Prosthetic limbs

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Olaus Petrus
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Prosthetic limbs

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:22 pm

As you know losing a limb is easy in Legend system and one armed or one legged warriors might want to get replacement limbs. Sci-fi RPGs are full of cyberlimbs, but I haven't seen any sort of stats for ancient or medieval prosthesis.

Historically some limbs were relatively advanced, Roman general Marcus Sergius had iron hand which allowed him to carry shield in battle and German imperial knight Götz von Berlichingen, who lost his hand in 1504, had an iron hand with spring mechanism which allowed him to use both sword and pen.

Naturally prosthetic limbs in fantasy setting can't be as good as real limbs (unless some sort of magic is involved) and I was wondering has anyone used prosthetic limbs in their campaign and what kind of stats you used (penalties to skill tests etc.)?
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:33 pm

From a Fantasy point of view, Healing magic would help to regrow the limb.
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Olaus Petrus
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Olaus Petrus » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:11 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:From a Fantasy point of view, Healing magic would help to regrow the limb.
I'm aware that some high magic settings have such magic, but other Legend campaign settings are low magic settings and healing magic is extremely rare or may not exist at all, which means that hook hands, peg legs or more advanced prosthesis are needed.

Personally I'm running Young Kingdoms game where healing magic is almost nonexistent. I'm trying to define appropriate stats for artificial limbs and if it's possible to use it to support weapon, because in my campaign warrior has recently lost his right hand and he wants to get replacement limb and now I have to define what kind of prosthesis Ilmiorans or Vilmirians could build. So I thought that this would be a good place to ask, because it's likely that other GMs have faced this issue before.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Matt_H » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:58 pm

Personally I think you're looking at minimal tech here, a wooden stump for a leg, a hook for the hand - maybe a basic articulated hand with a two prong grab if you can find a master craftsman that understands such things as well as knowing a good deal of anatomy.
Something like a socket to bind a sword in wouldn't be too hard...but unweildy. Maybe a better option is a fixed weapon strapped to the arm...in the style of Indian swords

Unless! You get someone like Myshella or a lord of Law to manufacture the item. Perhaps a dimensional jaunt to the plane of Hawkmoon even. The only real tech I've come across in Elric is either made by Law lords (or those high within its ranks) or from other dimensions than the YK.

You may also find yourself tweaking the hit location table if the prosthetic is sturdily made to define exactly what part of a limb is hit.

On the bright side...all the above presents a huge opportunity for new scenarios.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Olaus Petrus » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:53 am

Matt_H wrote:Personally I think you're looking at minimal tech here, a wooden stump for a leg, a hook for the hand - maybe a basic articulated hand with a two prong grab if you can find a master craftsman that understands such things as well as knowing a good deal of anatomy.
Something like a socket to bind a sword in wouldn't be too hard...but unweildy. Maybe a better option is a fixed weapon strapped to the arm...in the style of Indian swords

Unless! You get someone like Myshella or a lord of Law to manufacture the item. Perhaps a dimensional jaunt to the plane of Hawkmoon even. The only real tech I've come across in Elric is either made by Law lords (or those high within its ranks) or from other dimensions than the YK.

You may also find yourself tweaking the hit location table if the prosthetic is sturdily made to define exactly what part of a limb is hit.

On the bright side...all the above presents a huge opportunity for new scenarios.
I agree that simple primitive solutions would be most common, while more advanced should be limited to someone who has access to Lawful devices. In real history more advanced prosthetic limbs were expensive and only nobility could afford those and those should be equally rare in Young Kingdoms if not even more rare.

Sometimes it's bit difficult to define which technological advantages should be available, because Moorcock doesn't give any clear answers and Chaosium's Stormbringer and Mongoose's Elric of Melniboné give somewhat conflicting accounts. Because first both compare technological level of the Young Kingdoms to European Dark Ages, but then mention that Vilmirians know technology which was known only in 15th or 16th century Europe.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:40 am

An engineer from the Unknown East could make a prosthetic, something akin to Corum's silver hand, though much less articulate. One has to remember they haven't invented crossbows yet, so moving artificial limbs (unless as a gift from the Gods of Law) are highly unlikely. It probably wouldn't do much other than provide a place to mount a shield or some such. Personally, I would allow that. If the the hand lost was the PC's main weapon hand - he'd have to retrain all his combat styles which is more than enough of a penalty I feel. I wouldn't fuss too much over the hit locations, ruling that all damage is done to the 'fleshy' bits.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby havercake lad » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:59 am

Obvious some devotees of Law might have access to the miraculous level of technology as evidenced by golems and the Golden Bird. I imagine that most human technology just produces stumps, hooks, inanimate carved hands etc.

