Author Topic: Serious injuries question  (Read 10943 times)

infidel

  • Slayer of the Dread Gazebo
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Serious injuries question
« on: September 14, 2014, 04:42:37 PM »
Hi, all.

We've been playing CoC/DG and there's something with serious injuries that leaves me baffled. One of the players can get a serious injury in some situation or a fight in the middle of the game. For example, in the latest game players had to escape from capture by jumping off a roof into a pile of garbage. The module specifically stated it's Jump+20% (Age of Cthulhu 1) to land there or it's 24-feet fall damage. So, sure enough one player misses his roll and breaks a leg (6 hp of damage from falling rules). Can you somehow work around that in a sensible way? Because in reality a broken leg is at least a month of bedtime. Same with damage received during a battle. You can't just heal damage with spells and potions in CoC/DG, it takes a ton of time. And you can't just limp around with everyone else in these cases. So it's like the adventure almost breaks here. What do you do in that kind of situations?

Dom

  • Oregon Trail 13 Superstar
  • *****
  • Posts: 641
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2014, 05:36:58 PM »
Quote
You can't just heal damage with spells and potions in CoC/DG

Well you CAN, but expect it to be horrifying and sanity-draining.  ;D

This is one of the bigger problems with running difficult situations in CoC/DG, PCs are not designed to be heroic characters and are instead very frail.
In your specific case, I would not break their legs, but make them still take that same damage and walk with a limp (just assign a negative modifier to physical actions involving their legs such as climb, dodge, etc.)

As you say, if a person is not able to contribute to the adventure, it pretty much makes for a boring or frustrating game. It's best to avoid falling into those situations (no pun intended) by being a bit more lenient BEFORE the final confrontation, and then not holding back when they face the BBEG.


clockworkjoe

  • BUY MY BOOK
  • Administrator
  • Extreme XP CEO
  • *****
  • Posts: 6517
    • View Profile
    • BUY MY BOOK
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2014, 06:00:36 PM »
This is not even specific to CoC/DG - but every single RPG with human characters. It's not really a problem, but an issue of style and preference. Published games tend to push it towards a gamey solution i.e. hit points and rapid healing. I tend to go with that, since that works best in my experience.

If you use Fate, you can use consequences/aspects to simulate specific injuries. Maybe house rule a system like that?

infidel

  • Slayer of the Dread Gazebo
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 07:08:27 PM »
Quote
You can't just heal damage with spells and potions in CoC/DG

Well you CAN, but expect it to be horrifying and sanity-draining.  ;D

This is one of the bigger problems with running difficult situations in CoC/DG, PCs are not designed to be heroic characters and are instead very frail.
In your specific case, I would not break their legs, but make them still take that same damage and walk with a limp (just assign a negative modifier to physical actions involving their legs such as climb, dodge, etc.)

As you say, if a person is not able to contribute to the adventure, it pretty much makes for a boring or frustrating game. It's best to avoid falling into those situations (no pun intended) by being a bit more lenient BEFORE the final confrontation, and then not holding back when they face the BBEG.

Well, I'm running prewritten scenarios and it happens from time to time like the aforementioned example. Another example is "The Haunting", the CoC scenario that everyone has played. There's a scene with the haunted bed there that literally says "roll dodge or get 2D6 damage" with all of the 4 pregens having 10-12 hp. Myself I always try to tone it down but when I see such a scene I have to wonder what was the author's reasoning?

infidel

  • Slayer of the Dread Gazebo
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 07:16:34 PM »
This is not even specific to CoC/DG - but every single RPG with human characters. It's not really a problem, but an issue of style and preference. Published games tend to push it towards a gamey solution i.e. hit points and rapid healing. I tend to go with that, since that works best in my experience.

If you use Fate, you can use consequences/aspects to simulate specific injuries. Maybe house rule a system like that?

Um, I'm not too familiar with Fate, how would you propose it work? I recall listening to RPPR APs that you usually give the player a choice "I will compel you to do X but you will gain Y". Could you explain on the jumping injury example?

The simplest solution would be just to lower the danger level a bit if the end of scenario is not yet near (which I usually do). I could tell the player that had his leg broken that the proper treatment showed that the injury was not that serious.

clockworkjoe

  • BUY MY BOOK
  • Administrator
  • Extreme XP CEO
  • *****
  • Posts: 6517
    • View Profile
    • BUY MY BOOK

PirateLawyer

  • I am worth 100 points in GURPS...ladies
  • ***
  • Posts: 140
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2014, 11:21:54 PM »
I'll cast a dissenting vote, at least in part. I have run a couple of great Delta Green games where the Night at the Opera has gone a bit pear-shaped when an Agent was seriously wounded and the players had to get the injured person treated by a medical professional. Sometimes, there has been a useful friendly they could call upon -  this has led to some great role-playing moments - and other times they have had to improvise further. All the while they are sweating what to say to A-Cell when they check up on them, since they are behind schedule on their mission . . .

