Characters spend a lot of time getting from one place to another. If your character needs to reach the evil tower, he might choose to walk along the road, hire a boat to row him along the river, or cut cross-country on horseback. He can climb trees to get a better look at his surroundings, scale mountains, or ford streams.
The DM moderates the pace of a game session, so he or she determines when movement is so important that it's worth measuring. During casual scenes, you usually won't have to worry about movement rates. If your character has come to a new city and takes a stroll to get a feel for the place, no one needs to know exactly how many rounds or minutes the circuit takes.
There are three movement scales in the game:
- Tactical, for combat, measured in feet per round.
- Local, for exploring an area, measured in feet per minute.
- Overland, for getting from place to place, measured in miles per hour or day
|Movement And Distance|
|15 feet||20 feet||30 feet||40 feet|
|One Round (Tactical)|
|Walk||15 ft.||20 ft.||30 ft.||40 ft.|
|Hustle||30 ft.||40 ft.||60 ft.||80 ft.|
|Run (x3)||45 ft.||60 ft.||90 ft.||120 ft.|
|Run (x4)||60 ft.||50 ft.||120 ft.||160 ft.|
|One Minute (Local)|
|Walk||150 ft.||200 ft.||300 ft.||400 ft.|
|Hustle||300 ft.||400 ft.||600 ft.||800 ft.|
|Run (x3)||450 ft.||600 ft.||900 ft.||1,200 ft.|
|Run (x4)||600 ft.||800 ft.||1,200 ft.||1,600 ft.|
|One Hour (Overland)|
|Walk||11/2 miles||2 miles||3 miles||4 miles|
|Hustle||3 miles||4 miles||6 miles||8 miles|
|One Day (Overland)|
|Walk||12 miles||16 miles||24 miles||32 miles|
Modes of Movement: While moving at the different movement scales, creatures generally walk, hustle, or run.
Walk: A walk represents unhurried but purposeful movement at three miles per hour for an unencumbered human.
Hustle: A hustle is a jog that is movement at about six miles per hour for an unencumbered human. The double move action represents a hustle.
Run (x3): Moving three times your standard speed is a running pace for a character in heavy armor. It is moving about six miles per hour for a human in full plate.
Run (x4): Moving four times your standard speed is a running pace for a character in light, medium, or no armor. It is moving about twelve miles per hour for an unencumbered human, or eight miles per hour for a human in chainmail.
Other Movement Modes: Creatures may have modes of movement other than walking and running. These are natural, not magical, unless specifically noted in a monster description.
Burrow: A creature with a burrow speed can tunnel through dirt, but not through rock unless the descriptive text says otherwise. Creatures cannot charge or run while burrowing. Most burrowing creatures do not leave behind tunnels other creatures can use (either because the material they tunnel through fills in behind them or because they do not actually dislocate any material when burrowing); see the individual creature descriptions for details.
Climb: A creature with a climb speed has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The creature must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC of more than 0, but it always can choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. The creature climbs at the given speed while climbing. If it chooses an accelerated climb (see the Climb skill), it moves at double the given climb speed (or its base land speed, whichever is lower) and makes a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. Creatures cannot run while climbing. A creature retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus on their attacks against a climbing creature.
Fly: A creature with a fly speed can move through the air at the indicated speed if carrying no more than a light load; see Carrying Capacity. (Note that medium armor does not necessarily constitute a medium load.) All fly speeds include a parenthetical note indicating maneuverability, as follows:
- Perfect: The creature can perform almost any aerial maneuver it wishes. It moves through the air as well as a human moves over smooth ground.
- Good: The creature is very agile in the air (like a housefly or a hummingbird), but cannot change direction as readily as those with perfect maneuverability.
- Average: The creature can fly as adroitly as a small bird.
- Poor: The creature flies as well as a very large bird.
- Clumsy: The creature can barely maneuver at all.
A creature that flies can make dive attacks. A dive attack works just like a charge, but the diving creature must move a minimum of 30 feet and descend at least 10 feet. It can make only claw or talon attacks, but these deal double damage. A creature can use the run action while flying, provided it flies in a straight line.
For more information, see Tactical Aerial Movement.
Swim: A creature with a swim speed can move through water at its swim speed without making Swim checks. It has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. The creature can always can choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. The creature can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
Hampered Movement: Obstructions, bad surface conditions, or poor visibility can hamper movement. The DM determines the category that a specific condition falls into (see Hampered Movement). When movement is hampered, multiply the standard distance by the movement penalty (a fraction) to determine the distance coveted. For example, a character could normally cover 40 feet with a double move (hustle) can only cover 30 feet if moving through undergrowth.
