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It's clear how a creature both grappled and prone can stand - they can't. But what about the one doing the grapple?

Assuming both grappler (speed of 60 feet) and grappled are prone*, how does the grappler stand?

PHB pg 190/191

Being Prone

Standing up takes more effort; doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed. For example, if your speed is 30 feet, you must spend 15 feet of movement to stand up.

PHB pg 195

Moving a Grappled Creature. When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved [..]

I can see three ways it can be interpreted:

  • The grappler has a speed of 60 feet. Standing up takes 30 feet. They stand, and only have 30 feet of movement left. Having someone grappled, they can only move 30 feet in any direction with the one they've grappled -- but they also have exactly 30 feet left. So they can move 30 feet in any direction with the one they grappled, so that being prone and grappling someone has no effect on you.

  • The grappler has a speed of 60 feet. Standing up takes 30 feet. They now have 30 feet left. Since they have someone else in a grapple, their speed is halved to 15 feet, and they can move with the grappled creature 15 feet.

  • The grappler has a speed of 60 feet. Since they have someone in a grapple, they only have 30 feet of movement. Standing up requires 30 feet of movement. So when they stand up, they have no movement left.

Also consider the case when the grappler has the Athletic feat, allowing them to stand up with only 5 feet of movement instead of half their total.

* They're both prone because the grappler jumped down onto an enemy, and grappled them as a bonus action via a Feat.

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There are two different things happening here: your movement speed being halved, and spending half your movement speed. These work differently, and the order matters. The end result is that the grappler can't move-drag after standing up from prone. Here's how it works:

  1. You start with your full movement speed.

    Let's use 60′ for the sake of example.

  2. Standing up costs half your movement.

    Your current speed is 60′, half of which is 30′. To stand up you spend 30′ of movement. Your speed is still 60′.

  3. Dragging while grappling halves your movement speed. Your movement speed this round has now been reduced to exactly how much you've already spent, so you will have 0 feet of movement to spend.

    Your current speed is 60′, but attempting to move-drag a grappled opponent changes it to 30′. You have already spent 30′ of movement and have zero feet left to spend.

The end result is that after standing up, you still have half your movement left, but as soon as you try to drag a grappled opponent you will have no movement left and remain where you are, so realistically you won't bother trying to drag that round. (You could still end the grapple and move your remaining half movement though, of course.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowRadiance Comments aren't provided to have discussions with, so I've cleaned those up. I also took the opportunity to clean the rest of the comments up (which are interesting reading but not useful for helping update the post) by moving them to a chat room, so you could continue the discussion there — see the next comment for the link. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 2 '18 at 1:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 2 '18 at 1:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is not a good construction of the meaning of the phrase "your movement speed is halved". Compare your character with 60 speed who stood from prone, to a character with 30 speed who did not. Each have 30 feet of movement left but you are construing that the first may not drag a grappled creature 15' but the second one can. ,'Your movement is halved' means your cost of moving 15' is 30 movement speed. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil S Apr 14 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSideDie The error lies in the assertion that "your current speed is 60', but attempting to move-drag a grappled opponent changes it to 30' ". The rules do not support this proposition. You may be confused by the section in the Rules regarding "Using Different Speeds" which relates to switching between walking and flying. Half speed is not a "different speed" in the way you are construing it. I will submit an answer myself when I can to expand on my thesis. Several related questions have accepted but erroneous answers which make the same mistake. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil S Apr 14 at 6:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have now submitted a competing answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil S Apr 15 at 7:21
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This answer, written a long time after this question was last addressed, contradicts the Accepted Answer which I submit is in error, as you will see.

Executive Summary:

The amount of distance a grappler can move after standing from prone is half their available movement, because standing consumed half of their initial available movement. Grappling does not change the rules related to standing from Prone.

Their remaining available movement will be modified by the grappling rules if they do not release the victim from the grapple.

Scenario 1

“The grappler has a speed of 60 feet. Standing up takes 30 feet. They stand, and only have 30 feet of movement left. Having someone grappled, they can only move 30 feet in any direction with the one they've grappled -- but they also have exactly 30 feet left. So they can move 30 feet in any direction with the one they grappled, so that being prone and grappling someone has no effect on you.”

Answer

No, intuitively not, because this would have them moving 30 feet forcing a grappled creature along with them, without suffering any movement penalty.

Let's look under the hood....

Grappler has speed of 60. He stands, using up half of his available movement. 30 feet remain.

Moving while grappling is covered by the Rule “speed is halved” (Chapter 9, page 77).

What do the Rules mean by “speed”? Which speed is halved, the 60 speed written on your Character Sheet or the 30 currently available to you?

