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Falling Damage - Ten foot fall knocks you unconscious?

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Apologies if this has been covered somewhere already, but I didn't find it with the search function.

 

Falling damage seems to be broken into range bands - you pick the closest range band and then take that much damage and stun after resisting with an athletics or coordination check.

 

As written, this doesn't make much sense to me. Short range, the first band, makes no distinction between falling 10 feet and falling 30 feet. The damage makes sense at the higher end of the range band, but jumping off the roof of a one story building (~15 feet) will reliably render low XP characters, or the average NPC, unconscious.

 

Is this working as intended and I'm just missing something, or has anyone found a way that makes more sense?

 

For the time being, I'm leaning more towards Shadowrun or Dark Heresy's system of damage increases by meter - say a percentage of the distance fallen as damage and/or stun.

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We run with a house rule that says people don't fall unconscious at 0, they just going into criticals.  So failing a coordination check to jump off a roof results in a (usually minor) critical damage.

 

This got really funny when when one player rolled overwhelmed, where you're attacked again.  We took it to mean he bounced.  There was a universal "ow" around the table.

Edited by Quicksilver

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It's also a little... fuzzier then you understand.

 

First off 15ft in this system doesn't have to be that far. Yeah, there's a kneejerk that says it's the difference between engaged and not, but it really doesn't have to be. After all, engaged may be the range needed for melee, but it's also the blast of a grenade, bomb, and missile. So either explosives in Star Wars are intended for use against targets that happen to be hugging... or the engaged band is actually pretty big, like maybe 15ish feet....

 

Secondly falling is for falling. Not jumping. So if the players are leaping off of something intentionally... you may not want to use falling damage. Or if you do, use the space they fall if they miss the jump.

 

 

So... in conclusion, why not try something that's already in the system:

If they are falling, uncontrolled, less then say 30ish feet.... give em 2 or 3 boost dice. It'll still probably hurt, but no more then getting hit with a heavy pistol or rifle.

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I didn't even know there were falling rules.  I've always just said "make an athletics check and chosen a difficulty number that seems reasonable," then if they failed chosen what seemed like a logical amount of damage.  Sometimes even if they succeed it's only to mitigate, depending on the distance.  If it's not that important make up a number and keep the game moving.

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Thanks for the feedback! I think the thing I was missing is how fuzzy the range bands are. I read in the book engaged was something you could melee or interact with, short was a few meters, medium a few dozen, and that stuck with me rather than the "engaged is also the blast radius of a grenade" type interpretation. 

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call it a coordination check and move on, lol

well, more to the point, don't get bogged down in the minutea. this game is cinomatic. in the past, i have called for checks, and allowed the abiltes of the characters to dictate from there.

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I hate to say it, but a fall of 10-20 can be lethal, or lead to broken bones. In general, OSHA requires fall protection at just four feet. Even falling your height of 5-6 feet can be serious. Sorry, I was a Safety guy most of my career, so I know a lot about this stuff. When people fall, they typically land head first, or on thier backs, and their head hits hard. As it was mentioned earlier, falling is not jumping. I think the game got falling damage right. Is it a heroic way for a PC to go out? No, but it can happen.

If you have someone jump down 10-20 feet, that is not falling. The people that do Parkour can easily jump that distance, but if they ever fell from that height, they wouldn't walk away from it.

Unless you really think you are going to have people falling lot, I wouldn't worry about it too much and make more complicated rules for it. But, if that's your thing, then go for it.

And I am appalled that the Empire had no safety regulations for fall protection!!

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That's a very good distinction, R2. (And Ghostofman, now that I reread!) I think having athletics checks (where threat causes strain and/or damage) for intentional jumping down and falling for the "you're pushed" category works quite a bit better.

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To add to what to the others answered, the bit about making an average coordination or athletics check to reduce the damage makes me think the damage is for landing poorly, like flat on your back at best. Scoring successes plus a decent soak could mean a character could take zero wounds from even a Short drop. Additionally, unless the character already has strain damage the 10 strain should not put them over threshold (unless you're a wookiee who didn't buy up their willpower), making medium range falls the only serious threat to an uninjured character.

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I think the falling rules are pretty reasonable. First of all, you get that Average: Coordination check that reduces both the wounds and the strain taken from the fall with successes and Advantages, respectively. Second, soak applies to the wounds taken. This means that pretty much everyone can handle a fall from Short range (which I interpret as 3-8 metres or thereabouts) while a fall from Medium range/height will knock you out cold. A 10-metre drop is a considerable distance to fall.

 

Now, my way of handling special circumstances is to assign some boost or setback dice. Is the character dropping into a snowdrift? Add 3 boost dice to the check, or maybe just flat subtract 2-4 points from both the wound and strain damage before rolling. Are you dropping down onto concrete? That's a setback die or two. And a creative player can always flip a Destiny point to strategically place a hay cart or similar right underneath where he's dropping down from.

