Jump based on strength

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One change I'd like to see (and I'm not even sure this'll apply since skills are one of the areas I have no theories on regarding 4th) is to have Jump based on dex rather than strength.
If you look at Olympic jumpers, they don't have power lifter physiques. They are lean and agile. Also, jump is the kind of skill that is more connected to concepts like swashbuckler, monk, and rogue than it is to concepts like tank. In 3x, Halflings (the quintessential small, agile character) had a wash with regards to jump since their bonus to jump just negated their strength penalty. Halflings should be more scamper-y (is that a word?) then that.
I know where you got that idea but you are way off.

Competitive jumpers are leaner than body builders because they are typically cross trainers and cross training leads to leaner bodies. They also work to maintain the fine balance between strength and the weight of their body.

Just like in most forms of racing cars balancing the strength of the car, the weight, and other factors is a fine science. It is no different with an athlete who is a fine tuned machine. This means a smart jumper won't have a body builders body because that only hurts them in competition.

Here is a website to educate you on jumping technique. You will see the primary ingredient in the real world is Strength which just so happens to be the attribute it is based on in D&D.

Jump 101

This should not be changed because it is perfect as it is right now.
Considering that my training for standing broad jump tests involved doing tons of leg presses to strengthen my leg muscles, I can safely attest that jumping is based off str as well. Or at least primarily off str.
My central point, and I apologize for having not made it clear, is that if Jump is based on Strength, then the characters who can best jump are those who are typically large and bulky (the William Perry type), rather than lean and mean (the Errol Flynn type).
You’re assuming that a high Strength score means you’re bulked up like the Governator, which is not necessarily the case. Just as high Charisma can represent multiple ways a person can be compelling in social interaction, a high Strength can represent multiple ways that somebody can be physically strong.

Do the rules distinguish between all the different kinds of muscular strength? Not really, but you wouldn’t want them to, since it would be far too much detail. So you lose by having your character who can leap all over the place also being able to smash down doors by brute strength, even though you only care about one of those.
I would also like to see it changed to DEX and not STR, and here is my reasoning.

Yes, I agree that raw strength is very important to jumping and athletics in general. However, it is not just the absolute strength (STR), but the ratio of strength to mass (DEX). Given equal strength, the lighter person will be more agile and athletic.

Examples:
If someone has STR 16 and DEX 10, they are probably the bulky, stocky muscular type. They would not be very good at jumping or doing back flips, or any other kind of explosive athletic manuveur because even though they are strong, they also have alot of weight to move. This is your typical body builder stereotype.

On the other hand, a small person with STR 10 and DEX 16 may not have a high absolute strength, but it is proportionally much higher compared to their body mass. Hence they would be more explosive. This is your typical gymnast stereotype.

In summary, DEX is a reflection of how well your STR controls your own mass. Jumping is one aspect of body control and therefore should be a function of DEX not STR.
Personally I like to see skills have a choice based on which is higher. Not all skills but jump could do either dex or str. I'm certain I could probably think of some more examples but I'm not going to.
You’re assuming that a high Strength score means you’re bulked up like the Governator, which is not necessarily the case. Just as high Charisma can represent multiple ways a person can be compelling in social interaction, a high Strength can represent multiple ways that somebody can be physically strong.

Do the rules distinguish between all the different kinds of muscular strength? Not really, but you wouldn’t want them to, since it would be far too much detail. So you lose by having your character who can leap all over the place also being able to smash down doors by brute strength, even though you only care about one of those.

You might as well argue that tumbling should be based on strength and for largely the same reason.
Jump only does not seem to make sense in dnd because your mass was not factored into this check. This is possibly to facilitate different types of PC moulds, rather than pidgeon-hole all the jumpers into lean and mean people.

For example, dnd would allow me to play a 900 pound human with 18str, and jump every bit as well as the 200 pound human (if my interpretation of the weight tables is correct).

Likewise, I could roll a 18str for my human, but have him look like some stick thin aneroxic person. He can look sickly and reed-thin, but is actually more fit than the buffest looking athletes. :P

I would see this more as a feature rather than a flaw. The purpose is exactly that - your appearance should not affect your stats. Your ability scores influence those, and as far as I can tell, dnd does not require that your character look anything like your ability scores.

