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Comic 109 - Last Chance

7th March 2019 in Rise of the Robeast
Last Chance
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kidra 7th Mar 2019, 2:00 PM edit delete
Time for another round of "ways RPGs don't reflect the real world"!

I've always found it funny that characters can fight at the same level when at 1hp as they can when they're at full hp. In real life if you got stabbed, smashed, or otherwise injured, you wouldn't be fighting nearly so well. But in gaming it doesn't matter how many times you've been stabbed, so long as you have at least 1 hp you can do a quadruple back-flip while dual wielding scimitars.
Granted, I think this makes the game better, cuz it would be a pain to calculate that sort of thing. "Let's see, normally I would get a +6 to my attack, but since I've taken 12 points of damage I divide my bonus by…"
But then again, maybe I'm wrong. Is there a game out there that uses some sort of injury penalty in combat? Or can you think of a homebrew mechanic that would be simple?
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Otaku 7th Mar 2019, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
I actually assumed modern D&D or Pathfinder had this kind of mechanic, because GURPS has since at least its 3rd Edition (released back in 1988). Thought about half of the other RPG's I've played have had it as well... but I've only used four or five systems, some just barely. Small sample sizes and all. XP

The short* version is that GURPS has

1)Shock penalties from taking any HP damage at all. -1 per point of damage taken, max -4, last only one turn. Only applies to DX, IQ, and Skills based on those Attributes. There is an Advantage called "High Pain Threshold" that mitigates all of this, is commonly taken, and has a few other benefits... so this bit actually doesn't come up all too often. ;)

2) Risk of being knocked out, knocked down, or stunned by sufficient injury to the right locations... but that includes a torso hit if the damage is greater than half your maximum HP.

3) Your move and Dodge are halved (round up) if your HP score is down to 1/3 (or less) of your maximum HP.

4) At zero or less HP, you have to roll versus your HT each turn to avoid passing out.

5) When your HP goes fully negative,you roll versus HT to avoid dying. So a character with 10 HP doesn't risk dying until it has taken 20 damage, reducing that character to -10 HP.

6) Roll against HT to avoid dying again at -2x HP, -3x HP, and -4x HP. Using the same 10 HP example, that would mean rolling when its HP hits -20,-30, and -40 damage (meaning it has taken a total of 30, 40, and 50 damage, respectively).

7) At -5 x HP, your character is automatically dead. At -10 x HP, you're so dead that there isn't enough of a body for things like the base magic system's Resurrection spell. For that 10 HP character, that mean you're dead at -50 HP, having taken 60 total points of damage. At -100 HP (110 damage), you're character is likely beyond all help, even in settings with resurrection magic.

There are optional rules that simplify all of this, as well as many traits a character can take which can alter these things. Going the opposite direction, there also optional rules that make it more complicated and they sometimes are worth it. ;)

*No, really. There's more detail I could have gone into, though probably not too much more without optional rules.
kidra 11th Mar 2019, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
I really need to play GURPS sometime…
Otaku 11th Mar 2019, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
You already do. It is called "Being alive." ;)

Kidding aside, GURPS is not a reality simulator, but it's a flexible enough system to fake it at times. ;)

How much do you actually know about GURPS? Generic Universal Role-Playing System. Apparently, it was a placeholder name they just went with, and I'll be honest; I thought "generic" and "universal" meant the same thing. XD One is supposed to refer to how you can fine-tune the level of "realism" in the game, from gritty realism to the realism of your typical movie to downright silliness like a classic cartoon. One refers to how it can cover any kind of setting, using the same core rules; pseudo-medieval fantasy, space opera, action thriller, martial arts epic, superheroes, horror, mystery, etc. One or the other also includes how you can also adjust the crunchiness of the rules; some optional rules add to the "crunch" while others actually strip it away!

Though most fans I know don't make too much use of the latter; we find detail addictive. XD
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