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06 January 2016 @ 09:53 am
[Exalted] Fixing Medicine  
The Attribute + Ability pairing of White Wolf games goes pretty far in figuring how to mechanically represent something. Roll Perception + Ride to inspect that horse that the merchant is trying pass off as a child of Hiparkes, roll Strength + Lore to use your time as a scribe's apprentice to figure out how to carry all those scrolls, roll Appearance + Melee to impress the comely youth with your display of martial prowess. That takes you pretty far.

But when dealing with skills that interact with other subsystems it's a bit harder, and one thing I noticed when checking up on the Medicine skill for Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom is that as written, it's basically useless unless you have huge amounts of it. Saving someone who is dying is minimum Difficulty 5, stopping bleeding or curing a crippling injury is Difficulty [the number of health levels caused by the wound], and speeding healing or treating poison is completely impossible. Treating diseases is relatively well-supported, especially using Kyeudo's disease fix, but that's less common than just purely healing wounds. This is fine for Exalted because they get Charms they can use, but I think it needs better support for mundane actions.

Here's what you can do with Medicine:
  1. Diagnose Patient: As in Exalted, pg 137.
  2. First Aid: Immediately after battle, roll Wits + Medicine. You may spend successes from this roll to turn Bashing into nothing or Lethal damage into Bashing. Each health level costs successes equal to its [wound penalty + 1], so First Aid for the -4 health level is 5 successes and for the -2 health levels is 3 successes each. This roll is Difficulty 1, modified as normal for lacking materials or adverse conditions (first aid in a swamp battlefield is much harder than a healer's tent), and may only be performed once for each set of injuries.
  3. Treat Disease: Use Kyeudo's disease fix.
  4. Treat Poison: Roll Intelligence + Medicine against the poison's Toxicity. If successful, neutralize a single dose of the poison. This roll may be repeated once per scene or once per interval of the poison, whichever is longer. Poisons with the L tag in Toxicity may not be treated without magic.
  5. Long-Term Treatment: If the patient is resting and not performing any major activity, roll Intelligence + Medicine at the same treatment difficulty given in First Aid. If successful, the patient heals that health level twice as fast (i.e., at the rate an Exalt heals while performing strenuous activity; healing times reference here). This roll must be repeated for each health level.
  6. Stabilize the Dying: Roll Wits + Medicine, Difficulty 3 + [one-half current number of Dying health levels suffered], success means the patient is stabilized at Incapacitated. You cannot perform First Aid on someone you've stabilized.
There we go. Plenty of options that allow people who focus on Medicine to make a measurable difference without shutting down anyone who doesn't use magic.
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