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    Dragons and Damage Effects
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    Paladin

    Joined: Sep 07, 2011
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    From: Houston Texas

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    Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:10 pm  
    Dragons and Damage Effects

    ok-fellow GH'ers
    at one time long ago i recall somewhere a methodology for handling damage as it relates to the creatures ability to fly etc. simply, at what point does the damage ground the beast? or is this similar to a called shot aspect.... thoughts
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    From: SW WA state (Highvale)

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    Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:26 pm  

    I am totally out of my plane of existence here...just passing through, ladies and gents...don't mind me...got lost from the 2e Forum. HOWEVER, before you banish me back to my 'lower plane' Wink I think I may be of some use to you, DLG!

    According to 1e, at the very least, a flying creature is grounded depending on whether it has membranous OR feathered wings. A flying creature sustaining more than 50% of its hit points in damage MUST land. If it sustains more than 75% of its hit points in damage, it crashes.

    Feathered wings are more difficult to damage than membranous wings, and thus, a creature with such wings is granted an extra (illusory, for the purposes of staying aloft ONLY) 1/4 hit points. Ex: a griffon with 30 hp is given 15 hp more for the purpose of staying aloft only, giving it a (illusory) 45 hp for this effect only. It would have to take 23 hp of damage before it had to land.

    Hope this helps, and the 1e and 2e followers have proven to be of worth. Happy Off I go, back to my domain... Razz

    -Lanthorn, Planar Denizen and Traveler
    GreySage

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:00 pm  
    Re: Dragons and Damage Effects

    Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
    It is by will alone I set my die in motion.....It is by gaming that thoughts acquire speed.....The hands acquire shaking..... The shaking becomes a warning......It is by will alone I set my die in motion....


    Holy Hannibal Hays and Kid Curry! The Dark Lord is a . . . Mentat! Shocked

    So, DG, you from Arakis? Confused

    Hehehehehehehehe!
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:01 am  

    His lips are probably permanently stained light green from imbibing the ability enhancing mountain dew juice too.

    I would probably go with the 1E method, as it is familiar to me. 3.5 Has a section for aerial movement (which covers falling due to being unable to fly to full capability for whatever reason), but not one for aerial combat (they cover underwater combat though- I blame aeolius for this :lol). Never had to look this one up in 3.X before, so I don't know if it is actually covered in some hidden spot that I was unable to find.

    So, go with what you know, which for me would be what Lanthorn mentioned (see DMG 1E, p. 53); that being the 50% = critter has to glide in and land, and the 75% = critter crashes and burns...but may survive if they were low enough. Where's that ring of feather falling when you need one? Mage!
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    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:42 am  

    The 50%/75% rule seems realistic, but you must realize that you aren't likely applying a similar rule to PCs and NPCs with respect to standing. After all, should a PC that has suffered 50% damage be reduced to 50% movement? If a PC suffers 75% damage, should he become stationary or even fall down prone?

    D&D assumes hit points are extremely relative. All lost hit points represent the body tiring and suffering a few scrapes and bruises until those last few hit points are taken. Once you're down to 5 hit points out of a starting 50, your PC is so tired and bruied up that he just can't move fast enough to avoid the next well-placed stab to the heart. Thus, the final stab kills him. Until then, he can move and fight at 100%. Why should you apply different rules to a flying creature?

    I suggest you ignore any hard and fast rule on the subject and simply adjudicate such effects arbitrarily, as the DM, when you think it will add fun and excitement to the game. For example, if the PCs manage to hit a green dragon with a Cone of Cold, it could come crashing through the forest canopy and have to spend a round shaking the ice from its wings before it can launch itself into the air again. The PCs better take advantage of that round while its on the ground! Shocked

    SirXaris
    Paladin

    Joined: Sep 07, 2011
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    From: Houston Texas

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    Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:06 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    I think I may be of some use to you, DLG!
    According to 1e, at the very least, a flying creature is grounded depending on whether it has membranous OR feathered wings. A flying creature sustaining more than 50% of its hit points in damage MUST land. If it sustains more than 75% of its hit points in damage, it crashes.


