I am having a little trouble wrapping my brain around the Jump skill. I want to plan a battle with my players and the Tarrasque; two of them have the ability to fly - and it does not.

I have an idea of it using its Rush1 and a vertical leap to Bite, Improved Grab, and Swallow Whole a particularly dangerous flyer in the party.

Calculating a DC is throwing me off. Colossal, on the table, show vertical reach to be 128 feet. Rush has a movement speed of 150 feet, giving a +36 to the jump check. The DC is 4 times the desired height.

If a player is 120 feet air, is there no jump required because of vertical reach? If a player is 240 feet in the air, is the DC 920? Or is it Height - Vertical Reach = DC 448?

1 "Once per minute, the normally slow-moving tarrasque can move at a speed of 150 feet."


I apologize, throughout my years of 3.5 edition - I have hardly ever needed jump checks, and if I did they were so trivial it was like this:

"What is your bonus to Jump?"


"Screw it, you make it."

I want to do this right, be fair, and have fun. I would love to surprise someone with the Tarrasque leaping and snatching someone out of the air.


How exactly do I calculate a Jump check to leap into the air, using Rush for increased movement speed, with a colossal quadruped?

Merry Tarrasque Everybody


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    \$\begingroup\$ Swallow Hole is, I assume, a loathed and reviled ability that can rob adventurers of every possession they have stored in a non-dimensional space. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Dec 24, 2015 at 3:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I know it's a jump question, but the terrasque can gain flying with a couple of templates that only barely increase its challenge rating. Although it's a little bit more work on the front end, the half-dragon tarrasque, for example, makes a much more formidable foe. Or consider swapping one of the tarrasque's feats for, for example, the feat Animal Devotion. (After all, the terrasque is devoted to eating animals.) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2015 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


Doing it right

The Tarrasque's Jump check is not particularly great as it hasn't bothered to put skill ranks into it, just its Strength modifier of 17. It is even negatively impacted by its slow speed, for a total of +11. If it rushes though, it gains a bonus of ((150-30)/10)*4 = 48 instead of a penalty, a great improvement. The total effective Jump skill therefore becomes +65, which sounds impressive.

Unfortunately, it's not. It means that with a running start the Tarrasque can leap about (65 + average roll of 10)/4 = under 20 feet. Which would be amazing for a human, but is less than half of it's quadruped standing height of 50 feet. The mighty Tarrasque hops.

As for setting the DC for reaching varying heights, you are correct in thinking that no check is required if the height is within the Tarrasque's reach, and only the difference in height needs to be covered if it's not. Going by the 128 feet of high reach provided by the rules, all you'd have to do to calculate the jump DC is subtract 128 from the desired height and multiply the result by 4.

Having fun

Going strictly by the rules in this instance results in a fairly unimpressive Tarrasque that would have no ability to reach enemies 150 feet in the air. The rules for skill use are written with humanoid and human-sized characters in mind, and strain to keep up the further you move from that norm.

You can try and keep working within their framework. Maybe, your Tarrasque put skill ranks into Jump instead of Search. Maybe it has a huge racial bonus to Jump, or keeps a wizard around as its familiar, to cast Jump as needed. None of these will get you that much further off the ground, but maybe they'll be enough.

Alternatively, consider the approach 13th Age (a sidequel to D&D) has taken in its depiction of the ubiquitous Tarrasque:

Note that flying is usually no defense against the tarrasque, which is huge and powerful enough to pluck or whack enemies out of the sky with surprising leaps.

That is the entirety of rules it dedicates to the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The mighty Tarrasque hops (worth a +1 in its own right). I like the idea of removing Search ranks (why would it have to Search for anything, really). There was a Dragon Magazine (can't remember which issue) that had a prestige class that gave a cult following to the Tarrasque. I like the idea of an enemy NPC(s) buffing it as they will also be valuable mooks for the party to worry about. Thanks. Solid Answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Dec 24, 2015 at 9:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am wondering if the DC could be scaled down/up depending on the creature size, by considering the +4/1ft. relatively to the size of a bipedal Medium creature. If we consider a quadrupedal Colossal creature to be equivalent to a bipedal Gargantuan creature for the purpose of High Jumps (the Tarrasque given size of 50 ft. matches the 64 ft. reach), and base the factor off the initial vertical reach, the DC "bonus" would become +1/2ft. for the Tarrasque on top of its 64 ft. vertical reach... \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2015 at 12:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ ... and would mean when Rushing it can get to an average of 214 ft. (64 + (65+10)*2), with a min. of 196 ft. and a max. of 234 ft. When not rushing, it would be min. 88 ft., avg. 106 ft. and max. 126 ft. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2015 at 12:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Alternativelly, you can also add 4e's Gravity Aura that version of Tarrasque has. basically, anything within 20 squares (100 ft) of the Tarrasque can't fly above its natural range, so even a flying PC would still being threatened by its physical attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nibelung
    Dec 25, 2015 at 9:01

It really depends how you go about the rules as the DM lets assume your using vertical reach by size.The vertical reach is 128ft as stated before.Then a player within 120 ft doesn't require a jump to get too him/her,but, any higher would be most likely height-vertical reach times 4.

THOUGH the thing is lets consider the fact this is a quadruped which brings up the issue that their reach is with their head not with any limbs.So, saying it has 128ft reach is a bit unlikely and would probably make more sense to use it's base reach of 20ft + it's height which is 50ft. so lets say the person you want to jump and eat is 128ft up.

128 ft-70 ft =58 ft

58 ft x4=232 dc +6 = 238 for terrasque's 20ft speed he gets a minus 6 to the cheek.

so the dc would be 238 while it's standing still. Now assuming your using rush to gain 150 ft.

150-10 divided by 10 to get 14x4=54

232-54= 176dc

it would still be a dc 176 for a jump cheek. The reason for the -10 is that a terrasque only has a speed of 20ft and gains a +4 for every 10 ft beyond 30 and doesn't get the -6 since the cheek isn't based off base speed.After all this though i think it comes down to whether you as the DM want to let it slide or not. Also leaving it up to you how you decide what it has to roll,ETC As far as i can tell there is no real right or wrong way to do what you are proposing.


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