Confused by Feat of Strength (Lifting)

DreadDomain
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 5:28 am

Confused by Feat of Strength (Lifting)

Postby DreadDomain » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:06 pm

Hi all,

I am bit confused by how a test of Feat of Strength (Lifting) is supposed to work:

1) Core rules p.348 state that a human can lift STR x 20 pounds for a short time but that can be increased with a test of Feat of Strength (Lifting) by QL x 10 pounds (see note 1 below). Quick, dirty, easy.

2) Compendium p.18 refers to the rule above. It also states that with a successful test, a character can increase this number by QL x 11 pounds (see notes 1 and 2 below). It then introduce. modifiers based on how much you are trying to lift (+3 for 33 pounds, +1 for 55 pounds, 0 for 110 pounds, -1 for 220 pounds and -3 for 330 pounds- see note 2 below).

Example 1 - Let's say Alrik has STR 15. He needs to lift a big rock (for whatever reason). Alrik doesn't know this but the GM rules that the rock weighs 290 pounds.
a) Does Alrik automatically lift the rock as he can lift 300 pounds as per the Core rules or
b) Does he need to pass a Feat of Strength (Lifting) at -3 at per the Compendium?
I believe the answer is a) because the second ruling (b) doesn't seem to make any sense as it would mean the weaker you are, the less penalty you have to lift your basic lifting capacity. What is the purpose of the table in the Compendium then?

Example 2 - Same example but this time the rock weighs 310 pounds. According to the Compendium, I believe the intent is that he needs to pass a Feat of Strength (Lifting) at -3. Again, it seems strange that lifting 290 pounds would make it automatic but lifting 7% more would impose a -3 penalty. This table is clearly not scalable (see note 1 and 3 below). What is your take on this?

Note 1: Aside from the fact the Core and Compendium use a different conversion (x10 and x11), I believe it would make more sense for the result to be QL x STR. It would scale better with stronger and weaker characters.

Note 2: I really wish they would have kept the metric system instead of messing around with bizarre conversions. I understand why they have done it but I don't think it was worth it. It introduces all sorts of weirdness ad error. The example just below the table in the Compendium is wrong probably just because of a conversion error.

Note 3: I believe that table would work better if it was relative to your strength (but even then, how would it work with the QL x N rule, I am not sure). I suspect the Core rules p.348 means that a human can lift STR x 20 pounds for a short time at waist level while the Compendium table seems to be calibrated for lifting weights above the head. This is supported by the example right after.

Maybe in German the rule is clearer?

DreadDomain
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 5:28 am

Re: Confused by Feat of Strength (Lifting)

Postby DreadDomain » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:38 am

Ooookaaayyy... so no one understand the rules or has an opinion how it should work ;)

Dany40
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:32 am

Re: Confused by Feat of Strength (Lifting)

Postby Dany40 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:05 pm

In my french version the core rule is : STR x 10 kg for a short time .... QR x 5kg more with a Test of Feat of Strength.

For the compendium rule ... the check table is a little confusing.... it seems to assume a « normal » check for 110 pounds (STR 11).

I think that we must look at this things differently :

The check table seems to be an alternate rule. The heroes STR doesn’t matter... you make a Test with zero modifier for 110 pounds, or with modifiers based on the weight ...

Denshi
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:22 pm

Re: Confused by Feat of Strength (Lifting)

Postby Denshi » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:18 pm

Sorry for the delay, I'll try to explain how I read the German sources.
DreadDomain wrote:1) Core rules p.348 state that a human can lift STR x 20 pounds for a short time but that can be increased with a test of Feat of Strength (Lifting) by QL x 10 pounds[…].
2) Compendium p.18 refers to the rule above. It also states that with a successful test, a character can increase this number by QL x 11 pounds […].

In my German edition it says STR×10kg (≈ 22 pounds) for a short time and additional QL×5kg (≈ 11 pounds) with a check in my both my core rules and the compendium. So the 11 pounds in the compendium are a more accurate conversion but imho multiplying by 10 instead of 11 is quicker and not that far of. Choose what fits you best.

DreadDomain wrote:I believe it would make more sense for the result to be QL x STR.

I understand your sentiment. I think the reason they chose QL×5 is to keep the right side of the multiplication a constant. The “QL times constant” appears fairly often is TDE5, so I guess they wanted to keep it within that framework. 5th edition (when compared to 4th) is really insistent on unification and simplification—as odd as that may seem to anyone who hasn't played 4th ed. Keep in mind that even if the STR value isn't considered in the bonus granted by the skill check, it is still contained in the STR×10 (or 20 in English).

Now, to the elephant in the room:

DreadDomain wrote:It then introduce modifiers based on how much you are trying to lift (+3 for 33 pounds, +1 for 55 pounds, 0 for 110 pounds, -1 for 220 pounds and -3 for 330 pounds- see note 2 below).

In the compendium they wanted to give further information on how the skills are used and how they differ from each other. Their idea was to give a textual description, a modifier table and an example for each and every application of a skill—again, unification is a guiding mantra in 5th ed.
However, I think they will agree that in hindsight, it was not as successful as they had hoped. The compendium earned much criticism in the German community for the duplicate content that necessarily arises when writing the same type of information about very similar stuff. I think this part of the compendium seemed a good idea in theory but only showed its flaw when it was already too late. They learned from this.

With that said, my interpretation of the table in the compendium is that it is simply there because there was need for a table.
If you're happy with the rules from the core rulebook: Don't use the table.
If you don't want your players to do an extra step and calculate how much they can lift (which might cause a break in immersion) and just want to throw a skill check at them: There you have a table.

In the German community we have running gag about there being a “role play police” and if you don't follow the rules to the letter, they will come and arrest you for it.
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