Bloody Hell! RMU Bleeding

So assuming we stick with the 2 second house ruled round, which I would like to, we don’t want people to bleed out too fast.

I really like Hurin’s suggestion that bleeding 1-3hits/round will clot. If we can keep that I will be happy. The criteria would be that the character much be inactive for the clotting to start and the wound reopens if the move.

This will stop the a solo character from dying after the very first fight they have almost every time (assuming the GM doesn’t intervene to save them).

So…

  • 1 hit/rnd stops after 10rnds of inactivity. (10hits received)
  • 2 hits/rnd stop after 20rnds of inactivity (40hits received)
  • 3 hits/rnd stop after 30rnds of inactivity (90 hits received)

3 hits per round will most likely still be fatal in most cases so it is the 1 and 2 hits of bleeding that we are really talking about here.

Bleeding in a 2 second round environment is a lot more dangerous than a 10 second round environment, five times as dangerous at first glance.

That is not actually strictly true because that assumes endless combat. In my game I find that unless I intentionally set an encounter up to be longer then most combats are over in about 4 rounds.

With the RMU beta 2 as written then they took a lot longer but in RMC and RM2 four rounds was about the average. I will assume that once the final Arms Law is out then the weapons tables will be delivering more damage. I think it has been increased by 1.5?

So if fights are short, as in sub 10 rounds then the actual bleeding is not going to be the deciding factor most of the time. If it is heavy bleeding of 5 to 8hits per round then yes, that can finish a character or villain off but that is outside the scope of these changes anyway.

The point is that the duration of a round is moot if you are counting time in rounds.

So our upper bound is that if a character falls unconscious and is bleeding 3hits per round or more then they will probably die. So that is pretty much rules as written.

The lower bound is that a character bleeding 1 or 2 hits per round that falls unconscious may survive taking either 10 or 40 additional hits from bleeding.

It was suggested, JDale I beleive, that outside of combat bleeding be treated as hits per minute not hits per round. This allows for people to die up to an hour or more on the battle field if no help is forthcoming. I like this and would like to accommodate it.

What that does is mean that bleeding in combat is no different regardless of the round length. Bleeding when the character will get no help is not always 100% fatal. Bleeding out on a battle field may take minutes or hours.

The times provided by Aspire suggested 10 to 30 minutes for bleeding out. If you are unconscious and bleeding 4 per minute then that will kill most characters in that sort of time frame. It is much easier to die from loss of hits in RMU than previous versions of RM.

The only thing I would like to add is compression.

I personally would allow a character to half the blood flow on a round by round basis if they forego their action and apply compression to a suitable wound. Obviously you cannot apply pressure to internal bleeding. I would do this without the need for a first aid roll. If it were fire damage then a character can drop and roll without a skill roll. I would think that anyone who has trained in using a sword would most certainly have hurt themselves at some point so the most basic idea of stopping the blood coming out would be known.

So compression would work on the rounds when it was applied. It does not count as inactivity for clotting purposes unless the character is actually inactive while doing it. The minimum bleed remains at 1 hit/round.

The compression rule becomes a tactical decision. Which now makes me think of concentration and mental focus. If I am told to keep hold of something and not move and my mind wanders I am quite likely to let my hand drift. So can you keep compressing a wound if you are maintaining a spell?

Taking all of that into account does that seem fair? I feel that bleeding per 2 second round in combat and per minute out of combat is roughly equal to Aspires ‘per 10 seconds’ if you averaged it out. The clotting does only cover the lightest of possible bleeding and is touch and go at 3hits. Compression forces characters to make tactical decisions. Characters will still die from blood loss.

So over to you. Can we make this better?

34 Replies to “Bloody Hell! RMU Bleeding”

  1. Looks pretty good to me.

    The RMU beta rules (p. 114) do already note that compression can stop wounds of up to 4 hits/round.

    JDale has said that the hits delivered on the RMU weapon charts will be increased. I think he said they were considering increasing them 25%, but my opinion is that this is still too low, given how many more hits characters in RMU have, especially at lower levels. We currently have increased the chart damage by 100% (i.e. doubled it), and that seems appropriate to us.

    I’m not so big a fan of the idea of changing bleeding hits outside of combat to hits per minute rather than hits per round, since that seems to warp the physics of the game. How about tying it to something mechanical, like saying that bleeding hits change to minutes rather than rounds if the character remains motionless?

