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The rules for Falling say:

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 statblock for a wererat says:

Damage Immunities Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks that aren't Silvered

Assuming the wererat doesn't land on a silver platter when it jumps from a high tower to escape the party, since it's immune to non-silvered bludgeoning damage and falling damage is bludgeoning damage, does it even get hurt? I see the word "attacks" in the statblock, so what if someone threw the wererat from the top of the tower?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Are there any other ways for lycanthropes to hurt other lycanthropes? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Jun 24 at 6:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Somewhat related : Gathered Swarm damage vs resistance and immunity \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Commented Jun 24 at 7:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe the problem is with the (nature of them) immunity rather than with your example. I mean, it's not like were-beings aren't affected by mechanical actions, a-la protected by some magical forcefield, or having ultra-hard tissue. It's supposed to be something like immediate healing, or that the gashes and holes are barely detrimental to them; and with silver, the exposure to silver is supposed to be proportional to what otherwise would be the damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jun 26 at 13:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @einpoklum That's the way I've always flavored immunities and resistances to weapons: resistances feel like chopping a tree with a dull ax and if they're immune to the damage type, they just insta-heal the small chop. In this case, the problem was how to mechanically deal with falling damage when the wererat was thrown from the tower. The throw was definitely an attack... \$\endgroup\$
    – aaron9eee
    Commented Jun 26 at 14:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @einpoklum: D&D often seems to have rules that are simplified to the point where they work in the kind of situations you'd have in a normal level-appropriate combat against PCs, but which produce weird and nonsensical results when pushed far from those creature sizes and damage ranges for physical interactions. (e.g. the Sentinel feat lets a level 1 gnome fighter stop a gargantuan god in its tracks if they hit with an op attack, because there are no size or power limits. Similarly, monster grapple abilities are presumably written assuming they'll target a PC.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 26 at 23:59

3 Answers 3

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Yes, since falling is not an attack.

The stat entry of the monsters says (emphasis mine):

Damage Immunities Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks that aren't Silvered.

Falling is not an attack, hence the immunity is not triggered and the wererat takes damage. The SAC's entry refers to a previous version of the text describing the immunity entries of monsters.

A DM could rule otherwise.

A DM could overrule this, since it may seem strange that hitting the ground after a fall of 10 ft is different from a very strong blow dealt with a morning star.

On the other hand, granting immunity from bludgeoning, slashing or piercing damage from sources different from attacks may lead to nonsense: for example, it is highly unrealistic that falling from a 100 ft cliff may result in no damage at all.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know that it's any more unrealistic to take no damage from falling 100 feet than it is to take no damage from being hit by a cannonball, or by a Storm Giant's 20 foot long greatsword. \$\endgroup\$
    – user56480
    Commented Jun 24 at 11:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user56480 I agree, indeed I think that those are cases in which the DM should make a call... \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Jun 24 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, ruling otherwise leads to an obvious werebeast-slaying tactic... \$\endgroup\$
    – Phoenices
    Commented Jun 25 at 23:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, cats, always landing on their feet, etc. Negating falling damage makes more sense for werecats than non-feline weres. As a DM, I'd rule in favor of the werecat doing a superhero landing and negating the damage, if only for flavor. \$\endgroup\$
    – Medinoc
    Commented Jun 27 at 8:03
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Yes

The Sage Advice Compendium directly answers this question:

A monster is immune to damage from nonmagical bludgeoning weapons. Does it still take damage from falling? Yes, that monster is still going to feel the hurt of a fall, because a fall is not a weapon.

Note that the text of the damage immunity was errataed to talk about attacks (it used to talk about weapons). But a fall also is not an attack, so the answer still works.

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Yes

The text says:

Damage Immunities Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks that aren't Silvered

You need to take the whole sentence into consideration. Therefore, the algorithm to decide if the wererat takes damage is:

  1. Is the damage type in (Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing)?
  • Yes: continue.
  • No: take damage. Stop.
  1. Is the damage from an attack?
  • Yes: continue.
  • No: take damage. Stop.

At this point, the fall damage has already resolved. It's not from an attack, so the wererat takes damage. But for the sake of completion, let's continue.

  1. Is the attack magical?
  • Yes: Take damage. Stop.
  • No: continue.
  1. Is the attack "Silvered"?
  • Yes: Take damage. Stop.
  • No: Ignore the damage. Proceed to resolve any special effects attached to the attack with this information, whether they trigger on hit (apply effect) or on take damage (ignore effect).
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