Players love rolling dice. A DM who inspires their players to take advantage of the environment to have more fun is doing a good job. The simplest implementation is using the “high ground” to gain advantage.
Here are some different guidelines for granting “high ground” advantage in combat.
The Easy Way: Don’t Overthink It
Put down the protractor. If you start worrying about when the angle of attack flattens out at different heights and ranges, you’re going to suck all the fun out of rolling extra dice by injecting a bunch of extra math. Advantage was made so we could put down the calculators. Just pick some easy rules and roll with it.
How High is High?
It doesn’t matter. Just pick a height that you think is fair: 5 feet, 10 feet, 20 feet. When a player is attacking from that height, they get advantage.
How Far is Far?
Just use your weapon range. It’s that simple:
- If you’re in melee, you get advantage for high ground.
- If you’re using a ranged weapon, use your base weapon range.
That way, when you’re firing at long range (which imposes disadvantage), your benefit for high ground goes away and it all works itself out. Players on high ground at long range roll normally.
Note: If a character possesses an ability that removes disadvantage at long range, feel free to ignore “high ground” advantage to preserve realism.
The Hard Way (Made Easy)
OK, so you can’t let it go and just do things the easy way.
Lucky for you, I made a calculator which will help you determine the attack trajectory and actual distance of your projectile flight path. Just input the height of your vantage point and the distance along the ground to the target. Voila!
The chart will help you in two ways:
- Calculating accurate projectile ranges based on flight path. Instead of calculating projectile range by counting along the ground, you will know how far the target is from the attacker in a straight line.
- Visualizing and adhering to your set degree for advantage. Choosing the correct angle for granting advantage is up to you. By observing the adjustment to the attack trajectory on the Attack Angle Visualizer, you can set an advantage benchmark you’re comfortable with. The actual calculation will ensure it’s honest.
Wishing your next encounter Death from Above!