View Full Version : Falling Damage and Time

Grey Watcher
2007-04-25, 11:50 PM
Recent events in Order of the Stick got me thinking:

How do you handle falling damage and the passage of time? The rules (in the SRD, it's too late at night for me to want to bother to search my physical books), are silent on the subject, implying, but not stating for sure that falling is instantaneous. Does anyone know of any rules supplements that countermand this interpretation?

Whatever the official ruling, I was also curious how individual DMs have handled actions while falling in the past. Any house rules for calculating how many rounds a fall takes? Any fun war stories of something a PC or NPC did while falling?

2007-04-25, 11:53 PM
One of my main players is a physics major. He also knows how to make a char that will kill themself if the jump straight up and roll a nat 20 do the math (or rather they do)

2007-04-25, 11:54 PM
Hmmm... I'm sure I saw this covered in Sage Advice or Ask Wizards, but I can't find it at the moment.

2007-04-26, 12:08 AM
The All About Movement rules articles propose a 500ft first round 1000ft subsequent fall rate for freefalling objects, if I remember right.

2007-04-26, 12:15 AM
I believe it was 150'/round and 300'/round.

2007-04-26, 12:19 AM
That's listed in the DMG for creatures that fail to maintain their minimum flight speeds. Not necessarily the same as a human stepping off a cliff.

2007-04-26, 12:31 AM
One could argue that humans have minimum flight speeds of something really high and a base flight speed of an unlisted 0'. Thus, all humans fail to maintain thier minimum flight speeds by default. :P

Edit: Well, blast. Using a near Earth g of around 32 feet per seconds squares, a body starting midair with no speed up or down will fall around 1152 feet in the first 6 seconds (ignoring air resistance) They would end the 6 seconds falling at roughly 193 feet per second.

However, assuming they accelerate at full g until they hit terminal velocity (roughly 5 second after they start falling), then they fall 800 feet in the first 5 seconds and fall at terminal V for the last second (around 177 feet per second). The second 6 seconds and every round afterwards, they would fall at terminal velocity (177 f/s) for 6 seconds and thus fall around 1062 feet per round until they hitsomething/stop.

Thus the 500 ft/1000 ft rule is nearly right for earthlike planets, likely much closer if I used drag correctly.

2007-04-26, 01:54 AM
As an armchair physicist (and someone who has read the Manual of the Plains and the All About Movement rules articles) I would say 500ft/1,000ft is a good compromise between realism and ease of play. On the other hand i would use the 150ft/300ft in my games as it allows for more heroic action and matches falling fliers and subjective directional gravity more fairly.