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[2E] Battlefield Medicine - From Lethal to Bashing?

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  • [2E] Battlefield Medicine - From Lethal to Bashing?

    I got some problem from reading Medical Care rules on page 96 in CoD Rulebook. Rules works fine for 'I got some bruises and need some stitches' ( all Bashing damage on character ) and 'I ended in hospital where doc spent few hours on returning me from brinks of death' ( full Lethal or Aggravated ). But what about scenarios taking place 'in field' with 'We need to stop bleeding, NOW, or she will die!' or 'I need to hack his limb or he will become zombie!' - kind of sudden procedures on battlefield? Or that, between scenes of actions, character can lower their Lethal damage with bandages or alike? Got any idea how it should work mechanically? Can character lower his wounds from Lethal to Bashing outside of proper medical care unit?

    In a nutshell, I ask about Care Under Fire and Tactical Field Care, from modern military jargon.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 11-27-2016, 02:09 AM.


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  • #2
    I don't think lethal should be possible to lower to bashing at all. Any lethal gained is a serious (but not necessarily life threatening) injury, but bashing is something you walk off in 15 minutes. You don't want people to heal broken ribs or gunshot wounds in an hour.
    Taking care of wounds should either just stabilize the person from bleeding out/otherwise take more damage from their wounds, or, when proper care is administrated, speed up the healing times. That's basically how it works IRL (though a bit simplified) and I think it's the best way to handle injuries in CofD.

    But for your other questions, I think adding a bleeding mechanism would be enough. Say that when someone gains a nasty wound they take one bashing every turn until that wound is bandaged. Boom, you've got your need for urgent medical care in the field. In fact, I think Hurt Locker will introduce something similar.


    Bloodline: The Stygians
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    • #3
      I house rule that Bashing in my playes take 1 hour to heal - it makes healing for beat down much more realistic. In that scenario changing 3-4 Lethals from gunshot into 3-4 Bashings is still dangerous to charcters that want to engage in combat right away.

      Still looks for mechanics to change Lethals to Bashings in Tactical Field Care situations.


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      • #4
        Heal bashing in one hour is a common and quite reasonable house rule, but you're not going to be able to heal a gunshot that ate half your health track in just a few hours either. At least not if you want to preserve the down-to-earth, gritty and lethal combat feel from the core book.


        Bloodline: The Stygians
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        • #5
          What you're describing in the OP is stabilizing the person. Barring supernatural means, there's no way to quickly heal someone shot or stabbed and have them return to the proverbial front lines in a day. That person, if they survive the ordeal of impairment in the middle of a battle without being captured or worse, belong into an infirmary.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Malus View Post
            What you're describing in the OP is stabilizing the person. Barring supernatural means, there's no way to quickly heal someone shot or stabbed and have them return to the proverbial front lines in a day. That person, if they survive the ordeal of impairment in the middle of a battle without being captured or worse, belong into an infirmary.
            This. The stuff you're describing isn't healing, it's stabilization, which already has (horribly in-concise) rules present in 2E

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Malus View Post
              What you're describing in the OP is stabilizing the person. Barring supernatural means, there's no way to quickly heal someone shot or stabbed and have them return to the proverbial front lines in a day. That person, if they survive the ordeal of impairment in the middle of a battle without being captured or worse, belong into an infirmary.
              This is truth.


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              • #8
                I just thinking here about scenes like this from Walking Dead: Michonne game ( starts at 1:50 ).



                This kind surgery can be made, more or less, on battlefield, I think...


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                • #9
                  Yeah. That's called stabilizing. It keeps you from taking more damage from the same wound. She will take a lot more than a few hours to properly heal, because she has still taken lethal from the gunshot (and maybe one bashing from the cauterization). I haven't played past that episode yet so she might wake up after a few hours, but in that case she would've naturally healed the bashing gained from blood loss, and not any lethal from the actual gunshot.

                  Look at the current rules for healing. Not even staying at a hospital will let you downgrade wounds. All it does is speed up your healing time, which is a lot more realistic than downgrading wounds. If trained professionals in a hospital aren't able to downgrade lethal to bashing, why would hurried surgery with subpar equipment be able to do so? It would make it more efficient to get surgery on a battlefield than in a hospital.


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                  • #10
                    If you want the ability for mortals to downgrade lethal to bashing at all (maybe you don't want to preserve those themes and are looking for a power fantasy kind of feel) you need to redesign other parts of the system as well to make it consistent.


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                    • #11
                      So you say that Tactical Field Care is only for taking out Bleeding Tilt on people?


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                      • #12
                        And other potential tilts that cause continuous damage during a battle, such as foreign objects lodged inside the body that will cause more damage with movement and/or time. Or splintering broken bones to increase mobility and/or decrease the risk of permanent damages.
                        I also want to point out that in TWD:Michonne they had to take out the bullet for two reasons that might not appear in a CofD game: The first reason is that there's no professionals to go to so no point in just temporarily stopping the bleeding, and that their choice of stopping the bleeding would close the wound permanently meaning they would've had to cut her open (causing more bleeding) later in order to get the bullet.

                        Edit: That sequence isn't really representative of what a combat medic would even do, which would be to assess the damages and stop the bleeding. Actual surgery doesn't happen until after evacuation has begun. The exception is if the casualty would die before evacuation arrives, but in that case it's not about making them combat ready again. It's about making them not die because their wounds are too grievous.
                        Last edited by Tessie; 11-28-2016, 05:07 AM.


                        Bloodline: The Stygians
                        Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
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                        • #13
                          It could also theoretically deal with Tilts that aren't causing continuous damage, but the system isn't necessarily granular enough for some things. A dislocated joint might be able to be reset and allow some use of the joint immediately (however ill-advised that would be), but a broken bone causing something like Arm Wrack isn't going to take that away until the wound is healed.

                          ---------

                          Also, while I haven't played the game, removing the bullet like that is generally considered a really bad idea. There's a lot of people with bullets still in them around, because the risks involved with taking them out far outweigh the risks of leaving them in. Unless a bullet is in a really specific set of locations, no field medic is going to want to remove it. Safely removing a bullet without a sterile OR, and a healthy stock of donor blood, is insanely risky. The only reason you'd need to resort to something as drastic as a field cauterization in the first place is because someone is bleeding out, and removing a bullet from someone that's not bleeding out is probably going to make them start bleeding worse. And that clip is pretty much a text-book example of what not to do in medical cauterization; because if you copied that you'd just kill the poor woman.

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                          • #14
                            Did not know that about bullets. Thanks.
                            What I meant about splintering (don't know if you replied to me specifically or not) is not that a broken leg would be of any use. Rather, it's less painful and thus easier to move around with a crutch if your broken leg is splintered.

                            To summarize: No field care has the goal of making anyone combat ready. People might go into combat again after receiving care (desperation is an efficient motivator) but that's because they're stabilized and no longer actively dying. They're still just as hurt and will go down a lot easier than their perfectly healthy team mates.

                            That said, if you do want to have movie style injuries and healing that's perfectly fine for your game, but you'd need to see over the entire system or it would be extremely inconsistent since field care would be much, much, much more efficient than hospital care.
                            If that's what you want, wyrdhamster, maybe you could specify it so that people can help you with that kind of system?
                            Last edited by Tessie; 11-28-2016, 06:51 AM.


                            Bloodline: The Stygians
                            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                            • #15
                              Well, maybe I will refrain my topic question then - What Tilts and Conditions 'field medic' could cure on the go, realistically speaking? Bleeding Tilt from coming Hurt Locker would be one examples. What would be others?


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