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In Pathfinder, what is the effect of an enhancement bonus to land speed for a creature that has no specified land speed?

For example, a druid is under the effects of both Longstrider and a polymorph. They have Wild Shaped into a form with no listed base land speed (such as a giant squid). Yet the Longstrider provides a +10 ft enhancement bonus to base speed (i.e., land speed).

(I realize that Haste would not apply, because it limits the new speed to 2x the natural base speed. But there are other sources of these bonuses, such as from wondrous items.)

With the enhancement bonus, what is the creature's calculated base land speed?

The result is likely one of the following:

  • A) An unspecified land speed would count as 0 ft speed. Then, increase it by the enhancement bonus, yielding a new land speed equal to the enhancement bonus.

  • B) Or, they still don't have a land speed, because there is nothing to enhance.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In the squid example I assume their water speed would be considered their base speed, would it not? \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Rose Jul 2 '17 at 5:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RobRose Not in the examples I mentioned. Longstrider specifically does not affect non-land movement speeds. \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Jul 2 '17 at 5:58
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A creature needs some kind of land speed to benefit from bonuses to its land speed

This 2012 post on a vaguely similar topic has Pathfinder designer Jason Bulhman's saying that, essentially, You can't add something to nothing. That is, the designer makes a distinction between something having a value of 0 and a value of no value. Having a land speed of even 0 ft. is different from having no land speed at all.1

Thus a giant squid (or a druid that's used the supernatural ability wild shape to assume the form of a giant squid) that possesses no listed land speed can't benefit from the spell longstrider at all. Instead, the giant squid will first need an effect like the spell fins to feet to gain a land speed at which point it can benefit from spells and effects like longstrider.2


1 I know of no creature with a land speed of 0 ft., but Pathfinder is pretty vast, so I'm hedging. The shrieker, however, for example, does have a land speed of only 5 ft. therefore is able to benefit from the longstrider spell just fine.
2 Both the octopus and giant octopus do possess land speeds. Consider those forms instead for your high-speed land-based tentacled needs.

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