Violence is dangerous - a resource

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Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Gahalla on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:13 pm

Violence is dangerous, a roleplaying resource

One thing I've noticed when playing on this server through the years, is a blatant disregard for the danger of combat. I understand why of course, we all want to play heroes and villains. Epic characters in stories of heroism, valour and valiant struggles. There is nothing wrong with this of course. But at times I get the impression that there is a wide ignorance as to just how increadibly dangerous violence is.

I discussed this with a few friends ingame a while back and came to the conclusion that I should write this for everyone. A resource that can be used, should you be willing to add that danger flavour (which makes the acts of heroism and valour all the better. Epic is not really epic with no real danger).

I will try to keep it a bit simplified and will try to avoid medical jargon where unneccesary. Remember, this is just a resource. If you want to use it or not is up to you. Also, it will be described primarly on how things are or were IRL (but in a simplified form, it's much more complex).

Injury

I think everyone of us realise that with violence comes injury. It's more or less the definition: Violence is the attempt of causing injury to another. What kind of injury that is caused vary based on how good the hit is, what one hits with and if the hits is cushioned by something. In general every hit one takes will have four effects:

  • Pain

  • Bleeding

  • Exhaustion

  • Tissue damage

This isn't much of a surprise to anyone I think. Fairly straighforward and obvious. What most people seem to think however, is that it's the tissue damage that determines wether you can continue the fight or not.

This is not entirely incorrect, as if you recieve enough tissue damage you simply cannot continue to fight. Most likely however, you're also dead. If not now, then very soon (alternatively you'll live but never fight again).

Instead it's the pain, the exhaustion and the bleeding that will determine your capability to fight;

Everyone of us have at some point felt that numbing pain, that makes one unwilling to move and slows all reactions. The same thing applies in combat. Pain makes you slower and incapable of positioning yourself correctly and in combat that is everything that matters. Even a single bruise on the arm can make you that split-second too slow that allows your foe to plant a axe in your face.

Bleeding is what kills. Virtually all deaths from violence are due to bleeding, even if one is shot through the brain it's the bleeding that kills (there's so many bloodvessels in the head that it happens within seconds though). Furthermore, bloodloss directly affects your ability to continue fighting. Just losing about 1 L of blood (out of 4-5 L) decreases your mental and physical ability with about 75%. After that you can do little more than sit or stumble around. With a open wound and a elevated pulse due to fighting... that does not take very long. One can go down as little as 10 seconds after being cut.

The exhaustion is also a determining factor. We all know how it feels when lactic acid hit a body part. It becomes slow and dulls reflexes. This is directly lethal in a fight. Furthermore, both pain and bloodloss makes you more exhausted.

What this means is that every hit you take, even that little graze in your arm or the bruise on your shoulder will directly affect your ability to survive the melee. Every hit will make you a little more tired, a little more sore and cause a little more bloodloss (remember, a bruise means it's bleeding under the skin. These can be just as lethal as an open wound). It adds up and gives your enemy a little easier to score a good hit. A good hit will always end the fight.

The only tissue damage that is likely to affect the fight and not kill, is broken bones. Partly because it robs the injured of the ability to use that bone (unable to stand, unable to use an arm or having difficulty breathing)

No such thing as instant death
That's right. There is no such thing as instant death. With two exceptions: 1. decapitation. 2. Blown to bits.

In all other cases it's the bloodloss that kills you. If you're lucky, it's an artery and you're unconcious. But chances are you'll be aware that you're dying and slowly die as you lay there helpless. The pain crippling you to the point where you cannot move. It's slow, it's agonizing and it's scary.

After battles in past ages, the victors would send out soldiers out on the battlefield to collect one ear from each enemy fallen and mercy-kill those that were still alive.

It has not been unheard of that there have been survivors of a fight that have been lying unaccesible on the battlefield for days before finally succumbing to their wounds.

However, there's a flipside: It's not unheard of that men who have recieved a fatal wound to keep on fighting until they fall over dead. Men who've been impaled on spears that attacks their killer. This is a very common thing with firearms, crossbows and bows. Often men would take fatal wounds, but if they weren't knocked over they'd keep on going. Potentionally taking their killer with them to the realm of the dead.

Armour = lifesaver
Violence is extremely lethal. Particularly armed combat. This is the very reason that armour was invented in the first place. It allows the wearer a sporting chance, by turning a fatal wound into a bruise. By turning a amputated arm into a broken arm instead. Deflecting both blade and arrow.

A sword (as an example) generally have the ability to cut through all human tissues with ease. It cannot however, pass through metal. Which is the very reason people started wearing maille. Maille provides the advantage that it is impossible to cut through the ring-weave. Thus allowing you to avoid the fate of having the arm severed and you bleeding to death.

Maille have a great weakness though... pointed weapons can easily pierce the weave (by splitting the rings). Particularly arrows (but also spears). The counter this people generaly used various combination of cloth armour. the most common kind, the gambeson (or jack, padded jack or a multitude of other names) consisted of about 20-30 layers of linen. Which was not only capable of stopping and absorbing an arrow but also quite useful against bladed weapons. It was often combined with maille for knights, particularly during the crusades IRL. There's plenty of records of how knights would ride looking like pin-cushions due to all the arrows that sat in their cloth armour but had failed to injure them.

Later, during the renaissance the maille+cloth was changed for the plate-harness. It is much stronger and durable and even less likely to cut through that the other armour. Like cloth-armour it's also very resistant to weapons such as bows and firearms.

