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Old 01-31-2018, 03:19 PM   #1
Yorunkun
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Japan
Default Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

According to the build table on B18, the suggested average ST for a human(oid) character with SM-1 (4' tall) is 6.

For SM 0 humans, attributes in the range from 8 to 12 are considered the average band, 5 to 15 are exceptional but humanly possible.

Applying these +/- 50 % variations to a base ST 6, this would make 3 to 9 ST a reasonable limit for small characters.

While the Basic Set advises the GM to let players select their ST, height and weight freely, what ST ranges would you consider realistic for SM -1 and -2 characters? If you were to build racial templates, what ST baseline would you set?
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:34 PM   #2
mr beer
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

Unless something is exactly human except smaller, you can justify a wide variation.

How I would tend to approach a gritty campaign with a small human that has base ST 6, is to note that humans average BL 20lbs in GURPS and go up to BL 80lbs, so 4x stronger. So ST 6 (BL 7.2lbs) implies a maximum of ST 10 (BL 20lbs). I'm not worried about minimums but ST 3 is BL 1.8lbs. So I'd ballpark ST 3 to ST 10.

Realistic ST is kind of sucky though which is why the DF series ignores it.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:44 PM   #3
Yorunkun
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

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Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
Realistic ST is kind of sucky though which is why the DF series ignores it.
I get that, but whenever I pick up my kid from kindy, I can't help but wonder how many halflings I could reasonably take on ... :)
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:48 PM   #4
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

If your alternate size character is pretty much just a human scaled up or down, figure ordinary ST is about 0.15 per inch with anything above 0.2 being notable and above 0.25 probably cinematic. This means a 5'7" (67") character has an expected ST of 10 and a max of 16, a 48" character has an expected ST of 7 and a max of 12, a 36" character has an expected ST of 5 and a max of 9.

Builds that are significantly different from normal human will have different limits. A more generic limit would be sqrt (weight/height) with some multiplier; for weight in pounds and height in inches, average would be a multiple of 6-7 and max about 9 (thus, a football player at 6'6" and 280 lb could be up to ST 17).
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:59 PM   #5
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

People with Dwarfism can be phenomenonly strong though, with ST equivalents well above 14 recorded. I honestly would not prevent a player fom playing a character with ST 20 and Dwarfism as long as they had a good character story (being raised by circus folk to wrestle bears or to wrangle horses would be sufficient). ST is honestly the least problematic attribute of the four, since it is not linked to any skill or ability, and high ST characters are often amusing and, in my experience, tend to be well played.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

Attributes are a very subjective topic even for strength.
Just look at what numbers people consider superhuman and you will get a huge variation in answers.

But for human proportions, just use what strength they'd be if average/default human male of around 5'8" and 150 lbs, then take half for SM-2 and 2/3 for SM-1.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:19 PM   #7
mr beer
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorunkun View Post
I get that, but whenever I pick up my kid from kindy, I can't help but wonder how many halflings I could reasonably take on ... :)
Yeah, something about the innocent laughter of children gets me thinking like that as well. I figure realistic halflings, unarmed and male civilians who are nevertheless prepared to fight, there'd need to be at least 3 or 4 to make it a fair fight. If they're armed, it changes because I'm not immune to being shanked in the lung. Immature human children would be a lot less dangerous than halflings of course.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:40 AM   #8
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Attributes are a very subjective topic even for strength.
Just look at what numbers people consider superhuman and you will get a huge variation in answers.

But for human proportions, just use what strength they'd be if average/default human male of around 5'8" and 150 lbs, then take half for SM-2 and 2/3 for SM-1.
Purely theoretical arguments for scaling ST tend to range from Length^1 to Length^1.5, so for SM -1 (70% height) from 0.7 to 0.58 and for SM -2 (50% height) from 0.5 to 0.35.

But note these have a key false assumption - that the geometry of everything is constant - in real animals various parts change shape differently as they get bigger or smaller. And a sometimes questionable one - that the efficiency of muscle tissue (and tissue resistance to damage) stays the same per unit volume - which is closer to true, but hardly guaranteed in real animals.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:53 AM   #9
mhd
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

Yeah, halflings might have chimp strength.

If I recall correctly, us humans are comparatively weak because we're optimized for endurance, not sheer force. Now, do halflings look like they're built along those lines? There might be a good reason why they're eating and sleeping more than a common human (besides being modeled after the English gentry).
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:01 AM   #10
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: Reasonable ST Limits for SM -1 and -2 Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorunkun View Post
According to the build table on B18, the suggested average ST for a human(oid) character with SM-1 (4' tall) is 6.

For SM 0 humans, attributes in the range from 8 to 12 are considered the average band, 5 to 15 are exceptional but humanly possible.

Applying these +/- 50 % variations to a base ST 6, this would make 3 to 9 ST a reasonable limit for small characters.

While the Basic Set advises the GM to let players select their ST, height and weight freely, what ST ranges would you consider realistic for SM -1 and -2 characters? If you were to build racial templates, what ST baseline would you set?

Part of the potential problem here is not about setting a range based off an average human of average human size being 10 and proportionally scaling. (Your assumptions here seem fine IMO)

It's about how that lower ST will manifest in the game and what it will mean for the PC (and part of that is how the system scales at the lower end).

E.g. ST6 for a proportionally built 4' person is fine in abstract in terms of a comparison to the ST10 for average human

But their BL will be 7lbs

Thr damage will be 1d-4 (which means they'll punch at 1d-6* unless well trained)

Sw damage will be 1d-3

Additionally they'll be limited to the lightest SM0 weapons or rescaled SM-1 versions unless they want to take MinST pens.

HPs will be 6.


Now depending on the character concept none of that might matter, but if they do end up using ST it's going to be a bad day for them because weather or 6 is reasonable score for a 4' scale human, it's a low score in GURPS

Is this going to be fun?





*which kind of sucks in combination with the Min 0 damage for Cr rule

Last edited by Tomsdad; 02-01-2018 at 08:07 AM.
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