Monday, October 14, 2013

Towards Tribute Alpha

If you've read this post, you know that I plan to create two versions of Tribute- a simple version called "Alpha", and a more detailed version called "Omega".  The primary difference I expect Alpha to have is the lack of the 12 Function Elements. Effects will be more freeform than they will be in Omega. 

Writing these two versions isn't a matter of just writing a simple game then making it more complicated- if I want them to be compatible, I need to have Omega done first, so I can simplify it for Alpha. I need to know how I'm handling things so I can generalize the rules. 

In the coming posts, I plan to start putting up the Element rules I'm working on for Tribute Omega. Each of the current (34) Elements will have its own post containing only its rules, which I'll try to keep to one page worth of information (in 9 point Font).  As I write each of them up, I'll make each Element's entry in the Summary of the Elements post into a hyperlink to its rules page. Each entry will serve as a reference that will be edited in the future if and when it needs to change.

I expect this process to create a lot of changes to what I've previously explained regarding the Elements. I will be trying to make things more elegant, and shore up issues as I find them. I may need to change, combine, or alter the Elements, so be warned. It might get messy.  

I'll continue to post about other game issues throughout the process as they come up.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tweaking the Core Mechanic.

I've had to alter the core mechanic to address an issue. I won't link to the old mechanic to prevent confusion, but the current version is at the end of this post. The only thing that's changed is how Profit and Waste are calculated. If you just want to know how things have changed, skip to The Changes, below. 
I like the way the core mechanic originally turned out, except for one issue that kept nagging at me. In situations where you had to roll high to succeed, you were more likely to get a lot of Profit even if you barely rolled high enough to meet or exceed the opposition's roll. 

Example:  Using a d6 Reality Level, assume you need a +5 to deliver your Effect. You have 4 FOCUS Dice and 3 BURDEN Dice. You're highly skilled, but your opposition is stronger and rolled well. 

To meet this roll, you'd need to get a 6 on your highest FOCUS die, and a 1 on your highest BURDEN Die. This means that you would automatically get 3 Profit on your Test if you succeeded, because every FOCUS die would meet or exceed the BURDEN roll of 1. 

So fighting stronger opponents would make it less likely to hit, but more likely to kill them in one blow. David and Goliath notwithstanding, it doesn't feel right for every genre. 

With the help of zedturtle on RPGnet (again), and Bloody Stupid Johnson on TheRPGSite, I think the problem is solved. 

Both of them suggested that instead of determining Profit and Waste based on the highest die in the opposite pool, that you find Profit by comparing to the FOCUS die that you use for determining success and failure. Similarly, you'd find Waste based on the BURDEN die that helps to determine success and failure. This has the side effect of making it more likely to get both Profit and Waste on a Test, which can mitigate the issue. 

Bloody Stupid Johnson further suggested that you be allowed to choose which FOCUS and BURDEN dice you'd use for success and failure. For example,  if you rolled [3,4,5,6] on your FOCUS dice, you'd get to choose between using 6 and getting no Profit, and using 3, and getting 3 Profit, or anything in between.  It wouldn't be an arbitrary decision, obviously, you'd choose the most optimal option. 

This would mean that in order to succeed sometimes, you'd have to choose to take more Waste and less Profit.  

Further, it solved the problem- you'd be less likely to get Profit on a Test that you needed to roll high on, and vice versa. 

This was very cool so far, but I realized that in situations where you needed to roll a high Attribute modifier,  such as +5 on d6s, the rest of your BURDEN dice would be Waste. This is because to get a +5 on d6s, you'd need FOCUS [6] and BURDEN [1]. Every value on a d6 meets or exceeds 1, so any extra BURDEN dice would automatically be Waste.  

Doing it this way just reversed my initial problem, and I wanted a chance for an unqualified success on a difficult roll. Sure,  Profit and Waste can cancel each other out, but you can't always rely on that, especially when you have more BURDEN than FOCUS. Sometimes Waste would be a foregone conclusion, and I wanted to avoid that. 

So I altered things so that you determine Profit and Waste based on the dice that exceed the dice you choose, rather than allowing dice that meet or exceed the values you choose. 

