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Old 06-04-2018, 09:38 PM   #1
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Hi all,
In another thread, it was made clear that the wording of the Physicker / Master Physicker talents could be clearer. How does this wording sound:


IQ 11 Talents:
...Physicker.
Healer's Ability. A Physicker can heal up to 2 hits on any humanoid figure (wounds only - not exhaustion) after any combat or accident. You must have a first aid kit to do so. Efforts of more than one physicker are not cumulative. (So only one Physicker or Master Physicker can work on a wound.) It takes 5 minutes to heal the 2 hits.
...Treatment of the wounds must start within 15 minutes of when the wounds were made. This may only be done on the most recent wound(s), and only once per wound. (So if a figure takes several small wounds in a combat, only 2 points may be healed, not 2 points per wound.)

IQ 14 Talents:
...Master Physicker.
Exactly like Physicker talent, except 3 damage (rather than 2) is healed per combat. Master Physickers (if they have a $1000 lab), can make healing potions like an alchemist (see page 24 of AW).

Comments?

This would result in one Physicker would only be able to heal 3 people after a big fight. (So if your platoon was ambushed, in a brief 5 minute fight, you would not be able to heal all 30 guys.)

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 06-04-2018 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Minor change to wording.
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:25 AM   #2
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Adding a treatment time limit makes triage more interesting, which I like a lot (but simplicity fans might not).

However, the only thing it does nothing to correct the problem we were talking about, is to word it so it suggests more strongly the interpretation that is logically bizarre, gamey, and was laughed at and ruled impossibly wrong and therefore couldn't be the correct interpretation.

There is no sane reason why two wounds could both be healed, but only if the sequence is: wound A, heal A, wound B, heal B.

(And of course as a bonus, doing it the logical way also nicely reduces the attrition rate from many minor wounds, which not only gives a simple and logical way to not need to rest/recover so much without a gamey healing spell, it also makes more sense in terms of how injuries in real life are not really cumulative - the results are much more appropriate.)
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:24 AM   #3
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Adding a treatment time limit makes triage more interesting, which I like a lot (but simplicity fans might not).

However, the only thing it does nothing to correct the problem we were talking about, is to word it so it suggests more strongly the interpretation that is logically bizarre, gamey, and was laughed at and ruled impossibly wrong and therefore couldn't be the correct interpretation. ...
Hi Skarg, everyone.
As I argued in that other thread, it is hardly unassailable logic that if you take 10 points of damage in 5 wounds, that a low tech Physicker could heal all of it.

I think if you are taking one wound after another, later blows worsening and complicating earlier wounds, while fighting hard, adrenaline pumping with blood bleeding from earlier wounds... then repairing all that earlier damage becomes impossible. I feel that healing 2 points of damage per battle was quite logical for low tech healers.

***

In Steve Jackson's other game, GURPS, bandaging had to occur within 1 minute of the wound and (from TL 0 to 4) it took 30 minutes to treat someone. Further the healing was per combat, and not per wound. (See page 424 of GURPS Adventures.)

All of this makes healing significantly harder than in TFT. Now one advantage in GURPS is it is possible to heal more than two hits. If you are treated for 30 minutes then the doctor must roll his skill. If he succeeds, then after 30 minutes he heals 1d-2 (this depends on tech level). So if he rolls 1d-2 and gets a 6, you recover 4 hits total. (However this amount INCLUDES the hit gained from bandaging.). Note that if the physician rolls poorly he can CAUSE more damage.

If we are at a Medieval tech 4, the TYPICAL amount a healer can heal in 30 minutes (assuming treatment starts within 1 minute), is exactly 2 hits. It is a minimum of 1 hit (50% of the time), but it might be as high as 4 hits healed.

***

You have said that your way of doing this is clearly more logical. You've argued that taking five 2 point wounds in a combat, and not being able to heal all 10 damage is "impossibly wrong". I disagree, for the reasons given above, and in my sample write up for healing I have explicitly made healing tougher than you suggest.

***

Now if you say, "It is really tough to gain a good number of talents in TFT, there is likely only one healer. Being able to only heal 3 guys is too harsh!"

Well, there is some truth to that. In GURPS, it is not hard for the whole party to pick up some first aid - enough to bandage wounds. It would not hurt my feelings to say that Physicking must start in 20 minutes, so each physicker can heal 4 people after a fight.

