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> I'm dying as fast as I can!, Don't rush me!
Arethusa
post May 10 2004, 02:10 AM
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It's pretty obvious that the time it takes to die in SR is ridiculously fast and ridiculously reliable. Even the strongest troll can't last a minute on the ground in the best of circumstances, and there's no way you'll ever take a shot to the gut and spend three days barely conscious, dying in a ditch.

To my knowledge, this hasn't been tackled anywhere else, so here's my suggestion: roll 2d6 on taking a wound and apply the result to a chart that varies from canon's death speed (which I guess models losing a limb and blowing a couple arteries) to spending the next half week vacationing in your local ditch, averages in the middle. The chart would only deal in the amount of time it takes to accrue another box of overflow, tuned to allowing a body 4 person to die over the course of many days on an extremely (kind of) fortuitous roll.

Descriptions are left up the GM. If he possesses the medical knowledge to know that a solid torso hit can punch through your intestines and graze your stomach before slipping perilously close to your spine on its way out, resulting in slow but steady and largely unstaunchable blood loss, massive but stable drop in blood pressure, blood poisoning as a result of those punctured intestines and stomach, infection, extreme pain, and intermittent consciousness— more power to him. If the GM does not know that a Deadly wound to the leg could graze your femoral artery, shatter your femur, and cause physiological shock and significant blood loss as a result of broad trauma to a lot of generally not significant blood vessels— it doesn't matter. All he has to do is give times to death and very general descriptions, making the system flexible and scalable to the GM's knowledge of general medecine.

And, yes, this will be a part of Canon Revision. Any thoughts?

[edit]

Should also note that there will be an inclusion of incapacitation with consciousness, which basically allows you to take actions at the GM's apporval— very, very slowly, and very, very badly. Also, may include Willpower and Body checks to stay or become conscious.

This post has been edited by Arethusa: May 10 2004, 04:00 PM
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Jason Farlander
post May 10 2004, 02:13 AM
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QUOTE (Arethusa)
It's pretty obvious that the time it takes to die in SR is ridiculously fast and ridiculously reliable. Even the strongest troll can't last a minute on the ground in the best of circumstances, and there's no way you'll ever take a shot to the gut and spend three days barely conscious, dying in a ditch.


Self-stabilization.
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Arethusa
post May 10 2004, 02:20 AM
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Uh, no. This can happen to you in real life without recieving any medical care of any kind.

Not to mention that, per canon, you can't, given that you are requisitely unconscious.
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Jason Farlander
post May 10 2004, 02:27 AM
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*re-reads rules*

Oh... thats right. As per the rules, you only get a self-stabilization test if a biotech test fails. I ignore that and allow a self stabilization test every time your overflow increases. Forgot it was a houserule :D

Edit: By self-stabilization I did not mean using biotech on yourself, I meant that body test vs TN 10 to see if you stop accumulating overflow. Sorry if that was unclear.
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John Campbell
post May 10 2004, 03:12 AM
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Self-stabilization doesn't really fix the problem, either. You either don't stabilize and die in very short order, or you stabilize and don't die at all, unless you take more damage from some other source. There's no possibility of a slow, painful, lingering death, of the sort where the Vikings would feed you some onion soup, then smell your wound, and if your wound smelled like onions, slit your throat on the spot, because you were a dead man either way, and you'd enjoy having your throat slit a lot more than you'd enjoy the next couple of days.
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I Eat Time
post May 10 2004, 03:41 AM
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I think the dying within a minute rules currently in Canon are for balance, really. If 9/10 times you took a deadly wound you didn't die for an hour, then it'd be almost impossible for a SRer to die in a hail of gunfire if his or her side didn't lose. The only two reliable ways to kill a SRer would be explosives and people walking around to cap them in the head if the whole party dies.

Me, I don't kill characters anyway, so I'm all up for pain and suffering wounds as opposed to outright killing. But if you make death usually linger, it takes the individual threat of combat out of the picture. Sure, if the whole team's fragged, you're fragged, but as long as someone stays alive they could walk back to Seattle and call DocWagon for you. Maybe not that extreme, but ya get the picture.
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Kagetenshi
post May 10 2004, 03:44 AM
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I personally just fiat things like this, but that's hardly the kind of solution you're looking for.

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Arethusa
post May 10 2004, 04:14 AM
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The last thing Shadowrun needs is unnecessary and completely unrealistic hyperrealism. It makes thins absurdly lethal and completely shatters immersion because it's insane. Besides, just because you take a long time to die doesn't mean you're in good shape afterwards, and it doesn't mean the experience is pleasant. And if you really want to make sure someone's dead, just double tap him in the head and finish the job.

