D&D 5E Travel Speed: movement rates Making sense

Travel speed in d&d 5e travel speed is measured in feet per turn (6 seconds). This works well for game mechanics but it can be difficult for players to visualise this movement in terms we understand, such as car speeds, track speeds, and the speeds we use daily.

Mykelion, an Elf Ranger, moves 30 feet per second down the dungeon corridor to the exit. This is how it compares to someone walking down the hallway of his office.

Mykelion is wearing leather armor, and carrying a full-sized pack of gear. He hears his companion growl and runs towards the exit (move + dash =60’/turn). This is how it would compare to someone carrying groceries and sprinting to catch an elevator. Is his/her speed around 60 mph?

D&D 5e travel speed Calculations

  • 1 turn = 6 Seconds
  • 30’/turn = 30ft/6seconds or 300ft/minute
  • Or 18,000 feet/hour
  • 1 miles = 5280 feet
  • 18,000 feet / 5280ft = 3.4 mi per hour
  • A speed of 30’/turn equals 3.4 mph (5.8 km/h)
  • 100m = 328ft

Here are some examples of movements that have been converted to D&D 5E travel speed

Let’s say that a college student carries a backpack filled with books. A backpack full of books would be equivalent to the character.

  • A speed of 30 mph would translate into a walking speed equivalent to 3.4 mph.
  • Sprinting is dead, this student can only fast jog at 6.8 miles per hour or 60 feet/turn.

The treadmill was set at 6.8 mph, and I could maintain this speed for quite a while. It’s not a sprint, but it is fast.

This college student could run faster than the D&D 5E travel speed race by putting on running shoes and dropping the books. A full sprint could see an athlete reach speeds of 170’/turn and hold that speed for only 2 turns before they become exhausted. This speed is equivalent to running the 100m in 12 seconds (faster that).

Usain Bolt averages 23 MPH over 100m, and D&D 5E travel speed speeds translate to approximately 200’/turn.

  • A character must sprint 400m at 130 mph and takes 1 minute to exhaustion.
  • A character who can run 6-7 minutes would be able to do it at 80’/turn.

These speeds aren’t those of Olympic champions, but those of an average athlete competing against the competition. The character would feel exhausted at the end of each sprint and have to run at half speed until CON saves are made.

Note: A military website states that modern soldiers with body armor can march 3 miles at 3.5 mph (or 30’/turn) before stopping to rest. This is the closest example of a character carrying weapons or armor through a forest, dungeon, or for extended periods of time at 30 mph. This would mean that your D&D 5E travel speed adventure should require that your characters take a break every 3 miles.

Dungeons and Dragons adventures can be found in the Tomb of Horrors, the back alleys of Waterdeep or navigating through thick jungles on Isle of Dread. You might find dark secrets, sinister plots and hidden ruins, or your character may encounter foul monsters. If all goes well, your character can claim rich rewards and embark on another adventure.

This section provides an overview of the essentials of adventuring, including the mechanics and complexities of social interaction. This section also contains information about resting and the possible activities your character might engage in between adventures.

The DM will determine the required time for a task in situations where time tracking is crucial. Depending on the circumstances, the DM may use a different timescale. The adventurers move in dungeon environments on a time scale of just minutes. They take about one minute to crawl down a long hallway. Then it takes another minute to look for traps at the end of the hall. Finally, they need to spend a good ten minute searching the chamber for any valuable or interesting items.