[RPG] drag a grappled creature and release it after moving half of the speed, then move the remainder of the speed


The grappling rules state:

Moving a Grappled Creature.

When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

If I have 30 speed and have an enemy grappled, then I move 15 feet and release my grapple on my target, do I still have 15 feet of movement left, or is it lost for the round?

Best Answer

After releasing the grapple, you can move 15 more feet

Movement speed is only halved while you are dragging the creature

When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

The condition is clear, when you move with a grappled creature your speed is halved. If you are no longer moving with a grappled creature, this rule no longer applies and your speed returns to normal.

When your speed changes, the amount you can move also changes

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed.

This is a simple rule and it has no qualifiers. During one round you can move up to whatever your current speed is. It doesn't mention any exceptions for cases where your speed might increase or decrease during the turn.

So, the rule simply is:

$$ \text{movementLeft} = \text{currentSpeed} - \text{movementUsed} $$

If your speed increases during your turn (for example if you cast haste on yourself), you can move further that round. If it decreases, so does the distance you can move.

Thus, if you move 15 feet with your grappled creature you have moved 15 feet with a speed of 15.

$$ \text{movementLeft} = (30/2) - 15 = 0 $$ After releasing the grapple, your speed becomes 30.

$$ \text{movementLeft} = 30 - 15 = 15 $$ And, according to the rules, you can move a distance up to your speed on your turn. Since you have already moved 15 and you have a speed of 30, you have 15 feet more you can go.

Haste as an alternate example

Consider the case of haste used mid-turn. Haste doubles the target's speed. Consider a creature that moved up to its current speed, saw a need to move further and then cast haste on itself.

It doesn't make sense for the creature to not be able to move further now that they have a new speed. After all, if they had cast it at the beginning of their turn they would have been able to move the full distance just fine. Why does it matter that they cast it after moving part of the way?

The above ruling correctly (IMO) allows the creature to move the appropriate amount of spaces because movement is continuously calculated off the current speed of the creature. When the speed changes, so does the amount of movement no matter when that change occurs.

Difficult terrain uses a different calculation that does not apply here

Conditions such a difficult terrain use very different rules and language for describing how movement is penalized.

Every foot of movement costs one extra foot

This is not how the moving a grappled creature rules are written at all and they aren't the same as this question demonstrates. Without language like this in the rule for grappled creatures, there is no rules support for calculating the movement the same way. Whether or not this was intentional, only the designers can say. Barring errata, this is the RAW ruling that we have.

As always, if a DM wants to change a rule, they can do so. In this case, changing the rule such that dragging is treated like difficult terrain would probably not be something that has any noticeable effect on game-enjoyment (but it isn't something I've tested).

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