Well, that's a whole other story ;) but since it's based around d10's it's either a d5, a d10 or intelligence bonus healed so not many other options for it. It still won't bring back limbs and such, and it's just 20% chance they heal 7. Also remember that once you have been treated with First Aid the rest of the damage is "Treated" and you can't make another First aid check on it so, if the battle isn't over and you're still in enemy territory, or similar, you will most likely not be able to remove the rest of the damage without weeks of rest.
To remove just one point of critical damage after the first aid test would require a full week of Extended Care, which means sit around doing nothing straining, no combat or anything. Ambush on day 4 = start over, if you survived the combat starting with 1 or more criticals.
And even IF you manage to, with the First Aid roll, end up removing all critical damage, the rest of the damage will count as treated and only heal by itself. This means, at most your Toughness Bonus for a full days rest (even with Hardy OR Auto-Sanguine). Do you have a full day to rest in this particular area or do you need to move? If you have to move, then it's just 1/day (or two for Auto-Sanguine).
Unless of course you count as Heavily damaged in which the case would be your Toughness bonus for a full weeks rest, or 1/week if you need to be on the move.
More than once I've lost more or less my full amount of wounds in one strike, so starting one of those battles already damaged would've brought me back to critical in seconds, if I even would have survived…
So, healing isn't all that powerful, unless you let it be ;)
Anyone with any Critical Damage is indeed "Critically Damaged." I personally hold this to override the Narthecium's ability (I was the team Apothecary when we were playing and that is how I used it). However, Critical Damage (but not effects of injuries) I held to essentially be negative wounds. You healed them like wounds with First Aid etc (expect of course you were capped by the limits for healing Critical Damage). Hardy and Autosanguine did override the Critical Damage status for this purpose (which makes them good talents… otherwise they are not that interesting, at least to Space Marines, and certainly to Space Marines with an Narthecium). I personally feel that fits with the healing rules as read in Dark Heresy (which is the rulebook I have read the most… but I will admit I had never noticed the "do not recover without medical attention" bit, not that that changes any of how I have actually played the game).
Actually reading it carefully you do not take "wounds." You take damage. It just has a different status as you have damage over certain levels of your wound total. Damage over your wound total is "Critical Damage." You also remove damage, not heal wounds. However, there is confusion on the whole "every wound is only can be healed once thing". Personally I hold it to be "If you are healed to a certain level, that is the maximum you can be healed to by first aid if you are damaged again", and I think the approach seems to supported by a number of game elements, but it could mean you keep track of every wound (ie discrete amount suffered in a single attack), but that would make good healing a bit busted.
The "healing damage" point seems to have been missed with FFG, due to the way they errated "Fate Point Healing" - ie, you continue to suffer Critical Damage, but you gain a number of Wounds back, leaving at a slightly odd position on the "health track", if you like. Not that is surprising as Dark Heresy refers to Fate Points recovering wounds, when, if it was to remain consistent with the healing and Medicae rules, it should have said "removes 1d5 damage."
Looking at the description of the Narthecium I realise I may have been wrong. Strictly speaking it raises the threshold at which you are considered "Lightly Damaged." This could be intepreted to mean include into the "Critically damaged" zone. Not that I would. I don't have a problem with the whole thing of healing up to 7 critical damage in one Medicae check, or using Fate Points to then make yourself not Critically Damaged again (or with Hardy and Autosanguine applying to Critical Damage), but I do feel that would reduce Critcal Damage to next to nothing. And its not like the ruleset has been very tightly written in the first place.
113, you're forgetting that if you're healed from Crit to 0 Wounds or above using the Narthecium, you can then spend as many Fate as you want to heal those Wounds back to full. There's no limit on how many Fate you can spend to heal Wounds, as the rule of "1 First Aid treatment per damage incident" does not apply to the Fate-healing rule.
Am I the only one that thinks that this thread has totally failed to end confusion re: Healing?
Critically Damaged (p. 262): "A character is Criticaly Damaged whenever he has taken Damage in excess of his Wounds." So, yeah, actually once you take critical damage you are critically damaged. :)
Also note that "Critical Damage does not heal on its own".
Auto-Sanguine (p.113): … "these miniscule machines repair minor injuries and speed healing. When applying healing the character is always considered Lightly Damaged and heals at an increased rate, removing 2 points of Damage per day."
Considering it states it repairs minor injuries it's quite clear this doesn't involve critical hits. Also note that there is a difference betwen healing and first aid (and even extended care).
Auto-sanguine allows you to heal at 2 points a day, even when normally heavily damaged (which should be 1/week) so it is indeed a good skill. One might argue that it should also have added another modifier or simply doubled toughness bonus for a days rest as well, but it doesn't say anything about that. As for criticals, since you are not healing anything while critically damaged, this talent isn't helping.
Also note that an Apothecary not using a narthecium would NOT treat a heavily damaged space marine as lightly damaged, since this trait only covers healing (which could be described as natural healing for easier understanding).
Hardy (p. 119): …"When undergoing medical treatment or healing from injuries, the Character recovers Damage as if Lightly Damaged".
Hardy on the other hand allows an apothecary to apply First aid as if the patient was Lightly Damaged.
He would also heal 1/day despite being heavily damaged, but not while critically damaged as the "natural healing" is removed in those cases.
However, interestingly enough, since Extended care should count as a medical treatment, I believe that you could probably heal such a patient with extended care, as if he was lightly injured despite having critical damaged. I'm pretty sure it's not intended like that, but rule wise it suggests this is the case.
This would mean a patient with the Hardy talent would be healed as if lightly injured if treated for a full day, despite being critically injured. If, of course, the full days rest is ensured AND the Medicae roll is made successfully.
Autosanguine says the character is considered lightly damaged, and Hardy says as if lightly damaged. Both talents accomplish the same feat though worded differently…ignoring the character's damage state and substituting lightly damaged in its place when applying healing or receiving medical treatment (this should be read as medical attention since 'treatment' isn't defined).
One's natural 'healing' (removal of damage) can be sped up by rest, medical attention, and a few psychic powers. First aid qualifies as medical attention as do some psychic powers. Furthermore, medical attention can either speed up or provide a means for immediate recovery (first aid does this).
How does it work?
'Critical' damage (read as damage and not effects) is damage, and is removed the same as any other damage to lightly damaged characters. The thresholds define how quickly damage is removed not the damage itself.
As to the point of overlapping damage states, lightly damaged/heavily damaged/critically damaged. I would use the following:
critically damaged > heavily damaged < lightly damaged
What does it means?
When damage exceeds wounds one is considered critically damaged even if they would otherwise fall under another state, unless explicitly stated otherwise (autosanguine and hardy). A character is heavily damaged when one is neither lightly damaged nor critically damaged. A character is lightly damaged if they have taken two times their toughness bonus or less in damage (Narthecium increases this threshold to three times).
It is possible for one to never be heavily damaged (high TB/low wounds and/or Narthecium). One would move instead directly into the critically damaged state from being lightly damaged.
Well, I'm not out for house ruling but more to get a clear idea of what is the real rules. With some luck I'll get an official reply from FFG as I now asked them about this, as I'm sure it'll be a problem/affect other games as well. It would be nice to have clear rules as to what is supposed to happen and what isn't. I agree this didn't end the discussion, I can only read and quote the book and if people still interpret the rules differently there's just not much more to be said. Most arguments are just a few words torn from sentences so they don't really work as proper argument in my eyes, but some are valid points and despite this it won't change anything until we get an official clarification.