The description of the Slow spell says:

You alter time around up to six creatures of your choice in a 40-foot cube within range. An affected target's speed is halved...

It alters time around creatures and reduces their speed to half. Could this be used to affect a falling creature?

Which of the following accurately describes how the Slow spell interacts with falls and falling damage?

  1. The creature moves at half speed and so falls at half speed, taking half damage

  2. The creature moves at half speed but their relative time bubble they move at regular speed. They hit the ground after twice the time but still at the same speed and damage.

  3. They are in free fall for double the time but gravity interacts for the duration. So actually they personally have double the speed. They take additional damage?

  4. They fall at the same rate (aka their bubble continues falling) but inside it they impact at half (double?) speed and take half (double?) damage.

The mental picture for me is definitely the slow-time effect where they are in a bubble of slowmo, slurred speech and all. So I feel like it would have some interaction, but I'm not sure what.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What falling rules do you use at your table? Do you use the optional rules from Xanathar's? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Feb 21, 2019 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ We actually haven't had fall damage kick in yet. So far I've used levitate/misty step to get around it. However we are facing a tall structure that we have to climb and perhaps make a quick exit from. I'm the resident wizard and my featherfall knowledge is lacking. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2019 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, I unfortunately can't view that link. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2019 at 21:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the comments about saves/poisons/haste should be removed and put in their own separate questions if you want them asked as well. It is worth noting that haste and slow are worded differently enough and have different enough effects where rulings about one do not carry over to the other necessarily. Actually, I've gone ahead and removed them for you. You can access the wording in the edit history if you want to use it for new questions. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2019 at 21:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Does your DM have you fall at your speed, all at once no matter the distance, or something else? The fact that you have time to cast an action spell suggests some time is involved. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Feb 21, 2019 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


How does the spell Slow affect freefall?

It doesn't.

Spells in D&D do what they say they do and no more (unless a DM decides otherwise):

You alter time ...

How? Like this:

An affected target's speed is halved ...

A creature's speed does not interact with the falling rules.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation about whether or not "spells do what they say and no more" doesn't seem to have generated any desire on OP's part to edit the post and has been moved to chat. Feel free to continue there. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Feb 22, 2019 at 3:44

The Slow speed cannot help a falling creature.

Falling speed and falling damage are not related to a creature's speed.

The Xanathar's falling rules state:

The rule given in the Player's Handbook is simple: at the end of a fall, you take 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet you fell, to a maximum of 20d6. You also land prone...

It goes on to mention some optional rules, one of which is the maximum rate of falling, which states:

The rule for falling assumes that a creature immediately drops the entire distance when it falls. But what if a creature is at a high altitude when it falls. ... When you fall from a great height, you instantly descend up to 500 feet. If you're still falling on your next turn, you descend up to 500 feet at the end of that turn.

Nowhere in the falling rules is a creature's speed mentioned. (There is a mention of a flying speed, but if your target has that, this wouldn't be an issue.)


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