I am a druid shaped into a Quetzalcoatlus, a Huge flying creature. I see a Brontosaurus and know I can grapple a creature up to one size larger (up to gargantuan). To everyone's surprise, I succeed in grappling the mighty beast despite its immense strength.

I decide to try flying off with the Brontosaurus. Can I do it?

This previous answer suggests to me that this is indeed possible, and that carrying restrictions have nothing to do with moving with a grappled creature: Does carrying/dragging a willing/unconscious creature cause half movement as per the grapple rules?

Can I really fly while holding onto a creature weighing more than 30 times my own weight? This could also apply to a large bird flying off with a huge beast, etc.

up vote 12 down vote accepted

RAW depends on whether or not your table considers weights of monsters.

The case for only 1/2 movement

Most monsters in the DMG do not have assigned weight values. Because of this, Jeremy Crawford on Twitter has simplified the answer as to moving grappled creatures to size only:

The rule on moving a grappled creature (PH, 195) works regardless of a creature's weight. It cares about creature size. [...] The rule doesn't rely on weight largely because we don't specify weight for most monsters.

The case for applying push/drag/lift rules along with 1/2 movement

But we do know approximately how much these dinosaurs weighed and a DM could utilize that - but they do not have to.

If they do, then what's going on here is the interaction of two separate rules: those for grappling and those for pushing/dragging/lifting. We need to look at each and how they work together to answer this.

The rules on pushing, lifting, and dragging state:

Push, Drag or Lift. You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity (or 30 times your Strength score). While pushing or dragging weight in excess of your carrying capacity, your speed drops to 5 feet.

Size and Strength. Larger creatures can bear more weight, whereas Tiny creatures can carry less. For each size category above Medium, double the creature's carrying capacity and the amount it can push, drag, or lift

The Quetzalcoatlus has a strength of 15 (as noted) and is also Huge, which means it's maximum drag/lift weight is 1800lbs. Because the weight of the Brontosaurus exceeds that, your movement is dropped to 5'.

Dragging/Lifting/Carrying a Grappled creature

This answer covers this, but to summarize, the language for grappling states (my emphasis):

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.

This specifically states the terms drag and carry which are the mechanical terms described above and should therefore still apply. Your movement is still halved, so you'd only be able to move 2.5 feet.

  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – NautArch Oct 18 at 19:18
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    "Because the weight of the Brontosaurus exceeds that, your movement is dropped to 5'" - it exceeds more than twice that, and "You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your carrying capacity", so you cannot "Push, Drag or Lift" that much weight using this rule at all. – Michał Politowski Oct 24 at 10:45

RAW: Yes you can

Jeremy Crawford (official voice of rules for WotC) has tweeted:

Q: is pushing/dragging a grappled creature subject to the carrying capacity rules?

A: The rule on moving a grappled creature (PH, 195) works regardless of a creature's weight. It cares about creature size.

The rule on grappling says on the subject:

Moving a Grappled Creature. 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. (PHB 195)

As opposed to the rules for Lifting and Carrying (PHB 176) which applies to objects.

Now as a DM I would apply some common sense restrictions on this especially if you want to take the Bronto for a flight. I would probably call that you can drag it 5 feet (as the rule of pushing/draging something past your carring capacity)

  • Taking it for a flight is the whole point of this question I suppose. But it sounds like you would be imposing a rule when there is none (by RAW)? Love your username by the way. Right from the source! When does "common sense" come into play though? Can a giant eagle fly off with a giant? – Behacad Oct 18 at 18:36
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    The RAW (rules as writen) and by Jerreny's answer apparantly RAI (rules as intended) you can move a creature up to a size bigger or smaller at half speed while grappling it. And common sense is saying that this is a case where the DM says it is. This is one of those cases where the rules cannot account easily for extreme cases – Dinomaster Oct 18 at 18:51
  • Are you absolutely certain those rules actually allow you to lift it or just move it along the ground? – Joshua Oct 18 at 21:58
  • @Joshua The rule says drag or carry. it has no further specifics – Dinomaster Oct 18 at 22:06
  • It's worth stating that the tweet referenced above refers to "pushing/dragging" a creature. It was not asked whether the rules for carrying capacity applied to lifting a creature. – Gandalfmeansme Oct 18 at 22:07

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