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Misconceptions about not healing in battle


Advice

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I always found that parties with a healer in it tend to not play as tactically as a party without one. They tend to play more silly and avoidable risks because, hey, they have someone with a Cure Light Wounds spell. And many I see will be damned before they even touch a potion, scroll, or wand of any kind.


TOZ wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I know I will get heat for this.

Pathfinder is not WOW.

Yeah, it's more Diablo.

*sprays with waterbottle*

Bad! Bad! No cheetos for you!


Muad'Dib wrote:

I'm of the mind that if players are not healing in battle then the battle is too easy.

I enjoy healing in combat as a player and I enjoy pushing hard enough on players when GM'ing that they need to heal in combat. Frequent combat healing just adds a level of challenge and excitment to encounters.

I like hard battles too, but at the same time I hate to go down so I am more likely to build much more optimized characters. Yeah I know you can't win a weapons war with the GM, but I still get to increase my chances to live.

I generally mix it up though. Too many hard or easy battles, and people get bored or frustrated. <---I know this does not apply to everyone, but it does apply to a lot of people.


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Some people resent optimised characters. I am sometimes called a min-maxer or powergamer for PCs that most of you here would laugh about because they are so under-optimized.
Perhaps that mindset makes it nessesary to have in combat healing.


wraithstrike wrote:

1. Nobody is saying never ever heal your buddy and/or let them die. That is ridiculous.

2. Nobody is saying you will never ever have to heal.
....

I'm not sure I saw the thread you are coming from, but some people are saying exactly that.

I have been told on these boards that I should:

Make my cleric or oracle a negative channeler so that no one can expect me to channel to heal them or to sacrifice a spell to heal them. If they can't survive until after the fight where someone can burn part of a CLW to bring them back up then they did it wrong.

Never build a life oracle because it will be a burden on the rest of the party.

Refuse to heal PC's until the other players learn better tactics.

Never need to heal in combat since if it seems like it was needed you are not playing right.

That was just 4 examples I could find quickly on my focus list. I think it is great, that most of you are not taking that absolute of a stance. But unfortunately some people are taking an absolute stance. And it is sometimes a bit difficult to tell which one is currently giving 'advice' on a build or situation.


Kydeem, those are great examples, and I have also seen:
“The general consensus seems to be that combat healing in general is rather inefficient.” “Wands are all you need, and few scrolls for heavy stuff.” “Healing during combat is a waste of time, just use wands afterwards.” “You don’t even need a healer, just someone with UMD for wands” “'let them drop but then spend an action to stabilize them”

I can tell you, that with all three of my DM’s, plus the game I run myself, if the PC’s don’t heal during most combats, at least one PC will drop. Unless the monsters are very stupid, they will concentrate fire, at least to some extent. Now sure, until that PC gets one round from dropping, it’s far better to buff the party or deal out some hurt to the does, rather than “topping off”. I think everyone agrees that (at least in PF) the idea of a dedicated “healbot” is passé. But that doesn’t mean that healing during combat is a bad tactic. Sometimes it’s the best tactic, however sometimes it’s suboptimal. One thing I like about PF is that a lot of classes are able to do enough healing to keep a fellow PC up, while not sacrificing the fun of dealing out the HP’s to the foes. Witch, Inquisitor, paladin all can do that well- along with the classic Cleric and now the Oracle.

But yes, here on these boards, and elsewhere I have read posters that say “why bother to heal during combat, you can always roll another, better PC!”- and I think that way of playing is “badwrongfun”- of course, that’s just my opinion.

Now Jiggy says “Keeping teammates alive is good. But keeping them conscious is not always a worthwhile goal, and in fact is sometimes counterproductive.If someone goes down, they lie there. In most cases, the enemies will then focus their fire on someone who's still trying to kill them, not someone who's lying on the ground. Given that you only bleed for 1 point per round (and might even stabilize!), a fallen party member is usually pretty safe. “

And yes, that sometimes is good tactics. But some critters will continue to attack the downed PC’s as they are mindless, hungry or very strategic. And of course, lying there bleeding for several rounds is not very fun, nor is that PC still able to dish out the hurt to the bad guys. Thus, healing that PC can increase the damage output of the party as a whole.

So, does a party NEED a dedicated healer? Perhaps not. Is healing during combat a good tactic? It all depends on the sitrep. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.


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So much to comment on!

First, "Don't be surprised":
I agree that this is a ridiculous statement. Mostly because it is true for the NPCs as well as the PCs. If the super intelligent Necromancer is letting the PCs discover all his plots and is surprised when they barge into his inner sanctum, he is not being played well.

On hitting a downed character:
In my mind NPCs that waste time killing a character that is already down is meta-gaming. I play my NPCs with the intention of living through the combat. They know that if they win they can kill anybody that is already down at their leisure. Why waste a round killing someone that is no threat?

