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Author Topic: Monday Design Update 9/21 - Medical skill  (Read 7771 times)
Brian
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« on: September 22, 2009, 12:55:38 am »

If you’re going about the zombie apocalypse and you should happen to fall off the high shelf of a warehouse while trying to reach your hard-won family-sized can of beans, you just might dislocate something, maybe even split your head pretty deep. Now, if the extent of your medical knowledge consists of knowing the right way to pop open a childproof cap, bummer, you’re probably not going to make the journey back to the Shelter. However, if you have a bit of Medical training (or perhaps you have allies that do) then you might be able to stop the bleeding or get patched up well enough to make it back alive. (Hint – Hospitals are no longer in service, in fact, there are more zombies in hospitals and clinics than any other type of building, because… well, that’s where everybody went when they got bit.)

The Medical skill is pretty straightforward – it helps you heal yourself and your allies, and vice versa. The better you are, the more health you restore when you use it. Better medics use fewer supplies than novices too – they don’t make mistakes like stitching someone’s shirt into a wound. Higher Medical skill also aids in removing temporary statuses from wounded allies (like “bleeding”) and doctor types left at the Shelter can speed up the healing process for more long-term conditions (like “arm sprain”).

Medical types will want to carry a First-Aid Pouch with them. Medical items refill the pouch (up to 100%), and medics will use a skill-based percentage of their pouch’s content when they heal someone. When in the field, it’s almost essential to have someone with basic Medical knowledge – a combat medic, if you will – who can patch someone up enough to get them back in the fight or in good enough shape to take back to the Shelter. There’s no ambulance or emergency service to call, so your party’s Medical skill is all you have to count on if you get shot, stabbed, bit, set on fire, exploded, or have a family-size can of beans fall on your head while lying on the ground after a nasty fall. Join us next week when we’ll take a look at another skill that can aid in finding something to go with that dented can of beans.
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caster
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 03:15:55 am »

Liking it.

Pleasure to read such smart design after years of being dumbed down.
I think you even got a few of my neurons to reconnect again.


I can already see hospitals being one of the most rewarding sites for raids and also most dangerous.
Uhhh... all that morphine just lying there... Smile

Does this mean there wont be any kind of healing kits - stimpacks to use?

Thats just .... excellent.
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VonVentrue
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 07:24:29 am »

I can already see hospitals being one of the most rewarding sites for raids and also most dangerous.

That's precisely what crossed my mind, I can already imagine a desperate attempt at trying to make it in and out of a hospital alive due to supply shortages.

I heavily doubt this is the case, but does the medical skill affect the antibiotics mechanic in any way? For instance, is the daily dose of antibiotics necessary to postpone the zombification process reduced for a character with a high proficiency in the skill? 'Medics' are much more knowledgeable than an average person when it comes to appropriate antibiotic utilization, hence they may prevent a care recipient from taking more pills than necessary.

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Kappa
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 01:39:29 pm »

I see the word "combat medic" being used and, being in the military, I'd like to suggest a system like what we actually have begun to use pretty extensively, the "Combat Life Saver" role. CLS, as it's called, isn't going to teach you how to reset a broken bone or suture an open wound. It's more along the lines of tourniquets and IV's. Saving a life is about doing something at a critical time and then getting back to a real doctor, not doing open heart surgery while getting shot at. The beauty of CLS is that you can learn it pretty well in about a week. It might take a few sticks, but you can nail an IV or figure out how to stick in a Nasal - Pharyngeal Tube.

Anyway, my point is I would like to see something like that translated into this game. Training someone to become a medic would dwindle your stocked First Aid items, but could pay off in the long run. Rather than rely on that one "Medic," spreading out the knowledge would better everyone's chances in the long run. Plus, this let's you even out the risk of taking your good medic along with you vs having him stay back at the Safehouse to treat the traumatic stuff. Or having your medic go down and having to "level up" medical skills from scratch on a new character.

In the larger picture, to me, the apocalypse is all about skills. The skills you bring are the new currency. I think becoming the "jack-of-all-trades" is what everyone is going to strive for. Rather than having super specialized party members, I think that a well rounded party should be what "wins the game" rather than "min-maxing" a party where everyone just does one thing well. I dunno, not saying that is the direction you are taking it, but just a thought.

