[RPG] Is It Possible To Lift A Grappled Opponent Multiple Times On The Same Turn


This question follows from this question: What Are The Minimum Stats To Cause Fall Damage When Grappling Plus Jumping?

In my answer to that question, I came up with the following minimum stats to pull off a jumping grapple:

Strength: 10 (standing long jump of 1.5')

Height: 5'8"

Movement Used: 6' (1.5' of jump height * 2 for jump * 2 for grapple)

With these stats, you can pull off the following series of moves:

  1. Grapple someone with your attack action

  2. Jump with your movement, burning 6' from your normal movement of 30'

  3. During the jump, you can lift the grappled opponent above your head, bringing them up to the height of the jump plus 1.5 times your height

  4. You and your opponent fall to the ground, you maintain the grapple

  5. If you have the minimum stats and you were successful up to this point, then:

    • You've brought your grappled opponent 10' in the air
    • You've jumped 1.5' yourself
    • Your opponent will have suffered 1d6 fall damage and landed prone, still grappled
    • You've landed still standing up

NOTE: The grapple is maintained after the landing! This seems to be a point of confusion. There are only four ways to break a grapple:

  • You end it willingly, ignoring the action economy
  • The grappled target uses an action to break from the grapple
  • The grappler becomes incapacitated
  • The grappler is forcefully separated from their target beyond the grappler's reach, as with Thunderwave

Falling prone from a suplex fulfills none of these conditions, and so the grapple is maintained. Below are the passages from RAW that support this.

PHB pg. 195


If you succeed, you subject the target to the grappled condition (see
appendix A). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you
can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

Escaping a Grapple. A grappled creature can use its action to escape. To do so, it must succeed on a Strength (Athletics) or
Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics)

PHB pg. 290


  • The condition ends if the grappler is incapacitated
  • The condition also ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect, such as when a
    creature is hurled away by the thunderwave spell.

The fact you can jump and lift the grappled target with you is RAW, as in the following passage:

PHB pg. 195

Moving a Grappled Creature.

When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you,
but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes
smaller than you.

And you will be able to lift a grappled creature according to the rules governing lifting.

PHB pg. 176

Push, Drag, or Lift.

You can push, drag, or lift a weight in pounds up to twice your
carrying capacity (or 30 times your Strength score). While pushing or
dragging weight in excess of your carrying capacity, your speed drops
to 5 feet.

Assuming your Strength score actually meets the required carrying capacity (you can lift 300lbs at 10 Strength, but your carrying capacity is 150lbs), then your speed does not drop to 5' and you can perform a standing high jump.

If the target is heavier than your lifting capacity, then for argument's sake, let's say you had a higher Strength score that lets you pull off this move.

If you are successful up to this point, you can attempt to lift the grappled opponent above your head up to the jump height plus 1.5 times your height.

PHB pg. 182

High Jump

You can extend your arms half your height above yourself during the
jump. Thus, you can reach above you a distance equal to the height of
the jump plus 1 1/2 times your height.

The midjump lift may need a Strength (Athletics) check. This check can be done as part of your movement, as implied in the following passage:

PHB pg. 175


Your Strength (Athletics) check covers difficult situations you
encounter while climbing, jumping, or swimming. Examples include the
following activities:

  • You try to jump an unusually long distance or pull off a stunt midjump.

The Spam Part

A midjump stunt is implied that it is done as part of your movement, not your action. If that is true, doing the sequence of steps I laid out above, you will have eaten up only 6' of your movement per suplex, out of presumably a 30' total. A character who can move 30' can repeat this five times, potentially inflicting 5d6 fall damage if they spam it.

Note this is possible at level 1. Damage doesn't scale, though.

The Question

  1. Can you do this process more than once until you run out of movement, on the same turn?

  2. A case can be made that the ability check midjump can be ruled as an action. But is that ruling RAW?

Best Answer

No, it's not.

When lifting the other character you are either taking an action, or you interacting with an object -- depending on your DM's rulings.

If the DM rules that the pile driver is an attack (which I'd argue it is), that would cost you an action, and you can only repeat it if you have movement and an action to spend on it. This assumes you've grappled them, and have an attack left.

If the DM rules you are use an object. If it wasn't an enemy, you'd only be allowed to pick it up once. Once you drop it (which is free), it is no longer a free action to pick it up again. Use An Object action:

You normally interact with an object while doing something else, such as when you draw a sword as part of an attack. When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action. This action is also useful when you want to interact with more than one object on your turn. (PHB 193)

Since you can't lift someone and do something else, it might take a full action to lift someone above your head. Remember that a round is 6 seconds, dropping someone more than once (or twice if you have the actions for it) would take about that long. Moreover, really can't lift someone and jump while doing something else, so it could be argued it can't be an interaction and must be a "Use Object" action.

To rule otherwise would allow a free 5d6 damage without using any action, and that, while awesome the first time (and a DM may allow it once, by Rule of Cool), is game breaking.