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Medpacs (and what irks me about them)
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Bren
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Part of it for me is how the medpacs are described.
It seems I missed a reason. I fixed that. Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:
I think it's best to ask what sort of outcome are you looking for and why? As regards treatment time do you want...

    (1) medpac treatment to be similar to time for treatment of real world military field medics, civilian first responders, and ER staff?
    (2) to avoid PCs popping up in the middle of combat after only 1 round of treatment?
    (3) to increase the number of PCs incapacitated or dead in your game?
    (4) the required treatment time to be unknown to the healer before they start treatment (like it often is in our reality)?
    (5) to better match the WEG description of medpacs and how they work?
    (6) something completely different?


Based on this, i am 1, 2, and 5.

As it is, cause of how good medpacks are.. there's just no reason for bacta ever. Let alone worries about pcs, being 'out for the count for an entire combat..

Bren wrote:

One simple option would be for the GM to secretly roll 1d6 for the number of rounds required for treatment. We could add in the idea of serious wounds taking longer by adding to the difficulty. Say +1 round for every increase in wound status above unconscious or stunned. If we use Whill's numbers we get


Now that idea is at least decent, but i was more thinking 1d wound, 2d incap, 3d mortal..

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I'm OK with Star Wars med tech being extreme, with nothing compared to the real world. After all, Luke healed pretty d*mn quick after his hand was chopped off.


Do we know how long he had that bacta tank on his hand?? before given the cybernetic one??
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:12 am    Post subject: Re: Medpacs (and what irks me about them) Reply with quote

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Whill wrote:
Just change it to whatever makes sense to you.

I think I can live with just adding a very slight level of realism, so here is my new ruling for my cinematic space opera universe:
    1 round - returning a character to consciousness and/or removing all stun effects
    2 rounds - healing from wounded to no wound status, and healing from wounded twice to wounded
    3 rounds - healing from incapacitated to wounded twice
    4 rounds - healing from mortally wounded to incapacitated. (Normally this is done after stabilizing the patient.)

With those times, though, I think you might as well not change the rule.

I disagree. My system is slightly more realistic than RAW. A slight change in the right direction is better than no change at all. But like I said, for your game make it whatever works for you. I in no way meant to imply I was suggesting my rule for any other GMs. Just sharing what I changed as FYI. If it inspires someone else reading it (even lurkers), great. If not, there was no harm in sharing.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Is there any difference between 5 seconds and 20 seconds when it comes to applying field dressings?

Yes, 20 seconds is quadruple the time of RAW. Wink

Bren wrote:
If we use Whill's numbers we get
1D rounds - returning a character to consciousness and/or removing all stun effects
1D6+1 rounds - healing from wounded to no wound status, and healing from wounded twice to wounded
1D6+2 rounds - healing from incapacitated to wounded twice
1D6+3 rounds - healing from mortally wounded to incapacitated. (Normally this is done after stabilizing the patient.)...
garhkal wrote:
Now that idea is at least decent, but i was more thinking 1d wound, 2d incap, 3d mortal

Those totally works if you want it to be more random.

Bren wrote:
...If we like we could use the usual conversion of pips to dice and turn 1D6+3 into 2D6.

That's not usual per RAW. Converting pips to dice usually only occurs when increasing die code values. And the min roll for 2D is less than 1D+3 so 1D+3 is better. Just sayin'.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I think that once a medic starts applying a medpac, he's done for the combat round.

That's quite reasonable.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
And, the medpac will be applied in a scene rather than a metered combat round.

And there we are. Most of the time, the exact amount of time it takes to use a medpac won't really matter anyway. Most uses of medpac are not going to be during combat. Most uses will be after it's over.

garhkal wrote:
...still means its taking LESS than a full minute to fully heal someone up.. That's 11 total rounds, equating to 55 seconds.. Still way to fast imo..

Technically it would be 12 total rounds - Don't forget the round to stabilize so the patient doesn't die before healing them from mortally wounded.

