Dwarfs have a forced movement reduction of 1:

Stand Your Ground: When an effect forces you to move — through a pull, a push, or a slide — you can move 1 square less than the effect specifies. This means an effect that normally pulls, pushes, or slides a target 1 square does not force you to move unless you want to.

The Umber Hulk Tunneler (Monster Vault, p. 278) has an attack that reads:

[...] the umber hulk shifts up to 5 squares, pulling the target with it to a square adjacent to it.

The wording certainly suggests that a "pull" is happening. So, which one of these is correct (if any)?

  1. The pull can not be reduced by Stand Your Ground.

  2. The dwarf can apply his movement reduction ("pull whole distance - 1 square"). Therefore, the dwarf can not be moved at all, because moving the dwarf to a square adjacent to the umber hulk is not possible.

  3. The umber hulk moves up to 5 squares, while the dwarf only moves up to 5 squares minus 1. So if the umberhulk moves 5, the dwarf moves 4, not landing adjacent.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There is a third possibility: 3.) The umberhulk moves up to 5 squares, while the dwarf only moves up to 5 squares minus 1. So if the umberhulk moves 5, the dwarf moves 4, not landing adjacent. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 12:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ In my understanding, this violates the "...to a square adjacent to it" restriction of the pull, but I'll happily take any answer that ends up being correct. :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Isdariel
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 14:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but any of the options will violate some part of the pull or the dwarf's ability. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, I've added it to the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Isdariel
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 14:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ In fact, do we have a question about dwarves and forced movement less than the maximum amount? e.g. if a dwarf is affected by a pull 5, but the user only chooses to pull 3, what happens? The answer to that seems relevant to answering this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


First of all, it's important to read the power in question carefully. The power specifies that the umber hulk shifts 5 squares. The number of squares pulled is unspecified.

There are three different ways for a forced movement power to delineate what restrictions apply to it. It can either have a specific distance, a destination square or it can have both.*

Rules Compendium, pg 212 (my emphasis):

Distance, Specific Destination, or Both: The power or effect that produces forced movement specifies a distance in squares, a specified destination square or both for the movement.
 When a distance is specified, it is a maximum; the creature or effect producing the forced movement can move its target up to that number of squares (or none at all). For instance, a character's power might say, "You slide the target 4 squares (or "up to 4 squares"); both mean the character can move the target up to 4 squares or not move it at all.
When a destination is specified, it is absolute; the creature or effect must either move the target to that destination or not move it at all. Often a destination is combined with a distance, which means that the target can be moved to the destination only if it is no farther away than the specified distance. For instance, a character's power might say, "You slide the target up to 5 squares to a square adjacent to you (or 5 squares to a square adjacent to you)," both of which mean the character can move the target 5 squares but only if the move ends in a square adjacent to that character.

Second of all, reading and properly understanding Stand Your Ground is important. If a power that specifies that it "pushes 6" is used against a dwarf with Stand Your Ground, it instead reads as "pushes 5". (For more on this, read How does Come and Get it work with forced movement reduction.)

Reducing an unspecified distance by 1 does not make it specified. The destination square remains absolute. Hence, Stand Your Ground cannot reduce the pull from this umber hulk tunneler power.

*I picked up on this by reading the errata for Footwork Lure.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see what's evident from that errata that's relevant to this question, or the premise you're trying to extract from it. Footwork Lure indeed fixed shift so that "I slide them around the entire battlefield and then into this square" was no longer possible; it doesn't seem to reflect remotely on this kind of scenario. It also doesn't prevent the Dwarf from, say, reducing the slide by 1 at the very end. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your confusion seems to stem from not knowing precisely how Stand Your Ground works. I have updated the answer with a brief explanation and also added a link for further reading. \$\endgroup\$
    – DarkAlf
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 20:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for that link. I think you should incorporate the rules compendium quote from that linked answer. That's the first spot I've seen the rules actually split hairs on "move to here" vs "move this distance" working fundamentally differently vis a vis increase/reduction of squares, and the whole "this is absolute and either moves it there or doesn't" lends some major weight to this stance. (One I haven't found convincing and was doubting, until I saw that quote.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 20:41

This falls back to one of the core principles of D&D 4e, Specific Beats General.

If a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule wins. (PH 11)

  • The Umber Hulk Tunneler ability is definitely a pull.
  • After applying more general rule—pulling up to five squares to an adjacent square—we take into account the more specific rule—the dwarf can choose to move one less square, which may not make them adjacent.
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    \$\begingroup\$ While the logic is sound, this is not how specific or general rules should be applied. Spellcasting is a general rule that covers several mechanics, +1 on concentration checks is a specific rule, or +1 on concentration checks while underwater as an even more specific example. So a more specific rule example that could apply here would be when pulled by an umber hulk, you move 1 less square. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 16:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras The Rules Compendium specifically mentions class features as something that can “[break] the general rules in some way.” \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 20:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are not both the Umber Hulk Tunneler ability and the dwarfs ability basically class features? What about "The dwarf (in general) reduces the pull distance by 1, but the hulk moves him adjacent anyway"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Isdariel
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 10:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Isdariel Monsters have powers in 4e. Sometimes, monsters will have the racial features that a PC of the same race would have, e.g., Dwarf (MM1 p97) does have a Stand Your Ground power. If the designers wanted the umber hulk power to supersede Stand Your Ground, it would say something like your quote or “—ignoring any reduction in forced movement”. \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 14:26

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