We don't know how much height matters. The way it was phrased, real life is compatible with it - people have died from falling over, and failed to die after falling from airplanes.
OK, so I'll post what Parson learns about falling damage.
So then we got into the rules about falling people. Because I was like "why can't mounted flyers just fly down close to the ground and jump off their mounts to cross zones?"
Answer: it counts as a "fall" in the physics of Erfworld. It's natural Shockmancy. When you fall, one of three things happens: you are injured (possibly only slightly), you are incapacitated (you croak in one turn if not given Healomancy), or you just croak. Height of the fall does seem to have some bearing on that, but it's essentially random. You can croak from a three foot fall.
There's no indication that it works "like real life". You fall an inch, like the Archon in Shai_Hulud's example could have, and you qualify for that random Natural Shockmancy, which could croak you. I disagree with the parallel between "airplanes"/"falling over" in real life, and Erfworld. Parson is explicitly displaying how arbitrary the system is to him and what he's used to (real world physics), how it randomly assigns you to one of three
distinct categories. And for none of them
can you avoid the Natural Shockmancy. You could not fall an inch without "rolling" for your life. There would be no way to safely dismount a flying mount if you didn't have the green light from the system to do so. You could "dismount" when it's your turn, and everything's fine. You could dismount, doing the same physical actions, when it's not your turn, and the system makes you gamble your life. It is not like real life at all. There is a - for all intents and purposes - malicious force behind Erfworld that rolls the dice of whether you live or die, and it does not care if you fall "awkwardly/correctly", which would justify us taking or avoiding "damage" in the real world. It just cares about enforcing a very strict rule with very strict, defined outcomes.
Erfworlders seem to think in terms of points of damage, but when it comes time to actually injure one of them the injuries they get seem more like Stupidworld injuries than numbers.
I completely disagree. We have seen units lose arms and limbs, and then immediately continue with the fight, or give orders and speak; they remain entirely functional as units. They remain able to fight at the same capacity up until the moment they lose their last hitpoint. (obviously incapacitation counts as it's own unit status)
I'm going to copy the words of another user (kreistor) regarding this specific page (from the "malicious titans theory" post):http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2011-01-17.jpg
Here we see Duke Antium. He has lost half an arm. He has a hole blasted in his side. He should be suffering incredible pain. He should be suffering from massive blood loss and shock. He should be addled. He shouldn't even be able to stand with that much muscle mass blasted out of his side, much less swing a weapon. Is he any of these things? No. He is fully cognizant and seeking out the highest value target in the region. He is weapon capable and strikes the illusion accurately with what should have been a death blow. He is, for all intents and purposes, fully functional despite the loss of his arm and the fact he lacks the mechanical capacity to stand under Earth's laws. He shows no signs of feeling the debilitating pain he would on Earth with those wounds, nor the physical limitations these "wounds" should inflict.
That begs the question: is he really injured? Is losing "hitsies" actual injury, or just a number to indicate how close one is to dying? Antium is evidence that something is significantly different about injury on Erfworld vs. Earth, and we shouldn't be looking at damage in the same way. No matter how bad the injury, Erfworlders remain functional and combat capable until they die, which denies pain, and anything except the superficiality of the appearance of injury. Injuries, in coputer parlance, are a skin on the character, and not true damage causing true pain.
MarbitChow, you introduced the idea of D&D. I'll extend that. Let's talk hit points (up to V3.5, since I am not familiar with V4,0). As a D&D character is struck, he loses hit points. As he loses HP, does he suffer any ill effects from the pain of that wound? No, he is fully functional right until the moment he hits or is reduced below 0 HP (and what happens then depends on the version). He is fully functional, and thus can be feeling no pain. There are systems that provided pain with a mechanic, but many simply didn't deal with the messiness of it.
Since Antium can wield his spear, I can make the case that he isn't really injured, either. He has an appearance of injury and he lacks a second hand making some tasks impossible for less than 24 hours, but his function is unaffected. He has lost unnecessary bits only, and from that perspective has not lost anything, just been inconvenienced.