However, it is not just the absolute strength (STR), but the ratio of strength to mass (DEX).

Perhaps, but your definition of dex does not appear to conform to the definition of dex for dnd uses.

Dexterity measures hand-eye coordination, agility, reflexes, and balance.

Likewise, for strength,
Strength measures your character’s muscle and physical power.

So in the very least, there is nothing stopping me from playing an overweight human with 18dex and 18con.
On the other hand, a small person with STR 10 and DEX 16 may not have a high absolute strength, but it is proportionally much higher compared to their body mass. Hence they would be more explosive. This is your typical gymnast stereotype.

Have you looked at gymnasts lately? Those folks are RIPPED with muscle. Some of them don't even look natural doing what they do. Check out the male USA team from the last Olympics. A couple of those guys look more like body builders than gymnasts.

The honest truth is if someone trains to be a good jumper then they will jump well and Strength is the primary component in determining the power of the jump. That's in real life as well as in D&D.
I was always under the impression that things like flipping over an opponent and diving across a table were Tumble - based on Dex. While basic raw jumping was based on STR. Oh wait - i'm under that impression because that IS the way they are.

You have to put into perspective. A person with a Higher STR and lower DEX will be wearing armor. They would logically have more raw power out of the armor and could naturally jump a little higher than a less strong person. Unless they have trained, which would equal skill points, and balance it all out. If you wanted an Olympic track althlete you would probably want to have equal strength and dex. Which is your body balance. Sure you could train more muscle and be stronger but it would slow you down, and sure you could train up your footwork but your strength would suffer in the long run.
Basic rule of Dex arguments in every system. Gamers generally aren't big and strong, but they can at least pretend they have a decent Dex. So therefore Strength shouldn't help in anything but carying your lugage and dex should help you do everything. It makes you feel better about your self in in fantasy day dream time.
Have you looked at gymnasts lately? Those folks are RIPPED with muscle.

First, you are restricting your example to male gymnasts. Female gymnasts may be strong for a girl, but their absolute strength is minimal. However, female gymnasts are able to leap and jump as well if not better than their male counterparts. Second, being ripped has nothing to do with absolute strength. In fact, people with more body fat tend to have a greater absolute strength.

The honest truth is if someone trains to be a good jumper then they will jump well and Strength is the primary component in determining the power of the jump. That's in real life as well as in D&D.

The honest truth is that you are over simplifying the biomechanics. Yes, strength determines the power of the jump, however, that power is applied to a mass. It is that power to mass ratio that determines the distance of the jump. How one controls a mass is dexterity not strength. I mean honestly, an elephant is not going to out jump anything even though they are very strong.

Perhaps, but your definition of dex does not appear to conform to the definition of dex for dnd uses.

Oh, I agree. That being said, I do not think the current D&D definition is consistent. There is alot of overlap between STR and DEX. I would prefer what ever definition that is chosen to be consistent. For example, I cannot accept that jumping 4 feet into the air should require strength, while doing a standing backflip for some reason should not.

Gamers generally aren't big and strong, but they can at least pretend they have a decent Dex. So therefore Strength shouldn't help in anything but carying your lugage and dex should help you do everything. It makes you feel better about your self in in fantasy day dream time.

Well, I am definitely the big and strong type, yet I still advocate for DEX to be for jump. Perhaps personal experience has given me a unique perspective.
it's almost like some people live under a rock when it comes to how the real world works... The amount of myths that get thrown around are amazing.

The ability to jump comes purely from power and has nothing to do with dexterity. Acrobatics may be based off agility but when it comes to achieving a good jump then it's all about the power-to-weight ratio of a given person. The best jumpers are not always big but they are always very strong for their size.

You would also be surprised at just how well powerlifters, olympic lifters, short track sprinters, rugby players and American football players can jump. They all pack on a large amount of muscle/power into their frames for their relative height/weight. I've personally witnessed a 6'1 240lbs olympic lifter dunk a ball from the free throw line and another 270lbs lifter pull off a standing 59" box jump... lighter division olympic lifters (150~220lbs) especially are capable of some amazing feats of athleticism.

