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thetodd

Medicine Check Houserule

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This may have been suggested elsewhere, but during our session last night, we encountered the futility of the medicine check mechanic. When compared to, say, Ranged (Light), where successes boost the effectiveness of the weapon/tool used, medicine gets no direct benefit from intelligence or skill points (apart from the increased chances from the dice).

 

I haven't crunched the numbers to see how game-breaking this is, but how do folks react to this tweak to the rules: 

When making a medicine check (either in an encounter or post-combat), if the check is successful, the total amount of wounds recovered is equal to your intelligence score or your medicine skill (whichever is higher) + the number of successes. Additionally, strain is recovered equal to the number of advantages rolled.

 

Thoughts?

 

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Well, at first glance it means an intelligent character doesn't need the medicine skill, and putting points in medicine will be less desirable..

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I'd crunch those numbers boss.

 

Allow in-combat Medicine checks (even with upgraded difficulty) and you'll be making every half ass sawbones in the sector into a certified MMO healer. With a stimpack and a successful check I could regain 10 or more WT immediately. Plus a few points of Strain? Why would I ever need to worry about rushing into combat again.

 

Edit: I can't think of any other non-combat skill that works in the way you are describing (Hell, only Brawl works this way). Would all Int/Cunn/Will/Pres checks be altered to work this way? You'd have to make it an across the board change if you didn't want to make Medicine a much more potent skill that say, Astrogation.

Edited by Dbuntu

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Good point. Maybe I could add the caveat that a rank in Medicine is required?

That's very counter to the intent of every character being able to at least attempt every test with a chance of success.

 

I would just say "heal additional damage equal to ranks in Medicine." You want Int and Medicine for successes, you want Medicine for the flat bonus. 

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Well first of all there's the Doctor talent tree; plenty of ways to increase the amount of healing you do there. Secondly, the more Ability dice you roll (Intellect) the more successes you have a chance to earn, and when those Ability dice become Proficiency dice you get even more chances for additional successes, as well as allowing for the chance of Triumphs. If all that STILL isn't enough, get a bacta tank.

Healing is fine the way it is. I'd advise not messing with it.

Kager, wowskyguy, Blue Dog and 4 others like this

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My players look for those triumphs when the Medical Droid in our party goes to work. A Triumph can be used to heal a critical injury which is very nice.

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My biggest issue with healing Critical injuries is that you can test once per week per injury. Once per week doesn't mean you have to suffer from the injury for a whole week - not unless you fail the first check to heal it. I normally see all critical hits healed up shortly after the encounters they are inflicted.

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This may have been suggested elsewhere, but during our session last night, we encountered the futility of the medicine check mechanic. When compared to, say, Ranged (Light), where successes boost the effectiveness of the weapon/tool used, medicine gets no direct benefit from intelligence or skill points (apart from the increased chances from the dice).

 

I haven't crunched the numbers to see how game-breaking this is, but how do folks react to this tweak to the rules: 

When making a medicine check (either in an encounter or post-combat), if the check is successful, the total amount of wounds recovered is equal to your intelligence score or your medicine skill (whichever is higher) + the number of successes. Additionally, strain is recovered equal to the number of advantages rolled.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

I don't see what's so problematic with medicine checks the way they are.  Every net success heals wounds, every net advantage heals strain.  Are you looking for something like the base-damage of a weapon in making the comparison to Ranged(Light)?  If so, then the equivalent would be something that has a base healing, like bacta.  The full Medpac also gives a boost to medic checks, and the fluff says that it's similar to a ship's medical stores, so perhaps add another boost when they're at their ship/base.

 

There's also the time healing, like a night's sleep healing a wound.

 

What seems so "futile" about RAW?

 

 

 

 

I'd crunch those numbers boss.

 

Allow in-combat Medicine checks (even with upgraded difficulty) and you'll be making every half ass sawbones in the sector into a certified MMO healer. With a stimpack and a successful check I could regain 10 or more WT immediately. Plus a few points of Strain? Why would I ever need to worry about rushing into combat again.

 

Edit: I can't think of any other non-combat skill that works in the way you are describing (Hell, only Brawl works this way). Would all Int/Cunn/Will/Pres checks be altered to work this way? You'd have to make it an across the board change if you didn't want to make Medicine a much more potent skill that say, Astrogation.

 

You can already make medicine checks in combat, RAW.  I'm not sure why you think you couldn't, but that's the point of a combat medic.

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My biggest issue with healing Critical injuries is that you can test once per week per injury. Once per week doesn't mean you have to suffer from the injury for a whole week - not unless you fail the first check to heal it. I normally see all critical hits healed up shortly after the encounters they are inflicted.

