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Old 07-23-2016, 05:05 AM   #11
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
... Biology (Zoology) gives you anatomy for lots of kinds of animals, but not in as much detail as Physiology.
Citation needed. ;)
Biology is a massive impossibly expansive skill but as written, it covers everything biological and gives quite a few defaults to all sorts of other skills.
Physiology covers anatomy which should be covered by Physician, Surgery, and Biology. Forcing all doctors, nurses, and surgeons to learn another hard skill that doesn't actually do anything makes realistic characters that much more expensive for no gain I can see.
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:45 AM   #12
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Yes - I keep thinking that Empathy gives you penalties to attack rolls against people, but that's something else, maybe some other game.
The Flight 13 adventure requires a Will roll to attack the child-like monsters for characters whose sheets include Empathy. At least that's where I once got a similar idea back in the day.
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Old 07-23-2016, 06:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

Physician alone can do a lot, particularly when First Aid defaults to it at no penalty.

If you get injured he can…
-use Physician as First Aid to bandage for 1 HP.
-use Physician as First Aid to treat shock for another X HP depending on TL.
-use Physician for +1 natural recovery rolls and perhaps heal 1 HP per X days.

I mainly know it from a TL 4 game (which did have the Physician skill however), where after each fight proper medical treatment would heal 2-3 HP for everyone who was wounded. Before the healing spells started being used.

Another aspect is that I consider someone with the Physician skill to essentially know the healing rules off by heart. So using Low-Tech, they know what Heat does (+1 HT rolls vs infections), and then combine that with the bonuses with Physician (say +1 to natural recovery rolls). So with the time and facilities they give a +2.

In many ways I treat Physician as the “nothing goes wrong” skill, where making the roll avoids later complications from injury that might otherwise happen. Also, the +1 to natural recovery rolls could be applied a lot of different ways – it could mean recovering HP, it could mean recovering from infection, it could mean recovering from crippling injury.

Overall, Physician is not exciting, but it's the kind of skill where you feel the absence of it more than you feel the presence.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
I mainly know it from a TL 4 game (which did have the Physician skill however), where after each fight proper medical treatment would heal 2-3 HP for everyone who was wounded. Before the healing spells started being used.
The thing you need to watch out for here is the time that First Aid, or Physician used as First Aid, takes - 30 minutes at TL4, reducing to 10 minutes at TL8. In some settings, that may be no problem at all, but a lot of the GURPS I play involves time pressure of various kinds, some as simple as "Someone will come along to see what all that noise and shooting was about."

I agree with everything else in your post.
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Physiology covers anatomy which should be covered by Physician, Surgery, and Biology. Forcing all doctors, nurses, and surgeons to learn another hard skill that doesn't actually do anything makes realistic characters that much more expensive for no gain I can see.
The GURPS skill system is a compromise between reflecting how education and training actually work, and providing numbers for characters to roll against in a manner that makes for a fair game. These are not fully compatible objectives. Physiology skill is definitely a symptom of the first objective.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
As a side note, in the modern world what gurps calls physician is actually done by nurses, with much of what doctors do being diagnosis.
Even so, I have known plenty of doctors who were expert in the things Physician allows (supervising and aiding recovery, selecting and prescribing drugs, general medical competence) except for those covered by First Aid, because a lot of basic first aid procedures get taught once at the start of medical school and then never used again. So at the very least I'd allow modern doctor PCs to consider taking Incompetence (First Aid).

I remember an argument back in the day, maybe on GURPSNET, that Physiology ought to give a bonus in melee because you knew where to hit; that's effectively become Pressure Secrets in 4e.
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Old 07-25-2016, 02:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Even so, I have known plenty of doctors who were expert in the things Physician allows (supervising and aiding recovery, selecting and prescribing drugs, general medical competence) except for those covered by First Aid, because a lot of basic first aid procedures get taught once at the start of medical school and then never used again. So at the very least I'd allow modern doctor PCs to consider taking Incompetence (First Aid).
I've seriously considered moving the First Aid default from Physician to Surgery for much that reason, which doesn't exactly solve that RAW (given Surgery defaults to Physician -5) but feels like a step in the right direction.

Anybody whose Physician skill comes from a modern medical training probably should have a point in Surgery anyway, while the hedge wizard whose high Physician skill comes from his mastery of herbal medicine might very well not be able to stop major bleeding or set bones either.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

I've just taken for a new character in a Weird War III (alien/demonic invasion) game an optional specialisation of Physiology I hadn't seen mentioned here: Physiology (Combat).

My group has used this in previous games (and will be in this game, of course) as Physiology focused on harming the target species, rather than the more usual therapeutic uses.
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:47 AM   #19
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
The Flight 13 adventure requires a Will roll to attack the child-like monsters for characters whose sheets include Empathy. At least that's where I once got a similar idea back in the day.
I would expect the exact opposite. Empathy grants supernatural ability to detect that they're not real children but monsters.
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:46 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

Once again John has a well-researched, well-written thread that I'd love to read.. if I could focus my eyes a little easier! :P

On that note, I'd love to subscribe to a thread where John posts links to every new "Skill of the Week" post!
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