  2. Thinking about it we are asking the system to manage to separate things with the aim of simplicity. The first part is the clue for hits. Although we use the word a lot, we forget it refers to concussion. So the amount of knocks and blows you can take before concusses. The second, is that exsanguination time, that’s bleeding to the rest of us, is a finite thing defined by the size of a person. You only have so much blood in you. The severity of the wound (size and location) pretty much dictate how long that will be. Hit a major blood vessel and the time is measured in minutes. A minor cut with your kitchen knife is going to be hours. Perhaps if bleeding is not a factor for shorter combat hits per round needs to be removed from the equation?

  3. I have been thinking about this and I do not think it is possible to square the circle.

    I like the idea of changing from rounds to minutes in and out of combat but equally Hurin is right that it has no mechanical justification. Slowing the bleeding to minutes when inactive is just as fatal as bleeding by the round if the person is not conscious. I want to keep the clotting if they are unconscious.

    The question of what is a hit point is not as simple as one would think. #hits are just the Rolemaster version of D&D hit points.

    Have a read of https://emperorponders.blog/2016/10/30/hitpoints-literature-dd/ for more about what hit points really mean.

    The important quote is probably…
    [In the comments, Douglas Cole has quoted something Gygax wrote in the DM Guide for the first D&D Edition. I think it’s a great summary of what I’m trying to say, so here it goes as a tl;dr version:

    “It is quite unreasonable to assume that as a character gains levels of ability in his or her class that a corresponding gain in actual ability to sustain physical damage takes place. It is preposterous to state such an assumption, for if we are to assume that a man is killed by a sword thrust which does 4 hit points of damage, we must similarly assume that a hero could, on the average, withstand five such thrusts before being slain! Why then the increase in hit points? Because these reflect both the actual physical ability of the character to withstand damage – as indicated by constitution bonuses- and a commensurate increase in such areas as skill in combat and similar life-or-death situations, the “sixth sense” which warns the individual of some otherwise unforeseen events, sheer luck, and the fantastic provisions of magical protections and/or divine protection.”]

    So when characters habitually put DPs into Body Development they should really be pumping iron and the most wise of the great mages is probably built like a proverbial brick out house. Or Body Development is actually more about divine protection, luck and sixth sense.

    So how is your six sense going to help when you are unconscious and bleeding out?

    I personally resolved that issue by not having Body Development as a skill that DP has to be spent on. My Body Development is not D&D Hit Points rebranded. They are purely physical and to a lesser extent mental (Con and SD) and only improve with stat gains and stat gains only happen when skills based on those stats are used in earnest.

    Rolemaster as RAW have BD as a skill that can be improved every level. These are D&D hit points and so come with all that ‘never mentioned’ baggage.

    I don’t want to go down Aspires route of removing bleeding from the criticals. Aspire may be right but it is not the answer I want to hear 🙂

    I don’t want to change every other critical because you are then on a slippery slope to these not being a set of house rules for RMU but a these are a thinly veiled competing game system. Especially as I am going to suggest big changes to the magic system later on.

    So how do I resolve this?

    I think the solution may be to have the stepped clotting but then have a couple of optional rules below that for alternatives such as the compression slows bleeding to minute by minute or option two bleeding criticals per round are ignored.

    This approach would allow for people to choose the level of simulation for their own group.

    1. Actually, Peter, I think I am moving towards not counting hits per round as a combat event for bleeding. There doesn’t seem a point unless it is a major wound which usually comes with organ damage anyway. So we could resolve this as a major crit trauma without changing the system at all.
      I would, however, think about balancing that with some sort of response in post-combat to the severity of the wound and the danger of bleeding out. Perhaps using ratings as simple as light, moderate and severe bleeding. This would then give a window (based on size) for healing or some sort of medical attention before the character dies.
      Nice info on the D&D background for why the hits should go up each level. I always thought that should be handled by some fate dice 🙂

  4. I think there needs to be a little more distinction for the type of wound/damage as well and what is actually treatable in battlefield and out of battle.

    Internal bleeding cannot be stopped by first aid. That is not what first aid does in real world applications or in fantasy world. Even Second Aid, if we use RM2 skill sets, will not fix internal bleeding. Only the Surgery skill can address that. Deep puncture wounds are not readily treatable in battlefield.

