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Old 11-17-2014, 03:36 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

Last Week: Breath-Holding; Doesn't Breathe; Filter Lungs
Next Week: Chameleon, Silent

Catfall [10] (p. B41, p. P43) is an Exotic, Physical Advantage that came about during 3e. The form it takes in Compendium I, p. 51 is the same it takes in 4e, though the wording is a bit different. If you possess Catfall, you may subtract five yards from falling distance when calculating damage: this is the same five yards one can shave off a fall via a successful Acrobatics roll and so you cannot combine the two. Catfall also allows you to attempt a DX roll to halve the damage you take from a fall. Both effects require that you're free to twist and turn and adjust as you fall: your limbs cannot be bound either.

Super Jump [10/level] (p. B89 and p. P79) is also an Exotic, Physical Advantage, which shouldn't be a surprise since for us to be discussing it alongside Catfall: I have to be convinced the two are closely enough related, plus there can't be too much too discuss. We might be looking at Flight otherwise. Each level of Super Jump doubles the distance and height you can jump. For more on calculating that, see p. B352). While jumping, your Move is equal your regular ground Move or one-fifth of your maximum long jump distance, whichever is greater... so a jump should never take more than five seconds though of course it can take less.

If you are wondering how this is related to Catfall, there are some bonuses to having Super Jump at any level. You can jump at a foe in order to perform a slam: no separate attack roll is required to make sure the jump is accurate and the slam is calculated using your maximum jumping Move. You also take no damage from falls of a distance less or equal to your maximum high jump. RAW doesn't specify whether or not you need to be able to land on your feet (or whatever you use to jump) for that to apply. I would think "yes" since it also mentions that a successful Acrobatics roll will allow you to increase the distance you can safely fall by five yards.

Yes, that is why I am covering the two together; both increase the distance you can safely fall and can stack with each other. The two have excellent synergy as those focused on jumping fantastic heights are often depicted in fiction (especially video games) as jumping from ground level onto higher perches or off walls to jump even higher than their maximum high jump; the five yard bump is less important than rolling DX to halve the damage you take from such a fall.

Modifiers
Powers p.43 has Feather Fall (+20%); this causes Catfall to work regardless of whether you are bound are land on your feet. The Parachute (-30%) Limitation is also unique to Catfall: your ability to fall more safely is dependent on some sort of natural "parachute", like skin flaps. If the fall takes less than two seconds, it won't deploy. It also requires enough space (open air radius equal to your height) and won't work in thinner atmospheres.

Bouncing (+50%) is an Enhancement found on p. P80 that further strengthens the connection between Super Jump and Catfall... but it is a bit complicated and I'm still worry I'm writing too much of RAW out in these posts. With Bouncing, you can attempt to safely rebound from impacts with the ground or other obstacles by making a DX, Acrobatics, or Jumping roll. With success you take no damage from the collision and bounce back with 90% of your impact velocity (if this is below your jumping move you can choose to just stop instead). If you fail you take damage as normal and don't rebound, or as RAW puts it "Splat". The roll to rebound is as -5 for each multiple of your jumping move (and fraction thereof) by which your impact velocity exceeds said jumping move. Maneuverable (+50%) allows you to steer yourself midjump, to the point that while in the middle of a jump (that is calculated in the usual faction) you have your jump Move as air Move.

There are also several Limitations: Full Power Only (-10%), Horizontal Only (-25%), Lighter Than Air (-10%), Planetary (-5%) and Projectile (-20%). Vertical Only (-25%). Full power only means if you're not making your maximum jump: calculate distance, speed etc. without the benefits of Super Jump if you're making a smaller jump. Horizontal Only affects broad jumps and not falling damage while Vertical Only only affects high jumps and falling damage. Lighter Than Air functions in a manner similar to how it does for Flight. Planetary means you only have Super Jump while on a planet or other object with a sufficiently strong gravitational or magnetic field while projectile makes yourself a projectile; you lack control while airborne and take full normal collision damage should you crash into something. A DX or Jumping roll is required while landing or to collide with a target intentionally.

Related Traits
Brachiator (p. B41), Clinging (p. B43, p. P45), Flight (p. B56, p. P50) and Walk On Air (p. B97, p. P87) are all other options for moving through the air and can be combined with Catfall and Super Jump, though Flight ends up being quite redundant. A fictional example that combines Brachiator, Clinging, Super Jump and maybe Catfall is Spider-Man, and he is a great example of how they compliment each other: he regularly uses a combination of Brachiator, Clinging and Super Jump to get around in whatever method is most efficient and when combined with Catfall, it gives a mechanical option apart from setting specific rules to explain why he usually lands safely from falls (in addition of course to his other powers). As hopefully demonstrated by the discussion on just Brachiator and Clinging, covering the entire run of Advantages seemed like too much content. Flight in particular is likely robust enough on its own.

So...

