One of my players is a 8th level druid. They favor wild shaping into a tiger. He cast spider climb and walked upto/onto the ceiling which was 30 feet high using the wall. He then wanted to use their special ability pounce from the ceiling onto an enemy.

Now I had no problems with them using pounce in this fashion, but the player wanted to deal falling damage on top of the pounce attack.

At the time I was not familiar with the falling damage rules so I ruled no, but after finding and reading them Im thinking Im wrong. This has lead me to a couple related questions.

  1. Does he take fall damage while pouncing from a high position?
  2. Would he deal falling damage while pouncing?
  3. If both are true, is the falling damage and falling/landing damage counted together or separate for purposes of DR?
  4. Would this all be the same if he was under the effect of a fly spell (and sufficiently up in the air) and pounced?

This doesn't appear to be well-covered under the rules, but here's how I'd rule.

I don't think it's a good idea to let characters use the Falling Objects rules, because (1) a character is not an inanimate object, and (2) characters falling from a great height take a lot more damage than objects do.

However, we can take this sentence from the Falling Objects rules as a baseline:

Note that a falling object takes the same amount of damage as it deals.

So, what I'd rule is: the kitty takes falling damage for falling 30 feet (3d6, with modifiers for falling deliberately and for Acrobatics check). The creature being attacked takes the same 3d6 as the kitty, but doesn't get to make an Acrobatics check to reduce the damage. This damage gets applied on the first successful melee attack made as part of the pounce.

Note that anyone who takes real (not subdual) damage from a fall is knocked prone. It seems fair to rule that this happens to both characters.

As to the Fly spell: we don't have a lot of precedent in D&D for dealing damage by moving at someone very fast and colliding with them. If a wizard cast Expeditious Retreat, and wanted to injure a foe by running into them, I would probably look at them funny. If that same wizard then cast Fly, and wanted to injure a foe by running into them from above, that wouldn't work any better for me.

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Allowing pounce without fly or a jump check in this situation is a houserule. It does, however, make a lot of sense and I recommend continuing to do so.

  1. Yes; he has fallen more than 10 feet.
  2. No, but he may deal falling object damage if he is an object, or deal such damage indirectly if he is attending any objects.
  3. Each object's falling damage should be reduced separately. If he is an object, however, the damage he himself takes from falling as a creature and from falling as an object should probably be summed before they are reduced by DR.
  4. Nope! Instead:
    1. No; he has moved 10 feet, but he is flying not falling
    2. No; he is flying, not falling

Note that most flying characters can choose to fall instead, if they'd like, and some special creatures have special 'diving charge'-like abilities that give extra bonuses for charging down at least 10 feet from the air. Example

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Pounce is a type of charge, and since you can charge while flying, burrowing, or swimming.... I saw no reason why other variants of charge would not be allowed. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Sep 20 '15 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, sure, but you can't charge while falling, technically, because falling is forced movement; it's not your move. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Sep 20 '15 at 20:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Fering Unless Paizo's finally written its own burrowing rules, creatures, while burrowing, can't charge. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 20 '15 at 21:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Allowing pounce without fly or a jump [Note: Acrobatics?] check in this situation is a house rule." Citation? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 20 '15 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm unfamiliar with any use of pounce specifically mandating a skill check. I mean, sure, the GM could ask for an Acrobatics check to determine distance jumped, but I don't know what any other check would be for. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 21 '15 at 0:28

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