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Old 03-06-2018, 01:04 PM   #31
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

The big problem with effective esoteric medicine is that you have to define why it's not just Physician. In GURPS, that's usually because it can treat supernatural ailments, which is why I like specializations by power source.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:22 PM   #32
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

It's like the old joke: What do you call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.
If it works and is even somewhat predictable, then it can be studied like any "mundane" skill. The only way to separate them other than by specializations is if their use require advantages or traits that not everyone has like magery.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:50 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The big problem with effective esoteric medicine is that you have to define why it's not just Physician. [...]
That's an odd phrasing of a question. Same reason why massage is not Surgery, so to speak: both have some uses, and one is certainly more 'flashy' in its usefulness than the other, but one does not substitute for another.
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:02 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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That's an odd phrasing of a question.
No, it really isn't. Two skills that do the same thing are the same skill, and most claimed benefits of esoteric medicine are firmly in scope for conventional medicine (though conventional medicine may not claim to have effective treatments); if it actually works, it's just Physician (or a related skill) via an alternate tech path.
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:43 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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That's an odd phrasing of a question. Same reason why massage is not Surgery, so to speak: both have some uses, and one is certainly more 'flashy' in its usefulness than the other, but one does not substitute for another.
Massage is a comfort skill. A better comparison would be rehabilitation physical therapists which are medically trained professionals.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:00 PM   #36
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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Massage is a comfort skill. A better comparison would be rehabilitation physical therapists which are medically trained professionals.
Massage therapy seems to fit under Esoteric Medicine and would have some minor benefits in treating certain types of injury or muscle pains.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:18 PM   #37
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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It's like the old joke: What do you call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.
If it works and is even somewhat predictable, then it can be studied like any "mundane" skill. The only way to separate them other than by specializations is if their use require advantages or traits that not everyone has like magery.
Well there are at least four separate "working" medical skills built around different approaches already - Physician, Pharmacy, Surgery and Veterinary - so having a fifth one isn't all that strange.

But in a lot of ways I think the issue is that we've got a special label - Physican - for Esoteric Medicine (Modern Western), or at least confuse the two a lot.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:22 PM   #38
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Massage therapy seems to fit under Esoteric Medicine and would have some minor benefits in treating certain types of injury or muscle pains.
Massage therapy, to the degree it does anything, fits under Physician (specifically, physical therapy. GURPS can be odd about what it requires specializations for, having mandatory specialization for esoteric medicine and no specialization at all for physician is... silly).
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But in a lot of ways I think the issue is that we've got a special label - Physican - for Esoteric Medicine (Modern Western), or at least confuse the two a lot.
It's not 'esoteric' if it's the standard that is taught (this thread is mostly convincing me that 'esoteric medicine' shouldn't exist at all, the useful stuff is physician at a different or alternate TL, the useless stuff is an expert skill).

For certain skills there's an argument for 'technical language' advantages, specializations, or perks, where two people are actually doing the same thing but have different ways of describing what they're doing.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:53 PM   #39
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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It's not 'esoteric' if it's the standard that is taught
So if your campaign is set in 19th century China...?
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:54 PM   #40
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Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Esoteric Medicine

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
It's like the old joke: What do you call alternative medicine that works? Medicine.
If it works and is even somewhat predictable, then it can be studied like any "mundane" skill. The only way to separate them other than by specializations is if their use require advantages or traits that not everyone has like magery.
Some of those things have really effective stuff mixed in with what is obviously ritual magic. Not everything I am thinking of comes to mind right away, though boiling water to drive away evil is an example(it is even, almost a scientific description of what happens but of course Mongol Shamans use different words).

I think I can remember vaguely reading stuff about the Appalachians that is a mixture of scientifically unquestionable methods with stuff that was chanting jingles or whatever.

Herb lore is sometimes like that. Some herbs are genuinely helpful, some are at best a placebo and the way they are administered often adds nothing special to their effectiveness.

A good way to separate it, is if a wise woman picks a piece of Goodlywort in the forest and boils a soup out of it, it is esoteric medicine. If it is distilled in some chemistry shop until the stuff that causes the effect desired it is conventional medicine.
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