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Can the Dragon from the spell Summon Draconic Spirit (FToD, p. 21) be ridden for the spell’s duration? Or is the Spirit entirely incorporeal?

I’m DM, and my player wants to ride it, and it sounds fun. I’ll be allowing it, but I want a rules clarification in case it comes up.

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It’s up to the DM.

The Summon Draconic Spirit spell description does not seem to indicate the draconic spirit is intangible or incorporeal, quite the opposite actually:

You call forth a draconic spirit. It manifests in an unoccupied space that you can see within range. This corporeal form uses the Draconic Spirit stat block.1

Now, to actually use it as a mount, the mounted combat rules say:

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.2

The DM determines if the chosen mount has the appropriate anatomy to be ridden.


1 Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, pg. 22

2 Player’s Handbook, pg. 198

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    \$\begingroup\$ I should drink coffee before I ask questions. I completely missed “corporeal”. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12, 2022 at 12:30
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Yes, the spirit can serve as a mount

It would need to be a pretty sad DM that would not allow this:

1. There is a long history of Dragons serving as mounts through all editions of D&D. Just look at Dragonlance. Even in 5th Edition we can find many published examples:

Githyanki riding a red dragon

  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, page 16 (above)

  • The Monster Manual entry about Githyanki calling them Red Dragon Riders

  • In Fizban's the Dragon Rime has this description: "This now-ancient white dragon was raised in captivity, bred as a mount for an ancient knightly order,

  • A table in Fizban's on page 114 says "An emerald dragon seeks heroes to participate in a dramatic reenactment of a legendary battle involving dragon riders"

  • In Rise of Tiamat we get for example on p. 48: Some survivors claim to have seen a cultist riding atop the dragon. Most of those refer to the dragon rider as human, like the other cultists. However, a few people report that the figure moved with the grace of an elf.

  • In Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, p. 217, we get: A male githyanki knight named Raajna and his mount, a female young red dragon named Smoakcant, are on duty here.

So, yes: dragons have "an appropriate anatomy to serve as a mount" in fifth edition, we have lots of evidence for that.

2. The draconic spirit has the physical form of a Large dragon, and is corporeal. It says so in the spell description:

You call forth a draconic spirit. It manifests in an unoccupied space that you can see within range. This corporeal form uses the Draconic Spirit stat block. (...) The creature resembles a dragon of the chosen family

And the stat block creature type line is: Large Dragon, Neutral, so it is large enough to serve as a mount for a medium or small creature.

The spirit has a Strength of 19, so it will be able to carry a rider with gear and barding weighing at most 570 lbs.

You can ride a dragon in 5e, and the Draconic Spirit has the physical form of a large dragon. Ergo, you can ride it.

It is another question how well trained you are for riding an exotic, flying mount, what it will take to not fall off if they make maneuvers, or what kind of saddle you need to get manufactured. But ride, you can.

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Almost certainly yes.

The draconic spirit is corporeal (explicitly, oddly enough - I guess they realized that 'spirit' implies incorporeal or ghostly, and this is the kludgy fix), and people riding dragons is a standard fixture of fantasy novels for like, at least 50 years. If your DM rules that you can't, that is less an expected outcome and more a sign you should start shopping around for a new game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To give some feedback on my downvote here, I’ve read and played with some really bad takes about rulings before. Some of them have been bad enough to consider finding a new game. But I’ve downvoted this answer because suggesting that this particular ruling should have anything to do with whether or not you continue playing with that DM seems pretty outrageous to me. But that’s my opinion; this just seems like a really low stakes ruling to me. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 12, 2022 at 15:40

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