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The spell Find Steed allows you to cast a spell and have it also effect your steed.

While mounted on your steed, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed.

In the targets section of the Players Handbook it states:

A spells description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area effect. (PHB, pg 204)

With the spell Find Familiar, it’s description clearly denotes that you are the target:

You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose: bat, cat, crab, frog (toad), hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, fish (quipper), rat, raven, sea horse, spider, or weasel.

The spell indicates that you can’t have more than one familiar at a time, however in this case that would not be the result.

The PC casts Find Familiar and it’s effect targets the PC and (as per Find Steed) also targets the summoned steed. Tada! Two familiars appear, one bonded with the PC & one bonded the the steed.

Who controls the familiar bonded to the summoned steed, the GM or the Player?

Note: A Paladin with the ritual casting or magic initiate feat would be able to gain access to both spells, Find Steed & Find Familiar.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I hope someone can answer the question presupposing the very reasonable interpretation that find familiar targets the caster as per it’s description. \$\endgroup\$ – Amethyst Wizard Jul 24 at 18:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Has your DM already ruled that the two familiars show up upon the summoning being completed? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 24 at 18:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, under the premise that the spell does what it says it does. \$\endgroup\$ – Amethyst Wizard Jul 24 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AmethystWizard Please don't try to argue those rules in the comments like this. It's been suggested several times to ask this as seperate questions, which would make the discussion(s) much easier. At the moment it is a bit of a mess, and you trying to make an argument through multiple comment threads isn't helping that. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 24 at 18:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Find Familiar has a "Range" line, and the entry isn't "self". That said, there are other ways to pull this off in game (rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/148416/…) and you could have an extraordinarily PC-friendly DM ruling. Both of those would be better off as separate questions, though. Please don't edit the question. Editing the question to invalidate answers that were correct with the original question is bad form... and this is a useful question to have answered in the original format. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Jul 24 at 18:57
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This does not work.

The spell Find Steed allows you to cast a spell and have it also affect your steed.

While mounted on your steed, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed.

In the targets section of the PHB, it states:

A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area effect. (PHB, pg 204)

In the case of the spell Find Familiar, its description denotes that the target is also an unoccupied space within range:

Appearing in an unoccupied space within range

So the ruling that makes the target self spells transferable,

that targets only you

does not enable you to cast Find Familiar on your steed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are for asking clarifying questions or suggesting improvements to the answer, not for extended discussion or expressing disagreement; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 25 at 8:31
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find familiar (likely) does not target the caster, and so it only summons one familiar

Under the Targets section it states:

A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area of effect...

And under the Range section it states:

The target of a spell must be within the spell's range...

Looking at find familiar we see that it has a range of 10 feet and that it says:

You gain the service of a familiar... Appearing in an unoccupied space within range...

Thus find familiar targets the space within 10 feet.

We also see under the "Targeting Yourself" section that:

If a spell targets a creature of your choice, you can choose yourself...

find familiar does not target a creature of your choice so you cannot choose to have it target yourself using this method either.

And furthermore under the "Range" section we also see that:

Other spells, such as the shield spell, affect only you. These spells have a range of self.

find familiar does not have a range of self and so cannot target you for that reason as well.
The target of the spell is the point in space, not the caster and so it cannot also target the mount.


Even if you wanted to say that find familiar targets you because it affects you by granting you a familiar in your service you still could not do this.
find steed states:

you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed.

However, find familiar also targets the point in space and thus cannot benefit from find steed's clause.

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Summoning spells do not have a sole target of the spellcaster

As has been discussed to exhaustion on this site, both in posts and in chat, the nature of a "target", with respect to spellcasting in 5th edition D&D, is a very finicky and fragile concept that, in general, should not be receiving a lot of time being thought about.

