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View Full Version : Do the Game Rules Replace Physics, or Are They Just a Way to Adjudicate Actions



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Mike_G
2010-07-05, 06:26 PM
How do you play it when the RAW is clearly at odds with reality?

Not just the silly "heal by drowning, dead doesn't mean you can't act, the Sun is too far away to spot" stuff, but things like falling.

How do you address a player who has his character leap off a ten story building because he knows it's only going to be 35-40 damage, and he has 90 HP? Beating a guy for 500 HP of subdual so you know he'll be unconscious for days and you can escape?

Do you allow this kind of obvious metagame decision, or do you overrule it, like pointing out that a hundred foot fall will kill/cripple you?

Vitruviansquid
2010-07-05, 06:30 PM
Imo, the DM is there to mediate between reality and RAW and he does this by asking "is it appropriate to the story that...?"

Zovc
2010-07-05, 06:34 PM
inb4 Commoner Railgun.

Sorry, I had to.

I too think it comes down to the DM to decide what happens.

Raistlin1040
2010-07-05, 06:35 PM
If it's the difference between jumping off a 10 story building and getting hit with fireballs from a dozen wizards, you can bet I'm going for the fall. I'd probably die. If I survived, I'd consider myself very lucky, but that doesn't mean I'd make a habit out of jumping off buildings.

Make your players be reasonable with it. If they have a legitimate reason behind their actions, let them do it and deal with the consequences. If the choice is between fighting a pair of orcs and jumping off a building, um, unless they're level 1 Commoners, they can probably handle the orcs. There is no reason for them to jump.

KillianHawkeye
2010-07-05, 06:35 PM
I heard a story about a guy who jumped out of a plane, his parachute didn't open and he hit the ground, but somehow miraculously he was barely hurt.

Lapak
2010-07-05, 06:43 PM
I heard a story about a guy who jumped out of a plane, his parachute didn't open and he hit the ground, but somehow miraculously he was barely hurt.The record for surviving a fall without a parachute is ~33,000 feet; the record for surviving and walking away essentially unhurt is ~11,000 feet. So yeah, it's possible.

In terms of the OP, remember two things: first, a character with 90 HP is essentially superhuman, and it's not all 'meat;' hit points include luck and divine favor and skill according to the rules. So if this heroic figure jumps off a building and survives, then he skidded off a window ledge halfway down and the ground was softer where he hit and he rolled just right; very action-hero to survive such a fall.

Second, remember that getting hit for 50 involves a roll for massive damage. While it's not probable on 10d6, it's most definitely possible, and the player IS taking his character's life in his hands by jumping.

Mike_G
2010-07-05, 06:43 PM
To clarify my position on falling, if the PC is thrown off a tower by a Swordsage, or Bullrushed off or whatever, I'll roll the 10d6, apply the damage, and use some kind of narrative plot armor explanation. You landed in something soft, you hit an awning on the way down, something.

And, yeah, there are a handful of anecdotes of people surviving high falls.

I just want to know how you rule on the character saying "Meh. Screw it. It's only 10d6."

I'd point out that, while yes, he's a badass, your character does not know how many HP he has, and is not confident he will survive a hundred foot fall.

I just wanted an idea of how the forum population skews on this.

Snake-Aes
2010-07-05, 06:46 PM
Do you allow this kind of obvious metagame decision, or do you overrule it, like pointing out that a hundred foot fall will kill/cripple you?

If you want your game to be deadlier, sure go with it. But this is a game of epic proportions. Anything with more than 3 or 4 levels already surpasses what humans are physically capable of doing(casters do that from level 1). If your guy can enter a building on fire because "it's just 1d6/round", then falling is already something that doesn't really hurt to be survivable.

Prime32
2010-07-05, 06:49 PM
I'd point out that, while yes, he's a badass, your character does not know how many HP he has, and is not confident he will survive a hundred foot fall.I don't see how he needs to know the exact number to realise that he's too crazy-tough for it to kill him.

KillianHawkeye
2010-07-05, 06:49 PM
How about you don't tell them the exact distance? It's not like they have a 100 foot measuring tape. Just say that it's "a really, really, (seriously) REALLY far way down." In other words, describe the height instead of just telling them how high they are. Although, if it's really the top of a building then I guess they'll still know the approximate height.

EDIT: You can always start putting spikes at ground level if this is really a problem. :smallwink::smallbiggrin:

Prime32
2010-07-05, 06:52 PM
How about you don't tell them the exact distance? It's not like they have a 100 foot measuring tape. Just say that it's "a really, really, (seriously) REALLY far way down." In other words, describe the height instead of just telling them how high they are. Although, if it's really the top of a building then I guess they'll still know the approximate height.There's a cap on falling damage of 20d6 due to terminal velocity. Most 20th-level characters can easily survive that provided they're not too injured already.

Bear in mind that a 7th-level character is equivalent to the greatest humans who ever lived, guys who break Olympic records and do crazy stuff on Youtube, and that every two levels added on is a doubling of power. Even mid-level fighters regularly break the laws of physics.

KillianHawkeye
2010-07-05, 06:54 PM
There's a cap on falling damage of 20d6 due to terminal velocity. Most 20th-level characters can easily survive that provided they're not too injured already.

And is that a problem? If so, see my edit about spikes above.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-05, 06:55 PM
The issue with DND is that characters stop being realistic past level 6. By level 7, anyone with a decent ability score (+3 modifier) and max ranks in something like, say jump, is beating all Olympic records out there. Yeah, it might come up that a 6th level character could soak that 10d6 falling damage, but there have been some cases of people surviving terminal velocity.

Admittedly, the physics behind the DND rules aren't entirely accurate, much in the same way that Newtonian physics isn't entirely accurate when dealing with objects on a relativistic scale like electrons, it does an acceptable level of moderation for "normal human" levels. Once characters hit 7th level, they've transcended the mundane and become something more, so they should expect to fall some 500 ft. and just brush themselves off on impact.

mucat
2010-07-05, 07:02 PM
I'm with the OP here. If a character accidentally falls from a great height, I'll apply normal D&D rules...and if the character survives, I'll make up a reason, and give a dramatic description of careening off outcroppings on the wy down, clawing at loose roots, and finally reaching bottom, battered but alive.

But if a character simply steps off a building, because the rules won't kill him? Now he's not acting like a real person anymore. (Unless the situation is truly desperate. I mean, people jump out of tall buildings when they can't escape a fire...but only because they would rather die from the fall than be burned alive.)

And acting like your character is an assemblage of numbers, rather than a plausible person in a story, adds nothing to the game. The first time it happens, I would let the character survive...but make a point of not rolling any dice, just describing an outcome that left him badly hurt but not dead. And I would explain to the players that this was their only warning. When things happen despite their best efforts, physics will bend to game rules to keep them alive. But when they start acting as if their characters know it's a game, physics will have its revenge.

Snake-Aes
2010-07-05, 07:04 PM
I'm with the OP here. If a character accidentally falls from a great height, I'll apply normal D&D rules...and if the character survives, I'll make up a reason, and give a dramatic description of careening off outcroppings on the wy down, clawing at loose roots, and finally reaching bottom, battered but alive. Hit points are an abstraction oddity. We sure can say that he survived because he outlucked gravity.

Prime32
2010-07-05, 07:06 PM
But if a character simply steps off a building, because the rules won't kill him? Now he's not acting like a real person anymore. (Unless the situation is truly desperate. I mean, people jump out of tall buildings when they can't escape a fire...but only because they would rather die from the fall than be burned alive.)

And acting like your character is an assemblage of numbers, rather than a plausible person in a story, adds nothing to the game. The first time it happens, I would let the character survive...but make a point of not rolling any dice, just describing an outcome that left him badly hurt but not dead. And I would explain to the players that this was their only warning. When things happen despite their best efforts, physics will bend to game rules to keep them alive. But when they start acting as if their characters know it's a game, physics will have its revenge.Again, you don't have to know that you're in a game to know that you're The Terminator (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ImplacableMan). Many PCs are significantly tougher than The Terminator. If you can survive being stabbed in the face with Excalibur while poisoned and on fire, why would you be scared of falling?

olentu
2010-07-05, 07:07 PM
I'm with the OP here. If a character accidentally falls from a great height, I'll apply normal D&D rules...and if the character survives, I'll make up a reason, and give a dramatic description of careening off outcroppings on the wy down, clawing at loose roots, and finally reaching bottom, battered but alive.

But if a character simply steps off a building, because the rules won't kill him? Now he's not acting like a real person anymore. (Unless the situation is truly desperate. I mean, people jump out of tall buildings when they can't escape a fire...but only because they would rather die from the fall than be burned alive.)

And acting like your character is an assemblage of numbers, rather than a plausible person in a story, adds nothing to the game. The first time it happens, I would let the character survive...but make a point of not rolling any dice, just describing an outcome that left him badly hurt but not dead. And I would explain to the players that this was their only warning. When things happen despite their best efforts, physics will bend to game rules to keep them alive. But when they start acting as if their characters know it's a game, physics will have its revenge.

I was not aware that adventurers generally act like real people. I mean what real person is going to do things like successfully cast spells or swim in lava and not suffer lasting harm.

Lapak
2010-07-05, 07:09 PM
How about you don't tell them the exact distance? It's not like they have a 100 foot measuring tape. Just say that it's "a really, really, (seriously) REALLY far way down." In other words, describe the height instead of just telling them how high they are. Although, if it's really the top of a building then I guess they'll still know the approximate height.I stand by what I said earlier, this is also an excellent answer. Unless they have a reason to be able to instantly figure out how high they are, there's no reason that they should know whether it's 100 feet or 150.

Mike_G
2010-07-05, 07:10 PM
See, I don't have a problem with the characters being tough and surviving stuff. It's the contempt for danger, because they know the rules.

Indian Jones is a badass. He survives stuff he just shouldn't. Ditto for Conan the Barbarian, Dirty Harry, etc. But Conan doesn't just leap down from the Tower of The Elephant rather than fight the minions on the way down, because they know they can soak the 20d6. Indy doens't say "Knock yourself out, Fritz. That Luger is only 1d8, with a Crit mod of x2. You can't hit more than tow or three times before I kick your butt."

Luck, divine favor, plot armor, applied phlebotinum, all these work for me if the PC is fighting and takes a ballista bolt, or does the Butch and Sundace leap. It's just that when presented with stuff that should be dangerous, but which they know they can survive by RAW, it breaks the mood.

In our group, regardless of DM, shrugging and stepping off the ledge since "it's only 10d6" will result in at least a broken leg by DM fiat, after "are you sure you want to do that?"

Morph Bark
2010-07-05, 07:11 PM
Hit points are an abstraction oddity. We sure can say that he survived because he outlucked gravity.

Just like how wizards learn how to fly by throwing themselves at the ground and missing.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 07:14 PM
massive damage.

This is a horrible rule. Melee can easily bring this rule into play with each attack at level 11 if they hit. Casters can bring this into play too if they try.

24 strength (Base 16, +4 from Orc, +2 from items +2 from level up) Plus a collision greatsword. Each attack deals 2d6+17. If each attack hits your opponent has to make a save for massive damage before adding in things from power attack or even rolling.

olentu
2010-07-05, 07:16 PM
See, I don't have a problem with the characters being tough and surviving stuff. It's the contempt for danger, because they know the rules.

Indian Jones is a badass. He survives stuff he just shouldn't. Ditto for Conan the Barbarian, Dirty Harry, etc. But Conan doesn't just leap down from the Tower of The Elephant rather than fight the minions on the way down, because they know they can soak the 20d6. Indy doens't say "Knock yourself out, Fritz. That Luger is only 1d8, with a Crit mod of x2. You can't hit more than tow or three times before I kick your butt."

Luck, divine favor, plot armor, applied phlebotinum, all these work for me if the PC is fighting and takes a ballista bolt, or does the Butch and Sundace leap. It's just that when presented with stuff that should be dangerous, but which they know they can survive by RAW, it breaks the mood.

In our group, regardless of DM, shrugging and stepping off the ledge since "it's only 10d6" will result in at least a broken leg by DM fiat, after "are you sure you want to do that?"

Well indiana jones, conan, and so forth are probably not all super high level and so stuff that is dangerous to regular people is probably still dangerous to them.

Prime32
2010-07-05, 07:16 PM
See, I don't have a problem with the characters being tough and surviving stuff. It's the contempt for danger, because they know the rules.

Indian Jones is a badass. He survives stuff he just shouldn't. Ditto for Conan the Barbarian, Dirty Harry, etc. But Conan doesn't just leap down from the Tower of The Elephant rather than fight the minions on the way down, because they know they can soak the 20d6. Indy doens't say "Knock yourself out, Fritz. That Luger is only 1d8, with a Crit mod of x2. You can't hit more than tow or three times before I kick your butt."It depends on how "practical"/detached they are. 20d6 points of damage has got to hurt like crazy (given that 14 damage would kill the average commoner instantly), and few people would submit themselves to that even if there were no lasting effects.

And Indy doesn't count since he's not inhumanly tough (to my knowledge).

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 07:17 PM
And Indy doesn't count since he's not inhumanly tough (to my knowledge).

Indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull. He'd have to be inhumanly tough to survive the start. However, Indiana jones is a poor comparison to D&D.

Saph
2010-07-05, 07:18 PM
I actually don't find that HP damage causes much of a problem. Most players have an instinctive caution about getting hurt, so they're likely to look for alternatives to things like jumping off a building.

More annoying issues in my experience result from the interaction between players and the the gameworld, like abusing the distinction between OOC and IC time (such as players having long, involved discussions when they're supposed to be in the middle of a 6-second combat round).

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 07:22 PM
I've personally never been a fan of bringing the rules of the real world into D&D. The game is by definition unrealistic. If you want realism you should go for a game where people can't turn bat poop into fireballs with a couple of words and finger gestures.

Prime32
2010-07-05, 07:23 PM
More annoying issues in my experience result from the interaction between players and the the gameworld, like abusing the distinction between OOC and IC time (such as players having long, involved discussions when they're supposed to be in the middle of a 6-second combat round)."Having fought for their lives together on many occasions, our characters know each other so well that they can communicate an idea with so little as a glance."

Lapak
2010-07-05, 07:24 PM
This is a horrible rule. Melee can easily bring this rule into play with each attack at level 11 if they hit. Casters can bring this into play too if they try.

24 strength (Base 16, +4 from Orc, +2 from items +2 from level up) Plus a collision greatsword. Each attack deals 2d6+17. If each attack hits your opponent has to make a save for massive damage before adding in things from power attack or even rolling.Well, first, massive damage requires that it come in a single attack (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/injuryandDeath.htm#massiveDamage), not multiples in a round. So the attack you describe won't do it even with a full-damage hit. It would take a crit or a multiplier like a charge build or some such.

Second, this is exactly the kind of situation in which using a normally-not-so-hot rule can be a solution instead of a problem; using it as a special case for attacks that can't be avoided or mitigated (like falling damage) might make the PCs respect such hazards more, even if you don't apply the rule in most cases.

Greenish
2010-07-05, 07:25 PM
And Indy doesn't count since he's not inhumanly tough (to my knowledge).Neither are Dirty Harry or even Conan the Barbarian.

D&D is a different genre. High level characters will know that they can walk away after hitting the ground at terminal velocity, because they're inhumanly tough.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 07:26 PM
Well, first, massive damage requires that it come in a single attack (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/injuryandDeath.htm#massiveDamage), not multiples in a round. So the attack you describe won't do it even with a full-damage hit. It would take a crit or a multiplier like a charge build or some such..

Okay, fine. The rule is still stupid and easy to break.

PId6
2010-07-05, 07:27 PM
More annoying issues in my experience result from the interaction between players and the the gameworld, like abusing the distinction between OOC and IC time (such as players having long, involved discussions when they're supposed to be in the middle of a 6-second combat round).
Oh yes, this. This annoys me to no end.

I've actually had two players trying to decide whether or not to betray the party during a combat. Despite the fact that their characters were across the room from each other and various NPCs and PCs were between them who would assuredly hear them talking, they still manage to have a long, involved OOC conversation about "If I do this, will you do that?" going back and forth. Towards the end, I was very tempted to cast Streamers on the two of them to get them to stop.

Masaioh
2010-07-05, 07:30 PM
I've personally never been a fan of bringing the rules of the real world into D&D. The game is by definition unrealistic. If you want realism you should go for a game where people can't turn bat poop into fireballs with a couple of words and finger gestures.

I agree. As a DM, I wouldn't allow something that is obviously meant to exploit the rules, like the aforementioned flying example, unless it was a parody campaign.

Susano-wo
2010-07-05, 07:33 PM
I think the easiest and most reliable way to get players to not go meh at 100ft falls is to ask them not to metagame, and inform them that if they meta-abuse physics issues present within RAW you will impose ad-hoc physics solutions for it.

Of course, that last part hopefully won't be necessary. I would hope that if you asked them not to meta-abuse physics, they would not do so... >.>

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 07:34 PM
I agree. As a DM, I wouldn't allow something that is obviously meant to exploit the rules, like the aforementioned flying example, unless it was a parody campaign.

I wouldn't care. After a certain point in 3.5 you are just that bad***

Saph
2010-07-05, 07:34 PM
Oh yes, this. This annoys me to no end.

I've actually had two players trying to decide whether or not to betray the party during a combat. Despite the fact that their characters were across the room from each other and various NPCs and PCs were between them who would assuredly hear them talking, they still manage to have a long, involved OOC conversation about "If I do this, will you do that?" going back and forth. Towards the end, I was very tempted to cast Streamers on the two of them to get them to stop.

Heh. I call this the "PC Telepathy" attitude, where the players will have the most ridiculous discussions within earshot of everybody and then insist that it's all out of character. I've had players discuss whether to murder an NPC while the NPC was standing next to them.

CarpeGuitarrem
2010-07-05, 07:35 PM
As far as the falling goes, I'd say that's not really metagaming. There's an episode in the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood where the homunculus Greed has one of his subordinates bash his head pretty much clean off, in order to demonstrate his regenerative factor. He knows that he can regenerate the damage, and he's basically having a "I'm so BA, I can take this" moment.

PId6
2010-07-05, 07:38 PM
I think the easiest and most reliable way to get players to not go meh at 100ft falls is to ask them not to metagame, and inform them that if they meta-abuse physics issues present within RAW you will impose ad-hoc physics solutions for it.
I don't see that as actual abuse though. A level 20 character should be badass enough that they know they shouldn't be too scared of falls. If you can take on dragons singlehandedly, who cares about a short drop? Would you hand out ad-hoc penalties for high level characters that aren't afraid of regular orc warriors because they know such weak enemies cant hurt them?

Mr.Moron
2010-07-05, 07:56 PM
D&D isn't about ordinary people. It's an extremely high heroic fantasy game, at least by default. At high levels especially you're not dealing with ordinary bookworms and warriors. You're dealing with superhuman forces of epic proportions.

If a PC wants to throw themself off a building because they know they're one tough SoB, I will happily let them. Heck, if they're doing it to get at some target down there I'll probably give them a higher than normal charge bonus on the attack. If it's a really dramatic moment, maybe they get to spend an action point to knock the enemy prone with the impact of their landing.

If you want to go realistic and gritty, nothing wrong with that either. Just tweak the rules to fit. Instead of fall damage at certain point, just make it a really high fort save vs instant death; drop to -5 (not stable) and every bone in the body broken on a successful save.

Prime32
2010-07-05, 07:56 PM
As far as the falling goes, I'd say that's not really metagaming. There's an episode in the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood where the homunculus Greed has one of his subordinates bash his head pretty much clean off, in order to demonstrate his regenerative factor. He knows that he can regenerate the damage, and he's basically having a "I'm so BA, I can take this" moment.It's in the first anime too (and the manga, of course).

Mr.Moron
2010-07-05, 08:07 PM
Oh yes, this. This annoys me to no end.

I've actually had two players trying to decide whether or not to betray the party during a combat. Despite the fact that their characters were across the room from each other and various NPCs and PCs were between them who would assuredly hear them talking, they still manage to have a long, involved OOC conversation about "If I do this, will you do that?" going back and forth. Towards the end, I was very tempted to cast Streamers on the two of them to get them to stop.

Personally I don't have a huge problem with this either. So longs It doesn't get to the point where it's really slowing the game down, I almost encourage it to a certain extent.

The PCs especially after the have a few levels under their belt are dealing with people they've been in life & death situations before. They're actually the ones facing down the monsters and working together. There are a lot of ways they'd be communicating that just fall outside the scope of the game. Body Language, changes in facial expression etc.... To a great extend I'd imagine they can even just intuitively tell what their allies and opponents are going to do. This is because they've had real first hand, on the ground experience in situations the Players are really only getting an abstracted view.

OOC tactical discussion helps to bring this out to a certain extent. Instead of having your team of well trained, battle hardened adventurers fumble around like they were making these split second decisions the same way some guy named Mike sitting at a table with his friends and a coke would.

EDIT: This is on extremely long discussion in combat decisions in general, not necessarily the specific backstabbing scenario quoted. Though even that would have some "Give" to it.

valadil
2010-07-05, 08:15 PM
Characters don't know the rules of the universe. I'm aware that other people play it differently, but I have no interest in playing with them.

imperialspectre
2010-07-05, 08:16 PM
The OP's question is answered fairly easily. 3rd Edition D&D actually handles physics, human survivability, and other questions of "realism" fairly well up to around level 6. Past that point, the game is explicitly designed for characters that are superhuman, and characters that aren't are too weak to survive. GMs who want the player characters to be subject to "realistic" limitations should run games from levels 1 to 6, up to level 8 at maximum, or find another system.

If a character has 90 hit points, we're talking level 5 or 6 at minimum (barbarian who inexplicably got max HP for every level and has Con 22 while raging has exactly 90 hit points at level 5). Such a character can, at full hit points, survive falling at terminal velocity (the 20d6 damage cap) if the character is relatively lucky - that is, if the damage roll is average. Since humans have been known to survive terminal velocity falls, this isn't a problem for game balance or verisimilitude, particularly if jumping off the tall building is your only chance to not get burned with lots of fireballs.

Edit: And pretending that player characters don't understand the basic rules of the game is just silly. People know how the world around them works. That's part of being a sentient life form. If you don't like how the D&D world works, change the rules or find another game.

PId6
2010-07-05, 08:20 PM
Characters don't know the rules of the universe. I'm aware that other people play it differently, but I have no interest in playing with them.
You don't need to know the rules of the universe to know that a powerful warrior that's killed dragons shouldn't be afraid of a kobold. The same could be said of falling; if you've fallen a thousand feet and lived before, why wouldn't you see jumping from heights as a viable tactic to use when circumstance demands it?

Susano-wo
2010-07-05, 08:27 PM
100/200ft falls are not "short drops." They can ostensibly take on dragons due to turning lethal blows to scratches, or fighting through what would be crippling pain in limbs to lesser mortals. Not because you don't care that the dragon just put its calw through your gut.

Physics, even the soft physics normally employed by, I think, most gamers, says that if you fall, say, 200ft, or even 100ft, you are risking serious injury/death

Greenish
2010-07-05, 08:30 PM
100/200ft falls are not "short drops."They will be when you're superhumanly tough bastard.

olentu
2010-07-05, 08:33 PM
100/200ft falls are not "short drops." They can ostensibly take on dragons due to turning lethal blows to scratches, or fighting through what would be crippling pain in limbs to lesser mortals. Not because you don't care that the dragon just put its calw through your gut.

