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Old 12-12-2020, 07:10 AM   #1
RedMattis
 
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Default Power/Strength Tiers

When creating superheroes and the like I feel high levels of strength and such can feel like a bad deal with diminishing returns, especially compared to more scaling traits like Ally, Regeneration, Unkillable, Affliction, Control, etc.

In an attempt to both streamline for simplicity and make things a bit more balanced I decided to adopt tbone's nugget about strength and try applying it to all relevant traits. This resulted in a much nicer progression, but felt a bit rules heavy, so I decided to try to generic-ify it a bit.

My idea was pretty simple, create a genetic "scaling" trait which scaled all attributes and used T-bones idea of a multiplier from the Speed-Range Table. Since Strength is a very versatile trait (hit stuff, lift/throw stuff, be durable), I decided to use it as the base, and then pondered how much of an advantage extending it to similar or dissimilar non-scaling traits would be. In the end I went with one of tbone's 1-stage of Strength (50p) + 1x Alternate Ability of equal cost.

The reason for wanting a generic trait is because you very rarely want to have a character with 100-damage innate attacks without the ability to also endure similar attacks, and so combing the whole scaling into a single trait makes sense.

Here is the link to tbone's article: https://www.gamesdiner.com/rules-nug...r-cost-for-st/

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Immense Power [60 points/level]
You have a great amount of power and durability. This advantage is especially suitable for supers and keeping them on a relatively level plane or making them easy to grade their physical performance at a glance.

For each level in this advantage multiply member of a list of chosen attributes or advantages by a value. To find the multiplier value go to Speed Range table and read down the Linear column starting at 1.5. E.g. Level 1 is x1.5; Level 2 is x2.0; Level 3 is x3.0; level 4 is x5.0x; etc.

The traits which Immense Power can affect are: Strength (all versions), Hit Points, Binding, Damage Resistance, Innate Attack, Leech, Payload, Penetrating Vision, Telekinesis.

Notes:
For balance reasons the GM should not permit advantages like Innate Attack or Telekinesis enhanced to a per-level cost above 10 points together with Immense Power. If such an advantage is needed it is suggested to raise the base value of Immense Power to the per/level cost of the most per/level expensive Innate Attack x6. If you want a single-trait version simply take the trait and multiply the cost by x5.

Limitations:
Limited Scope: Your Immense Power only affects a a number of closely related expressions of powers: e.g. anything related to having a powerful body (ST, DR; Innate-attack requiring an object throwing an object to propel, etc.); anything related to psychokinesis (DR: force-field, Telekinesis, pyrokinetic innate attacks, ...), etc. -10%

---------------------------------------------------------------

Immense Reserves [15 points/level]
As per immense power but applies to Fatigue and/or Energy Reserves. The high levels of FP available using this scaling mostly usable for creatures using magic or other traits scaling with FP.

Note:
For comparison: Regeneration (Extreme 10/FP turn) [150 points]. Immense Reserves [150 points] = 500 FP.
[This is literally just Extra Fatigue Points x5 using tbone's scaling.

---------------------------------------------------------------

For something more limited (such as only Lifting-ST), use tbones rules.

Anyway, please post thoughts, feedback, etc. Did I miss any traits for scaling? Does this seem balanced? Was the description legible? Etc.
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Last edited by RedMattis; 12-12-2020 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 12-12-2020, 09:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

One way to deal with scaling is during using the Extra Effort (including Godlike Extra Effort) rules from Powers (p. 160-161). Of course, the penalty for Extra Effort is rather steep, so I would suggest creating the advantage of Grit.

Grit [5/level]
-Grit reduces the penalty for using Extra Effort (including Godlike Extra Effort) by two per level (maximum 10 levels).
-[I]Special Modifiers[I]: One Source (Grit only applies to the abilities from one source and does not apply to other uses of Extra Effort, -20%), One Power (Grit only applies to the abilities from one power and does not apply to other uses of Extra Effort, -40%), One Ability (Grit only applies to one ability and does not apply to other uses of Extra Effort).

A character with Grit 10 could then attempt a +100% Extra Effort roll at no penalty. While it might seem cinematic, we have plenty of examples of people throughout history who have driven themselves far beyond human endurance without evidencing any other exceptionally high traits, so it is likely appropriate for any setting that allows Extra Effort. It is especially appropriate for supers settings and any other settings that use Godlike Extra Effort.

How does this compare to the suggested ability? In settings that use Godlike Extra Effort, Grit 10 would allow characters to directly scale their ability level by spending more ER/FP/HP (for characters without ER/FP). The advantage of this over a scaling advantage is that it is more limited though it is cheaper.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:22 AM   #3
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
One way to deal with scaling is during using the Extra Effort (including Godlike Extra Effort) rules from Powers (p. 160-161). Of course, the penalty for Extra Effort is rather steep, so I would suggest creating the advantage of Grit.

