So, our group (of which I'm the DM) was in a situation in which they wanted to drag each other during their turns (roughly an equivalent in increase of speed to the Dash action, as I pointed out) to escape a monster (well, a group of kobolds).

So, as to 'dragging' the others, they wanted to do something like grappling, but no skill checks or anything, just halving movement speed and dragging them. They took turns doing this and outpaced the kobolds, yep. I know that, RAW, this shouldn't be allowed, but I didn't see a problem realistically or within reason as per the rules? Might there be?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure how dragging each other at half movement speed helps compared to just both walking at full speed. Can you add a bit more ontext? \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Nov 22 '17 at 6:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik I've just realised that, whoops, no, the speed doesn't compare, but they wanted no-one to take damage; several players were behind the kobolds as to initiative. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 22 '17 at 6:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that this question is a duplicate, because it's asking about reciprocal grappling and dragging, whereas the suggested duplicate is only asking about one-way grappling and dragging. \$\endgroup\$
    – Icyfire
    Nov 22 '17 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ [Related] Can one PC grab another PC and drag them? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 22 '17 at 16:12

This works, and it averages the two creatures' speed

For this to work, the players have to follow the following sequence:

  1. A grapples B

  2. A drags B at half speed

  3. A releases their grapple

    ...turns pass...

  4. B grapples A

  5. B drags A at half speed

  6. B releases their grapple

...and so forth. This works because releasing a grapple is free (PHB 195).

However, you only get an increase in speed if one is faster than the other. In the above sequence, you have two creatures moving at half speed twice. If both have speeds of 30ft, there's no net benefit, though if one has a speed of 60ft and the other has a speed of 30 ft, you get a net movement of 45 ft.

The dash action has the same action costs but actually doubles your speed. This grapple-drag maneuver is sub-optimal for pretty much any scenario except for the one you describe, where you're super worried about the turn order.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Both players can use the Dash action, they only have to spend their action once to initiate the grapple. You are right though, it is only good transfer speed from the fastest to the slowest. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Nov 22 '17 at 9:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I removed the comment about metagaming, given that it was controversial and tangential to the actual answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Icyfire
    Nov 22 '17 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ At that point, the cooperative grapple can be fluffed as both running in the same direction, holding hands, while the faster pulls the slower to help them move faster than they otherwise would be able to. This works IRL even, so it's not really metagaming. Have small children. Can confirm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Nov 22 '17 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ It also works in dungeons \$\endgroup\$ Nov 22 '17 at 16:36

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