View Single Post
Old 09-06-2016, 04:01 PM   #22
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Flying Leap and Power Blow

Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Well Super Jump does, it's right there in the description on B.89:

Finally, if you fall a distance less
than or equal to your maximum high
jump, you take no damage. You can
increase this distance by five yards
with a successful Acrobatics roll.

Flying Leap doesn't say anything specific, but it's an entirely logical extension, particularly since it explicitly points you to Super Jump for other rules.
Right, thanks. Missed that somehow.

It was implied in the text of Horizontal Only (-25%) in Powers that unmodified Super-Jump had an effect on falling, but I couldn't find that straightforward statement. Which takes care of Super-Jump, certainly.

On the other hand, one should certainly require some kind of skill check if one were to extend this benefit to Flying Leap. Simplest to require an unmodified skill check for the same benefit, of course.

On the other hand, there's no special reason to excempt this use of Flying Leap from the specific time-use rules that apply to active martial art skills. So, -10 for no preparation. Of course, there's no special reason why falling characters cannot Concentrate during their fall. Assuming that they know exactly how long they have until impact, of course. ;-)

On the other hand, I guess that the +5 for lightening the body on GURPS Martial Arts p. 129 should probably always apply to attempts to reduce falling damage. The other rule from that section, another +5 for merely doubling jumping distance, might also apply, at least for shorter falls.

On the other hand, Flying Leap is a skill, not an Advantage, so maybe it's worthwhile to use a different method. Maybe use the Speed/Range Table for the velocity that the character is trying to safely shed through a jump landing. That has the quirk that anyone with the Flying Leap skill has a chance of safely landing after a long fall, even if their maximum jumping distance is not so hot. That might actually be a feature, not a bug.

For one thing, from a plausibility standpoint, why should it be so much worse to land after jumping down ca 120 yards and attaining more-or-less terminal velocity than it is to land after jumping down 360 yards and attaining more-or-less terminal velocity? From a playability standpoint, I find it inelegant to use 'maximum jumping distance' as more or less a new derived stat when I already have a stat, skill level in Flying Leap, that measures how good the character is at making physics-defying chi-powered leaps.

One skill check penalised by the conditions in a scene that yields a result is generally more efficient than an unmodified skill check that yields a result that is determined by deriving a new stat and dividing one of the conditions in the scene by that new stat. I understand I could pre-determine the maximum jumping distance of every character who has Flying Leap, but as that number tends to change whenever someone drinks a potion or is the target of a buff spell, that's still major bother.

On the other hand, I don't really like the all-or-nothing result. Either you land in a jumping crouch without any damage or you land catastrophically, suffering full falling damage. No real chance of managing to lighten your body and focus your chi on a land, but the velocity being so extreme that you nevertheless suffer some damage.

I think I'll say that you can always jump downward any distance that you could reach upward with Flying Leap and assuming a normal skill check succeeds, you land without damage (and can use Acrobatics to extend your effective safe downward jumping distance by 5 yards).

When falling, however, or jumping down a further distance than your maximum jumping distance, I'll use the velocity when you land as a penalty to the Flying Leap check. This is more-or-less a chi-powered version of the 'controlled fall' option allow for Swimming or vehicle control skills when falling into water. As I would for Swimming 'controlled falls', I'd probably allow a failure by 1 to at least reduce the velocity by half before falling damage is calculated.

Also, how does Light Walk interact with this? Considering that Light Walk allows landing on some very low HP surfaces after a jump without disturbing those surfaces, shouldn't it help make a hard landing less hard?

My non-playtested suggestion (which will be playtested next session) is that a successful Light Walk skill check can give the same bonus to Acrobatics or Flying Leap skill checks to land safely after a jump or fall as it gives to Stealth, i.e. half the margin of success (minimum +1). If the GM makes the character roll Jumping skill to avoid falling down upon landing, the same bonus ought to apply to that roll, as well.

I'm also inclined to fiddle with Lizard Climb, basing the penalty to the skill check to stop yourself while falling on the Speed/Range modifier for the accumulated velocity, not the number of yards already fallen.

It's perfectly plausible to want to stop yourself when close to a surface without having fallen an easily determinable number of yards, whereas calculating velocity should be possible in all cases. Also, it really shouldn't matter all that much how many yards someone has travelled at terminal velocity when it comes to how difficult and traumatic it is to come to a stop.

Eyeballing the effect, it seems to make stopping shorter falls comparatively harder, with a -1 penalty the minimum for anything that counts as a fall and a -4 after falling 5 yards, where the standard rules would only begin to apply a penalty. The two schemas get closer at around 10 yards and reach parity at 35 yards, at -7 penalty.

After that, though, my schema is more forgiving, practically speaking topping out at between -8 to -10 at the terminal velocity range for human-shaped objects. In comparison, after falling a long enough distance to attain terminal velocity, the standard schema would be at a -20 to -40 penalty or so.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 09-06-2016 at 04:10 PM.
Icelander is offline   Reply With Quote