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How does the prone condition work if you have multiple movement speeds, such as 30 regular walking speed and 60 flying?

Does standing up require 15 feet of movement? 30 feet of movement?

Is there a RAW answer? Or do we have to apply RAI?

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Rules As Intended (RAI) - Standing up costs movement equal to 1/2 your highest speed

Jeremy Crawford has put out an official clarification which says:

The rule on standing up from prone fails to account for you having multiple speeds. Here's the intent: if you have multiple speeds and stand up, expend an amount of movement equal to half your highest speed.

This seems like a logical and reasonable way to approach this. If you have 30' walk speed and 60' fly speed, the maximum distance you can move in one turn is 60'. You can split the proportion of walk/fly in many ways, but the end result will be 60' of movement or less. When looked at this way, a character's speed can be thought of as being effectively equal to the maximum type of speed they have.

Thus, it makes sense then that one would simply expend movement equal to 1/2 of that maximum speed (the character's effective speed) when standing up from prone.

So, in OP's example, upon standing up they would have 0 feet of walking and 30 feet of flying movement left.

You would subtract 30 from both because it is consistent with the way that using movement when you have multiple speeds works. If one had used 30' of either walking movement normally then switched to fly one would have the same result (0' walk/30' fly remaining). Same if you started with flying and switched to walking.


RAI vs RAW

Since this is a (now officially acknowledged) hole in the rules, if your table does not care about designer intent and instead wishes to follow the rules as they seem to have been written you can use the logic below. I think it makes a compelling argument that can be made to interpret the rules in the context only of what is written (not taking intent into account).

However, I, personally, do like to follow designer intent whenever possible especially if neither option has a significantly different impact on how much fun the game is (and especially if the RAI are more fun).

Following that logic below leads to a very similar end result as the RAI. In many cases they end up being the same amount of speed remaining, but the proportions of the speed leftover may differ.


Rules As Written (RAW) - Standing up costs movement equal to half of all of your speeds

One way to justify the rules from a purely RAW standpoint is as follows. Since this is clearly a rules hole, arguments could be made for other readings.

Prone's description says:

You can drop prone without using any of your speed. Standing up takes more effort; doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed. For example, if your speed is 30 feet, you must spend 15 feet of movement to stand up.

Jeremy Crawford has said:

Bonuses/penalties to speed apply to your speeds in general, unless the text specifies walking, flying, etc.

Thus standing up from prone would cost movement equal to half all of your speeds.

Additional evidence can be found in the description of grappling

When the game says "speed" without any other qualifiers they are referring to your speeds in general.

Take the case of grappling as further evidence for the fact that "speed" refers to all of your speeds. The grappled condition says:

A grappled creature's speed becomes 0, and it can't benefit from any bonus to its speed.

Clearly the intent here is to say the creature (outside of any extraordinary abilities) does not have any speed and cannot move as a result. If you assume speed here means only one speed, then a creature with a walk and fly speed would be able to fly away with no issues ignoring the grapple completely. This doesn't make sense, and it is clearly not the intent.

Luckily, Jeremy Crawford has once again clarified and again supports this reading here:

The grappled condition reduces any speed you have to 0. If you have a flying speed, it's now 0, and you fall unless you're hovering.

So clearly, when the game says speed they are referring to all of your speeds. Thus "an amount of movement equal to half your speed" is also referring to all of your speeds.

Thus, even other ruling reaffirm the above interpretation: standing up from prone would cost movement equal to half all of your speeds.

There are even other areas where this same use of speed occurs. See Does Longstrider apply to other speeds? and How do Boots of Speed affect other movement rates? for just two other examples.

Your example

In your specific example you would have 15 feet of walking and 30 feet of flying movement left after standing.

After standing up you could then walk 15 feet and fly 15 feet or you could just fly 30 feet (or some division between the two).

