D&D 5E Can We Come Up With Better (but still simple) Movement Rules?

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
We could reintroduce the Shift pretty easily.

Shift: You can spend movement equal to your speed to move 5 feet without provoking opportunity attacks.

That could even replace the Disengage action - if you want to spend your action to move your full speed without provoking OAs, you can just use your action to dash and then Shift, getting you 5 feet away from your opponent with your speed worth of movement left.
Personally, I would rather not. And with the reduction of attacks of opportunity in general, I don't think it's really necessary. It was far too easy to use the 5 foot step to avoid AoO. Sometimes, for a more interesting game, you just have to impose the difficult choice - disengage as your action or provoke the AoO - rather than keep your cake and eat it as well.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Stalker0

Legend
You could take a page out of 4e book.

a player can gain a +10 to their base speed but suffer disadvantage on attacks. Or if you want to go more pure 4e have it be a -2 to AC.

of course this is practically a freebie to barbarians but it’s one way to do it that’s quick clean and easy
 

I think the notion of making a Str/Athletics check to increase your speed is the best way to go. A simple method would simply be to add the die roll (times a modifier if needed, this is just conceptual) to the speed for the round. Another option (preferable if using a grid) would be to set a DC for every 5 ft of extra movement. Given that high rates of speed reduce the ability to turn or react, I'd consider granting disadvantage to Dex checks/saves until the start of the next turn. Using this and your knowledge of sprinting, you should be able to set a DC or multiplier that gives you what you want. Ideally you want to place world record levels at/near a high result from +5 modifier/ +6 proficiency, representing the best in the world.

Huh. We find it matters quite a bit in our games.
Movement will almost certainly matter a lot, and this is hardly an unusual layout for our games.
This is the case in our games as well. Unless the area is cramped/confined, there should be a lot of options to move and adjust to the flow of combat. This is particularly important to ranged attackers who want to avoid the +2 cover bonus your allies are likely going to provide. Terrain can be a valuable ally or a major pain, so movement in and around them can be useful/necessary. You example showed many options of moving towards the enemy, plus the potential hidden enemies you mentioned.

I would like to comment about Attacks of Opportunity (or Opportunity Attacks, whatever term 5E uses). Too many players fear them far more than they should. Unless you're concentrating on a spell or facing one of the largest singe attack damage dealers (such as dragons and giants), taking the attack if often worth it to move into a better position. I take the attacks all the time, and it seldom makes any real difference, even if I get hit for some damage. At low levels any amount of damage is potentially deadly, but once you hit level 4+ you should be fine.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I have to agree. Movement rates have no meaning once combat begins. According to the PHB, "In combat, characters and Monsters are in constant motion, often using Movement and Position to gain the upper hand."

Excuse me?

Unless you use optional flanking rules, it's Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots because no one wants to either risk an OA or burn an action to disengage to avoid the OA.
😮

Man we play super differently.
 

Combat movement speeds are the distance at which you can move shifting directions and starting and stopping at will over the course of 6 seconds. Giving some bonus movement for people who have already moved the whole turn using dash in a fairly straight line might be fair, certainly for people who did the same the prior turn and start the new one at full speed, but it seems like a needless complication with rare benefit. I would accept it as an argument for the DM to allow someone an athletics check to get some extra movement when the situation merits.

What this does draw my attention to is the fact that people tend to extrapolate the "speed" intended as combat movement to all other forms of movement and that building the rules for, say, overland travel more intuitively around the speeds on folks' character sheets would be advisable.
 

aco175

Legend
What was your personal best running through a forest littered with leaves and crumbled ruins, while carrying a 25 pound pack, a longsword in a sheath across your back, a belt pouch with a pound of coins, and while wearing boots and a cloak? After a solid two days full of hiking at a moderate pace and eating camp rations and foraged grouse with berries? ;) To make it fair, I should probably add while being chased by an angry bear...
You forget, I do not need to outrun the bear, only the fighter in plate mail, or the mage who cannot run.
 



Backcountry164

Explorer
The recent thread on Chases got me thinking about a pet peeve of mine in 5E: movement or speed.

I know 5E is designed with the idea of rules that are as simple as possible and at least can represent what they are supposed to cover. The idea of being able to move during a round and having your speed used is reasonable in 5E, so this isn't a thread-bash against 5E in that respect.

But, in the spirit of the chase, there should be a way to get more "speed" out of movement. Having a simple rule for things like sprinting in a contest would be nice. However, we still want to keep things relatively simple.

For a point of comparison, I did track and field in high school and college. I was never fast like a lot of people, but I was ok and a good support to help fill out the field, so to say. My personal bests were:

100-meter: 11.5 seconds (equates to speed of 85.6 using both a move and dash action over 2 rounds)
1/4-mile: 52.5 seconds (equates to speed of 75.4 using both a move and dash action over 9 rounds)
mile: 4 minutes, 53 seconds (equates to speed of 54.1 using both a move and dash action over 49 rounds)
10K (just over 6.2 miles): 42.5 minutes (equates to a speed of 38.6 using both a move and dash action over 425 rounds)
Quick question, how much adventuring gear did you wear/carry as you ran track and field?? Based upon all the extra weight an average adventurer would be expected to carry I'd say your numbers look about right...
 

Indeed. I see this complaint about 5e combat being extremely stationary on this forum from time to time, and it has never really been by experience at any table.
It's entirely unimportant if here's no where worth going or reason not to stay where you are. If the terrain is varied and both the pcs and npcs use area effects, people move all the time. If the rooms are empty and everyone just attacks, everyone stands still.

Having said that, I agree allowing Athletics checks to run extra fast is a good idea.
 

If the rooms are empty and everyone just attacks, everyone stands still.

