Heal and Surgery

This is more a fluff question than anything else, triggered by an incident a couple of events ago involving Carr requiring Surgery twice in about ten minutes.

Say someone is injured (traumatic or not) and patched up by a physick,as Carr demonstrated it is possible for the stitched wounds to reopen and get worse in the right situations.

Would casting heal on someone who has just undergone surgery prevent this? or at least make it far less likely?

What do people think?

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By surgery do you mean a Physik treating a traumatic? As I note surgery is not required and you can have Highguard Faith powered Healing Hands or Kallevessi Smoke and Censors mystism both represented by the Physik skill…

Similarly a lot depends on how you flavour the heal spell. Does it just remove the existance of wounds returning the body to what it was with Day or accelerate the clotting process and revitalise the flesh with a burst of Spring?

profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … _in_Empire
Has some interesting explanations of how the different types of healing interact.

From this I’d interpret that if the wounds reopen such that the patient is in imminent danger then the sheer vital force of a HEAL spell will probably stop that, but it won’t help with any subtler problems.

I can imagine circumstances where being hit with a heal spell might actually be a cause of long term problems as it tries to regrow flesh around old wounds.

Not that I want to encourage refs to give traumatic wounds to people who receive the Heal spell… But I did just type those words.

When I say surgery I mean scalpels and stitches etc, which is how all the physicks I’ve seen do it. The additional wounds created by surgery are pretty general, and could reopen in the right situations (afterall, all that was needed for Carr was for someone to hug him).

The way I do the heal spell involves accelerating the healing process, so I would say theoretically it would heal the general wounds caused by surgery and reduce the risk of more damage being done by not resting up.

The reason I am asking is I know a few characters who are prone to getting lots of traumatic injuries, but they have Imperial positions, therefore will not be resting in bed like a good patient, they will be attending meetings, then going to the pub in the evening and then they will trip up over guy ropes as they try to walk back to their tent, all of which could result in the wounds re-opening. This means theoretically a ref can spot someone who was operated on that day doing something that would not be advised for someone recovering from injury and give them a Traumatic injury card, which is pretty accurate as far as I can tell.

Hence could someone cast heal on them and stop them needing more surgery shortly after being discharged?

In my head, Heal is like superglue and a combination morphine/stimulant shot, or like Piffany’s duct tape in Nodwick, or medi-gel in Mass Effect: battlefield medicine. You’ll need real treatment for that later.

I could imagine Heal being used in place of sutures, I guess.

If it reopens: well, if the problem is just that the stitches have burst, then your magic superglue will stitch them back on. But if any dirt got into that, if your problem is contaminated humours (uh, septicaemia) - Spring magic is not disinfectant, and Day magic is not duct tape, and Autumn magic just doesn’t want to know. (Winter says cut the leg off, save the patient. Summer is too busy charging to notice. Night says there is no leg.) Go see a physician.

Is it just a matter of someone roleplaying that their stitches are open? I don’t see why Heal wouldn’t fix that. If it is a mechanical effect then I’d go with whatever the card said.

From a mechanical point of view, I’m not aware of cards that explicitly have “make it worse” conditions that apply after it’s been treated by a physick. So I’m a bit confused about what’s causing the concern/question.

As for giving people new traumatic wounds, were I to do so I don’t think “I had heal cast on me” would be something I think would make a difference. A physick’s treatment will cure you, if you’ve qualified for a new traumatic that seems to be from a new injury that you’ve just obtained, and heal doesn’t have lasting effects like that.

In this case (as the physik telling him to take it easy) he was given another traumatic wound card once we had fixed the six he came in with. I believe the ref then whispered to him something along the lines of that happens when you exert yourself too much. Someone then gave him a hug and Carr then decided that was enough to burst the stitches put in a bout ten minutes earlier and so he collapsed and triggered the new traumatic wound (that we then fixed) - all while being sworn in as general.

It was a memorable moment

I suspect this came from flavour rather than mechanics. A nice bit of RP at the right moment, but not covered in the rules

Yes, it was a bit of RP, however there is an implication from that RP which is a ref could do that to someone else.

And if that happened, would someone be able to counter by healing the cuts from surgery (before the new wound is triggered) with magic, which should not reopen, instead of stitches?

I think the disconnect here is you’re asking questions on the basis of there being a defined system for whether or not exertion might cause another traumatic wound. There is no such defined system.

The system at work is entirely down to ref discretion. A ref has the discretion to give out a traumatic wound when they feel it appropriate, with the aim being to create interesting game for people by doing so. Thus what, if anything, Heal might do for treatment over Physick is entirely down to that individual ref’s opinion at that time.

Personally, I wouldn’t say Heal helps after the Physick’s treatment, and would not factor that into deciding that another traumatic wound was appropriate. Other refs may disagree, which is fine - there’s no fixed rule or guideline to discover here, just a system of refs adding interesting situations and RP to the game, each in their own way.

And in this specific case of a person being given a traumatic to use next time they exert themselves, the player might decide a heal spell raises the bar for what “Exertion” means. But it is a case by case basis?

I did not realise that was the case. I had interpreted Healing Hands as being an appropriate roleplay for use of the Heal spell, or Stay With Me/Get it Together. But not for Chirugeon/Physick. They are called Surgical Skills, I had thought surgery was necessary! I’ve had another look at the surgical skills page and can only see the phrase “appropriate roleplaying”, which seems a bit too subjective profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … ls#Physick

Is kneeling next to someone chanting motivational scripture sanctioned as appropriate roleplaying for using Chirugeon or Physick to heal someone’s wounds?


