D&D 5E Levitate on self

Was curious what people think about this situation: A character is midair, no walls, floor or ceiling anywhere near him. He casts Levitate on himself.

I feel the text on Levitate is very confusing.

Does the trait you cannot move unless you can grip onto a surface also apply when you cast it on self?

Does the Levitate effect just allow you to move up and down with your normal movement (e.g. you have 30ft of normal speed you can move 15 feet down and then 15 feet up again?) or do you gain an additional movement of 20 feet up and down? And if it's the latter, can you combine up and down movement or can it only be down or only up per turn?

The spell text says you can do this as part of your movement, what about when you cannot move because you don't have a surface to grip?

In other words, in the current situation, can the person:
a) Not move at all.
b) Move up to 20 feet either up or down?
c) Move up to 20 feet up and down in combination (e.g. 10 feet down, attack, then 10 feet up)?
d) Move up to 30 feet up and down in combination (and it counts as movement)?

Hope you guys can give me some opinions on this.

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When you're the target you can move up/down by a total of 20 feet as part of your move. So, for instance, if you're currently 10 feet up in the air and have a speed of 30, you could move down 10 feet, walk 10 feet horizontally, then move up 10 feet.

If you're not within easy reach of the ground or another surface to push against, you can only move up/down by 20 feet as part of your movement.

Things the spell doesn't specify: Is the target effectively locked in place beyond voluntary movement, or would a strong wind propel them around? Could a flying creature carry them off? I'd tend toward them being affected by external forces, but still having normal inertia, so that for instance a strong wind would move them, but they wouldn't float off on a light breeze like a leaf.

If you need to move horizontally, get creative. Make a lasso and snag a nearby branch or outcrop to haul yourself towards. Throw something suitably heavy in one direction so that the reaction will send you in the opposite direction. If you have a flying familiar, ask them to give you a tow.

Note that if you really need to move all the way down, you can simply cease concentrating on the spell (no action required), and will then float gently to the ground regardless of your current altitude.


Yeah, levitate has always just given vertical movement, while fly adds horizontal to it - whether self or someone else.

Good reason to also memorize gust of wind or keep rope and grappling hook for when you get too far from an anchor point, and you can’t get the fighter to push you around the room.

Although, now I’m imagining the sorcerer using the spell and tying a rope around him, so someone else can lead him around like a balloon.


As the spell states, you can move 20 feet up or down. Since you can push yourself along a solid surface, you are not locked in place. I rule that forced movement works as normal, anything that would move you if you were standing on solid ground would move you while levitated. You could also "jump" off a wall by pushing yourself but I'd consider it a long jump.

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