Growth/Move Object scaling issue

King Ghidorah

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So, this isn't a question as such, and definitely not a smol one, so I don't know where else to put it.

Considering the character I play, I've spent a lot of time tinkering with the Abilities/Effects system and how it interacts with Growth specifically, in anticipation of my glorious emergence as a titanic force of destruction. In so doing, I've run across an issue: mostly, the scaling of abilities and growth ranks synchs up just fine, in a way that follows logically: e.g. Rank 7 damage, you can wreck most traditional construction materials/Rank 7 growth you're big enough to (with affects multiple and indiscriminate) step on a house. With Move Object, however, the scaling breaks down.

The quadratic scaling which Move Object currently uses doesn't keep up with the increase in size in a realistic way: rank 10 Move object benchmarks at about 50000 pounds. That's about 1.2 city buses, or 0.5 main battle-tanks. Rank 10 Growth puts you at about 120 meters, large enough to take either those things in your hand like a hot-wheels car and drive it around on your carpet making vroom-vroom noises with your mouth. Even taking into account that Move Object does not set a ceiling but rather a benchmark (the sledgehammer comparison), this doesn't track. The disparity sets in much earlier, becoming noticeable round about rank 5 and becoming more extreme from there on out.

I do have a solution: I propose a special interaction between Growth and Move Object, such that when Active ranks in growth, up to rank-equivalent size, are paired with equivalent (or lower) ranks in Move Object, Move Object's progression changes from quadratic to tetratic. That is to say, while a person utilizes their growth power such that their current size reaches the maximum height of a given growth rank, then the benchmark weights for equivalent or lower ranks in move object would temporarily change. Like this:

Move Object
Rank 1) 100 pounds
rank 2 ) 200
rank 3 ) 400
rank 4 ) 800
rank 5) 1600

Move Object w/ equivalent or higher (active) ranks in Growth
Rank 1) 100 pounds ( 10 ft
Rank 2) 400 pounds (15 feet
Rank 3) 1600 pounds (20 feet
Rank 4) 6400 pounds (30 feet
Rank 5) 25600 pounds (50 feet

Does this get silly around rank 10? Yes, absolutely. But so does Growth, and so does Damage, and so does protection. 4^9
*100 is about 26 million pounds - or 13 thousand tons. That's about one-twentieth of an average skyscraper, which, for a moderate amount of effort for a creature 120 meters tall seems fair. It puts you squarely in the range of using Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben), which stands 96 meters high, as the hypothetical sledgehammer. Under this system at Rank 5 growth with rank 5 move object, we'd be talking about a 50 foot creature (about the size of a four-story building) exerting a similar amount of effort to move an (empty) garbage truck.

Yes, This adds a layer of complexity. But I think it does address a flaw in the current system in a satisfactory way. It also has the benefit of a adding a little bit more mechanical utility to growth in a way that makes sense: bigger guy can lift bigger thing. Might it require some tinkering? Probably. Maybe there could be a pricing adjustment to move object if you intend to use it in this way. But I thought it was worth bringing up.
 
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Cthulhu

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It's important to note that the Move Object numbers aren't based on maximum lifting potential, but rather the ability to swing that weight with the effort of a normal person using a sledge hammer. So, while Rank 10 is "only" 50k lbs, that number doesn't represent a character's maximum lifting potential.

In my experience, a "normal" person can lift roughly 180lbs maximum, but a sledge only weighs about 20lbs. Extrapolating from that, a Rank 10 Move Object user could, theoretically, lift about...450,000lbs at maximum exertion. Which should put it around where you're looking to adjust things anyway. More or less.
 

King Ghidorah

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450,000 pounds is only about 225 tons - the weight of a single locomotive. It sounds like a lot, but that's kind of the problem - the system as it stands allows us to reach tremendous sizes using the growth ability, but it doesn't account for the way creatures of that size would interact with their environment: weight adds up quickly, and at that size things which relatively speaking compared to the creature's body aren't that big weigh a lot more than we'd typically think.

Now, admittedly this is all in service of the narrative - people writing giants are probably going to write them interacting with things as though they are giant, and I may be getting too hung up on real-world numbers. What I'm proposing would be a way to bring the mechanical side of things more in line with the way many people (including myself, of course) would be looking to write the growth ability.
 

Cthulhu

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To be fair, the system also doesn't account for the square-cube law which would disallow creatures of that size from existing at all. Like Pokémon, sometimes realism just takes a backseat to the rules.

I genuinely doubt anyone will run into an issue where lifting the weight of a locomotive isn't enough to accomplish their narrative goal. And if it comes up, Focus and/or Consumables are good ways to accomplish the "impossible" on the occasion when you need to do so.
 

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While I understand the issue, it also pushes us into an area I'd actually avoid - which is synergies being required for certain values. While it's already been stated superman isn't necessarily a character built for the site, one of the main ideas that gets broken down for the ability system as a result is the idea that - if you want damage, you get it by buying damage. if you want move object, you just need move object. whatever aesthetic you're trying to accomplish is accomplished by getting a combination of things you want, but there aren't pre-requisites to get there, for the most part.

This effectively means that if you're the type that wanted to play Hercules and grapple with Godzilla, that ship has completely sailed. It forces a synergy in order to get the most moxie from your boy and causes certain character ideas to be much harder to pull off. I'm not sure if I'm good with that change.
As a more minor issue: How does the scale in this idea start to work with someone who has move object 7 but Growth rank 4, for instance? that's where I can see the math starting to get weird.
 

King Ghidorah

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How does the scale in this idea start to work with someone who has move object 7 but Growth rank 4, for instance? that's where I can see the math starting to get weird.
Hmm. That is a good point. I guess you'd either have to remove the rank-parity cap I suggested and just have growth alter benchmarks all across the move-object scale or functionally peg a 'maximum active' move object rank to the height-equivalent growth-rank.

Your point about synergies potentially causing problems is also well taken. The last thing I want to do is make things harder for other people to write the way they want to. I can think of ways to tinker with it that would account for that - direct opposition between entities being affected by straight move-object ranks rather than the modified values , for instance, but then we're getting into further exceptions and that's really more complicated than I was hoping to make this.

Well, fuck. It seemed like an elegant idea.

And I still maintain that the actual tetratic scaling matches the growth-rank curve beautifully.
 

Arthur Morgan

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We are currently looking at revising Move Object! It may take a while, but rest assured that our staff team is looking into it.
 
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