According to RAW, healing Mortally Wounded with a medpac is a Difficult level First Aid roll. Every medpac use after the first in a single day increases the difficulty by one level, which would mean three Difficult rolls followed by a Very Difficult roll. If a first aid roll misses by more than 10 than there can't be any more medpacs used in a day. So even by RAW it is very unlikely anyone but a character with medical droid ability could use medpacs to "fully heal" someone from mortally wounded status in a single day, let alone in one minute.

garhkal wrote:
As it is, cause of how good medpacks are.. there's just no reason for bacta ever.

I feel that first aid with medpacs should not be something that can stack like this because "first aid" is supposed to be only the first aid that is applied before a character gets actual medical attention. It's not second, third and fourth aid! I have already altered medpac rules to better address that silliness:
    If the first aid roll misses the difficulty by more than 7 points, the medpac has pushed the injured character’s body to its limit. No more medpacs can be used on him for a full standard day (24 hours). After a medpac has been used successfully, another medpac cannot be used on that character until there is another change in wound status from damage. Whether used successfully or unsuccessfully, increase the first aid difficulty one level for each additional medpac used on a character in a single full standard day.
So in my game, a character can only get one medpac used on him successfully per wound status change due to damage. After that, if still wounded the character must receive medical attention or heal naturally. Also, RAW just jumps from First Aid to bacta tanks so I added another possible level of professional medical attention (surgery, etc.) in between.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I'd feel differently if a medpac as a little droid brain that you flip open and then just slap onto the wound or near it. The droid would do all the work, thinking and acting much faster than a human could. Injecting stuff, crawling over the wound, laying down liquid bandage that hardens in the air. Stuff like that.

That sounds like a great idea for a little first aid droid (smart medpac?). They should have First Aid (maybe at 5D) and not Medicine. A regular medpac restocks them. I'd suggest making these things extremely expensive and rare just to explain why we never saw them in the movies.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Now that idea is at least decent, but i was more thinking 1d wound, 2d incap, 3d mortal..
At the point that the medic needs to spend 10+ rounds patching someone up I'd say we have effectively moved outside of treating wounds during combat and have moved to treating wounds outside combat at the end of a scene. There's nothing wrong with that long of a duration per se, (it's probably much more realistic, if that means anything in a space opera game) but it's not the effect I want. I want PCs to have to make choices about whether to shoot at the bad guys or first aid another character. Meaningful choices add drama. Long durations for first aid means that most PCs are just going to wait until combat is all over before trying to patch anyone up. In addition, I like a low rate of character death and I don't want to capture a PC every other week so I want the first aid mechanics to have the potential to support a result where we can have the walking wounded able to retreat from a losing fight.

Obviously the duration of patching up that will still remain inside combat rounds will depend on how skirmishes play out for your group, but I find that PC skirmishes usually resolve in only a few rounds (say 1-5 or so). So durations of say 10 rounds or so are effectively taking us past the end of the combat. And we might as well treat first aid as a scene length activity. I have a thought about that, but I will put it in a second post.

Whill wrote:
Those totally works if you want it to be more random.
As I said, for reasons of drama (and realism), I do want a degree of randomness.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I think that once a medic starts applying a medpac, he's done for the combat round.
While that seems quite reasonable, it’s not necessarily the effect I want as in most groups I’ve seen there is no dedicated medic so no one is willing to stop shooting, dodging, slashing, and running for the entire combat.

Whill wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
And, the medpac will be applied in a scene rather than a metered combat round.

And there we are. Most of the time, the exact amount of time it takes to use a medpac won't really matter anyway. Most uses of medpac are not going to be during combat. Most uses will be after it's over.
Yeah that’s typically what I see in play. But I’d like to allow for attempts to patch someone up during combat.

