There are three movement scales, as follows.

  • Tactical, for combat, measured in feet (or squares) 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 miles per 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 3 miles per hour for an unencumbered human.

Hustle: A hustle is a jog at about 6 miles per hour for an unencumbered human. A character moving his or her speed twice in a single round, or moving that speed in the same round that he or she performs a standard action or another move action is hustling when he or she moves.

Run (x3): Moving three times speed is a running pace for a character in heavy armor. It represents about 9 miles per hour for a human in full plate.

Dash (x4): Moving four times speed is a running pace for a character in light, medium, or no armor. It represents about 12 miles per hour for an unencumbered human, or 8 miles per hour for a human in chainmail.

Sprint (x5): Moving five times speed is a running pace for a character in light or no armor. It represents about 15 miles an hour for an unencumbered human, or 11 miles an hour for a human in leather armor. (Note: Sprinting is very hard to maintain for more than a few minutes at a time.)

Tactical Movement
Use tactical movement 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 is hustling for about half the round and doing something else the other half.

Hampered Movement: Difficult terrain, obstacles, or poor visibility can hamper movement. When movement is hampered, each square moved into usually counts as two squares, effectively reducing the distance that a character can cover in a move.

If more than one condition applies, multiply together all additional costs that apply. (This is a specific exception to the normal rule for doubling)

In some situations, a character's movement may be so hampered that he doesn't have sufficient speed even to move 5 feet (1 square). In such a case, he can use a full-round action to make a single step in any direction, even diagonally. Even though this looks like a normal step, it's not, and thus it provokes attacks of opportunity normally. (A character can't take advantage of this rule to move through impassable terrain or to move when all movement is prohibited to him.)

A character can't run or charge through any square that normally hampers movement.

Table 1: Hampered Movement

Condition Add. Movement Cost
Difficult terrain x2
Obstacle1 x2
Poor visibility x2

1 May require a skill check.

Local Movement

Characters exploring an area use local movement, measured in feet per minute.

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 miles per hour.

Run: A character can generally run without a problem on the local scale. How far and fast he can run, however, is a function of his Constitution score (see below).

Overland Movement

Characters or creatures covering long distances cross-country use overland movement. Overland movement is measured in miles per hour. Exceeding an allotted amount of travel time in a 24-hour period (see below) can cause fatigue and/or exhaustion (see Forced March, below).

For purposes of this sytem, the various running speeds have been renamed so as to eliminate confusion. Run x3 is a run; run x4 is a dash; and run x5 is a sprint.

Walk: A character can walk up to half his Con score in hours (a character with a Con of 1 can walk for half an hour). "Walk" in this context means the creature's normal mode of movement – flying, swimming, walking, etc. See Special Modes of Movement, below, for more details.

Hustle: A character can hustle for 1 hour, plus 1 hour per point of his Con bonus (if the character's Con modifier is a negative number, subtract 10 minutes per point of the penalty).

Run: A character can:

Run (x3) up to 10 minutes, +10 minutes per point of his Con bonus (if the character's Con modifier is +0 or below, double it and subtract from 10 – this is how many minutes he can run).

Dash (run x4) up to 5 minutes, +5 minutes per point of his Con bonus (if the character's Con modifier is +0 or below, subtract it from 5 – this is how many minutes he can run. Characters with 1 Con cannot dash.).

Sprint (run x5) up to 1 minute, +1 minute per point of his Con bonus (if the character has no Con bonus, he cannot run at this speed – see the Run feat). Sprinting is generally used for tactical movement only.

For example: A character with an 18 Con can run up to 50 minutes, dash up to 25 minutes, or sprint up to 5 minutes without penalty. A character with 6 Con can run up to 6 minutes without penalty or dash up to 3 minutes, but can't sprint.

Medium encumbrance reduces the above numbers by 1/2 (round down); heavy encumbrance reduces the above numbers by 3/4 (round down). Additionally, the DCs for the Con checks are increased to 12 and 14, respectively.

