Rules for Mounted Combat
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. For example, if your speed is 30 feet, you must spend 15 feet of movement to mount a horse. Therefore, you can’t mount it if you don’t have 15 feet of movement left or if your speed is 0.
If an effect moves your mount against its will while you’re on it, you must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall off the mount, landing prone in a space within 5 feet of it. If you’re knocked prone while mounted, you must make the same saving throw.
If your mount is knocked prone, you can use your reaction to dismount it as it falls and land on your feet. Otherwise, you are dismounted and fall prone in a space within 5 feet it.
Now, "appropriate anatomy" is somewhat vague and largely encourages a DM to make their own rulings, which is fine, but I'm mostly curious if there's any precedent of small NPCs, Monsters, or other such creatures riding a bipedal creature 2 sizes larger than them, such as a Large creature. I'm specifically curious about bipedal creature mounts because I'd like to pitch an idea to one of my DMs that involves a goblin character of mine riding one of his large, bipedal summons (I'll respect whatever his rulings are, of course, and I'm pretty sure he'll let me regardless, but my curiosity burns).
In a lot of media, such as Lord of the Rings or pretty much any series with large size differences between characters, it can often be seen that especially small creatures and characters might ride on the shoulders or hang off the back of a significantly larger creature. Is there precedent for this in official publications?
Classical examples of this I've seen in mostly Lord of the Rings and a couple books include:
- Goblins riding on a chained Ogre's back
- Halflings riding in the branches of an Ent
- A Goblin riding on the shoulders of a Giant
Obviously these aren't things that're necessarily in DnD 5e's core books and WotC's adventures, but I'm wondering if any such precedent actually exists, beyond good-natured Barbarian PCs giving their smaller party members piggyback rides, of course!