The math works out as well: before standing up (with 30' walking/60' flying) you had an effective maximum movement of 60' (since using multiple movements means that essentially you are capped at your largest speed). After standing up (15'/30') you have an effective maximum movement of 30', so half of the original.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. We should not be using the comments to talk. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jan 31 '18 at 2:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Half of all your speeds" seems like great RAI but it is fundamentally incompatible with the way RAW handles movement with multiple speeds and cannot be considered RAW. By RAW, whenever you switch movement modalities, you take the base movement speed and subtract the amount you've already moved. This means that standing from prone needs to map to a single amount that applies across all movement speeds. The amount of movement consumed for a given modality is not tracked separately from this—in terms of data structures, there is simply a single integer tracking movement for the turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – intuited
    Mar 16 at 17:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @intuited I'm not sure that the fact that a RAW reading of the rule conflicting with how the rest of the game is designed is actually evidence against a RAW ruling. There are many places where RAW is confusing, unknown, or conflicting with other aspects of the game. The developer already acknowledged that this rule was developed without consideration of the fundamental mechanics which you refer to. The big takeaway here should be that there is no one clear RAW ruling. (1/2) \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Mar 16 at 18:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is a hole in the rules and only arguments can be made for which reading is better (but does not change the fact that multiple readings can still be RAW). (2/2) \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Mar 16 at 18:07
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Standing up takes 1/2 of all Movement

As you say, standing up does not specify which movement speed should be halved - so it simply takes up half of all your potential speeds.

While not an 'official' answer, Mike Mearls was asked this very question and concurred.

consumes half of all

Jeremy Crawford (official), also implies this with his general statement:

Bonuses/penalties to speed apply to your speeds in general, unless the text specifies walking, flying, etc.

Multiple Speeds

The PHB (page 196) covers how multiple speeds interact.

If you have more than one speed, such as your walking speed and a flying speed, you can switch back and forth between your speeds during your move. Whenever you switch, subtract the distance you've already moved from the new speed. The result determines how much farther you can move. If the result is 0 or less, you can’t use the new speed during the current move.

You would therefore spend 15' to stand up. At this point, you could either spend the additional 15' walking, or Fly off with your remaining 15'. (This assumes you had a Speed of 30 on ground and 60 flying.)

You can't fly while Prone*

You also can't simply take off while prone. As explained in this question a flying creature can not fly while prone. In order to fly, they will need to first stand up.

*Only applicable for non-magical flight. A creature with magical flight will still have the Prone condition, but they will not fall to the ground. Any creature with a Hover also ignores falling from 0 speed or being Prone while flying.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This comment conflicts with Rubiksmoose's and J.A.Streich's answers. They claim you can spend 15' to stand up, have 15' to walk, and have 30' to fly; whereas you seem to claim only 30' of fly. If you think they are wrong, you should clarify why. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30 '18 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SethRobertson I have amended it with the rules on multiple speeds. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Jan 30 '18 at 17:22
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Movement in General

Mixing speeds in 5e aren't based on percent, which would be more realistic, but harder to manage. Instead, distance traveled at one speed is subtracted from your all remain speeds. This is key to understanding how to math out your movement from prone.

If you have more than one speed, such as your walking speed and a flying speed, you can switch back and forth between your speeds during your move. Whenever you switch, subtract the distance you've already moved from the new speed. The result determines how much farther you can move. If the result is 0 or less, you can’t use the new speed during the current move. (PHB 196)

Prone

The rules for prone are easy, 1/2 your movement speed.

Standing up ... costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed.(PHB p190)

Yes, all your movement speeds.

Bonuses/penalties to speed apply to your speeds in general, unless the text specifies walking, flying, etc. #DnD (https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/770683371735232512)

Standing from prone uses half of your movement speeds. That means if you start with a walking speed of 30 and a fly speed of 60.

  • After standing from prone, you have a walk 15 feet and a fly 30 feet for the rest of the turn (barring other effects).
  • Let's say you then walk 5 feet (leaving 10 walking or 25 flying).
  • And then fly 20 feet (leaving no walking, and 5 flying).
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Very nice, detailed answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30 '18 at 16:52
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Another post on this site used the metaphor of bank balances for movement, which I think is a good way to describe the situation.

