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Using Brawn to break things

posted Dec 31, 2012 23:09:00 by thorngumbald
I'm probably being dumb, but I can't seem to make sense of the Brawn rules for breaking things.
"Take the character’s maximum lifting capacity in SIZ and apply that value to the Damage Modifier table on
page 13 to determine how much damage can be inflicted with each Brawn attempt"
What is a maximum lifting capacity in SIZ? How does this mechanic work?
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9 replies
bluefenix42 said Dec 31, 2012 23:40:03
That seems a bit wonky to calculate. Much simpler answer: each brawn attempt deals damage equal to the character's normal damage modifier.

Maximum lifting capacity is explained on pages 116 and 117, under the Encumbrance rules. A character can lift no more than STRx4 in Encumbrance. And it's stated on those same pages that 3 Encumbrance is about 1 SIZ. So, multiply the character's STR X 4 and divide by 3, then look up that value on the chart on page 13.

The problem is, that creates values that are too low. A character with STR 18 only produces 18 * 4/3 = 24 max SIZ, for a grand total of ZERO damage on a brawn check. Clearly, the math doesn't work.

So, yeah, just use the character's default Damage Modifier, unless it's 0 or less, in which case I would make the Brawn check 1 or more steps harder to allow them to get a 1d2 of damage.
bluefenix42 said Dec 31, 2012 23:51:34
Check that, let me try something different.

Look just above the Breaking rules at the Lifting rules.

A character can lift and carry up to their STR in SIZ up off the ground, or drag double this amount, without needing a Brawn roll. As a mass equivalent, 1 point of SIZ equals, roughly, 5 kilograms. For every full 10% he possesses in the skill the character may add an extra point of SIZ or 5kg to his total.

So, with STR 18, and Brawn 50%, the character can lift SIZ 23 with no roll.


For SIZ or mass above this the character needs to succeed in a Brawn roll. The maxi-mum weight a character can briefly lift is equal to twice their STR, plus whatever bonus they gain from their skill.

So, that same 18 STR, 50% Brawn character can lift a maximum of SIZ 18 * 2 + 5, or 41. Looking up 41 on the chart on page 13, we get a damage mod of 1d8. That seems suitable.

So, yeah, ignore my prior post. This method makes sense now.
thorngumbald said Jan 01, 2013 18:24:15
Thanks for thinking this through. So, the figure to look up on the damage modifier table is: (STR * 2) + (Brawn / 10). I wonder, though ... a fairly average young person (STR 11, Brawn 30% - one of the characters in my current game has those stats) would get a 0 modifier, so couldn't inflict any damage. I can see how a very weak person might not cause damage, but STR 11/Brawn 30% really ought to.
PatHenry said Jan 01, 2013 18:44:47
Given tools and time, I think just about anyone can break just about anything. So the application here, I think, tries to model what happens in an adventure context. So, yes, it may be that an average STR character cannot break something in exigent circumstances. Would not apply that same restriction if that character had more time... or more tools.
thorngumbald said Jan 01, 2013 18:53:47
I hear what you're saying, but it still feels wrong to me that an average youngster gets a zero modifier.

"A character can use Brawn to break objects with their bare hands – such as shoulder barging a wooden door." I believe an average mid-teenager is capable of shoulder barging and, eventually, breaking a wooden door. Especially as they are slamming it sufficiently hard that a failed Brawn + failed Endurance roll leads to 1d3 damage.

I think, for my house rules, I will shift the damage modifier up one slot on the table.
bluefenix42 said Jan 01, 2013 19:07:13
Remember, too, that even if the character manages to do a d2 or d4 of damage, they still might not break anything. Many items (especially hard wood, metal, and stone) have Armor Points. Thus, even a moderately strong person can roll brawn checks at a steel chain or wooden beam all day long and accomplish little to no total damage. To me, that's actually pretty realistic. However, if that same moderate STR character picks up a pick or hammer and swings it at the object, he's probably going to be much more successful, thanks to the weapon's added weight and solidity (and damage dice!).
PatHenry said Jan 01, 2013 19:10:59
I think, for my house rules, I will shift the damage modifier up one slot on the table.

I think shifting is a great idea, and you might look at the RAW, p. 57 on assigning difficulty grades. Breaking down the bathroom door in a modern home is probably much easier than breaking down the oak and strap iron door in your average medieval keep.
thorngumbald said Jan 01, 2013 19:26:13
I think I'd handle different types of doors through AP and HP. A bathroom door would have maybe AP 0 and HP 2. The reinforced door would have AP 2, possibly 3 if a lot of metal is used, and HP of 8 - 20 depending on thickness.
Then there's the question of what happens once the HP is breached. Using Brawn would break the door at the connecting points (hinges, lock, bolt), and so one breach would probably break one of those. A door with one bolt would therefore open after one HP penetration.
Using weapons, the door must be taken to pieces until it's structure falls apart, though one could argue that bludgeoning weapons should be treated as Brawn above. I suspect a door could withstand a few penetrations, depending on size and structure, before it would be broken to the point that a character could squeeze through.
thorngumbald said Jan 01, 2013 19:42:57
Found the inanimate objects RQ6 table now :) Page 123 says it all.
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