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Does a Monk/Druid multiclass character's Unarmored Movement feature add to their speed while in Wild Shape?

Starting at 2nd level Monk, they have +10 speed, but does this bonus apply when they are in Wild Shape?

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To start with, Wild Shape says:

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so.

Unarmored Movement is a feature from the Monk class. So, assuming you Wild Shape into something that is capable of movement, it should benefit your Wild Shape.

There is one point worth considering, though. Unarmored Movement says:

Starting at 2nd level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield.

Many of the forms you can take with Wild Shape have natural armor, and an extremely strict DM might rule that this counts as armor and prevents your Unarmored Movement from functioning.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would say that natural armor is not being "worn", but that may be a matter of opinion. \$\endgroup\$ – Thyzer Jul 2 '16 at 17:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Thyzer I'd agree with you! That's why I said an extremely strict DM. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 2 '16 at 17:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I remember it being said by one of the devs that natural armour does not count as worn armour, possibly in a tweet, but I haven't looked. \$\endgroup\$ – Zso Jul 2 '16 at 20:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: While using Wild Shape, do I use Unarmored Defense or the creature's Armor Class? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 9 '18 at 17:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, Crawford clearly confirms here that Unarmored Movement applies while in Wild Shape: sageadvice.eu/2015/01/26/monkdruid-unarmored-movement \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 9 '18 at 17:40
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RAW I see nothing in either power that would prevent them working together. The wild shape form is pretty much always Unarmored and wild shape specifies that any other class powers (including powers from other classes) other than spell casting are usable as long as they make sense for the beast form to be able to use.

So, as an example, a Druid 10 / Monk 10 could wild shape into a Warhorse, and have speed 80 (warhorse base 60 +20 from monk) and also from the monk lvl 9 unarmored movement improvement, run along walls or across the surface of water.

But if you wild shaped and then one of your party members put barding on you you'd lose the unarmored movement bonuses until you took it off again.

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Yes, the speed increase from Unarmored Movement applies while in Wild Shape

The druid's Wild Shape feature description mentions:

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.

The monk's Unarmored Movement feature description says:

Starting at 2nd level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield. This bonus increases when you reach certain monk levels, as shown in the Monk table.

Nothing in the Unarmored Movement feature specifies a necessary anatomy in order to take advantage of the feature, only that you can't be wearing armor or wielding a shield. Thus, you gain the benefit of the feature while in Wild Shape.


There's no official ruling on this question in the Sage Advice Compendium (2019). However, D&D 5e rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially answers this question on Twitter here very clearly:

"RAW,would a monk/druid retain Unarmored Movement while shifted?"

Yes.

The descriptions of the two features directly support this ruling. Nothing prevents the benefit of Unarmored Movement from applying to a multiclassed druid/monk in Wild Shape.

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