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Strength Rules for RMSS/RMFRP
Copyright Walter L. Campbell, 1999

The following are mods and rules for basic lifts, taken from contemporary lifts of the same name, and based on contemporary training data and sports science. This is an area that was left somewhat uncovered in all editions of RMSS. These rules seek to be a guideline for GMs and players who have, up until now had to rely on rough guesses of where a character's strength lies and wish to know how much weight a given character can move in a given situation. The lifts given are broad based and should cover just about any movement or lift attempted by a character in the game.

The following generic mods are given.

Routine +30
Easy + 20
Light +10
Med +0
Hard –10
Very Hard –20
Extremely Hard –30
Sheer Folly-50
Absurd –70

It is assumed that all attempts to lift any given weight, are based on a ST roll (3x ST mod +die roll) and the Athletic/Brawn success chart is used. It is also assumed that the skill 'weightlifting' can be used to modify this based on the following chart:

Flat, Level Surface +5
Easy Handholds+10
Extra Prep Round( one round maximum)+10
Weight Unevenly Distributed –20
Weight hard to Grasp -20
+10 to lift roll=Medium
+20 to lift roll=Hard
+30 to lift roll=Very Hard
+40 to lift roll=Extremely Hard
+50 to lift roll=Sheer Folly
+60 to lift roll=Absurd

with each additional +10 attempted needing a successful weightlifting roll at an additional –20. So a character attempting to modify his lift roll by +80, would be at –110 (before adding his weightlifting skill). A partial success roll would yield just that, and so if someone attempting the maneuver previously stated rolled a 50% success (weightlifting also uses the athletic/brawn success chart) they would be able to add +40 to their roll.

*Note that the rules are given assuming that any lift is made by a ST roll and only MODIFIED by the weightlifting skill. If you use to wish the weightlifting skill alone to determine success on a lift, these charts may need to be modified. This is done because it is assumed that a base level of skill is not needed to lift something (as that is in essence what the ST stat describes).

 

Here are the basic lifts (success determined by ST roll using the Athletic/Brawn success chart and modified by weightlifting or adrenal ST, or both):

Pull-up/Pulldown* (basically any attempt to pull something down or a character and his gear upwards):

Less than bodyweight-Routine
bodyweight-Easy
body weight- Light
body weight- Medium
bodyweight-Hard
1 bodyweight- Very Hard
2x bodyweight- Extremely Hard
3x bodyweight- Sheer Folly
4x bodyweight-Absurd

*For pulling up, count any weight in addition to the character's own bodyweight in terms of multiples of bodyweigh. For example, a character who weighs 200 lbs wants to pull herself and her 100 lb dwarven friend up a building ledge would be pulling 1 1/2 body weight, and should use the appropriate mod.

Clean and Jerk (basically any attempt to take something from the ground and hoist it into and overhead position):

Less than bodyweight-Routine
bodyweight-Easy
body weight- Light
body weight- Medium
bodyweight-Hard
1 bodyweight- Very Hard
2x bodyweight- Extremely Hard
3x bodyweight- Sheer Folly
4x bodyweight-Absurd

Once an Objected is successfully 'Jerked', a character may attempt to throw the object a distance equal to 5' for every 20 points (round down, with a minimum base of the character's height) he/she exceeds their minimum success roll. For example, if a character needed to roll a 75 to hoist 100 lbs overhead and rolled an 116 (a 96 and then a 20), he would be able to throw the object 15' (assuming he is 5' tall). To hit rolls would be based on their thrown object skill (whichever applies), with larger objects receiving an obvious bonus to hit, and heavier objects receiving an obvious bonus to damage and criticals.