Whill wrote:
So in my game, a character can only get one medpac used on him successfully per wound status change due to damage. After that, if still wounded the character must receive medical attention or heal naturally. Also, RAW just jumps from First Aid to bacta tanks so I added another possible level of professional medical attention (surgery, etc.) in between.
This all seems reasonable.

Whill wrote:
Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I'd feel differently if a medpac as a little droid brain that you flip open and then just slap onto the wound or near it. The droid would do all the work, thinking and acting much faster than a human could. Injecting stuff, crawling over the wound, laying down liquid bandage that hardens in the air. Stuff like that.

That sounds like a great idea for a little first aid droid (smart medpac?). They should have First Aid (maybe at 5D) and not Medicine. A regular medpac restocks them. I'd suggest making these things extremely expensive and rare just to explain why we never saw them in the movies.
For all we know Boba Fett uses those things underneath his armor.
Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurs to me that one reasonable option would be to treat First Aid as something done in a scene (or that takes 15 minutes like Repair skills) rather than in 1 or even a few combat rounds but allow characters to either rush the action or to perform hasty first aid in an emergency. I can see two options for how to handle this.

1. Rushing.
2RE p81 wrote:
Rushing. At your discretion, characters can try to "rush" an action that takes two rounds or longer. (Actions which take one round cannot be rushed.)
A rushing character is trying to do the task in half of the time and the player rolls only half of the character's skill.
You have final discretion as to whether a task can be rushed. With some tasks — like fixing a starship in a hurry—it's reasonable to say a character could rush, especially if the character is racing a deadline. In other cases, rushing doesn't make much sense. If in doubt, ask the player to justify how the task could be rushed.

If the rushed First Aid roll succeeds then the time take could be 1 round (as per RAW) or something slightly longer like the 1 round per would level Whill suggested or something a bit more random like I suggested.

2. Hasty Treatment
2RE p118 wrote:
Calculating a route takes one minute if the character is using a well-travelled route or is using precalculated coordinates. (In emergencies, a character can try to jump into hyperspace in one round instead of one minute. The astrogation difficulty is doubled and the character rolls each round until he either beats the difficulty number or suffers an astrogation mishap.)


Double the medpac difficulty but allow the character to roll each round until they beat the difficulty. We might want to include mishaps and create a First Aid mishap table. Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We used to joke that my old character could simply take out the Medpac it would glow with a Gregorian chorus in the background and people would be healed. He didn't even need to open it. He had 6D First aid and 3D (A)Medicine and would stack the concentration force power.

The couple of times that he had to do it, he spent a Force Point as well to save the person, hence the chorus.

I don't really think that the effectiveness of a Medpac really irks me much, this is from a universe where you can get a small aerosol can of bacta, spray it onto a bruise, and a weeks worth of healing is done in a few seconds. It makes sense that their first aid kits are gonna be superior to what we have here on Earth. Also, most people are suffering from laser blasts from blasters which cauterize wounds. It's possible that the only real treatment needed is something for burn treatment & a pain reliever.

I could see raising usage times a little bit like Whill suggested, but, I think that I won't cry and take my toys home if they're not.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Medpacs (and what irks me about them) Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I disagree. My system is slightly more realistic than RAW. A slight change in the right direction is better than no change at all. But like I said, for your game make it whatever works for you. I in no way meant to imply I was suggesting my rule for any other GMs. Just sharing what I changed as FYI. If it inspires someone else reading it (even lurkers), great. If not, there was no harm in sharing.


True, a slight change is better than no change!

Whill wrote:
That's not usual per RAW. Converting pips to dice usually only occurs when increasing die code values. And the min roll for 2D is less than 1D+3 so 1D+3 is better. Just sayin'.


I've often seen people say "By the raw 2d+2, + 1d+2 would shift to 4d+1, not 3d+4.. BUT i've never seen an actual RULE about that, other than when it comes to increasing skills and stats.. I am wondering where they are getting it from.

Whill wrote:
And there we are. Most of the time, the exact amount of time it takes to use a medpac won't really matter anyway. Most uses of medpac are not going to be during combat. Most uses will be after it's over.


