Overland Movement

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:

Movement And Distance
 15 feet20 feet30 feet40 feet
One Round (Tactical)
Walk15 ft.20 ft.30 ft.40 ft.
Hustle30 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)
Walk150 ft.200 ft.300 ft.400 ft.
Hustle300 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)
Walk11/2 miles2 miles3 miles4 miles
Hustle3 miles4 miles6 miles8 miles
One Day (Overland)
Walk12 miles16 miles24 miles32 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:

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).

Hampered Movement
ConditionExampleMovement Penalty
ModerateUndergrowth x3/4
HeavyThick undergrowthx1/2
BadSteep slope or mudx1/2
Very badDeep snowxl/4
Poor visibilityDarkness or fogx1/2

Local Movement

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.

Overland Movement

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.

Forced March: In a day of normal walking, you walk for 8 hours. You spend the test of daylight time making and breaking camp, resting, and eating.

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
Scrub, roughx1x1x3/4
Sandy desertx1-x1/2
Mounts and Vehicles
Mount/VehiclePer HourPer Day
Mount (carrying load)
Light horse or light warhorse6 miles48 miles
Light horse (101-300 lb.)4 miles32 miles
Light warhorse (134-400 lb.)4 miles32 miles
Heavy horse 5 miles40 miles
Heavy horse (134-400 lb.)3 1/2 miles28 miles
Heavy warhorse 4 miles32 miles
Heavy warhorse (174-520 lb.) 3 miles24 miles
Pony or warpony4 miles32 miles
Pony (44-130 lb.)3 miles24 miles
Warpony (51-150 lb.)3 miles24 miles
Donkey or mule3 miles24 miles
Mule (94-280 lb.)2 miles16 miles
Cart or wagon2 miles16 miles
Raft or barge (poled or towed)*1/2 mile5 miles
Keelboat (rowed)*1 mile10 miles
Rowboat1 1/2 miles15 miles
Sailing ship (sailed)2 miles48 miles
Warship (sailed and rowed)2 1/2 miles60 miles
Longship (sailed and rowed)3 miles72 miles
Galley (rowed and sailed)4 miles96 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.

Tactical Movement

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.

Tactical Movement
RaceNo Armor or Light ArmorMedium or Heavy Armor
Human, elf, half-elf, half-orc30 ft.20 ft.
Dwarf20 ft.20 ft.
Halfling, gnome20 ft.5 ft.

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