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The spell Find Steed allows a Paladin to "summon a spirit that assumes the form of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed, creating a long-lasting bond with it." The spell text describes what happens when a creature itself is reduced to 0 hit points (it disappears) but not what happens to it if the Paladin dies. The spell does not require concentration so it will not end because of that. Since the spirit is bound to the Paladin, it could make sense for the bound to break after the Paladin's death.

Is there any other advice that the rules provide or would this fall under the DM's discretion?

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The spell's duration is Instantaneous, so the Steed exists despite the Paladin dying.

The PHB's description of Instantaneous Spells is:

The spell harms, heals, creates, or alters a creature or an object in a way that can't be dispelled, because its magic exists only for an instant.

(PHB 203)

For Find Steed, you instantly create a spirit that assumes the form of a steed that now exists independently of you. If you die, the steed can be presumed to still be loyal to you, as the "bond" is only worded as "long-lasting" and not "life-long".

What happens after the paladin's death is up to the DM, but it might guard your corpse until itself dies, or carry your corpse to a safe location if able, among other things.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This also happens to familiars. They just remain there. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jul 4 '17 at 6:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Disagree. The spell specifically says Summon, not create. \$\endgroup\$ – cde Jul 4 '17 at 20:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right that it does say "Summon"; however, since the spirit is taking the form of an animal, could this spell be considered altering the spirit instead and the same would still apply? \$\endgroup\$ – Panda TG Attwood Jul 5 '17 at 8:30
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The horse lives on...

It is entirely possible your horse would drag your body all the way to the nearest cleric or temple to get healed (or at least buried instead of reanimated as a zombie). D&D Paladin horses are often based on highly intelligent fictional horses from western shows like the Lone Ranger. In the show "Have gun Will Travel" the main protagonist was literally named Paladin.

A Paladin's mount should never be viewed as merely another horse. They are supposed to be a supporting character. In the old days, you used to have to go on a quest to get one. There's meaning to all that flavor text, and it comes into play when you die or get incapacitated and they are still trotting around with the ability to do something about it.

The wording indicates the horse only vanishes if the horse dies, and then you can cast the spell again to summon a replacement.

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The spell specifically says Summon, not create. Find Steed is part of the Conjuration school of spells. The spirit existed prior to the spell, and will continue to exist after the spell, short of being extinguished/dying from being reduced to 0 points, or being released by you, in which case it just loses it's corporeal form.

Since it can disappear from hit point loss or by being dismissed, and then you can summon the same spirit again by casting Find Steed again, there is no reason for it do disappear when the Paladin dies. The loyalty bond stays intact unless your character explicitly releases it from the bond.

Like any other familiar, it will stick around and help your dead corpse to the best of it's ability.

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