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Old 03-04-2021, 12:37 PM   #101
Arcanjo7Sagi
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I hate to be the "Well Actually" person, but (a very small number of) people have survived plane crashes and ejecting from aeroplanes from really absurd heights.
I was talking about scenarios where the character is inside the plane, colliding at high speed against something hard. WTC level situation.


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Instant lethality needs instant vaporization of the brainstem, otherwise I refuse to make statements about "oh totally you'll die instantly".
I think that falling from more than 2 km high, without a parachute, without any support, can be considered a "you died" situation.

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Phineas Guage had an epic industrial accident: a big honking 6' iron rod got fired through his head, landing some 30 feet away. He survived, and may have only passed out briefly, if at all. His co-workers took him to town in a cart and he hung out in a chair outside the general store waiting for a doctor to wander by for "treatment". This was the 1800s, so "treatment" is in quotes. He got a brain infection, the doctor tried to wash it out, he survived. He had mold growing in the wound, the doctor tried to pick at it a little, he survived. And he got better (accounts from within his lifetime seem to indicate that he was weird and crabby for about a year or two afterwards, which makes sense for the pain he must have been in and adjusting to a brain injury and a hella concussion).
A great aunt of mine was shot in the head when she was young. The bullet went through her skull and took her eye out. She survived without major sequelae. She went to die very old, decades later, for reasons unrelated to the case.

So, I think I get the point. Some people survive absurd situations, yes.
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Old 03-04-2021, 12:40 PM   #102
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

In general hit points both overestimate what it takes to have a chance of killing, and underestimate what it takes to be certain of killing.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:24 PM   #103
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Arcanjo7Sagi View Post
I think that falling from more than 2 km high, without a parachute, without any support, can be considered a "you died" situation.
Taking a look at a (rather incomplete) list of fall survivors on Wikipedia, we've got Nicholas Alkemade (~6000 yards), Ivan Chisov (~8000 yards), and Alan Magee (~7000 yards), who all fell completely unsupported and survived (all three soldiers in planes that were shot down; the first's parachute was burned up and decided he'd rather splat than follow suit and jumped, the second intended to open his chute after getting some distance from the enemy planes but passed out; the third passed out and was flung out of the plane). There's also Juliane Koepcke (~3000 yards), the passenger of a plane that basically disintegrated, who stayed strapped into her seat for the entire fall (and was in good enough condition to spend the next 10 days making her way downriver). The Guinness World Record holder for surviving the highest fall without a parachute is Vesna Vulović, a flight attendant who fell ~11,000 yards pinned by a food cart in a plane's fuselage after a briefcase bomb blew it up.

While rare, people have survived terminal velocity falls. That said, if it wrecks the GM's and/or players' Sense of Disbelief for such things to happen in the game, that's where the "obviously lethal" rule comes into play.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:36 PM   #104
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Taking a look at a (rather incomplete) list of fall survivors on Wikipedia, we've got Nicholas Alkemade (~6000 yards), Ivan Chisov (~8000 yards), and Alan Magee (~7000 yards), who all fell completely unsupported and survived (all three soldiers in planes that were shot down; the first's parachute was burned up and decided he'd rather splat than follow suit and jumped, the second intended to open his chute after getting some distance from the enemy planes but passed out; the third passed out and was flung out of the plane). There's also Juliane Koepcke (~3000 yards), the passenger of a plane that basically disintegrated, who stayed strapped into her seat for the entire fall (and was in good enough condition to spend the next 10 days making her way downriver). The Guinness World Record holder for surviving the highest fall without a parachute is Vesna Vulović, a flight attendant who fell ~11,000 yards pinned by a food cart in a plane's fuselage after a briefcase bomb blew it up.

While rare, people have survived terminal velocity falls. That said, if it wrecks the GM's and/or players' Sense of Disbelief for such things to happen in the game, that's where the "obviously lethal" rule comes into play.

