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Let's say you're on top of a slippery slope that might make you prone (and take damage) on a failed save. You want to make yourself prone before the slope in order not to risk taking damage while going through it. But you're also in a hurry, so you want to go faster.

My question is: can you Dash while prone?

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Crawling Prone

Yes, you can absolutely Dash while prone. If you don't want to spend half your speed to stand up, you can still crawl (from PHB, 191)

To move while prone, you must crawl or use magic such as teleportation. Every foot of movement while crawling costs 1 extra foot.

To stand up, you use half your speed (PHB, 190)

Standing up takes more effort; doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed.

What this means, and why standing up is probably better.

That is basically turning your movement into difficult terrain, which will effectively negate the dash. If you have a Speed of 30 and take the Dash action, you would now can move a total 60(30 regular move, 30 Dash), but could only move 30'. Alternatively, you could stand up for 15' of movement (half your speed), and then complete your movement (15) and take the dash action(30) for a total of 45.

A related question on the cost of standing up helps to understand this.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Generally speaking, it's better to stand up, indeed. But in some situations, standing up might be dangerous. In those exception cases, your answer confirms the possibility of going faster by dash-crawling. \$\endgroup\$ – Gael L Dec 11 '17 at 15:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nitpick: The dash action doesn't change your speed. It just allows you additional movement. Subtle distinction. If it did change your speed, it would require 30' of movement to stand up in your second scenario. (Because by default standing up from prone costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed.) \$\endgroup\$ – Zeus Dec 11 '17 at 23:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zeus Fixing the speed language, but why couldn't you stand up before taking the dash action? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 11 '17 at 23:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could stand up before taking Dash action, but I think the Zeus' comment shows that it is irrelevant detail and not actually necessary. The need to discuss order of movement/actions was introduced by using incorrect rules language. The "Dash does not change your speed" rule has important impact to other rulings too. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Slater Dec 12 '17 at 8:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Escoce No, Dash and standing from Prone are determined by your speed - not your total movement. So if you have a speed of 30, it takes 15 to stand up, leaving you 15 remaining to move. After you've done that, you take the Dash action,which is based on your speed of 30 (not your remaining move of 15.) Giving you a total of 45 (15 from remaining initial movement and 30 from the Dash speed) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 12 '17 at 19:06

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