Swimming or Drowning in Armor?

Swimming (or drowning) in Armor

House rule: 

  • I think this rule makes sense: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Underwater_Combat_(5e_Variant_Rule):


    Unless you have a swim speed, swimming is treated like difficult terrain effectively halving movement. Your underwater swimming speed is the same as your surface swimming speed. Your armor and encumbrance will have an uncontrolled affect on your swim speed and direction. In addition to the intended, spent, movement that the character does, the character will also move straight down at 5 feet per round if holding the equivalent of light armor, or 15 feet per round if holding the equivalent of medium armor, or 25 feet per round if holding the equivalent of heavy armor. An athletics (swim) check of DC equal to the character’s AC (without magic bonuses, but with disadvantage if armor gives the stealth disadvantage) will half this sinking movement. This will likely require the character to spend some, if not all, their movement to counter the downward sinking movement, or speed their descent if this is their desired movement direction.


  • This seems more appropriate, especially in Saltmarsh. I appreciate that 5e has simplified the rules, but in this case, I think they’ve simplified too much.

Additional Thoughts: