Reflections on Conditional Injury Tweaks

In my previous post I’ve suggested some tweaks to Conditional Injury and now that I’ve had some time trying them out, I thought I’d share my impressions.

More Finely Grained Severity Thresholds

I’m using the variant where the default GURPS injury multipliers due to damage type and hit location are applied before looking up severity. My players were happy that there is now more differentiation between their characters, and were motivated to increase their HP scores more than previously.

However, after a while we forgot about this because we’re using an injury calculator, same as we did for the default Conditional Injury rules, so for us the benefit isn’t very noticeable. And statistically, it doesn’t really matter because the way Conditional Injury handles it by default produces the same results on average as this approach. So I can only recommend this if your group likes the additional detail and is really bothered by the original system being that coarse grained, or if they find the default GURPS injury multipliers noticeably easier to use than the Conditional Injury ones.

Injury Accumulation

The decision to use HT/2+3 instead of straight HT has proven to be a great one, as the frequency of accumulation actually happening now feels just right. On the other hand, losing FP if you don’t pass the accumulation roll by 5 or more is very easy to forget and experience has shown that it is a nice detail, but not crucial. I’ll definitively try to remember it more often because I like making FP matter.

A side benefit of this is that cyclic damage works better (assuming you just let it inflict normal CI wounds, without tracking it separately). It’s still not great, but it’s much better than with straight HT rolls for accumulation and it’s quite workable, especially if you pay attention to losing FP unless you pass by 5 or more.

Pain

Since my last post I’ve started using the pain rules from Conditional Injury instead of shock, and I can’t see myself going back ever again. I like them that much! They add a very nice effect of injuries lesser than reeling mattering more than just in that instance when you take them, incentivising the players to take care of them instead of just ignoring severity -2 and lesser ones.

But with all of the usual HT rolls made due to injuries and the extra roll for accumulation, adding another roll on top on that can be a bit too much. Which is why I do the following:

  1. roll for accumulation if already injured
  2. make a death roll if warranted
  3. make a roll to stay conscious if warranted
  4. make a single roll for knockdown/stunning and to determine the effects of pain

The roll to avoid knockdown/stunning gets +3 from High Pain Threshold which also makes sense for the roll to reduce the pain level, so they might as well be unified. The only bump in the road here are injuries to vitals and skull which apply a penalty to knockdown/stunning since that penalty should not affect the pain roll, but it’s easy enough to take that penalty into account for the knockdown/stunning part but not for the pain part. As a bennie to my players, if a knockdown/stunning roll isn’t indicated, I consider the pain roll to have been automatically successful as well. This effectively adds just one extra roll when compared to vanilla GURPS instead of two and I’ve found it a significant improvement in my games.

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