Dragonfly Style, Branch Pounce, and charging- oh my!


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

Branch Pounce

Dragonfly Flight

If I have a movement speed of 50' and make an acrobatics check and vertical leap 100' and have the ability to cover that distance despite my movement speed because of a magical effect, what happens?

More specifically: how far can I charge, how much falling damage do I apply, how much falling damage do I take, and am I still falling while gliding/is gliding counted as falling or are they separate things I am doing?

Other questions related to this use a lot of conjecture and the sample feat for those arguments is Rhino Charge which might be a little more cut and dry but still poses some of the same questions listed above.


If you're using dragonfly flight then you use glide, which acts as feather fall, which means you take no falling damage. You fall at 60'/round which you can't change. If you're falling 100' it'll take two rounds.

If you are also using branch pounce then the damage appropriate to your fall is zero, and that's what you and your target take.

Dark Archive

avr wrote:

If you're using dragonfly flight then you use glide, which acts as feather fall, which means you take no falling damage. You fall at 60'/round which you can't change. If you're falling 100' it'll take two rounds.

If you are also using branch pounce then the damage appropriate to your fall is zero, and that's what you and your target take.

Glide doesn’t say it acts like feather fall at all. It only states that you take no damage from falls- like feather fall. You can move 5’ for every 1 foot you descend during a fall at any point or points during that fall. If you use it at all and fall for than 12’ you will always cover more than 60’ in a round. Glide isn’t feather fall. It just uses the no damage mechanics of feather fall.

Glide

And here is the relevant text.

Glide wrote:
You take no damage from falls (as if from feather fall).

.

That is the very first sentence of the spell. There is never another mention of feather fall in the spells description. Feather Fall’s description states several effects but ‘also’ that you take no damage from falls. That distinction is important because there are multiple ways to fall a distance of any amount of fear (including 0 or unlisted amounts of feet) and take damage from falling. Feather fall stops that damage from happening. Glide emulates this ability but nothing else from feather fall (because it doesn’t say that it does).

Branch Pounce only states that you deal damage appropriate to your fall, not damage equal to how much you took from your fall. I think that is a very important distinction to make. My understanding is that the damage appropriate for a 100’ fall is 10d6. If I have damage reduction 60 and take 0, I don’t think it makes any sort of sense (raw or rai) that I am adding 0 damage from the feat. Similarly, if I am reducing my damage taken with boots of the cat or a magic rod that allows me to ignore or reduce damage from falls, my target doesn’t have those same magical effects or a countereffect so why isn’t he taking the full falls damage? Sure, in referencing feather fall specifically, I would argue you deal no damage because it states that you fall slowly. This is reasonable. But if I am falling at the full 500’ per round and manage to superhero land on a targets face but through exception skill (acrobatics check as listed in the feats own description), magical techniques, or some extraordinary ability my opponent now doesn’t take all the impact? I’m not sure I agree entirely and think that the nature of the damage reduction in question would have to explicitly give a good reason for imparting your benefits to the enemy target (feather fall makes sense).

But if I am missing something then please point it out.


Glide also says you fall at a speed of 60' per round. This is separate to the mention of feather fall, but it happens to be the exact speed at which you fall under the effect of feather fall. Not a coincidence IMO, but the speed is the important part.

Branch pounce quotes the falling damage as a reminder, as many rules in PF do. It doesn't override other effects which reduce falling damage.

Thematically, you're trying to fall at two different speeds simultaneously. I don't see how you think this can work.

Dark Archive

Glide wrote:
In addition, you can move up to 5 feet in any horizontal direction for every 1 foot you fall, at a speed of 60 feet per round.

I'm not seeing how I am now only falling 60' a round. Based on this information I am still falling at 500' per round and if I desire, can add up to an additional 60' (horizontal movement) to it if I so choose (which gives me a potential total of 560' I could fall in a round, not just sixty). The quote above is the only reference to the 60' movement speed. My initial query states I have leaped 100 vertical feet. If my understanding is correct I will fall 100' + up to 60' in horizontal direction (and I am fairly certain that gliding is just a controlled fall and so still counts for all normal fall related purposes that are applicable).


Ah, I see your mistake now. You're reading the quoted part as applying a speed limit of 60'/round to the horizontal movement (which implies a falling speed of 12' per round!) rather than to the falling speed.

Edit: if you are falling at 500'/round, then the bit in glide about catching updrafts is meaningless. Dark Immortal, you're clearly wrong here. Your reading creates at least two inconsistencies in the spell glide.

Liberty's Edge

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I use a jetpack and a chainsaw that I found in a volcano to cruise at 200' up, then branch pounce-charge down on targets.

Yes, the impacts hurt me too, but Boots of the Cat and Mushroom Vest minimize it.

Dark Archive

Ok, I read it again and see what you are talking about. So again, is gliding falling? As I said before I think it is but want to get my rules understanding down pat for this. If I fall 20 feet I can now glide 20x5 feet in any number of directions. That’s 100’+20’. Am I falling 120’ or just 20’?