"But he can get healed and get back up!" you say. Sure, if one party member wants to spend his round casting a healing spell. And then the injured member can spend his round standing up and moving back into combat, fine. The bad guys will just hit him again and probably kill him this time. Action economy. The healer spent one round bringing someone up that cost the enemy one round to take him back down (and probably kill him). That is a zero sum game. The healer would be better off taking out an enemy or ensuring that someone else doesn't go down.

Combat healing in general:
I have played a main healer with great success. Of course that is not all the character could do.

Self buffing made her deadly with a bow, but she never ended up using that as she tended to buff the already deadly characters to make them Death on Wheels.

If she wasn't buffing then her first action would be to summon a meatshield/monster.

Crowd control closely followed. Summoned Monsters, Wall of Stone, Circle of Protection and others was extemely effective (especially when combined with the Wizard doing the same)

Removing negative conditions was extremely effective and I would classify as a form of healing. she once went a couple rounds with a vampire that was dominating her companions. He would dominate, she would remove it. The rest of the party would pound him and do almost nothing (no holy weapons at this point). It was zero sum right up until one of the party made his save, then she cast a large heal spell, stepped up and blasted the hell out of the vampire with it. He ran at that point.

Then there was the combat healing. It was done when ever a party member was in danger of dying in the next round because he was low on hit points. Despite your best efforts, this will happen occasionally. Which I guess is what the OP was saying in the first place. You don't want to heal just because someone takes damage, but there are times when it will be required.


I would also like to say the usefulness of a dedicated healer depends upon the campaign, GM, and/or group.

I am currently playing through a modified carrion crown AP. If you don't know, very undead heavy. We were trying to get through with a paladin as our only healer and one guy with some UMD ranks.

However, for our campaign, there are very few healing items for purchase so the UMD is irrelevant. But more critical than the damage healing was the condition removal. The paladin only had a single lesser restoration each day. We were averaging at least 2 people getting an ability lowered (or one guy getting 2 abilities lowered) every day because of all the undead. We actually started one day with 3 characters having 2 abilites lowered after the previous days healing was done. Because of the scarcity of magic items and the abilities lowered we are finding a primary healer necessary.

Now as several others have said the in combat healing has not usually been necessary. But I don't see how one fight could have been completed without it. {Only one PC was consistently doing damage and he was getting close to going unconscious.} And it at least helped tremendously in 2 others.

You can surely make the claim that our tactics and/or builds are bad. I don't think so, but it may be true. If it is true though it is a situation we are faced with because we can't always see a way that our builds and/or tactics would have avoided the situation without causing other situations.


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I have no issue with in combat healing. But when someone flat out refuses to drink a potion I made for them because they'd rather do damage and that it's my job to heal them after they ran into a room full of 6 bad guys blindly... well, don't be surprised if I'm not in a rush to heal them right away.

Liberty's Edge

One thing I've noticed on the boards is that channeling to heal multiple characters is somewhat discounted. The cleric in my game is 9th level, and has selective channeling (with only a 14 Cha, so he can't always exclude all the bad guys). It is common in my combats for his best move on at least one round to be to channel-heal, to keep multiple PCs standing. Action-economy-wise, it's often even a good idea: spend one action this round so two or three allies are still standing next round to hit the bad guys.


Another note on killing a downed PC.

How many times have you seen a movie where a character falls and is about to be killed by the bad guy/monster/whatever, only to have the hero jump in front of that character to defend them?

Now, how often did the bad guy run around the hero and kill the downed character anyway just so they don't get back up?

I'm betting not very often (maybe in some of the darker movies).

Now, the Big Bad Evil Guy might be willing to sacrifice some minions to kill a PC or two, but, unless they are mindless or insanely fanatic, the minions will not be so willing to make that ultimate sacrifice.

In my games when the PCs are dealing with mindless/fanatic opponents they will pretty much know that in advance and protect downed companions that much harder. They are heroes after all, they are not going to just let their companions die because they can always get a replacement.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

1. Nobody is saying never ever heal your buddy and/or let them die. That is ridiculous.

2. Nobody is saying you will never ever have to heal.
....

I'm not sure I saw the thread you are coming from, but some people are saying exactly that.

I have been told on these boards that I should:

Make my cleric or oracle a negative channeler so that no one can expect me to channel to heal them or to sacrifice a spell to heal them. If they can't survive until after the fight where someone can burn part of a CLW to bring them back up then they did it wrong.

Never build a life oracle because it will be a burden on the rest of the party.

Refuse to heal PC's until the other players learn better tactics.

Never need to heal in combat since if it seems like it was needed you are not playing right.

That was just 4 examples I could find quickly on my focus list. I think it is great, that most of you are not taking that absolute of a stance. But unfortunately some people are taking an absolute stance. And it is sometimes a bit difficult to tell which one is currently giving 'advice' on a build or situation.

That is different that what I was talking about, and people have a habit of speaking in absolutes as if the dice are always on their side.

As for the "Refuse to heal PC's until the other players learn better tactics." comment, I would need to see it in context.

As for the "Never need to heal in combat since if it seems like it was needed you are not playing right." I would call that poster out as lying or misusing an absolute. The only other option is a fudging GM.

