Falling damage immunity, greather or lesser?

Hello, I'm kinda new to ars magica. I'm creating a companion redcap, I started thinking the concept so that he be some kind of comic relief, I gave him a pair of wings so he can fly around delivering messages, then I found amusing that even when he can fly he will be horrible making landings. I considered giving him fast healing, but then i read about the immunity virtues, and I think would be nice to give him fall damage immunity, and then change his wings so that he needs concentration to fly.
I wonder, is falling damage a valid immunity? Would be a greater or lesser immunity? I mean, falling damage can be letal, and I don't know if should be considered common for everyone, but it certainly will be more common for this character, even so I think of it more like a flavor thing than an advantage. What do you think?

Lesser Immunity. For two reasons.

First, it's rare for the average person. It's obvious that a character who immune to a rare hazard will try to capitalize on his immunity and face it often :slight_smile:
Second, it's not providing much more benefit then the ability to float ... something that a number of Minor Virtues can provide.

That said: if you are getting this for a flying character, I would probably design that power as flawed in the following sense.

First pay for the power as if it were flawless - you can fly as perfectly as any bee! If you character has the Minor Magic Blood (Magic Thing) Virtue, for example, this should be well within the capability of the Lesser Power conferred. Alternatively, you could have one of the Redcap's magic items be enchanted with the effect.

Second say that the flying power has a purely cosmetic "flaw" - landings tend to go horribly, and the power occasionallly fails suddenly in midair, but the character will never really suffer harm from it (including harm to his possessions) perhaps due to surprising coincidences. This is effectively a Minor Personality Flaw: something internal that characterizes your character, and allows the SG to initiate stories and/or interesting situations (e.g. you crash through the roof of a tower holding a kidnapped princess...) Make sure you claim the point bonus from your SG from it!

I would agree with Lesser. The virtue says You are immune to some hazard that is either rare, or not deadly, or both.

How many people die from falling in your saga?

You could always warn the player that this is not a complete immunity. If his character was to fall from a great height on a hard surface (say, 200 feet on broken rocks), you can state that he will receive severe damage. A few Heavy or Incapacitating Wounds will be punishment enough.

And make sure to apply cosmetic "damage" the the character. Small cuts and bruises, bloodied nose, split lip, etc.

And remember, though the character is immune, his belonging aren't. Torn and dirty clothing, as well as items he carries being broken or damaged, should be commonplace.

And remember, though the character is immune, his belonging aren't. Torn and dirty clothing, as well as items he carries being broken or damage, should be commonplace.

I like how you think, this is exactly a plot hook I was thinking to pitch a story, he tears parts of the wings falling when first arrive to the covenat, and they need to find a verditus mage (another player magi) to repair the damage.

That said: if you are getting this for a flying character, I would probably design that power as flawed in the following sense. Pay for it as if it were flawless - you always land perfectly! If you character has the Minor Magic Blood (Magic Thing) Virtue, for example, this should be well within the capability of the Lesser Powered conferred. Alternatively, you could have one of the Redcap's magic items be enchanted with the effect.

You have a good point there... the mechanic part isn't really needed for the flavor. Tough I like the mechanic part too. And like it was sugested in another post, he wouldn't be imune to things like jagged rocks, or anything like that. Yet the idea of him ocasionally falling from a high place or simply throwing himself by a window because he can is kind of interesting.

Sure, but he could do the same without consequences if he had the power of "perfect flight".
Suppose you "pay" for that.

Then the fact that said power occasionally fails in ways that are fundamentally harmless (ok, maybe he has to repay a roof or three, or convince a client about how that delicate glass vase "is completely safe with me, trust me!") but are interesting, character-defining, and "story-generating", is effectively a Personality Flaw that you can claim for your character.

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Well after toying around with the virtues, I decided to go with your plan. I retained minor immunity: fall damage, as it is usefull anyway, and added a flaw for "bad landing" wich is kind of funny and colorfull.
Also made the wings to mantain concentration by itself wih should allow him to do some nice things while flying (at least while he is not doing anything other than fligth in a straight line or stationary).
So, thank you very much to booth of you.

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Why is it you would have them still suffer some degree of damage?

To prevent abuse of a virtue that's been added for flavour and fun.

"Hey, I'm going to let myself fall from a hundred paces, aiming for that dragon. I won't suffer any damage at all, but it will. Call me Mr Meteor! Meteor strikes!"

If the character knows that in some extreme circumstances he will suffer damage, it will encourage him to use it sparingly or for desperate occasions. "This is going to hurt a lot, but it's all we have left to save the day!"

Edit: Also, from a game mechanics perspective, I dislike absolute immunity.

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Yeah I think tough he is inmune to damage he probably doesn't like the feeling of beign crushed against the floor. So he probably won't be doing this if not needed, beside that, he already flys (with a high limit per day but he can use his wings). So i don't see him falling a lot, except for the ocasional comedy, and it isn't any fun if he doesn't feell anything.

I'm not sure why some people in this thread seem to think that there has to be a side effect or negative side to being immune to something. His clothes and gear suffering damage, sure. But the character should just shrug it off.

