Calculating Falling Damage 5e: A Quick Guide

In the world of D&D 5e, falling from great heights can be a perilous situation that can lead to serious consequences for adventurers. Understanding the rules and calculations surrounding falling damage is crucial for creating exciting narratives and challenging encounters.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the process step by step, explaining the concept of falling damage in D&D 5e, the factors that come into play when determining the severity of the damage, and how to utilize the rulebook guidelines to calculate the damage accurately.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding how to calculate falling damage is essential for realistic gameplay in D&D 5e.
  • Falling damage is influenced by various factors such as height, dice rolls, and damage reduction.
  • Environmental factors and exceptional circumstances may affect the calculation of falling damage.
  • Player characters may possess abilities or features that impact falling damage.
  • By following the guidelines in this guide, you can create a more immersive and engaging game experience.

Falling Damage in D&D 5e

Before delving into the calculation process, it’s essential to understand the concept of falling damage in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (5e). Falling damage occurs when a character drops from a height or is forced downward due to external forces within the game.

In D&D 5e, the rules governing falling damage aim to provide a sense of realism while balancing the gameplay. The severity of the damage depends on various factors, including the character’s height of the fall and how they land upon impact.

When a character falls from a height, the Dungeon Master determines the amount of falling damage based on a specific calculation. This calculation follows a consistent framework that helps maintain game balance and fairness. By understanding these rules, players and Dungeon Masters can ensure a more immersive and realistic gameplay experience.

The official rulebook guidelines for falling damage in D&D 5e state that the damage incurred is determined by 1d6 for every 10 feet fallen, up to a maximum of 20d6. For example, if a character falls 30 feet, they would take 3d6 falling damage upon impact.

It’s worth noting that some character abilities or features may modify or mitigate falling damage. For instance, certain spells or class features may allow characters to reduce the damage taken or even negate it entirely.

To provide further clarity on the rules surrounding falling damage in D&D 5e, let’s delve into the factors that can affect the severity of the damage:

1. Character’s Height of the Fall:

The height from which a character falls directly influences the amount of damage they will take. The more significant the fall, the more severe the potential damage. However, it’s important to remember that the damage is not solely dependent on the height but is calculated in increments of 10 feet.

2. Landing Safely:

In some cases, a character may attempt to mitigate falling damage by performing specific actions or using abilities that allow for a safer landing. This can reduce or even nullify the damage taken, emphasizing the importance of character development and strategy within the game.

To summarize, understanding the concept and mechanics of falling damage in D&D 5e is crucial for immersive and realistic gameplay. By following the rules and guidelines provided in the official rulebook, players and Dungeon Masters can enhance the overall gaming experience, incorporating the perils and risks associated with falling from heights within the game world.

Height and Damage Calculation

In order to determine the damage caused by a fall in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (5e), it is crucial to understand how to calculate the height of the fall and translate it into actual damage based on the rulebook guidelines.

When calculating the height of a fall, the Dungeon Master should consider the distance from which the character is falling. This could be the height of a building, cliff, or any elevated surface. It is important to measure this distance accurately, as it will directly impact the severity of the damage inflicted upon the character.

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Once the height of the fall has been determined, the next step is to calculate the damage. According to the rulebook, the damage inflicted by a fall increases as the height increases. The specific formula for calculating fall damage is as follows:

Damage = (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6.

This means that for every 10 feet fallen, the character will take 1d6 bludgeoning damage. The maximum amount of damage that can be inflicted by a fall is 20d6. It is worth noting that certain character abilities or spells may modify or reduce the damage taken from a fall. These should be taken into account when calculating the final damage.

To better illustrate the relationship between height and damage, refer to the following table:

**Table: Height and Damage Calculation**

Height (in feet)Damage (in d6)
201 or more20d6 (maximum)

Using this table, Dungeon Masters can easily refer to the corresponding damage based on the height of the fall. By providing a consistent and fair calculation, players can enjoy a realistic and immersive gaming experience where the consequences of falls are accurately represented in the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

Dice Roll and Damage Reduction

In the world of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (5e), the outcome of falling damage is determined by a dice roll. This adds an element of chance to the calculation, making it essential to understand which dice to use for the calculation.

When a character takes falling damage, the most commonly used dice is the d6, also known as the six-sided die. The result of the dice roll determines the amount of damage that the character sustains upon impact. For instance, if a character rolls a 4 on a d6, they would take 4 points of damage from the fall.

Note: It’s important to note that certain character abilities and features may modify the dice roll or damage calculation. These modifiers can include bonuses or penalties derived from class features, spells, or equipment.

Furthermore, damage reduction and resistance can play a significant role in mitigating the impact of a fall. Characters with damage reduction capabilities have the ability to reduce the amount of damage they take from certain sources, including falling. For example, a character with a damage reduction of 3 would subtract 3 points from the total damage determined by the dice roll.

To calculate falling damage with damage reduction, follow these steps:

  1. Roll the applicable dice specified for falling damage, such as a d6.
  2. Add any relevant modifiers to the dice roll, such as bonuses from class features.
  3. Subtract the character’s damage reduction from the total damage.

Example: A character falls from a considerable height, resulting in a dice roll of 5 on a d6. However, they have a damage reduction of 2. The final damage calculation would be 5 – 2 = 3 points of damage.

