In our campaign we are currently in the sewers, with most of the rooms being corridors in which only 2 PC of medium size can stand side by side, and dire rats (small creatures) are commom enemies.

One common situation as you can imagine is that the 4 PCs are walking through a corridor in a 2x2 formation and then dire rats appear for combat.

As said in the dandwiki:

You can move through a square occupied by a friendly character, unless you are charging. When you move through a square occupied by a friendly character, that character doesn’t provide you with cover.

And also on this article:

Enemies block your movement (with some exceptions). You can move through (but not stop in) squares your allies occupy.

So you CAN move through allies but you can't stop on the same space as your ally is. Following that:

  1. If I am behind my ally on my turn, and directly in front of him there is a dire rat, can I move forward to attack the rat?
  2. If I can, do I then stay in front of my ally now or I move back to where I previously was?
  3. Can the rats do the same thing?
  • \$\begingroup\$ I removed your 4th question item since it's unrelated to moving through allies/enemies. You are very welcome to ask it as a separate question though! You can see the removed text in the post edit history by clicking "edited [time] ago", if you need to copy it. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 24, 2016 at 16:13

3 Answers 3


If I am behind my ally on my turn, and directly in front of him there is a dire rat, can I move forward to attack the rat?

No. In order to attack the rat you have to stop moving. You can't stop in the square occupied by your ally. You can't move into any other square that you can reach the rat from.

The same rule applies to the rats.

This makes forcing combat into a narrow corridor to limit the number of opponents who can attack at once a viable tactic.

Talking about dire rats, considering they are small, if 2 medium creatures can stand side by side in the corridors then can 3 small sized creatures do the same?

No. Small creatures also take up one square of space.

Multiple Tiny, Diminutive, and Fine Creatures can fit in a single space.

Large, Huge, Gargantuan, and Colossal Creatures take up multiple spaces.


  • \$\begingroup\$ If at the end of his turn my ally takes a 5 feet step back, can I move diagonaly to the space he was? Would that generate an attack of oportunity? \$\endgroup\$
    – Manner
    Feb 24, 2016 at 11:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Manner, If you start diagonally behind your ally and your ally moves back (5 foot step or not), then you can move in in your turn if the rat does not take the free space first. Moving into a threatened area does not provoke a AoO. If I recall correctly, you can even take a diagonal 5 foot step to then fullround attack the rat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Me_Maikey
    Feb 24, 2016 at 12:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, taking a 5-foot step never provokes AoO. So, assuming that both you and your ally used 5-foot steps for this, neither of you will provoke AoOs. There is, of course, still the risk of the rat taking the square, in between the two characters' turns. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2016 at 21:13

No. In order to attack the rat, you need to stop moving.

The reason for this is simple, and the one you quoted. The full rules for movement through squares are on the SRD. In order to attack the rat, you need to stop moving, and you cannot stop moving in an occupied square.

Spring Attack does not work either, as it does not allow you to attack while moving, merely move before and after the attack.

Getting around the rats.

  • Overrun: Declare your move straight past your ally and the rat. The ally lets you through, and then declare that you want to Overrun the rat. Even if the rat chooses not to let you through, it should be easy to muscle your way past due to its Small size. Now you are on the other side and flanking the rats.
  • Tumble: A DC 25 check lets you move at half speed through an enemy's square. If you take a -10 penalty (effectively DC 35) that becomes full speed.
  • Teleportation: There are cheap items like Anklets of Translocation (Magic Item Compendium) that give you a short range teleport effect a few times a day. Dimension hop (the spell) teleports you 5ft/2 CL. The power of the same name is a flat 10ft teleport (and a swift action, at that). Simply teleport around the rats.
  • Reach weapons: Certain weapons (mostly polearms) will let you attack the rat without needing to be next to it. Yes, even through the square your buddy is standing in. You can also get reach through being Large sized, or through feats like Aberrant Reach.
  • Flight: You can share the same square as another creature if you're flying above it. As long as you have the ability to hover, you can just float above your friend. If not, you can fly over the rat, land on the other side, and attack it.
  • Mounts: Take advantage of mounted combat! A Small character riding a Medium mount is a great way to fit two combatants into one space, as long as the Medium creature is the right shape to be ridden.

Since the rats are unlikely to have access to these things, you can turn the narrow corridor into a tactical advantage for your team.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The rule says you may not "end your movement" in the same square as another creature. The attack mode of spring attack does not "end your movement" as movement after the attack is compulsory for the special attack. It is the same idea of a flowing motion as Ride-by-attack, Fly-by-attack, Shot on the Run or Mobile Spellcasting. You certainly would not say the flying attacker stops, attacks and resumes flight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giorin
    Feb 24, 2016 at 18:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Fly-by Attack has completely different language - "When flying, the creature can take a move action (including a dive) and another standard action at any point during the move." Compare that to Spring Attack's "When using the attack action with a melee weapon, you can move both before and after the attack." Flyby is one move, Spring Attack is two. \$\endgroup\$
    – SPavel
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I see no fundamental difference in these descriptions. In all cases you move before reaching a clearly defined point of attack, attack and move on. The rest is fluff. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giorin
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:18
  1. You may not voluntarily end your move in an occupied square. So this works only if you got the Spring Attack feat

When using the attack action with a melee weapon, you can move both before and after the attack, provided that your total distance moved is not greater than your speed. PHB p.100

  1. If you have Spring Attack you have to go back to an unoccupied square. Your move has to be sufficient to do so, otherwise you cannot make the Spring Attack.

  2. Only if they got Spring Attack (replacing Alertness or due to advancement).


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