This means that if you rolled FOCUS [3,4,5,6] and BURDEN [1,1] and you needed a +5, you could get it with no Waste. There's no chance of Profit when you need a maximum roll, but that's acceptable. The opposed rolls in the system allow for more situations where you will be able to Profit against a more powerful foe. 

My favorite aspect of this version of the mechanic is that when fighting stronger foes, you're more likely to deal less of an Effect to them, and when you're fighting weaker ones, you're more likely to deal more of an Effect. That's exactly how I wanted the game to work. 

So, without further ado, here's the new core mechanic. Again, the basics are the same, but calculating Profit and Waste are different. 

The Basic Mechanic, for Review

Making Tests

When you make a Test with no modifiers for aptitude, situation, or handicaps,

1. Roll 1 white "FOCUS" die, and 1 black "BURDEN" die.

2. Subtract the rolled value of the black BURDEN die from the value of the white FOCUS die.

3. Add the final value of your test to your appropriate Attribute's Rank.

4. Compare the result to your opposition's Result.

5. If your result is higher you Win the test, if your Result is lower you Fail, and if your results are equal, you Match.  When you Win, only you apply your Effect, and when you Match, both parties get to apply their Effects.


When you are above average at something or the situation make something easier, you receive up to 5 additional white FOCUS dice. Add these dice to the 1 that you would otherwise roll for an unmodified test . This gives a possible total of 6 white dice. Roll them and choose any die you like as your FOCUS die, and then perform steps 2-5 as you would for a Test without modification.There is an incentive to choose the lowest value you can that allows for success because of the way Profit works.


When you are below average at something or the situation makes something harder, you receive up to 5 additional black BURDEN Dice. Add these dice to the 1 that you would otherwise roll for an unmodified test. This gives a possible total of 6 black dice. Roll them and choose any value you like as your BURDEN die, and then perform steps 2-5 as you would for a Test without Modification.There is an incentive to choose the highest value you can that allows for success because of the way Waste works.

You can have up to 6 FOCUS dice and 6 BURDEN Dice at once, for a total of 12 dice to be rolled.

The Changes


When you roll a Test, choose any FOCUS die that you like to serve as your FOCUS die for determining success or failure. There is an incentive to choose the lowest value that allows you to succeed.   

Any other FOCUS dice with values that exceed the chosen die are considered Profit. Dice that match are not Profit.

Profit can be added to the Rank of any Features in the Effect you're Testing. When an Effect has multiple Features, you can divide your Profit dice among those Features any way you like.

Profit can't raise an Effect or Feature of an Effect's final Rank beyond 5.

Profit can also be used to activate certain bonus Effects altogether, such as knocking a foe backwards when hitting them with a club. 

Finally, Profit can be given to the opposition, where it serves as Waste. This is the only option for using Profit when you Fail. The GM can use it for his or her NPCs or activate negative events in the environment. 

When you roll a Test, choose any BURDEN die that you like to serve as your BURDEN die for determining success or failure. There is an incentive to choose the highest value that allows you to succeed.   

Any other BURDEN dice with values that exceed the chosen die are considered Waste. Dice that match are not Waste.

Waste is subtracted from the Rank of any Features in the Effect you're Testing. When an Effect has multiple Features, you can divide your Waste dice among those Features any way you like.

Waste can't lower an Effect or Feature of an Effect's final Rank below 0 (Non-existent).

Waste can also be used to activate negative Effects or complications in the scene such as breaking the table that you're fighting on top of, or starting a fire.

Finally, Waste can be given to the opposition, where it serves as Profit. This is the only option for using Waste when you Fail. The GM can use it for his or her NPCs or activate positive events in the environment. 

Getting Both

It is possible to receive both Profit and Waste to your action. Profit can cancel Waste out on a 1 for 1 basis at your option, but you can also apply both to separate Features of Effects. An example of this might be adding profit to the damaging Feature of an Attack, but subtracting from its duration or taking a consequence.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Handling Effects that use multiple Attributes.

As discussed previously on the blog, all Tests you make use one or more Attributes. The choice of which Attribute is applied is based on which Attribute governs a given Function.  For example, when you have an Effect that has a VOID Function, you add your FORCE Attribute to the final modifier that the Dice give you in order to determine whether you Win or Fail the Test.

