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Old 02-25-2021, 12:20 PM   #11
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Lameth View Post
Sorry Fred, that's not what I meant.

Yes its a game, yes there is magic and monsters, but there is still reality, physics, and biology.. and most importantly drama, intrigue, stress, danger, tension, and Story. We are not just game referees, but also story makers and tellers as well as entertainers in my opinion.
If I somehow did not understand what you meant you have completely missed what I said. i am not a storyteller. I very much am the game referee and if I have another role it is as the entertainment director for the evening rather than a performer in my own right.

What I said would happen if someone tried the "knife to the throst" trick in front of Nyx is what would really happen in that world and i am not going to cheat in the name of "Story".

Does this mean that some (IMHO badly overused and unrealistic) tropes from Fiction don't work in RPGs? This is indeed my experience and an experienced game master will have learned not to invoke the god from the machine to make them happen.
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Old 02-25-2021, 12:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Sorry Fred, that's not what I meant. I meant, lets say the thug has the knife against the woman's throat and the PCs press the attack. The thug does the deed and rolls 3 points of cutting, and even to the throat that is not enough to kill the NPC, let alone bring her near a serious death... therefore "some" PCs knowing the math would not be that concerned with the stand off all that much. Its not a matter of just killing someone...its a matter of when the concept of HPs is not realistic to real life nor what would happen and to rev up the sense of danger in some rare'ish situations.

Yes its a game, yes there is magic and monsters, but there is still reality, physics, and biology.. and most importantly drama, intrigue, stress, danger, tension, and Story. We are not just game referees, but also story makers and tellers as well as entertainers in my opinion.

So maybe that defenseless woman, having the knife against her throat, no hope of fighting back, would not take just listed damage but maybe something like an extra multiplier or 2 or "double" whatever she should be at for being defenseless, or at a true disadvantage? Therefore her rolls are worse, so would her recusing by the PCs in the nick of time would be all the more fantastic due to her being so close to really dying and not just having a scar.

That is what i am talking about.
I'm with Fred that story can butt right out. If a hostage-taking thug flubs their roll and the hostage gets away as a result, I have no objection.

As for the reality of it, I don't think that stands where you're putting it. It's not actually that easy to guarantee someone dies, especially that they die quickly. (And if you're really trying to, you should be going for a Telegraphic All Out Attack to a super-high value hit location, either Double or Strong, and add in Rapid Strike too if you've got the skill to spare. Of course, that may guarantee your instant decapitation by angry minotaur.)


With proper use of the bleeding rules it is fairly easy to wound an unprotected person of typical resilience so that they will very likely die if not provided serious medical care. So if the PCs don't have the kind of healing magic that laughs at such things, you could wind up with medical drama after your hostage drama.
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Old 02-25-2021, 12:59 PM   #13
Lameth
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

thank you for those with helpful advice and points of view.

I got what I needed. I was more curious on how others handled this issue. Thankfully GURPS has built in things that D&D does not, making that video's overall message moot when it comes to comparing them both, and HPs may just be a the best option. Some games use the concept of Health Levels like WoD, but Hps may be the best way overall.

Have a good day all.

Last edited by Lameth; 02-25-2021 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 02-25-2021, 01:14 PM   #14
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
As for the reality of it, I don't think that stands where you're putting it. It's not actually that easy to guarantee someone dies, especially that they die quickly. (And if you're really trying to, you should be going for a Telegraphic All Out Attack to a super-high value hit location, either Double or Strong, and add in Rapid Strike too if you've got the skill to spare. Of course, that may guarantee your instant decapitation by angry minotaur.)
Slitting the throat of a helpless enemy can (optionally) get even nastier if using Technical Grappling. With a target who is bound and helpless, you should have maximum Control Points, which is typically equal to Trained ST. An untrained (or only modestly-trained in grappling) character of average strength would thus have 10 CP on the grapple. With your knife already to the Neck Veins/Arteries (thanks to having shifted to grapple there) I personally wouldn't even call for an attack roll, but doing one without the location penalty may also be acceptable. With only Knife-10, burning all 10 CP to boost damage, and doing a Telegraphic All Out Attack (Double), you're looking at two rolls against 14, each of which deals (assuming thr cut for throat slitting) 1d+8 to the Neck Veins/Arteries. Minimum damage on each is good for 22 HP Injury each, and an "average" result - rolling a 3 and a 4 - will deal 27+30 = 57 HP total Injury between the two (provided both hit, which admittedly isn't guaranteed), instantly killing anyone with HP less than 10 and leaving those with higher HP very unlikely to survive. That's a fairly extreme case (and I'm not certain you can apply the CP-to-damage fully to each attack in AoA(Double), meaning you might need to spend 5 on each attack, for 1d+3 each, minimum 10 HP Injury each and average 16.25 HP Injury each), however.

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Isn't there a conditions-based injury in one of the Pyramids? For some reason Douglas Cole springs to mind.
"Conditional Injury" (Pyramid #3/120), indeed written by Douglas Cole. Note this largely serves to improve survivability, by preventing multiple injuries from "stacking" quite as readily (a single 10 HP wound is more severe than two 5 HP wounds).
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Old 02-25-2021, 01:35 PM   #15
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

[QUOTE=Varyon;2368973]Slitting the throat of a helpless enemy can (optionally) get even nastier if using Technical Grappling. [/quoute]

Insert gratuitous plug for Fantastic Dungeon Grappling as the smaller, streamlined alternative.

