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Misconceptions about not healing in battle


Advice

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Well, again we see the implicit assertion that if you aren't having to heal in battle, therefore the encounters are "too easy" or "not challenging." This is a nice situation for the pro-combat-healing crowd to be in. If you don't have to resort to healing in combat, your encounters are too easy. How do you know they are too easy? Simple! You didn't have to break out the emergency heal spells! QED.

Nothing else matters. Strategy, tactics and competence be damned. You managed to scrape through an encounter without having to heal? Lame! Your tank got to 2 HP on the second round and had to be healed nonstop just like a WoW raid? AWESOME!

I guees that makes it easy to know when you've been pushed. If you are managing to avoid constant crisis management in battle, by definition that can only mean your GM is babysitting you.

Fine. Whatever. Keep on measuring your "challenge rating" by how frantically you have to throw heals at your team members. I suppose that does make for exciting battles.

Sczarni

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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Well, again we see the implicit assertion that if you aren't having to heal in battle, therefore the encounters are "too easy" or "not challenging." This is a nice situation for the pro-combat-healing crowd to be in. If you don't have to resort to healing in combat, your encounters are too easy. How do you know they are too easy? Simple! You didn't have to break out the emergency heal spells! QED.

Nothing else matters. Strategy, tactics and competence be damned. You managed to scrape through an encounter without having to heal? Lame! Your tank got to 2 HP on the second round and had to be healed nonstop just like a WoW raid? AWESOME!

I guees that makes it easy to know when you've been pushed. If you are managing to avoid constant crisis management in battle, by definition that can only mean your GM is babysitting you.

Fine. Whatever. Keep on measuring your "challenge rating" by how frantically you have to throw heals at your team members. I suppose that does make for exciting battles.

MANY WHELPS LEFT SIDE! HANDLEZ THEM!


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Well, again we see the implicit assertion that if you aren't having to heal in battle, therefore the encounters are "too easy" or "not challenging." This is a nice situation for the pro-combat-healing crowd to be in. If you don't have to resort to healing in combat, your encounters are too easy. How do you know they are too easy? Simple! You didn't have to break out the emergency heal spells! QED.

Nothing else matters. Strategy, tactics and competence be damned. You managed to scrape through an encounter without having to heal? Lame! Your tank got to 2 HP on the second round and had to be healed nonstop just like a WoW raid? AWESOME!

I guees that makes it easy to know when you've been pushed. If you are managing to avoid constant crisis management in battle, by definition that can only mean your GM is babysitting you.

Fine. Whatever. Keep on measuring your "challenge rating" by how frantically you have to throw heals at your team members. I suppose that does make for exciting battles.

LOL. I totally agree. If the other guys want to force someone to play cleric and make him heal every fight more power to them. My groups will continue to play what they like, how they like, and enjoy the game. Every member enjoying the game.

I'd be interested to see one of the "mandatory heal" people join my group with a healing cleric though and be stunned at just how little he needs to heal. He might save one or two people from needing to step back and drink a potion that round, and in exchange he merely has to play one of a handful of specific classes and builds.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
If you are managing to avoid constant crisis management in battle, by definition that can only mean

That you are not as challenged if you were in a crisis management situation with some degree of frequency...

It has nothing to do with healing, or potential hyperbole used for sake of argument.

It has to deal with if you need to pull out all the stops or if you never do. Where you have to handle situations like that one where the tank dies in 2 rounds without support. You might cry foul that this should never happen.. but it can. Perhaps the party has 'messed up', perhaps the DM is 'wrong' with the challenge level, whatever..

Now is this desired? Of course not (though some players do like such times ooc). Does this happen? That depends on many factors, but it certainly can.

The frequency on such occurring will impact how you value support actions and force multipliers.

In combat healing is a good thing to have available for your party as it can help when things enter that crisis management stage. If you can always avoid it.. great. Perhaps you're that awesome, perhaps your DM is 'babysitting you' or perhaps something else... doesn't much matter on how it comes or doesn't come there.. just whether or not it can.

Now if you want to be prepared for such dire straits, then having a healer in the group is quite helpful in covering those bases.

Simple, if you don't value it then don't take it. I've seen players that don't value having decent diplomacy at the table. That's their playstyle. It's neither wrong or right. It's your call. But imho it's something that is quite valuable when in extreme situations (say for example that made up scenario by a person wanting to show that healing wasn't needed and gave forth one that was likely a TPK without healing and a fully manageable encounter with it).

