Some good thoughts so far. Surprised to see several of you would want a high level simulation, but since that seems to be a lot of work, it might be best to investigate a more abstract system first.
Armour piercing on bluntness sounds like it has potential to emulate the “penetrative” nature of blunt damage, could something similar be done by tweaking the raw blunt value on armours and enemies across the board?
lordmatiz - You can currently, more or less, make herbal disinfectant now out of Wild Herbs. It’s very rare that you might need it, since enemies innawoods don’t generally cause infections, but I think we could definitely allow for a few more infection chances here or there without it becoming unfun for the player.
Anyway, a few of my own thoughts on the topic. Don’t be afraid to suggest refinements:
1: Blood and injury:
For simplicity, blood stat would simulate both internal “blood” supply, and “internal damage” - the general overall health for the lifeform’s major organs.
To represent this, for now, let’s assume that each creature has a blood stat equal to half their HP stat. The player, and other survivors, have a blood stat equal to their HP stat, possibly replacing “Pain”.
Blood has the following properties:
Recovers slowly, consuming hunger and thirst and vitamins to do so, as well as their Health stat.
Causes symptoms when damage is dealt to it, based on the amount of damage dealt (minor up to arterial bleeding, organ damage, nerve damage, dismemberment, and even instant decapitation).
Causes major symptoms when low (dizziness, slowness, unconsciousness, death).
Automatic death when it reaches 0.
Some symptoms would be self-correcting, other symptoms would require specific medical treatments and would get worse over time, some symptoms could be either (a concussion either gets better, kills you, or leaves you permanently diminished).
Regular HP has the following properties:
Minor damage recovers quickly over a good night’s sleep.
Causes symptoms when low (limp, weakness, winded, concussion, broken limb).
Broken bones consume calcium and vitamins to recover. Any further damage to broken bones prolongs their their recovery, causes extreme pain, and risks internal injury (aka: blood damage). Without medical treatment (at very least “sling”), they risk aggravating their break whenever they move. The worse that a limb is treated, and the worse the treatment given to it, the slower it will heal, and the higher the chance it will heal badly, giving permanent symptoms.
For some sample numbers (don’t get too hung up on them, they’re just an example and totally open to change):
Blunt causes 10% of its damage to Blood when it hits a torso. 50% of its damage to Blood when it hits a head.
Cutting causes 50% of its damage to Blood when it hits a torso or the head (the skull is well protected against cutting injury, and at the right angles can even deflect bullets).
Direct Blood damage causes Status Effects based on location.
Cutting Damage causes Status Effects based on location.
We’ll work on bullets later.
With this, “Blunt damage” that hits the head might well cause a bleeding injury or concussion, while “Cutting damage” would cause a great deal of cuts and other complications wherever it struck, in addition to location-based “blood” injuries.
Note: The majority of symptoms could be optional via a mod, for simplicity lovers.
“While Pan thinks of it” Side Note: Electrical, poison and smoke inhalation would be represented by blood damage and specific symptoms. Fire damage will start out causing HP damage (superficial burn), but rapidly progress to severe blood damage as it progresses to a full thickness burn. Special damage types also cause special symptoms, including symptoms based on existing symptoms. Standing in acid for 2 seconds causes Minor Acid Burn. If Minor Acid Burn is already present, then it worsens to Major Burn, and so on.
“While Pan thinks of it” #2: Piercing and stabbing would likely have their own “symptoms”, and deal less raw HP damage. This means they would rarely involve amputation, unlike cuts, or deal much major damage to a target. On the other hand, even a few points of piercing damage could cause severe bleeding, muscle or nerve damage, or extensive damage to internal organs.
An example how this might work in play (again, please do not complain about specific numbers, they are pulled from between my shapely cheeks and mean literally nothing):
[spoiler]Our Survivor is fighting Shia Labeouf.
The actual cannibal kicks them in the ribs for 10 Blunt Damage to the torso. 10% of Blunt Damage comes through as “internal” injury to the torso, so the Survivor has 99 Blood. They’re still pretty much fine. Low HP symptoms for the torso are much worse than low HP systems for arms and legs, though, so they’d better block the next one with a sweet Ju Jitsu kick.
Whoops, that didn’t work. Survivor takes 50 cutting damage on their leg from an axe.
Because of the amount of cutting damage received, they receive symptoms. They are now [heavily bleeding], and have a [Stump Leg]. They are losing blood rapidly (-5 blood per minute). The other effect of [Stump Leg] is that HP damage is doubled, so their limb HP is also reduced 0, resulting in a secondary symptom “leg injury”.