    Rolemaster, in all of its incarnations has walked a line between Simulation/ realism vs. fantasy/gaming. Some players like the realism (ME!) and sometimes we start to lean towards Medical Simulator, Combat Simulator, Movement/Maneuver Simulator, instead of just a really detailed, pretty realistic, fantasy game.

    I’m a firefighter in the real world and I’ve seen lots of injuries from a myriad of causes. There are some “mild” things that First Aid simply will not fix. A deep puncture wound for example will not be fixed by first aid. The archery folks here must have seen an accidental impalement or skewering in their time. I’m willing to wager good money (Pound Sterling, in case Brexit happens before we find a winner) that the recipient of the arrow didn’t pull out the arrow, apply pressure, then continue practice.

    I’m for simplification of a system. I think RMU needs to deliver on that. I refuse to let go of the realism and depth RM currently offers though. There has been a lot of talk on the board and now here regarding the bleeding issues. I fear this may be something that is going to get house ruled, which is not something I think is the sign of a good system. Some people house ruling different mechanics within a system is fine and to be expected. There is no one system to rule them all. But when huge numbers of players have to house rule the same mechanic, there is a problem with that mechanic.

    I agree with Hurin. Changing the bleed rate in combat and out of combat breaks physics. You could argue that combat is over, the heart rate slows, the adrenaline drops, you can sit down and elevate the wound or whatnot, but I don’t think that’s the way to go. The problem we’re having is that the bleed rate and the unit of combat time have both changed. When troubleshooting a problem, you modify 1 variable then check the results, you can’t modify 2 or 3 variables then check the results.

    My solution? I have none. I don’t like posting a whole bunch of gripes with no ideas for a solution because I believe it to be poor form. But I simply have no ideas that could remedy this and it’s mainly because two variables were modified and now we’re dealing with the effects of them.

    I would use the RM2 bleed rate and heal system, but the combat time unit has changed quite significantly. I don’t see that being workable. A bleed point stopping in 2 seconds is extremely unrealistic. Stopping in 6 seconds is equally unrealistic. I’ve cut my finger to the bone and had to apply pressure for well over a minute to get the bleeding to slow. It took even longer for the bleeding to stop completely. I don’t want to get stabbed with a sword to see how long that takes.

    1. I want to pick this apart but in no particular order…

      These are not gripes with no solution. They are all valid points.

      If we imagine a scale with simulationism on the left and simplification on the right, these house rules are designed to sit right of centre. The logic of that choice is that I believe that ICE has not let go of the business model of sell the game, sell companions of optional rules. They have said as much. So even a simpler RM version such as RMU is going to drift to the left. Yes, I know that all companion material is optional but there is a tendency for GMs to adopt everything. Some of it comes from themselves but also players will see a new profession or a new skill or spell list and beg their GM to allow it. Before you know it you have a myriad of optional rules each adding a tiny dot of added detail.

      So these discussions are about a counter system that pushes to the right and tries to retain the essence of rolemaster without the complexity at the table. That may mean more complexity in game prep, the work has to happen somewhere but fast and light at the gaming table is the goal. I personally enjoy GM prep as it gives me something to do when I cannot get together with my players.

      I can answer one thing though. I have never seen anyone in the UK shoot themselves or anyone else during practice. That is despite there being some immensely stupid people about.

      I think we agree that internal bleeding is a ‘game over’ affair without magic. For an unconscious character, on their own there is nothing that can be done without automatic spells.

      So given that we are talking about a lone character (maybe the last character standing from a fallen party) and they bleed to -1 #hit do we want them to be dead every single time unless the GM acts to save them?

      That is a ‘Yes/No’ binary situation. I am in the No camp so I am looking for a palatable solution to get my ‘No’ on the board.

  5. I’ll start by saying I’ve not dug into the RMU combat system, though I do have the material. I decided to stick with RM2 because of the fact I’ve got all new RM players and the complexity would have lost me half of them.
    But unless RMU also significantly modified movement rates, the shorter round would be a big problem in my campaign. I tend to have a lot of combat that’s spatially spread out. Last session they encountered a wagon train under attack, and had to move a couple hundred feet while fighting. If movement isn’t rescaled, then the time it takes to get to the bleeding person (or close with a spell caster) is going to be a big issue. 5/round when someone can run to you in 2 rounds, vs. 5/round when they’ll need 10 rounds, will matter.

