In the PHB, the list of available mounts includes donkeys & mules, both having the same buying price, speed and carrying weight.

I know that, in real life, mules and donkeys have differences (after all, a mule is half-horse !), but I could only find game statistics on mules, not donkeys, for 5E.

I want my next character to start off with a donkey, but I don't know if I should simply use a mule's statistics to represent it or not.

Are there mechanical differences between a mule and a donkey in 5E ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am pretty sure that NSFW covers the mechanical differences. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 18 '19 at 2:10

There are not any differences as written. Using the mule statistics for donkeys seems reasonable enough, given that D&D isn't really meant to finely model the abilities of real-world creatures (and they mostly have statistics at all simply for the case of fighting 'em). The Monster Manual (appendix A) says:


A book of this size can’t contain statistics for every animal inhabiting your D&D campaign world. However, you can use the stat block of one animal to represent another easily enough. For example, you can use the panther statistics to represent a jaguar, the giant goat statistics to represent a buffalo, and the hawk statistics to represent a falcon.

The difference between "giant goat" and "buffalo" probably exceeds that of mule to donkey.

If this doesn't feel satisfying, though, I think it's reasonable to work with your DM to modify to taste. As long as you're not giving it a +10 2d12 gore attack and firebreathing, I can't see why anyone would really make a fuss.

(If you do want to make your own, my offhand thoughts: Remove the Beast of Burden feature, drop its strength and raise its dexterity, and drop its attack damage too. Maybe give it more charisma, because those ears are so cute.)

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "What do you mean my 8gp mule can't breath fire and gore those orcs? What did I bother paying for?!" \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Dec 1 '17 at 21:19
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm Forgot the "Stubborn" feature for the mule. Recharge 1-2; The mule will simply oppose whatever it is that the handler wants to do for 1d6 minutes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Dec 2 '17 at 4:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Ear cuteness is an important but vastly underutilized game statistic. +1 for including it @mattdm \$\endgroup\$ Dec 3 '17 at 5:31

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