[RPG] How should I handle a player attacking from the top of a tree


There is a player in my group whose character is developed around staying in trees, climbling, Athletics, Acrobatics, and such. He likes to climb trees and then leap down onto enemies from the tree branch in the beginning, but how should this be properly handled?

According to rules, he should take fall damage for falling off 10+ feet onto an enemy, but I consider the fact he is skilled in doing this as per his background.

There is no actual skill that he has that says he would nullify fall damage or instead apply it to the enemy, or that he should gain any benefit from this action.

Should I simply give him advantage on the attack roll, ignore fall damage, and call it a day?

Best Answer

The problem is this part of the falling rules:

The creature lands prone, unless it avoids taking damage from the fall.

You are suggesting you give the PC advantage on the attack and no damage when they really should be landing prone after taking damage.

The question then is whether negating the damage is fair or not. The problem with the falling rules is they don't consider what you land on. If you fall 30 feet and land in a deep pool of water then your damage should be reduced or negated. For this example it's a matter of how you land in the water. A clean dive or a pin drop would be the ideal way of landing, a belly flop would be the worst.

Landing on an opponent would follow similar logic. Unless they are dropping on something hard like a golem their opponents body should be usable to break their fall a bit.

I'd suggest making the PC roll an acrobatics check to land on their opponent correctly. Have the DC determined by distance fallen. If they fail then they and their opponent take damage and they don't get their attack.

Do keep in mind the distance between the attacker and the target. If they are 15 feet up in the air on a branch and their opponent is 6 foot tall then that is only 9 feet.

If they drop too far you might want to consider a roll (athletics maybe) to jump on their opponent accurately.