5E Forced Movement in 5e ?

Amatiel

Explorer
How do your groups handle forced movement ? In the group I currently DM for I have a warlock with repelling blast. Back in 4e, there were a ton if rules explaing forced movement. In 5e, it would appear they have simplified it somewhat...As in, there are none! From what I can find, forced movement would seem to apply and tough luck and :):):):) happens! ?

As an example, in our last game the warlock struck an enemy wizard on a bridge into a chasm with a river. At first, I just said he is knocked into the chasm. I made a comment about like. "wow, cool shot!" followed by something like "huh, forced movement can be lethal huh? chuckle". The PCs thought about that, and said wait, shouldn't he get a saving throw?

So, how do you deal with forced movement in 5e?
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
Maybe I’d give him a dex check to grab the edge but the you’re just delaying they’re inevitable death unnecessarily. The bag guy vanished into the mist never to be seen again...


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Xeviat

Explorer
This isn’t just a warlock issue. Anyone can use Push and open hand monks can push far with their flurries. I’d go with a Dex save, like 4E, when someone is being pushed into harming terrain. Then use the damage by level table to help you decide how deep falls should be for your adventures.


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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I give dex saves based on the situation, basing the DC on the edge. Waist high wall? DC 10. Sheer edge off an icy cliff? DC 25.

It's nothing official of course, but the PCs know that turnabout is fair play, so they've never complained.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
This is an example of rulings not rules.
4e had the saving throw mechanic where you could fall prone if pushed off a ledge. Which is weird as saving throws were a duration tracking mechanic.

The DM can easily do something similar. There just isn't a hard rule for it. They can improvise depending on the situation and terrain (or if a PC is being knocked backwards). A railing might provide a lower DC while a crumbling cliff will be harder.
 

dave2008

Hero
I feel like there is almost this specific example in the DMG, and it suggest providing a saving throw. But it is not a rule, just a suggestion on a ruling. Can remember for sure if that was the DMG or somewhere else I read that though.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
If you push someone such that they're still adjacent to a cliff face, then they might reasonably be able to grab something before or during their fall. If you blast someone so hard that there's nothing within five feet of them, then there's not really anything they can do about it.

The reason you needed the rule in 4E was because push effects were extremely common, in order to facilitate interesting tactics on a grid. The grid is optional in 5E, and push effects are relatively rare, so it shouldn't matter how generous the rules are because shoving people off a cliff isn't supposed to come up much. If your particular campaign takes place on a lot of airships, then you may wish to introduce such a rule.
 

Harzel

Explorer
I give dex saves based on the situation, basing the DC on the edge. Waist high wall? DC 10. Sheer edge off an icy cliff? DC 25.

It's nothing official of course, but the PCs know that turnabout is fair play, so they've never complained.
Personally, I would distinguish between something that stops lateral movement and something that prevents a fall. A waist high wall might have a chance to stop lateral movement, but that would apply whether or not there was a chasm in back of the wall. If there is no obstacle that might stop the lateral movement, then the forced creature will move the entire forced distance. If at the end of the forced movement, the creature has only open space below them, but is within reach of something that could prevent a fall, then a DEX saving throw to allow them to hang on seems reasonable. However, if, for example, a medium or smaller creature with normal-sized arms is on the edge of a precipice and gets pushed 10 ft or more, then there is no chance to avoid the fall.

Put a bit differently, I want to be consistent* in how I adjudicate the lateral forced movement. If I allow a save to stop the lateral movement, then I allow it regardless of whether you are on the edge of a cliff or on a flat plain. There is not an additional chance to stop the lateral movement solely because it takes you over a vertical drop.

* That is not to be taken to accuse @Oofta of being inconsistent just because I was quoting them.

EDIT: [MENTION=6775031]Saelorn[/MENTION] appears to have made much the same point much more succinctly.
 
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Repelling Blast is a boost to Eldritch Blast so the "saving throw" is actually the target's AC against the attack roll required by E.B.

However, fighting next to a chasm is a VERY dangerous thing. Someone IS going to fall into it. This time the player was lucky to be on right side of it.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
However, fighting next to a chasm is a VERY dangerous thing. Someone IS going to fall into it. This time the player was lucky to be on right side of it.
This. High action style combats, as oft suggested by various DMGs, are DEADLY! Fighting on a rope bridge over a volcano is not "cool," it's incredibly stupid, since instant death is only a bad roll away. Players should be aware of such dangers, and smart ones will turn it on you (like retreating back to the end, cutting the rope bridge, and dropping your bad guys into the volcano).
 
For me falling damage from falling down when pushed off a cliff is part of the result of forced movement, yes.

If I place my NPCs bad and a player has the idea to push them down for easy victory, I see no reason not to reward that.
If the PCs are next to a cliff and I can instant kill them with a push I usually would make the NPCs first do actions that tell my players "Yes, these have means to push you." and only if my players don't get that hint, I'd finish them off.
 