Even today we wear armour, namely: Kevlar body-armour. Nowadays they also include maille or plate into these body armours, to help protect the body.

However, armour doesn't mean you're guaranteed to live. Not even if you face someone unarmoured. It's also not guaranteed to protect against a good hit. Generally, they also have weak spots and the face is always a weakspot.

As an example, this man wore a full helmet:


It didn't help him at all

Similarly, firearms can penetrate even plate-harnesses if they get a perfect hit (but they are not guaranteed to do so if they don't) like this video can demonstrate:
Spoiler:

But as you can see, the second shot ricoshets off the armour leaving a huge dent. Had only the second shot happened, the wearer would have a few broken ribs and would have to pull out of the fight but he'd live

Also, the impulse (change in momentum, a physics-term) will not be stopped by armour (it might be deflected away however, which is why armour relies on many angles and sharp edges) and a strike that would cut you in two might not cut you in two, but the impulse will still move through the armour and break the bones underneath.

Similarly, armour can be circumvented. When fighting against someone armour, one generally directs all strikes towards the unarmoured areas. You don't have to impale their chest to kill them. Severing a unprotected hand works just as well.

One can also use something that can punch through armour, this is why all those maces/warhammers/healberds and such have a spike on their back. To be able to punch through armour. Pikes are good at this too.

A common thing many roleplaying games have going is that if you're swift and agile, you're better off with light or no armour. This is a myth. Armour is generally made to suit it's wearer like a glove and is suprisingly light. All it does however, is prevent the armoured part of the body of taking a worse injury. Yes, it's heavier and more exhaustive to wear. But it will save your life if you are a split-second too slow or unlucky enough to get hit by a missle-weapon.

Basically:
Armour isn't made to keep you in the fight. It's made to allow you to survive the fight. If you get hit you'll still have to pull back and recover as soon as you can.

Multiple adversaries = suicide

This is also very important to note. Multiple adversaries are much much more dangerous than a single skilled one is. Even multiple unarmed enemies are more dangerous than a single unarmed opponent.

The reason is that combat is generally a shift between the offensive and the defensive. When the enemy attacks you, you go defensive and focus on dodging, blocking parrying or steeling yourself against the blow. Then you'll go offensive and try to hit him and he'll be forced to defend himself.

However, if you face multiple opponents then they can essentially rotate being offensive. Constantly attacking and forcing you to constantly defend yourself. Never giving you a moment to strike back.

Also, I'm sure some of you have seen a fist fight broken up before? On tv if nothing else. As you might notice, it's very common for the ones breaking up the fight to grab hold of the fighter's arms. Redering incapable of hitting each others.

That's a tactic that works just as well if the fist-fighters had held weapons. So, if you face multiple enemies they can encircle you and grab your arms. Allowing one of them to approach without risk of being hit with your weapon to say... lift your visor and stab your face.

Several opponents can also rush forward against riders and overwhelm their ability to strike at them and pull the riders off the horse. This is the fate of the knight who can't ride at full speed.

There is a way to survive multiple enemies though and that is too keep moving backwards, forcing them only to engage you one at a time. It's not easy though.

As a rule of thumb:
1 opponent = dangerous
2 opponents = survival unlikely
3 opponents = probably suicide
4 opponents = limit of how many you can physically fight at the same time. Death more or less guaranteed. Likelyhood of even harming them very low.

Veterancy and experience

The age old expectation that experienced soldiers are better at killing. It's both true and false at the same time.

Generally, experienced soldiers are very good at surviving. Not neccesarily killing the enemy. They have learned what is a smart idea, what is not a smart idea. What the sound of incoming arrows sounds like. How to brace themselves against the charge. When to run. How to spot the unit banner. How to hide among the dead.

Things like that is what they pick up through experience. Some will also become a bit better with weapons, yes.

In addition they will have become steeled. They will not hesitate before killing. They will be more difficult to scare and less likely to paralyse in fear. This too gives them a better chance at surviving.

The reason most mediveal (or semi-mediveal) soldiers won't become better at fighting as such is because they grow up fighting. Most melee soldiers spend their teenages training to use weapons. They generally specialise in a specific type. It takes years to learn to fight by reflexe (which is needed, anything else is too slow). It isn't conscripts that take a few months to learn how to point a rifle and shoot.

It takes years because they need to build the strength and the stamina needed to fight for hours unhindered. That means that most veterans aren't much better at fighting than when they were deployed, because they fought both now and then by reflexe. As long as they kept in shape they're just as good now as they were then.

In fact, most veterans will probably be worse due to the injures they've taken throughout the years and the toll of age.

Weapon-masters are generally veterans too old and injured for the battlefield but still in good enough shape that they can train the young ones at fighting. Generally between 40 and 50 years old. They are the ones that lived through campaigns and realised: "Now is the time to stop, or else I'll get myself killed".

Basically... it's very unlikely that you become better and better at fighting. There is a peak after a few years of fighting, before age and injures start to pile up.

Recovery and old injuries

Recovery from wounds of violence takes time. A long time. The deeper the wound the longer the time it takes to recover. We are talking months but it can easily take years. During this time you have to rest and allow the body a chance to mend itself. It's a slow and boring time. Not only can you not fight, but you can't practise, you can't stay in shape and not even help with physical labour.

So not only are you weakened because of the injury. You body will also weaken due to not using it and not keeping in shape (it also gets some help form the hormones tasked with recovery. It boosts muscle-degeneration to get materials for the recovery)

There is also plenty of wounds that you'll never recover from fully or at all.