For example: A fighter with 16 Con, unencumbered, can walk for 8 hours before making a Con check to avoid fatigue. If he were moderately encumbered, he could walk for only 4 hours. If he were heavily encumbered, he could walk for only 2 hours before having to make a check.

Special Modes of Movement: Flying and swimming both require more energy than walking, though there are exceptions to the rule – soaring (using thermal updrafts to stay aloft without flapping one's wings) or simply floating and letting the current move the character along.

A character/creature who is actively flying can move for the alloted distance (fly at normal speed for half its Con score in hours). Flying creatures that become exhausted cannot stay aloft – they must land immediately, or they will fall. An exhausted flyer must rest for at least 8 hours before it can fly again.

Swimming creatures that are not encumbered can swim (move at base speed) for half the normal time and can remain afloat thereafter, but those with medium or heavy loads, or wearing medium or heavy armor, must make a DC 15 Swim check each minute after they become fatigued to remain above the surface. Those that become exhausted must make a DC 25 Swim check each minute or slip below the surface and drown. Creatures with a Swim speed can move up to half their Con bonus in hours at base speed, or move faster as noted above. They can become fatigued or exhausted, but unless they require air to breathe, they cannot drown.

Terrain: The terrain through which a character travels affects how much distance he or she can cover in an hour or a day (see Table 2, below). 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 party traveling with vehicles. Trackless terrain is a wild area with no paths.

Table 2: Terrain and Overland Movement
Terrain Highway Road or Trail Trackless
Desert, sandy x1 x1/2 x1/2
Forest x1 x1 x1/2
Hills x1 x3/4 x1/2
Jungle x1 x3/4 x1/4
Moor x1 x1 x3/4
Mountains x3/4 x3/4 x1/2
Plains x1 x1 x3/4
Swamp x1 x3/4 x1/2
Tundra, frozen x1 x3/4 x3/4

Forced March: A character can continue to walk after his maximum amount of time (see above), but he must make a Con check each hour (DC 10, +1 per hour after the first) or become fatigued (-2 to Strength and Dex). If he continues to move while fatigued, he must keep making Con checks as before (the DC continues to increase). If he fails a second Con check, he becomes exhausted (-6 to Strength and Dex). The character can continue to move while exhausted, but he must make Con checks as before (the DC continues to increase); each time he fails a check, he suffers 1 point of Con damage. If he is reduced to 0 Con, he falls over dead.

Con points can be recovered at the rate of 2 points per day of rest, or 1 point for an 8-hour period of rest between periods of moving. They cannot be recovered during any day in which the character moves at any speed faster than a walk, or exceeds his maximum allotted distance for a 24-hour period.

The above rule also applies to hustling or running – checks are made every hour for hustling, every 10 minutes for running, or every 5 minutes for dashing or sprinting, as appropriate.

The Endurance feat also grants a +4 bonus to Con checks to avoid becoming fatigued while engaged in any strenuous activity (forced marches, e.g.).

If a character moves more than his maximum allowed distance in a day, he must rest for 1 extra increment of time per increment it moved. For example, for each 5 minutes spent dashing or 1 minute sprinting past the maximum, he must rest for 10 minutes. For each 10 minutes spent running, or each hour hustling or walking, past the maximum, it must rest an hour.

If a character moves up to his maximum allowed distance, but does not get sufficient rest (8 hours) and starts to move again within a given 24-hour period, he must also make Con checks as noted above – each hour less than 8 that he rests counts as 1 hour added to the Con check. A full 8 hours of rest will negate the penalties, provided he is not fatigued. If he is, he must rest 12 hours; if he is exhausted, he must rest a full day.

For example: Bartas the scout must warn the city of an approaching army. Unfortunately, he's 150 miles away, and the army is right behind him. Time is obviously of the essence, so he can't just walk the whole way, but he doesn't have a horse. He's wearing leather armor and lightly encumbered (he is a scout, after all), so he can move quickly – 6 miles an hour if he hustles. He has Con 15, so he can hustle for 3 hours a day without hurting himself, but that's only 18 miles. If he pushes himself, though, he can easily double that distance.

