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Tupper

Death by a thousand cuts

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@Tupper I was curious and looked again at RQ2, there’s no first aid skill there. Which makes sense - I was surprised when you pointed out that first aid could be applied to each wound received. Meaning it can be applied potentially multiple times to a hit location.  And also require more book keeping.

I think what they’ve done is add the RQ3 first aid skill directly  to RQG. RQG as you know uses the RQ2 approach to hit location damage - with the quirk that limbs only take damage up to x2, but can still be hit after that with damage only going to total hit points. RQ3 didn’t have this quirk, so I think *first aid* made more sense in that system. 

I think that’s partly why your finding the damage rules in RQG a bit odd in relation to first aid healing. It still works, but perhaps that was an unintended consequence of the designers combining RQ3 bits into a RQ2 engine, where previously damage was healed per location, not per wound? 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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6 hours ago, Tupper said:

The only bits I disagree with, I've edited in red: the single hit criteria is only for limbs (i.e. arms and legs).  So you can get knocked out or killed from multiple blows to the head/chest/abdomen.

It's not helpful that the examples for twice-location-HP and thrice-location-HP both show the effect of a single hit.

I think you might be right about twice-location-HP: the condition is "If the head, chest, or abdomen suffers more than twice as much damage as the adventurer has hit points in that location", with no comment on the number of hits required.

But the thrice-location-HP instant-death special-effect condition is "A head, chest, or abdomen hit for three times as much damage as the adventurer has hit points in that location", which to me suggests a single hit for that much damage, not just the location damage cumulatively reaching that threshold.

I do wish this was all clearer; the book has been out for months, we're up to a corrected PDF version, we have Q&A access to the design team… and I still can't tell what the intent of the rules are on several key points of combat. I don't want RQ to read like Pathfinder or a case-system wargame, but I do wish it had been gone over prior to release by someone who valued consistency of terminology and more illustrative examples. After RQ3, the combat system of which I thought was a paragon of clear writing (though not without errors), this edition feels like something of a retrograde step to me.

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5 hours ago, trystero said:

But the thrice-location-HP instant-death special-effect condition is "A head, chest, or abdomen hit for three times as much damage as the adventurer has hit points in that location", which to me suggests a single hit for that much damage, not just the location damage cumulatively reaching that threshold.

Yes, it could either be a single hit or culmaltive hits that trigger the x3 condition in those particular locations. I think that’s what the text is describing here.

I presume cumulative hits to the vital locations are effective because of the vulnerability of those core hit locations relative to limbs...but also a big single hit is going to be devastating there.

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23 hours ago, Tupper said:

On the topic of the damage cap, if anyone takes 3x their head, chest, or abdomen, they are dead.  The rule under 3x damage is superfluous, since the total hp damage will have killed them without need for a special comment that these types of injury are fatal.  For example, if Harmast takes 12 points to the head, that's killed him outright since he only has 10 hp total.

I don't think the rule is superfluous. Someone with 10 HP who takes 6 points of damage to the head followed by another 6 points to the same location dies at the end of the current round because their total HP are 0 or less, per pp. 146–147, but if the same person takes 12 points (3× location HP) in a single strike to the head, they die instantly, as per p. 148.

It may not be a huge distinction, but it's the difference between "maybe someone can heal me before I expire" and "well, I hope someone has Resurrection".

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2 hours ago, trystero said:

I don't think the rule is superfluous. Someone with 10 HP who takes 6 points of damage to the head followed by another 6 points to the same location dies at the end of the current round because their total HP are 0 or less, per pp. 146–147, but if the same person takes 12 points (3× location HP) in a single strike to the head, they die instantly, as per p. 148.

It may not be a huge distinction, but it's the difference between "maybe someone can heal me before I expire" and "well, I hope someone has Resurrection".

That is a very good point, that I had not thought about.  Thanks for pointing that out!

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6 hours ago, trystero said:

I don't think the rule is superfluous. Someone with 10 HP who takes 6 points of damage to the head followed by another 6 points to the same location dies at the end of the current round because their total HP are 0 or less, per pp. 146–147, but if the same person takes 12 points (3× location HP) in a single strike to the head, they die instantly, as per p. 148.

It may not be a huge distinction, but it's the difference between "maybe someone can heal me before I expire" and "well, I hope someone has Resurrection".

On closer reflection ... maybe your example is off, since 12 points to the head even if cumulative would trigger the instant death criteria.  

Quote

A head, chest, or abdomen hit for three times as much damage as the adventurer has hit points in that location results in instant death.

 There's no mention of "in a single blow" there, so presumably it can be cumulative (just as with the 2x hp results).