I've seen quite a few games where some got used IN melee, to ensure someone got back up and into the fight..

Whill wrote:
Technically it would be 12 total rounds - Don't forget the round to stabilize so the patient doesn't die before healing them from mortally wounded.

According to RAW, healing Mortally Wounded with a medpac is a Difficult level First Aid roll. Every medpac use after the first in a single day increases the difficulty by one level, which would mean three Difficult rolls followed by a Very Difficult roll. If a first aid roll misses by more than 10 than there can't be any more medpacs used in a day. So even by RAW it is very unlikely anyone but a character with medical droid ability could use medpacs to "fully heal" someone from mortally wounded status in a single day, let alone in one minute.


True, unless the pc doing the first aid has 6-7d in first aid or 5d +2d in medicine (A), he's realistically not going to make all the rolls without spending a FP or some CPs..

Whill wrote:
I feel that first aid with medpacs should not be something that can stack like this because "first aid" is supposed to be only the first aid that is applied before a character gets actual medical attention. It's not second, third and fourth aid! I have already altered medpac rules to better address that silliness:

If the first aid roll misses the difficulty by more than 7 points, the medpac has pushed the injured character’s body to its limit. No more medpacs can be used on him for a full standard day (24 hours). After a medpac has been used successfully, another medpac cannot be used on that character until there is another change in wound status from damage. Whether used successfully or unsuccessfully, increase the first aid difficulty one level for each additional medpac used on a character in a single full standard day.

So in my game, a character can only get one medpac used on him successfully per wound status change due to damage. After that, if still wounded the character must receive medical attention or heal naturally. Also, RAW just jumps from First Aid to bacta tanks so I added another possible level of professional medical attention (surgery, etc.) in between.


I like this rule.. Consider it yoinked for when i do Home games..

Whill wrote:
That sounds like a great idea for a little first aid droid (smart medpac?). They should have First Aid (maybe at 5D) and not Medicine. A regular medpac restocks them. I'd suggest making these things extremely expensive and rare just to explain why we never saw them in the movies.


For one of those i could see it being 4000 EACH..

Quote:
We might want to include mishaps and create a First Aid mishap table. Twisted Evil


If rushing it, how's about use the "Natural healing" table for possible mishaps?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought about this at work today, and I think we're looking at this all wrong. We don't need to change the times in the game at all. Once a provider is ready to apply a medpac, it only takes the amount of time the game says it does. One round.

If the character fails the check on that round, then he tries again the next round--meaning it took him 10 seconds to apply.

And, if that didn't work, he tries on the third round, taking him 15 seconds to apply.

That's what the game says, and we should keep that.





What we're not accounting for is the amount of time it takes a character to get to the point where he's ready to use the medpac!



As players, we all know that Palo just went down with a Wound. But, the other characters don't know that.

We're allowing PCs to run up to downed comrades and apply the medpac using Metagame knowledge.

What we are doing is providing no time for DIAGNOSIS!



I SUGGEST THIS

Roleplay the character rushing to his downed comrade. Don't just let the helping player apply a medpac to his buddy. "For what? You're just going to start injecting him with random drugs without knowing anything about his wound?"

Instead, describe what the PCs sees of his downed crewman.

GM: Palo is lying on his side, crumpled. Just standing over him, you don't see that anything is wrong with him except that he's not moving.

PC: I'll kneel and flip him on his back.

GM: You see a burnt hole on his coat, lower left side, near his hip.

PC: I take off the coat, then rip his tunic wide so that I can look a the wound.

GM: Looks like a blaster shot to you.





If you don't always just want to roleplay this out, then maybe would should come up with a generic diagnosis roll? The result telling how how long it takes the PC to examine the patient, input info in the med-scanner, and get good feedback.

Then, understanding what to do and have the equipment out ready to do it, it only takes the one round to actually apply the medpac.