Grit [5/level]
-Grit reduces the penalty for using Extra Effort (including Godlike Extra Effort) by two per level (maximum 10 levels).
-[I]Special Modifiers[I]: One Source (Grit only applies to the abilities from one source and does not apply to other uses of Extra Effort, -20%), One Power (Grit only applies to the abilities from one power and does not apply to other uses of Extra Effort, -40%), One Ability (Grit only applies to one ability and does not apply to other uses of Extra Effort).

A character with Grit 10 could then attempt a +100% Extra Effort roll at no penalty. While it might seem cinematic, we have plenty of examples of people throughout history who have driven themselves far beyond human endurance without evidencing any other exceptionally high traits, so it is likely appropriate for any setting that allows Extra Effort. It is especially appropriate for supers settings and any other settings that use Godlike Extra Effort.

How does this compare to the suggested ability? In settings that use Godlike Extra Effort, Grit 10 would allow characters to directly scale their ability level by spending more ER/FP/HP (for characters without ER/FP). The advantage of this over a scaling advantage is that it is more limited though it is cheaper.
That's not really what I'm going for. I want the base trait/default to be full-power and not some kind of super heroic-effort mode. I'm honestly not a big fan of the "effort traits" in general, especially not if intended to be used as something other than a "oh-crap"-power.

Removing the "effort" from "super-effort" also feels like going against the design of the "effort"-traits, especially not if it is by modifying something outside of the actual empowered trait since you lose the scaling that way. It would be a bit like "ST 200, FP Cost 10/second" + Regeneration (Extreme, 10fp/second). Legal: Yes, good design that I actually would allow for my players? Heck no, I'd deny that design instantly.
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Old 12-12-2020, 02:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

My estimate was to call D-scale 500 points, C-scale 1,000 points, etc, which means a scale of x2 is 150, a scale of x5 is 350.
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Old 12-12-2020, 02:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

I thought that I-scale was up to 800 CP, D-scale up to 1,600 CP, C-scale up to 3,200 CP, and M-scale up to 6,400 CP. At least that is what I gathered from the definitions in Supers.
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Old 12-12-2020, 04:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

Edit: The previous table was based around +6 ST in KYOS being x10 basic lift. This is incorrect, and has been corrected. In addition, text has also been corrected.

Have you considered "Pyramid 3/83: Knowing Your Own Strength"? It does have the problem that it scales damage in a logarithmic fashion, which does not match vanilla. For this, I'd suggest replacing the damage and HP scaling with ST, with a chart based on the cube root of mass (basing HP on mass is also how KYOS suggests handling HP). It also combines nicely with the idea of a multiplier from the SSR table, since KYOS is based on that table. At St 10, swing damage can be set to 1d (4), thrust damage can be derived from swing damage, and HP can be set to 10. Since we're using a cube root multiplier, we end up with the following ST-based table.

Every +12 ST on the table multiplies damage and HP by x4, and every +20 ST on the table multiplies damage and HP by x10, resulting in swing damage of 4d (16) and 40 HP at ST 22 (and enough Basic Lift to casually carry almost any normal human under one arm without taking encumbrance penalties), at a cost of [120].
  • ST10 = x1 = sw 1d, HP 10
  • ST11 = x1.1 = sw 1d, HP 11
  • ST12 = x1.25 = sw 1d+1, HP 12
  • ST13 = x1.4 = sw 1d+1, HP 14
  • ST14 = x1.6 = sw 1d+2, HP 16
  • ST15 = x1.75 = sw 2d-1, HP 17
  • ST16 = x2.0 = sw 2d, HP 20
  • ST17 = x2.25 = sw 2d+1, HP 22
  • ST18 = x2.5 = sw 2d+2, HP 25
  • ST19 = x2.8 = sw 3d-1, HP 28
  • ST20 = x3.15 = sw 3d, HP 31
  • ST21 = x3.55 = sw 3d+2, HP 35
  • ST22 = x4 = sw 4d, HP 40
  • ST23 = x4.45 = sw 4d+2, HP 44
  • ST24 = x5 = sw 5d, HP 50
  • ST25 = x5.6 = sw 5d+2, HP 56
  • ST26 = x6.3 = sw 6d+1, HP 63
  • ST27 = x7.1 = sw 7d, HP 71
  • ST28 = x7.95 = sw 8d-1, HP 79
  • ST29 = x8.9 = sw 9d-1, HP 89
  • ST30 = x10 = sw 10d or 1dx10, 100 HP or dHP 10
  • ST31 = x11 = sw 11d or 1dx10, 110 HP or dHP 11
  • ST32 = x12.5 = sw 12d or 1d+1x10, 125 HP or dHP 12
  • ST33 = x14 = sw 14d or 1d+1x10, 140 HP or dHP 14

The cost of Unkillable 2 is a little less than this, and doesn't stop your character from being buried alive; so this seems reasonable enough. ST 25 would cost [150], and with swing damage of 5d+2 and 56 HP, you can't actually kill an Unkillable 3 enemy, or even take them out permanently - but you probably have time to find their secret weakness, and have a rather strong edge in combat.

