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Falling damage from being thrown straight up...


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I feel like I am making this too hard.


A character with Telekinesis +40 STR grabs and throws a villain straight up. How much falling damage does the villain take when they land?


I see that the actual throw strength is 40 - 10 (the STR needed to lift an adult) or the extra STR of 30 for 48m. Do I treat this as a Standing Throw for half the distance, i.e. 24m. But that's like throwing a grenade or something for distance. As this is straight up, is the throw like a leap where the maximum height is half the distance? So 12m or 6d6 normal damage?


Does the villain hit the top at the end of the segment they are thrown, or do I need to figure a velocity in there? Assuming they hit the top of the arch at the end of the phase the throw was initiated in, it looks like the villain  will hit the ground 2 segments later. Is that right?

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How much falling damage does the villain take when they land?


Falling damage is the same regardless of the source.  Its based on the distance they fall.


Telekinesis as I recall is standing throw, plus there's the gravity effect (go half as far upward because of gravity).  YOu calculate the distance from that and then apply normal falling damage.

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So, if I remember my jump school math (it's been ~30 years, so FYI, all these numbers may be off some) - it takes a human body, falling in standard "spread-eagle", about 20 seconds and 450 meters to hit terminal velocity of ~120 mph; which is 54 meters per second.  However, that is not reached evenly spread across the 450 meters; you reach 50% terminal velocity in only 3 seconds, then, due to increased drag, it takes another 5 seconds to reach 90%, and like 8 more seconds to reach 99%, and like 4 more seconds for that last 1%...


Now, if you spike or speed-dive (head first), you will reach ~200 mph...


So, if you assume someone who is falling is "flailing about" (so closer to "spread-eagle"), they will eventually hit their max damage after falling about 450 meters and 20 seconds...  BUT, they'll reach half that damage after only falling 75 meters, in about 3 seconds.  So, half the max at 75 meters, and a slowing rate of damage up to 450 meters to max damage.  Anything after 450 meters doesn't matter.


Also, that's obviously on Earth, and close to the surface (if you go up high enough, speed increases because the density of air decreases, lowering drag; BUT, you will eventually actually slow down as you get closer to the surface and the air density / drag increases - so don't fall from really high altitude and hit a mountain)...


I have never seen a game with a good algorithm for this...

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51 minutes ago, Echo3Niner said:



I have never seen a game with a good algorithm for this...



Me, neither, but we don't need one, at least not for the purpose of playing a game.


We can make a chart!  :D


Now granted, 1G doesn't work out evenly in meters, as it's (rusty memory, and this is something I learned as a kid, so don't expect me to remember all the decimal places.  :P ) something close to 9.8 mps, squared.


Again-- we're playing a game, and not building a perfect physics engine (at least, _I_ am not building a perfect Physics Engine.    :D   So I'm going to increase the inaccuracy a bit in favor of playability, and call it 10 mps squared.



Time Elapsed   Distance Travelled   Speed in meters per second

1 second:           5m                          10 mps

2 seconds:         20m                        20 mps

3 seconds:        44m                        29 mps

4 seconds         78m                        39 mps

5 seconds        122m                       49 mps

    At roughly 5.5 seconds, you hit 54.5 MPS, which is, as Echo3Niner pointed out, terminal velocity for what we will call an "Involuntary jumper."  This means they are doing the spread-eagle, spread fingers, opening the coat-- anything they can to air brake, like any sensible person actually would, I think.


6 seconds       177m                        59 mps

7 seconds       240m                       69 mps

 At roughly 7.5 seconds, you hit 75 MPS, or the dead center of the range of terminal velocity given for a willfully diving human (listed, depending on source, as between 150 mph and 180 mph.  This chart assumes 165, splitting the difference, because ultimately, it's a game, and the difference is a couple of dice of damage.  :lol:  


8 seconds    314m                    78.5 mps



Now this list can go on and on-- obviously terminal velocity for Solid Steel Man is going to be somewhat different than it is for Giant Sheet of Paper Man, but since I've got laundry to do, I'm pretty much wrapping this up right here.  ;)


Where you get into trouble converting this into damage is the speed chart.  No; I'm serious.