Nevvur

Explorer
I don't really have a formal system. In reality, you'll start to fall immediately once there's no ground below your feet, unless you have an upwards trajectory. By RAW, pushes and similar forced movement only occur on a horizontal plane. Even with enough force to push you 10 or 15 feet over the ledge, I suspect one would drop fast enough that you'd be even with the ledge long before (relatively speaking) you reached the maximum distance, providing an opportunity to catch the ledge. A Dexterity saving throw is appropriate in virtually every case, and as others have suggested, the DC can be modified by factors like creature size (and appendages), terrain, and distance beyond the ledge.

You wrote you're looking for consistency, so maybe something like this: Dexterity saving throw DC 10
Creature size: S = +5, M = 0, L = -5, H = -10. Assumes the creature has limbs that can grab the ledge. A gorgon could reasonably be expected to simply plummet.
Terrain: Rough/obstacles = -5, Flat = 0, Smooth = +5, Slippery = +10
Push distance beyond ledge: 5 feet = 0, 10 = feet = +5, 15 feet = +10

Again, just to be clear, I don't actually use a formal system to handle forced movement over ledges, mostly because it doesn't come up enough in my games. However, I would probably arrive at a DC similar to what the above prescribes when making a spot call for the DC.
[MENTION=6775477]Shiroiken[/MENTION] hints at the subject, but one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is to base the ruling on the style of game. In a game of gritty realism, I'm going to take the immediacy of gravity into greater consideration. In a wuxia game, gravity might not come into play until the end of the forced movement, effectively preventing a catch check if the distance beyond the ledge is greater than the reach of the creature.

Regardless of the game style, I'm permissive about letting mooks fly off the edge without a save. I've also designed combats that would be deadly+ if the PCs didn't try to push enemies off ledges.
 

Harzel

Explorer
I don't really have a formal system. In reality, you'll start to fall immediately once there's no ground below your feet, unless you have an upwards trajectory. By RAW, pushes and similar forced movement only occur on a horizontal plane. Even with enough force to push you 10 or 15 feet over the ledge, I suspect one would drop fast enough that you'd be even with the ledge long before (relatively speaking) you reached the maximum distance, providing an opportunity to catch the ledge. A Dexterity saving throw is appropriate in virtually every case, and as others have suggested, the DC can be modified by factors like creature size (and appendages), terrain, and distance beyond the ledge.

You wrote you're looking for consistency, so maybe something like this: Dexterity saving throw DC 10
Creature size: S = +5, M = 0, L = -5, H = -10. Assumes the creature has limbs that can grab the ledge. A gorgon could reasonably be expected to simply plummet.
Terrain: Rough/obstacles = -5, Flat = 0, Smooth = +5, Slippery = +10
Push distance beyond ledge: 5 feet = 0, 10 = feet = +5, 15 feet = +10
If you were going to allow a DEX save, that all seems reasonable. However, assuming your reference to consistency was responding to my post, I think you might have misunderstood my point. If the pushee is on the edge of a cliff and gets pushed 10 ft and makes a DEX save (under whatever system) that leaves it dangling from the cliff edge, then, somehow, the pushee has not only prevented downward movement, it has also negated some of the horizontal movement.

Since the edge of a precipice does not, all other things being equal, afford more purchase to apply force horizontally than flat ground does, then consistency, IMO, would demand that the same save be available to arrest the horizontal movement in the case where the action takes place on a flat plain. (Perhaps you intended that? It didn't really sound like it.)

Again, just to be clear, I don't actually use a formal system to handle forced movement over ledges, mostly because it doesn't come up enough in my games. However, I would probably arrive at a DC similar to what the above prescribes when making a spot call for the DC.

@Shiroiken hints at the subject, but one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is to base the ruling on the style of game. In a game of gritty realism, I'm going to take the immediacy of gravity into greater consideration. In a wuxia game, gravity might not come into play until the end of the forced movement, effectively preventing a catch check if the distance beyond the ledge is greater than the reach of the creature.
Fascinating. I would have expected just the opposite, since I think of a cliff edge stopping lateral movement as cool and dramatic, but not realistic.

Regardless of the game style, I'm permissive about letting mooks fly off the edge without a save. I've also designed combats that would be deadly+ if the PCs didn't try to push enemies off ledges.
We definitely have different styles in that regard. In my games, as go the mooks, so go the PCs.
 

Horwath

Explorer
if the push is just beyond the ledge then you could use dex save or athletics to grab the edge.

If pushed beyond tatural reach, no save. roll fall damage or insta kill.
 

Nevvur

Explorer
[MENTION=6857506]Harzel[/MENTION] Thanks for clarifying your point. I did misunderstand, but I see what you're getting at now (I hope).

