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Old 07-31-2016, 07:24 PM   #31
simply Nathan
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
In GURPS Low-Tech, there is Surgery (Trauma Surgery), which is one level less difficult and avoids the penalty for undiagnosed conditions (at least most of the time). This probably isn't exactly what you have in mind, if only because it's defined in terms of what, say, a Roman legion's medical specialists could do. But it's related, I think.
Trauma Surgery/TL2 vs. Trauma Surgery/TL8.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:11 AM   #32
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Oh, and there possibly should be something like a Surgery (Emergency Procedures) specialty for ER docs, paramedics, etc. that has the better First Aid default, too.
I think one could make a case that GURPS First Aid includes some of this. It's not just the modern basic training of "put a bandage on the red bit and call for help"; by TL6 it can take someone who's been beaten or stabbed to the point of unconsciousness and fairly reliably get them walking around normally.

(Modern first aid does include lots of other things, like anaphylaxis and cardiac arrest and heatstroke and whatnot, and obviously some people do more advanced versions of it if they're going a long way from help, but I'm thinking specifically of major trauma here.)
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:54 AM   #33
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
But after TL6 or so Surgery should need mandatory specialization
Which makes Surgery a point-sink. Some specializations are rarely useful for adventurers (Since when your party had to do surgery on groins?), but are necessary in a situation when they come up.

Last edited by cdru; 08-01-2016 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:23 AM   #34
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Which makes Surgery a point-sink. Some specializations are rarely useful for adventurers (Since when your party had to do surgery on groins?), but are necessary in a situation when they come up.
You can avoid the point-sink if you make it a "mandatory optional specialisation" or to phrase it in terms of a different rule, all of these now-mandatory Surgery specialties default to one another at -2.

The idea, as I understand it, is that every surgeon at TL 7/8 probably has some exposure to general surgical practice, but has much more experience within their chosen field (though I will gladly defer to acrosome if he suggests it is actually different).
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:58 AM   #35
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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You can avoid the point-sink if you make it a "mandatory optional specialisation" or to phrase it in terms of a different rule, all of these now-mandatory Surgery specialties default to one another at -2.
That's more fair. Trauma Surgery is the best choice for heroic doctors as field-expedient surgery comes up the most during adventures.
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:46 AM   #36
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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That's more fair. Trauma Surgery is the best choice for heroic doctors as field-expedient surgery comes up the most during adventures.
Surgery (Trauma) is pretty much the only kind I'd imagine used by PCs in an adventure, unless the adventure involves the heroes changing their faces with plastic surgery or need a kidney stone removed.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:26 AM   #37
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Originally Posted by Celti View Post
You can avoid the point-sink if you make it a "mandatory optional specialisation" or to phrase it in terms of a different rule, all of these now-mandatory Surgery specialties default to one another at -2.

The idea, as I understand it, is that every surgeon at TL 7/8 probably has some exposure to general surgical practice, but has much more experience within their chosen field (though I will gladly defer to acrosome if he suggests it is actually different).
But you can't forget this is about game utility not realism. Look at the completely unrealistically massive skills Biology or Math. But for game purposes, they're of equivalent usefulness as other highly specialized skills like First Aid.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:34 AM   #38
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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But you can't forget this is about game utility not realism. Look at the completely unrealistically massive skills Biology or Math. But for game purposes, they're of equivalent usefulness as other highly specialized skills like First Aid.
More accurately, it's about offering a fair balance to both those targets, I'd say. If it was simply about game utility Guns would be at least as difficult a skill as Bow not easier!

Hence the suggestion that, in a game where Surgery needs a more-detailed treatment, one can require Surgery take an optional specialisation while pointing out that even making it mandatory, it should still receive the benefits of an optional specialisation. This lets people who need more realism stay compatible with those who need more game utility, and everybody* is happy!
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:17 AM   #39
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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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.
Were it up to me, Physiology would be reduced down to a "Anatomical familiarity" perk. If you have it, you can perform surgery at no penalty, or target the race's vital organs with attacks.

A skill should be something you roll against, ideally with potential modifiers, so it's obvious how someone with skill 10, 15, 18 and 25 differ from one another. Physiology lets you roll, but it's not really clear to me why. Sometimes you remember that Vulcan hearts are located where human livers are, and sometimes you don't? From a gamer's perspective, that makes more sense as "something you know or don't." Hence, perk.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:22 AM   #40
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Physician and Physiology

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Physiology lets you roll, but it's not really clear to me why. Sometimes you remember that Vulcan hearts are located where human livers are, and sometimes you don't? From a gamer's perspective, that makes more sense as "something you know or don't." Hence, perk.
Sometimes in the heat of battle, say, when you don't have the time to rack your brain for the exact anatomical details you've got to take him down right now right now take the <censored> shot already! yes, you do need to roll. The out-of-combat situation is easily handled by a high TDM for a simple situation like you suggested, and a much lower one for more complicated uses.
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