I see Critical Injuries healed up rather quickly with the organic characters in my group because there's a Doctor, with the droid characters taking their Critical Injuries much more seriously. Still, more than a few times various characters have had to deal with some long-lasting crits. In one instance, the Wookiee Hired Gun lost his arm in a vibro-axe duel with a pirate captain, and it was three whole sessions before he got a cybernetic replacement.

At one point, one of the players used a Triumph to find a plunger that fit perfectly into the Wookie's arm stump with some binding tape, allowing him to use rifles with two Setback dice (since he still lacked an elbow and a hand). The player was angry with me -- even out of game at work -- but he was the one who decided to run off onto a pirate ship's bridge alone with no chance of back-up from his companions and no access to medical facilities because he was out in uncharted Wild Space. Everyone at the table warned him, and I even threw a Red/Purple/Purple/Black fear check (that he miraculously passed) in there to emphasize the point... so I feel no remorse. Plus, he won the duel anyway; he just lost an arm.

Honestly, I love the Critical Injury system if only because it allows me to identify problem players who I don't want to roleplay with. Some people just can't stand dealing with a negative status effect of any kind for more than one scene, no matter how easy they are to remove. (Noting, of course, that Gruesome Injuries [126-130 on the Critical Injury table] can inflict PERMANENT damage to a characteristic that cannot be healed, only temporarily ignored via high-cost talents that require a Destiny Point to use.) It is perhaps these same types of players who are wont to treat their GMs like the latest video game console rather than as an active storytelling director/partner. I tolerate that kind of attitude precisely to the point where I'm treated like the control pad being thrown to the floor.

All that being said, punishing players with multi-scene Critical Injuries is pretty harsh, so I'm glad things are the way they are. As in, it can happen but not so much that mature players will get overly frustrated/"reasonably" hurt. I'd love if it happened more, but my players seem to like things the way they are, so for now I'll just stick with the RAW and throw some lightsaber/mono-molecular vibro-weapon/distruptor weapon wielding enemies at my players every now and then when I feel like being evil. :D

Edited by JonahHex

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Funny story about crits and doctors. I'm a doc got critted (dazed till end of the encounter) healed myself. Got critted again in the following encounter but this time it's whenever I take an action I lose 1 strain. (GM rolled a 95 on the d100)

 

So I have to wait a week to try again....

 

against 5 purple die...

 

Needless to say the party can't do jack squat until I'm healed.

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Funny story about crits and doctors. I'm a doc got critted (dazed till end of the encounter) healed myself. Got critted again in the following encounter but this time it's whenever I take an action I lose 1 strain. (GM rolled a 95 on the d100)

 

So I have to wait a week to try again....

 

against 5 purple die...

 

Needless to say the party can't do jack squat until I'm healed.

Well healing strain is fairly simple, especially considering there's no limit to how many times you can use Medicine to cure it in an encounter, even on yourself. So your party COULD keep trucking on if the need was immediate and/or dire enough, but your Doctor would stand a fairly good chance of passing out during any kind of strenuous activity.

Edited by JonahHex

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The only way I know to heal strain with medicine is to get advantages on your once per encounter medicine check.  Is there another way that I missed?  I'm playing the medic for my group, so I would be very grateful if there was.

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Strain can be healed with Advantages generated by any check during combat, and there's nothing saying you can't heal strain using Medicine checks more than once during an encounter. Admittely nothing solidly is written about it, but all the same strain could come from many different sources. Using sythflesh applications to take care of scrapes and bruises might help out, as might a quick massage, a psychological evaluation, adrenaline-boosting stims, or any number of other situationally appropriate methods. Other skill checks might even work as you coach your ally to "get a hold" of himself; Charm, Cool, Discipline, and of course Leadership all come to mind, again depending on the situation (although Leadership would be pretty much universal).

As for how much strain gets healed, look at the difficulties for healing wounds and replace the word "wound" with "strain". Success results and Advantage results both heal strain, because strain is much easier to heal. (Much like making Cool/Discipline checks at the end of an encounter.)

Much of this is creatively extrapolated by myself from the raw, but I don't see any reason why it isn't viable. Again, the method of recovering strain might vary wildly from situation to situation, but unlike wounds there are no limits to how many times one can attempt to heal it. That's the key difference, and although the line looks blurry with some clever roleplaying you can keep your strain going a pretty long time in most situations as long as you and your team play it smart.

Edited by JonahHex

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Strain can be healed with Advantages generated by any check during combat, and there's nothing saying you can't heal strain using Medicine checks more than once during an encounter. Admittely nothing solidly is written about it, but all the same strain could come from many different sources. Using sythflesh applications to take care of scrapes and bruises might help out, as might a quick massage, a psychological evaluation, adrenaline-boosting stims, or any number of other situationally appropriate methods. Other skill checks might even work as you coach your ally to "get a hold" of himself; Charm, Cool, Discipline, and of course Leadership all come to mind, again depending on the situation (although Leadership would be pretty much universal).