  6. I tend to think of hits as representing both the physical and psychological aspects of damage (to include shock), so “hits per round” also represents the effect of shock.

    But this discussion also misses the larger impact of RMU’s combat change – putting the death threshold at the point of Body Development total bonus instead of the Temp Co stat (which was the RM2 norm). Using Hurin’s example from the ICE MBs, this change means characters die twice as fast in raw Round count, which to me is a bigger concern. Not only do they die faster in “real time,” they also die MUCH faster in round count time, and with the loss of PR stats I think even going back to the Temp Co won’t help much if you’re rolling characters.

    But I’m also concerned we’re muddying the comparison waters by lumping cuts and scrapes in with the 1 hit per round bleeding idea. Bleeding per round normally comes from combat or traumatic injuries, lending to the idea of hits per round also including a shock component. I don’t want to see hits per round go away, but it might be possible to including some sort of stabilize component for first aid dealing with shock and trauma for 1-2 hits per round, offsetting that damage.

    1. But we already covered fixed hits in an earlier post. They are now fixed at two thirds Con, one third SD plus racial bonus and death will occur are negative that figure. Typically that means a character has something like 75hits and dies at -75 giving 150 hit spread.

      It is not a big as the RM2 total spread but typically larger than RMU particularly for starting characters.

      1. I don’t know that I’d consider this fixed. I could easily see a SD save of some kind to stem off shock (which could negate some hits per round results and avoid death by same in single player sessions), but I’m not a fan of tossing another formula into the mix when one isn’t needed.

  7. I think we can all agree that making hit points a skill (Body Development) isn’t all that realistic. A tenth level fighter having three times the hit points of a second level fighter doesn’t really have much of a link to reality. As Peter pointed out, you can’t really say it is about skill, because their hit points are just as unequal when they are unconscious. So I understand why Peter handles hits the way he does.

    1. Why can’t Body Dev be a skill? Weightlifters, health-nuts, marathon runners, Martial Artists, Olympic athletes, even Houdini all have/had better training regimens than average-Joes that boosted their health, physiology, stamina, performance, ability. I mention Houdini because he would train himself to withstand icy cold waters, oxygen deprivation, and manual dexterity under those conditions to be able to perform his tricks. Something a young magician or average human would probably end up in serious peril if attempted.

      MMA fighters who have been training for 10 years would certainly have more stamina and “hit points” over a fighter who has been training for 3 years.

      I can only speak with confidence to areas that I have specific training in, i.e.: Martial Arts and firefighting. I’ve seen Martial Artists who were fast. I mean really fast! Super crisp technique, great skills, fantastic form and technique. I’ve seen those exact same Martial Artists get laid out with one strike to the gut because that had ignored the body development part of their training. Conversely, I’ve laid into one friend in particular who practice Muay Thai for 9 years before (at that time, I had 15+ years experience) becoming one of my students. He allowed me to hit him with my best hand strike and best kick, as hard as I was able and he simply said “Again. But faster. Keep going.” It was body conditioning for him and what I thought were finishing moves for me. As a side note, we used to break pool cues on his shins, quads, abs, arms because we could and it didn’t faze him at all.

      Firefighting, the biggest hindrance to effective firefighting is the amount of air contained in that bottle we carry on our backs. Stamina, breathing, body control are some of the factors to how long that bottle lasts. Don’t develop your body to control those factors, you’ll never be able to do your job. Now add 45 pounds of gear, swinging an axe or lifting/dragging another downed firefighter out of a building, or carrying hose upstairs, you need to have developed your body. New firefighters may have the strength and youth on their side, but load them up with gear and put them in their first fire, and they suck the air from the bottle so quickly, the valves ice up! It’s the veterans who have the body development and who have learned to train the areas that need training so they can be better at their job.

      I can’t discount Body Dev as a skill. As a counterpoint to what I’ve said, there are younger fighters (Martial Arts and firefighters) who have developed their body far more than I have developed my own and they have more stamina, strength, and “hit points” than I have. Hey, the bones are older, the mind is willing, but the body says “yeah, not quite.” Being from the younger generation has some advantages. I may not be as good as I once was, but I’m good as I was at least once.