When you are moving (voluntarily, I mean), the HERO System assumes that you move X amount _on your Phase.  If you want to have a lot of fun with that, picture a bunch of Olympians (the normal leotard ones we hear about every four years; not the ones from days of yore).  You've got olympic sprinters, olympic skaters, olympic shooters, olympic weight lifters--


anyway, they're all on a plane, headed to the games.  They are traveling at 400 MPH.  The sprinters are speed 4.  The gymnasts are SPD 5.  The weight lifters are SPD3.  The curling team is SPD 2.


Knowing that the sprinters can move forward every three seconds, and the gymnasts can move forward five times every 12 seconds, how long before the curling team falls out of the back of the plane?





Your speed, at least in Champions as-is, is the movement available to you on your Phase.   Move; pause, move; pause, over and over.


So how do we do this?  If we take raw meters per second and apply that as the rate of speed every single Segment-- well, that's absolutely right, at least in terms of the one Segment in question.  Frankly, that's the way I would do it.


In HERO Terms, though, you should multiply that movement by 12 and then divide by your SPD to find out just how fast you were moving on _your_ Segment.  And no; I won't blame you a bit for telling my that I'm being pedantic, because that doesn't mean I'm not completely correct; it just means that I am also damned annoying about it.


This is a fairly minor (and seriously amusing) flaw in the SPD chart, of course: the faster your SPD, the slower you're falling.  :lol:   If you have a low SPD, you are getting _way more_ free movement than someone with a higher SPD.


The obvious work around is to apply the speed listed as being your actual movement speed at the time of impact.  As far as how many dice you should roll, well look for either the distance you have fallen or the time you have fallen to determine your speed at that instant.  Treat that as your movement.  It's a move-through versus the earth, so you're going to take full damage.  If you can sidestep the earth, you can do a move-by and only take half of it.  ;) 


You folks have fun!





Now I totally understand not wanting to deal with the hole in your monitor if you cut out and save this handy chart,  so I spent a moment or two Googlling, and I found this:





Now put those scissors down!  :D


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How very interesting.


I see the speed chart as a combination of your ability to respond to events and reaction. But these are "YOUR" reactions, not the motion of events around you.


If you are falling, you are moving every second, regardless of how often during that fall you may have an opportunity to react.


Of course, I am sure other GMs will do it differently, but this is my general go to. 

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Mine as well, but that's now HERO handles movement.


Two characters with two different speeds and the same movement have different top speeds.



By HERO Rules, a character who is moving at SPD 6 and traveling at 100 mph is covering a certain amount of distance _per his Phase_.  If the SPD 6 character moves30" per Phase, and he does a move through, the damage he does (and takes) is derived directly from that 30".


If a speed 3 Character moves 30" and does a move through, he does / takes the exact same damage, even though he is moving at exactly half the speed of the other guy.



There is an _optional_ rule (and has been for several editions now) of segmented movement, and while it stops silliness like this, it's optional.  it's also not popular (at least, not in discussions on any web board I've run across), and many people complain that it adds more complexity, etc.   I like it, specifically for these sorts of problems, but even I don't use it regularly.  I think I use it mostly in westerns (for falling off trains) and cyberpunk (for getting hit by cars), but I don't use it anywhere with particular regularity.



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I ponder how to simulate Father Puchi with the Stand [C-Moon]. One of the odd things about the stand (which is his original stand Whitesnake combining with the Green Baby who had it's own stand Green Green Grass of Home). Basically, how it relates to this topic is this... anything in front of C-Moon falls with the gravity being 'down', depending on where Puchi and C-Moon physically stands (and with the stand, Puchi can stand on any surface and that is down). Anything behind him is 'up' and will fall that way.


Another thing is anything hit by C-Moon will be turned inside out unless they can make themselves a moebius strip...


Yes, it's Jojo. If it makes sense, they are doing it wrong.

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8 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

The easiest way to handle this would be that they take the same damage that they would if they were thrown straight down, just a few segments later. :)


If you are thrown down, your velocity is not limited by gravity - 'Zerk can throw a character at a FAR faster rate of speed than someone just falling...

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Right, but as you alluded to in your previous post, there's wind resistance, etc, and if you could fall far enough, you would actually slow down in the atmosphere.



There would be a constant that could be applied to determine your rate of deceleration, but I am way to rusty to trust myself figuring _that_ out.  :lol:


Game-wise, you'll be fine just using the throwing velocity as your rate of speed.


