[RPG] Can the Levitate spell be used to cause damage by slamming a creature


One of my players suggested using the levitate spell as a weapon in our last session.

Following his logic, he’ll levitate an enemy 20 feet up and then slam it into a wall or the ground or keep pushing him up and then slam it for a “falling” damage of X feet.

I’m uncertain whether the spell can be used that way as the speed you move a target is not specified. If the levitate move action imprints an acceleration equal to gravity then the action can be considered an attack.

Can levitate be used on this way?

Best Answer

TLDR: While levitating, a creature is not falling, therefore the rules for falling damage cannot be applied.

To answer your question, lets look at the rules for the two things involved here: Levitate and falling

Levitate (PHB 255)

One creature or object of your choice that you can see within range rises vertically, up to 20 feet, and remains suspended there for the duration. The spell can levitate a target that weighs up to 500 pounds. An unwilling creature that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw is unaffected.

The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing. You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on your turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range. When the spell ends, the target floats gently to the ground if it is still aloft.

First partial problem with the idea is that slamming the target into walls doesn't work, because the caster can only change altitude.

Falling (PHB 183)

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.

Here is the big problem. Nothing in the description of falling says anything about acceleration, or gravity, or the like.

Instead, it says "At the end of a fall". While a fall is a change in altitude, a change is altitude is not necessarily a fall.

I would rule that while the levitate spell is active, no fall is taking place, and so no falling damage can occur.

Obligatory: 5e is not a physics simulator.