I am having a concern about a rule. When looking at Falling damage (p. 303 DMG) it says

Falling Damage: The basic rule is simple: 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6.

then there is this sentence:

If a character deliberately jumps instead of merely slipping or falling, the damage is the same but the first 1d6 is nonlethal dam- age.

So, after this you go into the PHB for clarifications on jump and jump (p. 77, PHB) has 4 ways to use its skill: long jump, high jump, hop up and jump down. In the jump down section states the same as in DMG.

If you intentionally jump from a height, you take less damage than you would if you just fell. The DC to jump down from a height is 15 [...] If you succeed on the check, you take falling damage as if you had dropped 10 fewer feet than you actually did. Thus, if you jump down from a height of just 10 feet, you take no damage. If you jump down from a height of 20 feet, you take damage as if you had fallen 10 feet.

Then there is the long jump rule

Long Jump: A long jump is a horizontal jump, made across a gap like a chasm or stream. At the midpoint of the jump, you attain a vertical height equal to one-quarter of the horizontal distance.

Now, the way I understand the rule, you have to fall or jump down to receive falling damage as it is "per 10' fallen" and if you jump down. If you happens to have a really high jump bonus due to skill ranks, feats, magic and speed, you might end up making a long jump that will propel you up to 20' in the air. The way the rule is written doesn't say that long jump attained height is a falling distance. But I would like to get confirmation as it is not as clear as it should be. You could of course consider making a tumble check to reduce by 10' (or more if you roll very high on tumble) this fall but since you do not jump down, you can't reduce it of another 10'.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: The [rules-as-written] tag is for questions that involve interpreting the rules as literally as possible, even when it leads to an absurd outcome. This just seems like a regular rules question; if so, the tag should be removed. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Feb 1, 2019 at 2:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for the precision. I added in my comment that I wanted to be rule as written. As the interpretation of jump and fall is what needs to be clarified in my case. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonDraco
    Feb 1, 2019 at 14:18

2 Answers 2


The rule is, if you were 10 feet or more in the air, without any method of controlling or slowing yourself midair (e.g. feather fall, gliding, flight, etc.), you take damage on landing. That is the only consistent and sensible interpretation of the word “fall” used in your first quotation. That quotation makes no mention of how you got to be that high in the air—whatever it was, you are now falling. A long jump would be considered “controlled,” so the first 1d6 is nonlethal, but that’s all you get.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ So, to be clear, upon a creature completing a running long jump with a result between 40 and 79, it's also as if the creature had fallen 10 ft., and upon a creature completing a running long jump with a result between 80 and 119, it's also as if the creature had fallen 20 ft., and so on. Is that accurate? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31, 2019 at 23:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan That certainly seems to be what it’s saying, yeah. A little weird but then, those are collosal distances, and if they also know how tumble, they can avoid some of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jan 31, 2019 at 23:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Cool. It may be worth mentioning those Jump check results in the answer just so it doesn't sound quite so absurd that it's possible for a creature to jump so far it injures itself. Seriously, nobody knows how much damage the human body suffers upon landing from an 80-ft. long jump so the game's guess is as good any! \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2019 at 0:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ I started an alternative answer, but maybe yours should address this: If a creature is dealt falling damage based on the height the creature attains at the midpoint of a long jump, shouldn't the creature then fall at the midpoint of the long jump instead? During the jump—unless jumping down—the dude's still jumping until the maximum distance is reached and not falling. I mean, I don't mind commoners who drink potions of jump accidentally killing themselves—that's hilarious—, but a jumper's not literally falling from the jump's midpoint. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 1, 2019 at 8:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I wouldn’t define “fall” as strictly straight down, so I don’t see a contradiction there. Maybe it’s kind of weird to define something as a fall when it is more lateral than vertical—that could be a solid alternative answer—but it’s just not the impression I get. Also, your commoner reminds me of an event in Morrowind where a mage falls out of the sky next to you, and dies from the fall. He’s carrying three “Scrolls of Icarian Flight” that grant +1000 to Jump for half a second—not long enough to complete the jump started with a +1000 bonus, so you don’t have it on landing. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 1, 2019 at 13:30

The falling rules were updated slightly from the DMG in the Rules Compendium.

A partial quote reads:


A creature that falls takes 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6. If a creature deliberately jumps instead of merely falling, the first 1d6 is nonlethal damage.

A DC 15 Jump check or DC 15 Tumble check allows a creature to avoid any damage from the first 10 feet fallen and converts any damage from the second 10 feet to nonlethal damage.

You can instead try to use Tumble to ignore falling damage. For every 15 points of your Tumble check result, you can treat a fall as if it were 10 feet shorter than it really is when determining damage.

The rule goes on to mention falling onto a yielding substance (which reduction stacks with other reductions), and falling into water, which has special rules that include diving.

The grammar "instead of merely falling" would imply that the downward side of a jump still counts as falling.

Note that it is also technically official rules to reduce distance of a fall by 20', 30', 40', or to ignore all falling damage with a tumble check of 30, 45, 60, or 100 respectively. The first three appear to be compatible with the Rules Compendium. Not everyone is willing to use part of the Epic Level Handbook, however.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually looked at this grammar. Then I went about the the same way as with any other rule in the core books, I went and read the jump skill as it simply said, deliberately jump which is, use the jump skill. The jump skill has 4 uses and only jump down allows you to reduce your fall by 10' (if you succeed on a DC 15 check) and, by the line in DMG p.303, turns the first 1d6 of damage into non-lethal damage (if you succeed or not your DC 15 check). This is where the uncertainty all started in my mind. I guess there is no definitive written rule but your is the closest. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonDraco
    Feb 2, 2019 at 21:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this would also mean that if you would jump from a roof to another but miss your check and fall in between, it would also automatically turns the first 1d6 damage to nonlethal damage when you hit the street below as you deliberately jumped. So someone with some tumble skill could jump from a roof, fall down 30' below, make a tumble check DC 15 and get 1d6 of lethal damage and 1d6 of nonlethal damage as the first 1d6 would be turned to nonlethal due to deliberate jump and there was 10' "removed" from the height with tumble. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonDraco
    Feb 2, 2019 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rules Compendium explicitly states that it overrides the DMG. So if the Rules Compendium grammar agrees with you, then awesome. Rules Compendium IS the latest version of the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Feb 2, 2019 at 21:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rules Compendium states the same thing about the deliberate jump rather than merely fall. And I won't start a debate on which core rule book is THE source (it already has been done many times). I try to get THE detail that explains best a rule out of all of them. In this case it is not existing where it would clarify that if you are jumping, you are not falling and vice versa. To me, saying you are falling when you jump is the same as saying you are running (as you are moving four times your base land speed) when you are riding a hustling horse (and thus lose your dexterity bonus to AC). \$\endgroup\$
    – jonDraco
    Feb 2, 2019 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is no debate, RC says it takes precedence over both core and supplement books. Page 5, first paragraph. Since the grammar says the same thing, awesome! Have fun with it then. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Feb 2, 2019 at 23:08

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