As for how much strain gets healed, look at the difficulties for healing wounds and replace the word "wound" with "strain". Success results and Advantage results both heal strain, because strain is much easier to heal. (Much like making Cool/Discipline checks at the end of an encounter.)

Much of this is creatively extrapolated by myself from the raw, but I don't see any reason why it isn't viable. Again, the method of recovering strain might vary wildly from situation to situation, but unlike wounds there are no limits to how many times one can attempt to heal it. That's the key difference, and although the line looks blurry with some clever roleplaying you can keep your strain going a pretty long time in most situations as long as you and your team play it smart.

You mean other than the sentence on p.219 that says "Each character may only receive one Medicine check each encounter, as there is only so much good first aid can do to help a character."

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Strain can be healed with Advantages generated by any check during combat, and there's nothing saying you can't heal strain using Medicine checks more than once during an encounter. Admittely nothing solidly is written about it, but all the same strain could come from many different sources. Using sythflesh applications to take care of scrapes and bruises might help out, as might a quick massage, a psychological evaluation, adrenaline-boosting stims, or any number of other situationally appropriate methods. Other skill checks might even work as you coach your ally to "get a hold" of himself; Charm, Cool, Discipline, and of course Leadership all come to mind, again depending on the situation (although Leadership would be pretty much universal).

As for how much strain gets healed, look at the difficulties for healing wounds and replace the word "wound" with "strain". Success results and Advantage results both heal strain, because strain is much easier to heal. (Much like making Cool/Discipline checks at the end of an encounter.)

Much of this is creatively extrapolated by myself from the raw, but I don't see any reason why it isn't viable. Again, the method of recovering strain might vary wildly from situation to situation, but unlike wounds there are no limits to how many times one can attempt to heal it. That's the key difference, and although the line looks blurry with some clever roleplaying you can keep your strain going a pretty long time in most situations as long as you and your team play it smart.

You mean other than the sentence on p.219 that says "Each character may only receive one Medicine check each encounter, as there is only so much good first aid can do to help a character."

 

 

The full quote from page219: "A character may attempt a Medicine check to help a character heal wounds. Each character may receive one Medicine check each encounter, as there only so much good first aid can to help a character."

Seems to me that section was talking about wounds, with recovering strain being mentioned as a side effect. Simply put, wounds aren't nearly as abstract a concept as strain, so they come with more limitations.

Again, there's nothing saying you can't make more than one check to recover strain during an encounter, although different situations might call for different methods. Like I said it's an extrapolation of the rules, but it seems logical to me. The game doesn't place too many limits on recovering strain, and if it makes sense for the scene it makes sense for the scene.

Edited by JonahHex

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Strain can be healed with Advantages generated by any check during combat, and there's nothing saying you can't heal strain using Medicine checks more than once during an encounter. Admittely nothing solidly is written about it, but all the same strain could come from many different sources. Using sythflesh applications to take care of scrapes and bruises might help out, as might a quick massage, a psychological evaluation, adrenaline-boosting stims, or any number of other situationally appropriate methods. Other skill checks might even work as you coach your ally to "get a hold" of himself; Charm, Cool, Discipline, and of course Leadership all come to mind, again depending on the situation (although Leadership would be pretty much universal).

As for how much strain gets healed, look at the difficulties for healing wounds and replace the word "wound" with "strain". Success results and Advantage results both heal strain, because strain is much easier to heal. (Much like making Cool/Discipline checks at the end of an encounter.)

Much of this is creatively extrapolated by myself from the raw, but I don't see any reason why it isn't viable. Again, the method of recovering strain might vary wildly from situation to situation, but unlike wounds there are no limits to how many times one can attempt to heal it. That's the key difference, and although the line looks blurry with some clever roleplaying you can keep your strain going a pretty long time in most situations as long as you and your team play it smart.

You mean other than the sentence on p.219 that says "Each character may only receive one Medicine check each encounter, as there is only so much good first aid can do to help a character."

 

 

The full quote from page219: "A character may attempt a Medicine check to help a character heal wounds. Each character may receive one Medicine check each encounter, as there only so much good first aid can to help a character."

Seems to me that section was talking about wounds, with recovering strain being mentioned as a side effect. Simply put, wounds aren't nearly as abstract a concept as strain, so they come with more limitations.

Again, there's nothing saying you can't make more than one check to recover strain during an encounter, although different situations might call for different methods. Like I said it's an extrapolation of the rules, but it seems logical to me. The game doesn't place too many limits on recovering strain, and if it makes sense for the scene it makes sense for the scene.