Sovereign Court

Its important to note that Glide up to 60'. I am not sure how I feel about the diagonals, but I would probably just ignore it if I was GMing. So the way I rule it is that you could decide to glide 0' horizontal and just go 60' down(with no falling damage of course). Or 60' horizontal and 12' down(choosing the most horizontal option). Or 60' horizontal and 60' down. No more than 60' in any direction.
Also Glide is a Dismissable spell, meaning you would have to take a standard action to turn it off and per Dragonfly Flight it lasts until the start of your next turn. So you would not be able to Glide for the full 60', then choose to fall afterwards.


Dark Immortal wrote:
Ok, I read it again and see what you are talking about. So again, is gliding falling? As I said before I think it is but want to get my rules understanding down pat for this. If I fall 20 feet I can now glide 20x5 feet in any number of directions. That’s 100’+20’. Am I falling 120’ or just 20’?

You're falling 20' and (related but separate) moving 100' laterally in that scenario. You take no damage from falling that 20', and IMO that means branch pounce has nothing to work with.

Interestingly if you fall 60' every round that's a slightly lower velocity than that at the end of a 10' fall.

Dark Archive

Ok, so let’s say that this is all true to system design and the more interesting and fun option is also the option that doesn’t work at all.

On Feather Fall: my normal sensibilities want to agree that you are falling slow enough not to deal damage to a target however the scientist in me can’t help but argue. An object of any significant mass falling at 10’ per second (the equivalent of feather fall) can hurt. In fact, the spell states that it’s slowing the fall to a much shorter equivalent than the standard accelerated fall. People still sprain things, break things, and occasionally die from falls on standing ground moving at normal short-range velocity. Feather falls clause about preventing falling damage isn’t a byproduct of falling slower. It’s an added feature because a fall of that speed from half of what it takes to cause damage actually does cause damage in real life. While this isn’t a real life simulator, I think the point stands more clearly about what the spell is doing with that in mind.

This leads me to one thing I can’t agree on, however, is that by not taking or by somehow reducing the falling damage you receive, you also transfer the magic, special ability, or feats benefits to your opponent.

Branch Pounce states that you deal damage appropriate to your fall and then it explicitly references what amount is appropriate- 1d6 for every 10 feet that you fall. It definitely does not say nor give examples pertaining to how much damage your character takes regarding this. Your arguments that support this effectively are making these sorts of statements as a result:

I have fallen 20’ and take 2d6 falling damage. I would normally add that falling damage to my enemy but I have worked impossibly hard to achieve DR15 and so now my opponent has that same DR (specific to falling damage) because I am somehow transferring it to him.

I have fallen 20’ and will deal an additional 2d6 falling damage to my opponent except for the fact that I have a magic item that says if I make a DC 20 acrobatics check, that I ignore the first 30’ of damage from a fall. So now he also has the partial benefits of said magic item and will ignore the first 30’ of falling damage I will deal to him...for some reason.

The feat references a chart, effectively. What is appropriate for a fall from 100 feet high? 10d6. Can you modify those results with shenanigans? Yes. But since they don’t change what is appropriate for your fall (see chart) then Branch Pounce shouldn’t be affected. Now what is appropriate for your fall can change if gravity changes but the fact that you can be immune to the damage, prevent the damage, or reduce the damage has no bearing on the opponents ability to do the same. Branch Pounce even gives means to reduce the damage from the fall without implying or stating that it reduces the damage your target receives- in fact it implies otherwise based on how it is presented.

Dark Archive

@Firebug I don’t think there are any diagonal motions to be made. You simple fall a given distance and are then permitted a lateral five foot square you can move.

Right now I am assuming this series of events:

I’m a monk with 60’ of movement speed.
I take half damage from falls.
I cover twice the distance on acrobatics checks to jump.
My unarmed strikes deal 2d6 damage.

I use a move action to leap 100’ into the sky and ready an action to charge at the apex of my jump with Rhino Charge. My opponent is now 100’ below me.

What happens?

Sovereign Court

Well, you didn't mention High Jump (Monk 5), which is very important for this conversation (level to acrobatics checks and always count as running for jumps). You mention covering twice the distance on jump checks, so I am going to assume that applies to high jumps(or that is actually just a summary of what high jump does).

So, first question, did you make the DC 400 Acrobatics Check? Base DC 4 * height(100') * 0.5 (covering twice distance effect) * 2 (no running start)

If not, start over with a reasonable number. If you do always count as having a running start(and the twice distance is a different effect), that means you have a mere Acrobatics DC of 200.

Presumably you passed the Acrobatics check, so now you are 100' in the air and have no valid targets to charge with your readied action. Since you readied to charge 'at the apex of your charge', your movement speed is 60' and the target is 100' below you and Rhino charge specifies that you can only move up to your speed. So you start falling and miss your readied action trigger. A better readied action trigger would be 'as soon as I fall into range to charge'. This would avoid the trigger happening instantly on the way up since you aren't falling yet. Or just high jump 60'.

