Is the maximum falling damage in D&D 5e set at 20d6?
The maximum falling damage in D&D 5e is set at 20d6. With the intention that it represents the full speed at which something can fall, this is true. However, there are many problems with this reality. D&D’s fall damage is an example of the game’s inept handling of hit points and damage. Many people have stated that a person shouldn’t be able to fall from a height above. People can survive highly high falls under extreme circumstances in real life. However, those are merely flukes and far less likely to happen than a critical success on an attack throw. D&D doesn’t recommend that you equate falling a long distance with instant death. Your PCs shouldn’t be able to jump to the bottom of the world from the cloud fortress, thousands of feet above the ground, if they are confident they will survive the 20d6 damage. One might feel comfortable allowing a character to do this, even though they have 120 HP.
What is the problem in setting Max falling damage in 5e dnd to 20d6?
Here’s the problem: hit points in D&D are now a measure of something other than injury. They are now a measure for plot armor, the ability to shrug off harm and luck. A fall can cause severe and permanent damage. That is something that characters should not be able to ignore by staying in the tavern. Healing magic might help. While regular attacks can be justified by subtracting hit points from characters without causing injury, it is impossible to explain a significant fall in that manner. A considerable fall can cause severe physical damage.
Falls would be a much scarier thing than “1d6 per 10 foot”. It lacks realism. To avoid instant death, characters might have to make saving throws (perhaps with a penalty depending on how far they fall), or they might be injured that cannot be swept away. Broken limbs, broken bones or similar injuries could limit their hit points and prevent them from healing themselves with magic or time.
However, players who roleplay well should be given bonuses. Do you attempt to roleplay, minimizing the consequences of a fall? A fighter could aim for tall trees in the forest and hope the branches will slow down his momentum so that he can jump off the cloud fortress. On his descent, the rogue could reach for ivy as he falls from the castle window. Roleplaying like this deserves a bonus. Taking actions that characters attempt to take in these situations is better than relying on a character sheet’s hp numbers to save you. A DM should encourage this roleplaying by making the fall more manageable, not less dangerous, but more survivable.
Falling damage flaws in dnd 5e
It is a significant flaw in the 5th dnd Edition. It’s too easy to overlook the adverse effects of injury and other unpleasant things. High falls, such as those that occur during high-stress situations, should be treated with the same care and attention as other dangerous things.
This question can arise when you mess with gravity. If you’re using higher or lower gravity, you may multiply the damage times Gs = dmg.
If you take 120 dmg and get the real damage in 1.5g, it will be 180. That accounts for gravity’s increase and makes it easy to calculate crushing or light gravity.
The same principle applies to movement. D&D is not clear on the natural falling speed. We know Feather Fall drops to 60ft per square or 12 squares. I use 24 squares for the average falling speed in 5e dnd. A 0.5g environment will have a half-speed slower speed, the same as Feather Fall (12 sq.). That is why you will experience a lower acceleration in a lower G environment. Feather Fall can make it unsafe to fall in any environment lower than 0.5g. It is a DM call.
It is a kind of terminal velocity. 1d6 bludgeoning damages per 10ft would quickly accumulate into a large amount of unavoidable loss. 20d6 Falling damage in 5e dnd is enormous, even for high-level players. It was clear that the rules were written so you could manage 20d6 damage and not fall prey to it. Are you curious to see what happens if the maximum speed increases?