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The mount summoned by the 4th level Paladin spell find greater steed has this interesting ability:

While mounted on it, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target the mount.

The 6th level wizard spell Tenser’s tranformation grants weapon proficiencies;

You have proficiency with all armor, shields, simple weapons, and martial weapons.

After casting Tenser’s transformation while riding my found greater steed, technically my mount would have proficiency with all simple and martial weapons.

Obviously the primary issue here is going to be the question of “appropriate anatomy” - can magic that makes the uncoordinated wizard with no weapon skills a martial juggernaut also give my griffon the basic ability to firmly grasp a short sword? Are any of the mounts listed1 able to make use of any of the weapon proficiencies granted by Tenser’s transformation?


1 a griffon, a pegasus, a peryton, a dire wolf, a rhinoceros, or a saber-toothed tiger.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll point out that the only type of characters capable of casting both spells are Bards who have selected them as their Magical Secrets. Find Steed is a 4th-level Paladin spell, and Tenser's Transformation is a 6th-level Wizard spell; you need 13 levels of Paladin to acquire the first, and 11 levels in Wizard to gain the other. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Jul 29 at 7:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000: Also, the earliest level at which a bard could learn Tenser's transformation with Magical Secrets is bard level 14 (otherwise, they'd have to wait until level 18), since the chosen spell must be of a level you can cast... So it's not possible to learn one spell via being a paladin (or wizard) and the other via the bard's Magical Secrets. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 29 at 10:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ ...That said, this is all something of a moot point, since the 2nd-level spell find steed has the same clause, and it'd be possible to learn both that and Tenser's transformation via multiclassing alone (setting aside the issue of whether a multiclassed wizard/paladin would be effective). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 29 at 10:16
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Short answer is no.

Detailed answer is as follows:

Weapon proficiency in fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons doesn't define your ability to wield weapons. It defines your ability to wield them effectively - i.e. in game terms - whether you add your proficiency bonus to attack rolls. (PHB, p. 146).

But to use weapons you need obvious "appropriate anatomy", which mounts lack and, probably, a certain level of intelligence.

Tenser's Transformation (XGtE, p. 168) gives the benefits of:

  • You gain 50 temporary hit points. If any of these remain when the spell ends, they are lost.
  • You have advantage on attack rolls that you make with simple and martial weapons.
  • When you hit a target with a weapon attack, that target takes an extra 2d12 force damage.
  • You have proficiency with all armor, shields, simple weapons, and martial weapons.
  • You have proficiency in Strength and Constitution saving throws.
  • You can attack twice, instead of once, when you take the Attack action on your turn. You ignore this benefit if you already have a feature, like Extra Attack, that gives you extra attacks.

It doesn't change caster, nor it override weapon and armor qualities tied to anatomy. I.e. a Small caster under Tenser's transformation would still have disadvantage using heavy weapons (which would cancel the advantage given by the spell). And a wizard with a Strength score of less than 15 would be slowed by plate armor. And an obvious requirement to be able to use weapons would be 'at least one appendage capable of fine manipulation with objects'.

So, if playing by the rules - no, you can't give your mount an ability to have some extra weapons.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "But to use weapons you need...probably, a certain level of intelligence." Note that the spell does not summon an actual animal, but the spirit of a Celestial, Fey, or Fiend that takes the form of an animal. If the normal animal has an Intelligence of 5 or lower, the Steed's Intelligence is 6. Some Intelligence 6 monsters that use weapons are Ettins, Gnolls, and Minotaurs. Anatomy is certainly an issue, but intelligence is not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jul 30 '20 at 8:54
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Can magic that makes the uncoordinated wizard with no weapon skills a martial juggernaut also give my griffon the basic ability to firmly grasp a short sword? No.

Imparting proficiency does not impart appropriate anatomy or physical ability. This can be inferred from a druid's wild shape, which says

You also retain all of your skill and saving throw Proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature...You can't cast Spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form. (PHB, p. 67)

If a druid who already has a weapon proficiency cannot use it in beast form, magically granting the proficiency to a natural beast will not give them the ability to use a weapon either. However, the quote leaves open the possibility that some beast forms do indeed have the inherent capability to use these.

Are any of the mounts listed able to make use of any of the weapon proficiencies granted by Tenser’s transformation? Possibly.

Nothing specifically prohibits it, so this is a DM decision.

Let us examine to what extent form restricts or permits weapons use.

A monster's type speaks to its fundamental nature...The game includes the following monster types, which have no rules of their own. (MM, p. 6)

Since monster type has no rules of its own, there are no rules which state that weapons use is prohibited (or required!) of certain types.

Griffons and Perytons are monstrosities. There are monstrosities that can use weapons (centaurs, doppelgangers) and ones that do not.

Pegasi are celestials. There are celestials that can use weapons (devas, planetars) and ones that do not.

Dire wolves, Rhinoceri, and Saber-toothed tigers are beasts. There are beasts that can use weapons (apes, giant apes) and ones that do not.

On the other hand most humanoids do use weapons - but there are still those that do not (quaggoth, troglodytes).

The common denominator among all the different creatures that do use weapons appears to be the possession of hands, as the PHB quote about wild shape emphasizes. This is not surprising, since the simple weapons and martial weapons already on the PHB weapons list were designed for animals that have hands. But could there be weapons that do not require the use of hands?

If the DM allowed 'spiked tendon boots' or a 'spiked chanfron' as a weapon, I would think it reasonable that proficiency in them would be granted as part of "all martial weapons", and thus profitably gained by greater steed pegasi or a rhinoceros.

A saber-toothed tiger might have "heavy helmet armor proficiency".

Griffons and perytons presumably make nests, a process which requires both strength and dexterity in talons and beaks. At the very least, as a DM, I would allow Tenser's Transformation to provide them proficiency in the already-existing weapon of nets, but rather then throwing them laterally, allow them to be dropped from directly above, for which the peryton's flyby ability would be useful. Speaking of dropping things from above, winged kobolds attack by dropping bags of rocks on opponents, and I would permit that to griffons and perytons as well.

Such fanciful uses of exotic weapons and armors would of course require extensive training - but it is just such training that the proficiency granted by Tenser's Transformation represents.

RAW, Tenser's Transformation should grant proficiency in already existing weapons and armor - I would argue that nothing explicitly prohibits steeds from using weapons or armor which the steed's natural anatomy permits them to use (as defined by the DM). This would apply even more so for weapons and armor designed to function for their own particular anatomies (as permitted by the DM).

Related: Can a druid in Ape wildshape use weapons?

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No. Unfortunately I've looked everywhere and haven't been able to find a way in the rules to allow those animals with no hands to wield weapons .. barring a friendly DM.

But You can True Polymorph it into a creature that can. Centaurs for example are CR 2 just like the other available mounts. And they can wield weapons.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the suggestion, but I imagine the reason you have a downvote is because the "No" part of your answer needs more details. In other words, rather than one heading "No... But...", you should have two headings; "No", with some explanation as to why not, then "But", with your suggestion at that point. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Jul 12 '20 at 15:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also if you are getting into true polymorph shenanigans you might as well talk about how the DM might allow other mounts of the same cr range. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jul 12 '20 at 15:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ SeriousBri, The Spell was rewritten since the first printing specifically to avoid that, so a RAW DM wouldn't allow that where they would have to allow True Polymorph (besides look at the amount of spell slots invested to do that). That said, I still allow similar CR for the spell as long as the request isn't ridiculous. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 '20 at 16:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.A.Streich the Find Steed spell still has "Your GM might allow other animals to be summoned as steeds." - at least the dndbeyond version of same does. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Nov 11 '20 at 17:45

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