I look at forced movement over ledges roughly the same way I look at some features and spell effects with special conditions. Disintegrate causes 75 HP of normal damage. If the condition exists where there's no more HP, an additional effect comes into play - the target is reduced to ash. Forced movement across a flat surface causes normal forced movement. If the condition exists where there's no more surface, an additional effect comes into play - make a Dex save to arrest horizontal movement, as you put it.

I don't think the sort of consistency you're driving at is required because, as I see things, the different conditions imply the need for different treatment.
 
I would like to add something to this discussion:

If we are talking about a bridge, or maybe the top of a tower or even a cliff, there might actually be some protection against falling off (rail, 3ft high wall). In that case by RAW, because pushes are "away from you" and not "up", would not actually move the target beyond the edge. That would be an easy way to prevent instant death dangers like that.

If the wall or rail isn't very high so it's not clear whether the target would hit the wall or not, you could always apply "when in doubt roll for it". This then could work even if you push the target far beyond the edge, because the roll determines whether the target hits the wall or flies over it rather than whether it can hold itself while falling down.
 

Satyrn

Villager
if the push is just beyond the ledge then you could use dex save or athletics to grab the edge.

If pushed beyond tatural reach, no save. roll fall damage or insta kill.
But what if they grab at the edge (or some object at the edge) as they're getting pushed away, before they get out of reach?
 

Jaelommiss

Villager
But what if they grab at the edge (or some object at the edge) as they're getting pushed away, before they get out of reach?
The exact same thing as if they grab the ground at their feet when being pushed away on flat ground: nothing, they still end up 10 feet away from their starting location because that's what the effect does. Put another way, if grabbing something to prevent movement is ineffective on flat ground, then it is equally ineffective on a cliff.

Perhaps there should have been a saving throw to resist the movement baked into the mechanic. I can certainly understand the arguement there. Personally I think there should have been one, though I can understand not including it for the sake of speeding up game play. Adding an additional saving throw for the DM to resolve for every hit a warlock makes with his normal attack cantrip has the potential to slow down the game significantly. It's far faster to link every hit with the forced movement, and if once in a while that throws someone from a cliff so far that they can't grab it, so be it. As a DM I'm glad that I don't have to deal with all of those extra dice, and the PCs taking a monster out of the fight instantly helps cut down on what I need to deal with. If I'm truly bothered by it I can just ramp up the pressure later.

From what I've seen, this ability is only really useful on rare occassion. Unless you're throwing someone into something dangerous (fire, Spike Growth, off a cliff, etc.) or playing movement speed games, it has little effect. To arbitrarily add an additional saving throw to resist it working is needlessly punitive. I don't give monsters a death save to resist being killed when the fighter brings them to 0HP. The monk beat the monster's AC? Great, it suffers the effects of a successful attack (1d6+4 damage and dies if that brings it to 0, Con save vs. Stunning Strike, unable to take reactions because of Flurry of Blows). The Warlock beat the monster's AC? Great, it suffers the effects of Eldritch Blast (1d10+3 damage and dies if that brings it to 0, pushed ten feet away).
 

Harzel

Explorer
The exact same thing as if they grab the ground at their feet when being pushed away on flat ground: nothing, they still end up 10 feet away from their starting location because that's what the effect does. Put another way, if grabbing something to prevent movement is ineffective on flat ground, then it is equally ineffective on a cliff.
Precisely.

Perhaps there should have been a saving throw to resist the movement baked into the mechanic. I can certainly understand the arguement there. Personally I think there should have been one, though I can understand not including it for the sake of speeding up game play. Adding an additional saving throw for the DM to resolve for every hit a warlock makes with his normal attack cantrip has the potential to slow down the game significantly. It's far faster to link every hit with the forced movement, and if once in a while that throws someone from a cliff so far that they can't grab it, so be it. As a DM I'm glad that I don't have to deal with all of those extra dice, and the PCs taking a monster out of the fight instantly helps cut down on what I need to deal with. If I'm truly bothered by it I can just ramp up the pressure later.

From what I've seen, this ability is only really useful on rare occassion. Unless you're throwing someone into something dangerous (fire, Spike Growth, off a cliff, etc.) or playing movement speed games, it has little effect. To arbitrarily add an additional saving throw to resist it working is needlessly punitive. I don't give monsters a death save to resist being killed when the fighter brings them to 0HP. The monk beat the monster's AC? Great, it suffers the effects of a successful attack (1d6+4 damage and dies if that brings it to 0, Con save vs. Stunning Strike, unable to take reactions because of Flurry of Blows). The Warlock beat the monster's AC? Great, it suffers the effects of Eldritch Blast (1d10+3 damage and dies if that brings it to 0, pushed ten feet away).
I think people are generally concerned with giving PCs an extra chance, not so much their opponents, although as I mentioned earlier I prefer to treat all creatures the same in such matters.
 

Horwath

Explorer
But what if they grab at the edge (or some object at the edge) as they're getting pushed away, before they get out of reach?
that could be general rule for all forced movement then. Because usualy there is somethnig in the way.
 

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