So to paraphrase your example: someone who took 6 points of damage to the head followed by another 6 points to a different location dies at the end of the current round, but the same person taking 12 points to the head (either from a single blow or separate blows) dies instantly.

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2 hours ago, Tupper said:

So to paraphrase your example: someone who took 6 points of damage to the head followed by another 6 points to a different location dies at the end of the current round, but the same person taking 12 points to the head (either from a single blow or separate blows) dies instantly.

Maybe. For myself, I read "hit for three times as much damage as the adventurer has hit points in that location" as meaning instant death only occurs if a single hit does that much damage, but it's definitely open to interpretation.

If it's cumulative, why have the thrice-the-location-HP entries at all? That would be superfluous.

Edited by trystero

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The effects of damage per location are based on total hit points delivered to the hit location.

For example, with a 6-pt limb, it doesn't matter if it's one blow doing 18 points or 18 1-point injuries, it is destroyed. 

I'll try to pop in to the official answers thread.

It's just a question of prioritizing new material moving forward into production or long periods of careful research and deliberation for questions. 

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22 minutes ago, Jason Durall said:

The effects of damage per location are based on total hit points delivered to the hit location.

For example, with a 6-pt limb, it doesn't matter if it's one blow doing 18 points or 18 1-point injuries, it is destroyed. 

I'll try to pop in to the official answers thread.

It's just a question of prioritizing new material moving forward into production or long periods of careful research and deliberation for questions. 

Thanks very much Jason. It’s just a technicality which I think I’ve summed up fairly concisely in my related question/s  in the core rules thread - apologies for my persistence, I’ve come across a few people that had difficulty with that section of the book so thought it apt to get an official answer.

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2 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

@Jason DurallBe great if we could get another round of official answers over on the core question rule thread, now that the RQG slipcase is imminent.

That thread is a kind of death by a thousand cuts for Jason... 🤣

Perhaps he should appoint some deputies to draft answers and send them to him so he can run through them and post the ones he agrees with.

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The way I read the RQG rules was that a single hit dealing 1x Location damage (0hp) disables it, 2x damage maims it badly and stops all further damage from this attack to both the locating and total hp, and 3x chops it off/through but only deals 2x damage to limb and total hp.

After 2x damage, further hits to that location deal damage to general hp, but that location cannot receive anymore damage

I personally find this rule very strange and clunky... It seems impossible to cut off a limb by hitting it repeatedly with weaker strikes. It's also a bit much to have x1, x2 and x3 limb damage rules, and why would you receive further damage if your limb does not? 

 

I know this is house rules, but playing RQ3 we didn't completely limit Gen hit point damage (or did 3x limb damage). At 0hp the limb was unusable, and double negative chopped off the limb. Further damage from the strike hit a nearby limb, thus possibly causing more damage (after deducting armor of the second hit location).

This created very memorable battles where both arms could be chopped off at once, or that time a greatsword-wielding great troll chopped our primitive hunter from right clavicle to left hip (chest+abdomen) in one clean (critical) hit. 

Edited by gochie
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So it sounds as though the 2×location HP limit on total HP loss for arm and leg injuries is the only case where it matters whether damage was done by a single attack or multiple attacks. A single attack can't cause total HP loss in excess of this limit, but a later attack can do so.

Or, in other words, if I have a 3 HP in my arm location and I'm hit by an attack doing 7 points, I only lose 6 total HP, but if I'm hit again in that arm for 2 more points, I still lose another 2 total HP and my arm is still severed or maimed.

Thanks, Jason; it's good to have this matter clarified, even if it's not in the book. I hope the PDF edition can be updated to reflect this ruling.

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4 hours ago, trystero said:

Or, in other words, if I have a 3 HP in my arm location and I'm hit by an attack doing 7 points, I only lose 6 total HP, but if I'm hit again in that arm for 2 more points, I still lose another 2 total HP and my arm is still severed or maimed.

Thanks to @Jason Durall for wading into this thread.  However, I'm still sadly confused (as the original poster).  Trystero's point highlights my confusion (although for mangling to be on the table, I think it needs to be 3 damage from the subsequent hit):

I get that the first hit does me 6 points of damage.  Now I've taken twice my arm's HP.  When I take 3 more HP, what happens?

  • I have 6HP damage to the arm and 9 HP to my total HP?
  • I have 9HP to my arm and 9HP to my total HP?

The former would suggest no mangling.  The latter would suggest the arm is mangled.

7 hours ago, Jason Durall said:

The effects of damage per location are based on total hit points delivered to the hit location.

For example, with a 6-pt limb, it doesn't matter if it's one blow doing 18 points or 18 1-point injuries, it is destroyed.

