Tuesday, 12 April 2011

J is for Jumping: Digging for Gems in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide

Now this gem might just be useful...

There is a six foot wide gap ahead, can the character make the jump?

I like the way the table gives increasing distance for level. Not realistic, but certainly the stuff of heroes. Of course Sir Lancelot can jump further than a scullion boy, unless the scullion boy is Beaumains (Gareth).

A broad jump requires 20' head start.
Heavy gear -1 foot
Very heavy gear -2 feet
Encumbered -4 feet
Halfling -1 foot
Dwarves and Gnomes -2 feet

Halflings are obviously spritely aren't they compared to dwarves and gnomes.

Gems we can take
1. Broad Jumping rules


  1. I think it's interesting that jumping ability is tied to level, but not to class. Kind of funny to think that the scrawny mage who's only real exercise is hauling around his spellbooks can jump as far as the athletic warrior simply because they are both the same level.

  2. In my wirework wuxia D&D interpretation all PCs can jump 5'/level, ignoring encumbrance. I'm intrigued that the DSG was already there.

  3. The rules about jumping are indeed fascinating.
    The world record for long jumping is 29 feet.

    @Richard - therefore at 5' per level at level 6 you break the world record. Umm..
    @David - tied to level not class? I sought of agree - but I like level; but I don't like the granularity in the table.

    What about 1d6 + 5feet
    Plus add in feet the characters strength and dexterity bonus
    Thief add level until Name level (Max +10)
    Fighter +1 feet at 4th level (hero), +1 feet (additional) at 8th Level (Super-hero) (continue to add +1 additional feet every fourth level)
    Everyone else, +1 feet per 6 levels

    So a 14th level thief
    4 (1d6 roll 4) +5 (base) + 10 (level) + 2 (Dex 17) + 1 (Str 13) = 22 feet.
    Heroic but not world record!
    So a 14th level fighter
    4 (1d6 roll 4) +5 (base) + 3 (level) + 1 (Dex 13) + 2 (Str 17) = 15 feet.
    This is similar to level 16-18 above

    Everyone else at level 14:
    4 (1d6 roll 4) +5 (base) + 2 (level) + 1 (Dex 13) + 1 (Str 13) = 13 feet.


  4. Thoughts?

    I like it. I'm guessing that this is for taking a running long jump. How would you handle a standing jump? Maybe reduce the base from 5 feet to 1?

  5. Not dealing with encumbrance?

    For me it's actually a game challenge tradeoff: if you allow Crouching Tiger type leap-small-buildings action then your pits and chasms have to get correspondingly bigger to have the same in-game effects. What happens when PCs can jump atop castle walls? OTOH as you noted before, D&D is a game of acquisition. This here might be the sweet spot, especially for thieves. I might increase the random factor, though: make that thief sweat - and consider an insurance policy - about a 15' gap in the dark. Or when being chased across rooftops. For full parkour action, does jumping ability help you avoid taking damage from prepared falls? (can you safely jump down as far as you can long jump?)

  6. @ 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.)

    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

    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?