    Cebrion wrote:
    I would probably go with the 1E method, as it is familiar to me. 3.5 Has a section for aerial movement (which covers falling due to being unable to fly to full capability for whatever reason), but not one for aerial combat (they cover underwater combat though- I blame aeolius for this :lol). Never had to look this one up in 3.X before, so I don't know if it is actually covered in some hidden spot that I was unable to find.

    So, go with what you know, which for me would be what Lanthorn mentioned (see DMG 1E, p. 53); that being the 50% = critter has to glide in and land, and the 75% = critter crashes and burns...but may survive if they were low enough.

    Yep, that is what I was recalling... just didn't recall where... should have known it was in ole reliable
    Laughing
    And like you, I could find nothing in 3.5e to "rule" with... After making the 1e /2e transition to 3.5 last year (Sorry Lanthorn it was forced apon me, 6 PC to 2) on my resurgance into the game, I did make the caveat that any grey guidelines or omitions would be defered to 2e or earlier for resolve... so this works... Cool
    SirXaris wrote:

    D&D assumes hit points are extremely relative. All lost hit points represent the body tiring and suffering a few scrapes and bruises until those last few hit points are taken. Once you're down to 5 hit points out of a starting 50, your PC is so tired and bruied up that he just can't move fast enough to avoid the next well-placed stab to the heart. Thus, the final stab kills him. Until then, he can move and fight at 100%. Why should you apply different rules to a flying creature?

    That was my thought as well.... and you bring a valid argument back to the light... many a PC will fight into single digits w/o any such incumberances... unless I am overlooking them in 3.5 somewhere?

    SirXaris wrote:

    I suggest you ignore any hard and fast rule on the subject and simply adjudicate such effects arbitrarily, as the DM, when you think it will add fun and excitement to the game.

    I am leaning toward this... as it would apply in the game action I am faced.
    Last session, an Adult Black Dragon & Rider were making a straffing run parallel to the castle embattlements... nothing like abit of acid splash to disrupt repelling those wall defenders. hehe
    Anyway, amist doing so, the wizardress on the far end of the wall, seeing the dragon's approach, fires a chain lightning bolt right after the dragon's breath attack. The bolt strikes the dragon (failed save for half) and killing the rider. The dragon in turn soft crashes into the opposite wall within the courtyard, but survives... that is where we stopped....
    As I have the potential for several more aerial combats in this session, 12 gargoyles, a nightmare, and a wizard that likes fly spells.. I need to come up with a "fix" that works both sides equally .. as SirX has pointed out...So thought on this?
    game mechanics>50/75 ruling may ground, but the creature could return to flight in 1d4 rds if falling damage doesn't succumb. Falling damage varies based on controled decent.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:01 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    The 50%/75% rule seems realistic, but you must realize that you aren't likely applying a similar rule to PCs and NPCs with respect to standing. After all, should a PC that has suffered 50% damage be reduced to 50% movement? If a PC suffers 75% damage, should he become stationary or even fall down prone?

    D&D assumes hit points are extremely relative. All lost hit points represent the body tiring and suffering a few scrapes and bruises until those last few hit points are taken. Once you're down to 5 hit points out of a starting 50, your PC is so tired and bruied up that he just can't move fast enough to avoid the next well-placed stab to the heart. Thus, the final stab kills him. Until then, he can move and fight at 100%. Why should you apply different rules to a flying creature?


    Because of real life. Flying critters than get hurt/tired land. It is what they do. Why? Because flying is obviously harder than walking (might be those forces of physics which are present in flight and acting upon the body, and which are significantly diminished with land movement Wink). And we are talking about critters here that their main mode of movement is flying, as they are ungainly on the ground, which a dragon isn't. A dragon is not all flapping about when on the ground when unhurt/rested or hurt/tired- they move relatively normal there, just like a person who is unhurt/rested or hurt/tired. The main reason for all of this is to have a means of grounding flying creatures that have a huge advantage due to flight, like a dragon. This not only allows for the fun, in-game game experience of earthbound PCs having a chance to fight such things as flying dragons (rather than just sitting there mostly helpless, waiting to be strafed by breathe weapons unto death, but it is also realistic so far a flying critters are concerned.