Fortunately, because it was a limb, and not the torso or the head, they do not take additional Blood damage straight away, so the survivor is still on 99 Blood. Their extreme pain causes them to have a [burst of adrenaline], allowing them temporarily added speed and strength, and helping keep them conscious. This will increase their fatigue later, but it’s a great thing during the fight, and helps them shank Shia in the kidney and escape into the night, still bleeding from their stump leg.
They hide in a bathroom. Their blood is now down to 49. Low blood gives them [Fading consciousness] - Even if they stop the bleeding, they are probably going to faint unless they get a medical treatment that stops it, like another risky injection of adrenaline.
They try to tie a bandage around the wound, but fail due to the severity of the wound. Partial success: They halved the blood loss during the two minutes while they were trying and reduced the severity a little, but still need treatment. Their blood is now down to 45.
[Fading consciousness] progresses to [Unconscious], the survivor collapses in a pool of their own blood. - The duration of fading consciousness here was random, so they could have stayed awake for a little bit longer, or even stayed awake until automatic [Coma] at 20 blood.
[Unconscious] reduces blood loss (makes blood loss more likely to stop). The player luckily stops bleeding at 15, but remains comatose.
While unconscious the body produces more blood (consuming the survivor’s meagre hunger, thirst and vitamin count), and after 10 hours, the player is back at 20 Blood. They are still comatose, and may still die before they regain consciousness from other complications.
After another 26 hours, the survivor regains consciousness. They have a [stump leg], that by now is probably also [infected wound: Leg] from the dirty bathroom floor, and they several minor cuts and scrapes from running through the woods from Shia Labeouf: [Scratched: Left Arm].
Their arm will probably be fine, especially after this long, but some disinfectant and a bandage would remove the symptom and prevent the risk of infection from running around in the mud, or reopening the wound. (How likely a wound is to meet further complications is defined by duration, so the closer a wound is to being fully healed by itself, the less likely it is to develop complications).
Their stump leg needs treatment - Either a peg leg, a medical prosthetic (CBM or not), or Mr. Stem Cell. The infection needs more urgent treatment - they have only a few days before the infection turns nasty, at which point leading to gangrene, amputation (Yes, even more amputation), blood poisoning or just fever and death.
Their secondary “break” also helps represent the fact that their leg is currently in a bad state - walking on the broken limb causes more pain, slows the player down, and needs treatment - at very least a crutch - to move faster than a crawl.
Most dangerous, their blood score is still very low - 38. Losing any blood in their weakened state has a good chance of making them faint, and they are slow, stupid, and their stats are in the 0s (note how many of the “Pain” symptoms would be moved towards shock and internal damage). They are as weak as a kitten, and must now try to survive and recover before seeking revenge on the Hollywood Superstar.
So in that example we can see a survivor take injury, escape, and survive by a thread. Most of what’s going on in that example are pretty close to what we have now, since things like status effects and secondary damage (pain) already exist.
The two biggest changes would be damage-based on-hit effects, which are currently, I believe, mostly handled as special attacks by particular enemies (special attacks would still exist, but may serve to modify any “damaged-based” effects.
The second biggest change would be the symptoms themselves. These would need treatments (starting simply, they would be "a"pply bandage, but could potentially expand to a “Treat Wound: Stitch [Bad Cut] with Tailoring Kit” type of situation if more detailed medical care could be handled without being a pain in the ass.
Does this adequately show off the difference for cutting versus blunt on an unarmoured target? Does more need to be done? Or is this too much detail?
If blood damage is serious bodily harm, and HP bumps and bruises, should HP damage naturally regenerate even while the player is awake?
Should HP damage enjoy “video game healing” from things like bandages? I wouldn’t be surprised if simulation lovers preferred at best “accelerated natural healing and treatment of symptoms” over “1 HP to max and now you look like the Mummy Returns”, but would this still be fun for everyone (this could be “Simplified Healing” moddable, of course)?
Since the idea isn’t to punish the player with menus and boring, but to give more opportunities for !!FUN!!, my initial thought about “treatment” would be something like “Simple Repair” from the Skill Grind Thread. “%: Menu. T: Treat Wounds. Y:es, treat all.”, three keypresses, and the character then automatically tries to treat all their injuries, from most to least urgent.
When they treat all wounds they can, (speed and success from First Aid skill, with possible “make do with worse tools” benefits with high First Aid skill), the game tells you either “all wounds treated”, or, if you don’t have the material to treat a condition, what resource you need to find.
Would this steamline things enough to keep gameplay fast and entertaining, even after hilariously screwing over your character?
2: Bloody NPCs.
I do not care that the bear has a concussion, I do not care that they have a torn ligament in their knee, and frankly, it’s not worth the effort for enemies that will die horribly. Likewise, it’s very unlikely that a zombie would care about anything until you beat it down until it was too damaged to move.
