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Dragon's Egg - Rules Questions and Discussion

Discussion in 'Dragon's Egg RPG' started by Steerpike, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Thinking about falling damage, though it hasn't come up in-game yet.

    Under normal D&D 3.X rules, you take a d6 per ten feet of falling. So if you fall from 30 feet you take 3d6.

    Under Castles & Crusades rules-as-written, falling is cumulative. So if you fall 30 feet you take 6d6 damage. Probably a bit more realistic, as a thirty foot fall will kill most people (though people have survived much higher falls).

    If you fall 50 feet under the 3.X rules, you take 5d6; under C&C you take 15d6.

    And so on.

    Thoughts on that, from the player perspective?
     
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Enough damage to die = disincentive to climb.

    I am considering climbing that ledge after battle, depending on what's up there. I have a suspicion, and… it's a risk even if the suspicion is correct. (No check for the barbarian "Scale" skill, so the risk is whether harpy children—if that's what they are, can spatter Baldhart! If 30 feet is 3d6, she'll live no matter what. If 6d6… anything above average damage is KO, bleed-out or instant death.)
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think most players would prefer to go with the regular 3.X D&D rules in this case, as opposed to the more lethal C&C rules. I'll just go with that, unless a majority of the group has a strong desire to go the more lethal route. In some of my tabletop sessions we do use the more lethal rules, as well as critical hit and fumble tables and other rules that can make the game a lot more deadly, but that's only when I'm running with players who want it to be that way, or when I'm running something like my yearly Halloween session, which tends to be all about grim, brutal, scary fun.
     
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  4. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    What if I told you I don't find none of them so realistic? ;x

    I think the threshold starts too early, or, more precisely, with a potentially-too-high damage. I've jumped from 22 feet (7m) before, felt some pain in my feet and was fine few hours later (I doubt I would have high HP, although I might have been lucky anyway =P). It makes sense in a super-realistic setting where you can fall from 5cm and break your neck, what by definition most RPGs systems aren't—and it's linked to DEX anyway, not just a random fixed damage die!

    It also doesn't take the character's HP in account, for me it would be more realistic if it was % based, this way low HP characters wouldn't take randomly high damage and inadvertently die from a 20 feet fall, high level characters or high HP characters wouldn't brush off a 50 feet fall.

    If I had to devise something I would set a minimum and maximum thresholds and take advantage of the fact we're playing with online dice roller that allows formulas; and probably take into account the character level/CON.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
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  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I agree with Nihal. Character attributes should definitely be taken into account.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Jumping is treating slightly differently from falling. I did some research online, and from what I found a 30-foot fall is quite likely to kill a person. I do think the normal 3.X falling damage is on the low side if you're trying to be realistic (especially for high falls), but as you said the game isn't trying to be realistic.

    If I were really going for a more deadly overall campaign, I would have run this with the Warhammer Fantasy rules, which I think some of you might have found pretty cool, but under which we'd probably have at least three or four characters re-rolled due to death by now :)


    EDIT: I should note that the math relating to level and CON are already inherently taken into account, in that they contribute to the character's overall HP.
     
  7. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Obviously, God rolled snake-eyes, so you didn't notice the damage.
     
  8. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    The system treat jumping as fall, doesn't it? The damage isn't any different.

    The attributes would play only in a %-based damage formula, for I would be discarding the HP value.
     
  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    I actually gave serious consideration to running a Warhammer game. Character creation is a real hoot, and I like the system overall… when playing tabletop. Play-by-post, there's just way too many numbers.

    (Though at least it's marginally less fatal than Traveller… where you can die during character creation. ;) )

    ---

    As far as falling damage goes: I was planning on using the existing C&C cumulative damage rules… but that was on the assumption that you were using them. They're far closer to reality than non-cumulative damage. The problem is that neither way truly reflects reality–because the HP system is so amazingly far from "real" that there's no way to make anything that works within it "real" either. You'd need to go outside of the system, and do something such as percentage damage as Nihal suggests, to even approach it. And if you're going to do that with one aspect of the game, might as well go ahead and "fix" all the other things that are wrong as well, right?

    Not.

    I've said it several times, in reference to my own game: if I'd wanted to fix everything that's wrong with the system, I would have simply chucked the system instead and used a different one.

    So… working within the system: forget about a 30' fall for the moment. (Yes, I know that happens to be the one we're faced with right now, but bear with me.) Consider a 60' fall.
    - (1) D&D3e: 6d6 damage, average 21 HP.
    - (2) C&C: 20d6 damage (the math gives 21d6, but I think they cap it at 20), average 70 HP.
    - (3) Real world: you're dead.