First of all are the organs, this is fairly straight forward. If you take organ damage you won't ever fully recover due to that it's function will be disrupted a bit. This is if you survive it. You'll survive losing a single lung (you'll run out of breath a bit faster) or a single kidney no problem, but the others aren't that good to hurt. Not only is it extremely cripplingly painful, but you'll feel bad for weeks as the body adjusts to the change in functionality.

All the body's tissues are a bit like elastic ribbons too, particularly muscles and tendons. That means that if they're cut straight through, they'll snap back. So if the tendons in the elbow or the biceps is injured it can snap back and end up inside the chest. If a tendon or muscle is severed it is extremely unlikely or even impossible to recover from that.

Bones will almost always recover and be stronger afterwards, they are really the exception to the rule. Bones will almost always regrow as stronger. Unless the bone is shattered. Then it won't be able to regrow at all.

The other part is that one never really recovers from really bad injuries. Not fully. You can go back to living like you used to, but the old wound will be there. They might even burst open if they are in body parts that are used often. Even years after having recieved them. If nothing else, it will always be painful at night or when moving reminding you constantly of it. As a soldier of the melee, this is a hazard.

The body will more or less mend around the wound, leaving a tiny fraction of scar tissue where the injury occured. This will eventually add up and make you weaker and weaker. All those flesh-wounds will perhaps not kill you, but in a few years they'll directly impair your ability to move.

Old injuries also have a nasty habit of becoming infected time and time again. Long after you'd think they'd healed.

This worsens with age.

Magical healing

Yes, this is a setting of magical healing. You can recieve healing that will help you recover faster and better than in real life. You can even be ressurected.

However, this should not be a guarantee. You shouldn't count on that healing can save you anymore than you can count on modern medicine to save you. Even with priests you can still die by being stabbed on the steps of the cathedral.

Even with healing, there's no guarantee that the wound won't affect you afterwards. Just look at Aedis Brom and Christoph Faral in Stormwind. Two old veterans constantly complaining about their old injuries that to this day haunts and torments them. Zul'jin lost and arm and a eye. There are many more examples.

Even if you can count on the local priest to save you, remember that getting beat up is extremely painful.

There's also one thing magical healing will never bring back... your friends that did not make it. The horrors you've seen cannot be reased from your mind. The mental scars of years from fighting will never heal.

Few veterans relish the idea of returning to war.

There is a reason why most cultures cheer and celebrate war-veterans and why armies celebrate victories. It's to take the veterans minds off these kinds of things. It's too make them feel better. Because war and violence is not fun. Not by any stretch of imagination.

Like the old saying goes: "War is hell"

Magical violence
Violence caused by magic is a tricky things to define. It is simple to think of it as insanely, supernaturally dangerous or not very dangerous at all. But what I think is important is to deconstruct every spell a little.

First. What is the power source. Fire, Cold, Nature, Fel, Shadow, Light, Earth, Air, Arcane or something else?
Second, is it a physical object (like a ball of ice), a physical effect (like fire) or a mental effect (like a mindspike).
Third, is it prolonged or immediate.

The powersource will define what kind of injury it will cause. Fire, lightning and acids will cause burns. Water and ice will chill. Fel will corrupt. Earth will probably hit you like an object. Shadow and Light (or other holy magic) will probably cause less physical injury but more burn at your soul.

The second helps us define the injury more. Physical objects, like the ice-lance, will hit you like just that: a physical object. The injury caused less by what it is, as much as how it hits you. The Ice lance for instance, is just like an arrow and will cause the same sort of injury. Physical effects, like fire, won't hit you with a force. But they can still be cripplingly painful and could, for instance, put your gear on fire. Mental effects, only affect your mind or soul and leave little to no physical injuries. But they are no less dangerous.

Wether the effect is immediate or prolonged finalises the picture. Immediate effects are when magical projectiles hit you, whereas prolonged are things like dots, flamethrowers, cone of cold and such. Something you get caught in.

All spells will cause injury. But just like weapons, the effect of injury falls into the categories of pain, exhaustion, bleeding and tissue damage. Most spells will cause a lot of the first two. Fire hurts. Being pummeled by sheets of ice hurts. However only physical trauma can actually cause a bleeding (possibly some shadow spells too).

As for tissue damage. It is important to remember the law of energy transfer: specifically that it is not instant but based on exposure. Most spells only affect you for a split second and are thus very unlikely to cause any significant change in temperature. That means that most fire-spells, for instance, is unlikely to put you or your gear on fire. They are still painful, dangerous and not to mess around with. But it is unlikely that you'll light up like a candle.
Similarily, a ice spell is very unlikely to freeze you solid. Electricity is more likely to disrupt the heart if it exposure is constant, rather than temporary. Most electrical injuries is caused by the build up of heat.

Mind, many spells consist of a physical aspect like a block of ice, a rock or some other physical projectile... or a shockwave... and these works exactly like weapons do on the body. They can break bones and cause blood vessels to rupture and cause internal bleeding. This is certainly a great danger, much more so than the heat/cold aspect.

Prolonged spells on the other hand, cause a greater energy transfer at the expense of kinetic force. They're more likely to put you on fire, less likely to knock you off your feet.

Right. So now we've discussed what dangers spells cause. How can I protect myself? The answer is quite simply: the same way you protect yourselves from other violence. Dodge it or use armour.