      1. OK, so here is my logic.

        You can train your body and it will give you more hit points.

        Getting more hit points in not a skill it is a consequence.

        So here is the game mechanical way in which I am working this. Hit points are derived from your Con and your SD stats. As you use skills, take wounds and recover or do strength and conditioning training you will be able to improve your stats. As your stats increase so do your hits.

        The difference is that your hits start higher, compared to RM2, and the gains are in smaller increments.

        So the question is why change it?

        Under RM2 a 1st level fighter with an 00 Con and 99 ST could have 4d10 hits plus 10 (10% of Con) plus 25% from Con bonus so tops of (40 + 10 + 13) 53 hits. A 10th level magician with a 33 Con and 27 ST plus 22 ranks in BD could have the racial maximum of about 120 hits but has never lifted anything heavier than a book and would rather use Lofty Bridge than walk anywhere.

        Where is the strength and conditioning in that?

        Can you see where I am coming from? I use hard physical work or physical training increase stats and stats increase hits.

        There is another consideration. If everyone *HAS TO* buy BD then it is not really a choice, it is more a tax on development points. If you give hit points away for free then the 50DPs are available for things that add more value to the game.

        Finally, more hit points across the board does mean you can abuse the PCs more if you want to be horrible to them.

      2. Let me explain what I meant. We can all agree that people can train their bodies to be tougher, and I did not mean to try to contradict that; it is something one cannot doubt.

        However, hit point systems can take this to unrealistic extremes, and that is what I was referring to. Take DnD for example. A first level Magician might have 4 hit points (3.5 edition). You can quite easily kill him with a dagger (1d4 hit points) in one round.

        Now take Arnold Schwarzenegger or Connor MacGregor, people who have spent their lives training to build their bodily strength or endure bodily punishment. Let’s say MacGregor is equivalent to a level 10 fighter in DnD. He has been able to significantly increase his hit points every level, such that by level 10 he might have 80 hit points. What becomes unrealistic about this is that now you actually can’t kill him with a dagger, because it only does a maximum of 4 hit points every 6 seconds. You could stab your dagger through his skull and he would be barely phased by it according to DnD mechanics. You could stab him ten times in the gut over the course of a whole minute, and he would still be at half hit points.

        This is the part that I find unrealistic. I am totally fine with characters getting more hit points as they train up; I just think that one human being having 20 times more hit points than another perfectly healthy human being gets a bit unrealistic. Stab anyone through the skull, and they are going to be in deep trouble. DnD hits don’t really represent that well (though Rolemaster’s criticals do help).

        1. I understand the comparison to HP and development, however the two systems can’t be compared. D&D (any version) specifically doesn’t allow anyone to kill a fighter with a dagger in 1 round. D&D doesn’t have bleeding like RM and it definitely doesn’t have crits. If a thief with a dagger rolls a natural 20, one would expect something really cool to happen, like a crit or a death blow to the brain, but that doesn’t happen. Any one with even half the HP of Schwarzenegger (40 HP), still couldn’t kill with a dagger strike to a brain, even 20 HP is going to take multiple stabs to the brain. That’s the unrealistic part and yet another item on my checklist of reasons I don’t like D&D. RM allows for that super lucky strike to the brain with a 66 crit or a 85+ crit.

          I do see HP harder to come by in D&D and having a level 1 mage with 1d4 HP to start out is absurd. That’s exponentially more fragile than any level 1 RM mage. A bleed of 1 per round will kill the mage in 2 seconds – the initial damage of the dagger strike and if there’s anything left, the bleed wipes them out. RM mage could at least have maybe 20-30 HP? Conservatively.

          This may be a bit of a mix of systems and mechanics, but it sticks within the RM universe. I see your point in raising stats is slower, and therefore, HP gain is slower, however the stats in any RM version impact more than solely HP. CO and SD also affect Dev Points. As I get stronger, I get more DP and HP? SD effects Drug Tolerance. As I lift weights, I’m more resistant to drugs and alcohol? Exercising helps with Stalk/Hide? Adrenal moves? All of these skills are impacted by raising stats. This starts to impart power creep, not just improved HP.

          There’s no denying the system is working well for your game system and house rules, but you also have level-less system where the issues I listed simply don’t come into play for you. For my group, I’m going to have a bunch of professions who are also super stealthy warrior-monk-ninja-doctors who can drink a Dwarf under the table for free.