At the beginning of a turn, you deposit movement equal to your speed into a bank account. As you move throughout the turn, you remove speed from the account. When the account reaches zero, you can't move any more.

If you have more than one speed then you get more than one account, possibly with different values deposited in every account. When you move, you subtract your movement from every account. When an individual account reaches zero, you can't move any more using that movement type. When all accounts reach zero, you can't move any more using any movement type.

for example, if you have walk speed 30 and fly speed 50 and you fly 20 ft then 20 is subtracted from every bank, leaving you with walk 10 and fly 30 remaining.

RAI: Standing from Prone subtracts half of your highest speed from every movement bank.

As per Jeremy Crawford (hat tip Rubiksmoose).

Using the OP's example: You have move 30, fly 60.

At the start of the turn, you have two accounts, walk 30 and fly 60. Your highest speed is 60 (the fly speed) so standing from prone will subtract half of that from every movement bank. Your bank totals are now walk 0 and fly 30. After standing up you cannot move any more by walking but you can move up to 30ft by flying.

Using Nightwolf's example: move 10, fly 60.

It costs you 30 movement to stand up because your highest speed is 60. This is subtracted from every movement bank, leaving you with walk 0 and fly 30. You cannot walk any more but you can fly.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In your example, if we change that you have 10 walking speed and 60 fly speed, I could with your example walk twice as far (20 ft) as I am allowed normally because I stood up from prone position. That makes no sense at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nightwolf
    Jan 31 '18 at 6:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok I see what you meant, but now you have a weird anomaly: Lets say I have 35 remaining, uses 25 to fly really low and now have 10 left, with that 10 ft I am just as fast walking as flying, even though my fly speed in non-rule terms is 6 times faster than walking. Why can I after standing up from prone still cover my full walk distance just because I have wings? Lets say that was not flying speed but swimming speed; how does that justify that I could reach full walking distance on solid ground? Top voted answer would not cause issues there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nightwolf
    Feb 2 '18 at 5:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, your comment contradicted your answer. If you have Walk 10 and Fly 60 then your speed is 70. your comment. If you have "Walk 30, Fly 60" then your speed is 60. your answer \$\endgroup\$
    – Nightwolf
    Feb 2 '18 at 5:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think your answer was actually the closest to RAI. Referencing this and maybe refining your answer for its implications could help your answer a lot. twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/960229587631325184 \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Feb 4 '18 at 21:31
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Standing up takes more effort; doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed.

It uses whatever speed you would use for moving. I mean, there's no reason to get complicated about this. There are very few cases where there would be any ambiguity.

If you are on ground, use half your walking speed.

If you are underwater, use your swimming speed to orient yourself.

If you are flying (ie. dropping), use your flying speed to regain control.


One possible ambiguity is, if you are able fly with speed 0, and are knocked prone while on ground:

If a flying creature is knocked prone, has its speed reduced to 0, or is otherwise deprived of the ability to move, the creature falls, unless it has the ability to hover or it is being held aloft by magic, such as the fly spell.

But even then there's no real ambiguity, because just like if they were not prone, the player can choose. They can start flying (at altitude 0) and use their flying speed, or they can stand up normally, and use their walking speed. Flying speed is probably higher, so it would probably be used only for theatrical RP reasons (think of a scene with Vampire rising upright from their coffin while perfectly still), but both should be options because, well, that's what the player could do if they're not prone.

Same underwater, creature with swimming speed could choose what they use. How much walking speed getting out of being prone while underwater is perhaps a bit murky (pun intended), but not in the scope of this question, the player can choose either anyway.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While in no way mandatory here, I personally much prefer some explanatory comment for a downvote (or +1 for existing comment), to be able fix any errors I agree with, and I try to do so myself. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 17 at 12:41

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