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Height/Mass charts for chargen and Growth/Shrinking powers


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What's this? I'm not starting a thread to ask a silly/obvious question this time? Inconceivable!


So, what we have here are a couple of charts plotting character height and mass, from a Hero System General thread that ran on /tg/ a week or two ago. Actual science (and the Hero default) has mass change by the cube of linear height while maintaining normal proportions, but the square and, for Shrinking, linear values are also included as the way large or small characters act in comic books often coincides more with their visible space on the page, and because even that still feels like it goes down a bit fast for Shrinking. Keeping in mind that 2m and 100kg is a comic-book-heroic adult male, it's also useful to eyeball the Shrinking curve for when you want a roughly appropriate base mass for characters who are not quite so built, such as the ever popular "smol-grr" action girl or teenage characters in general. Consider this as an upper bound for the common range of mass for a given height with a lower bound at 80-85% of what's shown, drop another 10-15% for women, and you won't go too far wrong. This also gives a baseline to look at for deciding how much your hulking brute built like a four-foot-tall nuclear bunker let alone a mere brick wall, or Mr. Stilty the Living Skeleton, will mass as a variation from the standard. Yes, it is just basic math, but a visual depiction of that can help a lot for folks who are less inclined to having Lightning Calculator IRL.


Edit: No embedding images? Sigh, whatever. Links then:


Growth chart


Shrinking chart

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I actually have Lightning Calc...or used to, these days I'm not so sure...but beyond that, I've got spreadsheets, or calculators.


The ranges are there so you're not stuck on just one value;  even 2 characters with a normal height of, say, 6 feet, with 1 level of shrinking, might pick slightly different heights...say, 3' for one, 3'4" for the other, and go with slightly different masses.  That's just cosmetic.  The mechanical aspects are the same for both.  I also don't think any GM is gonna care if mass is a little tweaked, if there are no mechanics associated with that, so instead of 1/8th mass, maybe you do 1/6th.  (96 kg --> 16 kg instead of 12 kg.)


And I've got no issue with any of that.  


For giggles I use this site:



to get a rough weight based on height and definitely build.  But even in the real world, there are plenty of variables, so this is just a starting point that I'll tweak at need.  And with supers, there are other factors.  High STR can be attributed to extraordinarily dense muscle...so a normal looking build might still be 10 or 20% heavier than usual.  Or with a different character that STR is tied to, let's say, being electromagnetically powered, so the character's weight is gonna be in the normal range.

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Oh, I certainly don't dispute any of that, but it is useful to have a baseline to look at, and I at least find a line on a graph easier to work with than a series of inputs on a spread sheet or web site - and while not as much of a concern nowadays I suppose, I still tend to operate on the assumption that internet access may not be available everywhere I want to be. (There are still a few cell phone dead spots in the back of beyond and the twistier valleys, if nothing else.) That is a handy site for when it is, though.

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But if they want to read your chart, they need the net. :)


I've generally gone the other way, I suppose. ;  I goof around a lot with shrinking and DI combos.  Lessee...I don't want him TOO small...if I say 70% height, base 6' goes to 4' 2"...small but OK from an image perspective.  70% height...0.7 cubed is 0.343, so call it 1/3 mass.  So...6' and 180 pounds --> 4'2" and 60 pounds.  Cool, that works for me.  I tend to start with "where do I want the character to be" then see what the mechanical implications end up being...especially if I'm gonna do this with Always On, where I get to build the mechanics as I like, using the powers I'm mimicking as guides.

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Heyo, Spreadsheet Fan here.


My main thought aside from "Yay, Growth Tools!" Is that these graphs might best be suited for a Logarithmic scale. Linear scale is more useful to determine the information given how the average person thinks of such things, but Logarithmic Graphing would help show a more normal relation between height and mass.

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