Mounted Combat in 5E

The next iteration of the Dungeons & Dragons game.
The Book-House: Find 5th Edition products.

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 21659
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Havard »

We haven't used mounted combat much yet in 5E, but two of the campaigns I am involved in now have Paladins with their own special steeds and some questions arose.

The Mounted Combatant Feat tells us the following:
Player's Handbook wrote:
  • You have advantage on melee attack rolls against any unmounted creature that is smaller than your mount.
  • You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead.
  • If your mount is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, it instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.
This Nerd Immersion Video asked some more questions about the topic, but only answered some of them.

This DungeonDudes Youtube Video has a good rundown of how it works.

The guys from Dungeon Dudes recommend using Athletics and Animal Handling for various mount related actions. I would not have thought about using Athletics, but it does make sense for certain actions like animal manoevers.

The idea that you can have the mount move its full move, then dismount and make your own full move afterwards is a bit odd to me, but what do you guys think?

Do you require both rider and mount to take the disengage action in order to avoid provoking Attacks of Opportunity?

How do you explain situations where a rider succeeds his saving throw, but a mount fails?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 3129
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by shesheyan »

There is a Cavalier subclass you could look at for guidance in Xanathar's I believe.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 21659
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Havard »

shesheyan wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:53 pm
There is a Cavalier subclass you could look at for guidance in Xanathar's I believe.
Thank's for mentioning this. I haven't looked at that book in a while.

Here are some relevant abilities from this Fighter Subclass:
Born to the Saddle
Starting at 3rd level, your mastery as a rider becomes apparent. You have advantage on saving throws made to avoid falling off your mount. If you fall off your mount and descend no more than 10 feet, you can land on your feet if you’re not incapacitated.

Finally, mounting or dismounting a creature costs you only 5 feet of movement, rather than half your speed.

Unwavering Mark
Starting at 3rd level, you can menace your foes, foiling their attacks and punishing them for harming others. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can mark the creature until the end of your next turn. This effect ends early if you are incapacitated or you die, or if someone else marks the creature.

While it is within 5 feet of you, a creature marked by you has disadvantage on any attack roll that doesn’t target you.

In addition, if a creature marked by you deals damage to anyone other than you, you can make a special melee weapon attack against the marked creature as a bonus action on your next turn. You have advantage on the attack roll, and if it hits, the attack’s weapon deals extra damage to the target equal to half your fighter level.

Regardless of the number of creatures you mark, you can make this special attack a number of times equal to your Strength modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Warding Maneuver
At 7th level, you learn to fend off strikes directed at you, your mount, or other creatures nearby. If you or a creature you can see within 5 feet of you is hit by an attack, you can roll 1d8 as a reaction if you’re wielding a melee weapon or a shield. Roll the die, and add the number rolled to the target’s AC against that attack. If the attack still hits, the target has resistance against the attack’s damage.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.

Hold the Line
At 10th level, you become a master of locking down your enemies. Creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they move 5 feet or more while within your reach, and if you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the target’s speed is reduced to 0 until the end of the current turn.

Ferocious Charger
Starting at 15th level, you can run down your foes, whether you’re mounted or not. If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line right before attacking a creature and you hit it with the attack, that target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier) or be knocked prone. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
There are some interesting situations mentioned here that could apply also to mounted characters who do not have this class such as saving throws against falling off a mount. Does this refer mainly to spells or would you also use a saving throw for not falling off a scared mount (rather than an Athletics or Animal Handling roll)?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 3536
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Tim Baker »

Havard wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:29 pm
The idea that you can have the mount move its full move, then dismount and make your own full move afterwards is a bit odd to me, but what do you guys think?
Here's what the rules say:
Player's Handbook wrote: Once during your move, you can mount a creature that is within 5 feet of you or dismount. Doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed. For example, if your speed is 30 feet, you must spend 15 feet of movement to mount a horse.
So while your mount could use it's full movement, you'd need to spend half your movement to dismount, and would only have half your movement left. And you just left your mount behind, so it might give you a speed boost once (which is an example where this seems to go against what you'd expect in the fiction/reality), you couldn't do it round after round.

User avatar
Hugin
Messenger of Odin
Posts: 4197
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Hugin »

Havard wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:29 pm
The idea that you can have the mount move its full move, then dismount and make your own full move afterwards is a bit odd to me, but what do you guys think?
I would rule that this falls under the "Using Different Speeds" section on page 190 of the PHB. It describes movement between different speeds (such as walking and flying) and tells you to subtract the distance already traveled from the new speed when switching.

It gives an example of having a walking speed of 30 and a flying speed of 60 (from a fly spell). You could fly 20 feet, walk 10 feet, then fly again for 30 feet. After flying for 20 and walking for 10, you can't walk for anymore distance because you've moved 30 feet and have a walking speed of 30, although you could continue to fly for another 30 feet for a total move of 60 feet (your fly speed).

I think this applies perfectly for movement with mounts, treating the mount's movement as a "different speed", even if they were the same by some coincidence. Using an example of your walking speed of 30 and your warhorse's of 60, you could move 10 feet, mount the warhorse by spending 15 feet (half your speed), then ride for another 35 feet.

Or, you could ride for 10 feet, dismount (costing 15 feet), then move 5 feet.
Do you require both rider and mount to take the disengage action in order to avoid provoking Attacks of Opportunity?
Given these two statements under "Controlling a Mount" (page 198), the first being "[a controlled mount] has only three action options: Dash, Disengage, and Dodge.", and the second being, "if the mount provokes an opportunity attack while you're on it...", it seems clear that a mount can provoke opportunity attacks and avoid them via the disengage action.

The real question then is, is the rider still required to use the disengage action? Since I can't find anything in the rules that suggests the normal opportunity attack rules no longer apply when mounted, I'd say the rider still has to use the disengage action. The additional rules for mounts are really just reiterating the normal rules and confirms that they apply to creatures used as mounts.

This makes it possible to have just one of the rider or mount provoke the OA. If engaged with only a single foe you have the option to forego using disengage and the foe can only attack one rider or mount but not both (OA costs a reaction). And if you have the "Mounted Combatant" feat you can force the OA to be against yourself and not the mount.
How do you explain situations where a rider succeeds his saving throw, but a mount fails?
This really depends on the save and effect. You could visualize it as one partially shielding the other.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 3536
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Tim Baker »

Those are really solid replies, Hugin. I like the way you approach explaining your rationale.

User avatar
Hugin
Messenger of Odin
Posts: 4197
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Hugin »

Thanks for the compliment, Tim.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 21659
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Havard »

I agree, this is a very take on how it would work Hugin :)

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 21659
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Havard »

Would you allow the use of 2H melee weapons from a moving mount?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Hugin
Messenger of Odin
Posts: 4197
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Gender: male
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: Mounted Combat in 5E

Post by Hugin »

Havard wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:29 pm
Would you allow the use of 2H melee weapons from a moving mount?

-Havard
I can't find any rules that suggest fighting with a 2H weapon would be any different than any other weapon you could use.

This video, Medieval two handed melee weapon from horseback - is it possible?, on the youtube channel "Modern History TV" (a fantastic channel by the way!) suggests that it is certainly possible. And like most things, has its advantages and disadvantages.

Overall, and as it seems to be RAW, I would allow it and treat it as any other attack. However, it could create situations were control of the mount needs to be tested, and that could lead to animal handling checks that are at disadvantage if the rider attacked with a 2HD weapon that rould (i.e. the reigns are cuurently dropped). Rules like this should always be discussed with players before they are needed, of course.

Post Reply

Return to “D&D 5th Edition”