Shrodinger's Damage - Myth-Weavers

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Shrodinger's Damage

Shrodinger's Damage

In the game I'm working in, proprietary system, when a character is dying damage is done every round (and so is most DoT), but if you make a first aid check it usually takes an entire minute. So, to compensate, we have damage suspended while you're making a first aid check, meaning it will not apply if the first aid check to stop it succeeds, but it will if you fail the check, all at once. Hence, Schrodinger's Damage. Maybe it was stopped, maybe it wasn't, and we won't know until either you finish the check or get interrupted. Opinions?

Maybe have the damage halved upon failure, with no damage on success? After all, a guy trying to tourniquet an amputated limb is at least doing better than no aid at all.

Plus it adds to the tension if you're struggling to stabilize someone and they're slowly bleeding out despite your best efforts. Having them take the full damage all at once might be an option if you have critical fumble rules (which I normally don't like, but they'd be appropriate in this case).

We actually don't have critical fumbles, or even critical success/failure for skill checks. If you're competent enough to beat the DC on 1, you just succeed. I can see the argument for having it do half damage, and I'll send that over to my partner for his opinion, because it'd be rude to make changes without talking to him.

I do enjoy quick responses. My mate says "What if they only tried to stop it for one round, get punched in the face, and immediately stop to deal with that?". I suggested perhaps it'd only apply the 1/2 damage if you made it through the whole minute. All decisions will be made by the two of us, but I'd still like to hear your opinions on both the original question and this new proposal.

If the check is interrupted, then you didn't get the chance to secure the tourniquet or do whatever else it was you were doing... thus no reduction in damage (and you'd probably have "catch-up damage" in that case).

So if a guy takes 1 point of damage per round that he's bleeding, and you spend two rounds trying to stabilize him before you get punched in the face in round 3 and stop your check, your patient would take 3 points of damage at the end of the round.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Medical care isn't something that can be done in six seconds flat, after all.

Especially in a early-mid modern setting, where even the full application is a lot less than what we'd have with modern tech. I mean, magic is fine and dandy, but this is non-magical medical care and you've got... Some bandages, sutures, local antiseptic and no antibiotics because they haven't been invented yet. It'll probably work. "Probably" being the operative word.

Oi. Mate. Forgot something, what if the person in question is able to help? Say, you're making first aid against a condition that does not incapacitate them, or if they're dying but they have Last Stand active and are still able to act in a vastly reduced capacity? What if you're applying first aid to yourself in such a circumstance? What if you've been shot four times in the legs and gut and are stuck on the ground trying to bandage and pack your own wounds? What effect should that have on the check?

"Okay... Three revolver rounds and a musket ball... I'll just... Woah. Don't get woozy. Okay, Bandages... Sutures... Did I pack the gut wounds? I didn't pack the... I think my leg's broken... Did I? Dammit. Start over."

(Last Stand is a racial ability that allows humans and their closest relatives to keep on trucking despite being at 0HP or lower, one time daily for up to one minute, with greatly reduced capacity. Read, -1 actions and disadvantage on everything. It's the strongest racial ability humans have, since they're a "base stats next to Godliness" kind of species.)

I'm not exactly sure how all the rules apply, but from what's been presented here, this is probably how I'd do it:
  • A creature that is Dying takes X damage at the end of its turn.
  • A creature can use [equivalent of Standard Action] to apply First Aid to a Dying creature.
  • A successful First Aid check on a Dying creature prevents the application of damage on the Dying creature's next turn.
  • Ten (10) successful First Aid checks derived from consecutive attempts means that the target is no longer Dying. These consecutive First Aid checks need not be made by the same character, so one First Aid responder can continue the efforts of another one. This means that skilled First Aiders might succeed in just ten (10) attempts, while less skilled ones might take longer.

I'd use these as the basic rules. Then there would be special abilities and items that might improve on these rules. Maybe an item that removes the need to roll a First Aid check. Maybe an ability that reduces the First Aid successes to five (5).

As for someone using First Aid on themselves, I think the conditions they find themselves in should affect their efforts. Maybe Staggered imposes a -2 penalty on skill checks, First Aid included. Maybe Dying but Conscious imposes disadvantage or a -5 penalty. You won't need to tinker with the skill itself - you might solve the problem by working on the conditions.


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