If you willingly fall on your turn does it cost movement?

As a DM I'm thinking about how to handle things such as creatures who are immune to being prone, diving into the water from a height, or a flying creature diving off a cliff and taking a fall before taking flight. There are many circumstances where you can fall without taking damage or being knocked prone afterward, and I'm not sure how to determine movement following the dive.

For example, my character walks up to a ledge above a 10 foot drop to the ground below. After taking 5 feet of movement to step off the ledge, I allow myself to fall. When I hit the ground have I used 15 feet of movement or just 5?


Here are the rules on falling from the Basic Rules (or PHB p. 183):

A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer. At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6. The creature lands prone, unless it avoids taking damage from the fall.

The fall itself wouldn't cost movement (it's "forced movement", except in this case the thing forcibly moving you is gravity). However, if you take damage and thus land prone, it will cost movement equal to half your speed to get up afterwards:

Combatants often find themselves lying on the ground, either because they are knocked down or because they throw themselves down. In the game, they are prone. You can drop prone without using any of your speed. Standing up takes more effort; doing so costs an amount of movement equal to half your speed. For example, if your speed is 30 feet, you must spend 15 feet of movement to stand up. You can't stand up if you don't have enough movement left or if your speed is 0.

To move while prone, you must crawl or use magic such as teleportation. Every foot of movement while crawling costs 1 extra foot. Crawling 1 foot in difficult terrain, therefore, costs 3 feet of movement.

Assuming you have a speed is 30 feet, if you spend 5 feet of movement to step off a ledge, you will take 1d6 bludgeoning damage and land prone. Then it will cost another 15 feet of movement (half your speed) to stand up and continue moving; alternately, you could remain prone and continue moving, but you'd only be able to move 12.5 feet. (Your DM may have you round down to 10 feet if you're playing on a grid map.)

However, if you are for some reason able to land without falling prone or taking damage, then you could move 5 feet and fall off the ledge, land on the ground below, then continue moving as normal.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Now that the question has been edited to focus primarily on creatures that are immune to being prone, I think this answer needs to be updated to match. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luke
    Apr 30 '18 at 6:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited the post accordingly. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Apr 30 '18 at 7:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you use acrobatics to land on your feet (mechanically equivalent to 'kip up'.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Mox
    May 1 '19 at 21:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mox: There is nothing in the rules saying you could, so no. It'd be a house-rule. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 1 '19 at 21:22

Falling does not cost movement.

PHB 190 details the actions that do cost movement:

Your movement can include jumping, climbing, and swimming.

Falling is not part of those actions.

Also, having falling cost movement doesn't make sense--what if you have a speed of 30ft, walk 25ft, and drop another 10ft? If falling cost movement, then you'd run out in the middle of the fall and be stuck 5ft off the ground.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Is being stuck 5ft off the ground between the rounds so different from being stuck 17ft away from the door when sprinting to it and having to wait for all the opponents to make their moves? We are just used to play 'RedLightGreenLight'/Statues/Grandmother's Footsteps in D&D in 2 dimensions that it doesn't bother us anymore. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30 '18 at 9:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ArturBiesiadowski Well, there's a difference between being stuck in 2-D vs. being stuck in the air. Xanathar's guide actually states that everyone falls instantaneously during combat unless you're falling more than 300'--are you saying that it should take you 10 rounds to fall 300 feet? \$\endgroup\$
    – Icyfire
    Apr 30 '18 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not against discussion about how much faster you are when falling - you say 10x, I'm ok with that. But if you fall 350 feet, you will get stuck 50 feet above the ground for the rest of the round. People will be able to shoot you when you are 50ft away and then run away full move (or whatever it is after taking a shot) before you fall even 1 foot more. Details might be different, but concept is the same as with statues game in 2d - it is just that our suspension of disbelief is not elastic enough for 3rd dimension (maybe just because aerial combat is not common enough in D&D) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30 '18 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ In feel is more of a matter of no rules related to distance fall / movement used in the players hand book, though it is possible to home brew rules \$\endgroup\$ May 1 '18 at 16:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ why is flying not part of movement? because it needs racial or magical abilities? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30 '19 at 19:17

Falling won't cost movement, but you will take damage from it, as specified in p. 183 from PHB, and you will fall prone

A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer. At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6. The creature lands prone, unless it avoids taking damage from the fall.

So, even if you only spent 5ft on your case, you will have to spend more 15ft (half the usual speed - 30) to stand up before you can keep moving (or you can move crawling).

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's fine; I don't care about the damage or the prone, just whether or not the fall would use movement. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 '18 at 19:10
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I just wanted to emphasize the prone part because it means overall you are actually spending more movement than you would (to travel that distance.) \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Apr 29 '18 at 19:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, since climbing takes one extra foot of movement per foot traveled, if you climbed the whole way down it would take you 20 to 25 feet of movement total (depending on whether the DM still required 5 feet to leave the ledge), compared to the 20 feet of movement this technique would take (assuming you stood up). Of course, you could climb part way down and then jump: that'd probably be the method that requires the least movement (and no damage). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 '18 at 20:01

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