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Old 12-27-2022, 07:35 AM   #1
johndallman
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

Rapid Healing [5 or 15] is a mundane physical advantage. You recover from injury (as opposed to stunning, knockout, and other short-term effects) more rapidly than most people, but still more or less within the boundaries of normal human capability. The first version of this advantage appeared in GURPS 1e. It’s extremely common on templates for combatants, and “tough guys” in general.

Recovery [10] is an exotic physical advantage. You recover from short-term effects of injury extraordinarily quickly. This first appeared in GURPS Aliens for 3e. As a stand-alone advantage, it’s kind of specific to genres where getting knocked out happens a lot, but it combines well with the other advantages in this posting and is less exotic than the following:

Regeneration [10 to 150] is another exotic physical advantage. You recover from injury much faster than normal humans, depending on how much you’ve paid for the advantage. It won’t, however, let you regrow parts that have been chopped off and lost or destroyed. This also first appeared in Aliens.

Regrowth [40] is a third exotic physical advantage, which lets you regrow missing body parts, provided there’s enough of you left to remain alive. It, too, first appeared in Aliens.

If you have Rapid Healing [5], which requires that you have HT 10 or better, you get +5 to rolls to recover either hit points, or from crippling injuries. If you have Very Rapid Healing [15], requiring HT 12 or better, a successful roll to recover HP also means you recover two HP, rather than one. This combines very well with the “High HP and Healing” rule on p. B424: if you have 20 HP and VRH, you’ll recover four HP on each successful roll, and you only fail on a 17+.

Recovery reduces the time you remain unconscious for any reason by a factor of 60. This can be quite spectacular: at 0 HP or worse, but above -1×HP, you get a HT roll to come round each minute, rather than each hour.

Regeneration means you recover HP automatically, without having to make HT rolls. You do get natural healing as well, and the effects of Rapid Healing [5] come free with Regeneration. You can regain a hit point every 12 hours for [10], every hour for [25], every minute for [50], every second for [100] and 10 HP/second for [150]. And yes, “High HP and Healing” applies to this, that’s explicit on p. B424. You can’t have Regeneration if you have the Slow Healing or Unhealing disadvantages. You can if you have Draining, but damage from that disadvantage won’t regenerate and can eventually kill you. There’s a specific +40% enhancement to let you regenerate radiation damage, and a ‑60% limitation that means radiation damage is the only kind you can regenerate. The Regeneration spell does approximately the same thing as Regrowth. Powers adds several things: Regeneration that affects FP as well as HP (+100%), or only FP, not HP, ‑0%, or an Energy Reserve at the same price as FP. You can also modify Regeneration to repair an advantage, such as DR, but this is complicated enough that you should look in Powers.

Regrowth means you regrow lost body parts, provided you can stay alive without them. An extremity, such as an ear or finger, comes back in weeks, a hand or foot in a few months, and an eye or limb in more months. If you have Regeneration, this happens very fast: all your body parts regrow in the time you need to recover all your HP. There’s a specific -‑50% limitation that only lets you regrow minor parts of your body. Powers lets you regrow multiple copies of lost body parts, although you have to pay points for them, reattach severed-but-intact body parts, or limit yourself to not re-growing from specific sources of damage (fire is always popular) or only being able to reattach parts, not regrow them.

There’s an interesting demonstration in the GURPS corpus of the realism levels of these advantages: Action only allows Rapid Healing for characters, while AtE adds Recovery, even without mutant abilities. Banestorm, as a fantasy setting, has no realism limitations, and the write-up of the Hydra is a good demonstration of Regeneration enhancements. Bio-Tech can add all of these advantages except Recovery, although some of them require high TLs, and Horror has a lot of creatures with Accessibility limitations on these advantages. Locations: Hellsgate has a Regeneration potion to aid in torture, and that’s as bad as it sounds. Monster Hunters 3 uses Regeneration (Instant), but this is an error: it should be (Very Fast). Monster Hunters Power-Ups has an optional rule for Very Rapid Healing that makes it multiply healing from any source, and allows it to become a levelled trait, increasing the multiplier.

I’ve used Regeneration in play, as an Alternate Ability of Healing, since self-affecting Healing is expensive. I’ve never had Recovery or Regrowth; I’ve GM’ed a 3e werewolf who had Rapid Healing, and worried TL6 doctors who didn’t know what was going on.

How have these advantages played in your games?
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Old 12-27-2022, 07:58 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

There is a fairly prominent houserule pricing regrowth at [10] points. I use that when it comes up.
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Old 12-27-2022, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
There is a fairly prominent houserule pricing regrowth at [10] points. I use that when it comes up.
One thing I've considered in the past, given the strong interaction between RAW Regrowth and Regeneration, is to have two levels of Regrowth available. Regrowth costs [10] (as per RPK's houserule) but doesn't interact in any way with Fast Healing or Regeneration - it makes it so that lost bits regrow in the amount of time stated in the RAW Regrowth Advantage. Extreme Regrowth instead costs [20], and makes it so that any level of crippling injury - including outright losing a limb - only lasts until all HP from having the limb crippled/removed is gone (basically how the RAW Regrowth Advantage works if you also have Regeneration - but without actually needing Regeneration).

I know AotW threads normally aren't about houserules, but when perhaps the most infamously-overpriced Advantage (Regrowth) is involved, that's kind of inevitable.
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Old 12-27-2022, 09:16 AM   #4
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
One thing I've considered in the past, given the strong interaction between RAW Regrowth and Regeneration, is to have two levels of Regrowth available. Regrowth costs [10] (as per RPK's houserule) but doesn't interact in any way with Fast Healing or Regeneration - it makes it so that lost bits regrow in the amount of time stated in the RAW Regrowth Advantage. Extreme Regrowth instead costs [20], and makes it so that any level of crippling injury - including outright losing a limb - only lasts until all HP from having the limb crippled/removed is gone (basically how the RAW Regrowth Advantage works if you also have Regeneration - but without actually needing Regeneration).