So I can certainly understand how one might argue, starting from the premise that the "effect" of Find Familiar is to affix a bond between the spellcaster and a magically constructed companion, that the "target" of the spell is indeed the spellcaster, and the companion merely the "effect"; after all, the spell Fire Bolt "targets" a single creature and constructs a mote of Fire that is then flung at the target; one wouldn't argue that the spell Fire Bolt targets both the recipient and the mote itself, yes? Otherwise it would invalidate its use with things like Twinned Spell!

But in the case of Find Familiar (and, indeed, all Summoning spells), that isn't how we understand them. For starters, Find Familiar doesn't really imply, strongly or weakly, that the spirit bound to you was created wholecloth; the spell isn't Create Familiar, it's Find Familiar.

You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose: [...] Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the familiar has the statistics of the chosen form, though it is a celestial, fey, or fiend (your choice) instead of a beast.

Find Familiar, Player's Handbook, pg. 240

The implication being that the spirit existed prior to the casting of the spell.

So by any commonsense reading of the spell, we must recognize that the spell's targets must be described in one of two ways:

  • The spell "targets" the spirit that becomes your familiar
  • The spell "targets" the spirit that becomes your familiar and you, in establishing the bond between the two of you

Meanwhile, if we assume that the spell is, indeed, "creating" the spirit for use, well... It's still a spirit. An independent entity. Any commonsense reading of the spell must assert that the spell is indeed targeting the spirit; if not for the summoning itself, then for the ongoing effects on the spirit conferred by the spell.

Whichever is true, Find Familiar is an invalid spell to benefit from the "Spell Sharing" effects of Find Steed

Regardless of which version is true, this means that the spell does not target "only you", which is the requirement of the ability to "share" spells with the steed.

So Steeds cannot gain familiars through this method.

"But what if they could?"

Alright, let's ignore that first part. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that Find Familiar is valid for the spell sharing feature of Find Steed.

In that case, because the steed is benefiting from its own version of the spell, the second Familiar would be subservient directly to the steed, not to the steed's master. The steed would be able to control their familiar in all the same ways that you are able to control your Familiar.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are for asking clarifying questions or suggesting improvements to the answer, not for extended discussion or expressing disagreement; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 25 at 8:30
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Designer's Intent

You point out, yourself:

The spell indicates that you can’t have more than one familiar at a time...

This is Rules as Written, as well as a clear indication at the designers intent. This is clearly not within the intent of the designers, even if you disagree with the why it doesn't work bellow.

Some DMs may reward the cleverness, others may see it as rule-lawyering rightfully (from a RAW and Rules As Intended point of view) dismiss the attempt. It is clear the designers want to limit people to one familiar from the find familiar spell:

You can't have more than one familiar at a time.

Note that it isn't tied to a source, or exception. You simply can't have more than one. That means for balance purposes the game designers decided you shouldn't have more than one. I mean, from a sheer action economy, you'd get the steed's turn, your turn, and two familiar's turns -- while everyone else sits and waits.

There is an Exception

The spell flock of familiars is a separate spell that contains an exception.

You temporarily summon three familiars – spirits that take animal forms of your choice. Each familiar uses the same rules and options for a familiar conjured by the Find Familiar spell. All the familiars conjured by this spell must be the same type of creature (celestials, fey, or fiends; your choice). If you already have a familiar conjured by the find familiar spell or similar means, then one fewer familiars are conjured by this spell.

D&D is based on the specific beats general. Note that the specific exception for more familiars is clear, and what the new limitations (1 hour duration, not a ritual, etc.) and changes to the base find familiar spell are layout. Nothing in find steed allows the casting of find familiars.

Moreover, this is in a module, which makes this new spell optional. The DM doesn't have to incorporate them into their campaign even if they playing the module.

Targets

The target doesn't have to be a creature:

A spell's description tells you whether the spell targets creatures, objects, or a point of origin for an area effect.

Find familiar doesn't target you at all. For instance no one would argue that fireball targets the finger of the caster despite reading:

A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within range

We can all agree that it is the point in space that is the target. And magic missile isn't the caster despite beginning with the word "You". The target in this case is again, the people where the action happens:

You create three glowing darts of magical force.

