# [RPG] When you run out of climbing speed, can you still climb with your normal speed at a penalty

dnd-5emovement

Let's say you're a 40 speed, 15 climbing speed creature. There's an initial ledge at 20 feet, but you're trying to reach the top at 25 feet.

From the Player's Handbook, page 182:

While climbing or swimming, each foot of movement costs 1 extra foot (2 extra feet in difficult terrain), unless a creature has a climbing or swimming speed. At the GM’s option, climbing a slippery vertical surface or one with few handholds requires a successful Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, gaining any distance in rough water might require a successful Strength (Athletics) check.

However, on page 190:

If you have more than one speed, such as your
walking speed and a flying speed, you can switch back and forth
the distance you've already moved from the new speed. The result
determines how much farther you can move. If the result is 0 or less,
you can’t use the new speed during the current move.

Combined with this information, there may be an odd scenario where a character has moved their maximum climbing speed.

Can they:

1. Move the 15 feet up the cliff, and cannot reach neither the ledge or the top?
2. Move their normal speed at twice the cost, allowing them to climb up to 20 feet in this turn and reach the ledge? (40/2= 20 feet)
3. Move the 15 feet of climbing speed up the cliff, and are able to spend the rest of their speed (40-15 = 25 left) at the extra foot cost, since they "no longer have a climbing speed", putting them at the very top of the cliff (25/2=10 [rounded down]), 15+10 =25 feet)?

# Yes, movement may continue [at a penalty] when special movement speed has run out

You've definitely called out the correct section on movement speeds found in the book, but it's worth noting that in the time since the original printing of the PHB, there was errata added to make this kind of movement more explicitly clear:

### Climbing, Swimming, and Crawling

Each foot of movement costs 1 extra foot (2 extra feet in difficult terrain) when you're climbing, swimming, or crawling. You ignore this extra cost if you have a climbing speed and use it to climb, or a swimming speed and use it to swim. At the DM's option, climbing a slippery vertical surface or one with few handholds requires a successful Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, gaining any distance in rough water might require a successful Strength (Athletics) check.

Movement, Player's Handbook, pg. 182 (with 2018 Errata)

So what we see here is that the movement cost only applies so long as the creature does not use their movement speed for that particular type of movement. It doesn't say that you're unable to use your walking speed simply because you have a climbing speed.

So if you're using your climbing speed, you'd use 1 foot of movement for each foot you move. Then, if you run out of climbing speed, you can keep going at a rate of 2 feet of movement for each foot you move. As a result, your third option, moving 15 feet with climbing speed, then moving 25 / 2 feet with their remaining walking speed is correct; though it should be noted that Rules-as-Written, there's no requirement to round distances, since 5th Edition does not "snap to a grid" by default. So it's perfectly legal for a character to move exactly 12.5 feet (or in this case, 27.5 feet in total) during their turn.