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Old 11-25-2022, 04:42 PM   #21
RGTraynor
 
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

Beyond that, look. While GURPS is far better at this than most games (in so far that non-adventuring spells actually do exist), the magic system's design still revolves around adventuring/non-adventuring paradigms. A spell that puts hit points of damage on a target gets three paragraphs and can be cast in a second or two. Cure Disease gets three sentences and takes ten freaking minutes to cast. And if the authors devoted enough space to spell out all the complexities of Cure Disease, we all know there would've been many protests: "Who the eff cares whether Cure Disease can handle beriberi or not? Is that useful in a dungeon?"

Me being firmly in the "magic has rules, it's not just a handwave" camp, I've given a good bit of thought to the spell. I've houseruled the casting time down twentyfold, and that it won't work on viral diseases (short of criticals) ... TL4 (or 5) just has no notion of a virus.

But even with that, there's been chalktalking. One of my longtime players has been seriously diabetic (as in dialysis as a teenager) his whole life, and I've been myself the last decade. But "eliminate" the diabetes all you want, it's not the result of an infection, it's the result of the pancreas no longer producing enough insulin OR the body's cells no longer processing insulin properly. Are such metabolic disorders susceptible to Cure Disease?

My houserule is "no." It can repair the retinal damage, fix the neuropathy ... but the risk factors? My coming down with diabetes was always a possibility: my family's riddled with it, and more than one has died early from it. What safed the bet with me was when my joints broke down to the point I couldn't do combat LARPing any more, or the six hours of fight practice I was doing a week at age 42 to keep up with my juniors, and I put on 40 pounds in a year. Cure Disease isn't going to bring me back down to fighting weight.
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Old 11-25-2022, 04:58 PM   #22
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Is my Doctor Cox (from Scrubs), if he were a healer paladin come close enough?
I'd really prefer to see a game about multiple medical mages investigating medical mysteries. One medical investigator doesn't really cut it.
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Old 11-26-2022, 11:33 AM   #23
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Nitpickers should note that "disease" and "infection" are terms of art in GURPS.
Not exactly errata, but putting a pointer to the relevant Basic Set page in the spell text would be a simple and helpful clarification.

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Cure Disease should cure whatever the setting's experts in disease believe a spell for curing disease should cure. The wizards among those experts are the ones who came up with the spell, after all!
Which explains the 4E wording.
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Old 11-26-2022, 12:34 PM   #24
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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Originally Posted by RGTraynor View Post
But "eliminate" the diabetes all you want, it's not the result of an infection, it's the result of the pancreas no longer producing enough insulin OR the body's cells no longer processing insulin properly. Are such metabolic disorders susceptible to Cure Disease?
My take on something chronic is Cure Disease might work fine now, but it's a temporary solution. Nothing after all stops you from being reinfected with even an infectious disease you've been cured of. With the causative factor still being there your lack of ease it comes back in the usual time it takes for that agent to make you uncomfortable. I might even consider letting you Cure Disease to hold your breath another interval or not die of dehydration today.
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Old 11-26-2022, 03:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

There are also no mechanics for nutritional deficiencies, as far as I know. There are mechanics for infections and communicable diseases. I believe Radiation damage is the only mechanical way to get cancer in GURPS.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 11-26-2022 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:46 PM   #26
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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My take on something chronic is Cure Disease might work fine now, but it's a temporary solution. Nothing after all stops you from being reinfected with even an infectious disease you've been cured of.
This is fun from a world-building perspective, too. A healer canít just cure everybody in town and move on. They have regulars who come in for repeat treatments for chronic illnesses.
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Old 11-26-2022, 10:22 PM   #27
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

This is possibly another of those "what would a world where these spells were common look like?" questions. If the 3e version - anything caused by micro-organisms - was widely available, that might have got germ theory off the ground much earlier, as healers catalogued the large category of "conditions that Cure Disease works on", and started to wonder what the common feature was. On the other hand, it might have held it up, if they got the idea that the spell worked because those conditions were magic-based.

If the 4e version worked on scurvy, on the other hand, Cure Disease would become part of the list of spells every ship's wizard needs to know, and long-distance sea voyages would suddenly be a lot easier (apparently scurvy was one of the big limiting factors during the Age of Sail).

(Incidentally, since the main mechanism of scurvy seems to be that tissues don't heal and gradually wear out, would Minor Healing (much lower prerequisite count) temporarily fix the damage if you didn't have Cure Disease? Which might mean that if you were showing scurvy in your game for some reason, an appropriate mechanism might be temporary Unhealing... sounds like one for "horror at sea" games only.)

If you said that Cure Disease couldn't cure "chronic conditions" permanently, there might be a difficulty defining "chronic condition". In the 19th century, type 1 diabetes and tuberculosis were both slow-burning terminal illnesses. Now one is a chronic condition and the other can be cured permanently by antibiotics. If it's defined by what's a chronic condition in the TL the game is set in, then it seems like you get that awkward thing of it being dependent on how intractable the wizard thinks it is, or on how intractable it is by non-magical methods that might be unrelated to what the wizard is doing. But the Healing advantage already seems to use that system, so possibly it works, even if the illogicality of it might annoy some players!
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Last edited by Inky; 11-26-2022 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 11-27-2022, 01:41 AM   #28
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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Originally Posted by Inky View Post
Incidentally, since the main mechanism of scurvy seems to be that tissues don't heal and gradually wear out, would Minor Healing (much lower prerequisite count) temporarily fix the damage if you didn't have Cure Disease?
I've routinely allowed Minor Healing (for instance) to heal the raw damage diseases do, and I expect it'd be useful in mitigating any chronic illness.

(Heck, never mind the scurvy, sailors just get chronically banged up in any number of ways. A healer who was hitting up everyone in the crew just once a week, generally, would do wonders.)

But with a nod towards all the people chiming in, going back to Maximara's OP, it just reinforces my take from another thread: we can see, I think, that it'd be damned easy to devote a full page to Cure Disease. There are only so many pages available for the Magic book, and only so much commentary on each spell that most gamers would accept. We have to recognize both that the word count on any spell is going to be finite, and that it's on us to write our own expanded commentary for our own campaigns to the degree it's needful.
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Old 11-27-2022, 01:46 AM   #29
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
My take on something chronic is Cure Disease might work fine now, but it's a temporary solution. Nothing after all stops you from being reinfected with even an infectious disease you've been cured of. With the causative factor still being there your lack of ease it comes back in the usual time it takes for that agent to make you uncomfortable. I might even consider letting you Cure Disease to hold your breath another interval or not die of dehydration today.
My take is that Cure Disease would not work.

A Restoration or a Regeneration targeting the Pancreas on the other hand would.

However it would be a GM's call as to whether or not any desperate healer in the dim and distant past tried something like that, and if it then got passed down via his apprentices or The Lancet (local edition).
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Old 11-27-2022, 12:30 PM   #30
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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My take is that Cure Disease would not work.

A Restoration or a Regeneration targeting the Pancreas on the other hand would.

However it would be a GM's call as to whether or not any desperate healer in the dim and distant past tried something like that, and if it then got passed down via his apprentices or The Lancet (local edition).
The problem being, though, at what tech level the society is. The differences (and vectors) between Type I and Type II was identified over a thousand years ago, but at what point did researchers pinpoint the pancreas as the problem?

I suppose it'd depend on the ubiquity of healing in the campaign. I could see, in a high magic environment, teams just hitting one organ after the next until they had enough of a database to work with. Alright, TL 4 might not know WHY the pancreas is causing trouble, but ...
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