Supercrunchy Strength

I don’t think I have discussed the Strength system of my current system (Dark Herz, which might as well be named Crunchmaster at this point). It’s fairly good, but quite math intensive. Here goes.


The Basics

There’s two statistics directly relevant here:

  • Base Strength (rated 1-40, average human 10). This is basically your level of strength effectiveness.
  • Physique (rated ~5-20 for humans, average 7). This is essentially your lean bodyweight. 1 Physique equals 10 kg of non-overweight bodymass.

Your Adjusted Strength is calculated as follows:

Adjusted Strength = Base Strength * (1 + Physique/10)

Thusly, an average human has 10*1.7 = 17 Strength. As your maximum carrying capacity is 4x your Strength, they can haul around 68 kg (if very slowly). This is absolutely a reasonable amount (an average man of ~75 kg should be able to lift ~1.1 times his bodyweight, from what I’ve read.


The Upper Limit

40 Base Strength is adjusted to be near world-record limit for each weight level.

Behold, the comparision:


So 40 Base Strength is absurdly good but not out of the question. This is without any potential rolls to increase lift amount with intense effort (i.e. world-record attempts). Perhaps it’s a bit high, but not too terrible.

Some kind of second-degree curve would perhaps map better, but I decided it was not worth the additional effort. A linear formula maps well enough in the human weight-span. If your really want to mimic the curve I suggest using two linear functions, breaking somewhere around 100 kg bodyweight. If you look at huge animals/giants you might have to consider the second degree and look around at other stuff, because they aren’t humans.


Okay, But What About Agility

So, as you might know, 200 kg is not a reasonable bodyweight for a human being. It restricts your movements and taxes your endurance, even if you happen to be over 2 meters tall. The agility reduction system is not very pretty at the moment, but it’s there until I find something better.

Roll Height Optimal Physique Physique Roll 85% AGI 70% AGI 55% AGI
2 1.5 m 5 1d2+3 6 7 8-9
3-4 1.6 m 6 1d2+4 7 8 9-10
5-8 1.7 m 7 1d2+5 8 9-10 11-12
9-13 1.8 m 8 1d2+6 9-10 11-12 13-14
14-17 1.9 m 9 1d3+7 10-11 12-13 14-16
18-19 2.0 m 10 1d3+8 11-12 13-15 16-18
20 2.1 m 11 1d4+9 12-14 15-17 18-20

This is from my character creation rules. Height is generated with a 2d10 (matches fairly well with an average healthy population of young people from today). Optimal Physique is the highest you can go without losing Agility (i.e. your balance-and-speed attribute). The three tiers after optimal (which is 100% Agility) are 85%, 70% and 55%, with noted Physique ranges for each. You cannot go over the 55% tier in weight, as your body just won’t support it.


Increasing Physique

If you wanna bulk up, eat more (see below) and train. While you are at Optimal Physique or lower, 10 days of intense, full-time training in a properly equipped gym raises your Physique by 1. If you are at higher weight tiers, increase the time required by 7 days per tier. You can spread training over longer periods, if you wish.

These are bogus numbers, but using realistic training times of months will only work if you have lots and lots of downtime. My players refuse to rest (to the point of characters literally dying from wounds they would not stop to recover from) so I have shaved off time. A more reasonable timing might be 2 months, +1 month per tier above optimal.


Gib Food

Quick and dirty: you need 500 calories per point of Physique to maintain weight while adventuring. While chilling out and being physically inactive, you might need up to 1000 calories less. If you are bulking up, you need at least 1000 more. If you are recovering from serious injury (mutually exclusive with bulking) you can eat 1000 more calories than normal to recover slightly faster.


What About Being Fat

Fat directly taxes your equip load. 1 Fat is 10 kg, as if you were carrying it on you (which you are).


How Big Am I?

Well, I have a size system. Each two steps roughly doubles your target area. 6 is average human. Size moderately affects your Toughness (injury resistance) in my system, per point over 6, since it will likely make you thicker and so increase the distance to your vitals.

Physiqe Size
4-5 5
6-9 6
10-15 7
16-25 8


Fun part is, using Physique we can calculate your blood volume, which is your HP! Fat adds as well, but not as much (because fatty tissue has lower blood content).

HP = 2*Physique + Fat + 4

This is a rough approximantion. Each HP represents ~1.4 dL of blood loss. At 0 HP you have lost 60% of your blood, which is more or less certain and immediate death.

You recover 1/30 of your HP per day of rest if you eat normally, up to 1/10 of your HP per day in complete bedrest, with additional food, and eating iron supplements.


What Remains

This system has a few weaknesses still:

  • Agility penalties needs to be solved more naturally, if possible. Optimally, calculate speed reduction from excess muscle mass.
  • Reduction in effective stamina from being very large is uncertain, needs examination.
  • Weapon damage bonus from strength cannot scale directly with lifting strength, because it makes weightlifters hit harder than heavyweight boxers. That’s obviously nonsense. Needs to be considered.

The good parts are that for lifting and encumbrance, it makes rough sense, scales well, and provides methods for interaction. HP is tied to something tangible, scales well, and is usable. Good enough for me.

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