We recently got into discussion about, what strength our characters actually have. Based on their strength - how much can they lift, what can they break with bare hands, can they break some thin walls etc. We are on epic tier so our strength is anywhere from 10 to 28.

For example imagine typical movie actions: - punch through wall - push/pull with force corresponding to ideal (gym) position, but in any position (try lifting behind your back :D) - breaking bonds

my overall view on characters physical abilities is totally confused. Characters

  • survive falls from insane heights,

  • can jump further than world record,

  • bench like people living in gym.

    All together properties of superheroes, which is what I would expect, but how do their capabilities influence in actions not explicitly spelled on in a rule governing a specific action?

Not including magic, I am looking for answers from official sources on how to apply strength beyond how a specific action benefits from the character's strength.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Erik, SPavel, Oblivious Sage, KorvinStarmast, user17995 Apr 7 '16 at 20:30

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't really understand the question. You can find how much characters can lift in the PHB under carrying capacity somewhere, if that's what you want to know. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Apr 7 '16 at 19:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited for with details \$\endgroup\$ – Fatline Apr 10 '16 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I further edited this question to try and re organize it and to avoid opinion based responses like "should I _____ " This edit was kind of large. If it changed what you meant to ask please go into the edit function (where it says edit under your question) and revert to your edit and try again. PS: don't preface an edit with "edit" in the text. It's not necessary, and we expect a lot of questions to get edited until they are "just right." We in the RPG.SE community will try to make helpful edits where we can. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 10 '16 at 16:35

An average human supposedly has a strength of around 10. A few consequences of strength that can translate to real life are:

  • Maximum lift: The most weight you can lift above the ground is STR*20. An "average" human could lift 200 lbs (putting me probably below average by this metric). A character with 28 strength could lift 560 lbs.
  • Maximum drag/push: Str*50

It is worth noting that these metrics don't seem to scale very well to higher tiers of strength as the dead-lifting world record (1020 lbs) would be a strength of 51 and the pulling world record (a train weighing 654993 lbs. which corresponds to ~3274.965 lbs. of wood dragged over stone) would be a strength score of 65.

  • \$\begingroup\$ D&D never cared about the surface of contact, dragging a wheeled 200kg cargo and a 200kg cubic block of granite demands the same effort. Not everything translates well. \$\endgroup\$ – Aguinaldo Silvestre Jan 23 at 15:23

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