[RPG] the farthest someone can travel in 8 hours without teleporting


This question asks about the highest speed someone can go, so it is about maximizing burst speed. However, being able to travel 600 mph isn't really useful in combat. Perhaps it's useful in short 10-minute bursts, but it is less sustainable for overland travel.

One use of high speeds, though, is overland travel. You care more about your speed when you actually want to go to a far away place. But here, a character follows different rules that rely only on speed, and not action economy:

  • In 1 minute, you can move a number of feet equal to your speed times 10.

  • In 1 hour, you can move a number of miles equal to your speed divided by 10.

Given the following parameters:

  • No teleportation

  • Regular (not difficult) terrain

  • The character level cannot be above level 12 (at level 13, casters gain teleportation magic, so this question becomes less relevant above level 12)

  • Consumables (spells, potions, etc) are allowed, but minimize the use of consumables; ie, between two answers giving the same distance traveled, if one uses less consumables, that one is the better answer

  • Magic items are allowed

  • Help from others is allowed (buffs, spells, items, etc) as long as those others are themselves at most level 12

What is the farthest someone can travel in 8 hours?

Best Answer

I can improve on markovchain's answer by swapping a phantom steed for the wild-shaped druid. The phantom steed has a speed of 100 feet; we can improve this using the usual tricks (longstrider, transmuter stone, horseshoes of speed) to 150 feet, which means 15 miles per hour.

Like all creatures, the phantom steed can travel at +33% speed for a "fast pace" (this is what the line "or 13 miles at a fast pace" in the spell text means). This gives 20mph. markovchain offers two innovations: (1) an Elk Totem Barbarian can double this, and (2) the creature can "gallop" for one hour, which doubles this again. This gives 80mph.

Our phantom steed can gallop for only an hour, so we need eight phantom steeds to do this properly. If the DM rules that a horseshoes of speed can be reapplied to a new phantom steed very quickly, then our Elk Barbarian 6 can multiclass and take five levels of Transmuter Wizard, which will let her read the phantom steed spells from scrolls. She would need one scroll of longstrider and six scrolls of phantom steed in addition to her spell slots.

It's likely that the DM will rule that horseshoes of speed take significant time to put on a horse. (See: How long does your farrier take to shoe one horse?) If that's the case, then we need to assume the existence of courier stops, spaced every 80 miles along the route. Each courier stop would have a fresh phantom steed mount with the horseshoes already applied. Presumably a fifth-level wizard would supply the magic for each one.

80mph times eight hours gives 640 miles.

The above is a good practical solution. For completeness, I should note there are less practical solutions which are faster -- for example, with a line of friendly wizards, spaced 500 feet apart, with readied actions to cast dimension door on you, you can move arbitrarily far in one turn. There's also cheese involving fast mounting and dismounting, or even just a line of Giants with readied actions to pass you from one to the next.