I do think that if a wound is not treated for a long time, you should lose the chance to heal it.

But hopefully in the new TFT, the rules will be clearer.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 06-05-2018 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Checked GURPS and corrected an error in its rules.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:05 AM   #4
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
As I argued in that other thread, it is hardly unassailable logic that if you take 10 points of damage in 5 wounds, that a low tech Physicker could heal all of it.
The logic part is not about the total amount or the tech level. No matter how you interpret it, yes they can, IF each wound is 2 points or less, and they get healed between each wound. Having that be a requirement made unacceptably little sense to us.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
I think if you are taking one wound after another, later blows worsening and complicating earlier wounds, while fighting hard, adrenaline pumping with blood bleeding from earlier wounds... then repairing all that earlier damage becomes impossible.
I think that's a rationalization, the only part of which that seems slightly plausible to me is that in the (usually quite rare, I'd think) case that a wound lands directly on an earlier wound, it could compound the damage. But in that case, I would want it to also have more effect during combat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
I feel that healing 2 points of damage per battle was quite logical for low tech healers.
This is a separate point and may be valid or may be not. I don't think it's terribly valid because it doesn't allow any minor wounds (i.e. wounds that have some effect during a fight, but can be healed up for no real consequence), UNLESS they're the only wound you take.

And if I were to agree that low tech healing is that bad, it still doesn't seem to me to have much to do with healing wounds individually, which you can still do just as well under your interpretation, as long as you avoid getting hurt more than once per fight, which is the part that makes no sense to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
In Steve Jackson's other game, GURPS, bandaging had to occur within 1 minute of the wound and (from TL 0 to 4) it took 30 minutes to treat someone. Further the healing was per combat, and not per wound. (See page 424 of GURPS Adventures.)
It does have healing rules mentioning 30 minutes per victim to treat them for shock, yes. This is the idea in GURPS that damage points is sometimes about shock rather than actual injury, and there's an abstraction involved, and though it doesn't say "per combat" per se, yeah it has the same logic problem as your interpretation of the TFT Physicker talent.

It seems to me that almost surely the actual reason it's put this way in the Basic Set is so the basic healing rules are simple to use.

We have always tracked each wound in GURPS, as in TFT, for the same reasons it seeming so illogical to have healing for a wound be impossible if you take some other unrelated wound before being treated.

Also see Roleplayer 16, or GURPS Compendium II (pages 154-157) for optional advanced healing rules that offer another explanation and thoughtful details which are essentially what we were doing from the start (treating each wound), but give it more detailed thought. In this system, time spent is per point healed (5 minutes at most tech levels), and applies the 1d-3 or so (minimum 1) to each wound.

Of course, it also tends to get fair more deadly when you start tracking bleeding for each wound, and/or various types of nasty serious wounds. Triage after a battle can be a game unto itself, which I enjoy but is way beyond TFT's complexity budget. But that's another matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
You have said that your way of doing this is clearly more logical. You've argued that taking five 2 point wounds in a combat, and not being able to heal all 10 damage is "impossibly wrong". I disagree, for the reasons given above, and in my sample write up for healing I have explicitly made healing tougher than you suggest.
Again, it's not about the amount, and your interpretation allows the same thing. The part that we all agreed made no sense was that what makes the difference is whether it's all in the same "combat" or not. Same injuries, but different results depending on when exactly someone starts physicking them. If you apply healing per wound, the results are consistent. If you apply physicking per combat, there is a massive difference (either "those 5 small wounds were all trivial so now that we patched them all up, you're mostly ok" or "those 5 identical wounds Sally took leave her still nearly dead and needing to rest in bed for three weeks because 4 of them became impossible to treat because of the gamey healing rules".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Now if you say, "It is really tough to gain a good number of talents in TFT, there is likely only one healer. Being able to only heal 3 guys is too harsh!"

Well, there is some truth to that. In GURPS, it is not hard for the whole party to pick up some first aid - enough to bandage wounds. It would not hurt my feelings to say that Physicking must start in 20 minutes, so each physicker can heal 4 people after a fight.

