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Old 08-22-2022, 04:17 PM   #1
Pbuckley
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Default About Xenohealing

I am curious about something that has been bothering me for quite some time now. The healing advantage is already a 30 Point Advantage, then if you want to heal anything that is not human (Or "Humanoid" in the case of Fantasy settings) you have to pay extra points.

Now there could be two reasons for this, either it could be for game balance, after all healing is quite a potent power, and can run the risk of trivializing potential dangers. However I feel like the cumulative -3 per use a day, solves that problem pretty solidly, and it's not like not having Xenohealing is going to keep you from healing 90% of player character. So I feel like it has to be based on the latter.

Which is that some advantages are priced differently based on how rare they would be. The problem I see with this logic, is that I cannot conceive of many healing powers which would narrow your capabilities in such a manner. I mean I can easily see needing to take an enhancement for say Anything Animate, or Anything Alive. Heck I could even see Anything Animate being at the +100% modifier it's currently at. I could even be able to see All Carbon Based Life, even if I feel like it's a bit of a stretch. Yet in my experience, I find myself always applying Faith Healing, or All Earthly Life to Healing, every time I make a Healing Power either as a player, or as a GM when making pre-made Spells/Powers, I often even heavily suggest it to players whene they make their own Spells/Powers, as it seems absurd for such a power not to have this modifier.

Like I can understand taking penalties for using healing on non-humans, and non mammals, due to the creature physiological makeup, but not being able to heal them at all, just does not make sense to me. Sure, I am more than willing to grit my teeth and put up with this as a player, but it feels scummy doing this to players as a GM simply because it does not seem to make sense to me.

I guess what I am asking is, does anyone know WHY this decision was made? How much would it break the game to alter Xenohealing, so All Earthly Life is standard, while Only Same Family, and Only Same Species are limitations? Could anyone make suggestions on how this ought to effect the prices overall?

This is how I think healing might change at my table in the near future...

Base Healing
• By Default, Healing functions on all Earthly Animal Life.

Enhancements:
• Xenohealing (All Earthly Life), +20%
• Xenohealing (All Carbon-Based Life), +40%
• Xenohealing (Anything Alive), +60%
• Xenohealing (Anything Animate), +100%
• Xenohealing (Heal/Mend Anything), +150%

Feature:
• Plant Life Only
• Mend Objects

Limitations
• Accessibility (Only One Family), -20%
• Accessibility (Only One Species), -40%

Last edited by Pbuckley; 08-23-2022 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 08-22-2022, 07:22 PM   #2
Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Default Re: About Xenohealing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pbuckley View Post
I am curious about something that has been bothering me for quite some time now. The healing advantage is already a 30 Point Advantage, then if you want to heal anything that is not human (Or "Humanoid" in the case of Fantasy settings) you have to pay extra points.

Now there could be two reasons for this, either it could be for game balance, after all healing is quite a potent power, and can run the risk of trivializing potential dangers. However I feel like the cumulative -3 per use a day, solves that problem pretty solidly, and it's not like not having Xenohealing is going to keep you from healing 90% of player character. So I feel like it has to be based on the latter.

Which is that some advantages are priced differently based on how rare they would be. The problem I see with this logic, is that I cannot conceive of many healing powers which would narrow your capabilities in such a manner. I mean I can easily see needing to take an enhancement for say Anything Animate, or Anything Alive. Heck I could even see Anything Animate being at the +100% modifier it's currently at. I could even be able to see All Carbon Based Life, even if I feel like it's a bit of a stretch. Yet in my experience, I find myself always applying Faith Healing, or All Earthly Life to Healing, every time I make a Healing Power either as a player, or as a GM when making pre-made Spells/Powers, I often even heavily suggest it to players whene they make their own Spells/Powers, as it seems absurd for such a power not to have this modifier.

Like I can understand taking penalties for using healing on non-humans, and non mammals, due to the creature physiological makeup, but not being able to heal them at all, just does not make sense to me. Sure, I am more than willing to grit my teeth and put up with this as a player, but it feels scummy doing this to players as a GM simply because it does not seem to make sense to me.

I guess what I am asking is, does anyone know WHY this decision was made? How much would it break the game to alter Xenohealing, so All Earthly Life is standard, while Only Same Family, and Only Same Species are limitations? Could anyone make suggestions on how this ought to effect the prices overall?

This is how I think healing might change at my table in the near future...

Base Healing
By Default, Healing functions on all Earthly Animal Life.

Enhancements:
Xenohealing (All Earthly Life), +20%
Xenohealing (All Carbon-Based Life), +40%
Xenohealing (Anything Alive), +50%
Xenohealing (Anything Animate), +100%
Xenohealing (Heal/Mend Anything), +150%

Feature:
Plant Life Only
Mend Objects

Limitations
Restricted (Only One Family), -20%
Restricted (Only One Species), -40%
I don't know that this is the actual case, but I would suspect that it is based on treating Healing as equivalent in effect to Surgery and Diagnosis skill but somewhat enhanced, so you don't need the formal training. Healing does require an IQ roll, and that roll is at a penalty if the patient is unconscious, suggesting that the healer does make an assessment as to just what is wrong with the patient which is harder if the patient can't tell you what symptoms he's suffering/where it hurts. This in turn suggests that the restriction on Xenohealing is based on reality rather than game balance.