Physics, even the soft physics normally employed by, I think, most gamers, says that if you fall, say, 200ft, or even 100ft, you are risking serious injury/death

Well it is a "risk" but quite often not the biggest risk one will take in a day.

Ravens_cry
2010-07-05, 08:35 PM
@Greenish:
Why are illegitimate children always the most resilient?
Any way, I would say the rules of the game are an imperfect reflection of the laws of physics of the world being played, a flawed mirror to a place where magic is real.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-05, 08:38 PM
100/200ft falls are not "short drops."

They are for the sort of people who can lift a Cow over their head. With one arm.

Greenish
2010-07-05, 08:40 PM
@Greenish:
Why are illegitimate children always the most resilient?Ask Edmund: Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
[Edit]: Disclaimer: I'm not actually well versed in Shakespeare.

Tar Palantir
2010-07-05, 08:43 PM
Again, you don't have to know that you're in a game to know that you're The Terminator (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ImplacableMan). Many PCs are significantly tougher than The Terminator. If you can survive being stabbed in the face with Excalibur while poisoned and on fire, why would you be scared of falling?

This. While the permissible level of metagaming varies from group to group, it is unreasonable to assume that characters have no understanding of how their world works. They know that more powerful mages can fling deadlier fireballs, they know that orcs are stronger than humans, and they know that barbarians that rip the eyestalks off of beholders probably don't have to worry about something as trivial as a hundred-foot fall, unless they've already taken a beating. Exact numbers? Probably not. Enough to tell whether a fall will definitely not kill you versus probably will? Much more likely.

Runestar
2010-07-05, 08:46 PM
See, I don't have a problem with the characters being tough and surviving stuff. It's the contempt for danger, because they know the rules.

Luck, divine favor, plot armor, applied phlebotinum, all these work for me if the PC is fighting and takes a ballista bolt, or does the Butch and Sundace leap. It's just that when presented with stuff that should be dangerous, but which they know they can survive by RAW, it breaks the mood.

In our group, regardless of DM, shrugging and stepping off the ledge since "it's only 10d6" will result in at least a broken leg by DM fiat, after "are you sure you want to do that?"

You can think of it as the PCs knowing very well what they are capable of. Conan doesn't leap off every building he comes across because he knows he is neither skilled or tough enough to always survive every fall. So if he does, it is only because the alternative is much worse.

In the case of the players, they know that they are capable of surviving that plunge with minimal injuries. After a while, you would be numb to the fear of falling of a tall building when you are able to deal with the damage. You simply won't find it scary at all past the 1st drop.

Ask Superman to leap off the tallest building and crash to the ground and he hesitate, because he knows he won't get hurt. Your players are just like that. It's their job to act heroic, and your job as the DM to ensure that their actions come across as heroic. So if they do want to jump off a high cliff, you must let them do it, cook up some reason why they succeeded and handwave the piddly 20d6 damage as minor scratches. :smallsmile:

Wolf Warhead
2010-07-05, 08:49 PM
The way I always saw it, things that happen during battles are a 'simulation' of what actually happens. Just because you are hit by an attack does not mean you are fully hit by it. Just because someone hits you with a sword does not mean youīre impaled on it or even that you have a huge gaping wound. HP can almost be seen as 'luck' in a sense. When an attack brings you below 0 HP, your luck just ran out and you do end up impaled. (Or the small injuries added up to you being unable to dodge the attack)

Then again, our group tends to approach things 'realistically', not doing things just because the rules would be okay with it. Doesn't change the fact that a high strength will let you punch through walls, high balance lets you walk on water and high climb lets you climb flat ceilings, but we just don't do it. I guess it just depends on whether you see PCs as just bad-ass, lucky heroes or flat-out super-heroes who bend over reality and leave it sore.

On a side-note, when you see every hit of a weapon as a full 'hit', I find it funnier when PCs actually act threatened when somebody aims a bow at them and tells them to surrender or any similar situation just because no initiative was rolled, yet. It brings to mind an Adventurers! comic. "Everyone knows that guns do low damage. Unless this is a cutscene. Is this a cutscene?"

true_shinken
2010-07-05, 08:59 PM
If you want your game to be deadlier, sure go with it. But this is a game of epic proportions. Anything with more than 3 or 4 levels already surpasses what humans are physically capable of doing(casters do that from level 1). If your guy can enter a building on fire because "it's just 1d6/round", then falling is already something that doesn't really hurt to be survivable.
The problem on burning buildings is the smoke, actually. Smoke is very deadly.
I had a level 6 party fighting a bunch of fire elementals while trying to get out of a burning building... it was close to a TPK.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-07-05, 09:06 PM
Then again, our group tends to approach things 'realistically', not doing things just because the rules would be okay with it. Doesn't change the fact that a high strength will let you punch through walls, high balance lets you walk on water and high climb lets you climb flat ceilings, but we just don't do it. I guess it just depends on whether you see PCs as just bad-ass, lucky heroes or flat-out super-heroes who bend over reality and leave it sore.

Which is a perfectly valid way to do things, but that doesn't change the fact that by the rules as they are, when you get past level 9 or so you're badass enough to take on Conan, Hercules, and King Arthur by yourself with one hand tied behind your back and have it be an even fight. At that point, height isn't a threat.


On a side-note, when you see every hit of a weapon as a full 'hit', I find it funnier when PCs actually act threatened when somebody aims a bow at them and tells them to surrender or any similar situation just because no initiative was rolled, yet. It brings to mind an Adventurers! comic. "Everyone knows that guns do low damage. Unless this is a cutscene. Is this a cutscene?"

1) Just because people here are saying they're fine with heroes surviving 100-foot drops doesn't mean they treat every hit as a physical hit. Falling a long way and surviving is more acceptable to many people than walking around with 7 swords in your gut, as the former works just fine under action movie physics and the latter doesn't quite.

2) A weapon can still be a threat at higher levels. Anyone gutsy enough to attempt to make the PCs surrender is either high enough level to make it a valid threat or is already dead and just hasn't stopped breathing. At least in my experience, from the DM's description and other factors you can tell whether the guy with the dagger pointed at you is a warrior 1 hoping in his heart of hearts that the PCs will come along peacefully instead of plastering him across the wall or a warblade/rogue ready to stick you with 1d4+5d6+84 damage from a well-placed thrust.

Susano-wo
2010-07-05, 09:14 PM
They are for the sort of people who can lift a Cow over their head. With one arm.

::wallbang::

your ability to lift does not significantly affect your ability to survive falls. Bones and muscles still have the same or similar structural integrity

Of course I'm coming down on the side of "Just a Way to Adjudicate Actions"
they try to do a quick and dirty representation of physics. which is ok. I don't mind that they don't perfectly emulate physics. I don't want to spend 20minutes trying to figure out if you can survive a fall at that angle, with hitting that ledge, etc. But its silly to say that physics is different in DnD because the rules don't accurately reflect physics.

Mike_G
2010-07-05, 09:14 PM
And pretending that player characters don't understand the basic rules of the game is just silly. People know how the world around them works. That's part of being a sentient life form. If you don't like how the D&D world works, change the rules or find another game.

See, here's my disagreement.

The world doesn't work like that.

The combat simulator works like that.

You survive the hit that would kill a commoner because the Orc's falchion didn't land squarely on top of your head and split your skull like a ripe melon. It was a glancing blow, turned by your armor that left you a bruise, a scar to show off and an awareness of your own mortality. You can't swim in lava, the rule exists in case you are fighting over a pit of lava, get knocked in and the next round, your buddy pulls you out. I'd state that by the pulp fiction rules of applied phlebotinum, you weren't floating in the lava, you landed on a cooler chuck of solidified crust, and only took a buttload of damge before your friend heroically rescued you, just before the heat overcame you and you collapsed.

If you put your head on a chopping block, insulted the Orc's mother and told him to take his best shot, insinuating he probably swings like an elf, you wind up dead. If you wade into the lava to go bobbing for Magmen, you are dead.

I won't "cheat" if the PC's get hit with environmental damage in the course of doing heroic things, but "Bah. I got 90 hp." will result in a bad outcome.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 09:16 PM
See, here's my disagreement.

The world doesn't work like that.
.

Here's my argument.

The D&D world does.

Greenish
2010-07-05, 09:18 PM
::wallbang::

your ability to lift does not significantly affect your ability to survive falls. Bones and muscles still have the same or similar structural integrityAnd would, realistically, break before lifting the cow. Yet a D&D character can do it, or shoot fireballs out of his hands. Different genre.

Of course I'm coming down on the side of "Just a Way to Adjudicate Actions"
they try to do a quick and dirty representation of physics. which is ok. I don't mind that they don't perfectly emulate physics. I don't want to spend 20minutes trying to figure out if you can survive a fall at that angle, with hitting that ledge, etc. But its silly to say that physics is different in DnD because the rules don't accurately reflect physics.But you can't create energy out of nothing in physics, like you can in D&D. I maintain, like many others in this thread, that a character who can survive 20d6 damage is sufficiently tough to survive said damage whether it comes from a sword or hitting the ground at terminal velocity, and knows it.

[Edit]: Pretty much, this:
Here's my argument.

The D&D world does.You can shoot fireballs, and you can survive them, and you can jump down from a high building and expect to stay alive. D&D is not a reality simulator, nor should it be.

Susano-wo
2010-07-05, 09:22 PM
See, here's my disagreement.

The world doesn't work like that.

The combat simulator works like that.

{snip}


If you put your head on a chopping block, insulted the Orc's mother and told him to take his best shot, insinuating he probably swings like an elf, you wind up dead. If you wade into the lava to go bobbing for Magmen, you are dead.

I won't "cheat" if the PC's get hit with environmental damage in the course of doing heroic things, but "Bah. I got 90 hp." will result in a bad outcome.

+1 to this. exactly what I am getting at.

EDIT: wow. My point is that Dnd doesn't model physics well. It doesn't necessarily have to. (and wizards are a specific physics breaking exception. They use arcane rituals to tell physics to screw itself) But crap like diving into lava for Magman, and Mike puts it, and dropping off 100ft+ because "I gots the HP for it" breaks "verisimilitude" and just bothers me to no end. There comes a time where its ridiculous, and not fun [for me, obviously] to ignore physics in favor of the game rules.

Mike_G
2010-07-05, 09:24 PM
Here's my argument.

The D&D world does.

Ok.

You are a first level Fighter. You have 10+ Con bonus HP. Say 12 HP, so you are a pretty unexceptional level 1 Fighter. You are tougher than most people on the street, but not a match for many scary monsters lurking out in the wilds.

Are you saying that it is physically impossible for a dagger thrust from a strong (but within normal limits) human to kill you? No light crossbow bolt can even incapacitate you without a critical and better than average roll? That you will always be able to walk away from a 10 foot fall with no reduction in capabilities?

Or do you think these are quirks of a combat system?

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-07-05, 09:25 PM
See, here's my disagreement.

The world doesn't work like that.

The combat simulator works like that.

I agree with Kyuubi. In D&D, that's how the world works. And in fact, as has been mentioned several times, up until level 5 or so, it works precisely as you'd expect in the real world: catching on fire and not doing anything about it can kill you in a minute or two, swan diving into lava will pretty much instantly incinerate you, you're highly unlikely to survive falling off a 20-story building, a good axe blow can drop you from fine to dead, and so forth. Realistic, intuitive, and quite accurate, as far as it goes.

When you get to the levels between 5 and 7 or thereabouts, the levels at which you are on par with many fantasy heroes, things start to stretch to "action movie physics" levels: catching on fire can be shrugged off even if you get burned, there's a small chance of surviving in lava for a bit, you can take a long fall and walk it off, a dagger to the gut is only an inconvenience, and so forth. Not perfectly realistic, but acceptable to people raised on Greek myths and action heroes.

When you get to mid levels and higher, the levels at which you are explicitly superior to every single mythological hero ever written who didn't have some divine heritage or MacGuffin, things stretch to the level we're discussing here: fire and lava aren't instantly lethal any more, falling several stories and landing on your feet ready to fight is just dandy, you can fight arbitrarily many dagger-wielding mooks without fear. Sure, Conan or Arthur or Hercules couldn't do it--but you're better than them at this point, outperforming them is to be expected.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 09:26 PM
Ok.

You are a first level Fighter. You have 10+ Con bonus HP. Say 12 HP, so you are a pretty unexceptional level 1 Fighter. You are tougher than most people on the street, but not a match for many scary monsters lurking out in the wilds.

Are you saying that it is physically impossible for a dagger thrust from a strong (but within normal limits) human to kill you? No light crossbow bolt can even incapacitate you without a critical and better than average roll? That you will always be able to walk away from a 10 foot fall with no reduction in capabilities?


Yes. That is exactly what I'm saying. Although a strong but within normal limits human can kill you with a dagger if they crit.

true_shinken
2010-07-05, 09:35 PM
100/200ft falls are not "short drops."
James Bond does this kind of thing. He jumps from a building, no parachute, grabs onto something, smacks into the wall and then jumps on the ground - bruised, but overall OK.
Heck, if James Bond can do it, why can't a 10th level Fighter do it?

Greenish
2010-07-05, 09:42 PM
Ok.

You are a first level Fighter. You have 10+ Con bonus HP. Say 12 HP, so you are a pretty unexceptional level 1 Fighter. You are tougher than most people on the street, but not a match for many scary monsters lurking out in the wilds.

Are you saying that it is physically impossible for a dagger thrust from a strong (but within normal limits) human to kill you?No. A luck hit (critical) might drop you into negatives (which is pretty same as "bleeding to death").
No light crossbow bolt can even incapacitate you without a critical and better than average roll?Pretty much, yeah. Unless it's a solid hit, you won't be out of the game.
That you will always be able to walk away from a 10 foot fall with no reduction in capabilities?Yeah. Three metres isn't that high, especially if you're into Le Parkour, ie. trained in Jump or Tumble. Unless you want to introduce skill fumbles, which suck.

Or do you think these are quirks of a combat system?They're quirks of playing superhuman characters.

Math_Mage
2010-07-05, 10:00 PM
There has to be a limit to realism. The early levels are rocket-taggy enough without making every single dagger thrust a death threat, and DM fiat can produce a million different ways to die even if the straight rules don't dictate it. No, D&D is not a simulation of the real world. There are enough similarities that we can analogize between the two, but they can't be treated identically.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-05, 10:02 PM
They're quirks of playing superhuman characters.

Exactly. D&D isn't an engine that's terribly well suited to modeling normal people reacting normally to the perils of adventure and combat beyond the first few levels. Even then, you're still fairly larger than life figures.

valadil
2010-07-05, 10:11 PM
You don't need to know the rules of the universe to know that a powerful warrior that's killed dragons shouldn't be afraid of a kobold. The same could be said of falling; if you've fallen a thousand feet and lived before, why wouldn't you see jumping from heights as a viable tactic to use when circumstance demands it?

If you've lived through it, fine. If you know that a thousand feet does a max of however many HP and you have more than that, I don't think that's a good reason to jump off the cliff.

Grumman
2010-07-05, 10:18 PM
If you've lived through it, fine. If you know that a thousand feet does a max of however many HP and you have more than that, I don't think that's a good reason to jump off the cliff.
Bruce Banner does: both the Ultimates and movie versions have jumped out of helicopters to trigger their Frenzy ability and to get to the combat zone faster.

Malificus
2010-07-05, 10:30 PM
I think it's perfectly reasonable for a strong man, at the peak of his health for the day to look at a drop, and think "I can take it" if he can, in fact, handle the damage of falling. He is resilient enough, to take such a fall. It may have killed him when he began, but now it'd just hurt.

Just like how he shouldn't always consider bears a challenge as he gets stronger. Sure, they could kill him when he was starting out, but after a point they aren't going to kill him.

Basically, falling damage shouldn't go up just because he can suddenly take it. Otherwise it doesn't feel like he's progressed.

It'd be like limiting jump distance to 30 ft. You might as well just play e6 or a different system.

Ihouji
2010-07-05, 10:37 PM
Generally I let people get away with things that would more than likely kill them only if it is the best option (someone gave the jump of the building or get hit by 10 fireballs example). However if people start abusing it I simply go with "sure you survived, but your left ankle is broken so good luck with that for the next 3-6 weeks".

Malificus
2010-07-05, 10:42 PM
Generally I let people get away with things that would more than likely kill them only if it is the best option (someone gave the jump of the building or get hit by 10 fireballs example). However if people start abusing it I simply go with "sure you survived, but your left ankle is broken so good luck with that for the next 3-6 weeks".

how do broken bones work with cure spells in your world? If they mend the bone as is (obviously setting up nasty consequences if healed hastily) could one just set the bones with a heal check, then cure it?

Mr.Moron
2010-07-05, 10:42 PM
Generally I let people get away with things that would more than likely kill them only if it is the best option (someone gave the jump of the building or get hit by 10 fireballs example). However if people start abusing it I simply go with "sure you survived, but your left ankle is broken so good luck with that for the next 3-6 weeks".

I cut it off, and kindly ask the party cleric to cast Regenerate.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 10:45 PM
I cut it off, and kindly ask the party cleric to cast Regenerate.

I leave and tell the DM I'll be back when he stops trying to put realistic rules in a game where you can encounter Most of the heroes from legends and everything they fought coming against you and say "Come on. Give me a challenge"

This is ignoring things like deities however.

Optimystik
2010-07-05, 10:57 PM
The record for surviving a fall without a parachute is ~33,000 feet; the record for surviving and walking away essentially unhurt is ~11,000 feet. So yeah, it's possible.

In terms of the OP, remember two things: first, a character with 90 HP is essentially superhuman, and it's not all 'meat;' hit points include luck and divine favor and skill according to the rules. So if this heroic figure jumps off a building and survives, then he skidded off a window ledge halfway down and the ground was softer where he hit and he rolled just right; very action-hero to survive such a fall.

Second, remember that getting hit for 50 involves a roll for massive damage. While it's not probable on 10d6, it's most definitely possible, and the player IS taking his character's life in his hands by jumping.

This. HP are an abstraction - it's the players' job (including the DM) to adjust the narrative to fit the rules.

And no, the character shouldn't know that he has 90 HP and so can survive an X-foot fall - but he should have a good idea of how tough/agile/lucky he is, enough to be judge whether he can chance it as others have said.

Frosty
2010-07-05, 11:04 PM
If you want your world to be more realistic, then use a different system OR implement the E6 variant. If no one in the game world is above level 6, then everybody will be wary of 100ft falls and full submersion in lava.

Otherwise, in normal DnD, people mid to high levels are the equivalent of Superman. They aren't supposed to be afraid.

The Cat Goddess
2010-07-05, 11:07 PM
If you want to play "real world", play GURPS or something.

If you want to play a game where, when Batman first starts "adventuring" and gets shot... he barely limps away and calls for help. But when he's been doing this for a while and gets shot a couple of times... he still manages to beat up the rest of the SWAT team and catch the Joker.

Well, you should play something like D&D or DC Heroes. :smallwink:

Matthew
2010-07-05, 11:14 PM
See, here's my disagreement.

The world doesn't work like that.

The combat simulator works like that.

This is one of the big conceptual changes (or exaggerations) between editions, possibly rooted in video games in that "hit points" are often represented as real damage that would blatantly kill anybody normal. It is just more of that aesthetic fantasy change stuff you do not like. :smallwink:

A better example than combat is riding check frequency. How often do you require a riding check? Does it change by time scale? The D20/3e DMG has it change by time scale (if I recall correctly) changing the probability of a failure depending on how fast the game is moving. The rules are an imperfect abstraction, but sometimes people perceive the abstraction as absolutely descriptive.

valadil
2010-07-05, 11:17 PM
Bruce Banner does: both the Ultimates and movie versions have jumped out of helicopters to trigger their Frenzy ability and to get to the combat zone faster.

That's the super hero genre though. I think supers are usually more powerful than fantasy characters, although I could be wrong.


If you want to play "real world", play GURPS or something.


I'm okay with people surviving falls off cliffs. I'm not okay with them deciding to jump, just for the hell of it. Even if you think you can survive, there's no reason to want to jump off the 100 foot cliff. I want to play real people in a fantasy world.

Malificus
2010-07-05, 11:22 PM
Nobody *wants* to jump off a cliff. Yeah, the cliff might only do half damage, but damn the ground hurts.
Hold on there a second. That's a lie.

Plenty of people want to jump off cliffs. For non-suicidal reasons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASE_jumping) even. If they had a way to survive it without injury, I bet they'd even do everything they could to test their limits with such jumps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour).

PId6
2010-07-05, 11:28 PM
That's the super hero genre though. I think supers are usually more powerful than fantasy characters, although I could be wrong.
Past 10th level, most D&D characters are far more powerful than most superheroes. A warlock is probably the best representation of traditional superheroes, and even he can constantly fly, turn invisible, shoot laser beams that instantly kill most people, break objects with a single word, hit things accurately from 250 ft away, magically charm people, and more, all by 10th level. More powerful classes, like swordsages, factotums, sorcerers, psions, clerics, etc, can do even better.


My objection to jumping off cliffs isn't that characters shouldn't be able to survive it. It's that you're playing the character as a tactical avatar instead of a person. Nobody *wants* to jump off a cliff. Yeah, the cliff might only do half damage, but damn the ground hurts.
Again, you can say the same thing about facing orcs or bears. We have an aversion to falling off cliffs because we'll likely die from doing it, but to someone who can merely shrug off axe blows and get up from a 1000 ft fall, why should they consider these "dangers" the same way that real people would?

Mr.Moron
2010-07-05, 11:36 PM
That's the super hero genre though. I think supers are usually more powerful than fantasy characters, although I could be wrong.


Depends what type of fantasy you're dealing with. On the one hand you can have a world like that in Legend of Zelda. It's fairly low key. On the other hand, you can have world like that in Valkyrie Profile.It's pretty over-the-top.

Of course you can go further in either direction, but "Fantasy" is hardly a power setting it's just kind of a loosely defined genre.


I want to play real people in a fantasy world.

D&D isn't a very good engine for modeling this.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-05, 11:40 PM
Even if you think you can survive, there's no reason to want to jump off the 100 foot cliff. I want to play real people in a fantasy world.

Wait. So my cousins aren't real?:smalleek:Yes, they'd jump off a cliff just for the heck of it if they really thought they'd live through it.

Grumman
2010-07-05, 11:46 PM
I'm not okay with them deciding to jump, just for the hell of it. Even if you think you can survive, there's no reason to want to jump off the 100 foot cliff.
Except there is: because the consequences of not jumping are worse than the consequences if you do. While you could play a character who despite learning how to best survive such a fall retains the learned aversion to jumping off cliffs, it's equally valid to play a character who knows that he can handle it and reacts accordingly, just like a knife juggler will eventually no longer see juggling knives as a life threatening experience.

imperialspectre
2010-07-05, 11:51 PM
That's the super hero genre though. I think supers are usually more powerful than fantasy characters, although I could be wrong.

In D&D, the game literally changes completely every few levels. First-level characters are roughly similar to the first couple Harry Potter books in terms of their power - they're terrifyingly vulnerable to grown-ups who have a couple levels on them, let alone monsters. The cast of Firefly probably group around level 3, with the "weaker" members (like Kaylee or Simon) having NPC class levels.