If the scanner says to give the patient the shot with the green handle, then it should only take a round to actually give the patient his shots.
But, it takes a lot longer to figure out which shot to give him.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shifting the F/Aid roll to a # of rounds, DOES account for that needing to diagnose them though.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Shifting the F/Aid roll to a # of rounds, DOES account for that needing to diagnose them though.


Are you sure?

The 1E Rulebook says its primary use is in the operation of medpacs.

Does the operation of a medpac also include diagnosis?

I can see an argument either way, but it is hard for me to see how a wound can be diagnosed, items pulled from the medpac, and then applied correctly, all in 5 seconds.

I can see the medpac being applied in 5 second if all but the actual applying of the correct treatment is done outside of those 5 seconds.



There's a med scanner described on page 39 of Fantastic Technology. It's operation is different from that given for the medpac. The Difficulties are different.

This suggests that the scanning and diagnosing is done out of the medpac use.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm starting to thing that two rolls are needed.

Roll 1 = Diagnosis

Roll 2 = Treatment


Then, set the time for Diagnosis longer than one combat round.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Whill wrote:
That's not usual per RAW. Converting pips to dice usually only occurs when increasing die code values. And the min roll for 2D is less than 1D+3 so 1D+3 is better. Just sayin'.

I've often seen people say "By the raw 2d+2, + 1d+2 would shift to 4d+1, not 3d+4.. BUT i've never seen an actual RULE about that, other than when it comes to increasing skills and stats.. I am wondering where they are getting it from.
I got it from the rules for how die codes work in Second Edition. It seemed logical to me to apply it uniformly to all dice and die codes used since the rules as written are a little ambiguous or inconsistent.

@ Whill, 1D+3 isn’t better than 2D. Sure 1D+3 has a higher minimum but it has a lower average and lower maximum. If 1D+3 really was better than 2D we’d have an issue with the way improving stats and skills are handled according to the rules.

Now for those who care about the minutia of the RAW I present:

A bit of a tangent on how die codes work
Personally I think the rules, at least in 2E, are ambiguous on how to handle 1D+3. The rules for die codes say one thing, but at least one example contradicts the rule. I did a quick find in my Second Edition rules. All page citations are from the Second Edition because that’s the one I learned first and because I have an electronic version where I can do some electronic searching. Here's where the rules talk about the die code progression.

Die Codes (page 52) wrote:
Die codes will have either a simple "D” ( 1 D, 2D. 3D), a 1 ' (1D+1,2D +1,3D+1) or a “-2" (1D+2, 2D+2, 3D+2). Die codes will never have more than a "+2" after them — when a character improves that code, it goes to the next whole number of dice.

Note that it says that die codes will never have more than a “+2” after them.

Force Points (page 54) wrote:
When a character spends a Force Point, all of their skills, attributes and special ability die codes are doubled for that round; weapon damage values, armor values and other tool values are not doubled.
Note that Force Points double skill, attribute, and special ability die codes.

Now since page 52 says that die codes will never have more that a “+2” after them and page 54 says that when you use a Force Point you double the die code. So if you double a die code of 3D+2 you get a doubled die code of 6D+4, but die codes will never have more than a “+2” after them so the double of 3D+2 should be 7D+1.

That seems clear. But on page 55 WEG gives us an example that doesn’t follow their rule.

Example on page 55 wrote:
Example: Tirog, with a Strength of 3D+2, is using a vibroaxe which does damage of SSTR+2D. When Greg spends a Force Pont and Tirog hits with a weapon, he rolls 6D+4 for his Strength plus the normal 2D for the weapon.

Now it might be that people think the phrase “die code” only applies to stats and skills, but we see that die codes apply to a lot of things like vehicle shields, maneuverability, body strength, fire control, and armor. The rules describe all those things as having die codes.

The on page 90 the section on Repair for Starship Shield Repair says, "Shields — The difficulty depends upon the number of die codes lost." Also see the Vehicles section 5.1 on pages 98-99 and the equipment list on page 157 for Armor.

