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Ciphias

First Aid and the Deathwatch...

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I was wondering about the whole first aid thing...

We run a boarding action against a tyranid captured vessel with hormagaunts an genstealers as opponents. Hormagaunts: reduced to pieces in seconds, genestealer...well...guess what...one hit, (3 degrees of success, razor sharp doubles the penetration) 25 points of wounds. No apothecary in the kill team,bad luck, brother...

And now the same story with an apothecary...ok, First aid (Intelligence bonus 4-5 points of wounds restored), additional 1d5 wounds with the apothecary trait, doubled by narthecium..."stand strong brother, may the emporer be with you...and better luck with your next genstealer"...with a lucky roll 20 points restored.

What troubles me is that there is nothing in between...either you have the highest medical attention possible or you have none.

I mean every soldier in the world is trained on basic first aid (ok, they are not as though as marines) and space marines are the elite of the elite and they are valuable...a loss of a battle brother takes a great ammount of time and resources to compensate. In the "standart chapters"  apothecary are with every major combat force but kill teams are on their own, without the backup of a larger force and they are sent to even greater dangers than "standart" marines.

In my opinion medicae should at least availiable as a untrained skill for Deathwatch Marines.

 

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You make a good point because its frustrating a GM to have someone die right away like that. You overlook fate points though, fate points can be used to alter die rolls in extreme cases such as this. while it may suck to burn all your fate points right away, thats war and stuff like that happens.

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My players can buy any skills they want. I dont see this as a problem rather the opposite. My point is simpel the marines are old extrem warriors its only commens seans to me that they have picked up a thing or two over there years. If the Kill team is missing a medic give one of them the skill this way everybody winns and the game is more fun.

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I've found that without the Apothecary hanging around in a group, Marines can be in serious danger of getting blown to bits.  If no one in my group had decided to play one, I'd likley do as Grimm suggests and allow some folks to take Medicae as a relatively inexpensive elite advance.

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 You'd be making a fair comparison if we weren't talking about genetically engineered super-soldiers. Basically, the body of a Marine does its own first aid. Sticking a band-aid on, applying pressure, cleaning up wounds and stuff isn't something that does anything to an Astartes, because their body already does that. That essentially leaves the Apothecary as the only viable first aid.

In a solution where there's no other medic in the party, a couple of solutions spring to mind:

Elite advance. Let someone else buy Medicae training.

Remind players to use FP to regain 1d10 wounds on a more regular basis. You can fudge this to either represent their willpower overcoming impairment, or their super-fast healing system repairing their bodies.

As a final and very house-rule option, you could consider giving a boost to either the Astartes natural healing powers and/or the built-in medical systems in their power armour. You could go as far as giving it a medicae skill itself (maybe only a 40% skill), or simply ruling that everyone's power armour patches up 1d5 wounds at the end of every fight.

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One more piece of advice: sometimes the pcs are into criticals and even an apothecary can't help them much - 2 points of crit damage might not be enough to bring them back to 'lightly wounded'. And it depends on the specialisation when they can take the talent that makes them 'always lightly damaged'.

So, I made up a 'SM medical facility' - at the watch stations, but it might be just another piece of specialised equipement (around 20req though). With this it makes patients always 'lightly wounded'.

It literally saves lives - and longer scenarios, when the KT operates far from a watchstation etc.

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Siranui said:

Remind players to use FP to regain 1d10 wounds on a more regular basis.

Is it really 1D10?

In other 40k games it's 1D5 and in the part of the rules about demeanor and double benefit it states that you gain 2D5, so we guessed that the 1D10 was a typo and played it with 1D5.

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 Yes it is. Probably to reflect both the PC's ability to heal quick, and to provide a noticable effect on characters with over 20 starting wounds, compared to much lower numbers of wounds in other games.

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Battybattybats said:

If worst comes to worst run an apothecary npc as part of the kill team.

The one thing to be wary of here is to not run the apothecary as a giant 'healer in a bag' that saves the PCs when they need it, I'd suggest one make it as interesting and compelling as possible.

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servo skulls!