This is straightforward for Effects that contain Functions that all use the same Attribute, but what about Effects that use different Attributes? Let's say you have the following Effect:

FOCUS [3d]: SHIELD "Body": { BLOCK ATTACK of "Body" [3]. ATTACK "Body": { VOID "Body" of "Attacker" on Contact via CHANNEL ("Fire") [2].} }

This is a flaming SHIELD Power that attempts to deal damage to anyone who comes in Contact with it.  BLOCK is governed by COUNTER, and VOID is governed by FORCE. 

To make a Test like this, you'd simply roll your FOCUS dice along with any BURDEN Dice the Test called for (a default of 1), and find your Attribute modifier as usual.  Then you'd apply this modifier to each Attribute used in the Effect separately to determine whether each set of Features using those Attributes went off properly. In this example, you'd apply the modifier to your COUNTER Attribute to determine whether the BLOCK worked, and then apply the same modifier to your FORCE Attribute to determine whether the VOID worked. 

Example:  Ardos has a spell up- the SHIELD described above. It's drawing on the COUNTER and FORCE of his mind. His mind's COUNTER is +1 and his mind FORCE is +3. When he is attacked by a club-wielding dwarf-troll, he rolls his 3 FOCUS dice against the Attack and gets (FOCUS 6,2,1 and BURDEN 2). This gives a +4 Attribute modifier and 1 Profit.  

The GM is delivering a simple VOID "Body" Effect, and the dwarf-troll rolls a modified +6 when he adds his FORCE in.

Adding his roll of +4 to his COUNTER of +1, Ardos gets a +5 for his BLOCK Feature. It isn't good enough to work. He then adds his roll to his FORCE of +3, for a result of +7 for the ATTACK Feature. 

The Troll has his own SHIELD in the form of his hide, so the GM rolls his defense- separately because it is the result of a separate Effect. He gets a +5, so the +7 VOID Effect gets through.  Ardos adds his Profit to the VOID Effect. 

The end result is that the SHIELD doesn't hinder the blow of the club, but the dwarf-troll pays a price for his aggression. 

To recap, when an Effect has Features that use different Attributes, roll once, and apply the same modifier to all of the Attributes being used. Then spread the Profit and Waste between the Effect's Feature's as desired. Only when Effects are truly separate should you roll separately.

I hope this is all clear, but if not, feel free to ask.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tribute Benchmarks Table

This post contains the Tribute benchmark table I spent the weekend working on. Development on the game started with a similar table I made a few years back. I have no idea how the table will render on a mobile device, so it's probably best to view it on a computer.

I ended up working on this one as a side effect of trying to figure out how RELAY worked in the game.

I had a long talk with another game designer and friend of mine, Barak Blackburn. He wrote Capes, Cowls, and Villains Foul which is a very exciting light supers RPG meant to emulate the feel of comic books. Check it out. 

Anyway, Barak was helping me with movement issues in my game, and he was strongly promoting the idea that I not include benchmarks in Tribute. His case was that if I included them they would become a straitjacket for some GMs, and that some players wouldn't be able to see past them when playing the game. I considered what he said, but I decided to include them anyway. I'm of the mindset that if there's an elegant way to give concrete information about something in game, it's preferable to abstractions that are prone to confusion. I guess I'm more engineer than artist.

I think that in the long run benchmarks will enhance play rather than hindering it. In no particular order, having them allows:

  • People other than me to stat up things that other people will agree with. The internet becomes a sourcebook.
  • Concrete measurement and use of a game mat, if desired.
  • The same stats to have different consequences at different reality levels.
  • The dice to inform game play with actual measurements, such as how far an object flies.

Still, I fully intend to see Tribute used to model completely alien concepts and worlds with no ties to our own reality. I just want to set a good baseline in modeling reality first. Once you know how to do that, you can do the stranger stuff- you can "eff" the ineffable, and hopefully have everyone at the table agree on what things mean.

Credit Where it's Due

The Mayfair Exponential Game System, or MEGS, is often cited as a brilliant way of allowing characters with a range of capabilities to interact meaningfully. I'm blatantly ripping it off (with credit) for Tribute. I made a few changes, but the principle is the same.