The other interesting point to me is having the Doc back at the Safehouse doing the heavy medical lifting. This is a much better system than I've seen in most games that involve zombies and could really provide interesting scenarios. Like, say your Doctor isn't a Doctor, per se. Maybe he used to be a Butcher. Or a Veternarian. Or a Used Car Salesman who took a few EMT classes in Junior College. Anyway, he has the highest medical skill, but it's not like he magically heals you up and you're up and about the next day. I think the idea of a wounded person in the Safehouse should be something that is a dramatic event. I like to think of people deciding if they are going to use supplies, or if the doctor knows he is too far gone and tries to "gain some medical knowledge" with a few experiments.

I think the main question, at least for me, as far as the medicine skill goes is how do you guys see the medical process taking place? Now, in game terms, slow recovery of wounds is boring.  Conversely, I think we all know that the "health pack" is lame and wouldn't fit in the realistic world you guys are creating. So, I guess I am asking about the balance of the Medic having you up on your feet and using 20% of his First Aid kit, but you're shooting and running around like nothing happened versus the medic tossing you on a Sked litter and dragging you back where you are hyper realistically triaged and worked on and slowly recover over a period of weeks.

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MacAnkka
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 02:02:45 am »

I agree with the above. A part of a good doctors job should be to teach the other group members some basic medical skills. The doctor can't be everywhere all the time and in combat situations some relatively simple procedures right after the injury, like a good tourniquet, can make the difference between life and death before the doctor can get to the patient (or vice versa).

It might also allow for some interesting personalities and choices. Perhaps your doctor is very good, but he is not willing to teach basic first aid, perhaps because of fears it would undermine his importance in the group? Would you try to find another doctor, who might not be as good, but is willing to share his skills? Or would you try to use your charisma to reassure him? Or would you threaten him?
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Spyros
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 05:16:27 pm »

I can already see hospitals being one of the most rewarding sites for raids and also most dangerous.

That is, if they haven't all burned down ;-)

[...] Sked litter and dragging you back where you are hyper realistically triaged and worked on and slowly recover over a period of weeks.

When many things could happen, roleplay-wise. I like the idea. What stops a good enough doctor from being a boost to morale just by being there, or by being available at the shelter? I wonder how morale will work.
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WCG
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 05:50:34 pm »

In the larger picture, to me, the apocalypse is all about skills. The skills you bring are the new currency. I think becoming the "jack-of-all-trades" is what everyone is going to strive for. Rather than having super specialized party members, I think that a well rounded party should be what "wins the game" rather than "min-maxing" a party where everyone just does one thing well.


I like it. As you say, this makes sense in a dangerous world where you're liable to lose anyone at any time.

And for gameplay purposes, it would make it less tempting to reload a saved game when you lose a particularly skilled character. If it makes sense to work for jack-of-all-trades characters, at least to some extent, BECAUSE you might lose anyone at any time, then when you do lose someone, it will simply fit the story, rather than be an excuse to break immersion and do the old reload trick.


Quote
I think the main question, at least for me, as far as the medicine skill goes is how do you guys see the medical process taking place? Now, in game terms, slow recovery of wounds is boring.  Conversely, I think we all know that the "health pack" is lame and wouldn't fit in the realistic world you guys are creating.


Yeah, magical healing is normal in computer games - for good reason - but it's not at all realistic. Well, what kinds of injuries are we talking about? If it's something mild - a slight sprain, a mild concussion, a cut - then you'd just need to patch up the character and get him back to the base. He'd be a liability until then, but within a day or so he'd be more-or-less back to normal.

Something more severe and the character might not make it. He'd be too slow, bleeding too much, or otherwise just too much of liability. And he'd know it, too. He'd know that he'd be a strain on the whole group, even if he DID get back to base. And, of course, if he's bitten by a zombie, that might be a guaranteed death sentence, no matter how bad it is.

So there might be very little middle ground, where a character would be patched up and taken back to base, only to be disabled for some time. After all, your "doctor" probably won't be anyone too skilled, and he won't have much for instruments or medicines.  The doctors all died at the hospitals, right? The worst place in the world to be? Your people might need to be patched up, but they'll be unlikely to get any major medical care, don't you think?


