Does Feather Fall reduce the bonus damage from Branch Pounce?


Rules Questions


I came across the Branch Pounce feat today and was looking at ways to reduce the falling damage taken by the attacker. I have several good options, but the obvious one seems to be feather fall.

So, aside from limiting you to a 60ft fall, would feather fall further reduce the bonus damage to the target of Branch Pounce?

(It seems counter productive if this is the case.)


Why not just wear boots of the cat so that you take minimum on the dice you roll?


Definitely one of the other options. But taking no damage is still better than taking minimum damage, especially if you are only able to get up to about 60ft for the attack. Above 60ft I'd use the boots.

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Given that the bonus damage from Branch Pounce is falling damage I would rule that most things which reduce your falling damage (beyond the options in the feat itself) also reduce the Branch Pounce falling damage.

Basically, if you aren't falling hard enough to hurt yourself then you aren't falling hard enough to hurt the target either. The two are intrinsically linked.

Boots of the Cat would be a good option as they don't reduce the falling damage dice... just allow you to assume the minimum result.


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The rule says:

"the attack deals damage as normal and also adds the appropriate amount of falling damage"

If you use feather fall I don't think there really is an appropriate amount of falling damage because you wouldn't be taking any. The whole feat is based around you transferring your momentum from falling into an attack, but using feather fall you don't have any momentum to transfer, so I would say no as well.


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I agree with Amrel. With Feather Fall, the "appropriate amount of falling damage" is zero.


CBDunkerson wrote:

Given that the bonus damage from Branch Pounce is falling damage I would rule that most things which reduce your falling damage (beyond the options in the feat itself) also reduce the Branch Pounce falling damage.

Basically, if you aren't falling hard enough to hurt yourself then you aren't falling hard enough to hurt the target either. The two are intrinsically linked.

Boots of the Cat would be a good option as they don't reduce the falling damage dice... just allow you to assume the minimum result.

Doesn't that mean the feat is reducing it's own damage?

Liberty's Edge

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The feat allows the possibility of reducing the attacker's falling damage by one or two dice while leaving the target's falling damage unchanged.

Hence my statement about reductions outside those in the feat itself. If you reduce the falling damage to zero then you are doing zero falling damage to the target and don't need to make any roll to take zero falling damage yourself.


Can you post the exact wording of Branch Pounce?

I think the only option that might get away from reducing/mitigating the damage is Boots of the Cat. And only because boots of the cat tell you to treat the roll as minimum damage, but depending on wording might mean full damage to your target.

I can't see any other option not reducing the damage you deal and boots of the cat might also mean dealing minimum fall damage to the target as well.

Conceptual I agree that it's about dealing an equal amount of damage you take from the fall to your target as well. And anything that reduces how hard you fall, reduces how hard you hit your enemy.


Text for the feat:

"When charging a target by jumping down from above (such as when jumping out of a tree), you can soften your own fall with a melee attack. If the attack at the end of your charge hits, the attack deals damage as normal and also adds the appropriate amount of falling damage (1d6 points for a 10-foot fall, 2d6 points for a 20-foot fall, and so on). This falling damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. You land in an unoccupied square of your choosing adjacent to the target, and you take falling damage as if you had fallen 10 fewer feet. You can attempt an Acrobatics check as normal to treat the fall as an additional 10 feet shorter for the purpose of determining the damage you take from the fall and treat the first 1d6 points of damage you take from the fall as nonlethal damage. If your attack misses, you land prone in a random square adjacent to the target and automatically take the full amount of falling damage."


Unrelated to the rules aspect of the issue, but a curiosity nonetheless.

The 60' per round (or 10' per second) speed that Feather Fall grants to a falling object gives that object the same speed that it would be traveling after falling for slightly under 2 feet.

http://keisan.casio.com/exec/system/1231475371


CBDunkerson wrote:

The feat allows the possibility of reducing the attacker's falling damage by one or two dice while leaving the target's falling damage unchanged.

Hence my statement about reductions outside those in the feat itself. If you reduce the falling damage to zero then you are doing zero falling damage to the target and don't need to make any roll to take zero falling damage yourself.

What about something that doesn't reduce the force of the fall? The grippli glider trait says to treat all falling distance as 1/2 the actual distance. Since the force is being redirected instead of negated would you allow Branch Pounce to do the full damage at the end of a grippli glide?


Ridiculon wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

The feat allows the possibility of reducing the attacker's falling damage by one or two dice while leaving the target's falling damage unchanged.

Hence my statement about reductions outside those in the feat itself. If you reduce the falling damage to zero then you are doing zero falling damage to the target and don't need to make any roll to take zero falling damage yourself.

What about something that doesn't reduce the force of the fall? The grippli glider trait says to treat all falling distance as 1/2 the actual distance. Since the force is being redirected instead of negated would you allow Branch Pounce to do the full damage at the end of a grippli glide?

I would treat it as the reduced damage, because you're falling more slowly. Thus you deal less falling damage.


