Strength, virtual size categories, and house rules

# Thread: Strength, virtual size categories, and house rules

1. ## Strength, virtual size categories, and house rules

I've been thinking about changing the Str -> encumbrance chart for my game, and I wanted to know what changes, if any, I should make to the virtual size categories and so forth as a result. I'm especially interested in U_K's thoughts, but everyone is welcome to post.

In the current system, adding 10 to your Strength score multiplies your carrying capacity by a factor of 4. I would change this so multiplying your Strength score by 2 has the same effect:

Str 5: 25 lbs (instead of 50 lbs)
Str 10: 100 lbs
Str 20: 400 lbs
Str 40: 1600 lbs (instead of 6400 lbs)
Str 80: 3 tons (instead of 800 tons)
Str 160: 12 tons (instead of 50 million tons)

I would also normalize the size modifiers to carrying capacity, although I don't think these would change anything in the system.

2. It would be tricky to work out the math. Probably not too tricky.

It would certainly make Tensegrity more appealing.

3. Hi CRGreathouse mate!

Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
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I've been thinking about changing the Str -> encumbrance chart for my game,
The first question would be why?

Just curious.

...actually, scrap that question, I think I know why you are doing it. Its something I myself was thinking about a year or so ago.

Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
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and I wanted to know what changes, if any, I should make to the virtual size categories and so forth as a result. I'm especially interested in U_K's thoughts, but everyone is welcome to post.

In the current system, adding 10 to your Strength score multiplies your carrying capacity by a factor of 4. I would change this so multiplying your Strength score by 2 has the same effect:

Str 5: 25 lbs (instead of 50 lbs)
Str 10: 100 lbs
Str 20: 400 lbs
Str 40: 1600 lbs (instead of 6400 lbs)
Str 80: 3 tons (instead of 800 tons)
Str 160: 12 tons (instead of 50 million tons)

I would also normalize the size modifiers to carrying capacity, although I don't think these would change anything in the system.
The immediate problem is that you will have to rework pretty much every monster of large size or bigger. That would put me off right there. Although I suppose you could do that as and when it was necessary.

But if you want to toy about with things who am I to say no.

So, I think what I would do would add a virtual size category as follows.

x1.5 Str = +1 VSC
x2 Str = +2 VSC
x3 Str = +3 VSC
x4 Str = +4 VSC
x6 Str = +5 VSC
x8 Str = +6 VSC
x12 Str = +7 VSC
x16 Str = +8 VSC
etc.

But even that could be dodgy.

4. Originally Posted by Anabstercorian
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It would be tricky to work out the math. Probably not too tricky.
I thought you were a math (or physics, or something) guy! The data fit the unit parabola -- the carrying capacity in pounds is the square of the Strength score.

5. Originally Posted by Upper_Krust
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x1.5 Str = +1 VSC
x2 Str = +2 VSC
x3 Str = +3 VSC
x4 Str = +4 VSC
x6 Str = +5 VSC
x8 Str = +6 VSC
x12 Str = +7 VSC
x16 Str = +8 VSC
etc.

But even that could be dodgy.
Thanks, that sounds fine.

6. This place is draining my Int so fast, it'd make your head spin. All my mental realestate is getting taken up!

7. Originally Posted by Anabstercorian
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This place is draining my Int so fast, it'd make your head spin. All my mental realestate is getting taken up!
Oh, we all have days like that. It happens to the best of us.

Originally Posted by Upper_Krust
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The first question would be why?

Just curious.

...actually, scrap that question, I think I know why you are doing it. Its something I myself was thinking about a year or so ago.
I suppose I really should have explained this at the start. I don't think that the current rules scale well. A creature can lift a dozen Earths but deals only +200 damage. There are plenty of nonepic characters that can survive a hit from such a creature!

Further, the current system breaks down at small numbers (specifically, below 10). Strength 0 'should' have a carrying capacity of 25 pounds (one-quarter that of Str 10), but instead the system is linear below 10 to force Str 0 to be 0 lbs.