-James


james maissen wrote:
[... bunch of stuff just repeating the mantra that the only way to be sure you are being challenged is to be bleeding all over the place all the time...]

Having the ability to heal is indeed a valuable tactical option to have available on occasion.

That was never the issue. The issue is whether healing is or should be a standard option for most encounters.

My stance on this is that there are almost always better options than planning to use healing as a fundamental battle tactic.

The need to provide constant healing in combat for the majority of encounters is, in my humble opinion, a clear indication of one of two things:

1. A deliberate strategy of healing as a means of investing in the hit point differential.

2. An indication of the encounter in some way defeating your chosen non-heal-based tactics.

#1 is a defensible role playing choice, but that's about the best I can say because it is almost always a sub-optimal tactical choice. Nevertheless when it is employed, as it is with my 4e group, it is certainly possible to be successful, although I believe it encourages a sloppy tactical approach.

#2 happens to the best players and teams on occasion, and it is best to be prepared when it does. So healing as a tactical option is indeed important to have handy when it is needed. How frequently it is needed in these cases is something that should be watched carefully to evaluate the success of the chosen non-heal-based tactics.

Now, I will be accused by stating #2 above of telling people they are "playing wrong". This will happen in spite of the fact that James and others have spent dozens of posts coming right out and telling me that I am "playing wrong" by not planning my encounters around healing. That's just how these things go. So go ahead and get it off your chests.

However, #1 above demonstrates that I do not actually believe that healing in combat is "playing wrong." I believe it is a legitimate playstyle and can be done effectively. It is, in fact, a means of tipping the hit point differential equation in your favor.

I just think that it is not the optimal way to manage the hit point differential in the vast majority of cases. Plus it is a strategy that tends to promote the fifteen minute adventuring day, and that alone would be sufficient for me to dislike that approach, if I didn't feel it was a lazy tactical decision already.

That's all.

James, if you truly want a "challenging encounter" go into one without a box of bandaids and keep everyone standing anyway.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is no 'playing wrong' - I'd suggest that filling the 'effective' healer role is covering contingencies that the party doesn't expect. we use dice in the game after all.

You can't simply plan and be strategic in every single encounter - you are going to be caught flat-footed or out of position.

An 'effective healer' in my book - is someone who can contribute in every combat in a meaningful way. Whether it's healing, buffing or direct damage.


I contend that any encounter that can be defeated through the completely mindless and simple strategy of spamming heals is in fact not sufficiently challenging. If the encounter can be rolled over on autopilot it was not difficult.


Wrath wrote:
I find discussions about action economy interesting, mostly in the fact that they're so subjective, yet everyone talks about them as if their view is definitive.

I look at it as more is better, and in most cases that hold true. One CR 14 monster is usually not as dangerous as 4 CR 10 monsters that synergize well. Now if the 4 CR 10 monsters are not complimenting each other then the CR 14 monster may be a better challenge.

Quote:


Things to consider- if debuff is saved against, that's a wasted action. This happens more regularly than casters like to admit, even when they power build.

If you build a very focused SoD build you should be getting results more than 70% of the time. With that said I don't advocate SoD builds. I have bad luck, and the one time I really need for one to work the monster will make the save or I won't bypass SR.

Quote:


- high level play changes everything. Multiple opponent combats regularly deal damage at a rate where if a healing spell of some type isn't employed, members will drop. At this level, losing a prty members actions can mean TPK very quickly.

Only if the monster is well above APL. Otherwise they are struggling to hit you just like they were when you were level 8 or 9.

Quote:


- many folks metagame healing through discussing hit point totals. Remove knowledge of current hit point totals from anyone other than the play controlling the PC and suddenly optimizing action potential becomes more difficult. If some one just had a round where half their hit points were dropped, theyre likely to ask for healing. Healing character doesn't know how much they're on, or how much more they can take. Sure they could try to drop the opponent themselves with a spell, but then see point 1 above. If the creature saves, or survives, that's a big risk to take with your buddies life at stake.

I agree that could be metagaming, but having a player use a heal check is a good house rule. Having the hurt player call for a heal is another example of how to make it work without saying "I have 24 hit points".

Quote:

And lastly, party build can change how essential healing during combat is going to be. This has been pointed in numerous threads by every person who starts a post with "in my party".

