Yeah … I want to revisit Leaping, if we can. Sorry, but I really need to understand this well in order to play my character in the PBEM that is just about to launch issue #1. I rolled a character with Leaping. I also apologize if this was well hashed out prior to my joining the list. All the guidance I can find about Leaping in the book is on p. 47:
You can jump across great distances. Leaping 7 can take you out to visual range in a single bound, and levels beyond that can cover miles in a single leap!
The following guidance is given for jumping just using your Strength, without the Leaping power, on p. 61:
The distance you can jump is based on your Strength: personal for levels 1-3, close for levels 4-6, extended for levels 7-8, and out to visual distance for levels 9-10. With a Strength test against your own Strength level and a major success you can leap one extra step. If you have the Leaping power (p. 47), you can jump much greater distances than your Strength allows.
In the compiled questions-and-answers in the files section of this group, I found only one Q/A about Leaping, as follows:
Q: I have a character with Leaping 3. How far is that? The Leaping power entry only takes about level 7 and beyond.
A: [Steve Kenson:] Well, as Leaping 7 is "out to visual distance," not to be cheeky, but I'd say Leaping 1–6 is between close and visual range; we can probably say that level 3 is about halfway, whatever that may be, so chances are it's a good distance (like several city blocks).
All of this leaves me rather confused about the relationship between jumping using Strength and jumping using the Leaping power. With all due respect to Mr. Kenson, and with much gratitude for his creation of ICONS and his presence on this mailing list, I really don't find the Q/A above helpful in clarifying matters. In fact, it almost muddies the waters, because it seems to create the possibility for situations where a hero can have the Leaping power without it really having any effect at all. For example, if Leaping 1 means you can jump out to close range, and you have Strength 4 or higher, Leaping does nothing for you (except to reduce your starting Determination). Based on the statement "If you have the Leaping power, you can jump much greater distances than your Strength allows," it would seem that Leaping should always increase your jumping distance, no matter your Strength (though of course if you're at Strength 9 or 10 the difference may not matter much).
Therefore, would it be unreasonable to play as follows? I am not suggesting that everyone must play as follows, but asking if it seems to be a reasonable interpretation of the vague RAW. (I am also asking my fellow PBEMers if they're willing to play it this way.) Also, please note that I am trying to stay as close to RAW as possible while still gaining the necessary clarity.
1. The _base_ distance you can jump is based on your Strength: personal for levels 1-3, close for levels 4-6, extended for levels 7-8, and out to visual distance for levels 9-10. (Note that this is quoted directly from p. 61, except for my addition of the word "base" at the beginning.)
2. Your rank in Leaping adds to the distance your Strength allows you to jump, much liked Enhanced Senses adds to your Awareness test for the enhanced sense or the Martial Arts specialty adds to your Prowess.
I offer this interpretation because I think it allows the statement on p. 61 ("If you have the Leaping power, you can jump much greater distances than your Strength allows") to be true with no threat of rendering Leaping an irrelevant, useless power if the leaper's Strength rank is equal to or greater than his/her Leaping rank. It also allows the statement on p. 47 ("Leaping 7 can take you out to visual range in a single bound") for a character of at least average Strength (rank 3) without having to create a "range map" for Leaping that's different from the "range map" for just plain jumping (p. 61). My solution, I think, both solves the problem of Leaping's irrelevancy to high-Strength characters and resolves the seeming inconsistency in jumping distances between p. 47 (where Leaping 7 can get you out to visual range) and p. 61 (where Strength 7 only gets you out to extended range).
If p. 61 didn't say "much" (the italics are there in the original, mind you), I might suggest something more like the effect of Growth on Strength, or like the effect of Strike on Strength. It would go something like "The distance you can leap is determined by your rank in Leaping or your Strength + 1, whichever is greater." But a mere +1 would not let you jump much farther than your Strength allows, and you would still have the problem of an inconsistency between p. 47 and p. 61.
What do you all think, especially those of you playing in the PBEM? I put the discussion here instead of on the PBEM list because I thought people not playing the PBEM might be interested in the question and in my proposed solution. Anyway, it has been helpful to me to think through the math on this one, and I hope it helps others too.
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