If you’ve read this blog, you’ll see that I’m not a huge fan of ST rolls. I prefer using comparative ST (or even Basic Lift) to calculate a modifier, and then rolling against . . . something . . . with that modifier applied.

Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.

– George Silver,Paradoxes of Defence

*Roll against ST anyway*

*also*be extrinsic. That is, the penalty for lifting a 500-lb boulder is

*independent*of anything else. That’s actually darn handy.

10 – ST equivalent of lifted weight * sqrt(2)/2

8 – ST equivalent of lifted weight * sqrt(2)/4

*Issues, Issues*

*ST-equivalent:*sqrt(5×160) = 28.28, and multiplying by 0.707 gets about 20. Dividing that by two for two hands is 10.

*Two-second lift:*That’s just a target of 10. So you’re at -10 to do this lift 1-handed, and no penalty to do it with two hands. (10-20 vs 10-10, for -10 and 0 with one and two hands).

**Lift Fast, Get Hurt Fast**

*lower,*because you’re expecting fewer fails before you succeed, then we’ll need something to counterbalance that. Something where the faster you go, the more likely you may get hurt.

Oh, and by-the way: I don’t think a 4-armed creature gets 4 there. It’s either 1 for one hand, or 2 for two-or-more.

So an average guy (ST 10) trying to lift 40 lbs (ST equiv of 14.14, penalty of -10 in one hand) in two seconds (target 10) will have a ST roll of 10 to lift it, but an injury penalty of 10-10-10 = -10.

That’s a hefty penalty, and honestly a HT 10 guy shouldn’t be worried about injuring himself here, because right now, he can lift that same 40-lb weight with two Ready maneuvers and no risk of injury. That suggests a net roll of 14 to 16, Or a bonus of something like 15 to the quantity above.

So let’s try that for a ST 20 guy, who should be able to lift 160 lbs in one hand with that same ease.

ST: 20

Target Number: 10

Weight Penalty: -20 (this is independent of ST, which is the only good thing about it)

Injury Modifier: 15+20-20-10 = +5

OK, good. Not surprising, but good. Now, if he wants to make that same lift in one second (target 16 – ‘you only fail on a critical miss’ territory’) that would be:

ST 20

Target Number: 16

Weight Penalty: -20

Injury Modifier: 15 (constant) + 20 (ST) -16 (Target) – 20 (lifting difficulty) = 35-36 = -1.

So to do it in two seconds a prospective HT check would be at HT+5; in one second with little risk of failure you’d roll at HT-1.

That doesn’t seem like crazy talk. It does seem like way too much calculation to pick up a rock. It also makes me say Eww. At least two rolls – maybe three – per turn in order to lift something. Well, these are the trials and tribulations of wanting to keep rolling vs. an extrinsic parameter.

So, what happens if someone with ST 10 wants to lift 220 lbs in two hands, taking a target number of 7?

ST: 10

Target Number: 7 (check the table above)

Weight Penalty: 220 lbs in two hands is -11.7, call it -12

Injury Modifier: 15+10-7-12: 25-19 = +6.

Lifting Difficulty: 7-12 = -5

So taking one’s time will eliminate the possibility of injury (roll at HT+6), but you’ll roll at ST-5 to make the lift . . . 22 seconds to move BLx11.

Let’s say that a failure by 10 means you risk injury or lose control of the weight. So you make a DX check, and if you make it you can drop it safely. If you fail, you make a HT check or take damage.

**Parting Shot**

Well. This kinds stinks, really.

To make an extrinsic roll make sense (Roll vs. ST to lift the weight), then other weights need to be put in the same terms. That’s not bad. Each weight can be simply converted to a Weight Modifier for a one-handed lift. Halve that penalty for a two-or-more handed lift.

But the rest? The sequence would go:

- Do Math
- Roll HT to see if you hurt yourself just applying the initial force.
- If you don’t hurt yourself, start making ST rolls.
- If you make the roll, you complete the lift.
- If you fail the roll, but not by 10+, you’ve not hurt yourself but you didn’t complete the lift.
- If you fail by 10+, you botch the lift. Proceed to 4.
- Botched lift: Make a DX check. If you make it, you abort the lift successfully. If you fail . . .
- Make a HT check. Fail it and you injure yourself.

*So what do do?*

*What about ST vs ST?*

*Other Possibilities*

*mathematical*way to go if you’re replacing ST rolls with ST-modified target rolls.

I understand the impulse here, and I respect the work you've done, but:

– it's got to be simple.

– it's got to be a roll, because we don't just say "DX 14? You just make it."

– it's not good if the roll makes another attribute into ST in order to avoid using ST (i.e. HT-based rolls to avoid ST-based rolls)

This is why I still have rolls vs. ST, and why I'll cheerfully normalize around ST 10 like in a Regular Contest of ST. Is it perfect? Not really. Can it be recursive? Yes, but so can any roll (I roll against DX to see how agile I am!). Is it simpler to use a stat on the sheet and not look stuff up? Yes. Done and Done.

This is why everyone knows that you can jump over at hex at cost 2, but has to look up their Broad Jump. One you look at, one you look up.

I'd be fine with a replacement, but it's got to be vastly better if it's going to be even a little more complex and/or slower to use in play. TG has the beauty of swapping a single system that's simple and binary with a single system that is simple and not-binary. That's the standard I like – does this make my life easier

andgive better results? Perfect! One of those two? Okay. Makes things more complex and/or gives worse results? No.This can be an impossible task with ST, being that it wasn't designed ground-up to do all the things it could do.