# What could be done to improve the question about Joules of energy required to lift in-game objects?

the question How many Joules does strength values ten through twenty estimate to? a lot of negative votes and was voted to be closed very quickly... and I don't understand why.

What could be done to improve the question about Joules of energy required to lift in-game objects?

• Is there a reason you didn't respond to any of the comment asking questions or clarification? Oct 24 '20 at 0:19
• Your updated question has been reopened. It just took some time for the required reopen votes to come in.
Oct 24 '20 at 1:16
• The update provides all the details that were missing (as indicated by the number of assumptions that the answer you got had to make), but there really two problems that remain: firstly, given all the details now provided, this is really just a simple math question (multiply weight by height by gravity) you could conceivably have done yourself; and secondly, this is a kind of nonsensical way to measure strength, it's affected by character height just as much as strength and isn't useful for comparing to anything else. It's just unclear what the point of calculating these specific values is. Oct 24 '20 at 8:40
• @NautArch: Minor note - there is only the one comment (by BBeast) asking for clarification (there aren't any other deleted comments that did so either).
– V2Blast StaffMod
Oct 24 '20 at 9:01
• @V2Blast Weird. Could have sworn mark wells comment was before the Meta comment. Oct 24 '20 at 12:06
• oh, it's reopened? I didn't realize. I'll go take a look. Hmmm. Still looks closed to me.... Oct 29 '20 at 18:33
• @nijineko It was reopened, and then closed again
– Someone_Evil Mod
Oct 29 '20 at 20:38

## Basically Nothing

I downvoted for a number of reasons:

First, all of the edits, therefore all of the phrasing and word choices, belong to the original poster. And if the OP can ask the question in terms of joules, they can almost certainly plug in the $$\m \times g \times h\$$ formula that the single answer used. This may be presumptuous on my part, but it did not strike me as a question trying to solve an actual problem.

Second, the question is terribly posed. Why? Because the Strength stat is an abstraction, a dramatic simplification of a complex concept so that we can stop worrying about the fine details and get on with playing. In the real world, arm strength, leg strength, grasping strength, are all different things. In the game world, Attack bonuses, damage bonuses, lifting capacity, encumbrance are also different things. While they may be correlated, they are not unified, and there is no master conversion plan.

The only possible way this question can avoid being vague or opinion-based is to add enough specific details to point to a particular answer-- in this case, the $$\m \times g \times h\$$ formula-based answer, which is so specific that it even specifies the height of the character...! This dramatically increased my "not an actual problem" sense.

Third, the first words of the question body (of every revision) are "D&D is not a science based or physics based game" before barreling on and asking for a science- or physics-based answer to a gaming question. So it seems to me that the OP knew, or at least suspected from the start, that there would be pushback on the question. That does not automatically invalidate the question, and would not alone have triggered my downvote, but it sure didn't help anything.

Fourth, on the same day, the same poster asked another question (also immediately closed) which took this one as a springboard for something even more ill-posed-- trying to get a joules-based number for "1 dmg" (which I assume is meant to be 1 hp worth of damage.)

All together, this just sets off alarm bell after alarm bell for me:

• It's a question I'm certain the OP could have answered just based on the specificity of the question;
• yet it dramatically misunderstands the relation of the game rules to the real world;
• While acknowledging that it does exactly that;
• And got almost immediately used by the same poster to launch an even more problematic question.

This is not a salvageable question. Mainly because of the second point-- broad questions will be too vague to answer, while specific questions are somewhat misleading by relying on an improper reduction of a complex phenomenon (human "Strength") to only one of its many facets.

• I asked because we really want to know, and didn't know how to get the answer. so your assumptions and 'senses' are completely wrong on several points. Oct 29 '20 at 18:31
• @nijineko you The root difficulty is that in asking the question, you answered your own question within your question, which is that D&D isn't a physics engine. The answer is thus mu, at best. Nov 2 '20 at 13:03
• I've edited out the code formatting (again) that was being used for non-code in the answer. See these Q&As on Meta: Is there a formatting guide around using code markup that must be followed?, Is there a functional purpose to putting things in code text here?
– V2Blast StaffMod
Nov 6 '20 at 2:16

I strongly suspect that, of the several metrics influenced by Str, at least a pair (most probably overhead carrying capacity and dragging or lifting capacity) will lead to different results when compared to what a real-life person can do.

Apart from what Korvin said, you should really decide upon one metric that you want to compare.

Also be aware that your player(s) might try to derive other game effects of Str from the values that you provide.

• Your last paragraph is a pretty important one: opening the can of worms. Oct 24 '20 at 21:55

## What could be done is to ask at Physics or Worldbuilding SE

That would improve the location of the question; however, you'd likely get downvoted at Physics there for lack of research, since it doesn't take much of an internet search to convert units to arrive at the equation set up and you then plug in the values. Someone at RPGSE was kind enough to do that for you.

One of the reasons that I offer you this answer is because Joules are not an in-game / in-universe unit. My initial response to the question when I first saw it in the review queue was something like what NautArch noted in the comment below this answer: what I saw was a word problem from a high school physics class rather than an RPG-related question.

Thanks for the comment reply on its rejection at Physics.SE.

• This was basically a word problem and not an RPG question. Oct 24 '20 at 13:32
• @NautArch thanks for putting the right words to the thought that I had when I first encountered the question. Oct 24 '20 at 13:36
• they have rejected these questions in the past as wrong stack, so this is an invalid answer, sadly. Oct 29 '20 at 18:32
• @nijineko Did you try worldbuilding SE? I guess rejected is a bit stronger than you'd likely get downvoted there for lack of research 👀 Oct 29 '20 at 18:53

The question is nonsense from the ground up.

“Joules” is not a measure of strength. Ever. It would be just as (in)correct to ask how many lumens, gallons, or parsecs each strength score equates to. It’s like asking “how heavy is blue?”

If you fixed that (maybe asking about power [Watts] instead?) you might have a question that was answerable. I would still anticipate very careful crafting to avoid being opinion-based, but it might be doable.

As it is though, the question is irredeemable nonsense.

• …with apologies for the strong tone on this answer. Nov 25 '20 at 19:19
• It seems a bit contradictory to call it irredeemable nonsense and also offer a path toward redeeming the question. Nov 25 '20 at 19:24
• @ThomasMarkov the redemption is “ask a fundamentally different question.” Also, earlier gentler suggestions in that direction didn’t seem to get any traction, which is why I gave a much harsher answer than I otherwise would. Nov 25 '20 at 23:55