I have been a software engineer for 35 years dealing with motion control and software for metal-cutting machines and other forms of automation. I have a lot of experience creating rules that simulate reality.Right, but notice that there are at least TWO major things you are NOT claiming here that have been claimed over and over in this thread! One being that there is the possibility, and active practice, of SIMULATING the world, such that this simulation produces actual specific outcomes which are the logical consequence of how that world MUST realistically work. SECOND is the claim that we can measure the 'realism' of various options and objectively state that some things in our fantasy world would be more realistic outcomes than others.
Now, in the second case I think there are some fairly trivial examples where this is possible. "Joe stepped over an edge, he fell, it hurt", this seems to be realistic in a limited sense. I am still not of the opinion these would rise to the level of simulation, because you cannot draw any generalizable conclusions about gravity from what happens in D&D when you fall.
In addition, I wrote several spaceflight simulators that emulated perfectly how various historical spacecraft like the Mercury spacecraft. Including details like the fact the spacecraft wasn't perfectly balanced, that it had a known rate of leaking oxygen that had a random variation over time, that pressing certain buttons and moving certain levers had very delays before something happened due to the fact hydraulics and mechanical relay took a small but noticeable amount of time to activate and so on.
The simulation of everything I did wasn't 100% perfect. It didn't need to be. My job was to work at it until the difference was low enough for the software or machine to be useful and safe for the application. In the RPGs that application is pretending to be characters living their lives in a setting. With the creative choice of making a system that supports the referee and players in a way that they can take the same factors as one would in life (instead of something fantastic like magic) come to a decision, and the outcome would be the same as it would be in life.
But to be clear that is a creative choice that is a subset of what is possible to do with RPGs. The overarching principle that helps RPG campaign is consistency with how the setting works. Whether it is grounded in how life works or something far more fantastic.
Including settings that are described as random or chaotic to human perception like another plane of existence. In those cases, the system would reflect the random and chaotic nature of the setting.
Many fantasy worlds are a mix of mundane i.e. realistic elements and fantastic elements. That makes them more relatable to their human audiences. Some fantasy worlds are way more fantastic than others so for some trying to do the above is pointless. Some have a fair amount of mundane elements so if the game author decides to focus on the above that is a good of a creative choice as any other.SECOND is the claim that we can measure the 'realism' of various options and objectively state that some things in our fantasy world would be more realistic outcomes than others.
In D&D, the procedure to used to handle falling damage is not realistic. The procedure in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy is. And reflects how an object falls in a world with Earth's atmosphere and gravity through the formula it uses.Now, in the second case I think there are some fairly trivial examples where this is possible. "Joe stepped over an edge, he fell, it hurt", this seems to be realistic in a limited sense. I am still not of the opinion these would rise to the level of simulation, because you cannot draw any generalizable conclusions about gravity from what happens in D&D when you fall.
Some folks may think GURPS approach is overkill while others like myself had no issue with it. Although in the Dungeon Fantasy RPG they made a more useful table by assuming a few things and calculating the damage dice so all you have to do is a table lookup.
Still, there is another possibility where some folks are more interested in the narrative outcome of a fall. As a result the procedure it basically a fall from a great height is a setback of type, while a short fall is likely a momentary hindrance and leave it at that.
All of these methods, including D&D's take, are equally valid creative choices for an RPG campaign. All of them are consistent enough for a player to make a decision whether as their character to take that jump.