The spells that shoot projectiles can still be blocked with shields and deflected by armour. It'll hurt for sure, but won't hurt you much... unless it hits a weak spot. Physical effects can also be shielded against... a shield could easily be used to protect the face against a flamethrower-spell or a cone of cold. It is sturdy wood, and even if those spells are prolonged it is unlikely to catch fire. If you look away, a helmet could to protect your head from fire or cold.
Leather is almost impossible to burn and even clothes need to reach a certain temperature to catch fire. These are natural cloth-types and they tend to be more resistant than synthetic cloth.
Metal armour cannot stop lightning, but will carry it along itself towards the ground. It won't go as much through as along, heating it in the process. It'll take more than one to make it so hot it starts frying the inhabitant. Same with fire on metal.

If you do catch fire. Drop and roll.

Magic can however be protected against with mundane means. It need not be an instant succes. That said... it is very dangerous. Definantely not less than other form of violence. But neither is it more dangerous. It is about equal.

Painful. Scary. Lethal. Like all violence.

Roleplaying potential

How can this be used in roleplaying?

Well, one thing I find makes most roleplaying that involves any kind of violence is to treat it as something to fear. If you're attacking mobs, clearing an instance, participating in w-pvp or face cultists in an alley. Treat it Ic as if it is really dangerous. Every fight risks being the last one you'll ever fight. There is no such thing as a trivial fight.

Allowing yourself to get injured or just suffering from an old wound can be used nicely as a roleplay hook.

Imagine for example the old veteran that trips on the cathedral steps because his leg locked itself again due to that wound two years ago? That dwarf that visits a priest complaining that his back hurts when it's cold because of the arrow he took in the war of three hammers? The wound needing surgery?

For w-pvp participants it could work nicely to say your good byes to your friends before each battle. Perhaps entrusting them with something for your old man should you die? To work up a atmosphere of genuine dread and nervous jokes before the battle? Trying to help raw recruits who genuinely fear for their lives? The hours before a battle are generally very nervous and pessimistic.

For w-pvp organisers perhaps you could organise toasts to the dead and digging of graves after the battle? Genuinely showing remorse over the losses. Perhaps making up a number of how many that died or became crippled and informing people of that when reporting about the victory or loss.

Guards in cities should ensure that they always outnumber the enemy before they try to capture anyone and always accept surrenders (people who fight to the death is the last thing you want... they generally take someone with them) and try to break up all fights. Even if it is between another guard and a foe. Fights can not only end up with the fighters dead, they might also kill innocent bystanders! Keeping the peace is very important.

If you're outnumbered, running away is always the best idea. Regardless who you are. Even if you're the best warrior in the world... an untrained peasant can still kill you if you're unlucky. This is something every experienced soldier knows. Skill does not make you safer.

Ultmately... it's good to keep in mind: All fights are dangerous. All violence can kill you.

Violence is dangerous

Thank you.


Last edited by Gahalla on Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Shaelyssa on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:39 pm

Excellent, excellent and excellent as always Gahalla! A really good and comprehensive guide. I enjoyed reading it and I'm glad you added a section about magic too. Well done, well done and well done!

In-character, Shaelyssa has a demon-inflicted wound from the War of the Ancients. I have been role-playing that the wound never truly and completely healed because I had always assumed that demonic wounds would be like that: very, very, very hard to recover him. Needless to say, it has brought a lot of fun role-playing encounters!

Although sometimes, I think it's hard to remember all the things you mentioned in a practical situation. People tend to get lost in the moment once they've been immersed in the WarCraft universe and just want to play the hero, it's only natural to be caught in the spur of the moment.

On a side note, I hoped you would have added a section about adrenaline ;)!

EDIT: Oh and on a last note, I loved the visual aid! I cracked up so much in real life :p, poor soldier!


Last edited by Shaelyssa on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Mordazan on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:41 pm

though I havn't read the thread I urge everyone to remember that numbers simply isn't everything. Though I agree with the general assumption on numbers in Gahalla's thread, in RP on defias, Lighties tend to outnumber bad guys by quite a bit.

This doesn't mean you win every fight you're in Wink

And remember to use utmost care when pulling the 'realism' argument Wink

overall looks good, I will read it, promise :p
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Halazz on Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:50 pm

This is an age with dragons and steam powered war tanks that don't catch fire even when made of wood.


Realism isn't needed here.

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Zinkle Figgins on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:06 pm

Brilliant guide Wink

If people fought more in real life, they'd know how a punch in the nose damn hurts Very Happy
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Jayse on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:16 pm

Approved!

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Arm yourself because no one else here will save you.. The odds will betray you.. and I will replace you..
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Gogol on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:05 pm

What is this hippy talk.
War is hell?
I say, war is potential!
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Meralynn / Ashla on Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:40 pm

Excellent! Sticky request!
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Garmegin on Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:05 am

Damor/Zinkle wrote:Brilliant guide Wink

If people fought more in real life, they'd know how a punch in the nose damn hurts Very Happy

As someone who's had his nose broken in a fight, I couldn't agree LESS with you. Now getting your jaw cracked or being hit in the back of the head...now that hurts like a motherfucker.

This is a great resource tho' and no doubt informative to many. Just a few things to take in mind tho'. As it has already been pointed out I believe, people just end up immersing themselves too much to be able to think about realism and such. Hopefully this'll serve as a reminder but still one can't really blame people for simply forgetting all this stuff. But you should also take into consideration that we have more than just humans here. Many of these races no doubt have WAY more endurance and ability to overcome wounds. Taurens are a great example. And I also believe the WoW humans may be slightly hardier than us RL ones - after all, they've survived a world full of dragons and ogres and the likes!

