After seeing this Q/A on whether releasing a grappled creature increases your available movement, I am wondering a more general question.
Under "Your Turn" it states:

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed...

I also noticed that the Dash action specifically states:

Any increase or decrease to your speed changes this additional movement by the same amount...

But I am still unsure; how do changes to your speed such as ray of frost, releasing a grapple, or longstrider affect your available movement?


1 Answer 1


Movement is a function of speed

Movement and Speed
On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed. You can use as much or as little of your speed as you like on your turn, following the rules here. Your movement can include jumping, climbing, and swimming. These different modes of movement can be combined with walking, or they can constitute your entire move. However you’re moving, you deduct the distance of each part of your move from your speed until it is used up or until you are done moving. (SRD, p. 91)


Every character and monster has a speed, which is the distance in feet that the character or monster can walk in 1 round. This number assumes short bursts of energetic movement in the midst of life-threatening situation. (SRD, p. 91)

We will use a speed of 30 for the sake of simplicity to illustrate the interactions with ray of frost, longstrider, and the end of a grappled condition. Creature uses Move, and Dash (rather than attack) as an Action. I'll leave Bonus Actions aside for the moment.

  1. Longstrider

    You touch a creature. The target’s speed increases by 10 feet until the spell ends.

    In this case, using "Move" the creature can move 40', and using Dash it can move another 40'. Total for that turn = 80'.

  2. Ray of Frost

    On a hit, it takes 1d8 cold damage, and its speed is reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.

    The creatire was hit on another creature's turn. Using "Move" it can go 20', and using Dash another 20'. Total for that turn = 40'.

  3. Release from a grapple.
    This ones a bit trickier.
    Grappled (Appendix A, Conditions)

    • A grappled creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed.
    • The condition ends if the grappler is incapacitated (see the condition).
    • The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect, such as when a creature is hurled away by the thunderwave spell.

    In this case, as the grappled condition is ended, we first determine: by what agency is the grappled condition ended?
    If it happens on another creature's turn (the party's Wizard moves the grappler away with thunderwave) there is no grappled condition for the target, Go To case 1.

    If it happens on the creature's turn and the creature takes an action to break the grapple, then the creature can still move 30'. (Or 20' if frosted by the ray)

The combo platter, Case 1: grappled, ray of frosted, longstridered

Finieous the level 3 Rogue got hit by a ray of frost from an enemy mage, was grappled by a hobgoblin, and was stil under the effects of a longstrider spell from the party's Ranger who had previously cast it on him. The party Wizard lets loose with thunderwave BOOM! Fineous saves, and survives the thunder damage, but the hobgoblin does not and gets knocked away. Grapple broken.
Speed = 30 - 10 + 10 = 30.
Finieous can move 60' with his Dash plus his Move. Since he's a Rogue, he can move another 30' from Cunning Action(an additional Dash as a bonus action). 90' total move.

Combo platter, Case 2: longstrider ended for {reasons}; hobgoblin saved versus thunderwave and didn't die!

Finieous uses his Action to try and break the hobgoblin's grapple. He succeeds! (Yay Fin, run away!) His move is 20', and he uses his bonus action (Cunning Action) to Disengage to avoid an opportunity attack. He moves 20' (still frosted by that ray)
He moves 20', risks the OA, and dashes another 20'. He'd have moved 40' except that the hobgoblin got a critical hit on the OA and did 14 points of damage. Fin needs to make those death saving throws or it's time to play Requiem for a Rogue.

Combo Platter Case 3: Finieous was the grappler, and didn't let go during his turn?

For this case, we have to determine both what Finieous's speed is, and how movement "costs" are accrued in releasing the grapple. We make the following point in prologue from this answer, .

... grappling halves your speed attribute, it does not cost half your movement:

Fin is grappling a goblin, so his speed is 15 (grapple speed reduction while dragging another creature). Ray of frost reduces his speed by 10', so his speed is now 5. He can move 5', and then Dash another 5' for a total of 10' movement. Luckily for him, that longstrider increased his speed! He can move 15', and Dash another 15' for a total of 30'.

Case 4: the sound of the battle attracts Ogres; Finieous releases the grapple!

This is a bit more complex, and is addressed in your linked Q&A in considerable detail. There seems to be no consensus on the answer, but, if Fin uses common sense and first releases the goblin so that he can flee ...

The {grappled} condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required). (SRD, Grappling)

His speed begins without the grapple penalty. His speed is 30. Movement up to 90' if all he does is Move, Dash, and Bonus Action Dash.

If for some reason Fin drags the goblin for a distance and then releases the goblin, how much movement remains when he releases the goblin is covered in that linked Q&A. What longstrider and ray of frost do here is change the base speed to establish how much movement you begin the turn with, which is then modified by the speed reductions from grappling and movement costs of dragging.

Bonus Actions add more variation

What bonus actions do for this mechanically is either provide an extra amount of movement for dashing, or provide various means to break a grapple, or perhaps add or subtract a spell/magical effect that influences base speed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In case you wanted to know I opened the new question here \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 17:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Nice job, and I am so sorry for the misunderstanding. This does alllow me to have a "basics of movement" answer to link to in the future, though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 17:09

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