Maybe some twisted Dharzi or necromantic lore can be found that would allow for macabre grafts to replace missing appendages ?
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Olaus Petrus » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:00 pm

I had completely forgotten good old Prince in the Scarlet Robe, but he actually gives Multiverse examples of both necromantic (Hand of Kwll) and artificial replacement limbs, although he wasn't particularly lucky with either. Both however should be relatively rare, IIRC many humans thought that Corum's silver hand was supernatural because they didn't understand the science behind it and finding a powerful sorcerer who has supernatural replacement limbs might be even more difficult.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby alex_greene » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:55 pm

A sorcerer could enchant an articulated limb to function as well as the original could, with perhaps a matrix for the following spells - Animate (Prosthesis), Form/Set (Prosthesis) and Project (Touch) to permit haptic senses to be perceived through the limb's inanimate outer shell with as much sensitivity as human flesh.

Even using the standard enchantment rules from Arms of Legend, one could set up the enchantment in a gemstone, say, concealed within the limb, with an augmented duration and an automatically triggered condition of "activates during daylight hours," and a second enchantment (a second concealed gemstone) with another augmented duration matrix and the automatically triggered condition of "activates during night-time hours," with each stone regenerating while the other one is functioning, so that the character's leg won't just freeze up the minute it gets dark or some such inconvenience.

As for creating the limb, let alone attaching it (perhaps a Holdfast spell matrix to attach the prosthetic to the limb?) Arms of Legend has extended task rules for Crafts, Engineering and Mechanisms - you could refer to those for guidance. I recommend Mechanisms, and a time period of one month to plan, create and build the limb, and the Enchantment roll to be made using the same extended task rules, but applying Sorcery (Grimoire) and with a time period of 1 week.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby alex_greene » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:15 am

What remains, then, is to determine the type and nature of the prosthetic, whether it be a plain wooden stump or a fully articulated, intricately decorated mechanical hand or arm fashioned of bronze, brass and steel with inner workings of silver cogwheels and a ruby movement, and how it affects the character in terms of ENC, Str, Dex, Con, locational hit points and natural armour points.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Lemnoc » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:18 pm

Olaus Petrus wrote:I'm aware that some high magic settings have such magic, but other Legend campaign settings are low magic settings and healing magic is extremely rare or may not exist at all, which means that hook hands, peg legs or more advanced prosthesis are needed.
I also run a pretty gritty, low magic campaign. My solution has been to gloss a lot of the really terrible damage to PCs and consider their hellishly wounded limbs broken or useless rather than hopelessly, permanently smashed, torn off, severed, etc. NPCs get the standard treatment 'cause players love that kind of thing.

Sprinkle your campaign with plenty of healing herbs.
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Olaus Petrus » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:47 pm

Lemnoc wrote:
Olaus Petrus wrote:I'm aware that some high magic settings have such magic, but other Legend campaign settings are low magic settings and healing magic is extremely rare or may not exist at all, which means that hook hands, peg legs or more advanced prosthesis are needed.
I also run a pretty gritty, low magic campaign. My solution has been to gloss a lot of the really terrible damage to PCs and consider their hellishly wounded limbs broken or useless rather than hopelessly, permanently smashed, torn off, severed, etc. NPCs get the standard treatment 'cause players love that kind of thing.

Sprinkle your campaign with plenty of healing herbs.
I have house rule that if the major wound isn't "bad" then it's broken, maimed etc. But in this particular case arm had -14 HP (Arm already had -5 HP serious wound and then unprotected arm took 9 point sword hit and player didn't have any hero points left).
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Re: Prosthetic limbs

Postby Lemnoc » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Olaus Petrus wrote:I have house rule that if the major wound isn't "bad" then it's broken, maimed etc. But in this particular case arm had -14 HP (Arm already had -5 HP serious wound and then unprotected arm took 9 point sword hit and player didn't have any hero points left).
Well, heck, even a warrior as talented and legendary as Fahfrd eventually had a hand torn off. Them's the way the dice rolls.... </shrug>

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