At level 13, the Phantom Rogue gets the Ghost Walk ability which grants (in part):

As a bonus action, you assume a spectral form. While in this form, you have a flying speed of 10 feet, you can hover [...]

Does this mean that the Phantom Rogue has (only) 10 feet of flying movement (and no other movement)?

Or does the Phantom Rogue gain 10ft of flying movement (in addition to their normal movement)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a native speaker, and always believed that "have" is rather precise word, unlike for example "gains". Is it not? Can you please explain where exactly confusion comes from? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Dec 4, 2022 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot I agree with your point, and it, along with the fact that a 'spectral form' presents without legs, was the basis for my answer. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 4, 2022 at 21:34

4 Answers 4


Conclusion First: I don't think Ghost Walk maintains your normal forms movement. But, it is certainly unclear, and 100% a DM's Decision.

Seems clear that there are two different ways to have additional movement. By transformation where your entire mode of movement changes or by being granted something extra that adds to your modes of movement.

Ghost Walk TCE p62 13th-level Phantom feature You can phase partially into the realm of the dead, becoming like a ghost. As a bonus action, you assume a spectral form. While in this form, you have a flying speed of 10 feet, you can hover, and attack rolls have disadvantage against you. You can also move through creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain, but you take 1d10 force damage if you end your turn inside a creature or an object.

Becoming like a Ghost, and Assuming a Spectral form, both imply that your form changes as you step into the realm of the dead. As others have said, Ghosts and Specters have 0 movement and a fly speed.

Ghost MM p147 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)

Specter MM p279 0 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)

Fly tells us that we Gain a Flying speed

Fly PHB p243 The target gains a flying speed of 60

Gaseous Form that we are transformed, makes sure to tell us that we ONLY have the fly speed of 10

Gaseous Form PHB p244 You transform a willing creature you touch, along with everything it's wearing and carrying, into a misty cloud for the duration. While in this form, the target's only method of movement is a flying speed of 10 feet.

Perhaps this particular makes things most unclear, as this is the first time the movement is a hindrance, being that it is less than what we assume a creatures normal mode of movement would be.

Wind Walk PHB p288 You and up to ten willing creatures you can see within range assume a gaseous form for the duration, appearing as wisps of cloud. While in this cloud form, a creature has a flying speed of 300 feet

Wind Walk once again changes our form into something 'other' and while it doesn't tell us only, it is assumed you would only fly with it being so high speed.

Spider Climb applies the GAIN clearly not changing our mode, only the kinds of walking

Spider Climb PHB p277 Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch gains the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving its hands free. The target also gains a climbing speed equal to its walking speed.

This gain doesn't effect our normal walking speed, it is in fact equal to it. At 20th level, you gain a feature granted to you by your Sacred Oath.

Avenging Angel PHB p87 At 20th level, you can assume the form of an angelic avenger. Using your action, you undergo a transformation. For 1 hour, you gain the following benefits: Wings sprout from your back and grant you a flying speed of 60 feet.

Avenging Angel transforms us, but the transformation is Wings SPROUTING and that we are GRANTED or gain a flying speed. Once again implying addition.

I think this is vague. Most of the transformation language is the same as the Ghost Walk language... Ghost Walk speaks as we HAVE a flying speed, not that we GAIN it. Ghosts and Specters ONLY have Fly Speeds.
BUT... Gaseous form is unique in the transformations that say we ONLY HAVE... the HAVE language is important, but this is a unique time that they use the ONLY. I don't think any other transformation uses it primarily because it was recognized as superfluous

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer makes a good recap of just about all arguments for and against retaining other movement speeds. I believe it would benefit from having the conclusion being clearly stated, either as a separate sentence at the end or as a header. As of now I think your conclusion is that the answer is unclear (and I would assume, up to the DM then), but I may have misinterpreted your reasoning. Otherwise good answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Dec 6, 2022 at 9:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good though, I think originally the final sentence was meant to be that, and then I oscillated and stumbled because, yeah, I don't think all DM's would be convinced as I am. Added the conclusion first though. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 6, 2022 at 18:12

You can still use other methods of movement that you have available.

If a feature that gives you a type of movement also restricts other methods of movement, it tells you that. Consider the spell gaseous form:

While in this form, the target's only method of movement is a flying speed of 10 feet.

Gaseous form also gives you a ten foot fly speed, and then explains that it is your only option. The Ghost Walk description does not restrict other modes of movement, so they are not restricted.


When a description tells you have X movement mode and speed in a new form, those are the only movement modes you have while in that form.

When you gain a Fly Speed, you add that statistic to your other movement statistics and leave your other movement statistics alone.

Looking at the Fly spell, we can see that you "gain" a mode of movement that doesn't involve changing your form.

On the other hand, if we look at the Wind Walk spell, it transforms you into a cloud of gas (no legs, no walk speed), and then states

While in this cloud form, a creature has a flying speed of 300 feet

There are two other phrasings amidst various spells and effects, that I can readily think of, but neither involve an entirely new form.

One involves a spell granting you wings "Giving you a fly speed," which is specifically under the pretext of "gain the following benefits until the spell ends" (Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, Draconic Transformation). The other is the Winged Boots, which specifically correlate the fly speed you "have" while wearing the boots to your established walking speed (from the legs and feet you still have while putting the boots on).

Both of these effects modify, but also leave you with your original form and all its form-associated movements, unlike Wind Walk and Ghost Walk.

Coincidentally, when discussing a 'spectral form,' here's the movement statistics of a Specter- Speed 0 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover). This establishes that specters (spectral) are a bit like Casper - no legs, so they don't walk, they fly/hover.

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    \$\begingroup\$ How would you rule the paladin’s capstone? That grants you a fly speed, is that different than having? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Dec 4, 2022 at 17:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Assuming you're speaking of a paladin of vengeance, the 'transformation' in question results in "Wings sprout from your back and grant you a flying speed of 60 feet." The transformation is adding to your natural form- you still have your legs, feet, and walk speed. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 4, 2022 at 21:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ That sounds more like a ruling than a clear indication from the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Dec 4, 2022 at 21:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I can see that perspective, but to me it's simply a plain-english reading. The difference in the established examples is that one form has feet and legs to walk with, and the other doesn't. An effect/transformation that results in you not having legs doesn't have to explicitly mention a lack of walking speed to reasonably interpret you can no longer walk, else a creature who gets its legs chopped off can still walk instead of crawling. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 4, 2022 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ 2/2 Further, your base movement speed (and mode of movement) is a direct function of your form (race). Sometimes effects modify this form, and sometimes they change it completely. If you transform from a creature with wings to a form without wings, would you retain your fly speed if the text doesn't explicitly state you can no longer use it? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 4, 2022 at 22:45

You only have the fly speed

The ability opens with:

You can phase partially into the realm of the dead, becoming like a ghost.

The Ghost stat block lists the movement speed of a Ghost as:

Speed 0 ft., fly 40ft.

While its not entirely clear how figurative “becoming like a ghost” is, a ghost only moves by flying, not by normal, physical movement.

Your movement being like that if a ghost means that you have 0 ft. normal movement. Your fly speed however is explicitly set to 10 feet, instead of 40.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the feature is referencing the stat block of a ghost. Typically a PC feature referencing a specific monster stat block would tell you where to find it, or provide the stat block inline. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 4, 2022 at 18:34

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