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Go ahead and JUMP!


Sean Waters
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So…walking the dogs and I got to think about a couple of things.

 

First off, never been entirely happy with the falling rules.  Straight off the bat, 30d6 seems like WAY too much damage for a terminal velocity fall.  That’s the equivalent of taking a punch from someone with 150 Strength who can lift 26 million tons.  I know, right?  WAAY too much.

 

Anyway, makes no sense.  Terminal velocity is about 120mph unless you are in a deliberate dive, which is 53 or 54 metres per second.  Call it 54 because 53 is prime.  That should mean that you do 27d6, using the same calculation as in the book.  OK that is not far off, but WHY are we just dividing falling velocity by 2?

 

A more realistic calculation would have it divided by 6, because Move Through, so 9d6 plus something for Strength – you are not going to deliberately add your strength to falling damage but mass will do: 100kg is like 10STR or +2d6, so about 11 dice.  That is still the equivalent of getting punched by someone who can lift over 50 tons.

 

Completely honest, that does seem a scooch low, but it would kill pretty much any normal human, certainly if reality is set to gritty.  Not all of them though.  8PD and some armour: you’d probably be out cold but otherwise uninjured.  That is unrealistic.

 

Also the falling rules are plain wrong, in the calculation of height vs velocity.  Actually if you fall 5m then you are falling for about a second and reach nearly 10m/s on impact.  The table also shows you reaching terminal velocity at 210m, which is actually less than half of the actual height you would have to fall to reach terminal velocity.  The reason for this is air resistance, which is probably (PROBABLY?) overcomplicating things, but it is a look-up table anyway (no one actually works out velocity for a 150m fall, right?), so why not get it more accurate?  Like this:

 

Distance Fallen

Time Falling

Velocity

 

Damage (add mass dice usually +2)

Metres

Seconds

M/S

 

NND Does Body

5

1

5

 

1

20

2

14

 

2

40

3

23

 

3

80

4

32

 

4

120

5

38

 

5

160

6

43

 

6

200

7

45

 

7

250

8

47

 

8

300

9

50

 

8 1/2

350

10

52

 

9

400

11

53

 

9 1/2

450

12

54

 

10

 

The damage row is fluffed a bit so you get a different value at each second of falling

 

The way falling kills you is that it damages lots of bits of you and it tears you up inside because your outer bits stop but your soft insides take longer, which burst them against your outer skin.  Normal defences will be of very limited benefit there.  Maybe falling damage should be NND (Does Body), the defence being LS: Falling (see below).  Maybe falls under a certain height you just take normal damage: let us base it on velocity.  Up to 10m/s is normal damage for anyone.  Anything over that is NND(Does Body). That makes it easy: falls up to 10 (bit high, never mind) are normal damage.  Anything more is nasty.

 

LS: Falling – for each point you spend you add 10m/s to the falling velocity you treat as normal only damage.  So for 1 point, you treat damage from falls up to 20m/s as normal and for 5 points you can treat falls at up to 60m/s as doing normal damage only.  It provides no defence but does mean, as you get to apply normal defences,  many superheroes will never normally take Body damage from a fall on Earth no matter how high, even with an uncontrolled descent.

 

So:

1.       A fall under 5m does no damage.

2.       For other falls, check the distance and read off the fall time and damage.

3.       If you can make a DEX roll, you can reduce your final velocity by the vertical distance you can combat leap: work out final velocity from fall height, subtract vertical leap, then treat that as your final velocity.  Characters who have not invested in Leaping can only leap up 2m.  That might do a bit of good.  I suppose.

 

The idea is that falling any great distance is scary and dangerous but quite a few characters will be able to survive or even ignore falling damage easily enough without needing mad high(but limited) defences.

 

References:

http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/math.html

http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/speedtime.pdf

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I really like the thoughts you've got, but I would like to point out that Move Through _may_ be divided because it isn't designed with the consideration of a sudden and instantaneous stop at the end.  I don't know either way, but it's something to ponder. 

 

Further, we can realistically apply "hit location: everything" to the damage, as the isn't going to be any part of you that misses the ground at terminal velocity. 

 

Actually, apply hit location: head all by itself would get some extremely lethal results even if you built it along the lines of Move Through. 

 

To be fair, though, I just dropped out of a thread where I was told that the rules were not intended to simulate realism, which makes a rough eighty percent of these conversations meaningless.  ;)

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6 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

I really like the thoughts you've got, but I would like to point out that Move Through _may_ be divided because it isn't designed with the consideration of a sudden and instantaneous stop at the end.  I don't know either way, but it's something to ponder. 

