Wednesday, March 6, 2024

New Salem: Renaissance - Physical Maximums

Getting to this in a roundabout way, but it's time to look at Strength (and to a lesser extent, Endurance and Agility), Carrying Capacity and Movement. Last week I laid out a calculation for resources that was mirroring the calculation for carrying capacity, albeit with a tweak. Time to bring that back around to its original use. 

V&V may be unique for how much it uses your Basic Characteristics: they aren't just things that give bonuses to die rolls and let you abstract stuff, they run through all of the game: they directly calculate your hit points, some of them are added to determine power score and movement, they determine the ranges of your super powers, and strength and endurance directly calculate your carrying capacity. 

The math is ((Strength/10)^3+(Endurance/10))*Weight/2

If you have a 10 Strength and Endurance you can lift you weight. If you have a 20 Strength and a 20 Endurance then you can lift 5 times your weight, which is practical human maximum for people of average size. This gets tricky for real world comparisons the multiplier droops a bit when people get bigger as the current deadlift record hold (Danny Grigsby, July 2022, 1078 lbs) weighs 268, so at 5 times weight he should be lifting 1340. By rules as writ he has a Strength of 19 assuming his Endurance is a mere 10. Ay lower weight classes the roughly 5 times weight is surprisingly accurate for a deadlift maximum. 

Which means anyone with Strength 21+ is superhuman. You can play it that way, buuuuut, well since the rules do ground themselves in reality so well lets tweak this a bit. 

If we change the calculation to this 


only taking the square of the Strength score rather than the cube, you can push the 5 times your weight number up to Strength 28. That gives us a nice wide band of scores for non-powered heroes, those getting Heightened Strength A with its +2d10 bonus, to play around in. (Mr. Grigby would now have a Strength of 26 and a 14 Endurance, very respectable). This is my preferred method. 

Now you may be saying "Brian, but V&V already has a problem with getting people to Thor levels of strength, and this makes it worse!" Well, yes. But the solution there is tweaking the Heightened Strength Power. For people who have Heightened Strength from a skill, it comes with a bonus power that gives them an advantage on physical abilities to compensate for losing the carrying capacity. For people with Power-based strength enhancement (even if its a Heightened Strength A from Animal Plant powers or other similar increases), they keep the original capacity formula. (More on this another day.)

Does this mean that two characters with the same Strength score have different carrying capacities? Yes, and I'm ok with that. Because it helps play into V&V strength of being so grounded in the real world, and in the basic characteristics. Someone whose spider powers giving them a Strength of 28 and someone whose super training giving them the same score will have the same Hit Points, Movement Rate, and Power Score, but Spider-Boy will be able to lift more while Skill-Girl will have a bonus power of the players choosing. 

So what does this mean for maximum human scores? The other thing to look at is land speed. This gets complicated because the Speed Bonus skill can also factor in, and there's the question of how long and whatnot

Speed is harder to measure, in part because there are inherent endurance issues in real world speed and in part because game mechanics use 3 stats to measure speed. To best measure things I'm using not just sprints but also medium races (1-2 miles), marathons and steeplechases (which is probably the best measure of super-hero combat area speeds). 

current human maximums are 

Marathon: 13 mph, 57"

Steeplechase: 14 mph, 62"

2 mile: 15 mph, 66"

1 mile: 16 mph, 71"

400m: 20 mph, 88"

100m: 23 mph, 101"

People have clocked Usain Bolt at part of a race at 27 mph, or 119"

Now, having a 28 (human maximum) in Strength, Endurance and Agility gets you to 84" which is just a hair off the 400m world record. 

Meanwhile these people claim that humans can conceivably reach 40 mph with our stride and musculature. That's our extreme outside at 176", which with a 100" Speed Bonus and a 25 in each stat. This all looks good for a maximum of 28 in the physical stats. 

Now, does Usain Bolt really have a 28 in each stat. probably not. But he does have a hella strength score in V&V terms, because it's musculature in proportion to physical size and there doesn't look like a lot of damn body fat on that frame. He's probably about a 17 Strength, 26 Endurance in this system. Alas no one on the internet can give me Bolt's deadweight lift....

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