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Assassin Breakfall
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Author:  Starkad [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Assassin Breakfall

I've been browsing the new DW rulebook...

...Does anyone else find the Assassin's Breakfall skill, as re-written, slightly excessive?

Here's what the new DW rulebook says (page 46):
Breakfall
Assassins with the Breakfall skill can fall up to 6m without sustaining injury. They take the same damage as other Professions for any greater distance than this. This skill may be selected up to three times. On the second selection, the Assassin may safely fall up to 12m; on the third, up to 18m.

18m is an awfully long way to fall without sustaining damage. To give an idea of what 18m (59 feet to anyone not metric minded) is, I attach a photo of the Nebo Tower in Veinge, Sweden, which is 18m high.
(People have been known to fall that far - and further - and survive, but they are very much the exception rather than the rule!)

The rulebook has form for excessive talents - consider the Elementalist's Raw Power which was revised in the Player's Guide.

For my games, I think I will propose the following revision:
Breakfall
Assassins with the Breakfall skill can fall up to 6m without sustaining injury. They take the same damage as other Professions for any greater distance than this. This skill may be selected up to three times. On the second selection, the Assassin may safely fall up to 9m; on the third, up to 12m.

9 metres and 12 metres are still significant drops, but not quite as eyebrow-raising as 18 metres.

Does this sound reasonable?

Attachments:
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Author:  hermes421 [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

Starkad wrote:

For my games, I think I will propose the following revision:
Breakfall
Assassins with the Breakfall skill can fall up to 6m without sustaining injury. They take the same damage as other Professions for any greater distance than this. This skill may be selected up to three times. On the second selection, the Assassin may safely fall up to 9m; on the third, up to 12m.

9 metres and 12 metres are still significant drops, but not quite as eyebrow-raising as 18 metres.

Does this sound reasonable?


It does.
Maybe on the third selection you can let the option to rise up 15m (or more) with an anecdotic damage (1 hp : it could let the choice the player to suffer this low damage) ?

Author:  Acoma [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

18m isn't that excessive - modern Special Forces troops drop out of helicopters 25m up or higher, carrying all their heavy gear. Assassins are the Mediaeval version of Special Forces - highly trained and effective.

Thoughts?

Author:  Kharille [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

Maybe its some kind of hand gliding technique. This is fantasy. I didn't even know there was such a rule in 2ed until you brought this up. But it may be possible, goes with some of the other 'mystical forms'. We're not asking one of us to do it but some hashashin or ninja.

Author:  Starkad [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

Quote:
18m isn't that excessive - modern Special Forces troops drop out of helicopters 25m up or higher, carrying all their heavy gear.

They don't fall out of their helicopters, they use ropes to control/slow their descent. If they fell from 25m, not many of them would be able to move, let alone fight, afterwards.

Quote:
Maybe its some kind of hand gliding technique.

Possibly, if there's a convenient wall to "glide" down. But that seems fairly unlikely to me (and won't cover every eventuality).
Abundant foliage to fall down (as in the film "Avatar") might be better treated as a series of smaller falls.

Quote:
This is fantasy.

Yes, but moving into the realms of "high fantasy" in my opinion. It's on reading this rule that I started to understand why I was reading comments regarding "super-hero" abilities on other threads...

Quote:
Maybe on the third selection you can let the option to rise up 15m (or more) with an anecdotic damage (1 hp : it could let the choice the player to suffer this low damage) ?

This suggestion got me thinking of an alternative.

Instead of taking full damage on exceeding a 6m fall, an Assassin that has bought the skill again may fall upto 12m, but between 6m and 12m he will take damage as if he had fallen 6m less than he has - i.e. a fall of 9m would now be treated as (9m-6m)=3m, or 1d4 HP damage.
In practice, that means that an Assassin in any kind of armour (absorbs 2HP damage), having taken the skill a second time, can fall 8m without damage. Beyond that he would take 1d4-2HP damage for a 10m fall, and 1d6-2HP damage for a 12m fall. Above 12m, he would revert to taking the full damage for the fall (any "hand gliding" technique now fails).
An Assasin that buys the skill a third time may fall upto 12m without damage. For 12m - 18m he will calculate the distance fallen, this time removing 12 from the distance (so a fall of 15m is treated as a 3m fall).

In other words, it now becomes possible to fall distances unthinkable for most people, but the Assassin is unlikely to get away without a sprain or a nasty bruise...

Thoughts?

Author:  Acoma [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

I think this makes a lot more sense than the normal rules, and really reflects the nature of Dragon Warriors - nobody is infallible and power comes at a price.