Ok, now you used the correct readied action trigger, and are now 60' above your target, its arguable that you are simply falling at this point and not "jumping down" so Branch Pounce would be arguable. I am going to float you the assumption that you can use it. However, I am also siding with avr on if you reduce damage from falling you reduce the damage you deal with Branch Pounce.
So you Branch Pounce from 60' with 1/2 damage from falling. You deal deal 2d6(unarmed, average 7) on a hit plus 6d6/2(branch pounce, average 10.5) and you take 4d6/2(initial 60' fall reduced to 50' from branch pounce reduced to 40' from acrobatics, average 7) damage. If the GM rules that the damage from Branch Pounce is not reduced, then an average of 21 damage gained. If you gain full damage its like comparing a Vital Strike to having Vital Strike with double Vicious. Oh, and you always fall prone with Branch Pounce unless I am missing something that says you don't because you take damage from a fall.

TLDR: DC to high jump 100' is almost impossible, wrong readied action, Rhino Charge of only 60', questionable use of branch pounce since you are falling not jumping down. Result: arguably worse than Vital Strike since you hurt yourself an average of 7 to deal an extra d6(or 4d6) over Vital Strike. And you are prone.


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Firebug wrote:
TLDR: DC to high jump 100' is almost impossible

I see your DC, and raise you Wind Leaper and an Akitonian Blade.


Dark Immortal wrote:
Ok, I read it again and see what you are talking about. So again, is gliding falling? As I said before I think it is but want to get my rules understanding down pat for this. If I fall 20 feet I can now glide 20x5 feet in any number of directions. That’s 100’+20’. Am I falling 120’ or just 20’?

Each round you fall up to 60'. For ever 1' you fall, you can move 5' horizontally. So if you fell 60' you could move 300'. As long as you are under glide you can't choose to fall more than 60'. The spell very specifically limits how far you can fall each round.

Glide also says you take no damage from falls (as if from Feather Fall). That means if you have additional questions, you refer to Feather Fall. If you think Feather Fall doesn't work with Branch Pounce, then Glide won't either.

And if this was my game, it wouldn't work because Branch Pounce says "you also deal the amount of falling damage appropriate to your fall to the target" and I don't find it appropriate for a gliding feather like person that can be blown around by wind like a leaf to do fall damage to things he lands on. Glide makes you susceptible to wind currents. You're literally a feather on the wind.

While Branch Pounce might not add damage to your Dragonflight Flight, that is one crazy long range charge. If you jump 60' up, that means you cover 60' horizontal as well. Then add another 300' from the glide effect.

Or you could jump 100', get stuck 40' in the air till the next round when your glide-effect disappears and do an uncontrolled fall at the beginning of your round. I don't think that is what you really want.

Sovereign Court

willuwontu wrote:
Firebug wrote:
TLDR: DC to high jump 100' is almost impossible
I see your DC, and raise you Wind Leaper and an Akitonian Blade.

Did you miss the 'almost'?

Good finds, but taking the swift is an issue for some of the options discussed above. In addition to requiring another skill to max out and limiting the number of effective rounds to your level.


Firebug wrote:

Did you miss the 'almost'?

Good finds, but taking the swift is an issue for some of the options discussed above. In addition to requiring another skill to max out and limiting the number of effective rounds to your level.

Nah I saw, I figured I'd add the things I brought up into the convo somehow, in case the OP hadn't come across them at all (and for future people who search). But yeah, there's issues with those things somewhat , just more options.

Dark Archive

I was being fairly general since the specifics can vary. It is entirely possible for a character to high jump 100’ or more and the character in question certainly can. So I just left the assumption that we have made an arbitrary dc and are successfully at whatever height is specified and now attempting to use this feat which requires investment. My method involves wind leaper but doesn’t use an Akitonian blade, preferring other measures.

I think that what is appropriate for an event and what actually happens as the result of an event are two entirely different things. As I stated before (and as the feat references) the damage appropriate for a 10’ fall is 1d6. The damage appropriate for a 20’ fall is 2d6, and so on.

I don’t think we have anything to argue about on that (I hope). Now, if I fall I am normally going to take the damage appropriate for the fall but there are ways to offset this. Why do those ways reduce the damage I deal? The feat makes it clear that I deal damage appropriate to the fall, not the actual damage I received. If I have an effect that says to convert every d6 of falling damage I would receive into a fortitude save dc 10+the result of the d6 damage or take 1 con drain, that doesn’t change how much my opponent takes from the feat or the amount of damage that’s appropriate for my fall (which is always the same unless dealing with different levels of gravity or similar effects). I’m no longer taking falling damage but that doesn’t mean that the damage appropriate for the fall has changed. Another way is an object specific immune to falling damage still deals damage appropriate for its fall and size to targets underneath it. I’ve given other examples in earlier posts to show myriad ways to reduce or ignore falling damage and how it makes no sense that they all shut this feat down. Dr10/magic shouldn’t stop this feat from working 80% of the time or whatever it amounts to. And neither should an ability specifically designed to reduce or prevent damage from falling.

