D&D 5E Mounted Tavel Pace

lkwpeter

Explorer
Hey,

the rules about unmounted traveling are very clear (PHB 181).

But I have two questions concerning mounted traveling:

  1. The rules state that you can gallop for an hour. How many times can you do so per day? How long does a mount have a travel at normal pace to gallop again?
  2. The rules say that "A mounted character can ride at a gallop for about an hour, covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace." I believe that means the distance shown in the table on p. 182, right? Or is it the horse's own pace?
Thanks in advance!
Peter
 

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lkwpeter

Explorer
From another Forum:

It seems to me the intention is that you can gallop for one hour per day. The horse needs a rest to gallop again, and moving at normal travel speed is not restful.
First of all, thanks for you reply! Yes, I am your opinion: Galopping should only be allowed, if the mount can rest afterwards. So the travel pace can only take an advantage out of it, if you galop the last hour of the journey. Otherwise the resting would compensate the gallop and the travel pace is the same than without galloping. So, galloping is especially good for small distances that can be reached within an hour.


The text indicates that movement speed has no direct effect on how fast you travel longer distances. So I agree with you there.
Thanks. That's how I read it too.


Exhaustion while riding a horse:

Would you ask for an exhaustion check ...

a) for the rider? After how many hours?
b) for the mount? After how many hours?
c) Is that somehow covered by the RAW?
 
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One hour per day. It gets them an extra 5 miles if travelling at a normal pace the rest of the day, otherwise mounts travel as fast as humans (which isn't far from reality).

Exhaustion isn't clear. Riding on a horse is still tiring. I'd have both make checks but give the rider advantage.
(Edit: I think I might give the rider a pass on the first one and advantage on future checks. It might also rule that if you travelled at a slow pace, mounts also have advantage on the first hour of a forced march.)
 
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aco175

Legend
I'm not a horse person, so I do not have legitimate knowledge. I would think that the speed chart shows travel for any animal of speed 20,30,and 40. A human traveling 30ft can normally go 24miles/day and can force march at the 40ft travel speed and go 4miles/hour or 30miles/day. A riding horse has a speed of 60 and a draft horse has 40ft. Carrying a person and gear most likely lowers this 10ft at a normal encumbrance. Galloping doubles the movement for 1 hour. Typically a horse would go 8-10 miles in this time before needing to rest. You would need to have way stations every hour to have the ability to go long distances. Messengers in ancient times would be able to travel 100miles in a day by switching horses.
 

lkwpeter

Explorer
One hour per day. It gets them an extra 5 miles if travelling at a normal pace the rest of the day, otherwise mounts travel as fast as humans (which isn't far from reality).
Thanks for your reply! But that is actually a problem. The following calculation shows why:

Galopping + normal pace for the rest of the day:
1 hour of galloping = 1 x 8 miles
7 hours of normal traveling = 7 x 3 miles = 21 miles
Total = 29 miles

Fast pace for whole day (with or without mount)
Total = 30 miles

So, if you say that galloping is only possible, if you continue travelling at normal pace afterwars, you are even slower than without galloping.

In addtion: Players could always say "The first 7 hours I am travelling at fast pace and only gallop for the last hour." Doing so, they could combine both benefits and travel up to 36 miles without exhaustion.
 

aco175

Legend
Another thought is that you travel as fast as story demands. If galloping 20 miles to catch the BBEG and the horse dies as you cross the kingdom border helps the story, then that is how fast the horse travels.
 

Thanks for your reply! But that is actually a problem. The following calculation shows why:

Galopping + normal pace for the rest of the day:
1 hour of galloping = 1 x 8 miles
7 hours of normal traveling = 7 x 3 miles = 21 miles
Total = 29 miles

Fast pace for whole day (with or without mount)
Total = 30 miles

So, if you say that galloping is only possible, if you continue travelling at normal pace afterwars, you are even slower than without galloping.

In addtion: Players could always say "The first 7 hours I am travelling at fast pace and only gallop for the last hour." Doing so, they could combine both benefits and travel up to 36 miles without exhaustion.
Nowhere does it say you need to travel at a normal pace after galloping. Galloping for just an hour means you gain the benefits of a full day of fast travel while otherwise travelling at a normal pace (and not suffered the penalty on Perception).
 

I tend to cheat in my game for mounted movement.
Using the Kingdom scale in the DMG, maps with a hexgrid have miles per hex. At a slow pace you can move 3 hexes in a day, at a normal pace you can move 4, and at a fast pace you move five. I tend to just round up and give the party an extra hex while mounted. Because it's easier to bump it up to 6 miles than remember they're 2/3 through a hex.
 

