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This question already has an answer here:

While you're mounted, you have two options. You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently. Intelligent creatures, such as dragons, act independently.

You can control a mount only if it has been trained to accept a rider. Domesticated horses, donkeys, and similar creatures are assumed to have such training. The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it. It moves as you direct it, and it has only three action options; Dash, Disengage, and Dodge. A controlled mount can move and act even on the turn that you mount it.

I own a horse and it is trained to come when I whistle.

At the start of combat I am unmounted and I whistle (not an action). On the horses turn it spends its action to disengage (avoiding OA) and spends all of its movement to come to my side. On my turn (in the same round of combat) I spend half my movement to mount the horse. The horses initiative changes to match mine.

Question: Can the horse spend movement and take an action immediately even if it already spent those resources?

This would allow a mount to have an extra action/movement every time it is mounted. Taken to the ridiculous extreme, it would also allow faster-than-light travel as the horse is mounted, moves, dismounted, and mounted again by another character in succession.

Note that the object of my question is NOT to find out if I can travel through time on my horse given enough help, but just to find out if my horse can re-use its move/actions after being mounted.

Inspired by this question.

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marked as duplicate by Rubiksmoose, Oblivious Sage, Szega, Thomas Jacobs, kviiri Jan 27 '18 at 22:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If it is a duplicate the other question is wrong per JC ruling. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 26 '18 at 22:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron: That sometimes happens. The best thing to do in that situation is to leave a new answer on the old question. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jan 27 '18 at 22:15
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According to Jeremy Crawford: Yes.

According to a Twitter Thread...

Asker: rider on controlled mount wants to attack mid-move. Do rider and mount share one turn, or does rider need to Ready attack?

Crawford: A rider and a controlled mount have separate turns, but they have the same initiative, which means you decide which one goes first.

Same Asker: If the controlled mount had higher initiative, it gets a second turn the round it's mounted. Does it get to use all of its movement again?

Crawford: Yes.

So, by this logic, you could in theory build your lightspeed horse.

You and your mount share the same Initiative, but NOT the same turn. So you summon your horse (assuming your DM lets you 'whistle for it' when it isn't your turn) and it uses its Action to Disengage and then Moves to you. Your turn comes up, so you use half your Movement to hop on the horse's back. You decide that its turn happens after you. You then use your Action to 'Ready' using the rest of your Speed to Dismount, with a trigger of "Once my horse has moved next to my friend" who happens to be within Dashing distance of the Horse, and comes later than you in the Initiative order.

Now it's your horse's turn again (tacit agreement by Crawford) and it may again use its Speed to move (explicit agreement by Crawford). At the end of its movement, you use your Reaction to trigger your readied Dismount and hop off.

Rinse, Repeat with the next person in the initiative order: Lightspeed Horse.

Admittedly, there isn't a sane DM in the world who would allow this. And, really, that's the whole reason that DM's are granted authority to override rules at-will. A strict reading of the Rules as Written lets you do all kinda of insane things (Peasant Railgun, anyone?)

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    \$\begingroup\$ The last line says it all. Despite following the letter of the rule, it fails the Common Sense Test. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jan 26 '18 at 22:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm still not sure if I buy JC's insistance that the mount and rider don't share a turn, but it seems clear that the mount gets a second turn. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Jan 26 '18 at 22:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage Oh, I don't buy that either. In a game I run, the mount/rider share a turn. AND...any Speed that has already been expended by the Mount when it is Mounted remains expended until the start of the next Round--same with any expended Actions. Mounts don't magically accelerate or do more things in 6 seconds just because someone jumped on their back. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Jan 26 '18 at 22:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is weird. The Players Handbook says every creature in combat gets "a turn" meaning one (under Combat Step by Step) JC may be wrong, but for now it's official. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 26 '18 at 22:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @guildsbounty A creature can already move more than it's speed with the dash action among other ways but it's still strange. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 26 '18 at 22:16
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You would need every potential rider to be lined up in order of initiative. A daunting prospect. You would also need to use infinite divisions of initiative, since there are a limited number of spots, and a horse doesn't get to act on the same initiative twice.

Since the rules do not allow for fractional initiatives, nor acting twice on an initiative count, the most you could hope for (assuming your DM allowed this at all) is about 20 repeats in a round, since the best you could start with is the horse's initiative, which at Dex 10 is 20.

This is 20 rounds * 60 feet = 1,200 ft/round, or 200 ft per second or ~136 mph. Fast, but, hardly light speed. :)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do note that "Initiative Ties" are a thing. And in event of a tie, you are permitted to decide among the tied-parties who goes first. If infinite people all got an Initiative Roll of 10, then they can decide to go in order of eventual Horse-Arrival, and accelerate the Horse to infinite speeds if properly arranged \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Jan 26 '18 at 22:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ That still doesn't give the horse a new turn on that initiative. "A rider and a controlled mount have separate turns, but they have the same initiative, which means you decide which one goes first". Also "If the controlled mount had higher initiative," doesn't grant it another turn since it didn't have higher initiative, it had the same initiative. You just decide which goes first. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jan 26 '18 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the effort you put into answering this question, especially the math (I throw my horse at you at 136mph!), but the focus of the question wasn't actually on whether or not you can accelerate a horse to lightspeed. It was just a side thought that struck me as I wrote the question. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Jan 26 '18 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is true, but the bulk of your question had already been answered. This was addressing that last note. Not sure how to address the first part without essentially copying from others. Unless others object, I'll let the answer stand, since it does address a loophole that players might try to exploit given the premise and official answer. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jan 26 '18 at 22:25
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No, I would rule that the horse only gets one initiative, and one turn, per round (unless it is a 17th level Rogue). If it has already had its initiative and taken its turn, then that's past, and the switch to make its initiative match the rider's happens on the next round.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ PHB states very clearly that the mounts initiative changes to match its riders. That isn't up for discussion unless you believe that line was an error and there is some errata or correction somewhere. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Jan 26 '18 at 21:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Right. In D&D 5e, FTL travel is by horse, then. "These are the adventures of the warhorse "Enterprise", on a 5-year mission ..." For the horse's initiative to change to match the rider, it must still have its initiative for the round. If that has been expended, then its initiative cannot change, because it is in the past. Only the Shield spell can revise the past. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Boncer Jan 26 '18 at 23:10

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