Quote:
(and I'm not certain you can apply the CP-to-damage fully to each attack in AoA(Double), meaning you might need to spend 5 on each attack,
5 on each, definitely!

Quote:
"Conditional Injury" (Pyramid #3/120), indeed written by Douglas Cole. Note this largely serves to improve survivability, by preventing multiple injuries from "stacking" quite as readily (a single 10 HP wound is more severe than two 5 HP wounds).
Quite. Note that Exxar has made two blog posts that give some playtest feedback.

Conditional Injury Impressions and Tweaks


Reflections on Conditional Injury Tweaks
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:06 PM   #16
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

On one hand, I've never quite liked hit points. Rather than have N blows kill you, I would rather have each blow have a 1/N chance of killing you, so that getting into a fight always has an element of danger.

But on the other hand, as this may suggest, I share Fred's dislike of having whether a character dies be determined by "story." If your character is going into a fight, I don't want you to feel, "I'm playing the hero, so nothing bad will happen to me." I want every fight to have an aspect of risk. What makes you the hero is that, knowing that that risk is there, you've decided that the fight is important enough to justify taking the risk.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:06 PM   #17
Mercurae
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

There are definitely two different styles presented here. One side is the RAW, strategy gamers who use all the numbers and rolls no matter what and play it straight. Then there's the story-tellers who fudge rolls or rule by fiat. Both are perfectly valid ways to play, it just depends on the GM and their players. Personally, I like both, it just depends on the game.

The important thing is to make sure the players understand which type of scenario they're in. Obviously, if they are thinking in terms of the former, doing the math, checking character and item stats, etc. then they're going to reach different conclusions. If they calculate that the hostage can probably take the hit and they can run over and heal them, they may just bite the bullet and attack. If the GM then said, "Nope, throat slit, they're dead", the players would definitely feel cheated and it would not be fun.

If instead the GM makes clear "You either let the baddie go, or the hostage WILL die", then the players have a very different decision to make. Rather than basing it on the rolls and stats, they'll think in terms of "Do we sacrifice a hostage to take down the bad guy or do we let them go and fight another day?" This has a very different feel.

These are two very different dynamics but neither is better than the other. Again, the most important thing is making sure the players know how the game will go. The GM should also keep the feel of the game consistent. If it's 90% hack and slash, stats, and gaming it out then all of a sudden none of that matters and it's purely a story-based decision, it feels very jarring and unfair.

That's all a very long-winded way of not actually answering the question and just saying it depends. Make the decision based on yourself, your players, and your game.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:25 PM   #18
Lameth
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
On one hand, I've never quite liked hit points. Rather than have N blows kill you, I would rather have each blow have a 1/N chance of killing you, so that getting into a fight always has an element of danger.

But on the other hand, as this may suggest, I share Fred's dislike of having whether a character dies be determined by "story." If your character is going into a fight, I don't want you to feel, "I'm playing the hero, so nothing bad will happen to me." I want every fight to have an aspect of risk. What makes you the hero is that, knowing that that risk is there, you've decided that the fight is important enough to justify taking the risk.
And I agree with you regarding story. My heroes earn that title. I do not believe in a hero bubble around them. No way. But I do not believe in a war gaming approach either of pluses, negs, and roles determining everything and the story serves no purpose. There is a line between and I think most experienced, good, and creative GMs (ST, DMs) find that sweet spot.

Last edited by Lameth; 02-25-2021 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:33 PM   #19
Lameth
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Mercurae View Post
There are definitely two different styles presented here. One side is the RAW, strategy gamers who use all the numbers and rolls no matter what and play it straight. Then there's the story-tellers who fudge rolls or rule by fiat. Both are perfectly valid ways to play, it just depends on the GM and their players. Personally, I like both, it just depends on the game. .
I agree completely! I run right between but I will side more as a story teller and entertainer then a war gamer of numbers and ranges, black and white. I will fudge a role, rarely, but ya I have but it always serves the plot, story, and most importantly the PCs fun. If the pc did everything perfect, and itís the epic fight at the end, abd itís been hack and slash and great fun...Iím not going to let a lucky number on my side ruin the whole night...unless it serves the larger story or opens up a new direction. Thankfully this is rare, but in my 40 years...ya I have done it. But I will never do it to serve my needs unneeded or lessen a PCs agency.

All in all I mix it together and have had great players that appreciate the story, role playing, plot twists, epic nature, and depth of the game. And as long as they are having fun, screw it.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:56 PM   #20
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

This issue is one of the things that drew me to GURPS initially. There were some awkward rules in D&D for this sort of thing, but it always felt very much like DM fiat. In GURPS, my group rarely used the hit location rules in our first campaigns, but we liked it that a crossbow bolt was always dangerous unless you had magical protection or other pricey "superhero" advantages. A bunch of town guards with crossbows could be a threat. Someone with a knife to your throat might not instantly kill you, but it could be really bad. I've rarely seen GURPS PCs act as invulnerable as their D&D counterparts unless they are seriously buffed and prepared.
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