After that, the power levels start to scale up pretty fast. The stronger people in the Buffyverse (Buffy, Dark Willow, Angel) fit around 7th level. There aren't a hell of a lot of characters in popular media that can teleport a few hundred miles, but by the time you hit level 11 or 12 you're looking at the Watchmen as pretty typical for power level.

The bottom line is, if you actually think about what characters of 7th or 13th or (heaven forbid) 17th level can actually do, not in odd RAW corner cases but in the actual text of their class features, you don't see them as "real people" anymore. They may have the flaws, the personality quirks, and the motivations of human beings - but then, so did the Greek gods. They don't have the physical vulnerabilities of real people, because in D&D, surviving enough encounters with mind-numbing horrors and gaping maws means that you transcend those vulnerabilities.

Knaight
2010-07-05, 11:58 PM
After that, the power levels start to scale up pretty fast. The stronger people in the Buffyverse (Buffy, Dark Willow, Angel) fit around 7th level. There aren't a hell of a lot of characters in popular media that can teleport a few hundred miles, but by the time you hit level 11 or 12 you're looking at the Watchmen as pretty typical for power level.

Well, at 11 or 12 you are somewhere between Ozymandius and Dr. Manhattan. But in general, e6 will let you cover the power levels in most fantasy. Some of the characters in the Mistborn trilogy might top it a bit, maybe an elf or two in The Silimarillion, but even the top sword and sorcery human fits in that category. D&D really does have an absurd power level.

JonestheSpy
2010-07-06, 12:19 AM
If you want your world to be more realistic, then use a different system OR implement the E6 variant. If no one in the game world is above level 6, then everybody will be wary of 100ft falls and full submersion in lava.

Otherwise, in normal DnD, people mid to high levels are the equivalent of Superman. They aren't supposed to be afraid.

Sorry, I think this point of view is ridiculous, along with the general "no hero in literature or real life is that high level" fallacy.

Cyrano DeBergerac fought and triumphed against a hundred men - without wearing armor, wielding a non-magical rapier. And was merrily joking about it the next day instead of recovering in the hospital. That's because he was an incredibly skilled fighter, his skill simulated in the rules by a high level and a huge amount of hit points. That does NOT mean Cyrano would casually jump off the Eiffel frickn Tower. Saying high level characters are superheroes is just a lame cop-out.

Yes, James Bond can survive the huge fall by incredible luck, etc, but would never actually choose to make what would be an obviously suicidal jump. I'm definitely with Mike G - a player metagaming about acceptable levels of hit point damage deserves to be smacked down hard.

P.S. Yay for massive damage rules.

awa
2010-07-06, 12:21 AM
Ozymandius sure but Dr. Manhattan was basically a god only by using abusive game mechanics could any dnd character get that kind of power.

Iíve always felt that this whole falling should be deadly is just another non casters arenít allowed to have nice things.

Mid level characters can be swallowed by a giant monster and hack their way out.
The second edition magic spaceship game whos name escapes me (spelljammer?) had rules for reentry without a ship. High level characters arenít Robin Hood there Gilgamesh.
A level 20 barbarian could put an elephant into a headlock and kill a rhino with a headbut. This character has only a 5% chance of being affected by even the deadliest snake. A character like this should be able to say meh its only a hundred feet I can take it and still be in character.

Kylarra
2010-07-06, 12:23 AM
The intersection of "real life" and game rules does make for funny roleplaying (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0243.html) though.

awa
2010-07-06, 12:29 AM
the cop out is assuming ever skilled fighter (fighter in this case merly means someone who fights) most also be high level in dnd mechanics a level 6 charecter could easily beat a hundred men if those men were say level 1 warriors or commoners and he had the advantage of terrain and great cleave.

ZeroNumerous
2010-07-06, 12:33 AM
P.S. Yay for massive damage rules.

Actual massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/massaveDamageThresholdsAndResults.htm).

20d6, the cap for falling damage, is an average of 70 means a +7 to the DC for a DC 22 Fort Save. A hypothetical Fighter 20 with a 10 CON, a +6 CON item and a +5 Cloak of Resistance will survive on a roll of two(2).

20d6, rolling max damage, is 120 or +12 on the DC for a 27 Fort. Our hypothetical Fighter will survive on a roll of seven(7).

And that's well within WBL for a level 10 character, let alone a level 20.

To put it plainly: No. Boo for massive damage rules, because they serve no purpose at higher levels.

Grumman
2010-07-06, 12:55 AM
Actual massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/massaveDamageThresholdsAndResults.htm).
Actual actual massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/injuryandDeath.htm#massiveDamage). :smallamused:

Devils_Advocate
2010-07-06, 12:56 AM
However you describe cause A reliably yielding effect B, the fact remains that cause A reliably yields effect B. Whether a PC can routinely survive stupidly lethal things through toughness, dodging, luck, or whatever, the fact remains that he routinely survives stupidly lethal things. As such, to demand that the PC not know that he can survive stupidly lethal things is to require that he be incapable of basic pattern recognition and just plain not have noticed how his life has gone up to this point. In short, it is to mandate that the PC react unrealistically to his adventures taken as a whole.

You could, in theory, say that the game rules only apply "onscreen", and that during all other periods of the PC's life, events have proceeded as they do in the real world. Even then, though, after enough sessions, a smart PC would realistically realize that ever once in a while his life switches gears to action movie mode. He'd just be more worried about action movie mode cutting out unexpectedly, and exercise more caution due to that.

But that really doesn't make sense for D&D. The standard wizard background is studying magic for years until you can eventually cast spells; doesn't really make sense for the character not to be able cast spells until the game starts. And do you really want the party not to go to fight the dragon because they think that it'll toast them all?

Of course, if you're specifically bothered by "non-magical" stuff being unrealistic, the solution is simple: reclassify everything as "magical". Ta-da, fighters can have nice things! :smallbiggrin:

And honestly, when the elements are air, fire, water and earth instead of stuff like helium and potassium, the notion that the campaign world shares our universe's natural laws looks pretty goofy. Why not just accept a cinematic fantasy setting for what it is instead of trying to twist it into something it's not?

Edit: Of course, if deliberate attempts to exploit observed phenomena in obvious ways routinely result in horrible death, a character will eventually notice that too (http://speakwithmonsters.badgods.com/comics/mm-earseeker). :smallwink: If he lives long enough, or gets rezzed enough times.

JonestheSpy
2010-07-06, 12:59 AM
the cop out is assuming ever skilled fighter (fighter in this case merly means someone who fights) most also be high level in dnd mechanics a level 6 charecter could easily beat a hundred men if those men were say level 1 warriors or commoners and he had the advantage of terrain and great cleave.

Oh please. Cyrano did not beat down a hundred commoners.





20d6, the cap for falling damage, is an average of 70 means a +7 to the DC for a DC 22 Fort Save. A hypothetical Fighter 20 with a 10 CON, a +6 CON item and a +5 Cloak of Resistance will survive on a roll of two(2).

20d6, rolling max damage, is 120 or +12 on the DC for a 27 Fort. Our hypothetical Fighter will survive on a roll of seven(7).

And that's well within WBL for a level 10 character, let alone a level 20.

To put it plainly: No. Boo for massive damage rules, because they serve no purpose at higher levels.

I'm starting to find it really tedious that so many people make these arguments with the assumption that a given character will have the exact right mix of magic items to support their position...

BTW, your argument really only proves that good Fort saves are an exception to the "melee classes can't have things" trope.



stuff justifying metagaming

Just out of curiosity, can you think of a single decent book or film that has the protagonists doing insanely suicidal things with confidence they will survive just because they are the protagonist? Not dangerous things, like fighting dragons or attacking the Death Star, in which a high enough skill level can at least give one a chance of survival, but things like jumping off a ten story building, where in the odds of survival are really nil for all intents and purposes (those long plane falls that were survived involve landing in snowbanks if I recall correctly - no one survives landing on the pavement).

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 01:00 AM
Actual actual massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/injuryandDeath.htm#massiveDamage). :smallamused:

Actual Massive Damage Rules? (http://www.lavarules.com/) :explodingturkey:

Ponce
2010-07-06, 01:08 AM
Why is it silly for a character to expect to survive a fall when he knows he can, but not silly for him to expect to go toe-to-toe against any number of monsters and beasties who are many, even hundreds of times his size and by all rights should kill him with a single swipe of any one of its massive limbs?

DnD is not a life simulator. In real life, you cannot RELIABLY survive a fall at terminal velocity, nor can you RELIABLY survive an encounter with, say, an angry Titan (*splat*). That hero? Can apparently survive either reliably, so why should he only actively seek out the latter but assume that the former will be lethal? Why the double standard?

Malificus
2010-07-06, 01:08 AM
I'm starting to find it really tedious that so many people make these arguments with the assumption that a given character will have the exact right mix of magic items to support their position...

So a level 20 NPC fighter from the DMG falls from the max height. He has 175 hp and a +15 fort save.

He survives as long as he doesn't roll a 1.

At level 18 he starts failing on higher rolls

At level 15 he isn't guaranteed to have enough health to still be conscious (only 117 hp).

At level 10 he can survive the perfectly average falling damage of 70 with 9 hp left and has a +9 fort save, needing a 7 in order to beat the dc 15.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-06, 01:14 AM
Also, for the 100 man fight that Cyrano DeBergerac bested, assuming he was level 6, had about 16s in his to-hit score and his Con, fought defensive with enough ranks in tumble, and only dealt with people with non-range weapons, at any one time, he would have been up against at most 12 people. Assuming they are all level 1 NPC warriors and therefore die in one hit from our hero, who may or may not have cleave, he could have avoided most attacks while ending such foes.

Statistically speaking, it may be odd for him not to have needed more than one day's time to recover, but well within the scope of a 6th level nonmagical fighter type. If we work from the angle that HP are an abstraction and give him one level in Crusader, it's less of a surprise that he was able to get by with only that one day of rest.

ZeroNumerous
2010-07-06, 01:14 AM
I'm starting to find it really tedious that so many people make these arguments with the assumption that a given character will have the exact right mix of magic items to support their position...

Because D&D requires magic items at higher levels to be anything more than tedious and annoying. D&D is not a model of realism, it's a model of high fantasy. Further, WBL would make both of those items readily available to anyone who wants them, and no one would not want them as they both provide buffs to saves and a cushion of HP.

But, fine, minus magical items it can be replicated with a casting of Bear's Endurance and Superior Resistance. Either of which can be accessed readily by any given cleric of 11th level or higher.


BTW, your argument really only proves that good Fort saves are an exception to the "melee classes can't have things" trope.

Sure, if you selectively ignore the fact that my argument invalidates Massive Damage Saves as any sort of balancing factor.

Further, a good Fortitude save is easy to get for a caster: It requires Bear's Endurance, Superior Resistance and/or Polymorph.


Actual actual massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/injuryandDeath.htm#massiveDamage). :smallamused:

Granted, I picked the ones that weren't completely useless. 'Cause, you know, a DC 15 Save no matter how much damage you take is laughable.

EDIT:


Oh please. Cyrano did not beat down a hundred commoners.

No, but he probably beat down a hundred warriors. Who have d8 HD(4 HP) and could be one-shotted on average with a rapier and a +1 Strength modifier.

JonestheSpy
2010-07-06, 01:20 AM
Why is it silly for a character to expect to survive a fall when he knows he can, but not silly for him to expect to go toe-to-toe against any number of monsters and beasties who are many, even hundreds of times his size and by all rights should kill him with a single swipe of any one of its massive limbs?

DnD is not a life simulator. In real life, you cannot RELIABLY survive a fall at terminal velocity, nor can you RELIABLY survive an encounter with, say, an angry Titan (*splat*). That hero? Can apparently survive either reliably, so why should he only actively seek out the latter but assume that the former will be lethal? Why the double standard?

I really don't see why this is hard for people to understand - one can be an incredibly skilled fighter and still die from a ten story fall.

It seems people are drifting toward the old "To heck with suspension of disbelief" arguments: if one accepts one fantastic element of a story, then one is obligated to accept anything no matter how ridiculous. Same type of argument appears on comic book forums - something like "If you accept Superman's flying ability and power rings and magic lassos, why do you have a problem with Batman surviving getting punched hard enough to knock him through a brick wall and land half a mile away?"

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 01:21 AM
This isn't a physics question. This is a gaming etiquette question. If you're jumping off a cliff because you know the rules as written don't allow for enough damage to possibly kill you, you're meta-gaming.

"My character is so tough that he's basically a superhero and knows he'll survive." That isn't role-playing, it's a flimsy cop-out excuse for obliterating the suspension of disbelief for everyone else at the table.

Should a high-level character be able to survive such a fall? Certainly. The rules are there for a reason. The warrior who gets knocked off a cliff, has his fall slowed only by a Homer Simpson-esque succession of bumps and slams along the way and lands only to get up next round, chug a potion of cure mod and set about climbing his way back up to the fight? Epic badassery and a fun game for everyone. The smart-ass who basically dares the DM to break RAW and kill him? Deserves to have his character die, and can go whine about it while he rolls up a new one. Or goes home.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-06, 01:26 AM
*snip*

Clearly, we should SCIENCE! up an answer! Let us assume that our wizard has a moderate knowledge of Engineering and thus some amount of physics, able to reasonable gauge force and the like. Through various trials, our wizard is able to simulate and compare the amount of average force (and therefore damage) a dragon, energy admixture'd fireball (20d6 damage), and an abrupt stop from terminal velocity all would have. From there, he is able to divine from numerous trials with various subjects or objects how likely it would be for him and his compatriots to survive each occurrence.

ZeroNumerous
2010-07-06, 01:27 AM
I really don't see why this is hard for people to understand - one can be an incredibly skilled fighter and still die from a ten story fall.

In real life. In D&D, however, an 'incredibly skilled' fighter is searching around for monsters to slay. Meaning he's going to be fighting dragons. Skill does not allow one to defeat dragons alone and still die from a ten story fall.

Let us have an example: A level 6 fighter, the highest available in the E6 system, is going to fight CR 6 to 8 creatures.

Just as a random example, one CR 6 creature is a creature made of living smoke (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/belker.htm). Can you honestly say someone could slay something made of living smoke then fall down the stairs and die?

Ponce
2010-07-06, 01:30 AM
I really don't see why this is hard for people to understand - one can be an incredibly skilled fighter and still die from a ten story fall.

This isn't a physics question. This is a gaming etiquette question. If you're jumping off a cliff because you know the rules as written don't allow for enough damage to possibly kill you, you're meta-gaming.

What if they can punch their fist through a wall of solid iron? Or wrestle a giant to the ground and pin it? How do you explain that? Was that luck? How is it that he can do it a thousand times in a row without fail? This isn't simply SKILL. These are ridiculous, super-human abilities that are par for the course. Frankly, surviving a fall at terminal velocity is not that amazing when compared to some of the other things they can do.

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 01:33 AM
Can you honestly say someone could slay something made of living smoke then fall down the stairs and die?

No. I can honestly say that if yon Belker-shanker takes his foe down, then willfully jumps headlong down the stairs, while his player looks up at the DM and laughs about how he can't possibly die from it with his numbers-don't-lie smirk, he's deserves to land on a roller skate and break his Level 6 neck.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 01:34 AM
Deserves to have his character die, and can go whine about it while he rolls up a new one. Or goes home.


I wouldn't whine. I'd roll up a caster, so I could be badass without somebody reaching through the rules to hit me with their "Physics" mallet.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-06, 01:35 AM
No. I can honestly say that if yon Belker-shanker takes his foe down, then willfully jumps headlong down the stairs, while his player looks up at the DM and laughs about how he can't possibly die from it with his numbers-don't-lie smirk, he's deserves to land on a roller skate and break his Level 6 neck.

Then we are now in a situation where logic and reason dictate course of action and such a character must worry about truly unexpected occurrences from destroying him frequently when he acts bold.

Basically, this:

I wouldn't whine. I'd roll up a caster, so I could be badass without somebody reaching through the rules to hit my with their "Physics" mallet.

ZeroNumerous
2010-07-06, 01:36 AM
No. I can honestly say that if yon Belker-shanker takes his foe down, then willfully jumps headlong down the stairs, while his player looks up at the DM and laughs about how he can't possibly die from it with his numbers-don't-lie smirk, he's deserves to land on a roller skate and break his Level 6 neck.

I'd say falling down the stairs and dying shortly after slaying living smoke would shatter my suspension of disbelief, and the suspension of disbelief of anyone else at the table.

Hyooz
2010-07-06, 01:36 AM
This isn't a physics question. This is a gaming etiquette question. If you're jumping off a cliff because you know the rules as written don't allow for enough damage to possibly kill you, you're meta-gaming.

"My character is so tough that he's basically a superhero and knows he'll survive." That isn't role-playing, it's a flimsy cop-out excuse for obliterating the suspension of disbelief for everyone else at the table.

Should a high-level character be able to survive such a fall? Certainly. The rules are there for a reason. The warrior who gets knocked off a cliff, has his fall slowed only by a Homer Simpson-esque succession of bumps and slams along the way and lands only to get up next round, chug a potion of cure mod and set about climbing his way back up to the fight? Epic badassery and a fun game for everyone. The smart-ass who basically dares the DM to break RAW and kill him? Deserves to have his character die, and can go whine about it while he rolls up a new one. Or goes home.

Why wouldn't he know he'd survive? He's high-level, so he's been around for a long time. Knows how to take a hit, knows how to take a fall. Maybe he drives his sword into the cliff face to slow himself enough the fall isn't fatal. Maybe he rolls just right to minimize the impact of the fall. HP is already so abstract by high levels that assuming anything is far more preferable to assuming that he falls directly on his face after purposefully jumping off a cliff. I just think it's rather silly to think a character who can take the full impact of a frost giant's axe would somehow be scared or daunted by a cliff that isn't unnaturally high.

Hyooz
2010-07-06, 01:38 AM
No. I can honestly say that if yon Belker-shanker takes his foe down, then willfully jumps headlong down the stairs, while his player looks up at the DM and laughs about how he can't possibly die from it with his numbers-don't-lie smirk, he's deserves to land on a roller skate and break his Level 6 neck.

So you would break the suspension of disbelief to put a roller skate there and somehow my cunning hero now has no idea how to take a fall and miraculously lands just-so to kill him instantly?

That would take me right out of the game.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 01:42 AM
No. I can honestly say that if yon Belker-shanker takes his foe down, then willfully jumps headlong down the stairs, while his player looks up at the DM and laughs about how he can't possibly die from it with his numbers-don't-lie smirk, he's deserves to land on a roller skate and break his Level 6 neck.

Well, this would definitely break my suspension of disbelief since my little brother can jump headlong down the stairs without dying.

JonestheSpy
2010-07-06, 01:43 AM
In real life. In D&D, however, an 'incredibly skilled' fighter is searching around for monsters to slay. Meaning he's going to be fighting dragons. Skill does not allow one to defeat dragons alone and still die from a ten story fall.

Let us have an example: A level 6 fighter, the highest available in the E6 system, is going to fight CR 6 to 8 creatures.

Just as a random example, one CR 6 creature is a creature made of living smoke (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/belker.htm). Can you honestly say someone could slay something made of living smoke then fall down the stairs and die?

Try reading the section of the post you didn't bother quoting, ZN.

You know, I really think that the weird part about this is the completely opposed mindsets between the two sides in this discussion. There's the folks like Hotel Papa, Mike G, and myself who play the game with the idea that it's a simulation, not of real life but of heroic fantasy a la Moorcock, Lieber, Tolkien, etc, wherein the fantastical elements exist but do not mean we get to ignore things like gravity. The folks on the other side seem to think that the rules are the be-all and end-all, an absolutely enclosed universe that has no particular relation to anything else at all.

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 01:43 AM
ZeroNumerous, and everyone else who honestly thinks I would actually put a roller skate on the stair. - I get your point, even if you seem to be willfully ignoring mine.

Hyooz - And in that case, as a DM, I would be perfectly fine with his character making the jump. He's justified it to me in a way that makes sense in-game. The sense I got from the OP, however, was that the player in question was simply trying to exploit the game mechanics that his character has no reasonable reason to know about to do something stupid, breaking character and generally being a ****. Yeah, the Frost Giant's axe failed to kill him, but he didn't run head first into the blade because he knew he had more hit points.



You know, I really think that the weird part about this is the completely opposed mindsets between the two sides in this discussion. There's the folks like Hotel Papa, Mike G, and myself who play the game with the idea that it's a simulation, not of real life but of heroic fantasy a la Moorcock, Lieber, Tolkien, etc, wherein the fantastical elements exist but do not mean we get to ignore things like gravity. The folks on the other side seem to think that the rules are the be-all and end-all, an absolutely enclosed universe that has no particular relation to anything else at all.

This.

awa
2010-07-06, 01:47 AM
One group is trying to say all these stats donít mean anything the other says the hero who punches out an elephant cannot be measured as if he was a normal man because he not.

You whant to play lord of the rings fine good for you just watch out when you pass level 6.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 01:49 AM
Try reading the section of the post you didn't bother quoting, ZN.

You know, I really think that the weird part about this is the completely opposed mindsets between the two sides in this discussion. There's the folks like Hotel Papa, Mike G, and myself who play the game with the idea that it's a simulation, not of real life but of heroic fantasy a la Moorcock, Lieber, Tolkien, etc, wherein the fantastical elements exist but do not mean we get to ignore things like gravity. The folks on the other side seem to think that the rules are the be-all and end-all, an absolutely enclosed universe that has no particular relation to anything else at all.

I don't give a darn about the rules. In fact there are a few that I think can go die in a fire.

Where I draw the line is the DM making his own up without telling me before hand just to screw me in that one situation. Honestly, If I knew I would survive a 10,000 foot fall without being significantly damaged in real life I would do it just because I could. Why can't I play a character that does things like that?

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-06, 01:50 AM
Try reading the section of the post you didn't bother quoting, ZN.

You know, I really think that the weird part about this is the completely opposed mindsets between the two sides in this discussion. There's the folks like Hotel Papa, Mike G, and myself who play the game with the idea that it's a simulation, not of real life but of heroic fantasy a la Moorcock, Lieber, Tolkien, etc, wherein the fantastical elements exist but do not mean we get to ignore things like gravity. The folks on the other side seem to think that the rules are the be-all and end-all, an absolutely enclosed universe that has no particular relation to anything else at all.

I'm sorry, but how about "no." The rules do an amazing job of simulating things like gravity and human structural limits up until about 6th level. High Fantasy also can be simulated up until that point. After all, Gandalf didn't do much more flashy than a fireball or two.

Once we traverse past this point, DND no longer does a very good job of simulating such things as characters have simply become more than human (e.g., anyone with full ranks in Jump is breaking Olympic records or surviving nearly impossible odds with ease).

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 01:54 AM
No one is saying the stats don't mean anything. We're just saying that the stats are there to be a representation of a character in a heroic, epic and hopefully believable fantasy story that will entertain everyone involved.

Not as some sort of get-out-of-crippled-free card that you can waive in front of your DM's face when he impotently begs you to not abuse the rules and ruin the story for everyone.

Desperately want to jump off a cliff? Fine! Do so in a manner consistent with not just the rules, but some level of role-playing and story-writing purpose. Tell me why he thinks he can survive, and give it a go, you vs. the dice.

