Cat Fall and Falling Damage?


Rules Discussion


On page 463 of the CRB it says:

Quote:
When you fall more than 5 feet, you take bludgeoning damage equal to half the distance you fell when you land. Treat falls longer than 1,500 feet as though they were 1,500 feet (750 damage). If you take any damage from a fall, you land prone. You fall about 500 feet in the first round of falling and about 1,500 feet each round thereafter.

Also, on page 259 the Cat Fall acrobatics feat says:

Quote:
Your catlike aerial acrobatics allow you to cushion your falls. Treat falls as 10 feet shorter. If you’re an expert in Acrobatics, treat falls as 25 feet shorter. If you’re a master in Acrobatics, treat them as 50 feet shorter. If you’re legendary in Acrobatics, you always land on your feet and don’t take damage, regardless of the distance of the fall.

Suppose my character is trained in Acrobatics and has the Cat Fall skill feat. And suppose they are standing next to a 15' deep pit when an evil member of the party pushes them over the edge. How much damage would my character take in this instance?


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In this example, they would take 0 damage, and land on their feet, as they treat the 15' fall as 10 feet shorter.


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You fell more than 5ft and would take damage, but Cat Fall makes you take less damage. It reduces the amount by 10, because you're only trained. So you take 5/2 damage.

It would only reduce the damage to 0 if you fell 10ft or less (at trained).

Edit: Actually re-reading the feat again I've changed my mind and agree with Beowulf. It say treat it as 10ft shorter.


Yep sorry for deleting the previous message.

My GM was saying that the cat fall would reduce the fall by 10 feat but my character would still take 5/2 rounded up = 3 damage. But it sounds like the consensus so far is no damage in this example.

Thank you! I have to go annoy my GM with this thread now :-D


Wizard of Ahhhs wrote:

Yep sorry for deleting the previous message.

My GM was saying that the cat fall would reduce the fall by 10 feat but my character would still take 5/2 rounded up = 3 damage. But it sounds like the consensus so far is no damage in this example.

I have to go annoy my GM with this thread now :-D

Just make sure they read the bits that say, "When you fall more than 5 feet..." and, "Treat falls as 10 feet shorter."

If you are treating the fall as 10 feet shorter, you don't consider the 10 feet being "ignored" at all for the purposes of Fall Damage.

Edit: Also point out that you always Round Down in PF2.

CRB PG. 444 "Rounding" wrote:

You may need to calculate a fraction of a value, like halving

damage. Always round down unless otherwise specified.
For example, if a spell deals 7 damage and a creature takes
half damage from it, that creature takes 3 damage.

Even if you had taken any damage for falling 5 feet, you'd take 2. This has wider repercussions down the road, so good to get it right up front.

Edit Edit: Claxon Ninja'd me! :)


Even if you did take damage, re-reading the rounding rules you wouldn't take 3 damage, I think.

Quote:
Sometimes you’ll need to halve or double an amount of damage, such as when the outcome of your Strike is a critical hit, or when you succeed at a basic Reflex save against a spell. When this happens, you roll the damage normally, adding all the normal modifiers, bonuses, and penalties. Then you double or halve the amount as appropriate (rounding down if you halved it). The GM might allow you to roll the dice twice and double the modifiers, bonuses, and penalties instead of doubling the entire result, but this usually works best for single-target attacks or spells at low levels when you have a small number of damage dice to roll. Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled.

You round down, so 5/2 rounds down 2 not 3.


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This is where the difference between "treat as" and "treat as for the purposes of [blank]" language matter.

Catfall doesn't say to just figure the damage as if the fall was shorter (like the unbreakabble goblin heritage does), it says to treat the fall as being shorter.

That means a 15 foot fall is treated as a 5 foot fall, rather than calculating damage as is the fall were shorter.

The intent of the feat seems clear to me: to increase the distance from which a character can fall and land - like a cat usually does - on their feet (which necessitates not taking damage).


thenobledrake wrote:

This is where the difference between "treat as" and "treat as for the purposes of [blank]" language matter.

Catfall doesn't say to just figure the damage as if the fall was shorter (like the unbreakabble goblin heritage does), it says to treat the fall as being shorter.

That means a 15 foot fall is treated as a 5 foot fall, rather than calculating damage as is the fall were shorter.

The intent of the feat seems clear to me: to increase the distance from which a character can fall and land - like a cat usually does - on their feet (which necessitates not taking damage).

CRB PG. 48 "Unbreakable Goblin" wrote:

When you fall, reduce the falling

damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance.

Wouldn't this mean that if you fell 10 feet, you would reduce the damage "as though" you had fallen 5, and not take damage?

At least that's how I read it, since you aren't halving the damage, you are halving the distance you use to calculate the damage.

So if you fell 100 feet, instead of taking 50 damage you would instead take 25 since you reduce the damage "as though" you had fallen 50 feet.

I suppose they both usually work out the same, but it would be important for falls of 6 to 10 feet, as one way you would take 0 and the other you would take 1 or 2 and land prone.