The first poster just seems irritated. His group probably does silly things in combat because they know he will heal them. I would not heal them either, but I would not make a negative channeler as an excuse.

The following post is from another poster with a similar issue.

Quote:
This is a difficult one without theoretically shafting the party, but I had a similar issue pre-Pathfinder. The cleric eventually snapped at the party and insulted their intelligence in the process - "I'm a warrior of my god, not a magical bandaid! I'm capable of tending to wounds after battles, or during in the case of extreme injuries, but I'm not running a nursery for children playing with knives! Sharpen your wits and stop leaving yourselves so open to attack, before my god decides you're not worth healing anymore..."


DeathSpot wrote:

One thing I've noticed on the boards is that channeling to heal multiple characters is somewhat discounted. The cleric in my game is 9th level, and has selective channeling (with only a 14 Cha, so he can't always exclude all the bad guys). It is common in my combats for his best move on at least one round to be to channel-heal, to keep multiple PCs standing. Action-economy-wise, it's often even a good idea: spend one action this round so two or three allies are still standing next round to hit the bad guys.

The ability to heal multiple characters or even the entire party is absolutely a potentially good action economy tactic.


Lord Twig wrote:


On hitting a downed character:
In my mind NPCs that waste time killing a character that is already down is meta-gaming. I play my NPCs with the intention of living through the combat. They know that if they win they can kill anybody that is already down at their leisure. Why waste a round killing someone that is no threat?

I think it is metagaming not to kill them, especially if the party has someone one can bring them back into the fight. If you go ahead and kill him the threat is completely neutralized. I know that when I use clerics as NPC's they often get targeted first for that very seem reason.

edit: Killing the cleric is also a good tactic. I often don't do it for the sake of fun, but it has been known to happen. :)

Quote:
Removing negative conditions...

My main reason to have a cleric or other healer around. Being cursed or blinded is not cool at call.


Lord Twig wrote:

Another note on killing a downed PC.

How many times have you seen a movie where a character falls and is about to be killed by the bad guy/monster/whatever, only to have the hero jump in front of that character to defend them?

Now, how often did the bad guy run around the hero and kill the downed character anyway just so they don't get back up?

I'm betting not very often (maybe in some of the darker movies).

Now, the Big Bad Evil Guy might be willing to sacrifice some minions to kill a PC or two, but, unless they are mindless or insanely fanatic, the minions will not be so willing to make that ultimate sacrifice.

In my games when the PCs are dealing with mindless/fanatic opponents they will pretty much know that in advance and protect downed companions that much harder. They are heroes after all, they are not going to just let their companions die because they can always get a replacement.

That's well and good if the PCs have a turn to rush in and block the way.

A typical situation is this:

BBEG has a series of attacks--perhaps some of them are iterative, so at a significant penalty. She is being flanked by Valeros and Merisiel, and her team has already dropped Ezren. Kyra, who BBEG knows from last round is a healer with Fast Channel and a Phylactery of Positive Channeling (so she will heal even an unconscious character pretty high) and will probably channel positive energy. Before BBEG finishes making all the attacks, she drops Merisiel, and her teammates have also dropped Ezren at this point. With her final iterative attack (the one at a -10 penalty) does she move on to the uninjured Valeros, with let's say a 25% chance to hit (and even if she hits, he was uninjured, so Kyra will heal up all that damage with channeling), or take the sure thing and spend that attack on the unconscious Merisiel to kill her and ensure that Kyra doesn't bring her back into the fight with good health? The enemy is being foolish here not to attack Merisiel.

This is not an uncommon circumstance.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think something that needs to be paid more attention in this thread is the fact that the existence of exceptions does not negate a rule.

There are times when healing in combat is a good idea (or even when it can be a PC's main schtick). But as a rule, it's usually not the best idea.

There are times when a monster/NPC would kill an already-downed PC while the other PCs are still active threats. But as a rule, it's usually not what the enemy in question would do.

Etc, etc.

Shadow Lodge

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Blaming the Mandatory Healer meme on Wow is like blaming the American Revolution on Disco. You'd have to have wow travel back in time to 2e.


Jiggy wrote:
I think something that needs to be paid more attention in this thread is the fact that the existence of exceptions does not negate a rule.

Naturally. However, as I know you're in CogSci, you'll agree that contradictory data to a hypothesis are not guaranteed to be exceptions to a rule--the hypothesis might not be a rule at all, and the contradictory data are then counterexamples, not exceptions.

The trick of it is figuring out which hypothesis is correct. I think that the rule depends on the group (and the adventure).

There are some groups (and adventures) where healing in combat is smart, it's optimized, and that really is the rule (and not because the GM is arbitrarily upping the ante to counter whatever the PCs bring until they see some blood, as a few have said in this thread, but really legitimately because that's the dynamic). There are others where it isn't needed at all. Even within my exact same group of players, our Kingmaker game doesn't need or use healing in combat at all, whereas the Runelords game couldn't possibly be survived without it. It's all about the setup and what the opposition brings to the table. That and the one-encounter-per-day aspect of KM.

It's a mistake for any of us to proscribe a right or wrong way of playing to anyone else's group, even if we know the rule for sure in our own (unless it's PFS, where the experience is meant to be standardized and where I agree that healing is rarely needed).


Hungry animals would realistically attempt to down a single stray character and then drag them away, especially if they're pack animals (e.g. wolves). If they couldn't get away with the whole body, they might resort to running away with large chunks of meat.

That said, as a GM I'd still try and give the players every chance to save the guy and wouldn't have the wolves coup de grace unless they're about to start eating, which they wouldn't do unless they've escaped the other PCs.

Now throw some ethereal wolves at them and the chances of them successfully escaping goes up, but I don't think those exist in the Bestiaries.


Lord Twig wrote:

Another note on killing a downed PC.

How many times have you seen a movie where a character falls and is about to be killed by the bad guy/monster/whatever, only to have the hero jump in front of that character to defend them?

Now, how often did the bad guy run around the hero and kill the downed character anyway just so they don't get back up?

I'm betting not very often (maybe in some of the darker movies).

Now, the Big Bad Evil Guy might be willing to sacrifice some minions to kill a PC or two, but, unless they are mindless or insanely fanatic, the minions will not be so willing to make that ultimate sacrifice.

In my games when the PCs are dealing with mindless/fanatic opponents they will pretty much know that in advance and protect downed companions that much harder. They are heroes after all, they are not going to just let their companions die because they can always get a replacement.

I think PC's would protect a downed ally, but if someone is going for a coup de grace normally the downed PC has been separated.

I also think that if one NPC is fighting two PC's at once he will take out the standing PC before he tries to finish the one on the ground.

Now if he is right beside a downed PC, and is not being threatened then killing that PC if a healer is in the party is not a bad idea, tactically speaking.


Love this wraithstrike,

Quote:
This is a difficult one without theoretically shafting the party, but I had a similar issue pre-Pathfinder. The cleric eventually snapped at the party and insulted their intelligence in the process - "I'm a warrior of my god, not a magical bandaid! I'm capable of tending to wounds after battles, or during in the case of extreme injuries, but I'm not running a nursery for children playing with knives! Sharpen your wits and stop leaving yourselves so open to attack, before my god decides you're not worth healing anymore..."

The cleric I'm playing is going to have a similar talk with a PC. Not in a sending message to the player, but in a complete RP aspect. The player knows exactly what she is doing.


TarkXT wrote:


I tend to think this philosophy breeds a certain kind of ruthless and resentful player rather than a fun game.

tldr; It may be realistic to kill a character on the ground. But it's not fun for the player in question and feels sadistic to the rest.

If the DM always tries to represent the NPCs then there are times where the NPC *is* sadistic or ruthless.

If the DM moves the NPCs like pawns on a tabletop game that's something else, but really they should be represented as the evil/bad individuals that they are. Their actions should be consistent with who they are rather than whatever the DM may want for his party to do/not do.

But then I see this as a roleplaying game, so YMMV.

I've seen players leave a comrade in the middle of bad guys down and bleeding.. the idea that they should tactically do this for the comrade's safety just doesn't make sense for most opponents. If it's a mindless golem that is attacking anything it sees moving that's one thing.. but certainly not in general.

-James


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So, one way to evaluate what an NPC would do about a downed vs a still standing opponent is to ask yourselves what your own party does in that situation.

It is a rare, rare thing for any PC in any group I've ever played with to coup de grace a downed NPC while the fight is still going on. It's happened, but it is truly a rare event. So using that as a guide, it would seem that NPCs would probably follow the same logic most play groups follow and focus on the still viable threat before commencing with the leisurely throat-slitting.

One of the things that I see a lot on these boards is the assertion that if anyone says "here's the optimal approach to this situation" that person is demanding that other people play the same way they do. It gets tiresome to constantly see people put in the position of defending themselves from accusations of telling other people how to play simply because they suggested an optimal course of action.

I've seen that derail entire threads.

If the proposed approach is not really optimal, then challenge the position on those grounds. It is exceedingly rare on these boards for me to see anyone literally telling someone else how to play. Saying "I play this way and think it's optimal" is not "telling someone else how to play" and the accusation that it is does nothing to advance any position in the debate, it just starts a negative vibe in the thread.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
But then I see this as a roleplaying game, so YMMV.

Any chance we can avoid comments like this, please? Thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Most of this thread seems to be people telling each other "You're playing this game wrong". :-/

I'll refrain from adding my own version of it.


There are certainly a lot of exceptions. I even pointed out the mindless/fanatics that would do so in my post. The case where a bad guy kills an already down PC with a final iterative attack is also valid. I was just saying that just because some enemies don't kill downed opponents doesn't necessarily make it metagaming.

Personally I add a little RP flair to this. If the character is reduced to negative before the last attack I describe them as still standing, but stunned with a look of disbelief on their face, the BBEG then viciously rams his sword into them again and kills them. It's the same result I know, but it is more thematic.