That's just nitpicking tho'. Wonderful resource here that will hopefully make people think a bit more on the issue when RPing. Will no doubt add to the after-battle RP for those huge clashes.


And since I just noticed someone also mentioned something about adrenaline, here's my little contribution - http://www.uppsalaonline.com/uppsala/somafera/somafera%20-%20the%20body%20wild.html
That's focused on berserking and the likes but it's helpful even if your character isn't a berserker - it does give pretty good insight into how adrenaline works for all people, not just those specialised in using it.

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Jomir on Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:16 am

If only the guards of Stormwind City would read this >_>
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:40 am

Good guide, fully agreed and very worthy of the sticky it's received. Kudos, now we should just make a link to these guides on the main forum... Razz

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Raviran / Reynar on Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:40 am

Well the OPers have found a solution to this problem too, they use OP -Magic- so they can kill people from 20m afar. Or if they get cut they're "Inner Demon" creates so hard skin that they wont feel a thing, etc.
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Thenkar on Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:07 pm

Excellent guide! Reading it made me giggle and want to make some warrior only to get a wound in a fight and then die painfully with a red puddle growing larger and larger... <3

Even with fantasy setting, I think this is something that every RPer that might come across battle should read.

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Rargnasha on Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:54 am

Just read this and I can only say that that I agree 120% with Sheal, well done, well done and well done!
As Garm mentioned, there are other races than humans though and I have a tingle that they might act differently upon situations.

P.S.
And well done!
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:07 am

Very nice but I've got a few commentaries because I feel this guide doesn't quite cut the situation and is even very inaccurate. Sure it would be cool and balanced if magic didn't exist and glowing daggers and insane poisons and whatnot were not as common as anything.

Don't forget; Magic. Magic isn't noted well I believe (i.e. healing is made underpowered and arcane/shadow magic isn't noted in voilence at all.)

And there are tons and tons of different and more powerful metals in WoW that offer ALOT more protection against magic and psychical attacks and cannot be compared to the cheap standard grade poor-iron-armour of the midieval times. If one kevlar vest current day can soak a shotgun shot, the new and powerful metals in WoW can surely do the same.

All in all it's a fantasy game. Realistically, people shouldn't be so accurate with guns, they jam and are inaccurate in such times, and they usually can only fire one shot, before they need reloading.

Plus, even though OP's guide is good and realistic and is certainly sometihng one should strive to follow, it is impossible to do due to it being a game and if everyone doesn't follow it, it won't work out.

Besides, healing magic is alot more powerful than OP as we see in the cinematic, where the orc gets shot and the belf revives him.

Personally I don't think WoW fights should be taken so serious and realistically, it being a game after all. Even though OP's guide is a good one, I feel it is not WoW or RP orientated, more an informative guide in how devasating wounds CAN be but don't HAVE to be, it being a totally different world, with different laws, different materials and different people.

Also, I believe working your fights out with the person in question and speaking OOCly is the best way, as emote-fighting and power in WoW has it's own "rules" and "laws". WoW emote-fights are different from real-life fights that's for sure and I think it should stay that way to keep RP going. In no way doesn't OP make a point that voilence should be more shyed away from, but this often proves impossible.

Also, escaping from a SW guard is as easy as anything, just jump into the canals or run away before they have the chance to get close to you.

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Gahalla on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:37 pm

Time for an answer spree I think...

Shaelyssa:
Adrenaline is a tricky thing. It's quite unpredictable. It can allow one do to increadible things, but it's not something anyone can count on. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it does not. I omitted it more or less for that reason.

Mordazan:
Numbers isn't everything no. But they account for a lot in small fights. A swordmaster against four peasants is in fact in a lot of trouble, something his experience will tell him.

Halazz:
As a rule of thumb, fantasy works like the real world unless otherwise stated. Otherwise we might start ignoring things like gravity, mortality and such. Would be a bit silly, no?

Damor/Zinkle:
Thank you, and yes. Do mind that it's actually possible to break your hand on someones nose too though Wink

Jayse:
Thank you

Gogol:
War is hell. Doesn't mean it can or even should be avoided. Just that's it's not very fun to be in.

Billiam/Ashla:
Thank you

Garmengin:
I agree that fun should be taken into account first. If it's a choice between fun and realism, the former should be prioritized.

As for how how different species react to injury... well... it's a bit tricky. A tauren no doubt has a lot more blood than a human, and can thus survive longer if he's bleeding. But the pain, the trauma and the exhaustion will still affect him a lot. We humans also have an advantage in a superior cooling system, we perspire rather than have fur, which is extremely useful in terms of saving energy for the body. This makes human have a lot better stamina than many animals. In a way... we don't outrun other species... we catch up (as for wow humans being tougher than RL, I don't know... we live in a world that had huge aggresive whooly rhinos, large bears and where just about everything can outrun us. I don't think the humans are tougher per se. They might have an instinct to seek cover when they see big things in the sky though).

And thanks for the link. It's appriciated.

Jomir:
One can hope. But the choice to use it or not is personal. The only way to encourage them to follow it is to lead by example and convince them that it's more fun that way.

Grayden:
Thank you

Raviran:
Ah, magic. Yes, it's a bit tricky. But I'll explain how the magic and realism isn't neccesarily mutually exclusive further down.

