In 5e, Tenser’s Floating Disc

follows you so that it stays within 20’ of you.
(5e PHB282)

The spell description does not make mention of its travel rate, but in 3.5e the description says:

It floats along horizontally within spell range and will accompany you at a rate of no more than your normal speed each round. (3.5e PHB294)

Could the lack of follow speed in 5e be extrapolated from the description in 3.5e?



Rules and descriptions from earlier editions of the game have no standing in 5th edition D&D. Though related, they are separate and stand-alone games; though referring to previous editions may be helpful for historical context, the rules in them should not be considered to be valid in 5e.

So how fast does Tenser's Floating Disk go?

In the specific case you describe, the way the disc moves is quite clearly stated, in that it moves so that it is within 20 feet of you:

The disk is immobile while you are within 20 feet of it. If you move more than 20 feet away from it, the disk follows you so that it remains within 20 feet of you. It can move across uneven terrain, up or down stairs, slopes and the like, but it can't cross an elevation change of 10 feet or more. For example, the disk can't move across a 10-foot-deep pit, nor could it leave such a pit if it was created at the bottom.

If you move more than 100 feet from the disk (typically because it can't move around an obstacle to follow you), the spell ends.

If you move away from it, it moves towards you at the same speed; it will be going however fast it needs to go to ensure that you are not more than 20 feet away, so long as this does not violate its restrictions on sudden elevation changes. This applies whether you are moseying along at a sedate 30' speed, or you're rocketing away at hundreds of feet per round (as long as you're not teleporting more than 100' at a time). This is one of the examples of how things in 5e may behave very differently to earlier editions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear, you allege that it clearly states that TFD will move as fast as it needs to even if I move 600’ per turn? \$\endgroup\$ – Digcoal Apr 4 '18 at 22:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Digcoal If you are concerned about high speed travel and the disc, you need to have that in your question. This isn't a discussion forum. You may also wish to ask a second, related, question with that high speed movement as its core problem to solve/resolve. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 4 '18 at 22:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was concerned about rate of travel in general. Asking for clarification at both ends of the rate of travel spectrum should be well within the bounds of the OP. \$\endgroup\$ – Digcoal Apr 4 '18 at 22:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Digcoal The title of your question is much more generic, though, and Korvin is right that there are basically two questions in there. Though I have addressed both this is not the intended practice for stackexchange. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 4 '18 at 22:52

Mechanics of one edition have no more bearing on another edition than they have on a totally different system (in other words, none whatsoever). They are, for all intents and purposes, completely separate and incompatible games.

So, can you use the mechanics from one game in a completely separate and incompatible game? Sure, that's called homebrewing, and many, many people have great success doing so. In this case, the 3.5 rule limits the speed of the disc while the 5e rule says that it simply keeps up with you (no matter how fast you go). They are not the same. If you prefer to limit, then you can homebrew.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I fail to see the incompatibility of mechanics in the example I gave. \$\endgroup\$ – Digcoal Apr 4 '18 at 22:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'll add a bit more about your specific situation. \$\endgroup\$ – Derek Stucki Apr 4 '18 at 22:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ With the mild exception of a few early editions that were intercompatible (all the BD&Ds with each other, the two AD&Ds with each other, and to a lesser degree those two sets with each other too). \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 4 '18 at 22:31

The wording of the spell's description would seem to say that it matches the caster's speed. It makes no mention of maximum speed or the "your normal speed" from the earlier edition.

Teleport may be a bit wonky. Maybe the disc immediately moves to the new location, but anything on it might be dropped at the original location? Or the disc just winks out?

  • \$\begingroup\$ "If you move more than 100 feet from the disk (typically because it can’t move around an obstacle to follow you), the spell ends." \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 4 '18 at 22:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Thanks! Hmm. So at what speed does the Disc move to catch up with you if a door blocked its way until you were 90 feet away and then the door was opened? \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Richardson Apr 4 '18 at 22:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting edge case. I'd have to infer that the disc near instantaneously zooms over to be near you again. D&D does tend to break down a bit if you start trying to make chronological sense of a system written for turns which are mechanically consecutive but narratively concurrent, kind of. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Apr 4 '18 at 22:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Michael Richardson I’ll ask that in a separate question as comments aren’t meant for discussion. I’m getting the hang of this too... \$\endgroup\$ – Digcoal Apr 4 '18 at 22:57

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