Movement

There are three movement scales, as follows:

  • Tactical, for combat, measured in feet (or 5-foot squares) per round.
  • Local, for exploring an area, measured in feet per minute.
  • Overland, for getting from place to place, measured in miles per hour or miles per day.

Modes of Movement

While moving at the different movement scales, creatures generally walk, hustle, or run.

Walk

A walk represents unhurried but purposeful movement (3 miles per hour for an unencumbered adult human). A character moving his speed one time in a single round, is walking when he or she moves.

Hustle

A hustle is a jog (about 6 miles per hour for an unencumbered human). A character moving his speed twice in a single round, or moving that speed in the same round that he or she performs a standard action or another move action, is hustling when he or she moves.

Run (×3)

Moving three times speed is a running pace for a character in heavy armor (about 7 miles per hour for a human in full plate).

Run (×4)

Moving four times speed is a running pace for a character in light, medium, or no armor (about 12 miles per hour for an unencumbered human, or 9 miles per hour for a human in chainmail.) See Table: Movement and Distance for details.

Tactical Movement

Tactical movement is used for combat. Characters generally don't walk during combat, for obvious reasons—they hustle or run instead. A character who moves his speed and takes some action is hustling for about half the round and doing something else the other half.

Hampered Movement

Table: Hampered Movement
Condition Additional Movement Cost
Difficult Terrain 2
Obstacle* 2
Poor Visibility 2
Impassable --
*May require a skill check

Difficult terrain, obstacles, and poor visibility can hamper movement (see Table: Hampered Movement for details). When movement is hampered, each square moved into usually counts as two squares, effectively reducing the distance that a character can cover in a move.

If more than one hampering condition applies, multiply all additional costs that apply. This is a specific exception to the normal rule for doubling.

In some situations, your movement may be so hampered that you don't have sufficient speed even to move 5 feet (1 square). In such a case, you may use a full-round action to move 5 feet (1 square) in any direction, even diagonally. Even though this looks like a 5-foot step, it's not, and thus it provokes attacks of opportunity normally. (You can't take advantage of this rule to move through impassable terrain or to move when all movement is prohibited to you.)

You can't run or charge through any square that would hamper your movement.

Local Movement

Characters exploring an area use local movement, measured in feet per minute.

Walk

A character can walk without a problem on the local scale.

Hustle

A character can hustle without a problem on the local scale. See Overland Movement, below, for movement measured in miles per hour.

Run

A character can run for a number of rounds equal to his Constitution score on the local scale without needing to rest. See Combat for rules covering extended periods of running.

Overland Movement

Characters covering long distances cross-country use overland movement. Overland movement is measured in miles per hour or miles per day. A day represents 8 hours of actual travel time. For rowed watercraft, a day represents 10 hours of rowing. For a sailing ship, it represents 24 hours.

Walk

A character can walk 8 hours in a day of travel without a problem. Walking for longer than that can wear him out (see Forced March, below).

Hustle

A character can hustle for 1 hour without a problem. Hustling for a second hour in between sleep cycles deals 1 point of nonlethal damage, and each additional hour deals twice the damage taken during the previous hour of hustling. A character who takes any nonlethal damage from hustling becomes fatigued.

A fatigued character can't run or charge and takes a penalty of –2 to Strength and Dexterity. Eliminating the nonlethal damage also eliminates the fatigue.

Run

A character can't run for an extended period of time. Attempts to run and rest in cycles effectively work out to a hustle.

Terrain

The terrain through which a character travels affects the distance he can cover in an hour or a day (see Table: Terrain and Overland Movement). A highway is a straight, major, paved road. A road is typically a dirt track. A trail is like a road, except that it allows only single-file travel and does not benefit a party traveling with vehicles. Trackless terrain is a wild area with no paths.

Forced March

In a day of normal walking, a character walks for 8 hours. The rest of the daylight time is spent making and breaking camp, resting, and eating.

A character can walk for more than 8 hours in a day by making a forced march. For each hour of marching beyond 8 hours, a Constitution check (DC 10, +2 per extra hour) is required. If the check fails, the character takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A character who takes any nonlethal damage from a forced march becomes fatigued. Eliminating the nonlethal damage also eliminates the fatigue. It's possible for a character to march into unconsciousness by pushing himself too hard.

Mounted Movement

A mount bearing a rider can move at a hustle. The damage it takes when doing so, however, is lethal damage, not nonlethal damage. The creature can also be ridden in a forced march, but its Constitution checks automatically fail, and the damage it takes is lethal damage. Mounts also become fatigued when they take any damage from hustling or forced marches.

See Table: Mounts and Vehicles for mounted speeds and speeds for vehicles pulled by draft animals.

Waterborne Movement

See Table: Mounts and Vehicles for water vehicles.

Evasion and Pursuit

In round-by-round movement, when simply counting off squares, it's impossible for a slow character to get away from a determined fast character without mitigating circumstances. Likewise, it's no problem for a fast character to get away from a slower one.

When the speeds of the two concerned characters are equal, there's a simple way to resolve a chase: If one creature is pursuing another, both are moving at the same speed, and the chase continues for at least a few rounds, have them make opposed Dexterity checks to see who is the faster over those rounds. If the creature being chased wins, it escapes. If the pursuer wins, it catches the fleeing creature.

Sometimes a chase occurs overland and could last all day, with the two sides only occasionally getting glimpses of each other at a distance. In the case of a long chase, an opposed Constitution check made by all parties determines which can keep pace the longest.