Thenkar:
Indeed. Imagine the shock of the other players involved though Wink

Rargnasha:
A bit perhaps, but they're made of the same tissues and feel the same pain we do (roughly). The only playable race I think would react differently is the undead. Which is why undead are such terrifying opponents. You cna't bleed them, you can't pain them and you can't tire them. Not only do you have to physically destroy them (which is damn difficult) but virtually all fighting techniques that exist is useless since actually destroying your opponents body isn't needed normally.

Mansfield/Ath:
Inaccurate in what way? The points you raise are valid, but it's mostly themes I purposfully left out.

As for materials... I can tell you this, Blizzard's item team are not educated in chemistry Wink . Thorium and Cobalt are both real metals for instance. The former is a heavy, brittle, radioactive product from Uranium's fallout and the latter is a very light, brittle metal often used to protect steel from rust. Titanium is also a real metal, which has interesting properties. Very light, but at the same time brittle and voluminous. The upcoming material, obsidian... is a volcanic stone. Insanely sharp and were frequently used by the aztecs. Not good for armour though.

You also describe iron as a very poor material.... it's actually not a mistake that it's just iron that were used for all weapons back then. It's actually the best material (short of steel) in the world for the job. It has presicely the right malleability, density, brittleness, precisely the right molecular structure. It's an amazing material. There's even steels that were used to make weapons and armour we cannot reproduce to this day. It says one or two things about the metalurgy of the middle ages.

As for the unobtaniums: Truesilver, Mithril, Adamantium, Arcanite, Khorium, Saronite and whatnot. We can't really discuss them without information on them. Yes, Khorium seem to be a favourite of the legion. But that could be because of accesability (meaning: it's cheap). Saronite is described as a superior material (to build fortresses off, if nothing else) but it's also old god stuff (meaning, wearing a suit of Saronite might not be the best idea for the sake of ones sanity).

If you're using the crafting system as a comparison I advice against it though... it describes gold as superior to iron and steel. I can assure you it is not. Like the levelling system, it's designed to give you fancy names and a sense of progression, not to make sense.

But I'm willing to concede that the materials might be useful in some regards. I can easily imagine some of them beeing lighter than steel/iron while having roughly the same protective capability. Which makes it immensely useful for armour and weapons purposes (and lets the soldier fight for a longer time, which is a plus). But unless someone gives us their properties, we can't really discuss how much better they are than steel.

As for if it's applicable, I agree that fun should trump realism. If you and Anakin Skywalker decides that you want to have a lightsaber duel on some sort of scaffolding that falls apart around you and floats away towards a lava waterfall (lavafall?), including superhuman jumps and fancy surreal fencing. Then by all means! Do that. Working out how a fight should end is definantely superior than clinging to realism in some cases too ("I'm dressed in armour, there's almost no way you can harm me").
This doesn't mean that what I've written cannot be used at all to spice a fight up.

For instance, you can have a fight that starts with that you circle one another. Whenever one side strikes the other dodges and deflects the blow. As the fight then drags on, you emote how you wipe sweat from your forehead and how you take deep, forced breaths. You start making mistakes and you're being a bit slow. Being forced to deflect hits with your armour, gritting your teeth and groaning in pain as the opponent's weapon connect with the armour. Eventually the enemy outmanouvers you and strikes against your face, you raise your gauntlet to prevent the sword from hitting the faceguard but let out a huge howl of agony as the opponent breaks your fingerbones. How you then sink to your knees, clutching your broken hand. You live, but the fight is over. It's not really over the top nor unrealistic and can be fun.

Just as an example.

Oh, as for violence being impossible to shy away from. Of course. That's realistic though, isn't it Wink

As for magic I'll take a moment to discuss how it can be treated slightly more realisticly just below:

Magic
Now... since some have mentioned magic I thought I'd take a moment to discuss how it can be applied to the human body. What is important is to consider: what does the spell do? Therein lies the answer. I haven't seen a single spell in wow that I interpret as a "instant kill". But let's discuss different sorts of spells in turn:

First fire. Most of us know the iconic fireball, toss it and watch it explode. But what does fire-spells actually do? They summon fire, either it's given by the elements (shamans), summoned form the elemental plane (arcane mages) or transfigured into fire from pure thoughts (my interpretation of fel-magic. Summoned from the nether is also plausible), and then sent in some form towards the opponent.

Most people think of it either as flamethrowers or grenades, but consider this: A flamethrower doesn't send fire at you... it sends liquid napalm that is on fire. It doesn't put you on fire, it covers you in a liquid that's on fire. Similarily, a grenade doesn't burst in a fireball. A grenade explodes sending it's shrapnel flying tearing everything around it apart (plus spews burning stuff).

Firemagic is pure fire however. It doesn't summon something that burns and sends it towards you. It summons fire itself. The effect is more akin to a flash fire. Sure, it might be painful and take your eyebrows off. But unless it happens repeatably you're actually in no real danger (you might want to reconsider if you really want to attack the mage head on though).
Nothing will catch fire unless it's heated to the point where it starts burning by itself, a split second of heat physically cannot do that. If a mage wants to put you on fire, he'll have to cast fire spells repeatably at you untill you (or your gear) becomes hot enough to start burning by itself. Metal armour will be slow to heat, but also insanely slow to cool (meaning once it's hot you'll be cooked in there) and if magic or water is used it'll probably shatter around it's user. Leather is almost impossible to put on fire. And if the mage happen to succeed on putting you on fire: Drop and roll.