 

Further, we can realistically apply "hit location: everything" to the damage, as the isn't going to be any part of you that misses the ground at terminal velocity. 

 

Actually, apply hit location: head all by itself would get some extremely lethal results even if you built it along the lines of Move Through. 

 

To be fair, though, I just dropped out of a thread where I was told that the rules were not intended to simulate realism, which makes a rough eighty percent of these conversations meaningless.  ;)

 

If you do a move through and no KB then you take the full damage that the move through would have done, so I figured that was like hitting a planet.  It is all a bit complicated: you can work out the momentum of a falling object easily but the force that is applied in stopping it *almost* instantaneously is harder to guestimate and isn't necessarily that useful as it is hard to compare that to, say the force a super strength punch generates.

 

Agreed - hit locations (and bleeding) make damage far more deadly.  The NND Does Body thing is an attempt to unify the worlds of normals and superheroes: 30d6 (or 27d6) sounds far too high compared to other sources of damage, but it needs to by high (if it is Normal damage) to scare superpowered characters.  It is so high though that even a maxed-out human could never realistically survive (and a few have).

 

In comics, though, some characters can jump off skyscrapers with little ill effect, of fall from orbit without dying.  Others are in genuine fear of dying.  There are very few characters who are not specifically (and expensively) built to withstand falls that could take 30d6 normal and not be unconscious or at least stunned.  Even most Brick characters will take Body from that.

 

Now whilst I agree that Hero is not a physics simulation, it is just lazy to say it is not intended to simulate realism: it clearly is, at least to some extent.  I agree that gameplay has to take precedence over simulation, but there's no reason to avoid simulation where it can be efficiently integrated.  There are huge advantages to simulating realism, not least that it accords with people's intuitions and expectations.  I appreciate that we are often playing superheroes: I get that :) but there is no need to make the level of abstraction arbitrary or greater than it need be.

 

So, accepting that Hero is not intended to simulate realism but IS intended, presumably, to simulate the sort of things you see in the comics, why don't the falling rules do that?  Rhetorical :)

 

This is not meant to be a simulation as such, just getting a bit closer to a shared reality.  I mean, if you had 30 points in Shrinking you should probably never take falling damage, right?  Something that weighs 4 grams could probably survive a terminal velocity fall easily.  I'm not going there.  Not yet :)

 

 

 

 

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Whereas it's interesting, I find that the idea of falling being a NND KA distasteful. I'm ok with the current system but feel free to modify it however you see fit.

 

Plenty of comic book heroes have fallen from heights and survived except for being KO'd. Yeah, some actually get hurt but the system is made for the hero, not trying to be realistic.

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I like the thinking for this, but the problem is not with the falling damage, but rather the lack of damage inflicted by someone like Grond.

 

My players constantly marvel that adding 5 STR only results in a 1 DC boost.

 

The idea that someone 2x as strong as you are only does 1 BOD and 3 STUN more damage may work well for 4-color comic book action, but in heroic campaigns it's so far off that it pops the immersion bubble immediately.

 

There are martial maneuvers that add 2 DC (4x stronger?) or even 4 DC (16x stronger??).

 

Hell, a haymaker adds 4d6 - So a normal man slinging a haymaker hits as hard as an ogre?

 

More succinctly - damage doesn't go up as fast as it should from increasing strength.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

I like the thinking for this, but the problem is not with the falling damage, but rather the lack of damage inflicted by someone like Grond.

 

My players constantly marvel that adding 5 STR only results in a 1 DC boost.

 

The idea that someone 2x as strong as you are only does 1 BOD and 3 STUN more damage may work well for 4-color comic book action, but in heroic campaigns it's so far off that it pops the immersion bubble immediately.

 

There are martial maneuvers that add 2 DC (4x stronger?) or even 4 DC (16x stronger??).

 

Hell, a haymaker adds 4d6 - So a normal man slinging a haymaker hits as hard as an ogre?

 

More succinctly - damage doesn't go up as fast as it should from increasing strength.

This is one of the reasons I feel STR should be decoupled from damage.  Lifting has to scale exponentially for comicbookery to be possible on a sane point budget, but if damage scales with lifting then you get the exact problem you describe. 

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Scot & Gnome, a person's consists of more than just lifting ability, it's also jumping, crushing, holding power, etc. It would be very odd hearing of a hero who can lift 200 tons only doing 2d6 from a punch because Str was decoupled from damage. Again, the Hero System isn't made for realistic damage, it's just there for a way for people to simulate comics. I don't think any system will be able to accurately do a hero fight, short of multiples of charts (probably needing calculators).

