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Old 08-15-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
JCurwen3
 
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Default Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

I would like to try tracking individual wounds for added realism and gritty feel, and think with computerized support it shouldn't add significant tracking overhead to combat. That's straightforward.

But what isn't straightforward is dealing with wound healing / recovery. Are there any rules for handling healing on a per wound basis, or at least good, well-tested house rules (or good suggestions)?

Ideally also taking into account advantages like Regeneration and Healing...
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

What immediately comes to mind is something like what Douglas Cole's "Last Gasp" article did with fatigue - ie, the rate of healing depends on the severity of the wound. This could be done by applying a penalty to natural healing rolls based on the fraction of HP lost, or by adding a multiplier for the time between rolls. I think it would be prudent to figure out what each wound represents in real-world terms, and compare it to statistics for injury recovery. For example, a 6 HP crushing injury to the torso could result in breaking a few ribs, which takes a month or two to heal.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

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Originally Posted by vierasmarius View Post
What immediately comes to mind is something like what Douglas Cole's "Last Gasp" article did with fatigue - ie, the rate of healing depends on the severity of the wound. This could be done by applying a penalty to natural healing rolls based on the fraction of HP lost, or by adding a multiplier for the time between rolls. I think it would be prudent to figure out what each wound represents in real-world terms, and compare it to statistics for injury recovery. For example, a 6 HP crushing injury to the torso could result in breaking a few ribs, which takes a month or two to heal.
That's not a bad idea! I know originally Douglas Cole considered using the Size and Speed / Range Table progression as a multiplier before settling on the "levels" of fatigue (easier to track and handle). I might multiply time between rolls to recover each HP for each wound using this progression for each HP of the wound.

Thus, A 6 HP wound would allow a HT roll to heal the first HP in 1 day, the second in 1.5 days, the third in 2 days, the fourth in 3 days, the fifth in 5 days, and the sixth in 7 days... net total 19.5 days, which, given the possibility of failed HT rolls, seems reasonably close to the estimated recovery time for cracked ribs (month or two, with really healthy people healing faster due to high HT). This might be modified by injury type (cr, cut, burn, etc), or even hit location, but then again both of those already can worsen injury via wounding multipliers so that might be overkill (and unrealistic to boot). Of course, modified for High HP and Healing.

This will break down badly if you let it extend down to down to -HP and beyond, so maybe cap it at 30 days per HT roll (so each HP after 0 takes 30 days and no more).

And then just do this for each individual wound. Someone with several 1 HP wounds might potentially heal all in a single day that way. More severe wounds would take progressively longer to heal depending on severity.

Does this sound reasonable? Or unrealistically harsh? Or not realistically harsh enough?
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Last edited by JCurwen3; 08-15-2012 at 11:18 AM. Reason: added High HP and Healing and note about cap
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

I have use individual tracking of wounds for several campaigns and like it that way. I don't get into any more complex calculations as those JCurwen3 suggest though.

It doesn't really slow down the game as in-combat is pretty much the same, you just have to note both a wound and total HP lost.

Stopping bleeding have to be rolled for each wound individually at their individual penalty.
Each also take an individual First-Aid check to stop bleeding at the same penalty. You do not get 1 HP for a Stop-Bleeding check.

HP regained through any means, Shock Treatment, Natural healing, Super drugs, Regeneration or magic all heal the smallest wound first, then the others. You do not nominate a wound and heal that, you heal all of it. So if you have three wounds: 1HP, 4HP, 6HP. And then receive 4 HP back from a Shock Treatment, then it would remove the 1HP wound and reduce the 4HP to a 1HP but leave the 6HP one as a 6HP one. (You could rule that you have to focus on one wound but this is the way I do it, as it's easier).

Another benefit of tracking each wound is that allow you to use the rules in Martial Arts for realistic injury and penalties to DX for using a wounded limb.

Last edited by Maz; 08-15-2012 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

We used to track individuals wounds, and then allow 1 First Aid roll at the end of combat for Shock damage. However (since this was a medieval setting and we didn't want PCs out forever getting better), we allowed one healing roll per day per wound for recovery.

Since the campaign had magic, each wound could get one spellcasting as well, but we graded Cure "X" Wounds into three levels based on the HPs lost for each wound.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

I've done it that way and like it a lot. We did this:

First aid stabilizes all wounds and restores 1 point to the target, applied to the largest wound.
Supernatural healing (major heal, minor heal, healing advantage) targets a wound, not general HP. (I did add a new spell that heals all wounds at the same time.)
Natural healing heals all wounds at the same time.

The result of this is that in the absence of supernatural healing, 8 1-point wounds heal much faster than 1 8-point wound, and that has always felt right to me.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

I've done this a few times too and have used an elaborate set of house rules. Basically, every wound is labeled with a severity level based on the HP stat of the wounded person. After a week with the wound, a HT roll is made for each wound to see if it improves by one severity level. Critical success improves it by 2 levels. I have a list of modifiers to the HT roll that includes severity, level of activity, missed meals, treatment by physician, etc.

Regeneration automatically reduces/removes the wound at an interval determined by regeneration level. Magic healing works similarly.

Every wound has an effect on character performance depending on severity level, location, HT, and in some cases, wound type.

Bleeding is a major issue for characters as each wound bleeds separately and bleeding rolls depend on wound severity both in frequency and degree of modifiers. First aid (or surgery for some hit locations) can be used to stop bleeding but it is rolled for each wound (modified by location, severity, equipment, etc.).

Surprisingly, It doesn't slow the game significantly. This is because I, the GM, do all the work. I just describe the situation in non-game-mechanical terms and the players roll with it.

The only thing I don't like about this system of house rules is how long it took me to make.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edges View Post
I've done this a few times too and have used an elaborate set of house rules. Basically, every wound is labeled with a severity level based on the HP stat of the wounded person. After a week with the wound, a HT roll is made for each wound to see if it improves by one severity level. Critical success improves it by 2 levels. I have a list of modifiers to the HT roll that includes severity, level of activity, missed meals, treatment by physician, etc.

Regeneration automatically reduces/removes the wound at an interval determined by regeneration level. Magic healing works similarly.

Every wound has an effect on character performance depending on severity level, location, HT, and in some cases, wound type.

Bleeding is a major issue for characters as each wound bleeds separately and bleeding rolls depend on wound severity both in frequency and degree of modifiers. First aid (or surgery for some hit locations) can be used to stop bleeding but it is rolled for each wound (modified by location, severity, equipment, etc.).

Surprisingly, It doesn't slow the game significantly. This is because I, the GM, do all the work. I just describe the situation in non-game-mechanical terms and the players roll with it.

The only thing I don't like about this system of house rules is how long it took me to make.
Do you still use cumulative HP loss to determine when a character is incapacitated / killed? Or is that a result of specific injuries? I've considered doing the latter, since I've never been a huge fan of attrition-based damage systems. It gets rid of the "death by a thousand paper cuts" syndrome, though such can still occur (realistically) if bleeding damage is treated as a single, accumulating wound.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
. (I did add a new spell that heals all wounds at the same time.)
I forgot, we did that too.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tracking Individual Wounds & Healing

The following link may be of interest. (At sjgames.)
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