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Old 02-25-2021, 02:58 PM   #21
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
"Conditional Injury" (Pyramid #3/120), indeed written by Douglas Cole. Note this largely serves to improve survivability, by preventing multiple injuries from "stacking" quite as readily (a single 10 HP wound is more severe than two 5 HP wounds).
If you want to get conditional injury more random, just add 1d6-4 to the Severity (do not apply to homogeneous targets). Thus, for a HP 10 (Robustness 4) target, an attack with WP 4 might kill you, and attack with WP 10 might be survivable (if mortally wounded).
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:59 PM   #22
Stormcrow
 
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Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Mercurae View Post
There are definitely two different styles presented here. One side is the RAW, strategy gamers who use all the numbers and rolls no matter what and play it straight. Then there's the story-tellers who fudge rolls or rule by fiat. Both are perfectly valid ways to play, it just depends on the GM and their players. Personally, I like both, it just depends on the game.
That's not the dichotomy here. It's the difference between making decisions and letting the rules make decisions. If someone is holding a knife to someone else's throat and they cut, we all KNOW what the outcome will be. We don't need a rule to tell us what to do, a procedure to process. That's what that quote from the GURPS rules is saying.

This isn't a matter of "storytelling." It's about knowing the correct outcome to an action without the rules telling you what it is.
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:02 PM   #23
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
That's not the dichotomy here. It's the difference between making decisions and letting the rules make decisions. If someone is holding a knife to someone else's throat and they cut, we all KNOW what the outcome will be. We don't need a rule to tell us what to do, a procedure to process. That's what that quote from the GURPS rules is saying.

This isn't a matter of "storytelling." It's about knowing the correct outcome to an action without the rules telling you what it is.
Do we, though? I don't think we do. Not unless we're subscribing to a certain line of cinematic cliche, that is. Which you can do, but I decline.
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:20 PM   #24
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

I feel the need to give a PTSD warning. There's some real world imagary in this post and we have military/medical/law enforcment people on this forum that may not cotton to this. I know as I typed this I had to take a moment afterwards, I think I cleaned most of it out, Just be aware



I did all this stuff below and realized... Yes the hostage technically survived having their throat cut... but they dont survive. In any form of realism the hostage dies at the end of having their throat cut. Magic and stuff make it weird, but taking that much damage to your neck isnt ultimately survivable without something fantastical (and that is not in any way available in "realism").

I think people are underestimating the rest of the Rules As Written. While you cavalierly toss "well -4x or -5x HPs is so far down"... You arent accounting for the damage very well. (I had to look a lot of this up cause I dont usually get this far in the weeds for a generic hostage).

Cutting does x1.5 damage RAW
Cutting the neck does x2 RAW B399

Thug is standing behind the target and has maximum leverage, its a hostage. I wouldn't make a PC roll to hit, nor roll damage (it would be max in this case), but I would let them crit fish/crit fail and thats all a roll would be for.

Knife does sw-2 (you can even add fine quality bonuses, I would ok giving a +1 for having sharpened the knife extra in preparation if this was a "set up")

If Thug has prepared this scenario, I would allow them to soften up the hostage "to encourage them to be docile and behaved". So its a safe bet your average hostage person is already around half HP, worse if the thug has no intention of them surviving. We dont need to take that into this, I just wanted to throw it out there for consideration.

Thug ST in "realistic" 10 maybe, 11 more likely, but 12 very possible. But we'll run all the numbers just to see.

I dont use this normally so Im not 100% sure which way it works if the cutting damage is doubled after the 1.5 or the 1.5 just becomes doubled.
Im taking the lowest version and thats x1.5 cutting to the neck becomes x2...
ST10 (sw=1d) knife is 1d-2. Max damage is 4, x2 cutting the neck =8
ST11 = 10
ST12 = 12

Bleeding B429 sets a max at -3 with a crit fail, and I cant imagine this would be anything but max every second. This is not gonna clot, you cant put a tourniquet on it, you cant put quickclot on it, this is not going to get better. Here is the one place where "magic or not" comes into play in a big way, magic could make this survivable depending on how you handle major wounds, but your original scenario doesnt say whether thats in play, so Im going to assume it isnt.