          1. The situations you describe such as lifting weights making you more stealthy doesn’t not happen. If you are using SD connected skills then you get to roll for an SD stat gain. If you are using Co related skills then you get to roll for a Co stat gain. If you the character undergoes strength and conditioning training then you would be allowed a St and a Co stat gain roll. If you trained with a Martial Arts master then I would probably allow a SD stat gain *IF* the style justified it. so studying at an ancient monastery with a master warrior monk probably would, training at your local competition focused club probably wouldn’t.

            You are also right in your assertion that these are for my house rules. But my house rules have been downloaded 145 times since I put them up on DTRPG. How many people read them and then discarded them I don’t know but I also don’t know how many people have adopted some or all of them.

            The first ‘edition’ I created using only my own group for feedback. This version I thought I would open up to more opinions and points of view. When they are done I will publish the lot of them, probably the week after RMU is released as an unofficial companion.

            Under the hood RM has a lot of d&d DNA and things happen in RM simply because they happened in d&d. This is not a bad thing, we all grew up with d&d and that set a lot of our expectations. If Paladins could not wear armour then they would not feel right. Likewise if Paladins could not use clerical magic they would not feel right. The plate armoured Paladin as we play them is a d&d construct. The historical Paladins were the 12 foremost warriors of Charlemagne’s court and there were no religious connotations at all. Those are not the Paladins that we play though.

            Hit Points are another d&d hang over. The problem is that in RM they don’t really fit that well. The FAR system is RM inspired but the combat system was going to be critical only. The core concept seemed to be that bullets break people, they don’t errode notional hit points. If Ing reads this then we may get to learn more about FAR.

            I would really like to bring Ing and Intothatdarkness together as I suspect that they are working on very similar projects but in isolation.

            The thing is that we don’t really have a clear concept of what a hit point is so that is going to make it messy in deciding the best way of gaining them, how we lose the ones we have and how we get them back again.

            While I was writing this reply I had another idea.

            Intothatdarkness has the idea of there being a shock element to hits. Also that RMU characters die too soon. How does it sound that once a character reaches negative their hits total rather than dying they start taking ‘E’ shock criticals? That gives characters longer to live and a chance of surviving. Massive loss of blood (in the form of #hits) would then cause shock which is what Into ‘wants’. If going straight to E crits is too severe then an A the first round, B the second and so on?

                1. I kind of like them.

                  I think they were introduced in 2nd or 3rd edition; they are definitely in 4th and 5th too. The basic rule in 5th is that once you go below 1 hit point, you have to make a Death Save each round. A roll of 2-10 means failure and you slip one step closer to death; three strikes and you are out. a roll of 1 and you slip two steps closer. A roll of 11-19 means you succeed; three successes and you are stable, and don’t have to make any more rolls. A natural 20 means you instantly wake up with 1 hit point, not needing to make any further rolls.

                  I kind of like it because it adds a real danger to falling unconscious. The only thing I don’t like about the system is that at the same time, DnD did away with negative hit points. This wasn’t necessarily related to the death save system, but was done I think at the same time: they said that any healing, even just 1 point of healing, delivered while you were unconscious instantly brought you up to 1 hit point. So you could be at 5 hits, take 20, and then be given 1 hit of healing, and you would be at positive 1 hit points. It made for characters being like whack-a-moles, so I didn’t like that aspect of the system. But the death saves are fun: it definitely adds a lot of drama to falling unconscious!

                  For your reference: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/5e_SRD:Dropping_to_0_Hit_Points

                  1. I seem to remember a table of increasingly severe wounds that went from -1hp to death at -10hp. I think lost limbs were at about -8.

            1. Wow, I think I like that idea the best of everything that has been brought up so far. I don’t think going straight to E Shock crits right away is the way to go; but a progressive A-B-C-D-E (getting worse every 1-2 rnds) seems like a good mechanic & far more realistic then what we currently do in any RM version. It allows PCs/NPCs time to get healed while still imposing a variable deadliness that can end their life with the right roll or combination of rolls.

              I think I might adopt this for my own game.

              Nightblade ->–

              1. That is the beauty of these sorts of discussions. Without inviting contra opinions I would never have come up with the critical proposal.

