I was working on building a Zorro character and this question came up: if a rogue is riding on a mount, is that mount considered an ally, or, specifically, an "enemy" of your target?

One of the ways Sneak attack can be trigged is...

"... if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll."

My assumption is yes. Every mount I'm aware of has some kind of attack at its disposal, and thus they represent a threat to your target in addition to the increased threat potential they grant you as the rider. Moreover, if a gnome can proc a sneak attack by acting as a distraction, I don't know why a warhorse wouldn't be able to. That said, is there anything in the books or elsewhere that defines what "enemy of the target" is allowed to include?


If a word is not defined in the rules it takes its normal English meaning. Enemy is someone who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something; in the context of a combat I think that they are opposed to you in a mortal combat sense rather than, say, holding differing political views.

On that reading, yes, your horse is an "enemy of the target". So is a familiar, or a guard dog etc. being able to actually harm the target is irrelevant.

I personally believe that it's should be easy for the rogue to get sneak attack. That is their schtick in combat and what makes them competitive with the tanks and spellslingers.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Good answer. Even if it doesn't harm the target, a mount is a perk that contributes to combat (by providing speed, free disengage, et.). For that reason, most DM will have a monster take a swing at it from time to time, which it wouldn't if the mount wasn't an enemy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Meta4ic
    Apr 3 '16 at 11:31

A mount can count as an enemy of an opponent. The mount poses threat, is a valid target for the creature to attack, and from a logical stand point having a large horse in your face would draw attention and make it likely you wouldn't see a Rogue sneak up.

This wouldn't be too dissimilar to a Familar, which is answered here: Can a Familiar aid a Rogue's Sneak Attack?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The idea is that the sneak-attacking Rogue be the one riding the mount. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Apr 4 '16 at 0:32


The relevant text is if the creature is an enemy of the creature. If I'm in medieval times, and someone comes out me with a lance riding a horse, that person is surely my enemy, but the horse is not my enemy.

According to English, an enemy is someone who attacks or tries to harm another, or is hostile. If the horse wishes me no ill-will, then it is not an enemy. A case could be made for a creature trained to attack (attack dog, warhorse), to be an enemy.


You must log in to answer this question.

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