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.


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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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

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