 

You're splitting hairs.  the sentence is very clear, if it says a character can only receive one medicine check they can only receive one check.  If you want to house rule otherwise to each his own I say, but there is nothing ambiguous at all about what is written.

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One Medicine check for first aid, sure. But as noted, strain doesn't always have to do with first aid. A pep talk (Leadership), chugging a cup of caf (Resilience), and a muscle massage (Athletics) could all potentially help out with different kinds of strain, ranging from stress to fatigue to stun damage and perhaps something else.

As I've been saying all along, this is all an extrapolation of the rules -- a logical inference rather than a solid house rule, if you will -- but there's still nothing in the RAW that says a character can't attempt to recover from strain more than once during an encounter, nor that he can't try to help someone else do the same more than once. By the spirit of the rules strain is supposed to be easy to recover, so why not?

Now, the best option for recovering strain is ALWAYS going to be taking a break to relax and gather your thoughts (Cool and Discipline), so feel free to introduce various difficulties and Setback dice for these checks, especially during battle. But seriously, if one of your players got hit with a stun rifle, and the party strongman comes along to use an action to give his companion a deep-tissue massage with Athletics, I seriously doubt you'd say, "Nope, that doesn't help with the strain at all." Why would you?

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One Medicine check for first aid, sure. But as noted, strain doesn't always have to do with first aid. A pep talk (Leadership), chugging a cup of caf (Resilience), and a muscle massage (Athletics) could all potentially help out with different kinds of strain, ranging from stress to fatigue to stun damage and perhaps something else.

As I've been saying all along, this is all an extrapolation of the rules -- a logical inference rather than a solid house rule, if you will -- but there's still nothing in the RAW that says a character can't attempt to recover from strain more than once during an encounter, nor that he can't try to help someone else do the same more than once. By the spirit of the rules strain is supposed to be easy to recover, so why not?

Now, the best option for recovering strain is ALWAYS going to be taking a break to relax and gather your thoughts (Cool and Discipline), so feel free to introduce various difficulties and Setback dice for these checks, especially during battle. But seriously, if one of your players got hit with a stun rifle, and the party strongman comes along to use an action to give his companion a deep-tissue massage with Athletics, I seriously doubt you'd say, "Nope, that doesn't help with the strain at all." Why would you?

I didn't say recover from strain more than once per encounter though did I?  I think what I said was one Medicine check per encounter.  There are indeed different methods that can be used for recouping strain after or during an encounter include a single Medicine check, like a simple Discipline/Cool check after, or Second Wind during.

Edited by 2P51

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You originally corrected me when I said that strain could be recovered more than once in an encounter, so yeah I assumed that's what you were talking about. My mistake?

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Strain can be healed with Advantages generated by any check during combat, and there's nothing saying you can't heal strain using Medicine checks more than once during an encounter. 

 

That's what you typed, dunno if it's what you meant.  All I pointed out was you can only do one Medicine check an encounter. There are other ways to recoup strain each encounter.  

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You can already make medicine checks in combat, RAW.  I'm not sure why you think you couldn't, but that's the point of a combat medic.

 

Because I didn't have RAW on hand when typing up the response. The fact that AoR specifically has a combat medic made me second guess my memory concerning medicine checks in combat. 

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Strain can be healed with Advantages generated by any check during combat

 

  Which is unfortunate.  It means a character is better off recovering strain by taking a brawn check to push a large object to make a barricade than it is to just hide behind something.  Although people like it, I have yet to see a combat system that uses on-hit recovery not ruined by it.  Getting less winded by engaging in intense melee combat or by sprinting with an athletics check makes my teeth hurt.

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Strain can be healed with Advantages generated by any check during combat

 

  Which is unfortunate.  It means a character is better off recovering strain by taking a brawn check to push a large object to make a barricade than it is to just hide behind something.  Although people like it, I have yet to see a combat system that uses on-hit recovery not ruined by it.  Getting less winded by engaging in intense melee combat or by sprinting with an athletics check makes my teeth hurt.

 

Why? Strain is an abstract representation of physical AND mental fortitude -- mostly mental, as a matter of fact. Punching someone square in the face and doubling them over is a great way to build confidence; thus, the recovering of strain.

In any case, a Brawn check most certainly ISN'T the best way to regain strain. The best way is to take a break, but barring that I listed numerous other methods; deep tissue massage (Athletics, Medicine, or Knowledge [Xenology]), a pep talk (Charm or Leadership), chugging a cup of caf (Resilience), or almost anything else can help out, based on the situation you find yourself in.

Again, nothing in the rules says you can't attempt to recover strain more than once in an encounter. It just doesn't work out the rules/difficulties for you, because that can vary wildly.

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