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Old 04-01-2017, 11:35 PM   #51
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
I've seriously considered moving the First Aid default from Physician to Surgery for much that reason, which doesn't exactly solve that RAW (given Surgery defaults to Physician -5) but feels like a step in the right direction.
Fits with old surgeons who were barbers and such too.

Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
I've said this before. (Full disclosure- I'm a general surgeon.) It makes much more sense for First Aid to default from Surgery at -0, and from Physician at something like -2 or more, and Physiology (Human) at (at least) -5.

I could even make an argument for GURPS's only positive default, frankly- something like First Aid defaults to Surgery +2 or whatever- if you want to keep the Physician default at -0. Any higher than +2 and it gets ridiculous, though.

Surgeons make awesome first responders. (When they have access to all of their toys...)

But after TL6 or so Surgery should need mandatory specialization, and this would only really apply to General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery and the other subspecialties of General Surgery. Orthopedics would be a little worse, and other Surgery specialties even more so, though still better than the Physician default. Oh, and there possibly should be something like a Surgery (Emergency Procedures) specialty for ER docs, paramedics, etc. that has the better First Aid default, too. None of them would have it at terribly high levels to begin with, though. You'd definitely rather a surgeon opened your chest in the trauma bay than an ER doc, frex.
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
In that case, I think the problem is a definitional one. The skill involved there isn't really Physiology. I mean you wouldn't allow Physiology (Animals) and allow a roll for both humans and jellyfish would you? For something that varied, it's no longer [a] species, it's either multiple species or far enough from real world biology that "species" isn't a meaningful category for it.

That's not to say there isn't a reasonable skill here - maybe even a realistic one. But it's Find Weaknesses or something rather than Physiology, and probably does work just about as well on normal animals (or robots for that matter) as it does on "demons". Physiology (species) would then negate the need to roll against that skill at all if you have it for whatever you happen to be fighting.

I do think Physiology (species) probably is a perk, or a low cost advantage. It's a broad familiarity akin to Cultural Familiarity, or Ambidexterity, something that counters a penalty that would otherwise apply to a bunch of skills, but goes away for all of them once you understand it for any of them.
Was looking at my doctor type this evening and again remarking on how disappointing Physiology is. I took Physiology (Human) for completeness but am considering learning it for the two aliens in the party.
Look at this list
Physician (First Aid-11, Vet -5)
Physiology (Diagnosis, Physician, or Surgery -5)

Pharmacy (Physician-5)
Surgery (First Aid-12, Physician -5, Physiology -8, Veterinary -8)
Diagnosis (First Aid -8, Physician -5, Vet-5)
First Aid (Esoteric Medicine, Physician, or Vet-5)

No skill defaults to Physiology but all of the medical ones default to Physician. I dont really agree with the perk but if Physiology at 12+ or on a successful roll countered the Physiology penalties it would be worth it in a Space Opera or Sci Fi game with aliens.
Maybe even fantasy or games with no aliens if there was a good breakdown of specialties.
Even than though I think it should have a little more oomph for a Hard skill.
How about acting as a complementary skill to anything that uses it as a default?

PS: Resurrected the thread as its better here than a new one. I LIKE the skills of the week and their ilk.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:43 PM   #52
Join Date: Jan 2017
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

As mentioned, Physician didn't exist in the low tech levels. Physiology would have though, although the knowledge would have been very different than a modern day version of it. Thus Physiology could have some bang at TL 1-4 especially with knowledge of Biology, or whatever the ancient equivalent of that would be.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:35 AM   #53
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

I spent yesterday afternoon in the emergency room of the local hospital and took the opportunity for a little research into the boundaries between Physician and Surgery. Spoiler for possible Too Much Information about my injury:

The work was done by one of the duty doctors, rather than a nurse or a physician's assistant. I asked what made it a doctor's work, and it seemed, in GURPS terms, to be because there was a Surgery task to remove the fingernail, rather than just cleaning and stitching. It was pretty simple surgery: probably at +2 or better, given effective local anaesthesia and a well-equipped emergency room.
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basic, physician, physiology, skill of the week

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