No argument here. While I did start this threat I still like to have someone that can heal in the party. It makes things a lot easier.

Quote:


I like the OP's objective in this thread. He's trying to let folk know that it's god advice, most of the time. Keep the variables in mind above though, because sometimes good advice is wrong in the situation at hand.

Cheers

Part of the message is also to plan accordingly. If you don't have a healer make sure you have other ways to recover, not just against hit point damage, but debuffs such as blindness or being cursed.


james maissen wrote:

or perhaps you don't get encounters that challenge you at a level that you are capable of handling.

That is what smart play and good builds do for you. Now as a GM I bump things up for boss fights mini-boss fights*, but I won't arbitrarily push every encounter just because my players are smart, and have good builds. That defeats the point of them putting in that much effort into staying alive.

*I might try to get as much out of CR X as I can without TPK'ing the party.


I guess it's simply different playstyles. I am in two groups, one as a GM, one as a player.

None of the two uses the SWAT team style tactics the OP's group seems to use. Hence the get ambushed more often and hence a more dedicated healer is more necessary.

The second group doesn't have one and we got our clocks cleaned, repeatedly, by normally totally doable encounters. Grantedly, the group make-up is much more eclectic than the first groups one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

A: In combat, healing is usually worse than killing the enemy!

B: OUTRAGEOUS: healing is important.

A: Uhm, yes, but we talk about in combat healing, not healing in general.

C: Healing is useless, everyone knows this!!11!!

A: Uhm, no, not useless, just mostly sub optimal in combat. But not always.

D: But playstyle varies, who are you to dictate whats optimal?

A: Because its in the frigging math of the frigging game!

B: OUTRAGEOUS: this is a great game not a frigging one!

C: Right, but healing is still useless.

B: No it isn't!

C: Yes, it is!

D: You can't know, noone can know!

A: *Sigh*

@Wraith
You had to do this thread, had you?


The main problem still being that the "math of the game" seldomly completely corresponds with the actual situations parties find themselves in. In that perfect world where this math resides, enemies are always scouted out completely, no ambushes ever happen to the party and apparently critical hits are not an issue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Which part of the math saying that damage usually outclasses healing is changed by critical hits and ambushes?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
james maissen wrote:
[... bunch of stuff just repeating the mantra that the only way to be sure you are being challenged is to be bleeding all over the place all the time...]

Having the ability to heal is indeed a valuable tactical option to have available on occasion.

That was never the issue. The issue is whether healing is or should be a standard option for most encounters.....
The need to provide constant healing in combat for the majority of encounters is, in my humble opinion, a clear indication of one of two things....

#2 happens to the best players and teams on occasion, and it is best to be prepared when it does. So healing as a tactical option is indeed important to have handy when it is needed.

You know, james never said anything about ALL THE TIME. The point is, if your DM NEVER gets any PC to within one hit of dropping (or even drops one) , then you are not being challenged.

Nor did anyone say there should be " constant healing in combat for the majority of encounters "

There should be occassional need for in-combat healing- sometimes. You even say as much when you say "#2 happens to the best players and teams on occasion, and it is best to be prepared when it does. So healing as a tactical option is indeed important to have handy when it is needed. "

But if you set up straw-men and then knock them down, you are not really making a useful contribution.

Sczarni

I wonder how many people here in this thread play PFS...because it is a very rare sight to find a healer in PFS...thats why everyone spends their first 2 PP and 750g on a CLW wand...


MicMan wrote:
Which part of the math saying that damage usually outclasses healing is changed by critical hits and ambushes?

The part where actual combat with actual parties is not all numbers and everybody being equal, but there being lynchpin characters which need to be kept in the fight?

Practical example from just yesterday: The party gets into an encounter with a Tetori Monk with the Body Shield feat. The Gunslinger of the party lands a critical hit with a rolled 19 on the Tetori, which normally would hit... but because of the Body Shield feat doesn't resulting in an impressive 77 points of damage to the grappled party Cleric.

For reasons which are too long to recount now the Tetori has to let go of the Cleric, which allows the Cleric to use a Heal on himself, keeping himself alive. If the player had played another class, the Tetori probably would have chosen to kill him off, since he was down to 1/10's of his total HP after eating the Gunslingers critical hit.

Sczarni

magnuskn wrote:
MicMan wrote:
Which part of the math saying that damage usually outclasses healing is changed by critical hits and ambushes?

