Thread: Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IX

Tuesday, 5th July, 2005, 08:35 PM #881Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
BTW, I have a question for you regarding the World of Greyhawk setting. I was just perusing the encounter tables in the glossography recently and noticed that a fait amount of them include results for "Men, Cavemen" (areas such as Blackmoor, Sterich, Valley of the Mage, the Barrier Peacks, Crystalmist Mountains and Jotens, the Clatspur Range and Yatil Mountains, the Hellfurnaces) and even a "Use Plestocine Conditions Encounter Table" (Sulhaut Mountains).
Did you envisions these as the WoGH's "Lost World" type areas (particularly the Sulhauts)? I noticed they were fairly spread out on the map so it could also have been simply considering the Cavemen as a less developed subset of humans. Also, did any of the OC's in your campaign ever encounter their Neanderthal brethren or any Plestocine creatures in the WoGH proper (not, for instance, in Isle of the Ape)?
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It doesn't matter how far you've fallen, it matters how fast you're going when you hit the ground. Because velocity increase is linear, it means that a damage system tied to velocity ought to be linear as well. In the original system of 1d6/10 ft, the damage increased faster than linear with respect to time  ie. faster than gravity as it was. A munchkin would have physics on his side when arguing against the original 1d6/10 ft system as being too much damage! The "exponential" system is even more of a departure from the actual physics of a fallen body. The distance fallen (increasing exponentially) is not relevant to the force of striking the ground.Originally Posted by dcas
But the implication of either system is that damage is proportial to force  which IMO is probably not the case. To keep things simple, I don't see anything wrong with a damage system based on distance fallen  whether it is linear or exponential. The point is that neither system "correctly understands" the physics of v=at.
dcas' point is that velocity is linear with respect to time, but not with respect to distance. Since distance is quadratic (faster than linear) with respect to time, that means time (and therefore velocity) only increases with the square root of distance, somewhat *less* than linear.Originally Posted by gizmo33
How did exponential growth come into this? Distance isn't exponential in any quantity I can think of. It's quadratic (more than linear but much less than exponential) in time.Originally Posted by gizmo33
Actually, DCAS' pointed seem to be to propose a falling damage system  which was the subject of my post. The bottom line is that DCAS's system IS NOT a linear system, it proposes a nonlinear increase in damage based on distance fallen (which is compounded by the nonlinear relationship of distance to time, as you point out). I agree with what you're saying above about the relationship of distance to velocity  but this seems to have played no part in the final falling damage system that he proposed. Look at the numbers  you take 15 pts of damage for hitting the ground at 31 ft/sec, and you take 80 pts of damage for hitting the ground at 56 ft/sec.Originally Posted by orsal
(BTW  I put *quotes* around the exponential  call it quadratic or whatever you want. Regardless, what DCAS proposes is not anything close to a linear relationship of damage with respect to time  which I'm not sure was his intention but the proximity of the physics to the rule proposal implied some relationship between the two.)
Admittedly I've only read half of REH's tales so far, but didn't Conan always use the best armor available to him?Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
Oops! I missed the "per foot" part of his proposal. If instead of multiplying at the end by distance he multiplied by some constant (or some fixed random range, such as 1d6), it would fit the physics. Assuming that damage is proportional to final speed, it should be proportional to the square root of the distance fallen.Originally Posted by gizmo33
Oh, and just to return this thread to its intended topic:
Gary, if you were writing the AD&D core rules all over again, is there anything you'd change?
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[QUOTE=Col_Pladoh]As an amateur historian of AngloSaxon england, one who favors Wessex, the Cornwell novel sounds interesting, and I will probably pick it up.
Heh, even the qualified histrorians would have to support Wessex  but then that's my birthplace....
My eldest son came in minus half a front tooth the other day having "fallen out of a tree". An ear to the ground revealed that a certain overenthusiastic knight bested him with a trusty wooden broadsword!
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Of course, you could add a little believability into your game and just say any fall of 40' or greater is automatically lethal unless you land on a forgiving surface or can slow your decent somehow (as it is IRL... actually 30' is generally considered the cutoff point, but I'll be a little generous here. ). Anything between 10 and 40' you can just say inflicts 3xft fallen % of your total hp in damage... Save for 1/2). There, and I got it to sound somewhat 1st eddish too!Originally Posted by dcas
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Later in Conan's career, when he had become more civilized, he took to wearing armor, even heavy plate armor (as King of Aquilonia). If you are reading the collected Conan stories published recently, remember, they are arranged by order of publication which is definitely not the chronological order of Conan's life.Originally Posted by RFisher
Words of wisdom from Gary Gygax:
From my perspective wanting less in the way of rules constraints comes from being a veteran Game Master who feels confident that more good material comes from imagination and player interaction with the environment than from textbook rules material.
more words of wisdom:
No no. I was simply using numbers (20, 50, 80) that are easier to remember than 16, 48, and 80. In the first second of fall one falls approximately 16 feet (distance ~= 16*t^2), the second second 48 feet, and the third second 80 feet. One has a velocity of 32ft/sec. in the first second of fall, 64 in the 2nd, 96 in the third, etc. I know my system doesn't model the real physics exactly. I didn't want to make the calculations to heavy. Of course one could determine the exact velocity from the distance fallen. But who has time to do this at the gaming table? I wouldn't want to extract a square root at the table (that is, unless I could do it in my head). I suppose one might create a table that listed distance in increments of 10 feet, along with velocity, and then approximate damage from that. For exampleOriginally Posted by gizmo33
10 feet ==> t ~= 0.8 ==> v ~= 25.3 ft/sec.
20 feet ==> t ~= 1.1 ==> v ~= 35.8 ft/sec.
IOW one wouldn't take much more damage from falling 20 feet than falling 10 feet.
30 feet ==> t ~= 1.4 ==> v ~= 43.8 ft./sec.
40 feet ==> t ~= 1.6 ==> v ~= 50.6 ft./sec.
Falling 40 feet would cause about twice as much damage as falling 10 feet. And falling 160 feet would cause four times the damage. Oof!
Yes, I guess my proposed system did a poor job of estimating. Oh well. I didn't really think about it too much when I came up with it (this afternoon). Sorry. In this light I would argue that the first ten feet cause approx. 3 points of damage, the next 30 about 1 point each, and anything over 40 is automatic death. I would be inclined to give the first 10 feet "free," then have 3 points per foot from 10 to 20, and 1 point per foot from 20 to 50. ::shrugs::
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