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Old 07-05-2019, 01:07 AM   #1
Ultraviolet
 
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Default T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

Greetings

I just read T-Bone's falling article, but I think the amount of falling damage fits the Cliffhanger campaign I play ok - we're not looking to make it worse.

But how to apply the damage, where to apply it?
Do people just do plain generic damage, or do you roll Hit Locations?
I remember asking years and years ago, and IIRC someone claimed statistics from ER staff of injury distribution looking a lot like the spread of GURPS' hot location.

Now if I rolled hot location for falling damage I'd have to do some interpretations of the results. Hand and feet make little sense to limit the damage to, so I'd propably rule that hand=arm and foot=leg. Any torso results I'd just apply generecially to torso, I wouldn't bother with distinctions or sublocations for effects for groin or vitals. Face might need to be treated as skull, since I don't see how smaking your face into the pavement won't also affect your brain.

But what about the damage "lost" when reachign Crippling damage for a limb? It seems odd that somene falling 20 stories and hits his leg gets off with just a broken leg, nor worse than the guy falling 4 stories. None of these guys would be even close to rolling for death, because HP/2 is all they take, 25% of the amount needed for a death roll.

I'm thinking I could apply as much of the rolled damage as I can to the rolled location. If it's a limb, the remaining damage is applies to a new location. Repeat until all damage is distributed.
Or, more simple, if the first location can't take it all, apply the rest to torso
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

The RAW have damage to limbs not cap for falls. Also, you roll a d6 and on 5-6 any crippling affects all limbs of the type rolled on the hit location table.

I would certainly rule that falling damage to a hand would 'move' through to the arm and cripple it if the damage was sufficient to do so, and the same for feet and legs.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

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The RAW have damage to limbs not cap for falls. Also, you roll a d6 and on 5-6 any crippling affects all limbs of the type rolled on the hit location table.

I would certainly rule that falling damage to a hand would 'move' through to the arm and cripple it if the damage was sufficient to do so, and the same for feet and legs.
Oh yeah, B431 has an insert box about that.
The trouble is we use an adaptation of some old 3rd ed rules (from Pyramid I think) where damage is tracked separately and also heal individually, with limits.
So in RAW it would be: "Ok falling damage of 20, location rolled is leg, it only takes 6 to cripple it, roll to see if both legs are broken." But the total damage is still 20 HP.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

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Originally Posted by Ultraviolet View Post
I just read T-Bone's falling article, but I think the amount of falling damage fits the Cliffhanger campaign I play ok - we're not looking to make it worse.
Do you mean the fairly recent article, RPG reality check: Are falls deadly enough in GURPS? Assuming so:

Like you, I'm also not looking to make falling damage worse, or change anything at all, in that article! All the post does is take a real-world data point I came across regarding fall mortality, and look at how that lines up with GURPS results for the same fall, for nothing more than the curiosity value.

And for the curious, the result is: Yeah, for a 50-foot fall, increasing GURPS damage would better match the specific data point. But if GURPS' RAW damage is too generously low (at least for 50' falls) – well, that's arguably a good match for action fiction, where heroes are always falling off of stuff and walking away!

But that's all irrelevant to your question, so we'll set it aside. The matter at hand: How to handle damage to specific body parts from falls? I myself have used "full body" damage (boring but easy!), but the official answer for limbs is as Rupert says: in the text box on B431.

That's a really simple rule, though, and I can see how it may not be very satisfactory. It allows for crippling of arm(s), or of leg(s), etc., but not, say, arms and a leg in a severe fall. And it doesn't answer a number of questions, like whether rolling "head" as the random location results in more damage.

I suppose a detailed rule should allow for damage to be applied to interesting combinations of hit locations, with extra damage for locations like "head" and "neck", but possibly a little reduction in overall damage when limbs absorb much of a fall . . .

I don't know how many people would be interested in a detailed rule like that, but as far as I know, it's an unexplored problem for a tinkerer to play with.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

i have divide Falling damage into chunks of 4D and roll a separate hitlocation for each, any damage past crippling creeps over to the "next" hit location, together with the rule of a double limb attack on a 5-6 i feel like it "feels" real
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
I don't know how many people would be interested in a detailed rule like that, but as far as I know, it's an unexplored problem for a tinkerer to play with.
I also generally use "whole body" but I just don't use falling damage much. If I wanted realism I'd roll a hit location, apply damage until it was crippled, and roll again until I hit something that couldn't be crippled or ran out of damage. Rolling and crippling an already crippled limb destroys it.

An unlucky roll (skull) would make falling extra deadly. An acrobatics roll or similar might allow you to choose to apply damage to two to four extremities of choice before the random rolling started.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

If TB is the guy who put in possibilities for a fall to split damage between multiple limbs (ie you break both feet, or one hand one foot, etc) then I like that.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

IIRC 3rd ed GURPS has a 2d table to roll on, so see how many locations the fall damage was to be distributed to, 1-4 I think. I can't remember if there was a special 'falling hit location table', a simplified version of the normal table, but I think maybe there was. A table with no hands or feet locations, but arms, legs, torso, and head. And some of the arm or leg locations was 'both'.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
If TB is the guy who put in possibilities for a fall to split damage between multiple limbs (ie you break both feet, or one hand one foot, etc) then I like that.
Nope, nothing like that from me. I like the ideas put forth by fula farbrorn and martinl immediately above, as ways to inject some interesting combinations of damage locations. At a quick glance, I don't think they'll allow for every outcome you could want to allow, like interesting combinations of limbs that are only hurt a little, not crippled. But I got nothing for that either.

(Hm, roll a random location for each point of damage? Way too fiddly. Or roll a location for each die of damage? Or larger groups of dice, for really big rolls? When a limb, takes damage, let it accumulate until the limb is a mess, then divert excess damage to overall HP. . . And so on. I'm sure something good could be made of all the ideas out there. Just gotta be careful to not overdo it, or PCs will all develop crippling fear of heights – not from the fall, but from the GM again hauling out that sheaf of fall damage procedures and tables.)

Oh, side note: Over at the falling article referenced in this thread, I responded yesterday to a recent comment about further tweaking fall damage to get good results for both high falls and low. It's part of an ongoing discussion about overall damage, not damage by hit location, and so isn't directly relevant to this thread. But for anyone who really wants to plunge into all things falling, it might be of small interest. URL: http://www.gamesdiner.com/2019/05/rp...s#comment-2307
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: T-Bone's falling article & Hit Location

There is certainly an issue about how to distribute the damage, and this depends on how you view a fall to affect the character, and also works different between a low damage and a high damage fall.

How many limbs do you want to risk being crippled? 1, 2, all?

Maybe you roll 1 random location, apply damage to this - up to crippling damage for limbs - and the rest just as generic. In this way a high damage fall is sure to cripple the limb, there is almost no chance that the limb escapes with just below crippling damage.
For "Average Bill" in T-Bone's example, falling 17 yards for 4d damage, that's an average of 14 dam, more than enough to crippe a limb. Only the very lowest damage will spare it, rolling 4 or 5 is unlikely. Rolling just 6 or anything higher exceeds the HP/2 threshold.

So what about distributing damage to multiple locations? How many then? It would be easier to roll damage together and then divide, dividing a variable number of dice into equal parts may be difficult.
And should each portion of damage be the same for each location? I would rather not make the distribution even, just to tip the odds of sometimes asigning a lower value to a limb.
Maybe roll damage, divide into portions of 1/3 and 2/3, and roll locations for these. If a limb is rolled, roll 1d, and on a 5 or 6 the damage is *divided among the two*.
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