We have a new player in our group playing a forest gnome ranger. Now that he has hit 3rd level, he is wondering if his character is small enough / light enough to ride a panther animal companion as a mount.

Can a gnome ranger use his animal companion as a mount?


2 Answers 2


Yes, if your DM thinks a panther has the right anatomy.

The gnome is Small (PHB 37) and the panther Medium (PHB 308). The relevant rule says:

A willing creature that is at least one size larger than you and that has an appropriate anatomy can serve as a mount (PHB 198)

Your ranger's animal companion is certainly willing. It does depend on whether your DM agrees that a panther has the relevant anatomy, but riding felines is a solid fantasy trope even if it is 'unrealistic' to think felines have the proper back.

Respect to @SevenSidedDie for the links above. By the Power of Grayskull may his comment never be removed from this answer!

  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ Also gnome ranger riding a panther is ridiculously awesome, but I'm not sure the rule of cool has become a core D&D rule...yet! \$\endgroup\$
    – harlandski
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 17:39
  • 23
    \$\begingroup\$ In reality a great cat doesn't have the "right" anatomy (lack of the specialised musculature needed to bear a rider), but Skeletor is awesome and disagrees so that's a strong argument to consider for overriding realism. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 18:05
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ If a weasel can ride a woodpecker, surely a gnome on a panther is plausible enough. ;p \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 23:01

I would think that being quadrapedal without any spines or physical anatomy stopping someone from mounting it would count as "appropriate anatomy." I mean while having a longer, more flexable spine without as much support as some animals that can be ridden might not make it an ideal mount, it is plausable. Other than not having a mane to hold onto; maybe it will need an appropriate harness. A panther should be able to handle the weight of a forest gnome; with a base weight of 35-40lbs. Leopards can carry animals weighing up to 3x their body weight into a tree to eat, and male leopards can weigh up to 200lbs. They are the stronger climbers of the pathers, but still a fair example. Tigers are the larger and stronger of the panthers and and weigh between 150 and 675lbs (Siberian). A 150lb tiger may look a little funny or have trouble with a 40lb gnome and gear, but the larger ones should be able to 'theoretically' handle it. In the end of course, it is the DMs call, but I dont think it can be ruled out based purely on anatomy and physics.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .