Unarmored Movement states:

At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.

But it's unclear to me what is "during the move" and what isn't.
My confusion primarily stems from the fact that breaking up movement and "not moving" are different things.

There are two slightly different scenarios that I want to consider.
In both, the monk is running across a liquid:

  1. the monk breaks up its movement to attack, but (at least for narrative purposes) it never stops moving as it attacks.
  2. the monk stops moving for a second and then continues moving, but doesn't break up its movement.

In which of these scenarios does the monk fall, if any?


1 Answer 1


If you aren't moving, then you aren't moving.

What gives you the impression that breaking up movement and not moving are different things? If you stop moving, then you're no longer moving, and hence you are not "during the move". There's also not really any precedent for moving during an attack.

The movement rules, page 190 of the PHB, state:

You can break up your movement on your turn, using some of your speed before and after your action.

This implies that you cannot move during an action, but rather you move before and after your action.

So, both of these scenarios would cause the monk to fall. Per the PHB, an action is not "during a move", and stopping movement is literally breaking up the move.

If you stop in any way during a contiguous movement, you are breaking up the movement and thus the monk will fall.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Chepelink as with most things, I typically don't use RAW in my games for that reason--I don't see a reason why you can't attack during a move, but that's not relevant to the question. The question is "is it allowed" and the RAW answer is no. \$\endgroup\$
    – wzbillings
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’d allow continuous water running as long as the only actions taken can be done without breaking stride. (disadvantaged) throws or eating are fine, melee attacks and shooting a bow are too much. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 18:59

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