In the Player's Option: Combat & Tactics rule book (p27), there is mention of both Run and also Sprint actions.

A character can double his base movement by running. Running is considered a full-move action; the character can't do anything else in the same combat round that he runs. Running on a battlefield is dangerous; the character loses all Dexterity bonuses to his Armor Class and suffers a +1 AC penalty on top of that. In addition, he is considered to be charging if he runs into a square threatened by an opponent with a set spear.

A character can triple his base movement by sprinting. Like running, sprinting is a full-move action that drops the character's defenses for the round.

Other than the speed or distance covered, how is sprinting different from running? Are there no extra penalties for going even faster?

If there is nothing in 2e on this point, how do the later editions handle this?


2 Answers 2


It indeed appears that neither the run/sprint, nor the fatigue rules make an explicit distinction between running and sprinting (except the difference in speed). However the text in PO:C&T under the subsection for the Run action has a paragraph that explicitly refers us to "Jogging and Running in the Player's Handbook under Chapter 14: Time and Movement for more information."

On page 120 of the original AD&D 2e PHB, there is indeed the optional rule for "Jogging and Running", and this rule provides two different modes for increasing a character's movement: jogging doubles the regular speed, while running triples it (or more). It feels like these are the "Run" and "Sprint" actions of PO:C&T. In the PHB, jogging and running are treated on an equal basis as long as fatigue/constitution checks are concerned (which would agree with the PO:C&T treatment of Run vs. Sprint), however PHB additionally provides the distinction for us: running requires Strength checks to get to the desired level of increase in speed.

Putting all these together, I will argue that the Sprint action is meant to use the same exact rules as the Run action, with the exception that a character needs a Strength check to take it.

Since you also asked for possible input from later editions, I can add quickly that the D&D 3e edition had a different mechanism for this; but I am not sure if it would be useful to answer your question. Each round you had a move action and a standard action. To double your speed you could move using your standard action in addition to your move action. To quadruple your speed (or triple in full armor), you can take the "Run" full-round action. Certain extra rules apply to this, feel free to have a look at the SRD.


Yes, any character can get the 2x move rate.

If the optional rules [1] are in use, then a character can try to run faster by making Str checks:

  • You must declare the speed you are trying to achieve (3x, 4x or 5x)

  • You then roll a Str check: +0 for 3x, -4 for 4x, -8 for 5x

  • You try these checks one after the other. If you fail one, you keep the speed of the previously passed check. So you make one roll at +0, another at -4 and a third at -8. If you fail the first one you are stuck at 2x

  • For every round spent running, you must do a Con check with a cumulative penalty to keep going. The penalty is -1 for every round at 3x, -2 for 4x and -3 for 5x.

  • Failing the Con check means you must stop and rest for one Turn (10 rounds, 10 minutes) before you can act again.

There is the Running proficiency (Con-6) that allows one to get twice the overland movement rate in a day, and make a check to keep going the next one (and so on). It has no effect on those short bursts of speed.

[1] : The rules are on page 120 of the original PHB and on page 157 of the "Armpit Powaaa" revised PHB.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure it is pg 142 of the original PHB? I see 2nd level wizard spells on page 142. \$\endgroup\$
    – ZwiQ
    Jan 8, 2018 at 13:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't have the book on me right now, i might have misread the page number. If you have it, please update the answer (otherwise I'll do it when I get home. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8, 2018 at 14:32

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