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The rules allow for a Coordination check to reduce the Wounds and Strain suffered.  10 of each for a Short fall shouldn't incapacitate someone unless they've taken some previously or are a particularly frail species.  And remember that incapacitation does not necessarily mean unconsciousness, it can simply represent being too severely injured, exhausted, or dazed to perform meaningful actions or maneuvers until the end of the encounter

 

I hate to say it, but a fall of 10-20 can be lethal, or lead to broken bones. In general, OSHA requires fall protection at just four feet. Even falling your height of 5-6 feet can be serious. Sorry, I was a Safety guy most of my career, so I know a lot about this stuff. When people fall, they typically land head first, or on thier backs, and their head hits hard. As it was mentioned earlier, falling is not jumping. I think the game got falling damage right. Is it a heroic way for a PC to go out? No, but it can happen.

If you have someone jump down 10-20 feet, that is not falling. The people that do Parkour can easily jump that distance, but if they ever fell from that height, they wouldn't walk away from it.

Unless you really think you are going to have people falling lot, I wouldn't worry about it too much and make more complicated rules for it. But, if that's your thing, then go for it.
And I am appalled that the Empire had no safety regulations for fall protection!!

 

Everything right here.  "Jumping down" and "falling" are two very different things, and people tend to underestimate the latter.  I fractured three ribs in a training accident involving a fall of maybe five feet; I had the wind knocked out of me for a minute or so, it hurt for weeks, and it took months to heal.

 

In game terms, that'd be a Short fall (remember that Engaged is more like a status than a range) with a failed Coordination check, and a Despair causing a Critical Injury (probably 91-95 At The Brink: suffer 1 strain each time you perform an acction).

 

So yeah, I don't question falling damage in RPGs anymore.

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Apologies if this has been covered somewhere already, but I didn't find it with the search function.

Look at the very top of the page, just to the right of the FFG logo.

 

He didn't say he couldn't find the search function itself, he said he couldn't find discussion of fall damage with the search function.   :P

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We run with a house rule that says people don't fall unconscious at 0, they just going into criticals.  So failing a coordination check to jump off a roof results in a (usually minor) critical damage.

 

This got really funny when when one player rolled overwhelmed, where you're attacked again.  We took it to mean he bounced.  There was a universal "ow" around the table.

that is not a house rule. that is rules as written. it always says exceeds threshold. don't count damage down count it up.

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Just to chime in. I work on one of these everyday:

http://www.johnstonequipment.com/lift-trucks/raymond-lift-trucks/orderpickers/raymond-orderpicker-model-5400

They do go 30' in the air. I'm frequently anywhere from 4'-20' up. Falling would be terrible. Though I am protected with a full body harness and a retractable lanyard that works like a super sensitive seat belt. Even just stepping off the platform when it less than 1' off the ground without realizing how high it is is scary.

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Looking at the chart, I'm noticing that you don't take wounds for Long+ range, you just get "incapacitated," which – if that just means taking enough to clear your threshold – is generally much better than 30 wounds, which would all have to be healed. That +50 crit is tough, but if you survive that you will recover faster.

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16 feet is two stories if you were to fall from that high you would have fracture(s) if falling on pavement. My dad feel 6 feet and broke his leg which essentially made him unable to move. take in account that gravity can be a real enemy IRL and game wise.  Heck a girl died once just falling over from a standing position just by hitting her head on the ground. yes there are instances where people have survived many feet.

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Oh yeah that reminds me. Last August I was dehydrated and passed out from a sitting position. I hit face first on a wood surface and probably could have gotten a couple stitches. I didn't, and now have a scar just above my left eyebrow. My face was jacked, not to mention I was likely concust.

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When he was about six, my brother fell sideways off the BOTTOM of a playground slide, about 1 foot off the ground. He landed on his arm and fractured it. Granted he was very young, but the impact was just right(wrong?).

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I worked at a place where a person fell from the bottom rung of a ladder and died. he hit his head on the landing. this can happen. as was brought out earlier, falling damage isn't for a small jump, but rather a violent force and ending, like jumping off a cliff, or falling to the ground and scraping your knee.

 

i do wonder what changes it would cause if you were to fall on a world with lower gravity? your landing wouldn't be as strong because you aren't going as fast and there isn't as much force pulling you down to the sudden stop. or if you're a creature who comes from a world with higher gravity? their legs would be shaped better for it, and it would still be gentler then what they are evolved for. thoughts?

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@Rowdy What Do You Do That Requires All That?

Warehouse stocking. My facility has 40 aisles that require those machines, each aisle is around 500 feet long, 30 feet tall.

 

 

 

@Rowdy What Do You Do That Requires All That?

Warehouse stocking. My facility has 40 aisles that require those machines, each aisle is around 500 feet long, 30 feet tallI

i did warehouse work for  a little while, i hated it. lasted for all of two weeks

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