One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Guide to D&D 5e Mounted Combat

One of my player's in my Tomb of Annihilation campaign has decided to take the mounted combat approach with his character. When I looked up the rules in the PH I felt I needed a cheat sheet and some clarification. I watched the Dragon Talk episode on Youtube about the subject and wrote up this little guide hopefully you find is useful!

Art by Uncannyknack
What is a Mount?

  • Must be a willing creature
  • Must be at least one size larger than you
  • Must have appropriate anatomy*.

  • A rider can mount/dismount once during a move action.
  • A rider can only mount/dismount a creature that is within 5 feet of themselves.
  • Mounting/dismounting costs an amount of movement equal to half the rider’s speed
  • A rider can't mount/dismount if their speed is 0.
Forced Dismounting
  •  If an effect moves the mount while the rider is on it, the rider must make a DC 10 Dexterity save or fall prone within 5 feet of the mount.
  • If the rider is knocked prone while mounted, the rider must make a DC 10 Dexterity save or fall prone within 5 feet of the mount.
  • If your mount is knocked prone, you can use your reaction to dismount and land on your feet. Otherwise you fall prone within 5 feet of the mount.
Controlling a Mount
  •  A rider controls a mount only if it has been trained to to accept a rider
  •   Intelligent* creatures (like dragons) act independently.
  •   Mounts are either controlled or act independently.
Controlled Mounts
  •  A controlled mount’s initiative changes to match the rider’s.
  •  The mount can’t attack and moves as the rider directs it. In addition to a bonus action and a reaction the mount has only three actions it can take in a round:
1)         Dash
2)         Disengage
3)         Dodge

Independent Mounts
  •   An independent mount is any creature untrained to accept a rider, or it is intelligent*.                 An intelligent mount may allow itself to be controlled if it so desires but then must follow the controlled mount rules.
  • The mount retains their place in initiative.
  • The mount has no restriction on actions it can take.
  • The mount moves and acts as it wishes on it’s own initiative count.
  •  For the purpose of the Find Steed (PH 240) spell the player may choose if the summoned steed will be controlled or independent.
Opportunity Attacks while mounted
  • If the mount provokes an opportunity attack, the attacker chooses if it targets the rider, (or passenger if any) or the mount.
 Where is my character in relation to my mount? (For gridded combat purposes only)
  • At the Dungeon Master’s discretion, the rider is place in a specific square of the mount or is in the center of the mount based on what the situation may require.

Rules are as per 5th edition Player Hnadbook p. 198 and the episode of Dragon Talk: Sage Advice on Mounted Combat. from February 27, 2018 

*What constitutes an intelligent mount is left to the Dungeon Master’s discretion.


  1. That seems to match up with common sense well. Thanks for making a nice cheat sheet.

    1. Thanks Scott, I hope you find it helpful. I edited the post as I realized I had made some editing errors.