ST10 Thug
Hostage takes 8 right across the throat, thats more than half their HP shock for sure, and consciousness roll. Bleeding -3 each second and shock AND a death roll 3 seconds after they hit the ground (-10Hps), and every 3-4 seconds after that, GURPS math you have about 20sec before your -5xHP. Bleeding like that isnt survivable, hostage died from no blood to the brain.
Unless this is a magical world theres really no medical way for hostage to survive. There is no way to keep the magic juice flowing where it needs to go to keep the grey matter popping thats the real problem.

ST12 Thug
Hostage takes 12 to the neck which I would argue is pretty much the definition of decapitation, but lets play it out... thats -2HPs and roll to stay conscious, 3 sec later roll to not die and keep doing that till your dead. Somewhere around ~15sec you have bled to death .....

None of this was anything but a basic knife and a thug and a hostage. Thug wasnt magic, wasnt super strong, didnt get bonuses for the knife... nothing. That's why holding a knife to someones throat is dangerous!

There's also decapitation... If you are doing pretty much the entire HP value of the whole body to the neck, you have pretty much severed the head. Thats why there is a "rule" for instant dead.

I wouldnt count this as "combat" in my games. This situation has probably come about BECAUSE of actions of the PCs, so it would be more likely that they earned this scenario and the very likely hostage death that would result in trying to murder hobo a way out of this. There's no "possibility of survival from a cut throat" for a regular 10/10/10/10 npc in a "realistic" scenario, and pretty darn slim in a MedFan world unless you have a healer with a major heal right there.

Heroes might be able to survive in a magic heals situation, but gritty realism no.
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:06 PM   #25
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

You can survive having your throat cut. Instant death usually requires the cutting of the major arteries and veins, which is actually quite difficult to do in real life unless you have proper training and/or the victim is unaware.
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Old 02-25-2021, 04:47 PM   #26
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Lameth View Post
And I agree with you regarding story. My heroes earn that title. I do not believe in a hero bubble around them. No way. But I do not believe in a war gaming approach either of pluses, negs, and roles determining everything and the story serves no purpose. There is a line between and I think most experienced, good, and creative GMs (ST, DMs) find that sweet spot.
I think I may have to say that that doesn't apply to me. At any rate, I don't think my games have a "story."

At least, when I run a scenario, I haven't worked out in advance what is going to or supposed to happen. In particular, I haven't determined that the player characters are going to succeed, or even survive; nor have I decided on a set of specific victory conditions, or of actions that need to be performed. My approach is more in the spirit of Gregor Vorbarra saying, "Let's see what happens."

For me, the story element, so far as I have one, is in trying to make things interesting. I propose an interesting problem during the exposition; when the rules leave it open what happens, I look for the interesting choice. But I largely do that on the fly as I run the session. And I don't override the rules to make things interesting.

I do override the rules for a different purpose: to make things happen in a way that makes sense, either in terms of the way the real world works, or in terms of what I've established about the way the game setting works. But that's not based on "story." If "story" would require disregarding either real reality or game reality, I look for a different story.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:05 PM   #27
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
I dont use this normally so Im not 100% sure which way it works if the cutting damage is doubled after the 1.5 or the 1.5 just becomes doubled.
Im taking the lowest version and thats x1.5 cutting to the neck becomes x2...
ST10 (sw=1d) knife is 1d-2. Max damage is 4, x2 cutting the neck =8
ST11 = 10
ST12 = 12

Bleeding B429 sets a max at -3 with a crit fail, and I cant imagine this would be anything but max every second. This is not gonna clot, you cant put a tourniquet on it, you cant put quickclot on it, this is not going to get better.
Read again: Basic bleeding rolls are at the end of each minute. And of course, critical failures are far from guaranteed.

