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
oldfashioned 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.
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 (nonNFL) 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
Rank

# of Men

Mass

Mass Example

Distance

Time

Volume

Language

Data

10

^{1}/_{10}

1.25 kg

.05 m

.1 sec

.2 m^{3}

1 letter

1 bytes


9

^{1}/_{8}

1.5 kg

.06 m

.125 sec

.25 m^{3}

1.25 letters

1.25 bytes


8

^{1}/_{6}

2 kg

.08 m

.15 sec

.3 m^{3}

1.5 letters

1.5 bytes


7

^{1}/_{5}

2.5 kg

.1 m

.2 sec

.4 m^{3}

2 letters

2 bytes


6

^{1}/_{4}

3 kg

.125 m

.25 sec

.5 m^{3}

2.5 letters

2.5 bytes


5

^{1}/_{3}

4 kg

Human Head

.15 m

.3 sec

.6 m^{3}

3 letters

3 bytes

4

^{2}/_{5}

5 kg

.2 m

.4 sec

.8 m^{3}

4 letters

4 bytes


3

^{1}/_{2}

6 kg

.25 m

.5 sec

1 m^{3}

5 letters

5 bytes


2

^{6}/_{10}

8 kg

Koala

.3 m

.6 sec

1.25 m^{3}

6 letters

6 bytes

1

^{8}/_{10}

10 kg

Farm Sack of Potatoes

.4 m

.8 sec

1.5 m^{3}

8 letters

8 Bytes

0

1

12.5 kg

Cooking gas cylinder

.5 m

1 sec

2 m^{3}

1 word

10 bytes

1

1 ^{1}/_{4}

15 kg

Stowable Travel suitcase

.6 m

1.25 sec

2.5 m^{3}

1 ^{1}/_{4 }words

12.5 bytes

2

1 ^{1}/_{2}

20 kg

Suit of plate armor

.8 m

1.5 sec

3 m^{3}

1 ^{1}/_{2} words

15 bytes

3

2

25 kg

Industrial bag of laundry

1 m

2 sec

4 m^{3}

2 words

20 bytes

4

2 ^{1}/_{2}

30 kg

9 yearold child

1.25 m

2.5 sec

5 m^{3}

2 and ^{1}/_{2} words

25 bytes

5

3

40 kg

Medium ship's anchor

1.5 m

3 sec

6 m^{3}

3 words

30 bytes

6

4

50 kg

Small Adult Sheep

2 m

4 sec

8 m^{3}

4 words

40 bytes

7

5

60 kg

2.5 m

5 sec

10 m^{3}

5 words

50 bytes


8

6

80 kg

Human Adult

3 m

6 sec

12 1/2 m^{3}

6 words

60 bytes

9

8

100 kg

4 m

8 sec

15 m^{3}

8 words

80 bytes


10

10

125 kg

5 m

10 sec

20 m^{3}

10 words

100 bytes


11

12 1/2

150 kg

6 m

12.5 sec

25 m^{3}

12 ^{1}/_{2} words

125 bytes


12

15

200 kg

8 m

15 sec

30 m^{3}

15 words

150 bytes


13

20

250 kg

10 m

20 sec

40 m^{3}

20 words

200 bytes


14

25

300 kg

Big Male Lion

12.5 m

25 sec

50 m^{3}

25 words

250 bytes

15

30

400 kg

15 m

30 sec

60 m^{3}

30 words

300 bytes


16

40

500 kg

Cessna 150, horse

20 m

40 sec

80 m^{3}

40 words

400 bytes

17

50

600kg

25 m

50 sec

100 m^{3}

50 words

500 bytes


18

60

800 kg

30 m

1 min

125 m^{3}

60 words

600 bytes


19

80

1 t

40 m

1.25 min

150 m^{3}

80 words

800 bytes


20

100

1.25 t

50 m

1.5 min

200 m^{3}

100 words

1 KB


21

125

1.5 t

Sedan Car

60 m

2 min

250 m^{3}

125 words

1.25 KB

22

150

2 t

Light Truck

80 m

2.5 min

300 m^{3}

150 words

1.5 KB

23

200

2.5 t

100 m

3 min

400 m^{3}

200 words

2 KB


24

250

3 t

125 m

4 min

500 m^{3}

250 words

2.5 KB


25

300

4 t

150 m

5 min

600 m^{3}

300 words

3 KB


26

400

5 t

200 m

6 min

800 m^{3}

400 words

4 KB


27

500

6 t

250 m

8 min

1 km^{3}

500 words

5 KB


28

600

8 t

300 m

10 min

1.25 km^{3}

600 words

6 KB


29

800

10 t

400 m

12 1/2 min

1.5 km^{3}

800 words

8 KB


30

1,000

12.5 t

500 m

15 min

2 km^{3}

1,000 words

10 KB


31

1,250

15 t

600 m

20 min

2.5 km^{3}

1,250 words

12.5 KB


32

1,500

20 t

800 m

25 min

3 km^{3}

1,500 words

15 KB


33

2,000

25 t

1 km

30 min

4 km^{3}

2,000 words

20 KB


34

2,500

30 t

1.25 km

40 min

5 km^{3}

2,500 words

25 KB


35

3,000

40 t

1.5 km

50 min

6 km^{3}

3,000 words

30 KB


36

4,000

50 t

2 km

1 hour

8 km^{3}

4,000 words

40 KB


37

5,000

60 t

2.5^{ } km

1 ^{1}/_{4} hours

10 km^{3}

5,000 words

50 KB


38

6,000

80 t

3 km

1 ^{1}/_{2} hours

12 1/2 km^{3}

6,000 words

60 KB


39

8,000

100 t

Blue Whale

4 km

2 hours

15 km^{3}

8,000 words

80 KB

40

10,000

125 t

5 km

2 ^{1}/_{2} hours

20 km^{3}

10,000 words

100 KB


41

12,500

150 t

Spruce Goose (Plane)

