. For mounts that are Huge or larger the Center of Mass Method will apply.

Controlling Your Mount

Source material states that prior to combat, you can designate a mount as a “controlled mount”. A controlled mount is one which gets to act along with the player on the player's turn. This mount as such loses all free will as it can only use the “Dodge, disengage, and dash” actions. No attacking is allowed.

Mounts which are not designated controlled mounts, act separately (before or after) the player on the player's turn.

Source material also states that intelligent mounts (Int of 6 or greater) can be seen as sentient and as such are given their own initiative. These mounts no longer can share the turn of the player and can attack and move on their own. The player cannot move these mounts on his or her own turn.

RPDND Ruling:

For RPDND, if a mount is mounted by the player, it is considered a “controlled mount” and may not attack. The controlled mounts will act with the player on their turn. If it is an unintelligent mount which has not been mounted, the mount will take its turn prior to the player’s turn . If the player mounts after, this mount cannot use an action or move on the player's turn.

Intelligent mounts will still roll for their initiative and act on their turn (player controlled) if not mounted. Once mounted by a player however, they lose their initiative and become “controlled”. If the player dismounts or is forcibly de-horsed, the mount then regains its initiative and acts on its turn.

The only exception to the above rule is when mounting a wild shape or polymorphed player character. The other player does not become a “controlled mount”, instead that player remains in control of their form and of their initiative. You cannot move this type of mount on your turn.

Magical Effects on Mounts/Mounted Players

To clarify this point for RPDND, Mounts summoned will take the effects of their bonded partner. I.e.: Find Steed is a magical based summoning spell to bring forth a mount. The mount would be affected by magical effects/boons cast by the rider. For normal purchased mounts, these effects would not work on the mount.

Which Feats Affect Mounts/ Mounted Combat

The only feat, which will affect mounts will be the ‘Mounted Combatant’ Feat. All other feats which the rider may have will only affect the rider and not the mount.

Forcibly De-horsing

There are two official ways to de-horse a rider. RPDND will add a third.

First Method: is to forcibly move the horse (not the rider) and have the rider make a DC 10 Dexterity save to not fall off and become prone. If you move both the horse and the rider this effect does not occur.

Second Method: is to knock the horse prone, at which point the rider makes the same DC 10 Dexterity save to try to land on their feet. This also applies if the mount is killed while in combat.

Third Method: added by RPDND to de-horse a rider, will be via a melee grapple check. The rider can be targeted by a melee grapple action from within 5ft of the player’s space and if the grapple succeeds, then the rider may then be pulled (grapple rules still apply for moving the player) off the mount. The horse then becomes independent.

Saddles can still overcome these dismounting rules.

Find Steed & Find Greater Steed

Find Steed is the most commonly used spell when it comes to mounted combat, however the spell itself poses some challenges, namely items. This mount comes unequipped with items such as saddles, saddle bags, barding, and other items (both mundane and magical). The player will need to obtain these, and equip them should they wish. These items are equipped to the mount and any equipment / items which are in the mount's bags or attached to the mounts are considered in the mount’s inventory.

Additionally, if the mount is de-summoned or dies, those items go with the creature until it is re-summoned later, cutting off player access to that inventory. Should the mount be reshaped those items stay with the mount and reform to the new shape.

Find Greater Steed acts the same.

Find Steed Mounts

Acquired through the spell Find Steed

Greater Find Steed Mounts

Acquired through the spell Greater Find Steed

*RPDND reserves the right to reconsider adding additional mount types via events, purchase, or player driven research in the future. These determinations as listed above will act for how mounted combat will work on the RPDND server. Should any item be unclear or if we missed addressing an issue with mounted combat, please inform us and we will add it to the guide. DMs and players should abide by these determinations for the server. 

Additional Riders

Depending on the mounts size as well as the rider(s) size mounts can or can not carry multiple riders. Below is a list of acceptable amounts per mount size.

During Events it falls to DM discretion if a mount can carry additional riders past the limits listed below as well as hauling/carrying anything that is not a rider.

Total Riders Per Mount Size

Huge Mounts:

Large Mounts:

Medium Mounts: