# Do you take falling damage after a high jump of over 10 feet?

I have a multiclass Monk / Druid (2 levels of monk). He cast jump on himself, wild shaped into a brown bear, activated step of the wind, then took a high jump with a height of 42':

High Jump

When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier

Strength mod is +4 from the brown bear, so 7 × 3 (jump spell) × 2 (step of the wind) = 42.

Our group got into an argument over whether he would take 4d6 falling damage after his high jump, and the PHB doesn't seem to answer this.

## Rules

From the Player's Handbook:

High Jump. When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing high jump, you can jump only half that distance. Either way, each foot you clear on the jump costs a foot of movement. In some circumstances, your DM might allow you to make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump higher than you normally can.

p. 182

Falling

A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer.

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.

p. 183

Step of the Wind

... Your jump distance is doubled for the turn

p. 78

Jump

... the creature's jump distance is tripled ...

p. 254

Combining Magical Effects

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect - such as the highest bonus - from those castings applies while their durations overlap.

p. 205

This last gives several interesting possibilities for how these combinations actually work - but that is another question.

## Definitions

Giving "jump" and "fall" their common English meanings (1.b & 2.b being the most appropriate), they are not the same thing. Jumping is voluntary and in control, falling is involuntary and out of control. So the first does not automatically lead to the second to my mind.

## Designer Commentary

In addition there is this quote:

@Plaguescarred Can you jump farther than your movement when using magic i.e spell Jump & boots of striding and springing?

@mikemearls i'd rule yes - design intent is to make you jump super far

So we can draw two things from this:

1. It's at DM discretion (what isn't)
2. There's magic involved.

## Discussion

### Naked Jumping

Starting from the basics, a PC can jump up 3 + Strength modifier, without magic this is a maximum of 8' - so there are no falling considerations. A monster or magiced-up PC with a Strength of 24+ or a thief with Second Storey Work and high enough Strength and Dexterity can jump into the danger zone (>10'). I would argue that if you are strong enough to jump that high, you have the muscle strength to absorb the shock of landing without damage. There is some simple physics involved here - the speed at which you leave the ground equals the speed that you return - if your leg muscles can generate that speed then I say they can absorb it.

As a side note, I would rule that you can safely jump down less than 10' or equal to your maximum high jump whichever is the greater. Oh, and they wouldn't need a run to jump "straight" down. If you are jumping across a chasm to a lower ledge, I would rule that the so long as the total drop from high point to low point did not exceed this falling would not be a consideration.

### Step of the Wind

A monk with Step of the Wind can double these heights. A 5th level monk wouldn't take damage from a fall like this anyway. For lower levels, as this is a specific class feature with a cost; I would be disinclined to nerf it.

### Jump Spell

Jump can be cast on anyone and takes the maximum of a very strong PC to 24' and monsters to 36'. I cannot accept that this 1st level spell is intended to give the PC the power to jump up in the air (to whatever height) and then come down by falling to their death. This is simply not credible, particularly when you take into account the designer's comment on how he sees the spell being used.

### The Combination

Wow! What a great idea the PC had! Of course you don't take falling damage and have some inspiration while you're at it!

• As a basketball player, I can tell you that whether or not you can absorb the shock depends entirely on the floor you land on, but for a gaming perspective makes no sense to take damage for a voluntary jump when the DM doesn't warn you might be subject to falling damage. Jun 22, 2017 at 12:55
• 2 things... 1: Crawford (official ruling) says Jump can NEVER exceed your speed...but you can Dash: twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/712008595508846594? 2: Crawford also says he'd consider falling damage to be distance in excess of your jump: twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/636288928757104640? Feb 19, 2018 at 13:31
• Morrowind agrees. Dec 23, 2018 at 19:57

Yes, you take 40 feet of falling damage. The PHB does answer this unambiguously: when you fall, you take the specified damage; jumping does not add any exceptions. The rules give you a way to get way up high, but they don't offer you any protection from the consequences of that choice.

I suggest landing somewhere that doesn't involve a bear plummeting four storeys into the ground, such as a ledge 35 feet above the place you started your jump from. Or using super-jumping to make impressive long jumps that don't have the height problem. Or wait until your Monk levels properly make you awesome enough protect you from fall distances like that.

There is one way to get a RAW exception to the rule that falling does damage: DMs can make rulings that suit the situation's reality better than a straight reading of a specific rule would. If there is good reason to believe that hurling oneself four storeys into the air would actually result in a graceful landing, the DM need only say it is so, and it is. (Note though, that a DM stopping to make a ruling to best reflect the situation should also spend a moment to contemplate the nature of bears: actual bears can't jump, regardless of strength. To emphasise that point by anchoring the far end of the scale: giant sharks have STR 23 (+6); now picture it making a high jump on land. Once DM rulings enter the situation, "but RAW just says strength!" or "it doesn't say I have to be able to move on land!" isn't a useful rejoinder anymore.)

But if you're all trying to find out what base situation the rules establish before overriding it with the DM's judgement: take 4d6 damage and land prone.

• Stop arguing in comments. Feb 27, 2015 at 13:33
• @senselocke Still not changing it, since your suggested fixes are the opposite of the core of this answer, not problems of the sort comments are practically useful for. Since comments are temporary, they don’t function like your case law commentary analogy either, and will deleted sooner or later. If you want a permanent alternative answer, answer posts are the only thing that endures. May 8, 2021 at 15:12
• (Or just vote for the existing answers that you think are correct, and downvote ones like this that you think aren’t.) May 8, 2021 at 15:14

YMMV. As no specific rule exists stating directly what happens one way or the other, it is up to your DM to make a ruling.

In prior versions (3rd edition at its later variants, I know, but I don't know how 4th edition dealt with it), being trained in the Jump skill meant that you controlled your descent, and thus took no damage regardless of how far you traveled. You could even use the Jump skill to negate 10-ft of falling damage.

However, you're asking for 5th edition, and as you've stated there's nothing saying one way or the other. On the other hand, the jump you've just listed is your basic jump - one not requiring a Strength-Athletics skill check to make. I'd personally assert that you'd take no damage from it; taking falling damage from your well planned moment of awesome seems a mite unfair to me. You should be in control of yourself the entire jump.

Another possibility you might suggest if your DM won't go for the easy way, is that you could make a Strength-Athletics skill check or a Strength-save to avoid damage. This might be a good compromise solution.

And of course, your DM could go with slapping the damage on you anyway. Take your lumps like a bear (you should survive it easily; as Miniman pointed out falling damage should be 4d6, not 4d10, which means the most the fall could do is 24 points of damage, and you're bear form has 34 hit points), and bask in your moment of awesome despite the damage.

RAW certainly doesn't say one way or the other, thus leaving it to DMs Judgement (DMJ).

However the sources and language cited strongly imply bridging large horizontal distances. I'd invoke the Olympics as an example: long jump versus high jump. You'll note that both events use various surfaces to land on. Sand in one case, and a large poofy pad in the other.

RAW - The Jump spell makes no mention one way or the other as to whether the distance is only horizontal or vertical. And the same is true of Step of the Wind - although it's paired with mention of Disengage and Dash - which one could say the writers were thinking horizontally, not vertically. The movement rules specifying jumping mention distance for both long and high jumps - so there's no clarification there.

Personally I'd say sure it'll let you achieve those heights - but it probably wouldn't protect you much from the fall.

1. There are other abilities and spells that ameliorate falling damage which should be used to cover that.
2. I don't think anyone is proposing that the Jump spell or Step of the Wind be used to allow someone to jump down from a great height without taking damage?

Taken individually the 2x or 3x multipliers don't result in heights that are likely for a heroic character to damage themselves with. Taken together - they'd allow a PC to jump up to a ledge or rooftop, but still need to be wary of vertical leaps without a safe landing. So yeah 4d6 damage seems reasonable.

Side note the additive nature of spell effects on p205 could be read as (2+3)x7 = 35 in place of 2x3x7 = 42.

• In both the examples of long and high jump in the Olympics, the jumper is very deliberately not landing on their feet. The cushioned landings aren't there because jumping a long or high distance is inherently injurious; rather, we've developed injurious methods of jumping long and high because we know we've got a soft landing awaiting us.
– nitsua60
Sep 13, 2015 at 0:42

Jump height and jump distance are two different things though. the Jump spell and Step of the Wind both allow you to jump further, not higher as far as i understand the wording of the spells.

And when you jump, you fall (unless you're flying). If you somehow end up jumping higher than 20 feet, you will take falling damage. Gravity doesn't care how you got in the air. Impacting the ground from that height is going to hurt in some way.

That is how I would rule it in my game at least.

• I am trying to find some rules support for doubling jump height with step of the wind. Will let you know what I find, it may support your answer. Nov 26, 2018 at 15:30

### Jumping is not falling, so you do not take damage

First, jumping is a form of active movement in the game, as explained under the movement rules (p. 190 PHB)

Your movement can include jumping, climbing, and swimming. These different modes of movement can be combined with walking, or they can constitute your entire move. However you're moving, you deduct the distance of each part of your move from your speed until it is used up or until you are done moving.

Falling is passive, it does not deduct its distance from your speed, so it is separate from jumping, and the rules for falling do not apply to a jumping creature.

### Narrative approach

From a less rules-technical perspective, jumping is a controlled action, while falling is something that happens to you. Depending on your fitness, landing technique and footwear you can in real life jump down from a height that would have a higher risk of injury if you were to fall uncontrolled from the same height. (The game does not provide a jump for jumping down, only a long jump and a high jump, so this would require the DM how to handle it. By the rules, there is only falling for jumping down).

Some older editions of the game even had rules for controlling your fall, for example allowing you to reduce the effective height of the fall by 10 feet with a successful Acrobatics check.

• So if I jump off a cliff, I’m okay because I’m jumping? Jumping from a height of 40' and landing and jumping 40' up and landing seem to be pretty identical. Nov 22, 2023 at 12:53
• @NotArch There is no jump for jumping off a cliff, there's a high jump and a long jump. The jumping down section is the "narrative" thoughts section. By the rules, jumping down a cliff is a horizontal jump followed by falling. Nov 22, 2023 at 14:05
• I disagree, 40’ vertical drop seems like 40’ regardless if you jump up or jump off. Nov 22, 2023 at 15:05

# The rules are crystal clear: you take fall damage

When do you take fall damage? From the basic rules:

At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6

What is falling? From the Free Dictionary:

To drop or come down freely under the influence of gravity

If I jump do I eventually fall? From the Free Dictionary:

To propel oneself upward or over a distance in single quick motion or series of such motions.

The rules do not exclude "jumping" from fall damage. They are pretty clear and without exception. If you fall, you take fall damage.

Once you jump, you usually fall back to Earth. I think we all know this, most people who have ever jumped have had this experience.

It is ridiculous to claim that you do not "fall" after jumping 40ft into the air. Could you jump off a skyscraper and land without injury? That isn't supported by the rules, or common sense. Anyone claiming that "jumping" doesn't involve "falling" is trying to rules lawyer poorly (probably for their own benefit).

• Actually the rules don't include falling damage in the context of jumping at all. "Jumping" on PHB pg 182 doesn't contain the word "fall", "Falling" on PHB pg 183 doesn't contain the word "jump". The word "fall" IS mentioned under "Dexterity Checks" on PHB on pg 176, where it says they these checks "model any attempt to move nimbly, quickly, or quietly, or to KEEP FROM FALLING on tricky footing." It's not "crystal clear", it's "not linked in any way". Apr 23, 2021 at 21:15

Although the language of the rules is lacking here you can make a pretty strong case for not taking fall damage, via real world demonstration.

"Of course I don't take fall damage. Look, I'm going to jump as high as I can." You then just straight up, having the other person note how high you got. "Ok, so that's as high as I can jump right?" Climb up onto a table or other surface that's a bit higher than that. "So if I walk off this edge that means my legs will break?"

Reality makes a rather compelling case for being able to fall further than you can jump without damaging yourself. The biology behind this boils down to 'you can generate more force with certain kinds of movements, mainly ones where the muscles are going from extended to compact.'

Of course, a savvy GM will be concerned with rule abuse, what with the apparently different jump effects potentially multiplying together here. You could easily roll this into skill checks, as it stands to reason that you need to do a good job of keeping your feet pointing in the right direction to land safely. Since this is just jumping I'd expect low difficulty if there aren't other forces at work, such as high winds, and even on a failure you might still only take half damage from a clumsy landing. Depends a bit on how much the wuxia ninja jumping fits the theme of the campaign imo.

• i'm not sure your analogy works, since this would be like stepping off of a 4 story building. Magic assists your ability to jump this high, it doesn't say anything about making you durable Dec 9, 2015 at 16:23
• i agree with @PremierBromanov also most answers on here that get upvoted are RAW as much as possible... there are several reasons real life physics isn't used to simulate RPG situations especially dnd see the chat chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/84312/… Nov 20, 2018 at 3:10