In MEGS, everything you interact with is given a Rank, and a given Rank can correspond to a value, such as 100 lbs. In DC Heroes, the supers version of the system, every +1 to rank represents a x2 increase in the actual value you're talking about, such that if Rank 0 represented 100 lbs., Rank 1 would represent 200 lbs., Rank 2 would represent 400 lbs. and so on.

Multiplication of actual values is done by adding their Ranks together. Division is done by Subtracting their Ranks. This works like an old-fashioned slide rule, and is very handy for things like calculating the distance you can throw an object (Your Rank - the Rank of the object's mass= Rank of the distance), etc.

Another game using the system, Underground, which I haven't seen, uses a different progression whereby each +1 to Rank represents about a 1.26 multiplier. This means that every +3 equals roughly a doubling, every +7 equals multiplying by 5, and +10 equals multiplying by 10.  The same rules for multiplication and division apply.

Tribute is using the latter progression. My values for the various benchmarks are different because of the needs of the system, and I use metric measurements because they make more sense to me and make for a neater table. To convert from metric, you can assume that 1 meter equals about a yard, and 1 kg equals about 2 lbs. This is about estimation, not exact values.

Making sense of the Table:

The only firm benchmark on this table is the "Number of Men" Rating.  The use of the word "Men" is intended the way Tolkien used it- to represent a member of the human species of either sex, and does not refer to the male sex specifically. One "Man" is a mythological human who is average in everything.

 It's a useful benchmark for things that don't easily lend themselves to concrete measurement in other units. Rank 5 "FORCE of Mind" means that you have the Intellect of 3 average people combined.

Number of Men is also useful for finding out the effective rank of a group of collaborators. Simply add the Number of Men of all parties, find the corresponding Rank, and make a check with the leader's FOCUS and the total BURDEN of all participants.

The other benchmark values are strongly approximated (especially when it comes to Time and Data)- they are rounded to the nearest neat unit when possible, and are then put onto the "# of Men" progression. This means that when it's possible to shift from seconds to minutes, for example, the progression moves on from 1 minute rather than continuing to use seconds. The results are somewhat different than they would otherwise be, but again, this table is meant to allow you to estimate conversions between benchmarks and Ranks, and not to find exact values. The apparent precision in the table should never be considered to be written in stone. When using this Table with benchmarks and a value falls between two Ranks, use the lower of the two Ranks. A given Rank represents a range of results from the listed value to just before the next higher one.

The table's built on the assumption of a d4 Reality die (a range of -3 to +3). After all, games that use a d4 will be the ones most concerned with accuracy in benchmarks.

Values get fuzzier the further you get from mundane human range. For example, it's possible even in a mundane reality level for a unique human being to throw a football (Rank -15 mass) 300 meters (Rank 28 distance), which exceeds World Records (non-NFL) by 2 Ranks. The record was allegedly set in 1934 by George Lansborough at 195 meters.

I wanted to keep values conservative, but it wasn't possible if I wanted other human ranges to work right.  Still, if the Guinness Book of World Records is to be believed, it's somewhat conceivable. Especially if you remember that Rank 5 is meant to represent a World Class Attribute, and getting such a roll would require a lot of FOCUS in throwing, little to no BURDEN, a perfect roll, and full activation of a +5 DRIVE. Sports legendry in the making.

As you read the table, keep in mind the following rules. The game will assume the following:

Rank 0: Average human capability or measurement. As a result on the dice, it represents a casual effort for a normal human.
Rank 3: The highest an average human can roll on a Mundane Reality Level (d4s) Test without an activated DRIVE (which can add up to +5 to your Attribute Rank)
Rank 5: The realistic human maximum Attribute Rank. This is an optional cap to Attributes for humans.
Rank 8: The maximum that an average human can roll with d4s and an activated DRIVE of 5, or the highest value that a human with maximum Attributes without DRIVE can roll.
Rank 13: The highest amount that a human with maximum Attributes can roll with an activated DRIVE of 5.