The first day, he hustles for 5 hours. At hour 4, and every hour thereafter, he must make a Con check - DC 10 at hour 4, all the way to DC 14 at hour 8. He makes all the checks and avoids becoming fatigued. He has travelled 48 miles. He stops for a few hours of rest (6, to be exact) and pushes on. Since he didn't rest for a full 8 hours, his Con checks start at DC 12 instead of DC 10. Still, tough as he is, he makes all his checks and hustles another 48 miles. He rests another 6 hours and gets ready for the final leg of his journey. Now the DCs are getting hard – they start at DC 14. He makes the first check, but fails the second – he becomes fatigued. Still, he can't stop, so he presses on. He makes the third check, but fails the fourth (DC 16) – he is now exhausted, but he's almost there – another 2 miles to go – so he pushes on. He fails the next check and takes another point of Con damage, but he reaches the city and delivers his warning.

Table 3: Movement and Distance

15 feet 20 feet 30 feet 40 feet
One Round (Tactical)1
Walk 15 ft. 20 ft. 30 ft. 40 ft.
Hustle 30 ft. 40 ft. 60 ft. 80 ft.
Run 45 ft. 60 ft. 90 ft. 120 ft.
Dash 60 ft. 80 ft. 120 ft. 160 ft.
One Minute (Local)
Walk 150 ft. 200 ft. 300 ft. 400 ft.
Hustle 300 ft. 400 ft. 600 ft. 800 ft.
Run 450 ft. 600 ft. 900 ft. 1,200 ft.
Dash 600 ft. 800 ft. 1,200 ft. 1,600 ft.
Sprint2 750 ft. 1,000 ft. 1,500 ft. 2,000 ft.
One Hour (Overland)
Walk 1.5 miles 2 miles 3 miles 4 miles
Hustle 3 miles 4 miles 6 miles 8 miles
Run3 5 miles 7 miles 10 miles 13 miles
Dash3 7 miles 9 miles 13 miles 18 miles

1 Tactical movement is often measured in squares on the battle grid (1 square = 5 feet) rather than feet.

2 A character can sprint only if he is unencumbered.

3 Moving at this speed for sustained periods is difficult for creature with low Con scores (below 15 or so; see above). For most characters and creatures, it's easier to multiply the local movement by 5 or 10 (for dashing or running speed, respectively) and divide that by 5,000 to figure out how many miles it has moved.

Mounted Movement: The same rules as above apply to mounts – a mount like a horse normally moves at a trot (hustle), but can gallop (run x3 or x4) for short periods of time. A mount can be pushed beyond its limits while bearing a rider or a load, but it must make Con checks as noted above. The base DC increases, however, depending on its load (see the encumbrance rules for more details).

Table 4 covers base speeds (per hour) for encumbered mounts.

Table 4: Mounted Movement

Per Hour
Mount Walk Hustle Run1 Dash1
Light horse (58-175 pounds) 6 miles 13 miles 20 miles 27 miles
Light horse (176–350 lb.) 4 miles 9 miles 14 miles
Light horse (351-525 lb.) 2 miles 5 miles
Light warhorse (76-230 lb.) 6 miles 13 miles 20 miles 27 miles
Light warhorse (231–460 lb.) 4 miles 9 miles 14 miles
Light warhorse (461-690 lb.) 2 miles 5 miles
Heavy horse (76-230 lb.) 5 miles 11 miles 17 miles 22 miles
Heavy horse (231–460 lb.) 3-1/2 miles 8 miles 13 miles
Heavy horse (461-690 lb.) 2-1/2 miles 6 miles
Heavy warhorse (101-300 lb.) 5 miles 11 miles 17 miles 22 miles
Heavy warhorse (301–600 lb.) 3-1/2 miles 8 miles 13 miles
Heavy warhorse (601-900 lb.) 2-1/2 miles 6 miles
Pony (26-75 lb.) 4 miles 11 miles 14 miles 18 miles
Pony (76–100 lb.) 2-1/2 miles 6 miles 9 miles
Pony (101-225 lb.) 1-1/2 miles 4 miles
Warpony (35-100 lb.) 4 miles 11 miles 14 miles 18 miles
Warpony (101–200 lb.) 2-1/2 miles 6 miles 9 miles
Warpony (201-300 lb.) 1-1/2 miles 4 miles
Donkey (15-50 lb.) 3 miles 7 miles 11 miles 13 miles
Donkey (51–100 lb.) 2 miles 5 miles 7 miles
Donkey (101-150 lb.) 1-1/2 miles 4 miles
Mule (76-230 lb.) 3 miles 7 miles 11 miles 13 miles
Mule (231–460 lb.) 2 miles 5 miles 7 miles
Mule (461-690 lb.) 1-1/2 mile 4 miles
Dog, riding (35-100 lb.) 4 miles 11 miles 14 miles 18 miles
Dog, riding (101–200 lb.) 2-1/2 miles 6 miles 9 miles
Dog, riding (201-300 lb.) 1-1/2 miles 4 miles

