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?

  • \$\begingroup\$ While not a duplicate, an Imp's invisibility involves many of the same rules: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/82973/… \$\endgroup\$ – Ceribia Feb 24 '17 at 5:03
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No, it doesn't

Firstly it's against the spirit of the rule, which is to allow humanoids 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 - not anyone
  • on the target's person - a rider can hardly be said to be on a horse's person
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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 (cast as 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 mage 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/find steed

If you are a paladin, 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).

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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\$ – keithcurtis Sep 21 '17 at 3:39

"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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