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Old 05-22-2016, 04:04 AM   #31
Tallor
 
Join Date: May 2016
Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
"Alright, genius, but what if you started at DX 20?"

Okay, so the problem with DX 20 is that it basically always hits and always defends. The only way to get past it is to use deceptive attacks that bring you back, more or less, to the center of the bell-curve. And the ratio of deceptive attack penalty to defense penalty is the same as the ratio between attack and defense: 2 to 1. This means that a character with DX 25 is twice as likely to hit someone as someone with DX 20. Look, DX 25 defends with a 15 while someone with DX 20 defends with a 13. Apply a -10 to both attacks, and you end up with... 15 and 10, just like before, and a defense of 10 and 8... just like before.
I'd like to note that a DX 20 character still has a defense of Nil against attacks from behind, and they'd only have HP 10 to stay alive! Furthermore, a no-armor DX build would find swarms of weak goblins particularly dangerous, since they don't have the DR to deflect their spears and end up taking -2 to flanking attacks! Just a thought for countering that build without being cheesy. :P
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Old 05-22-2016, 04:21 AM   #32
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Yes, being strong is perhaps more desirable for big characters. Which is why I said: "ST doesn't really become less valuable as you get larger."
It does, however become more appropriate as you get larger.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:01 AM   #33
Tallor
 
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

I'm staying subscribed on this one since I don't think I can reach a consensus quite yet...

The main reason I even ask is because size discounts are one of the only non-linear modifiers. You may as well have SM act as a balance of density and have huge gasbag aliens able to ride the wind or be pushed around by it. There's a concept!
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:05 AM   #34
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

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Originally Posted by simply Nathan View Post
Except that strength is your excess power after moving your bulk around.

Are balloons unrealistic?
Interesting question! I have the original Cosmos series by Carl Sagan on DVD. In that series he speculates that balloon like creatures could exist high in the atmosphere of gas giant planets where the atmospheric pressure is much higher than on Earth. The closest Earth native I can think of is the jellyfish, which is helpless on land. At any rate I don't think balloon creatures are likely to inhabit the same environment as human-like creatures so any strength comparison between the two is irrelevant.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:08 AM   #35
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

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Originally Posted by simply Nathan View Post
Except that strength is your excess power after moving your bulk around.

Are balloons unrealistic?
ST assumes you can choose where something goes. Balloons are limited by physics, which really don't care about your ST score. I don't care how strong you are, you're sinking to the bottom of a lake of liquid helium (assuming you somehow had the ability to not die almost instantly in said lake).
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:01 AM   #36
starslayer
 
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

Just realised another interesting way that size should factor in:

Let's say a sm0 human and an sm+5 giant are friends;

They decide to hit the gym together and start a strength building regime.

The giant can, should, and does see greater overall return for time spent working out vs numerical St increase. (Ie they both work or sufficiently to get 10 cp worth if strength gains, that's 1 point for the human, but two for the giant)
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:08 AM   #37
simply Nathan
formerly known as 'Kenneth Latrans'
 
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

Really though, being a bulky size should just be a Disadvantage that gives you points and most large entities should have high ST to reflect their size. The net of something like SM+1[-25] and ST+5[50] is [25] worth of advantage which seems appropriate to me. Worse off than SM 0 with ST 15 but clearly much better off than SM+1 with ST 10.

The first problem with making it a discount on ST is that it really doesn't pay off at the low levels to meet the minimum reasonable ST for a given size, encouraging disproportionately strong giants.

The second problem is that the ST itself is not made less potent by virtue of coming out of someone larger. No Fine Manipulators gives a discount because without hands, you are more limited in how you apply your strength; being bigger doesn't really do this.

If the point is to encourage building large things with appropriately large ST, why does an SM+9 giant pay the same for his ST as an SM+8 one? Or an SM+20 giant, for that matter? Why does and SM+5 giant wolf get no help buying up his ST to the (higher) appropriate levels than an SM+4 one?

It's almost like the problem with the Cannot Wear Armor limitation on DR; just making it a Disadvantage and pointing out possible justifications and combinations would make it way easier on everyone (except the DF Barbarian who is, unabashedly, designed around exploiting this kludge).
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:55 AM   #38
Infornific
 
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

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Originally Posted by Tallor View Post
I'd like to note that a DX 20 character still has a defense of Nil against attacks from behind, and they'd only have HP 10 to stay alive! Furthermore, a no-armor DX build would find swarms of weak goblins particularly dangerous, since they don't have the DR to deflect their spears and end up taking -2 to flanking attacks! Just a thought for countering that build without being cheesy. :P
The point is that DX 25 has as big an advantage over DX 20 that DX 20 has over DX 15, etc. An extra 100 points in DX gives an overwhelming advantage in DX all other things being equal.

In contrast, ST 20 overwhelms ST 10 but ST 60 has only a moderate advantage over ST 50.

DX 15 and ST 10 is probably evenly matched with DX 10 and ST 20 - in fact the strong PC is likely to have the advantage hand to hand. The DX makes up in other cases. In contrast, DX 15, ST 50 is likely to be much more effective in game terms than DX 10, ST 60.

I could list suggested changes but that would be drifting too much from the thread. We should probably add something like that to the GURPS wiki.

Getting back to the original question, the ST discount as stated is a patch to make it more practical to buy large characters on a reasonable budget. As already noted, it breaks down a little when considering large creatures that don't necessarily have exceptional ST. Bruno's suggested cost of -15/level sounds about right.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:17 PM   #39
Infornific
 
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Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by simply Nathan View Post
Except that strength is your excess power after moving your bulk around.

Are balloons unrealistic?
Except that doesn't really reflect how the system works. The suggested base ST for terrestrial creatures is the cube root of weight in pounds, times 2. So a 1,000 lb creature gets a base ST of 20 and can lift/carry four times as much as a 125 lb creature with a base ST of 10. In other words, ST increases as a 2/3 power of mass. That's actually a faster increase than if you limited it to excess strength after moving bulk around.

If you check weight lifting records, that fits - the records for the heaviest classes are higher but lower as a percentage of the lifter's weight and follow that 2/3 power curve fairly closely.

There's also the practical problem that extra bulk in a lot of cases either wouldn't affect use of ST or would actually aid it. For real world examples, take a look at sumo wrestlers or NFL nose tackles. I would say excess bulk in GURPS is best represented by reduced DX.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:12 PM   #40
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: The "Size Discount for ST -- Why?" Discussion

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Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
Just realised another interesting way that size should factor in:

Let's say a sm0 human and an sm+5 giant are friends;

They decide to hit the gym together and start a strength building regime.

The giant can, should, and does see greater overall return for time spent working out vs numerical St increase. (Ie they both work or sufficiently to get 10 cp worth if strength gains, that's 1 point for the human, but two for the giant)
Which is more ST increase in absolute terms, but is much less relative to the the ST the giant probably has to go with that size.
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