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The first benefit of the Sentinel feat says (PHB, p. 169-170):

When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the creature's speed becomes 0 for the rest of the turn.

If a character with the Sentinel feat hits a creature, but that creature then gains a new type of speed (e.g. a fly speed), does that new speed also become 0 for the rest of the turn?


For example, say that a spellcaster is fighting a character who has the Sentinel feat.
It is currently the spellcaster's turn. The spellcaster's movement provokes an opportunity attack from the Sentinel character, and it hits, causing the spellcaster's speed to become 0 for the rest of the turn. In turn, the spellcaster then casts the fly spell on themselves, and thus gains a fly speed of 60 feet (a new type of movement for the creature):

You touch a willing creature. The target gains a flying speed of 60 feet for the duration. When the spell ends, the target falls if it is still aloft, unless it can stop the fall.

What is the spellcaster's fly speed (immediately after casting fly)?
Does it also become 0 for the rest of the turn? Or does the spellcaster now have a fly speed of 60 feet that they can use this turn?


From my understanding, there isn't a so called "stack" like there is in Magic: the Gathering. The effect from Sentinel is very specific; it doesn't matter if the creature gains a new type of speed after the Sentinel effect has been applied - all of its speeds are 0 for the rest of the turn. Is my conclusion correct?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Highly related: When an ability lets you reduce a creature's speed to 0, does it include fly/swim/climb speed? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Oct 30 '20 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, thank you. I forgot to include something to that effect. Totally understand this. The main thing in question, was gaining a new speed after all the speeds have been set to 0 for the rest of the turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – ToastHater
    Oct 30 '20 at 0:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the spell caster only begin the turn with a walking or swimming speed? This matters, I think, since if the spell caster normally also has a flying speed that might change how Sentinel interacts with all of that? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 12:08
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Order of operations is what matters here

The Sentinel OA doesn't prevent movement, it just sets the target's speed to 0. Similarly, fly doesn't care how fast you can normally fly or what your land speed is, it just gives you a set flying speed of 60'.

When multiple abilities set the value(s) of a characteristic, the last effect applied is the one that matters. Think of it this way: If you have a carton with 5 eggs and then I take it away and give you new carton with 2 eggs, then take that away and give you a carton with 7 eggs, you have 7 eggs. In fact, it doesn't matter how many eggs you started with, nor how many eggs I gave you the first time: since each carton is a completely different carton and they don't interact in any way, only the one you now have is relevant to figuring out how many eggs you now have.

If, instead of setting your speed to 0, Sentinel used up your movement, however, things would be different. Separate movement modes aren't entirely independent, unlike the effects of the abilities in question. Specifically, when you go to use a new kind of movement during a turn, the following limitation applies:

If you have more than one speed, such as your walking speed and a flying speed, you can switch back and forth between your speeds during your move. Whenever you switch, subtract the distance you've already moved from the new speed. The result determines how much farther you can move.

so if you had used up all your movement for your land speed, as opposed to having it set to 0, then you would only be able to move with your fly speed distance equal to the difference (assuming your fly speed was bigger). That's not what Sentinel actually does, though, so basically the only effect on the caster in your example is that they can't use their walking speed for the rest of their turn.

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    \$\begingroup\$ if you'r speed is set to 0, and you cast fly on yourself, the "your speed is 0" effekt is not nullified, no matter how many flys and hastes are cast thereafter, your speed will stay at 0 for this round. op already said it, it's NOT a stack like in MTG \$\endgroup\$
    – clockw0rk
    Oct 30 '20 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @clockw0rk You are correct in that there is not stack like MTG. Fortunately for our wizard, that doesn't really matter, since the stack is the order in which you resolve effects, with the most recent resolving before the next-most recent on so on. In this case, you are not determining the order in which they resolve, instead, you are only applying the most recent effect: the Sentinel "set speed to 0" effect having already been applied, a new contradictory effect is overriding the Sentinel effect. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 13:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @clockw0rk Note that ruling your way means Sentinel never reduces speed. Your race sets your base speed to a number, usually thirty, and no matter how many haste-like effects or Sentinel OAs you are subjected to after that your speed will stay at 30 since "your speed is 30" is not nullified. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @clockw0rk And how do you determine what effect is "highest"? I assume you are misquoting the rules about how to determine what effect to apply to a creature when they are under the effects of two features with the same name at once (ie multiple Polymorphs or in the area of two different Wall of Fire spells). In which case you would take the higher level effect. This doesn't apply here, since the Sentinel feat is not a spell, and doesn't have a level. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 17:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @clockw0rk If someone appears to have misunderstood you, please address that, and do it constructively. If the comment thread doesn't work for that, I suggest you (all) use votes and/or answers to resolve it instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Oct 30 '20 at 17:32
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Sentinel does not prevent a creature from gaining new modes of movement or increasing their movement speed after it has been applied.

I'll quote the full text of the Sentinel feat (PHB, p. 169-170), just so we know we aren't missing anything:

You have mastered techniques to take advantage of every drop in any enemy's guard, gaining the following benefits:

  • When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the creature's speed becomes 0 for the rest of the turn.