                If you are really into detailed Rolemaster then RAW should work for you eventually as they pile on the companions.

  8. Funny how when we examine one game mechanic (bleeding hits/rnd in crits) we discover a whole bunch of interesting issues with other game mechanics (HPs, Time Scale). Sorry, just a general observation…

    On to a few points pertinent to the conversation…

    I agree with a previous point that if every GM begins house ruling the same mechanic/rule; then there is something fundamentally wrong with the mechanic/rule that needs to be addressed. We seem to have this situation with bleeding. There are a couple of mechanical problems that have crept up with the changes in RMU, but when we think about it – many of these problems go back to the original Arms Law in RM2.

    Yes, HPs are a quasi-fictional game mechanic that is necessary to measure a PC or NPC’s ability to sustain damage. The big difference between RM & other systems is that when a PC/NPC gets down to 0 HPs they go unconscious & don’t necessarily die. In other words, RM’s HPs do not measure “Body Health” but “Level Of Consciousness” (LOC). Again, those of us who are familiar with First Aid & Health Care understand that the LOC of an injured person is an important indicator of the severity of their injuries (both primary & secondary).

    Looking at HPs in this light perhaps helps explains why Body Development in relation to HPs is a skill as opposed to an inate Stat. In my mind, developing BDev is a combination of Physical Training (as mentioned above) as well as psychological training to improve one’s ability to maintain consciousness when faced with trauma. The inate physical health comes into play when calculating a PC/NPC’s HPs – i.e. their Co bonus used as a percentage multiplier within the HP calculation formula.

    Secondly, the Time System change from RM2/RMC-RMSS/RMFRP to RMU has caused a big problem with bleeding. Before if a PC/NPC was bleeding 1-3 Hits/Rnd – this was a measurement based on a time frame of 10 Second rounds. Now that the time frame has been halved; perhaps an easy solution would be to half the resulting bleeding (easier said then done, I know!).

    I also agree with Peter’s idea that if a bleeding PC is actively holding some type of compression material against a bleeding wound – this should be considered concentration. If the PC begins to concentrate on other activities (e.g. defending herself; preparing/casting a spell); then the effectiveness of the compression should begin to deteriorate – if not cease completely.

    Nightblade ->–

    1. Hi Nightblade

      So the gist of these RMU posts is to create a very light weight or minimalist set of rules based on RMU. I am not a simulationist. I value minimal record keeping or tracking. If you read back in other posts I don’t use levels or professions.

      I don’t like the whole flurry of blows concept. In my RMC game I used a 2 second round but had a clotting rule after 50 rounds.

      In RMU it looks like keeping the 5 second round could be the optimal. It solves the speed of bleeding issue.

      I still don’t want flurry of blows.

      I will not have the phased round.

      I liked Hurin’s version of the clotting rule.

      1. Hi Peter,

        Fair enough. I’m someone who likes the realism side of RM (always have). That’s probably why I still cling to RM2. But enough about me…

        Two second rounds are even shorter and multiplies the bleeding problem even more. So do we then divide the bleeding rate (from RM2/RMC’s 10 second rounds) by five? Not sure if that’s any more viable a solution.

        Perhaps we need to set bleeding rates according to the severity of the injury (as has been previously mentioned). This might be the most viable solution. Create a chart that equate’s injury severity with bleeding rate (for example: Light Bleeding Wound = 1-3 Hits/Rnd). I’m not sure of how else to address the issue of blood flow versus the ever changing RM round time measurement.

        I still think of Hits/Rnd as Arterial spray & normal hits taken from weapons as Venous bleeding. I think if we look at bleeding in RM in this light, it makes more sense as to why Hits/Rnd are so deadly – because Arterial Bleeding IS deadly.

        Nightblade ->–

  9. A “tax on development points” That’s great! Awesome analogy.

    I see your point, but if a magician wants to spend all of his points in a fairly expensive category at the expense of focusing his mind, then why prevent him? He’ll suffer in gameplay but he’ll be a really buff and really poor caster.

    You’re example assumes that the fighter will spend zero in BD and have 53 HP and your spell caster will spend 22 ranks in BD and outclass that fighter. That’s not a realistic example though. No fighter class is going to forego his bread and butter ability of taking damage nor will a mage forego his spell lists to be a walking meat shield. The fact that the mage bought 22 ranks proves that he did in fact do lots of weight lifting and conditioning and did not spend his entire development lifting a book and using Lofty Bridge. In fact, that poor fool probably can’t cast Lofty Bridge, but I bet he can tire out the bad guy who is beating him with that book. LOL.