Horwath

Hero
Have in mind that the slow/normal/fast pace in PHB are based on average humanoid speed of 30ft

double that for a riding horse.

So that would be 160ft per round for a fast horse. That would be around 30km for an hour of gallop or more than 18 miles.
 

lkwpeter

Explorer
Nowhere does it say you need to travel at a normal pace after galloping. Galloping for just an hour means you gain the benefits of a full day of fast travel while otherwise travelling at a normal pace (and not suffered the penalty on Perception).
I think that is not correct. The PHB states the following on page 181:

"Mounts and Vehicles. For short spans of time (up to an hour), many animaIs move much faster than humanoids. A mounted character can ride at a gallop for about an hour, covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace."

That means:
a) You can only gallop for one hour
b) You gain the benefit of twice the distance of "fast pace" - BUT: You pick that from the table shown on page 182 that states "4 miles". So you can gallop for a total of 8 miles.

I am actually sharing your opinion, Jester David. But I wanted to know what RAW intends.


Correct me, if I am still wrong. But I think RAW states the following points:

1.) You do not travel faster while mounted.
2.) You can only gallop for one hour per day (covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace).
3.) There is no need of a rest after galloping. And there is no rule saying you need to continue travelling at "slow" or "normal" pace. A horse simply can't gallop anymore for that day.
4.) If you travel more than 8 hours, the traveler has to make a check for exhaustion - regardless of whether he is riding a mount or walking. (DM might also ask for a check for the mount.)





EDIT:

Here is the table of the PHB 182. Remember: A mounted character can ride at a gallop for about an hour, covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace."


SpeedMinuteHourDayEffect
Fast400 Feet4 Miles30 Miles-5 Passive Perception
Normal300 Feet3 Miles24 Miles­–
Slow200 Feet2 Miles18 MilesStealth possible
 
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I think that is not correct.
I'm simplifying a little.
If you travel at a normal pace for 7 hours and gallop for 1 you cover pretty much the same distance as if you travelled for a fast pace the entire day. Give or take a mile.

a) You can only gallop for one hour
Correct
b) You gain the benefit of twice the distance of "fast pace" - BUT: You pick that from the table shown on page 182 that states "4 miles". So you can gallop for a total of 8 miles.
Also correct.

I think RAW states the following points:

1.) You do not travel faster while mounted.
By default, no.
Which is close to reality. A horse being ridden can generally only travel 20-30 miles in a day. A person walking can cover a comparable distance. The advantage of horse in travelling is the extra weight they can carry.


2.) You can only gallop for one hour per day (covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace).
By the rules as written, correct.
3.) There is no need of a rest after galloping. And there is no rule saying you need to continue travelling at "slow" or "normal" pace. A horse simply can't gallop anymore for that day.
That does seem to be what is written. It's a once/day ability.
4.) If you travel more than 8 hours, the traveler has to make a check for exhaustion - regardless of whether he is riding a mount or walking. (DM might also ask for a check for the mount.)
The rules here are unclear because they do not mention mounts. So the RAW is uncertain and the RAI are unknown.
The best (i.e most RAW) ruling you can make is that everyone needs to make an exhaustion check, mount and rider. But more than any other part of this subject it's up to the DM.
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
Have in mind that the slow/normal/fast pace in PHB are based on average humanoid speed of 30ft

double that for a riding horse.
The rules actually clearly state that you don't do that when they specify how to handle mounts & vehicles and reference the travel pace chart rather than the mount's speed.

Also, the pace listed in the PHB still apply even if the entire party are dwarves, halflings, and gomes (25' speed), is all wood elves, higher level monks and barbarians, or have the mobile feat (35' or higher speed).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I think if the rules fail, it's best to look at history.

The *maximum* rate (without killing horses) is probably the Mongols, who were superb riders, many spare horses and resilient mounts. They could travel 160 km/day (100 miles)
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Ok, but what about, erm, not mongols? Well, Wikipedia says this:

"The speed of travel varied greatly. Large retinues could be slowed by the presence of slow-paced carts and litters, or by servants and attendants on foot, and could rarely cover more than fifteen to twenty miles a day. Small mounted companies might travel 30 miles a day. However, there were exceptions: stopping only for a change of horses midway, Richard II of England once managed the 70 miles between Daventry and Westminster in a night.[63]"
 

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