11 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

The easiest way to handle this would be that they take the same damage that they would if they were thrown straight down, just a few segments later. :)


Calculate how far up they are being thrown.  They will fall from there.



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Assuming ALICE threw BOB during segment 1, after ALICE grabbed BOB with her Telekinesis and BOB failed to hold on to anything or whatever else BOB might have tried to avoid this:


Segment 1: ALICE, with TK Str 40, throws BOB.

Str of 40 - the Str 10 needed to throw a thing that weighs as much as a person = Extra Strength of 30 

Telekinesis used to Throw something counts as a Running Throw (Volume 1 page 294).

Running Throw with Extra Strength of 30 = 48m


48m distance = 48m up, which then means starting to fall 48m straight back down again.


Segment 2: BOB falls 10m, assuming an Earthlike environment.

BOB falls 10m in Segment 2 unless caught or otherwise affected by his own, or someone else's, actions. BOB falls in Segment 2, whether ALICE or BOB have a Phase in this Segment or not. 


Segment 3: BOB falls another 20m.

BOB falls 20m in Segment 3, for a current total of 30m. BOB falls in Segment 2, whether ALICE or BOB have a Phase in this Segment or not. 


Segment 4: BOB falls the final 18m.

BOB falls the last 18m to the ground. Unless he had reduced falling damage from something (power, an ally, or whatever), he will now take damage for his fall.


48m is officially a "Long Fall" 

20m or less would qualify as a "Short Fall"


Long Falls do 1d6 damage for every 2m of their current velocity (how far they would have fallen this segment if they fell for the entire segment without hitting anything).


BOB would be falling 30m this Segment if not for meeting the ground.

30m ÷ 2m = 15, so that is 15d6 of damage.


ALICE throws BOB, BOB falls for two more Segments, whether or not he has a Phase in either of those Segments, and then BOB takes 15d6 damage during that second Segment.

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48m distance = 48m up, which then means starting to fall 48m straight back down again.


24m, because of gravity penalty.  Still, thats 12 times the height of a man, so nothing to sneeze at.


You fall at 10m per segment, and accelerate every segment regardless of your SPD or DEX.  That means basically 2 segments before you hit

segment 0: 0m at the apogee. 

Segment 1: 10m velocity falling, fell 10m.

Segment 2: now moving 20m velocity, hit the ground 


So you hit the ground at 20m velocity and according to the rules you take normal damage from most surfaces and GM's option killing damage (say you fall on a bunch of broken glass or jagged rocks).  A "short fall" is 20m or less distance in which you take 1 DC of damage per 2m fallen.  A "long fall" is 21 or more meters distance in which you suffer 1 DC of damage per 2m of velocity (in this instance 20m).


So the poor sap takes 10d6 of damage from the fall at 20m velocity.  Owie.

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On 1/12/2022 at 12:11 AM, lamorric said:

I feel like I am making this too hard.


A character with Telekinesis +40 STR grabs and throws a villain straight up. How much falling damage does the villain take when they land?


Keeping it simple: the villain takes the character's (full) telekinetic STR as damage.


The target will hit the ground with the same velocity with which they were thrown up. Given they were "imparted" STR worth of velocity, call that STR worth of damage on impact. Conveniently, this is the same effect you'd get from hurling them into a wall (see Throwing a Character, 6E2 p82).


Keeping it complicated: that section has additional rules on whether you're aiming. Hurling the villain at their own hex (DCV 3) is full damage, while hurling without aiming (DCV 0) would be half damage when hitting the ground.


In fiction, I've never seen super strong people throw people up for damage. To deal damage, it always seems to be characters smashing flying/floating characters down into the ground (e.g., Superman-World-Of-Cardboard or DBZ). The fling-them-up maneuver seems reserved for buying time (e.g., Squirrel Girl vs Kraven the Hunter).




It seems a little unfair to apply realistic physics damage to Hero's cinematic throwing distance

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There is a way for someone who is thrown up to take damage. If they hit a hard object on their way up.


Yeah you hit something like the ceiling before reaching maximum altitude, you do a move through on it with your body at the STR of the throw.  If you don't break through, you bounce off taking full damage.  Then fall.

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