Several abilities available to monsters or PC's have the trigger "Whenever a creature moves willingly...", for example, "Until the end of your next turn, whenever the target willingly moves to a square further away from you, it takes 1d6 + Intelligence modifier force and lightning damage."

Some powers with the Fear keyword force a creature to, for example, "move its speed in the most direct way from the attacker" or "move its speed away, using the path of least harm".

This is not forced movement, but does it count as the creature "moving willingly"?


1 Answer 1



This is not willing movement.

Forced movement is different from unwilling movement, in that unwilling movement is subject to difficult terrain and opportunity attacks (as normal movement). However, unwilling movement is not subject, as you say, to game mechanics that are driven by willing movement.

RC p200

Willing Movement

Movement of any sort that a creature does of its own free will. Any other sort of movement, such as forced movement, is unwilling.

So, since this is not movement of it's own free will, it is not willing movement.

Some forced movement can also be willing movement (such as when it's your power that allows you to slide yourself or allies).

So there are basically two axes of movement, forced-vs-unforced and willing-vs-unwilling, that create four quadrants of movement, (forced willing, forced unwilling, unforced willing and unforced unwilling).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see any guidelines in the Rules Compendium, beyond what you posted, for determining what is and is not willing movement. I can't think of any powers that specify whether the movement they grant is willing or not. It seems it would be entirely up to DM interpretation. For instance, I would probably consider movement induced by fear to be willing. The creature was frightened, and decided to move; as opposed to domination, where the creature has no choice. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    May 6, 2015 at 0:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DCShannon There are two places where it talks about willing vs unwilling movement, it's in the section I quoted and in the forced movement section (it specifies that forced movement can be either). While it's not explicit, willing movement seems like things that you do to yourself or allies, whereas unwilling movement is things you're forced to do (Deadly Lure would be a good example of unwilling unforced movement) \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    May 6, 2015 at 0:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Willing = allies and unwilling = enemies is a reasonable interpretation (that's absent from your answer), I'm just pointing out that in lieu of a more specific citation, it is an interpretation. Looking through the PH now, I do see some powers with 'willing' in the target line, and on page 57 it says that 'ally' assumes 'willing'. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    May 6, 2015 at 0:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I kind of agree with @DCShannon here, it seems to me that fear induced movement is very much willing, as a scared person would be unwilling to stay near what is scaring them. Seems like a situation where D&D phrasing can get really confusing against what makes sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    May 7, 2015 at 9:19

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