    Putting your examples into perspective… the fighter would take at least 1 rank per level in BD, probably more ( I would hope) and the mage may buy at least 1 rank in BD every other level at least (again, I hope. Our mages do at least every other level) so he can survive a fumbled spell and not kill himself.

    I do not abuse my PC’s!!!! I may torture them, maim them, put them through the grinder, and laugh at their foibles, but I simply do not abuse them. (OK, maybe a little abuse.)

    1. Actually in my example the fighter bought 2 ranks per level for 0th and 1st level. That is where the 4d10 came from.

      I was using RM2 as the example and I don’t think the magiciam would sacrifice important magical skills but rather the more flavourful supporting skills.

  10. Like Spectre I see BD as a viable and indeed necessary skill, because I’ve always considered it to represent both physical AND mental conditioning. HPs to me have always represented a combination of a character’s ability to absorb physical damage (best demonstrated by the RM2 mechanic of dying once negative hits exceed Co, which I don’t plan on abandoning – why replace something that works with yet another formula?) as well as their ability to deal with shock. And I strongly contend, Peter, that if you’re rolling stats they do NOT start higher in RMU. If anything they will be lower simply because of the removal of the prime requisites. You don’t like phased rounds, I strongly dislike stat purchase. I can see to a degree where fixed (or relatively static) hits work in a high magic system with no professions, but when you leave that narrow realm they become a liability for characters. Frankly, I’ve found it’s better to “give away” BD picks as culture and background skills than to tie them directly to stats with no hope of character-driven improvement.

    A five second round is still too long for too many types of gaming, so I will switch to a two second round and stick with it. I will likely end up using an enhanced First Aid skill to deal with bleeding of 1-2 hits per round, since I also consider that to represent the onset of shock.

    1. Hits are trainable. If characters do physical or mental disciplines then that will allow stat gains and those will increase hits.

      Stats are point buy not rolled to ensure no character is crippled by poor rolls.

      I would like the 2 second round but it seems that the step from 5 to 2 either needs so many changes that compatibility with RAW RMU is lost, which I don’t want, or too many on the fly modifications such as halving all the bleeding critical results.

      1. And those solutions will work fine for you and your group. They won’t work for mine (and likely others). Unless you’re seeing something I didn’t in RMU, physical and mental disciplines don’t lead to stat gains. That sounds like something you use in your game, which again is fine. But it’s not necessarily RAW compatible. In RAW stat gain is tied to level progression. When you take out levels you’ve already broken from RAW in ways that (to me) are more drastic than changing the scale of the round.

        If the goal is a stripped-down set of RMU type rules, then I think the best course of action is to have multiple options. What works for you won’t necessarily fit in a more simulationist group, or one that uses levels and professions.

  11. RMU’s move to a 5 second round has made the melee combat a significantly less ‘flurry of blows’. Yes, in reality you can swing a sword many more times than once in five seconds, but that is still better than the old RM2 10-second round. Further, RMU also introduces the ability to make multiple swings in that 5 seconds by reducing the action point cost and incurring an OB penalty. In the RAW, you can spend 2 ap rather than 4 for a melee attack, at a cost of a -50 penalty. So that is one swing every 2.5 seconds.

    I have advocated allowing 1 ap attacks as well, to allow characters to attack every 1.25 seconds, at an even greater penalty. We are thus pretty close to eliminating the concept of ‘flurry of blows’ altogether.

    Consider too that with RMU’s new improved version of the multiple attacks skill, you could attack twice with each weapon in one round (provided that you had a weapon in each hand); or once with weapon and once with shield bash; or once with weapon and once with a kick or foot sweep; or even once with weapon, once with shield, and once with kick all in the same round. Now you’ve got attacks coming every .6 seconds or even .4 seconds. Now you really have pretty much eliminated ‘flurry of blows’ altogether, while keeping the 5-second round. All you have to do is allow 1 ap attacks.

    1. Oh, and another thing, stats don’t give DPs in RMU so weight training to increase you Co would increase your #hits but not your DPs.

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