6 km

3 hours

25 km^{3}

12,500 words

125 KB

42

15,000

200 t

Statue of Liberty

8 km

4 hours

30 km^{3}

15,000 words

150 KB

43

20,000

250 t

10 km

5 hours

40 km^{3}

20,000 words

200 KB


44

25,000

300 t

12.5 km

6 hours

50 km^{3}

25,000 words

250 KB


45

30,000

400 t

15 km

8 hours

60 km^{3}

30,000 words

300 KB


46

40,000

500 t

20 km

10 hours

80 km^{3}

40,000 words

400 KB


47

50,000

600 t

25 km

12.5 hours

100 km^{3}

50,000 words

500 KB


48

60,000

800 t

30 km

15 hours

125 km^{3}

60,000 words

600 KB


49

80,000

1,000 t

40 km

20 hours

150 km^{3}

80,0000 words

800 KB


50

100,000

1,200 t

50 km

1 Day

200 km^{3}

100,000 words

1 MB


51

125,000

1,500 t

60 km

1.25 days

250 km^{3}

125,000 words

1.25 MB


52

150,000

2,000 t

80 km

1.5 days

300 km^{3}

150,000 words

1.5 MB


53

200,000

2,500 t

100 km

2 days

400 km^{3}

200,000 words

2 MB


54

250,000

3,000 t

125 km

2.5 days

500 km^{3}

250,000 words

2.5 MB


55

300,000

4,000 t

150 km

3 days

600 km^{3}

300,000 words

3 MB


56

400,000

5,000 t

200 km

4 days

800 km^{3}

400,000 words

4 MB


57

500,000

6,000 t

250 km

5 days

1,000 km^{3}

500,000 words

5 MB


58

600,000

8,000 t

300 km

6 days

1,250 km^{3}

600,000 words

6 MB


59

800,000

10,000 t

Eiffel Tower

400 km

8 days

1,500 km^{3}

800,000 words

8 MB

60

1,000,000

12,500 t

500 km

10 days

2,000 km^{3}

1,000,000 words

10 MB


61

1,250,000

15,000 t

600 km

12.5 days

2,500 km^{3}

1,250,000 words

12.5 MB


62

1,500,000

20,000 t

800 km

15 days

3,000 km^{3}

1,500,000 words

15 MB


63

2,000,000

30,000 t

1,000 km

20 days

4,000 km^{3}

2,000,000 words

20 MB


64

2,500,000

40,000 t

1,250 km

1 month

5,000 km^{3}

2,500,000 words

25 MB


65

3,000,000

50,000 t

1,500 km

1.5 months

6,000 km^{3}

3,000,000 words

30 MB


66

4,000,000

60,000 t

2,000 km

2 Months

8,000 km^{3}

4,000,000 words

40 MB


67

5,000,000

80,000 t

2,500 km

2.5 months

10,000 km^{3}

5,000,000 words

50 MB


68

6,000,000

100,000 t

Nimitz Aircraft Carrier

3,000 km

3 months

12,500 km^{3}

6,000,000 words

60 MB

69

8,000,000

125,000 t

4,000 km

4 months

15,000 km^{3}

8,000,000 words

80 MB


70

10,000,000

150,000 t

5,000 km

5 months

20,000 km^{3}

10,000,000 words

100 MB


71

12,500,000

200,000 t

6,000 km

6 months

25,000 km^{3}

12,500,000 words

125 MB


72

15,000,000

250,000 t

8,000 km

8 months

30,000 km^{3}

15,000,000 words

150 MB


73

20,000,000

300,000 t

10,000 km

10 months

40,000 km^{3}

20,000,000 words

200 MB


74

25,000,000

400,000 t

12,500 km

1 year

50,000 km^{3}

25,000,000 words

250 MB


75

30,000,000

500,000 t

15,000 km

1.25 year

60,000 km^{3}

30,000,000 words

300 MB


76

40,000,000

600,000 t

20,000 km

1.5 years

80,000 km^{3}

40,000,000 words

400 MB


77

50,000,000

800,000 t

25,000 km

2 years

100,000 km^{3}

50,000,000 words

500 MB


78

60,000,000

1,000,000 t

30,000 km

2.5 years

125,000 km^{3}

60,000,000 words

600 MB


79

80,000,000

