Water Walk in DnD 3.5e specifies ice among the surfaces Water Walk lets you traverse as if it were solid ground, eliminating the difficult terrain penalties ice normally imposes:

The transmuted creatures can tread on any liquid as if it were firm ground. Mud, oil, snow, quicksand, running water, ice, and even lava can be traversed easily, since the subjects’ feet hover an inch or two above the surface. (Creatures crossing molten lava still take damage from the heat because they are near it.) The subjects can walk, run, charge, or otherwise move across the surface as if it were normal ground.

If the spell is cast underwater (or while the subjects are partially or wholly submerged in whatever liquid they are in), the subjects are borne toward the surface at 60 feet per round until they can stand on it.

Water Walk in DnD 5e omits ice from the list of affected terrain:

This spell grants the ability to move across any liquid surface—such as water, acid, mud, snow, quicksand, or lava—as if it were harmless solid ground (creatures crossing molten lava can still take damage from the heat). Up to ten willing creatures you can see within range gain this ability for the duration.

If you target a creature submerged in a liquid, the spell carries the target to the surface of the liquid at a rate of 60 feet per round.

Has there been any clarification that allows ice?

Please cite source sites.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh. I never realised that 3.5rd edition considered ice to be a liquid. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 5:04
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ In general, it's better to assume that 5e means what it says - it doesn't link to earlier editions for rule detail \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 6:54
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Ice is slippery because a thin layer of water is formed when you step on it, so on could make an argument that you could walk on that. \$\endgroup\$
    – yinzanat
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @yinzanat Is D&D 5e that granular? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 10, 2016 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


The rule clearly states that the effect applies to "any liquid surface", giving "water" as an example. Ice is a "solid substance produced by the freezing of water vapour or liquid water". It is not a liquid. The rule does not apply to ice.

The new rule is significantly different to the old one. It no longer involves "the subjects’ feet hover[ing] an inch or two above the surface", and it removes the only solid substance from the list of examples. This suggests the change was intentional, and was not merely an oversight.

There is no reference to Water Walk in the 5e Errata or in the Sage Advice rules articles. A search for the phrase "water walk" on the D&D site reveals no other articles mentioning it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; the conversation about how to classify the physical state of snow has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly water walk would allow you to hover over extremely thin ice, assuming there was water underneath it. But yeah, no hovering over icebergs. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 0:13

Arguably mud and lava are a semi-solids. Snow is technically a crystalline solid. In the phrase "liquid surface" if you read "liquid" as an adjective instead of part of a compound noun, interpretation could allow for more mixed material: sludgy ice for example. I don't find descriptions are suitably written for such close interpretation; which leaves a lot of things indeterminate. As DM, I will sometime rule it, and sometimes its more fun to leave players with "you don't know if it will work, but you can try the spell to find out!"

(Colloquially ice sludge is called "slob ice" here, and I remember running across ice pans in the harbour trying to make them tip over when I was young and stupid. Now I am merely old and boring!)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and have a look at the help center to get a feel for how this Q&A site works. This answer would be improved by directly addressing the question (do include your recommended ruling, which is already there). As it's written now, it addresses the question partially at best. The question (long on background) holds a bottom line request for clarification of 5th edition's rules. Adding that sort of substance (to go along with the rest of your reply) would strengthen this answer so that it stands on its own. Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 10, 2016 at 17:44

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