Um,... regarding the dangers of hospitals, will zombies stay around such places, after everyone is already dead?  True, the hospitals were probably packed with zombies, so they wouldn't last long, but then... wouldn't the zombies leave to look for prey? I'm just wondering why hospitals would be more dangerous than anywhere else. But maybe zombies aren't smart enough to open doors (and certainly not to use elevators).
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caster
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 02:23:28 pm »

Quote
That is, if they haven't all burned down ;-)
Grin
Probably quite a few did/would.
maybe im not realistically right but idea of the hospital seems less burnable to the ground than the library.
Smile

In the larger picture, to me, the apocalypse is all about skills. The skills you bring are the new currency. I think becoming the "jack-of-all-trades" is what everyone is going to strive for. Rather than having super specialized party members, I think that a well rounded party should be what "wins the game" rather than "min-maxing" a party where everyone just does one thing well.
I like it. As you say, this makes sense in a dangerous world where you're liable to lose anyone at any time.

And for gameplay purposes, it would make it less tempting to reload a saved game when you lose a particularly skilled character. If it makes sense to work for jack-of-all-trades characters, at least to some extent, BECAUSE you might lose anyone at any time, then when you do lose someone, it will simply fit the story, rather than be an excuse to break immersion and do the old reload trick.

Not only all of that but it would be an excellent balance between available NPCs.
So would be worth the risk taking one accidentally survived highly specialized NPC (realistically there are bound to be a few around too)  who could get one particular thing done faster but cannot help you with anything else -

- or choose someone who diversified into a few complimentary skills that could patch things up and hold them together in several areas.

A balance that enhances C&C a lot at the same time and enriches gameplay. What could be better.


I think the main question, at least for me, as far as the medicine skill goes is how do you guys see the medical process taking place? Now, in game terms, slow recovery of wounds is boring.  Conversely, I think we all know that the "health pack" is lame and wouldn't fit in the realistic world you guys are creating.
Why would it be boring?
I would think it would be anything but - in a game when healing relies solely on someone trained in medicine skill or a doctor, with no healing kits of any kind.
Similar how you depend on a high skilled doctor in fallout Tactics opposed to originals. Only even more so naturally. if healing kits in the usual manner arent present.

In fact - i would say that if you want the medicine skill to be very important and very exciting there should be no healing kits/stimpacks in the game.

Something more severe and the character might not make it. He'd be too slow, bleeding too much, or otherwise just too much of liability. And he'd know it, too. He'd know that he'd be a strain on the whole group, even if he DID get back to base. And, of course, if he's bitten by a zombie, that might be a guaranteed death sentence, no matter how bad it is.

So there might be very little middle ground, where a character would be patched up and taken back to base, only to be disabled for some time. After all, your "doctor" probably won't be anyone too skilled, and he won't have much for instruments or medicines.  The doctors all died at the hospitals, right? The worst place in the world to be? Your people might need to be patched up, but they'll be unlikely to get any major medical care, don't you think?
I like the idea of serious recovery time for more dangerous wounds.
 

Um,... regarding the dangers of hospitals, will zombies stay around such places, after everyone is already dead?  True, the hospitals were probably packed with zombies, so they wouldn't last long, but then... wouldn't the zombies leave to look for prey? I'm just wondering why hospitals would be more dangerous than anywhere else. But maybe zombies aren't smart enough to open doors (and certainly not to use elevators).
The smell coming from the morgue freezers keeps them near.
And more or less constant inflow of fresh meat of different survived civilians, half crazed with fear and even organized groups/meals coming to find final aid.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 05:03:10 pm by caster » Logged

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inhuman
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2009, 06:25:29 am »

Just 2 months ago, I slipped on the sidewalk, fell down and tore the tendons in my foot and ankle. It cost me 2 weeks of lying down and 2 more weeks of walking around with a cane as a cripple and I've only recently been able to go jogging, I still can't run. I couldn't even imagine surviving if something as simple as this happened in a ZA.

It might also allow for some interesting personalities and choices. Perhaps your doctor is very good, but he is not willing to teach basic first aid, perhaps because of fears it would undermine his importance in the group? Would you try to find another doctor, who might not be as good, but is willing to share his skills? Or would you try to use your charisma to reassure him? Or would you threaten him?

