I calculated all the averages for most tables here. I am pretty sure I understand how averages work less well than anyone reading this blog.
I did not write down the distributions
when I started and now I wish I did. Anyway.
LOTFP standard is (I think) 1d6 per every 10 feet.
Falling
distance in d6


Feet
fallen

Cumulative
dice

Average
Damage

Max

Min

10

D6

3

6

1

20

D6

7

12

2

30

D6

10

18

3

40

D6

14

24

4

50

D6

17

30

5

60

D6

21

36

6

70

D6

24

42

7

80

D6

28

48

8

90

D6

31

54

9

100

D6

35

60

10

Now this has a lot to recommend it. Not least
simplicity. Very little to get wrong here.
But I really really don’t want anyone walking away
from a long fall. The idea of it kind of enrages me.
I could just say ‘roll any doubles and you have a
broken limb.’ Or throw in a table of some kind. But I don’t want any more
tables at this point.
But then a cleric can heal that in one go and the
guy can be up and walking in a minute. It doesn’t satisfy me.
Falling
distance in dice chain


Feet
fallen

Cumulative
Dice

Average
Damage

10

D4

2

20

D6

47

30

D8

10

40

D10

1516

50

D12

22

60

D20

3233

70

D50

5363

80

D100

95122

90


Fuck
it

100


Things
cant get worse

The things I like about the dice chain; It is a
little bit less lethal at smaller heights. You get to keep adding different shaped dice
one by one. There is a nice ritualistic aspect to that. It takes a while but
falling a long way is meant to be bad. It will almost certainly kill
characters after 60 or 70 feet.
Once you bring in the big dice the probability
curve flattens out a lot. High numbers are pretty guaranteed.
Too harsh? Lets try another one.
Falling
distance in dice chain


Feet
fallen

Cumulative
Dice

Average
Damage

10

D4

2

20

D6

47

30

D8

10

40

D10

1516

50

D12

22

60

D20

3233

70

D20

43

80

D20

5354

90

D20

64

100

D20

7475

This is kind of the girlified version of the dice
chain. I quite like this. We can leave in the triples mean limbs snapped rule.
Ok, lets try an insanely swingy method.
Falling
distance in dice chain


Feet
fallen

Dice
rolled

Average
Damage

Max

Min

10

D4

2

4

1

20

D4*D4

4

16

1

30

D4*D6

4
or 6 or 12

24

1

40

D4*D8

4
6 8 12

32

1

50

D4*D10

4
6 8 12

40

1

60

D4*D12

12

48

1

70

D4*D20

12

80

1

80

D4*D50

12
24 36 49

200

1

90

D4*D100

12
24 36 60 72 84

400

1

100

?

?

?

?

Ok, I have no fucking idea what is going on with
this table. It’s all over the place. Averages are pretty low right up until 70
feet. But average means fuck all with this table. Lets try another one.
Falling
distance in dice chain


Feet
fallen

Dice
rolled

Average
Damage

Max

Min

10

D6

16

6

1

20

D6*D4

4
6 12

24

1

30

D6*D6

6
12

36

1

40

D6*D8

6
12

48

1

50

D6*D10

6
12

60

1

60

D6*D12

12

72

1

70

D6*D20

12

120

1

80

D6*D50

12
24 30 36 48 60

300

1

90

D6*D100

60

600

1

100

?

?

?

?

I would have to say the d4* version is the most
OSR’y. Noone who falls will have any idea what is going to happen. Neither
will the DM. Maybe the averages don’t need to be that high if the potential is
frightening.
I use the straight d6 per 10 feet rule + doubles mean injury, triples mean permanent loss. But I have a simple d6 table memorized that equates numbers with broad hit locations:
ReplyDelete1 = foot/ankle
2 = leg
3, 4 = torso
5 = arm
6 = head
(Basically, I imagine a sixfoot tall human and the die roll is the number of feet above ground for the hit location.)
So, double 2 means a broken leg, double 4 means broken ribs (Move 3, requires twice as much rest.) and Cure spells only cure one injury, in addition to standard healing. Natural healing requires system shock or Con rolls per week for each injury to recover, so it's independent of hit point recovery; a badlyinjured character may be out of commission for quite some time.
Where this becomes important is the double or triple 6 result, which is a head injury. Double 6 is unconsciousness for several turns, but triple 6 would mean head smashed in, instant death. Triple 3 or 4 would be loss of a vital organ, so that is also instant death. That keeps short falls relatively easy to deal with, but makes long falls more likely to cause serious injury or death.
It's an interesing system
DeleteA thing about 10d6, though, is that 10 (and 60) will almost never occur. 95% of the time you'll roll between 24 and 46. 99.7% of the time you'll roll between 19 and 51. Now, maybe that's still an enraging amount of walking away from a long fall, I don't know... but at least if somebody only takes 10 points that is a statistical miracle and I for one am inclined to indulge them in their lucky break...though I'd probably make up some reason they didn't pancake, like hitting a bunch of tree branches on the way down that broke their fall.
ReplyDeleteDoubles on 10d6 are far more likely than doubles on 2d6, though. As in, it's impossible to roll 10d6 and not get at least one set of doubles. So, I don't see very many victims walking away from a 100foot fall.
ReplyDeleteI struggled with falling damage when I was GMing 2e AD&D back in my teens, because it never felt real to me, and your analysis is pretty spot on. The dice chain is an elegant and simple solution, and I really like it. Except, instead of a d50, I would use a d30 there, and then move on to the d100. After d100, I'd just keep adding d100s. Like you said, at 6070 feet they would likely be dead anyway.
ReplyDeleteVery interesting. What do you mean when you say 'average'? The average result of a D6 roll is 3.5 (not 3); the average of D4 * D6 is 8.75; the average of D4 * D100 is 126.25. I might be confused about what you're doing.
ReplyDeleteI used this website http://anydice.com/ typed in the rolls that I needed and wrote down the highest rated results for each roll.
DeleteAh, I get it! That's not the average, that's the mode (most common result).
Delete