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Old 01-06-2021, 10:51 AM   #1
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Running through fire

Ordinary fire only does about 1d-1 damage per second, or half that if you just run through it. But, IRL, people react to fire like it's a lot more dangerous than that and they react intuitively. It takes concentrated willpower to force yourself to run through fire, and even if you've done it many times before and know it won't hurt you it still probably gives most people pause, especially if the fire appeared unexpectedly!

I've been thinking about this in the context of using a simple "create fire" effect (whether spell or power) that fills an area of a few hexes with ordinary fire like a bonfire as a deterrent to stop people from closing with you. Mechanically, if a wizard or super conjures a few hexes of fire there's no reason for the knight in plate to even flinch, let alone pause, before charging right through the fire. But it seems like a (nearly) universal realistic response to a bonfire appearing in front of you while you were running would be to backpaddle hard, no matter what else you were doing.

This almost seems like a phobia response, but it really isn't worth a fright check. People don't "freak out" around fire. Actually humans like fire a lot. A sudden burst of flames (as long as we're not likely to touch it) is likely to inspire awe or appreciation. And we don't suffer penalties from stress just from being around it. But we also react to it intuitively like touching it is automatic injury, which it just isn't on a second by second basis.

If you wanted to mechanically enforce this sort of behavioral response what rules or homerules would you use?
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:57 AM   #2
A Ladder
 
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Default Re: Running through fire

I think I would enforce a house rule that requires a Will roll to charge through fire or whatever.

Maybe have a Perk called Used to Fire that ignores the Will roll to walk through fire or to not flinch.
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:14 AM   #3
Anders
 
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Default Re: Running through fire

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Originally Posted by A Ladder View Post
Maybe have a Perk called Used to Fire that ignores the Will roll to walk through fire or to not flinch.
Or a quirk "Always runs towards fires", like horses do. Although that may be worth more than -1 point.
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:20 AM   #4
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: Running through fire

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Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
I've been thinking about this in the context of using a simple "create fire" effect (whether spell or power) that fills an area of a few hexes with ordinary fire like a bonfire as a deterrent to stop people from closing with you. Mechanically, if a wizard or super conjures a few hexes of fire there's no reason for the knight in plate to even flinch, let alone pause, before charging right through the fire. But it seems like a (nearly) universal realistic response to a bonfire appearing in front of you while you were running would be to backpaddle hard, no matter what else you were doing.
Pretty sure that an entire hex of fire would count as wide-area damage, and plate armor isn't typically sealed. Less game-mechanically, steel gets hot and the idea of wearing it in a fire, even briefly, would give me some pause. Would it probably stay cool enough and protect me in the time it takes to run through? Sure. Do I personally want to field-test that? No, Sir.
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:25 AM   #5
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Running through fire

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Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
Ordinary fire only does about 1d-1 damage per second, or half that if you just run through it. But, IRL, people react to fire like it's a lot more dangerous than that and they react intuitively. It takes concentrated willpower to force yourself to run through fire, and even if you've done it many times before and know it won't hurt you it still probably gives most people pause, especially if the fire appeared unexpectedly!
Note that fire is more dangerous than that - severe burns are more difficult to recover from than the lost HP alone would indicate. And I think they scar badly too. Not sure, but they might also be more painful than other injuries.

Of course that doesn't matter if you are armored such that the fire won't actually hurt you any. I'm not inclined to take as a given that people wearing fire-proof armor and accustomed to doing so flinch from flames. I bet blacksmiths aren't recoiling from the forge often...

For whether armor actually is effectively fireproof, do consider that flame exposure is a clear case of Large-Area Injury (Basic p400).
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Running through fire

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Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Pretty sure that an entire hex of fire would count as wide-area damage, and plate armor isn't typically sealed.
Note that Sealed has no bearing on Large-Area Injury. (And the Basic Set argues that armor is good protection against fire, though even if it stops the damage the heat will rapidly drain you if you stay in it.

