Down Strike vs. Knocked down

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JetBlackJoe
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Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by JetBlackJoe » Mon May 27, 2019 12:48 pm

As the topic, how does Down Strike interact with a Knocked down opponent in combat? From the description:
Down Strike, ED4 p. 140 wrote:[...]He must be in a stable position at least one yard above his opponent (either mounted or standing on higher ground), or must jump down onto his opponent.[...]
Being mounted implies that I can definitely be in a stable position while engaged in general melee.

But the one yard above seems like an odd arbitrary condition. Am I one yard above my opponent if he is Knocked down in front of me? What if I am a poleaxe-wielding Troll and he is a Knocked down Windling? What if I am a dagger-wielding Dwarf and he is a Knocked down Obsidiman?

If neither of these apply, can I jump down onto my opponent when he is Knocked down? How far must I jump? Am I Knocked down too then?
"Mind over Body. Body over Mind."
- Verron Vittraxi, Wizard Extraordinaire

Belenus
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by Belenus » Mon May 27, 2019 1:17 pm

Image

JetBlackJoe
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by JetBlackJoe » Mon May 27, 2019 1:34 pm

Humor appreciated :)

So my feet have to be one yard above his face? I don’t really see that applying much to the actual gravitational forces involved and actual weapon distance traveled regarding my racial examples. Also, I don’t really see your two “OK” examples as including a stable position.

What does jumping down on my opponent imply?
"Mind over Body. Body over Mind."
- Verron Vittraxi, Wizard Extraordinaire

Bonhumm
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by Bonhumm » Mon May 27, 2019 2:10 pm

JetBlackJoe wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 1:34 pm
So my feet have to be one yard above his face? I don’t really see that applying much to the actual gravitational forces involved and actual weapon distance traveled regarding my racial examples. Also, I don’t really see your two “OK” examples as including a stable position.

What does jumping down on my opponent imply?
The 1 yard thing is indeed arbitrary but it basically means that you need to gain at least the acceleration of falling from 1 yard (i.e. approx 9.8 m/s) for the Down Strike bonus to apply. Thus your weapon is irrelevant (only your momentum count).

So I'd say you don't need to be 1 yard higher than his face but instead 1 yard higher than what/where you plan to strike (if the target is standing up then you target WILL be his face/head as the rest of the body is 'blocked' by said head).

This is also why they say you must jump down from a stable platform; if you stumble down toward your target, your momentum won't change much to the fact that you cannot really aim your strike.

MY interpretation of what does 'jumping down' mean is that it does not work with the Great Leap talent to prevent the 'Skyraider-on-a-pogo-stick' thing but a long discussion about this about a year ago turned out that the consensus was that Down Strike does work with Great Leap and that the 'jumping down' line is there... because.

Belenus
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by Belenus » Mon May 27, 2019 8:40 pm

We also use Great Leap to get the needed hight.
A discipline talent for both adepts (Sky Raider & Beastmaster) which use Down Strike.

In the Second Edition, Lizard Leap was the prefered skill to get the needed hight.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by ChrisDDickey » Mon May 27, 2019 10:12 pm

This is a topic to which all attempts to apply logic break down pretty fast, and most simply apply precedent and fiat, rather than look for a unifying logic.

If you are looking for logic, I can think of no good reason why somebody mounted a bit above their target can down strike against them, but somebody standing next to somebody who is knocked down can not. Other than game balance. It is not meant to work like that, and gives an additional huge penalty for being knocked down. So for no logical in-game reason many gms disallow it for game balance reasons. It seems to be the precedent and intention that it not work against a target merely because the target is knocked down.

The fact of the matter is that it is talking about three very different situations: standing above an opponent, mounted above an opponent, and leaping down on an opponent and calling them all equivalent. It is more or less meant for Journeyman tier Sky Raiders and Beastmasters to do the pogo stick trick, for Warden Air Sailors to attack from the rigging, and Warden Cavalrymen to get extra oomph from their attacks when they can't charge. One skill for very different usages.

The one yard rule is actually extraordinarily arbitrary, and many GMs ignore it or scale it to the size of the attacker.
A human on a horse is about one yard higher than a human on the ground. He is probably not one yard higher than a troll on the ground. Many GMs would allow a downstrike in ether situation, just because the human is mounted. No logic to it. Not really following the letter of the rule. But it seems simpler to just allow it whenever the attacker is mounted and the target is not.
A dwarf on a Troajin is a bit higher than a dwarf on the ground, but probably not anywhere near one yard higher. A windling on a kue is probably only a few inches higher than a windling on the ground. Again, most would probably allow it simply by saying that since they were half a body length higher, it should be possible.