You might be right about ending up prone after using the feat. I’m not 100% sure on movement speed and falling in this situation. The parameters of the fall are set on descent and while charging typically is limited by your movement it does seem parodoxical that now you are moving at the distance of fall but can only count an arbitrary point of your plummet as the charge. I’m on the fence there. Someone had said that your movement in this case is equal to that of the distance you fall. You aren’t using standard listed movement either way because falling isn’t normally a type of movement (unless it’s in a rule somewhere). Does anyone know?


DR amount x/type y won't reduce the damage from branch pounce because it doesn't reduce your falling speed. Feather fall - and glide - do reduce your falling speed, and that is how they negate falling damage.


Dark Immortal wrote:


I think that what is appropriate for an event and what actually happens as the result of an event are two entirely different things. As I stated before (and as the feat references) the damage appropriate for a 10’ fall is 1d6. The damage appropriate for a 20’ fall is 2d6, and so on.

I don’t think we have anything to argue about on that (I hope). Now, if I fall I am normally going to take the damage appropriate for the fall but there are ways to offset this. Why do those ways reduce the damage I deal? The feat makes it clear that I deal damage appropriate to the fall, not the actual damage I received. If I have an effect that says to convert every d6 of falling damage I would receive into a fortitude save dc 10+the result of the d6 damage or take 1 con drain, that doesn’t change how much my opponent takes from the feat or the amount of damage that’s appropriate for my fall (which is always the same unless dealing with different levels of gravity or similar effects). I’m no longer taking falling damage but that doesn’t mean that the damage appropriate for the fall has changed. Another way is an object specific immune to falling damage still deals damage appropriate for its fall and size to targets underneath it. I’ve given other examples in earlier posts to show myriad ways to reduce or ignore falling damage and how it makes no sense that they all shut this feat down. Dr10/magic shouldn’t stop this feat from working 80% of the time or whatever it amounts to. And neither should an ability specifically designed to reduce or prevent damage from falling.

First thing to say: show me anywhere that Damage Reduction works on fall damage. As far as I know, Damage Reduction only applies to damage done by weapons, attacks and spells that do weapon type damage.

The second thing to say is appropriate isn't just a set rule of falling a certain distance means a certain amount of damage. Appropriate means you have to make a judgement call. If you look in the environmental rules you'll find there are modifying circumstances to fall damage. And by using a feather fall like ability you've taken yourself from a lump of meat that falls 500'/round to a feather like being that falls 60'/round and depending on environmental conditions you could end up being blown away, or even up. You're falling at slighly faster than 1/10 the normal rate. Shouldn't you do 1/10 the damage? This obviously shouldn't be an answer based on logic, but rather what feels right.

And adding an additional 6d6 to your Monk's charge that can cover 360' in a round with no repercussions to you doesn't feel right at all. Maybe your GM will disagree, but I think most experienced GMs would want Branch Pounce to work the way its described: you use your fall damage to hurt someone else more. If you take no fall damage, shouldn't your opponent take none too? Because if you fail to hit with Branch Pounce you take all of the damage. Which in this case is zero. So if you succeed your opponent should take the whole zero damage.

A GM's call is about being fair. And that sounds fair.


The whole issue is pretty much moot anyway, because Branch Pounce says "When charging a target by jumping down from above (such as when jumping out of a tree), you can soften your fall with a melee attack." If you fall back to earth after a high jump, you aren't jumping down. If you aren't adjacent to some surface to push off from, no matter how high you jump or what you do afterwards, you aren't 'jumping down', you are jumping up and falling (or gliding) down.

Of course, gliding down is not jumping down, so if you use Dragonfly Flight, you can't use Branch Pounce no matter the terrain.

Dark Archive

I disagree with almost everything said in every post above. I disagree from a rules point, an opinion point, and a sensibilities point.

A few statements were made that I can see both sides on but the consensus here appears that there is only one side and that just isn't true. Exactly one response educated me and got me to view something differently due to poor wording of an ability. So I saw the messiness of rules interpretations that would stem from it if I attempted to use it at a table and wisely moved on. So thanks to avr for labeling that landmine.

However, after seeing the replies here I realized that I needed to pull resources from another group since I have not felt that enough of the answers here used the rules or good enough reasoning to support their statements (although some did, just not enough). So I have independently been in communication with a venture captain or two, and several PFS GM's and received their feedback. So this issue is closed as far as I am concerned but I will post the results and reasoning for posterity.

But first I have to clarify the above post because it's been driving me crazy all week.

Above a statement was made about having to jump down from above with the feat and that falling back down after making a high jump disqualifies you from jumping down onto someone.

(I meant no ill will if this sounds condescending. I can't convey my tone over text so this preamble will have to suffice. Rules arguments can sound pretty rude, otherwise).

I'm sorry but what was said isn't right for several reasons: rules, science, and reality.

Quick reply:
Science: Any jumping action requires you to propel off of a surface and follow a ballistic trajectory meaning that your trajectory requires you to fall in order to jump and any point in that trajectory is considered a jump, completed trajectory or not.