First off: when I say healing, I mean restoring hit-points... blind, stun, ability damage, etc require different "restoring" means.

And usually disabling-restoring fights are a lot more fun and entertaining then counting hitpoints. :-)
(maneuvers, spells, terrain, ...)

What I find interesting in this thread:

- some say healing is not worth it unless you specialize heavily, because otherwise your healing will not make enough difference to change the outcome of a fight

- some say you should be able to do something else then heal in combat, because in x% situations healing will not be needed or will be a bad choice

if I look at channeling without strong feat-boosting or your average cure light/moderate/serious/critical wounds spell, and look up samelevel monsters for damage per round, those healing options seem very pointless

if I look at the "heal" spell, that one seems like a good investment, but it only shows up starting at level 11

so... could somebody show me a level 10 build that is good enough at healing (hitpoints) and also good a doing damage or some other noticeable group activity that does not use spells?
Because if it's just spells: that's less spells to heal with ;-p (we don't get to rest every time our casters run out of spells)
Anyone feel like sharing some nice flavorful builds that heal well and fight well too? :-)


magnuskn wrote:

Most of this thread seems to be people telling each other "You're playing this game wrong". :-/

I'll refrain from adding my own version of it.

So, magnuskin, if the threads that are saying "here's the optimal way to play" are, in your opinion, comments telling each other "you're playing this game wrong" then is it OK if I interpret your comment here as you saying "you're doing the internet wrong?"


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

So, one way to evaluate what an NPC would do about a downed vs a still standing opponent is to ask yourselves what your own party does in that situation.

It is a rare, rare thing for any PC in any group I've ever played with to coup de grace a downed NPC while the fight is still going on. It's happened, but it is truly a rare event. So using that as a guide, it would seem that NPCs would probably follow the same logic most play groups follow and focus on the still viable threat before commencing with the leisurely throat-slitting.

To be fair, NPCs are much much less likely to have easy access to area of effect healing. Also the bad guys may be evil and thus probably less squeamish about killing than good-aligned heroes. Also, things like intentionally including them in AoEs or clipping them with a final attack in a full attack are the ways I usually see downed characters being killed in games that don't have my houserule, not a coup de grace.

Quote:

One of the things that I see a lot on these boards is the assertion that if anyone says "here's the optimal approach to this situation" that person is demanding that other people play the same way they do. It gets tiresome to constantly see people put in the position of defending themselves from accusations of telling other people how to play simply because they suggested an optimal course of action.

I've seen that derail entire threads.

Yeah, that can cause issues--we're lucky that it hasn't become too prevalent on this thread, at least yet. One thing to do is engage those people on the question of why it is or isn't optimal or leave it more of an open question so they can come forward with their viewpoint. Some of them may be thinking that you're telling them that they're playing "stupid" (after all, most of these threads have at least a few posts like the "don't get surprised" post where someone against in-combat healing suggests that a smart group can avoid the need for in-combat healing) rather than playing "wrong" and then conflating those two in their heads.


magnuskn wrote:

Most of this thread seems to be people telling each other "You're playing this game wrong". :-/

I'll refrain from adding my own version of it.

Not really. We are just giving different scenarios when X might be better than Y.

Killing a downed PC is an example. It is not right or wrong. It just depends on group playstyle. Does the group enjoy leniency or what is tactical. I have seen players get upset for being spared, and I have seen players get upset for not being spared.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I think something that needs to be paid more attention in this thread is the fact that the existence of exceptions does not negate a rule.
Naturally. However, as I know you're in CogSci, you'll agree that contradictory data to a hypothesis are not guaranteed to be exceptions to a rule--the hypothesis might not be a rule at all, and the contradictory data are then counterexamples, not exceptions.

True. But if that's what I'm expected to believe (or at least consider), then the speaker really should talk about why it's part of a trend instead of just "this can happen, therefore your rule is incorrect".

Tangentially, one must also consider the weighting of different kinds of examples. For instance, certain PCs can be built around healing so effectively (I hear that Life Oracles are pretty nuts) that they cause in-combat healing to be effective where it otherwise might not be necessary. And then since that's their schtick, suggesting its absence is effectively suggesting the absence of an entire character around whom the rest of the party is accustomed to working. And then they play that PC (or versions of it) throughout one or more campaigns.

So how many counterexamples is that? I often hear people point out their experience of always/never needing X, when they've played with the same people for years at a time and X was always/never present. Meanwhile, someone who's traveled a lot and/or plays lots of PFS at conventions with random strangers claims the opposite.

Who really has more data here?