    SirXaris wrote:
    I suggest you ignore any hard and fast rule on the subject and simply adjudicate such effects arbitrarily, as the DM, when you think it will add fun and excitement to the game. For example, if the PCs manage to hit a green dragon with a Cone of Cold, it could come crashing through the forest canopy and have to spend a round shaking the ice from its wings before it can launch itself into the air again. The PCs better take advantage of that round while its on the ground! Shocked

    SirXaris

    I wouldn't ignore such a rule at all, nor would I add a hindering rule to another effect in one instance and not in all instances. I would say the dragon landed because it was hurt, and that it shakes off the rime of ice as any critert not liking to be cold would, though not because its wings were frozen/iced over to the point that it could not fly properly, because a cone of cold does not have that affect. Window dressing should be just that. I do actually have a cone of cold story that I can use an an example of what I mean. At the beginning of one PC mage's career, he fled from a battle where his a master, a sage and arch-mage, was being charged by a GK anti-paladin with an unholy avenger greatsword mounted on a nightmare. The sage hit the duo with a cone of cold, and I rolled very good damage for it. The steed failed its save and was killed outright (as in -20 hit points obliteration type damage) and the anti-paladin was wounded pretty badly. The net effect of having a charging steed taken out from underneath somebody in 2E is to force a Riding check to avoid d6 falling damage. My embellishment was that the spell hit the steed so well from the front that it was mostly frozen solid and its front legs snapped off, spilling its rider to the ground. The anti-paladin made his check and shoulder rolled to his feet, and then continued towards the sage, where further brutal combat awesomeness did ensue. Laughing The point is that my embellishment didn't alter the core rules at all, but merely provided a cool visual for the situation. That's it. Window dressing.

    For me, the only reason players shouldn't know an effect is when they don't happen to know it. Basic rules are there to be known. They are what tell a player what the basic confines of their characters'/monsters' actions are. That is not to say that in some unique instances that core rules won't get modified though. Special rules are often special precisely because they do break the core rules. I just like my players to know what their characters/enemies are capable of, at least so far as the basic rules are concerned. I don't want them to feel like they are being cheated or being a given a crutch, because they likewise agree that that just cheapens the experience either way.

    Also, these rules would apply only to things that physically use their bodies to fly, not to magical flight. In my world, Dragons that can use magic usually make a point of learning one spell in particular- featherfall. Depending on the game system, it can take a lot of damage to ground a dragon, let alone make one crash, sop even then the spell doesn't get used all that often. I think I have had it happen once or twice total., and only once in a 1E game where dragon have much fewer hit points than other game editions. These rules go for all naturally flying critters though, so things like stirges that actually survive getting slashed by a sword are probably going to the ground, though its not like they aren't going to soon be dead if that happens anyways. Laughing
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:26 am; edited 2 times in total
    GreySage

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    Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:13 am  

    Your points are valid, Cebrion, but I'll remind you that I'm sure I remember reading somewhere (I know, that's not very helpful for research purposes rolleyes ) that most fantastic creatures, like dragons, don't rely fully upon physics for flight, but enjoy an inherently magical nature that allows them to gain height and remain aloft despite the obvious impossiblity of their natural wings having the capacity or strength to carry them. Thus, it would take a combination of serious amounts of damage and a successful Dispel Magic to bring down a flying dragon, manticore, coutl, etc.

    Secondly, it is not always more difficult to fly than it is to walk, even in the real world. Most birds, especially raptors, know how to glide on rising heat currents and spend less energy remaining aloft than they do perched on a branch. In addition, I remember that the Dragon Magazine article introducing the Winged Folk specifically stated that they fly as easily as other humanoids walk. That may be accepted or rejected in their own campaigns by each individual DM, but it is an example of such a rule in canon. Wink Thus, my suggestion that if you apply such a rule to a flying creature, it is only fair to apply it to all walking/standing ones as well.

    SirXaris
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:32 am  

    Dragons don't fly magically. Some creatures do, but dragons don't. At least the archetypal D&D dragons don't. These are not C.S. Lewis Dragons, but Tolkien Dragons (hope I didn't mix that up; they almost started a tavern brawl arguing over the subject Happy). Oriental Dragons are a different thing altogether though, and usually do fly magically because they often do not have wings. An example of something that does have wings, but which flies magically is the Nalfeshneee (Type IV Demon).
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