Swimming across a river, moving stealthily down an ancient corridor or climbing a steep slope are all important types of movement that take place in fantasy adventures. More often for longer forms of movement the GM summarize long periods of movement without needing to calculate distances or times. Even in a dungeon, you often can overlook the amount of time it takes to walk from one end of the hall to the other. In Combat or situations requiring time management, tracking distance speed becomes very important.
The rules for determining travel time depend on two factors: the speed and travel pace of the creatures moving and the terrain they’re moving over. Every character and monster has a speed, which is the distance in feet that the character or monster can walk in move action.
This number assumes short bursts of energetic movement in the midst of a life threatening situation. The following rules determine how far a character or monster can move in a minute, an hour, or a day.
While traveling, a group of adventurers can move at a normal, fast, or slow pace, as shown on the Travel Pace table above. The table states how far the party can move in a period of time and whether the pace has any effect. A fast pace makes characters less perceptive, while a slow pace makes it possible to sneak around and to search an area more carefully.
Forced March. The Travel Pace table assumes that characters travel for 8 hours in day. They can push on beyond that limit, at the risk of exhaustion. For each additional hour of travel beyond 8 hours, the characters cover the distance shown in the Hour column for their pace, and each character must make a Fortitude saving throw at the end of the hour. The DC is 10 + 1 for each hour past 8 hours. On a failed saving throw a character suffers fatigue.
Mounts and Vehicles. For short spans of time (up to an hour), many animals move much faster than humanoids. A mounted character can ride at a gallop for about an hour, covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace. If fresh mounts are available every 8 to 10 miles, characters can cover larger distances at this pace, but this is very rare except in densely populated areas. Characters in wagons, carriages, or other land vehicles choose a pace as normal. Characters in a waterborne vessel are limited to the speed of the vessel, and they don’t suffer penalties for a fast pace or gain benefits from a slow pace. Depending on the vessel and the size of the crew, ships might be able to travel for up to 24 hours per day.
Certain mounts or abilities grant access to flying, allowing you to travel more swiftly.
For every extra 5 ft of moment that is over 30 that a character can move increase the amount traveled on the chart by 10%. Similarly reduce it by 10% for slower characters such as Dwarves.
While traveling you may come across dangerous weather conditions or areas that impede your movement or are actively harmful. Such areas are refer to hazards and each has its own unique stat block. An example is listed below.
Notice/Geography DC : 18
Effect (Overland Travel) : When traveling through an area with quicksand the party must roll a notice check. For every 2 they fail the check by a party member or pack animal gets caught in the sand and you lose 4 hours of progress for the day.
Effect (Combat) : If you are unaware of quicksand at the start of the encounter you are entitled to a notice check when you move within 10 feet of it. If you do not notice the quicksand you fall into it. Most quicksand pits are 10 feet deep and cause you to become immobilized but you can spend an action attempting to swim out of it. This requires a DC 15 either Strength, Dexterity, or Athletics Check.
Some weather is dangerous or limiting to attempt movement through. These effects can range from a cold storm dealing non lethal damage and slowing down any overland travel to being deadly tempest whose lightning strikes have slain many.