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There is a type of magical boots in the Adventurer's Vault called "Cat Tabi".

Cat Tabi has a property (emphasis mine):

Gain a +3 item bonus to Athletics checks to jump. You take half damage from a fall, and always land on your feet.

I assumed this meant you were never knocked prone by a fall.

However, it also has a daily power (emphasis mine):

Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you fall 10 feet or more. You take no damage from the fall and are not knocked prone.

But if you're wearing the boots, you always land on your feet. So, is this last clause in the daily power redundant, or am I misunderstanding what "always land on your feet" means?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What kind of answer are you looking for here? I can play linguistic games with what "always landing on your feet" might or might not mean, but are you looking for something more than that? \$\endgroup\$ – harlandski Mar 3 '15 at 1:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @harlandski I'm hoping someone has a rules citation, reference to a forum post or statement by a Wizards employee, example of another power with redundant wording, or really anything to clear this up. Maybe somebody sees a difference between landing on your feet and not being prone? In the end, "Yeah, that's totally redundant" is probably the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Mar 3 '15 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting is that equipping these boots and smearing butter on your head is a cheap way to get levitate powers. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Mar 3 '15 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Landing on your feet and remaining upright after doing so are not necessarily the same thing. \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Mar 3 '15 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnP Can you elaborate on that? Perhaps in an answer? It seems to me that landing on your feet and not falling prone from the fall are the same thing. If something else knocks you prone after you land, that seems unrelated. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Mar 3 '15 at 20:03
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This is problematic.

An ultra strict adherence to RAW cannot parse "land on your feet," because that term has no rules-based meaning. It's the same as a hypothetical power that read, "and you knock the target over" -- the intent is pretty clear, but the designer who wrote the item somehow used the wrong words to convey the rule he meant to invoke.

Because of this, the RAWest possible reading of the property must discard, "and always land on your feet," and treat it as if it were flavor text, which it isn't, because it's inline with other rule text, in the Property section, rather than in the Description section, where flavor text belongs.

The RAI is exceptionally clear here, and I strongly believe that you should not penalize your players for poor writing by designers.

The mechanical difference between "you land on your feet" and "you are not knocked prone" is that "you are not knocked prone" is an actual rule element, while "you land on your feet" is a ruleless assertion which is repeatedly used in magical boot property text to mean the same thing.

My best (unfounded) guess is that whichever item designer wrote the boots intentionally used different phrasing so as to sound less redundant, but for actual play purposes, I would treat the two as fully interchangeable/redundant, as the writer appears to have done in writing these boots.

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In the Cat Tabi description "always land on your feet" is used as a synonym for not falling prone. The difference between the property and the power is not whether you fall prone or not - you don't in any case - but the amount of damage you take (half or none).

The "always land on your feet" is the specific rule which overrides the general "You fall prone when you land, unless you take no damage from the fall" (PHB 284).

The "always land on your feet" property can be found with regards to other Feet Slot items in the Adventurer's Vault, for example Airstriders and Feyleaf Sandals.

There might be some unusual situation where landing on your feet might result in subsequently becoming prone, as discussed here: Can a prone or unconscious character with 'Winged Boots' equipped still be safe from crashing? but in the moment it happens, landing on your feet = not prone.

So yes, the "and are not knocked prone" part of the power is essentially redundant.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I looked over the linked question, and I don't see any way there for a character to fall prone from landing. They might fall prone from being unconscious after landing, but that's a completely separate condition. Do you have an "unusual situation" in mind where the extra clause matters, or are you just covering your bases? \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Mar 3 '15 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just covering my bases :-) \$\endgroup\$ – harlandski Mar 4 '15 at 1:03

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