First, you are restricting your example to male gymnasts. Female gymnasts may be strong for a girl, but their absolute strength is minimal. However, female gymnasts are able to leap and jump as well if not better than their male counterparts.

I'm sorry but this is not quite true. I used to date an olympic gymnast (Atlanta games) and the girls do not even come anywhere close to their male counterparts. I'm 6' 210lbs, my ex is 4'11" 95lbs (and yes fully grown adult gymnasts are that tiny) and I am able to easily outjump her in terms of height and distance.

Male gymnasts are incredibly strong for their size and capable of very big lifts (2x bodyweight unassisted bench pressing is a fairly common feat for high level performers). Female gymasts are strong for girls but overall not really that impressive. Their routines are based more on balance, skill and flexibility than athleticism.

Second, being ripped has nothing to do with absolute strength. In fact, people with more body fat tend to have a greater absolute strength.

Having a higher level of body fat in no way influences how much strength you have. The only reason why superheavyweight lifters tend to be so fat is that they have no need to worry about their weight so they concentrate only on strength gains. Lifters who compete in weight classes though tend to be ripped and almost all of them have incredible power-to-weight ratios and vertical leaps.
it's almost like some people live under a rock when it comes to how the real world works... The amount of myths that get thrown around are amazing.

The ability to jump comes purely from power and has nothing to do with dexterity. Acrobatics may be based off agility but when it comes to achieving a good jump then it's all about the power-to-weight ratio of a given person. The best jumpers are not always big but they are always very strong for their size.

You would also be surprised at just how well powerlifters, olympic lifters, short track sprinters, rugby players and American football players can jump. They all pack on a large amount of muscle/power into their frames for their relative height/weight. I've personally witnessed a 6'1 240lbs olympic lifter dunk a ball from the free throw line and another 270lbs lifter pull off a standing 59" box jump... lighter division olympic lifters (150~220lbs) especially are capable of some amazing feats of athleticism.



I'm sorry but this is not quite true. I used to date an olympic gymnast (Atlanta games) and the girls do not even come anywhere close to their male counterparts. I'm 6' 210lbs, my ex is 4'11" 95lbs (and yes fully grown adult gymnasts are that tiny) and I am able to easily outjump her in terms of height and distance.

Male gymnasts are incredibly strong for their size and capable of very big lifts (2x bodyweight unassisted bench pressing is a fairly common feat for high level performers). Female gymasts are strong for girls but overall not really that impressive. Their routines are based more on balance, skill and flexibility than athleticism.



Having a higher level of body fat in no way influences how much strength you have. The only reason why superheavyweight lifters tend to be so fat is that they have no need to worry about their weight so they concentrate only on strength gains. Lifters who compete in weight classes though tend to be ripped and almost all of them have incredible power-to-weight ratios and vertical leaps.

You are discussing power-to-weight. That's not the same thing as strength. It has more to do with muscle control - that's dex.
Do any of these guys look big and strong to you?
http://images.google.com/images?q=olympic+long+jump&hl=en&safe=off&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=images&ct=title
You are discussing power-to-weight. That's not the same thing as strength. It has more to do with muscle control - that's dex.

power-to-weight has nothing to do with dexterity. It's 100% to do with strength compared to overall bodyweight. Bodyweight is not a stat in D&D at all so the only thing we have left to do is base it on strength.

Dexterity relates to acrobatics and balance but has absolutely nothing to do with the production of power or how heavy someone is. I know a hell of a lot of guys with big vertical and hoziontal jumps who are not agile guys at all.

If you want to do backflips then that's dex and acrobatics (i.e. tumble). If you just want to jump high then that's all about power.