Table 1: Tribute Benchmarks
# of Men
Mass Example
1.25 kg

.05 m
.1 sec
.2 m3
1 letter
1 bytes
1.5 kg

.06 m
.125 sec
.25 m3
1.25 letters
1.25 bytes
2 kg

.08 m
.15 sec
.3 m3
1.5 letters
1.5 bytes
2.5 kg

.1 m
.2 sec
.4 m3
2 letters
2 bytes
3 kg

.125 m
.25 sec
.5 m3
2.5 letters
2.5 bytes
4 kg
Human Head
.15 m
.3 sec
.6 m3
3 letters
3 bytes
5 kg

.2 m
.4 sec
.8 m3
4 letters
4 bytes
6 kg

.25 m
.5 sec
1 m3
5 letters
5 bytes
8 kg
.3 m
.6 sec
1.25 m3
6 letters
6 bytes
10 kg
Farm Sack of Potatoes
.4 m
.8 sec
1.5 m3
8 letters
8 Bytes
12.5 kg
Cooking gas cylinder
.5 m
1 sec
2 m3
1 word
10 bytes
1 1/4
15 kg
Stowable Travel suitcase
.6 m
1.25 sec
2.5 m3
1 1/4 words
12.5 bytes
1 1/2
20 kg
Suit of plate armor
.8 m
1.5 sec
3 m3
1 1/2 words
15 bytes
25 kg
Industrial bag of laundry
1 m
2 sec
4 m3
2 words
20 bytes
2 1/2
30 kg
9 -year-old child
1.25 m
2.5 sec
5 m3
2 and 1/2 words
25 bytes
40 kg
Medium ship's anchor
1.5 m
3 sec
6 m3
3 words
30 bytes
50 kg
Small Adult Sheep
2 m
4 sec
8 m3
4 words
40 bytes
60 kg

2.5 m
5 sec
10 m3
5 words
50 bytes
80 kg
Human Adult
3 m
6 sec
12 1/2 m3
6 words
60 bytes
100 kg

4 m
8 sec
15 m3
8 words
80 bytes
125 kg

5 m
10 sec
20 m3
10 words
100 bytes
12 1/2
150 kg

6 m
12.5 sec
25 m3
12 1/2 words
125 bytes
200 kg

8 m
15 sec
30 m3
15 words
150 bytes
250 kg

10 m
20 sec
40 m3
20 words
200 bytes
300 kg
Big Male Lion
12.5 m
25 sec
50 m3
25 words
250 bytes
400 kg

15 m
30 sec
60 m3
30 words
300 bytes
500 kg
Cessna 150, horse
20 m
40 sec
80 m3
40 words
400 bytes

25 m
50 sec
100 m3
50 words
500 bytes
800 kg

30 m
1 min
125 m3
60 words
600 bytes
1 t

40 m
1.25 min
150 m3
80 words
800 bytes
1.25 t

50 m
1.5 min
200 m3
100 words
1 KB
1.5 t
Sedan Car
60 m
2 min
250 m3
125 words
1.25 KB
2 t
Light Truck
80 m
2.5 min
300 m3
150 words
1.5 KB
2.5 t

100 m
3 min
400 m3
200 words
2 KB
3 t

125 m
4 min
500 m3
250 words
2.5 KB
4 t

150 m
5 min
600 m3
300 words
3 KB
5 t

200 m
6 min
800 m3
400 words
4 KB
6 t

250 m
8 min
1 km3
500 words
5 KB
8 t

300 m
10 min
1.25 km3
600 words
6 KB
10 t

400 m
12 1/2 min
1.5 km3
800 words
8 KB
12.5 t

500 m
15 min
2 km3
1,000 words
10 KB
15 t

600 m
20 min
2.5 km3
1,250 words
12.5 KB
20 t

800 m
25 min
3 km3
1,500 words
15 KB
25 t

1 km
30 min
4 km3
2,000 words
20 KB
30 t

1.25 km
40 min
5 km3
2,500 words
25 KB
40 t

1.5  km
50 min
6 km3
3,000 words
30 KB
50 t

2 km
1 hour
8 km3
4,000 words
40 KB
60 t

2.5  km
1 1/4 hours
10 km3
5,000 words
50 KB
80 t

3 km
1 1/2 hours
12 1/2 km3
6,000 words
60 KB
100 t
Blue Whale
4 km
2 hours
15 km3
8,000 words
80 KB
125 t

