Author Topic: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing  (Read 1501 times)

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Endarire

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Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« on: July 10, 2011, 05:02:29 AM »
Let's assume a guy is falling in such a way that he'd take 20d6 falling damage if he hit the ground at full force.

Let's assume also that this guy somehow grabs a ledge 10' above the ground (high enough so he doesn't touch the ground) and makes the Reflex save to hoist himself up.  The guy has fallen far enough to take 20d6 falling damage upon landing.

How much damage would this guy take from falling this far and grabbing the ledge?  What modifiers are there for grabbing a ledge at terminal velocity?
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veekie

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Re: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 06:15:34 AM »
By the rules of drama and mechanics. Damage is 0.
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Daniel678

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Re: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 06:35:39 AM »
Well, I'm pretty sure that there is not a specific rule of a player catching themselves before they hit the ground. Realistically someone moving at terminal velocity is going at 120 miles per hour and the only thing that grabbing a ledge is going to do is to rip their fingers/arms off (provided that they can hang on to it). I think that if they manage to do that the DM could rule that their desperate maneuver slowed them enough so that they barely survive. It would certainly make a better story that way.

If they make a high enough reflex save to catch a ledge going by themselves at that speed, and a high enough strength check to hold themselves there, and they make a high enough fortitude save that their fingers don't just rip off of their hands then they should be fine. However if they are a low enough level that 20d6 damage is a concern then I don't think that they could make such difficult checks.

Unbeliever

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Re: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2011, 12:17:02 PM »
Probably 0.  What's the point of even discussing the idea of catching ledges if they are just going to kill you anyway?  If there's no material difference between catching the ledge and falling another 10 feet, then why bother. 

If you wanted to throw 2d6 or 4d6 damage in arm strain, that'd be fine, though again, what would be the point? 

veekie

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Re: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 01:01:52 PM »
Remember, its not the fall or the speed that kills you, D&D characters regularly make that kind of speed. It's only hitting the ground at that kind of speed.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

Tr011

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Re: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 01:15:19 PM »
Don't mix up real worlds physics and D&D physics too much. It's DnD, not real world. With some tumbling, the ledge could help a lot.

stanprollyright

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Re: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 01:20:09 PM »
I think there are rules for catching yourself if you fail a climb check...

I would say reflex to grab the ledge, strength check to hold on.  Failing the strength check means you grab the ledge but can't hold on, but you lessen the damage by slowing yourself down.  Success on both checks = no damage.  I see no reason to try to be more realistic than Die Hard in a world where it is easily possible to:

see the future,
ride/fight dragons,
raise armies of undead,
teleport to anywhere,
go to different dimensions,
create stuff out of thin air,
kill gods,
etc.

oslecamo

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Re: Falling Damage and Ledge Grabbing
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 01:25:50 PM »
Remember, its not the fall or the speed that kills you, D&D characters regularly make that kind of speed. It's only hitting the ground at that kind of speed.

Unless you're spiderman's girlfriend.

[spoiler][/spoiler]

Oh snap! Countless other characters have fallen out of that kind of weights and either survived or were grabbed in mid air and survived. Sucks to be Gwen Stacy when the rules of physics suddenly decide to apply to you at the worst possible moment.