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So, one of my players has recently asked me if they could use misty step with the wizard's Spell Mastery feature to effectively increase their travel speed by 30ft/6 secconds. Effectively doubling default travel pace.

At 18th level, you have achieved such mastery over certain spells that you can cast them at will. Choose a 1st-level wizard spell and a 2nd-level wizard spell that are in your spellbook. You can cast those spells at their lowest level without expending a spell slot when you have them prepared. If you want to cast either spell at a higher level, you must expend a spell slot as normal.

By spending 8 hours in study, you can exchange one or both of the spells you chose for different spells of the same levels.

Misty step says:

You teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space that you can see.

I am not asking if the spell can be used mid-combat to increase movement, only for long-distance travel. As far as I could find there are no rules anywhere saying that he could not, but it just feels wrong so I was not sure.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does, he mean effect the parties travel speed, or just his own? \$\endgroup\$ – Garret Gang Oct 1 '18 at 2:46
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There are no rules in D&D 5e that cover this.

Or to more explicit, there are overland travel rules, and there is nothing in them that change the pace at which you can travel overland based on your ability to move extra distance by taking a bonus action.

There is very little in the way of precedent however. Rogues can take a bonus action in combat to dash; this explicitly doesn't let them do it out of combat. Using your Action to Dash is presumably factored into overland movement (or trying harder and going faster).

So this ends up being left to the DM.

Why this ability to step as a bonus action might not make you move faster is that using magic might be distracting and tiring, much like using your action to dash is tiring. On the scale of combat, it isn't important (combat is presumed to be an intensive activity that wears you out), but in overland travel it might end up costing you more endurance than it gains you in speed.

On the other hand, even if it is effortful, common sense says that being able to teleport 30' in a fraction of a second every 6 seconds is going to make at least some travel much easier.

In terrain that isn't a completely flat, well maintained road, being able to "step" over stuff that might slow you down (a section of road with potholes, a stream, up a hill that would otherwise require climbing or a detour, past some brambles, etc) would speed you up.

Finally, there is the rule of cool. This character is an 18th level wizard who can teleport whenever she wants to. Being able to use this to increase your overland movement speed is both cool and creative. There isn't precedent that I am aware of that it shouldn't work, there is no huge balance impact on a wizard moving overland faster, and such an ability is well below the power scale of 18th level characters.

I'd say go for it. Maybe don't double travel speed, but grant the wizard +50% in the best situation (high quality roads), and halve the penalty of rough terrain (compared to the best situation) for the wizard.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 I'd say go for it. Maybe don't double travel speed, but grant the wizard +50% on high quality roads, and halve the penalty of rough terrain for the wizard. I like this way of working it into the overall rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Rozwel Sep 29 '18 at 21:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is precedent for repeated dashes causing exhaustion in the optional rules for running a chase. Based on this, you could argue that dashing every turn for 8 hours is not feasible. \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan Thompson Oct 1 '18 at 15:31
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Yes, you can use misty step with Spell Mastery, but...

...This seems like a bizarre way to increase long-term movement speed. While the time it takes to cast a bonus action is "especially swift", as Azeranth points out, a DM might rule that constantly casting a spell in this way is sufficiently distracting that over a long period it might be a hindrance to long-distance travel (though the Misty Step spell takes so little time to cast that maybe this isn't the case).

An arguably more sensible use of a low level spell (that, using spell mastery to negate spell slot "costs") to increase overland speed might be the 1st level spell Expeditious Retreat, which lasts for 10 minutes, and does the following (emphasis mine):

This spell allows you to move at an incredible pace. When you cast this spell, and then as a bonus action on each of your turns until the spell ends, you can take the Dash action.

While this might lose some of the "Nightcrawler" flavour of teleporting in short hops to get a bit of extra speed, a "once every ten minutes" casting of a spell might be less of a burden.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Or....y'know.......get a riding horse. :) \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Sep 29 '18 at 12:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I did realise that this wasn't necessarily a reasonable method of transport for a level 18 wizard (who has a number of forms of teleportation available to them), it was more asked out of curiosity. Also, wouldn't using expeditious retreat cause exhaustion over long distance travel as a result of dashing constantly? \$\endgroup\$ – TheAussieSlime Sep 29 '18 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheAussieSlime That sounds like another good question! \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Sep 29 '18 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ The effect of expeditious retreat if you're using it for speed is to triple your base movement (Dash as action + Dash as bonus action). The travel pace rules treat a "fast" pace as 400 feet/minute, which is equivalent to dashing 1/3 of the time. So assuming the spell lets you move at triple rather than double speed while you're running, and you still move at walking speed 2/3 of the time, this should get your pace up to 500 feet/minute. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Sep 29 '18 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheAussieSlime presumably, the magical effect which provides the speed to allow you to move so fast, also over comes any physical limitations including fatigue. An all out sprint is a single Dash per turn, moving 50% faster than that is presumably outside the character's natural ability, and thus it seems fairly safe to assume that the spell also assists in overcoming limits of stamina as well as raw strength and agility \$\endgroup\$ – Azeranth Dec 16 '18 at 5:07
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I am going to go the opposite of most the others here and say it is completely allowed. Spell mastery essentially lets you take a low level spell and treat it as a cantrip when casting with its base effect. Misty step is listed as a bonus action, meaning that the effort of casting it is so small as to not disrupt your regular turn. Further the effect of the spell is that you get to blink forward to someplace you can see.