I know AotW threads normally aren't about houserules, but when perhaps the most infamously-overpriced Advantage (Regrowth) is involved, that's kind of inevitable.
That's a capital idea! I've long used Rev's house rule value for Regrowth, but still felt a dissatisfaction over how it worked with Regeneration, never considering the solution might be simply breaking the synergy between the two Advantages.

To stay topical - I use Regeneration a *lot* for my personal builds, with Regrowth and Recovery seeing some (but less frequent) use. The players in my old games used Regen a few times, but I can't recall any instances of the other traits. Rapid Healing never seemed to get used at all :/
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Old 12-27-2022, 11:54 AM   #5
johndallman
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I know AotW threads normally aren't about houserules, but when perhaps the most infamously-overpriced Advantage (Regrowth) is involved, that's kind of inevitable.
I see no problem with having houserules in these threads. If a lot of people use one, putting a description where it will be found in the future is just sensible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
Rapid Healing never seemed to get used at all :/
It's only really useful if the characters are relying on natural healing. If something better is available via magic, psi, ultra-tech or whatever, it isn't great value.
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Old 12-27-2022, 12:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
It's only really useful if the characters are relying on natural healing. If something better is available via magic, psi, ultra-tech or whatever, it isn't great value.
There's also the fact that natural healing tends to take long enough that simply increasing the rate a bit (via a +5 to actually recover) doesn't really have much of an impact. Assuming you scale healing to HP (not just the "double HP healing at 20, triple at 30, etc," but interpreting "recover 1 HP" as "recover 10% of HP), a single Major Wound requires 5 successful recovery rolls (assuming bandaging drops it down to 50% HP worth of wounding). For an average HT 10 character, that means around 10 days of resting, which basically means either "You aren't recovering during this adventure" or "we'll fast-forward a couple weeks." For a character with HT 11+ and Rapid Healing, this would instead take around 5 days... which just means the latter is a one-week fast-forward instead of a two-week one (the former is still "you aren't recovering during this adventure"). Very Rapid healing is a bit better, in that you only need 3 days of rest, but that's still likely a "if you're resting, we'll just fast-forward through it" kind of situation. The latter is even worse when you consider Slow Regeneration, if available, heals you faster but costs fewer points (a character with Very Rapid Healing [15], which requires HT 12+, recovers around 20% HP per day of rest; a character with Slow Regeneration [10] recovers 20% HP per day without rest, and considering said character gets Rapid Healing for free, will likely recover a further 10% HP per day of rest, for a total of 30% HP per day of rest).

Rapid Healing and Very Rapid Healing are Advantages that are good in theory, but I don't think they do much for a character in practice, outside of maybe a long-term survival campaign where no exotic traits are available (and thus needing to take care of an immobile wounded ally for only 3 days instead of 10 days actually helps a good deal). If normal healing allowed for a roll at -5 to recovery HP on a day that you don't spend the whole day resting (instead of just not allowing a roll), then Rapid Healing and Very Rapid Healing would probably be more worthwhile (as they would mean the character could recover while still doing adventuring things), although in a campaign where Slow Regeneration was available, Very Rapid Healing would be useless (unless you let it double the rate of regeneration as well as natural recovery, in which case you'd have the option of adding [10] to the value of any level of Regeneration to double it, which may be worthwhile).
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Last edited by Varyon; 12-27-2022 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 12-27-2022, 12:52 PM   #7
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not another shrubbery View Post
. Rapid Healing never seemed to get used at all :/
Nobody ever took a Major Wound to the limbs and faced Crippling Injury including a "lasting" form? That's actually the bigger part of Rapid Healing. Lasting injuries are a potentially major problem for adventurers. They can put your character out for 6 months. Anyone who expects his character to face being wounded needs Rapid Healing unless he's going to have HT14 and Very Fit or a similar combo.

I had a character who was a genetically engineered warrior/accountant and even though he had HT14 and Very Fit I believe he had VRH too just for the self-sufficiency.
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Old 12-27-2022, 01:06 PM   #8
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Nobody ever took a Major Wound to the limbs and faced Crippling Injury including a "lasting" form? That's actually the bigger part of Rapid Healing. Lasting injuries are a potentially major problem for adventurers. They can put your character out for 6 months. Anyone who expects his character to face being wounded needs Rapid Healing unless he's going to have HT14 and Very Fit or a similar combo.

I had a character who was a genetically engineered warrior/accountant and even though he had HT14 and Very Fit I believe he had VRH too just for the self-sufficiency.
I somehow never noticed that Rapid Healing basically includes Resistant to Crippling +5; that arguably makes it worth it, at least if "crippling" wounds are markedly more common than "severing" ones (Rapid Healing doesn't help at all with the latter).
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Old 12-27-2022, 04:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

DFRPG explicitly expands the effects of Very Rapid Healing to give a +1 to "healing rate" in all situations, not just when rolling for natural healing. It probably wouldn't break anything to have it work that way in GURPS as well.
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Old 12-27-2022, 04:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Rapid Healing, Recovery, Regeneration and Regrowth

A simple house rule I have that increases the benefit of Rapid Healing is that I do daily healing rolls, but they have a penalty based on how strenuous of a day you have had, rather than requiring complete rest for the day.

This can be as much as a -5 penalty for strenuous physical activity while injured.

I've found that once this is known, the bonus from rapid healing starts looking very nice, especially in settings where supernatural healing is not common place.
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