It’s Canon Now: Grappling someone in freefall and they get feather-falled means the other guy feather-falls too.

This happened at BDC the other night:

  1. Enemy is trying to escape during battle using their flying carpet. They jump on it and take off
  2. Our ranger does a body tackle and joins the enemy, grappling him.
    • They are now both on the flying carpet, which is moving but somewhat uncontrolled.
  3. Ranger calls out the command word, trying to take control of the carpet, and succeeds. The carpet is still largely uncontrolled, since the ranger really doesn’t know what he’s doing.
  4. As they fight, the carpet angles upward and dumps both Ranger and Enemy out into freefall; they are still grappled.
  5. Wizard casts Feather Fall on the falling Ranger – immediate action, only can be cast on falling creatures of medium or smaller size.
  6. Enemy is grappled, but as Ranger lets him go, he tries to grapple *back* and hold onto the feather-falling Ranger. He succeeds.

The question: does the Enemy enjoy the benefits of Feather Fall similarly to the Ranger since he’s holding onto him? Answer is YES. From the rules:

There are three possible interpretations based on the available rules.

  1. Overly RAW reading of Grapple rules(half serious): Grappled targets are reduced to zero speed, thus the feather fall speed of 60’/round would become zero, and they would both hover in the air as long as the grapple was held.
  2. The grappler does not alter the spell effect, and may float down along with the caster (the negative extrapolation from this option being that a caster can allow anyone hanging on to them to also float down)
  3. The grapple attack or extra weight disrupts the spell, and both fall the remaining distance.


  1. It’s definitely not option (1) because grappling only reduces the Speed attribute of a character to zero, and feather fall’s falling movement is not derived from a character’s Speed. Even a very, very strict RAW reading doesn’t make the grappler and grapplee hang mid-air.
  2. If a weight increase affected the spell it would be noted in the spell’s effect, so it’s not (3).
  3. So by a process of elimination that leaves option (2): that someone can dangle off a feather falling character. This is also the result of least weirdness.

So what happens??

  1. As the spell says, the targeted creature’s fall rate is reduced.
  2. This doesn’t prevent them from carrying things while they’re falling, but anything, if dropped, isn’t suspended by the spell’s effect on the targeted creature and would fall as normal.
  3. Someone grappling a feather falling character neither breaks the spell, nor is a subject of feather fall themself. Nor does feather fall say that they’re magically slippery and can’t be held onto.
  4. Therefore, the grappler benefits from the reduced rate… at least, so long as they maintain the grapple.