Jason's answer here suggests that the latter should be the case (and hence a limb could be mangled by many "small" blows).

However, in the original discussion of this point (on the questions and answers forum) @Jason Durall said:

"Yes. If you have 4 hit points in the right arm and a sword hits it for 9 points, your arm takes 8 points of damage, which is also considered in your total hit point damage.

But if your right arm is hit again for 2 points, you (not your arm) take 2 more points of total hit point damage."

Maybe I should wait for a more in-depth answer to @Paid a bod yn dwp's question on the "questions and answers" forum, but I can't resist asking, having spent a while thinking about this earlier in the year, and with illumination (almost) within hand's grasp!

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17 hours ago, Tupper said:

…I'm still sadly confused (as the original poster).  Trystero's point highlights my confusion (although for mangling to be on the table, I think it needs to be 3 damage from the subsequent hit):

I get that the first hit does me 6 points of damage.  Now I've taken twice my arm's HP.  When I take 3 more HP, what happens?

  • I have 6HP damage to the arm and 9 HP to my total HP?
  • I have 9HP to my arm and 9HP to my total HP?

The former would suggest no mangling.  The latter would suggest the arm is mangled.

@Tupper, I chose another 2 points intentionally, to illustrate the difference that Jason's answer above makes. Here's my understanding of how my example works, in more detail:

  • Before combat, uninjured: My arm is at 3 HP (its full value), and I'm at full total HP. Life is good.
  • After a 7-point arm hit: My arm takes 7 points of damage and drops to −4 HP (and I'm incapacitated and can take no action beyond healing attempts, because the arm has now taken at least 2× its original HP). But total HP loss from a single arm or leg hit can't exceed 2× the location's HP, which in this case is a 6-HP limit, so my total HP only drop by 6, not by 7.
  • After another 2-point arm hit: My arm takes another 2 points of damage and drops to −6 HP (and is severed or maimed, because it's now taken 3× its original HP). My total HP drop by another 2, so I'm down 8 total HP.

So the first hit does 7 points to the arm, but only 6 to your total HP. The second hit does 2 to the arm and 2 to your total HP.

Again, this is my understanding; I'm interested to hear whether others see it differently.

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@trystero I follow what you're saying.  To paraphrase: since a wound can mangle a limb without doing total HP damage of 3x the limb's damage (as per the example in the book where someone is hit for 8 points of damage to a 2HP limb and is maimed while taking only 4HP damage), we would need to track the contributions towards taking 3xHP damage from wounds that don't quite achieve it on their own.

This does all start to look "messy" from a book keeping perspective though, don't you think?  After all, we could now have HP damage to the limb that's *not* associated with total HP damage.  If wounds are kept 1-to-1 then it's very clear that healing 1HP to a limb heals 1 HP to the total. 

Edited by Tupper
Correct typos and added missing part.

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@trystero In terms of what I think .... I'm still not sure I (personally) agree with Jason's ruling.  I feel that someone who's taken 18 1HP wounds to their arm has a very sore arm (it stopped working after 6 HP damage) but since one hit ago, they could be healed completely using first aid, this doesn't feel like something that should require magical healing (as a mangled limb should). I feel that a mangled limb should have been caused by an 18 HP hit (reduced to  12 HP) so that's a *big* wound that's needing healing (and the need for magical healing seems readily apparent with first aid only able to heal 6HP tops). 

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5 hours ago, trystero said:

@Tupper, I chose another 2 points intentionally, to illustrate the difference that Jason's answer above makes. Here's my understanding of how my example works, in more detail:

  • Before combat, uninjured: My arm is at 3 HP (its full value), and I'm at full total HP. Life is good.
  • After a 7-point arm hit: My arm takes 7 points of damage and drops to −4 HP (and I'm incapacitated and can take no action beyond healing attempts, because the arm has now taken at least 2× its original HP). But total HP loss from a single arm or leg hit can't exceed 2× the location's HP, which in this case is a 6-HP limit, so my total HP only drop by 6, not by 7.
  • After another 2-point arm hit: My arm takes another 2 points of damage and drops to −6 HP (and is severed or maimed, because it's now taken 3× its original HP). My total HP drop by another 2, so I'm down 8 total HP.

So the first hit does 7 points to the arm, but only 6 to your total HP. The second hit does 2 to the arm and 2 to your total HP.

Again, this is my understanding; I'm interested to hear whether others see it differently.

Trying to go with Rules as written, this is all correct apart from a limb cannot go below x2 wounds, so the limb would be at -3 not -4.

