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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:38 pm 
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Saturday night mulling leads me to wonder about the doctors and surgeons of Legend.

(I haven't been watching Holby City...)

What sort of level of medicine would you expect in Legend? Similar to the real world? A course of leeches to drain foul humours?

Is surgery done with a trusty bone-saw?

What effect does Sorcery have on the day-to-day life of your average garden variety peasant?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:16 am 
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Barbers can do it. Was a good documentary about Ben Kingsley being a middle eastern doctor. Well, might not appeal to some. But I think barbers did most stuff like teeth extraction and other surgical stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:39 am 
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SimonB wrote:
What sort of level of medicine would you expect in Legend? Similar to the real world? A course of leeches to drain foul humours?

Is surgery done with a trusty bone-saw?

What effect does Sorcery have on the day-to-day life of your average garden variety peasant?

I can't really comment on history but, depending on the pseudo-era in which you set your Legend, medical knowledge could be limited to some local herb lore and midwifery, available in almost all villages, with more "advanced" medical knowledge possessed by scholar-priests cloistered away in monasteries. Amputations or other medical ministrations are likely to be unsanitary, clumsy, and a last resort. Or you could allow professional barber-surgeons to be present in larger towns, although these came a little later than when I set my games, which would allow some more reliable healing techniques. In all eras, of course, there are the equivalent of snake oil salesmen - pedlars that roam from village to village hawking wares that promise much and deliver little. Lugdor the Stammerer from Brymstone would be a good example to throw into your game (and his more reputable, but discredited, business rival, Magnor Thumb - there's an adventure just waiting to happen right there...).

As for game rules, I do allow first aid in my games, which gives the PCs a chance to recover some HP lost in an encounter and can even ameliorate the effects of major wounds (which can cause attribute damage) but I've also removed almost all magical healing from my games (except in the form of potions, which are very rare) - my sorcery spell list does not include any healing spells. Fast healing encourages a more combative play style, whereas if HP are a scarce resource to be husbanded, it makes the players think more before hurling their characters into a dangerous maelstrom of swords and spears. It can also happen that PC sorcerers end up saving MPs for healing and don't get to contribute much else to a party (much as Clerics used to pretty much be Cure Light Wounds factories in earlier editions of D&D).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:07 am 
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What sort of level of medicine would you expect in Legend? Similar to the real world? A course of leeches to drain foul humours?

Is surgery done with a trusty bone-saw?

What effect does Sorcery have on the day-to-day life of your average garden variety peasant?


I apply a similar level of medicine to that of early medieval times, with just a dash of fantasy thrown in.

I have First Aid, a skill which most professional fighters (including Knights) would be expected to have at least a basic knowledge of. This allows the recovery of a HP at the end of a fight if the skill is correctly applied. This kind of treatment was actually not too bad in those days (people understood that you bandaged a wound to stop blood leaking out); it's later in Georgian and Victorian times that treatment got a bit bizarre (e.g. widening a wound until you could see right through in order to "let air in"). Infection may be a problem, of course, but that's what die rolls are for...

I also have Chirurgery, a skill which is largely the preserve of women and monks, although practiced by men in the Ta'ashim lands (the barber surgeons to which Kharille and Cobwebbed Dragon refer). A mix of herb lore, bone setting and a generous dollop of prayer and misinformation, Chirurgery is a skill of dubious value but required to make an "unhealthy" character "healthy".
A character becomes "unhealthy" in my game when (a) they lose enough Health Points that they become unconscious (i.e. 0 to –2 HP), (b) they nearly die through loss of Health Points (i.e. –3 HP and survived), (c) the caregiver fumbled First Aid roll, or (d) through disease or poison.

For other ailments, there's always the village wise woman and her knowledge of herbs. Some monks may also fulfill this function.

There are simply not enough Sorcerers around to affect the medical prospects of the vast majority of the population. Nobles who maintain a court Sorcerer will have access to the healing magics that the mage brings (depending on their Rank). There may to be some debate over whether the pagan healing magics of a Sorcerer might taint the soul of the patient... But a certain amount of practicality is likely to prevail. Only the most fanatical or superstitious would turn away healing in extremis. A low-Rank Sorcerer may well disguise an applied healing by brewing up some random herbs & mixing a poultice, thus avoiding drawing too much attention to their Art.
(In my game, there is no problem with a Sorcerer offering healing in Ta'ashim lands as this is considered "good" magic and therefore permissible.)


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