Tuesday, 12 April 2022

J is for Jumping

How far can you jump from a standing position? A running start? How high for the same?

Jumping mechanics in TTRPGs are varied and another example of attempts to simulate such athletics in rule systems. Systems make conceits for abstraction and playability.

AD&D 1e

Jumping in First edition AD&D is ... not a defined mechanic (as near as I can tell; the word jump occurs in the text mostly with the Jump spell and the magic item for Boots of Striding and Springing. A Googling suggests that such actions were heavily house ruled—Rulings of Rules!—at the table. Falling is grossly abstracted as a number of d6 (six sided die) per ten feet, to a maximum of 20d6 (twenty six sided die, all added)1.

It is quite possible for a D&D character to fall 200 feet, take only 20 points of damage, and brush themselves off, especially at high level play. It would most certainly be deadly to a first level character.


WFRP differentiates Jumping (vertical movement, i.e., from a rooftop to a street) and Leaping (horizontal movement, i.e., from a rooftop to a rooftop across an alley). Jumping or Leaping may result in Falling, a further distinction. 

Jumping is an Agility test for every three yards, or nine feet. A 12 foot jump is thus two Agility tests. If the character were to fail the second test, the character would take Falling damage for the uncontrolled descent of the last three feet. 

Leaping distance is twice the Movement of the character, in yards!, for a running leap, or just the Movement for a standing leap. Failure is simply judged on the number of degrees of failure, a calculation: An Agility of 43 is tested by a percentile roll (d100) and 64 is rolled. this is one degree of failure, (64 - 43) = (|-19| / 10) = 1.9, or 1 whole number. For each degree of Failure one yard, or three feet, of distance is subtracted. This could be the difference between grabbing the ledge and pulling oneself up, or learning about Falling damage.

  1. [1] Let's just skip the discussion on failing to leap to the roof on the other side of the alley and falling three stories. Because your character is likely to survive, likely without a lasting penalty, and I already blogged for the letter F.

Posted by caffeinated at 2:06 PM in d10