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Old 06-26-2016, 12:04 AM   #1
Tallor
 
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Default Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

For this rule question I propose an example:

Batman is fighting Killer Croc by a cliffside. Croc is already hit with a tranquilizer, and is losing strength fast. Batman manages to hit Croc hard enough to stun him--Croc loses balance, and falls off the cliff, into a lake.

Croc is now unconscious and underwater (and he cannot breath water), but his metahuman abilities include Breath-Holding 7. Does this provide a benefit versus drowning, or perhaps to resuscitation, since Croc's physiology stores oxygen better?

What do you think?
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

The Advantage doesn't state that taking a deep breath is necessary to use it, right? It's not Lung Capacity, after all. I'd give half benefit, rounded up.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

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Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
The Advantage doesn't state that taking a deep breath is necessary to use it, right? It's not Lung Capacity, after all. I'd give half benefit, rounded up.
That's my take as well. I just checked, and it simply magnifies breath holding time with no such listed drawback in Basic. But Doesn't Breathe: Oxygen Storage says that Breath Holding does NOT protect against the bends.

No concentrate manuever to take a deep breath first halves holding ability in general.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

Suffocation/drowning is unrelated to the bends and nitrogen narcosis - the bends is a mechanical problem (bubbles in your body where bubbles don't belong and gum up the works), and nitrogen narcosis is a metabolic hazard (it's a toxicity effect).

Doesn't Breath helping with either is weird and I'm not sure I like that.
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Suffocation/drowning is unrelated to the bends and nitrogen narcosis - the bends is a mechanical problem (bubbles in your body where bubbles don't belong and gum up the works), and nitrogen narcosis is a metabolic hazard (it's a toxicity effect).

Doesn't Breath helping with either is weird and I'm not sure I like that.
IIRC diving without an external air supply, and thus without breathing while deep down, makes decompression much easier for humans, so not breathing at all might be of use.
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallor
For this rule question I propose an example:

Batman is fighting Killer Croc by a cliffside. Croc is already hit with a tranquilizer, and is losing strength fast. Batman manages to hit Croc hard enough to stun him--Croc loses balance, and falls off the cliff, into a lake.

Croc is now unconscious and underwater (and he cannot breath water), but his metahuman abilities include Breath-Holding 7. Does this provide a benefit versus drowning, or perhaps to resuscitation, since Croc's physiology stores oxygen better?

What do you think?
I would say that Killer Croc is obviously doing nothing (other than being unconscious), so he is effectively at No Exertion, and (as per B351) he can hold his breath for HT x 10 seconds but he was obviously surprised by his entry and didnít get to take a deep breath, so (as per B352) this is halved to HT x 5. Breath-Holding 7 increases the time he can hold his breath (as per B41) by a factor of 2^7 = x128, so Killer Croc doesnít start to lose fatigue until HT x 640 seconds have passed.

Iím not entirely satisfied with this though. It seems appropriate enough as an explanation for why Killer Croc is back in a later adventure rather than being dead but it offends against verisimilitude. Killer Croc is unconscious! He shouldnít be able to hold his breath at all! In that case, he should have automatically failed his Swimming roll (as per B346-B347) and be inhaling at least some water, thereby losing 1 FP in the first second and another FP every five seconds thereafter until he recovers consciousness. Killer Croc needs rescuing(, probably by Batman).
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Suffocation/drowning is unrelated to the bends and nitrogen narcosis - the bends is a mechanical problem (bubbles in your body where bubbles don't belong and gum up the works), and nitrogen narcosis is a metabolic hazard (it's a toxicity effect).

Doesn't Breath helping with either is weird and I'm not sure I like that.
I guess it depends on how "doesn't breath" actually works for the character in question, and which version you have in terms of the rules.

Not doing some of the things we do to breath and oxygenate our blood and having different physiological assumptions from human norm would remove the danger of the bends and Narcosis of the deeps.

EDIT: a point made in the write up of the Oxygen Storage version of this advantage on pg49

Last edited by Tomsdad; 06-27-2016 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Suffocation/drowning is unrelated to the bends and nitrogen narcosis - the bends is a mechanical problem (bubbles in your body where bubbles don't belong and gum up the works), and nitrogen narcosis is a metabolic hazard (it's a toxicity effect).

Doesn't Breath helping with either is weird and I'm not sure I like that.
Nitrogen saturates the blood only if you're breathing it in high pressures while under water. It can't come from nowhere. If you only have one lung full, there's not enough.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I would say that Killer Croc is obviously doing nothing (other than being unconscious), so he is effectively at No Exertion, and (as per B351) he can hold his breath for HT x 10 seconds but he was obviously surprised by his entry and didn’t get to take a deep breath, so (as per B352) this is halved to HT x 5. Breath-Holding 7 increases the time he can hold his breath (as per B41) by a factor of 2^7 = x128, so Killer Croc doesn’t start to lose fatigue until HT x 640 seconds have passed.

I’m not entirely satisfied with this though. It seems appropriate enough as an explanation for why Killer Croc is back in a later adventure rather than being dead but it offends against verisimilitude. Killer Croc is unconscious! He shouldn’t be able to hold his breath at all! In that case, he should have automatically failed his Swimming roll (as per B346-B347) and be inhaling at least some water, thereby losing 1 FP in the first second and another FP every five seconds thereafter until he recovers consciousness. Killer Croc needs rescuing(, probably by Batman).
IIRC if the person lost consciousness but the blood CO2 didn't reach reflex-trigger levels (yet!), then the person won't inhale. For a while, anyway. (Requesting actual medics to correct me if I'm wrong.)
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Breath-Holding vs Being Unconscious, Underwater

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Batman manages to hit Croc hard enough to stun him... Croc is now unconscious and underwater
Just as a minor nitpick on the OP, note that in GURPS "stun" does not mean "unconscious". Stunned characters take the Do Nothing maneuver. They don't lose the ability to see, or fall down on the ground, and so on. Knockdown and stunning are two different things (see B420). And stunned characters can still make Active Defenses, albeit at a penalty. Unconscious is a different condition with more severe limitations.

The original scenario still works if we ignore the reference to "stun" and assume that it's the tranquilizer dart that's causing Croc to go unconscious. Knockback without stunning, frex, would be sufficient to dump him into the lake. Or perhaps he just stumbles and falls over the cliff as the tranq kicks in; we don't even really need Bats to touch him to set up the question.
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