D&D: Five Spells For Making a Hasty Getaway
In D&D, making a hasty getaway can be the difference between a TPK and a much-needed long rest. These spells will help.
As Commander William T. Riker once said in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “how do you know my name?”
Granted, he was saying it in response to the challenge of knowing when to fight and when not to fight. Because as an old gambler once said, you’ve got to know when to walk away and know when to run.
Because you never know when the chips will be down. Or your number will be up. That’s when you’ve got to bravely run away. Retreating is an essential part of any fantasy story. Monty Python even wrote a song about it. Fortunately, this is D&D, and with the right spells, it’s easy to make a hasty getaway.
This one’s a gimme, it has retreat right there in the title. But it lets a Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard, or Artificer (or if you’re playing with Critical Role content, Oath of the Open Sea), pretend to be a Rogue or Monk for a little while. The spell lets you dash as a bonus action for 10 minutes—and crucially, it lets you dash when you cast the spell, which means you can effectively triple your movement speed. How? You move, dash (to move again) with your action, then dash as a bonus action. It goes even further if you have a way of increasing your movement speed.
While Longstrider might not be the best getaway spell on its own, it doesn’t require concentration, so you can effectively increase your maximum movement speed by 30 ft./round (meaning a baseline character goes 120 ft. in 6 seconds).
The ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card, and one of the best spells for getting away in a hurry. Sure, you have your Misty Step and your Thunder Step, which let you move quickly without worrying about the terrain, but their range is limited (30 and 90 ft. respectively) and you have to be able to see where you’re going. Not so with Dimension Door. You arrive exactly at the destination you intend (unless you would arrive in a place already occupied by an object or a creature), and you can travel up to 500 ft.
So not only are you well outside of their movement, you are probably even outside of their line of sight. Not bad for a spell that only requires verbal components, and can be cast even without an arcane focus or component pouch.
This isn’t necessarily the most hasty getaway in terms of covering the distance in small amounts of time, but it’s more about instantly being able to get away from whatever situation you’re in. You become an incorporeal mist and can fly and ghost away through even the smallest crack or narrowest opening. If you need to escape from somewhere more than someone, this spell is great. You won’t outrun anyone, though, at 10 ft/round.
They can’t catch you if you’re dead. This one’s a little riskier, but you can immediately drop into a state that’s indistinguishable from being dead. And, unless your DM is an absolute a-hole, it should get you away from most pursuers since you’ll be dead, and most people hate running.
Of course, sometimes you just gotta leave this reality behind and find a different, better one.