    The way we're doing HP right now, a 3rd level fighter with no CON bonus would have 22 HP. In other words, on average he'd (barely) survive a 60' fall, if non-cumulative damage is used.

    Worse–the way we're doing HP right now, a 6th level fighter with no CON bonus would automatically survive that 60' fall: he'd have 40 HP, and the fall can't do more than 36.

    (Never mind that if we consider the maximum HP a 6th level fighter could have–i.e. if he rolled a 10 each level–and had a +2 bonus for CON, on average he would survive even the 20d6 cumulative damage: he'd have 72 HP.)

    There's a point past which fantasy starts to becomes too "fantastic."

    My recommendation: stay with the cumulative damage. For those who don't want to take the damage… try not to fall. :p

    I'll probably go with whichever option you choose, however, just so we can keep things as congruent as possible.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  10. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    I used to play a LARP in which a player always died at some point, so the challenge wasn't "how do I avoid this situation?" so much as "who's it gonna be this time?" Which falling rule doesn't make that big a difference provided that the design of the game isn't focused on "the cliff is x feet high" but "the cliff is high enough that the fall will/won't kill players."

    Under the less deadly rule system, if the current ledge is 50 feet high, only Baldhart can survive the fall no matter what at her current HP (assuming Rydh will heal her if Steerpike Yahtzees sixes after that fateful misstep). Having the scale skill and 22 HP (25 at full health), she'd take the risk for the party if the group thinks it's worth a climb. That would guarantee no instant death… unless she takes damage, then falls… hard.

    On the other hand, if the ledge is high enough that 6d6 must be rolled (whether 30' in one system or 60' in the other), even at full health, 35-36 damage is instant death. Yes I know the idea is to NOT fall and that the odds of rolling a 35 or 36 with 6 dice are extremely slim (0.013% chance) but do I want to bet my character's life just because she's least likely to go from full health to death in a single turn?

    What I'm getting at is that I lean toward the 1d6, 2d6, 3d6… not because of realism (or lack of) but because there are more steps between controlled risk and suicidal risk, and it is a cooler image to be 50 feet up even if you know that the game is letting you survive a fall that should turn you into jelly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    It was the thought of someone trying to climb up into the opening in the round room that made me think of posing this question. A few thoughts:

    1. The fall would kill the vast majority of time in real life.

    2. Although you do want a sense of danger and a risk of death in an RPG (in my opinion), games like D&D/C&C are not meant to be simulations. They can vary from fairly gritty to extremely cinematic in terms of what characters can do and withstand, but ultimately you're looking at systems designed for heroic fantasy.

    3. As a general rule, you want players to try to do cool, but risky things. If there's a golden statue mounted on a ledge fifty feet above, you want the players to try to get it. If a secret book of lost magic is wedged into the side some ancient, crumbling structure with a fifty foot drop between the book and the ground, you want the players to go after it.

    4. You want the players to be smart and careful.

    The question, then, is which system strikes the best balance between 3 and 4. It seems to me the normal 3.X system does it best for low level characters. As characters advance in level, the cumulative C&C method does it better.

    In the case of the round room, a fall is going to be 10d6 (old method) or 55d6 (C&C method). At the current character levels, it is most assuredly a death in either case. However, characters can fall from much lower heights. Under the cumulative method, anything from 30 feet on up gives a decent chance of death. That doesn't encourage much climbing at low levels. I suppose people may differ on whether or not it should :)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  12. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    "Captain, why do we have to read this discussion on the rules of falling damage for climbing characters?"

    "Because it's there."
     
  13. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    "• (1) D&D3e: 6d6 damage, average 21 HP.
    • (2) C&C: 20d6 damage (the math gives 21d6, but I think they cap it at 20), average 70 HP.
    • (3) Real world: you're dead."


    Actually many people fall 7 stories and live, several skydivers have had a parachute fail to open and survived.
    Most probably needed very quick response by EMT's to survive, but we have the ability to heal with magic instantly.

    Warhammer is tougher then C&C?
    Never played it, seems much easier to just roll several characters if death is almost certain.
    In school, we routinely had players with 2-3 characters each, because a party of 4-6 characters couldn't face many opponents or spread the injury as much. (They had to play them as individuals, as family or friends were acceptable)

    Stopped in at Hastings last night,
    looked at Rogue trader, they have ability throws from 0-38(d20). So it didn't prove easier or tougher. Looks interesting except the play book was $67
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Warhammer is more deadly, yes. You have a certain number of wound points. Say, 10, for example. These don't go up much, if at all, as your character progresses. Not matter how experienced your character is, if someone hits him with a lethal weapon, it is going to hurt.

