Strength, Lifting and PL questions

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Goldar
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Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Goldar » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:39 am

Last nite I was showing 2 friends the DC Adventures game books. While they were unaware of the books, they are familiar with many characters. They both were quite thrilled with the series!

Some questions came up in regards to STR, Lifting and PL levels. I tried to explain, but then myself got confused and was unable to answer the questions. I knew this forum was the best place to get the answers. I appreciate any and all responses to help clear up these questions. :)

The questions surrounded Power Girl (PG PL, 13 STR 17, Lift 21), Mary Marvel (MM PL14, STR 17, Lift 21) and Wonder Woman (WW PL 15, STR 16, Lift 22).

1) Why is WW a 15 PL, MM at 14 and PG at 13? What makes them be at those levels? How can one tell what PL level a character should be? For example, both PG and MM have as many powers or more than WW, yet WW has a higher PL.

2) If WW has a higher PL, how can she have less STR? I tried to explain that STR was punching power, Lift was the amount of weight one can lift and PL has to do with overall power, but then I wasn't sure if that was all correct. Also, if one is weaker, how can they be more powerful overall when the other 2 also have many superpowers? I was at a loss here. (I mean I understand that a character could be physically weaker but have super-energy powers or super-speed or something which would raise their PL above another with superior strength, but in this case with 3 very similar ladies, it was confusing).

One friend wondered if they could all be seen as equal in regards to STR in terms of STR+Lift. For instance, if the three of them fought, wouldn't they all just be equal in terms of the STR-LIFT (not fighting ability)? PG and MM are 1 above WW in STR and WW is 1 above PG and MM in Lift. I wasn't sure they were equal or that they equal out in this way (17+21=38 = 16+22=38)??

The other friend thought maybe the listings were such to show strong Kryptonian females (PG) and females with magical bodies (MM) were Stronger than even the strongest female (WW) and the rankings were done in this way to keep everything ordered throughout the system. Sort of the way Superman (strong male Kryptonian) and Captain Marvel (male magical body) were stronger than Mon-EL who is a Daxamite strong male. But Mon-El's PL is 2 below Supes and CM and he cannot lift more than those 2 can, so that didn't really fit so well as an explanation.

I Hope these questions are clearly written and I appreciate any insight into them.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Monolith » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:46 am

Pl is determined by the categories listed on page 25 of DCA: Skill modifier, attack + effect/damage, dodge/parry defense + toughness, and fort + will defense. You only need 1 of the categories to be at a certain level to be that pl.

Wonder Woman's pl 15 because she has a 16 strength damage and a 14 attack. She also has pl 15 defense + toughness and fort + will.

Pl has nothing to do with how fast you run or fly, how strong you are, or anything else. It's all based on the criteria listed above.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Goldar » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:29 am

Thanks for the explanations. OK, I think I have it. So when a character is created, the STR and Attack damage is decided and a PL is determined. Off of that, the D +T, P+T and/or F+ W must meet the rule of not being more than twice the PL? Or do I have that wrong?

As far as STR differences among PG, MM and WW, is that because of their origins (Kryptonian, magical body) or just a fact that they are stronger women?

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Monolith » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:44 am

Using the criteria above, with the exception of skills, the maximum is pl x 2.

Wonder Woman is pl 15. That means her attack + strength damage can't be greater than pl x 2, or 30. It means her dodge + toughness value can't be greater than pl x 2, or 30. The same goes for her parry + toughness and fort + will.

For skills it's pl rank +10. So at pl 15 someone can have a skill with a maximum value of +25.

As for as the differences between the characters, it's all just subjective. Steve or Jon decided that WW was a pl 15, and MM was pl 14, and PG was pl 13 an then they balanced the stats to that. Then they were each given some extra power-lifting strength to put them were the designers wanted them.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby jspade » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:14 am

Goldar wrote:Thanks for the explanations. OK, I think I have it. So when a character is created, the STR and Attack damage is decided and a PL is determined. Off of that, the D +T, P+T and/or F+ W must meet the rule of not being more than twice the PL? Or do I have that wrong?

As far as STR differences among PG, MM and WW, is that because of their origins (Kryptonian, magical body) or just a fact that they are stronger women?


You have the idea, Goldar, though I usually do it in the opposite order – I determine PL based on who I think could defeat whom in combat, then break it down. As for the lifting strength differences, it's based on the best guess of the person doing the writeup. My own take is that Supergirl and Mary Marvel are much better known for feats of massive strength than Wonder Woman, so I'd make them stronger; Wonder Woman is better IMO a better warrior, so I give her the higher power level.
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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Goldar » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:35 pm

Thanks for the info, jspade.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Rakumi » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:52 am

Hey goldar, i get what you are saying about the strength levels. The truth is much of it is based off what is visually displayed from the mediums (comics, tv, movie). So for example, a kryptonian in this system is usually never below 1-2 strength ranks below superman, so Power Girl is of that level, but in popular media, WW is displayed as a more brutal fighter and shown to lift more than PG on a regular basis. The only way to demonstrate a character being physically stronger than another with out breaking PL is giving them power lifting. But more important for WW than her ability to punch a tad bit harder is her ability to fight but with out making her PL go above supermans.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Goldar » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:45 pm

Hey Rakumi.

