Can You Hold Movement in D&D? (Solved for Beginners)

In your D&D campaign, you will often take part in epic encounters and intense fights, with several ways of responding (i.e., attack, dodge, movement, etc).

Can you hold movement in D&D?

You can hold movement in D&D. You can ready an action such as moving away from a threat, chasing a Non-Player Character, or moving through an enemy. To hold movement, you must decide on a trigger and action to hold in advance. You can choose not to perform a held action when a trigger occurs.

In this article, we’ll look at the most important details of holding movement in D&D.

What Is Movement in D&D?

In Dungeons and Dragons, movement is the physical action of your character transitioning from place to place. This can include walking a few feet, jumping up to a ledge, chasing an enemy, or sneaking down a dungeon corridor—all things your characters do every day.

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Warrior with shield in a forest—Can You Hold Movement in D&D
Image by the author via Canva—Can You Hold Movement in D&D?

A movement is a tool that can help you avoid your opponent’s attacks, escape from a dangerous, scenario and outmaneuver an enemy.

Your characters remain in constant motion while in combat, especially when you use the official D&D movement rules. You can even use movement to ready actions for when an enemy attacks. This gives your character the ability to move out of harm’s way and counterattack.

In short, movement allows characters more strategy in combat tactics.

For example:

  • A fighter can move out of the reach of a goblin’s attack.
  • A mounted archer can ride to archery range.
  • A rouge can escape into a network of shadowy corridors.
  • A wizard can softly step into a dragon’s den.

You can combine different modes of movement—like climbing or swimming—with walking, or each can constitute an entire singular move. Keep in mind the distance of each move gets deducted from your speed until you’re done moving.

Related: D&D and Bonus Actions: 11 Things You Need To Know

Here is a good video that further explains movement in D&D:

YouTube video by How to D&D—Can you hold movement in D&D?

Can You Hold Movement in D&D? (Example Uses)

Holding movement is now called “Ready an action.”

While you can’t hold your initiative to act on another initiative count, you can ready movement. That means that when your turn comes around, you ready an action that you want to perform.

It’s a great way to escape fromsticky situations, whittle down an enemy’s hit points with ranged attacks, or mislead your adversaries.

You can also use hold movement in several other ways.

You can use this tactic constantly in your D&D games because it lets you proatcively prepare for whatever your Dungeon Master (DM) throws at you.

You can use hold movement to:

  • Ready an escape
  • Ready a chase
  • Ready a movement toward or through an enemy

How Does Holding Movement Work in Dungeons and Dragons?

Movement is a vital part of 5th edition gameplay (and 6th edition as well). It makes every character’s experience more dynamic.

But how does it work?

First, there are some rules you must follow. For instance, you must define your character’s trigger before you make a move. That means pre-determining an action based on a specified trigger (before your turn).

It could be something like, “If my opponent moves from its current location, then I will do a certain thing.”

From here, you choose the appropriate action you will take. The response can be something like, “I’ll ready a move away from him.”

You typically can’t move or attack multiple times on your turn.

But you can do something else that includes shifting position up to half of your speed.

If the trigger happens before any other action, your character can use the reaction to hold or take the readied action.

If the defined trigger fails to happen, the character loses the action.

When you hold your movement action, you can move up to double your speed during the round.

If you use the Dash action, moving more than double your speed doesn’t cost you extra movement.

Can You Hold Movement in D&D? (Limitations)

There are limitations for holding movement in D&D.

Here are a few rules to follow:

  • If you hold your movement, you cannot take the dodge action. That’s because you’re reading an attack action instead of a movement action.
  • You can’t use the Dash action on your turn when you hold your movement. That’s because you’ll need another regular action to Dash.
  • You can’t take the disengage action when you are holding your movement. That’s because it is a bonus action, not an action.
  • Holding movement consumes your reaction. That means you can’t perform an opportunity attack and ready action at the same round.
  • Spells that require concentration cannot be used while your character holds a movement.

Who Can Hold Movement in D&D?

In the latest editions of D&D (5th and 6th edition), as long as you have a Dexterity modifier of + 1 or higher, you can hold movement. It isn’t just limited to Rogues and Rangers.

Monks are another excellent option for holding their movement.

Their Unarmored Defense lets them take the dodge action while reading action. With an AC of 16 + Dex modifier, they get protection against incoming attacks.

Additionally, you can’t ready action if your speed is zero or you have no movement left. If you have zero speed and no bonus action, that means you can’t hold movement.

To move in this prone state, you must crawl—an interesting option in any adventure.

You can also use magic items like teleportation.

When Can You Hold Movement in DND?

You can hold movement anytime that you want in DND.

During combat, you can look for a way to gain an advantage over the opponents through superior positioning. While there are several ways to do so, holding movement can help you gain a better position.

However, it’s crucial that you consider what could happen before choosing this option.

Timing is also very important.

You can hold movement at any time but you can only release your movement during your turn.

It is essential to remember that your character might not get the opportunity to utilize the held movement.

That means you must weigh the benefits and risks before doing so.

Besides that, it’s helpful to consider all the abilities, items, and spells that come into play. If your character has multiple forms of movement available to them, it’s not always wise to hold movement.

On the flip side, if holding movement helps you gain an edge over your foes or outwit your DM, it might be a good idea to hold movement.

Where Can You Hold Movement in D&D?

You can hold movement anywhere in a D&D game. As long as your Dungeon Master allows it, your character can hold movement in any location during a D&D campaign.

You can hold movement in:

  • Towns
  • Dungeons
  • Castles
  • Deserts
  • Forests
  • Fields
  • Mountains
  • Anywhere!

Use the “hold action” rule if you’re in any location where speeding up or slowing down will let you avoid danger or get into an advantageous position.

Can You Hold a Dash Action?

You can not hold a dash action if you follow the official rules in Dungeons and Dragons.

However, if you hold movement, you can:

  • Move your character’s speed
  • Move your character’s speed again (using your readied movement)

Keep in mind that you must pre-determine your held movement (move away, move toward, etc) and the trigger.

And, you can only move on your turn.

Final Thoughts: Can You Hold Movement in D&D?

Movement in D&D is a basic action that you will take over and over again during gameplay.

To use it wisely, it’s helpful to know as much as possible about D&D actions, weapons, and possibilities.

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