Your speed as defined by the Rules is the distance in feet that the character or monster can walk in 1 round (Chapter 8, page 66). Or to paraphrase, the amount of movement available on your turn.

But we also know that the amount of movement available to you per turn (speed) changes during distinct phases because

However you’re moving, you deduct the distance of each part of your move from your speed until it is used up or until you are done moving. (Rules, Chapter 9, page 73, Movement and Position)

They realised that our speed might be modified differently, at different parts of our turn's movement.

After you have completed a "part of your movement" any subsequent part is distinct and separate and subject to whatever new conditions might be upon you. If part of your movement takes you through Difficult Terrain, only that part of your movement is penalised. If part of your movement takes you through the Area of Effect of Spirit Guardian, only that part of your movement is affected. If part of your movement has you penalised because you are standing from prone, only that part of your movement is penalised. And if part of your movement is used 'grapple-moving' only that part of your movement is penalised.

Putting it in another way, of your 60 feet of movement, you used half of it standing from prone. Were you moving while grappling as you did that? No, of course not. So the speed that is halved "when you are moving whilst grappling" excludes the first part of your movement which was not subject to that condition.

So, after you stand up from Prone, you deduct the distance of 30 feet from your movement, leaving you with available movement (60 minus 30) of 30. That part of your movement is completed and the appropriate amount has been deducted from your available movement.

Now the second part of your movement commences. Available movement (speed) is now 30; we halve it for the answer 15 and this is the distance in feet we can move a grappled creature in this scenario.

Scenario 2

“The grappler has a speed of 60 feet. Standing up takes 30 feet. They now have 30 feet left. Since they have someone else in a grapple, their speed is halved to 15 feet, and they can move with the grappled creature 15 feet.”

Answer

Yes, as above.

Scenario 3

“The grappler has a speed of 60 feet. Since they have someone in a grapple, they only have 30 feet of movement. Standing up requires 30 feet of movement. So when they stand up, they have no movement left.”

Answer

Absolutely not. They have a speed of 60, and it only costs them 30 feet to stand up. They have 30 feet remaining and it didn’t just evaporate simply because they are holding someone’s hand.

Unfortunately, this is the position put forth by the Accepted Answer. In addition to my analysis above, pointing to a different answer, I have shown at the end what I think is perhaps the flaw in that author's reasoning.

To finish off with your final question:

Scenario 4

“Also consider the case when the grappler has the Athletic feat, allowing them to stand up with only 5 feet of movement instead of half their total.”

Answer

This plays out as follows: Your speed is 60. Standing costs 5, leaving you with 55 feet remaining. Should you choose to move without releasing your grappled victim, you can move with them a further 27.5 feet. Rounded to 25 I suppose, if using the grid rules variant at Chapter 9, page 74.

Why the Accepted Answer is Incorrect

(with apologies and all due respect to @SevenSidedDie)

It assumes that you have 2 speeds, a normal speed of 60 and a "grappling speed" of 30. This is a fallacy. Half speed or "grappling speed" are not speeds, in the same way that walk speed 30 and flying speed 60 are speeds as indicated by the Rules at page 73 "Using Different Speeds". You are not "switching to grappling speed" in the same way that you might switch from walk speed to fly speed. So you cannot say "now that I am grappling my new speed is 30 and since I have moved 30 already I can no longer move".

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    \$\begingroup\$ So what is your answer? Can a grappler stand up from prone? How far can (s)he move afterwards? \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Apr 15 at 10:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor thanks for that feedback. I felt I had answered that by explaining that Scenario 2 is correct, but you made me realize a general answer to the question was missing. I have added an executive summary of my answer near the top. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil S Apr 15 at 15:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems to be supported by this sage advice which seems to describe "moving at half speed" as using an extra 1ft to move each 1ft. This definition of "moving at half speed" is also used in the Roll20 compendium/D&D Beyond wikis, and it fits the plain english definition of speed much more logically than the accepted answer. +1 \$\endgroup\$ – Klaycon Apr 16 at 16:41
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Your second scenario is correct. Standing uses half of your movement, reducing you to 30'. Moving with the grappled creature is done at half speed, similar to moving through difficult terrain. You can move an additional 15' with your remaining 30' of movement.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would you mind to place marks where you justify your explanation on? \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Dec 5 '17 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ That math doesn't seem right. Are you confusing this: "Attempting to carry or drag a grappled opponent halves your total speed, not your remaining movement." ? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Dec 5 '17 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the correct answer to the question. See my comment against the accepted answer, which is in error. 'Your movement speed is halved' means the same thing as 'you move at half speed'. No other construction makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil S Apr 13 at 16:32

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