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When pushing/lifting over your normal carrying capacity, your speed (generally from 25 to 35 for a player character) becomes 5 feet.

But if you have speed bonuses (such as from the Haste spell, the Boots of Speed magic item, the Mobile feat, the Unarmoved Movement class feature, etc.), do they apply on top of the 5ft, or does it remain unchanged ?

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Based on this (How are numerical bonuses combined?) question and its answer, the order is what would decide the effect.

Thus, if you were pushing/lifting over your normal carrying capacity and then haste was cast on you, your speed would be 10ft/round. (5*2=10)

But if you were not encumbered, haste was cast on you, and then you started pushing or lifting more than your normal carrying capacity your speed would be 5ft/round. (Normal speed * 2, then set to 5ft)

As a DM, I am not very fond of this methodology and I would enforce a consistent calculation mechanic. Something like: apply new calculation method (set to 5ft/round) apply all multiplicative (*2 from haste), then all additive (+10 ft/round from lets say longstrider).

So being under the effects of haste and longstrider and encumbered would always make your speed 20ft/round. (5*2+10=20) Not RAW, but I think it is pretty fair and easier to use than trying to work with order of operations.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your method would not be a house rule but an interpretation. 5e has no rules for order except when it comes to damage mitigation, resistance and vulnerabilities. Any other order effect has no explicit rules so any interpretation is valid in its own right and should be analyzed on its own merit. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jun 1 '18 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron Edited to reflect your comment. \$\endgroup\$ – BladeBriar Jun 1 '18 at 20:29
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Your speed is your speed, using it may change it.

Your Speed is a set number, and all of the spell and effects you list affect your current speed value.

Lifting and carrying is explicit as well:

While pushing or dragging weight in excess of your carrying capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet.

This is an active change to your speed when attempting this task while encumbered.

The logic and sequence is as follows:

  1. Starting Speed is 30 - Passive value

  2. Effect doubles speed (now 60) passive value

  3. Attempt to push/drag while encumbered reduces speed to 5. active value

Your speed values in 1 and 2 are passive. 3 doesn't start until you actively start to push/drag and overrides your current speed.

The key here is that the speed change to 5 does not occur until you begin to Push or Drag.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "This is an active change to your speed when attempting this task while encumbered" does not appear in the source you cite. I'm not clear on why the reduction to 5 would apply after the doubling effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jun 1 '18 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells Because the reduction doesn't happen until you are actively doing something (push/drag.) Your speed isn't 5 while encumbered, it's 5 while you are actively pushing/dragging while encumbered. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 1 '18 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ That’s a little bit of awkward explanation, it seems to imply that if a speed boost were cast on you after you started pushing or dragging you’d get it. \$\endgroup\$ – Mr Tumnus Jun 1 '18 at 21:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ So, Alice and Bob are trying to move a piano. Bob casts haste on Alice but she can still only push the piano 5 feet in a round, even in later turns. What he should have done is ready an action to cast haste after she starts pushing the piano, and then she'd get to move 10 feet per round. That seems very weird. Do you have anything to support this "actively doing something" interpretation? \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Jun 1 '18 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I moved what I'm guessing is your interpretation/opinion out of the blockquote containing the rule, since that text is not in the linked rule. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 1 '18 at 22:35
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Most likely yes, because the push/drag speed penalty rule doesn't say otherwise

Conditions that represent being held in place by an outside force, such as "restrained", say that bonuses to speed don't apply. This rule doesn't say that.

See also Can a creature who is exhausted benefit from bonuses to speed?.

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