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Which healing class for a 3 man party?


Advice


I'm starting a game this coming weekend and as it stands it's three players. The other two players are playing an archery based ranger and a transmuter and I'm not expecting anything optimized or ridiculous from them since they're both completely new to Pathfinder and related games. So that leaves me feeling like I need to cover healing and probably melee in some fashion or another. We're starting at first level. My base rolls were 9,10,12,15,15,18. My first thought was to just make a melee based cleric and be done with it, but I'm feeling kind of ambivalent about it. So any suggestions on what might be a good (and interesting to play) third man?


I'd probably go for a sword and shield paladin.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Oracle. Spontaneous caster = no hassle for new players. Paladin isn't a great choice, given that he can't use the ultimate healing tool (Cure Light Wounds wand) right away.


I may be wrong in this, but AFAIK if the spell is on your class spells list, you can use the wand. That's how we played, anyways.

As for the other issue, yes, Paladin is amazing in three man party. I'm currently playing one in Council of Thieves. We're lvl 9 and I currently have 11 lay on hands per day (Extra Lay on Hands) at 4d6 a pop. Needless to say, I rarely use them up all.

You could advise Wizard to boost up his UMD so he can use divine scrolls. In my party we have a Wizard who's a Pathfinder Savant (UMD as a class skill, Scroll Expert etc) and it's working out perfectly.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Paladins can use a wand from first level. They are even the example given.

prd wrote:
Spell trigger items [including wands] can be used by anyone whose class can cast the corresponding spell. This is the case even for a character who can't actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin.

The reason I'd hesitate to play a paladin is that, at first level, the only healing you have is the wand, since lay on hands is a second level ability. If you are starting at second level or higher this obviously does not apply.

I recently finished a game where, from about level 10 to 15, our healing was a sword and board paladin and a rogue with UMD and some wands. If you do go this course, you will want to be prepared to spend some feats on Extra Channel and Extra Lay On Hands, as a straight cleric still has more

With only three people, channel energy is less effective, since it will (at most) heal three people.

The other option to consider is a druid. The animal companion is the tank. This could be challenging, as you would like to use your spells to buff your companion or for battlefield control, but you also need to prepare some cure spells. You also get the higher level cure spells one level later and don't have the option to channel energy at all. This one seems plausible but might be difficult to make work.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

10 years of 3rd edition and I STILL discover rules that trip me up...


Gorbacz wrote:
10 years of 3rd edition and I STILL discover rules that trip me up...

That is one of the charms of the system; you never stop learning it :)


Quote:
The reason I'd hesitate to play a paladin is that, at first level, the only healing you have is the wand

At first lvl a 750 gold worth magic item? I seriously doubt that. Maybe a potion of CLW or two, but that's it. Also, first lvl is short. I've played it through with a three man party, with no deaths involved.


I would look at an oracle with the Battle mystery or just a straight up cleric to a militant type deity.

Andoran

Oracle with the Life mystery works great as a healer. You get to spon cast and have channel energy. Plus you get life sight at some point, by 5th level I think.


I would personally do druid. You get spellcasting that is a good mix of defensive, healing, and offensive, you get a spare fighter in the animal companion, you can spontaneously cast summon spells, and in general you are fairly capable of surviving most of what could be reasonably thrown at you. If you are really brave, you could try bard, and learn the summon and cure spells, but that would definitely one of the tougher options. Inquisitor, Summoner, and Witch are good options from the APG. Paladin could be a good choice, but would depend largely on how well the rest of the group would interact with him. Oracle and Cleric would to me be the weakest choices just because the cleric spell list has virtually no offensive spells and relies heavily on opponents with weak will saves. Being the only caster in the group, that may not be the best list. Druids, Inquisitors, Paladins, Bards, Summoners, and Witches have lists that are more well rounded and likely going to be more useful overall in such a small party. Now oracle with the druid spell list could be a good option, but that would depend on your DM.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
10 years of 3rd edition and I STILL discover rules that trip me up...

