[RPG] How to handle running and falling down a steep hill


Recently a situation occurred in D&D 5e that the player handbook did not cover. I searched for examples or rules that related to the situation but was unable to find any that went beyond D&D's rules for traversing difficult terrain.

The situation in question — A large creature is intent on killing my PC and beside us there is a steep slope, I choose to run down the slope to try and escape while the creature follows. The agreement was made with the DM that because we were both moving as fast as possible down the slope we would roll to see if we would make it safely to the bottom or trip/slip and tumble to the bottom ending in prone position, receiving damage calculated in relation to the distance still to travel to the bottom of the slope and the AC of the entity that fell.

While I believe in that instance the DM acted suitably, can anyone provide any rules or documentation that covers this scenario for D&D 5e ?

Best Answer

In regards to DnD 5e, I came across a similar situation recently (What is the guidance for setting the damage done by unusual difficult/dangerous terrain?). Somewhere in the DMG close to the information listed, there is a guide for making up roll difficulties, which is general something like:

  • 1-5: Easy
  • 6-10: Moderate
  • 11:15: Hard
  • 16+: Difficult

My first instinct is to have the players make a Dex based throw to attempt to keep their footing while running at max speed down steep terrain. Depending on how steep I would roll on that table above. You could also probably argue for other checks as well, however in most situations I would allow the players to decide which check they would like to make (assuming it is reasonable - e.g. in this case, Dex, Acrobatics or Athletics).