Like I said, though. Don't sit there and dare me to break the rules of the game to close the loophole you found. I will.

Math_Mage
2010-07-06, 01:55 AM
Just out of curiosity, can you think of a single decent book or film that has the protagonists doing insanely suicidal things with confidence they will survive just because they are the protagonist? Not dangerous things, like fighting dragons or attacking the Death Star, in which a high enough skill level can at least give one a chance of survival, but things like jumping off a ten story building, where in the odds of survival are really nil for all intents and purposes (those long plane falls that were survived involve landing in snowbanks if I recall correctly - no one survives landing on the pavement).

Forget fantasy, Vernor Vinge's Marooned in Realtime comes straight out of hard SF. One of the more interesting speculations about the nuclear blasts dotting the landscape of the past is that they were survival games to humans on the edge of the Technological Singularity (but playing around without their tech). Granted, this turns out not to be true, but the basic premise applies: the stronger protagonists of tomorrow can shrug off the deadly dangers of today, not only because of their technology but also because of their superior physical bodies...and they do.

At some point, things cease to be insanely suicidal and become merely dangerous...then routine. D&D crosses that line long before you reach level 20. It's not metagaming to take advantage of that, any more than it's metagaming to take advantage of a dimension door spell to get down instead.

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 01:57 AM
Where I draw the line is the DM making his own up without telling me before hand just to screw me in that one situation. Honestly, If I knew I would survive a 10,000 foot fall without being significantly damaged in real life I would do it just because I could. Why can't I play a character that does things like that?

Tell me how your character knows they can survive it, and we're cool. If your reason has the phrases "20d6" or "Easy fort save for massive damage" then you're doing it wrong.



At some point, things cease to be insanely suicidal and become merely dangerous...then routine. D&D crosses that line long before you reach level 20. It's not metagaming to take advantage of that, any more than it's metagaming to take advantage of a dimension door spell to get down instead.

It is not meta-gaming to assume you're going to survive a fall because you're prepared, or tough, or smart enough to land on your back. It's meta-gaming to do so because of the numbers involved.

Malificus
2010-07-06, 01:59 AM
Then we are now in a situation where logic and reason dictate course of action and such a character must worry about truly unexpected occurrences from destroying him frequently when he acts bold.

I would stop playing, get as many people I can to join a new game, and DM a game where trying to do something cool that is within your power to do, doesn't kill you.

An out of game rationalization based on the physics of the world isn't meta gaming. It's your character having a basic understanding of his environment.

- I can survive this jump, but it will hurt. (I have more hp than falling can do to me)
- The alternative is painless but boring (I say I walk down the stairs rather than jumping)
- pros to jump: More fun, faster. (I like jumping)
- Cons to jump: Unnecessarily hurts me (maybe there will be a fight later, Perhaps my DM hates fun)

Suddenly, jumping based solely on the fact that it can't kill you, is the in-character thing to do. At least if you don't think you have a hard fight coming up.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-06, 01:59 AM
No one is saying the stats don't mean anything. We're just saying that the stats are there to be a representation of a character in a heroic, epic and hopefully believable fantasy story that will entertain everyone involved.

Again, most heroic fantasy characters have abilities in line within those of a 6th level character. Some folks may be blessed enough to have magic items or artifacts beyond such level, but that's the general trend.


Not as some sort of get-out-of-crippled-free card that you can waive in front of your DM's face when he impotently begs you to not abuse the rules and ruin the story for everyone.

Thanks for the red herring! By no means am I trying to "ruin the story" for simply having my character believe otherwise outlandish things. After all, he is already surely outlandish for taking on and surviving such horrors as Illithids and dragons.


Desperately want to jump off a cliff? Fine! Do so in a manner consistent with not just the rules, but some level of role-playing and story-writing purpose. Tell me why he thinks he can survive, and give it a go, you vs. the dice.

Like I said, though. Don't sit there and dare me to break the rules of the game to close the loophole you found. I will.

At no point do I need to describe how I survive, simply that I do. Now, if you demand I do so, fine, I shall. It's a fair thing to add "I roll when I come close to hitting to ground, transferring the energy from the abrupt stop through me and into a roll."

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 02:02 AM
Tell me how your character knows they can survive it, and we're cool. If your reason has the phrases "20d6" or "Easy fort save for massive damage" then you're doing it wrong.



It is not meta-gaming to assume you're going to survive a fall because you're prepared, or tough, or smart enough to land on your back. It's meta-gaming to do so because of the numbers involved.

If my character has lived to the point where I know he can survive 20d6 even on a maximum roll then he knows he's just that tough.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 02:04 AM
The folks on the other side seem to think that the rules are the be-all and end-all, an absolutely enclosed universe that has no particular relation to anything else at all.

It's not that exactly. The rules are quite silly in some places and I'm not going to stick to them where I feel don't they fit. I just don't think that the rules that allow a high-level warrior to survive hazards that would outright kill a normal person are the problem. In fact I'd almost call them too harsh rather than too lenient.

It's really more a matter of tone for me. Once you can kill grizzly bear three times over with a single hit from a big stick or even a punch, you've clearly gone beyond the limits of "Normal" physical laws. Impossible levels of durability just feel like they are a good "Fit" with the other levels of impossible in D&D. No normal person can go toe-to-toe with a 20ft tall pillar of living fire, no normal person can get eaten alive rip their way out and still be fightin' shape. I just don't see the need to limit that when it comes to cliffs, lava or anything else in the environment for that matter.

The rules do a pretty serviceable job or representing feats of that level, and even then it doesn't always feel like enough.

I like awesome heroes doing impossible things. Heck, even at low levels I'll generally describe those Great Axe crits that 1-shot somebody as a clean bisection of the target's entire body or something similar.

Math_Mage
2010-07-06, 02:04 AM
Tell me how your character knows they can survive it, and we're cool. If your reason has the phrases "20d6" or "Easy fort save for massive damage" then you're doing it wrong.

I headbutted my way through a wall of iron three inches thick yesterday. I'll be fine as long as I land on my head.

PId6
2010-07-06, 02:04 AM
Tell me how your character knows they can survive it, and we're cool. If your reason has the phrases "20d6" or "Easy fort save for massive damage" then you're doing it wrong.
He's survived getting blasted in the face by a dragon's breath and getting chopped up by an ice giant's axe; a mere fall shouldn't even hurt much in comparison.

Happy?

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 02:06 AM
"I've been crushed by a dragon that weighs approximately 300 tons and eaten alive several times. I think I can survive a little fall."

Heck, wizards probably proved maximum velocity when they were bored.

Malificus
2010-07-06, 02:07 AM
Tell me how your character knows they can survive it, and we're cool. If your reason has the phrases "20d6" or "Easy fort save for massive damage" then you're doing it wrong.

I can survive be hit by a [monster]. What matter is a little fall?

Also, my amazing landing strategy for surviving the fall: I land on my feet. If I was tumbling I'd roll that. I'd like to leave a crater from the impact from doing about 20d6 to the ground, but I can understand if you don't want to get into the nitty-gritty. Maybe if I landed on a building, it would give way, and I'd humorously land in the rubble, now having to deal with any consequences inside.

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 02:09 AM
At no point do I need to describe how I survive, simply that I do. Now, if you demand I do so, fine, I shall. It's a fair thing to add "I roll when I come close to hitting to ground, transferring the energy from the abrupt stop through me and into a roll."

That, (And just about every other response) honestly, would be enough for me. My point has never been to try and enforce any degree of honest-to-physics realism, or a demand that all of my characters err on the side of caution or even sanity. I've had many a player do equally brash and suicidal things, with less justification. Hell, I'd be satisfied with, "Frankly, my character doesn't care if it might kill him." Entire Lethal Weapon plots have been written based on that character motivation. My problem, my one and only problem, is the player who openly does it because he knows the rules as written won't let him die. It has nothing to do with how he or any character compares to the average fantasy novel protagonist, and it has nothing to do with how the world at large is otherwise full of magic and madness. It is a matter of the respect that player is not showing his fellow players, the game itself, or even his own character.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-06, 02:10 AM
That, honestly, would be enough for me. My point has never been to try and enforce any degree of honest-to-physics realism, or a demand that all of my characters err on the side of caution or even sanity. I've had many a player do equally brash and suicidal things, with less justification. Hell, I'd be satisfied with, "Frankly, my character doesn't care if it might kill him." Entire Lethal Weapon plots have been written based on that character motivation. My problem, my one and only problem, is the player who openly does it because he knows the rules as written won't let him die. It has nothing to do with how he or any character compares to the average fantasy novel protagonist, and it has nothing to do with how the world at large is otherwise full of magic and madness. It is a matter of the respect that player is not showing his fellow players, the game itself, or even his own character.

Such is an issue of the player then, sadly.

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 02:13 AM
Such is an issue of the player then, sadly.

Agreed. And my two cents jingling all the way down this topic thread are there because as far as I can tell, that's what the OP's issue is really about.

Hyooz
2010-07-06, 02:18 AM
Hyooz - And in that case, as a DM, I would be perfectly fine with his character making the jump. He's justified it to me in a way that makes sense in-game. The sense I got from the OP, however, was that the player in question was simply trying to exploit the game mechanics that his character has no reasonable reason to know about to do something stupid, breaking character and generally being a ****. Yeah, the Frost Giant's axe failed to kill him, but he didn't run head first into the blade because he knew he had more hit points.


You're arguing against people that simply don't exist then. This is all the OP said:

How do you address a player who has his character leap off a ten story building because he knows it's only going to be 35-40 damage, and he has 90 HP?
and somehow, you're getting that this guy has decided to jump off the building purely to spite the DM and ruin the game because he's a jerk. If someone is jumping off a 10 story building, they likely have a good IC reason to do so. Maybe someone they've been looking for just dashed by, and 10 stories of stairs would just let them get away. And since, as a character, they know the kind of hits they've taken and how to take hits and blah blah blah (which honestly, begins to be what HP represents at a certain point) he knows, IC, that he can jump down that far and be fine. It might not be a perfect solution, but he needs to get down fast.

And as far as being ok with me saying I slow my fall with my sword or roll when I hit the ground... that's EXACTLY what the rules assume is going on. Just because I only have one attack roll at level 1 doesn't mean my character and the monster are standing still taking their turns. The mechanics are an abstraction of broader storytelling concepts. So when I make that attack roll, it represents the back-and-forth that is going on constantly during a combat, as our swords and shields clash against armor and stuff.

So when I have enough HP that doing things that would obviously be suicidal in the real world, or would certainly kill me instantaneously (say, jumping off a building or having a dragon breathe fire on me) that's there to represent learning how to deal with these better, i.e. slowing my fall with a sword or preventing the dragon's fire from consuming me by wrapping myself with a cloak or something. HP solely representing physical damage to the body becomes very silly very fast when I have a high-con, high-HP monk wearing no armor and carrying no weapons take a full attack from a giant dragon and not be in little pieces. Does that break your suspension of disbelief? Because if it doesn't, jumping down a cliff shouldn't either.

olentu
2010-07-06, 02:21 AM
Agreed. And my two cents jingling all the way down this topic thread are there because as far as I can tell, that's what the OP's issue is really about.

I think the problem is that this question "Do you allow this kind of obvious metagame decision, or do you overrule it, like pointing out that a hundred foot fall will kill/cripple you?" assumes that such actions are and can only be motivated by the metagame and it seems that many people have a problem with this assumption.

hotel_papa
2010-07-06, 02:26 AM
You're arguing against people that simply don't exist then... (S)omehow, you're getting that this guy has decided to jump off the building purely to spite the DM and ruin the game because he's a jerk. (Followed by things I actually have been agreeing with the whole time.)

Short answer, yes. You're probably right. I am assuming that the character is being a prick about it, and there is a distinct possibility that he isn't. I'm operating under that assumption that he is because the issue was apparently contentious enough for the OP to post about it. If he wasn't, then everything I've had to say is frankly irrelevant.

woodenbandman
2010-07-06, 02:32 AM
I'd say at the point where someone has enough HP to survive a 90 foot fall that the character has survived things a lot deadlier than gravity.

The Cat Goddess
2010-07-06, 02:54 AM
Sorry, I think this point of view is ridiculous, along with the general "no hero in literature or real life is that high level" fallacy.

Cyrano DeBergerac fought and triumphed against a hundred men - without wearing armor, wielding a non-magical rapier. And was merrily joking about it the next day instead of recovering in the hospital. That's because he was an incredibly skilled fighter, his skill simulated in the rules by a high level and a huge amount of hit points. That does NOT mean Cyrano would casually jump off the Eiffel frickn Tower. Saying high level characters are superheroes is just a lame cop-out.

Yes, James Bond can survive the huge fall by incredible luck, etc, but would never actually choose to make what would be an obviously suicidal jump. I'm definitely with Mike G - a player metagaming about acceptable levels of hit point damage deserves to be smacked down hard.

P.S. Yay for massive damage rules.

Cyrano plays in GURPS with a rediculously high Fencing skill (like, 30!). Unlimited parries with critical defense on a 7-. With the penalty for aiming for the eye every time (-8!) he's still critically hitting on a 7- as well.

100 guys attacking, only ~3 are going to crit him... and those are likely to be "no effect" (beyond disallowing him a defense) and not doing significant damage.


ZeroNumerous, and everyone else who honestly thinks I would actually put a roller skate on the stair. - I get your point, even if you seem to be willfully ignoring mine.

Hyooz - And in that case, as a DM, I would be perfectly fine with his character making the jump. He's justified it to me in a way that makes sense in-game. The sense I got from the OP, however, was that the player in question was simply trying to exploit the game mechanics that his character has no reasonable reason to know about to do something stupid, breaking character and generally being a ****. Yeah, the Frost Giant's axe failed to kill him, but he didn't run head first into the blade because he knew he had more hit points.

Actually, there are actions that your fighter can take that are essentially the same as running head first into the blade... like charging. If you're sure you can take the full hit, you do it. If you think the hit will flatten you, but you still need to get close, you tumble, or Combat Expertise, or fight defensively, etc.


I'd say at the point where someone has enough HP to survive a 90 foot fall that the character has survived things a lot deadlier than gravity.

Like the powerful Warrior who allows himself to be Swallowed Whole so he can attack from the inside and avoid the creature's DR.

Or the crazed Barbarian who deliberately provokes the Attack of Opportunity so that his Allies can get into position safely.

Why do they do it? Because they know they can survive it.

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 03:19 AM
About hit points being an abstraction of luck and the ability to dodge and such:

So, basically, you're saying that applying mundane injury poison to a weapon magically increases its ability to make contact? Because why else would you make a Fort save if the poison doesn't reach your bloodstream?

EDIT: What I'm trying to say is, in AD&D, at least, you could literally be stabbed in the gut ten times, and still have no trouble duking it out with the orc (because even at that point orcs could be serious trouble). Someone could also slash your throat twice and you could still talk and cast spells. That's the kind of game AD&D was.

If you don't want to play that kind of hero, there are hundreds of other (and better, in my opinion) games out there. Go and play one of those.

Kurald Galain
2010-07-06, 03:22 AM
How do you address a player who has his character leap off a ten story building because he knows it's only going to be 35-40 damage, and he has 90 HP?
I would have his character make a willpower check, a saving throw vs fear, or the equivalent thereof in the system we're using.



Beating a guy for 500 HP of subdual so you know he'll be unconscious for days and you can escape?
Hint to him that tying the guy up may be easier, and that the guy in question may be found and healed by some other NPC.

PId6
2010-07-06, 03:32 AM
About hit points being an abstraction of luck and the ability to dodge and such:

So, basically, you're saying that applying mundane injury poison to a weapon magically increases its ability to make contact? Because why else would you make a Fort save if the poison doesn't reach your bloodstream?
Perhaps the weapon made a slight graze on your skin instead? There's a middle ground between not getting hit at all and getting impaled in the gut you know.

Heliomance
2010-07-06, 03:54 AM
The characters in this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hiRfS8VfOw&feature=related) are probably the closest equivalent to 20th level in D&D that you're likely to see in popular media. Can they survive terminal velocity easily? Yup. Do they know it? Sure as hell. Do they abuse it and jump off high stuff just because? You better believe it.

Note especially the bit starting at 6 minutes.

Aroka
2010-07-06, 03:59 AM
I'd point out that, while yes, he's a badass, your character does not know how many HP he has, and is not confident he will survive a hundred foot fall.

He can be no more or less confident than that he'll survive being exploded, engulfed by fire, stabbed with a sword, or bitten by a dragon.

Adventurers do crazy things as is. I think jumping out of a tower seems marginally less crazy than going toe-to-toe against a 100-foot long dragon.

Anyway, it's easy to fluff that stuff to be less crazy - it's just matter of using one's imagination. "I glance back, notice a cart of hay in the street below, and throw myself out the window aiming for it."

Once you're heroic enough to survive jumping out of an airship flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet, you just are that damned heroic. "I point my head down, flatten my arms against my side, and squint my eyes to watch for a lake, then aim for that. Right before I hit, I put my arms out in front of my to break the surface." "You spot a lake and finally plunge into the water, only taking 82 points of damage. Roll a save against massive damage."

If the player keeps insisting "No, I want to land head first on pavement", just tell them they're dead. You're the DM and if someone insists on killing themselves, that's fine. I don't see why a PC cutting his own throat would just make a coup de grace and save against massive damage, either - suicide succeeds automatically. (Well, unless it's death urge.)

PId6
2010-07-06, 04:01 AM
"I glance back, notice a cart of hay in the street below, and throw myself out the window aiming for it."
Ah, yes. Best part about Assassin's Creed, no doubt. :smallcool:

FelixG
2010-07-06, 04:03 AM
Another fun one, if the players are doing it just to spite the GM: after they do it have random commoner punk #74 be watching and comment: "Huh, that was impressive, bet you a gold you cant do it again!" :P

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 04:05 AM
Perhaps the weapon made a slight graze on your skin instead? There's a middle ground between not getting hit at all and getting impaled in the gut you know.

A slight graze on your skin would not allow the poison to reach the bloodstream. And the stabbed in the gut comment was entirely unrelated to the poison comment. What I meant was that, if hit points are an abstraction for the ability to dodge and such, you would not be able to survive immersion in lava (since you can't dodge immersion in lava) and poisoning a weapon would suddenly make it much more accurate.

So, hit points are pretty much how much physical punishment you can take, according to the simplest interpretation of the rules. Trying to make them into something else makes a lot of the injury-related rules really wonky. And yes, it makes you into Wolverine. That's the kind of game D&D is. There is nothing inherently wrong with that (there are a lot of other things inherently wrong with D&D, in my opinion).

hamishspence
2010-07-06, 04:12 AM
I recall in The Science of Star Wars (written well before Episode 3) it discussed the question "Can someone survive being immersed in molten metal or molten lava?"

Partial immersion (maybe falling onto it and only having one side burned before being pulled out fast) was considered to be plausible.

PId6
2010-07-06, 04:13 AM
A slight graze on your skin would not allow the poison to reach the bloodstream. And the stabbed in the gut comment was entirely unrelated to the poison comment. What I meant was that, if hit points are an abstraction for the ability to dodge and such, you would not be able to survive immersion in lava (since you can't dodge immersion in lava) and poisoning a weapon would suddenly make it much more accurate.
A minor cut can cause you to bleed, letting the poison go into your bloodstream. HP doesn't have to be completely literally interpreted as dodging; things like luck, endurance, and morale all have a part to play. In combat, if flavoring HP as dodging enemy blows doesn't work (as in the case of poison), you can still say that the attack caused a minor wound, just enough to convey the poison.

Admittedly, complete immersion in lava is a bit harder to explain, but that also tends to do a lot more damage than most regular hits. And you can still call it luck or endurance if you want.

742
2010-07-06, 04:21 AM
well i know my characters dont do crazy **** unless its in character. the cowardly wizard might say "yeah, maybe i could make that jump, but OW! *feather fall*" whereas the excessively acrobatic character might say "200 foot fall? omg i might scrape my knee! its probably worth it just to get away from the smell of these things"

and yes, you endured having your entire body dissolved. that gives you extra badass levels, and in a game the rule of cool should take precedence where it and physics are in conflict.

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 04:25 AM
If the player keeps insisting "No, I want to land head first on pavement", just tell them they're dead.

The default rules for falling assume that you fall, without controlling how you fall, into a hard substance. There are other rules for falling into soft surfaces (turns 1d6 of damage into non-lethal), trying to fall in a controlled way (reduces the effective height by 10 feet), falling into water and so forth (reduces damage in a non-so-simple way).

So, if you ever take 20d6 lethal damage from falling, yes, you are falling head first onto the pavement.

Malificus
2010-07-06, 04:29 AM
So, if you ever take 20d6 lethal damage from falling, yes, you are falling head first onto the pavement.

Well, if you roll high. A low damage roll may be you hitting a less vital body part.

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 04:31 AM
Well, if you roll high. A low damage roll may be you hitting a less vital body part.

You're probably not falling head first either way. You're probably falling on your spine or stomach or something.

hamishspence
2010-07-06, 04:32 AM
Wouldn't landing feet first do almost as much damage- and send the femurs smashing upward into the torso, crushing all the person's vital organs?

What's the optimum way to land at terminal velocity?

ZeroNumerous
2010-07-06, 04:33 AM
The folks on the other side seem to think that the rules are the be-all and end-all, an absolutely enclosed universe that has no particular relation to anything else at all.

Well hello Mr. Strawman.

Unfortunately, as I've said before, high-level D&D is a simulation of high fantasy. Not heroic fantasy.

At that point you aren't playing Aragorn the Ranger who can get killed by an orc's lucky swing. Instead, you're playing Rand Al'thor who has his hand blown off by a fireball and not only lives but chooses to retaliate. In high fantasy, things like jumping ten stories, hitting the ground and immediately jumping into a sword-fight happen. It's not believable, but that's because it's high fantasy. The explanation as to why the PCs can do this can be as obtuse as "magic" or as simple as "because the DM said so", but the end result is that the PCs are now able to perform extraordinary actions with ease.

If you like to play low-level D&D as a heroic fantasy or low-fantasy world, then feel free. But you simply cannot play high-level D&D that way as you quickly run into scenarios where jumping ten stories is entirely not lethal.

Prime32
2010-07-06, 04:35 AM
If you like to play low-level D&D as a heroic fantasy or low-fantasy world, then feel free. But you simply cannot play high-level D&D that way as you quickly run into scenarios where jumping ten stories is entirely not lethal.And this is why E6 was created.

Psyx
2010-07-06, 04:43 AM
Remember: Hit point aren't 'wound points'. They reflect lucky misses, stamina and soaking flesh wounds. D&D doesn't have any form of impairment or wound system, so your're fine, you're fine, your're fine, you're unconscious, essentially.

Your 250hp character might only take one actual hit in a fight that drops him, having been repeatedly 'missed' for the first 245hp of damage.

Falling from 300000' and sucking down 20d6 might result in landing on a haystack. You still take 20d6, but that's why you aren't insta-killed.

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 04:48 AM
Falling from 300000' and sucking down 20d6 might result in landing on a haystack. You still take 20d6, but that's why you aren't insta-killed.

If you land in a haystack, you only take 19d6 lethal damage, and 1d6 non-lethal damage.