Fires do also produce a noxious (and hot) atmosphere that one would do well not to breathe, of course.
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Running through fire

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Of course that doesn't matter if you are armored such that the fire won't actually hurt you any. I'm not inclined to take as a given that people wearing fire-proof armor and accustomed to doing so flinch from flames. I bet blacksmiths aren't recoiling from the forge often...
The flame in a forge is well-contained. Even a master blacksmith may balk at running through a fire on the ground.
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Old 01-06-2021, 11:49 AM   #8
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The flame in a forge is well-contained. Even a master blacksmith may balk at running through a fire on the ground.
This seems to avoid considering matters of protective equipment.
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Old 01-06-2021, 12:04 PM   #9
Willy
 
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Default Re: Running through fire

Fire is a force that causes fear in nearly every living being, all known animals try to avoid fire. A will role should be used even if the person is literally completely protected and sealed of from damage. It takes a lot of training and experience to make a firefighter able to enter a house in flames and get there job done, thatīs nothing for rookies. Bravery helps of course.

As for the plate armor, nearly all of them have a padded undercloth, not only the gambeson, so yes you can run through a hex or two thats burning like a normal camp fire.

A lot of the early job training for smiths and glas blowers and the like is not to endanger yourself, a glas blower in considered to work unsupervised after 2 years of training. before that he hasnīt enough experience to work safely.

Keep in mind that the actual damage fire does is not the main problem, itīs the fact that burnings are very painfull and often heal slow or infect.

Last edited by Willy; 01-06-2021 at 12:05 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 01-06-2021, 12:51 PM   #10
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default Re: Running through fire

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Note that fire is more dangerous than that - severe burns are more difficult to recover from than the lost HP alone would indicate. And I think they scar badly too. Not sure, but they might also be more painful than other injuries.
Are there rules for burns taking longer to heal (maybe giving a penalty on the HT check to recover HP?), inflicting higher pain while injured and during recovery (maybe including moderate pain, severe pain, terrible pain, or even agony as free symptoms, scaling with % of HP lost?), or crippling your appearance (using the crippling limbs rules but applying them to appearance so that you loose some appearance and need to make a HT check to determine if it's permanent when recovering?)
If not what rules would you use?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
For whether armor actually is effectively fireproof, do consider that flame exposure is a clear case of Large-Area Injury (Basic p400).
I have, large scale injury uses the average DR of exposed areas. Which is a little vague about how you should calculate that (are you supposed to use the DR value for each hit location separately? Including sub-hit locations like vitals or eyes?) Regardless, a good suite of plate armor will average 5-6 DR over your whole body rendering the 1d-1 irrelevant. You wouldn't want to sit in it for 10-30 seconds, because of the heat hazard. But that's not a compelling argument for hesitating.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Fires do also produce a noxious (and hot) atmosphere that one would do well not to breathe, of course.
Am I missing something about the heat hazard that makes it rougher on those who are breathing? What rules would you use to model the "noxious atmosphere" that fire creates? Would you use the Hazardous Atmosphere rules from B429? And if so what types of fires would produce which sort of atmospheres? I.e. what would an ordinary wood campfire produce?

On the other hand I've seen plenty of demonstrations of people running through fires, or just walking through them, and I've never seen anybody holding their breaths. So I'd guess that whatever hazardous atmospheres fires might produce are going to be the result of burning hazardous chemicals, or of extreme heat in excess of what ordinary outdoor wood fires like bonfires or campfires might produce.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
This seems to avoid considering matters of protective equipment.
Not sure it needed to. It's pointing out that the psychological component shouldn't be brushed off.

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Originally Posted by Willy View Post
Fire is a force that causes fear in nearly every living being, all known animals try to avoid fire. A will role should be used even if the person is literally completely protected and sealed of from damage. It takes a lot of training and experience to make a firefighter able to enter a house in flames and get there job done, thatīs nothing for rookies. Bravery helps of course.

As for the plate armor, nearly all of them have a padded undercloth, not only the gambeson, so yes you can run through a hex or two thats burning like a normal camp fire.

A lot of the early job training for smiths and glas blowers and the like is not to endanger yourself, a glas blower in considered to work unsupervised after 2 years of training. before that he hasnīt enough experience to work safely.

Keep in mind that the actual damage fire does is not the main problem, itīs the fact that burnings are very painfull and often heal slow or infect.
Generally I think a will check is fine. It's basically saying that all (irl) living creatures have an evolved instinct to the tune of "Compulsive Behavior (avoid persistent wide area damage effects, namely fire; self control roll is will)"
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