Add all of this together and it is completely reasonable that I can be walking/jogging along and hop to the top of a hill, across a river, to the next bit of cover, as I see fit.

I can't recall anything in the rules about casting placing a burden on the caster other than the spell slot mechanisms, which spell mastery nullifies. After all I could be walking along and tossing fire bolts at every tree, bush, rock, or critter that caught my eye...

Adding references as requested...

PHB 201 Spell Slots

Regardless of how many spells a caster knows or prepares, he or she can cast only a limited number of spells before resting. Manipulating the fabric of magic and channeling its energy into even a simple spell is physically and mentally taxing, and higher-level spells are even more so. Thus, each spellcasting class’s description (except that of the warlock) includes a table showing how many spell slots of each spell level a character can use at each character level.

PHB 201 Cantrips

A cantrip is a spell that can be cast at will, without using a spell slot and without being prepared in advance. Repeated practice has fixed the spell in the caster’s mind and infused the caster with the magic needed to produce the effect over and over.

PHB 115 Spell Mastery

At 18th level, you have achieved such mastery over certain spells that you can cast them at will. Choose a 1st-level w izard spell and a 2nd-level w izard spell that are in your spellbook. You can cast those spells at their lowest level without expending a spell slot when you have them prepared. If you want to cast either spell at a higher level, you must expend a spell slot as normal.

PHB 202 Bonus Action (specific to casting time)

A spell cast with a bonus action is especially swift. You must use a bonus action on your turn to cast the spell, provided that you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn. You can’t cast another spell during the same turn, except for a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Only you can prevent forest fires. :) Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to see how a Q&A site like this is different from a forum. If you could cite the rules text on how spell mastery works it might make your point more clear. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 29 '18 at 22:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ While it would seem fair to provide the caveat that Misty Step used in this way would provide what is effectively, immunity to the ruggedness of a terrain, and any barriers that rivers or hills may provide, it would seem unreasonable that the person would be able to move as normal with the benefit. At the very least, repeated casting should incur the effect of being distracted, as they must repeatedly seek out, concentrate on, and then will themselves to a suitable location. Its not an instant or effortless action, so they should at least incur the perception debuffs associated \$\endgroup\$ – Azeranth Dec 16 '18 at 5:10
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I would say allow it. If the biggest difficulty your 18th level wizard is causing is doubling their own personal travel speed, have at it.

Considering all the other ways that an 18th level wizard can travel, it doesn't seem like a deal-breaker to allow this.

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There is no reason they couldn't do this. It is certainly not overpowered when you consider that only an 18th level wizard can achieve it. It's not even practical in most cases because it would only work for a single person on foot. You wont be able to keep your group up with you. Also by 18th level with travel spells and magic items you wont be doing all that much long distance travel by foot.

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Maybe, but probably not

Overland travel is more than just walking, especially in rough terrain.

You have to look ahead and plan the path. You have to navigate (which might involve scouting and backtracking and reading maps and discussing this with other party members). You have to cross obstacles, ranging from small (a tree fell on the path) to massive (a wide rivers). You have to stop for bio breaks.

How far you can move in a combat round doesn't really have any impact on how far you can move in a day, and vice versa.

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No, you can't use misty step to double travel pace in this way

You can't double your travel pace by taking the Dash action every turn for 8 hours. For the same reason, you can't double it by casting a spell each turn for 8 hours. See PHB p. 181 for the details on travel pace.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should clarify your reasoning by quoting or explaining the relevant part of the rule. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 29 '18 at 18:27
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No; both the rules as written and common sense say no.

Long distance travel is based on the premise that you are not doing anything to constantly distract yourself. Constantly recasting a spell would require you to lose any of the long distance benefits you would gain. Essentially the effort, concentration, and exhaustion of endless recasts negates any benefits. Also, a 30-foot speed assumes you're running in a crazed battle situation; you don't sprint around like that all the time.

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    \$\begingroup\$ 9 meters / 6 seconds is very far from sprinting \$\endgroup\$ – András Sep 29 '18 at 9:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Running is represented by the Dash action (at least) which is already twice as fast. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 29 '18 at 9:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to see how this Q&A site is different from a discussion forum. I recommend that you edit your answer and better support it by referring to the rules on travel in the PHB. (ch 8, Movement). Supported answers attract more votes, and are what this site asks for. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 29 '18 at 13:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ You mentioned rules as written, could you please state where these rules are? \$\endgroup\$ – TheAussieSlime Sep 29 '18 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András That's true, but the basic rule on movement speed does say "This number assumes short bursts of energetic movement in the midst of a life-threatening situation." On the other hand, the travel pace rules say that a "normal" pace is 3 miles/hour, which is only slightly less than 30 feet / round. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Sep 29 '18 at 19:01

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