Jason’s comment doesn’t make sense in regards to “limb” damage, as it seems to suggest that you track wounds up to x3, where as the rule book suggests a limit of x2, with subsequent hits only going to Total Hit points...A x3 hit to a limb from a single blow is a special severing Hit, but damage from which is only tracked up to x2... pretty sure we’ve run through this all previously in this thread. 

I hope Jason will give proper consideration  in the core question thread. As it seems he’s in part contradicting the rule book. Although if my understanding is incorrect then the rule book needs revision.

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On 4/1/2019 at 4:29 PM, Jason Durall said:

The effects of damage per location are based on total hit points delivered to the hit location.

For example, with a 6-pt limb, it doesn't matter if it's one blow doing 18 points or 18 1-point injuries, it is destroyed. 

I'll try to pop in to the official answers thread.

It's just a question of prioritizing new material moving forward into production or long periods of careful research and deliberation for questions. 

Hi @Jason Durall- The point of contention is that the rule book suggests a x2 damage limit to “limbs”, with further blows to the limb only effecting Total Hit points. That would mean that wounds in limbs are only tracked up to x2. Is this correct? Does that therefore need to be corrected in the core rules?

I’ve addressed this in my question in the core rules thread. 

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Hello again @Paid a bod yn dwp

I think if we're buying Jason's comment earlier (that cumulative damage can lead to maiming or shock), then (IMHO) the most coherent view of things is probably:

  1. The cap on x2 damage is on a *per wound* basis, not absolute.
  2. Subsequent wounds are associated with the limb.

The reason I say 1 is that otherwise, you can't ever get to a limb being maimed except as a single blow, so Jason's point above (about maiming) would be superfluous.  Once the character with 6HP in the arm hit -6, there'd be no way to get from -6 to -12 (although a single blow could still achieve maiming).

The reason I say 2 is that in order to figure out whether you've reached maimed status, you'd have to associate the subsequent wounds with the limb.  If the damage gets recorded as "general/total" HP damage, it could be hard to tell where it came from (of course this interpretation - as noted above - would conflict with Jason's earlier comment on the questions and answers thread). 

I think @trystero raises a good point about whether "surplus" damage (over x2 from a single hit) should be recorded to build up to maiming, but I'd say that's going to lead to odd paperwork (wounds on limbs with no associated total HP loss) and the book seems fairly specific that the surplus damage doesn't do anything: "Thus a 2-point arm hit for 5 points takes only 4 points of damage off the total hit points: the remaining 1 point of damage has no effect" (emphasis mine).  Then again, I thought the repeated mention of "from a single blow" was fairly emphatic, and that wasn't the intended meaning ... 😀

I'm coming round to this (cumulative maiming/shock, along with 1 and 2 above).  I guess it's just you've gradually had your limb damaged beyond the point of no return. At 17 damage, it was holding together, but that 18th point of damage was the straw that broke the camel's back, and now you're in the ER.

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Reading the book my feeling is still that “limbs” are x2 limited (not just from a single blow) So no need to track wounds to a limb after x2 limit. A massive x3 from a single blow will sever the limb. It seems to model as I touched on before, the limbs being not “as” vital as the core hit locations, allowing the slim possibility of being able to fight another day.

Whereas head, chest, abdomen have a cap of x3 wounds that can be reached culmaltively or through a single hit. So you will track wounds to those locations upto x3 leading to *checks notes*...death. This is inline with what Jason is saying.

So death by a thousand cuts if it’s one of the core hit locations, but not necessarily so for limbs.

 

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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23 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Reading the book my feeling is still that “limbs” are x2 limited (not just from a single blow) So no need to track wounds to a limb after x2 limit. A massive x3 from a single blow will sever the limb. It seems to model as I touched on before, the limbs being not “as” vital as the core hit locations, allowing the slim possibility of being able to fight another day.

Whereas head, chest, abdomen have a cap of x3 wounds that can be reached culmaltively or through a single hit. So you will track wounds to those locations upto x3 leading to *checks notes*...death. This is inline with what Jason is saying.

So death by a thousand cuts if it’s one of the core hit locations, but not necessarily so for limbs.

 

 

I'm not sure that's what he said...

On 4/2/2019 at 4:29 AM, Jason Durall said:

The effects of damage per location are based on total hit points delivered to the hit location.

For example, with a 6-pt limb, it doesn't matter if it's one blow doing 18 points or 18 1-point injuries, it is destroyed. 

That reads to me like you can mangle a limb with cumulative damage (and to do that, they need to get above 2x HP).