So the explanation for die codes and their progression says one thing but the example for Force Point use contradicts the progression. At the end of the day this is a trivial point. But based on my reading decide whether you like the progression or the example.

/End Tangent
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Bren
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garhkal wrote:
Quote:
We might want to include mishaps and create a First Aid mishap table. Twisted Evil

If rushing it, how's about use the "Natural healing" table for possible mishaps?

For clarity please note that the comment on mishaps and the twisted evil smiley are mine, not Whill’s. Despite his Palpy avatar Whill doesn't seem like a twisted evil sort of guy. And in response to your question garhkal, something could be done with worsening wounds like for natural healing. That would be simple. Though I was thinking of something that would hopefully be more flavorful.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
Does the operation of a medpac also include diagnosis?
I’d say yes. That’s one reason why it requires a First Aid roll to succeed. Unless I diagnose where the wounded guy was shot, I can’t effectively apply the bacta patch.

Wajeb Deb Kaadeb wrote:
I'm starting to thing that two rolls are needed.

Roll 1 = Diagnosis

Roll 2 = Treatment


Then, set the time for Diagnosis longer than one combat round.
Unless I want the campaign to focus on medics and medical stuff, two rolls seems too complicated for space opera to me. And it just increased the likelihood of someone failing their roll and wasting a medpac to no good effect. However, if I want a medical focus to the campaign (Jedi Doctor anyone?) that sounds like a good house rule to add.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bren wrote:

For clarity please note that the comment on mishaps and the twisted evil smiley are mine, not Whill’s. Despite his Palpy avatar Whill doesn't seem like a twisted evil sort of guy. And in response to your question garhkal, something could be done with worsening wounds like for natural healing. That would be simple. Though I was thinking of something that would hopefully be more flavorful.


Rats, was just quoting everything at once, forgot to change names..
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding die codes and die code accumulation, it is confusing to quote the original 2e book when that edition was officially revised and updated 21 years ago (R&E). Plus "ISB Intercepts" in the Adventure Journal #15 (20 years ago) further reinforces these rules...

When unmodified die codes are improved, such as character skill advancement or technological modifications, XD+2 progresses to (X+1)D. But when die codes are temporarily multiplied such as with Force Points, or when die code values are added together such Strength+Weapon Damage, the pips are added up separately from the die codes. The "+3s" and higher are not "converted" to pips as they would be for die code advancement. Die Code advancement is a totally different thing than multiplying or adding die codes temporarily. I feel it's actually very straight forward.


Bren, what started this tangent was actual neither of the above. It was a time determination chart with a progression of wound statuses which is not included in the above rules because the game didn't provide any rules for introducing mods or creating house rules. And I do have a degree in Mathematics and got an A in Probability & Statistics calss, so I have a decent grasp of die roll probabilities for the game. However I only have a minor in English and I can see that my use of the word "better" in a brief sentence was extremely vague, so I do apologize.

I know that 1D+3 has lower average and maximum than 2D. When I said "better" I did not mean a greater average or maximum than 2D. Let's look at some raw die code values.

1D+2 . 1D+3 . 2D
...3... . ...4... . ..2 . Minimum
...5.5 . ...6.5 . ..7 . Average
...8... . ...9... . 12 . Maximum

When I said 1D+3 is better than 2D, I was only voting for which one I think should follow 1D+2 on your chart. This chart shows why. I feel that if the times are random, healing mortally wounded should have a longer minimum, average and maximum time than healing incapacitated. While 2D does have a greater average and maximum than 1D+2, 2D does not have a greater minimum than 1D+2. All three values for 1D+3, including minimum, are greater 1D+2.

Because of this, I feel 1D+3 is a better overall choice for the chart than 2D. That's all I meant. I was considering how each possible last random time die code value compared to 1D+2, not how they compare to each other. Is that more clear?
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