In this question about forced movement into dangerous spaces, an answer refers to "hindering terrain", which is a category I haven't seen before. It included a quote from a WotC faq that stated

Hindering terrain refers to more permanent features like pits, cliffs or pools of lava.

What is the full definition? Where is it defined?


Hindering terrain is defined in the new Rules Compendium (207). It is terrain that punishes creatures for entering/being in them.

The examples of hindering terrain are pits, electrifying runes, lava and deep water.

A creature can make a saving throw when it is pulled, pushed, slid, or teleported into hindering terrain.

In short, hindering terrain is whatever the DM or module says is hindering terrain. When a DM describes the battlefield to the players he should be explicit as to which terrain that they can see is hindering.

  • Zones are not hindering terrain.
  • Cliffs are not hindering terrain. Forced movement grants a saving throw if the target is forced over a precipice or into hindering terrain (Rules Compendium p212).

An earlier definition of Hindering Terrain is in the Dungeon Masters Guide p61. That definition says that Hindering Terrain prevents movement or severely punishes it. Preventing movement is no longer part of the definition of Hindering Terrain. Preventing movement is handled under Blocking Terrain.


You can probably add gimmicky teleports to the list of pseudo-hindering terrain. I teleport you 6 squares straight up? Lets roll a save first.

Anything that either does massive damage (ie more damage than a daily, ie lava, drowning, etc) or instantly removes/reduces a creatures ability to fight by a massive margin (consider a pit more as soemthing that would require a minute and maybe some help to get out of, removing a creature for a minute from combat is amazing for a power rather than a pit trap).

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    \$\begingroup\$ p213 of the Rules Compendium - if arriving in the destination space would cause the target to fall or if that space is hindering terrain. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Ludwig Sep 23 '10 at 14:28

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