Prime32
2010-07-06, 04:48 AM
Remember: Hit point aren't 'wound points'. They reflect lucky misses, stamina and soaking flesh wounds. D&D doesn't have any form of impairment or wound system, so your're fine, you're fine, your're fine, you're unconscious, essentially.

Your 250hp character might only take one actual hit in a fight that drops him, having been repeatedly 'missed' for the first 245hp of damage.

Falling from 300000' and sucking down 20d6 might result in landing on a haystack. You still take 20d6, but that's why you aren't insta-killed.So how do you rationalise characters swimming in magma, jumping over 20ft straight up and punching through adamantine walls as not superhuman?

And as TRD said, there are rules for landing in soft substances (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/environment.htm#falling) - if you take 20d6 that means you didn't break your fall. Heck, monks have a class feature for breaking falls.

Aotrs Commander
2010-07-06, 05:49 AM
My background comes first from Rolemaster, where, regardless of your level, anyone or anything can kill you. (Yes, it is possible for a housecat to kill a level 50 wizard. Extremely unlikely, but statistically possible.)

I treat each and every set of rules I ever play, wargame or roleplaying, as a simulation of a real world. The rules are a necessary abstraction to facilitate the game - they do not define the world, merely reflect; sometimes not well.

When I DM, the PCs might be (relatively) superhuman at higher levels - only relatively. A dagger in the eye - should a PC ever be put in that situation - would still kill you. (The trick being no-one getting put in that situation.) I treat hits as an abstraction (albiet one frequently subject to a bit of humerous hyperbolic exaggeration). When it comes down to it, the PCs1 can't really physically take dozens of sword blows, just because they can take a lot of hit points.

D&D does not handle many things very well (even though it is still one of the best RPG engines I feel, which is why we play more of that than Rolemaster). Ecomonics and environmental hazard damage are two of the worst offenders, since as it has been pointed out, the core rules for them are laughably ineffective. Remember that the DMG traps, excluding specific spell traps like the Symbols, cap out at CR10, which I always thought was incredibly stupid and limiting.

It is just another one of 3.5 D&D's flaws; certainly, from what I've quests I've read or played of AD&D, traps and environmental hazards in most actual modules didn't suddenly stop at higher level. Nor, I suspect, if I peruse the higher-lever modules of 3.5, would I not find hazards appropriate to the level. The problem with 3.5 is the poor implementation of hazards in Core, leading to everyone essentially having to circumnavigate those rules (or ignore environmental hazards at higher level); because rule-of-cool says you want a few decent set-pieces.

The problem is mostly, therefore, simply bad rule implementation by the designers, which is merely as much a flaw as the caster-noncaster disparity, the Massive Damage relic2, the CR/ECL/LA debarcle or the ineptitude of the 10' ladder/10' pole economy. (3.5's troubles almost all stem from the fact that the designers inexplicably could only think about the most common situations and never seemed to give any thought to anything outside that paradigm.)



However, there is that other element that Mike G was getting at. I run my games on the level of Credible Threat. I don't generally3 kill the PCs4 unless they do something stupid. However, that level of protection lasts exactly as long as the players don't take advantage of it. I.e. they continue to play and act as if I will kill them. (Certainly, regardless of who is DMing, when playing myself, I actually repress any sense that the DM will have mercy on us.) The moment of them were to say, "ah, relax, he won't really kill us" I would very actually will kill that player5. They don't though, since I do have a good set of players, and death does occurs often enough to keep up the pretense. I find Fate points are also an invaluable ally in this regard, since it allows me to "kill" a PC without killing them, and the look of worry on the player's face is the same.

So, if faced with the sort of metagaming as Mike G suggested, I too would doubtless let the "real" game-world assert itself instead of the abstraction of the rules which model it only broadly. (Though, only, as priorly suggested, the descision was based purely on aspects the character would not know; "I can take 10D6 damage" is not it.) Though to be fair, the odd occasion wouldn't worry me (I might not even notice), but I'd put my foot down if it became a regular occurance or it seemed really abusive.



1As I rule it; you are of course entitled to do differently.

2As in AD&D 50 damage actually WAS a significant number; with it's much higher HPs, 3.5 should have gone with at least 100; I personally just ignore the rule altogether.

3Though I embarrasingly did one last session; having just been fighting a 17th level party against the most complex and difficult encounter I've ever devised, when I came to the level 12's I kind of forgot and had the party hit by a Sudden Maximised, Sudden Empowered Flamestrike...and the sorcerer failed her save. (Had she passed, she'd have even been concious.) Oops. If I'd not have got so carried away, I'd have not Empowered as well. Still, it'll learn 'em not to have Revivify loaded...

4I kill players all the time, mind. They're expendable. It's just soo much less effort to drag a prisoner out of the brig and make them play the character that re-write the quest to accomodate a replacement character.

5And possible his character, too, if I'm feeling mean.
Yes, I do take my gaming very seriously, thank you...

Aroka
2010-07-06, 06:06 AM
The default rules for falling assume that you fall, without controlling how you fall, into a hard substance. There are other rules for falling into soft surfaces (turns 1d6 of damage into non-lethal), trying to fall in a controlled way (reduces the effective height by 10 feet), falling into water and so forth (reduces damage in a non-so-simple way).

Doesn't mean a PC shouldn't be allowed to successfully commit suicide if the player really wants it. Or would you seriously make a PC roll a CDG to kill themselves with a weapon?


My background comes first from Rolemaster, where, regardless of your level, anyone or anything can kill you. (Yes, it is possible for a housecat to kill a level 50 wizard. Extremely unlikely, but statistically possible.)

My experience in the years I ran RM was actually that it was so hilariously hard to get a good result on the crit charts (like a 10-20% chance of death on an E crit) that it was incredibly hard to kill anyone. The way OB converted to DB made it even harder, because on any given round half the combatants would be stunned from otherwise ineffectual crits and using half OB to add to DB... and when someone did finally go down, it was mostly because their hit points had been whittled away - ridiculously anti-climatic.

We abandoned the system mostly because we could barely get through one fight per session. It's a pity, because I loved building characters for it.

Aotrs Commander
2010-07-06, 06:20 AM
My experience in the years I ran RM was actually that it was so hilariously hard to get a good result on the crit charts (like a 10-20% chance of death on an E crit) that it was incredibly hard to kill anyone. The way OB converted to DB made it even harder, because on any given round half the combatants would be stunned from otherwise ineffectual crits and using half OB to add to DB... and when someone did finally go down, it was mostly because their hit points had been whittled away - ridiculously anti-climatic.

We abandoned the system mostly because we could barely get through one fight per session. It's a pity, because I loved building characters for it.

I've tended to find the exact opposite over the years! Of course, most of our games are RM/SM, which of course uses more serious critical tables, and ranged combat is much more lethal because it's harder to get DB against ranged attacks. (Our sci-fi party now HAS to have shields and Adreanal Defense is allowed - at reduced effect - on any type of attack.) But even so, death by concussion hits in fantasy games were more-or-less unheard of. (Death by hit point damage is more common with the massive hit points dealt with firearms and energy weapons, of course!)

The "flaw" if you can call it that, I find in RM, is that for a "realistic" system, I've had more randomnes (due to open ended rolls) than any D&D game. (The infamous Battle of the Fumbles being but one, the time half the group made a beautiful attempt at co-ordinated fumbles being another...!) I just prefer D&D now since it's marginally less work to run and a little easier to balance.

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 06:23 AM
Doesn't mean a PC shouldn't be allowed to successfully commit suicide if the player really wants it. Or would you seriously make a PC roll a CDG to kill themselves with a weapon?

Unless he has knowledge of how to commit suicide, yes. There are a number of people that shot themselves in the face with a shotgun and survived, after all.

Earthwalker
2010-07-06, 06:57 AM
I find it odd, the DnD combat system seems to require a level of metagaming so I wouldn't be at all surprised if people end up doing things the original poster compained about.

People might not believe that metagaming is inbuilt to the combat system I will try to offer a little proof with this made up gaming conversation.

DM - "Okay Milo your acations what does Milo do?"

Milo - "Well I will tumble over to this square behind the ogre, I will make sure me and the warrior flank the ogre and I will sneak attack him"

DM - "Woah what is all this metagaming, Milo doesn't know that he needs to be in that square to flank and get sneak attack... Stop cheating and tell me your action"

Milo - "Oh yeah erm sorry, I will tumble to melee range with the ogre and then hit him"

DM - "You tumble ??"

Milo - "Ahh okies I walk to melee range and hit him".

DM - "Thats alot better, ok you walk to him, you provoke an attack of oppertunity" <rolls dice> "Lose 14 HP, now you are in Melee range roll damage"

Milo - <rolls> "Ok thats a hit, no sneak attack so 3 damage".

DM - "Thats much better, I hate all this metagaming other DMs allow, you do all seem to have trouble with even the simplest encounters".

Ok that was over the top but you get the idea, you need to know how the world / rules work to be effective. Where you draw the line on what meta gaming is bad for the group and what isn't is a personal choice.

I would say that as a GM you should always be consistant in how you use the rules. If you get pushed down a 100 ft drop you take 10D6, if you jump you take 10D6.

Hows it work otherwise ?

DM- "Sorry Takal, you are knocked back and fall off the edge of the tower, take 10D6 damage"

Milo - "I will jump down after him and try to heal him up."

DM - "Ok Milo you die, you jumped from a height that should kill people so your dead".

Milo - "??"

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 07:05 AM
DM- "Sorry Takal, you are knocked back and fall off the edge of the tower, take 10D6 damage"

Milo - "I will jump down after him and try to heal him up."

DM - "Ok Milo you die, you jumped from a height that should kill people so your dead".

Milo - "??"

In this case, Milo will actually take less damage than Takal, since he deliberately jumped, which turns 1d6 damage into non-lethal.

Saph
2010-07-06, 07:09 AM
The PCs especially after the have a few levels under their belt are dealing with people they've been in life & death situations before. They're actually the ones facing down the monsters and working together. There are a lot of ways they'd be communicating that just fall outside the scope of the game. Body Language, changes in facial expression etc.... To a great extend I'd imagine they can even just intuitively tell what their allies and opponents are going to do. This is because they've had real first hand, on the ground experience in situations the Players are really only getting an abstracted view.

OOC tactical discussion helps to bring this out to a certain extent. Instead of having your team of well trained, battle hardened adventurers fumble around like they were making these split second decisions the same way some guy named Mike sitting at a table with his friends and a coke would.

See, that's not actually the result it gives. What happens is that you lose all dramatic tension and end up with half of the party sitting around terminally bored. You don't get a sense of "well-trained battle-hardened adventurers", you get a sense of "inept muppets who can't make the simplest decisions without forming a committee."

The absolute worst example I've ever had was a party where the GM never enforced time limits on turns and was happy to engage in rules discussions mid-combat. One of the players was also a "Captain Indecisive" type. This led to conversations like this:

Captain Indecisive: "Hmm, I'm not sure what I should do next."
Player 2: "Maybe you should do X."
Captain Indecisive: "Yeah. Could I do <insert long, improbable plan here>?"
DM: "Hmm, I don't know. I'll get out my books and look up each stage of the plan to see what it would mean."
Captain Indecisive: "If <part A> would take too long, I'll do <part B> instead."
DM: *looks up several pages while everyone waits* "Okay, I think that would work like this . . ."

(Five minutes later)

Captain Indecisive: "Nah, I won't do that after all. What should I do instead?"

(process repeats)

It got to cases where in the middle of a combat round I'd decide to get a drink, ask if anybody else wanted a drink, go downstairs, write down orders, queue up, buy drinks, find a tray to put all the drinks on, go upstairs, distribute the drinks, sort out change, and it still wouldn't be my turn. Really nice guys to play with, but they drove me nuts when it came to time management. We'd sometimes get only 10 rounds of combat done in an entire 4 hour session.

Zen Master
2010-07-06, 07:10 AM
Going with the falling damage from page one, I'd say I try to avoid going into distances as such. I might say

For a long, but not life threatening drop: Well, you look down. It looks painful, but certainly survivable.

For something along the lines of 100 feet: Looking down, you realise this would certainly kill a lesser man. But you are not one of the kings bluecoats - you see a couple of ways to break your fall on the way down. It's gonna hurt though. A lot. Certainly more than fighting your way through the minions on the stairs.

And for something rediculous, like 500 feet: You stare into the gaping, hungry maw of certain death. Without a potion, magic ring or something similar, this jump will deny the enemy the satisfaction of killing you - but you'll be just as dead.

For stupid jumps - the 100 feet variety - I might also very well add a little bit of extra threat. Stunning, a reflex save to avoid taking max damage on the dice, and so on.

Mike_G
2010-07-06, 07:24 AM
OK, so if the rules are The Way The World Work, then a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Cartographer earns the same money as a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Ditchdigger? Or Blacksmith, Apothecary, Lawyer, Ratcatcher, etc?

Or do you think that maybe the skill is there to simulate Joe the Ranger picking up some gold during the downtime with his in town with his ranks in Profession:Guide while his Wizard buddy spends a week at the Mages' Guild researching spells?

The rules help the DM adjudicate the players' interaction with the world. They don't define the world.

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 07:27 AM
OK, so if the rules are The Way The World Work, then a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Cartographer earns the same money as a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Ditchdigger? Or Blacksmith, Apothecary, Lawyer, Ratcatcher, etc?

Profession isn't your ability to use a certain skill. Profession is your ability to use a certain skill to make money. So, if you have 5 ranks in Profession: Cartographer, you're a worse businessman than someone with 10 ranks in Profession: Beggar.

Prime32
2010-07-06, 07:31 AM
Profession isn't your ability to use a certain skill. Profession is your ability to use a certain skill to make money. So, if you have 5 ranks in Profession: Cartographer, you're a worse businessman than someone with 10 ranks in Profession: Beggar.My favourite is Profession (god)

You know how to use the tools of your trade, how to perform the professionís daily tasks, how to supervise helpers, and how to handle common problems.

The Mentalist
2010-07-06, 07:34 AM
My favourite is Profession (god)

Does that have a masterwork tool?

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 07:35 AM
My favourite is Profession (god)

Who even has that skill?

Mutants & Masterminds has Profession (tyrant), though it's not as ridiculous as Profession (god). Even though M&M allows you to play actual gods.

Ashiel
2010-07-06, 08:09 AM
Actual massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/massaveDamageThresholdsAndResults.htm).

Those aren't the actual massive damage rules. That's a variant. Here is the massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/injuryandDeath.htm#massiveDamage); and I'll quote here for convenience.


Massive Damage
If you ever sustain a single attack deals 50 points of damage or more and it doesnít kill you outright, you must make a DC 15 Fortitude save. If this saving throw fails, you die regardless of your current hit points. If you take 50 points of damage or more from multiple attacks, no one of which dealt 50 or more points of damage itself, the massive damage rule does not apply.

Aotrs Commander
2010-07-06, 08:15 AM
OK, so if the rules are The Way The World Work, then a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Cartographer earns the same money as a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Ditchdigger? Or Blacksmith, Apothecary, Lawyer, Ratcatcher, etc?

Or do you think that maybe the skill is there to simulate Joe the Ranger picking up some gold during the downtime with his in town with his ranks in Profession:Guide while his Wizard buddy spends a week at the Mages' Guild researching spells?

The rules help the DM adjudicate the players' interaction with the world. They don't define the world.

Again, I think this simply nothing more than poor rules design in the first place. I think profession skills would be better treated like in other games (e.g. Rolemaster), where they work a bit more like knowledge skills pertaining to that profession (plus a measure of how good the character at applying those skills if needed). That's how I use them, anyway. The profession skill as written in D&D (like the craft skill, and Diplomacy) is a frankly slip-shod, as if the writers felt they had to have a quantative use, rather than as supplementary colour that occasionally comes in handy over the course of the adventurer's career.

Being designed around the PCs to the exclusion of everything else (which 4E takes to even worse extremes), D&D as a whole - especially in the more recent additions - models real-world socio-economic structures poorly, as the designers assumed no-one would be interested in that. (As opposed to merely "most people".) Rolemaster is a little better at that (being more solidly based in "realism"), but even then, it has some problems, if you look really hard. (In ...And a ten-foot Pole, bread is cheaper than flour.)

However, just because D&D is crap at modelling certain things doesn't mean that a) you can't fix them yourself and b) the bulk of the system isn't still superior (in my opinion) to the rest out there.

Ashiel
2010-07-06, 08:40 AM
What the original poster really wants is an E6 campaign. I'm sorry but mid-to-high D&D levels aren't about realism. Back on the WotC Boards we called this "Last Action Hero Syndrome" or something to that regard.

Let me explain. Obviously over the course of your life, as you do more and more things, stuff becomes less and less frightening because you get used to gauging what you can and cannot survive without serious injury. Professional gymnasts do things that most people wouldn't believe possible except for the fact they can go watch a professional gymnast do them and then go "wow, I could never do that". Gymnasts do things that without the endurance, technique, muscle memory, and athletic skill, will break the bones and likely kill normal people if they try to jump 20ft in the air and then plant their feet solidly on the ground after a speed-gaining spin rotation.

D&D heroes are like that. D&D heroes past a certain level are conditioned beyond the human norm, beyond the gymnast norm. Some attack forms don't even give you the option to assume you "just dodged it" via hit points. A Dragon's crush attack deals significant HP damage and pins opponents beneath them; so it's pretty hard to say "Oh, he just managed to avoid the attack". No, that dragon just SAT ON HIM and he didn't immediately turn to Jelly; because he is that powerful.

In fact, a mid-to-high level barbarian who looks at a mountain side that an enemy has escaped down (let's say via a ring of Feather Falling) has no reason not to jump down; possibly hitting the ground before the wounded villain reaches the bottom; unless he's staggered and isn't certain he can take the impact and keep going.

But one at full health? Hit the ground running.

The problem is you're wanting to play "gritty realism D&D" at the levels where D&D characters are capable of fighting things that would be seen as gods in our world. It doesn't work, and it's not supposed to work. 20th Level is not Aragorn and the fellowship prancing around trying to get the ring to Mordor. It they had been even 10th level, it's likely that the plan would have been "Lay siege to Mordor using only your skills and magic alone, and after you break through their outer walls and slaughter their countless orcs, pierce through the trolls and the wyverns, and then throw that damned ring into that Volcano; and Sauron happens to re-materialize for some reason, toss him in too."

Mid-to-High level characters are akin to walking natural disasters. A 10th level wizard can reduce a village to ashes in a few minutes; and a 10th level fighter can slaughter an army of foot-soldiers, cavalry, and archers (with the archers giving him the most trouble, most likely); then continue THROUGH their walls, and into their city, and level it by hand (and adamantine sword).

Seriously, try E6 rather than complaining about characters being strong.

Psyx
2010-07-06, 09:02 AM
"And as TRD said, there are rules for landing in soft substances - if you take 20d6 that means you didn't break your fall. Heck, monks have a class feature for breaking falls."

We clearly simply run things differently, then. In my campaigns, a player sucking down a 20d6 fall from 50,000' and not dying DID hit something soft, and that's why they aren't dead. I'm not going to slavishly follow rules when they are clearly idiotic. Do you actually let players heal by drowning, or do you say 'no that's a stupid rule' and move on? If a player wants to jump off a mountain and make no attempt to soften their fall, or discards any 'boxed text' I might add to help them 'realistically' [in loose terms] survive their escape, I'm happy to point them to 4d6. Breaking the suspension of disbelief isn't really much fun.


"So how do you rationalise characters swimming in magma, jumping over 20ft straight up and punching through adamantine walls as not superhuman?"

Jumping 20' and punching through a wall I can live with, heroically speaking [Although I traditionally inflict 1hp of damage on players per attempt at kicking in doors and similar feats because it hurts and it's tiring]. Swimming in magma... is hard to rationalise. But then there aren't rules for dying due to standing within 10' of it anyway, so maybe magma in D&D is a lot cooler than ours... Maybe 'magma' is common for 'really hot mud'... :smallcool:

PId6
2010-07-06, 09:04 AM
It they had been even 10th level, it's likely that the plan would have been "Lay siege to Mordor using only your skills and magic alone, and after you break through their outer walls and slaughter their countless orcs, pierce through the trolls and the wyverns, and then throw that damned ring into that Volcano; and Sauron happens to re-materialize for some reason, toss him in too."
Standard action: Teleport to Mt. Doom.
Free action: Drop the ring.
Swift action: Quickened (rod) Rapid Summon Monster IV for a Celestial Giant Eagle.
Move action: Mount up.
Free action: Pose for the picture.

http://img-fan.theonering.net/rolozo/images/fletcher/escape.jpg

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 09:09 AM
We clearly simply run things differently, then.

And that's fine. D&D is a mechanically poor system, and not all of its rules make sense. However, we're discussing the rules of D&D, not your house rules and interpretations. If we get into the discussion of house rules, we will no longer have common grounds to discuss things on.

valadil
2010-07-06, 09:16 AM
Again, you can say the same thing about facing orcs or bears. We have an aversion to falling off cliffs because we'll likely die from doing it, but to someone who can merely shrug off axe blows and get up from a 1000 ft fall, why should they consider these "dangers" the same way that real people would?

I don't agree with that analogy. Orcs or bears will kill you if you leave them alone. The grand canyon won't.


Except there is: because the consequences of not jumping are worse than the consequences if you do. While you could play a character who despite learning how to best survive such a fall retains the learned aversion to jumping off cliffs, it's equally valid to play a character who knows that he can handle it and reacts accordingly, just like a knife juggler will eventually no longer see juggling knives as a life threatening experience.

I'll admit there are situations that may call for it. If the BBEG is at the bottom of the cliff, about to complete his ritual and the only way down is to jump, then jump. If one minion got away by parachuting down the cliff, jumping down to get him seems unreasonable. At that point you're not saving the world - you're preventing the XP from getting away.

I'll also agree that someone who has survived a fall may be more likely to consider it. Maybe they got pushed off a cliff the first time around. I still say they'd need a good reason to jump again though.


If my character has lived to the point where I know he can survive 20d6 even on a maximum roll then he knows he's just that tough.

I still say that's metagaming. Even if you try and reflavor the damage. Okay, so you've been chewed on by a dragon. What does that have to do with falling at a high speed? I don't see how your character would even consider that they'd be comparable amounts of pain/injury.

ZeroNumerous
2010-07-06, 09:17 AM
Those aren't the actual massive damage rules. That's a variant. Here is the massive damage rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/injuryandDeath.htm#massiveDamage); and I'll quote here for convenience.

I'd like to point out two things:

A) You're two pages too late.

B) Those rules are even worse compared to the variant that actually has a possibility of failure.


Jumping 20' and punching through a wall I can live with, heroically speaking [Although I traditionally inflict 1hp of damage on players per attempt at kicking in doors and similar feats because it hurts and it's tiring].

... So, wait.

If I'm using, say, an adamantine gauntlet or punching a door while initiating the Mountain Hammer maneuver then I take a point of HP damage(not non-lethal mind you, but actual damage) even though both of those options explicitly ignore(or reduce to 0) the hardness of the door?

Well, damn, there went my suspension of disbelief.

EDIT:


I still say that's metagaming. Even if you try and reflavor the damage. Okay, so you've been chewed on by a dragon. What does that have to do with falling at a high speed? I don't see how your character would even consider that they'd be comparable amounts of pain/injury.