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8 minutes ago, Tech said:

Scot & Gnome, a person's consists of more than just lifting ability, it's also jumping, crushing, holding power, etc. It would be very odd hearing of a hero who can lift 200 tons only doing 2d6 from a punch because Str was decoupled from damage. Again, the Hero System isn't made for realistic damage, it's just there for a way for people to simulate comics. I don't think any system will be able to accurately do a hero fight, short of multiples of charts (probably needing calculators).

Why was the character built with 200 tons of lifting but only 2d6 of damage?  What's the SFX?  That's a deliberate decision that needs explaining! 

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8Sloth Man!  :lol:

 

Seriously, though, in response to the players being amazed, I offer a different way of thinking about it:

 

5 pts gets a single die of EB: one DC with range.  5 pts gets 5 str: an ability to lift and throw, and a _bonus_ ability to do a single die of damage with no range. 

 

As the poster pointed out, you can buy a martial Maneuver to add 2DC.  Does it make you twice as strong?  Four times as strong?  Any stronger _at all_?  No; it does not.   Telekinesis--STR with range-- does not impart punch or kick damage; you need a special build for that.   So right off, a model where STR and damage are not directly proportional is available-- well, 2 models, counting martial maneuvers. 

 

If you feel a particular STR-- say 40, should do more than 8 dice, you are not necessarily wrong.  Buy STR: only for damage, or EB: no range, adds to STR damage--  or, because these builds have been so common (at least in my experience), buy the all-new Hand to Hand Attack. 

 

I submit that the damage "freebies" given by STR are not the sum total damage your STR can provide:  there are many people stronger than Iron Mike Tyson, after all.  I submit that the difference between the damage done by Iron Mike and someone else who is equally strong is.... 

 

Training.  Learning how to harness all of your available STR, and how to effectively deliver it as a blow.  I believe the "free damage" STR provides represents a raw, untrained strike.  You hone it with additional dice purchased separately. 

 

At least I always have. 

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A couple of points, in using move through (or any other velocity maneuver to determine equivalent damage to falling), you are encountering the problem that in general, people move at speed 2-4 while gravity moves at speed 12.  This matters because while the game segments actions on specific segments and the actions are completed in phases, in general they are really supposed to be spread out over the seconds between phases.  Just like post twelve recovery is more about recovery over the entire turn but for mechanics sake, its done at the end of the turn.

 

However, I would not advocate this methodology,  I would suggest using Newton's law F=Ma as a better comparison.  Using Newton's law, a fall for 1 sec is about 1000N.  F = Mass * acc. or 1000N = 100kg * 10 m/s^2.  A brick's fist is accelerating about 1m in 1 sec.(arm's length), so mass needs to be about 1000kg or a 27 strength using lifting calculations 25 * (2^(STR/5)).  This would be about 5d6 of damage which matches.

 

The big problem is that the mechanics of the game to represent higher levels of damage is not simulated correctly mainly because damage is linear on the strength scale which is exponential.  Take terminal velocity.  Kinetic energy is determined by the calculation KE = 1/2 * mass * velocity^2.  At terminal velocity for a 100kg man would be 145800.  For a dead lift at a speed of 1m/s, that would be about a 63 strength.  Most would agree that falling at terminal velocity would very likely be terminal but a 63 strength punch in the game could be survivable.  To sum up, the energy to move 25tons to 100tons is not the same as the level of damage of +2d6N.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, dsatow said:

A couple of points, in using move through (or any other velocity maneuver to determine equivalent damage to falling), you are encountering the problem that in general, people move at speed 2-4 while gravity moves at speed 12.  This matters because while the game segments actions on specific segments and the actions are completed in phases, in general they are really supposed to be spread out over the seconds between phases.  Just like post twelve recovery is more about recovery over the entire turn but for mechanics sake, its done at the end of the turn.

 

However, I would not advocate this methodology,  I would suggest using Newton's law F=Ma as a better comparison.  Using Newton's law, a fall for 1 sec is about 1000N.  F = Mass * acc. or 1000N = 100kg * 10 m/s^2.  A brick's fist is accelerating about 1m in 1 sec.(arm's length), so mass needs to be about 1000kg or a 27 strength using lifting calculations 25 * (2^(STR/5)).  This would be about 5d6 of damage which matches.

 

The big problem is that the mechanics of the game to represent higher levels of damage is not simulated correctly mainly because damage is linear on the strength scale which is exponential.  Take terminal velocity.  Kinetic energy is determined by the calculation KE = 1/2 * mass * velocity^2.  At terminal velocity for a 100kg man would be 145800.  For a dead lift at a speed of 1m/s, that would be about a 63 strength.  Most would agree that falling at terminal velocity would very likely be terminal but a 63 strength punch in the game could be survivable.  To sum up, the energy to move 25tons to 100tons is not the same as the level of damage of +2d6N.

