OSRIC claims that dwarves move at 90’. I’ve also read the claim that it’s unspecified in AD&D proper. My question is regarding AD&D.

Do dwarves (as player characters) move at 90 or 120? If they are carrying a heavy load (and move at 90) - do they move at 90 or 60?

Does this apply to all the short races as PCs?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can a link be provided to the claim that the movement rate of dwarves is unspecified in AD&D? (I suspect that claim needs context—anyone with a Monster Manual can check its veracity!) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 11, 2019 at 22:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I mean for player characters, not dwarves as monsters/npcs. \$\endgroup\$
    – munk
    Jul 11, 2019 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


The AD&D Player's Handbook mentions movement rate for dwarves under neither the discussion of dwarves, nor the discussion of movement. Yet the discussion of dwarves explicitly states (page 15):

The race of dwarves typically dwells in hilly or mountainous regions. For details of the race in general the reader is referred to ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, MONSTER MANUAL. As player characters, both dwarves and their cousins the "mountain dwarves" can be considered.

So, we refer to the Monster Manual (page 35). Their MOVE score is stated as 6". Regarding some of the other short PC races, their MOVE scores are: halflings - 9" (page 50), gnomes - 6" (page 46).

AD&D Second Edition clears possible confusions and ties a lot of loose ends while staying largely compatible with AD&D (as it has been designed that way). So we can also have a look at the AD&D 2e Player's Handbook for some more guidance. In the section on Movement (page 119), we are now given clearly the base movement rates for all the PC races: elves, half-elves and humans have 12, dwarves, gnomes and halflings have 6. Effects of encumbrance are described on page 79 as follows:

Light reduces the movement rate by ⅓ (round fractions down), Moderate reduces it by ½, Heavy reduces it by ⅔, and Severe lowers the movement rate to 1.

Finally, note that movement is measured in inches in AD&D; how these units convert to distance in various settings are described in the Movement section of the Player's Handbook.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The Monster Manual has the movement rate and the armor typically worn by NPCs as encounters. Dwarves at 6" wear chainmail. Gnomes at 6" wear leather armor ringed or studded with metal. Halflings at 9" wear padded or leather armor. The DMG pg 27 shows chain, ring, studded leather, and padded to be Fairly Bulky and a base movement of 9". So, we could argue that in 1E rules, an unarmored PC Dwarf, Gnome, and Halfling have a move of 9" . Then PHB page 101 describes encumberance normal is up to 35# of gear. Slowed is half normal speed at 105# gear. \$\endgroup\$ May 24, 2020 at 17:03

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