Kyoni wrote:


so... could somebody show me a level 10 build that is good enough at healing (hitpoints) and also good a doing damage or some other noticeable group activity that does not use spells?
Because if it's just spells: that's less spells to heal with ;-p (we don't get to rest every time our casters run out of spells)
Anyone feel like sharing some nice flavorful builds that heal well and fight well too? :-)

The channel-focused Undead Lord I mentioned above was pretty potent for healing even at 9. She had Fast Channel and a Phylactery of Neg Channeling, so that was either 21d6 or 28d6 burst healing (she either had 1 or 2 things that added +50% to her channels for healing undead) to everyone who counts as undead. And then use the spells for whatever and channel to harm if you feel confident you don't need healing. And you have undead minions too (she has high strength bloody skeletons. Sure they went down in one hit, but they come back after an hour).


Kyoni wrote:

so... could somebody show me a level 10 build that is good enough at healing (hitpoints) and also good a doing damage or some other noticeable group activity that does not use spells?

Because if it's just spells: that's less spells to heal with ;-p (we don't get to rest every time our casters run out of spells)
Anyone feel like sharing some nice flavorful builds that heal well and fight well too? :-)

I'm not posting a build, but I mentioned my character that was a primary healer, but did lots of other things during combat as well.

Good crowd control can cost you a spell slot, but save several in later healing. Doing anything that would help prevent damage on the first round is a good way to save later resources. Resist Energy is one that immediately comes to mind. Usually there won't be any healing to do anyway until at least the second or third round.

If you are not buffing or crowd controlling on the first few rounds, then strait damage to the enemy is also good. Take out an opponent and all of the enemy's potential damage is something you don't have to heal later.

Actually a lot of the comments about when it would be reasonable to kill a downed character are excellent arguments for combat healing. If you assume that PCs don't want other PCs to die, then healing them when they fall during combat is sometimes the only thing you can do to save them. For example, if you know that enemy is casting AoE spells you will want to heal your friend before they are killed with collateral damage. Unless you are really confident that you can kill the BBEG before he gets off another spell.


Jiggy wrote:

So how many counterexamples is that? I often hear people point out their experience of always/never needing X, when they've played with the same people for years at a time and X was always/never present. Meanwhile, someone who's traveled a lot and/or plays lots of PFS at conventions with random strangers claims the opposite.

Who really has more data here?

That's why it's so devilishly hard to design a good experiment on so many aspects of human experience (I'm in cognitive-inspired AI, so I sympathize).

Of course both sides would claim they have more data than the other, when really neither side has data that is relevant to the other. That's why I'm putting forth that neither "in-combat healing is usually necessary" nor "in-combat healing is usually pointless" is wrong--they are both correct within the scopes of their own experience. Heck, even within my own experience it is different based on the campaign and the GM.

Quote:
For instance, certain PCs can be built around healing so effectively (I hear that Life Oracles are pretty nuts) that they cause in-combat healing to be effective where it otherwise might not be necessary. And then since that's their schtick, suggesting its absence is effectively suggesting the absence of an entire character around whom the rest of the party is accustomed to working.

To draw out this part a bit because it interests me--I believe the hard-line anti-combat-healing people (which I am not, so correct me if I'm wrong) would say "Optimized is optimized. If that same person had optimized a non-healer, it would have been way better--you can't look at it like you're replacing that optimized healer with nothing, since the opportunity cost is that you're missing out on some other optimized character.". I've actually had a rare experience with the same optimizer bringing in about 6 different characters to a group that was otherwise mostly th same (his optimized characters kept being more effective and thus being focused and killed, and he doesn't like raising magic), so I do have some perspective on that comment.

Quote:
True. But if that's what I'm expected to believe (or at least consider), then the speaker really should talk about why it's part of a trend instead of just "this can happen, therefore your rule is incorrect".

Incidentally, I don't think your post about rules and exceptions was in response to mine just above it (too close in time for that), but this is exactly why I'll try to say things like "A typical example is this" as I did in that post--it's an exemplar for a group of similar situations that are fairly common*, rather than meant to be a solitary data point.

*By fairly common, I mean that the time when an NPC should be killing the downed PC for verisimilitude is fairly common, not that it always happens. Many GMs I've seen metagame by even pulling the extra attacks from an NPCs routine after someone is KOed (by which I mean, say they have claw/claw/bite and claw/claw is enough. Now the creature can't move, and no one else is in reach, so it just doesn't bite anything at all and "pulls" the attack). I don't consider this good or bad, but some of my players would hate it.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Many GMs I've seen metagame by even pulling the extra attacks from an NPCs routine after someone is KOed (by which I mean, say they have claw/claw/bite and claw/claw is enough. Now the creature can't move, and no one else is in reach, so it just doesn't bite anything at all and "pulls" the attack). I don't consider this good or bad, but some of my players would hate it.

Well I wouldn't pull that attack. I'm ruthless!

Now I don't want to open up another can of worms, but I will say that it might (purely by random chance mind!), be a little more common for me to roll a 1 with that final attack than at other times. But that's just pure luck. Honest! ;-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
TarkXT wrote:
tldr; It may be realistic to kill a character on the ground. But it's not fun for the player in question and feels sadistic to the rest.

What is your definition of tldr?

I was under the impression that it was "too long, didn't read".