 

 

 

 

Ah.  I said there were a couple of things, right?  See the 'I Feel The Need' thread to address that one.

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5 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

I like the thinking for this, but the problem is not with the falling damage, but rather the lack of damage inflicted by someone like Grond.

 

My players constantly marvel that adding 5 STR only results in a 1 DC boost.

 

The idea that someone 2x as strong as you are only does 1 BOD and 3 STUN more damage may work well for 4-color comic book action, but in heroic campaigns it's so far off that it pops the immersion bubble immediately.

 

There are martial maneuvers that add 2 DC (4x stronger?) or even 4 DC (16x stronger??).

 

Hell, a haymaker adds 4d6 - So a normal man slinging a haymaker hits as hard as an ogre?

 

More succinctly - damage doesn't go up as fast as it should from increasing strength.

 

 

 

Oh this is such another thread :)

 

However, we've started, so - HERO uses Thresholds i.e. we have subtractors from damage in the form of Defences.  If you have 12 PD you are completely immune to a 2d6 Normal attack, not not from a 3d6 Normal attack (although you are on average).

 

Adding a couple of dice of damage to an attack that would already penetrate defences means that ALL of the damage gets through, whereas if you were not scoring any (average) damage on a target, a couple of extra dice means that most of the extra effort gets through.  Usually.

 

A better example is a 21pd superhero taking a 10d6 punch.  10d6 is almost certain to get stun through defences so any extra damage also gets through defences.  Same Hero facing a 5d6 attack: on average NO damage gets through and, indeed, you'd need a decent roll to get any damage through, but add 2 dice and you are causing damage on average rolls.

 

Here's a thought: Normal Defences do not affect Stun and Body damage equally.  Normal Defences subtract from Stun damage on a 1 to 1 basis, but subtract Body damage on a 2 to 1 basis.  So a 10d6 punch against 20 pd is (on average) 15 Stun and no Body through defences but even a slightly decent roll might cause Body.  Damn, that is another thread right there!

 

Right.  Done that.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Sean Waters said:

Oh this is such another thread :)

 

I know what you're saying.  This can be a deep rabbit hole, but the bit where I get stuck is from years of martial arts play.

 

If I let my friend give me his best roundhouse kick to the belly and I'm in good shape I can take several before it really starts to do damage.  And it's more degradation of PD more than taking stun per hit.

 

However, if I take a shot that is 4x harder than the one I can barely take without suffering real pain I'm down and probably injured (possibly severely) on the first hit.

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On 2/3/2020 at 11:14 AM, Tech said:

Scot & Gnome, a person's consists of more than just lifting ability, it's also jumping, crushing, holding power, etc. It would be very odd hearing of a hero who can lift 200 tons only doing 2d6 from a punch because Str was decoupled from damage. Again, the Hero System isn't made for realistic damage, it's just there for a way for people to simulate comics. I don't think any system will be able to accurately do a hero fight, short of multiples of charts (probably needing calculators).

 

Then it sounds like the player should've have spent some points on his damage, as well as his lifting, capabilities.

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6 hours ago, Tech said:

 

Or maybe the idea of decoupling Str damage from Str isn't the best idea.

 

The only reason this is a concern is because of the way characters are created at the moment.  It's like when the figured stats were decoupled.  People, theoretically, had to rethink how they built characters and/or deal with the fact that some concepts where going to be a tad more spendy than they were before hand or there'd be odd disconnects.

 

Same result in this situation.  If STR was decoupled, the player would have to either come up with a reason as to why they could lift 200 tons but only hit with a force of 2D6 or they'd have to pay for the damage. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Tech said:

 

Or maybe the idea of decoupling Str damage from Str isn't the best idea.

 

I think if HERO was being designed today, no history, no legacy issues, there would be no characteristics like STR, CON, INT, EGO, PRE, DEX.  They are a hangover from how it was done.  They are black boxes that skew costs in powers and skills.

 

It would be easy to have a table that showed a relationship between lifting power and combat damage and jumping for guiding players on what to buy without making those abilities inherently linked.

 

Doc

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Guys, what you're suggesting is a new version of the Hero System or a house rule. We know the chances of a 7th edition are extremely unlikely so it falls to houserule. However, I think this should be in a new thread about Str decoupled (as it completely branches away from the OP) so other people can add their thoughts.

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