Do any of these guys look big and strong to you?
http://images.google.com/images?q=ol...mages&ct=title

Actually those guys may not be heavy but they do look very strong to me. Sprinters and long jumpers are pound-for-pound among the strongest track and field athletes there are. Trust me, I've actually seen enough of these guys in training to know. I used to compete at state level in Judo (in Japan and Australia) and had hopes of making the 04' olympics myself before injuries and work commitments kind of squashed those plans.
Ummm...yes. Did you look at the pictures of the guys you posted. Wiry they may be but all of them were tall and packed with muscle. The fist guy Philip Jones had to have a 15" bicep at least. They weren't bodybuilders, but bodybuilders do specific styles of exercise to get that Conan look. Athletes like those guys pack on massive muscle but their stretching and athleticism keeps it wiry and trim. Those guys you posted were all incredibly strong and they look it.
Ummm...yes. Did you look at the pictures of the guys you posted. Wiry they may be but all of them were tall and packed with muscle. The fist guy Philip Jones had to have a 15" bicep at least. They weren't bodybuilders, but bodybuilders do specific styles of exercise to get that Conan look. Athletes like those guys pack on massive muscle but their stretching and athleticism keeps it wiry and trim. Those guys you posted were all incredibly strong and they look it.

Is the debate on this topic over whether or not Dex should be a mental stat, because I think its pretty clear that it should be a physical stat with noticeable physical characteristics. The whole idea that "its strength if it involves muscle" is absurd. Surely you recognize this? Dex involves muscle as well. Dex is -not- a mental stat.
No I think the debate is what dex should represent as a physical stat. In my opinion Dexterity is a representation of muscular control, coordination and precision. This is why it is used for such things as tumbling, balance and ranged attacks. Of course it has to do with the muscles, muscular memory, training, slow twitch fibers and such. The thing is that strength is the representation of the raw power output form those muscles. I stage magician might only bench 110 but he can juggle, spin balls on his hands, and move with grace enough to fool the eyes of his observers with slight of hand. master marksmen have perfect muscle control, no shaking or twitching so that they can put their bullets exactly were they want them. Thats dexterity. Jumping, lifting and other feats of raw power are a strength related activity. It does not take a lot of dexterity to hurl oneself through the air, that takes raw power and thats strength.
The thing is that strength is the representation of the raw power output form those muscles.

I think I'm beginning to see where the confusion is. You are using "strength" interchangeably with "power". They aren't the same thing. "Power" has to do primarily with muscle coordination. Its why Bruce Lee, despite being a small man, could hit with such force and why distance jumpers, despite being nowhere near as big as power lifters, can jump so far.
I think I'm beginning to see where the confusion is. You are using "strength" interchangeably with "power". They aren't the same thing. "Power" has to do primarily with muscle coordination. Its why Bruce Lee, despite being a small man, could hit with such force and why distance jumpers, despite being nowhere near as big as power lifters, can jump so far.

Muscles generate the bodies movement power. More efficient movements generate greater levels of power but that has nothing to do with agility or dexterity. That's all down to using good body mechanics.

I don't know why you're fixated on this idea that strength equals size because there are many small guys who are strong. All olympic long jumpers are very strong for their weights. I know this as a fact, not just speculation. Power/Olympic lifters too come in all sizes.

I've trained with plenty of sub-150lbs guys who could bench over 300 pounds and squat over 400. It's no co-incidence that these same guys had amazing vertical and horizontal leaps. They weren't especially agile or co-ordinated and were built like mini-tanks. It was simply because their level of strength was just so much higher than their relative bodyweight that it gave them extemely high power-to-weight ratios.

You don't need to be superstrong to jump high. You just need for you legs to be strong enough to generate more power than is needed for your weight and frame. That's all. Dexterity never plays a factor here.

Also one final thing, please don't confuse bodybuilders, who mostly only train to increase muscle size, with strength athletes who train to get the most out of their bodies. Most (but not all) bodybuilders are actually quite weak for their weights. You will rarely see many 250lbs+ bodybuilders who can come close to matching the strength/power of even 198lbs and smaller power and olympic lifters.
Muscles generate the bodies movement power. More efficient movements generate greater levels of power but that has nothing to do with agility or dexterity. That's all down to using good body mechanics.

I don't know why you're fixated on this idea that strength equals size because there are many small guys who are strong. All olympic long jumpers are very strong for their weights. I know this as a fact, not just speculation. Power/Olympic lifters too come in all sizes.