Bench press (any attempt to press something off of the chest in the horizontal position, or away from the chest or body while standing):

Less than bodyweight-Routine
bodyweight-Easy
body weight- Light
body weight- Medium
bodyweight-Hard
1 bodyweight- Very Hard
2x bodyweight- Extremely Hard
3x bodyweight- Sheer Folly
4x bodyweight-Absurd

 

Deadlift (any attempt to pick up and stand with an object resting at or below the hips):

Less than bodyweight-Routine
bodyweight-Easy
bodyweight- Light
bodyweight- Medium
1 bodyweight -Hard
2x bodyweight –Very hard
3x bodyweight –Extremely Hard
4x bodyweight- Sheer Folly
5x Bodyweight-Absurd

Squat (any attempt to go from a squat position to a standing position with some load or object resting across the shoulders or back):

Less than bodyweight-Routine
bodyweight-Easy
bodyweight- Light
bodyweight- Medium
1 bodyweight -Hard
2x bodyweight –Very hard
3x bodyweight –Extremely Hard
4x bodyweight- Sheer Folly
5x Bodyweight-Absurd

For lifts done with half of the body or half of the muscles normally used, x2 the weight multiplier. –20 if the non-dominant side is used. For example, if someone wanted to pull themselves up over the edge of a cliff with their off hand, and they would use the x2 bodyweight mod, and subtract an additional –20.

Each lift is made based on a strength roll, which can be modified by adrenal moves-strength, and then again by the weightlifting skill.

For any lift that is an additional multiple of the character's weight there is an additional –20.

For attempts to hold the weight stationary momentarily (if the movement BEGAN in the top position) +20. For attempts to lower under control + 30. Any attempts to 'hold' the weight in a given position (if successful) may last as many rounds as the character's ST, SD and CO mods averaged, after which to hold further rounds a roll with the mods from those three stats should be made, with the appropriate modifiers for its weight taken from these charts. Percentage of success will determine how much of the initial number (ST mod +SD mod + CO mod in rounds) may be used.

In the event that the character has a mechanical, or other advantage, the GM should use his or her discretion and modify the player's chances accordingly.

For instances where the weight falls between two categories round to the nearest modifier or break the group into smaller mods based on the difference between the two categories in both weight and modifier. For example, if the difference in mods was –10 to –20, and the difference in weight between the two categories was 150 lbs, then for every 15 lbs over the first category subtract one from the roll. In this case, if the weight in question was a large stone lid that a 300 pound highman wanted to lift up (deadlift), and the lid weighed 524 lbs, then the mod would be –15 (using the interval system). Using the rounding method, the character would have a mod of –20. A hard, but certainly not impossible lift for a highman of 300lbs, made even more attainable if the character has and uses either or both adrenal moves strength and weightlifting to modify his attempt. Assuming his ST mod was +10, and he made a successful weightlifting roll to give him an additional +20, he would then have to achieve success with a total mod of +30.

Partial success would indicate just that, and if 30% success is indicated in the character's attempt to 'bench press' a stone column off his chest, he will have moved it a few inches, or the equivalent of 30% of the way to completion. If gravity were not involved, the object may have remained 30% nearer completion, however, as the forces of gravity are working against the character, the column would return to its position on our character's chest.

Certain accessory movements aren't given specifically because it is assumed that in a fantasy world, characters are more concerned with moving some weight rather than achieving a larger biceps muscle, so any such movement would be part of another larger movement, and would be done less strictly as conventional 'weight room' movements that isolate a muscle group. In essence, only the most functional lifts are given, because the smaller movements can be seen as part of one of the larger ones given, and the same weight restrictions would apply. For example, if a character wanted to know what he could curl, because he needed to hoist a log resting in his hands at hip level to shoulder level, it would be assumed that he would use the weight associated with his Clean and Jerk poundage's, because he would not strictly curl the log, he would clean it up to his shoulders.

The lifts given should cover most any situation encountered, however, as they are all multiple muscle movements, for cases where the muscles are isolated use the following system:

Less than 1/8 bodyweight-Routine
1/8 bodyweight-Light
bodyweight-Medium
bodyweight-Hard
bodyweight-Very Hard
bodyweight-Extremely Hard
1 bodyweight-Sheer Folly
2x bodyweight-Absurd

An additional –20 for every multiple of bodyweight over 2x bodyweight.

