Monday, 9 April 2012

H is for Health (First-Aid): Hitting the Trail with the Wilderness Survival Guide

Page 69-71 WSG.

First-aid is always close to a player's heart. Clerics, walking healers, in the worst games, aren't always available, or willing, or enough.

It's natural then that in the wilderness players might seek more natural healing options - like plants and herbs.

Table 40: Availability of Medicinal Plants
So say you sub-arctic, autumn and in the hills - there is a 25% chance there are some useful plants in the area, and a 20% chance the character will find the plant in one turn of searching.

Here's the rub, if the player rolls 1-10 a useful plant is located. 11-20 - a false plant is located which the player thinks is useful.

Maybe that plant lore proficiency outlined earlier in the WSG, may be worth taking. (Keep with me until N = non-weapon proficiencies)

Which plant - see appendix J of the Dungeon Masters guide. What a fabulous table the DM guide is - inspirational.

A warning is given not to allow players to become a walking storehouse of medicine (else what is the role for clerics?)

This section is ok, but the two number rolling seems a bit much (the 25 then the 20). Either the player finds something or not. Why two numbers? The example given in the text even suggests that the DM rolls the first number, and if no useful plants are in the vicinity, he tells the players there is no use looking for more.

The next section deals with Injuries and Treatment for broken bones, minor burns and major wounds.

Broken burns - until splinted, will not be able to regain any hit points lost due to the injury - whatever that means in an abstract system of hit points? Using an injured extremity leads to an extra 1d6 damage.

If minor burns are not dressed, -1 penalty to attack and saving throw.

Major Wound - if hit by an edged weapon and unmodified damage role is 6 or higher, 25% chance weapon has struck an artery, causing severe bleeding. Lose an additional d3+1 hit points per round.

All a bit much I think. I like this however...

Minor Wound - It is assumed all characters treat their wounds. "A character who totally disregards his injuries by not even bothering to have them covered should be penalised by having a greater chance of contracting a disease due to infection."

To this end one character should be carrying bandages in their backpack. And perhaps equipment for splints and even a STRETCHER. Now this is interesting. The WSG suggests carrying the poles for a stretcher, but really, they are likely to be too unwieldy. I did consider whether 10' poles might do, but I always imaging them as fairly thin, better for poking ahead, than carrying weight.

But one could pack the heavy duty cloth with sewn holes for any makeshift poles one might find in the wilderness.

Good for the wounded and the dead.

Two comrades can carry an injured character on a stretcher, as long as each of them is able to support half of the character's weight without being too encumbered to move.

Stretcher rules and need for bandages - I'd add them to a campaign.

1 comment:

  1. People don't think about essentials like this enough. They can add a great element to game play. I play with some people who think buy rations is ridiculous because "people have to eat."

    Interesting post. Good luck with the challenge!

    Dianna Fielding