1) Have you used either Catfall or Super Jump? Observed it in action when another PC or NPC made use of either? If so, how did it perform?
2) Do they seem fairly priced?
3) What about the Enhancements and Limitations?
4) How about the differences between 3e and 4e? I personally am interesting in Bouncing, as it was its own Advantage in 3e and works a little differently now.
5) Traits I should have covered alongside these two? Should I have put these two together? Did I miss something else that actually made more sense with Catfall?
6) Useful Traits to combine with these two that I missed?
7) Any interesting or amusing stories involving either trait?
8) Anything else that seems relevant to discussing Catfall and Super Jump
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Last edited by Otaku; 11-25-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 11-18-2014, 01:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

Personally, I dislike Super Jump and Catfall. For outrageous jumps, Flight with Requires Surface seems so much cooler (with reduced Flight Speed if needed) [total 24-32]. For safe landings, again, take Flight -50% Gliding plus reduced Flight Speed to 1, net [12-20]. Note: neither flight is Winged!
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Personally, I dislike Super Jump and Catfall. For outrageous jumps, Flight with Requires Surface seems so much cooler (with reduced Flight Speed if needed) [total 24-32]. For safe landings, again, take Flight -50% Gliding plus reduced Flight Speed to 1, net [12-20]. Note: neither flight is Winged!
I don't see how your build create super jumpers or survivable falls. Requires surface is for Wuxia tree limb walking, not jumping or falling.

Super slow gliding flight for falling is unrealistic for anything larger than tiny, not for straightforward automatic breakfalls.
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

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I don't see how your build create super jumpers or survivable falls. Requires surface is for Wuxia tree limb walking, not jumping or falling.
You need to touch a surface once per 5 seconds. You can 'fly' quite far in 5 seconds.

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Super slow gliding flight for falling is unrealistic for anything larger than tiny, not for straightforward automatic breakfalls.
I'm talking about point costs. If we get into a situation where we're making supers or something, I'll take wingless gliding representing modest gravitic repulsors or whatever, over Catfall, any day, because they allow falling safely from any height. So in a pure contest, Catfall is overpriced.
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

Falling has been one of the more constant dangers for mankind. But I agree that for any game even vaguely super, auto-break-fall for 10 points seems overpriced.

Squeezing every super jump into one of exactly 5 seconds feels inefficient and clunky. Shouldn't strength, mass, or something get involved in that?

Also surviving falls doesn't always come from falling slowly. That's parachuting, not really gliding anyway.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
1) Have you used either Catfall or Super Jump?
2) Do they seem fairly priced?
I, too, have generally found that Super Jump does not meet my needs.

I tend to want to use it in fairly cinematic games: wuxia, urban fantasy, and so on. But if you only a buy a level or two of Super Jump, you're not getting anywhere near the amazing jumping abilities seen in these kinds of genres. And if you buy more than a few levels, the cost compares unfavorably with Flight.

Super Jump seems to come into its own a little bit in campaigns where the genre forbids real flying, putting the full-on Flight advantage off-limits. Still, though, the cost of jumping any serious distance can be prohibitive.

Those are my two cents - sorry to be negative about it! Others may have a more balanced perspective.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

Super Jump probably needs fixed. It's almost insignificant at low levels but can be game breaking if you invest in it (acceleration = massive slams) as an attack power.
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

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Originally Posted by Joe View Post
Those are my two cents - sorry to be negative about it! Others may have a more balanced perspective.
No worries; this is a discussion thread so as long as you abide by board rules, its cool. If you do that plus contribute to discussion (as you did), even better. :)

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I, too, have generally found that Super Jump does not meet my needs.
Sadly, with what little I've experienced it, the same is true for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post
I tend to want to use it in fairly cinematic games: wuxia, urban fantasy, and so on. But if you only a buy a level or two of Super Jump, you're not getting anywhere near the amazing jumping abilities seen in these kinds of genres. And if you buy more than a few levels, the cost compares unfavorably with Flight.
I'm curious of how well it stacks up in realistic games; is this a useful tool for building animals with disproportionately good leaping abilities, or are you better off buying their Jumping Skill up to amazing levels? For designing non-existent creatures (and especially races) its a pretty steep cost that doesn't seem to compare favorably to a good Jumping Skill: keep in mind that we are usually talking about only a single level of Super Jump. For flat out Supers or campaigns where the setting calls for amazing leaps but not in a manner better handled by simply improving the jumping prowess of PCs and important NPCs, you pretty quickly settle on the appropriate Flight limitation.

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Originally Posted by Joe View Post
Super Jump seems to come into its own a little bit in campaigns where the genre forbids real flying, putting the full-on Flight advantage off-limits. Still, though, the cost of jumping any serious distance can be prohibitive.
Now given my track record, I fully expect the more experienced board members to explain why I am wrong, but I have to wonder if Super Jump needs to have a lower price but also a finer degree of improvement for jump distance/speed. I mean, getting it to where a single level is at least appropriate for "mundane" people in cinematic setting would be nice but maybe that's just a personal hang-up of mine.
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

Rather late to the discussion, but I only recently set my sights on this advantage set.

Does anyone think super jump is appropriately priced?
If not, then what seems reasonable for the first few levels?
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Old 12-24-2014, 12:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#19): Catfall; Super Jump

I ve used it and made bouncing supers that relied on high impact slams.
It is exponential in ACC while Flight is not.
At least until the various Cosmics from Supers and republished in Power Ups 2 came out.
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