You're not falling more slowly, just in a different direction. You are going the same speed in the end only now some of it is going sideways.

Obviously this is a table by table issue (and also this grippli dive bomber doesn't exist yet), I'm just curious.


Ridiculon wrote:

You're not falling more slowly, just in a different direction. You are going the same speed in the end only now some of it is going sideways.

Obviously this is a table by table issue (and also this grippli dive bomber doesn't exist yet), I'm just curious.

That's not how gliding works.

Things that are gliding are absolutely going more slowly than they would if they were falling in an uncontrolled manner.

Otherwise, glider aircraft would all be traveling at terminal velocity (about 120 mph) once they had been aloft for about 15 seconds (in actuality, their top speed is about 30mph, which is about the speed a human body would be going after falling 30 feet). Even in glider type craft with no airfoil wing cross-section (such has hang gliders), the increased surface area of the craft dramatically slows the speed of descent.


Saldiven wrote:

Text for the feat:

"When charging a target by jumping down from above (such as when jumping out of a tree), you can soften your own fall with a melee attack. If the attack at the end of your charge hits, the attack deals damage as normal and also adds the appropriate amount of falling damage (1d6 points for a 10-foot fall, 2d6 points for a 20-foot fall, and so on). This falling damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. You land in an unoccupied square of your choosing adjacent to the target, and you take falling damage as if you had fallen 10 fewer feet. You can attempt an Acrobatics check as normal to treat the fall as an additional 10 feet shorter for the purpose of determining the damage you take from the fall and treat the first 1d6 points of damage you take from the fall as nonlethal damage. If your attack misses, you land prone in a random square adjacent to the target and automatically take the full amount of falling damage."

You can reduce your own falling damage. Most methods to do so however, will also means that the falling damage the target takes is likewise reduced. The feat assumes you're hitting them like a ballistic missle, and most methods of reducing falling damage involve reducing your ballistic velocity.


Ridiculon wrote:

You're not falling more slowly, just in a different direction. You are going the same speed in the end only now some of it is going sideways.

Obviously this is a table by table issue (and also this grippli dive bomber doesn't exist yet), I'm just curious.

Yeah, gliding definitely slows down your fall. That's exactly how it works. Air resistance (and airfoils) cause you to fall more slowly, and gliding is done by converting some of the energy that would pull you down into forward movement, but not all of it. You wont move as fast by gliding as you would by falling straight down.


Saldiven wrote:

That's not how gliding works.

Things that are gliding are absolutely going more slowly than they would if they were falling in an uncontrolled manner.

Claxon wrote:


Yeah, gliding definitely slows down your fall.

Normal, real gliding slows your fall, but the Grippli's Glider ART absolutely does not. It does two things: It allows you to move half your fall distance horizontally and treats your falling distance as half the actual distance.

It does nothing to change the rate at which you fall, unlike the OP's example of feather fall.


Conceptually, it slows your fall, which is why you take less fall damage.

And becaue you treat your fall as though it were halved distance, I would also treat any damage from branch pounce the same.

The idea of branch pounce is your using your own body as a ballistic missile to hit the enemy. If you wouldn't hit the ground as hard, you wouldn't hit the enemy as hard.


Claxon wrote:
Conceptually, it slows your fall, which is why you take less fall damage.

Maybe conceptually, but factually it is not slowing your fall since you are falling at the same rate per round (that nebulous 500ft/rnd). I would only argue this within pathfinder, obviously in real life you are (all) 100% correct about gliding.

Claxon wrote:

And becaue you treat your fall as though it were halved distance, I would also treat any damage from branch pounce the same.

The idea of branch pounce is your using your own body as a ballistic missile to hit the enemy. If you wouldn't hit the ground as hard, you wouldn't hit the enemy as hard.

Your body is still a ballistic missile in this case, only now you have some horizontal momentum. In point of fact you will still be hitting the target with full force, but now it will be angled diagonally instead of vertically. Again this is just an issue with how they spelled out gliding within pathfinder.


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Well, I mean if we want to get technical about it, the way the ability is written means the Grippli would be travelling faster than a person who simply fell the same distance. But that doesn't really seem like the intent behind the ability. Call this one of those corner areas where PF rules don't strictly adhere to how the same real-world scenario would play out and make a judgment call.

The point of the trait is for the Grippli to reduce the impact of the fall. Thus, the impact transferred to the target should, likewise, be reduced.


It's the difference between throwing a piece of 8x10 off a roof (feather fall) and throwing a paper airplane off a roof (grippli glider). The paper airplane impacts with more force than the unfolded sheet.


Ridiculon wrote:
It's the difference between throwing a piece of 8x10 off a roof (feather fall) and throwing a paper airplane off a roof (grippli glider). The paper airplane impacts with more force than the unfolded sheet.

The problem with your analogy is that paper airplanes usually get some extra force behind them (someone throws it).

If you removed all air resistance and effects of air the air plane and the flat sheet of paper would fall at the same speed (as would a balled up piece of paper).