In the real world, back when anatomy books were based on the anatomy of monkeys because human dissection was forbidden, people died because organs and other body parts weren't where the diagrams said they should be. Likewise, diseases, even ones than can jump species behave differently in those species. AIDS/HIV was a virtual death sentence at first, but the original SIV was relatively harmless to African green monkeys.

An argument could be made that Xenohealing represents knowledge of the anatomical differences and pathogenic differences between species.

In my opinion, Healing already gives a pretty big sop to players by not requiring Xenohealing for anyone outside their own species, e.g., dwarfs, elves, orcs, halfings, etc. for humans.
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Old 08-23-2022, 02:28 AM   #3
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: About Xenohealing

The greater point cost for Xenohealing might have been intended to limit PCs' ability to heal magical constructs or repair equipment.

A potential enhancement for Healing that addresses your complaint might be:

Limited Xenohealing (+10% per level): You can theoretically heal anything, but you suffer a penalty to IQ based on the degree of difference from your own species. Use the categories for standard xenohealing to assess penalties: -2 for mammals, -4 for any earthly life, -6 for carbon-based life, -8 for anything alive, or -10 for any object. Each level of this enhancement beyond the first reduces penalties by 2, to a maximum of +50%, which just gives you a -2 penalty to heal unliving objects and no penalty to heal living beings.

This works out to 50% of the cost of regular Xenohealing at the same level, but has the drawback of a penalty to skill rolls.
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Old 08-23-2022, 01:42 PM   #4
Pbuckley
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Default Re: About Xenohealing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I don't know that this is the actual case, but I would suspect that it is based on treating Healing as equivalent in effect to Surgery and Diagnosis skill but somewhat enhanced, so you don't need the formal training. Healing does require an IQ roll, and that roll is at a penalty if the patient is unconscious, suggesting that the healer does make an assessment as to just what is wrong with the patient which is harder if the patient can't tell you what symptoms he's suffering/where it hurts. This in turn suggests that the restriction on Xenohealing is based on reality rather than game balance.

In the real world, back when anatomy books were based on the anatomy of monkeys because human dissection was forbidden, people died because organs and other body parts weren't where the diagrams said they should be. Likewise, diseases, even ones than can jump species behave differently in those species. AIDS/HIV was a virtual death sentence at first, but the original SIV was relatively harmless to African green monkeys.

An argument could be made that Xenohealing represents knowledge of the anatomical differences and pathogenic differences between species.

In my opinion, Healing already gives a pretty big sop to players by not requiring Xenohealing for anyone outside their own species, e.g., dwarfs, elves, orcs, halfings, etc. for humans.
Hmm... This MIGHT be a possible explanation, it's not that you can't but that it's "too risky." However, I do have to issues with that explanation. The first being that if that was the intent, in theory you should still be able to at least attempt to heal other creatures with a scaling penalty. The second being, I feel like, a power requiring you to have actual applicable knowledge is covered by the required by/based on skill modifiers. The latter of which does have the benefit of not being in the Basic Set, so they probably weren't considered at the time of writing the power. That being said their are definitely difference ways to convey the same idea with GURPS, so it's not impossible that this was the intent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
The greater point cost for Xenohealing might have been intended to limit PCs' ability to heal magical constructs or repair equipment.

A potential enhancement for Healing that addresses your complaint might be:

Limited Xenohealing (+10% per level): You can theoretically heal anything, but you suffer a penalty to IQ based on the degree of difference from your own species. Use the categories for standard xenohealing to assess penalties: -2 for mammals, -4 for any earthly life, -6 for carbon-based life, -8 for anything alive, or -10 for any object. Each level of this enhancement beyond the first reduces penalties by 2, to a maximum of +50%, which just gives you a -2 penalty to heal unliving objects and no penalty to heal living beings.

This works out to 50% of the cost of regular Xenohealing at the same level, but has the drawback of a penalty to skill rolls.
Hmm... I do like this to a degree. Except as I said before, I DO see the rational for being able to heal Anything Animate, as a +100% modifier, especially if you can heal anything else. Furthermore I do consider healing Anything Animate, and Healing Objects separate, even if it does run into the same logical consistency issues as being able to heal a human, but not say a squirrel. At least the former has the notion that the Animate Object possesses some kind of magical energy animating it, that you might be able to manipulate to mend it, while the latter just seems silly...

Another way of conveying the same idea would be to make a special "Based On Skill Roll" modifier, that requires you to have the "Relevant Skill" First Aid for HP, Esoteric Medicine, Physician, or Pharmacy (As applicable) for Disease, Surgery for reattaching/growing limbs, Veterinary for Animals, Botany for Plants, ect. To mitigate the price of Xenohealing, but I have no idea how to price that.

Last edited by Pbuckley; 08-23-2022 at 01:46 PM.
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