TSR The Cult of Abaddon - Release from NuTSR/TheEvilDM

dave2008

Legend
Let's start by stating that the rules for falling damage are, as written, terrible. If falling damage is actually 6d6 for falling 30 feet, just say that. The word salad is just silly; the fact that they take a paragraph to write it and still don't explicitly state the 6d6 total is outright stupidity. Obviously, whoever was editing this read that garbage paragraph and realized it needed help. But they though the way to fix it would be to change "Each" to "Every" and "but would actually be" to "Still, it would be". WTF? How do either of those changes actually help? I feel like I'm losing intelligence every time I try to compare the two paragraphs.
I guess I did as well. I've read it twice and I still believe falling damage is 3d6 for falling 30 feet!
 

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Voadam

Legend
I guess I did as well. I've read it twice and I still believe falling damage is 3d6 for falling 30 feet!
They seem to be trying to do cumulative falling damage. Falling 30 feet the last 10 feet of drop is not adding 1d6 to 2d6, it is adding 3d6 to the 2d6 damage for falling from 20 feet which adds to the 1d6 for falling the first 10 feet. So 6d6 total for a 30 foot fall. A 40 foot drop would be 10d6.

I used that as a house rule in my game for a while as a bit of an in joke for my friends. I have a well-known fear of heights among my friends so I made heights and falling scarier in my game to reflect my reality world view when they are in my world.

Falling has rarely come up in my games so it was never really a big deal.
 

They seem to be trying to do cumulative falling damage. Falling 30 feet the last 10 feet of drop is not adding 1d6 to 2d6, it is adding 3d6 to the 2d6 damage for falling from 20 feet which adds to the 1d6 for falling the first 10 feet. So 6d6 total for a 30 foot fall. A 40 foot drop would be 10d6.

I used that as a house rule in my game for a while as a bit of an in joke for my friends. I have a well-known fear of heights among my friends so I made heights and falling scarier in my game to reflect my reality world view when they are in my world.

Cumulative damage isn't a bad rule, and it's actually pretty easy to understand. But this is a module with one pit trap that is 30 foot deep. It would be trivial to say "characters who fall in the pit take 6d6 damage". It could even just say "The pit is 30' deep. Use you normal rules for falling damage" since, after all, the module is not specific to a particular OSR rule set.

Instead, the text for the pit says "Pit Trap 30 feet deep, with the person falling into it taking 3D6 Damage from falling." Not only is the grammar terrible, but it completely misrepresents the damage, requiring the brain screw of a paragraph that I quoted above.

It's like there was a contest to make the simplest trap ever and describe it in the most convoluted way possible.
 

Voadam

Legend
Cumulative damage isn't a bad rule, and it's actually pretty easy to understand. But this is a module with one pit trap that is 30 foot deep. It would be trivial to say "characters who fall in the pit take 6d6 damage". It could even just say "The pit is 30' deep. Use you normal rules for falling damage" since, after all, the module is not specific to a particular OSR rule set.

Instead, the text for the pit says "Pit Trap 30 feet deep, with the person falling into it taking 3D6 Damage from falling." Not only is the grammar terrible, but it completely misrepresents the damage, requiring the brain screw of a paragraph that I quoted above.

It's like there was a contest to make the simplest trap ever and describe it in the most convoluted way possible.
I agree it is poorly phrased here and very odd to have in a module for use in one pit as opposed to a suggested campaign rule type of thing.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I've been told that the falling damage rules was an attempt to reflect the rules as they were in the original version of D&D, but I personally don't know. Regardless of that, yes, they were badly written.
Falling damage was a repeated subject of amusing debate in the pages of Dragon magazine, and IIRC at least one old-school edition did explicitly make it cumulative like this, or had it explained after the fact to be intended so. Might have been Rules Cyclopedia? Or perhaps it might have been a Sage Advice column? I'm having vague memories of Frank Mentzer having discussed it at some point.


 


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