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Old 03-07-2018, 02:49 PM   #51
tanksoldier
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

I posted this in the other thread but...

IMO Esoteric Medicine _IS_ Physician at TL4 and below.

They only branch at TL5 and above.

Also, the Basic rules say this about Pharmacy:

Herbal: The ability to make and administer remedies prepared from plants. Make a Naturalist roll to locate herbs. Before TL5, this is the only specialty available. It replaces Physician (below) and is frequently used in conjunction with Esoteric Medicine

So Pharmacy (Herbal) replaces Physician at TL4 and lower.

I'd argue this allows an herbalist to care for patients, default First Aid skill and any other benefits that Physician might confer.

A TL4 and lower healer might not have Esoteric Medicine at all... just Pharmacy (Herbal) and Surgery (Trauma) + the Bonesetting technique.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 03-07-2018 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:09 PM   #52
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
There's two possibilities for what esoteric medicine is doing. One is that it's useless. The other is that it's doing the same thing as physician, though possibly with different efficiency. Physician is not 'traditional rational reductionists approaches', physician is 'long-term medical treatment with TL-appropriate methods'. Most esoteric medicine is effectively Physician/TL4 (aka useless), hypothetical more useful methods would be something like Physician/TL4+4.
You keep insisting that it's the only ways to do it, but that doesn't seem to be based on the way the books split the skills. Things like massage aren't considered part of Physician even though they are part of physiotherapy. Just like formulating drugs is part of TL-appropriate methods of long-term treatment, but it isn't part of Physician. Just like non-chemical methods of pain reduction aren't what Physicians 'traditionally' do either.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:33 PM   #53
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
You keep insisting that it's the only ways to do it, but that doesn't seem to be based on the way the books split the skills.
I know. My point is that the way the books split the skills is dumb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Things like massage aren't considered part of Physician even though they are part of physiotherapy.
Actually, there's nothing saying that massage isn't part of Physician -- just that esoteric medicine might use it. Someone who needed long-term physiotherapy would have Maintenance (B143) that requires medical care (Physician)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Just like formulating drugs is part of TL-appropriate methods of long-term treatment, but it isn't part of Physician.
Yes, manufacturing tools is not the same as using them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Just like non-chemical methods of pain reduction aren't what Physicians 'traditionally' do either.
No-one would mistake orthotics for esoteric medicine. Esoteric medicine does not mean non-traditional medicine, it means medicine associated with an esoteric tradition (as noted, this usually means magical or spiritual).
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:58 PM   #54
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Things like massage aren't considered part of Physician even though they are part of physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy is an optional specialisation of Physician, according to Bio-Tech, p214.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGLS View Post
Honestly, I think that esoteric medicine and veterinarian should have more of a relation with the triplex of regular medicine skills (Diagnosis, Physician, and Surgery).
There's an answer to that for Veterinary in the Skill of the Week discussion of that skill.
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:57 AM   #55
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I know. My point is that the way the books split the skills is dumb.

Actually, there's nothing saying that massage isn't part of Physician -- just that esoteric medicine might use it. Someone who needed long-term physiotherapy would have Maintenance (B143) that requires medical care (Physician)
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Physiotherapy is an optional specialisation of Physician, according to Bio-Tech, p214.
Perhaps, and yet specifically massage gets its own Professional Skill listing (and an inclusion in Esoteric Medicine). And while skills can have overlap, a single already very broad skill shouldn't appropriate all the good parts of all other remotely related skills. We don't have an all-consuming Fighting (Non-Art, Non-Sport) skill that combines all the good bits of Karate, Boxing and Brawling with none of the downsides, and we shouldn't let Physician do it either. (Unless you go with a Wildcard skill like Skullcracking and Manhandling.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Yes, manufacturing tools is not the same as using them.

No-one would mistake orthotics for esoteric medicine. Esoteric medicine does not mean non-traditional medicine, it means medicine associated with an esoteric tradition (as noted, this usually means magical or spiritual).
Names can be non-literal in GURPS. What exactly qualifies something as an esoteric tradition as distinct from nontraditional/alternative medicine? For examples: Applied Xenology offers EM to be used to treat stun blaster hits through alternative-medicine (of the holistic sort with a weirdsciency bend). Edge of Reality offers EM use for electrotherapy-based pain management. According to the Weird Science Pyramid, medical theories not based on religious teachings are also covered in theory and practice by the Esoteric Medicine skill (and this includes quantum mechanics mysticism).
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:52 AM   #56
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Names can be non-literal in GURPS. What exactly qualifies something as an esoteric tradition as distinct from nontraditional/alternative medicine?
Generally, it includes supernatural elements, or the belief in them (obviously, those elements may not actually exist, but if they don't esoteric medicine is likely to be inferior). Most of the examples in basic are dependent on power source (chi).
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:30 AM   #57
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Generally, it includes supernatural elements, or the belief in them (obviously, those elements may not actually exist, but if they don't esoteric medicine is likely to be inferior). Most of the examples in basic are dependent on power source (chi).
Most examples in basic don't encompass all possibilities, a listing of some of which I have mentioned. Just like most Powers in Basic rely on PM (Psi), but that wasn't meant to mean that only Psi-related powers can fall under the powers umbrella. Furthermore, 'supernatural elements' is a very slippery criterion: electricity is traditionally a supernatural (divine) phenomenon, and yet it's actually useful for healthcare when properly applied in certain situations.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:59 AM   #58
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
There's two possibilities for what esoteric medicine is doing. One is that it's useless. The other is that it's doing the same thing as physician, though possibly with different efficiency. Physician is not 'traditional rational reductionists approaches', physician is 'long-term medical treatment with TL-appropriate methods'. Most esoteric medicine is effectively Physician/TL4 (aka useless), hypothetical more useful methods would be something like Physician/TL4+4.
Somewhere in between. Herbalism is basically chemical medicine but some herbs used are unneeded or have added chemicals that are themselves unneeded. Surgery is more craft in wielding tools. And both of those have magic mixed in because among many peoples nothing is done without it.
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:39 AM   #59
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

Thinking about it, here's how I would handle Esoteric Medicine in a setting where magic coexists with science as we know it:

Esoteric Medicine would be the go-to skill for curing supernatural wounds (mostly caused by psychic powers or necromantic spells), as well as being able to cure minor ailments like headaches.

It could allow use of first aid without actually needing supplies, but adequate supplies provide the usual bonuses.

And I would allow it to work as Physician but at the lowest of the actual Physician and Esoteric Medicine skills. The justification being yes, you can influence the body with whatever esoteric tricks you know, but it's only useful if you actually know enough of how the body works to do it properly. But at least you can use Physician without supplies without taking penalties, so it's not a miracle cure like true healing spells, it just means you can practice medicine even in harsh conditions and take less penalties.
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:04 PM   #60
Pursuivant
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

Remember that Esoteric Medicine is the GURPS 4E "generic" version of various GURPS 3E low-tech medical skills such as Moxa Burning or Ancient/Medieval Galenic medicine.

It combines a mixture of practical (not necessarily effective) medical treatment with "non-scientific" or assumptions about how the body, and sometimes the universe, works. As such, its effectiveness depends on campaign assumptions about culture and the supernatural.

Realistically, it's going to be a grab bag of practical low tech First Aid, Pharmacy, and Physician techniques and treatments which are dangerously misinformed by modern standards. In a campaign where supernatural elements work, it can be the equivalent of First Aid or Physician skill, or even a form of super-healing which can treat ailments that conventional medicine cannot.
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