5 km
2 1/2 hours
20 km3
10,000 words
100 KB
150 t
Spruce Goose (Plane)
6 km
3 hours
25 km3
12,500 words
125 KB
200 t
Statue of Liberty
8 km
4 hours
30 km3
15,000 words
150 KB
250 t

10 km
5 hours
40 km3
20,000 words
200 KB
300 t

12.5 km
6 hours
50 km3
25,000 words
250 KB
400 t

15 km
8 hours
60 km3
30,000 words
300 KB
500 t

20 km
10 hours
80 km3
40,000 words
400 KB
600 t

25 km
12.5 hours
100 km3
50,000 words
500 KB
800 t

30 km
15 hours
125 km3
60,000 words
600 KB
1,000 t

40 km
20 hours
150 km3
80,0000 words
800 KB
1,200 t

50 km
1 Day
200 km3
100,000 words
1 MB
1,500 t

60 km
1.25 days
250 km3
125,000 words
1.25 MB
2,000 t

80 km
1.5 days
300 km3
150,000 words
1.5 MB
2,500 t

100 km
2 days
400 km3
200,000 words
2 MB
3,000 t

125 km
2.5 days
500 km3
250,000 words
2.5 MB
4,000 t

150 km
3 days
600 km3
300,000 words
3 MB
5,000 t

200 km
4 days
800 km3
400,000 words
4 MB
6,000 t

250 km
5 days
1,000 km3
500,000 words
5 MB
8,000 t

300 km
6 days
1,250 km3
600,000 words
6 MB
10,000 t
Eiffel Tower
400 km
8 days
1,500 km3
800,000 words
8 MB
12,500 t

500 km
10 days
2,000 km3
1,000,000 words
10 MB
15,000 t

600 km
12.5 days
2,500 km3
1,250,000 words
12.5 MB
20,000 t

800 km
15 days
3,000 km3
1,500,000 words
15 MB
30,000 t

1,000 km
20 days
4,000 km3
2,000,000 words
20 MB
40,000 t

1,250 km
1 month
5,000 km3
2,500,000 words
25 MB
50,000 t

1,500 km
1.5 months
6,000 km3
3,000,000 words
30 MB
60,000 t

2,000 km
2 Months
8,000 km3
4,000,000 words
40 MB
80,000 t

2,500 km
2.5 months
10,000 km3
5,000,000 words
50 MB
100,000 t
Nimitz Aircraft Carrier
3,000 km
3 months
12,500 km3
6,000,000 words
60 MB
125,000 t

4,000 km
4 months
15,000 km3
8,000,000 words
80 MB
150,000 t

5,000 km
5 months
20,000 km3
10,000,000 words
100 MB
200,000 t

6,000 km
6 months
25,000 km3
12,500,000 words
125 MB
250,000 t

8,000 km
8 months
30,000 km3
15,000,000 words
150 MB
300,000 t

10,000 km
10 months
40,000 km3
20,000,000 words
200 MB
400,000 t

12,500 km
1 year
50,000 km3
25,000,000 words
250 MB
500,000 t

15,000 km
1.25 year
60,000 km3
30,000,000 words
300 MB
600,000 t

20,000 km
1.5 years
80,000 km3
40,000,000 words
400 MB
800,000 t

25,000 km
2 years
100,000 km3
50,000,000 words
500 MB
1,000,000 t

30,000 km
2.5 years
125,000 km3
60,000,000 words
600 MB
1,250,000 t

40,000 km
3 years
150,000 km3
80,000,000 words
800 MB
1,500,000 t

50,000 km
4 years
200,000 km3
100,000,000 words
1 GB
2,000,000 t

60,000 km
5 years
250,000 km3
125,000,000 words
1.25 GB
2,500,000 t

80,000 km
6 years
300,000 km3
150,000,000 words
1.5 GB
3,000,000 t

100,000 km
8 years
400,000 km3
200,000,000 words
2 GB
4,000,000 t

125,000 km
10 years
500,000 km3
250,000,000 words
2.5 GB
5,000,000 t

150,000 km
12.5 years
600,000 km3
300,000,000 words
3 GB
6,000,000 t

200,000 km
15 years
800,000 km3
400,000,000 words
4 GB
8,000,000 t

250,000 km
20 years
1,000,000 km3
500,000,000 words
5 GB
10,000,000 t

300,000 km (1 light-second)
25 years
1,250,000 km3
600,000,000 words
6 GB
12,500,000 t

