The Grappled condition states (from the point of view of the grappler):

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.

I have no issue with the dragging portion of moving with a grappled creature but when carrying the creature where does it find itself on the end of your turn?

Can the grappling PC place the carried target down into whichever square in range they choose?

I have some issues with that, namely the ability to pass the grappled creature into a hazard with no difficulty. Imagine moving to the edge of a cliff and simply holding the grappled creature over the edge and then releasing the grapple. It seems too simple.

Other options include holding them in a fire, dropping them into a known trap, etc or simply stating that you've lifted the grappled creature over your head and placed them down on the other side of you so your allies can attack it.

None of this seems right to me but I find anything to explicitly state how to handle carrying a grappled creature.

I'm really looking for solutions that are supported by the core books if any exist but am also open to tested solutions that people have used in their games to address this.

Medix's comment below has three related questions that offer various solutions and third one matches my initial thoughts: How does moving a grappled creature work?


2 Answers 2


Lifting and Carrying

Carrying Capacity. Your carrying capacity is your Strength score multiplied by 15. This is the weight (in pounds) that you can carry, which is high enough that most characters don't usually have to worry about it.

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.

If you can carry the person you are grappling, then you can carry them. However, unless you are polymorphed or enlarged (which are both excellent tactics for grapplers), you usually won't find many opportunities for this. Someone with 20 strength can carry 300lb. (1200lb if large), they are usually carrying 50-100lb of their own equipment leaving 200-250lb for the target and all their equipment. Yes, a human fighter can manhandle a halfling but probably not another human fighter. If you can't carry them, then you have to drag them and your speed drops to 5 feet; halved to 2.5 feet.

However, the rule you quote for grappling is more limiting: "When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you ...". You can't move people unless you move yourself and the come "with you". The most straightforward reading of this is that they maintain the same relative orientation to you. You can, of course, move around them because you cony "can" move them, you can choose not to. Obviously, you must stay within reach.

As for carrying or dragging someone over a cliff or into a fire. Yes. Most definitely yes. This is awesome and the entire point of grappling in the first place. I had a group of players whose basic strategy with dragons (we were playing Tyranny of Dragons so this came up a lot) was for the bard to polymorph the barbarian into a great ape who would grapple the dragon, push it prone and then the sorcerer would place a Wall of Fire in which the barbarian held the dragon. Dragon problem solved and barbequed all at the same time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Dale, but most of this answer relates to the rules of lifting and carrying and the last part is about grappling and shoving so it is irrelevant to the question but the middle paragraph gets to the gist of what I was asking. There just seems to be no mechanic for it in the rules \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve
    Mar 5, 2020 at 0:01

Having looked at the related questions and the comments I think my issue has come down to me overthinking the description of Grappling.

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.

I initially read the 'carry' part of that to mean literally carrying the grappled creature on your shoulders, in your square, as you move. And this is what created my confusion about placing the grappled target again when you stopped moving.

This is nothing more than my interpretation, I'm sure others will think differently

Now, it appears as if the 'carry' part is almost flavour text (or fluff if that sits better), or that is how I am going to read it, as there doesn't appear to be any mechanic to explain in the rule books or supplied on this site. So my take, and how I'm going to interpret it going forward, is:

When moving with a grappled creature they get dragged along behind you, in the square adjacent to you but opposite to your direction of travel.

This still allows shoving, you just have to release the grapple, move around the target to the correct square, assuming you have enough movement, and then Shoving.

Thank to everyone that had something to say regarding this.


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