I've trained with plenty of sub-150lbs guys who could bench over 300 pounds and squat over 400. It's no co-incidence that these same guys had amazing vertical and horizontal leaps. They weren't especially agile or co-ordinated and were built like mini-tanks. It was simply because their level of strength was just so much higher than their relative bodyweight that it gave them extemely high power-to-weight ratios.

You don't need to be superstrong to jump high. You just need for you legs to be strong enough to generate more power than is needed for your weight and frame. That's all. Dexterity never plays a factor here.

Also one final thing, please don't confuse bodybuilders, who mostly only train to increase muscle size, with strength athletes who train to get the most out of their bodies. Most (but not all) bodybuilders are actually quite weak for their weights. You will rarely see many 250lbs+ bodybuilders who can come close to matching the strength/power of even 198lbs and smaller power and olympic lifters.

"You just need for you legs to be strong enough to generate more power than is needed for your weight and frame." NOT TRUE. Power is not generated by the raw strength of your legs. It is generated by how quickly you can apply that strength - how quickly you can, in a coordinated fashion, relaxe/contract your muscles along the path of motion. And _that's_ a question of muscle control which, in turn, is measured by dex.
An analogy may be made with a car jack vs. a spring. The car jack can exert more raw strength, but it won't jump very high. A spring may not exert much raw strength, but it will jump very high.
it's strength/muscles which generate that speed. You are confusing other factors such as having good jumping technique with dexterity. That would be reflected in D&D by the jump skill itself.

lifting a dumbell also requires muscle co-ordination. Olympic lifting especially is all about maximising the bodies power output to get the weight up. You have to make your muscles 'explode' as fast as possible so they generate as much power as they can. However going by your theory this would make olympic lifting a dexterity based activity and not a strength one. See the problem?

you will never find a single olympic longjumper, gymnast or sprinter who is not strong for their size.
it's strength/muscles which generate that speed. You are confusing other factors such as having good jumping technique with dexterity. That would be reflected in D&D by the jump skill itself.

lifting a dumbell also requires muscle co-ordination. Olympic lifting especially is all about maximising the bodies power output to get the weight up. You have to make your muscles 'explode' as fast as possible so they generate as much power as they can. However going by your theory this would make olympic lifting a dexterity based activity and not a strength one. See the problem?

you will never find a single olympic longjumper, gymnast or sprinter who is not strong for their size.

Actually, I think you are the one confusing terms. You keep using power and strength interchangeably when they are, in fact, two different things. You keep referring to strength without identifying what kind of strength you are talking about (there are at least three different types that I know of). Now you are making a distinction between technique and agility - which makes no sense at all.
It doesn't matter if you used to train with Olympic jumpers, that and $.25 will get you a cup of coffee. You don't see me trying to base my argument on the fact that I used to teach the martial arts. This isn't about your resume or mine. This is about biokinetics. And until you start using the standard terminology, you aren't making sense.
the definition of strength here would be "the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor."

strength generates the force (i.e. power) used to move your body. Technique refers to the skills involved in making better use of that force. Technique is represented in game terms as various skills (in this game as the jumping skill) and not by the dexterity stat.

The reason I mention my training experience is because it is via that experience that I know exactly how important strength is to athleticism. You will never find a top level long jumper who is not physically strong (for their size) and yet you will find plenty of strong guys who are not agile yet are fully capable of big leaps. Note I said strong guys which is not the same as big guys.

if you take any person and increase their overall strength then their jumping ability will also increase even with no change to their weight or jumping technique. Agility work alone will not produce the same results. This is why squats, cleans and lunges are such important exercises for professional athletes involved in sports where they are primarily jumping.

if you want to base jumping on the dexterity stat then you must also base lifts on dexterity too because the biomechanics are basically the same.
it's strength/muscles which generate that speed. You are confusing other factors such as having good jumping technique with dexterity. That would be reflected in D&D by the jump skill itself.

lifting a dumbell also requires muscle co-ordination. Olympic lifting especially is all about maximising the bodies power output to get the weight up. You have to make your muscles 'explode' as fast as possible so they generate as much power as they can. However going by your theory this would make olympic lifting a dexterity based activity and not a strength one. See the problem?

you will never find a single olympic longjumper, gymnast or sprinter who is not strong for their size.