It will be painful however, insanely so. A seasoned warrior might be able to take one or two fire spells, but after that it'll hurt... a lot. You'll start blistering a day or two after (first degree burns). If they put you on fire you can count on second degree burn, this means you'll lose feeling in the damaged area (it'll hurt constantly) and it'll be blackened. Recovery will be long, slow and painful. Third degree burns should be avoided unless you plan to kill your character off, at that point the damaged area is more or lessed charred. The skin and probably that below it is dead beyond recovery. If you want to heal it magically, I suggest peeling the burnt flesh off first (which might be impossible).

Ice magic, it has more or less the same problem as fire magic does. It have to cool you down to do any real harm. Except when it shoots lumps of ice, those will be like rocks (or arrows). Now, cooling a human being is not something you can do instantly. You might be able to freeze body parts down (like fingers, toes, hands, feet) but they won't die for a few hours (still useless though) but even that takes a long time. And you have to cool whatever they're wearing down first, which will take just as long. The cold itself won't really harm you, when they shoot ice at you though, you'll want too avoid that (in the same way you want to avoid rocks, arrows or melee weapons). Ice is about as hard as rocks, so it's not something to underestimate.

Nature (druids and shamans) often takes the form of electricity or acids. The former can only really harm you in two ways: either through the heat build up (see fire for details) or through disrupting the heart's rythm (causing a cardiac arrest, or hyperactivity among the heart's muscle cells. Also known as fibrillation). The former is simple enough, the latter however means the spell have to hit at exactly the right time in the hearts 0,8 second cycle (probably less due to an increased heartrate) and with the exact right properties. It's so unlikely that ingame it'd say it's entirely up to the one getting hit. Now... most people who die from electricity are either fried (lightning, power plants) or connected to some sort of electrical circuit (which means a prolonger exposure, which definantely disrupts the heart).
The latter, acids, has more or less the same effect as fire on the body. Except it sticks to you and doesn't spread to other areas (unless it runs/drips). It will also exhaust itself, so to speak, as it burns through you. Painful as hell, but the injury will be restricted skin.

Shadow magic either takes the form of the divine kind which affects the mind, or the fel-kind which is part physical corruption and part pure pain. It's probably the form of magic that leaves the least mark on the body (meaning it's the easiest to recover from) but it's more or less guaranteed to hurt... A lot. Both of them rely on pure pain (and fear). This kind of magic plays out you against yourself. It's not better or worse than other kinds of magic, it's just as effective to force you out of combat as the rets of it.

As for arcane itself... it's tricky. It might be like electricity, it might be cold fire (bit of an oxymoron, I know) or perhaps it simply changes you. It's a bit difficult to describe how it affects someone since I don't know exactly what it does. But it's probably not much different from other magic. It can definantely be survived but repeated exposure is bad.

The light (or other holy magic) is a topic of itself of course, it can be used offensively at which point it seems to emulate fire but burn at your "spiritual being" rather than body.

As for healing. Well... I kind of view it as there are two kinds... the quick and easy combat spells, which do little more than easen pain, make you a bit less tired and refill you with blood. All to keep you in the fight a little longer. Handy on the battlefield, but can probably lead to soldiers unintenionally killing themselves if used irresponsibly. This would be like the spell Mansfield referred to. The orc takes a few more arrows and succumbs to the pain and bloodloss, the blood elf tosses one of these spells on him and his strength returns so he can keep fighting. He's not actually less hurt, but less affected by it.

The second kind would be the slow spells which needs preparation. These are the ones I imagine are used to treat physical injury. They can mend bones, but the bones need to be set first so they don't mend in the wrong way and end up twisted and distorted. They can seal deep fleshwounds, but the muslces need to be stitched into place first (remember I mentioned the biceps in the chest, I'd imagine that if you just heal that then you'll make the biceps grow into place in there. Thus rendering it impossible to shift it back to it's right position in the arm).

Amputations, organ injury and such... I'd say it'd be extremely difficult and would demand an extremely skilled healer. And even if they succeed you'll suffer the metabolic shock of losing an organ for a week to come (the hormones will be all weird. Which will mess things up a lot.)

That's just some ideas how to apply magic to a "realistic body". It's not so difficult as some people seem to believe Wink

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"Praise the god of all, drink the wine, let the world be the world."
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Jeanpierre on Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:05 am

I had given the subject of the OP a lot of thought before I started RP'ing. I agree in almost every way with the OP. I do stumble on a question when I think of the impact if we would all become aware of this. I created my character with this awareness of the danger of violence in mind. He became a scribe.
We can not all become scribes, can we?

(While I feel this strays from the OP, it seems to be related)
I disagree with your breakdown on magic almost as much as I agree with your OP. Even the smallest flare of fire could render a man blind. After making such an epic post on how dangerous violence is, I find it odd that you try to depict great balls of fire as harmless.
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Gahalla on Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:14 am

What I wrote on magic was with the distinct purpose of downgrading magic a bit. Like many people underestimate melee and arrows, many also overestimate magic (thinking a fireball will instantly turn a person into a human torch or chargrill someone).

Magic is something to respect a lot. Charging forward against a prepared spellslinger is probably just as stupid as charging a fortified archer over open terrain.

Fire itself is something that causes damage directly proportional to the duration of the exposure. Think a candle, it burns at a 1000 degrees C yet one can whisk a finger or hand through it without any problem. Stick it into it however and it'll burn you. Fireballs and flash fires are the same... the exposure is rather short, so there's no massive heat transfer to speak of (there will be a gradual increase in heat though, so the second fireball and on have the capability to cause serious injury).

That's not to say it's something easily brushed aside though... it's definantely not less painful than other injuries. It'll more than likely make you recoil, instinctively shield your eyes and flinch (no matter how experienced you are). Something a skilled combatant (like say, the mage) can use.

