Content of the article: "Most interesting/fun/frustrating combat I’ve seen in a while! DMs- the next time your players insist on having a ridiculous mount, definitely consider granting their request."
Before I get into the encounter, it’s important to point out that we (the whole dnd community) tend to only really focus on the PHYSICAL requirements for a creature to be a suitable mount. One size larger, anatomy that can realistically support the weight of a person, yadda yadda.
But there’s a pretty important part regarding mounts in the PHB. It flat out says that untrained creatures are incredibly hard to control and ride in normal situations. Very few creatures are trained to be mounted- (mules, donkeys, horses, etc). On top of that, the list of trained creatures who are also trained to be mounted in combat is incredibly small. Warhorses, mastiffs, and presumably elephants.
Be me, Gnome Battlesmith. Steel defender is basically a humanoid shaped rockem sockem robot who carries me everywhere on its shoulders.
Clearing dungeon with my party. I find a bag of tricks (rust?)
Immediately reach in and pull out all the animal summons to see what comes out.
Summoned a brown bear, a lion, and a goat.
Paladin hops off his
Elk and decides the entire party has cool new mounts now.
He takes Bear. Tiefling sorcerer takes lion. Halfling rogue takes goat. I jump off my robot and get on the Paladins Elk.
Enter the next room around the corner and are met by a dozen crazed cultists in a large open chamber.
”Roll for initiative”.
DM Rolls 4 extra dice. Weird.
Lion immediately does the 30 foot leap attack onto a cultist, carrying the sorcerer right into melee range surrounded by enemies.
rogue’s turn, can’t get the goat to move. Shoots at cultists with bow.
Cultist moves up and shoots a spell at the rogue. Goat freaks out.
Goat charges cultist with ram attack, knocks him prone, and turns and runs out the door with the rogue still on its back.
Sorcerer starts getting messed up by cultists.
Elk charges at a lone cultist nowhere near the sorcerer or anyone else. Knocks cultist prone and starts stomping on him.
Paladin’s turn- no ranged attacks. Starts screaming at the DM that he “ready’s” and is gonna attack when the bear goes to an enemy. (And was actually successful on the next turn)
I finish off prone cultist. Realize I can give a command to one animal per turn as bonus action, so I tell Lion to get the sorcerer to safety.
Sorc. can’t dismount and run because opportunity attacks so he just buffs lion with haste.
Lion kills 2 cultists then runs out of the room like the goat did.
Elk charges and stops another cultist. Paladin rememberers he can give it orders telepathically. Tells it to come back to where he is on the other side. Elk trots through enemies and gets killed by opportunity attacks immediately.
Lion runs back in without the sorcerer. Rogue runs back in without the goat. Mounts lion
paladin “readys” again, then flails at an enemy and misses as the bear eats a cultist.
I thunderclap aoe, Lion jumps back and kills two more. Rogue has to dismount and walk to go finish off the last two because the Lion wasn’t near enough.
Sorcerer eventually runs back into the room. Never found the goat again.
I think that ended up being a pretty unique event- even if it was just accidental stupidity. Having 0 control over your mount, having them totally ruin your positioning, and needing to figure out how to handle the fact that your movement and your actions take place on different turns ended up making a cool little unexpected “puzzle”.
- Sorcerer plays dead too good
- The Rule Of Cool
- That time the druid kicked a T-Rex to death (mild spoilers for Tomb of Annihilation)
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