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Old 06-05-2015, 01:51 PM   #1
Anders's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Default Bleeding rules and lethality

How much more lethal does a game become when you use the Bleeding rules on p.B420?
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:18 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Default Re: Bleeding rules and lethality

Depends on the setting and availability and quality of first aid. But just by itself it's not too bad. The big thing is the first aid is not subject to the bleeding penalty so your likely you get a success before you bleed for too long.

When it gets really nasty is the extra rules in Martial Arts where some wounds bleed more quickly than others but more importantly at a worse HT mod, first aid suffers the bleeding penalty to stop bleeding but even worse than that is some locations need surgery skill rather than first aid!

Take a 2pt jab in the vitals for instance in basic it's a 6pt injury so HT-1 to bleeding, not great but not a disaster. But in Martial Arts that get's another -4 penalty so that's now HT-5 (not likely to get three of those in a row so you're looking for help) but it's also every 30 seconds but even worse that's a surgery roll at -5!

Targeted attack: thrust vitals, suddenly looks quite cheap for the points!

Also beware skull wounds even when they are only 1 or 2 points of basic damage!

Oddly guns can be slightly mitigated if you use the the over penetration rules, but since they likely to be doing a lot of damage your likely to be bleeding at a negative mod even if you haven't taken all the damage because of the cap.

Were it gets nasty is when several things coincide. 4d P++ muskets balls, no armour and TL4 First aid can ruin your day.

Beware P+ large calibre pistols in TL5 wild west, especially if they are using expanding bullets. Especially if you keep with the genre conventions of high skill, close ranges and fireing quickly

Last edited by Tomsdad; 06-05-2015 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Bleeding rules and lethality

My experience is that it doesn't change the lethality a great deal. HT 10-12 foes that are wounded to -1 HP to -1xHP usually stop bleeding on their own without dying, and foes that are below -1xHP are pretty much dead anyway. If you're using a lot of high caliber rifles, people are often dead when they're taken out of the fight, so bleeding doesn't matter much.

As Tomsdad points out, the enhanced bleeding rules from MA do increase lethality a bit more, since vitals hits (with the -4 bleed penalty and need for Surgery to stop) become near guaranteed death sentences. Without those rules, taking 5 points of damage past DR to the vitals (an arrow or low caliber bullet, say) goes from stunning and knocking unconscious to quickly killing. Skull hits are less of a problem, because there's no penalty on the bleed roll so it's quite possible for it stop naturally before you die.

My own experience is that bleeding rules rarely impede the PCs that much: they're likely the victors of the combat and have the skills, magic, or technology to quickly stop blood loss. It's the fleeing (or unconscious) members of Team Monsters that are in trouble. And again, if you're putting people into the negative HP multiples where bleeding is a big problem, your game is probably already pretty lethal.
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:55 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2009
Default Re: Bleeding rules and lethality

I have found the lethality increases dramatically if you don't include the over penetration rules
...mumble...mumble...overly harsh GM...mumble...mumble...

However if you do use both sets of rules together the perceived threat increases far beyond what I believe to be the actual threat. In the most part bleeding rolls are pretty easy for a HT 12+ adventurer.

If you imagine a really bad wound is rolled at HT-5, for an average person is almost certain death. However they can often afford to fail a few times before the risk of death really kicks in. This gives them a drive to get out of the danger zone and their allies impetus to do something about it before its too late.

In addition the value of a skilled medical practitioner becomes really obvious and easy to play up. The group either needs someone to take the role or the search to find one becomes an excellent source of drama.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:22 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Bleeding rules and lethality

They aren't hugely lethal, used simply as written in Basic, but it depends on the circumstances, and how you use them and other rules.

I like to track each bleeding wound and then a large battle with many more bleeding wounds than people with first aid, can become interesting. Especially if you add some spice rules where some wounds bleed more than others, or are difficult to stop bleeding on. In real life, internal bleeding can take more than simple first aid to diagnose and stop.

And if you want even more lethality, you can use and develop the infection rules...

If you want less lethality, you can make an easy "stop bleeding" technique available to people without full First Aid skill (which of course should be at least a little less effective than actual First Aid skill at stopping bleeding, but can be given to semi-competent grunt types). Bad rolls on that though may lead to infection... :-)

Last edited by Skarg; 06-05-2015 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bleeding rules and lethality

Low-Tech settings, especially with low or no magic, are extremely lethal when bleeding Vitals wounds require Surgery roll to stop the bleeding.
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lethality, rules

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