I know a particular Barbarian/Frenzied Berserker who has, single-handedly, slain hydras, dragons and been eaten alive no less than six times. I would say she'd leap ten stories just to kill someone.

Further: I'd have to question the DM who would play someone else's character like that. After all, if the character is acting on an established precedent(aforementioned barbarian example) then why would such a DM possibly disallow such an action?

PId6
2010-07-06, 09:22 AM
I don't agree with that analogy. Orcs or bears will kill you if you leave them alone. The grand canyon won't.
Jumping into it clearly will.

Yet a bear or orc, while a huge threat to us, isn't much of one to a 20th level Fighter (or whatever). Same for jumping off tall mountains. Would it be metagaming to say "Those orcs don't really threaten me much, so I should concentrate on the wizard casting the scary spells"? How is that any different from "Jumping from that cliff doesn't really threaten me much, so I shouldn't waste time and just jump down there to get to that wizard casting scary spells at us"?

Oslecamo
2010-07-06, 09:24 AM
Wouldn't landing feet first do almost as much damage- and send the femurs smashing upward into the torso, crushing all the person's vital organs?

What's the optimum way to land at terminal velocity?

Unless you're really unlucky and your legs are in a micrometerly perfect perpendicular angle with the ground, no, your legs will bend and break and hurt a lot but that'll also absorb a good chunk of the cinetic energy, actualy protecting your vital organs. I don't think there's a single case where a person's legs could be driven inside his body unless you were actively aiming at it.

So, feet first it's the way to go. The people who survived terminal velocity falls (mainly airplane pilots whose parachutes would fail) did so by keeping their foot turned down and praying to fall in a soft place like snow or tick foliage.

Ashiel
2010-07-06, 09:24 AM
Standard action: Teleport to Mt. Doom.
Free action: Drop the ring.
Swift action: Quickened (rod) Rapid Summon Monster IV for a Celestial Giant Eagle.
Move action: Mount up.
Free action: Pose for the picture.

http://img-fan.theonering.net/rolozo/images/fletcher/escape.jpg

Yeah. Good point. :smalltongue:


We clearly simply run things differently, then. In my campaigns, a player sucking down a 20d6 fall from 50,000' and not dying DID hit something soft, and that's why they aren't dead. I'm not going to slavishly follow rules when they are clearly idiotic. Do you actually let players heal by drowning, or do you say 'no that's a stupid rule' and move on? If a player wants to jump off a mountain and make no attempt to soften their fall, or discards any 'boxed text' I might add to help them 'realistically' [in loose terms] survive their escape, I'm happy to point them to 4d6. Breaking the suspension of disbelief isn't really much fun.

Play E6.


Jumping 20' and punching through a wall I can live with, heroically speaking [Although I traditionally inflict 1hp of damage on players per attempt at kicking in doors and similar feats because it hurts and it's tiring]. Swimming in magma... is hard to rationalise. But then there aren't rules for dying due to standing within 10' of it anyway, so maybe magma in D&D is a lot cooler than ours... Maybe 'magma' is common for 'really hot mud'...
Actually, according to Heat Dangers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/environment.htm#heatDangers), being in a Lava environment deals 1d6 damage per minute with no save (if breathing), every 5 minutes spent near it forces a DC 15 (+1 per previous save) or suffer 1d4 points of nonlethal damage, and you suffer a -4 penalty to this save if wearing heavy clothing or armor; and if you're wearing metal armor it's effected as per a heat metal spell. So yeah, there's a problem being that close to Lava.

TOUCHING lava nets you 2d6 damage, which is the equivalent to a greatsword to the face, and can throw a low level character into system shock (negative HPs). Actually falling into Lava is 20d6, which is instant death to normal people.

You're just playing the wrong game. You should play E6 D&D, because that's what you want. You want the game to stay locked at "gritty to heroic fantasy"; so that's what you should do.

Also, I think dealing damage for punching and kicking doors is stupid, actually. Not that you're stupid, but that is a stupid rule. I punch hard surfaces to increase the resistance my hands have to impacts; as do many martial arts. Even if I were to slam it hard enough to bloody my knuckles, doing it eight more times isn't going to drop me into negatives and start killing me. That's just stupid. Kicking in doors even more so.

Besides, by even 6th level it's possible to be as strong as your average Ogre; so why should breaking a door open hurt me?

Ashiel
2010-07-06, 09:28 AM
I'll admit there are situations that may call for it. If the BBEG is at the bottom of the cliff, about to complete his ritual and the only way down is to jump, then jump. If one minion got away by parachuting down the cliff, jumping down to get him seems unreasonable. At that point you're not saving the world - you're preventing the XP from getting away.


Technically, if the minion is fleeing you've already earned the XP.

Aotrs Commander
2010-07-06, 09:28 AM
Standard action: Teleport to Mt. Doom.
Free action: Drop the ring.
Swift action: Quickened (rod) Rapid Summon Monster IV for a Celestial Giant Eagle.
Move action: Mount up.
Free action: Pose for the picture.

http://img-fan.theonering.net/rolozo/images/fletcher/escape.jpg

Alternatively:
Standard action: Teleport to Mt. Doom.
Get caught by Sauron's Permenant Greater Anticipate Teleport and emerge in Sauron's presence.
Make (conservative) DC 50 Will save or die from Fear Aura.

Which is roughly how Rolemaster handled things. Granted, even Rolemaster is not great at handling a non-flash-y magic world, but it managed passably.



D&D scales character combat ability verses character combat ability reasonably well (like for like, anyway). It is absolutely appalling at scaling character combat ability verses world; mainly due to the truly feeble environmental hazard rules. D6/10' fallen is simple, but ridiculously far out of true. (A better, and not much harder method would be D6 after 10' and doubling it beyond until you reach what you consider a reaonable ceiling (say 32D6 at 60') Just off the top my head.)

You can either except Kyuubi's approach that D&D-world uses laws of physics entirely divergant than our own and that the rules are those laws of physics, make the assumption that D&D characters are arguably more powerful than any other hero in any other media (with the possible exception of DragonBall Z, and even then with some optimisation) or you can except that D&D's non-combat hazard rules (especially the falling and magma rules) are just flat-out wrong.

I definiately call the latter. I don't need to throw out the upper 75% of the game because of a set of poorly-designed core rules. (Seriously, convince me that any of the drowning/hazard or environemental rules were anything other than arbitatily made up on the spot without any real research. E.g. horses do not make you move overland faster over a marching day; they allow you to carry more.)

(Incidently, Rolemaster actually stated out Sauron and Mount Doom, and Saruon's complex wherein he forged the ring. If you weren't about 80-100th level, it would be doubtful you'd make most of the saving throws to get past the traps to get in there, and even Rolemaster said, should you fail the Resistance Roll to avoid thinking the bridge to the complex was a Balrog's tonuge about swallow you and fall off, the 300' drop into lava rendered the damage moot. (A 300' drop in RM would be a +300 Fall/Crush attack, and yes, that is very much as lethal as is sounds.)

valadil
2010-07-06, 09:31 AM
I know a particular Barbarian/Frenzied Berserker who has, single-handedly, slain hydras, dragons and been eaten alive no less than six times. I would say she'd leap ten stories just to kill someone.

Further: I'd have to question the DM who would play someone else's character like that. After all, if the character is acting on an established precedent(aforementioned barbarian example) then why would such a DM possibly disallow such an action?

I'm not saying you should play their character for them. I'd ask the player what the thought process was. Let them show me the in character justification. If they can't do that, why is the character trying to jump?


Jumping into it clearly will.

Yet a bear or orc, while a huge threat to us, isn't much of one to a 20th level Fighter (or whatever). Same for jumping off tall mountains. Would it be metagaming to say "Those orcs don't really threaten me much, so I should concentrate on the wizard casting the scary spells"? How is that any different from "Jumping from that cliff doesn't really threaten me much, so I shouldn't waste time and just jump down there to get to that wizard casting scary spells at us"?

Jumping into the grand canyon is not leaving the grand canyon alone. I don't think I explained that point very well (or the context was lost after 3 pages and 10 hours).

Someone else made the point that players fight orcs and bears all the time. That's a hazardous activity that few people would actually want to do. It was compared with jumping off a cliff. My point is that the cliff is not acting of its own volition. Orcs will attack you. You are then forced to defend yourself. You're in a hazardous situation by no intention of your own. It's a reactive hazard.

Standing by the cliff, you are not threatened. Putting yourself over the edge of the cliff proactively puts you in danger.

PId6
2010-07-06, 09:34 AM
Someone else made the point that players fight orcs and bears all the time. That's a hazardous activity that few people would actually want to do. It was compared with jumping off a cliff. My point is that the cliff is not acting of its own volition. Orcs will attack you. You are then forced to defend yourself. You're in a hazardous situation by no intention of your own. It's a reactive hazard.

Standing by the cliff, you are not threatened. Putting yourself over the edge of the cliff proactively puts you in danger.
Well then, would you prevent a 20th level character from purposefully charging into battle against orcs because putting themselves into danger isn't in character?

ZeroNumerous
2010-07-06, 09:36 AM
I'm not saying you should play their character for them.

It really sounds like it, as the only reason a player would specify that he'd like to jump is either from following an established precedent or if presented evidence that the fall is not lethal(i.e: Someone else jumped first).

Psyx
2010-07-06, 09:36 AM
"However, we're discussing the rules of D&D"

OK: It's a stupid rule and needs a house-rule fix to not-be-stupid.


***

"If I'm using, say, an adamantine gauntlet or punching a door while initiating the Mountain Hammer maneuver..."

Manoeuvres are fine, because I can rationalise them as being quasi-mystical. I meant just kicking doors in.

There's no way of escaping some super-heroics in D&D. It's just I like there to be a line. It's probably why I don't really enjoy games so much after about 12th level unless the characters are very strong, and always avoid Epic games.

***

"Play E6"

The problem traditionally is convincing the GM to RUN something new, rather than the players to PLAY something new.

valadil
2010-07-06, 09:39 AM
Well then, would you prevent a 20th level character from purposefully charging into battle against orcs because putting themselves into danger isn't in character?

You're missing the point. An army of orcs is going to do something. It may attack the PCs. It may burn down Cormyr. It's threatening to do something. The players are charging into battle to prevent that something.

The cliff isn't threatening anyone. Okay, maybe it's threatening a herd of lemmings that lives down the road. But jumping off the cliff doesn't solve anything. There's no reason to do that. You're not just putting yourself at risk, you're creating the risk too.

valadil
2010-07-06, 09:41 AM
It really sounds like it, as the only reason a player would specify that he'd like to jump is either from following an established precedent or if presented evidence that the fall is not lethal(i.e: Someone else jumped first).

I can see why you'd think that. This is a hard argument to have without any context. I think we're all thinking of different scenarios where a player might be considering jumping off a cliff and in some cases it makes more sense than others.

PId6
2010-07-06, 09:58 AM
You're missing the point. An army of orcs is going to do something. It may attack the PCs. It may burn down Cormyr. It's threatening to do something. The players are charging into battle to prevent that something.
My character, a 20th level Dwarf Fighter, is in a bar. An orc, apparently straight out of warrior 1 school, walks in and orders a drink. Feeling belligerent, my character decides to pick a fight with him. Would you prevent this situation and call it metagaming because my character is purposefully putting himself in danger and he shouldn't want to do that?

How about this then: my character, a 20th level Dwarf Fighter, is in a bar. Seeing some nice, bearded dwarven girls in the corner, he shouts, "Hey! Look at what I can do," then climbs up to the roof of the tavern and jumps down from 40 ft up because he can. Would you call this metagaming and stop it, because my character is purposefully putting himself in danger?

valadil
2010-07-06, 10:11 AM
My character, a 20th level Dwarf Fighter, is in a bar. An orc, apparently straight out of warrior 1 school, walks in and orders a drink. Feeling belligerent, my character decides to pick a fight with him. Would you prevent this situation and call it metagaming because my character is purposefully putting himself in danger and he shouldn't want to do that?

How about this then: my character, a 20th level Dwarf Fighter, is in a bar. Seeing some nice, bearded dwarven girls in the corner, he shouts, "Hey! Look at what I can do," then climbs up to the roof of the tavern and jumps down from 40 ft up because he can. Would you call this metagaming and stop it, because my character is purposefully putting himself in danger?

Depends on your feelings toward orcs and your drunkenness at the time. I may also remind your character that orcs are citizens in the town you're in and the guards are likely to (try and) stop you from beating him up too badly.

Depends on if you have any reason to believe you'd survive a fall like that. I can live with a D&D character assuming they'd survive a 40' drop. If the bar were taller, or if you climbed the 250' wizards tower, I might object.

By level 20, I think it's a safe assumption that your character has fought an orc before. I also think it's a safe assumption that you can size someone up with sense motive to know that they're nowhere near as competent as you. I don't think it's a safe assumption that you've fallen off a cliff of a given size. Nor do I think it's a safe assumption that you can correctly estimate the size of the drop. Finally I don't think it's a safe assumption that the character knows that there is a maximum amount of damage you can take from falling, or what that amount of damage is. If your character has survived a 200 foot fall and decides that that means he can land a 2 mile fall, that's just metagaming.

I can believe in a drunken male hurting himself to impress girls. One of my freshman roommates jumped a ten foot drop for that reason. He broke his ankle and hobbled around like an idiot for two weeks. I think I'd see the 40' bar jump as an inflation of that, for the sake of fantasy. The important thing here is that you've given your character a reason to jump and established that he's in a bar, so he's probably drunk and thinks he's indestructible.

Ashiel
2010-07-06, 10:25 AM
Alternatively:
Standard action: Teleport to Mt. Doom.
Get caught by Sauron's Permenant Greater Anticipate Teleport and emerge in Sauron's presence.
Make (conservative) DC 50 Will save or die from Fear Aura.

Which is roughly how Rolemaster handled things. Granted, even Rolemaster is not great at handling a non-flash-y magic world, but it managed passably.

D&D scales character combat ability verses character combat ability reasonably well (like for like, anyway). It is absolutely appalling at scaling character combat ability verses world; mainly due to the truly feeble environmental hazard rules. D6/10' fallen is simple, but ridiculously far out of true. (A better, and not much harder method would be D6 after 10' and doubling it beyond until you reach what you consider a reaonable ceiling (say 32D6 at 60') Just off the top my head.)

Your method of handling it is actually worse. Normal people have survived far worse falls; but under your system it just wouldn't happen. A 60ft drop is not something I would want to do, and a D&D commoner, expert, or similar 1st-3rd level character wouldn't want to do. It will likely KILL ME or YOU, or whatever, because that's an average of 21 points of damage by D&D rules, and a commoner generally only has 6-8hp at the most (assuming a really nice constitution); so that will kill them. In fact, it will most likely outright kill any normal person upon impact. You might get lucky and only take 6 damage, which you may walk away from if you're rater resilient) or you might take 36 damage and be a pancake!

Under your suggestion for handling it, that same fall would deal an average of 126 points of damage; insta-gibbing virtually anything beneath 10th level; and it also breaks suspension of believe as well; because even on a lucky fall you're still taking 36 points of damage minimum; when a person can survive a fall like that if they get lucky. This way they cannot.


You can either except Kyuubi's approach that D&D-world uses laws of physics entirely divergant than our own and that the rules are those laws of physics, make the assumption that D&D characters are arguably more powerful than any other hero in any other media (with the possible exception of DragonBall Z, and even then with some optimisation) or you can except that D&D's non-combat hazard rules (especially the falling and magma rules) are just flat-out wrong.

Actually, they are surprisingly elegant. Honestly, a normal person cannot swim in lava. 20d6 damage is an average of 70 damage, and 20 damage on the absolute minimum (say God's on your side), and 120 on the maximum (God hates you). A normal person (HP 6-10 with a -10 threshold) will die instantly upon falling into lava; and even if you're at the peak of human power (6th level barbarian with 62.5 HP), you will still die.

The problem is you're wanting environmental hazards to stay just as lethal, even when a great-axe doesn't; and when players are playing tonsil hockey with the back of a dragon's fiery maw. You're not being realistic at all; you're being selective and wonky.

D&D spans a very large curve. Comparing to to Dragon Ball really isn't very unfair; because you can literally go from being just exceptional to god-like over the course of a campaign. At 1st level a wizard is a squishy commoner with some spells, and by 17th level they can replicate EVERY MIRACLE in the christian bible; including parting an ocean if they were cheesy about it; but you don't even have to go outside the SRD to create the world and the people in it using only your spell slots.

I don't play E6, but it's what you're looking for.


(Incidently, Rolemaster actually stated out Sauron and Mount Doom, and Saruon's complex wherein he forged the ring. If you weren't about 80-100th level, it would be doubtful you'd make most of the saving throws to get past the traps to get in there, and even Rolemaster said, should you fail the Resistance Roll to avoid thinking the bridge to the complex was a Balrog's tonuge about swallow you and fall off, the 300' drop into lava rendered the damage moot. (A 300' drop in RM would be a +300 Fall/Crush attack, and yes, that is very much as lethal as is sounds.)

Sounds stupid to me, actually. If you recall, mortals actually waged war against Sauron, Both Elrond and Isildor were there, and Isildor cut the ring off his hand, defeating him (a good description for his deathblow against a lich with a phylactery). Sauron could be likened to a lich-cleric for all intents and purposes and was likely no higher than 12th level; which was more than enough to kill everything that moved on a battlefield by merely thwacking them with his awesome.

All of that can be achieved pre 10th level. As can his traps. A series of illusion traps of moderate DC (16-17) spread across your bridge could have fooled the entire fellowship. Falling rocks could have killed most of them. The lava insta-gibs people of 6th level and under as explained before.

Eldariel
2010-07-06, 10:38 AM
Sounds stupid to me, actually. If you recall, mortals actually waged war against Sauron, Both Elrond and Isildor were there, and Isildor cut the ring off his hand, defeating him (a good description for his deathblow against a lich with a phylactery).

Gil-Galad and Elendil. Isildur merely cut the ring as a trophy of sorts. But yeah, the greatest man and elf in Middle Earth did manage to defeat him in an epic fight that took both of their lives. Indeed, that particular fight left no survivors. But LoTR just does not convert into D&D. At all.

The concept of "power" and "magic" and indeed, "deity" and "spirit" used in Tolkien's works is so different from anything D&D can produce that it's patently impossible to make Middle-Earth anything like it was in the books through D&D without basically rebuilding the whole system. Things like "levels" and "spells" just don't function to describe Middle-Earth.

Aotrs Commander
2010-07-06, 11:13 AM
Your method of handling it is actually worse. Normal people have survived far worse falls; but under your system it just wouldn't happen.


I did say it was off the top of ym head. If I was actually going to do it, I'd go and wiki/google to get a rough idea of what a fatal fall height is and backwork it from there, knowing that terminal velocity is about 1000'/rnd. Yes, when I made that post I'd gone and wiki'd it, but decided that for the sake of argument, I couldn't actually be bothered to do it!


Actually, they are surprisingly elegant. Honestly, a normal person cannot swim in lava. 20d6 damage is an average of 70 damage, and 20 damage on the absolute minimum (say God's on your side), and 120 on the maximum (God hates you). A normal person (HP 6-10 with a -10 threshold) will die instantly upon falling into lava; and even if you're at the peak of human power (6th level barbarian with 62.5 HP), you will still die.

The problem is you're wanting environmental hazards to stay just as lethal, even when a great-axe doesn't; and when players are playing tonsil hockey with the back of a dragon's fiery maw. You're not being realistic at all; you're being selective and wonky.

That assumes you take 6th level as the top level of human. I don't. I assume that the average level of commoners in the world is 2-4.

I interpret that one strike with a great axe will kill someone - but that'll be the one that knocks them from positive to negative hit points, not the several that panic/exhaust/cause sprain or inflict minor injury (e.g. hit point damage before that point). (And I think this way probably because of my Rolemaster heritage.)

Just because you CAN use E6 with a more plausible degree of realism than the current rules at high level allow, this does not mean that the rules are not wrong. You CAN play D&D to high levels without a massive caster/non-caster disparity, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one.

The trouble being that D&D's benchmarks for "top level human" are poorly - if at all - researched. Carrying capacity is more-or-less entirely arbitary, which is okay, since the equipment weights are themselves more-or-less entirely arbitary. It's not a problem if you don't think about it and maintain reasonable internal consistency, but it becomes one if you accidently start adding things closer to real-world values.



(Sidenote: most people (and this includes a lot of rule-writers and authors) do not have any real conception of how big the world really is. If you compare the sort of thing you see (in art, in film etc.) that are "about the right size" and the average measurements in an RPG, the latter are usually just way out. Great example: Hobbits/Halfings. D&D's, which are basically the stated height of Tolkien's hobbits, simply do not look right to me. The LotR film hobbits were about right, though. This is an area function, and most of the time - I even do it myself - everyone forgets and goes in a linear scale. In reality, a 10% reduction in height is a nearly 30% reduction in SIZE. Another example is time and history in pretty much ANY fantasy world, where hundreds of year pass and technology remains medieval with massive anachronisms.)

Anyway, before I drift too far off-topic, my point is that you can rebalance the environmental hazards to be as level-appropriate as anything else, just as you can attempt to redress the other problem areas D&D has; and what you're doing is shoring up part of the rules that was considered unimportant and thus only given lip-service. (For similiar results, see terrain rules in almost any wargame.)

I'm not saying E6 is not a solution, but it certainly not the solution, anymore than saying everyone has to play heal-bot clerics and blaster-mages to not upset the noncasters (as much) is. It might works, (and maybe the former better than the latter), but fixing the rule problems is just as reasonable.


D&D spans a very large curve. Comparing to to Dragon Ball really isn't very unfair; because you can literally go from being just exceptional to god-like over the course of a campaign. At 1st level a wizard is a squishy commoner with some spells, and by 17th level they can replicate EVERY MIRACLE in the christian bible; including parting an ocean if they were cheesy about it; but you don't even have to go outside the SRD to create the world and the people in it using only your spell slots.

So could Belgarion (of the Belgariad), but that doesn't mean he could survive being immersed in lava.

And by the end of DBZ they could punch out planets, which is more than most D&D wizards can manage. (Though Pun-Pun or a Hulking Hurler might...)


I don't play E6, but it's what you're looking for.

No, it really isn't, as it cuts out 75% of the upper game, because of problem in the least thought-about area of the rules. (Heck, I'll play Rolemaster long before E6, come to that.) I would much rather - and do - fix the proud nails in D&D's mechanics, even many though they be, rather than toss out the bulk of the system that is, in essence, superior to any other current system.




Sounds stupid to me, actually. If you recall, mortals actually waged war against Sauron, Both Elrond and Isildor were there, and Isildor cut the ring off his hand, defeating him (a good description for his deathblow against a lich with a phylactery). Sauron could be likened to a lich-cleric for all intents and purposes and was likely no higher than 12th level; which was more than enough to kill everything that moved on a battlefield by merely thwacking them with his awesome.

All of that can be achieved pre 10th level. As can his traps. A series of illusion traps of moderate DC (16-17) spread across your bridge could have fooled the entire fellowship. Falling rocks could have killed most of them. The lava insta-gibs people of 6th level and under as explained before.

Beauty of Rolemaster - high level is not a defense. A nice high open-ended attack roll is all Isildur needed to chop the ring finger (and that's a fairly low critical result, really) off an opponent about 300 levels higher than him. (As Sauron comes out as level 360 with the ring on in RM. Granted, a very-poorly optimised level 360...)