My group doesn't have an apothecary, so i decided to give them a medical servo skull to patch them up between fights.  It never heals them for much, but i find its enough to keep the group going on a long mission without giving them a plot device related heal, or making them use fate points

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Charmander said:

Battybattybats said:

 

If worst comes to worst run an apothecary npc as part of the kill team.

 

 

The one thing to be wary of here is to not run the apothecary as a giant 'healer in a bag' that saves the PCs when they need it, I'd suggest one make it as interesting and compelling as possible.

Definately! Running an npc as a part of the unit can be tricky. You have to avoid being to much of a goad for the players. On the other hand it's an opportunity for the GM to add some depth and complexity, to help give an example to players who may be having trouble playing marines and there's also opportunities for the GM to add some complexity to the game.

Does the Apothecary belong to a chapter that squabbles with one of the players chapters? Are they difficult to get along with? Do they have something to hide? Perhaps knowing some chapter secret about a players chapter because of serving with a previous kill team yet are sworn to secrecy but show by their actions that they know more about some events when a chapter mystery complication arises than they say? Or having some chapter or personal agenda that could increase complications to some missions? Do they have some quality which can at times be quite a liability, such as a very orthodox ultramarine who is critical of any non-codex tactics or a blood angel slipping closer and closer to the black rage? There's lots of ways to turn it into an asset for the quality of the game. But it is more work for the GM.

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I think this might be a limitation of the game's skill system - there's no way to differentiate between basic first aid and advanced medical training.

I'd be inclined to treat First Aid as a Basic skill within Medicae, allowing checks at half Intelligence.

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 My group had the problem, that their Apothecary didn't manage his Medicae-roll a lot of the times. Thus no healing. So we now discuss if the Medicae-roll restores health all the time, but with a modifier for the degrees of success below or above his skill.

 

 

 

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Skie said:

One more piece of advice: sometimes the pcs are into criticals and even an apothecary can't help them much - 2 points of crit damage might not be enough to bring them back to 'lightly wounded'. And it depends on the specialisation when they can take the talent that makes them 'always lightly damaged'.

So, I made up a 'SM medical facility' - at the watch stations, but it might be just another piece of specialised equipement (around 20req though). With this it makes patients always 'lightly wounded'.

It literally saves lives - and longer scenarios, when the KT operates far from a watchstation etc.

But the Narthecium specifically makes all first aid checks against SM as if they are lightly wounded. So if you have an Apothecary they don't need that talent because his little gizmo does it for them.

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Not quite, it raises the lightly injured threshold to 3xTB. Critically wounded marines aren't Lightly wounded, and a marine with a low TB and lots of sound constitution can still be heavily wounded.

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Players should use their FP for -1d10 damage more frequently. Else on Lucky rolls (GM's never cheat don't we? ;) ) A geanstealer might chew away a pretty Marine in one round. or in two...

my Player's still keep spending theirs on re-rolls. They will learn in time ;)

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Akil said:

Players should use their FP for -1d10 damage more frequently. Else on Lucky rolls (GM's never cheat don't we? ;) ) A geanstealer might chew away a pretty Marine in one round. or in two...

my Player's still keep spending theirs on re-rolls. They will learn in time ;)

I believe -1d10 damage is a house rule - RAW allows 1d10 healing, which is a different thing.

On the other hand, re-rolling a dodge is a very, very solid choice for mitigating damage.

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Chastity said:

I think this might be a limitation of the game's skill system - there's no way to differentiate between basic first aid and advanced medical training.

I'd be inclined to treat First Aid as a Basic skill within Medicae, allowing checks at half Intelligence.

I think that's because basic first aid isn't going to have a much of a bearing on Marine pysiology, coupled with the on-board medical systems that can cope with things like stabilising removed limbs and pumping them full of pain-killers.

I'd agree on giving Marines a first aid check of half Int, or at their Medicae skill level, although I certainly wouldn't allow its use to heal Astartes.

