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Say Alice grapples Bob. Bob then shoves Alice and pushes them 5 feet away.

Which of the following occurs?

  • A. The shove pushes the grappler out of range, breaking the grapple.
  • B. Alice drags Bob with them, and the grapple is maintained.
  • C. Something else happens.

Why ask this question?

In the new One D&D playtest Character Origins PDF, there have been very significant changes to the grappling rules. There has been a lot of debate over whether these are a buff or nerf or how they function. The overall consensus is that the new DC is actually a buff.

However, there has been a lot of confusion over whether breaking grapples is now easier or harder... It used to be that you can break a grapple with an action (and a successful check), but now you have to wait until the end of your turn to make a check. Some people argue that this nerfs grapple because the target still gets their action, while others say it is a nerf because you can't free yourself then walk away (that said you could ready an action, etc.).

Some people are arguing that you could use an unarmed attack to push your grappler away and then walk away, but that plan has come under a lot of scrutiny. Some people are arguing that if you shove someone with a grappled target, they will drag the target with them. Some people have also argued that the condition for ending grapple is the target moving away from the grappler, not the other way around, but I don't think this is valid so we don't need to discuss it in this question - unless your answer revolves around this assumption then I think it needs to be addressed.

Here is the text of grappled in one D&D:

The Condition also ends if the grappler is Incapacitated or if something moves you outside the grapple’s range without using your Speed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can appreciate not everyone plays 5e or has read the new UA or is interested in the community discussions surrounding them. I have added extra information to explain why this problem exists, why I am asking the question, why others might be interested in the answer, and why the answer is important. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Aug 24, 2022 at 2:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there any reason previous answers on this would be invalid? Can you shove your way out of a grapple? and Does shoving a creature break its grapple on another? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2022 at 3:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MattVincent Yes, this is for One D&D so the wording is different. Exempt-Medic below has an example of the wording difference. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Aug 24, 2022 at 3:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ With only one small piece of rules for One released, asking these general questions is difficult to answer because we don’t have the full rule set to answer appropriately. As updates come out, we may have to constantly revisit all of these, which is not the best way to go about this. Odds are answers are ending up more as rulings because of this lack of information, and should be supported by subjective experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Aug 24, 2022 at 11:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch This question is for the playtest not the final release. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Aug 25, 2022 at 5:34

3 Answers 3

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A grapple ends when you are out of range

The One D&D Character Origins UA section about the Grappled condition states:

The Condition also ends if [...] something moves you outside the grapple’s range without using your Speed.

There are no rules saying that if either of you is forced to move, the other moves with them, so if you Shove the grappler, and are thus moved out of their range, you are no longer grappled.


An alternative way to come to this conclusion is to analyze the fact that this rule is meant to have an effect. In other words, this rule makes it clear that it is possible to be moved outside of a grapple's range. If the grappler and grappled target always moved together, this would not be possible, so we know they do not always move together. I do not see any reason why Shoving wouldn't separate the two and, in fact, if Shoving didn't do this, I'm not sure what would. I would thus conclude that you can shove yourself out of a grapple.


A comparison to the 5e wording is helpful here as well:

The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler

The Condition also ends if [...] something moves you outside the grapple’s range

These are, in almost every way, identically worded, and people agree that, for 5e, shoving either the grappler or the grappled target ends the grapple. Due to the identical wording, we should conclude the same for One D&D: you are able to shove your way out of a grapple.


Technically, the rule I quoted applies when something "moves you", and one could argue this requires the grapple target to be moved and not the grappler. I do not believe this to be the case for several reasons but mainly these:

  1. 5e and One D&D use effectively identical wording, and the rule did not work that way in 5e. There is simply no reason to interpret the exact same sentence in two completely different ways.

  2. The rule where who gets pushed matters is far more unexpected than the rule where who gets pushed around doesn't matter. I would even say it is so utterly unexpected that, if it were the intended ruling, the rules would have stated this much more explicitly.

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I first off am not really answering, but providing clarification to Exempt-Medic's answer by explaining how the rule works.

Per the first quote, the Grappled condition ends if something moves you outside the grapples range without using your Speed.

The key parts of this phrase are as follows: "something" "moves" "you" "outside the grapples range" "without using your Speed". Each part is a qualifier- basically, apply a possible solution to each part and if all qualifiers are met, the solution works.

For example- the possible solution of an ally shoving you. Something- ally. Moves-shoving. You- you are the target of the shove. Outside the grapples range- the shove must move you away from the grappler for this qualifier to be met, your ally couldn't shove you to a different adjacent square of the grappler and break the grapple. Without using your Speed- you aren't using your speed, be it walking/flying/swimming. So, this solution meets all qualifiers and therefor is a solution to breaking a grapple.

