Movement & Encumbrance
Encumbance rules determine how much a character's armor and equipment slow him or her down. Encumbrance comes in two parts: encumbrance by armor and encumbrance by total weight.
Encumbrance by Armor: Your armor (as shown on Armor) defines your maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, your armor check penalty, our speed, and how fast you move when you run. Unless your character is weak or carrying a lot of gear, that's all you need to know. The extra gear your character carries, such as weapons and rope, won't slow your character down any more than his or her armor already does.
If your character is weak or carrying a lot of gear, however, then you'll need to calculate encumbrance by weight. Doing so is most important when your character is trying to carry some heavy object, such as a treasure chest.
Weight: If you want to determine whether your character's gear is heavy enough to slow him or her down more than the armor already does), total the weight of all his or her armor, weapons, and gear. Compare this total to the character's Strength on Carrying Capacity. Depending on how the weight compares to your carrying capacity, you will be carrying a light, medium, or heavy load. Like armor, your load gives you a maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, a check penalty (which works like an armor check penalty), speed, and run factor, as shown on Carrying Loads. Carrying a light load does not encumber a character.
If you are wearing armor, use the worse figure (from armor or from weight) for each category: Do not stack the penalties.
For example, Tordek the dwarf is wearing scale mail. As shown by Armor, it cuts his maximum Dexterity down to +3, gives him a -4 armor check penalty and cuts his speed to 15 feet. The total weight of his gear, including armor, is 71 1/2 lbs. With a Strength of 15, his maximum carrying capacity (maximum load) is 200 pounds. A medium load for him is is 67 pounds or more, and a heavy load is 134 pounds or more, so he is carrying a medium load. Looking at the medium load line on Carrying Loads, Monte (Tordek's player) sees that these figures are all as good or better than the penalties that Tordek is already incurring for wearing scale mail, so he incurs no extra encumbrance penalties.
Mialee has a Strength of 10, and she's carrying 28 pounds of gear. Her light load capacity is 33, so she's carrying a light load (no penalties). She finds 500 gold pieces (weighing 10 pounds) and adds it to her load, so now she's carrying a medium load. Doing so reduces her speed from 30 feet to 20 feet, gives her a -3 check penalty, and sets her maximum Dexterity bonus to AC at +3 (which is okay with her, since that's her Dexterity bonus anyway).
Then Mialee is knocked unconscious in a fight, and Tordek wants to carry her out of the dungeon. She weighs 104 pounds, and her gear weighs 28 pounds (or 38 pounds with the gold), so Tordek can't quite manage to carry her and her gear. (It would put him over his 200 pounds maximum load.) Jozan takes her gear (and the gold), Tordek hoists Mialee onto his shoulders, and now he's carrying 175 1/2 pounds. He can manage it, but it's a heavy load. His maximum Dexterity bonus to AC drops to +1, his check penalty increases from -4 (the armor check penalty for scale mail) to -6 (the check penalty for a heavy load), and now he runs at x3 speed instead of x4.
Lifting and Dragging: A character can lift up to the maximum load over his or her head.
A character can lift up to double the maximum load off the ground, but he or she can only stagger around with it. While overloaded in this way, the character loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and can only move 5 feet per round (as a full-round action).
A character can generally push or drag along the ground up to five times the maximum load. Favorable conditions (smooth ground, dragging a slick object) can double these numbers, and bad circumstances (broken ground, pushing an object that snags) can reduce them to one-half or less.
Bigger and Smaller Creatures: The figures on Carrying Capacity are for Medium-size creatures. Larger creatures can carry more weight depending on size caregory: Large (x2), Huge (x4), Gargantuan (x8), and Colossal (x16). Smaller creatures can carry less weight depending on size category: Small (3/4), Tiny (1/2), Diminutive (1/4), and Fine (1/8). Thus, a human with a Strength score magically boosted to equal that of a giant would still have a harder time lifting, say, a horse or a boulder than a giant would.
For example, Mialee, an elf with 10 Strength, can carry up to 100 pounds. Lidda, a halfling with 10 Strength, can only carry 75 pounds.
Tremendous Strength: For Strength scores not listed, determine the carrying capacity this way. Find the Strength score between 20 and 29 that has the same ones digit as the creature's Strength score. Multiply the figures by four if the creature's Strength is in the 30s, 16 if it's in the 40s, 64 if it's in the 50s, and so on.
For example, a cloud giant with a 35 Strength can carry four times what a creature with a 25 Strength can carry, or 3,200 pounds, multiplied by eight because the cloud giant is Gargantuan, for a grand total of 25,600 pounds.
|1 Str||up to 1 lb.||4-6 lb.||7-10 lb.|
|2 Str||up to 6 lb.||7-13 lb.||14-20 lb.|
|3 Str||up to 10 lb.||11-20 lb.||21-30 lb.|
|4 Str||up to 13 lb.||14-26 lb.||27-40 lb.|
|5 Str||up to 16 lb.||17-33 lb.||34-50 lb.|
|6 Str||up to 20 lb.||21-40 lb.||41-60 lb.|
|7 Str||up to 23 lb.||24-46 lb.||47-70 lb.|
|8 Str||up to 26 lb.||27-53 lb.||54-80 lb.|
|9 Str||up to 30 lb.||31-60 lb.||61-90 lb.|
|10 Str||up to 33 lb.||34-66 lb.||67-100 lb.|
|11 Str||up to 38 lb.||39-76 lb.||77-115 lb.|
|12 Str||up to 43 lb.||44-86 lb.||87-130 lb.|
|13 Str||up to 50 lb.||51-100 lb.||101-150 lb.|
|14 Str||up to 58 lb.||59-116 lb.||117-175 lb.|
|15 Str||up to 66 lb.||67-133 lb.||134-200 lb.|
|16 Str||up to 76 lb.||77-153 lb.||154-230 lb.|
|17 Str||up to 86 lb.||87-173 lb.||174-260 lb.|
|18 Str||up to 100 lb.||101-200 lb.||201-300 lb.|
|19 Str||up to 116 lb.||117-233 lb.||234-350 lb.|
|20 Str||up to 133 lb.||134-266 lb.||267-400 lb.|
|21 Str||up to 153 lb.||154-306 lb.||307-460 lb.|
|22 Str||up to 173 lb.||174-346 lb.||347-520 lb.|
|23 Str||up to 200 lb.||201-400 lb.||401-600 lb.|
|24 Str||up to 233 lb.||234-466 lb.||467-700 lb.|
|25 Str||up to 266 lb.||267-533 lb.||534-800 lb.|
|26 Str||up to 306 lb.||307-613 lb.||614-920 lb.|
|27 Str||up to 346 lb.||347-693 lb.||694-1,040 lb.|
|28 Str||up to 400 lb.||401-800 lb.||801-1,200 lb.|
|29 Str||up to 466 lb.||467-933 lb.||934-1,400 lb.|
|Load||Max Dex||Check Penalty||(30 ft.)||(20 ft.)||Run|
|Medium||+3||-3||20 ft.||15 ft.||x4|
|Heavy||+1||-6||20 ft.||15 ft.||x3|
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
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.
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|
Use tactical speed for combat, as detailed on page 147 of the Player's Handbook. 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.
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, below, 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 warercraft, 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 can't 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|