Here's another rule that may be applicable to this situation. The heal skill now actually heals hit points, so playing a first level paladin will still allow for a few hit points worth of healing (1 plus wisdom modifier per person per day). I'd definitely go paladin in this scenario while making sure the wizard is crowd controlling like crazy.


Play what ever character most interests you and doesn't step on another player's toes. That's more important than paying a "balanced" or "optimized" party. The DM should adjust the adventure/pace to suit anyway (and will have to for three players anyway).
Bards and Rangers are a couple of extra options that can do a bit of healing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Paladin is a good choice if the Paladin fits. The Inquisitor would fit just as well with out the Alingment issues. As well you get better healing off the start and better skills. Combat almost as good as Paladin. Take the animal domain get an animal companion to help with flanking since the ranger is a ranged style. Grab boon companion to make it stronger. Also the Inquisitor can fit well with Ranger. Both good at survival and tracking, good skills that include stealth. There is good synergy there is you want to use it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Battle Oracle. Healing and a pretty decent melee-er as well.


Gorbacz wrote:
10 years of 3rd edition and I STILL discover rules that trip me up...

+1

Honestly 90% of the time I love finding out how the new rules work.

Also I definitely support going paladin. Very strong choice.


I'd heavily consider battle oracles. They have a lot of healing, can gain martial weapons and heavy armor, and do melee damage. You get all the cleric buffing spells and the potential for casting all the fix-spells off of scrolls if you don't already know it (things like cure blindness/deafness, neutralize poison, cure disease, break enchantment, etc).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would suggest paladin or druid with an animal companion. Maybe leaning on druid, since it will be a big help in the action economy side of things.


Remember the Heal skill. While a paladin will suck at it due to Wis being a dump stat and having few skill points, the ranger can easily afford dropping a point and if he's got a decent wisdom (say 14), that means a +6 modifier allowing some light healing (1 hit point once per day to each creature... If you're reaaally lucky you'll roll a 19+ and heal 3 hit points, yaay). If you play a bard, oracle, or even more a druid or cleric it'll also be easily available.

Actually I think druid might be a good choice. Getting a pet means you'll have another member, which might be needed in such a small party. When you get wild shape later on, combined with the transmuters spells, you'll be able to be a whole stealthy party, meaning you can avoid some encounters. And you'll get some very light healing right away. I wouldn't prepare the spell though, Stabilize combined with a good healing skill should take care of your needs at level one. 1 rank +3 class +4 wis +2 healers kit = +10 heal, for auto-succeed 1 hit point heal and 30% chance of 5 hit point heal. Aid another further increases the chance of success.


Even though it seems like a dwarf druid would probably be the strongest way to go, it didn't really grab me. I decided to go with the battle oracle barring a moment of remarkable inspiration between now and game day.


Nothing wrong with battle oracle. Just be aware that as both healer and probably frontliner at the same time, the party as a whole will need to use some tactics to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Andoran

I'd recommend an Inquisitor with the Healing Domain that focuses on a reach weapon or two handed weapon. An Alchemist that focuses on mutagens can heal, buff, and tank reasonably.

Otherwise, the Paladin is an excelleent combat healer and tank. Like the others say though, it's hard to heal better than a cleric though.

Try looking at some of the devine options for bards and sorcerors from the pathfinder database. you might see something that works for you.

Silver Crusade

Druid, Oracle, Paladin, cleric, Witch, and Bard. They all can do the job of primary healer. The best melee focused healer. Is going to be Druid, Oracle of battle, battle cleric, or paladin. Narowing the list down from there.
My Top picks for melee/healer type.
Druid
Oracle of Battle
Battle Cleric
Paladin
Oracle
Bard


I'd do a paladin or a druid with wands of cure lights wounds.

The paladin and druid are good because they can tank for your party, can have good damage output, and can heal and use wands of clw. Which are the things you need. The other options don't really have that.

