D&D 5E Vertical Jump Rules and a +5 STR modifier

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
I'm really not fan of the jumping rules (or the lifting and dragging rules for that matter.)
They're terrible and I complain about them all the time. Clearly spme sort of verisimilitude in jumping is really important to someone on the design team, and I find it kind of funny.

I just wantwd to share the clip, which was meant to be fun.

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Guide of Modos
The whole lifting/carrying math is completely broken. I’ve thought about redoing it several times but I haven’t bothered because in practice it doesn’t really come up. But if it would I’d just ignore it.
I'd ignore it too. It sounds like an item for my maths-in-games thread: https://www.enworld.org/threads/how-much-math-should-rpgs-require.700803/ where we discuss how much math is necessary/reasonable.

They're terrible and I complain about them all the time. Clearly spme sort of verisimilitude in jumping is really important to someone on the design team, and I find it kind of funny.
Well, 5e is the streamlined edition. So jumping is clearly an essential component of what really makes D&D. Right up there with AC, HP, and 14 status conditions.


Mod Squad
Staff member
I'd ignore it too.

Lots of people would probably ignore it even if it weren't a mismatch for our expectations.

And, I prefer "mismatch to expectations" over "broken". Play doesn't fall apart if you use the rules as written. Characters just can't do as much as some would like.
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For all practical purposes, it is better just to assign DCs based on action movie logic:

DC 5: only the comic relief weak sidekick character is likely fail.
DC 10: only the bookworm character is likely to fail.
DC 15: only the action hero protagonist/antagonist is likely to succeed
DC 20: this is one of those moments of "peril" for the protagonist
DC 25: last ditch heroic effort required!
DC 30: the actor wanted to much money and are being written out of the sequel


With some training on how to move in plate and balance whatever pack he's wearing? Probably.
Might move the fighter from mundane to magical though.



From the PHB:
"High Jump. When you make a high jump, you leap into the air a number of feet equal to 3 + your Strength modifier if you move at least 10 feet on foot immediately before the jump. When you make a standing high jump, you can jump only half that distance. ... In some circumstances, your DM might allow you to make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump higher than you normally can."

So 20 Str can do a Standing high jump of (3+5)/2=4 vertical feet. What would it look like to do even more than that (in some circumstances)?

The Korean game Show Physical:100 has just showed me. Enjoy.

Actually those number don’t sound too bad when we start comparing them to some real life athletes.

For reference:

a 20 STR gives a standing high jump of (3+5)/2=4 feet or 48 inches.

a 16 STR gives a standing high jump of (3+3)/2=3 feet or 36 inches.

Now, for the 2022/2023 Season, the average high jump of the NBA was 39.2 inches. So a 16STR PC has a jump pretty much average in the NBA. The 20STR PC with their 48-inch vertical jump ties the highest ever vertical jump for an NBA player (Micheal Jordan & Darrel Griffith).

Now turning towards the video, I am going to make the following assumptions:

1: Center of Mass (CoM) is located at half the height of the body (makes math easier)

2: To successfully land on their feet, the person needs to lift their CoM an additional 18 inches over the mat.

3: I estimate the height of the athlete in the video to be approximately 5 ft 6inches (66 inches), based on the height of the mat and the where the mat comes up to in relation to their body. This puts their CoM at a height of 33 inches.

We are told the height of the mat is 134 cm. Which converts to approximately 52.75 inches. So I will round that up to 53”

Now, based on our #2 assumption, the athlete needs to raise their CoM to a total height of (53+18) 71 inches.

Since in our #3 assumption we’ve estimated the starting CoM at 33 in, the athlete needs to raise their CoM (71-33) 38 in.

This is just above the high jump of a 16STR PC, but doable by an 18STR PC.

If we make a PC with same height as assumed for the athlete in the video, 5ft 6in (66in), and give them a 20STR, the can make this jump onto a mat of 63in

33 (starting height of CoM) +48 (jump height) -18 (overage required for landing).

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