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Old 02-25-2021, 05:40 PM   #31
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
Knife does sw-2 (you can even add fine quality bonuses, I would ok giving a +1 for having sharpened the knife extra in preparation if this was a "set up")
At TL7+ the knife is Fine unless the thug bought a cheap one.
Quote:
I dont use this normally so Im not 100% sure which way it works if the cutting damage is doubled after the 1.5 or the 1.5 just becomes doubled.
Im taking the lowest version and thats x1.5 cutting to the neck becomes x2...
That is correct - location modifiers over-write weapon modifiers.
Quote:
ST10 (sw=1d) knife is 1d-2. Max damage is 4, x2 cutting the neck =8
ST11 = 10
ST12 = 12
I'd assume All-out Attack (Strong) for +2 damage.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:46 PM   #32
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Decapitation with a knife cut? Seems wildly unlikely. Decapitation is hard. And if you really want to use HP damage modeling here for structural impact you should be ignoring the hit location damage modifiers and regarding the neck as Unliving.
It's possible, but not really if you're doing the classic "stand behind the hostage, cut across their throat" thing. You'd need to be bending their head back to open up the joints in the spine and putting a good deal of force in, like when slaughtering a sheep (where the intent is to cut the big vessels so it bleeds out well, and also the tendons by the spine so you can break the neck, preventing further struggle). Such an action can behead a sheep, and their neck is of comparable thickness to a humans (though longer).
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:00 PM   #33
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

People instantly die from a slit throat for the same reason mooks die from a sword swipe that doesn't even draw blood: it's a drama convention, it's not realistic.

Someone with a slit throat could very well drop unconscious from pain and shock, but take minutes to actually die of blood loss or drowning in their own blood. For most of human history we had no way to save someone who had suffered such an injury, so we wrote them off as dead even if their were quite alive for another 10 or 15 minutes.

Hit points, are as always, an abstraction. What they represent is different from game system to game system. What kills people is damage to the brain. Outside direct tissue damage, that means depriving it of oxygen. One of the best ways to do that is deprive it of blood. A great way to deprive the brain of blood is to turn insides into outsides. So GURPS abstracts this, makes tissue damage and blood loss interchangeable, close enough for an RPG, even if there are plenty of edge cases where things get weird. I can think of lots of ways to improve this, but they aren't worth the bookkeeping until I can offload that to an AI.
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:29 PM   #34
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Tyneras View Post
Hit points, are as always, an abstraction. What they represent is different from game system to game system. What kills people is damage to the brain. Outside direct tissue damage, that means depriving it of oxygen. One of the best ways to do that is deprive it of blood. A great way to deprive the brain of blood is to turn insides into outsides. So GURPS abstracts this, makes tissue damage and blood loss interchangeable, close enough for an RPG, even if there are plenty of edge cases where things get weird. I can think of lots of ways to improve this, but they aren't worth the bookkeeping until I can offload that to an AI.
Before the twentieth century, if your heart stopped, that was pretty much it. It wasn't going to restart, it would soon be unable to restart, and that would be it for your brain.
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:36 PM   #35
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

A 20th-level character is super-human. This follows from the fact that a 6th-level character is super-human. A 6th-level fighter, with full HP, faced with a mundane heavy crossbow, will dodge it almost every single time, barring a low constitution score, low HP rolls (if HP rolls are used on level-up), and/or a critical hit combined with a high damage roll. A 20th-level fighter might pluck the bolt out of where it's barely dented their bare chest, and look amused. This is derivable from the fact that a character is not impaired by hit point damage until they hit 0 (zero) HP.

The logical take-away is that any HP loss taken before then, does not represent severe injury, but, as noted in various rulebooks over the years: fatigue, use of luck, minor cuts and bruises, and the wearing away of protection granted by their deity.

With a 10 constitution and exactly average rolls (5.5), a 6th-level fighter will have 33 Hit Points. Facing a character with a 10 strength wielding a longsword (1d8 damage), they can then evade, reduce, be glad it was a close shave, and be saved by some divine act, an average of 7 and 1/3rd times that sword would have killed them.

The take-away is not, generally speaking, that they are ignoring a gaping flesh wound. Although that is appropriate for some creatures, such as zombies.

This should be required reading before discussing or critiquing D&D 3.0e, especially it's power curve or HP:

https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress...expectations-2
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:36 PM   #36
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Before the twentieth century, if your heart stopped, that was pretty much it. It wasn't going to restart, it would soon be unable to restart, and that would be it for your brain.
Well, unless there's magic involved. Or it's important that they stop doing things right now, as opposed to ten seconds in the future.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:02 PM   #37
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Well, unless there's magic involved. Or it's important that they stop doing things right now, as opposed to ten seconds in the future.
Cardiac arrest is fairly incapacitating AIUI. Most people will do very little at that point even if they didn't lose consciousness before that. (GURPS' Heart Attack condition sets FP to -FP, which causes loss of consciousness immediately and in normal circumstances ensures the subject can't wake up before they die or are resuscitated. That seems like overdoing it a little?)

Maybe there are some exceptions there? And certainly for something like a UT EEG deadman switch the time difference could be tactically important.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:29 PM   #38
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

I know that my group certainly doesn't play with the fear of dying. Even in Gurps, there are a lot of safety nets to save your character, especially in a low tech game.

1. Enemy must succeed
2. You must fail defense rolls
3. Enemy must deal enough damage to bypass your armor.

How many times does this need to happen before you're even rolling health rolls?

4. You must miss a couple of health rolls (fail by 3+ to die)
5. Your friends must fail to help you.
6. No resurrection available.

And ultimately the GM must be willing to allow your character to die.

It's not easy to have a character die in Gurps. I personally like the real chance of dying. It makes the decision making (the true bread and butter of a pen & paper RPG) mean all the more.

I'd prefer if a lot of the time the GM would basically make it a life or death decision instead of going through the charade of damage and HT rolls instead. Also, throw in magic with healing and nobody even worries about getting hurt.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:43 PM   #39
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Boge View Post
How many times does this need to happen before you're even rolling health rolls?
Depending on the GM, once.
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Old 02-25-2021, 07:49 PM   #40
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Boge View Post
I know that my group certainly doesn't play with the fear of dying. Even in Gurps, there are a lot of safety nets to save your character, especially in a low tech game.

1. Enemy must succeed
2. You must fail defense rolls
3. Enemy must deal enough damage to bypass your armor.

How many times does this need to happen before you're even rolling health rolls?

4. You must miss a couple of health rolls (fail by 3+ to die)
5. Your friends must fail to help you.
6. No resurrection available.

And ultimately the GM must be willing to allow your character to die.

It's not easy to have a character die in Gurps. I personally like the real chance of dying. It makes the decision making (the true bread and butter of a pen & paper RPG) mean all the more.

I'd prefer if a lot of the time the GM would basically make it a life or death decision instead of going through the charade of damage and HT rolls instead. Also, throw in magic with healing and nobody even worries about getting hurt.
I would discount the first three; they all amount to "you didn't endure damage." The fact that damage can have real consequences is one of the big motives for having defense rolls and damage resistance, in fact; their presence tends to show that those consequences are effective motivators.

I would note that death isn't the only possible consequence. In one of my campaigns, a player character got hit by a wild swing by a big, strong guy wielding a cudgel. He ended up with a permanently crippled leg—and an opiate addiction as well.

The knowledge that the GM is willing to let your character die is what's really decisive. If you're not willing, then steps four through six don't matter. If you are willing, then death being rare doesn't prevent it from creating tension when you take risks.
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