[RPG] How does a mount from Find Steed act when unmounted


I have read so many things already that I'm more confused than before. So decided to ask this by myself.

My paladin just got his Find Steed spell, and after some tweaking and talking, he decided to get a Worg, and I was okay with it. This last session was his first time using it, and I have few doubts when it comes to combat.

I know that while mounted, he uses the mount's movement and actions. But what about when unmounted? What if the combat began with him walking by his mount's side?

  1. Does the mount share his initiative?

  2. Are the actions that the mount do, part of the Paladin's actions? Or are they both separate, having his Action, Movement and Bonus Action and then the mount's Action and movement?

We've stated that it can understand him but not talk back, he just telepathically receives feelings as a feedback to his commands, knowing that the mount understood what he needed. Last session, he just said things to the mount like "I tell the mount to protect the ranger and the druid" and in case they got hit, it would attack them, but it didn't really do anything at all, as I didn't know when it would act, and I had too many things already to remember about the mount.

Best Answer

The most relevant parts of the find steed spell are (my emphasis):

... unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed, creating a long-lasting bond with it.

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 your steed is within 1 mile of you, you can communicate with it telepathically.

Telepathically is not defined in the rules so it takes its normal English meaning: "communication between minds by some means other than sensory perception." Importantly, "communication" is a two-way process: you can communicate with it and in can communicate with you.

In conjunction with "fight as a seamless unit," this means you can coordinate your actions with your steed better than you can coordinate them with your other party members. That is, anything you can do in conjunction with the rest of the party, you can do better with your steed.

As to the mechanics:

  1. The mount has its own initiative (determined at the start of the combat irrespective of if it is being ridden or not q.v. 4).
  2. The mount has its own movement, action, bonus action and reaction (q.v. 4).
  3. The mount is "unusually intelligent": without direction, it will use its movement etc. in an "unusually intelligent" way. With direction, it will probably do what you telepathically say but it is an independent creature and, at the DM's behest, may do something different, subject to its "unusual loyalty".
  4. When you mount your mount, you choose if you will control it or if, as it is "unusually intelligent", you will allow it to act independently as per the rules for mounted combat. In all cases that I can think of, allowing it to be independent is the superior option.