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Can a character try to break his fall and reduce fall damage by landing on a corpse in D&D 3.5? I was recently running my campaign and a party member bull-rushed a enemy off a ledge thinking that the body would help break his fall. At the time I said no but now thinking back on it would that actually work? Would you consider a corpse to be a yielding surface?

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

There is no rule that says you can use a corpse that way specifically (as you noted in the question). That said, there is this from the Falling rules:

Falls onto yielding surfaces (soft ground, mud) also convert the first 1d6 of damage to nonlethal damage. This reduction is cumulative with reduced damage due to deliberate jumps and the Jump skill.

Do you consider a corpse to be a yielding surface? It will absorb some impact force and if it has flesh on it (ie: is not a skeleton) will have some cushioning. Is that enough? It's up to the DM, or perhaps the Mythbusters.

Personally? I'd probably allow it, using the rule for yelding surfaces to convert 1d6 of the damage to nonlethal. Why? Because: Rule Of Cool. The effect is hardly gamebreaking, and it makes for quite an amusing moment in a game. That's good enough for me.

Now if they tried to use a skeleton, that would be a different story. Instead of having something to absorb impact, you have something with all kinds of pointy bits ready to stab you.

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Linking to TVTropes with no warning: -1 (joking, joking, it's a good answer.) – Zachiel Oct 3 '13 at 8:15

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