If say, an Aasimar and human fall off a cliff and the Aasimar uses Radiant Soul, could they then attempt to at least slow the human's fall?

I was thinking that they would fall at half the speed, and both would share the fall damage evenly between them. Does that make sense, or is there some obscure rule that applies to this situation?

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    – V2Blast
    May 23, 2019 at 2:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ In our real physical world, if the Aasimar find themselves between the ground and the human, they would take double damage instead of half. Bludgeoning from both sides... \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2021 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


Unless you Ready an action or are using optional rules, you cannot stop the creature from falling.

If a creature starts falling while another creature watches, the first thing we need to know to determine if they can do anything is how fast the creature falls.

You fall all the way down immediately

The default rule in the PHB (p. 183) doesn't specify exactly how fast a creature falls.

However, using the clarification from the preface to the optional rules on falling in Xanathar's Guide to Everything makes this default rule much clearer.

The [PHB] rule for falling assumes that a creature immediately drops the entire distance when it falls. (XGE, p. 77)

So, using the default rules as clarified by XGE, no creature has an opportunity to do anything once a creature starts falling. They immediately fall the entire distance and take however much damage or other effects they have triggered.

This means that if your Aasimar sees another creature falling, they have no time in which to do anything since the creature plummets immediately to the ground.

There are two ways you could act before the creature hits the ground

There are two exceptions to this in this situation:

You are using an optional rule and falling from over 500 feet

XGTE provides an optional rule for falling from a great height that adds a bit of realism:

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. This process continues until the fall ends, either because you hit the ground or the fall is otherwise halted.

In this case, if your falling creature falls from more than 500 feet above the ground and you are using this optional rule, then the Aasimar could, during its turn, try to help the falling creature.

Readied action

If the Aasimar had readied an action to do something to interfere with the fall contingent on the creature starting to fall, then the creature falling would trigger that action. However, you can only Ready movement or an action, not both. So unless the creature is falling right next to them and/or your DM rules that helping to stop them from falling is not an action, this really won't help in this specific scenario.

As @PinkSweetener pointed out, the Aasimar could try using their Readied action to just fly underneath the creature and try slowing them physically with their body.

What happens if they make it to the falling creature?

There are actually no rules for having another creature use their flight to prevent another creature from falling. So this will be a DM call to decide how that works.

One way it could work is a grapple check to grapple the falling creature and then simply hold onto them. No further ruling about continuing to fall or splitting damage need happen. However, a DM may of course implement such things if they want. But there are no rules that talk about this scenario so it will be completely up to them.

What if this happens outside of combat?

The above assumes that all of this happens within combat or that the DM decides to run it in the structure of combat. This is generally a good assumption since pretty much all of the rules in D&D assume combat rules are in place.

However, if this happens in a case where this happens outside of combat and the DM chooses to run it outside of combat rules, they can do so. However, there are absolutely no rules for this and it basically goes right back to the case where the Aasimar reaches the falling creature in combat.

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    \$\begingroup\$ How about readying a movement action to fly under the path of the falling PC, not making any effort to catch them but instead halting their descent on impact with your body? Afterall the fall ends if "the fall is otherwise halted". This could be improved if the falling PC readied an action to hold on to their flying friend. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2019 at 4:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PinkSweetener That would be a possible solution as well. There are no rules that would cover it though so it would be covered entirely by DM fiat. There are probably even more ways of doing it as well. Regardless, I've edited this suggestion in because it is a good one. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2019 at 4:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I realise the question is asking for non-magical ways to assist a falling character, but the reaction granted by the Feather Fall spell is a good example of a way that the rules allow such a character to be saved. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2019 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point Dan. As feather fall allows you to save mutliple people within a decent range, it makes sense that takes a spell. If someone is on a cliff and being pushed off, and another PC is nearby, it would be reasonable for a reaction to be able to save that one PC. I would even say if you have flight, I'd allow your reaction to fly and intercept, stopping their fall mid flight even if you were not right beside them, but only if the fall was long enough for that to make sense. Again it is all DM call \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2021 at 0:55

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