Falling Damage and Damage Reduction Example

To provide a visual representation of the calculation process, refer to the table below:

Dice RollModifiersDamage ReductionTotal Damage

This table demonstrates how the dice roll, modifiers, and damage reduction can influence the final total damage result. It is crucial to factor in these variables accurately to ensure a fair and appropriate calculation of falling damage in D&D 5e.

Environmental Factors and Exceptions

While the calculation of falling damage in D&D 5e is generally straightforward, there are environmental factors and exceptions that can impact the severity of the fall. It’s important for both players and Dungeon Masters to be aware of these variables and how they can alter the outcome.

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Falling onto Hazardous Terrain

One notable environmental factor is the type of terrain the character is falling onto. Falling onto hazardous terrain, such as spikes, lava, or a bed of thorns, can result in additional damage or effects. Dungeon Masters should consider the specific hazards present in the environment and adjust the falling damage accordingly. For example, falling onto spikes could cause piercing damage in addition to the regular falling damage.

Falling during Combat

The circumstances surrounding a fall can also impact the severity of the damage. If a character falls during combat, there may be additional factors to consider. For instance, if the character is actively engaged in combat and falls, the Dungeon Master may rule that the character suffers additional damage due to the chaotic nature of the situation. This additional damage reflects the challenges of trying to regain balance and protect oneself while under attack.

In some cases, a character may have abilities or spells that can mitigate falling damage or provide exceptions to the normal rules. For example, a spellcaster with the Feather Fall spell can slow their descent and potentially avoid or reduce falling damage. It’s important for both players and Dungeon Masters to be aware of these exceptions and incorporate them into the falling damage calculation.

By considering these environmental factors and exceptions, Dungeon Masters can create a more immersive and realistic experience for their players. It adds depth to the game and allows for dynamic and unpredictable scenarios that keep players engaged and on their toes.

Environmental FactorsExceptions
Blade-covered floorFeather Fall spell
Lava pitsLevitate spell
Thorny bushesMonk’s Slow Fall ability

Falling Damage and Player Characters

Player characters play a unique role in the world of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). As the heroes of the story, they possess abilities and features that set them apart from ordinary individuals. This distinctiveness can extend to how they handle falling damage.

When it comes to calculating falling damage, player characters may have traits or skills that can impact the outcome. For example, some classes like the Monk or the Rogue possess abilities that allow them to reduce or avoid falling damage altogether. These characters have honed their bodies and reflexes to minimize the impact of a fall, making them more resilient.

In addition to class-specific abilities, certain spells or magical items can offer protection against falling damage. For instance, a character wearing a Ring of Feather Falling may find themselves landing more gracefully, mitigating the injury caused by a fall. These magical artifacts provide an extra layer of defense to the player character, increasing their chances of survival.

Furthermore, player characters with high Constitution scores may have an advantage when it comes to surviving falling damage. A resilient body and a strong constitution can help absorb the shock of impact better, minimizing the severity of injuries sustained.

It’s crucial for players and Dungeon Masters to consider these character-specific factors when determining falling damage. By taking into account the unique abilities, items, and attributes of player characters, the calculation becomes more tailored to their individual capabilities and enhances the overall gameplay experience.


In conclusion, understanding how to calculate falling damage in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (5e) is crucial for creating a realistic and immersive gameplay experience. By following the guidelines provided in this guide, both players and Dungeon Masters can ensure a more accurate representation of the dangers of falling in the game world.

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Calculating falling damage involves considering various factors, such as the height of the fall, the dice roll, and any damage reduction or resistance that a character may possess. It is essential to adhere to the rulebook guidelines and take into account any special circumstances or environmental factors that may affect the severity of the damage.

By incorporating the mechanics of falling damage into your gameplay, you can not only enhance the overall realism but also add strategic elements to encounters and create opportunities for character development. So, whether you’re a seasoned player or a novice DM, mastering the art of calculating falling damage in D&D 5e is a valuable skill to have in your gaming toolkit.


How is falling damage calculated in D&D 5e?

Falling damage in D&D 5e is calculated based on the height of the fall. The rulebook provides guidelines for determining the number of d6 dice to roll for damage. The formula is 1d6 for every 10 feet fallen, up to a maximum of 20d6. For example, if a character falls 50 feet, you would roll 5d6 for the resulting damage.

What factors can affect the severity of falling damage?

Several factors can influence the severity of falling damage in D&D 5e. These include the height of the fall, the surface or terrain landed on, and any damage reduction or resistance a character may possess. Environmental factors such as spikes, magma, or hazardous terrain can also increase the damage taken.

How do I determine the height of a fall?

The height of a fall can be determined by assessing the vertical distance between the starting point and the landing point. You can use a ruler, grid, or estimate based on the description of the environment. Keep in mind that falling off a cliff or structure can have varying heights, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of the distance involved.

Do characters have any abilities that can affect falling damage?

Yes, certain character abilities or features can impact falling damage in D&D 5e. For example, a monk’s Slow Fall feature allows them to reduce the damage taken from a fall when they are conscious and not incapacitated. Additionally, spells like Feather Fall can slow a character’s descent and mitigate falling damage.

Are there any exceptions or special circumstances for falling damage?

Yes, there are exceptions and unique circumstances that can affect falling damage. For instance, falling onto hazardous terrain, such as sharp spikes or a pit of lava, can result in additional damage beyond the standard calculation. Falling during combat may also have specific rules or consequences, depending on the situation and the DM’s discretion.

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