April 24th, 2009

This Attribute is determined by the height of the individual measured in feet. It also assumes an ‘average’ human body frame to go with that height. Therefore the Stature Attribute can be seen as more accurately a measure of the ‘human frame’ rather than merely ‘height’. With this single Attribute we can represent the height, weight and frame of an individual. It is this concept of an ‘average  frame’ which serves as a starting point onto which all the variable physical characteristics can be hung. The base frame can be morphed using modifiers to account training, conditioning and even ‘Somatotype’ which modify Strength, Stamina and Speed. A stocky individual is broader than the ‘base frame’, a lathe individual is slimmer, and so on. This that is the core of understanding the Stature Attribute.

The idea of linking height and weight is nothing new. It has appeared throughout our history over millennia! The ‘base frame’ is derived from artistic teaching of human form; such as those of Leonardo da Vinci‘s Vitruvian Man also known as the ‘Canon of Proportions’. Many Imperial measurements were taken from the human body. Opposite is a diagram of measurements which have been superimposed onto Leonardo’s drawing. This is for a six foot man.

The idea is that a human for a given height, if following an approximation of the Canon of Proportions, will allow us to come up with a given ‘average’ weight to match. This is similar to newer ideas like ‘Body Mass Index‘. Either can serve as a reference in WarSpike, with the Canon of Proportions for historic eras, and BMI (Body Mass Index) for newer or sci-fi games.

Units of Measure

The game mechanics are all about body dynamics and being ‘of the body’ WarSpike uses Imperial measures. This is a conscious decision to reinforce WarSpike’s ‘humocentric‘ perspective. You can easily convert the Imperial units to Metric; one foot is 0.304 8 metre (round up to 0.3) and one Stone is 6.350 293 18 kilogram (round up to 6.4).

Average Stature for population

Average weight for population

This can be calculated in the following manner.

  • Each point of Stature gives us 1 foot (0.3 metre) in height.
  • Weight is 70% of the Stature value is cubed in lbs (pounds).

If we simply cube the Stature value we get ‘overweight figures’ according to the Body Mass Index chart, and taking 70% corrects this. However many males weight more than this.

Example: An average 6′ person weighs 151.2lbs or 10.8 stone according to this.

Nice and simple (if a little inaccurate, but assumes ‘average’ as perfect lifestyle and health, so not a perfect match for a population!). An important point to note that this is the average across both sexes, and the basic statue state does not include sexual characteristic modifiers (Stature is an androgynous stat).

Specifics (primer for other spheres?)

The average UK woman is 5′ 3.8″ (162 cm) and 147 lb (67 kg) (10st 7lb) which works out as Stature: 5.3 weight: 105lbs or 7.5 stone – about 3 stone out (which can be accounted for with a Somatotypes mod (see below))

The average UK male is 5′ 9.75″ (177 cm) and 176 lb (80 kg) (12st 8lb) which works out as Statue: 5.9 weight 143.5lbs or 10.25 stone, about a two and a half stone out (which can be accounted for with a Somatotypes mod (see below))

Out: This is all highly homogeneous, and according to the BMI which tends to be a bit on the light side. The above averages can be corrected by added back a bit of the lost weight. The UK average woman has a weight of a person of Stature:6 and perfect BMI, or a weight of a person that is+0.7 taller. So we could add a bonus of fat+0.7 to bring the weight in line with the average. Males need+0.45 to Stature to match the weight of a person with Stature:6.35. These values are less than a full point, and therefore would not notice in the Tactical Sphere, but they would show up in the Technical Sphere. A man would need a full +1 to their Stature before it would notice, and this would take their strength to the next level up.

Example: A man with Stature:6 Mesomorph+1 would weigh the same as, and have the same strength as, a man with Stature:7. However, he would not have the same reach as a man of 7′.

Quick fix: There is a simple rule of thumb that ‘Stature x2 in stone‘ gives a roughly accurate weight when dealing with the human scale under 6′. It gets more and more inaccurate the closer to 6′ or below 5’.

Differences: As we all know people are not the same, and there is much variation within a population. It is important to note this even if it does not show up in the mass regiments in the Tactical or Strategic Sphere where all the ‘variations’ average out over all the Troops, these variations do show up in the Technical Sphere as that deals with individuals 9and so individual variation shows up!).

