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Old 07-12-2020, 07:29 AM   #11
nudj
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The world record is around 2 hours for 26 miles, which roughly translates to 13 mph. With paced running, which is half the speed of sprinting, that would indicate a speed of 6.6 yards per second (a Basic Move of 11 would result in a sprinting speed of 13.2 yards per second, which would translate to a paced running speed of 6.6 yards per second). A specialized marathon runner could have a DX 10, HT 14, Basic Speed 8.00, and Basic Move 11, which would cost 95 CP. The character would need to make 120 HT rolls, so Running (A) HT+1 [4]-15 would be needed, allowing them to only lose 6 FP, with a final cost of 99 CP.

For less capable runners, you would probably want to reduce their Basic Speed, which would make them much less capable. A world class competitor, but not record holding runner would be Basic Move 10 [-20 CP] while a world class amateur would be Basic Move 9 [-40 CP]. For normal marathon runners though, they would probably get buy with Basic Move 7 and Running-16, as they would be able to run continuously. Endurance runners will often have HT 14, FP 18, Basic Move 7, and Very Fit, allowing them to run for 1200 minutes before having to rest (around 20 hours or 140 miles). Surprisingly, this is not the endurance record.
I don’t think setting paced running at half sprinting speed works in this case. 13.2 yards per second would set world record in the 100m in 2120. No human could do it and especially not an elite marathon runner. Such a runner would pace at more like 75% + of sprinting speed. Not sure how to represent that in GURPS.

Last edited by nudj; 07-12-2020 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Corrected error
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Old 07-12-2020, 08:27 AM   #12
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

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Originally Posted by nudj View Post
ISuch a runner would pace at more like 75% + of sprinting speed. Not sure how to represent that in GURPS.
You'll have to do it with House Rules. Paced running at 1/2 is RAW. I told you Gurps doesn't really handle this well.

As your character probably will not be running a marathon is play you may not have to worry about exact numbers. The more important question might be if the traits you adopt to represent marathon running help you make a good character for other purposes?

HT is a very good bargain. Very Fit is good. Running is pretty limited. Breath Control has some uses but is quite specialized. FP come up with middling frequency for mundane characters, mostly for using the Extra Effort rules.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:18 AM   #13
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

One possibility would be to purchase Basic Move (Accessibility, Only paced running, -60%) [2]. You could give the marathon runner Basic Move 8 for combat and sprinting, leaving them with Basic Move 11 for paced running.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:30 AM   #14
Anders
 
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Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

Basic Move 11? Realistic stats? Did I miss something?
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:35 AM   #15
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The more important question might be if the traits you adopt to represent marathon running help you make a good character for other purposes?
To me, this is in fact the central question. Why is being a marathon runner important to the player? There are lots of possible reasons, so it's always useful to think about _why_ you think that would be an interesting or useful or advantageous character for the game. Then you can focus on traits that address the real underlying goal.

"Runs marathons in his spare time" (from the OP) is probably not the player's end goal. There's some reason that seemed interesting, but we don't know what. Maybe it's just an interesting background quirk, so complicated builds trying to replicate some exact world record time are irrelevant. "Runs marathons in his spare time" doesn't suggest to me that the character even wins, much less is a world leader. It could just be a Quirk, with no character traits needed at all.

But there's probably some action-adventure to be expected, and it's be nice if the background concept did influence game outcomes in some way -- hence the apt suggestions for Very Fit, HT, and so on. Is the character supposed to exhibit (in game situations) exceptional endurance? Be able to sprint away from enemies? Dogged persistence? "Runs marathons" is a way to indicate those sorts of abilities, but isn't itself those core abilities. If the player can identify what the cool and interesting schtick for the character concept is, it's easier to identify game traits that will help that actually show and make a difference to game suggstions.

If the game is in fact all about running marathons, then focusing on the exact speeds there may be exactly on point. Maybe the character is a speedster, with a personal Quirk that he refuses to use his superpowers to solve mundane problems in order to feel more normal. Maybe a lot of things... but it's that high concept that helps direct character creation, not exhaustive analysis of the most cost-effective combination of all traits in the thousands of pages of rules. Start with the concept and player goals; then find traits that reflect those.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:42 AM   #16
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

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Basic Move 11? Realistic stats? Did I miss something?
The calculation is in one of the previous posts. To replicate the current marathon world record holder, you need a Basic Move 11 for paced running purposes. Anyway, Basic Move 15 is possible for non-superhumans in GURPS (DX 20, HT 20, Basic Speed 12.00, and Basic Move 15 are legal and 'only' costs a total of 355 CP). Is it cinematic? Yes. Is it superhuman? No.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The calculation is in one of the previous posts. To replicate the current marathon world record holder, you need a Basic Move 11 for paced running purposes. Anyway, Basic Move 15 is possible for non-superhumans in GURPS (DX 20, HT 20, Basic Speed 12.00, and Basic Move 15 are legal and 'only' costs a total of 355 CP). Is it cinematic? Yes. Is it superhuman? No.
*shh*

