Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

D&D 5E – Falling Objects

falling-objects

Falling Objects

Just as characters take damage when they fall more than 10 feet, so to do they take damage when they are hit by falling objects. I was using these house rules for 3rd edition and they still work for 5th edition. I would typically allow a character to make a DC 15 DEX saving throw to jump out of the way and take no damage.

Objects that fall upon characters deal damage based on their weight and the distance they have fallen.

For objects weighing 200 pounds or more, the object deals 1d6 points of damage, provided it falls at least 10 feet. Distance also comes into play, adding an additional 1d6 points of damage for every 10-foot increment it falls beyond the first (to a maximum of 20d6 points of damage).

Objects smaller than 200 pounds also deal damage when dropped, but they must fall farther to deal the same damage. Use this table to see how far an object of a given weight must drop to deal 1d6 points of damage.

Object Weight Falling Distance Maximum damage
200 lb. or more 10 ft. 20d6
100-199 lb. 20 ft. 10d6
50-99 lb. 30 ft. 5d6
30-49 lb. 40 ft. 4d6
10-29 lb. 50 ft. 3d6
5-9 lb. 60 ft. 2d6
1-4 lb. 70 ft. 1d6

For each additional increment an object falls, it deals an additional 1d6 points of damage up to the maximum damage. Objects weighing less than 1 pound do not deal damage to those they land upon, no matter how far they have fallen.

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3 responses to “D&D 5E – Falling Objects

  1. Pingback: D&D 5E – Falling Objects — | MEASURELESS EONS

  2. Terra Alexstrasza April 5, 2017 at 12:07 am

    I have a character who currently weighs around 900 lbs and is 10 feet tall when fully upright, and has just learned that jumping on vampires will squash them. Our DM used the stats on this article for that. Do you feel that being absurdly higher than the 200 lb. mark listed here will denote less height needed for the 20d6 damage?
    200 lbs. is approximately 22% of 900 lbs. And 22% of 10 ft. is about 2.2 ft. So, at this point, it’s less a matter of how high she’s jumping and more a matter of weight vs. the carry strength of the victim with a dex save to catch me. So if the victim was capable of carrying 900 lbs., it’s basically just “do they catch me”, right?

    In the end, although this leaves my character prone after doing it, she will probably try doing it again.

    And I can’t legit find any solid articles about large characters jumping onto shit.

    P.S. My DM loved me rolling 20d6 because it was just hilarious.

    • Ronny April 5, 2017 at 9:42 am

      This bring up several points.

      1 – To directly address your question. I recommend not increasing the damage from heaver objects, or reducing the distance they have to fall to do damage. In my games, everything weighing 200 pounds or more does the same damage. This is the same amount of damage your character would receive if he fell onto the ground from that height. And a character receives no damage from a fall of under 10 feet.

      2 – I may be wrong, but from reading your question you may not be understanding the table correctly. It is showing how far an object of different weights has to fall in order to do 1d6 points of damage. An object weighing 200 pounds or more does 1d6 points of damage if it falls at least 10 feet, 2d6 if it falls 20 feet, etc. So it will have to fall 200 feet to do 20d6 damage. The Maximum damage column show the maximum amount of damage it can do regardless of how far it falls. And any object that falls less than 10 feet does no damage from the fall itself, but your DM may rule that it does some other type of damage depending on the object and the situation.

      3 – Jumping onto an opponent to smash him is a really cool idea, but it may be a little more complicated than you suggest.

      First, You will have to jump up at least 10 feet to fall far enough to do any damage from the fall. Here is the rule for jumping “When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing high jump, you can jump only half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement. In some circumstances, your DM might allow you to make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump higher than you normally can.” You would have to have a strength score of 24 to jump up 10 feet without a Strength (Athletics) check. That makes it almost impossible for you to jump high enough to do falling object damage to him. So in most cases it will be easier if you jump off of something like a balcony, a building, or a cliff.

      Second, This is an attack, so you would have to make a successfully attack roll. I would make this an opposed dex. check. If he doesn’t see you I would make you do a DC 15 Athletics check to hit him. Failure to hit him indicates that you miss him and land on the ground. If you miss, your character receives the falling damage. If you hit you both receive the same amount of damage. I do agree with your DM that this will leave you prone if you hit or if you miss. If you hit it will leave you both prone.

      Third, The rule says that your character receives 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6. This does not take into consideration your character’s weight. So I would have any PC that attempted to jumped down on an opponent receive 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen and his opponent would receive the same amount of damage if the attack is successful. I would use this rule regardless of the weight of the PC. Note that this completely ignores the above table.

      Because of the exceptional weight of your character, your DM may want to increase the amount of damage your PC does when he falls onto a monster. If I was the DM, I might rule that your falling damage doesn’t change, but the damage you do to someone you fall on is double the amount you receive. I might also rule that a light weight character, say someone under 100 lbs., does half damage to the monster.

      I will leave it up to your DM do decide how to handle it if your opponent wants to try to “catch” you.

      You may also want to look at what I had to say regarding falling damage:
      https://olddungeonmaster.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/dd-5e-house-rules-falling/

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