Notably, I haven't stated how thrust damage scales with swing damage. This is because I'm not sure how to scale thrust damage with swing damage. Some suggestions include multiplying swing damage by x0.5; subtracting 2 points of damage from swing damage; and multiplying swing damage by x0.75 (this latter suggestion changes ST10 thrust damage). In addition, the listed damage arguably scales closer to thrust damage as it scales upwards, so perhaps it should be used as thrust damage, with swing damage scaling off of the listed table damage.
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Last edited by Say, it isn't that bad!; 12-13-2020 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 12-12-2020, 05:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I thought that I-scale was up to 800 CP, D-scale up to 1,600 CP, C-scale up to 3,200 CP, and M-scale up to 6,400 CP. At least that is what I gathered from the definitions in Supers.
Totally different concept. What I meant is "D-scale: your attacks do D-damage, your hp are dHP, your DR is dDR, etc", and assigning that a point value of 500.
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

Your pricing isn't bad. I can see arguments for making it more or less.

I completely agree with the approach of making it a simple multiplier. The main thing I'd probably do in my games would be to cap it at some point, and perhaps even to make it less granular: a couple of common levels can have more flavor than a full gradient. Though you can impose that structure over that existing trait.
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Old 12-13-2020, 06:34 AM   #9
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
My estimate was to call D-scale 500 points, C-scale 1,000 points, etc, which means a scale of x2 is 150, a scale of x5 is 350.
I am not quite sure what the D-scale, C-scale etc. really means? Are the Letter-scales supposed to be like tiers where a D-scale attack is useless against C-scale DR f.ex.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Say, it isn't that bad!
[...] "Pyramid 3/83: Knowing Your Own Strength" [...]
I haven't bought that article, I've mostly read about it on the forum and saw people called it a bit... incomplete? I gather the vanilla version doesn't increase strength terribly much though.

85 points (Striking-ST 27) for a 26d6 of damage sounds a bit cheap. But then again I have no idea why getting 26d6 of striking damage in vanilla rules costs 1100 points(!) (Striking-ST 220) while a spammable ranged innate attack crushing of 26d6 costs a mere 130.

Is strength just really questionably priced compared to innate attacks? (especially when not factoring weapons)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered
Your pricing isn't bad. I can see arguments for making it more or less.

I completely agree with the approach of making it a simple multiplier. The main thing I'd probably do in my games would be to cap it at some point, and perhaps even to make it less granular: a couple of common levels can have more flavor than a full gradient. Though you can impose that structure over that existing trait.
Indeed, a cap would likely be needed on a per-campaign level.

As for power level, yeah, it depends on the setting. Putting 240 points (multiplier x5) in the Immense Power-advantage in a modern setting with a military theme seems pretty 'meh', especially if you don't buy a ton of DR as well. 5d+1 punches compare rather poorly to introducing someone to a carbine. Still way better than Vanilla GURPS if you are staking ST though.

Tbh. comparing ST to modern weapons and innate attacks I feel like "Say, it isn't that bad!" might be onto something with their ST-scaling. I feel that method seems like it scales up a bit too rapidly towards the end there though. 85 points is a bit cheap for the ability to punch though tank-armor.

Some re-balance of the damage part of Strength (Striking-ST) might be good to combine with this? Based on Innate attack you'd kind of figure 5 points of Striking-ST would give 1d6 of damage, but perhaps there is a good reason it isn't set up like that?
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Power/Strength Tiers

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
I haven't bought that article, I've mostly read about it on the forum and saw people called it a bit... incomplete? I gather the vanilla version doesn't increase strength terribly much though.
KYOS uses a log progression for lifting and extends thrust damage with the same a linear progression (+7 ST = +2d) you find at lower levels.

Having played with it, KYOS fits rather well with existing abilities and damage. IMO, what doesn't fit well is equipment. Since each point of ST means more per level (+6 HP should effectively be x10 HP), you either need to rescale equipment in the same matter (my suggestion) or use gear built with points.

It also suggests repricing Striking ST and Lifting ST, but I've found the values suggested a bit off. I've been using Striking ST 2/lvl and Lifting ST 6/lvl instead. Combined with HP 2/lvl you get ST worth about 10 points/lvl like it is now.

KYOS does a good job of making high lift affordable and bringing ST damage costs in line with damage done by point purchased abilities. I keep a pregenerated chart of old ST/HP/Dmg to convert to a new (log) value, and it hasn't impacted play much. Adding log values is also a bit of a change, but players have picked up those conventions fairly quickly.

Naturally if you instead want to boost damage, keep a linear progression, and use equipment as written instead of fiddling with those stats, KYOS probably won't suit your interests.

Quote:
85 points (Striking-ST 27) for a 26d6 of damage sounds a bit cheap. But then again I have no idea why getting 26d6 of striking damage in vanilla rules costs 1100 points(!) (Striking-ST 220) while a spammable ranged innate attack crushing of 26d6 costs a mere 130.
This isn't correct. By default KYOS reprices striking ST to 1/lvl so 85 points would give you Striking ST 95 (Thr 24d+2? I usually don't have or need anything that high in my games. Superman tops out at ST 60-80 depending on the version.).

I impose caps on player created characters, but usually it's not that restrictive.

Last edited by naloth; 12-13-2020 at 07:44 AM.
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