And in the heat of combat, many GMs would not stop to consider that a dwarf on a pony is actually shorter than a Troll on foot. Maybe the dwarf is striking down at the Trolls feet. Precedent and fiat and ignore the strict letter of the rules and judgments as to the actual height of various races on various mounts for some quick rules of thumb.

JetBlackJoe
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by JetBlackJoe » Tue May 28, 2019 7:44 am

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 10:12 pm
This is a topic to which all attempts to apply logic break down pretty fast, and most simply apply precedent and fiat, rather than look for a unifying logic.
Thank you for a serious and elaborate answer. I was looking for a logical explanation to tie together several inconsistent use cases where I couldn't find any unifying factor.

Your answer - and those of everyone else who pitched in - confirms my confusion as legitimate.

Since there seems to be no standardized way of ruling legal and illegal uses of Down Strike, perhaps people would be kind enough to contribute how and when they allow or disallow Down Strike to be used in their games?
"Mind over Body. Body over Mind."
- Verron Vittraxi, Wizard Extraordinaire

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue May 28, 2019 3:23 pm

I think that the accumulated precedent is that it can be used in the three use cases I mentioned, and otherwise not.
And like I said, I personally scale it down to "about half the attackers body length" rather than "one yard". A windling would have quite some difficulty attacking something that was a full yard below him.

So the first case is "have the higher ground". That is basically what the Air Sailor will usually be going for, and might combine it with "swing attack". I consider a windling in flight to be "in a stable position". So a windling fluttering up around the targets head could always use Down Strike. But like I said, for play balance reasons, not when the target is merely knocked down unless there is some other condition that grants the "higher ground".

Leaping down is the standard Sky Raider/Beast Master attack and I allow it most any time conditions (such as a low ceiling) does not prevent the use of Great Leap and the person with Great Leap wants to spend one strain to activate it. Or if somebody who does not have Great Leap can/wants to leap down from a modest height.

And I allow it most any time the attacker is mounted (regardless of how short the mount is)(and is not using charge, which is incompatible with Down Strike), and the defender is not. I am assuming that maybe dwarf Cavalrymen attack feet a lot.

And of course while each of the disciplines that get Down Strike all have one usage category that seems to be clearly designed for them, I allow all disciplines to use any of the use cases. So a Sky Raider standing on a table, or an Air Sailor mounted on a horse could use Down Strike.

Bonhumm
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by Bonhumm » Tue May 28, 2019 3:56 pm

Here's my personal view about this:

Down Strike is exactly the same thing as the Charge talent but vertically: The added damage is due to added momentum, nothing else.

The (arbitrary) 1 yard rule simply mean you need to have been in free-fall for at least 1 yard to get the necessary momentum for the added damage (just like Charge requires a minimum horizontal distance). Just like Charge, the size of the Adept OR the target is irrelevant; the only thing that count is YOUR momentum.

As for what happens if the 1 yard 'fall' end up lower than the target's head ---- Well, it is called DOWN Strike so the attack (whatever weapon is used) must used the added momentum and thus must come from upward; stabbing horizontally would not get any bonus from downward momentum.

THUS, the attack would need to be either:
  • Striking the head or the shoulders of the target (if the target is standing upright) and therefore mean that the 1 yard fall had to begin at least 1 yard higher than the target's head.
  • Striking (downward) the chest/belly of the target IF said chest/belly is sufficiently larger than the head/shoulders (i.e. otherwise the head/shoulders are 'shielding' the chest from a downward strike).
  • Striking a limb extended far enough from the rest of the body as to, again, not be 'shielded' from a downward strike by the rest of the body
  • Or finally, if the target is not standing upright (i.e. knocked down), any part of the body that is at least 1 yard away from the where the attack began.
So: windling or troll is irrelevant; they both need 1 yard to gain the necessary momentum (remember; falling speed is NOT affected by your weight) so, in my opinion, there should not be any differences on how the rule is applied between races.

Lursi
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Re: Down Strike vs. Knocked down

Post by Lursi » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:43 am

I have eliminated Down Strike completely and replaced it with "Critical Hit".

I was just sick of the discussions this talent produced.
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

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