I don't know if damage, but some kind of consecuence I think is ok. I mean, is fall damage imunity, if he falls over a bunch of stakes he should be damaged by them anyway. Otherwise you could simply drop yourself on your enemies to do extra damage to them. It could happen some thime, but it should be an epic scene, not something that you exploit because the rules allow you to.
That said, I think you don't need to hard rule every detail, if the player isn't exploiting the rules, you don't need to thing so much about how he should be restricted.

Would anyone think its unusual for a Flambeau immune to fire to stand within a bonfire? Or that a magi with sufficient parma does so without problem if its a magically created fire? If both of these characters get along just fine, why is there a notion that an immunity to falling damage is relative and that the character should suffer despite having the virtue?

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While the charter is immune to damage from the fall, they are not immune to damage from what they fall onto. Falling is "+1 per two feet*" Damage Bonus, which would be further modified if they fell onto spikes, jagged rocks, lava, etc. The immunity should really only be removing that +1 per two feet.

So a 20' drop (+10 damage) onto spikes (say +5 damage) would result in 15 + Stress Die damage soaked by Soak Total + Stress Die for most people. For the person immune to "Falling Damage" it would be 5 + Stress Die damage with the soak total the same.

Them falling onto ground that did not further modify the damage total besides the +1 per two feet would cause no damage to them, though damaging/destroying clothing and equipment is reasonable.

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While the charter is immune to damage from the fall, they are not immune to damage from what they fall onto. Falling is "+1 per two feet*" Damage Bonus, which would be further modified if they fell onto spikes, jagged rocks, lava, etc. The immunity should really only be removing that +1 per two feet.

That is how i think of it, I'm thinking more about him falling from the sky (the whole idea for the character is a reference to daedalus) than him falling into a pit full of spikes.
The spikes example is no different than a pit full of fire. And makes sense that it doesn't prevent the fire damage if he would fall inside it. Imagine a character that is imune to fire falling into a pit full of it, he would take the damage from falling, but none for the fire, basically one imunity is not related to the other.

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Someone who is immune to fire standing in a bonfire without suffering damage is fine. Even walking in a raging house fire. Those are not extreme cases for an immunity. The character would not suffer damage, though his clothes and belongings certainly would.

But what about swimming all day long in lava? I would advise the player that it would be an extreme case, in which his character might still suffer some damage despite his immunity. Probably non-fatal, but enough to provide an icentive against abuse.

Magical fire and Parma Magica are a completely seperate issue, which I will not go into.

To each his own!
But at my gaming table immunity is complete immunity. Like, epic mythic absolute immunity. Depending on troupe negotiation, it might cover the same stuff that would be transported by a ReCo effect, or changed by a MuCo effect. Otherwise lots of immunities tend to leave your character naked, which is not necessarily very epic.

Immunity is limited by its scope, which should be clearly defined via troupe negotiation. E.g. immunity to Fire probably does not cover lava. Maybe? But if you are immune to Heat you can just live on lava your whole life without realizing that others might find it unconfortable.

Personally, immunity to falling is sufficiently narrow that even if the character uses it very creatively - by hurling himself from miles above to knock out a dragon, say - it's still very much ok. I can see the dragon looking up, yawning, lazily shifting a pace to avoid the falling meal, and then after BUUMMM - THE METEOR REDCAP LANDED! lazily gobbling up said redcap and burping.

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I agree. How complete immunities are in a specific saga should be determined at the troupe level!

I would allow it, with the following caveat:

  • The character may still be inconvenienced by other environmental factor such as fumes, if they are present;
  • He may need a swimming check with a higher difficulty than swimming in normal waters, or possibly magical assistance due to lava's viscosity which is different from water's, to actually swim underlava, such as in a raging volcano.
  • If outside of a raging volcano, the hardening lava from environmental cooling might prove a problem, since being immune to lava damage is different than being immune to being buried alive;
  • Obviously, I wouldn't expect clothes and gear to survive the encounter.

Funnily enough, I have a character with lava immunity who lives part of his time in a covenant next to the Vesuvius. The immunity never came up in game in over a year of gameplay. If the storyteller insisted my character would suffer damage from an extended swim in lava, I would see it akin to being told a book learner virtue can only be used once per year. The immunity is not an immunity to casual exposure to lava - it's an immunity to lava. He had the option of denying my immuity if he didn't like it, and I'm not sure why he would - it's not like immunity to fire fails when the fire damage reaches +40. Whether the character feels confident about making the swim is another matter - again, viscosity, breathing issues, and the plausible presence of elementals swimming in the stuff that would have homeground advantage while he would have difficulty to spellcasting all contribute to his unwillingness to try it out. But the option to perhaps try it one day to have a story about an underlava regio without needing to be a ReIg archmagi is the sole reason the virtue is interesting to me, despite the fact I haven't had a single use for it so far. How many people fight with lava in your saga that you're worried about such a virtue?

Immunity is pretty much being Achilles, without the flaw where your heel is your weakness (although Ars would have that as an immunity to bronze or steel, not an immunity to all weapons, but that's a different story). The heel is a separate flaw which should not be incorporated in the virtue, unless the character receives points for something akin to Lesser/Greater Charm, a prohibition, etc.

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Alright, I can accept that we have very different views on the purpose of Immunity virtues. Thank you for clarifying why!