Reality: Every single time you have ever seen something jump it leaves the surface of what it is jumping from, travels through the air or water, and lands on something else. If a creature leaped from one wall to another you wouldn't say it didn't jump. If a creature leaped from the floor to the ceiling you wouldn't say it didn't jump. If a creature leaped from one side of a wall to another you wouldn't say that it didn't jump and the kind of jump the creature did (up or down) is entirely dependent on the trajectory and where it ended the action. Ascension is jumping up and the descent is jumping down. Leaping over a rock and down into a hole is still considered jumping down into a hole...but also jumping up over a rock. Jumping out of a tree without jumping up requires you to jump laterally and use some effect like spider climb or restricts you to falling only. You're then arguing that the feat simply doesn't work at all or only works if you have an ever narrowing set of conditions present (spider climb, are on a solid high surface, etc).

Rules:
The rules reference jumping and falling together. You can miss a jump and reduce the falling damage with acrobatics checks. The DC of a jump is based on horizontal or vertical distance covered and not the descent (except in the case of horizontal jumps since that is factored in to covering greater distances already but is not necessary with vertical jumps because coming down requires no effort and has no dc). It references missing a jump and falling in regards to not reaching a designated point of trajectory. It's not suggesting that the descent of a 10' high jump is not part of the jump.

Here is what was determined by my 'second opinion':

#1:
1.) You can high jump from the ground onto a target and activate Branch Jumper just fine but getting enough height to make it work is problematic.

#2:
2.) You pretty much need Rhino Charge to do this leaping attack. Glide can work but you should expect table variation on 2-3 points of Glide if you do.

#3:
3.) Reducing damage from a fall doesn't necessarily reduce the damage from Branch Pounce. First it's logically inconsistent with too many mechanisms that exist that can offset, delay, reduce, or otherwise prevent or modify damage. Second, the feat does not call out the damage that you take and only the damage that is appropriate under a given condition: falling. Therefor, circumstances that modify appropriate falling damage (increased gravity, decreased gravity, etc) would apply but not things that reduce or increase the damage you receive. This is also logically consistent with common sense application. For example, if a spell increased the damage dice by 1 step when you fell, that is now what is appropriate for your fall. If a spell reduced how much damage you take from falls, or an ability allows you to ignore a certain distance of your fall, that doesn't change the amount of damage that is appropriate for your fall. If a spell increases or decreases the number of dice of damage you take from falling a given distance, that will translate into how much you can deal with this feat ie 2d6 per 10 feet. If you and a target were under the effects of water walk and fighting on a lake surface, the reduced damage from falling onto a lake is irrelevant when using this feat and wouldn't make sense because it's not what is appropriate for your fall even if you will hit the water and take less damage. Besides using Glide, this was the most contentious issue but it was repeatedly proven that reading it the other way causes for situations that simply do not make any sense at all or which shouldn't be able to happen.

#4:
4.) The appropriate damage for a fall is 1d6 for 10', 2d6 for 20' and so on, as referenced by the feat and also by the environment rules. At this point, there isn't any ambiguity, although initially there was.

#5:
5.) Certain spells or effects that modify falling damage may require judgement calls to determine how they interact with this feat based on whether or not it is clear on what they are interacting on. The general consensus is that it's case by case (We're looking at you Staggering Fall- which by the way doesn't modify what is appropriate for your fall, only the damage you actually take as a result of it but other things may interact differently).

#6:
6.) Glide isn't Feather Fall. At all. Depending on how you read it they can be similar. But no matter how similar they are, they're different spells, they function differently, they can't even be deployed in the same manner and their functionality is different. Glide is better in some ways and worse in others. Glide's reference to Feather Fall does not make it actually the Feather Fall spell or function as Feather Fall outside of the scope of that reference unless specified further in the spell itself. Since there is room for interpretation of the Glide spell to have features similar to Feather Fall, you can consider the two spells to have some similarities. That's it. They are not similar enough to be considered the same (they simply do very different things- but some of those things are the same).

#7:
7.) The jury is out on the charging distance. I got that it was 'rules nebulous', and 'can we go back to Glide, that was easier' and falling is movement but not a move action. James Jacobs has clarified that the act of falling is not an action at all. Some argued that Rhino Charge won't let you charge more than your speed and others argued that your speed is currently the distance you are falling since it's movement down and it provokes just like normal movement. There was the logical element of falling 100' and suddenly charging when in range despite nothing limiting that range. The safest answer is to be a catfolk and have sprint, or only cover your land speed but the best I've got is 'expect table variation'. I'd imagine that most GM's would let you go all out with it since the investment is rather high (minimum of 5 feats just to get started, and a lot of money and specific choices and opportunity costs on top of that). But again, no definitive answer. My personal opinion is that you ARE moving when you fall and that falling supplants your speed at any point where you fall in a round. But my opinion on this is not the only way to interpret the rules (which aren't clear on this matter). To this end, any of the above comments on this specific matter are just as likely to be the correct way to interpret this.

