We came across a Vampire Spawn in the 10-foot-high basement of an old church. The first blow was mine, after which the creature attacked my ally and retreated to the ceiling when the thunderous roar of my Booming Blade punished its retreat. Still inexperienced and unsure about my range, after a brief consultation with my mind, I decided to spend my turn switching to my trusty crossbow and do some distance.
However, this turned out to be a mistake, as right after, the creature was on my face trying to rip my eyes out. Due to my agility I managed to avoid his attacks. Regretting my previous choice to switch weapons, I was left with the options to switch weapons and lose another turn, attack at a disadvantage, or use my crossbow as a makeshift melee weapon and rely on the Booming Blade to hold the enemy in place after disconnecting.
Maybe I should have changed weapons, but I decided that 1d4 (makeshift weapon) + 1 (magic ring) + 1d8 (booming blade) was good enough. I got lost
On the plus side, it was the lightning bolt assisted by my crossbow sniper attack that ultimately killed the Vampire by piercing his heart.
In this situation, would it have been possible to simply attack upwards instead of switching to the crossbow?
In the session, this was something to be looked up later and decided against, but I haven't come across any rules about attacking in 3D.
At over 5 feet tall and my melee range considered 5 feet, I should have been able to reach the ceiling, not to mention the Vampire Spawn hanging from it.
As for the exact measurements (read this part only if you like to analyze things unnecessarily):
My character is 5 ft 6 in / 5.5 ft, giving an estimated 7 ft 4 in / 7.3 ft foot reach (for a human, my character is a Kenku), a short sword blade measures 12 to 20 inches / 1 to 1.6 feet. This should give me a height of 8.3 to 8.9 feet of foot statically.
When testing it in real life, my estimated and standing reach matches less than 0.2 inches from the estimate on site and I'm not afraid to reach my standing ceiling statically. As a test, I tried to move as if it was attacking my ceiling, and based on where my hand could feel touching the ceiling, my finger length and how far I was to reach my ceiling, I estimate approximately 0.4 feet of additional height. Considering that I'm taller than my character, let's say he gives 0.3 feet, which increases the height to 8.6 – 9.2 feet and that remains unchanged in the way you hold the sword handle. Also, just lying on the floor, my torso and legs are approximately 0.6 feet.
Since my Kenku is not a human, just a humanoid, it is impossible to estimate the length of the arm that influences the foot range, however, considering that birds generally have a high wingspan and long legs, I think it is It is reasonable to suppose that the arms should be as long, if not longer, than that of a human.
So that would require the Vampire Spawn to be flat against the ceiling with no part hanging more than 0.2 to 0.8 feet to be out of my reach. I consider it unlikely.
What are the actual rules for this type of scenario or how do you handle it in your group? Should I allow melee attack on an enemy on the roof or in the air?