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Old 06-09-2023, 02:57 AM   #1
Kaslak
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Default [The Last Gasp] Strangulation/suffocation, 0AP and second wind

Hi all,

Under TLG strangulation causes loss of 1AP/s instead of 1FP/s (and by extension, suffocating atmosphere should behave the same).

When you drop to 0AP , and each second thereafter, make a HT roll. Failure results in unconsciousness.

What happens if a character drops to 0AP and spends immediately 1FP to recover AP?

- Does the roll to not drop unconscious take precedence over AP recovery?
- Does the roll happen even if you get to 0AP expending them in your turn, instead of only when you account for suffocation losses?
- Does getting some AP back prevent additional rolls until the 0AP limit is hit again?

My interpretation is yes to all three of them. The emergent behavior is that you have to make at least one roll every few rounds (since you can't prevent it by spending FP) if you don't exert yourself too much. The increasing penalty in HT increases unconsciousness probability and decreases the amount of FP you get each time. Moreover, you have to roll more often if you are fighting, receiving pain, and exerting yourself in the meantime.

Do you agree with the above interpretation?
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Old 06-09-2023, 04:48 AM   #2
Blind Mapmaker
 
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Default Re: [The Last Gasp] Strangulation/suffocation, 0AP and second wind

Quite the all-out option for rules-management, that one.

Last Gasp's wording on recovering AP through expending FP is a little unclear, unfortunately. However, it is not listed as a recovery event, so I'd give the benefit of the doubt and allow you to use it as a free action. Now, whether this means you can use it outside your turn, is again debatable. Allowing the heroes to take an important defence despite having no AP left is good story-telling, but so is making them take a deep breath before running into melee. Pick your poison and stick to it.

Then there's the question of when you lose FP (Basic) / AP (Last Gasp) from suffocation. Here I would argue that this happens at the beginning of the turn, but after the roll to stay conscious. Everything else is simply not fun.

Keeping all that in mind means you might not necessarily need to make any rolls to stay conscious, because you can regain AP after dropping to 0 AP as a free action and the roll to stay conscious would only happen the following round. But if you lose AP and reach 0 AP again before the beginning of your turn you might be out of luck if your GM ruled regaining AP can only be done on your turn.

Answering your questions:

- Does the roll to not drop unconscious take precedence over AP recovery?

Would happen before recovering in my book, but recovery on your previous turn might prevent it.

- Does the roll happen even if you get to 0AP expending them in your turn, instead of only when you account for suffocation losses?

Would still happen if you're at 0 AP on the beginning of your turn and still being strangled / in suffocating atmosphere.

- Does getting some AP back prevent additional rolls until the 0AP limit is hit again?

Yes, you are expending a resource that is a lot harder to regain. You need to get something to show for that.


So the usual sequence would be

1) Check if you are suffocating and at 0 AP: if yes => roll HT to stay conscious.

2) Lose 1 AP.

3) Spend FP to regain AP if you think you might drop to 0 AP before your next turn.

4) Do the usual stuff if you're still conscious and have more than 0 AP. Otherwise use recovery events.

5) Your turn ends.

6) You spend AP on active defences or lose them through injury / pain / magic / weird-tech weapons etc. until it's your turn again.

True, that makes it somewhat unlikely to ever roll to stay conscious, but I found being unconscious rather un-fun, unless you have a karma point mechanic or characters with Luck to stave it off.

Of course, if your whole scenario is about walking slowly in suffocating atmosphere until you press the door open button, then that would be the main problem, not the rules. Excitement and risk should come from unexpected sources, not a the predictable, constant threat in my opinion. Your examples for having to roll more often are all good for having to roll unexpectedly.
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Last edited by Blind Mapmaker; 06-09-2023 at 04:50 AM. Reason: added ways to lose AP when it's not your turn
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Old 06-09-2023, 06:47 AM   #3
Lovewyrm
 
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Default Re: [The Last Gasp] Strangulation/suffocation, 0AP and second wind

Could a concentration roll (floatable to HT/ST ) be a suitable shoe horn into the system?

That way, one could model various levels of "suffocation" and the characters reaction to it.

In other words: Deliberate, focused breathholding based 'toughing it out' at the margin of consciousness is easier than getting throttled by a slavering, stinky, violent ogre who drags ya across the table while choking you out.

I have to add to my own suggestion though, that it might feel a bit arbitrary.
"Why need a roll for that"
And I have no real answer other than "So it's more likely for you to pass out"
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Old 06-09-2023, 11:30 PM   #4
Kaslak
 
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Default Re: [The Last Gasp] Strangulation/suffocation, 0AP and second wind

Thanks to both of you for your replies.

You made some good points, Blind Mapmaker. I have to take some time to think about your proposed interpretation.

One thing is however is that, unless official clarification comes, I'd allow to spend FP at least when the character is able to spend AP. As you also pointed out, this plus giving precedence to AP recovery over rolling because of getting to 0AP, makes everything a bit too forgiving.

Lovewyrm, I am not sure I got right the first suggestion, you mean to allow (as a house rule) for a concentrate maneuver to make a HT or ST roll to bypass the unconsciousness roll before recovering AP?
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Old 06-10-2023, 01:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: [The Last Gasp] Strangulation/suffocation, 0AP and second wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaslak View Post
, you mean to allow (as a house rule) for a concentrate maneuver to make a HT or ST roll to bypass the unconsciousness roll before recovering AP?
For (stressful) suffocation, yes, but again, it's real arbitrary and other than "making passing out from suffocation more likely" I have no rationalization.
It's not like you need concentration rolls for (many) other such things.

It's just that IRL, stress does influence breathing...but that's not modeled in other maneuvers either (to my knowledge) so my suggestion might cause you to get questioned about it if you were to use it.
"Come on, why a roll?"
And again, the only answer I have to that is "to model stress so you can pass out more easily lol" (lol is optional)
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Old 06-10-2023, 04:03 AM   #6
Kaslak
 
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Default Re: [The Last Gasp] Strangulation/suffocation, 0AP and second wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovewyrm View Post
For (stressful) suffocation, yes, but again, it's real arbitrary and other than "making passing out from suffocation more likely" I have no rationalization.
It's not like you need concentration rolls for (many) other such things.

It's just that IRL, stress does influence breathing...but that's not modeled in other maneuvers either (to my knowledge) so my suggestion might cause you to get questioned about it if you were to use it.
"Come on, why a roll?"
And again, the only answer I have to that is "to model stress so you can pass out more easily lol" (lol is optional)
Rolling a dice is not strictly needed, but the important thing is that it is not arbitrary GM fiat or "narrative" stuff. The system must tell everyone, GM included, what happens, at my table at least :)

On the other side... I think to remember that in Basic Set, there is a big difference between "Holding your Breath" and "Suffocation". Likely there is some big granularity involved, deciding if the character is acting non stressfully while holding his/her breath, or the AP system with a 1s resolution should be used, probably that is the "switch" we might use to differentiate.

Just to elaborate further, I am not a roll die affecionado.If the rule you propose is a rule like the one that there is still in TLG - after x minutes of unconsciousness lose IQ for brain damage (without rolling a dice), and if it factors in HT, fatigue level, and (dis)advantages such as fit/unfit, it would be likewise acceptable for me. But the system does not provide such a rule.

Last edited by Kaslak; 06-10-2023 at 04:09 AM.
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