Oh, and, incidentally, lifting a dumbbell requires very little co-ordination. Its like the car jack I mentioned. Hitting a golf ball, on the other hand, requires a great deal of co-ordination and power generation. How many golfers do you see who are built like Arnold Schwarzeneger?
Oh, and, incidentally, lifting a dumbbell requires very little co-ordination. Its like the car jack I mentioned. Hitting a golf ball, on the other hand, requires a great deal of co-ordination and power generation. How many golfers do you see who are built like Arnold Schwarzeneger?

jumping requires very little co-ordination too. I'm not sure why you think it does.

The body mechanics for golf is quite different than that of jumping. Golf swings are almost all based on technique and have little to do with strength or agility. That is why older aged players can still compete despite having clearly declining physical abilities. Of course it should be noted that Tiger Woods is actually physically stronger than just about any other golfer on the tour but that might just be a co-incidence.

Just out of interest why do you think so many baseball players, boxers and kickboxers use steriods and HGH? The biomechanics for producing power are not so different so why do are players risking their health and careers in order to increase their strength? The same goes for a large percentage of track and field athletes? The reason, more strength = more power.
jumping requires very little co-ordination too. I'm not sure why you think it does.

The body mechanics for golf is quite different than that of jumping. Golf swings are almost all based on technique and have little to do with strength or agility. That is why older aged players can still compete despite having clearly declining physical abilities. Of course it should be noted that Tiger Woods is actually physically stronger than just about any other golfer on the tour but that might just be a co-incidence.

Just out of interest why do you think so many baseball players, boxers and kickboxers use steriods and HGH? The biomechanics for producing power are not so different so why do are players risking their health and careers in order to increase their strength? The same goes for a large percentage of track and field athletes? The reason, more strength = more power.

Let's walk through the physics, maybe that'll convince you.
Power = Force * Acceleration
Force = Mass * Acceleration
therefore, Power = Mass * Acceleration * Acceleration
Looking at that equation, which do you think is more important to the generation of power -force or acceleration?
Acceleration is muscle control - it refers to the ability to operate the muscles in a co-ordinated manner. Which stat do you believe best represents co-ordination - strength or dex?
Actually, I think you are the one confusing terms. You keep using power and strength interchangeably when they are, in fact, two different things.

PHB page 8
Strength measures your character’s muscle and physical power.

I don't see the problem. Strength is your physical power, dexterity is your physical finesse, and constitution is your physical fortitude..
I don't see the problem. Strength is your physical power, dexterity is your physical finesse, and constitution is your physical fortitude..

lthat's the 3x edition you are looking at
we're talking about what should be in 4th ed
Let's walk through the physics, maybe that'll convince you.
Power = Force * Acceleration
Force = Mass * Acceleration
therefore, Power = Mass * Acceleration * Acceleration
Looking at that equation, which do you think is more important to the generation of power -force or acceleration?
Acceleration is muscle control - it refers to the ability to operate the muscles in a co-ordinated manner. Which stat do you believe best represents co-ordination - strength or dex?

Don't know where you took your physics class but in my physics class Power = Work (or Energy) divided by Time. Just did a check on the net and yep, the web agrees. Wait one sec...

Just asked my wife, who teaches physics and she rattled off, "Power is work or energy divided by time."

Couple links for you...

The Physics Classroom

Wiki - Power - Physics
lthat's the 3x edition you are looking at
we're talking about what should be in 4th ed

My bad, I thought you wanted to change the jump skill, not the strength ability.

So you want to change strength and move even more attributes to dexterity? Come on, dex already controls you reflexes, precision, coordination (making it a partly mental trait), balance, nimbleness etc. And it affects AC, initiative, several important skills, ranged and thrown attacks, finesse attacks, and reflex saves. Why make it even more versatile by including power? The ability scores will always overlap anyway, so removing something 'unrealistic' from str to include it in dex doesn't make more sense.
My bad, I thought you wanted to change the jump skill, not the strength ability.