I guess I'm lucky I've never run or been in that campaign. Sure I've seen fights like that, but having so many fights like that that it feels endemic to the system is just not something I can relate to. But my condolences.
 

I guess I'm lucky I've never run or been in that campaign. Sure I've seen fights like that, but having so many fights like that that it feels endemic to the system is just not something I can relate to. But my condolences.
It's a bit of a new-dm problem, but most figure it out pretty quick.

The DMG should cover this, but that's a whole other thread.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Huh. We find it matters quite a bit in our games. For example, this is where our game left off last night. My PC is at the top, and has a 25' move rate as a halfling. Our foes are 120' from my PC at the bottom. Movement is going to matter quite a bit in this combat I suspect. Some of us will reach the foes before others, which could cause swarming against some PCs and could also provide cover to foes from ranged attacks, and could mess with some spells. We're also unsure if there could be more foes in hiding to our right or left or even above us on some bridges. Movement will almost certainly matter a lot, and this is hardly an unusual layout for our games.

sIimBcr.jpg
In this scenario why charge forward haphazardly rather than forming up a defensive line and walking forward as a group?

Especially if you are uncertain about what's hiding out there.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I guess I'm lucky I've never run or been in that campaign. Sure I've seen fights like that, but having so many fights like that that it feels endemic to the system is just not something I can relate to. But my condolences.
I see it, experience it frequently, and have considered allowing a single square of shift* for free on each turn.

*You must maintain contact with any foes to shift, so you may not use it to run away and being surrounded limits your maneuverability.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
In this scenario why charge forward haphazardly rather than forming up a defensive line and walking forward as a group?

Especially if you are uncertain about what's hiding out there.
We might. But, my guess is someone will break ranks, and we will have to catch up to make sure they don't go down. We're just not as organized as some other groups. This is our first campaign with this particular set of players, though everyone has played with someone else in the group at some point in the past.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
What was your personal best running through a forest littered with leaves and crumbled ruins, while carrying a 25 pound pack, a longsword in a sheath across your back, a belt pouch with a pound of coins, and while wearing boots and a cloak? After a solid two days full of hiking at a moderate pace and eating camp rations and foraged grouse with berries? ;) To make it fair, I should probably add while being chased by an angry bear...
No, but I guarantee you even now, over 25 years later, I could still move much faster than 10 feet PER SECOND (especially if being chased by a bear LOL), which is what a move and dash represents. ;)

FWIW, I grew up and still live in upstate New York surrounded by woods. There is a creek across the road from my house and up into my early teens I used to run, actually run, up the creek, bounding from rock to rock and leaping over small pools of water, etc. I used to pretend I was a barbarian using my leaping and springing to move through the wilderness.

In high school and college, I ran cross country... so yes literally through a forest littered with leaves (no crumbled ruins, but plenty of tree roots, rocks, and such to avoid so I wouldn't twist my ankle or something). And that 10K was a cross-country competition in such conditions. Yes, we had some paths, but a lot of up and down hills, through a stream, and finally hit "the wall" a 300-yard straight climb of about 30 degrees about half a mile from the finish.

So, while I understand your point (true, I wasn't in traveling clothes with boots and a cloak, etc.), I stand by that I could still move faster than 10 feet per second. :)
 

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff (She/Her)
But you are correct, other than flanking 5E has little in way of tactical movement options. And flanking isn't well thought of by many groups. 🤷‍♂️

If you have ideas to address other issues, please contribute. :)
I don't think flanking solves this issue either, as melee fighters pretty quickly just find themselves in lines and don't have any reason to move more than 5ft.

I personally aim to emphasize movement in my monster supplement through NPC abilities that target areas and give PCs time to react.
 
Last edited:

Isn't this what the Mobile feat is for?
Of course chases involve mobile feet. They're running!

Honestly, though, I think the chase rules in the DMG are more than good enough. It takes movement speed, stealth, perception, stamina, and dashing into account.

Edit: My only problem with them is that there are way too many complications. It should be 10%, not 50%!
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
100 meters is 300 feet. In two rounds that is 150 feet per round. A 30 foot move and dash is 60.

A sprint, that (say) makes you have disadvantage on all saving throws and checks and others have advantage on attacking you until the end of your next turn, could work. Using it in combat is very dangerous.

We'll make it a bonus action you can take when dashing, and it adds another "movement speed" to start.

Now we only need a speed of 50 to reach sprinter speeds.

So next, you add your athletics check to your speed.

So we get (30+athletics check) times 3, or 90+3 times athletics check.

A +4 athletics with a 20 gives you 54*3=162 feet per round. Second round you have disadvantage. So you'll approach but not hit sprinter speed.

A running track and intense practice would be an example of having advantage in this check.

---
Something along these lines could work. Maybe a passive check instead of a roll?

You can increases your speed to 40 + your Strength (Athletics) modifier (30 + base 10 for passive check + modifier). Accepting the penalty would double your dash increase, so three times in total with your move as well. Someone with a Strength (Athletics) modifier of +10 total would have 50 speed, giving you 150 total (50 for move, plus 100 for dash), but attacks against you have advantage).

Looking at adding something like Mobile and max Strength (Athletics) modifier of +17 (expertise and STR 20), your speed would be 67 (40 for mobile + 27 for passive total). Times three would be 201 feet for the dash (attacks against have advantage), which would give you a 9.8 100-meter sprint over 2 rounds.

I think that is a good starting point. What do you think?
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Honestly, though, I think the chase rules in the DMG are more than good enough. It takes movement speed, stealth, perception, stamina, and dashing into account.
I don't mean chases specifically. I just mean that if you want to differentiate the characters who can run fastest, you can do it with a feat.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top