But it's a home campaign, almost anything works right, since you're the DM you could make a game for 6 rogues if you wanted. Let the player play what he wants imo.

Qadira

I'd recommend going with either a Paladin or an Oracle. Oracle is a bit more newbie friendly but he'll have a hard time staying up later. Conversely, Paladin will have no healing at first level but be fine after that, and in the long run will be better off IMO.

As GM you might be kind and give them access to some kind of healing for that first level, otherwise they're either going to have a hard time early on or later on.


Bah yah needs a dwaven cleric with heavy armor proficeny an the travel and liberation domains....

Travel domain boosts speed to 30

Nobody heals like a cleric an nobody is a better healing tank....

selective channel

Darkvision is just gravy!


I'd go with Paladin, and make a request to the GM that he/she make sure that a wand of cure light is in an early treasure.

Or arrange for the party to pool their money from the first adventure or two and buy a wand of cure light (my last group always did that).

Silver Crusade

Human Oracle of Battle
Str 20 (+1 levels 8,12,16,20)
Dex 12
Con 15 (+1 level 4)
Int 10
Wis 9
Cha 15
Oracle curse: Haunted, or Tongues
Revelation: Skill at Arms
Feets: Improved Initiative, Extra Revelation War Sight
Traits(If you use them):Vagabond Child (urban)(Disable Device) Reactionary
Skills:Disable Device(total6), Diplomacy(total6), Perception(total3), Sense Motive(total3), Use Magical Device(3),
Spells:
0 level: Mending, Light, stabilize, spark.
1st level: bless, divine favor, cure light wounds
Spells per day 1st level 4/day

This gives you a base depending on where you want to go. Two handed Weapon, Weapon and Sheild. I recomend going with a weapon that can do trip. So when you get to level 7 and take manuver mastery trip. You can add your weapon bouns on your CMB.
My top picks for weapons.
martail weapon no feet required. Flail, Heavy Flail, Halberd, Guisarme
exotic weapons feet required. Khopesh, Temple sword, Fauchard,

With emulate a class feature UMD 20. This will alow you to use ring of revelation out side of your mystery. Cost for a lesser is 10,000GP. That puts you around level 8 to 10 when you can first afford one. Ring of Revelations Lesser (Mystery Life Revelation Channel) just a example.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like the witch.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I played in a 3.5 campaign with 3 PCs: a khopesh and board fighter/mystic (Dragonlance version of the oracle before there were oracles!), a two-weapon fighting rogue/fighter/wizard/arcane trickster, and my druid elf archer (and his little dog too!).

It worked out really well. Most of the PCs were really versatile (the fighter was a surprisingly good face--strong role player), so we could fill multiple roles.

Don't forget the ranger can use a wand of clw also....and has enough skill points to keep Heal maxed out for some non-magical healing too!

The dwarf cleric might work best---especially if there is a ranger shooting arrows over your head a lot!


calagnar wrote:


Cha 15

Do you REALLY want to go with item-based charisma when you're going to be on the front line and you're one little sunder attempt away from losing access to up to four levels of spells? The headband is maybe half an inch thick and of silver. That's not going to survive much.

Silver Crusade

And there all spell levels that do not affect how this character functions in any why. The thing people for get is how often dose this realy come up? If your DM starts targeting you with sunder. Make sure he hase imporved sunder. If not that a AoO and you can trip them.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
J. Cayne wrote:
I'm starting a game this coming weekend and as it stands it's three players. The other two players are playing an archery based ranger and a transmuter and I'm not expecting anything optimized or ridiculous from them since they're both completely new to Pathfinder and related games. So that leaves me feeling like I need to cover healing and probably melee in some fashion or another. We're starting at first level. My base rolls were 9,10,12,15,15,18. My first thought was to just make a melee based cleric and be done with it, but I'm feeling kind of ambivalent about it. So any suggestions on what might be a good (and interesting to play) third man?