1 Moving at this speed for sustained periods is very difficult – most mounts can run (x3) for only a few hours at most, and very few can dash for more than a half hour or so. These figures are here only for extraordinarily hardy creatures (Con 20+) – for others, it's easier to multiply the local movement by 5 or 10 (depending on if it is dashing or running) and divide that by 5,000 to figure out how many miles it has moved.

Vehicles: Carts, wagons, carriages, and dogsleds have different weight capacities, but even when loaded to the maximum (see below), they have little impact on how fast the animals can pull them, since said animals are usually grouped in teams.

A cart or wagon can carry up to 1,000 pounds of cargo; a carriage or sleigh can carry 1,500 pounds; and a dogsled can carry up to 500 pounds.

Carts, wagons, and carriages are usually drawn by light horses; sleighs are usually drawn by heavy horses; and dogsleds are always drawn by riding dogs. The figures below assume this.

Rowing is considered to be hustling for purposes of fatigue checks.

Table 5: Vehicles

Vehicle Per Hour Per Day
Cart or wagon 2 miles 16 miles
Horse-drawn carriage 4 miles 40 miles
Horse-drawn sleigh1 3 miles 24 hours
Dogsled1 4 miles 32 miles
Raft or barge (poled or towed)2 1/2 miles 5 miles
Keelboat (rowed)2 1 mile 10 miles
Rowboat (rowed)2 1-1/2 miles 15 miles
Sailing ship (sailed) 2 miles 48 miles
Warship (sailed and rowed) 2-1/2 miles 60 miles
Longship (sailed and rowed) 3 miles 72 miles
Galley (rowed and sailed) 4 miles 96 miles

1 Sleighs and dogsleds can only be used on snow or ice.

2 Rafts, barges, keelboats, and rowboats are used on lakes and rivers. If going downstream, add the speed of the current (typically 3 miles per hour) to the vehicle's speed. In addition to 10 hours of being rowed, the vehicle can also float an additional 14 hours, if someone can guide it, so add 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.

Aerial Movement

See Aerial Movement and Combat

Evasion And Pursuit

In round-by-round movement, simply counting off squares, it's impossible for a slow character to get away from a determined fast character without mitigating circumstances. Likewise, it's no problem for a fast character to get away from a slower one.

When the speeds of the two concerned characters are equal, there's a simple way to resolve a chase: If one creature is pursuing another, both are moving at the same speed, and the chase continues for at least a few rounds, have them make opposed Dexterity checks to see who is the faster over those rounds. If the creature being chased wins, it escapes. If the pursuer wins, it catches the fleeing creature.

Sometimes a chase occurs overland and could last all day, with the two sides only occasionally getting glimpses of each other at a distance. In the case of a long chase, an opposed Constitution check made by all parties determines which can keep pace the longest. If the creature being chased rolls the highest, it gets away. If not, the chaser runs down its prey, outlasting it with stamina.

Moving Around In Squares

In general, when the characters aren't engaged in round-by-round combat, they should be able to move anywhere and in any manner that you can imagine real people could. A 5-foot square, for instance, can hold several characters; they just can't all fight effectively in that small space. The rules for movement are important for combat, but outside combat they can impose unnecessary hindrances on character activities.


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