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The invisibility spell description says (emphasis mine):

A creature you touch becomes invisible until the spell ends. Anything the target is wearing or carrying is invisible as long as it is on the target's person. The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.

Would a mount be considered "carrying" its rider? If so, the rider would also be invisible. Seeing as the mount is the target of the spell and doesn't attack, the rider is able to attack freely without worry of breaking invisibility.

I'm guessing I'm misinterpreting somewhere, otherwise this would essentially be a cheesy way to get Greater Invisibility's effect as a 2nd level spell for up to an hour. Anyone able to clarify?

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No, it doesn't

Firstly it's against the spirit of the rule, which is to allow creatures to become invisible with all their gear, so they don't give themselves away by a floating sword.

Secondly, it's against the letter of the rule.

  • anything on the target's person - people cannot be 'on someone's person', and horses are not persons, except for Mr Ed.
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    \$\begingroup\$ How is a rider not on a horse’s person? The rider is literally on the horse. \$\endgroup\$
    – shhalahr
    Jun 25, 2021 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is a horse a person? ;-) But seriously, if you carry someone, are they on your person? I don't think so. So maybe a bridle would be 'on a horse's person', though the usage is weird, though a rider is pushing it I think. \$\endgroup\$
    – harlandski
    Jun 28, 2021 at 7:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @harlb "on your person" means "carried by or attached to you". It is a slightly obscure, often used in legal contexts, wording. It doesn't mean the noun is a person. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jun 28, 2021 at 11:57
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Trying to have it both ways

Even though you are both creatures, and it should take two spells, or it should take another spell level on this one (invisibility cast at third level) to make you both invisible, let's suppose that your DM rules that the one invisibility spell covers you both (or see the special case below). Your friend the wizard could have cast the spell on an elephant, and that's bigger than you both, right?

Since you both gain the benefit of that single invisibility spell, you (the combined "you" of mount and rider) should then gain all of the features of the spell, to include losing it with an attack. You have posited that you are "carried" by the mount, and you stay on it, which makes your attack directly associated with the mount and your joint invisibility -- so you both turn visible when you attack.

If you find a DM who rules other than what I just outlined, then exploit away, but I'll offer that p. 195 of the PHB rules against that exploit.

If you are hidden—both unseen and unheard—when you make an attack, you give away your location when the attack hits or misses.

That's part of a larger paragraph on 'Unseen Attackers and Targets' on PHB p. 194-195.

Why I answered this way: the special case of Paladin spell / find steed

If you are a paladin1, on your steed from find steed (PHB p. 240), and you have a Ring of Spell Storing with one charge of invisibility at 2nd level ...

"you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed."

Using that feature - without any exploit - the situation you described could arise of both mount and rider being invisible from one 2nd-level casting of the spell. But once an attack is launched, there goes the invisibility. (per p. 195 PHB, cited above).

1 Or a Bard who used magical secrets to get Find Steed

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good example. The paladin could also be multi-classed with a class that has Invisibility on their spell list. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2017 at 3:39
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"Wearing or Carrying" only applies to objects

The only other instance where the phrase "wearing or carrying" is used in the PHB is in reference to petrification:

A petrified creature is transformed, along with any nonmagical object it is wearing or carrying, into a solid inanimate substance (usually stone).

Where the reference to objects (as opposed to creatures) is more obvious.

Beyond this, I think your intuition is correct; giving greater invisibility so easily to a mounted rider would be exceedingly overpowered for a 2nd level spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Here it states objects, it doesn't in the invisibility rule in question. That doesn't mean that wearing or carrying is always objects; in many readings, it implies the opposite. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Apr 30, 2021 at 15:24
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When reading 5e, default to English.

Anything means anything. Not just objects. So when you select a creature to be invisible, it and anything it is carrying is invisible.

The downside is that this also applies to the word "targets". A spells' targets are anything it effects, not just the ones you picked. So when the creature is carrying another creature, that other creature is also a target (while invisible).

The spell ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell.

The spell ends for the mounting creature when it attacks or casts a spell. How this works is unclear, but I'd rule that it ends for the mount as well.

In a sense, this is no different than a creature holding a crossbow. You fire the crossbow and it attacks; because you are making the crossbow invisibile, you lose it as well. The crossbow being animated and attacking by itself, or even carrying a gnome who fires the crossbow, makes no difference; as the only way for invisibility to end on the attacking animated crossbow or gnome is for the mount to also become visible (as the mount makes the mounted invisible), the mount becomes visible as well.

You could also be generous and just exclude the attacking creature or animated object from invisibility instead.

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You could make this work if you had used find steed as your mount:

Your steed serves you as a mount, both in combat and out, and you have an instinctive bond with it that allows you to fight as a seamless unit. While mounted on your steed, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ All answers must directly answer the question; right now, your answer reads more like a comment on another answer than a direct answer to the question. You should probably edit your answer to more directly address the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 26, 2021 at 7:10

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