Do you move in 5' increments on a battle map, or can you move less than that? If so, how do you track that on the map?

If there is, does it create any cases that may be a concern?

  • \$\begingroup\$ My apologies. I linked to the wrong question. I've updated it, but it should be this one \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 29, 2017 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by 10 feet of movement to escape an OA? Specifically, what do you mean by escaping an OA? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeus
    Nov 29, 2017 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zeus Clarified it - avoid an OA is what I meant. In order to be out of standard 5' reach. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 29, 2017 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Still I'm confused about the movement. If you are within 5' of a character with 5' of reach, and you move outside of that range, you provoke an OA (assuming other conditions are met.) So the easiest way to avoid an OA is to not move at all. However on a grid, the center points of two medium creatures must be 10' apart in order to be outside of that range, so maybe that's what you're talking about? I'd assume in TotM you're measuring the distance between them, however, not the distance from their center points, so I'm not sure how it's significantly different. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeus
    Nov 29, 2017 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zeus I'm wondering if the linked example is confusing the question. I don't think it's necessary for the primary question and am removing it. Happy to discuss in chat \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 29, 2017 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


Yes, there is a difference

Under the Variant: Playing on a grid (PHB, 192) it states, emphasis mine:

Rather than moving foot by foot, move square by square on the grid. This means you use your speed in 5-foot segments. This is particularly easy if you translate your speed into squares by dividing the speed by 5. For example, a speed of 30 feet translates into a speed of 6 squares.

Under the grid system, you move in 5 foot segments, but under Theatre of the Mind, you can move in 1 foot increments. The cases are likely edge cases when this will matter, but it is something to consider and understand when answering questions here regarding movement as well as at your tables.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good catch. I believe, with an sufficiently divided grid, 1' movements should still be perfectly acceptable, but that variant is at least an official ruling. \$\endgroup\$
    – Baergren
    Nov 29, 2017 at 16:42

No, they should be roughly the same.

The grid just makes it more obvious which spaces are controlled, while the theatre of the mind allows for more leeway (through uncertainty). Your position in the grid is more of a representation of your location, rather than your exact position.

The 10' grid space is 6'+ away from the target. Your character is a 5' block (so you occupy the 6'-10' spaces), so most people move in 5' increments (and some DMs might require it), which is for the sake of simplicity if nothing else.

However, with a sufficient grid it could be easy to represent 1' increments. For example, a 1" grid is roughly 2.5sq cm. This breaks down to 5mm sq spaces to represent 1' each. A standard Mini might have a 25mm sq base which perfectly fits a 5' representation on this grid. In this scenario there would be no reason to disallow 1' movements.

Without this style of grid it is simply more difficult to track where your controlled space actually is (60% of this square and 40% of the previous, etc.) but its still very possible. The only thing stopping you from straddling a grid line is a strict DM.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But there seems to be a difference between 6' of movement and 10' of movement (mind vs grid). Is it that it's easier to make the case for 6' when not playing on a grid, but the reality is that you need to move 10' like on a grid? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 29, 2017 at 14:15
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Even on a grid you could still move only 6' if desired, you would just need to keep track of what your "space" is. While you might have moved an entire grid space for the sake of representation, you would only be in part of that space. Some DMs might require 5' increments, but its not a rule. Also if your grid spaces are large enough, and your token small enough, it could be easy to represent 1' squares within the 5' square. \$\endgroup\$
    – Baergren
    Nov 29, 2017 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, now that I understand this more, I am going to adjust my question - please review (you may need to adjust your answer.) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 29, 2017 at 14:34

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