This paper is a brief primer in how d20 (D&D 3rd Edition) statistics can be used to describe wildly inhuman abilities, such as would be seen in comic-book type superheroes or, presumably, deity-level entities.
Superheroic Abilities in d20 Terms
Fortunately, the D&D Player's Handbook provides an excellent starting place on p. 142 with Table 9-1, "Carrying Capacity", which shows a geometrically increasing maximum load as the Strength ability increases (the text notes that maximum load is the same as maximum dead-lift, the amount a character can lift over his or her head). Each +10 Strength connotes a x4 increase in maximum load; so, each +5 Strength indicates a x2 increase in max. load; and for a perfectly smooth interpolation, each +1 Strength means a x1.1487 increase in max. load. Note that this progression breaks down at the lowest level; if it were perfectly consistent, the max. loads at the bottom end would be something like Str 0 = 25 lb./ Str 1 = 30 lb./ Str 2 = 35 lb./ Str 3 = 40 lb./ Str 4 = 45 lb. (as opposed to Str x10 lb. as it officially stands). Further note that the actual carrying capacity is also proportional to a creature's size, according to the text; for example, a Colossal creature can lift x16 the weight that a man-sized creature with the exact same Strength ability score could.
Conversion from Marvel Super Heroes to D&D
The abbreviated table for d20 Strength below includes the Marvel Super Heroes game rank indicated for each approximate block of Strength scores. (Keep in mind that very large creatures listed with a certain lift capacity will in reality have a lower actual Strength score, as noted above.) Using this as a basis allows us to convert any of the Marvel Super Heroes abilities into approximate D&D-style statistics. It seems sensible to convert MSH abilities in the following way: Fighting = Base Attack Bonus (according to "modifier" on the table below); Strength = Strength; Agility = Dexterity; Endurance = Constitution; Reason = Intelligence; Intuition = Wisdom; and Psyche = Charisma. The notable systemic changes in this regard would be that in MSH, Agility is the basis for ranged attacks (in D&D, BAB modified by Dex), and Intuition provides the modifier to initiative rolls (in D&D, it's Dex, not Wis).
(Note also that the chart below has had some smoothing performed on it, since the official MSH strength categories are quite irregular. By the book, the categories would convert to the following Strength values: Feeble:5, Poor:10, Typical:15, Good:20, Excellent:25, Remarkable:32, Incredible:48, Amazing:60, Monstrous:63, Unearthly:65.)
Superheroic characters, of course, will also have a variety of Special Abilities as listed in the D&D Dungeon Master's Guide p. 71-83. Of particular note will be things like rays, regeneration, resistance to energy, cold and fire, incorporeality, invisibility, and so forth. Damage reduction ("body armor" in the MSH system) should be analyzed with an eye toward being able to protect against a blow with a Strength modifier of the same rank (as shown below). Most MSH-style magicians will be Sorcerers in the D&D system.
|Strength||Modifier||Dead Lift/Max. Load||Smooth Method||Tons|
Notes: This is as per D&D 3rd Edition PH p. 142 (Table 9-12). The smoothing method works for Strength 4 and up. Actual maximum load is proportional to creature size (PH142).
AppendixView a rich-text version of this page here.
See my starting attempts at converting MSH characters here.
Download a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of expanded Strength values here.
A free supers rules supplement from Nightshift Games is available here.