Powerful Leap and High Jump


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why doesn't Powerful Leap get along well with High Jump?

Powerful Leap: When you Leap, you can jump 5 feet up with a vertical Leap, and you increase the distance you can jump horizontally by 5 feet.

High Jump
Critical Success Increase the maximum vertical distance to 8 feet, or increase the maximum vertical distance to 5 feet and maximum horizontal distance to 10 feet.
Success Increase the maximum vertical distance to 5 feet.

You'd think that it would ADD to your jump distance, but because High Jump's success lines say to increase "TO 5 feet," rather than "BY 5 feet," the two don't actually combine at all.

Why on earth not?

Since the advent of 2nd Edition I've seen no less than three players make jumping characters, taking Powerful Leap and Quick Jump. In every instance they were disappointed with the actual results. Where's the synergy gone?


Powerful Leap affects only the "Leap" action. Aka the short "hop" that doesn't require a check / has no chance of failure.

"High Jump" is a different action (AA normally, A with Quick Jump), requires a check and thus has failure / success / crit success gradation.

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You could easily apply your argument to the feat "Feather Step".

-> Why doesn't Feather step allow me to stride farther in difficult terrain?

Feather Step interacts with the "Step" action. It does not interact with the "Stride" action.

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However, "Leap" and "High Jump" / "Long Jump" are certainly similar, related actions. Your argument seems plausible to me; and might even inspire some houserules in the future.


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I'm house-ruling it to work on both, because player's keep reading it from the list of feats and assuming it helps them jump, when it mostly doesn't.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Derrick Winters wrote:

Powerful Leap affects only the "Leap" action. Aka the short "hop" that doesn't require a check / has no chance of failure.

"High Jump" is a different action...

Yes, I know, but High Jump specifically references the Leap action with a capital L.

That would be like saying a +1 bonus to Strikes wouldn't apply to flurry of blows.


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So, the way I read it, there's the unmodified 'Leap basic action', that requires no Athletics check, takes one Action, and allows you to do one of two things: (1)Horizontal 'Leap' - Jump up to 10 feet horizontally if your Speed is at least 15 feet (or up to 15 feet horizontally if your Speed is at least 30 feet), or (2) Vertical 'Leap' - jump up to 3 feet vertically and 5 feet horizontally, onto an elevated surface.

The Powerful Leap feat upgrades your 'Leap basic action', increasing your Vertical 'Leap' to 5 feet vertically and 5 feet horizontally (maybe 10 feet horizontally, depending on how you parse the comma) without requiring a check, or allowing you to jump up to 15 feet horizontally if your Speed is at least 15 feet (or up to 20 feet horizontally if your Speed is at least 30 feet) without requiring a check.

High Jump and Long Jump are Athletic skill checks that reference or modify the 'Leap basic action', dependent on success or failure, and take an additional Action to perform. If you Fail or Critically Fail, you Leap normally (perform the 'Leap basic action'), Leap then fall prone, or fall prone without Leaping; If you Succeed, you increase your maximum vertical jump height to 5 feet/increase your maximum horizontal jump distance to X feet (whatever the successful check result was), and a Critical Success increases this even farther for the High Jump.

It looks like Powerful Leap is mainly a hyper-Assurance/Action-Economy boost for the High Jump skill check, while Quick Jump is an Action-Economy boost for when you *have* to attempt a check to overcome a challenge; A DC 30 Athletics check won't be able to be made with Assurance until level 14 (with Master Athletics, to boot), while a character with Powerful Leap can pull this off at level 2, Expert Athletics, and no check needed!

I can't speak for the developers, but I'm guessing the reason a lot of feats modify things *to* a certain number, rather than *by* a certain number, is to prevent stacking shenanigans; Whether this is a Pro or Con of the system is a matter of opinion.


Ravingdork wrote:
Derrick Winters wrote:

Powerful Leap affects only the "Leap" action. Aka the short "hop" that doesn't require a check / has no chance of failure.

"High Jump" is a different action...

Yes, I know, but High Jump specifically references the Leap action with a capital L.

That would be like saying a +1 bonus to Strikes wouldn't apply to flurry of blows.

Huh. You're right! This is a detail I've obviously missed; in this case, your argument becomes much stronger.


Related disappointing interaction: Quick Jump doesn't help you Sudden Leap.

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