Author:  wimlach [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

Starkad wrote:
Quote:
18m isn't that excessive - modern Special Forces troops drop out of helicopters 25m up or higher, carrying all their heavy gear.

They don't fall out of their helicopters, they use ropes to control/slow their descent. If they fell from 25m, not many of them would be able to move, let alone fight, afterwards.

Quote:
Maybe its some kind of hand gliding technique.

Possibly, if there's a convenient wall to "glide" down. But that seems fairly unlikely to me (and won't cover every eventuality).
Abundant foliage to fall down (as in the film "Avatar") might be better treated as a series of smaller falls.

Quote:
This is fantasy.

Yes, but moving into the realms of "high fantasy" in my opinion. It's on reading this rule that I started to understand why I was reading comments regarding "super-hero" abilities on other threads...

Quote:
Maybe on the third selection you can let the option to rise up 15m (or more) with an anecdotic damage (1 hp : it could let the choice the player to suffer this low damage) ?

This suggestion got me thinking of an alternative.

Instead of taking full damage on exceeding a 6m fall, an Assassin that has bought the skill again may fall upto 12m, but between 6m and 12m he will take damage as if he had fallen 6m less than he has - i.e. a fall of 9m would now be treated as (9m-6m)=3m, or 1d4 HP damage.
In practice, that means that an Assassin in any kind of armour (absorbs 2HP damage), having taken the skill a second time, can fall 8m without damage. Beyond that he would take 1d4-2HP damage for a 10m fall, and 1d6-2HP damage for a 12m fall. Above 12m, he would revert to taking the full damage for the fall (any "hand gliding" technique now fails).
An Assasin that buys the skill a third time may fall upto 12m without damage. For 12m - 18m he will calculate the distance fallen, this time removing 12 from the distance (so a fall of 15m is treated as a 3m fall).

In other words, it now becomes possible to fall distances unthinkable for most people, but the Assassin is unlikely to get away without a sprain or a nasty bruise...

Thoughts?


You could probably simplify it somewhat by making it a flat reduction in effective height fallen for each level of the skill - -4m, -6m, -8m (or some other set of values). I'd perhaps also always give the benefit of the -2 damage even if not wearing armour.

So an assassin with level 3 skill can drop 10m with no damage, 12m with 1d4-2, 14m with 1d6-2 etc.

Author:  Starkad [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

Quote:
I'd perhaps also always give the benefit of the -2 damage even if not wearing armour.

Why? (Wouldn't this confuse with characters who are wearing armour?)

This would presumably stack if the Assassin wore armour (if not, why not?), making it a -4 modification.

Quote:
You could probably simplify it somewhat by making it a flat reduction in effective height fallen for each level of the skill - -4m, -6m, -8m (or some other set of values).

Isn't that what the current (new) rules set out? It's just that they've picked 6m, 12m and 18m...

Author:  Damian May [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

Eh, controlled falls without injury of over 18 metres are possible...especially so for folks who can go into trances to feign death or...walk through walls.

Perhaps if the Assassin was falling through a void but anywhere with a stone wall, cliffface etc. nearby I'd say they are fine slowing themselves using their training.

Hell I fell 20+ metres off a beach cliff onto relatively packed sand with not much more than the wind knocked out of me....and I don't have 15 years of League of Assassins training behind me or 10 years of catburglary and second storey work.

Author:  Starkad [ Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Assassin Breakfall

Quote:
Hell I fell 20+ metres off a beach cliff onto relatively packed sand with not much more than the wind knocked out of me...

You were bl**dy lucky! (Shall we call that rolling minimum on the damage dice?)

I, on the other hand, fell backwards only 2m, landed across a log, and nearly lost the use of my legs.* I think I was saved by the near-rigid armour I was wearing at the time.
* My back still gives me trouble some 30 years later.

Quote:
Perhaps if the Assassin was falling through a void but anywhere with a stone wall, cliffface etc. nearby I'd say they are fine slowing themselves using their training.

This seems to be a common suggestion... but the current rule doesn't state there must be something available to slow the assassin's fall.
(Although, with the exception of falling off an overhang, I'm struggling to see where an assassin would fall from that doesn't have a nearby surface or handholds to "skim" down...)

Quote:
Eh, controlled falls without injury of over 18 metres are possible...especially so for folks who can go into trances to feign death or...walk through walls.

Walking through walls requires intense mental preparation (almost akin to a spell)... And being Rank 12.

Speaking of which, to fall 12m+ without injury an Assassin must be Rank 5 and have bought no other skills. You might say they have trained hard (and paid the price) for their specialism.

So what's the consensus? The new rule is fine (leave it alone)?

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