    Once your wound points are gone, which can happen quickly, every hit you take is a critical hit, and the GM consults the critical hit table. Effects can range from relatively mild, to loss of limbs, to instant death. So, in general, once you've taken a hit or two in Warhammer, even as a very experienced character, you're one hit away from potential death.

    Similar system is used in the Warhammer 40K games. Great settings for both of them, and a lot of fun!
     
  15. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Actually in a fall, don't you double speed very quickly upto terminal velocity?

    Found this:
    The Splat Calculator - A Free Fall Calculator

    "50m high is the equivalent of getting hit by a car going 112 km/h, or 70 miles per hour"
    The simple d6 per 10ft is a very soft landing.
    1d6 plus one per additional 10 ft might be closer. 1d6=10', 3d6=20', 5d6=30', 7d6=40', 9d6=50,
    maybe 1d6 plus one d6 per additional 10', plus 1d6 additional each 10' over 20, 1d6=10', 3d6=20', 6d6=30',
    or double each 10', 1d6=10', 2d6=20', 4d6=30', 8d6=40', 16d6=50'
    Double each 10' would probably be easiest to calculate. Would there be a terminal velosity dice roll end? 64d6=70ft.
    like I said a 7 story fall is survivable, roll all ones and it would be survivable to a moderate level fighter.

    Had to rolz it:

    64D6 => 213
    Person that gets up laughing saying "Dude, what a rush!"
    You call sir from then on.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think falling objects accelerate at around 32 ft sec-1 sec-1, so you figure the rate of fall is increasing by around 32 ft/s every second.

    People have fallen from those greater heights and lived, but I think the odds are against you in any given fall.
     
  17. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Like I said, there's no way to reflect "reality" with the D&D/C&C HP system, so there's little point in trying: just pick whichever seems better. If you plan to arrange things so that characters face mandatory retirement at 3rd level, the non-cumulative damage will work adequately.

    To show just how flawed the system is: keep in mind that the above discussions involved fighters. Pretty much, non-fighters who fall die. Clerics have a marginal chance of surviving the falls described above; barring miracles, mages have no chance, and rogues almost no chance. In reality, everyone should have roughly equal chances of surviving the same fall. But there's no good way to make that happen within this system.

    Would be interesting to see "many" expressed as a percentage of the total number of people who fall from such heights. And then adjust for all other circumstantial factors which influenced those survival… such as surface landed upon, training in falling and landing properly, amount of drag which might have slowed fall, etc.

    Or, to put it another way: it don't happen very often, even under favorable circumstances. And where circumstances are favorable, the GM can always adjust the results to reflect this.

    Oh, my, yes. Most games are. Warhammer's even grittier than average. Though character creation is probably the most interesting aspect of the game… at least if you do it by the book. And personally I wouldn't see any point in playing it if you didn't do it by the book: it's the primary aspect that gives the game its unique flavor.

    You don't. Because it's here–and not in some other thread. Which is why Steerpike created this thread in the first place. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  18. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Alternately,
    RPG characters are suppose to be the best(luckiest) of the best(lucky).


    Never thought much of character creation in rpg's.
    Put them through the paces, see what the character can do.
    Creation is just a bunch of number crunching.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Actually, warhammer character creation is a bit more interesting. You start out with a basis career, and there are tons of them. Maybe you were a baker, or a rat catcher, or whatever. As you gain experience you put points in skills (there are no levels) and you can finish out the starting career and move into something else. Maybe you start as a lowly rat catcher, but when you move out of that career you move into being a cat burglar, and as you progress out of that, maybe you're a racketeer, and so on.

    There's a lot of more story-type thinking along these lines from the start, beginning with your most basic career and picking one that provides a path to your ultimate goal. Each career has multiple entry and exit points, so you can go from a rat catcher to say, one of five different things, and from each of those five there are maybe another five or six possible career exits.
     
  20. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Right. Though the really fun part is that you don't get to choose what you start as. There are four broad categories, and you do choose which of these you fall into, but within each are fifteen or sixteen different possibilities… and which of those you begin as is determined randomly. ;)

    In other words, the game assumes you're a normal person of some sort or other, who gets bit by the adventuring bug. Your career begins from there. You have control of what path your character follows after that point—within limits: your options of career moves are limited to a certain extent by what you are at present, so you may need to work your way through two or three other "careers" before reaching your ultimate goal. It's a real hoot.
     
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