Find Steed Rules
Bard on a Llama - Akeiron & Paizo
This is the most open-minded interpretation of Find Steed within the boundaries established by the Player's Handbook and Jeremy Crawford of Sage Advice. To my knowledge, this guide meets the RAW criteria for Adventurer's League play, but occasionally veers away from RAI.
Unless you're a DM, skip to Abilities and Class Features and come back after you read the spells section.
Spoiler: The ConundrumIf you didn't know already, there are 3 basic interpretations of D&D mechanics: rules as written (RAW), rules as intended (RAI), and rules as fun (RAF). Find Steed is notoriously unclear in how it's meant to be interpreted, particularly because of how this line is written:
"While mounted on your steed, you can make any spell you cast that targets only you also target your steed."
Many players interpret "targets only you" as "Range: Self," including lead designer Jeremy Crawford. According to him, "targets only you" is a spell with a "range of self and no area-of-effect parenthetical." Incidentally, this prevents the paladin from Steed-casting buffs like Death Ward and Protection from Evil and Good. Throughout this guide, I’ve referred to the “targets range:self (no parentheses)” identifier as “twin-casting,” “Steed-casting” and “dual-casting.”
Spoiler: Rules as IntendedGoogle these Twitter posts on your own to see their original contexts. Jeremy Crawford's interpretation is considered RAW by most Adventurer's Leagues. He clarifies:
"A spell that targets only you is one that has a range of self and no area-of-effect parenthetical."
- Given this ruling, a spell like Longstrider doesn't affect both you and your mount with one cast. Longstrider is "Range: Touch" spell, not a "Range: Self" spell. You may not Steed-cast Cone of Cold either since the descriptor has a "(60ft cone)" parenthetical.
"The mount summoned by the Find Steed spell serves the summoner. It isn't an independent creature."
- Thusly, you can telepathically command the Steed to perform common actions, like attacking, falling prone, grabbing an allies arm, etc.
"Find steed: you can command your steed however you like while you're not mounted."
- Mounted or dismounted, your Steed obeys your commands.
"While ridden, the steed follows the normal mounted combat rules (PH, 198). Unridden, it has normal action options."
- Put simply, the steed can't attack while mounted. However, you could command your Steed to fall prone as free action. This prompts your PC's reaction to land on their feet without consuming their movement. (With a Dexterity saving throw, determined by the DM) The Steed, now unmounted, may be able to attack - possibly with Trample if it meets the movement requirements.
Free99 neatly summarizes the action limits of mounts/Steeds. “For your steed to smite something, you must:
- Mount the steed
- Cast one of your Smite spells
- Command the Steed to attack"
- This means you can cast a spell like Wrathful Smite and have your Steed deliver the attack.
"The caster of Find Steed picks from the list of beasts in the spell, unless your DM says otherwise. Limit set by DM."
- DMs like giving their players cooler pets to play with as they level, especially after circumstance kills one. On a related note...
Mike Mearls clarifies: "(The Steed)'s really meant to be a mount rather than something that fights, but I'd allow other forms that fit the paladin's need. For instance, a paladin shipwrecked on an island could summon an aquatic mount - DM's choice, based on deity's intent"
In short, the DM is the only obstacle stopping you from mounting an elephant named Jeremiah as your fantasy Steed.
Spoiler: Rules as FunAn excellent breakdown of Find Steed and Smite spells was posted to stackexchange back in 2015. (http://rpg.stackexchange.com/questio...ger-the-damage). For reference:
Case 1: A Smite spell is cast. When the Paladin lands a blow while the spell is still active (it lasts for one minute, basically it is a charge up) the effects are applied to whomever the Paladin hit with his attack.
Case 2: A Smite spell is cast, it charges up both the Paladin and the Steed, and whichever of them lands the first blow would trigger the effect within the next minute.
Case 3: A Smite spell is cast, it charges up both the Paladin and the Steed, and both the Paladin and Steed trigger the effect upon landing a blow within the next minute.
For this guide, we will assume the "charges" interpretation of Case 3 applies to smite AND non-smite spells, and work our way backwards from there. Additionally, we'll assume the Steed makes spell attacks with your proficiency and modifiers. Any effect that relies on a character ability uses the player’s instead of the Steeds, but the Steed holds its own concentration. Tampering with any of these assumptions will affect the spell ratings later on in this guide.
Even if you "can" dual-cast certain spells, that doesn't necessarily mean you should. Communicate your intentions with the DM in advance and respect their ruling, always.