In short, the whole thing works UNLESS you are using Glide, or trying to figure out how far you can charge if charging more than your characters listed speed when you charge while falling. Once you apply either of those two things you can expect variation.

All of this is me paraphrasing, although some is more or less straight copy from the sources. Now people can see both sides of the arguments, where we all stand on them, and the outside opinion of a third party group.

PS. @Meirril Pointing out that DR doesn't apply to falling damage as a means to support your point while conveniently leaving out the list of other things that do apply to falling damage and not resolving them wasn't a fair way to make said point. The intent behind listing DR was clear- to demonstrate multiple ways that damage could not happen to a character and to illustrate why it was absurd to then grant that power to the target of your attack and how the reasoning behind such statements was inherently flawed. If I took all the interpretations from others and applied them as truth, a player would have to climb 30' onto a roof or into a tree, hang upside down while spider climbing to ambush the enemy by jumping down on a charge, and if he makes his acrobatics checks using those rules and the feat to reduce the damage he takes from the fall, he'll deal 1d6 non-lethal damage to himself and fall prone and to his enemy will deal weapon damage + 1d6 nonlethal. He'll have invested 5 feats, skill ranks, magic items and/or spells and prep time to make this happen but if he finds a way to prevent the nonlethal damage to himself, he'll only deal his weapon damage to his opponent- at which point he could have simply charged as normal, invested 0 feats, 0 skills, 0 prep time, 0 gold, 0 spells and/or gear (assuming it's an ambush skill only). This is part of why I find the arguments above absurd. I am not sure I could intentionally build a series of feats that work together and make them function to such a negative effect. And to my knowledge, all of the 'prone shooter' feats have been addressed.


Dark Immortal wrote:
And to my knowledge, all of the 'prone shooter' feats have been addressed.

Hmmm, Monkey Lunge still exists.


Dark Immortal wrote:
PS. @Meirril Pointing out that DR doesn't apply to falling damage as a means to support your point while conveniently leaving out the list of other things that do apply to falling damage and not resolving them wasn't a fair way to make said point. The intent behind listing DR was clear- to demonstrate multiple ways that damage could not happen to a character and to illustrate why it was absurd to then grant that power to the target of your attack and how the reasoning behind such statements was inherently flawed. If I took all the interpretations from others and applied them as truth, a player would have to climb 30' onto a roof or into a tree, hang upside down while spider climbing to ambush the enemy by jumping down on a charge, and if he makes his acrobatics checks using those rules and the feat to reduce the damage he takes from the fall, he'll deal 1d6 non-lethal damage to himself and fall prone and to his enemy will deal weapon damage + 1d6 nonlethal. He'll have invested 5 feats, skill ranks, magic items and/or spells and prep time to make this happen but if he finds a way to prevent the nonlethal damage to himself, he'll only deal his weapon damage to his opponent- at which point he could have simply charged as normal, invested 0 feats, 0 skills, 0 prep time, 0 gold, 0 spells and/or gear (assuming it's an ambush skill only). This is part of why I find the arguments above absurd. I am not sure I could intentionally build a series of feats that work together and make them function to such a negative effect. And to my knowledge, all of the 'prone shooter' feats have been addressed.

You've pointed out DR, feather fall and glide which you insist doesn't work like feather fall despite what the spell description says. And now you have some theoretical effect that I've never seen before.

As I pointed out, DR doesn't work that way. Apparently you aren't quite as familiar with the falling rules as you should be considering they are central to the topic you are making arguments about.

I'm also going to point out that you came in here with your mind made up. You presented your question and then immediately proceeded to challenge every answer given. Considering how you want to mix rules, science and ambiguities in the rules to defend your position I'm going to say you have a bias, and a vested interest beyond finding a best answer. You should think about that a bit.

If I've missed something, please feel free to point it out. Don't throw up another vague answer that introduces some new pseudo-counter example like you just did. Do include things that actually exist in publication.


Dark Immortal wrote:
You're then arguing that the feat (...) only works if you have an ever narrowing set of conditions present (spider climb, are on a solid high surface, etc).

Yes! Exactly this! It's called Branch Pounce because you pounce down from your starting point on a branch or the like. It's not called "jump attack". This feat is for the narrow and in play uncommon situation that you're starting your turn at a point above the enemy.

You act like the "jumping " part of the Branch Pounce description can only refer to the Acrobatics rules, but at that you are wrong. Because there is another section of the rules talking about jumping, and that's the falling rules (CRB pg. 443). The rules for falling have this as the third sentence: "If a character deliberately jumps instead of merely slipping or falling, the damage is the same but the first 1d6 is nonlethal damage." This is what the feat refers to. Not the "going down" part of a jump, but to deliberately make yourself fall in a controlled way.

You don't use the jump part of the Acrobatics rules, because those say "The base DC to make a jump is equal to the distance to be crossed (if horizontal) or four times the height to be reached (if vertical)." (CRB pg 88) The use of "height" means that a vertical jump is always up, not down. The Acrobatics rules thus apply jump only to up and across, which means we use the falling rules for down, as referred to by the Acrobatics rules.

