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Old 11-24-2022, 09:27 PM   #11
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
Even magic has is rules....
That's true, but the rules and definitions of magic do not need to match the definitions of modern science.

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
It is definitely more potent — you can cure arthritis, gallstones, cancer, IBS, GERD, and a host of other diseases. That is insane for a spell with a Prerequisite Count of 5
Prerequisite counts were determined arbitrarily by Steve Jackson and (IIRC) Eric Blankenship; they are by no means a balance tool or a measure of spell power. Lightning Armor is almost the same spell as Flaming Armor but has a prerequisite count of 12 to Flaming Armor's 7. Grease is a more powerful spell than Ice Slick with very similar effects, but Grease has a prerequisite count of 1 and Ice Slick has a count of 4. Great Haste is generally considered a much more powerful spell than Light Tread, but has a lower prerequisite count. And so on and so forth.

In an adventuring context, a Cure Disease spell that can cure GERD or cancer is not especially more powerful than a Cure Disease spell that cannot. I suppose if your game is Fantasy House, MD about the antics of a genius mage healer and his apprentices, then it would be too powerful, but running any kind of serious medicine/physicians game with RAW GURPS Magic would be a huge headache anyway.

As a side note, if someone has run a Fantasy House, MD game, I'd love to know the details.
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:07 AM   #12
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

I suspect the spell wasn't written with the idea you might have nutritional deficiencies be a thing that can just happen in a game.
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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The classic version was saner: "Eliminates all disease, plague, or infection microorganisms of one chosen type from the body of the subject. (...) If no organism is responsible, the spell has no effect!"
This isn't much better than the 4e wording, since "plague" can represent a host of ailments and "organism" can represent the subject. Thus, you could count arthritis as a "plague" caused by an "organism" (misguided immune system cells) produced by the subject.

The 4E wording allows for the possibility of curing magically-induced disease, which a magical Cure Disease spell should definitely be able to do.

Given that the odds of an important NPC, much less a PC, in a fantasy game will be stricken by a dietary deficiency are almost nil, it's a trivial increase in spell power to allow Cure Disease to heal such ailments.

It's slightly more unbalancing if the GM allows Cure Disease to cure chronic or terminal conditions, since that makes it a cheap version of Wish or Resurrection.

The quick house rule to fix this problem is to narrow the definition of "disease." The slightly more complex way to handle the problem is to import the mechanics from the Healing advantage, which give a penalty to cure really nasty problems.

Making the point cost of Cure Disease variable would also be a nice bit of play balance. It should cost less energy to cure a 24-hour virus which causes the sniffles than Stage 4 metastatic bone cancer.
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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It's slightly more unbalancing if the GM allows Cure Disease to cure chronic or terminal conditions, since that makes it a cheap version of Wish or Resurrection.
As far as I'm concerned, if a character with a disease represented by one or more Disadvantages tries to cheese points by just using Cure Disease, they'll at most stave things off for a short period of time before the condition returns. Or they'll be affected by something else that has the same effect or at least total point value. At least until they save up the points to get rid of the Disadvantages.
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Old 11-25-2022, 08:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

Nitpickers should note that "disease" and "infection" are terms of art in GURPS. Disease is a big heading covering pp. B442-444, and Infection is another one on p. B444. They have specific meanings in the game. The super-category that encompasses these and more is found on p. B442: Illness. The spell isn't called "Cure Illness."

All of which said, I detest nitpicking. 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!

If the experts are TL0 shamans, then the spell cures any malaise caused by an evil spirit or pestilent object. If they're TL2, change the belief to humors and miasmas. If they're TL12 techno-mages, then it cures anything that endpoint medical science has conclusively attributed to bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions, viroids, viruses, or any new class of infectious agent discovered (I'd propose "wet nanomachines," since the difference from the previous list is one of origin, not mechanism of action) . . . which will include a lot of things that we TL8 types don't believe are caused by infection, because as has been pointed out, more and more things are reattributed to infectious agents each year. At any TL, if there's magic to cure disease, then there's probably magic to cause it, so whatever that relies on – spirits, warped mana, etc. – Cure Disease should work on that as well.

"Believe" is fair here because Cure Disease is not Cure Disease/TL. It isn't meant to have hard technological or scientific criteria. It's classic folk magic – the sort that precedes the scientific method by four or five TLs. While "magic is a science" is a way to see things, it's probably the wrong way to see things prior to TL5 . . . which is uncoincidentally when widespread belief in magic started to wane rapidly. The GURPS magic system has been fairly random, with risk of summoning demons and many things that work a certain way by fiat, since Steve designed it in the mid-1980s; it has never been scientific.
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Old 11-25-2022, 09:11 AM   #16
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

On the other hand, a disease or two that is especially scary because it is not affected by Cure Disease could make a nice campaign detail.
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Old 11-25-2022, 09:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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On the other hand, a disease or two that is especially scary because it is not affected by Cure Disease could make a nice campaign detail.
I find it fun to give some diseases modifiers to Cure Disease . . . The minor sniffles might get +5, while the plague devastating the land is doing so because it gives -10. For added fun, have certain rare ingredients reduce or eliminate a disease's penalties. That plague might give -20 and be functionally incurable without true love's tears flowers from Dragon Mountain, but be cured at full skill if the recipient is strewn with petals, consumed in the casting. (Or, if you're evil, the petals absorb the plague and become pestilent and dangerous!)
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Old 11-25-2022, 12:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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I find it fun to give some diseases modifiers to Cure Disease . . . The minor sniffles might get +5, while the plague devastating the land is doing so because it gives -10. For added fun, have certain rare ingredients reduce or eliminate a disease's penalties. That plague might give -20 and be functionally incurable without true love's tears flowers from Dragon Mountain, but be cured at full skill if the recipient is strewn with petals, consumed in the casting. (Or, if you're evil, the petals absorb the plague and become pestilent and dangerous!)
One thought I had for the Fantasy House MD model (or vaguely similar games) combines that with 'the more you know about what you're curing, the better able you are to adjust the spell, and thus the lower the default penalty becomes.' This might also be combined with Spell Techniques for particular diseases or categories of disease ('Healer Chuck specializes in clearing out all sorts of Nausea Demons').

EDIT: In any case, if you don't have the diagnosis right, you might cast the spell casually and get a critical failure due to a level of penalty that you were in no way prepared for.
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Old 11-25-2022, 03:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
This isn't much better than the 4e wording, since "plague" can represent a host of ailments and "organism" can represent the subject. Thus, you could count arthritis as a "plague" caused by an "organism" (misguided immune system cells) produced by the subject.
Viruses are some what similar in that they hijack a cell and with no cells to hijack they just sit there.

Undead microbes would be a terror as would MR microbes and Viruses.
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Old 11-25-2022, 04:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: 4e Cure Disease badly worded/overpowered

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As a side note, if someone has run a Fantasy House, MD game, I'd love to know the details.
Is my Doctor Cox (from Scrubs), if he were a healer paladin come close enough?
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