I would likewise go Paladin. Cleric will always work, but this three-man combo needs combat power as well as healing (if not more so).

Ranger - decent skills (including stealth), not really top tier fighting ability.
Transmuter - all the arcane magic you will need, lacks most anything else.

You need to add a class with decent combat power almost more than you need the healing. By the time you need the healing, you will have lay on hands at least. Your paladin acts as shield and melee hitter, the ranger snipes and the transmuter casts.


J. Cayne wrote:
I'm starting a game this coming weekend and as it stands it's three players. The other two players are playing an archery based ranger and a transmuter and I'm not expecting anything optimized or ridiculous from them since they're both completely new to Pathfinder and related games. So that leaves me feeling like I need to cover healing and probably melee in some fashion or another. We're starting at first level. My base rolls were 9,10,12,15,15,18. My first thought was to just make a melee based cleric and be done with it, but I'm feeling kind of ambivalent about it. So any suggestions on what might be a good (and interesting to play) third man?

Hm, let's see what you have:


  • Transmuter: Wizard, meaning arcane firepower and flexibility. Poor BAB, no armor, member to be protected.
  • Ranger: Can use cure light wounds wands and (divine) cure scrolls from level 1 on, full bab, ranged but can still fight on the front. Can protect the other character.

Personally, my choices would be as follows in order:

  • Cleric: Spontaneous cure casting, decent ac, can melee. And you are not locked into a specific healing concept later but can rethink your choices.
  • Paladin: Can use cure wands (and scrolls), great melee, decent healing power, gets better at channeling than the cleric
  • Bard: Skills, inspire courage, healing magic, can use wands and scrolls, other group supporting abilities, 3/4 bab, can wear armor. Particularly the arcane duelist archetype can hold its ground, and in a small group it can cover many roles.
  • Oracle: Armed with cure spells or being an oracle of life with lots of class features, armor and melee capability as cleric. However, you are more locked into a concept. Unless you really want to go with a healing oriented character, then this is bumped to #1.
  • Witch: Competes with the wizard for the party role, needs to memorize cure spells etc. might make it a frustrating character in this party. But it can be an option depending on the further party development and the availability of healing magic items.

Silver Crusade

The most effective healer I have played is a dwarf cleric. I took the Extra Channel feat to make up for 10 CHA.


A witch with healing hex would be very useful but doesn't do much for combat.

You might try an alchemist.

Of course straight up cleric isn't a bad deal either. good combat excellent healing.


half elf oracle. something cool like blind and let someone else do the ranged stuff

chose weapon ancestry half elf trait thingy and pick a reach weapon like lucerne hammer

go for heavens, and color spray et al for the win at 2nd level (your in the front line and cant see very far so its ideal)


If it were me I might try a witch, because I've never played one and they look like a neat way to plug versatility into small groups.

But I agree with the above posters that your best bets are probably Paladin, Druid, or Oracle.


Then again, you could just buy wands for the ranger and play whatever you like.


Honestly I would stick with Paladin. I'm starting a two person Council of Thieves game soon and I will be running a paladin for just that reason, good fighter, and plenty of available healing as you get to higher levels. It's already been mentioned but between the Heal skill and a liberal sprinkling of potions of CLW, getting thru the first few levels should be no problem, that's what I like about Bastards Of Erebus, it's lousy with them.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You definitely want a tank of some kind to keep the monsters away from the squishy mage and archer. If you went with witch, you'd have nothing to stand in the way of marauding marauders.


SmiloDan wrote:
You definitely want a tank of some kind to keep the monsters away from the squishy mage and archer. If you went with witch, you'd have nothing to stand in the way of marauding marauders.

Good point.

The clear answer is druid, so you can sneak in anywhere you need to be (rangers are sneaky, mages can invis, druids can shapechange) so you don't have to fight anything head on, but the Druid can tank in emergencies if geared properly.

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