Is a Centaur PC considered an animal when calculating carrying capacity for vehicles?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I wanted to double check.

Mounts and Vehicles. An animal pulling a carriage, cart, chariot, sled, or wagon can move weight up to five times its base carrying capacity, including the weight of the vehicle. If multiple animals pull the same vehicle, they can add their carrying capacity together. (PHB, pg 155)

My understanding... is no. It would be calculated just like a normal character.

Equine Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push or drag. (GGtR, pg 16)

Push, Drag, or Lift. You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity (or 30 times your Strength score). While pushing or dragging weight in excess of your carrying capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet. (PHB, pg 176)

EX. (Strength Score x 30 x 2) = Centaur's Push/Drag Carrying Capacity

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Aug 26, 2019 at 19:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch The question was from a player. Basically he wanted to use the 5x carrying capacity from the "Mounts and Vehicles" description. Extrapolating from (Str x 15) as the base...would be (Str x 15 x 5), instead of the RAW calculation of (Str x 30 x 2). \$\endgroup\$
    – ToastHater
    Aug 26, 2019 at 20:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch In terms of being a draft animal and pulling a vehicle. \$\endgroup\$
    – ToastHater
    Aug 26, 2019 at 20:42

2 Answers 2


Yes, but so can a halfling

AFAIK, this is the only use of the word “animal” as opposed to “beast” anywhere in the rules.

Assuming this was a deliberate choice (rather than a mistake) then the authors intended it to mean something different. As such, it should be given a broad reading as encompassing anything in the animal kingdom - beasts, humanoids, dragons, etc.

This also makes sense from a simulationist sense - people can pull more in a wagon than they can carry. I can push a car - there’s no way I could lift or drag it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's a good point. So for clarification... Looking at the carrying capacity calculations on the "Mounts and Other Animals" chart (PHB, pg 157). It looks like they are using (Str x 15) as the base. If a player (no matter their race) was pulling a vehicle it would be calculated as ((Str x 15 x 5) - Vehicle Weight), instead of the normal calculation for push/drag/lift without a vehicle (Str x 30)? Using this, a Centaur (or any medium race/creature with a Equine/Powerful Build equivalent), pulling a vehicle it would be calculated as ((Str x 15 x 5 x 2) - Vehicle Weight)? \$\endgroup\$
    – ToastHater
    Aug 26, 2019 at 21:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ToastHater That's correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Aug 27, 2019 at 3:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ It makes one wonder why they didn't say either "creature" or "draft animal" but maybe we are to use "natural English" in a case like this. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 27, 2019 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @korvinstarmast I agree with your conclusion, given the amount of times natural English is used to interpret the rules in this site. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 27, 2019 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Does natural english mean animal is beast, or does natural english mean animal kingdom and everything in it? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Aug 27, 2019 at 18:40

Animal is not a creature type

Going pure RAW, the centaur is a fey creature and not a beast. Now, 'animal' isn't a game term and speaking from a biological point of view, we're all animals (assuming mythical fey count as part of the animal kingdom) - but if we look at most draft animals with their 'beast' type in 5e, then we can separate out the fey from the beast when talking about animals.

With this in mind, it doesn't seem like it would act as a mount in this way with regard to pulling a vehicle.

Instances of Animal seem to be talking about Beasts

The term animal is used a bit sparingly and never in context with a specific creature type, but it does seem to be used when talking about beasts and not other creature types.

Appendix D: Creature Statistics states:

SPELLS AND CLASS FEATURES ALLOW CHARACTERS to transform into animals, summon creatures to serve as familiars, and create undead. Statistics for such creatures are grouped in this appendix for your convenience.

Every creature that isn't summonable as a familiar or undead listed in appendix D is of the beast type.

The Mule stat block also gives the following Beast of Burden trait:

The mule is considered to be a Large animal for the purpose of determining its carrying capacity.

Again, this suggests that beast and animal may be of the same.

We can also look at the skill Animal Handling which is separated from dealing with other creature types. While a DM could allow a Animal Handling check against any other creature, the intent seems to be that it is for (PHB, 178):

When there is any question whether you can calm down a domesticated animal, keep a mount from getting spooked, or intuit an animal’s intentions, the DM might call for a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check. You also make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check to control your mount when you attempt a risky maneuver.

Allowing it

Having said that, I don't think it'd be gamebreaking to allow a centaur to pull a vehicle and act as a mount in this way. The primary strength of the centaur is in it's lower body and it does have an Equine Build.

The problem is more of an issue when it comes time for combat. I can't find any rules around the time it takes to hook a draft animal up to a vehicle, but it's not negligible. A DM will need to come up with a houserule for this timing, but it's most likely that the time required is more than a minute - which would be problematic if combat begins while they're acting as a draft animal.

Additionally, you would need a customized harness for the centaur.

Finally, it's unclear if an intelligent centaur would be okay with being used as a draft animal. That will also come into (role)play.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's an interesting question. Time to attach a vehicle to a mount. My gut reaction would be rule it like donning/doffing armor. \$\endgroup\$
    – ToastHater
    Aug 26, 2019 at 20:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ToastHater I think that's reasonable, and probably more like heavy armor, but that's kind of up to you as a DM. I have zero knowledge about how long it takes to hook a horse up to a cart :) YOu may also want to hold off on selecting answer. It's entirely up to you, but I generally wait 24 hours just to give folks time and see if something else comes along. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Aug 26, 2019 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Gotcha. Longtime lurker, new~ish user. Duly noted, lol. \$\endgroup\$
    – ToastHater
    Aug 26, 2019 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would argue that its more in the half a minute to minute area if the centaur is willing. I looked up a random video on YouTube on how to unhitch a horse and it was slow and with explanations 3 minutes. However the centaur wouldn't need protection against him running away if willing, which a horse needs. So its probably easier than a horse. \$\endgroup\$
    – findusl
    Aug 26, 2019 at 21:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch, you find it more likely that 'animal' means 'beast', than that 'animal' means 'motive creature capable of pulling/pushing the wagon'? The former means that the physics of wagons differs depending on what (game-term) 'type' of creature you have pulling/pushing it. I find that significantly less likely to be the case. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 28, 2019 at 21:30

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