The spell find familiar reads similar to magic missile and fireball in this regard. You do something, and something happens to or at a target. You have not changed - the world has, by the addition of the new creature:

You gain the service of a familiar, a spirit that takes an animal form you choose: bat, cat, crab, frog (toad), hawk, lizard, octopus, owl, poisonous snake, fish (quipper), rat, raven, sea horse, spider, or weasel. Appearing in an unoccupied space within range...

Leaving either the summoned animal form of the familiar or the space it appears in as the target (or both). Both are where the action of the spell actually takes place.

No Secret Rule

In a number of places you state "no secret rules" in D&D and I agree. Everything in this answer is quoting the source material all players and DMs have. Nothing is hidden. The target being the space where the summoning happens or the animal form that appears are both called out similar to other targets in other spells. What is also clear is that this spell has no exception to the one familiar rule.

Steed's Familiar

Alright, your DM has ignored all the rules on targets and rewarded your idea with a second familiar. Who controls it?

As you are claiming you are target of the spell, then all the yous of the "second casting" would refer to the new target (the steed). So, all the yous would be replaced by the steed:

Your [The steeds] familiar acts independently of you [the steed], but it always obeys your [the steeds] commands.

In that case the DM would be in control (acts independently) but it would follow the steed's (who is under the DM's control [acts independently], but following your character's commands) commands to the best of its ability.

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The player who summoned the steed may choose to control the summoned steed’s familiar or decide to relinquish its control to the DM.

Below I cover the relevant rules.

To determine who controls the summoned steed’s familiar, one must first determine who controls the summoned steed.

The Find Steed spell states:

Your steed serves you as a mount, both in combat and out, and you have an instinctive bond with it that allows you to fight as a seamless unit... you can communicate with it telepathically.

Since the summoned steed serves you as a mount, the relevant rules are contained in the “Controlling a Mount” section of the Players Handbook.

While you’re mounted, you have two options. You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently. (PHB, pg 198)

Jeremy crawford clarifies on twitter; tweet, tweet.

  1. Find steed: you can command your steed however you like while you're not mounted. #DnD

  2. While ridden, the steed follows the normal mounted combat rules (PH, 198). Unridden, it has normal action options

Jeremy clarifies unequivocally that the player has control of a summoned steed.

How does the steed control the familiar?

Through telepathy, of-course!

In the Find Familiar spell description, wherever it says “you” will refer to the summoned steed.

Your [The steeds] familiar acts independently of you [the steed], but it always obeys your [the steeds] commands. While your [The steeds] familiar is within 100 feet of you [The steed], you [The steed] can communicate with it telepathically.

How this could play out in a game:

  1. Josie the Paladin casts Find Steed, a pony appears.

  2. Josie gets on her pony and then casts Find Familiar. Suddenly a bat appears but also strangely a crab appears!

  3. Josie’s has a direct telepathic link with her pony, she names him Thomas and her bat, she names him Ugar.
  4. Thomas has a telepathic bond with Josie but also the Crab.
  5. Josie notices the Crab and Thomas staring intently into each-others eyes and decides to ask Thomas (telepathically) to ask the Crab (telepathically) what its name is. The Crab replies to Thomas that it never had a name in the common language. Thomas passes this info onto Josie. Josie tells Thomas to tell the Crab it’s name is now Charlie.
  6. Thomas being a loyal steed tells the Crab it’s new common name is Charlie.
  7. Meanwhile Terrance the Dwarf looks on at Josie, a bat, a crab & a pony quietly enjoying each-others company and scratches his head.

    The steed obeys it’s bond with Josie and relays commands to it’s familiar. This enhanced ability can feel authentic and grounded in the game by considering the Find Steed spell portrays the steed as being “unusually intelligent and loyal”.

Summary

The PC may control their summoned steed through a telepathic link and by extension controls the familiar by a secondary telepathic link (imagine a chain of telepathy). The PC cannot communicate directly with the steed’s familiar but must relay commands through the steed.*

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