Falling for you shouldn't be so hard! (Fall Damage)


Prerelease Discussion


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I just finished listening to the Glass Cannon Playtest and... was falling damage really something that needed to be fixed?

For reference, falling now does one point of damage per foot, as if the PF2 Playtest.

The GM said they did research and falling usually kills people. Well, getting attacked by a fire-breathing dragon usually kills people. How many people in recent history have survived being bitten by a fire-breathing dragon? Zero.

... realism is overrated anywhere you need to survive fire-breathing dragons.

But more seriously... I'd really rather not have twenty foot pits become save-or-die effects for first level characters. Frankly, pits are the pits as it is. When you're at the bottom of a pit, you can't affect the battle above you, and you're a sitting duck for things like alchemist's bombs. The DCs for climbing out of pits makes you waste time and possibly take more damage falling back in again. Perhaps climbing is more forgiving in PF2. If not, that can really take you out of the fight unless you have a flight effect, and that's if it doesn't kill you outright.

Um... re-reading that paragraph, I'm starting to realize how much my perceptions (as a GM) have been colored by 'Create Pit' being my players' go-to-tactic. Hum.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The Pathfinder design team have a poor understanding of physics, apparently. You don't reach terminal velocity instantly. Given D&D / PF round structure, you would fall approximately 500 feet in the first round and approximately 1000 feet every round thereafter. You shouldn't take damage at all for the first few feet you fall, or kids and couples who playfully wrestle each other out of the couch and bed would have a huge mortality rate.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One point per foot?

Wow, Spiked Pits are campaign enders.


One point of damage per foot is ridiculous. Real world people survive thirty foot falls on a regular basis [typically with broken limbs and/or spinal damage, but they survive quite frequently, at least as often as they don't I would imagine.]


kyrt-ryder wrote:
One point of damage per foot is ridiculous. Real world people survive thirty foot falls on a regular basis [typically with broken limbs and/or spinal damage, but they survive quite frequently, at least as often as they don't I would imagine.]

It sounds like everyone gets more hp. A commoner might have 8 for being human and 12 hp more for being level two. Make a save for half damage and a 30ft fall is survivable


I don't have level 2 commoners. Commoners are commoners because they never evolve beyond their beginnings.

Experts, Warriors qnd Adepts (and the very rare occasional Aristocrat)? Sure, those go up a bit higher, though almost none ever pass level 4


I think they know it doesn't mirror physics at all. I feel like this is an attempt at simplifying fall damage. It seems a bit off mark, though.


I could dig 4 hp per 10 feet. It's a tad higher than the old average but HP is higher.

5 per 10 would also be acceptable.

Paizo Employee Designer

13 people marked this as a favorite.

The damage per foot in the podcast was not done correctly (it should be lower). Logan actually did the math for terminal velocity and we have an extremely high max falling damage based on terminal velocity.


Wait so my character damage is totally random thanks to multiple dice, but falling is insta-kill now?. Man, sometimes i really wonder what are they thinking

Edit-ninjaed by Mark. I mean, you're abstracting and making the game even more superhero, but falling damage is now trying to be realistic? I liked the old falling damage as it eas a very good example why PCs are extraordinary.


I originally had no problem with the new fall damage calculation, but now that you mention it, I think heroes that survive getting smacked by ogres can fall off of a two story house without dying.

EDIT: Okay, that's better. Thanks for clarification, Mark.


FYI OP fall from ten feet is enough to break someones bone thus current math is kinda correct. any decent fall without training is kinda deadly( I fall from first floor window and it hurt like hell and i need 4 weeks of rest with out movement to heal that.) so i am okay with fall damage being deadly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
khadgar567 wrote:
FYI OP fall from ten feet is enough to break someones bone thus current math is kinda correct. any decent fall without training is kinda deadly( I fall from first floor window and it hurt like hell and i need 4 weeks of rest with out movement to heal that.) so i am okay with fall damage being deadly.

Last year we had an incident locally where an adult (a fit one, they were at their clubs rugby Christmas party) died jumping out of a window and falling ten feet to the ground. And at the other end of the scale, people have survived falling from aircraft. Modeling those extremes of chance is hard.


Bluenose wrote:
khadgar567 wrote:
FYI OP fall from ten feet is enough to break someones bone thus current math is kinda correct. any decent fall without training is kinda deadly( I fall from first floor window and it hurt like hell and i need 4 weeks of rest with out movement to heal that.) so i am okay with fall damage being deadly.
Last year we had an incident locally where an adult (a fit one, they were at their clubs rugby Christmas party) died jumping out of a window and falling ten feet to the ground. And at the other end of the scale, people have survived falling from aircraft. Modeling those extremes of chance is hard.

some people are have luck builds going on some are not and i was one of the lucky ones that I only have a broken rib. while some people lost their ability to walk or died. so odds are without training and equipment or at-least friendly mage with reaction feather fall ready injury is kinda guaranteed. and that's what the current system gives us dm can hand wave the dc 5 jumps if he wants but higher than that to deal some damage.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

At my local university a student died one day because he tripped on the sidewalk and hit the ground just wrong. On the other hand, we have confirmed stories of people falling out of airplanes and surviving, at least in various states of injury. That's one thing I've liked about the 1d6/10 foot approach, is it allows for these kinds of extremes to happen. Although rolling a minimal result on 20d6 is probably far less likely than actually surviving a fall from an extreme height; not that many people have really fallen out of planes and we have records of something like 5-10 of them surviving.


ryric wrote:
Although rolling a minimal result on 20d6 is probably far less likely than actually surviving a fall from an extreme height; not that many people have really fallen out of planes and we have records of something like 5-10 of them surviving.

There haven't been enough people alive ever to match that number. 1 in 3,656,158,440,062,976 is the probability of rolling minimum damage (or maximum damage, of course). I rather doubt if enough dice have been rolled for that to occur naturally.


Bluenose: That doesn't really work out. Sure, the probability of rolling that is low, but its still a probability; how often that has happened in nature has no actual effect on the likelihood of it happening.

That said, I'm betting most of those people had "more hp" and extenuating circumstances that affected their save results (crosswinds).


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd just like a rule that you don't take falling damage from you're own jumps.

I mean if my muscles are powerful enough to launch me 30 feet straight up then they should be strong enough to absorb a like amount of force without any damage. Even from falls not part of a jump.

So if I can jump 30 feet up or whatever with my highest die roll. Then I don't need to roll for any fall 30 feet or below. Just no damage. Unless it's higher gravity or unconscious etc.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

5 people marked this as a favorite.

So yeah...

I messed that up in the podcast, having misread the sentence in the rulebook. To be clear here folks, we are not going for super realistic physics here. This is an RPG after all, but it would be nice not to have to have pits in dungeons that are 50 feet deep just to deal reasonable damage to a character (it always messed up dungeon floor plans.. where are those pits going down into the level below).

The rule that is in place does reasonable damage over distance fallen. It does not try to simulate the 1 in a million chance of falling out of airplane and living or dying after falling off a curb.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Everything that remove dices from the game make me die a little inside.

Also, that fixed damage makes everyone die.

I just don't understand why the Power Attack received a random dice damage and the falling damage got it fixed. Why opposity intentions/thoughts in/about those mechanics?

If the intention is to make falling damage more deadly and remove the endless (in depth) pits of the game, why not just increase the damage die to d8 or d10? (Or even d12, or maybe increasing its steps by the trap CR?)

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Falling for you shouldn't be so hard! (Fall Damage) All Messageboards
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion