I was perusing beasts for my druid when I noticed that the Female Steeder from Out of the Abyss has this very intriguing ability.

Leap. The steeder can expend all its movement on its turn to jump up to 90 feet vertically or horizontally, provided that is speed is at least 30 feet.

I have a few questions about how this ability interacts with grappling.

Can a Steeder Leap while grappling another creature?
If so, is the Leap's distance halved?
Can a Steeder let go of a grappled creature at the apex of its vertical Leap?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The statblock shown on DNDBeyond for the female steeder seems to be worded differently: "Extraordinary Leap. The distance of the steeder’s long jumps is tripled; every foot of its walking speed that it spends on the jump allows it to move 3 feet." But your wording does seem to match that in the physical book... \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 27 '18 at 18:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It seems the creature was republished in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, and the DNDBeyond listing matches the ostensibly updated version of the statblock. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 27 '18 at 18:31

Grappling (PHB, p. 195) states:

When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

Movement and Position (PHB, p. 190) states:

Your movement can include jumping, climbing, and swimming. These different modes of movement can be combined with walking, or they can constitute your entire move.

(1) Therefore, if the steeder has a creature grappled, it won't be able to jump, unless the grappled creature is small or smaller. Alternatively, some effect might have increased the steeder's speed to 60+ without a grapple, and the halved speed is therefore still 30+.
Note that dashing doesn't help you here - it only increases your movement (PHB, p. 192), while your speed is still unchanged (e.g. at 15 feet).

(2) The steeder's leap is different from the regular jumping rules in the PHB, hence, all relevant rules can be found in the steeder's description. Since it can either expend all its movement to jump 90 feet or not at all, there is no halving of the jump distance.
Either it can jump 90 feet, or not at all (barring the regular jump rules, which of course still apply).

(3) Grappling also states:

The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

Breaking up your move (PHB, p. 190) only mentions

You can break up your movement on your turn, using some of your speed before and after your action. For example, if you have a speed of 30 feet, you can move 10 feet, take your action, and then move 20 feet.

Now, releasing a creature doesn't require an action, but I think the intent is clear - yes, you'd be able to release it during the jump. That also makes sense from a logical point of view, which is what I always try to take into consideration when I make any rulings as the DM.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer could be improved by addressing how a Steeder can grapple without hands. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Aug 5 '18 at 16:37

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