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Old 02-24-2016, 12:59 PM   #1
Bruno
 
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Default Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

I really like the Knowing Your Own Strength article, but when I poke about at high-level supers type characters with it, it's giving some unexpected results at higher levels.

Terms of Engagement:
  • the High Tech stats for the T-27A's front armor
  • the Knowing Your Own Strength damage table and Basic Lift table
  • a character with Karate at least DX+1 (Getting the full +2/die)
  • making an All Out Attack: Strong on the front armor for another +1/die
  • using a punch (-1 damage, use thrust not swing)

You need a ST of 720 to have your average damage equal the DR of the front armor, which is the yardstick used for "proofed" armor.

With Knowing Your Own Strength, your BL is 2E+72 (or 2 followed by 72 zeroes). The Earth weighs 1.317E+25 lbs - at ST 720 you can carry almost three Earths without being encumbered at all.

And yet you glance off the front of a T-72A tank 50% of the time.

You could push the required ST down by allowing Mighty Blows to stack with AoA:Strong (or allowing the perk that allows that). That works well enough for super strong brawler characters IMO.

You can also push it down with Blunt Claws (No Signature) - you "just" have hands that tough. That again works well enough IMO.

Using both of those, it takes required ST down to 552, and gives a BL of 3.17E + 55 - you can still juggle two Earths, even though you bounce off that tank 50% of the time even when you really push yourself.

You can also do shenanigans like adding armor piercing fists with Enhancing ST-Based Damage, tripling ST Power Blow-40, and I'm pretty sure there's some others but IMO that's doing an end-run around the idea of a character who's just plain old strong enough to punch a tank. I know fluff is just fluff and can be rewritten, but there's a limit to how much I'm comfortable with drifting off mechanics that simply embody the concept of "Captain Erzatz, who punches tanks". It also starts crowding into the space occupied by The Mustelid, who really does carve through tanks with armor piercing claws, or super (sayan) martial artists who use chi instead of grunt. These other characters use these kinds of "tricks" because their concept isn't "raw strength".

There's always buying a split ST - Striking ST ~720 and a Lifting ST somewhere much more modest (in the 100-200 range?). I'd personally like a default option that produces something more like that without having to split everything up.

Any suggestions for a BL calculation that produces reasonable results in the 6-16 range while having things up in the tank-punching range work out perhaps a little more restrained?
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Last edited by Bruno; 02-24-2016 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Any suggestions for a BL calculation that produces reasonable results in the 6-16 range while having things up in the tank-punching range work out perhaps a little more restrained?
The problem isn't with BL calculations. The problem is the need for 720 ST to punch through the tank.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

I don't have that article, so, how much ST would you need to punch through the tank using Swing damage instead?

A 1-point, ST-Based Crushing Attack would let you "punch" for Swing+1 for low cost.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The problem isn't with BL calculations. The problem is the need for 720 ST to punch through the tank.
I have no problems with 500-800 ST for punching through the tank, actually. That feels like good numbers for it.
If I were to mess with the damage, I'd dump the Swing column entirely (so you just have "damage") and have a serious sit-down with how muscle-powered weapons determine damage. "Swung" weapon modes should just give a bigger bonus to damage. I'd also take another look at DR. But that's a separate conversation.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
I don't have that article, so, how much ST would you need to punch through the tank using Swing damage instead?
It's only +2 damage from thrust, and you'd loose the benefit of the +2/die from Karate. When you start talking 160 dice, per-die bonuses swamp the trick with flat bonuses.

Under the article Striking ST costs 1 point per level, and gives +1 damage to thrust and swing. That makes it very competitive with the Crushing Attack trick.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

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I have no problems with 500-800 ST for punching through the tank, actually. That feels like good numbers for it.
Really? Consider the cost. 500-800 ST costs roughly 5,000-8,000 points. That's a lot of points, clearly not worth the investment compared to virtually any other advantage or attribute. This because ST will get progressively less valuable the higher it is when compared to other abilities. The transition between ST 1,000 and ST 1,001 still costs 10 points but does essentially nothing when compared to the transition between ST 10 and ST 11.