I do think that if a wound is not treated for a long time, you should lose the chance to heal it.
On reflection, I changed my mind about thinking there should be an expiry time on being able to heal wounds. I think there should be a chance that wounds eventually start having problems if you don't heal them, but I don't think that's modeled well by a healing expiry limit, because if that does happen, then you REALLY want to get help, rather than considering it useless because you waited too long.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
But hopefully in the new TFT, the rules will be clearer.
Yes, if they make sense... ;-D
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:51 AM   #5
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

My $.02 - worrying about “logic” when discussing healing in a game with hit points is pointless in my opinion. Abstractions like hit points are a poor way of simulating damage, but they persist because they are fun and simple.* It seems silly to me to agonize over logic when the entire hit point system is a significant abstraction.

From a game play perspective, allowing physicists to heal each discrete “wound” adds bookkeeping and affects game balance. As noted, one problem is that it makes armored characters even more overpowering.

Letting them heal 2-3 points of damage after each fight - but only new damage - is a nice abstraction that doesn’t wreck the system.

*Wounding is an incredibly complex topic, but a less abstract system would be one with hit locations (ala Runequest), blood points (ala The Morrow Project), some kind of instant kill or disabling system (ala Striker/Azahnti High Lighting), and stun points (ala Champions). Of course, I’d hate to play such a game.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 06-05-2018 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:09 PM   #6
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

The wording is clearer and rules narrower than the original published version, which is good game design, but I disagree with the approach and wouldn't use it this way in my game.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:33 PM   #7
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
My $.02 - worrying about “logic” when discussing healing in a game with hit points is pointless in my opinion. Abstractions like hit points are a poor way of simulating damage, but they persist because they are fun and simple.* It seems silly to me to agonize over logic when the entire hit point system is a significant abstraction.
There are degrees of logic, and I think I and most of my friends have a higher bar for logic than some, but at some point things happen in play that are so illogical they don't make sense. I prefer to head those off when I can see them coming, rather than have deal with or retcon them during play.

But I am sure there are players who won't notice, and players who won't mind, having one character near death and needing to rest for three weeks, while another has no injuries, even though they had the same injuries, because of minor differences in when a physicker was able to get to them. We, on the other hand, will continue to notice and think it makes no sense and is a silly way to play that leads to annoying exaggerated gamey efforts to avoid taking more than one minor wound per combat.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
From a game play perspective, allowing physicists to heal each discrete “wound” adds bookkeeping and affects game balance. As noted, one problem is that it makes armored characters even more overpowering.
We enjoyed the game balance situation, and the "added" bookkeeping seems extremely trivial to me.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:32 AM   #8
KevinJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arizona
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
My $.02 - worrying about “logic” when discussing healing in a game with hit points is pointless in my opinion. Abstractions like hit points are a poor way of simulating damage, but they persist because they are fun and simple.* It seems silly to me to agonize over logic when the entire hit point system is a significant abstraction.

From a game play perspective, allowing physicists to heal each discrete “wound” adds bookkeeping and affects game balance. As noted, one problem is that it makes armored characters even more overpowering.

Letting them heal 2-3 points of damage after each fight - but only new damage - is a nice abstraction that doesn’t wreck the system.

*Wounding is an incredibly complex topic, but a less abstract system would be one with hit locations (ala Runequest), blood points (ala The Morrow Project), some kind of instant kill or disabling system (ala Striker/Azahnti High Lighting), and stun points (ala Champions). Of course, I’d hate to play such a game.
So stalking the Night Fantastic is right out?
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:38 PM   #9
Rick_Smith
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Adding a treatment time limit makes triage more interesting, which I like a lot (but simplicity fans might not). ...
Hi Skarg, everyone.
Worrying about a treatment time limit being too complicated, but then having to track the size of every wound and if each individual wound is healed is NOT complicated???

Anyway, I think we have both made our positions clear. So unless you think of some new argument, I suspect we are done.

I hope that the new TFT healing rules are written well enough that this question will be resolved.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:51 PM   #10
tomc
 
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Default Re: Suggestion for wording of Physicker talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Worrying about a treatment time limit being too complicated, but then having to track the size of every wound and if each individual wound is healed is NOT complicated???
Forgive me dragging this out for one more post, but I've recently started using Skarg's physicker rules (treating each wound separately) and found the record keeping really easy. I used to just make tally marks for hits (a vertical line for each hit, and every fifth hit is represented by a horizontal line crossing the previous four, making easy to count groups of five). Now I write a number for each wound (1,3,2,5) and save the tally marks for the lasting damage after the physicker has done his thing.
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