Brawling weights in Villains and Vigilantes
Villains and Vigilantes uses real-world weights for determining damage when throwing non-weapons. Thrown rocks do damage according to how much they weigh and how fast they’re going.
I personally find it difficult to visualize how much a rock or slab of cement will weigh. What does a 6-inch diameter rock weigh? What about a two-foot diameter rock?
The way to determine the weight of something is to multiply its density by its volume. The more dense something is the more it weighs, and the bigger it is the more it weighs.
Densities are almost always given in grams per cubic centimeter, or g/cc. Grams and cubic centimeters are pretty small; your superhero isn’t likely to be tossing pebbles at the villains very often. Grams per cubic centimeter, if you choose to do the math, can be multiplied by 1,000 to get kilograms per cubic meter.
However, Villains and Vigilantes uses the English system of pounds and inches and feet. It will probably be easiest to convert this to pounds per cubic foot. Convert kilograms to pounds by multiplying by 2.2. Convert “per cubic meter” to “per cubic foot” by dividing by 3.28 cubed, or 35.3. Thus, multiply grams per cubic centimeter by 62 to get pounds per cubic foot.
Lots of rocks are relatively round. It’s easy to imagine the size of a rock by way of its diameter. The volume of a spherical object is four-thirds times Pi times the cube of the radius; radius is half of diameter.
In general, if you know a brawling weapon’s density in grams per cubic centimeter, and what its approximate diameter in inches would be if it were spherical, you can multiply the density of the material by the cube of the item’s diameter in inches, and divide by 53, to get its weight in pounds.
Which leads us to a table of diameters to weights:
|6 in||9 in||1 ft||1 ft 3 in||1 ft 6 in||1 ft 9 in||2 ft||2 ft 3 in||2 ft 6 in||2 ft 9 in||3 ft|
|concrete (2.3 g/cc)||9 lbs||32 lbs||75 lbs||147 lbs||253 lbs||402 lbs||600 lbs||855 lbs||1173 lbs||1561 lbs||2026 lbs|
|marble (2.5 g/cc)||10 lbs||34 lbs||82 lbs||159 lbs||275 lbs||437 lbs||653 lbs||929 lbs||1275 lbs||1697 lbs||2203 lbs|
|granite (2.7 g/cc)||11 lbs||37 lbs||88 lbs||172 lbs||297 lbs||472 lbs||705 lbs||1004 lbs||1377 lbs||1832 lbs||2379 lbs|
|basalt (2.9 g/cc)||12 lbs||40 lbs||95 lbs||185 lbs||319 lbs||507 lbs||757 lbs||1078 lbs||1479 lbs||1968 lbs||2555 lbs|
|iron (7.9 g/cc)||32 lbs||109 lbs||258 lbs||504 lbs||870 lbs||1382 lbs||2062 lbs||2936 lbs||4028 lbs||5361 lbs||6960 lbs|
So, if The Tenth Saint hurls a two-foot diameter marble ball, that ball weighs 653 pounds. It will do 1d8 points damage at +2 to hit.1 Since The Tenth Saint can lift 1,223 pounds he can toss it 57 inches2; so the total damage (if he hits) will be 1d8+1d4. If he had found a slightly smaller piece of marble, he would have thrown it a few inches faster and his damage would increase to 1d8+1d8!
- October 23, 2011: Villains and Vigilantes falling damage off the charts
Can someone explain Villains and Vigilantes falling damage? I can’t be reading it correctly.
Falling speed seems to make sense. It is calculated per turn rather than per second, which makes things easier to calculate at heights lower than 500 feet, but that’s a decent abstraction.
Damage, however, is wacky as described.
For background, the average human has about 40 power points and 4 hit points. That means 8 points of damage will knock them unconscious1 and 44 points of damage will kill them. A large bomb will knock the average person unconscious (21 points average, from 2d20) but not kill them. A small nuclear bomb will kill the average person (53 points average, from 5d20).
A large nuclear bomb will kill just about anybody, doing 20d20 points damage for an average of 210 points.
Given comic book physics this makes sense. Bombs throw heroes around, knock some of them unconscious, and leave a few conscious to survey the carnage.
Falling damage is in another league altogether. Damage taken is the distance fallen during the last turn (fifteen seconds), in “inches”, where a V&V inch is five feet, times the square root of the character’s basic hits2. Falling off of a 500-foot building will mean 100 points damage times 2 (the square root of basic hits) for 200 points damage.
That’s a large nuclear explosion. But it gets worse: if you have size change to small and you’re down to a quarter inch, you multiply by your height factor of 288 for a total damage of 57,600 points.3 That can’t be right. What am I missing?
Falling from an airplane has crazier numbers. Depending on height fallen, the height number will be anywhere from a hundred (as in the above example) to a thousand (terminal velocity in Villains and Vigilantes). Two thousand points damage for falling ensures death, even if you’re lucky enough to share it with the ground. That’s five large nuclear bombs.4
The thing is, there is already a system in Villains and Vigilantes for damage from high-speed impacts. Brawling weapons do damage based on both weight and velocity. Assume that falling means maximum damage, and falling from 500 feet does 12 points damage, ensuring unconsciousness for the average person. Terminal velocity means 44 points damage, killing the average person.
See page 27 of Villains and Vigilantes 2.1 for the brawling weights and projectile velocity damage bonuses.↑
For those unfamiliar, an “inch” in Villains and Vigilantes is a miniatures measurement that corresponds to five feet.↑