This piece of work arose after observing that the Marvel Super Heroes RPG had no systematic definitions for its ability rank categories, that some of the power and intensity definitions were significantly irregular (most obviously, Strength and Resources), and that this made it quite hard, at times, for the Judge to fit in new abilities or items of equipment.
I found, in my attempt to smoothly interpolate the MSH rank definitions, that a fairly simple method gave reasonable estimations for a number of abilities as they stand in the books. First, I set the "power multiplier" for each rank at a simple exponential: that is, the rank power is exp(x) where x is the column number (Feeble=1, Poor=2, etc.). In other words, an adjustment of +1CS in Strength indicates the ability to lift e times as much weight (approximately x2.7 as much). Second, if we just take the square root of this calculated power multiplier, the value comes rather close to the rank values indicated by the book. In my game, I decided to convert the MSH rank values and power levels to these smoothly calculated numbers.
The accompanying spreadsheet shows these calculated numbers (so you can compare to the official MSH numbers) and a variety of other intensity types. The other intensity types may be based on linear multiples of the base power multipliers (as for Strength, Weight, Resources, and so forth), or, if more appropriate square or cubic roots or other methods (such as for Size, Sound, Heat, Cold, and so forth). The method also shows how the Universal Table can be expanded at the end as much as desired; in particular, I've added ranks for Class 2000, 8000, 12000, 20000, and so forth, as they are strongly indicated by both the rank calculations and the column structure of the Universal Table itself (the Universal Table has been expanded in just this way). Also, the new rank values repeat starting with Class 1000 being x1000 the value of Shift 0, and so forth.
AppendixView a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for the revised Universal Table here.
View a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for revised MSH rank intensities here.
View a Rich-Text Format document of rank research data here.