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Certain creatures have attacks like charge or pounce, which allows them to do something special after travelling a certain distance. For example, see the panther:

If the panther moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Imagine a Small Beast Master ranger riding a panther. The panther runs 15 feet, and the rider shoots an arrow at a target or uses a lance to hit a target 10 feet away. The panther moves another 5 feet and pounces.

Does attacking (or having a rider attack) cancel the pounce? I think not, but want to make sure.

I will add that I’m thinking within the context of a Beast Master riding his beast.

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Imagine a small character riding a panther. The panther runs 15m and the rider shoots an arrow at a target or uses a lance to hit a target 10m away. The panther moves another 5m and pounces.

RAW, this can only happen with a readied action and an independent mount. If the panther is controlled by the character, the panther is unable to take actions other than Dash, Disengage, or Dodge. (PHB 198) We'll assume that the mounted character spent their last turn readying some sort of attack, and has not otherwise spent their reaction this round. We'll also assume that the last 5 feet are in the same direction as the first 15.

Given those two assumptions, the panther would be able to trigger Pounce so long as it uses its action to make a claw attack on a target. It has moved 20 feet in a straight line towards the target and made a claw attack. Should the attack hit, the target would have to make a save to avoid being knocked prone and subject to a bonus bite attack. Any reactions or actions taken by other creatures or characters have no impact on whether the panther has fulfilled the requirements to Pounce.

For the case of a Beastmaster's beast being ridden by the Beastmaster, my first instinct would be that the creature is considered a controlled mount, but the final decision would be of course, up to the DM. If the DM were to rule that the beast counts as an independent mount, the Ranger would need the Extra Attack feature in order to attack and command an attack of their beast companion, since they both act on the same beat of initiative.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 19 at 22:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't understand. I thought the beast could move without taking an action? "On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you)." \$\endgroup\$ – Behacad May 20 at 0:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Movement is not an action (as far as the rules are concerned). "On your turn, you may move a distance up to your speed and take one action" (PHB 189). Your quote is in reference to a Beast Master Ranger's companion, which is not (necessarily) a mount, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make with it is. Only an independent mount can use it's action to make an attack, doing so on it's own tick of initiative; a controlled mount's turn is merged with the controller's, and the mount can only take the disengage, dodge, or dash actions (separate from the rider). \$\endgroup\$ – c0ldspark May 20 at 0:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm... but the animal isn't just a mount, it's also a Ranger's Companion, which has different rules. Not sure if this is a "specific beats general" situation, and if it is I'm not sure which situation is specific and which is general. \$\endgroup\$ – Gandalfmeansme May 21 at 2:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gandalfmeansme I'd argue that, given a lack of specific rules covering riding a companion in combat, the specific rules for mounted combat override the general rules for what a companion can do. The class rules govern how the companion behaves in combat generally, the mounted combat rules apply to a specific situation in combat. A different DM might interpret it differently, but that's my interpretation of the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – c0ldspark May 21 at 14:01

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