Determining a specific number to draw on from time to time is not as accurate in a fantasy world as would be in a contemporary gym. This is largely because the character will seldom be lifting evenly weighted and easy to grasp objects, nor will he have practiced on these same objects. Should the situation be just that however (an even, well-practiced, and all things considered 'comfortable' lift), a player and GM may want to establish a working 'max' of what the character can move in a given lift. For the purposes of estimating a 'max' lift, assume any weight that leaves a character with a 60% chance of success is his or her reasonable 'max' and therefore (given the conditions fit those stated above) need not be rolled, or can be considered routine. For any other irregular (and most 'functional' lifts ARE irregular) a roll should be made.

If this number is used, other lifts can be determined (the number of maximal reps that can be performed at a given weight) based on this max lift weight (in the same movement).

%One rep Max(weight)#of MAX reps
100%1
93.5%2
91%3
88.5%4
86%5
83.5%6
81%7
78.5%8
76%9
73.5%10

and so on...

As an example, we will take our hero, 'Drock Hammerfist', a half-dwarf fighter, with a ST bonus of +8, a CO of +12, and a SD of +4, and who weighs 175 lbs. Drock is pinned in against the wall of a tavern by a stray table sent flying by his comrade 'Harold' the half-ogre, who is engaged in a barroom brawl after being refused service by the urban man innkeeper and hassled by the unfriendly locals. Drock wants to get free, run to the bar, pull himself over and attack the fat innkeeper ( as Harold now finds himself busy with the four patrons who have engaged him in unarmed combat). The table weighs 70lbs, or roughly Drock's weight, so he receives +10. He has the skill weightlifting, which he uses to receive +10 to his roll, and his ST gives him +24, so his total mod is +44. He needs to roll 67 to move the table. He rolls a 69, and is free. He then runs to the bar and attempts to pull himself up. He is at –10, as it is a hard maneuver, but his weightlifting skill is extremely successful and therefore yields a bonus of +20. He has a total mod of +34 to his roll. He needs a 77 to succeed. He rolls a 45, and fails, and tries again the next turn. This time he receives only +10 from weightlifting and must roll an 87. He rolls a 91 and pulls himself over the bar. Once over the bar he sees the innkeeper facing away from him about to pull a crossbow from a cabinet. Drock wants to grab the innkeeper, and toss him over the bar into the arms of the waiting Half Ogre, who has since dispatched of his foes (non-fatally...its an example for the 'whole family'...). The GM rules that Drock must make a successful grab and uses his MA strikes as a base. Unaware and facing away, the innkeep is easy prey and Drock easily grabs him. Drock then tries to hoist him (attempting a Clean and Jerk), and must roll an open-ended roll (97 at least) as his prey weighs 260 lbs (almost exactly 1 the half-dwarf's weight ), -20, and his weightlifting gives only +10 and his base is +24. He does, and rolls a 134, exceeding his roll by roughly 30 points and allowing him to throw the man 10'. He does, and the fatman sails into the waiting arms of Harold the half ogre.

Author's Note:

I hope this helps anyone who wants to have a better idea where a character's strength lies and what he or she can reasonably lift in certain instances. I am a college level weight training and fitness instructor as well as high school and collegiate strength coach and competitive powerlifter. I have based the multipliers and charts listed on my experience and knowledge in the field of strength and conditioning as well as my love for RM and 15+ years of playing and GMing in ICE fantasy roleplaying system.

This system can be used and modified however you like, however, if you have any questions, or would like my advice on how any lifting and strength related situations in RM2, RMSS or RMFRP should be handled, email me at: wcampbell@co.north-slope.ak.us

Good Luck!

Walter L Campbell

NSCA-CPT

Editor's Note:

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