The rules on Underwater Combat (PHB pg. 198) state:

When making a melee weapon attack, a creature that doesn't have a swimming speed (either natural or granted by magic) has disadvantage on the attack roll unless the weapon is a dagger, javelin, shortsword, spear, or trident.

The description of the Gloves of Swimming and Climbing (DMG pg. 172) says:

While wearing these gloves, climbing and swimming don't cost you extra movement, and you gain a +5 bonus to Strength (Athletics) checks made to climb or swim.

Would wearing the gloves of swimming and climbing count as having a swimming speed for the purpose of avoiding disadvantage on underwater attack rolls?


1 Answer 1



There are examples of magic items that do grant as swimming speed, and they state so explicitly. The Cloak of the Manta Ray (DMG pg. 159), for example, states that "you have a swimming speed of 60 feet."

Since the Gloves do not do so, they do not grant a swimming speed. They do exactly what they say they do: remove the speed penalty from being underwater, and give you a bonus to certain ability checks.

There are also items that give you a swimming speed equal to your walking speed, such as the Mariner's Armor (DMG pg. 181.) This allows you to move at the same speed that the Gloves would, but with all the additional benefits implied by having a true swimming speed.


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