Most of the "mortals" as stated out in Rolemaster, ranged between 20-60th level (plus). (Though no, I would not want to run a party with such a high disparity in level, but Rolemaster would handle it better than most systems.)

Also, due to Rolemaster's much more quadratic difficult scaling, pulling off superhuman manouvers is vastly more difficult.


Gil-Galad and Elendil. Isildur merely cut the ring as a trophy of sorts. But yeah, the greatest man and elf in Middle Earth did manage to defeat him in an epic fight that took both of their lives. Indeed, that particular fight left no survivors. But LoTR just does not convert into D&D. At all.

But this is true. It's not great in Rolemaster, but it is possible!



D&D's biggest problem in this area is, (wizards aside!), the rules for most interaction with the world (hazards and the physical skills like Climb and Jump) are linear scaling, when they should be more asymtopic. I don't disagree with the decision to do so to make it simple; but then at the same time you have to accept it is an abtraction that works right only over the perceived modal range, and falls apart once you get past a few standard deviations outside that.

Tiki Snakes
2010-07-06, 11:22 AM
Alternatively:
Standard action: Teleport to Mt. Doom.
Get caught by Sauron's Permenant Greater Anticipate Teleport and emerge in Sauron's presence.
Make (conservative) DC 50 Will save or die from Fear Aura.

Which is roughly how Rolemaster handled things. Granted, even Rolemaster is not great at handling a non-flash-y magic world, but it managed passably.



D&D scales character combat ability verses character combat ability reasonably well (like for like, anyway). It is absolutely appalling at scaling character combat ability verses world; mainly due to the truly feeble environmental hazard rules. D6/10' fallen is simple, but ridiculously far out of true. (A better, and not much harder method would be D6 after 10' and doubling it beyond until you reach what you consider a reaonable ceiling (say 32D6 at 60') Just off the top my head.)

You can either except Kyuubi's approach that D&D-world uses laws of physics entirely divergant than our own and that the rules are those laws of physics, make the assumption that D&D characters are arguably more powerful than any other hero in any other media (with the possible exception of DragonBall Z, and even then with some optimisation) or you can except that D&D's non-combat hazard rules (especially the falling and magma rules) are just flat-out wrong.

I definiately call the latter. I don't need to throw out the upper 75% of the game because of a set of poorly-designed core rules. (Seriously, convince me that any of the drowning/hazard or environemental rules were anything other than arbitatily made up on the spot without any real research. E.g. horses do not make you move overland faster over a marching day; they allow you to carry more.)

(Incidently, Rolemaster actually stated out Sauron and Mount Doom, and Saruon's complex wherein he forged the ring. If you weren't about 80-100th level, it would be doubtful you'd make most of the saving throws to get past the traps to get in there, and even Rolemaster said, should you fail the Resistance Roll to avoid thinking the bridge to the complex was a Balrog's tonuge about swallow you and fall off, the 300' drop into lava rendered the damage moot. (A 300' drop in RM would be a +300 Fall/Crush attack, and yes, that is very much as lethal as is sounds.)

So, it's guarded by that much magic, traps, and so on.

But two country bumpkins (one of whome was doing a great impression of a heroine addict at the time) managed to wander in the front door without so much as a work experience security guard? Mmmkay. :smallwink:

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 11:28 AM
But two country bumpkins (one of whome was doing a great impression of a heroine addict at the time) managed to wander in the front door without so much as a work experience security guard? Mmmkay. :smallwink:

He was addicted to female heroes?

((The word you're looking for is heroin, without a second e. Heroine is the female version of hero.))

Tiki Snakes
2010-07-06, 11:33 AM
He was addicted to female heroes?

((The word you're looking for is heroin, without a second e. Heroine is the female version of hero.))

The Heroine in question knows a guy who knows a guy. She's connected, yeah? She can score whatever you need...Mr Underhill.

Eh, spelling. You knew what I meant.

Aotrs Commander
2010-07-06, 11:36 AM
So, it's guarded by that much magic, traps, and so on.

But two country bumpkins (one of whome was doing a great impression of a heroine addict at the time) managed to wander in the front door without so much as a work experience security guard? Mmmkay. :smallwink:

The Crack of Doom itself wasn't, merely Sauron's personal forge complex (which was accessed further back in the chamber than the hobbits went.)

Sliver
2010-07-06, 11:41 AM
However, we're discussing the rules of D&D, not your house rules and interpretations.

Really? I saw it more as implementation rather than rules changing. "Landing softly, allowing you to avoid broken bones or death" is as much of a fluff description as describing how you got slashed by a sword.

JonestheSpy
2010-07-06, 11:42 AM
Unfortunately, as I've said before, high-level D&D is a simulation of high fantasy. Not heroic fantasy.


I was pretty much done with this thread but feel compelled to make a language call. 'High Fantasy' is not 'Anything goes', the term refers to fantasy in the stye of the classic works of folks like William Morris and Tolkien that take place in a secondary world with magical elements. 'Heroic fantasy' - tales of adventurers performing various acts of derring-do in a secondary world - is a subset of High Fantasy.

High level DnD as described by ZN and others is not really a simulation of anything, except possibly some comic books and anime.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 11:46 AM
High level DnD as described by ZN and others is not really a simulation of anything, except possibly some comic books and anime.

For the purposes of argument, lets assume this statement is true. If the comic books and anime that D&D "simulates" center around vaguely psuedo-medieval worlds, with magic, sword fighters and maybe some elves and dwarves isn't it still "Fantasy"?. If it isn't, what is it?

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 11:53 AM
Really? I saw it more as implementation rather than rules changing. "Landing softly, allowing you to avoid broken bones or death" is as much of a fluff description as describing how you got slashed by a sword.

When there are already rules for landing on a soft place or controlling your landing, yes, it is a rule change. RAW, if you land on a soft place, you don't get 20d6 lethal damage. Any other ruling is a house rule.

Ashiel
2010-07-06, 11:54 AM
I interpret that one strike with a great axe will kill someone - but that'll be the one that knocks them from positive to negative hit points, not the several that panic/exhaust/cause sprain or inflict minor injury (e.g. hit point damage before that point). (And I think this way probably because of my Rolemaster heritage.)


You can survive a coup de grace for being really damn tough, which is generally a result of being a high level and having lots of HP + a Banking Fortitude save. So a helpless character held by a hold person spell completely immobile and unable to dodge or poop, can take a battleaxe to their naked head in a downward lumber-chopping sort of way, and survive it.

NO. It won't. At least not on someone who's beyond humanity.

Now let's look here. A battleaxe on a critical hit (coup de grace) deals 13.5 damage on average not even including strength. Assuming even a +2 strength score, then that's 19.5 damage on average, or 22.5 damage if you're wielding it in 2 hands, coupled with a big fortitude save or die. Yep, normal people are going to die by that because they're not that superhuman.

For the record, the average 6th level commoner, even with Pathfinder's more forgiving d6 minimum HD, has only about 21 HP; and will likely succumb to the fortitude save; whereas the 3E commoner will only have 15hp, and will be reduced to death-twilight, even if he miraculously makes the fortitude save; and will likely die within seconds; and most commoners of a lower level will die on impact; fortitude save or not.

You seem to think that D&D levels are something they aren't. The world interacts with itself; and you can see exactly how strong something is by comparing it to how it functions in that world. A 10th level wizard causes more raw destruction than a 5th level wizard when he casts fireball; and that destroys objects more easily too. A 1st level fighter has no prayer of tearing through the wall of an inn in a short order with his great-axe; but an 10th level fighter will have no trouble at all - and can probably do it in 6 seconds.

The system actually works fine as it is for what it is intended to do; but your proposed core system flaws aren't flaws in this case. They work perfectly well for exactly what they are intended to do. The problem is, you want all of D&D to be gritty realism and still be able to throw around meteor-swarms and fight Godzilla. That's your fault.

Hence why I said E6 works. D&D covers a wide variety of power levels, and if 4E got things right it was spelling it out for people who cannot understand that by going. "Ok, look, level A-B is Heroic Fantasy, Level C-D is High Fantasy, and Level E-F is Epic Fantasy". D&D covers such a wide spectrum that groups can play the game at the levels they are comfortable with for their own purposes.

So yes, E6 is gritty-to-heroic fantasy that continues progression. It's D&D that is capped in the zone of semi-realism. That's what you want. But your arguments break verisimilitude worse than the core rules do.

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 12:02 PM
They work perfectly well for exactly what they are intended to do.

We don't quite know what they were intended to do. WotC probably intended evocation to be stronger than transmutation (and indeed their description in Complete Mage supports that view) and that clerics are best played as healbots, but that's not how it works in the game. We only know what they work perfectly well for, not if it was the intention of the game designers.

Psyx
2010-07-06, 12:05 PM
"Really? I saw it more as implementation rather than rules changing. "Landing softly, allowing you to avoid broken bones or death" is as much of a fluff description as describing how you got slashed by a sword."


Hush you heathen! The GM isn't allowed to write in fluff like 'you land on a screeslope and come to a tumbling halt' or 'you feint high and then stab him in the thigh, wounding him and tearing tendons' for the sake of common sense or such piffling reasons as good storytelling! That's not THE RULES! :smallwink:

valadil
2010-07-06, 12:08 PM
you want all of D&D to be gritty realism and still be able to throw around meteor-swarms and fight Godzilla. That's your fault.

Hence why I said E6 works. D&D covers a wide variety of power levels, and if 4E got things right it was spelling it out for people who cannot understand that by going. "Ok, look, level A-B is Heroic Fantasy, Level C-D is High Fantasy, and Level E-F is Epic Fantasy". D&D covers such a wide spectrum that groups can play the game at the levels they are comfortable with for their own purposes.

So yes, E6 is gritty-to-heroic fantasy that continues progression. It's D&D that is capped in the zone of semi-realism. That's what you want. But your arguments break verisimilitude worse than the core rules do.

So out of curiosity, what level ranges do you think cover what fantasy levels?

Sliver
2010-07-06, 12:52 PM
"Really? I saw it more as implementation rather than rules changing. "Landing softly, allowing you to avoid broken bones or death" is as much of a fluff description as describing how you got slashed by a sword."


Hush you heathen! The GM isn't allowed to write in fluff like 'you land on a screeslope and come to a tumbling halt' or 'you feint high and then stab him in the thigh, wounding him and tearing tendons' for the sake of common sense or such piffling reasons as good storytelling! That's not THE RULES! :smallwink:

It would be much easier to read if you could use the quote function, please? :smalltongue:

Gametime
2010-07-06, 01:09 PM
The Heroine in question knows a guy who knows a guy. She's connected, yeah? She can score whatever you need...Mr Underhill.



...am I the only one who read that last part in Hugo Weaving's voice?


For the purposes of argument, lets assume this statement is true. If the comic books and anime that D&D "simulates" center around vaguely psuedo-medieval worlds, with magic, sword fighters and maybe some elves and dwarves isn't it still "Fantasy"?. If it isn't, what is it?

Indeed, "fantasy" is a genre; comic books and anime are media. There is no reason the two cannot overlap.

PId6
2010-07-06, 01:14 PM
So out of curiosity, what level ranges do you think cover what fantasy levels?
I would generally agree with the definitions given here (http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/206323-e6-game-inside-d-d.html).


Levels 1-5: Gritty fantasy
Levels 6-10: Heroic fantasy
Levels 11-15: Wuxia
Levels 16-20: Superheroes

El Dorado
2010-07-06, 01:19 PM
House rule: Falling damage is Constitution damage. That's how our group runs it.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 01:29 PM
House rule: Falling damage is Constitution damage. That's how our group runs it.

Look out! It's raining 1hd Skeletons!

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 01:41 PM
I still say that's metagaming. Even if you try and reflavor the damage. Okay, so you've been chewed on by a dragon. What does that have to do with falling at a high speed? I don't see how your character would even consider that they'd be comparable amounts of pain/injury.

If I'm fighting dragons I've probably taken falling damage at least once. Heck, the dragon probably grappled me in his mouth and dropped me at about that height.

Alternatively, I could have a rather studious character who has studied the laws of physics and knows about maximum velocity.

I'd also like for you to define exactly what you think "Metagaming" is.


OK, so if the rules are The Way The World Work, then a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Cartographer earns the same money as a guy with 5 ranks in Profession: Ditchdigger? Or Blacksmith, Apothecary, Lawyer, Ratcatcher, etc? Exactly.



Or do you think that maybe the skill is there to simulate Joe the Ranger picking up some gold during the downtime with his in town with his ranks in Profession:Guide while his Wizard buddy spends a week at the Mages' Guild researching spells? That's an option but the rule is there for DMs to use how they want to. Just like every other rule in D&D


The rules help the DM adjudicate the players' interaction with the world. They don't define the world.

This is where we disagree.

valadil
2010-07-06, 01:54 PM
If I'm fighting dragons I've probably taken falling damage at least once. Heck, the dragon probably grappled me in his mouth and dropped me at about that height.

Alternatively, I could have a rather studious character who has studied the laws of physics and knows about maximum velocity.

I'd also like for you to define exactly what you think "Metagaming" is.


Metagaming is letting out of game knowledge influence your in game decisions. In this case it's deciding that falling damage is roughly equal to dragon chewing damage and if you've survived the latter, surely the former won't kill you.

When we're talking about a dragon biting and dropping you, is it flying at the time? If so, alright, I'll buy that your character might not look at a 500 foot fall the same way again. If it's on the ground when you get dropped I'd argue that that's a very different kind of fall.

I've studied physics. I was pretty damn good at it. IIRC human terminal velocity is somewhere around 120mph (although it's been a while and I may be misremembering). I have no idea what that would do to a person. I'd be curious to find out, but not first hand.

Finally, so what if you've already been through a big fall like that? That's the sort of thing that traumatizes people. It doesn't empower them to jump off of cliffs. People keep citing the person who fell 11,000 feet or something from an airplane. Do you think that person would intentionally take a fall like that again? It didn't kill them once, so obviously they can drop 11k feet whenever they feel like it. I wouldn't be surprised if someone who went through something like that developed a fear of heights and airplanes. (No, I'm not advocating major phobias for all D&D PCs. That's no fun for a hero in any level of realism.)

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 01:59 PM
Metagaming is letting out of game knowledge influence your in game decisions. I can see certain situations where doing this is just being a jerk. However, certain things you're of course going to use metagame knowledge. Sort of like the tumbling and Sneak attacking rogue example from earlier.



When we're talking about a dragon biting and dropping you, is it flying at the time? If so, alright, I'll buy that your character might not look at a 500 foot fall the same way again. If it's on the ground when you get dropped I'd argue that that's a very different kind of fall. Yeah, the 500 foot thing is what I meant. I plan on using this strategy with my dragon mount.



Finally, so what if you've already been through a big fall like that? That's the sort of thing that traumatizes people. It doesn't empower them to jump off of cliffs. People keep citing the person who fell 11,000 feet or something from an airplane. Do you think that person would intentionally take a fall like that again? It didn't kill them once, so obviously they can drop 11k feet whenever they feel like it. I wouldn't be surprised if someone who went through something like that developed a fear of heights and airplanes. (No, I'm not advocating major phobias for all D&D PCs. That's no fun for a hero in any level of realism.)

My character is a Paladin. I'm immune to fear.:smalltongue:

The Rose Dragon
2010-07-06, 01:59 PM
I've studied physics. I was pretty damn good at it. IIRC human terminal velocity is somewhere around 120mph (although it's been a while and I may be misremembering). I have no idea what that would do to a person. I'd be curious to find out, but not first hand.

Human terminal velocity is a poor choice of words, considering it probably varies wildly based on how you fall, your body shape, your weight, so on and so forth. Also, the 120 mph does very little to your body, as people drive around in cars at those speeds without much trouble. It's the sudden deceleration at the end that will hurt you.

valadil
2010-07-06, 02:06 PM
My character is a Paladin. I'm immune to fear.:smalltongue:

Cool. That's an explanation for why your character might be willing to go through with jumping off a cliff. He knows it'll hurt, but isn't afraid of a little pain. That wasn't clear before. This is why I'm advocating asking players why their character is doing things normal people wouldn't do. I want to know what's going on in the character's head. Immune to fear and past experience is a perfectly good justification in my book.

Would you jump off the same cliff with a bard or wizard though? Knowing that it's only 20d6 and they each have enough HP, but lack the fearlessness and the experience?

Totally Guy
2010-07-06, 02:11 PM
I think that fluff and crunch should support one another.

D&D is brilliant because the crunch supports this crazy world where all kinds of crazy crap can happen. The rules really let you game them in that and you can spot all kinds of ways of modelling a guy that can do these loony tunes style actions.

Is that the fluff... well it kind of is... we all fluff the world in out own way and subject it to our own interpretations. Even "Monk's suck" could be an interpretation of fluff.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 02:14 PM
Cool. That's an explanation for why your character might be willing to go through with jumping off a cliff. He knows it'll hurt, but isn't afraid of a little pain. That wasn't clear before. This is why I'm advocating asking players why their character is doing things normal people wouldn't do. I want to know what's going on in the character's head. Immune to fear and past experience is a perfectly good justification in my book.

Would you jump off the same cliff with a bard or wizard though? Knowing that it's only 20d6 and they each have enough HP, but lack the fearlessness and the experience?

Well, I usually buy a ring of feather fall anyway. I just haven't on the Paladin because He's going to become a Dragonborn and then falling damage will be completely irrelevant. So, yes, I'd jump off the cliff with a wizard or a Bard.

But no, If I didn't have a good reason to jump off the cliff with a wizard or bard then I wouldn't jump off the cliff. Even with the Paladin, just because he isn't afraid of most things (No fear period is a pretty bad character trait for a Paladin IMHO so I do give him a few fears) He's not stupid. He wouldn't jump off a cliff just because he knows he'll live.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 02:16 PM
Metagaming is letting out of game knowledge influence your in game decisions. In this case it's deciding that falling damage is roughly equal to dragon chewing damage and if you've survived the latter, surely the former won't kill you.


Why can't you character be aware that falling damage won't kill them because it just makes sense to them? Why do they have to have the same real world assumption that a big drop is "Deadly". They've been slammed around a lot, things that hurt. They know a big ol' cliff is probably going to hurt too (and it will, 70 damage is a pretty hit regardless of level). Maybe they've seen some generic mook get throw off and splat, but hey they've seen guys like that get blown over by stiff breeze.

I don't think they need any real justification for it any more than I need justification to think I can't walk through walls. It just makes sense in the context of the world I live in.


This whole discussion actually kind of reminds me of something that happened in a game I ran once. The player just got fire resistance ability and tried to show off in a village by jumping in the bonfire "Look what I can do!". The villagers were unimpressed because (unknown to the player or character) fire resistance abilities were actually quite common amongst their people and their reaction was more like "Stupid kids. They learn one new trick and feel like they have to show off".

Was it meta gaming to jump in the middle of the fire because he knew the fire damage (1d6) could barely scratch his fire resistance (5)? I don't think so. The character just had a sense of "Bonfires just aren't all that dangerous to me anymore". I think the same can be said of cliffs.

valadil
2010-07-06, 02:25 PM
Why can't you character be aware that falling damage won't kill them because it just makes sense to them? Why do they have to have the same real world assumption that a big drop is "Deadly". They've been slammed around a lot, things that hurt. They know a big ol' cliff is probably going to hurt to (and it will, 70 damage is a pretty hit regardless of level). Maybe they've seen some generic mook get throw off and splat, but hey they've seen guys like that get blown over by stiff breeze.

...

Was it meta gaming to jump in the middle of the fire because he knew the fire damage (1d6) could barely scratch his fire resistance (5)? I don't think so. The character just had a sense of "Bonfires just aren't all that dangerous to me anymore". I think the same can be said of cliffs.

I still don't think that's the best example. In the case of fire resistance, you're doing something to make yourself immune to the fire. That's closer to jumping a cliff while enchanted with featherfall.

If you want to have a world where people are aware of exactly how painful falling damage is, be my guest. Maybe all adults jump out second story windows because they can. D&D won't punish you too much for running that kind of world. It's just not one that I'm interested in playing. (And before you tell me to play something else, D&D comes closest to the game I want to play, even if it isn't perfect.)

Totally Guy
2010-07-06, 02:30 PM
Maybe all adults jump out second story windows because they can. D&D won't punish you too much for running that kind of world. It's just not one that I'm interested in playing.

They don't let me run D&D any more.:tongue:

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 02:36 PM
I still don't think that's the best example. In the case of fire resistance, you're doing something to make yourself immune to the fire. That's closer to jumping a cliff while enchanted with featherfall.


Ultimately isn't it all the kind of same though? Some mechanical property of the character is making a previous threat irrelevant. A character without tons of hp doesn't think they're magically protected, they just know they're literally tougher than bricks.


If you want to have a world where people are aware of exactly how painful falling damage is, be my guest. Maybe all adults jump out second story windows because they can.

Probably not. Given that the average level 1 commoner, has 3hp. A second story will very likely leave them grievously injured. Even tougher folks, such as high level commoner say 3rd, will have 8hp tops and will probably be "feeling it" for days.

A second story jump is much more dangerous commoner than a 400ft drop is to a 15th-level Fighter.

subject42
2010-07-06, 02:45 PM
I'm debating using a modified formula for falling damage, with the damage as a more rapidly scaling static value. It definitely gets rid of the "It's only 20d6" problem. What do you guys think?

{table]Height|Damage
0 - 10ft|1
10 - 20ft|4
20 - 30ft|9
30 - 40ft|16
40 - 50ft|25
50 - 60ft|36
60 - 70ft|49
70 - 80ft|64
80 - 90ft|81
90 - 100ft|100
100 - 110ft|121
110 - 120ft |144
120 - 130ft |169
130 - 140ft |196
140 - 150ft |225
150 - 160ft |256
160 - 170ft |289
170 - 180ft |324
180 - 190ft |361
190 - 200ft |400
200 - 210ft |441
210 - 220ft |484
220 - 230ft |529
230 - 240ft |576
240 - 250ft |625
[/table]

valadil
2010-07-06, 02:52 PM
I'm debating using a modified formula for falling damage, with the damage as a more rapidly scaling static value. It definitely gets rid of the "It's only 20d6" problem. What do you guys think?


Up to 100 feet and it's less damage. I also don't like that it's a flat number. But it does scale exponentially, which is how I think falling damage should scale.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 02:56 PM
I'm debating using a modified formula for falling damage, with the damage as a more rapidly scaling static value. It definitely gets rid of the "It's only 20d6" problem. What do you guys think?


It doesn't really add anything. All it does is make me want to spend 2,200 on an amulet of Feather fall.

subject42
2010-07-06, 03:02 PM
I also don't like that it's a flat number. But it does scale exponentially, which is how I think falling damage should scale.

I'm torn on the flat number myself, but a large fall really needs to be crazy deadly. D3s, perhaps?

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 03:10 PM
So, a fall from 250 feet deals 600 damage. If this were the case in real life Nobody could survive the falls that have been mentioned. Their bodies would be obliterated the second they hit the ground aftter 70 feet.

Also, how do you take 600 from a 250 foot fall and then justify an enemy only dealing 4d8+strength modifier damage when the enemy is crushing you beneath about 250 tons? (Colossal dragon.)

