The Giant Elk entry says: "Charge. If the elk moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a ram attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 7 (2d6) damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone."

Then in the attacks block, it states: "Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one prone creature. Hit: 22 (4d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage."

So does the Elk receive a bonus Hooves attack vs a foe it just knocked prone? If so, would it receive this bonus attack against a prone foe every round it remained prone? One assumes that if the foe is NOT prone, the Elk would not get this attack at all with the way it is written.

No, the Giant Elk is given only one Action (and no Bonus Actions), and thus can only choose to do one of the available actions.

The text for Charge reads (MM, pp325)

If the elk moves at least 20 feet straight towards a target and then hits it with a ram attack...

Your Actions(and specifically those for Attacking) are as follows (MM, pp325)

  1. Ram
  2. Hooves

The Charge means you are choosing the Ram Attack.

The next round, if the creature is still prone, you may attack with the Hooves. Otherwise, it's just another Ram attack without the charge (unless you take the OA to move away and run again at them.)

And as Andras says, there ARE beasts like the Elephant (MM, pp322), that have viable Bonus Actions available to them.

Trampling Charge. If the elephant moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the elephant can make one stomp attack against it as a bonus action.

The (Giant) Elk, however, is not one of them.

  • Since the hooves attack is only vs. prone opponents, the only way I can see Elk reliably getting this is if they attack as groups (which isn't much help to wildshaping Druids). – Matt Vincent Apr 17 '17 at 17:27
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    From an Elk perspective - absolutely. From a wildshaping Druid/Polymorphed PC, they are other classes/abilities/spells, etc. that can put someone in the Prone position for them. It's almost like the they didn't want it to be easy to trigger the 4d8 damage attack :) – NautArch Apr 17 '17 at 17:29
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    Technically, these are "Actions" not "Attack Actions": specifically a "Ram action" and a "Hooves Action. The elk can take an Attack Action to make an unarmed strike, a shove or a trip (not a grapple as they lack a hand. – Dale M Apr 17 '17 at 20:33
  • @DaleM thank you - adjusted it. – NautArch Apr 17 '17 at 20:34
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    Someone Grapples. It's movement is now zero, so it can't spend movement to get up. Then elk stomps. – KorvinStarmast Apr 18 '17 at 0:08

No.

In the 'Actions' section of the Giant Elk's stat block it shows two distinct actions - Ram and Hooves. As these are not specified as a multi-attack group, only one of those actions may be taken on a turn.

No

Compare it with the Elephant (MM 322)

Trampling Charge. If the elephant moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the elephant can make one stomp attack against it as a bonus action.

The Elephant is explicitly allowed to attack an enemy it just proned. The Giant Elk (and the normal one too) lacks this ability, it can not combine the two attack modes, as both require actions.

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