That's the problem Knowing Your Own Strength attempts to solve, by making Basic Lift scale logarithmically it means that every level of ST has the seem proportional increase, corresponding to each +10 ST giving x10 BL. The problem you're running into is that it's damage doesn't scale logarithmically, it still increases linearly, with each level giving a flat bonus.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
It's only +2 damage from thrust, and you'd loose the benefit of the +2/die from Karate. When you start talking 160 dice, per-die bonuses swamp the trick with flat bonuses.

Under the article Striking ST costs 1 point per level, and gives +1 damage to thrust and swing. That makes it very competitive with the Crushing Attack trick.
Even if the Crushing Attack were Based On Karate? You're still using the Karate skill, after all.

Another option is to use Imbue to give yourself Penetrating Strike.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I have no problems with 500-800 ST for punching through the tank, actually. That feels like good numbers for it.

Under the article Striking ST costs 1 point per level, and gives +1 damage to thrust and swing. That makes it very competitive with the Crushing Attack trick.
Only 1pt per +1 is rather nice. Its simple math then to buy enough regular ST to get the lift you want then buy up Striking ST for the damage you want.
I am ok with that.
The base ST gives you a level of randomness, the additional damage is easy to calculate and purchase.
Lifting ST is versatile and useful for so many things that an all inclusive price will never be fair and a perfect balance towards other attacks.
I also don't like Swing and think it should be a force multiplier not a simple flat bonus.
I could go with +1 per die, and maybe an enhancement that increases that.
We already have Claws (Blunt), Karate, and Extra Long Arms that do this anyhow.
In fact why not just create a new advantage based off Long Arms.
Enhanced Striking Power [10/level] You have a powerful musculature or other enhancement that allows you to get more striking power out of your arms.
This gives you +1 per die Swing damage and must be bought for each limb that can get the bonus.
Note: This is similar to Extra Arms (Long) but grants no increase in Reach and does not have the drawback of needing more room to swing. This is treated as a feature.

Edit: Note that I am with Bruno on a high ST level needed to lift things for Supers.
Super Effort on ST I never really liked because it required a chart lookup and that breakpoint issue where until you had a high enough ST it was counterproductive. It also made ST cost too much. Mind you it was better then most other ideas I had seen or considered at the time.
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Last edited by Refplace; 02-24-2016 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

Another who hasn't read the article (yeah, still a bum >.>), if Bruno's calculations are correct, this does seem like a major disconnect... but then again I don't know how something a bit more realistic compares. Yes, the "r-word": when dealing with fantastic elements it can seem a bit silly, but I am curious if at the lower levels this actually does match what a person with approximately ST X would be like for damage versus lifting capacity.

Also... what is throwing like under these rules? I don't need details (I should have to get the article for that and even I know it XD); rather I am just wondering if with such phenomenal lifting capacity, the correct option for dealing with tanks (when not worried about Rule of Cool) is to just pick them up and chuck them far, far away?
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The problem isn't with BL calculations. The problem is the need for 720 ST to punch through the tank.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I have no problems with 500-800 ST for punching through the tank, actually. That feels like good numbers for it.
Know your own Strength re-calibrated strength to be exponential rather than quadratic. Damage remained quadratic, but the statement was made that for most purposes it should work out just fine.

This is not most purposes, and the disconnect comes directly from using an exponential scale vs a quadratic number. The tank should be brought down to reflect exponential numbers.

Of course, if you do that, you have to restat most weapons out there. It was a bigger project than a single article
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Knowing Your Own Strength - Tank Smasher

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I have no problems with 500-800 ST for punching through the tank, actually. That feels like good numbers for it.
Why? The whole point of 'know your own ST' is to keep numbers in a more restricted range of values -- the equivalent of 800 ST (in lifting ability) is 48.
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