PersonMan
2010-07-06, 03:10 PM
The damage should start at ten feet. Otherwise you could knock yourself out by jumping off of a large rock four or five times(as a level 1 Commoner, that is).

Heliomance
2010-07-06, 03:18 PM
"And as TRD said, there are rules for landing in soft substances - if you take 20d6 that means you didn't break your fall. Heck, monks have a class feature for breaking falls."

We clearly simply run things differently, then. In my campaigns, a player sucking down a 20d6 fall from 50,000' and not dying DID hit something soft, and that's why they aren't dead. I'm not going to slavishly follow rules when they are clearly idiotic. Do you actually let players heal by drowning, or do you say 'no that's a stupid rule' and move on? If a player wants to jump off a mountain and make no attempt to soften their fall, or discards any 'boxed text' I might add to help them 'realistically' [in loose terms] survive their escape, I'm happy to point them to 4d6. Breaking the suspension of disbelief isn't really much fun.


Watch Advent Children. It's the only thing I can think of that has anything close to 20th level characters in. Look at how little respect they have for gravity. Because they know they can take that fall in stride.

Mike_G
2010-07-06, 03:18 PM
I think my biggest issue is that I don't have a problem fluffing the ability to not die from lots of melee attacks. I have been to fencing tournaments and met people who were nigh impossible to hit. Who could defeat ten foes in succession and only get a handful of touches against them.

Since skill in D&D doesn't translate very well into high AC, there's no real Parry mechanic, and even with a great AC, you get hit 5% of the time, I can accept that highly skilled fighter is represented by having a boatload of HP, and they reduce the attacks to scratches, bruises, near misses, etc. Cyrano couldn't survive multiple swordthrusts to the spleen, but he could pretty much avoid most of the damage form those attacks, turning a thrust that would have killed a lesser man into a scratch, remaining fully effective as he's above 0.

I don't have an issue with this. A really good swordsman can do this, in D&D terms, soaking say 50-70 points of damage from multiple attacks and treating is as a few cuts and bruises and being a bit winded.

He can't reliably survive a 100 foot fall. He can if he's crazy lucky, so I'm willing to buy the action hero physics for an accidental fall, or a leap to avoid the burning building. But stepping off the Tacoman Narrows Bridge because taking the path down is too long is far more immersion breaking to me.

Ravens_cry
2010-07-06, 03:22 PM
Eh, I just keep a ring o' feather falling on my person for times like this. That way I can take the easy way down without worrying about ANY damage.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 03:24 PM
If the character believes he can survive it, and it's the best way to accomplish his goal (Getting down quickly) How is that immersion breaking? It's more immersion breaking for the DM to randomly kill me because my character decided to take the short way down.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 03:33 PM
I'm debating using a modified formula for falling damage, with the damage as a more rapidly scaling static value. It definitely gets rid of the "It's only 20d6" problem. What do you guys think?
[/table]

It doesn't solve the core issue some people are having, which is that there is a huge disconnect between fall (and other) effects on "People" and fall effects on "Heroes". All it does is move the lines a little bit further back. Once you get to a certain point you're still going to be able to take those 80ft drops without thinking twice, even if you can never do it with a 300ft drop.

What would fit the complaints better (at least as I see them from the other side) is something like this:

{table] Fall Distance| Fort Save DC| Save Effect| Fail Effect
10ft|10| None|1d4 Nonlethal damage, stunned 1 round
20-40ft |15| 1d6 Lethal damage, stunned 1d4 rounds| 3d6 lethal damage, stunned 2d4 rounds
50-90ft| 25| Drop to 0 hp, fall prone, stunned for 1d4 minutes| Drop to -5 hp, then take 1d6 lethal damage. If not dead, unconscious for 1d8 hours. Roll on injury table.
100-180ft| 40| Drop to -5, take 1d6 lethal damage. If not dead, unconscious for 1d4 days. Roll twice on injury table| Drop to -8, then take 1d6 lethal damage. Roll three times on injury table. Unconscious for 2d4 days.
180ft+| 60| Drop to -8, then take 1d12 lethal damage. Roll four times on injury table. Unconscious 3d4 days|Dead
[/table]

{table] Injury Table (1d20)|Effect
1| Re-Roll Twice, take both results
2| Fatally Wounded
3| Severe Brain Damage, Neck Injury
4| Severe Brain Damage, All Limbs Broken
5| Severe Brain Damage, Spine Injury
6| All Limbs Broken
7| Brain Damage: INT
8| Brain Damage: WIS
9| Brain Damage: CHA
10| Neck Injury
11| Right Arm & Leg Broken
12| Left Leg & Arm broken
13| Left & Right Leg Broken
14| Right & Left Arm Broken
15| Spine Injury
16| Right Leg Broken
17| Right Arm Broken
18| Left Leg Broken
19| Left Arm Broken
20| No Injury
[/table]

"Broken": Limb unusable for 2d4+2 Months. Requires a DC 25 Heal check each month or condition becomes permanent.
"Spine Injury": Both legs become unusable until subject to a regenerate spell.
"Neck Injury": Both legs and both arms become unusable until subject to a regenerate spell.
"Brain Damage": 3d6 Drain to the indicated ability score.
"Severe Brain Damage": 3d6 Drain to all 3 mental ability scores.
"Fatally Wounded": Take 1d6 CON drain per day, until subject to a regenerate spell.


Granted, having to roll on a table is kind of tedious. There are probably better ways to do it. But something like that keeps hazards very much "Real" regardless of how high you get. Even with the best saves in the world, you're going to be hurt. Also, I made up the affects off the top of my head so I have no idea how in line they are with real world injuries. It was more just to illustrate the point you need something other than straight damage to keep superhuman durability out of the picture.

Heliomance
2010-07-06, 03:38 PM
Drop to -9, then take 1d12 lethal damage.

You do realise that's guaranteed to kill you, right? You might as well jut put "die" there.

Mr.Moron
2010-07-06, 03:39 PM
You do realise that's guaranteed to kill you, right? You might as well jut put "die" there.

Indeed. That should be -8. Like I said, off the top of my head.

Doug Lampert
2010-07-06, 03:45 PM
The record for surviving a fall without a parachute is ~33,000 feet; the record for surviving and walking away essentially unhurt is ~11,000 feet. So yeah, it's possible.

Yep. People live through freeky stuff. I think about half a dozen people have done the "falls or ejected from an airplane and lives" stunt. Two or three stewardesses (one over Brazil who's probably the essentially unhurt record you refer to), two WWII aviators, at least one recreational parachutist with a chute failure. Your PC by level 6 or so is superhuman. And part of that stack of HP is supposed to be insane luck. It's perfectly reasonable that a PC CAN live through such a fall.

The question is "what do you do when your PCs start acting like this level of luck is a law of nature?"

Because luck is supposed to be fickle.

Responses can vary:

1) It is a law of nature, it's right there in the rulebook, it's far more reliable than most things in the real world. Why shouldn't your character be at least somewhat aware of what in general he can do, especially when he's done it before, repeatedly, and HOW STUPID does he need to be to miss that he can live through this? Gosh, the last 57 pit traps didn't really hurt, but if I deliberately JUMP a shorter distance it's supposed to scare me? Or: Wait! This is dead safe if I do it to chase the BBEG, but not if I do it to chase a minion? What's with that?

The problem with this concept is that it kills, stuffs, and mounts the extraordinary normal character concept for high level play.

On the third hand why should martial characters be the only ones denied the ability to do cool stuff in one of the few cases where there is something cool they can do? And D&D at high levels doesn't really do extraordinary normals no matter what you do.

2) It is a genre convention. The convention is that heroes are hard to kill, don't die because a mook scratches them, and that they don't act like they know this. If the player violates this convention then the DM can also violate it.

The problem is: Just what is in Genre? What is the Genre of level 7+ D&D play? At some point we really are playing at silly anime levels of power.

The advantage is: That superpowered normal does work.

3) It is an accident of a rules abstraction and the world doesn't work that way, it works in whatever way the DM thinks is plausible.

Which runs into the problem that people HAVE walked away from 11,000' falls, and that most DMs don't think this is plausible. It really sucks when your superhuman demigod can't do what a random scmuck in the real world actually has done. And worse this is an insult to the martial classes, since a level 1 wizard CAN reliably survive a fall from a great height if he wants to.

But it has the advantage that most of the time most of the group will have a similar idea of what's plausible. It means you can have an idea of what your character can do without needing to read the entire rulebook and DMG.

4) Something else.

Who knows. I don't know what other stuff people might think of.

I think the game works best with (1). People still won't jump off cliffs for no reason at all, and the rules and the character actions are consistent rather than requiring the PCs to be blind to their own abilities. But (2) and (3) can both produce reasonable games.

What's the GM's goal and what tone is he trying for?

If normal plausibility and sane power levels are important to you then I really think you're better off with E6, or just low level play, or a different system.

Because it's not just the enviromental interaction that doesn't work for super-normals at high level, the ENTIRE system sucks for that past about level 6.


Well, at 11 or 12 you are somewhere between Ozymandius and Dr. Manhattan. But in general, e6 will let you cover the power levels in most fantasy. Some of the characters in the Mistborn trilogy might top it a bit, maybe an elf or two in The Silimarillion, but even the top sword and sorcery human fits in that category. D&D really does have an absurd power level.

Rules as Intended it's pretty plain you double in power every 2 levels, and that you need to change scales completely every 8 or so levels because at some point the lower level threats are simply irrelevant.

Level 20 would be worth about 2048 ordinary trained combatants (level 1 warriors or aristocrats); except he's completely broken the scale two or three times between then and now and he's not even playing the same game as guys who are superman compared to those dweebs.

This is why extraordinary mundanes don't work in high level D&D land, not because the level 20 guy can survive a bit of a fall, but because any ACTUAL extraordinary mundane (level 1-6 or so) is totally irrelevant to the actual game.


"Play E6"

The problem traditionally is convincing the GM to RUN something new, rather than the players to PLAY something new.

Huh? Did you miss getting your GM license from the licensing board. I think they're right next to the guys who give out driver's licenses or something. Go back and get one.

Seriously. If you want to play something lower powered than D&D then OFFER TO RUN IT. This isn't hard. If the other players like it then when you quit someone else may start or your regular GM may adopt it.

There's no supersecret decoder ring you need to get to GM, if your GM won't do something, get another one, and remember that whenever you say the words "Someone really ought to..." The next sentance out of your mouth should probably be "And is there any good reason that that someone shouldn't be me?"

Zeful
2010-07-06, 03:50 PM
Honestly I see no problem with this. After level 10-12 pretty much all characters in D&D are beyond even the strongest of mythical heroes. So I don't see any problem with a Fighter looking down on a battle from a tower, jumping down the tower, landing in the midst of battle and joining the fight. It's going to leave him a little weaker, but he's doesn't have to wait the 10+ rounds to take the stairs.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 03:50 PM
Yep. People live through freeky stuff. I think about half a dozen people have done the "falls or ejected from an airplane and lives" stunt. Two or three stewardesses (one over Brazil who's probably the essentially unhurt record you refer to), two WWII aviators, at least one recreational parachutist with a chute failure. Your PC by level 6 or so is superhuman. And part of that stack of HP is supposed to be insane luck. It's perfectly reasonable that a PC CAN live through such a fall.


Except under Subject 42's system this could never happen. I'm not sure what the exact damage would be from that height But I do know one thing.


IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!!!
:smalltongue:

Agrippa
2010-07-06, 03:55 PM
Watch Advent Children. It's the only thing I can think of that has anything close to 20th level characters in. Look at how little respect they have for gravity. Because they know they can take that fall in stride.

How about The Avengers, The Justice League or The Authority? Wouldn't they be pretty close?

Heliomance
2010-07-06, 04:08 PM
I've not heard of The Authority, but the Avengers and the JLA are explicitly superpowered, which puts a different spin on things. The crew of Advent Children are Just That Badass (TM)

Ashiel
2010-07-06, 04:29 PM
So out of curiosity, what level ranges do you think cover what fantasy levels?

I think most traditional fantasies, such as The Hobbit are more in line with the 1-3 range; where heroes occasionally encounter goblins and wolves as serious challenges, are completely helpless against trolls, and finding a cache of masterwork or faintly enchanted weaponry is remarkable; and a ring of invisibility is the most impressive magic item you could find; where Gandalf-type figures are closer to the 4th-5th level of characters and can do some very impressive things but can't rely on them entirely (such as when Gandalf uses acorns and pine-cones to create fireballs to blast goblins with while they were in the trees); but he couldn't really keep it up for too long.

Lord of the Rings as portrayed by the films would probably raise the levels to 5-6. They fought orcs fairly regularly, and they weren't much of a challenge without them being in great numbers. Legolas made use of ranger magic such as pass without trace (remember when he's walking on the snow). Magic items are still rare, but they get a few goodies their pendants or cloaks, and masterwork gear is likely the norm. A mithril chain-shirt was quite the fine piece of equipment. A cave troll (which apparently lacked regeneration) with some goblins was a formidable challenge to the fellowship (which is in line with the CR 5 + some mooks that a Troll or Ogre can provide). They couldn't fight their way into Mordor, so they had to create a diversion and sneak inside.

Raising the cap to 7th-10th level would pretty much put you squarely beyond the realm of mortals, possibly in line with greek demigods and epics such as Gilgamesh. Fighting nightmares is what you're made to do. Stuff that no mortal man can do, you do on a regular basis. Slaying your typical hydra likely doesn't take much effort; and you can probably shrug off an avalanche; and tear through the side of a concrete wall with your sword in a matter of moments. Most medium strength super-heroes probably fall in this power range; and they could probably kill a number of Dragon Ball characters pre-DBZ (and early DBZ); thought it would be a tough battle.

Higher than that... I'll try to think of some good analogs, but I need to get some food and my brothers want me to play Magic the Gathering with them; so I'll BBL.

Agrippa
2010-07-06, 04:33 PM
I've not heard of The Authority, but the Avengers and the JLA are explicitly superpowered, which puts a different spin on things. The crew of Advent Children are Just That Badass (TM)

I'd still argue that they're all around the same level, normal Sephiroth included. Also, this is The Authority (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Authority).

Gametime
2010-07-06, 04:33 PM
I've not heard of The Authority, but the Avengers and the JLA are explicitly superpowered, which puts a different spin on things. The crew of Advent Children are Just That Badass (TM)

And they do things to physics that even D&D characters wouldn't dare. (Well, non-magical characters, anyway.) Imagine trying to convince your DM that you should be allowed to not only jump several hundred feet into the air, but then grab and propel another jumping character even higher, all without using any materia spells.

Anyway, if the issue is overconfidence about the way the rules work and not just the fact that they work that way, there's an easy fix. Just claim that your setting has a goddess called Luck The Lady. The Lady loves a good story, and will go out of her way to make improbable things happen to heroes, but the instant you invoke her name she gets the heck out of dodge.

Prime32
2010-07-06, 04:39 PM
And they do things to physics that even D&D characters wouldn't dare. (Well, non-magical characters, anyway.) Imagine trying to convince your DM that you should be allowed to not only jump several hundred feet into the air, but then grab and propel another jumping character even higher, all without using any materia spells.A swordsage might be able to do it with Sudden Leap and some of the throwing maneuvers. IIRC though, Tifa threw Cloud twice(?!) and Aeris threw Cloud despite being dead(!!)

See this build (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1463.0) for an example of how silly you can make things.

olentu
2010-07-06, 05:02 PM
Perhaps with an appropriate use of the throw ally feat something of the sort could be done but I would have to look up the feat to check the specifics.

El Dorado
2010-07-06, 05:31 PM
Look out! It's raining 1hd Skeletons!

Never did that (and I'm *so* not ever suggesting it to my DM). Sky diving from the gold dragon's back: never a good idea.

Gametime
2010-07-06, 05:46 PM
A swordsage might be able to do it with Sudden Leap and some of the throwing maneuvers. IIRC though, Tifa threw Cloud twice(?!) and Aeris threw Cloud despite being dead(!!)

See this build (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1463.0) for an example of how silly you can make things.

SPOILER ALERT! GOSH! :smalltongue:

I like how that build interprets Sudden Leap to be usable in midair. Double jump ahoy!

Aotrs Commander
2010-07-06, 05:53 PM
The trouble with trying to make a rules model to cover the ONE recorded person in history who survived a 33000' drop is that it's simply far too fine a granulation for a roleplaying system to define. Unless you want to start modelling after FATAL and rolling D10,000,000? No? I thought not. First rule of good rule modelling: never try to model a whole system on one data point at the extreme, because it will usually be anomolous. I would hate to even guess the amount of people who have been killed falling at terminal velocity, and I bet it's huge compared to the number than have survived.

I have a saying in wargames. If an event occurs with a less than 5% probabilty, I don't care. This should hold true for a D20-based system to, and only a percentile system should worry down to even 1%.

Surviving a 33000' foot fall or any similar event is such a minute chance that it should not come up on the dice, and rest soley in the DM's descretion. You just can't model a chance that small with die rolls. Even if you make it a literal million-to-one chance to survive, we, as players will probably never roll that number of attempts EVER, given how infrequently the chance goes up. Unless, as I say, you want to be as daft as FATAL - which as I recall had a D10,000,000 roll to see if you had triplets or something. I think I can safely say that nobody will ever generate that many characters in FATAL; heck, I'd lay long odds that not even ten million people will ever HEAR of the game! For the microscopic chance of such an event coming up, it's simply not worth trying to deal with.

(I'd be willing to state that of all the roleplayers who have ever rolled 20D6 NO-ONE has ever rolled 20 1s, since the probability is (1/6^20 = 2.74 x 10^-16 (0.000 000 000 000 000 2%). That means if the entire population of the PLANET rolled 20D6 about 300 000 times EACH in order for ONE person to roll up 20 1s.

By the same token, if sixty million of us roll 10D6, it's about possible one of us will roll minimum damage.

...

Yikes. Kind of puts it into perspective, don't it! (Now I don't feel bad about having D20-based starship wargame have an average dice table...)

Yeah, those numbers stagger me, actually, now I calculate it... And that's just for something so basic as rolling multiple D6. Crikey.

Assuming I'm not actually just wrong (it's late), and of course, I'm not accounting for physical bias on the dice.)

As a simulationist at heart, I always run that the rules are merely and inexact model of the "real" world. Because no roleplaying system can ever even come reasonably close to accurately modelling the real world, and if it did it'd be so complicated it'd make your head asplode. And it isn't necessary. If you can manage to model to with a few standard deviations, you'll be golden.

Doug Lampert
2010-07-06, 06:01 PM
Surviving a 33000' foot fall or any similar event is such a minute chance that it should not come up on the dice, and rest soley in the DM's descretion. You just can't model a chance that small with die rolls. Even if you make it a literal million-to-one chance to survive, we, as players will probably never roll that number of attempts EVER, given how infrequently the chance goes up.

WtF makes it millions to one? There have been MULTIPLE survivors of terminal velocity falls. You seriously think there have been tens or hundreds of millions of people ejected from planes of falling without a chute or with complete chute failure? Really?

Because that's what needs to be true for your claims to make any sense.

That's crap. We've got probably less than 10,000 CHANCES for this to happen in the history of the world, and it's happened half a dozen or so times, and you claim it's literally millions to one?! That's insane. Seriously.

And you know what? NOT ONE of those survivors would reasonably be modeled as more than level 5 or so in D&D. Which means that in D&D they would in fact have all died. So the odds of survival may well be TOO LOW, but they're certainly not too high.

DougL

Saph
2010-07-06, 06:05 PM
I think the best quick approximation I've seen for falling damage is to say that a character falling takes 1dX damage, where X is the number of feet you fall. Jumping deliberately or landing on a soft surface subtracts a certain fixed amount from this.

So if you fall 10 feet, you take 1d10 damage. Fall 30 feet, you take 1d30 damage. Fall 500 feet, you take 1d500 damage.

This makes falling much more scary, while still allowing for the freak cases where someone falls off a building and walks away with only a bruise. You can put in a terminal velocity cap as well if you're a physics geek.

Knaight
2010-07-06, 06:07 PM
Rules as Intended it's pretty plain you double in power every 2 levels, and that you need to change scales completely every 8 or so levels because at some point the lower level threats are simply irrelevant.

Level 20 would be worth about 2048 ordinary trained combatants (level 1 warriors or aristocrats); except he's completely broken the scale two or three times between then and now and he's not even playing the same game as guys who are superman compared to those dweebs.

This is why extraordinary mundanes don't work in high level D&D land, not because the level 20 guy can survive a bit of a fall, but because any ACTUAL extraordinary mundane (level 1-6 or so) is totally irrelevant to the actual game.

Which would be why I pointed at e6, and its also understood that the improvement rate is faster earlier. It isn't, but that is how Wotc sees it. Most fantasy heroes are not going to survive a straight 16 on one fight, which is about where e6 gets you, the stuff I pointed at (top characters in The Silimarillion, The Mistborn Trilogy) are above level 6 because they can. The latter example in particular, in the second book (I think) a character drops from hundreds of feet in the sky and kills hundreds of an enemy army. Which is really the crux of the issue, mid-high level D&D is meant to be closer to Naruto than Lord of the Rings, in power level if not in quality.

Mystic Muse
2010-07-06, 06:31 PM
I think the best quick approximation I've seen for falling damage is to say that a character falling takes 1dX damage, where X is the number of feet you fall. Jumping deliberately or landing on a soft surface subtracts a certain fixed amount from this.

So if you fall 10 feet, you take 1d10 damage. Fall 30 feet, you take 1d30 damage. Fall 500 feet, you take 1d500 damage.

This makes falling much more scary, while still allowing for the freak cases where someone falls off a building and walks away with only a bruise. You can put in a terminal velocity cap as well if you're a physics geek.

You know, I don't mind this system too much. It's realistic (Which is what I assume people are going for) and it makes jumping an actual risk. I wouldn't actually use it myself but if a DM really wanted to change the falling rules I'd suggest this.

Raum
2010-07-06, 06:53 PM
How do you play it when the RAW is clearly at odds with reality?

<snip>

Do you allow this kind of obvious metagame decision, or do you overrule it, like pointing out that a hundred foot fall will kill/cripple you?It depends on the game style, the people, and the social contract. Are you playing a gritty game of blood and horrific injuries or an over the top game full of super-heroics? One campaign's answers may well differ from the next. Do note, what type of game you're playing should never be a surprise to a player. If he's shocked when a hundred foot fall kills his character, the GM has failed to communicate the expected game style.


See, here's my disagreement.

The world doesn't work like that.

The combat simulator works like that.One option is to change your 'combat simulator'...there are lots of systems out there. Many have far fewer 'reality check' issues than D&D.

Personally, I want a dagger to be capable of killing experienced characters if I'm playing in a gritty game. It's one reasons I prefer to avoid level based game systems. Fear of house pets is another. :smallwink:


The rules help the DM adjudicate the players' interaction with the world. They don't define the world.I agree. I'll go a step further and point out that rules are directed at players not characters. They're how players interact with the environment not necessarily how characters do. Which is good, it lets us avoid all the nitpicky boring stuff. (How often does your character explicitly take a bath?) However exactly how rules get applied still differs based on the social contract for a given game.

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All that said, if the group's intent is to play a reasonably 'real' level of grittiness and physics, I agree - that 10 story fall will probably kill, maim, or cripple.