The part where actual combat with actual parties is not all numbers and everybody being equal, but there being lynchpin characters which need to be kept in the fight?

Practical example from just yesterday: The party gets into an encounter with a Tetori Monk with the Body Shield feat. The Gunslinger of the party lands a critical hit with a rolled 19 on the Tetori, which normally would hit... but because of the Body Shield feat doesn't resulting in an impressive 77 points of damage to the grappled party Cleric.

For reasons which are too long to recount now the Tetori has to let go of the Cleric, which allows the Cleric to use a Heal on himself, keeping himself alive. If the player had played another class, the Tetori probably would have chosen to kill him off, since he was down to 1/10's of his total HP after eating the Gunslingers critical hit.

So what you are saying is the Gunslinger shot into a shady situation (poor decision) and failed to beat the cover (just because they have the feat doesn't mean the hit automatically hits the Cleric)?

Seems like a poor decision that could have been fixed with holding your action until the shot was safe. Imagine if the police just took shots all willy nilly like that in hostage situations. We'd have a lot more fatalities out there.

Not to mention the Cleric didn't even have to prepare for that...just burn a spell slot and use Spontaneous healing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ossian666 wrote:
I wonder how many people here in this thread play PFS...because it is a very rare sight to find a healer in PFS...thats why everyone spends their first 2 PP and 750g on a CLW wand...

I run several characters (check my alias's) one of which is a healer, most of the rest have UMD, (even my Summoner has Stabilise), ....I'm not sure about the rest of you on the boards.. although most of the Australian players I have met usually have a PC that does healing at most tiers if we need one at the table.

Wands of CLW are usually used out of combat by people in PFS (again in my experience)


ossian666 wrote:

So what you are saying is the Gunslinger shot into a shady situation (poor decision) and failed to beat the cover (just because they have the feat doesn't mean the hit automatically hits the Cleric)?

Seems like a poor decision that could have been fixed with holding your action until the shot was safe. Imagine if the police just took shots all willy nilly like that in hostage situations. We'd have a lot more fatalities out there.

Not to mention the Cleric didn't even have to prepare for that...just burn a spell slot and use Spontaneous healing.

Yeah, because in your ideal world the Gunslinger did already know about the Body Shield feat.

Real gameplay doesn't have omniscience.

Also, you cannot spontaneously cast Heal.

Sczarni

magnuskn wrote:
ossian666 wrote:

So what you are saying is the Gunslinger shot into a shady situation (poor decision) and failed to beat the cover (just because they have the feat doesn't mean the hit automatically hits the Cleric)?

Seems like a poor decision that could have been fixed with holding your action until the shot was safe. Imagine if the police just took shots all willy nilly like that in hostage situations. We'd have a lot more fatalities out there.

Not to mention the Cleric didn't even have to prepare for that...just burn a spell slot and use Spontaneous healing.

Yeah, because in your ideal world the Gunslinger did already know about the Body Shield feat.

Real gameplay doesn't have omniscience.

Also, you cannot spontaneously cast Heal.

Omniscience aside...common sense says "Hey that guy is grappling with my cohort...maybe I shouldn't try and shoot at them."

Its like my Alchemist always says "Move if you don't want to be blown up."

And you can spontaneously cast the Cure spells after you move away.

You brought up one situation where a heal spell could have been useful. Congratulations but I am assuming that since you didn't mention any more than what was pertinent to making your point that there were porbably alternative solutions to that whole anecdote you shared.


Yeah, I'm pretty sure if you would have come around to theorycraft a combat situation, you could have come up with a better solution than the players did.

Actual gameplay =/= Theorycrafting.


So why did the cleric have to be released.


I actually don't remember that clearly anymore... it was because the Tetori wanted to take another action than grappling the Cleric. It was a pretty hectic combat.

Sczarni

magnuskn wrote:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure if you would have come around to theorycraft a combat situation, you could have come up with a better solution than the players did.

Actual gameplay =/= Theorycrafting.

No one ever said it was...but again off the top of my head I can say my common sense is obviously stronger than that of the Gunslinger because my first thought was "Shooting into that is a TERRIBLE idea."

Your description of the events that unfolded sound very similar to the points made earlier in this discussion. If you run head strong into every combat and do things all willy nilly like, then yes it would behoove you to have a healer to fix all the bad decisions you've made.


ossian666 wrote:

No one ever said it was...but again off the top of my head I can say my common sense is obviously stronger than that of the Gunslinger because my first thought was "Shooting into that is a TERRIBLE idea."

