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Vacuum Rules: No, no, no, no, no!

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A couple of weeks ago I finally read through the whole CRB instead of just the most important parts. And, well, this just left me stunned.

Water and Swimming: A character can hold their breath for Brawn rounds. Beyond this they start to drown and suffer from suffocation. Sounds fine (if you put a round at about a quarter-minute for this and many other reasons).

Suffocation: You suffer 3 Strain per round until incapacitated, then 1 Critical Injury per round if still suffocating. Sounds fine, too. Curiously no mention of holding your breath (in environments other than water), but I guess you can infer it from the diving rules (if you've read that part as well).

Vacuum: A character can hold their breath for Brawn rounds. Wait. WHAT?! This. Is. Not. How. Vacuum. Works. Furthermore, you suffer 3 Wounds per round until incapacitated, then 1 Critical Injury per round in addition to those you suffer from "normal" suffocation. On this part I'm of two minds - on the one hand, I do like vacuum being worse than just a lack of oxygen intake, but on the other I know that the damage your body takes is negligible until way after you're already braindead from oxygen deprivation (unless you are indeed stupid enough to try to hold your breath, invariably ruining you respiratory system), so I'd probably strike the Wounds but keep the additional Critical Injuries.

Seriously, if Gundam can get this right, and thanks to its popularity/influence pretty much all of Japanese animation, Western pop culture products have exactly zero excuses.

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They may have been trying to just not have Vacuum as a GG condition. 

If we're going for realism, you could spitball something like:

Vacuum.  Each round, add <Setback> to all checks the play makes.  Cumulative.  While there is a <Setback> in your die pool, upgrade one <Difficulty> to Challenge per <Setback>.  You suffer a critical injury every round.  If you eve roll <Despair> or 3+ <Setback> dice, Player gains "The End is Nigh".

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The NASA reports of Vacuum Chamber exposures show 30 seconds of useful consciousness and purposeful action.

The Round is NOT a static unit of time.

Joe normal thus has 2 actions before the strain starts, and 4 more before he's unconscious. 

Noting that people can retain up to half an atmosphere pressure differential inside their lungs in high-atmosphere exposure experiments (higher gradients are unethical to test), a knowing exposure to vaccuum would include such differential. (The vocal folds do seal, you' know.)

Perhaps it should require a cool roll (I'd set it difficulty of 3) to retain. No way am I giving sudden exposure Brawn rounds of held breath, because he's NOT prepared to hold it; i'd allow a difficulty 3-5 roll to catch and hold that last breath.

Also, people don't explode in vacuum; skin integrity is rather ironically responsible for the blood pooling in the extremities of the Vostok cosmonauts and in Joseph Kittinger. (Kittinger had a vacuum leak through his absent suit glove at pressures considered vacuum when he stepped out of a balloon...)

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Well, I can say two things about vacuum and Genesys:

1) Genesys wants that feeling of cinematic heroic movies. That said, yes, heroes should survive more than what they should survive in the real life. Two examples: Princess Leia in Star Wars: the Last Jedi and Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy vol.1. And particularly, the rules about vacuum seems ok to me.

2) You just can change the rules cause the book is a big toolbox to create what you want :D you can merge the suffocation rules with the corrosive rules to create something more lethal.

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OBS.: The system is very abstract. The round could last few seconds to half a minute or more, depending on what are happening. It's up to you, as a GM, create the feeling that the time is running and every second matter while that important character are floating in the space. It could be really fast if that scene needs this.

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What bugs you, the length of 3 rounds or the description of holding breath? If it's the latter, the functional effect is the same if you read it "the character suffers no damage for 3 rounds." If it's the former, just change the number.

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10 hours ago, Bellyon said:

1) Genesys wants that feeling of cinematic heroic movies. That said, yes, heroes should survive more than what they should survive in the real life. Two examples: Princess Leia in Star Wars: the Last Jedi and Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy vol.1. And particularly, the rules about vacuum seems ok to me.

One the one hand, yes, over the top action heroics are intended. On the other hand, neither of your examples is a mere human. They survive stuff precisely because they’re not just human.

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16 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

One the one hand, yes, over the top action heroics are intended. On the other hand, neither of your examples is a mere human. They survive stuff precisely because they’re not just human.

They are heroes, like all the characters should be, being humans or supers.

We expect that heroes survive more than normal people if they are the protagonists.

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17 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

One the one hand, yes, over the top action heroics are intended. On the other hand, neither of your examples is a mere human. They survive stuff precisely because they’re not just human.

Neither are PCs. They're heroic humans in 99% of games, and the games Genesys is meant to emulate. If you want realism, GURPS is better.

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6 hours ago, Bellyon said:

They are heroes, like all the characters should be, being humans or supers.

We expect that heroes survive more than normal people if they are the protagonists.

I’m just saying comparing what would happen in real life to what a Force user (even untrained) or the son of a living planet can endure is a little iffy. Just go with the John McClanes or Frank Castles or Jason Bournes or anyone from a martial arts flick and the comparison is fine. Demigods, space wizards, etc have nothing to do with real life.

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7 hours ago, BlamedCat said:

Upon seeing OP's post, I couldn't help but think about Because Science with Kyle Hill's episode on this subject :)
How Long Could Star-Lord Survive in Space Unprotected? (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)

Enjoy.

I'm going to say from this a proposed "realistic vacuum rule change".

In the event of being exposed to a vacuum, make a Cool check in order to partially hold you breath (since as @AK_Aramis stated you can hold your breath up to half an atmosphere of pressure, so basically only half full or mostly exhaled) and have Brawn rounds of useful consciousness, otherwise it's 1 round. If you are expecting it (like you are throwing the airlock switch yourself) the difficulty should be downgraded twice, or something.  There should definitely be a spacer talent that give a buff to this and zero g maneuvering.

Then you take a "Vacuum Crit" which functions like a normal level 1 critical injury except only "instant death" are counted.  Each round you take another.  If you are brought back into a breathable atmosphere then you can roll a resilience check every fifteen minute to naturally heal it.

I don't think that's too cumbersome and also is pretty spot on to real life, or enough for tabletop!

 

Edit: Unless we really want to push for the "15 seconds" rule, then it's a successful Cool check is the end of your next turn, and a fail is the end of the current initiative track.

Edited by dresdinseven

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10 hours ago, SavageBob said:

Neither are PCs. They're heroic humans in 99% of games, and the games Genesys is meant to emulate. If you want realism, GURPS is better.

Leia should be an NPC, but Peter Quill should be a PC, if Guardians of the Galaxy was a campaign, imo.

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4 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

I’m just saying comparing what would happen in real life to what a Force user (even untrained) or the son of a living planet can endure is a little iffy. Just go with the John McClanes or Frank Castles or Jason Bournes or anyone from a martial arts flick and the comparison is fine. Demigods, space wizards, etc have nothing to do with real life.

Like people already said, this is Genesys, not "Humans ¨& Real Problems" :D

My point is: the PCs, even if they are humans, are uppon the average. Sometimes, they are almost the better in that scenario doing what they do.

Edited by Bellyon

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