Can GM fiat fix the problem without extra mechanics? Of course. But GM fiat shouldn't be required to tiptoe around the holes in a system, at risk of repeating myself too much. Hell, as a player, I know that unless the GM has decided to fuck me, no one will live to talk about what I've done here. That sort of assurance makes it very hard to immerse onesself in the game, and that's just not good.
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I Eat Time
post May 10 2004, 04:17 AM
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QUOTE (Arethusa)
Besides, just because you take a long time to die doesn't mean you're in good shape afterwards, and it doesn't mean the experience is pleasant.

For the vast majority of players, it's pretty hard for them to think "a slow and incredibly painful two hours of life" is worse than "dying on the spot". In other words, if a GM wants to strike worry and fear into the hearts of PCs when it comes to combat, even just a little bit, making the rules softer on their character sheets isn't the way to go about it.

Now, if you've got an incredibly good and thematic group, then definitely. Groups that aren't even subconsciously worried about stats on the sheet and much more interested in realism in the games, your rules fit. But this, overall, is a serious minority in the SR PC gaming pool, and the writers have to write for the majority.
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Arethusa
post May 10 2004, 04:21 AM
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I should point out that the possibility of dying is still very real, and just because you don't bleed out immediately doesn't make you immune to the joys of sniping and deadlier overdamage, which is what this is designed to work in tandem with.
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Zazen
post May 10 2004, 06:11 AM
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QUOTE (Arethusa)
It makes thins absurdly lethal and completely shatters immersion because it's insane.

I don't want to bring up the same thing again, but have you actually witnessed this phenomenon? :P
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Arethusa
post May 10 2004, 06:24 AM
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Oh, come on. Unlike speed in melee, this one actually comes up every single time someone hits Deadly, which is not, you know, exactly outside the realm of possibility for a game in which very often very bad people commit crimes for money.
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Zazen
post May 10 2004, 06:38 AM
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I know, but it doesn't feel bizarre or stupid, at least not in my games. A minute of game time can take an hour or two of real time, after which it seems pretty natural for someone to have finally bled to death.
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Omega Skip
post May 10 2004, 07:13 AM
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Here's how I see it: A (D) wound means you've just caught a big one. Blood splatters everywhere - basically, your guts are hanging lose (well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration). Under those circumstances, I find the rules work fine the way they are.

However, I can see Arethusa's point. I remember watching a documentary (BBC, I think) about the Falkland war, where british soldiers had been shot up badly and left out there for days, yet still managed to stay alive long enough for a rescue team to get them out. I think that's the "lying in a ditch" situation Arethusa was talking about.

If you want rules that allow for this kind of scenario, I think what Arethusa stated at the beginning sounds reasonable, with maybe one or two additions: Start autofilling the physical monitor earlier, but make it slower depending on Body (thus no additional dice rolling). Also, I half-remember reading rules about staying conscious after going into overflow, but I don't remember where. Maybe make a Willpower[8] test (plus any non-wound modifiers), plus every action a character makes that would be considered a complex action requires him/her to roll that test again to see if the character passes out.

The thing is, slow death can become really unbalancing if you've got a competent mage and/or a paramedic in the group, because in that case, taking damage becomes even less of a hassle than it already would be.
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Arethusa
post May 10 2004, 07:41 AM
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QUOTE (Zazen)
I know, but it doesn't feel bizarre or stupid, at least not in my games. A minute of game time can take an hour or two of real time, after which it seems pretty natural for someone to have finally bled to death.

It's still a minute ingame, and if combat ends and you stop working in 3 second intervals, that person's going to die before he ever makes it to a hospital unless you have a trained medic with you. Though people that caught some crossfire on the sidewalk? They'll all be dead before DocWagon can so much as land. These are the things that destroy immersion.

QUOTE (Omega Skip)
Here's how I see it: A (D) wound means you've just caught a big one. Blood splatters everywhere - basically, your guts are hanging lose (well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration). Under those circumstances, I find the rules work fine the way they are.

I think that is a bit unfairly exaggerated. I can take 10 hits from a light pistol and simply be overwhelmed from blood loss, shock, plummeting blood pressure and metabolism, and pain, without really having hit anything major, much less throwing my intestines on a wall. That sort of situation could really lead to a very prolonged death while still leaving me (quite understandably) incapacitated to at least a very large degree. Taking a Deadly in a single hit is another matter, and, yeah, that usually is a bit more unpleasant, but it doesn't have to be. Depends on a lot of factors, including GM ruling.