Your lips will be cracked, mouth and eyes dry, eyelashes and eyebrows singed, sparks in your hair and a slight burn all over your face. You'd want to have a cooling salve on for a couple of days.

But if your fighting for your life... you can probably still do so. A single fireball won't be a fight-stopper. But you won't be fighting at your best and not getting hit at all is a far superior tactic.

All in all... magic is probably just as dangerous as other forms of combat is. No more. No less.

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:41 am

Jeanpierre/Jeanclaude wrote:I find it odd that you try to depict great balls of fire as harmless.

No, she's actually right. Fire by itself in a short burst cannot really do much damage. You can jump through flames can you not? Without getting damaged? A fireball cannot put things on fire that don't set aflame easily. If they throw oil over you, then set you aflame, it's the oil that burns and you die by the immense heat, etc. But if you jump through a wall of flame, you're most likely to be unharmed (I believe). It's like moving your finger through a candle yes.

One fireball was never treated as all too much danger by me. It seems easily blockable with a shield for example.

Also, mages seem to forget they actually need to cast their spells and when you prevent them from speaking, they cannot cast spells. (Silenced)

Even instant spells need to be cast, i.e. "Fireblast!" *Casts fireblast.*

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Jeanpierre on Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:56 am

I agree that all forms of combat or violence are dangerous, and all weapons (magic or not) are potentially lethal. All forms of violence should thus be treated with caution. For game mechanics and RP fun, no form should be considered superior by definition.
Why is fire then being shrugged off like it's just a box of matches? I once had a firecracker explode near my face. It took my left eye half an hour to recover its sight fully. Had it been closer, it could have been worse. But hey, all I should have been worried about were my eyebrows? Come now.

It all lies in how it is applied. Metal doesn't kill either. But if you make a blade of it, it can be.

I guess that the conclusion is that violence ruins the party and we should be more careful with it:
Spoiler:
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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:05 am

Whilst voilence is indeed dangerous, the criminals of SW shoot and attack anyone randomly. Do you really wanna be shot down and be incapacitated / dying in RP for a week because some random criminal in SW did that? Just recovered? BAM robbed + shot again.

The danger of voilence won't work well in RP because nobody wants to be incapacitated for ages, because there are alot of overpowered people with insane abilities who do not shy voilence, back away from it, or do not consider it dangerous when applied to them. Personally when Mansfield gets wounded, he's okay the next day again, after some healing so I can just continue the RP.

Should be the same for everyone, really. Why waste your time being wounded (unless you choose too, when you think it's fun) when you can spend your time RPing? In no way I'm saying there shouldn't be consequences for voilence, I just think they should be taken with a grain of salt and not all too seriously. It's just a game, who cares, not me for sure. I won't advise anyone to be wounded for more then a day, personally.

But it's all the choice of the player. Would you rather have a epic sword fight and crazy battle against a mage or *boom* 1hit got in! Damn! Voilence is dangerous! After this one hit the fight ends and is over nao.

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Gahalla on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:26 am

As I said, fun should always trump realism.

If you're in a position where you frequently meet over-the-top villains that shoot to left and right and top it off with a grenade, then it's understandable if you wouldn't want to spend the next six months in a sick-bed only to repeat the process once you get back on the streets.

That you recover "instantly" is more than understandable... when I treat people ingame I recommend ooc not spending more than a week in recovery, sometimes just a day or two. This for injuries that would take months to heal.

Basically... you should do what you think is most fun. Use a bit of flexibility to suit the situation and communicate and stuff.

But regardless which approach you choose it would be wrong to have a "violence is dangerous" attitude IC. Even if you have an half-an-hour long emote battle with plenty of flashing swords and dramatic hits. Dodging bullets and what not... one can always remark afterwards how lucky one is to be alive, complain how the shoulder hurts (but not let it impair you) and similar.
Creating the illusion that it was indeed a very dangerous fight.

But bottom line is... this resource isn't a "This is how I think people should rp at all times", it's a "This is a simplified description of what violence does to a person, should you wish to use it in your rp.".

It can be used as much and as little as you wish. Once if that works best for you or every second of your roleplaying. Or not at all. Or if you rp with specific persons but not otherwise.

It's completely up to you Smile

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:31 am

Gahalla wrote:But regardless which approach you choose it would be wrong to have a "violence is dangerous" attitude IC. Even if you have an half-an-hour long emote battle with plenty of flashing swords and dramatic hits. Dodging bullets and what not... one can always remark afterwards how lucky one is to be alive.

Of course! Voilence should be treated as very dangerous IC! Just not so much OOC in my opinion! But that depends on the people in question! Also, after wars and random events I, personally, always make up some random privates name of people that died, and afterwards, when everything is healed up, discuss how dangerous it was and that it took ages to recover and whatnot! But that's all RP of course.

For example, a Shield was blinded in one eye (temporarily) because some shrapnel flew into it, from his own gun!

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Torukan on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:42 am

Jomir/Nastor/Gannas wrote:If only the guards of Stormwind City would read this >_>

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Re: Violence is dangerous - a resource

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:53 am

Tashun wrote:
Jomir/Nastor/Gannas wrote:If only the guards of Stormwind City would read this >_>

If we were to take IC voilence as serious as OP's post, there would be no city guards around. We get shot daily, throw grenades at is, hammered with maces.. we'd ALL be dead. Let alone the endless kidnappings and random stabbings for messages.

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