  • Creatures provoke opportunity attacks from you even if they take the Disengage action before leaving your reach.

  • When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a target other than you (and that target doesn't have this feat), you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against the attacking creature.

The first function of the feat ("speed becomes 0"):

  • Whenever you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, its speed drops to 0 for the rest of the turn. This stops any movement they may have been taking.

Let's break that all down, part by part.

When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack,

Here we have the triggering condition. This tells us that this only applies on opportunity attacks, which are typically caused by creatures trying to move away from you. So it doesn't apply on regular attacks from an Attack action, and it doesn't apply on Readied attacks.

the creature's speed becomes 0 for the rest of the turn.

Next, we have the effect that is triggered. A creature's speed becomes 0. It doesn't spend the creature's movement, and it doesn't subtract movement from the creature; it sets its speed directly to 0, and that setting lasts for the rest of the current turn.

Do you know what is missing from this portion of the ability? It does not have any clause stating that it prevents a creature's movement from being increased again after it has been applied. But maybe there's something else in the ability that says otherwise. Let's read on.

The second function:

  • Creatures provoke opportunity attacks from you even if they take the Disengage action before leaving your reach.

This doesn't really matter much in this situation, it only provides an additional situation where you can spend you reaction to take an opportunity attack, and has no effect that interacts with the speed reduction mechanic.

And the third function:

  • When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a target other than you (and that target doesn't have this feat), you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against the attacking creature.

This also only provides an additional situation in which you can make an attack as a reaction (though it's not an opportunity attack): when a creature within 5 feet of you attacks someone else who does not have the Sentinel feat. Again, it has no interaction with the speed reduction mechanic.

So where does that leave us? What do we now know?

We know that:

  • When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the creature's speed becomes 0 (and since it has a speed of 0, it can't continue moving)
  • You can make opportunity attacks against a creature even if that creature has taken the Disengage action
  • You can make an attack as a reaction if a creature within 5 feet of you attacks someone else who does not have the Sentinel feat.

What do these things tell us? Well, we know that:

  • The speed change is not a speed reduction. We don't spend their movement, and we don't subtract anything. The speed is set directly to 0 feet - do not pass go, do not collect $200.
  • There is no clause preventing further speed modifications. If we cast a spell, or activate a special ability, or do some other action that changes our movement speed after Sentinel is applied, the Sentinel feat does not have a clause preventing this.

But how do we know that this is the case?

For comparison, let's take a look at the description of the grappled condition:

  • 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.

There is a clause in the grappled condition that Sentinel does not have: "it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed." Without this clause, Sentinel does not prevent the target's speed from being changed after Sentinel's effect is applied.

Some examples of what does and doesn't work:

These do work, but only if used after getting hit by Sentinel:

The spell longstrider has the effect: "The target’s speed increases by 10 feet until the spell ends." 0 feet + 10 feet = 10 feet, so the target now has a speed of 10 feet.

The spell fly has the effect: "The target gains a flying speed of 60 feet for the duration." This has two effects. First, it grants the target the ability to fly via a fly speed; second, it sets that speed to 60 feet. Since it sets it to a specific value, it overrides the Sentinel feat which has also set it to a specific value.

This doesn't work:

The Tabaxi's racial trait Feline Agility (VGtM, p. 115), which states: "When you move on your turn in combat, you can double your speed until the end of the turn." Whether it's used before or after getting hit by an opportunity attack from someone with Sentinel, it doesn't help. If it is used beforehand, then we have your speed doubled to 60 feet but then reduced to 0 feet by Sentinel. If it is instead used afterward, then we are doubling the speed we were set to by Sentinel - in other words, 0, because 0 times anything = 0.

And just a reminder for those who may have forgotten: There are no hidden rules in D&D 5e. Abilities spell out exactly how they work. If this ability were intended to prevent a target from further changing their speed, it would say so.

Similarly, there is a difference between can't move and speed becomes 0, as discussed in this question. Further, in a comparable situation, if a creature's speed becomes 0 due to exhaustion, as asked in this question, nothing prevents it from magically (or otherwise) increasing its speed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ By this logic, can a caster move 90' in the round in which they first cast fly by moving then casting? Also, could a caster move 120' by using up all their fly movement, then casting fly on themselves again? \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Oct 30 '20 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Similarly for grappled, if a caster is grappled, their speed becomes 0. Does subsequently casting fly on them get them out of the grapple? \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Oct 30 '20 at 21:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GCL No, because you subtract any used movement from the movement available to you. If the caster has moved 60' with their fly speed, or in other words, they have spent 60' worth of movement, and casts Fly on themselves, them cannot continue to move, as they subtract any amount of movement they have already spent this turn from their available speed. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 21:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon but if they had walk speed of 20' , walked it, then cast fly, they would get extra 40' to fly on that turn, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnudiff
    Oct 30 '20 at 22:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GcL Nice call out on the Grappled condition, as that actually points out something that reinforces my answer. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '20 at 23:09

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