Characteristics for Real

is there any reference to what a physical characteristic score might correlate to in real life?

for example:

what's the average lifting ability for someone with a strength +3? 300lbs? 27kg? 10stone?

i'm refering to tasks that shouldn't require a roll. lifting 100lbs with a strength -2 should get a roll, but should a strength +3 really need that?

The way I understood it, and I could be wrong, I don't have my books here, is that the average person has a score of 0. A 1 would mean that person spends a bit of time at the gym and a 2 would be someone who might enter the worlds strongest man competition. A 3 would be someone who could clearly win that competition. I think a 2 would cover the 300lb lifting capability.

A person with a strength of 3 could lift 100 lbs effortlessly.

I think that folks who would win international strong man competitions would be +5 strength.

I think of stats like this (No reason to believe that I'm correct)

stat % of people who have a stat in that range
-5 0.25
-4 0.75
-3 8
-2 10
-1 15
0 34
+1 15
+2 10
+3 8
+4 0.75
+5 0.25

Of course this makes PC's above average people but I don't have a problem with that. It also means that one out of 400 people has a +5 in a given attribute.

I gave our giant-blooded fighter with +6 Str herculean strenght, enough to uproot trees and knock out giants with his fists. Even if it isnt covered exactly by the rules... on the other side, a dragon has only one Str more than him. :wink:

maybe it's better to come at this the other way, since I see alot of people today that would probally be considered below average physically in the ars time period. While possible under feed the average peasant spent all day doing back breaking labor toilling in the fields. The knights had spent time training with heavy weapons.

So lifting 50 lbs would be what difficulty check...?
75 lbs...?
150 lbs...?

I'm not even sure what limits to use for the max a person can lift, if I can get an idea of that it's easy enough to use Erik's numbers to figure out the rest.

In a word, no.

I usually look at 0 being the average score for a human and each +1 or -1 as being one standard deviation on a normal distribution. (See and scroll down to "Rules for Normally Distributed Data"). But then, I have an advanced degree in mathematics so it seems normal to me to think about numbers that way.

Of course this has no relation to the actual probabilities involved in the old ArM4 dice-rolling method of character creation.

How are we looking at this? Lifting over the head?
Going with that thought...

Say the average fella could lift 50# over his head...
+1 would be like 100#
+2 150
+3 200 (this is a pretty stong fella)
+4 300
+5 500
+6 700
+7 900
+8 1200
+9 1500
+10 1800
+11 2100
+12 2500

These stats would be for normal human...yeah its out of range, but provides...
When you get into dragons and such, you should multiply the lifting ability by the size...
just a small thought...

No, IMHO. A larger character does not do any more damage than a small one, so why should he be able to carry more?

double post, excusez-moi

And why not treat it like Size, in a way?

Usually, a fit man may carry about half his weight. But about 50% people can't. So I'll put this at Str 01.

Str 01 => 0080 Lbs
Str 04 => 0800 Lbs.
Str 07 => 8000 LBs. Yes, this is a lot, but this is also quite mythic, on par with Hercules Strength.

We can infer intermediate stages, which gives us:
Str 01 => 0080 Lbs
Str 02 => 0200 Lbs
Str 03 => 0400 Lbs
Str 04 => 0800 Lbs
Str 05 => 2000 Lbs
Str 06 => 4000 Lbs
Str 07 => 8000 LBs

This gives both semi-realistic weights for average humans, and greater weigths for mythic ones.

Lower strengths are more difficult to figure, but one could say:
Str 00 => 0050 Lbs
Str -1 => 0020 Lbs
Str -2 => 0010 Lbs
Str -3 => 0005 Lbs
Str -4 => 0002 Lbs
Str -5 => 0001 Lbs

Frankly, I recommend you just wing it. I know this violates the thinking of the many simulationists out there, but it's a game and if it keeps you and your players from having fun then don't sweat it. If it makes you and your players have MORE fun, then I recommend looking at various physical condition programs and that should tell you what a good average starting wieght is and what reasonale targets are for certain percentiles.

It seems clear that we all have different views, though. Since hard limits come up so rarely, I've never worried about it. When pressed, I've thought of the following scale:

0: "most folks"
+1: In the top 10% of humanity
+2: In the top 1% of humanity
+3: 1 in 1000
+4: 1 in 10,000
+5: 1 in 100,000
and invert the scale on the negative side

Put another way:

0: OK
+1: Pretty good!
+2: Holy cow!
+3: the smartest/strongest guy in the town and surrounding farms (probably)
+4: one of the smartest/strongest guys in the county (probably)
+5: one of the smartest/strongest guys in the duchy
-1: Pretty bad!
-2: Holy crap!
-3: Most feeble in town (not including the old folks)
... you get the point.

Most of the reasoning that I chose this is five-fold:
-- When a player (myself or others I talk to) looks at it this way, they start thinking of a magus with a +1 INT and a +2 STA and +2QIK as a very interesting character to play.
-- Watching a female truck mechanic who could not have weighed more than 130lbs lift and install a dually on a truck by herself -- NOT a light assembly! -- and thus concluding that "knowing the tricks", as indicated by Ability score, have more of an impact than raw physical power.
-- I'm smart, but not terribly so, and I've buried several Stanford PhDs in my discipline so, again, I lean on Ability score.
-- There are no adjustments for the difference between men and women when on the physical side in the real world there clearly are. So, to allow for such a broad stretch of "average", I needed to make the range for "0" pretty darned big.
-- It gives any positive or negative score more descriptive power (see second scale).

OK, enough rambling. My advice, don't let a score get in the way of a good game session.




Carry? We were talking about lifting. If you are talking about carrying, then the average person can carry about 33# for duration. If you are fit, you can add to that, but a comfortable carrry is 33#. that is of course on a fitted pack.

That really doesn't work IMO.
Too much of a jump between 1 and 2. '3' is supposed to represent a 'high' score. Therefore, '3' would be in the high range, but not impossible...more like 150.
A really strong guy that hits the weights a bunch can probably lift (not jerk) about 500-600#. These are people that spend their days lifting to get themselves that strong (dare say that some might enhance their performance too, to get there) Lets consider that about max a person can do. Unless you are talking magic or nonhuman origins, it should not go above that....ever.
just some thoughts..

Well, for me, any score above +3 is more or less mythic, since you need a virtue for it. I've always thought of scores of -3 to +3 as being normal humans worst and best, with more extrême scores belonging to tragically flawed characters or powerful heroes.

Well, for me, any score above +3 is more or less mythic, since you need a virtue for it. I've always thought of scores of -3 to +3 as being normal humans worst and best, with more extrême scores belonging to tragically flawed characters or powerful heroes.

I know I would consider ANYONE who could lift 500# over his head to be, or 900 years ago...thats just a god aweful lot of weight to lift :open_mouth:
The point is that humans CAN get strengths like that, though it is rare...A human lifting 2000# is impossible...somewhere in between is the cut off where you say 'Here it is'. The list above shows that...

Well, I guess I like my mythic characters to be more... Well, mythic, on par with dragons or demons. It's just a matter of taste, after all :wink:

OTOH, I must say I dislike the idea that a character 10 times as big could only lift (for exemple) twice as much, although this happens veeeery rarely in an Ars Saga