With that in mind, I would be thinking something along the lines of:
“Bloodless”: No “blood” at all. These lifeforms have no particular internal organs vital to their function. These things, like plants and zombies, must have their basic structure broken in order to stop them, and even then may not be “dead” at all.
“BloodLite”: Because of the properties of their bodies, these entities do not “bleed out” (or at least do so slowly enough we don’t care about it for game purposes), but they do contain internal structures that may be damaged by penetrating their defences. These would be Insects, robots, and fish, for example.
“Bloody”: These lifeforms lose function quite quickly in the case of exsanguination. This includes humans and other mammals. Being bloody does not necessarily mean they are vulnerable to cutting damage.
“Gooey”: These lifeforms have no specific interior structures, and no rigid structures that blunt trauma might damage. They do, however, depend on surface integrity to keep vital fluid inside. An example for this would be the blob.
When hitting an NPC, 10% of “Blunt” damage becomes Blood damage - Monsters are basically walking torsos.
Gooey monsters would largely be immune to blunt as a result, since only the scratch damage would matter. Their HP is effectively over 9000, but the small amounts of shock to their membranes would eventually rupture them.
Bloodless monsters would be quite vulnerable to blunt trauma. When HP = 0, they fall down same as now.
Bloodlite and Bloody monsters would suffer small amounts of internal injury. When their HP is 0, or their blood is 0, they fall down, and they experience penalties based on damage to their blood stat, just as the player would. Unless anyone feels very strongly about it, they could be assumed to die of their wounds at 0 HP, since animals are generally much more prone to death by shock than humans, who are actually extremely durable, and any blood damage they took would effect them just like it would the player - lowered speed, accuracy, damage and evasiveness.
So for blunt damage, generally life would carry on much the same. They would deal physical trauma, maybe deal some minor secondary injuries to weaken the target, but would almost definitely kill them with HP damage.
Outside of Gooeys, Armour against blunt damage would be rare - whether because all blunt damage is armour piercing or just because very few creatures have any means of dealing with blunt injury. Hard shells are great against cutting damage, but only well-padded creatures, like a fat, shaggy bear or moose, would have any great protection.
When hitting an NPC, let’s say 20% of “Cutting” damage also becomes instant “Blood damage”, but successful injury also causes Bleeding, making the victim lose that much Blood per round (minimum 1?) until they stabilise. “Piercing” damage is more likely to cause internal injury, and bypass armour, so perhaps it could cause 100% of its damage as blood damage, and bleeding, but only deal a small amount of normal HP damage in general?
Anyway, Gooey monsters monsters would obviously suffer here, since they would rapidly lose cohesion and mass from their membranes, especially against the deep blows inflicted by piercing arrows and blades.
Bloodlite monsters don’t bleed, so cutting would work slightly better at injuring them internally than bashing, but many of the giant arthropods have heavy chitin (or metal) that works better against cuts, so it might be worse than bashing damage unless you have a blade that can successfully bypass their armour and deal serious blood damage. Piercing works pretty well against arthropods (ask a wasp), so as long as they could penetrate the armour the high amount of internal damage they deal would probably kill the victim through Blood damage without having to work through their HP.
Bloodless monsters don’t care about cutting damage, so the only thing here is the downsides of cutting weapons - Blades get stuck or blunt, and any armour they have is probably reducing Cutting damage more effectively than blunt. Piercing would suck, because of their middling HP damage.
Finally, Bloody monsters would act much like a survivor, and like every terrestrial animal on the planet, and really pile on the internal injuries until they die, whether from blood loss death of a thousand cuts style, or neatly bissected in two by an angry highlander wannabe with a claymore.
I believe this could work at least partly off the pre-existing “traits” system monsters use, since they already have armour vs the two types, and immunities based on tags, but could this be achieved without needing to add a secondary health stat to the monster? I couldn’t think of a way that worked well enough without it, and this gives the potential for a lot of variety in monsters by tweaking their Blood and HP proportions.
How might bleeding be determined for length and intensity,? I don’t fancy “realistically” chasing prey for hours on end while they finally bleed out, but stabbing a bear to death with a pocket knife that does very little HP damage but kills a bear through blood loss (as per a news story where a man basically did just that), or “shooting a deer that then runs into the woods and needs chasing to where it dies and tracking it by the blood trail before rain washes away” both sound pretty cool to me.
Hopefully it’s clear that I’m trying for balance as well as realism here. Have I succeeded? Is there a good reason for a player to want a combination of different damage types if possible?
Is that enough detail for you? Animals bleed and die, or get dissuaded and run, based on how much blood damage they’ve taken, while NPCs and the player are tracked more precisely? Is there anything simpler that could be done?
Next post (curse you, length limit), will cover armour and guns.