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If through the use of a athletics skill feat, gadget, or a magical item that I jump more than 5 feet vertically. Do I take fall damage landing?

I haven't been able to find any rules that say you wouldn't, but it feels bad to specialize in things like Cloud Jump and then break your ankles on the landing.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Enjoy your Icarian Flight! :D \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 2:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Depending on the genre of your game, it seems like a fairly reasonable and balanced house rule to say that you don't take falling damage from high jumps (at least up to the distance you jumped vertically). It's not terribly realistic, but not all genres are (e.g. superheroes) and it is definitely epic! \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 17:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ We actually had the opposite, someone strapped on rocket boots and we were all laughing at the Wiley E Coyote situation he'd accidentally put himself in. I just wanted to make sure we were playing it correctly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rapida
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 18:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Realistically, if your bones, tendons and muscles are strong enough to propel you to X feet in the air, they are definetely strong enough to absorb the shock of falling from X. At least I can easily jump from 1,5 meters, but have no chance of jumping to 0,75 meters. Basically, the rules (of most RPGs, PF2 included) are clearly wrong in this regard. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 8:45

4 Answers 4

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Well, if you jump on to something, you take no damage landing. That is the point.

Being able to jump and land on top of a castle wall is certainly a great skill.

If you jump over something and fall down the same distance on the other side, you take fall damage.

So jumping over that castle wall in one swoop without landing on top of it is going to be painful.

The rules don't explicitely say so because that's just what happens in real life and shouldn't need extra explanation.

You jump on to a stack of boxes to stand on top? Good for you. You jump over a stack of boxes of the same height? You basically fall down the other side. You better put some gymnastics mats on the other side. World class athletes do it, your character faces the same problem. Being able to jump high doesn't mean you have a way to harmlessly glide to the ground on the other side.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It may help to point out the grab an edge basic Reaction, which could be used if a person wants their character over something, but wants to reduce the fall damage, given access to something to grab on the other side, such as a stairwell. The Fighter/Barbarian Feat Sudden Leap is also a good thing to cite as a contrast. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 4, 2021 at 21:07
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It’s the Fall That Gets You

Using something like Cloud Jump to leap 20 feet up wouldn't hurt you, as you would end your High Jump at the top of that leap. After jumping however, you would fall as normal and take damage following the rules you linked.

It would be good to jump without breaking your ankles, and you have a few options:

  • Don't end your jump in mid-air, jump onto something or Grab an Edge to avoid falling
  • Take the Cat Fall skill feat to reduce effective distance fallen

Treat falls as 10 feet shorter. If you’re an expert in Acrobatics, treat falls as 25 feet shorter. If you’re a master in Acrobatics, treat them as 50 feet shorter. If you’re legendary in Acrobatics, you always land on your feet and don’t take damage, regardless of the distance of the fall.

If you fall into water, snow, or another relatively soft substance, you can treat the fall as though it were 20 feet shorter, or 30 feet shorter if you intentionally dove in. The effective reduction can’t be greater than the depth (so when falling into 10-foot-deep water, you treat the fall as 10 feet shorter).

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The rules

The rules are clear, if you fall more than 5 feet, you take damage, it does not matter how you got that high.

The reality

Realistically, if your bones, tendons and muscles are strong enough to propel you to X feet in the air, they are definetely strong enough to absorb the shock of falling from X. I can easily jump from 5 feet, but have no chance of jumping to even 4 feet.
Basically, the rules are wrong in this regard. This is not just PF2, DnD does the same for example.

Obviously, this does not apply to Blast Boots, but I would expect the Boots of Bounding (or any magic item) to deal with the landing as well as the launching.

The solution

House-rule fix

If I were your GM, I would just house-rule that you cannot hurt yourself with a muscle-powered jump unless your fall is more than how high you could jump to without an actual roll (so Assurance included).

Official fix

The Cat Fall skill feat can help with this:

Proficiency Fall reduction Deals with
Trained 10 Highest jump without feats and equipment
Expert 25 Blast Boots (Moderate)
Master 50 Blast Boots (Greater), Cloud jump
Legendary any Blast Boots (Major)
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We have a house rule where if you jump deliberately, even off a high place, you must pass a DC check equal to the height in feet. This means that although it is possible to land awkwardly from a high jump and (e.g. hurt your ankle), it is unlikely that you will do so.

We use the rules as written for accidental falls, or falls where you are not in control of your body at the moment you start falling.

We find that it works well; people are allowed to jump off a wall without going prone in most cases. We even have a rule that if you roll a critical success you can roll and move 10ft when you hit the ground without triggering attacks of opportunity.

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