You'll attract the stat normalizers...
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:04 AM   #18
JulianLW
 
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Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

A sub-three hour marathon - which is fast but not uncommon, the kind of pace that qualifies skilled amateurs to compete in, for example, the Boston Marathon - would mean running at about 8.8 MPH for 26 miles (about 6:50 mins/mile). The truth is, these guys are running at a pace that is certainly closer to a sprint than to what GURPS calls "paced" running, but it's not a sprint. Under GURPS RAW, the sub-three hour marathon runner - and you probably know somebody in your group of friends or family who has at some point run a marathon this fast at some point in their life - would require:

A basic move of around 7 and the ability to run (at GURPS paced rules: 4.2 yards/second, or about 8.6 mph - exactly the example speed given on B354) for 3 hours.

With Very Fit, this character rolls to lose FP every second minute of paced running - 90 times in a 3-hour marathon. With a running skill of 16, she fails that roll only, on average, a couple of times, and finishes the race strong, ready to keep running, though fatigued. If she's only Fit, she'll have to roll 180 times and will fail about 4 rolls, maybe more, and may end the race close to her endurance limit.

Most marathoners - even relatively fast ones - will be Fit (for training, not racing, since Fit doesn't help you in a race unless you stop for a while to recover) rather than Very Fit, and finish the race substantially slower than they began. Most marathoners will also have a running score well below 16, and fail more rolls and end the race much more fatigued. The margins for success in a marathon are very narrow - and far below the resolution of GURPS - but GURPS does, I think, handle regular marathoners surprisingly well.

In real life, a casual marathoner (who runs, say, a local marathon with friends once a year and runs weekly to socialize in the meantime) will have a Basic Move of 6 and have a running score maybe around 13 or 14. She'll need a good day with favorable conditions to run a 4-hour or a 4.5-hour marathon (I'm not doing the math here, but guestimating). With a running skill at 14 or 15, she could easily come in under 4 hours on a good day with some lucky rolling.

So a regular person who is a competitive marathoner will have Basic Move of 7 and then start working on raising his Running skill to keep meeting endurance tests.

The problems with realism, I think, exist at the edges of what is actually realistic in real life - the 2 hour-marathon, which is a LOT harder to model realistically (and also still unbroken) than the 3-hour marathon. Also, I think more problems start to arise when "regular" human speeds start to exceed Basic Move 8, though Usain Bolt has - in GURPS terms - a basic move of somewhere around 10. He ran the 100m in just less than 10 seconds and his top speed has been clocked at 27 MPH (Move 13).

I agree that if you want a more accurate resolution to model running, you could house rule. And the problem gets more complex if you want a model that will correctly simulate both long-distance and sprinting - since these are, actually, very different kinds of exertion. But regular human running? GURPS is surprisingly close, I think.

You might have either an "endurance running" or a "sprinting" specialization of the running skill....
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:46 AM   #19
Celjabba
 
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Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

Alexanderhowl move 11 build is for the hypothetical human that could run a 2h marathon every day before breakfast.

A more balanced build would perhaps be move 7, skill 16, fit/very fit, will-14+ and a perk that allow a higher paced running multiplier at the cost of will rolls at the same frequency than fp loss roll. Say 0.6 or 0.7 instead of .5 ? On my phone, cannot do the math.
Failing the will roll cost 1 fp.

A 2h marathon should be a rare, taxing attempt.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:10 AM   #20
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Realistic stats for a marathon runner

One of my older friends runs a half-marathon 5 days a week during her normal exercise routine. She sustains 9 mph for an hour straight, takes a 5 minute water break, and then finishes with 9 mph for a half hour straight. Of course, she has been at that level for the last twenty years, but that is only because she does not have time for more intensive training. Of course, she usually practices running on an incline setting on a running machine, because flat running is boring, which reduces her speed somewhat.

In order to reflect her level of athleticism, you need a Basic Move 8, which would result in a paced running speed of 9.6 mph. Since she never slows down, she needs sufficient reserves to sustain 90 HT rolls before reaching 1/3 FP. If we assume that she is Fit with HT 14, she will only fail 4-5 rolls, which is realistic. With DX 10 and HT 14, she would only need +2 Basic Move, though he Basic Move would only apply to paced running because she is not a sprinter.
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