#RPGaDay2021 – Move

Let’s assume you want to replicate medieval travel in your fantasy world.

How fast can people move and how do people typically move?

Most people walk, and most people don’t ever stray more than five to ten miles from their home at any point in their lives, save maybe for a pilgrimmage. Serfs have to ask permission from their lords to travel outside their Lord’s territory, so a lot will depend on them.

Your average peasant, out walking, can cover perhaps 3 miles an hour or 20 miles in day, barring interruptions.

Professional couriers could move more swiftly, as much 30-40 miles in a day.

An ox cart could carry a lot, but slowly, only make 10 miles in a day.

A horse cart might make 20 miles in a day.

Purely on horseback, you might make 40-60 miles in a day, but for most, horse travel was limited to nobility and knights.

Soldiers (closest to adventurers perhaps) might march 20 miles in a day, in full gear with a pack, and still have the energy to fight at the end of it.

A carriage drawn by a team of horses might be able to make as much as 50-75 miles in a day, more and faster if there are changes of horses available.

A medieval sailing ship might cover an average of 5 miles per hour (120 miles in a day), though in fantasy games ship technology is typically more advanced and akin to Renaissance technology, though the speed isn’t that different, perhaps 8 mph. With fair wind and conditions, a ship could travel twice as fast. Sea turtles can swim at up to 10mph, for comparison.

This likely makes very clear just how disruptive and special magical transportation can be.