To be absolutely clear, and to counter your appeal to ridicule, if the target point is higher, you're jumping up if the target point is on the same level, you're jumping across, and if the target point is lower, you're jumping down. You don't need to hung upside down to jump down, but you do need to have the movement go mostly downward.

Oh, and not a single one of your alleged outside sources (that we can't prove and thus aren't relevant) talk about the actual issue I brought up.

Sovereign Court

Dark Immortal wrote:
I disagree with almost everything said in every post above. I disagree from a rules point, an opinion point, and a sensibilities point.

Too bad the only point that matters is the rules point.

Dark Immortal wrote:
So I have independently been in communication with a venture captain or two, and several PFS GM's and received their feedback. So this issue is closed as far as I am concerned but I will post the results and reasoning for posterity.

Appeal to authority argument, congrats you managed to convince some local PFS GMs to houserule things according to your point of view.

Dark Immortal wrote:
Above a statement was made about having to jump down from above with the feat and that falling back down after making a high jump disqualifies you from jumping down onto someone.

Ok, the relevant text that you dispute is the "jumping down from above" part from Branch Pounce.

Dark Immortal wrote:
Science ...

Irrelevant. The definition of 'Ballistic Trajectory is "A ballistic trajectory is the path of an object that is dropped, thrown, served, launched, or shot but has no active propulsion during its actual flight. Consequently, the trajectory is fully determined by a given initial velocity and the effects of gravity and air resistance." Note, that the ballistic object has no control over its own movement.

Dark Immortal wrote:
Reality ...

Irrelevant. Ok, so now you've established the common English definition of "jump" with many examples, and missed that Branch Pounce specifies "down from above" as a qualifier on "jump".

Dark Immortal wrote:
Rules ...

Good, you've established that Falling is what happens if you fail a Jump. That doesn't mean they are the same thing as there are other situations in which you can fall without jumping and vice versa.

Dark Immortal wrote:
1.) You can high jump from the ground onto a target and activate Branch Jumper just fine but getting enough height to make it work is problematic.

Sure you can, if at the start of the jump you are above the target. It seems you are arguing that both the jumper and the target are on the same plane and that you can pick a target mid-jump. Can you pick a charge target mid-charge? The answer is no you cannot. So you must pick your target at the start of the action. So, now that you are charging you must move directly toward the target. However, jumping into the air to get any significant height is not going to be directly at the target. If jumping 'up' at the target is the goal(because the target is initially above you), well that is certainly not the 'down' that Branch Pounce requires.

Dark Immortal wrote:
2.) You pretty much need Rhino Charge to do this leaping attack. Glide can work but you should expect table variation on 2-3 points of Glide if you do.

Rhino Charge lets you ready action a charge. If you take any action (of any type) after readying an action your readied action trigger fails. Specifically "Then, anytime before your next action" clause of Readying an Action. So, you readied with Rhino Charge, then what? You jumped? That's an action, so Readied Action Failed. So you jump first? You would need some way to stay in the air for Rhino Charge to be useful, and its only useful because it allows you to use the partial charge rules.

Dark Immortal wrote:
3.) ...

Appropriate falling damage, I take the text of Branch Pounce as a reminder for what the damage should be, not locking you into those numbers. Its important to note that Branch Pounce says "and you also deal the amount of falling damage appropriate to your fall to the target". Your fall is reduced to zero by Feather Fall/Glide/etc, the appropriate damage is zero.

Dark Immortal wrote:
4.) ...

I read "appropriate" damage as what is actually rolled in that situation. You said this was the most contentious issue and I agree.

Dark Immortal wrote:
5.) ...

Same, appropriate is what is rolled, otherwise it wouldn't be appropriate.

Dark Immortal wrote:
6.) Glide isn't Feather Fall. At all.

Um, correct? The name isn't important, the important bit is that Feather Fall says "and the subjects take no damage upon landing while the spell is in effect. " and Glide says "You take no damage from falls". This comes down to points 3-5 again, appropriate falling damage.

Dark Immortal wrote:
7.) The jury is out on the charging distance. I got that it was 'rules nebulous', and 'can we go back to Glide, that was easier' ... Some argued that Rhino Charge won't let you charge more than your speed

Ok, so you badgered your GMs enough they quit trying to find a rules solution that satified you. Much like this thread. The move speed limitation on Rhino Charge is there as a reminder that when you can only take a Standard Action to charge, you can only move up to your move speed, not double.

Dark Immortal wrote:
He'll have invested 5 feats, skill ranks, magic items and/or spells and prep time...

So? I can invest similar resources into a number of different things, but that doesn't mean it has to be good when using the resources in a manner that they weren't intended. Just jump on top of something as a move action, then Branch Pounce with Rhino Charge (keyed to something like when an ally says "go get them").

