Are there specific rules that determine what happens if, let's say, my pet eagle lands on my shoulder in-combat?

Does it get an AC bonus? Do I move slower? Do we move together?

Or should I talk to my DM about making a new houserule?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related (not sure about a duplicate since it's specific to hiding, whereas this new question isn't): Can my familiar hide in the same space as me? \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you @NathanS I didnt find that question. Guess i was searching for the wrong tags n stuff. Its awnser actually awnsers my question damnit. Guess i have to look into mounted combat xD \$\endgroup\$
    – Reitô
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool, I might as well write up a quick answer based on my other answer, since (as I said above) these aren't quite duplicates as the other question was about hiding and yours is not. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


Your eagle would effectively be mounting you

If your eagle lands on your shoulder, then so long as you are at least one size category larger than the eagle, the rules for mounts would come into play. To answer your questions directly, it wouldn't gain a bonus to AC, nor would you suffer a penalty to movement, but it would move with you on your turn without using its movement.

Note that the eagle would need to use half of its movement to mount you, RAW, although since it can simply fly onto your shoulder, it would be reasonable for a DM to ignore that in this case (I would).

Stealing from my other answer, from the Mounted Combat rules:

A willing creature that is at least one size larger than you and that has an appropriate anatomy can serve as a mount, using the following rules.


Once during your move, you can mount a creature that is within 5 feet of you or dismount. Doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed.

Being mounted by your eagle shouldn't impose any restrictions on you whatsoever, since you would be considered an independent mount:

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.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But what if the eagle wanted you to act like a controlled mount? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 15:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ To acquire a rare mount (player character), would need to be raised from birth for this purpose, a bargain with a powerful entity, or negotiating with the mount (pc). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 16:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Intelligent creatures are always independent mounts. If the eagle has some way to speak to you then it can ask you (on its turn) to do something, and you can act on its request (on your turn). A mundane horse doesn't have to be asked; it's trained to respond to shifts in body posture, tension on the reins, and other physical signals. And as a gameplay matter, there's little reason to keep track of its turn separately when all it can do is carry the rider around. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 16:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells damn I was hoping I had an excuse to ask if I could let my pet ride on my shoulder and then control me or if I could play an eagle mounted on a human but I'm still the eagle \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2019 at 21:05

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