QUOTE (Omega Skip)
I think that's the "lying in a ditch" situation Arethusa was talking about.

Pretty much, yeah. Human beings can really be astoundingly durable.

QUOTE (Omega Skip)
make it slower depending on Body

I have a couple problems with this. For one, you're already factoring Body into the equation by using it to determine the number of overflow boxes the soon-to-be-deceased has, and there's no real reason to factor it in twice. Second, and more importantly, is that it doesn't allow for random variance. Very tough people can get shot once and die before they hit the ground, and very frail people can take those 10 Light wounds and crawl away— but if both take the exact same debilitating hit, the more fragile person will pretty much expire first. Since it's really only one dice roll and it's for something that's not exactly insignificant, I don't really have a problem with it, and it adds a very necessary level of uncertainty to combat.

QUOTE (Omega Skip)
Also, I half-remember reading rules about staying conscious after going into overflow, but I don't remember where. Maybe make a Willpower[8] test (plus any non-wound modifiers), plus every action a character makes that would be considered a complex action requires him/her to roll that test again to see if the character passes out.

If you can remember where, I'd really appreciate it. I haven't really set on anything yet, and I'm curious how it's been handled before. Also, don't mind the Willpower test (though I think I'd make Body complementary or at least involved somehow), but I don't like making complex actions causing unconsciousness. I understand you want to try and keep the traumatically wounded from casting or letting loose on full auto, but a lot of non combat related actions are considered complex as well.

QUOTE (Omega Skip)
The thing is, slow death can become really unbalancing if you've got a competent mage and/or a paramedic in the group, because in that case, taking damage becomes even less of a hassle than it already would be.

Not everyone's going to be dying slowly, though, so the medic is going to have to move quickly to ensure the casualty's survival, just like a real medic. Furthermore, healing on the spot is really not going to be capable of restoring a casualty to combat capability; it's just going to stop him from dying and let him live, again, as in real life. Is it less of a hassle? I don't think so. If you live, that's great. You still need to spend a lot of time in a hospital and can still die even after having been temporarily stabalized, and you're still going to have a world of other problems. Getting shot is never a pleasant proposition, and just because you won't die in the next Body * 3 seconds doesn't mean you won't wish you had.
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Lilt
post May 10 2004, 08:04 AM
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Simple rule: Deadly wounds are still deadly wounds, except when they're nasty serious wounds!

IE: Make there be some chance that a serious physical wound will ko a character and leave them immobile, unconcious, and bleeding slowly. IE: Body test against a TN when you take a serious wound. If you pass, you are up as per normal rules. If you fail you are unconcious until you recieve medical attention (As stabilisation on a deadly wound, but with the TN of 8 for a serious wound) and will eventually die (another mechanic for taking boxes of damage. Once you hit deadly you take overflow as per usual).
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Zazen
post May 10 2004, 08:06 AM
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QUOTE (Arethusa @ May 10 2004, 02:41 AM)
It's still a minute ingame, and if combat ends and you stop working in 3 second intervals, that person's going to die before he ever makes it to a hospital unless you have a trained medic with you.  Though people that caught some crossfire on the sidewalk?  They'll all be dead before DocWagon can so much as land.  These are the things that destroy immersion.

Hasn't ever happened. There's always someone left standing, and that person either finishes you off or tries to patch you up. That leaves you at least a sporting chance of making it to a hospital.


I also do the self-stabilization thing without needing a failed Biotech roll first, but I can only think of one time that came up and they failed anyway. I think if you're going to house rule this, that's where to start.
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Omega Skip
post May 10 2004, 08:23 AM
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How about this: If you reach overflow through a (D) or maybe even an (S) wound (or one that would normally be (D), like those reduced by trauma dampeners / platelette factories), standard rules apply. If you reach overflow through a lesser wound, resolve the situation with slow bleeding rules. (On second thought, shouldn't platelette factories provide a bonus here?)

Factoring body in twice (number of boxes, duration of overflowth) does indeed seem odd. Maybe a Body test to determine how long it takes for the next box to fill up?

About staying conscious / passing out: Re-rolling the Will test is actually meant to reflect the fact that the character's body really doesn't want to keep going, while his will still does. Maybe all tests after the first should be made against 6, and not 8.
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Cain
post May 10 2004, 09:18 AM
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I have to agree with Lilt. Deadly wounds are deadly wounds. What you're describing sounds like really nasty Serious wounds to me.
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Austere Emancipa...
post May 10 2004, 11:14 AM
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QUOTE (Arethusa)
Even the strongest troll can't last a minute on the ground in the best of circumstances

Actually, he can. Even with a Body of 10 you stay alive for 100 CTs after taking a Deadly, 5 minutes.