Not everything, every time is going to go as a party plans, no matter how good they are. Things happen and dice rolls do not always work in the most favorable way. Having a healer is a way to help make sure that people stay alive to be able to do what they do. If that means in combat then so be it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
The channel-focused Undead Lord I mentioned above was pretty potent for healing even at 9. She had Fast Channel and a Phylactery of Neg Channeling, so that was either 21d6 or 28d6 burst healing (she either had 1 or 2 things that added +50% to her channels for healing undead) to everyone who counts as undead. And then use the spells for whatever and channel to harm if you feel confident you don't need healing. And you have undead minions too (she has high strength bloody skeletons. Sure they went down in one hit, but they come back after an hour).

Could you break down how she managed to get 21d6 or 28d6?

I seem to be missing on how she can give negative affinity to her party members - could you point me in the right direction?


Mistwalker wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
The channel-focused Undead Lord I mentioned above was pretty potent for healing even at 9. She had Fast Channel and a Phylactery of Neg Channeling, so that was either 21d6 or 28d6 burst healing (she either had 1 or 2 things that added +50% to her channels for healing undead) to everyone who counts as undead. And then use the spells for whatever and channel to harm if you feel confident you don't need healing. And you have undead minions too (she has high strength bloody skeletons. Sure they went down in one hit, but they come back after an hour).

Could you break down how she managed to get 21d6 or 28d6?

I seem to be missing on how she can give negative affinity to her party members - could you point me in the right direction?

Two channels per round with Fast Channel, phylactery increased them to 7d6 each at level 9. I believe that the Undead Lord, as well as the Undead Variant Channeling from UM, each give an additional 50% to those numbers when used to heal (rather than used to harm the living)--so technically you only *roll* 14d6 and then multiply.

As to the second, the Undead subdomain of Death has a touch that grants them undead affinity, but it is short-lived. She usually only had the fronliners up with it at any given time, and even then, it is costly to establish if the party is surprised.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Rogue Eidolon wrote:

Two channels per round with Fast Channel, phylactery increased them to 7d6 each at level 9. I believe that the Undead Lord, as well as the Undead Variant Channeling from UM, each give an additional 50% to those numbers when used to heal (rather than used to harm the living)--so technically you only *roll* 14d6 and then multiply.

As to the second, the Undead subdomain of Death has a touch that grants them undead affinity, but it is short-lived. She usually only had the fronliners up with it at any given time, and even then, it is costly to establish if the party is surprised.

Thanks. It makes a lot more sense now.


james maissen wrote:


I've seen players leave a comrade in the middle of bad guys down and bleeding.. the idea that they should tactically do this for the comrade's safety just doesn't make sense for most opponents. If it's a mindless golem that is attacking anything it sees moving that's one thing.. but certainly not in general.

-James

While I don't disagree there is an etiquette to follow even here.

Why should one player be punished because his fellows tactically left him to die?

You can sit there and say "this is a roleplaying game" and you know what you are absolutely right. It is a game. The goal of the game is to have fun. And as I've said a billion times before if fun is being had under your gming than nothing I say will make you or should make you change what you do.

Simply understand that you sitting there saying "this is what the bad guy would do" sounds exactly like the player who steals from his group, murders plot critical npc's without remorse and is a general douche because "that's what his character would do." In the end it's still the player whose made the decisions for that character. You're not a blameless machine following some code any more than your players are. Claims of impartiality do not ease the pain of rolling a new character any less.


wraithstrike wrote:


Not really. We are just giving different scenarios when X might be better than Y.

Killing a downed PC is an example. It is not right or wrong. It just depends on group playstyle. Does the group enjoy leniency or what is tactical. I have seen players get upset for being spared, and I have seen players get upset for not being spared.

I tend to go for a middle ground where no one wastes my time later trying to approve another character while still very much giving the feeling of failure.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Whether you are for, or against, in-combat healing, I believe we can all agree that you don't a PC who focusing only on healing. You also don't need to ignore healing in it's entirety.
It seems that many are assuming that those disagreeing with their view are at the extreme ends of the opinion.
This is not a healing only VS. never healing debate.

I believe this thread was created to remove that myth.


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TarkXT wrote:


While I don't disagree there is an etiquette to follow even here.

Why should one player be punished because his fellows tactically left him to die?

Hey I'm sure you play your games differently than I play mine. That's cool, but its different.

In a shall we say more ruthless game healing is more needed as there is more opportunity for the character to be in need of it.

For my kind of game the role of the DM is, indeed, to be impartial and to represent the evil NPCs along with the good and the neutral. The evil ones will try to do bad things. That does not make the DM a bad person. Sorry.

The evil NPC, when given the chance, might very well elect to kill your good paladin PC. To say that a DM should be blamed for that.. wow, just wow. Our games are VERY different. And that's cool, but we're going to be coming at everything from very different perspectives.

I'm sorry I just can't relate to what you're writing here at all. I don't think much can be gotten here.. it would be like comparing two completely different games.. simply confusing and to no point.