When you introduce air, the ball is the least affected by air resistance and doesn't generate lift so it falls the fastest (and would impart the most energy to something it hit).

The flat piece of paper and the glider are both going to fall more slowly, and even if your argument is that in Pathfinder because of the rules you will fall to the ground in one round...ultimately none of that matters. Glider says you treat the damage as though you fell half the distance, that means you also treat the damage you deal through branch pounce as though you fell half the distance.


Ultiamtely, the feat just needs to be edited for clarification and say:
"The target takes an extra amount of damage equal to the fall damage you take" because that seems like the intention to me.

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Ridiculon wrote:
Your body is still a ballistic missile in this case, only now you have some horizontal momentum. In point of fact you will still be hitting the target with full force, but now it will be angled diagonally instead of vertically. Again this is just an issue with how they spelled out gliding within pathfinder.

I think that in this case, you would not benefit from treating the distance fallen as half the usual distance. You can either apply the full force of the fall to your target, or you don't.


Claxon wrote:

Ultiamtely, the feat just needs to be edited for clarification and say:

"The target takes an extra amount of damage equal to the fall damage you take" because that seems like the intention to me.

I've agreed with the majority of the posts denying feather fall and glider (though this one is trickier) the bonus damage, but I would like to point our that the intention of the feat isn't to deal equal damage to you and the opposition as the feat clearly states that the jumper takes less damage than the target. The jumper can take up to 2d6 less with the first d6 of remaining damage being non-lethal with successful acrobatics. The target will take the full fall damage.

Example: Jumper pounces from 30ft above and makes a successful acrobatics and takes 1d6 non-lethal with successful attack (-1d6 from feat, -1d6 from acrobatics, first d6 of damage becomes non-lethal).
Meanwhile, the target takes the weapon damage +3d6 (damage equal to the appropriate falling damage of 30ft).


You're right Link 2000, I was just making a very short off the cuff post that wasn't meant to represent what I thought the rule should be verbatim.

It would have to be written more along the lines of "the target takes extra damage equal to the amount of fall damage you take, however you may reduce the damage in *insert way 1* and *insert way 2* but the target still takes the otherwise full damage you would have taken."


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Ridiculon wrote:
It's the difference between throwing a piece of 8x10 off a roof (feather fall) and throwing a paper airplane off a roof (grippli glider). The paper airplane impacts with more force than the unfolded sheet.

Right. But we're comparing dropping a wadded up paper to a paper airplane, not an unfolded sheet. Nobody is saying the Glider will do no damage; they're saying it'll do less.

And I was just commenting on you saying the rates of fall are the same even with the trait. Yes, technically true. But clearly it's not the intent for the Glider to hit with the same force. Because, as I mentioned, if we draw out your real-world analogy, the Glider should be hitting harder because not only is the Glider falling at the same rate, but traveling horizontally, too. Higher rate of speed, more momentum. More momentum means bigger impact with the target. Obviously, nobody is arguing for that. So clearly we shouldn't be pedantic with our physics application in this particular instance. If you're gliding, you shouldn't do as much damage as if you were not, despite the fact that you're technically falling at the same rate (and actually traveling faster).


I think the big issue I'm coming with is that in this game, a lot of real world physics is largely ignored as is. And now we are trying to apply real world physics to the effect of a feat. Although I find it difficult to imagine a feather falling guy to "slam" into a target below for extra damage, there is also no wording to say that it doesn't happen.

Same with glider, which by pure gaming terms would still keep the same momentum even as you are still falling the 500ft/round just not as much downward.

What I would say is that if this is for a home game, run it by the GM and see his/her feelings. Otherwise I think the cat boots will be the best bet to not raise too many problems and to expect table variance.


Believe me fretgod99, if there were any case to be made for "horizontal falling damage" i'd be arguing for the grippli glider to do more damage lol. This thread is just conjecture, I probably would not base a character around 60ft+ surprise round sneak attack bombing strikes later evolving into the dimensional savant slayer...

Also Link2000, you are correct. By RAW these things don't affect each other one way or another. I would be using that line of argument except that when i showed the combos i was looking at to my other most raw-minded friend his first reaction was "well the feather fall combo will obviously do less damage" so i didn't even want to start that argument here (lol).


I think this is what you're looking for:

Superhero Landing:
Perfect Fall (Ex): As long as there is a wall or another surface within arm's reach, the vigilante never takes falling damage. Even if no surface is available, he takes only half damage from falling and lands on his feet.

So if you're by a wall then I suppose you do no extra damage. However, if you're not then I'd say you'd add the full damage bonus of the feat. Why you're taking half damage in this case is not explained. I would say because you're awesome and you crack the pavement and get up from the superhero landing position like a badass and everyone thinks you're Sargent McFacepuncher and may or may not have theme music playing.

On a serious note without the wall it doesn't look like you're being slowed down just that you know how to land properly...and look cool while doing it.

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