Now, lets apply your question through these qualifiers. Potential solution- you shove the grappler away. Something- yourself. Moves- shoving. You- you are the actor, so it qualifies as long as all the other qualifiers are met. Outside the grapples range- if the shove is successful, the grappler will be moved 5ft away, so as long as they don't have 10ft or more reach to grapple, this qualifier will be met. Without using your Speed- you aren't moving using walking/flight/swimming so this one is good.

So, as long as the shove is a success and the grappler doesn't have 10ft or more reach with their grapple, then yes, you shoving the grappler away 5ft satisfies all qualifiers and is a solution.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While you do hit those 3 keywords "something", "moves", "you", I think you lose some of the structure of the sentence. "something moves you" has "something" as the subject and "you" as the object on which the verb "moves" as acting. In your second example did "something move you"? No, it didn't. That's the issue here. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Sep 5, 2022 at 4:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ However, you must add the context of "out of the grapples range". So with that context, either party being moved, the grappled or the grappler, such that "you" end up "out of the grapples range" constitutes the "something". \$\endgroup\$
    – Pethrax
    Sep 5, 2022 at 6:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ 🤔 "something moves you outside the grapple’s range" the fact is you didn't move at all though. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Sep 5, 2022 at 6:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user77842 depends on what you move relative to. Relative to the grid? Yes, "you" did not move. However since we're talking about you and the grappler, it would also make sense to consider relative to the grappler. And if we do consider it relative to the grappler, if they're moved by an effect, you moved out of their reach. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Sep 5, 2022 at 7:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user77842 it is a bit word-gamey, but just as much as "you left the range of the grapple but since you didn't move the grapple didn't end", in my honest opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Sep 5, 2022 at 8:21
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RAI is crystal clear. RAW is ambiguous.

It seems obvious what the rules are intended to create here : if you are not in the range of the grappler at some point, they can't hold you anymore. There's nothing magical about grabbing someone and holding them into place.

Basic RAW interpretation

The issue comes from how the rules for grappling are written in the playtest's rules :

The Condition also ends if [...] something moves you outside the grapple’s range without using your Speed.

A strict reading of the text can lead to understanding "something moves you" as just that : the grappled creature needs to be moved, and the grappler being moved does not end the grapple.

This obviously goes against the intended way to deal with this situation, and it can be difficult to describe such a situation as the DM (how does one keep holding another creature if they can't touch them...?). The only way I could think of to keep the slightest ounce of logic in this situation is that if the grappler is moved, the grappled creature is moved with them, but nothing in the rules supports this, and it seems specific and important enough that it would have been written if that was the case.

Another possible reading

Movement is determined by using a reference point. The most simple and common one is the grid, or simply the ground you are standing on.

However, when comparing only the distance between two objects (or in our case, two creatures) and ignoring the rest of their environment, it seems equally as valid to take one of the creatures as a reference point.

Taking the grappler as the reference point gives the behaviour originally intended for grappling. Even if the grappler is the target of the external movement effect, relative to them, their grappled target is moving away from them without them using their speed.

I am aware this interpretation is slightly "playing on words". However it seem just as "gamey" as trying to explain how a character that's now 15 feet away from their target is still "grappling" them, because the target wasn't the one moved away.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "but nothing in the rules supports this" how about "Movable. The grappler can drag or carry you"? Worth discussing if you think this applies only in some situations (ie, not this one). I think the second half of your post weakens your point, that's just not how D&D works at all, you're better off saying that you would rule otherwise because you think it makes sense. Would also be great if you could support your assertion that RAI is clear. Right now this is my favourite answer because you tackle the issues directly. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Sep 6, 2022 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user77842 the "Movable" part you've mentioned talks about the grappler "dragging" or "carrying", which as far as my understanding of english goes, implies an active action from the grappler, which isn't compatible with them passively holding someone when being pushed away. As for the second point, I would love to hear the reasons why this reading of the text is wrong and "not how D&D works at all", in order to either improve on it or remove it altogether. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Sep 6, 2022 at 8:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ in 5e if you "move" that means you moved relative to the grid. It never means relative to someone else. I think that logically saying "the grappler got pushed and dragged the person they were holding with them" I don't see any issue with this. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Sep 6, 2022 at 8:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user77842 I don't see how it is more logical to say "the grappler dragged the person with them" than to say they didn't. Especially since this kind of additional movement is usually not implied, but rather explicitely stated. The only thing I see explicitely stated is that the grappler can move their grappled target themselves when they move themselves. Whether they could be able to keep hold of someone when being pushed away should at best be a DM's call, for the sake of realism. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Sep 6, 2022 at 8:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Be careful using RAI - but can you also support why you think the RAI (as defined by you) states that? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 6, 2022 at 15:33

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