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With no apotechary in the killteam, the lack of Medicae became pretty obvious. So very early on in my campaign I houseruled that Medicae is an untrained basic skill for DW SMs for the purposes of first aid. Also nartheciums can be requisitioned by non-apotecharies. It makes sense that veteran marines should have *some* ability to patch each other up, if not on the level of their specialised medics (in background, apotecharies seem to have a monopoly on any serious medical matters).

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Funny that this topic comes up, just the other day my group was complaining about the Apothecary being too WEAK.

They argued that 1 full action for first aid is far too much because in combat situations 2 people (medic and patient) cannot fight for one full round. Also the advances available for them would not make them enough of a fighter to be of use in a kill team.  

What do you think I should tell them?

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 To play one session without their Apothecary, as I did.

Lemme tell ya it's a pain in the A$$.

But yeah, the solution when a group doesn't have an Apothecary is Elite advances imho. Of course, the Medicae checks will not be as cheesy as those of a full-fledged Apothecary (and yet if you have a good techmarine, he should heal his 6 Wounds which is already kinda cool...)...

In the meantime, such a group has chosen not to have an Apothecary, and therefore there is one more "killy thingy" in the group...

Yes, Apothecaries aren't the ultimate killing machines, that's not their purpose. Their purpose is to allow the KKT members to fight longer, thereby inflicting "indirect damage".

And in the mean time, Apothecaries DO get Swift Attack, whereas Techmarines don't. So, "Not killy"...Yeah, well, I'd rather say each specialty has its own advantages and drawbacks (the Tech is nigh unkillable, the Apo heals, the Dev dakkaes, the Assault cuts through, the Libby sets the world on fire, the Tac does a bit of everything and more...). So, yeah, you should tell them to stop whining and play the effin' game. And if they feel like the Apo doesn't heal fast enough, have they considered they may be acting a bit too boldly ? I mean, Marines aren't made for absolute non stop no-brainer massacres, sometimes, they've got to use cover or tactics. If a KT is gunned down by an enemy, it may sometimes be because they charged in the open and got r4p3d as expected.

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Arkhan said:

Funny that this topic comes up, just the other day my group was complaining about the Apothecary being too WEAK.

They argued that 1 full action for first aid is far too much because in combat situations 2 people (medic and patient) cannot fight for one full round. Also the advances available for them would not make them enough of a fighter to be of use in a kill team.  

What do you think I should tell them?

I can't remember which thread I saw it in, but there was a great quote for an apothecary:

"I can spend a round now patching you up or spend a round later taking your geneseed."

The point being that if players aren't willing to let the apothecary do their job (i.e. putting them back together) they deserve everything coming to them. Besides, they should be happy someone's taken the role.

On the issue of the apothecary being too weak, I do think the rules don't quite represent their background determination to get the job done at all costs. Talents like "last man standing" early on would go a long way towards addressing that.

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Arkhan said:

 

Funny that this topic comes up, just the other day my group was complaining about the Apothecary being too WEAK.

They argued that 1 full action for first aid is far too much because in combat situations 2 people (medic and patient) cannot fight for one full round. Also the advances available for them would not make them enough of a fighter to be of use in a kill team.  

What do you think I should tell them?

 

 

To quit whining? To suck it up? To cry while you tear up their characters and make them play the Apo instead. To use a bit of common sense, rather than expecting a medic to pop their kidneys back in while they're in power armour, in five seconds flat while they're fighting a genestealer (seriously: WTF?!). To shower thier Apo with gifts and pizza for being decent enough to want to bother spending his combat patching up a bunch of bitching glory boys? All of the above?

I consider it very generous to allow Apos to heal in-combat at all, let alone fore it merely to take 6 seconds. Tell you what: Stop the problem by telling them that healing can now only be done between combats, and that it takes a minute.

Yes: It is a waste of time for two people to be healing in combat. Out of combat is the time to heal. In-combat healing is a VERY generous luxury that's usually absent from any game lacking in magical healing. I don't think I could have less sympathy for the player, or more sympathy for the poor schmuck who got lumbered with being the medic for such a team of whiners!

That's possibly a bit harsh, but I'm calling it as I see it! gran_risa.gif

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