If more than one condition applies, multiply the normal distance covered by all movement penalty fractions that apply. For instance, a character who could normally cover 60 feet with a double move (hustle) could only cover 15 feet moving through thick undergrowth in fog (one-quarter as far as normal).
|Bad||Steep slope or mud||x1/2|
|Very bad||Deep snow||xl/4|
|Poor visibility||Darkness or fog||x1/2|
Characters exploring an area use local movement, measured in minutes.
Walk: A character can walk without a problem on the local scale.
Hustle: A character can hustle without a problem on the local scale. See Overland Movement for movement measured in hours.
Run: character with a Constitution score of 9 or higher can run for a minute without a problem. Generally, a character can run for about a minute or two before having to rest for a minute.
Characters covering long distances cross-country use overland movement. Overland movement is measured in hours or days. A day represents 8 hours of actual travel time. For towed watercraft, a day represents 10 hours of rowing. For a sailing ship, it represents 24 hours.
Walk: You can walk 8 hours in a day of travel without a problem. Walking for longer than that can wear you out (see Forced March).
Hustle: You can hustle for 1 hour without a problem. Hustling for a second hour in between sleep cycles causes you 1 point of subdual damage, and each additional hour causes twice the damage taken during the previous hour.
Run: You cannot run for an extended period of time. Attempts to run and rest in cycles effectively work out to a hustle.
Terrain: The terrain through which you travel affects how much distance you can covet in an hour or a day (see Terrain and Overland Movement). Travel is quickest on a highway, followed by on a road (or trail), and least quick through trackless terrain. A highway is a straight, major, paved road. A road is typically a dirt track. A trail is like a road, except that it allows only single-file travel and does not benefit a patty traveling with vehicles. Trackless terrain is a wild area with no paths.
You can walk for more than 8 hours in a day by making a forced march. For each hour of matching beyond 8 hours, you make a Constitution check (DC 10 + 1 per extra hour). If the check fails, you take 1d6 points of subdual damage. You can't recover this subdual damage normally until you halt and rest for at least 4 hours. It's possible for a character to march into unconsciousness by pushing himself or herself too hard.
Mounted Movement: A horse bearing a rider can move at a hustle. The damage it takes, however, is normal damage, not subdual damage. It can also be force-marched, but its Constitution checks automatically fail, and, again, the damage it takes is normal damage.
See Mounts and Vehicles for mounted speeds and speeds for vehicles pulled by draft animals.
Waterborne Movement: See Mounts and Vehicles for speeds for water vehicles.
|Terrain and Overland Movement|
|Mounts and Vehicles|
|Mount/Vehicle||Per Hour||Per Day|
|Mount (carrying load)|
|Light horse or light warhorse||6 miles||48 miles|
|Light horse (101-300 lb.)||4 miles||32 miles|
|Light warhorse (134-400 lb.)||4 miles||32 miles|
|Heavy horse||5 miles||40 miles|
|Heavy horse (134-400 lb.)||3 1/2 miles||28 miles|
|Heavy warhorse||4 miles||32 miles|
|Heavy warhorse (174-520 lb.)||3 miles||24 miles|
|Pony or warpony||4 miles||32 miles|
|Pony (44-130 lb.)||3 miles||24 miles|
|Warpony (51-150 lb.)||3 miles||24 miles|
|Donkey or mule||3 miles||24 miles|
|Mule (94-280 lb.)||2 miles||16 miles|
|Cart or wagon||2 miles||16 miles|
|Raft or barge (poled or towed)*||1/2 mile||5 miles|
|Keelboat (rowed)*||1 mile||10 miles|
|Rowboat||1 1/2 miles||15 miles|
|Sailing ship (sailed)||2 miles||48 miles|
|Warship (sailed and rowed)||2 1/2 miles||60 miles|
|Longship (sailed and rowed)||3 miles||72 miles|
|Galley (rowed and sailed)||4 miles||96 miles|
|*Rafts, barges, and keelboats are used on lakes and rivers. If going downstream, add the speed of the current (typically 3 mph) to the speed of the vehicle. In addition to 10 hours of being rowed, the vehicle can also float an additional 14 hours, if someone can guide it, so add an additional 42 miles to the daily distance traveled. These vehicles can't be rowed against any significant current, but they can be pulled upstream by draft animals on the shores.|
Use tactical speed for combat. Characters generally don't walk during combat: They hustle or run. A character who moves his or her speed and takes some action, such as attacking or casting a spell, is hustling for about half the round and doing something else the other half.
|Race||No Armor or Light Armor||Medium or Heavy Armor|
|Human, elf, half-elf, half-orc||30 ft.||20 ft.|
|Dwarf||20 ft.||20 ft.|
|Halfling, gnome||20 ft.||5 ft.|