[change]Notes on Gigantism: The are diminishing returns for7′ and over where extra modifiers have to be taken to make up for the extra weight thanks to the ‘inverse square law’. This means an individual who is 7′ tall using the base frame scaled up is actually under powered. For each point over 6′ their is a -1 to strength which is accumulative.

Example: A person who is  7′ and built using the average body frame scaled up is at strength-1 and needs extra power up to maintain strength+0. Such an individual would need strength+1 to offset this penalty. Usually special modifiers such as somatotypes like ‘mesomorph’ as used. So a person with Stature:7 [mesomorph+1] is OK, and acts at regular strength.

A person of 8′ is two points over 6′ so are at -2, but also they have the penalty for 7′ another -1, for -3 in total (this fella is going to be big!). A person of 9′ is -3,-2,-1 for -6. They would need to be a mesomorph+6 to offset their own bodyweight to get it back to what the 6′ man can do.


Reach rules based on Stature. A person with Stature 6 has a longer arm reach in boxing and combat that a person with Stature 5. Therefore we can use the Stature Attribute as the basis for reach, and this will affect their performance in combat.

In real world measurements, reach is roughly equivalent to half a person’s stature, and for a six foot tall individual this works out as 3 feet or 1 yard. The yard is a measure from the centre line of the body to toe outstretched finger tip. Therefore each unit of Stature in feet confers ½ a foot (6″) of reach. This corresponds to weapon ‘reach bands’ categories.


Stride rules based on stature. Much as above, a person with Stature 6 has a longer stride than a person with Stature 5. Therefore Stature affects the speed of movement.

In real world measurements, a single stride is half of the Trooper’s Stature in feet. So two strides is the same as the Trooper’s stature in feet.

The military step is 30″ which is slightly less that the 36″ step of Stature 6, and slightly more than the 25″ step of Stature 5. The 30″ step corresponds to a Stature of 5.5 (5’6″). It just so happens that 5’6″ is the minimum height for an army recruit, and so all steps are to the slowest Trooper (those with longer legs can make a shorter step, but those with shorter legs can not make a longer step (comfortably on controlled). Even during the Roman Empire the minimum height is 5’5″.

For the sake of ease of game play, a stature of 6 feet gives a stride of 6 feet. However, it should be noted that this will throw out all traditional march figures and movements. Special notes will be added to account for this in the Tactical and Strategic Spheres, and allow accurate march rates that match the real world army.

Using Stature

Now we have an understanding of what the Stature Attribute actually means, we can take a general view as to how it is used. Fundamentally the Stature Attribute is used to back-up and enforce any Action tests, but it can also be a factor in some Mentality test where one combatant may make judgements based on size on how to approach their attack on a larger, smaller or equal sized opponents.

Positive Aspect

Enforces Action tests involving power, and the ability to overcome an enemy, or where strength plays an important part. the positive aspect turns up in all combat techniques to a greater or lesser degree, and has a profound influence on the effectiveness of strikes and grapples.

Negative Aspect

Enforces Action tests where a lack of size and bulk is key. This includes any Action where being smaller is better such as sneaking about and stealth tests. A smaller character can make use of cover a larger character can not, and cover greatly increases you ability to remain undetected.

Modifier Group

These are modifiers used to alter the parameters of Stature in order to customise an individual’s physical frame and capabilities. For more information please read: Status Modifier Group

Category: Prototype Rules Page

Comments: 2

Feedback is vital to the development of WarSpike. I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to critique and discuss the concepts and rules of WarSpike, and especially those who's comments are posted below. If you would like to chip in too, you are most welcome! To jump to the comment form at the bottom of the page click here, or browse other's comments and hit 'reply'.

  1. Hive Trygon says:

    I’m glad you went into detail with mesomorph, ectomorph, etc. The size and weight along with reach work well together. This is probably the first time I saw no flaws or should I say difference in opinions. I think your stature rule might be one of the best so far. I enjoy the concept along with the rules.

    • Philip S says:

      That’s good to hear, and I hope the rest of the Attribute descriptions meet with similar approval. Unfortunately ‘Stature’ was the easiest to define, probably because it is the least subjective, and this is why it’s the first one to go up. It amply illustrates what a WarSpike Attribute is, from the descriptive framework, parameters pulled from that framework, to the positive and negative aspects of the Attribute. The other Attributes at present ‘work’ but are not unified with the whole concept in the same way as Stature.

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