Analgesics and Anasthesia

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Japheth
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Analgesics and Anasthesia

Post by Japheth » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:20 am

While I'm working in the domain of damage, pain and how it causes character's ability to function to breakdown, I'm also interested in looking at some of the basics of how to mitigate or avoid it. As such, I'm starting to look at effects that reduce pain either on a local level (topical analgesic) as well as system level (general analgesic).

So for instance, your character might be crippled in pain from a very serious injury that will take some time to recover from. You might be able to pop some aspirin to take a little bit of the pain off, maybe below a critical threshold that means the difference between being helpless and not. Perhaps you've taken Doctor Astronaut's Space Juice before the fight and you can't feel your anything, evisceration be damned. Or perhaps you've just applied a topical painkiller to that nasty cut on your leg.

What I am seeking some feedback on is some basic DRAWBACKS to using painkillers. For example, what's to stop people covering themselves head to toe in topical analgesic? What should be the trade off, from a design point of view? Skill penalties? Pain becomes lesser amount of stun damage instead? Some sort of larger penalty if you apply too much at once?

I'm thinking general analgesics (e.g. pills) might have an anesthetic effect if you take too much - starting with skill penalties, and culminating in unconsciousness. Some of them might also later on cause organ damage (e.g. paracetemol damages the liver), but organ damage isn't in yet.

What ideas do you guys have on the matter?

Tepes
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Re: Analgesics and Anasthesia

Post by Tepes » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:24 am

Sounds pretty kickass, to be honest. I like the idea of being able to pop pills and it actually do something.

Addiction needs to be a drawback, like, a willpower check or something to stave off the effects.

SomeKnob
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Re: Analgesics and Anasthesia

Post by SomeKnob » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:11 pm

My suggestions:

Doing surgery without anesthetic or painkillers should make it significantly harder. Make painkillers hard to come by so people using them frivolously have to deal with social consequences.

While you're under the affect of a painkiller you can't accurately tell how much damage you've taken unless it's something glaring like a broken limb you now can't move. Damage messages directed to you a changed to a generic string that don't tell you how hard the hit was. That makes it hard for you to tell if you're winning a fight or not and if you be should trying to flee.

My thoughts are this: if you can comfortably beat someone without painkillers then you won't need them to begin with. If you're on the sameish sort of level as someone, painkillers give a slight advantage and maybe even the edge you need to win, at the drawback of being oblivious to if you're taking more damage than you're giving.

incognito
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Re: Analgesics and Anasthesia

Post by incognito » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:29 pm

My incredibly half-assed response, though it's a really interesting topic and I may come back to it later...

I'd actually class the topicals as anesthetics, rather than analgesics (your 'caine family, essentially.) Slathering yourself with Futurecaine effectively numbs the target area, and accordingly checks involving the body-part in question are reduced. You can't run as well with a leg you can't feel, your dex goes to crap if you get it on your hand, that sort of thing. Granted, this requires that certain skill checks are flagged with checks for functioning body parts, but I think that's a thing... (is that a thing?)

Overdosing and organ damage are great ideas for down the line, but to patch for it I'd just have caps on the amount of pain any given drug can cover for, and side-effects as you move up the effectiveness ladder. So your common OTC NSAID only compensates for a little bit of pain, regardless of how much you take, but don't(for the time being) have much in the way of side-effects. If you really want to knock out a significant amount of pain you need a better drug, and that's where the fun starts happening. I'd penalize stats, rather than skills, eg opioids reduce your perception or something (I don't recall the stats very well, tbh.)

From there you can work up a whole pharmacopoeia of awesome drugs, but that seems a thread unto itself. As does handling addiction.

Also, just to make life interesting for those geniuses who want to pop painkillers before they go into battle, pre-empting the pain penalties in a fight you can adjust the damage display... but I don't have the time to say more on that particular topic than that.

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Japheth
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Re: Analgesics and Anasthesia

Post by Japheth » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:14 am

Lots of very useful suggestions, I like them all.

In regards to SomeKnob's two suggestions:

1) It almost seems like a no-brainer that you should require anesthetic for surgery, but I'll definitely make sure it's possible to do without and come with horrible consequences. I might also make a penalty if you try to suture a wound without local anesthetic because your patient is less likely to sit still.

2) I think I will make an effect that can hide or partially hide particular wounds. This could optionally be included on some anesthetics, analgesics or even magic spells I suppose. In this case your hp/pain etc might change from something like 50/100 to 100?/100, the ? indicating that you're not sure what your current level is on that. I think I will still make the wound visible as it would be if someone else looked at you, so you might see that you have a "Grevious Slash" on your stomach, but you can't "Feel" exactly how damaging or painful it is. I may also make this optionally have a maximum - maybe your cream can stop you feeling a minor slash but it can't quite stop you feeling a grevious slash, even if it helps a little.

In regards to Incognito's suggestions (and thanks for correcting my terminology, obligatory I am not a doctor but just a happy amateur with a serial killer's google search history thanks to this project):

1) At the moment I have limb-level association with checks - i.e., you can say that a check uses this leg or arm or whatnot. Therefore, you could check the legs as a whole for this effect and apply penalties to checks so marked. Each and every skill check in the game is actually in the database and I can customise it, so I have a lot of control at a builder level about this one.

2) Caps should definitely be done. Perhaps certain drugs have a cap on how much pain they can reduce, or they may just be multipliers (i.e. all pain is reduced 50%) rather than subtractors (you feel 50 less pain).

3) Penalising attributes versus skills is not a problem mechanically, however in LabMUD I have set up most checks to be more skill based than attribute based (there are some exceptions). In fact, I can also penalise not just specific stats or skills, but individual checks. I could for instance apply a penalty just to the skill check made to notice someone stealthy draw/get/sheath an item, or the skill check for picking a lock etc. At any rate, I probably would apply it to all checks specifically relating to perception in this way.

As for the suggestion of both Tepes and Incognito with regards to addiction and side-effects...these will have to be incrementally added in over time I suppose. I may make an "addiction" flaw that you can pickup if you take lots of pills and fail some willpower-related checks, which applies pretty hefty penalties if you're not popping pills regularly. That's doable with current code - other related effects like nausea or the bazillion things that can apply can be added in over time as I get those systems up and online.

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