So there are times when playing the rules as written can be the best way to go. As the Keeper, though, you need to be able to adjust your published scenario on the fly if something like a broken leg happens when it's not at the supposed climax of the session.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 11:24:21 PM by PirateLawyer »

Daegan

  • Slayer of the Dread Gazebo
  • *
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2014, 09:13:16 AM »
For Coc I'm a fan of the old "first aid check to heal 1d3 hit points" after one of those events.  They have essentially suffered from Schrodinger's injury.  If they roll well - maybe it wasn't a break, possibly just a bad sprain and a twisted knee or something.  If they roll poorly, it's still a break, but something that they can quick tie a splint to and keep walking around on.

People in real life can walk around for a while with some surprisingly bad injuries.  Especially when their lives are on the line.  Adrenaline and pain killers go a long way.

Another option is to temporarily allow them to move around at full speed when they really need to, but to call for a SAN roll as the agony of trying to run on an injured leg makes the monster chasing you that much more traumatic.

infidel

  • Slayer of the Dread Gazebo
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2014, 04:19:04 PM »
http://fate-srd.com/fate-accelerated/ouch-damage-stress-and-consequences

So essentially the player would receive the analog of a consequence "Heavily limping" and I would modify some rolls for him when he tries to jump/run/dodge etc.

infidel

  • Slayer of the Dread Gazebo
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2014, 04:26:14 PM »
For Coc I'm a fan of the old "first aid check to heal 1d3 hit points" after one of those events.  They have essentially suffered from Schrodinger's injury.  If they roll well - maybe it wasn't a break, possibly just a bad sprain and a twisted knee or something.  If they roll poorly, it's still a break, but something that they can quick tie a splint to and keep walking around on.

People in real life can walk around for a while with some surprisingly bad injuries.  Especially when their lives are on the line.  Adrenaline and pain killers go a long way.

Another option is to temporarily allow them to move around at full speed when they really need to, but to call for a SAN roll as the agony of trying to run on an injured leg makes the monster chasing you that much more traumatic.

Yes, strangely players never forget about that first aid roll in CoC :) I think I'm gonna go with some heavy limping (maybe with a little morphine as a bonus?), that would be interesting to keep in mind for both player and me. Using SAN rolls for pain is also an interesting idea :)

Teapot

  • I dream in graph paper lines
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2014, 01:27:44 AM »
It's all the kind of game you want to run. You can go mad with injury rules or you can do hit points or you can do movie injuries. Where the player gimps around in a cast for a month but manages to move fast enough for day-to-day stuff.

I like that, it gives them something to remember and roleplay but won't take them too far out of the action.

Also give out lots of scars, there's a whole box for injuries etc on the back of the sheet, oughtta fill it up with something.

infidel

  • Slayer of the Dread Gazebo
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2014, 05:06:18 PM »
It's all the kind of game you want to run. You can go mad with injury rules or you can do hit points or you can do movie injuries. Where the player gimps around in a cast for a month but manages to move fast enough for day-to-day stuff.

I like that, it gives them something to remember and roleplay but won't take them too far out of the action.

Also give out lots of scars, there's a whole box for injuries etc on the back of the sheet, oughtta fill it up with something.

I was mostly coming from the angle of how true to the CoC spirit would me and my players want the game to be. On one hand we're for more realism in these matters but on the other noone would want to take the player out of the game just because he rolled a Jump roll badly.

Flawless P

  • I walk between the rain drops, tommy gun and katana in hand
  • *****
  • Posts: 1024
    • View Profile
Re: Serious injuries question
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2014, 05:38:29 PM »
Quote
You can't just heal damage with spells and potions in CoC/DG

Well you CAN, but expect it to be horrifying and sanity-draining.  ;D

This is one of the bigger problems with running difficult situations in CoC/DG, PCs are not designed to be heroic characters and are instead very frail.
In your specific case, I would not break their legs, but make them still take that same damage and walk with a limp (just assign a negative modifier to physical actions involving their legs such as climb, dodge, etc.)

As you say, if a person is not able to contribute to the adventure, it pretty much makes for a boring or frustrating game. It's best to avoid falling into those situations (no pun intended) by being a bit more lenient BEFORE the final confrontation, and then not holding back when they face the BBEG.

Well, I'm running prewritten scenarios and it happens from time to time like the aforementioned example. Another example is "The Haunting", the CoC scenario that everyone has played. There's a scene with the haunted bed there that literally says "roll dodge or get 2D6 damage" with all of the 4 pregens having 10-12 hp. Myself I always try to tone it down but when I see such a scene I have to wonder what was the author's reasoning?

I got thrown out of that window by the bed in The Haunting.

It hurt, I went to the hospital and my character was out of the scenario at that point. I got to watch the other players go through similar issues though and it was still pretty fun.
42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
If you can't fix it with duck tape you haven't used enough.
I intend to live forever -- so far, so good.