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Old 09-17-2016, 09:06 AM   #11
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

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Originally Posted by clu2415 View Post
I want my character to carry more stuff, so I was looking at how to improve his strength in play. Some muscle reinforcement procedures are available but he is in the military so he would have to get permission to be off duty multiple weeks while he recovers.

200 hours of training is 1 point so I need 2,000 hours of training for 1 point of ST. The DM says I will have 2 hours available for training a day and that equipment and trainers make this count for 4 hours. Training 5 days a week would give 20 effective hours per week, allowing me to raise his strength after only... 100 weeks. Two years! (He already has a level of lifting strength, so I can't go that route to save time.) Steroids can cut this down to only six months to a year if I accept serious side affects before I even get the first point of strength!

Alternatively, I can pay earned points and have the muscles appear after 3-4 sessions.
I would not even try to use the "hours of study per point of skill" rule for stats! However, if buying up ST with earned points is not an option (and making a point that your character is lifting weights in his free time is an excellent way to justify spending the points that way), that is balanced with the other things you could do with a Time Use Sheet, and I think that both options are in the Basic Set: Campaigns.

Back when we had a physical trainer on this forum, one of his points was that stats are best understood as a "rest level," what your character can maintain without spending time and willpower which he usually spends on other things. Most characters could improve their ST by a point or two in six months of intense training, but it will fall back to normal as soon as the deadline is passed. In his experience, most people only get stronger in a lasting way when they are really determined to do so, or have an external motivation like "the fire department will fire me if I fail this test again."

The only rules like that which I know are S. John Ross' old book rules which had something on cramming and are still available on his website.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
...
Back when we had a physical trainer on this forum, one of his points was that stats are best understood as a "rest level," what your character can maintain without spending time and willpower which he usually spends on other things. Most characters could improve their ST by a point or two in six months of intense training, but it will fall back to normal as soon as the deadline is passed. In his experience, most people only get stronger in a lasting way when they are really determined to do so, or have an external motivation like "the fire department will fire me if I fail this test again."

The only rules like that which I know are S. John Ross' old book rules which had something on cramming and are still available on his website.
That's probably true for any noticeable improvement or life change in general. We all will fall back onto past lifestyles, bad and good, without continued effort.
Literally the ONLY reasons I've been able to start getting fit now is because of diabetes AND seeing every diabetic I know all but ignore their condition to their own detriment. I've tried exercise and dieting when young, and tried quite hard too. But it just never took.
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Old 09-17-2016, 04:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

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That's probably true for any noticeable improvement or life change in general. We all will fall back onto past lifestyles, bad and good, without continued effort.
Very true for most ordinary people, but it's probably justified to have exceptional, heroic PCs continually improve themselves as long as they are given a Will score that is far above the norm.

Literature on the difference between ordinary soldiers and those who pass elite special operation selection courses* insists that it's mostly willpower. In GURPS terms, that's more than just Will, as having a lot of willpower in real-world terms is a valid explanation for having high skills and Attributes.

*A good analogue for PCs in many action-adventure games.

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Literally the ONLY reasons I've been able to start getting fit now is because of diabetes AND seeing every diabetic I know all but ignore their condition to their own detriment. I've tried exercise and dieting when young, and tried quite hard too. But it just never took.
I'm sorry to hear that you have diabetes, but glad to hear that you're taking good care of your health.
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Old 09-17-2016, 05:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

Willpower in Gurps terms, maybe. But I vaguely remember the old Aliens game that had a separate attribute for long term willpower aka motivation that had an effect on career and personal improvement.

