What happens if you jump while using the spider climb spell?

Can you jump across a surface upside down, or do you fall?


2 Answers 2


You fall

The spider climb spell states:

Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch gains the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving its hands free. The target also gains a climbing speed equal to its walking speed.

Spells only do what they say and nothing in this spell description gives you the ability to remain in the air after breaking contact with the surface you are climbing on. The spell allows you to climb without using your hands, it still requires you to use your feet.

There are falling rules in both the basic rules and Xanathar's Guide to Everything which help determine what happens after you start falling. Nowhere however does it clarify what it takes to begin falling, other than a brief section on flying creatures falling. It is assumed that any creature in the air is falling, unless they have a way to remain aloft. Since spider climb doesn't grant a way to remain aloft, you fall.

By RAW you fall, however this DM would likely allow you to attempt it. I would call for a Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) check, likely with disadvantage if you were upside down. On a success you manage to get you feet back on the wall quickly enough to prevent your fall. On a failure, you don't and plummet to your doom.

The DC for this check would depend on the distance of the jump and the difficulty of the situation. You should reference the rules for jumping as a guideline and increase the DCs accordingly.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ A jump is basically pushing yourself hard enough off a surface to break contact. It is impossible to regain it, Spider Climb is not Antigravity. Once you push yourself off the ceiling, there is no force in place to move you again toward it. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jun 23, 2019 at 6:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András Correct. I allow the check for lateral jumps where you have enough horizontal speed to clear a gap or something without pushing off from the ceiling too much. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Jun 23, 2019 at 10:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ if you lose contact, gravity kicks in, and you will never reconnect. Jumping from one wall to the other or to the ceiling might work, but you can never touch the same surface again that you just left. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jun 23, 2019 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Consider the spider from which the spell gets its name. It must shoot web to prevent itself from falling -- just like Spiderman does! \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    May 27, 2021 at 3:04

You might not fall.

Abit late to the topic, but I thought I should mention a counter point.

The spell mentions you get a climbing speed. So even if the spell doesn't allow you to make leaps, you might be able to do so through mundane climbing.

So if you would be able to make a leap as part of your normal climbing, then you should also be able to do so with this spell. I addition, having ability to stick to any surface should make such a leap much easier.

And to those of you who are talking about the purely physical limitations.

Leaping while climbing is nothing out of the ordinary. I am only a moderately skilled climber in real life, and yet I am fully capable of doing such leaps. Grabbing onto the same surface that you are leaping away from isn't that hard either. You just need to create momentum inwards to the same surface, or at least enough to stay within reach.

If I wanted to I could even make such a leap and let myself fall in order to grab onto the exact same grip I had prior to the leap. Though there is very little point in doing so, unless you are just practicing.

This can be done through extending ones arms before the leap, and then using them to pull yourself towards the surface as part of the leap before letting go.

This can even be done while under a roof overhang, though if you don't have enough arm strength you might need to also incorporate a swinging motion with the rest of your body to create enough momentum towards to roof, to counteract gravity for a second.

If I as a climber also got the ability to magically stick to any surface I touch, then doing leaps like this would be quite easy.

That being said, if you are hanging from the roof, then even if you leap, you won't be able to leap as far as you would when you are on the ground. In fact, the distance you would be able to leap might be so short that it wouldn't be worth it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the points on mundane climbing skills. Do climb speeds allow you to "jump" or dyno? \$\endgroup\$ May 26, 2021 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @indigochild Climbspeed in 5e is just another form of movement. Normaly Climbspeed is half your normal movement, this spell makes your climbspeed the same as your normal movement. As such, jumping would follow normal jumping rules, the same as if you where jumping on the ground. Although hard jumps during climbing might require a strength (Athletics) check. RAW, if you move atleast 10ft while climbing you can make a normal long/high jump. If you are jumping from a fixed position you can only jump half as long. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jian Yin
    May 26, 2021 at 14:56

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