If a creature inside Otiluke's Resilient Sphere falls do they still take fall damage?

(As an aside I'm assuming that the sphere can and will fall because it does in fact have weight per this Q&A)

Nothing, not physical Objects, energy, or other spell effects, can pass through the barrier, in or out, though a creature in the Sphere can breathe there. The Sphere is immune to all damage, and a creature or object inside can't be damaged by attacks or effects originating from outside, nor can a creature inside the Sphere damage anything outside it.

I realize the spell doesn't say anything specifically about fall damage but a few aspects make me consider it:

The Sphere is immune to all damage

Which suggests to me that maybe the sphere could be the one that "takes" the fall damage instead of the creature.

creature or object inside can't be damaged by attacks or effects originating from outside

Maybe fall damage could be considered an outside effect.

Regardless, my question is:

Would a creature take fall damage while inside Otiluke's Resilient Sphere?


3 Answers 3



The creature within would take falling damage. It is the sphere itself that is weightless, not the occupant. It is explicitly stated that the sphere can be moved by either internal or external forces. Therefore, if the sphere (for example) rolled over a cliff, the weight of the occupant would cause the sphere to fall, and when it hit the ground, the occupant would take falling damage from impacting the inside of the sphere, just like a person inside a falling elevator does when the elevator hits bottom.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The reason why people "take damage inside a falling elevator" is the transfer of energy (from elevator's floor in this case). By spell description energy can't pass through the barrier. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2017 at 7:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ The energy doesn't have to pass though the barrier. The energy is in the motion of the falling creature. The fact that the creature cannot pass through the barrier is what makes the creature take the damage when he impacts the inside of the barrier. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2017 at 18:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AntiDrondert Well, one could argue that the taking damage part is because the floor suddenly is in the way of a falling person. Thus, the energy is from the person, to the floor. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 24, 2020 at 14:11


  1. Fall damage is because kinetic energy is changed into other kinds of energy when you stop / transferred in a different direction (Someone might be able to clarify the science - but I know D&D is not a physics sim). Energy is not transferred through the sphere.

  2. As you said yourself effects originating from outside of the sphere have no affect.

  3. I think the intention of the spell is to have the creature inside to be effectively invulnerable to every source of damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Gravity is also an energy, which per the spell description is explicitly not transferred through the sphere. Does this mean that the inside maintains a static gravity regardless of outside effects? Can the creature even experience falling while in the sphere? \$\endgroup\$
    – Baergren
    Dec 21, 2017 at 15:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ The sphere is not large enough for anyone inside to fall a distance great enough to cause damage. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2017 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see it as a sort of kinetic cocoon when it comes to fall damage. The sphere falls, but you are completely buffered and cushioned within. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Dec 21, 2017 at 15:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Baergren gravity not energy, it is curvature of spacetime.Being within curved spacetime gives an object potential energy like motion gives it kinetic energy but neither gravity nor motion are energy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Dec 21, 2017 at 20:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri I am not the person that flagged it, but I have several suggestions for how to correct it I think 1) for your #2 what rules/logic would you use for declaring fall damage an exterior effect? 2) in your #3 you say "I think the intention..." what leads you to believe that? do you have evidence to support that? those are two off the top of my head. (I can see a couple of big holes in your arguments as is that clarifying will probably help with). Just in case my tone isn't clear: I'm just trying to help. Also, I'm interested to see what comes from further digging. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2017 at 19:38

No, the creatures inside the sphere do not take falling damage.

The current phrasing of the question means the following paragraph is operating on a different set of assumptions.

The sphere by definition is weightless. Weightless things are not affected by gravity. It doesn't fall. And since it is "just large enough to contain the creature or object inside", there's not enough distance for the creature inside to fall.

Assuming it could fall, however, it's a fairly straightforward use of the rules as written:

The Sphere is immune to all damage, and a creature or object inside can't be damaged by attacks or effects originating from outside.

From Chapter 8 Adventuring:

At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell

Creatures are bludgeoned by hitting or being hit by a physical object, in this case the ground. Bludgeoning is a type of damage covered by "all damage", and the ground is definitely outside the sphere.

QED, falling damage does nothing to a creature inside the sphere. A DM could interpret otherwise, but the wording of the spell seem to indicate that the intent is that creatures inside can only be harmed by things inside, and vice versa.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Dec 22, 2017 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ The abrupt deceleration, of a flesh and blood creature is lethal/damaging as soon as the deceleration is sudden enough, or am I missing something? \$\endgroup\$
    – Fork Frog
    Sep 28, 2020 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should probably read the chat exchange. The answer is based on a couple of D&D axioms: D&D is not a physics engine, and spells only do what they say they do. Any attempt to rationalize D&D mechanics with physics is a hopeless endeavor. The spells says they can't be harmed while inside this weightless magical sphere, QED, they aren't. DMs are free to interpret otherwise, of course. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2020 at 4:45

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