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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?

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No

  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.

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  • \$\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 '17 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\$ – keithcurtis Dec 21 '17 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 '17 at 15:45
  • \$\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 '17 at 20:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Apparently citation is needed but I haven't made reference to anything outside of the question. If whoever tagged it for citation can be more specific I will edit accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Dec 22 '17 at 13:58
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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.

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Yes.

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.

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  • \$\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\$ – AntiDrondert Dec 22 '17 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\$ – Phil Boncer Dec 22 '17 at 18:44

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