Related to this question: How far do you fall per turn?

My friend wants to use the barbarians eagle ability to fly up so high that he would not hit the ground before the end of his turn. Now, Mike Mearls says that in 6 seconds, you would fall 580 feet. Now, my friend states that he would only fall about 32 feet due to the fact he would not fall for a full 6 seconds. So, how long does one fall at the end of your turn.

SA: http://www.sageadvice.eu/2016/02/13/how-many-feet-does-a-creature-fall-in-a-single-round/


This is more advice than a hard-and-fast answer, because there isn't a way to tell by RAW when exactly in a turn that something happens; if you knew for certain that, say, the barbarian lost their flight ability one second before the end of the turn, you could calculate it, but that "one second" figure really doesn't exist. So the final answer will have to be a DM call. I'd go one of two ways:

  1. Say that a turn is a turn is a turn, is six seconds: the game is already several layers of abstraction, so precisely timing things in segments smaller than a six-second turn is more trouble than it's worth. Note that you also aren't calculating acceleration due to gravity with this plan already, and that would have a big impact on the distance traveled in the real world.
  2. Being charitable without doing too much math, consider any "partial turn" durations to be halved, so three seconds. You're giving the barbarian player a bit of a break here while keeping the math simple. If they try to cut that down farther, just say no.

Both of these assume that the one making the call is the DM.


I've seen DMs choose to be charitable about this sort of thing: a character will get knocked off a cliff on someone else's turn, and the DM will wait until that character's turn to resolve it. When the DM resolves the falling, they'll say: "You're falling, but you have your full turn to try to do something about it before you hit the ground. Can you do anything to save yourself?" And the player would be able to use their action to grab the cliff face, read a scroll of featherfall, drink a healing potion, or whatever else they could think of.

Similarly, if a barbarian abruptly loses their fly ability at the end of their turn, one might wait to resolve the fall until their next turn, so that they can use their next action to avert the fall.

On the other hand, the eagle ability says pretty clearly: "This benefit works only in short bursts; you fall if you end your turn in the air and nothing else is holding you aloft." My reading of that rule is that the barbarian's flying power only "recharges" when the barbarian is on the ground. If the barbarian flies up 80 feet and ends their turn, on their next turn their flying power isn't recharged, and if they don't have some other clever trick then they fall to the ground and take damage.


Your turn is generally considered the amount of things you accomplish in a round, as in what you do in 6 seconds. So even though we break it out into serial order, (X happens, then Y happens) it's actually all happening at the same time(X happens while Y happens). Consider page 181 of the PHB

Every character and monster has a speed, which is the distance in feet that the character or monster can walk in 1 round.

You move that distance in a full round, not a fraction of a round. So a full 6 seconds, not in a fraction of 6 seconds. As such by the time he's finished moving and acting it's been 6 seconds and there is no more movement. He begins to fall next turn. This does seem to be at odds with 14th level eagle totem though

W hile raging, you have a flying speed equal to your current walking speed. This benefit works only in short bursts; you fall if you end your turn in the air and nothing else is holding you aloft.

This seems to be indicating that you should fall that distance this round, otherwise you just be able to start flying again next round and never hit the ground(which I assume is what he's trying to do). Personally I'd ban that as violating RaI, since it's clearly meant to indicate that this ability is not true flight. If not banned it would seem you have to come up with some ruling that indicates falling and therefore ignore the assumption that a turn takes the entirety of a round.

In that mode I would consider that movement is probably 2 seconds. On your turn you can perform a move and an action. An action is likely equal to a move in time because Dash lets you move again, indicating they are similar in time. You also have a reaction, the ability to interact with an object, and perhaps a bonus action. Those all are less involved things than an action or movement and thus I'd say they add up to 2 seconds.

While the text specifies end of turn the fluff really seems to suggest end of movement. You get a burst of flight, not the ability to hover. So while the abstraction will allow you to fly, attack, and fly again with a RaW interpretation, we can still assume that you are falling for all the time not spent actively flying. So 4 seconds, unless the player takes dash, in which case 2. If a character falls 4 seconds they will fall 257 feet. In 2 seconds they'll fall 64 feetcalculator, assuming earth gravity. So if they Dash up to 80 feet they should be safe, provided this breakdown of a round.

Alternative breakdown of a round is that each turn takes the same amount of time and they do happen all in serial. In which case, no matter what he'll hit the ground if he does this as the max amount of time his turn could take is 3 seconds in a 2 person encounter leaving a minimum of 144 feet of falling distance.


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