Yeah, I always thought of WW as the strongest DC female, sort of the way many see Superman as DC's strongest male. There was also a period of time when DC came out and stated this and that WW was second only to Superman in strength. I think this was around 2000. She was definitely stronger than any other female at that time.

Also, in the last RPG game, which I know has nothing to do with this game, I believe WW was listed as the strongest female with something like 34. Mary Marvel was about 32 and PG was 30. But WW also had lifting STR in addition to her higher STR level. So both PG and MM were quite a bit under her stats. That is why I was stunned at this system's stats, with WW being lower, even by 1, which I understand we are all free to modify as we each see fit. In contrast, both MM and PG have slightly more invulnerability and greater super-speed, and different other powers, so it could have all washed out in the end.

I would have even been OK with having WW being equal to PG and MM in strength since both PG and MM have matured into women after all this time as opposed to the teenaged girls they were when they both premiered. That could explain their increase in STR and the leveling of the three of them.

Also, WW always had a measure of super-speed in the comics, including flying and running fast, but those did not seem to get put into her DCA stats.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Rakumi » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:19 pm

Well i recall reading in the players hand book that they gave powers and stats to reflect the most common view of each hero, sort of like the most popular version the average person would know of. So this would explain any lack of or even added powers we may see. I mean, i totally get it, not all stats will reflect what we expect to see but i think the most important factor to the makers is if the characters play like they should. Think about this, WW has some for of power atk, correct me if i am wrong... she could easily add some of her fighting to her damage simulating more power and she already lifts more. And as far as things like resisting damage, we all also know she is most known for avoiding and blocking with her bracelets hence why she has such a high active defense for such a strong character. She is one of the most well rounded builds in the DCA.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Earth-Two_Kenn » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:42 pm

Rakumi wrote:She is one of the most well rounded builds in the DCA.


My name is Steve Trevor, and I endorse this message. :wink:
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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Mr Mole » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:27 am

Earth-Two_Kenn wrote:
Rakumi wrote:She is one of the most well rounded builds in the DCA.

My name is Steve Trevor, and I endorse this message. :wink:

D'oh! Didn't see that one coming. I must be off my game. :roll:

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Elric » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:53 pm

In addition to the nuts and bolts that have already been covered, my $0.02:

For NPCs, Power Level (PL) is descriptive. For PCs, Power Level is prescriptive (sets limits). It's too bad the same term is used for both. I think it would be easier for people to understand if there were separate terms. In particular:

Game Level== Limits on Character Power Level for a campaign (applies to all PCs).

Character Power Level== Power Level that a character would be based only on a character's highest appropriate trait(s). For each PC in a campaign, Character PL must be less than or equal to Game Level.

For PCs, the book recommends starting with Power Points= 15*Game Level, though this isn't a hard and fast rule; it's up to the GM. For NPCs, Power Level is purely based on their traits; they can have however many power points the GM wants.
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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Foreshadow » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:04 pm

There is not actual correct answer except for GR designers who should have a regular build pattern they put in a free doc they hand out to freelancers thus there is an actual consistency between characters. Sure you can make it different, but they won't as they are holding to that consistency.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Goldar » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:58 pm

I was just wondering how everyone plays their own game with those characters of super-strength and lifting abilities.

For instance, Superman STR 19 and Lifting +4, how is everyone playing Supes? Are you considering the lifting as part of his routine strength (23) or is it not part of your game at all (strength/lifting ability 19)?

I have a friend who is "converting" all the characters with lifting strength added to their base strength which he uses as just strength. So for instance, Superman would have a strength of 23, Wonder Woman 22 (16+6) and so on.

He does this for three main reasons. First, he says it places the characters closer to their post-Crisis selves from the second RPG, DC Heroes, which he loved. There, Superman was 25 and he states the 2 difference is a good decrease in power, since that Superman still seemed a little too strong. Wonder Woman should have been about a 22 or 23, but he states they had her listed as 16. WW DCA would be 22 with lifting, as mentioned above.

The second reason is that he states that one definition of strength "is the ability to lift a certain amount of weight" and he doesn't see how that can be separated out and be called "Strength" and "Lifting". Strength and lifting ability are really the same, that is, strength, he argues. The only difference he can see is if someone can lift more when flying due to thrust or propulsion of some sort.

Thirdly, he says that if they can lift more than just their strength level, then they really are stronger than that level. So WW is not a 16 since she has 6 lifting. She is really a 22. And that lifting ability could also be used to throw things, even her magic lasso for further distance or for hitting someone.

When he states his points, they kind of make sense. (I Hope I have written them clearly here and that they also make sense.)So I was curious if this was also a point others also took into consideration or not when playing their game.

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Re: Strength, Lifting and PL questions

Postby Monolith » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:03 pm

Lifting strength is the total value. Superman has a 23 strength. He's simply limited to 19 damage.

If it helps think about it in reverse. Superman bought a 23 strength, only 4 of it he bought as No Damage allowed -1.

In the game strength is comprised of 2 1 pt linked effects: lifting ability and damage ability. That's why power lifting is just strength bought without the damage.
Last edited by Monolith on Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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