The "when you fall more than 5 feet" clause is what causes damage calculation to happen, which is how treating a fall as being shorter can completely skip damage calculation.

The unbreakable text doesn't let you completely skip calculation, but does make that damage calculate out to 0 if you fall the right distance.


thenobledrake wrote:

The "when you fall more than 5 feet" clause is what causes damage calculation to happen, which is how treating a fall as being shorter can completely skip damage calculation.

The unbreakable text doesn't let you completely skip calculation, but does make that damage calculate out to 0 if you fall the right distance.

I second thenobledrake's reading on this one.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Its also important because it effects the order of operations. Got both?

Fall, then reduce the distance based on Cat Fall. Still falling enough to take damage? Go to damage and divide distance by 2 from Unbreakable.


I don't know. It's probably correct RAW-wise, but if this is the RAI I wonder why they didn't say something simpler like "you take half damage" instead of halving the falling distance.


thenobledrake wrote:

This is where the difference between "treat as" and "treat as for the purposes of [blank]" language matter.

Catfall doesn't say to just figure the damage as if the fall was shorter (like the unbreakabble goblin heritage does), it says to treat the fall as being shorter.

That means a 15 foot fall is treated as a 5 foot fall, rather than calculating damage as is the fall were shorter.

The intent of the feat seems clear to me: to increase the distance from which a character can fall and land - like a cat usually does - on their feet (which necessitates not taking damage).

Agree


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A blanket "Treat falls as X feet shorter" statement means it applies to all purposes. This includes calculating how much you actually fell, which applies prior to determining how much damage you take from the fall.

The Unbreakable Goblin heritage means you reducing the existing falling damage as though you fell half as much, it doesn't mean you treat the actual fall as if it were shorter, like Cat Fall does, which means it applies after determining how much damage you take from a fall.

So let's say we have three goblins. One has Cat Fall. One has Unbreakable Goblin. One has both Cat Fall and Unbreakable Goblin. We have a slope of a 15-20 foot pit. The first two are pushed off of at a 15 foot distance, the third from a 20 foot distance.

The first one treats the fall as 10 feet shorter. It is considered to have fallen 5 feet at this point. Not 5 feet 1 inches, not 5 feet 2 centimeters, not 7 feet, 5 feet, full stop. The rules state that you only take fall damage if you fall more than 5 feet. Falling equal to 5 feet, as the example above, means no damage taken, and you stand upright. This is the example you're currently discussing, as well.

The second one still treats the fall as 15 feet, but treats the damage taken as if it fell half the distance, so 7 feet, or 3 damage. Compared to 7 damage at 15 feet, I'd say this goblin came out largely unscathed compared to one that didn't have this Heritage.

The third one treats the fall as 10 feet shorter, per Cat Fall. It is still considered to have fallen 10 feet here, so it will still take half the damage of a 10 foot fall. 5/2 = 2 damage (rounded down) to this goblin. This goblin will have taken less damage than the first one even after having fell a (technically) greater distance, thanks to Cat Fall, and the first Goblin didn't take any damage from the fall whatsoever because the distance was considered 5 feet or less.


Yes Darksol, by RAW I think that's inopinable.
I still think that the wording of Unbreakable Goblin could had been simpler if that was the intent, but after all it only matters for falls that are between 5 and 10 feet.


Disagree.
If you reduce the falling damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance and you fell 10 feet, then you take damage as if you had fallen 5 feet.

And if you check the rules for falling, you don't take damage for a 5 foot fall.


Squiggit wrote:

Disagree.

If you reduce the falling damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance and you fell 10 feet, then you take damage as if you had fallen 5 feet.

And if you check the rules for falling, you don't take damage for a 5 foot fall.

I actually agree with this. After all, Unbreakable Goblin doesn't say, "When you take fall damage, reduce the falling damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance."

It says, "When you fall, reduce the falling damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance."

I don't see any reason why the falling damage calculation would be "triggered" prior to halving the distance, and if that results in your fall damage being calculated as though you fell 5 feet, as Squiggit says that would mean no damage, not 2.

Though again, it only really matter for falls between 6 and 10 feet, beyond that there really is no difference between the two methods.


beowulf99 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Disagree.

If you reduce the falling damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance and you fell 10 feet, then you take damage as if you had fallen 5 feet.

And if you check the rules for falling, you don't take damage for a 5 foot fall.

I actually agree with this. After all, Unbreakable Goblin doesn't say, "When you take fall damage, reduce the falling damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance."

It says, "When you fall, reduce the falling damage you take as though you had fallen half the distance."

I don't see any reason why the falling damage calculation would be "triggered" prior to halving the distance, and if that results in your fall damage being calculated as though you fell 5 feet, as Squiggit says that would mean no damage, not 2.

Though again, it only really matter for falls between 6 and 10 feet, beyond that there really is no difference between the two methods.

Equally valid interpretations. If the devs think it matters then I'd say some disambiguation is in order.

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