The system I suggest is quite simple, almost the simplest possible. It scales well, doesn't have any 'breaks' like at Str 10, functions for 'micro-beings' with tiny Str, and allows creatures who can lift the Moon to deal much more than +175 damage.

8. Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
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Oh, we all have days like that. It happens to the best of us.

I suppose I really should have explained this at the start. I don't think that the current rules scale well. A creature can lift a dozen Earths but deals only +200 damage. There are plenty of nonepic characters that can survive a hit from such a creature!

Further, the current system breaks down at small numbers (specifically, below 10). Strength 0 'should' have a carrying capacity of 25 pounds (one-quarter that of Str 10), but instead the system is linear below 10 to force Str 0 to be 0 lbs.

The system I suggest is quite simple, almost the simplest possible. It scales well, doesn't have any 'breaks' like at Str 10, functions for 'micro-beings' with tiny Str, and allows creatures who can lift the Moon to deal much more than +175 damage.
I like the line of thought here: It is funny some of the inter-system discrepencies d20 has.
And I love any house rule that "normalizes" or makes a part of the system less normal follow real-world guidelines.

Example: I found (Perhaps on enworld?) an attached file on a forum post about traps, and physics, and the falling damage rules and how terminal velocity wouldn't cap max damage on falling objects etc. (Just their speed.) And the article would make those oh so dangerous 10' cubed stone trap falling blocks do far, far more than the 8d6 the DMG says they should. (Like over 50d6! They would weigh tens of tons! If one fell on me, there is no chance I would survive, period. Nah, scratch that, I'd ninja-dodge. )

Perhaps I would suggest that if the system CRG proposed is used, some feat should be introduced to increase carrying capacity of a creature, like a stacking (with progressivly higher prerequisites) version of tensegrity. Reason: Strength doesn't = just lifting. It can also equivocate to swinging a weapon fast (and hard) thus the applying strength to attack rolls. (Where dex would make more sense under any other explination)
It could also be used to simulate Muscle-bound entities who can lift a whole lot more then their strength implies due to having too dense a muscle mass to attack fast (or hard, since blows tend to be glancing more often if they are slower) but has the "bulk strength" to do rediculous things, like those guys who pull freight-trains. I doubt they would make good boxers, despite D&D saying they should.

9. Originally Posted by Ltheb Silverfrond
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I like the line of thought here: It is funny some of the inter-system discrepencies d20 has.
And I love any house rule that "normalizes" or makes a part of the system less normal follow real-world guidelines.
Yes, that's essentially my reasoning.

To be clear, I don't really want to follow modern physics in my world -- and even less the kooky comic-book physics. I just want the system to make sense: internal consistency is my goal. I'm fine with many things that aren't possible by today's science, and I even move consciously away from it in many places (the earth is flat, for example, and the moon is only a few miles away).

The fact that this consistency helps the system make sense under modern sensibilities is just an added bonus for people who care about that kind of thing.

Originally Posted by Ltheb Silverfrond
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Example: I found (Perhaps on enworld?) an attached file on a forum post about traps, and physics, and the falling damage rules and how terminal velocity wouldn't cap max damage on falling objects etc. (Just their speed.) And the article would make those oh so dangerous 10' cubed stone trap falling blocks do far, far more than the 8d6 the DMG says they should.
I'm not sure I can go along with that. An object falling with a constant velocity and mass shouldn't do more damage regardless of how long it falls, at least under modern physics. It's KE isn't changing.

Originally Posted by Ltheb Silverfrond
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Perhaps I would suggest that if the system CRG proposed is used, some feat should be introduced to increase carrying capacity of a creature, like a stacking (with progressivly higher prerequisites) version of tensegrity.
That sounds like a fine idea. It would be like a Str-based version of Endurance.

10. Maybe a feat that lets your Virtual Size Categories, instead of actual size, determine lifting ability?