Dash action in DnD 5E explained

Gain extra movement on the battlefield with Dash 5E. Learn the dynamics of rushing through danger zones.

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In DnD 5E there are certain actions that are available to all creatures, no matter their class or statblock, or whether they’re a PC or NPC. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at one of those actions that could save your life, or help you end a monster’s faster, the Dash action.

How the Dash action works

Taking the Dash action gives you additional movement, equal to your speed, for the current turn. For a character with a walking speed of 30ft, this means their movement for that turn would increase to 60ft. This bonus includes any modifiers to your speed, meaning a 4th level Human Monk would be able to move 80ft in a single turn if they used the Dash action. Another example of a modifier working like this would be a Dwarf Wizard using Longstrider on themselves, this would give them a speed of 35ft, so dashing would increase their movement to 70ft for that turn.

This also applies to negative modifiers, for example, if you got hit by Ray of Frost your speed would decrease for one turn by 10ft. For a character with a 30ft speed, this would reduce their speed to 20ft, and taking the Dash action would increase this to 40ft.

A situation that often causes confusion is when you Dash after standing up from being prone, which costs half of your movement. For a 30ft character standing up from prone would leave them with 15ft remaining, and dashing would increase that to 45ft.

Ways to Dash more

Improving the value of your Dash is as simple as finding whatever speed boost best applies to you, but what about if you want to Dash more than once in a turn? Or you’d rather Dash as a bonus action to do other cool things at the same time? We’ve got you covered, here are the ways you can Dash more per turn:

  • Cunning Action, the Rogue’s 2nd level ability, allows you to Dash as a bonus action.
  • Step of the Wind, the Monk’s 2nd level ability, allows you to Dash as a bonus action by spending 1 Ki point.
  • Expeditious Retreat, a 1st level spell available to Artificers, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards, allows you to Dash as a bonus action, including the bonus action you use to cast the spell.
  • Action Surge, the Fighter’s 2nd level ability, gives you an entire second action that you can use for the Dash action.
  • Haste, a 3rd level spell, provides a limited second action that can be used for the Dash action. This spell is available to Artificers, Sorcerers, Wizards, Glory Paladins, Vengeance Paladins, Horizon Walker Rangers, and Circle of the Land (Grassland) Druids.
  • Totem Barbarians that take the 3rd level Eagle ability can Dash as a bonus action.
  • Battlerager Charge, the Battlerager Barbarian’s 10th level ability, allows you to Dash as a bonus action as long as you’re raging.

How to roleplay the Dash action

Need some help roleplaying the Dash action? Here are some examples to help you out:

  • You move quickly, using your full movement to sprint towards your target. As you close in, you feel the wind rushing past you, your heart pounding in your chest. You can almost hear your own breaths as you come closer and closer to your goal.
  • With a burst of speed, you push yourself to move faster than you ever have before. Your legs pump with incredible strength as you cover ground in record time. You almost feel like you’re flying, but the ground beneath you tells you otherwise.
  • You focus all of your energy on moving as quickly as possible. Your strides become longer and more powerful, propelling you forward at an astonishing pace. You can see your destination ahead of you, and you’re determined to get there in record time.
  • You channel all of your adrenaline into your legs, making them feel like they’re on fire as you charge forward. The world around you blurs as you move faster and faster, and you feel invincible in this moment.
  • You put your head down and pump your arms as hard as you can, driving yourself forward with all your might. Your breaths come in quick gasps as you pour every ounce of your strength into the sprint. You’re not sure if you can maintain this pace for long, but you’re determined to try.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful and that it hasn’t dashed any of your build ideas. If Cunning Action has stolen your attention then check out our Rogue 5E guide, or if you’re interested in more content like this then check out our how to play section. Until next time may your dashing be swift, and your cramps infrequent.

Expert Editor-in-Chief