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In 5e, a player who is grappling has their movement speed halved. However, a player with two hands can grapple two opponents.

As the wording seems to indicate that the movement speed penalty applies due to the grappling status, does that mean that a player grappling two opponents is doubly penalized?

If so, how would it apply: is your speed reduced to 0 ([1 - 0.5] - 0.5), or a quarter of your regular speed ([1 / 2] / 2)?

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It's reduced to a quarter of your regular speed

Moving a Grappled Creature. When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you, but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

So when you want to start dragging one creature, that will halve your speed. If your speed was 40 its now 20. In addition to dragging the first creature you want to drag a second creature, which again applies the halving, so your current speed of 20 is now 10.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting you can drag only one creature at a time and not break grapple on the other if you stay within 5 feet of them \$\endgroup\$ – Ringo_St R May 17 '16 at 19:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would you avoid the double penalty if you only dragged one at a time, IE in a circle around the first one? \$\endgroup\$ – Carpe CM May 17 '16 at 19:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Exactly that. You could even walk them in a staggering pattern but I don't think you'd gain any movement that way. \$\endgroup\$ – Ringo_St R May 17 '16 at 19:43
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It Does Not Stack

It is very important to know exactly what the rules say here.

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, unless the creature is two or more sizes smaller than you.

Note here that it says "your speed" and not "your remaining speed" -- your speed is always constant.

So if you are a human with a speed of 30 ft, your speed is halved to 15 feet. If you grapple a second creature, your speed is halved again to 15 feet -- but it doesn't matter at that point, since it was already halved the first time to the exact same value.


A related question which explains how the movement speed penalty works: How Do Grapplers Stand If Prone?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Worth pointing out that "your speed is halved" is not the same as "movement costs are doubled" \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M May 18 '16 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM Yup. Though, while this is strictly true, I haven't found a scenario yet where they produced different results in terms of how far you can move. \$\endgroup\$ – user27327 May 18 '16 at 0:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ How about climbing over difficult terrain while moving a grappled creature? \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M May 18 '16 at 1:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ringo_StR Your character sheet has a section that says "speed" \$\endgroup\$ – user27327 May 18 '16 at 3:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ It also has a section marked AC. That is modified constantly. Even attributes can be temporarily modified \$\endgroup\$ – Ringo_St R May 18 '16 at 3:11

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