The diabetes induced changes took more effort than one would expect as I wasn't really sedentary, obese, or always eating junk food. But low risk does not mean no risk. Run with screaming shins now, or lose the ability to walk or even see later is a MUCH more effective motivator than vague better health, sexier look, etc. But from those I know, apparently that isn't near enough for many.
If that isn't enough for most to change, then it must take a monumental level of personal motivation to drastically increase ST or HT for less concrete reasons.
I agree that a very few real people seem a bit munchkin-ed out with time use, self-improvement, talents, abilities, etc. But if we're going with what's technically possible for any human to do, then we're back to just letting the player spend the points over whatever sounds like a plausible time frame.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

For what it is worth, I tend to treat PT for player characters in the military as changing normal fitness to "Fit" and "Fit" to "Very Fit". Unless someone is using their BL constantly, and perhaps using extra effort to exceed those limits (such as extra effort), I can't really see anyone getting "STRONGER" with their character.

Back in the day when GURPS 3rd edition used to charge double for character attribute changes after start of game play, I used to use the concept that there was "Potential" attribute and Current Attribute. Experience point cost for getting yourself up to the potential was x1 cost, while going above your potential was standard x2 cost.

I never really liked the fact that the NEW version of GURPS treats separating out the Will attribute from IQ and lowering it counted as a "Disadvantage". I also wish that SJGames had finally expanded out their attributes from what they had in 3rd edition to 4th edition where Will and IQ were separate stats, HP and ST were separate Stats, and Fatigue was its own stat as well. But, that's just my "druthers" here. ;)

I wonder if a case can be made that weight training can grant Lifting Strength bonuses, which can not exceed the character's ST attribute by more than 1 or 2 levels?

Perhaps Weight Training grants FIT after a certain period of time (endurance training) and grants Lifting Strength bonuses for muscle mass?

Just a thought.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:24 AM   #16
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
I wonder if a case can be made that weight training can grant Lifting Strength bonuses, which can not exceed the character's ST attribute by more than 1 or 2 levels?

Perhaps Weight Training grants FIT after a certain period of time (endurance training) and grants Lifting Strength bonuses for muscle mass?

Just a thought.
IMHO it can be quite difficult to separate either "Trained ST" and/or damage bonuses from Skills from Lift and/or Striking ST. All of those can come from adeptness in using and developing certain limited groups of muscles.

By contrast Arm ST is unquestionably real and fairly common too. It's seen in far more than just archers.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
I wonder if a case can be made that weight training can grant Lifting Strength bonuses, which can not exceed the character's ST attribute by more than 1 or 2 levels?
Yes. Lifting Strength is marked as an Exotic advantage, but it's definitely at the low end of the exotic scale. I'm happy to let ordinary humans who do a lot of lifting and carrying buy it up to 30% of their basic ST, and so is my usual GM. One can also make a case for one level always being allowed, as part of buying a point of ST in instalments.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

Without knowing the setting and campaign assumptions, it's hard to know what to suggest. Most of the banter here, IMO, is totally out. For official treatment, the rules for physical training are discussed in GURPS Back to School and they work fine in that context. GURPS Bio-Tech has rules for super steriods where "each hour of learning an appropriate physical skill or trait while using steroids counts as four hours." The other stuff is discussed here:
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=145727
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:40 PM   #19
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

One idea that leaps to mind is having an extra point of ST with the limitation "requires an hour of working out a day to maintain*" as well as the limitation "increased cost of living, high protein food/special diet"

- another limitation idea is reduced fatigue, tired and sore.

*similar in cost to increased sleep (?)

Edit
Let's not forget a pet peeve of mine, OPH grunts loudly when lifting
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Last edited by (E); 09-18-2016 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:00 PM   #20
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Improving strength through exercise

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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
Without knowing the setting and campaign assumptions, it's hard to know what to suggest. Most of the banter here, IMO, is totally out. For official treatment, the rules for physical training are discussed in GURPS Back to School and they work fine in that context. GURPS Bio-Tech has rules for super steriods where "each hour of learning an appropriate physical skill or trait while using steroids counts as four hours." The other stuff is discussed here:
http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=145727
Well admittedly, people whose' forte is strength training are probably off doing that, not commenting on a forum thread. Thanks for citing a GURPS book which I have not read.
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