In the way I read your example, I have no idea what 5 feats you are talking about. Spider Climb to an appropriately high spot (presumably just to hang on the ceiling, you could have just jumped on top of a building or to the ceiling), and then Branch Pouncing at the target. So you only need 1 feat(that needs a couple skills) and 1 magic item/spell to perform your example. The target takes 3d6 damage, not 1d6 nonlethal. Stating that the target takes 1d6 nonlethal is a complete misunderstanding of Branch Pounce, Acrobatics and the Falling rules. If the jumper has Feather Fall/etc active the appropriate damage is zero. Otherwise, the appropriate damage is 3d6 for a 30' fall. Reduced by 10' for the jumper only from Branch Pounce. If the jumper makes the DC 15 Acrobatics, the jumper can reduce their final damage by another 10' ending up taking 1d6 lethal damage, and finally since it was a deliberate jump down the 1d6 lethal is converted to non-lethal. Since the example didn't use anything contentious from this thread, there shouldn't be any confusion here.

TLDR: I see 2 points of disagreement. "Jumping down from above" of Branch Pounce, and what is the appropriate damage for falling when other rules elements are in play.


Dark Immortal, It sounds like you have already decided the answer to your rules question, so I'm not really sure what the purpose of this thread is.

Dark Archive

@blahpers In the same way that someone has determined a solution to a problem but realizes there could be unknown variables or complications, I posted with one intent being to explore those variables and complications.

Just because I disagreed with certain arguments didn't mean that I wasn't open to different interpretations. Since I recognized that could be the case, I posted here to see what they were. I didn't expect every angle of interpretation to be different. I found that bizarre. I get some rules wrong. I miss some critical elements sometimes. I don't recall ever having been wrong about every rule and every interpretation from a-z. But there is a first time for everything. So I did exactly what firebug said I did, I appealed to authority because a 3rd party with no investment in the issue seemed a reasonable approach at this point. Since the purpose of this thread was to clarify the issue, I thought it best to present the most accurate information I could (even if the 3rd party information had disagreed with me). But believing this would require making assumptions about me based on my time here, experience, rules knowledge, character and presentation. I think we know where people see me regarding those things from just the comments in this specific thread, let alone others over the years.

There were multiple purposes behind this thread, actually and they've all been satisfied. So even though there is distinct disagreement, I think this was a success.

@Meirril
I guess that changing my mind on some rules presented means that my mind was already made up. *shrug* Ok. I'm fine with you holding that belief.

I 100% have a bias. I agree with you. I did mix rules and science and because some things were ambiguous or seemed ambiguous, I referenced them because those are, in fact, the issues. I don't deny any of those things. I decided to post here regardless of my bias because I wanted to clarify the ambiguities.

I knew the moment I typed DR as an example a second time that I had screwed up. I already knew it didn't apply by the rules but that it served to illustrate my point conceptually very well and I didn't feel I would have to go hunt down any of the several specific ways one could not take damage or take less damage. I assumed a level of base knowledge but that was my mistake because this is the paizo rules forum so it was my fault for not taking the extra time to be very explicit on a point, no matter how intuitive it might be. It was also my fault for assuming a knowledge base that would favor any portion of my statements. I should have spent the time and provided multiple links for every example. I was lucky and permitted to reference DR the first time so it's no surprise that doing so again resulted in the rebuttal. That's just how it works here and I knew that.

@willuwontu
Well call me a monkey's uncle....

@firebug
Someone tried to state that glide was the feather fall spell. I addressed that because it's blatantly erroneous data.

I convinced local gm's to house rule to my point of view?
I badgered them...much like this thread?

Then don't believe anything I say. Feel free to block/hide or ignore me and my posts. I know I will be doing the same. I have no credibility here so it's ok. I won't take the time to get annoyed about your false statements about my character and/or actions. I'll just suggest we permanently part ways if you find that I am unscrupulous to such an extent.


Dark Immortal wrote:

@Meirril

I guess that changing my mind on some rules presented means that my mind was already made up. *shrug* Ok. I'm fine with you holding that belief.

I 100% have a bias. I agree with you. I did mix rules and science and because some things were ambiguous or seemed ambiguous, I referenced them because those are, in fact, the issues. I don't deny any of those things. I decided to post here regardless of my bias because I wanted to clarify the ambiguities.

@Dark Immortal

Nobody else that has posted in this thread cares if your trick works or not. Nobody has a reason to make it fail. Quite a few people have looked at it and given an opinion that it doesn't all mesh together the way you propose it to in RAW. I believe it fails in RAI as well. Nobody other than Dark Immortal has stepped forward to defend it. If I did believe that this trick works by RAW I certainly would back you on this.

While Dark Immortal probably doesn't want to concede this, I believe his own vested interest is coloring his judgement.

If anyone else reading this thread does believe the combination of Branch Pounce and Dragonfly Flight (with or without Rhino Charge) lets someone jump upward and use all of the height gained to deliver an additional 1d6 damage per 10' of height to a gliding charge while taking no fall damage to the charger it would be a good time to support that argument. And if there are conditions needed for this, please explain them in your reply.

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