Now, if we're actually doing this right, we should use the Veins and Arteries hit location and Severe Bleeding rules from MA p137 and 138. The relevant effects, with all options set for kill, are: cutting wounding modifier upgraded to 2.5, bleeding every 30 seconds, an extra -4 on bleeding rolls, and staunching bleeding requires Surgery with all the bleeding roll penalties applied, First Aid won't help at all. And no Mortal Wound 'not quite dead' allowed.

So even taking your max damage numbers (which I would not use, for the record, those dice must roll) you're looking at 10-15 damage 'instantly' and bleeding rolls every 30 seconds at -6 or -7. That's certainly quite deadly - but it will take at least a minute to reach even the first death check. Probably more, even rolling against 3 a critical failure is only a 1/4th chance. It's technically possible to recover naturally but wildly improbable. And if someone can get them into a good operating room before they bleed out, Surgery at -7 is quite achievable.

In many circumstances, yeah, such a wound is a quick death sentence. If the high-power healing needed doesn't exist or can't be reached in relatively few minutes, that'll be it. But in many other circumstances, it's entirely possible to save the victim there.
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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
There's also decapitation... If you are doing pretty much the entire HP value of the whole body to the neck, you have pretty much severed the head. Thats why there is a "rule" for instant dead.
Decapitation with a knife cut? Seems wildly unlikely. Decapitation is hard. And if you really want to use HP damage modeling here for structural impact you should be ignoring the hit location damage modifiers and regarding the neck as Unliving.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:23 PM   #28
Keampe
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
So even taking your max damage numbers (which I would not use, for the record, those dice must roll) you're looking at 10-15 damage 'instantly' and bleeding rolls every 30 seconds at -6 or -7. That's certainly quite deadly - but it will take at least a minute to reach even the first death check. Probably more, even rolling against 3 a critical failure is only a 1/4th chance. It's technically possible to recover naturally but wildly improbable. And if someone can get them into a good operating room before they bleed out, Surgery at -7 is quite achievable.
An AoA Strong (Damage +2) means an extra 5 HP damage in this case, and why wouldn't they? Still most would live a few minutes (death saves every 4 minutes in this case) but getting stabilized would be very hard. This is a very dangerous, potentially fatal wound - and that's the threat of a knife to the neck. You could survive, yes, but would you take the risk? Fairly realistic, actually.

- Shane
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:35 PM   #29
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by Keampe View Post
An AoA Strong (Damage +2) means an extra 5 HP damage in this case, and why wouldn't they?
They might not, because the motivation for taking a hostage like this usually includes not dying yourself. Having no active defenses at that moment is fairly suicidal. If you only use an Attack you can also step back/towards cover and will be able to defend and retreat when the outraged PCs charge.

But yes, if you're going for maximum lethality AoA Strong or Double (depending on the damage rating in play) is appropriate.
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Originally Posted by Keampe View Post
Still most would live a few minutes (death saves every 4 minutes in this case) but getting stabilized would be very hard. This is a very dangerous, potentially fatal wound - and that's the threat of a knife to the neck. You could survive, yes, but would you take the risk? Fairly realistic, actually.

- Shane
Pretty much. I find it pretty satisfactory at least.
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Old 02-25-2021, 05:38 PM   #30
Lameth
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Hit Points...to be, or not to be?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I think I may have to say that that doesn't apply to me. At any rate, I don't think my games have a "story."

At least, when I run a scenario, I haven't worked out in advance what is going to or supposed to happen. In particular, I haven't determined that the player characters are going to succeed, or even survive; nor have I decided on a set of specific victory conditions, or of actions that need to be performed. My approach is more in the spirit of Gregor Vorbarra saying, "Let's see what happens."

For me, the story element, so far as I have one, is in trying to make things interesting. I propose an interesting problem during the exposition; when the rules leave it open what happens, I look for the interesting choice. But I largely do that on the fly as I run the session. And I don't override the rules to make things interesting.

I do override the rules for a different purpose: to make things happen in a way that makes sense, either in terms of the way the real world works, or in terms of what I've established about the way the game setting works. But that's not based on "story." If "story" would require disregarding either real reality or game reality, I look for a different story.

I agree Bill thank you
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