This should be a really simple question but - can you 5-foot step while entangled in Pathfinder.

I can see arguments both ways as to whether you can but I cannot see anything definitive.

5' step says:

You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered by difficult terrain or darkness. Any creature with a speed of 5 feet or less can't take a 5-foot step, since moving even 5 feet requires a move action for such a slow creature.

Entangled says:

The character is ensnared. Being entangled impedes movement, but does not entirely prevent it unless the bonds are anchored to an immobile object or tethered by an opposing force. An entangled creature moves at half speed, cannot run or charge, and takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and a –4 penalty to Dexterity. An entangled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) or lose the spell.

It says they move at half speed, and specifically mentions run or charge but does not mention 5-foot step at all.

But 5-foot step implies (without saying so) that halved movement prevents you doing it.

Is there anything I've missed? Right now by my reading RAW says you can do it but I may have missed something.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note; if this is the Druid spell causing this effect; the entire area is difficult terrain so you can't 5' step anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    Apr 2, 2014 at 22:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Rob thanks Rob, in this case it's a summoner with Mud Elementals who entangle monsters when they hit them. Difficult terrain is clear :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim B
    Apr 3, 2014 at 6:07

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can five foot step while entangled as long as being entangled does not reduce your speed to 5. While entangled, your movement is not hampered by difficult terrain or darkness. I'd say that the condition specifically mentioning running and charging but not mentioning the five foot step is further evidence that you can still do it. Indeed, were running and charging not mentioned, I would argue that they are allowed as well (at half speed of course).


I would rule as DM myself it does prevent 5 foot step. By the very definition of the spell it creates difficult terrain( you gain the entangled condition ). So much that just casting in it requires DC check. There for impeding a non threatening 5 foot step. As character you would have to struggle just to move 5 feet.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you give a more thorough RAW argument for why entangling must imply difficult terrain? \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Feb 4, 2016 at 20:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While I would rule that way too, this question explicitly asks for RAW. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 4, 2016 at 22:23

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