Often in discussions of rules, people talk about RAW: Rules As Written, meaning "we're doing this without house rules", and RAI: Rules As Intended, meaning "I think that's a lawyerly interpretation of that rule, and not really in the spirit of it" (often applied by GMs when players get weaselly and say things like "but it doesn't say I *can't* do X...").

This section RAW clearly has some ambiguous parts (which I feel we've all debated in full here):

  • Do the effects of 2x damage to a limb (going into shock) take effect after cumulative damage or just a single big blow?
  • Does subsequent damage (after 2x damage) go to the limb or to general HP?

But some parts, don't to me (or to other readers) seem ambiguous at all, RAW:

  • A limb only gets severed/maimed if it takes 3x damage from a *single blow*.

In this situation, the tricky thing with RAI is that 90% of this section was written by Steve Perrin and friends, and they're not here to enlighten us what they meant.  Jason has made two clarifications (one on this thread and the other in the general rulings):

  • Damage after 2x damage to a limb goes to you but not the limb.
  • Limbs can be mangled after 3x cumulative damage.

These two rulings seem mutually inconsistent (and the latter ruling seems to run contrary to RAW).  My gut feeling tells me that most folks who'd read the book, never played RQ3, and never read a thread on this forum would have trouble reaching the second ruling's conclusion!

As a GM, this could be troubling.  You could read a section of the book, think it's pretty clear RAW, and then find a player brandishing some discussion from a forum that invalidates what you read in the book.  

My feeling is that this is best handled by judgement on the part of the GM.  Personally, I favour using RAW.  If a rule proves ambiguous, I try to use RAI by my own judgement.  If I read something on a forum that convinces me one way or the other on something ambiguous, I'll use it.  If I read something (or have something brought to me by a player) that I don't agree with, I don't use it, regardless of who said it.  If an author writes an errata, I take it pretty seriously (these are not undertaken lightly, and are often well thought out), but comments on forums or twitter, I don't necessarily take as gospel.  I mean this in the nicest possible way.  I really appreciate that game designers take the time to answer questions about games (by myself and others).  They have (like most people) plenty of things to do with their time, and this doesn't pay the bills.  But I also realise that they're human.  Plenty of times (personally) when I get asked a professional opinion, and have to give an opinion in a hurry, it may not be entirely water-tight, and the same is true of game designers.

I also really appreciate (as the OP) everyone who's contributed to this thread: it's really helped my understand what's going on in this section.😇

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1 hour ago, Tupper said:

I also really appreciate (as the OP) everyone who's contributed to this thread: it's really helped my understand what's going on in this section.😇

No problem - I can honestly say I’ve never looked more closely at a set of rules than this :) 

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On 4/4/2019 at 9:34 AM, Tupper said:

That reads to me like you can mangle a limb with cumulative damage (and to do that, they need to get above 2x HP).

Yes thats what Jason has said here, but its not what is stated in the rule book. I suspect, like you suggest he's rushed in without fully looking at the section in the book. Hopefully when time permits he"ll give this full consideration. Although what he has said certainly does apply to the core hit locations (head, chest, abdomen). Edit: it also applies to limbs up to x2, but not beyond. So only a single blow, (not cumulative) of x3 can sever a limb hit location.

Its stated that there is a x2 maximum limit to wounds (both from a single hit, or through cumulative damage) to “limb” hit locations. See quote below:

Quote

Thus, a 2-point arm hit for 5 points takes only 4 points of damage off the total hit points: the remaining 1 point of damage has no effect. Further blows to that arm affect the total hit points of the adventurer, however. RQG p148

"Further blows to that arm affect the total hit points of the adventurer, however" - This to me fairly clearly suggests that only Total Hitpoint's will be reduced from further hits to a “limb”location that is already at x2 limit. So no further wounds possible to a limb which is already at the x2 limit, sustained either through a single hit or culmination of separate hits.

x3 damage effects from a single blow to limbs makes sense to me. They simulate massive blows, potentially severing the limb. Also i think the lower damage cap of x2 from a single blow and cumulative (to limbs) suggests their lesser overall importance in the hierarchy of hit locations. Core hit locations (head, chest, abdomen) are more vulnerable being the vital areas, so I can accept the different rulings - Those being the higher x3 damage cap, which potentially allows more damage to pass onto Total Hit points through cumulative hits, as well as single blows, not to mention outright death from big x3 hits.

What would help to clear the ambiguity would be if the writers had stated up front ( or in a box text section) that a limb is tracked to x2 max wounds, and head chest and abdomen is tracked to x3 max wounds. I think stating those specific limits up front would help massively with interpretation. As such its inferred by the rules in the text, but a more obvious boxed section would help.

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
Edited in light of my next post which follows this one.
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