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Does both rider and mount take full damage from a lightning arrow if it hits?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear, you're asking about the Ranger spell Lightning Arrow, right? \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Dec 19 '17 at 22:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! It looks like you've probably gotten the right answer here, but this question could be improved by providing a little more info about the lightning arrow (clarifying if it's the Ranger spell Miniman mentions), and what you mean by "full damage" and "if it hits" (if it hits the mount? the rider? etc.) \$\endgroup\$ – A_S00 Dec 19 '17 at 22:56
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Lightning Arrow says that:

Make the attack roll as normal. The target takes 4d8 lightning damage on a hit, or half as much damage on a miss, instead of the weapon's normal damage.

Whether you hit or miss, each creature within 10 feet of the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. Each of these creatures takes 2d8 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

So, first, you make a normal attack roll. That means that if you shoot it at a mounted character, you'll need to shoot at either the rider or the mount, since attack rolls are made against a single creature. That creature, whether it's the rider or the mount, will take 4d8 damage (or half that if you miss). Then, each creature within 10 feet of the target gets hit by 2d8 damage, or half that if they make their saving throw. Note that this does not include the target.

Just to make it really clear: If you shoot at the rider, the rider takes up to 4d8 damage and the mount takes up to 2d8 damage. If you shoot at the mount, the mount takes up to 4d8 damage and the rider takes up to 2d8 damage.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically up to 10d8 for the target, since it's possible to crit? \$\endgroup\$ – Trip Space-Parasite Dec 19 '17 at 22:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TripSpace-Parasite True! \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Dec 19 '17 at 22:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Note that this includes the target, since they are a creature within 10 feet of themselves." No, they are not. Point (0,0) is an infinite distance from Point (0,0). And the 5e PHB specifically states when the original target is included "...the target of the attack and each creature within 5 feet of it must make a Dexterity saving throw..." (Hail of Thorns PHB p249) so 5e does not count the original target as "a creature within 10 feet of the target" \$\endgroup\$ – Luke Dec 20 '17 at 2:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Luke I'm not sure I agree, but we already have a question about this, so I'll leave it to that. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Dec 20 '17 at 2:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ My read is that the intent is that the lighting hits the target (4d8) and then arcs to nearby creatures. \$\endgroup\$ – Luke Dec 20 '17 at 2:55

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