I can admit it – I was something of a ‘horse girl’ as a child. I learned the basics of riding from a family friend, who gave me lessons in exchange for afternoons spent cleaning stalls and caring for her horse, something I could never have afforded otherwise. I loved every minute of the speed, the freedom, the connection with the animal beneath or beside me.
I certainly don’t have the time or the money to own or ride horses today. But that’s okay – like most unfulfilled desires, I can find a substitute in gaming. After all, there’s nothing better than finding the perfect mount for your DnD character.
If you’re looking for something a little more unique than the standard horse, pony, or mastiff, here a few suggestions for cool and unusual mounts!
Drakes are a fairly standard mount option in DnD, but my favorite out of them all is dragonnes. These ‘liondrakes’ have the head and body of a lion, with a light coat of bronze scales and draconic wings.
Although they’re fairly animalistic, being territorial hunters who mainly concern themselves with basic survival and reproduction, they do have some level of sentience. This means that they can speak (Draconic, Sphinx, and Common), and can be reasoned with. With some convincing, and perhaps the promise of something in return, you could reasonably convince one to let you ride it.
Plus, despite the wings, dragonnes can only fly for about 30 minutes at a time. This makes it a less powerful mount, of course. But it also makes it easier to convince your DM that it won’t break their campaign!
You can find a 5e stat block of Dragonnes here: Monster Manual 3.5 (pgs. 88-89)
If a drake sounds appealing, but you want something a little more comical, a giragonne is the perfect choice. These giraffe-dragon hybrids are a hilarious take on drakes, with the body of a giraffe and the scales and wings of a copper dragon.
Giragonnes have a far higher intelligence than dragonnes, but they’re far less aggressive. Instead, they’re afficionados of comedy – preferring to avoid conflict, or cast laughter-inducing spells to get out of trouble. If necessary, they also have a fairly decent read kick, too.
As for relative power, their innate spellcasting abilities is somewhat balanced by the fact that they’re even worse fliers than dragonnes. You can’t really blame them, though. A giraffe just isn’t aerodynamic!
You can find a 3e stat block for Giragonnes here: Knowledge Arcana 09 (pgs. 27-29)
Although they look like standard horses at first glance, asperii are in fact a powerful, ethereal choice for a mount. In terms of appearance, they are usually white-, grey-, or dun-colored horses, with thick manes and unicorn-like long coats. In terms of behavior, they’re normally gentle and cautious, disinclined to violence of territorialism.
Asperii’s most valuable asset is their flight, achieved by levitating and “riding the wind”. But they’re also telepathic, and immune or resistant to wind and cold damage. And, in an absolute pinch, they’ve got sharp teeth for a vicious bite.
While these creatures have a fairly low CR, they’re unbelievably effective as mounts, not the least because of their flying abilities. You might have to do some persuading, or leveling, before your DM lets to keep one permanently.
You can find a 3e stat block for Asperri here: Monster Manual II 3rd Edition (pgs. 25-26)
Stone Flyers, which look light earthen wolves with great batlike wings, are dangerous hunters in the Underdark.
They hunt in packs, either swooping down on or burrowing beneath to surprise their prey. In a fight, they are sturdy, intelligent opponents, who prefer to pick of stragglers out of a group and drag them down into the earth to eat in safety. Not too much else is known about their imposing, elemental beasts, as elusive as they are.
If you’re playing in an Underdark campaign, stone flyers are a fantastic option for a creature to tame and train as a mount. You obviously wouldn’t be able to burrow with them, but their flight option is extremely useful. Plus, who doesn’t love a cute, giant puppy?
You can find a 3e stat block for Stone Flyers here: The Underdark (pg. 99)
Once you’ve gotten to higher levels, you might also want an even more powerful mount. For good-aligned parties, you might like to try aiming for a Hollyphant. These celestial cuties usually take the form of tiny, golden-furred elephants with wings and ivory tusks. However, they can also transform into massive, 12-foot mastodons with leathery wings and imposing tusks, which are sometimes even bipedal. In their large forms, they are favored mounts for angels and devas, with whom they have close ties as servants of good.
While they could only be ridden by tiny characters in their small form, they can make valuable companions as such. They can cast spells and attack with their trumpet, which is magical. When they transform out into their larger size, they could feasibly carry multiple characters, defending them well with their tusks.
Hollyphants are proponents of goodness. You can easily befriend one if your adventuring is to the benefit thereof!
You can find a 5e stat block for Hollyphants’ small form here: Wizards of the Coast Hollyphant
Have you ever used an unusual mount in a DnD game? What was it? We’d love to hear all about your favorite mounts in the comment section below!