400,000 km  (1.25 light-seconds)
30 years
1,500,000 km3
800,000,000 words
8 GB
15,000,000 t

500,000 km (1.5 light-seconds)
40 years
2,000,000 km3
1,000,000,000 words
10 GB
20,000,000 t

600,000 km (2 light-seconds)
50 years
2,500,000 km3
1,250,000,000 words
12.5 GB
25,000,000 t

800,000 km (2.5 light-seconds)
60 years
3,000,000 km3
1,500,000,000 words
15 GB
30,000,000 t

1,000,000 km (3 light-seconds)
80 years
4,000,000 km3
2,000,000,000 words
20 GB
40,000,000 t

1,250,000 km (4 light-seconds)
100 years
5,000,000 km3
2,500,000,000 words
25 GB
50,000,000 t

1,500,000 km (5 light-seconds)
125 years
6,000,000 km3
3,000,000,000 words
30 GB
60,000,000 t

2,000,000 km (6 light-seconds)
150 years
8,000,000 km3
4,000,000,000 words
40 GB
1,000,000,000 t

2,500,000 km (8 light-seconds)
200 years
10,000,000 km3
5,000,000,000 words
50 GB
1,250,000,000 t

3,000,000 km (10 light-seconds)
250 years
12,500,000 km3
6,000,000,000 words
60 GB
1,500,000,000 t

4,000,000 km (12.5 light-seconds)
300 years
15,000,000 km3
8,000,000,000 words
80 GB
2,000,000,000 t

5,000,000 km (15 light-seconds)
400 years
20,000,000 km3
10,000,000,000 words
100 GB

The Volume column is in red because I'm not sure about which value should line up with 0. I chose 2 m3 because it's a rough estimation of a human body occupying space on a battlemat.

Benchmarking things on your own

Benchmarking is straightforward. You can take a statement like "He has the strength of 10 Men" and find its Rank on the table. Of course, you can use numerical values if they line up to what the table measures.

Google Search has a feature wherein you can type something like "34 lbs. in kg" and it will calculate the result for you. That has proven very useful. 

If you want to create a new column on the table, start with a fact that has a number attached to it like "The average person can...". Decide whether this fact refers to an average person's casual effort (Rank 0), Decent Effort (Rank 3), Extreme Effort (Rank 8) or somewhere in between. Place the rating provided in that space, and calculate the other values based on it, using the Number of Men progression. It's best to round the value you're placing to the nearest Number of Men value for consistency.

Going off the Scale

Say your character wants to throw the Earth at the Moon. What would she need to roll?

Look up the mass of the object. Google says that Earth's mass  is 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 metric tons.

  1. Find the largest Rank that is close to the first few digits. In this case, it's Rank 98.
  2. Count the zeros in the nearest Rank on the table. Mass for Rank 98 has 9 zeros.
  3. Count the zeros in the value of the object's mass. There are 21 zeros in the Earth's mass.
  4. Subtract 9 from 21 to find how many more zeros the Earth's mass has. The result is 12.
  5. Multiply your Result (12) by 10 to find out how much higher than 98 the Earth's Mass Rank is. It's 120 higher than 98.
  6. Add 120 to 98 to find the roll you'd need to achieve to move the Earth half a meter per second (rank 0).  The Rank for this is 218.  
  7. Throwing it all the way to the Moon is another matter. The Moon's distance on average is about Rank 89 (384403 km). You'd need to roll 89 points higher on the roll (Rank 307) to throw the Earth to the Moon within the space of a second. 
Ignoring the gravity of the sun, a collision would eventually happen even with Rank 218 (An object in motion stays in motion...). It just might take a very long time. You probably wouldn't have to do all of this for most situations. I plan to include expanded tables in an appendix in the book.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any questions or ideas for benchmarks that I should add to the table, feel free to leave them in the comments.