If the creature being chased rolls the highest, it gets away. If not, the chaser runs down its prey, outlasting it with stamina.

Table: Movement and Distance

One Round (Tactical)*
Speed 15 feet 20 feet 30 feet 40 feet
Walk 15 ft. 20 ft. 30 ft. 40 ft.
Hustle 30 ft. 40 ft. 60 ft. 80 ft.
Run (×3) 45 ft. 60 ft. 90 ft. 120 ft.
Run (×4) 60 ft. 80 ft. 120 ft. 160 ft.
One Minute (Local)
Speed 15 feet 20 feet 30 feet 40 feet
Walk 150 ft. 200 ft. 300 ft. 400 ft.
Hustle 300 ft. 400 ft. 600 ft. 800 ft.
Run (×3) 450 ft. 600 ft. 900 ft. 1,200 ft.
Run (×4) 600 ft. 800 ft. 1,200 ft. 1,600 ft.
One Hour (Overland)
Speed 15 feet 20 feet 30 feet 40 feet
Walk 1-1/2 miles 2 miles 3 miles 4 miles
Hustle 3 miles 4 miles 6 miles 8 miles
Run
One Day (Overland)
Speed 15 feet 20 feet 30 feet 40 feet
Walk 12 miles 16 miles 24 miles 32 miles
Hustle
Run
* Tactical movement is often measured in squares on the battle grid (1 square = 5 feet) rather than feet.

Table: Mounts and Vehicles

Mount/Vehicle Per Hour Per Day
Mount (carrying load)
Light horse 5 miles 40 miles
Light horse (175–525 lbs.)1 3-1/2 miles 28 miles
Heavy horse 5 miles 40 miles
Heavy horse (229–690 lbs.)1 3-1/2 miles 28 miles
Pony 4 miles 32 miles
Pony (151–450 lbs.)1 3 miles 24 miles
Dog, riding 4 miles 32 miles
Dog, riding (101–300 lbs.)1 3 miles 24 miles
Cart or wagon 2 miles 16 miles
Ship
Raft or barge (poled or towed)2 1/2 mile 5 miles
Keelboat (rowed)2 1 mile 10 miles
Rowboat (rowed)2 1-1/2 miles 15 miles
Sailing ship (sailed) 2 miles 48 miles
Warship (sailed and rowed) 2-1/2 miles 60 miles
Longship (sailed and rowed) 3 miles 72 miles
Galley (rowed and sailed) 4 miles 96 miles

1 Quadrupeds, such as horses, can carry heavier loads than characters can. See Carrying Capacity for more information.
2 Rafts, barges, keelboats, and rowboats are most often used on lakes and rivers. If going downstream, add the speed of the current (typically 3 miles per hour) to the speed of the vehicle. In addition to 10 hours of being rowed, the vehicle can also float an additional 14 hours, if someone can guide it, adding an additional 42 miles to the daily distance traveled. These vehicles can’t be rowed against any significant current, but they can be pulled upstream by draft animals on the shores.

Table: Terrain and Overland Movement

Terrain Highway Road or Trail Trackless
Desert, sandy ×1 ×1/2 ×1/2
Forest ×1 ×1 ×1/2
Hills ×1 ×3/4 ×1/2
Jungle ×1 ×3/4 ×1/4
Moor ×1 ×1 ×3/4
Mountains ×3/4 ×3/4 ×1/2
Plains ×1 ×1 ×3/4
Swamp ×1 ×3/4 ×1/2
Tundra, frozen ×1 ×3/4 ×3/4

Special Movement Types

The following information is collected from various locations and placed here for your convenience.

Burrow

A creature with a burrow speed can tunnel through dirt, but not through rock unless the descriptive text says otherwise. Creatures cannot charge or run while burrowing. Most burrowing creatures do not leave behind tunnels other creatures can use (either because the material they tunnel through fills in behind them or because they do not actually dislocate any material when burrowing); see the individual creature descriptions for details.

Note: The details for Burrow were not included in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook so the above information was copied from d20srd.org.

Climb

A creature with a climb speed has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The creature must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC higher than 0, but it can always choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If a creature with a climb speed chooses an accelerated climb (see above), it moves at double its climb speed (or at its land speed, whichever is slower) and makes a single Climb check at a –5 penalty. Such a creature retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus to their attacks against it. It cannot, however, use the run action while climbing.

See the Climb skill for further details.

Fly

Creatures with a fly speed receive the Fly skill for free as a class skill.

Maneuverability: Creatures with a fly speed receive a bonus (or penalty) on all Fly checks depending on their maneuverability:

Maneuverability Modifier
Clumsy -8
Poor -4
Average +0
Good +4
Perfect +8

Creatures without a maneuverability rating are assumed to have average maneuverability and take no penalty on Fly checks.

Size: A creature larger or smaller than Medium takes a size bonus or penalty on Fly checks depending on its size category:

Size Modifier
Fine +8
Diminutive +6
Tiny +4
Small +2
Large -2
Huge -4
Gargantuan -6
Colossal -8

Note: See the Fly skill for further details.

Land

Land speed is the normal mode of movement for creatures that do not burrow, climb, fly, or swim.

Swim

A creature with a swim speed can move through water at its indicated speed without making Swim checks. It gains a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. The creature can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered when swimming. Such a creature can use the run action while swimming, provided that it swims in a straight line.

Note: See the Swim skill for further details.