Always allowing for a Self-Stabilization test right after a character goes to Deadly makes such wounds too survivable IMO. With a Body 3 Joe Average it works out rather well (23% chance of not dying without first aid), but the Body 8 average troll has a 50% of not dying whenever he gets damage and ends up in Overflow. With BOD 8, you'd have a 50% chance of surviving even if you get Deadly + 7 Over-Damage from a single Barrett hit.

Automatic self-stabilization could work rather well if the TN depended upon the amount of damage or it took time to self-stabilize depending upon the amount of damage, or both.

A 2d6 roll from a table for rate of over-damage shouldn't prove too difficult to implement, however, if that's what you want to do.
Result of 2d6 - Amount of CTs per additional box, unless stabilized
2 - 1
3, 4, 5 - BOD/2
6, 7, 8 - BOD
9, 10, 11 - BOD x 2
12 - BOD x 5
That sort of thing. That doesn't actually give an average of BOD, but I think you didn't really want that to happen either.

QUOTE (Cain)
What you're describing sounds like really nasty Serious wounds to me.

All of Arethusa's examples are wounds that will kill IRL. Serious wounds never kill, so they obviously can't be Serious wounds. All Deadly wounds can't be baseball-sized holes right through center chest, or being ripped in 2 at the lower abdomen, or bullet penetrating the upper spine/brain.

One way to go about would be to allow all wounds to cause extra damage over time. Light might cause 1 extra Box per (Body x 5) minutes, unless successful 1st Aid is given or a Heal/Treat cast. Moderate might cause them at (Body) minute intervals, Serious every (Body x 5) CTs. Self-stabilization should obviously be more likely with wounds lower than Deadly -- 4/5/6 TNs for L/M/S?
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Lilt
post May 10 2004, 11:50 AM
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Shooting people with heavy pistols and hitting them with katanas can kill in real life too. Just because previous shadowrun rules have said that you can continue at a penalty and won't die dosen't mean that it's not an appropriate analogy for this situation. I personally think the idea of bleeding nastily and possibly falling unconcious or dieing after you take a serious wound makes sense.

[edit]
Hmm... Actually: I think we agree...
[/edit]
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Aesir
post May 10 2004, 11:55 AM
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I actually really like Arethusa´s idea about a die roll determaning how long you will live when suffering a deadly wound. There are far to few totally random die rolls in Shadowrun. It´s a strenght in most cases because when your good your good, you know. But the problem is that the system is so abstract, especially when you don´t use hit locations (I don´t), that there are very few variations of damage a character can suffer. I think the random die roll is in the spirit of keeping it simple and abstract. And the GM can describe the injuries depending on how long the character will live without medical care.

Frankly this is one of the best house rules I´ve seen on this board, Arethusa.
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Lindt
post May 10 2004, 02:11 PM
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This is the sorta mechanic that while it isnt very aplicaple in a standered shadowrun, in a more grungy cyberPUNK game, it might. Having someone get shot, and then they spend 3 days stumbeling around dazed and disoranted in the Glow before they die is just poetic.
Prehaps only use it at the GMs discression? Sure if someone takes a deadly from an assult cannon, they are dead, fine red mist style. But if someone takes a serious, 2 lights and then 2 moderates,they are into overflow, but not gonna be missing their torso.
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CoalHeart
post May 10 2004, 02:42 PM
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Lying in a ditch for 10 days awaiting rescue after taking a D wound to the guts = Hand Of God.
Thank you.
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Backgammon
post May 10 2004, 03:52 PM
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I belive it's perfecty reasonnable that you die quickly after taking pushing your monitor to Deadly, because it's a deadly wound: YOU ARE DYING. Someone lying in a ditch for a few days after getting shot (like those Fakland soldiers) means they had Serious wounds.

IMO the problem is not that Deadly wounds are too deadly, but that Serious wounds are underplayed. "+3 TN? Damn, that's kind of bad, so I'll just finish up this gunfight and then think about using biotech". A Serious wounds means you are half-way to your grave. You are really fucked up.

Which is why I think more Willpower tests should be rolled when you take damage in that amount. It's perfectly reasonable for a character to drop to the floor, squirm and moan in pain and stop fighting at a Serious wound if they fail a Willpower test.

See this thread for a somewhat linked subject on this matter
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