Or just suck it up and comply with that doctor. Such a fine point. It would be a shame and a wasted opportunity if people claiming to make a survival RPG didn't incorporate such an angle.

Quote
I think the main question, at least for me, as far as the medicine skill goes is how do you guys see the medical process taking place? Now, in game terms, slow recovery of wounds is boring.  Conversely, I think we all know that the "health pack" is lame and wouldn't fit in the realistic world you guys are creating. So, I guess I am asking about the balance of the Medic having you up on your feet and using 20% of his First Aid kit, but you're shooting and running around like nothing happened versus the medic tossing you on a Sked litter and dragging you back where you are hyper realistically triaged and worked on and slowly recover over a period of weeks.

My suggestions would be: decreased travel speed, or rather, faster passage of time during travelling to keep the pixel-by-pixel travel speed on travel map constant. Prolonged recovery time for the crippled/sick character for every action you make him/her do. So (s)he's still able to function to a degree, but at a cost without hindering actual gameplay. At this point, food consumption should also come into the picture. If there are sick characters, they might need more resources for while to heal as fast as possible so they're not a drag in the long run, which might risk the healthy ones as well. Quoting myself from the survival skill thread for I think it's relevant:

Quote
Hopefully, we'll have a few options on consumption habits? Options to consume food such as  "plentifully" (major positive effects on morals, other psychological effects, health -such as higher resistance to infections and faster recovery- and the rate of your progress with physically related stats), "healthily" (minor positive effects on all these factors), "savingly" (no positive effects, and maybe very slightly decreased stat progression), minimally (negative effects. characters end up weaker but it's managable for a short while as long as the party gets its rest and there are no health problems), and "bare survival" (major negative effects plus if this lasts for a while, bad things start to happen with characters) where effects kick in after repeated and average consumption habits over prolonged times. In an RPG claiming to be about survival, you have to have at least a few options on this alone, as half the survival in reality is about how your preserve and consume your resources.
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Gondolin
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2009, 02:43:35 pm »

It might also allow for some interesting personalities and choices. Perhaps your doctor is very good, but he is not willing to teach basic first aid, perhaps because of fears it would undermine his importance in the group? Would you try to find another doctor, who might not be as good, but is willing to share his skills? Or would you try to use your charisma to reassure him? Or would you threaten him?

Or just suck it up and comply with that doctor. Such a fine point. It would be a shame and a wasted opportunity if people claiming to make a survival RPG didn't incorporate such an angle.

Another way to look at this is: how long before doctors assume the same role&status shamans held in ancient tribes?
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inhuman
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2009, 06:22:59 am »

I think most doctors, as with most people, would be scared shitless and start complying the moment someone pointed a gun at them. There would be few doctors with the right personality and the right conditions/situation to turn that situation around.
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Gondolin
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 09:45:16 pm »

Quite likely. But how long does it take to understand that the man/woman pointing the gun at you may not be able to find the services you provide elsewhere? If he/she is also bleeding or got bitten, the line "shoot me and you'll die/turn into a zombie" springs to mind almost instantly.  8)
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inhuman
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2009, 08:10:49 am »

People are irrational and stupid. Even in a dire situation, majority would care more about their ego and authority than what's at stake, unless they're bleeding to death but even then, they could be even more irrational with fear and adrenaline. Also, if you can't get a doctor to submit to your authority by direct threats, you can do so by threating to kill the other people around, especially if there's anyone else the doctor cares about. And if the doctor is a constant troublemaker, you can make sure he passes on his knowledge to somebody else you can control more easily.
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Gondolin
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2009, 11:13:52 am »

People are irrational and stupid. Even in a dire situation, majority would care more about their ego and authority than what's at stake, unless they're bleeding to death but even then, they could be even more irrational with fear and adrenaline. Also, if you can't get a doctor to submit to your authority by direct threats, you can do so by threating to kill the other people around, especially if there's anyone else the doctor cares about. And if the doctor is a constant troublemaker, you can make sure he passes on his knowledge to somebody else you can control more easily.

True. But I can easily imagine a situation in which groups of frightened people are more than willing to promise doctors women, food and shelter in exchange for their services.
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inhuman
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2009, 11:50:45 am »

Well, there's no arguing that.
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