In Shadowrun 4th Edition, how much a person can lift or carry is based on the character's Strength, modified by the successes from a Strength + Body roll. Human Strength and Body attributes lie on a 1-6 scale, and the manual says that average humans have scores of 3. With the average person's STR + BOD = 6, it is possible to roll up to 6 successes to modify his base lifting amount (though very unlikely to get all 6 successes). Each success rolled adds 15 kg to the amount that can be lifted. Here is a graph of the average lifting abilities (after rolling) for characters of average Body and any given Strength:

We see here that the average real-world person is as strong as a Shadowrun character with a Strength of 2, one level below average given an average Body. The perfectly average Shadowrun character will (on an average roll) be stronger than about 70% of real people. With the randomization in the game mechanics, it is possible for characters with strength of 2 to lift more than shown on this graph about 26% of the time. So, it gets a little messy comparing the probability distributions of game characters to the single limits I have for real people. Real people just do not have wide variance for how much an individual is able to lift. A person's max lift will fluctuate a little based on factors like rest, warm-up, time of day, and how long it's been since working out, but the fluctuation will not come anywhere close to the 90 kg variance an average Shadowrun character has.

Shadowrun's mechanics have the typical trend that average characters are stronger than average real-world people, but on average the difference is not as severe as other popular systems. What is quite deviant in the mechanics is the huge variance within a single person due to rolling so many dice to determine lifting ability during each attempt to lift something.

Here is a table of probabilities of successes based on die pool:

Here is the table of base lifting amounts and modifiers:

Rolled successes add 15 kg to lifting, and 10 kg to carrying. I would prefer the system to have less randomization. It is also unfortunately messy to use the real strengths that I have in comparison to Shadowrun characters all of Body 3. I have no clear way to break real world people into six Shadowrun-equivalent groups by body size to create separate graphs by Body and Strength. This is one of the least clear comparisons I'm making for strength, but I hold to the opinion that less randomization is better in a simulation mechanic.

## Sep 26, 2011

## Sep 17, 2011

### Mutants and Masterminds - Strength and Lifting

Mutants and Masterminds is one of my favorite systems. The mechanics made excellent improvements on the d20 system. Since it uses a point-buy system, there is no real distribution of strength. Since it is based on the d20 system, though, which originally determined strength with a 3d6, I am using the 3d6 curve as a proxy of the distribution of strength within M&M.

It is accurate enough at the far bottom and top of the distribution of lifting ability, but, as with nearly every other system, it overestimates the abilities of most people in the average range. The average person in the M&M system is stronger than 75% of people in the real world. The average person in the real world is only stronger than 10% of people in the M&M system.

Here is the lifting/dragging table for M&M 2nd ed. Weights are in pounds.

It is accurate enough at the far bottom and top of the distribution of lifting ability, but, as with nearly every other system, it overestimates the abilities of most people in the average range. The average person in the M&M system is stronger than 75% of people in the real world. The average person in the real world is only stronger than 10% of people in the M&M system.

Here is the lifting/dragging table for M&M 2nd ed. Weights are in pounds.

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