I did not realise that was the case. I had interpreted Healing Hands as being an appropriate roleplay for use of the Heal spell, or Stay With Me/Get it Together. But not for Chirugeon/Physick. They are called Surgical Skills, I had thought surgery was necessary! I’ve had another look at the surgical skills page and can only see the phrase “appropriate roleplaying”, which seems a bit too subjective profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … ls#Physick

Is kneeling next to someone chanting motivational scripture sanctioned as appropriate roleplaying for using Chirugeon or Physick to heal someone’s wounds?[/quote]

Yes. The relevant quote is this:

From here. This is a bit of an obscure page, but is linked from the Surgical Skills page.

The relevant approach to bear in mind if you are using non-surgical roleplay is that what you’re doing should try and avoid being too direcly confusable with a spell or the like. But homeopathy, incense burning, leeches for broken legs, things based on hearth magic and perhaps tiny amounts of medical involvement, are all entirely legitimate ways to roleplay using the Physick skill.

Faith powered Healing Hands is probably on a weird half way house in that you probably want it closer to Aragorn like pressing herbs into wounds rather than chanting myticism which might be mistaken for a spell. But the latter might work? Its suggested on the wiki so you have an arguement :slight_smile:

I think importantly you need to clearly distinguish it from stay with me, or players might get up after only 5 seconds!

“All right, this is going to take some time” or similar at the start of the roleplay? I would probably finish my faith-healer roleplay with something that looked like my ‘stay with me’ or ‘heal’ roleplay.

Especially relevant for the hypothetical specialised healer who’s been healing their butt off since event 1 and buying more healing with every XP:
Swift Heal
Hero points
Stay With Me
Spring 1

Who can heal people by blow, or in 5 seconds, or in 10, or in 30 with a herb, or in 30 without a herb, or in 2 minutes.

Hello all, I was the player in question so I thought I should comment on the situation.

I came into the hospital with 5 trauma cards. During the surgery, and the manner of the surgery a 6th card was added.

Once the surgery was complete I used second wind on myself to restore the hit points, that I as the player felt had been taken away by the surgery.

This allowed me to move. I then asked the ref in question for a standby Trauma wound card. As I know larpers are jokers and someone was bound to punch me in the ribs or chest.

Considering I had multiple rib fracture, incisions from the tubes that had re-inflated my lungs as well as having had my whole chest split open to remove some rocks that were growing in there. I felt that with only stitches to hold all this together it wouldn’t take much to split them. (Lots of OOC knowledge on injuries and re-life treatment and presentation of patients).

The ref agreed and gave me the briefing as has been described. So off i wandered and low and behold it wasn’t long before someone gave me a big old bear hug.

My new trauma card was that all my wounds in my chest reopen, and i’m trying to breathe through all these opening. (yay not good).

Now if from what i understand of the heal and swift heal spells. Then yes a simple hug would not have triggered the card for me. As the actual wounds (which are still present under the stitches) would have been healed, and the bones fixed. So I either would have had to take another beating or something that would have ripped the newer softer flesh, but definately more than a hug.

As stated the surgery was required, to fix the internal issues that a heal spell would just have made worse. But after the surgery a Heal spell (in my own opinion) would be benifical as it would only be healing the now aligned bone, and sealing the tissue.

Huzzah! That sounds excellent.

What you did was entirely correct. You took the effect when you felt that something appropriate had happened to cause it, in line with the briefing you had. And for you, in that case, based on the roleplay and so on, you feel Heal would have made it harder to trigger. That’s all absolutely fine and dandy.

But the important thing is that this is not a general rules situation. There are no general rules for this sort of situation. The rule is “roleplay appropriately”. In your case, you did so, and that’s all cool and excellent. But if you had decided that the physick’s sewing was good, and a bear hug wouldn’t do anything to harm you, that would also have been absolutely cool and excellent. Heck, if the physick had treated you using crystals and homeopathy, and then some klutz with a healing spell had turned up and undone all that good work, it would be entirely reasonable to have been more prone to that second injury because of the heal spell - that’s also cool and excellent.

For that matter, the surgery doesn’t mechanically injure you. Spending a hero point on second wind to get off the table is awesome - but not required, we won’t say “oh, you did the wrong thing by not doing so” (but nor will we condemn it). One of my friends is playing a character with a phobia of physicks: she’s made a detailed table of how many hero points she needs to spend to not freak out, as determined by the medical procedure she’s undergoing at the time. That’s really really cool - but it’s in no way a required feature in the game.

Empire is a very player-driven system. We don’t have detailed tables or long canonical lists of how much injury it takes to reopen a wound closed by surgery, or requirements for the number of hitpoints lost per minute of surgery, or whatever. The basic mechanics - traumatic wounds are treated in 2 minutes of physick; healing magic fully restores lost hit points; etc - are standard features which give a baseline, and the rest is in the hands of the players, to do as they see fit inside the overall rules confines and to create as much interesting roleplay as they want to engage in.

I’m writing in a bit of a hurry, so I hope this makes some sense - and I trust Raff will be along to correct me if necessary. As always, email empire.rules@pd for any detailed clarifications about the basic mechanics.

Ok, thanks for clearing that up, so in future as long as I am not taking to the battlefield that day and I still have mana, I will be making sure that patients leaving the hospital who are not going to follow the advice: “Take it easy, get some rest” will be getting heal cast on them if they have had major surgery to treat multiple traumatic wounds to the same area.