Rules: Grappling and Travel Show Notes

We discuss the D&D 5e rules on the benefits of grappling and surviving while traveling between settlements. We are joined this week by Scott, the DM for Seasons of Skyrend, an actual play podcast set within Scott’s custom Dungeons and Dragons world. 


RAW from Player’s Handbook

When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a Special melee attack, a grapple. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.

The target of your grapple must be no more than one size larger than you and must be within your reach. Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check instead of an attack roll: a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you succeed, you subject the target to the Grappled condition (see Conditions). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

Escaping a Grapple: A Grappled creature can use its action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check.

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.

Grappled (Condition)

  • A grappled creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed.
  • The condition ends if the Grappler is incapacitated (see the condition).
  • The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the Grappler or Grappling effect, such as when a creature is hurled away by the Thunderwave spell.

Ranger Monster Slayer Ability

  • Add a d6 to attempts to escape grapple from target

Squat Nimbleness

You are uncommonly nimble for your race. You  gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1,  to a maximum of 20.
  • Increase your walking speed by 5 feet.
  • You gain proficiency in the Acrobatics or  Athletics skill. If you’re already proficient in  the skill, your proficiency bonus is doubled for any check you make with it.
  • You have advantage on any Athletics or Acrobatics check you make to escape from being grappled.

Grappler Feat

You’ve developed the skills necessary to hold your own in close–quarters Grappling. You gain the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on Attack rolls against a creature you are Grappling.
  • You can use your action to try to pin a creature Grappled by you. To do so, make another grapple check. If you succeed, you and the creature are both Restrained until the grapple ends.


RAW from Player’s Handbook

Travel Pace
While traveling, a group of adventurers can move at a normal, fast, or slow pace, as shown on the Travel Pace table. The table states how far the party can move in a period of time and whether the pace has any effect. A fast pace makes characters less perceptive, while a slow pace makes it possible to sneak around and to Search an area more carefully.

Forced March

The Travel Pace table assumes that characters travel for 8 hours in day. They can push on beyond that limit, at the risk of Exhaustion.
For each additional hour of travel beyond 8 hours, the characters cover the distance shown in the Hour column for their pace, and each character must make a Constitution saving throw at the end of the hour.
The DC is 10 + 1 for each hour past 8 hours. On a failed saving throw, a character suffers one level of Exhaustion (see Conditions ).

Mounts and Vehicles

For short spans of time (up to an hour), many animals 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. If fresh mounts are available every 8 to 10 miles, characters can cover larger distances at this pace, but this is very rare except in densely populated areas.

Characters in wagons, carriages, or other land vehicles choose a pace as normal. Characters in a waterborne vessel are limited to the speed of the vessel, and they don’t suffer penalties for a fast pace or gain benefits from a slow pace. Depending on the vessel and the size of the crew, ships might be able to travel for up to 24 hours per day.

Certain Special mounts, such as a Pegasus or Griffon, or Special vehicles, such as a Carpet of Flying, allow you to travel more swiftly.


Pace Distance Traveled per… Effect
Minute Hour Day
Fast 400 feet 4 miles 30 miles −5 penalty to passive Wisdom (Perception) scores
Normal 300 feet 3 miles 24 miles
Slow 200 feet 2 miles 18 miles Able to use stealth

Difficult Terrain
The travel speeds given in the Travel Pace table assume relatively simple terrain: roads, open plains, or clear dungeon corridors. But adventurers often face dense forests, deep swamps, rubble-filled ruins, steep mountains, and ice-covered ground—all considered difficult terrain.

You move at half speed in difficult terrain— moving 1 foot in difficult terrain costs 2 feet of speed—so you can cover only half the normal distance in a minute, an hour, or a day.


RAW from Dungeon Master’s Guide


Extreme Heat

Extreme Cold

Strong Wind

Heavy Precipitation


Wilderness Hazards

Frigid Water


Slippery Ice

Thin Ice


Food & Water required for Day

Tiny – ¼lb 1/4gallon

Small – 1lb 1gallon

Medium – 1lb 1gallon

Large – 4lb 4gallons

Huge – 16lb 16gallons

Gargantuan – 64lb 64gallons

Becoming Lost

Unless they are following a path, or something like it, adventurers traveling in the wilderness run the risk of becoming lost. THe party’s navigator makes a Survival check when you decide it’s appropriate, against a DC determined by the prevailing terrain, as shown on the WIlderness Navigation table. If the party is moving at a slow pace, the navigator gains a +5 bonus to the check, and a fast pace imposes a -5 penalty. If the party has an accurate map of the region or can see the sun or starts, the navigator has advantage on the check.

If the Survival check succeeds, the party travels in the desired direction without becoming lost. If the check fails, the party inadvertently travels in the wrong direction and becomes lost. The party’s navigator can repeat the check after the party spends 1d6 hours trying to get back on course.

Ranger’s Natural Explorer Ability

Natural Explorer
You are particularly familiar with one type of natural Environment and are adept at traveling and surviving in such regions. Choose one type of favored terrain: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, swamp, or The Underdark. When you make an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to your favored terrain, your proficiency bonus is doubled if you are using a skill that you’re proficient in.

While traveling for an hour or more in your favored terrain, you gain the following benefits:

Difficult terrain doesn’t slow your group’s travel.
Your group can’t become lost except by magical means.
Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), you remain alert to danger.
If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
When you forage, you find twice as much food as you normally would.
While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.


Alert Feat

Always on the lookout for danger, you gain the following benefits:

You can’t be surprised while you are conscious.
You gain a +5 bonus to initiative.
Other creatures don’t gain advantage on attack rolls against you as a result of being unseen by you.

Keen Mind

You have a mind that can track time, direction, and detail with uncanny precision. You gain the following benefits.

Increase your Intelligence score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You always know which way is north.
You always know the number of hours left before the next sunrise or sunset.
You can accurately recall anything you have seen or heard within the past month.

Xanathar’s Guide Tools that Stack with Survival

  • Cartographer’s
  • Cook’s
  • Herbalism
  • Navigator’s
  • Poisoner’s

Rogue Scout Archetype from Xanathar’s Guide

  • Survivalist: Double proficiency in nature and survival

Outlander Background Wanderer Feature

You have an excellent memory for maps and geography, and you can always recall the general layout of terrain, settlements, and other features around you. In addition, you can find food and fresh water for yourself and up to five other people each day, provided that the land offers berries, small game, water, and so forth

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