So you want to change strength and move even more attributes to dexterity? Come on, dex already controls you reflexes, precision, coordination (making it a partly mental trait), balance, nimbleness etc. And it affects AC, initiative, several important skills, ranged and thrown attacks, finesse attacks, and reflex saves. Why make it even more versatile by including power? The ability scores will always overlap anyway, so removing something 'unrealistic' from str to include it in dex doesn't make more sense.

Strength affects AC, melee damage and weapon choice, melee chances to hit, and encumbrance and move as well as max weight and even the ability to open doors. Not to mention, it has several combat maneuvers which depend heavily on it such as bull rush and overrun.
In the real world, jumping depends on muscle control - that's dex. So the question that needs to be asked is, "do we want the game system to model the real world within the bounds of its contrivances or not?"
Looking at that equation, which do you think is more important to the generation of power -force or acceleration?

What do you think is more important to communication, words or language?

Force and acceleration are the exact same thing. The only difference is that one is measured proportional to mass. Greater force = greater acceleration.
Acceleration is muscle control

No, acceleration is the consequence of applying "power". Strength is what powers a sprinter out of the blocks, a jumper into the air, an enables a lifter to lift. Yes, not being a complete klutz and having a good sense of timing helps, as does the ability to continue to apply that force (endurance), but athleticism is fundamentally about applying power.

Note that D&D's definition of Str is not just "undirected power", it's "applied power", which many people seem to forget (or perhaps willfully ignore). Your Str score doesn't just measure how fast and powerfully your muscles can expand and contract, but your ability to channel that power to do useful work.

If we really felt the need to model things to the nth, degree, we could uses a multi-ability system. Rolemaster Standard System uses Str/Str/Agi (agility) for athleticism-based stuff, and we could even throw in a bit of Con. But why bother; it makes a lot more sense to say "This is Str; it measures your physical prowess and athleticism", rather than create an abstract concept called Str and then try to divvy it up among various checks.

(Conversely, if we are going to get nit-picky about abilities, can we divide Dex into reflexes, athletic co-ordinatation and precision? I've got excellent reflexes, but am not particularly coordinated either at speed or doing fine work.)
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Force and acceleration are the exact same thing.

F=ma is -high school- physics. It _explicitly_ states that force and acceleration are -not- the same thing.

acceleration is the consequence of applying "power".

..as per the first law of thermodynamics, and what does this have to do with the price of peanut butter on Mars?
We are discussing where power comes from. The human body generates it by co-ordinating the relaxation and contraction of muscle tissue. Does anyone doubt this?
Don't know where you took your physics class but in my physics class Power = Work (or Energy) divided by Time. Just did a check on the net and yep, the web agrees. Wait one sec...

Just asked my wife, who teaches physics and she rattled off, "Power is work or energy divided by time."

Couple links for you...

The Physics Classroom

Wiki - Power - Physics

Yeah, I made a typo
p=w/t and since w=m*a*d we know that p=m*a*a' (that little mark after the second 'a' is what I forgot to add - it means "the integration of a")
You're welcome to have your wife double check that. I just had a midterm on mathematical optimization (0-1 integer programming, dynamic programming, that kind of stuff) so I'm a bit brain fried right now.
I'm not really sure why you think jumping requires so much coordination. Hurling yourself into the air really isn't a finesse thing...
The thing you are missing is that strength doesnt just cover slow pushing or lifting, but also explosions of power (like JUMPING). The athletes you are talking about are both coordinated and very strong

I have a sneaky suspicion that you are a munckin in disguise, looking for more stuff to benefit an high ability score and few more skill synergies.
I've found the idea of jump being a skill a little odd. I could be wrong, but I see it mainly physical conditioning. If anything, I think it should be based more on strength. And mass, of course.

Having 23 ranks in jump strikes me as extremely strange.
F=ma is -high school- physics. It _explicitly_ states that force and acceleration are -not- the same thing.

