A pegasus is described thusly with regards to mounts:

[T]hese wild and shy creatures are as intelligent as humanoids, and so can’t be traditionally broken and tamed. A pegasus must be persuaded to serve a good-aligned creature as a mount, but when it does so, it forges a life-long bond with its new companion.

They have an intelligence of 10 and are "as intelligent as humanoids". Intelligent creatures cannot be used as a controlled mount. So, clearly if a normal pegasus were used as a mount they would presumably qualify as "intelligent" and thus would not act as a controlled mount.

However, find greater steed says:

You control the mount in combat.

Does this mean that the find greater steed is intended to override the general mounted combat rules and force the mount to be a controlled mount?

If so, does that then mean that you cannot allow the mount to act independently?

The latter interpretation seems to mesh with a Jeremy Crawford ruling about find steed, but I'm not sure if there is something I am missing here.


3 Answers 3


In a recent Dragon Talk titled Sage Advice on Mounted Combat Jeremy Crawford explained the intended rules, which are that the Paladin can choose:

The spell says that you and the steed fight as a cohesive unit and you can communicate with it and it serves you.

Really what that means is, it is up to you [...] whether to control it or let it act independently

So it is the choice of the Paladin whether the Steed acts on its own or not. It serves him, so he can control it, but it is intelligent enough to act on its own.

He confirmed this again in a recent tweet.

Find steed / find greater steed—when you ride the mount in combat, you decide whether it follows the rules for a controlled or an independent mount. #DnD

  • \$\begingroup\$ Very good job transcribing that Dragon Talk segment. Very helpful! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 2:03

Although it does not say so specifically, you should be able to treat it like a normal mount in that respect, and choose when and whether to control it, or to have it act independently.

The spells Find Steed and Find Greater Steed do not summon an actual steed of the normal type from somewhere else; they summon a spirit (celestial, fey, or fiend) that takes the form you choose. In this, these steeds are more like a familiar than they are like a regular monster.

As with a familiar, the Found Steeds are under the summoner's control, and obedient, much more than would be the case with a normal monster of the type, and also have the creature type of celestial, fey, or fiend (to match the spirit chosen) and not beast or monstrosity or whatever. Indeed, the normal pegasus is of the celestial type, but your Find Greater Steed pegasus could be a fey or fiend, if that's the type of spirit you chose.

Both Find Steed and Find Greater Steed specify that your spirit steed has an Intelligence of not less than 6, which is intelligent enough that a steed that smart would normally always act independently (see discussion here: How do I determine if a creature is too intelligent to be a controlled mount?), but the spells specifically also both say that "you control the mount in combat".

So, all of that to say, it is (as usual) up to the DM for final decision, but it makes sense to treat it like a somewhat smarter version of a normal mount, as far as behavior and control go.


According to Jeremy Crawford, as of March 3, 2018:

Find steed / find greater steed—when you ride the mount in combat, you decide whether it follows the rules for a controlled or an independent mount.

Previously, Crawford had ruled that it functioned as a controlled mount when ridden and as an independent mount (that followed the caster's commands to the best of its ability) when not being ridden. He seems to have changed his mind on this subject as of this tweet; this means that essentially there are no special restrictions on what the steed can do (e.g. attack) even when ridden (since it still obeys the caster), aside from the fact that its initiative may be different from the rider's.

The rules for controlled and independent mounts can be found in the "Mounted Combat" portion of the Basic Rules:

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.

An independent mount retains its place in the initiative order. Bearing a rider puts no restrictions on the actions the mount can take, and it moves and acts as it wishes. It might flee from combat, rush to attack and devour a badly injured foe, or otherwise act against your wishes.

In either case, if the mount provokes an opportunity attack while you’re on it, the attacker can target you or the mount.

The description of find greater steed supersedes the general description of mounted combat; despite the steed's intelligence, it behaves as

a loyal, majestic mount

...and so you can choose whether it behaves as a controlled mount or let it act independently. Either way, though, it obeys your commands to the best of its ability.

The find steed spell generally functions the same way. The only real difference between find steed and find greater steed (besides the spell level) is the list of forms that the steed can take.


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