-James


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
The channel-focused Undead Lord I mentioned above was pretty potent for healing even at 9. She had Fast Channel and a Phylactery of Neg Channeling, so that was either 21d6 or 28d6 burst healing (she either had 1 or 2 things that added +50% to her channels for healing undead) to everyone who counts as undead. And then use the spells for whatever and channel to harm if you feel confident you don't need healing. And you have undead minions too (she has high strength bloody skeletons. Sure they went down in one hit, but they come back after an hour).

Quick Channel does look like a good idea... action economy is an issue.

Undead Lord requires the group to like all this undead stuff going on. My groups tend to stay away from undead-army-builds...

"Lord Twig wrote:
I'm not posting a build, but I mentioned my character that was a primary healer, but did lots of other things during combat as well.

Well I was mainly look for advice on which feats to take to make healing worth it because without any feat at all, your actions are often better spent on other ways of helping.

"Lord Twig wrote:
Good crowd control can cost you a spell slot, but save several in later healing. Doing anything that would help prevent damage on the first round is a good way to save later resources. Resist Energy is one that immediately comes to mind. Usually there won't be any healing to do anyway until at least the second or third round.

As I said... I am specifically asking the use-hitpoint-restoring-spells-crowd, what I need to do to make channeling and cureXwounds worthwhile.

As I said... I'm on the maneuver/disable/tactics side. ;-)

"Lord Twig wrote:
If you are not buffing or crowd controlling on the first few rounds, then strait damage to the enemy is also good. Take out an opponent and all of the enemy's potential damage is something you don't have to heal later.

What feat-build-choice allows you to deal enough damage to be worth it, while including the feats you need to be good enough at healing?

When looking at monster entries I see monster HP and saves and damage. Then I look at straight cleric and wonder how I can make him heal enough AND damage enough at the same time...

"Lord Twig wrote:
Actually a lot of the comments about when it would be reasonable to kill a downed character are excellent arguments for combat healing.

If your healing restores only half the damage that monsters deal in one round, that PC you healed will likely be totally dead next round... you'll need to raise him.

Unless your DM is nice and doesn't have monster hit PCs that just got healed, but that same DM will exclude PCs from collateral damage. However a DM who'll finish off unconscious characters will gleefully whack fresh-healed PCs into oblivion, because that's what a smart opponent would do, unless that BBEG feels like it's time to teach the healer a lesson... how good is your healer at surviving a focussed attack from the BBEG?

Again... all of this at level 10 or lower... I know that the spell "heal" changes everything.

Empower Serious Wounds (5) = 30,25
Maximize Moderate Wounds (5) = 29
Cure Critical Wounds (4): Cures 4d8 damage + 10 = 28
Cure Serious Wounds (3): Cures 3d8 damage + 10 = 23,5
Cure Moderate Wounds (2): Cures 2d8 damage + 10 = 19

I still fail to see how it could be better to heal, when an equal CR encounter nearly always deals more damage then this in a single round of combat.

I must be missing something...? Because I just don't see the benefit of healing unless you heavily invest... and then your damage or defense or something else suffers...

The ones who said: we always need to heal, we always get surprised, what feats do they take to survive your classic 3 encounters per day? If you cast spells every single round of combat you'll run out of spells in no time, and scrolls/items only take you so far, are they mass buying/crafting scrolls/wands/potions?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Still important note: Most people with a preference to either tactic concerning combat healing, are not on the extreme ends. We should not assume so.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Still important note: Most people with a preference to either tactic concerning combat healing, are not on the extreme ends. We should not assume so.

I mainly assume games are waaaay too different to be able to tell whether healing is a good or bad idea in general.

The low-level game (2-3 lvl) I'm currently in has our cleric struggling because his healing is simply not enough and we don't have the WBL yet to afford wagons of scrolls and wands to heal.
That cleric actually wants to play the bandaid guy... except he needed to channel 4 times to patch himself back up and we won't be able to rest anytime soon... (2 more floors to clean up and I've no idea what surprises they hold, but we'll scout them bit by bit ;-) ).


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Still important note: Most people with a preference to either tactic concerning combat healing, are not on the extreme ends. We should not assume so.

Agreed, but I think that sometimes the few who are on the extreme end confuse us. I know that has happened to me.

On at least 2 other threads where I had stated something like, "we (my group) need more healing for our current campaign", I felt like I had been ganged up on by the whole internet because I was a complete idiot.
Going back and looking at the thread carefully, most of the extreme views were only by 2 or 3 people. But they posted so vehemently and so often, that it didn't feel that way.

Thankfully, this post has not devolved to that level.

I agree that most of the time, in most campaigns, with most groups; that combat healing is not necessary.

However, I also have to say that I have never played in a campaign where all you need is "a ranger or some UMD ranks and a wand of CLW." Which I see stated very often in other threads.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Either tactics used by a party should still invest in wands.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Either tactics used by a party should still invest in wands.

Wands (and the like) are really down time healing devices, and really shouldn't be confused with in-combat healing.

A party not being able to handle down time healing is already an extreme and likely either very skewed or suffering because of it.

-James

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