If arrows cost 1 gp per 20 arrows, then 5 gp worth of arrows is the exact same thing as 100 arrows. It's a conversion expression. Saying "Force is Str, accelleration is Dex" makes as much sense as saying the cost of the arrows is distinct from the number of arrows you buy.
Umm, I'm going to ste[ away from all the science here for a second since I cant keep up with all of that. As far as I know from simple logic both sides here are right, but one is just
MORE right. It seems to me that anyone that doesnt have impared dex is capable of the muscle co-ordination to jump up in a straight line. So, call that a 10 dex. If you happen to have abit more you might be able to get little more benafit from balancing your exertion of strength out, producing a more even exertion of force and getting a little more height. Problem is that the benafit after that isn't woth mentioning as the height of your jump comes down to the force exerted. A character only really needs a 10 dexterity to be able to exert that force quickly enough to launch themselves into the air, a 12 could help abit but past that your not going to see any realy gain from dex.

On the other hand, assuming you have the normal co-ordination for a human being and an 18 str - enough strength to lift 300 pounds over your head, or just 600 off the ground and your character only weighs 200... Now you have a character with the normal level of muscle controle to jump and the power to deadlift three times their body weight and I do think deadlifting is off your leg strength no? Logicaly this would result in more force pushing against the ground, and the ground isn't going to move so that means that you have to instead, so.. you're going to go up and because you have more str then the normal guy you're going to go farther up..

So basaicly, if you're lacking co-ordination then no, you wont be jumping that well. however the same porportionate lack of strength means you wont be jumping at all reguardless of how well co-ordinated you are. Thus both are important but strength edges up on dex as being more important, thus when Wizards made the game they based jump off of strength because it was easier that putting together some weird rule to use more than one stat for its bonus. If you want dex based jumping you'll want to house rull either a feat to make it work that way, or just rule it to be a dex skill.
Hi, I'd just like to put in my two cents on the side of str=jump. I can't really throw any awesome physics equations out there, but really that hasn't solved the problem anyway, because the precise definition of power doesn't matter if we haven't solved the problem of which stat power falls under. From my understanding of the way musculature works, there are two types of muscle, fast-twitch, and....uh, the other kind, sorry, forgot whatever the accepted name is. We shall call it "the slow kind". It all adds up to those who regularly do short explosive movements get more fast twitch, and thus are better at applying a force in short, rapid, burst. If a person were to regularly train their legs by slowly lifting a heavy weight, then their muscles would be equipped to sustain that force for a greater period, but the wind up time would be greater.
I argue that D&D makes no distinction between these people, in much the way that it does not distinguish between a natural gift for archery and the ability to dodge attacks. In the case of jumping, since the force of gravity applies itself constantly to the body, the faster the power is exerted, the farther the body is projected into the air, I think we can all pretty much agree on that part(the acceleration has a greater impact upon the overall effectiveness of the jump than the mass of pressure applied throughout the push-off, especially considering that, in addition to constant application of gravity, acceleration is squared in the power equation to begin with), right? And then the argument on both sides breaks down, because each side (str and dex) is trying to claim the fast-twitch muscles. Well, using an earlier poster's reference to Bruce Lee, he was a small guy, and as we all know he punched pretty hard (and as previously discussed in the physics section, power is determined by multiplying mass by acceleration-squared, thus the faster you punch the harder you hit). In my mind, that ends the argument for dex-based jumping right there! In D&D, the STR stat determines how much damage you deal in melee, so clearly the rapid acceleration of body parts necessary for a good punch to the face or an epic leap is the purview of your strength score. This reminds me of a boffer story. I had two friends, using the same weapon, kick my ass on two separate occasions. One put a lot of pressure into the blow, but with more of the mass and less of the acceleration part of the equation it sent me flying and didn't hurt much at all. The other hit me with less mass, more acceleration, and I stayed right where I was, and dropped to the ground for a few minutes. So yeah, my personal experience leads me to believe that the D&D str stat DEFINITELY takes into account the ability to rapidly exert force, not the dex stat. Str doesn't just cover "hulking out" ....Dear lord, that was way longer than I wanted it to be. Oh well, you all will just have to deal with it, 'cause I didn't want to do the whole "point-counterpoint" thing when I could just state the majority of my case at once. Oh, and I apologize for any lack of coherency in my argument, but it's five fifteen in the morning. I need to go to bed... good night everybody!