Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Brainstorming rules for broad jumping with Richard and David

[ADDITIONAL: I have made some maths errors below when I forgot that 2d6 max is 12 not 6. Somehow in my stream of consciousness I kept thinking 1d6. I will reflect and repost soon. I still think it is workable.]

See my J is for Jumping Post on the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide Rules

@ Richard & David - hope you guys are following by email

I think I'll have to dig unearthed arcana out and check out the acrobatic rules.

I think jumping needs a full new post and new rules. Ideally something simple and easy to remember.  I like your suggestion about increasing the random factor.

Running jump
What about Str+Dex bonus (or penalty) + level + d6
Thieves add an extra d4 every 3rd level
Fighters add an extra d4 every 4th level

I just googled Under 13 long jump and got for girls 5.1 m = 16 feet (the first that came up)
So we need a range between 16 and 29 feet (world record adult male) - range 13 feet

That's the issue how to get the sweet spot.
That range is sort of like 2d6 or 3d4 or 1d12

How about...
Level + 2d6 + Str and Dex bonus
Max for 18 str 18 dex level 10, roll 6 = 22 feet (beats world record at level 17. I can live with that.)
[AHEM - that should be roll 12 making 28 feet at Level 10 and beating world record from Level 11 - maybe max name level? Or just go crouching tiger]

OK, got out unearthed arcana from behind the loft hatch
"Non-thief acrobats can perform a standing broad jump of up to 4' in distance and a running broad jump up to 8'.

That's pathetic.

Best for thief acrobat at level 23
Standing jump 12'
Running jump 22'

Strength adjustment
Str 17 1/4'
Str 18 1/2'
Str 16 1/2'
Str 17 1'
Str 18 2'

This table is someones extrapolation for higher ability scores

I think a level 23 acrobat should be able to break the world record and, why not some crouching tiger action.

So going back:
Running Broad Jump
Level + 2d6 + Str and Dex bonus
(With 7 as average roll and at Level 1, and no ability bonuses = 8 feet (same as Unearthed Arcana for non-acrobat characters and close to DSG max 9 feet.

Goes up with level, easy to remember, thieves and fighters benefit owing to their likely better ability scores in those two ability scores.

For variation thieves could be 3d4 (better average, min 3')
Magic Users 1d12 (worse average, min 1')

What about Standing Broad Jump
12' is the best for both DSG and unearthed arcana acrobat, UE suggest 4' for all non-acrobat characters
Level/3 (rounded down) + 1d4 + Str bonus
No dexterity because less about technique and more about leg power

Level 1, 18 str, roll 4 = 0+3+4 = 7feet (bit much)
Level 1, 10 Str roll 1 = 0+0+1 = 1 foot (bit low)
Level 10, 18 str, roll 4 = 10 feet

Umm, not quite

Level / 4 rounded down + Str bonus / 2 rounded down + d4?


(Level + 2d6 + Str bonus) /2
Range for 0 bonus strength at 1st level = 1.5(trip) - 6.5feet
Range for 18 str level 10 = 7.5 - 12.5 feet
[NO mistake here thankfully]

I can live with that = as it's simple and the formula is the same as running jump just divided in two with no dexterity.

The same alternative rules with MU (1d12) and thief (3d4 apply)

This site gives 12.3 feet as the male best and 5 feet as the female worst.


Running Broad Jump (in feet)
Level + 2d6 + Str and Dex bonus
(Alternative: Thieves 3d4 instead of 2d6, Magic Users 1d12 instead of 2d6)

Standing Broad Jump (in feet)
(Level + 2d6 + Str) / 2
(Alternative: Thieves 3d4 instead of 2d6, Magic Users 1d12 instead of 2d6)

What do you think?


  1. It took me a few reads to finally get an idea of how you have things set up. On average, it looks like a standing broad jump for a 1st level character is in the 4-5 foot range, and 7-9 feet with the running start. A more heroic character (high STR, DEX and level) would be able to make more Olympian leaps.

    Looks good.

  2. I made a slight maths error David - changed in the post. Still there I think.

  3. Looks good to me, a bit more crunchy that I would use, but in line with lots of other D&D rulings. I might keep str+dex bonus for standing jumps just because it's simpler to remember one rule and because I reckon dex is about applying your str resources well - bodily discipline and all that.

    I would, by direct fiat, demand a dex save for jumps that exactly make it or fail by 1-4: if you make your jump exactly but fail your save you're flailing unbalanced on the brink for 1 round unable to act - and have to make another save or be rescued by a friend. If you miss by 1-4 then you have to make a dex save to grab the ledge, with the amount you missed by as a penalty.