Okay, now I need to save those names to the next time the GM tries to kill me by throwing me from a high place. xD
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:34 PM   #105
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Okay, now I need to save those names to the next time the GM tries to kill me by throwing me from a high place. xD
Honestly, you've got a not-horrible shot of survival under normal GURPS rules. Terminal velocity for a human ranges from Move 60 (spread eagle) to Move 100 (diving), for damage ranging from 6d (spread eagle, normal surface) to 20d (diving, hard surface) for a character with HP 10. Certainly at the high end survival is pretty much impossible (less than a 10% chance of rolling less than a 60), but otherwise your chances are better than you'd expect (and probably better than is realistic, but whatever) - average damage in that first case is only enough to call for a single death check, for instance.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:19 PM   #106
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Honestly, you've got a not-horrible shot of survival under normal GURPS rules. Terminal velocity for a human ranges from Move 60 (spread eagle) to Move 100 (diving), for damage ranging from 6d (spread eagle, normal surface) to 20d (diving, hard surface) for a character with HP 10.
Note that the thing you land on has to be 'soft' to get the lower damage, and normal ground is considered 'hard'.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:02 PM   #107
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Note that the thing you land on has to be 'soft' to get the lower damage, and normal ground is considered 'hard'.
True, I had forgotten normal ground was considered hard. 12d is rather more serious, but you still have a surprisingly high chance of survival, at least initially - 42 Injury (the average for HP 10) would call for three death checks, for a 12.5% chance of survival (and if you survive, a ~16.7% chance - roll 7 or higher - of staying conscious, at least as long as you don't don't take any combat maneuvers). Characters with above-average HT have markedly better chances (HP doesn't make a difference, however, as higher HP also means higher fall damage). If you fail to stay conscious, chances aren't great for your survival - you've got a 50% chance of waking up after 12 hours, and failing that will die without medical assistance. If the GM rules that you are bleeding, of course, you'll most likely bleed out in those 12 hours (rolling against HT-8 means you lose 1 HP on anything above a 4 - which stops bleeding outright, on account of being a Critical Success - and lose 3 HP on a roll of 12 or higher, and the bleeding is per minute).
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:22 AM   #108
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

If I read the rules right, as long as you have a good enough armor you can halve the damage you take from falling by falling on a spike (because blunt trauma rules).
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Old 03-05-2021, 11:19 AM   #109
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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The issue wasn't that it was too lethal, but that decapitation is much, much harder than just killing someone and the rules didn't reflect that.
The thing is that in 4e if decapitation is a special effect of cutting attacks to neck which cause death, if "obviously lethal" attacks like a 1-cutting throat-slit result in death, now you have even easier decapitation.

That can be avoided by GM judgment in when to apply the "special effect" but it seems like maybe now that we have Spine in MA that this special effect should be ignored for neck attacks and instead only be a special effect of spine attacks.

There could just be a broader variety of spine attacks. I only know of three right now in reading MA137:
1) crush/cut/impale/pierce/TBburn from rear targeting torsoSpine at -8
2) cut from rear hitting torso (randomly or at -0) rolling 1 on 1d random hit (optionally reserved just for random attacks, no -0)
3) crush from rear hitting neck (randomly or at -5) rolling 1 on 1d random hit (optionally reserved just for random attacks, no -5)
We seem to lack:
a) random non-cut torsoSpine from rear
b) random non-crush neckSpine from rear
c) any attack whatsoever targeting spine from front/side
In the last case, it seems like it would make sense to allow some exceptions via some kind of optional rules:

1) a "wrap-shot" where attack from front/sides but reach hand behind opponent to target them from the rear: maybe something like -1 from left/right, -2 from the sidey-fronts and -3 from absolute front?

2) some kind of "attack through cover" where the neck HP or torso HP provides "cover DR" to protect the spine in a way it doesn't from the rear. I'd guess something like 50% hp for neck and 100% hp for torso.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:45 PM   #110
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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The thing is that in 4e if decapitation is a special effect of cutting attacks to neck which cause death, if "obviously lethal" attacks like a 1-cutting throat-slit result in death, now you have even easier decapitation.

That can be avoided by GM judgment in when to apply the "special effect"
Which is implied by the actual phrasing beginning "The GM may rule..."

I don't like that sort of thing, but let's not lambaste it for something it never said in the first place.
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but it seems like maybe now that we have Spine in MA that this special effect should be ignored for neck attacks and instead only be a special effect of spine attacks.
That would be quite silly. Suppose you shoot someone in the neck with a large cannon, or slash them with a lightsaber. It would be absurd if it was literally impossible for their head to come off because you didn't specifically target the spine.

(If all attacks had rolled hit locations and you had a different kind of table for it maybe that could wind up working, but that's a very different mechanics lineage from GURPS. And usually seems like a clunky one.)
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