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Old 09-05-2017, 03:04 PM   #31
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I think Kromm or PK has said that veterinary surgery is actually using Surgery skill.
Discussions about what Physician, Surgery, Pharmacy, and Veterinary skills do and do not do have always left me uncertain.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:11 PM   #32
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Discussions about what Physician, Surgery, Pharmacy, and Veterinary skills do and do not do have always left me uncertain.
We do have an answer for Veterinary: it replaces Physician, and vets learn Diagnosis and Surgery with a specialisation of (Animals).
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:12 PM   #33
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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Lots of good commentary above, but allow me to add that in most GURPS games, at least most of the ones I've played in, the surgery skill is just a background professional skill, since the part of the injury system it affects are simply not used. Permanent crippling, internal bleeding, appendicitis, etc. just don't happen to PCs.

And that's perfectly ok. Realistic injury modelling is not compatible with the types of shenanigans most PCs get into, at least in the long term.
IME most GURPS games use Crippling rules for limbs and Mortal Wounds, since these are just part of the injury system, but if you have magical or ultra-tech healing you often explicitly avoid needing Surgery to heal these.

I have run a few games where this isn't true, and sometimes I even use the extended crippling rules in Martial Arts. In those cases though Surgery is usually done by an NPC in a dedicated hospital facility, not in the field by a PC.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:18 PM   #34
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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IME most GURPS games use Crippling rules for limbs and Mortal Wounds, since these are just part of the injury system, but if you have magical or ultra-tech healing you often explicitly avoid needing Surgery to heal these.

I have run a few games where this isn't true, and sometimes I even use the extended crippling rules in Martial Arts. In those cases though Surgery is usually done by an NPC in a dedicated hospital facility, not in the field by a PC.
Rear-echelon medical services may or may not be performed by PCs in a given game, but it seems safe to say that that's almost always what crippling wound repair would be considering that you've still got a lot of healing time to go. Though if you're on a sufficiently long-running and isolated expedition the 'rear echelon' might be your camp or caravan.

Surgeries that have a more front-line nature to them include stopping severe bleeding if those rules are used, extracting barbed arrowheads (though there's technically no rule penalizing leaving them in as far as I know...), and if you've got a good on-scene surgeon and poor medevac possibly treating mortal wounds.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:39 PM   #35
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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Surgeries that have a more front-line nature to them include stopping severe bleeding if those rules are used, extracting barbed arrowheads (though there's technically no rule penalizing leaving them in as far as I know...), and if you've got a good on-scene surgeon and poor medevac possibly treating mortal wounds.
Also removing parasites.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:18 PM   #36
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

I'm both intrigued and horrified at why Surgery would be needed to remove parasites in the field. Please explain.

All I can imagine like bot fly larvae, and ectoparasites sound more like a use for First Aid.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:14 PM   #37
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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I'm both intrigued and horrified at why Surgery would be needed to remove parasites in the field. Please explain.

All I can imagine like bot fly larvae, and ectoparasites sound more like a use for First Aid.
See Horrible Grubs in DF 2.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:53 AM   #38
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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There is? Where? I'm sure I've never seen that and can't find it in my copy...
Sorry, it was discussed at one point during the playtest as an optional rule and I apparently forgot that it didn't make it in. I've edited my post to summarize it instead.
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:00 AM   #39
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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Sorry, it was discussed at one point during the playtest as an optional rule and I apparently forgot that it didn't make it in. I've edited my post to summarize it instead.
That'd do it, interesting...
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In addition, you may want to use an optional rule (from an article by Eric Funk) which was considered during the Bio-Tech playtest. (It didn't make it in, but I've used it frequently enough that I often forget that!) Basically, treat the extra injury from the vitals wounding multiplier as inherently unhealing; e.g., if you take 3 penetrating damage to the vitals, which becomes 9 HP of injury, the first 3 HP are normal but the remaining 6 HP are unhealing. Then the Surgery skill can be used to convert (margin of success + 1) of those HP to normal injury. It's harsh, but realistic. (Note that, even with this rule, the Surgery skill is only used to facilitate healing, not to recover HP directly.)
Hmm. I like the concept but it seems too harsh at low TL where thoracic surgery would be little more than a gruesome form of homicide. No chance at all of pulling through a Vitals wound without severely compromised health seems too much.

Perhaps treating the HP as crippled rather than guaranteed unhealing? Though that probably needs some tweaking back in the other direction, a basic crippling roll is pretty generous...
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:44 AM   #40
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Default Re: Surgery - How does it work?

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We don't, we take the stitches out about a week or two later. We might send them home on antibiotics and pain relief but that's it.
Having said that, maybe that's all people get after intensive care…
Post op care depends on a lot of things, ultimately the difference between humans and animals (and how we treat them) makes direct comparison hard to make


Ultimately though I think you right in you basic premise. Surgery not only fixes an immediate problem (weather it's life threatening or not) but long terms helps the body heal. Of course you also have to heal the damage surgery does as well. And some things won't heal without surgery (but that's already catered for in the rules).


However trying to map this to GURPS rules is always going to be tough because while GURPS treats Surgery and Physician based healing as separate things, of course reality is more complicated and there is a crossover. Both while different things are part of an overall treatment. Similarly GURPS also splits HP loss and specific injury/condition effects (even if they occur at the same time, or the amount of the former acts a potential threshold for the latter ).

So your issue here seems to be that a successful surgery rolls doesn't give X HP back in the way a successful Physician roll would. But it shortens the healing process in other ways. The most obvious one is the healing time for:

"Repairing Lasting Crippling Injuries"

Going from months to weeks on a successful surgery roll. (as already mentioned)


One idea to link these is to make one compliment the other, maybe you could allow a good Surgery roll to add successes to later Physician rolls made in post op care. Which at lower TLs might make the difference between successful Physician roll and failure, and at higher TLs (and better situations) make a critical success more likely.


Ultimately HPs even when tied into more nuanced system for injury like GURPS are a nebulous concept encompassing a lot of different things. And you will get oddities like bandaging adding one back, but 6 hour surgery not.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-06-2017 at 11:19 AM.
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