1,250,000 t

40,000 km

3 years

150,000 km^{3}

80,000,000 words

800 MB


80

100,000,000

1,500,000 t

50,000 km

4 years

200,000 km^{3}

100,000,000 words

1 GB


81

125,000,000

2,000,000 t

60,000 km

5 years

250,000 km^{3}

125,000,000 words

1.25 GB


82

150,000,000

2,500,000 t

80,000 km

6 years

300,000 km^{3}

150,000,000 words

1.5 GB


83

200,000,000

3,000,000 t

100,000 km

8 years

400,000 km^{3}

200,000,000 words

2 GB


84

250,000,000

4,000,000 t

125,000 km

10 years

500,000 km^{3}

250,000,000 words

2.5 GB


85

300,000,000

5,000,000 t

150,000 km

12.5 years

600,000 km^{3}

300,000,000 words

3 GB


86

400,000,000

6,000,000 t

200,000 km

15 years

800,000 km^{3}

400,000,000 words

4 GB


87

500,000,000

8,000,000 t

250,000 km

20 years

1,000,000 km^{3}

500,000,000 words

5 GB


88

600,000,000

10,000,000 t

300,000 km (1 lightsecond)

25 years

1,250,000 km^{3}

600,000,000 words

6 GB


89

800,000,000

12,500,000 t

400,000 km
(1.25 lightseconds)

30 years

1,500,000 km^{3}

800,000,000 words

8 GB


90

1,000,000,000

15,000,000 t

500,000 km (1.5 lightseconds)

40 years

2,000,000 km^{3}

1,000,000,000 words

10 GB


91

1,250,000,000

20,000,000 t

600,000 km (2 lightseconds)

50 years

2,500,000 km^{3}

1,250,000,000 words

12.5 GB


92

1,500,000,000

25,000,000 t

800,000 km (2.5 lightseconds)

60 years

3,000,000 km^{3}

1,500,000,000 words

15 GB


93

2,000,000,000

30,000,000 t

1,000,000 km (3 lightseconds)

80 years

4,000,000 km^{3}

2,000,000,000 words

20 GB


94

2,500,000,000

40,000,000 t

1,250,000 km (4 lightseconds)

100 years

5,000,000 km^{3}

2,500,000,000 words

25 GB


95

3,000,000,000

50,000,000 t

1,500,000 km (5 lightseconds)

125 years

6,000,000 km^{3}

3,000,000,000 words

30 GB


96

4,000,000,000

60,000,000 t

2,000,000 km (6 lightseconds)

150 years

8,000,000 km^{3}

4,000,000,000 words

40 GB


97

5,000,000,000

1,000,000,000 t

2,500,000 km (8 lightseconds)

200 years

10,000,000 km^{3}

5,000,000,000 words

50 GB


98

6,000,000,000

1,250,000,000 t

3,000,000 km (10 lightseconds)

250 years

12,500,000 km^{3}

6,000,000,000 words

60 GB


99

8,000,000,000

1,500,000,000 t

4,000,000 km (12.5 lightseconds)

300 years

15,000,000 km^{3}

8,000,000,000 words

80 GB


100

10,000,000,000

2,000,000,000 t

5,000,000 km (15 lightseconds)

400 years

20,000,000 km^{3}

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 m^{3} 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.
 Find the largest Rank that is close to the first few digits. In this case, it's Rank 98.
 Count the zeros in the nearest Rank on the table. Mass for Rank 98 has 9 zeros.
 Count the zeros in the value of the object's mass. There are 21 zeros in the Earth's mass.
 Subtract 9 from 21 to find how many more zeros the Earth's mass has. The result is 12.
 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.
 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.
 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.
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.