Super-Strength in the Cypher System


I'm trying to figure out how to set up a character with Super-Strength in Cypher. Figuring out how much a player can lift has been a little tricky. So far, it looks like every 50 pounds the character tries to lift/push/pull equals a Difficulty factor. 150 pounds = Difficulty 3.

If that's so, Super-Strength is not easily achieved, or possible, in the stock system, even with Power Shifts and an expanded Difficulty chart. A very specialized character, with all five Power Shifts in Strength, all their Edge in Might, and so on could have a reasonable chance at lifting in the 500 to 800 pound range. By way of comparison, the clean & jerk lift record is 582 lbs according to Wikipedia. That 500 to 800 pound level is technically superheroic, but nothing close to what guys like Thor, Superman or even Spider-Man can lift. That's more like Captain America or Batman territory.

Am I missing something? Has there been an official ruling, errata, clarification or expansion that covers lifting very heavy things (10, 50, 100 tons)?

I'd really like to run a Supers game with Cypher, but it's a little concerning that one of the most common super-powers in the genre isn't very well documented or possible under the core rules. :)

Please advise, thanks!



  • Howdy!
    Just some quick thoughts!
    I haven't play tested this yet but it is at least a temporary fix, and I hope it helps!
    Here is my look at it; the cypher system core book suggests that you have 5 shifts, and no more than 3 in any one catagory unless you are playing a game of higher or lower power level.
    That being said you shouldn't have to bend that one rule(guideline) to try to have a decent super strength character, so I have each shift in strength also change the base weight to difficulty ratio.

    i.e. if a normal person needs to beat 1 difficulty per 50lbs, then a shift one strength beefcake would need to beat 1 difficulty per 100lbs then his brother sir beefs' a 'lot with 2 shifts of strength needs to beat say 1 difficulty per 200lbs, then their mom Beefrietta with 3 shifts needs to beat 1 per 400lbs, and finally when joined by her twin baby boys twiddle beef and twiddle buffed (shifts 4 and 5 respectively) would have to beat 800 and 1600lbs per 1 difficulty(respectively)
    That will give some more room to move and feel tough but not be game breaking at all.

    On the more SUPER scale, I would use shift 1=500lbs per difficulty, 2= 5000, 3=50000, 4=500000, and 5shifts= 5million lbs per 1 difficulty.
    This gives you more reason to stick to the 3 shift cap as well, leaving the higher shifts for NPC/villain types(Or dare i say it , temporarily cypher enhanced PCs!, can you say epic boss battle?)

    I'm a long time game tinkerer, but this is my first few months of the cypher system, so I am still figuring it out:) I hope to take this scale system, and apply it to other powers and shifts, and see what I can do.
    I think it would really add to the mutant powers, and the foci like "employs magnetism", by taking characters from the scale presented in the core books to a more True Magneto level character!

    I don't think the rules need more lawyers as much as we need more GM's and players who want to create good stories together!
    And remember this isn't about making the character in question able to lift more so somehow he does more damage either, its a means to an end, which is to make the character feel SUPER. I want to play characters that perfect strangers want to read about!

    Anyway, I am beginning to ramble, so I will run while I can, I hope this helps!
  • This is very good. I also saw the SUper Strength missing. The did a decent job with super speed I thought. Just the Super strength was underwelming in comparison. Maybe we will seem something show up in one of the items in The New Cypher Kickstarter.
  • Thanks Mithrindir, I appreciate that!
    I am still tinkering with it, and hope to come back here with a cleaner version.
    Also I agree they did well with speedster foci, but strength was underwhelming.
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