Your description of the events that unfolded sound very similar to the points made earlier in this discussion. If you run head strong into every combat and do things all willy nilly like, then yes it would behoove you to have a healer to fix all the bad decisions you've made.

Or maybe the Gunslinger ( and the rest of the party, actually ) had quite a lot of faith that he'd hit the target. As it happens, everybody was quite surprised at the touch AC the Tetori ( who of course didn't exactly advertise that he was a Tetori ) displayed. The best the players knew, he had just grappled the Cleric and therefore given up much of his touch AC.

As I said, actual gameplay doesn't have omniscience. The players got a rude awakening, but still aced the encounter without losses, in big part because the Cleric was able to get off a Heal.


magnuskn wrote:
I actually don't remember that clearly anymore... it was because the Tetori wanted to take another action than grappling the Cleric. It was a pretty hectic combat.

Hmm that does make it difficult to consider the situation. Ah well no matter I suppose I can survive my curiosity remaining unsatisfied.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
The best the players knew, he had just grappled the Cleric and therefore given up much of his touch AC.

The players didn't know much, since the grappled condition only gives a -2 to AC unless I've missed something.

Sczarni

TriOmegaZero wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
The best the players knew, he had just grappled the Cleric and therefore given up much of his touch AC.
The players didn't know much, since the grappled condition only gives a -2 to AC unless I've missed something.

Which ironically is also in combat omniscience...so glad my character just knows what AC is.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

He doesn't need to know what AC is to know people being held are easier to hit.

Sczarni

And yet somehow my assumption that shooting at someone while they are grappling someone else as a bad idea is omniscience? People are flip flopping all over the place in here.


DrDeth wrote:


You know, james never said anything about ALL THE TIME. The point is, if your DM NEVER gets any PC to within one hit of dropping (or even drops one) , then you are not being challenged.

Nor did anyone say there should be " constant healing in combat for the majority of encounters "

There should be occassional need for in-combat healing- sometimes. You even say as much when you say "#2 happens to the best players and teams on occasion, and it is best to be prepared when it does. So healing as a tactical option is indeed important to have handy when it is needed. "

But if you set up straw-men and then knock them down, you are not really making a useful contribution.

DrDeth, when I submit a proposition that seems reasonable (like "sure healing is sometimes necessary but usually you are better off planning to outdamage the enemy and protect yourself from taking damage in the first place") and someone repeatedly spends multiple paragraphs DIRECTLY CHALLENGING ME, then I assume that he is attempting to rebut my premise, and so I support my premise in response.

If James is saying the same thing I'm saying, then why does he feel a need to be so confrontational and dismissive, claiming that my games are "babysat" by the GM or snarking that my party must be "awesome" (meaning, of course we're not) and other such direct comments challenging the assertion I've repeatedly made?

So it's no strawman. I'm responding to his actual posts and comments.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I wonder how this thread might have been different had the title instead been "Misconceptions about when people suggest not healing in battle".

Andoran

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wonder how it might have been if the title was 'Fluffy Kitten Surprise!'


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wraithstrike wrote:


4. Most of the time if you have decent characters and use good tactics you will not have to heal in combat.

Hee hee!

My players have never--not once in the 3+ years we've been playing--used good tactics.

It makes my job so much easier.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
The best the players knew, he had just grappled the Cleric and therefore given up much of his touch AC.
The players didn't know much, since the grappled condition only gives a -2 to AC unless I've missed something.

Nah, you are right, it's only -2 to AC, due to -4 Dex. Which is not *that* insignificant, especially since it lowers touch AC, too. I mostly was conflating the other negative penalties of the grappled condition with the AC. I'm not at my rules best sitting at work and posting in the short moments where I can't do anything productive.


ossian666 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
The best the players knew, he had just grappled the Cleric and therefore given up much of his touch AC.
The players didn't know much, since the grappled condition only gives a -2 to AC unless I've missed something.
Which ironically is also in combat omniscience...so glad my character just knows what AC is.

I think knowing what "being grappled" means is not nearly being omniscient in the of knowing what feats an opponent has.

ossian666 wrote:
And yet somehow my assumption that shooting at someone while they are grappling someone else as a bad idea is omniscience? People are flip flopping all over the place in here.

Uh, since he already experienced being grappled in the past, he knows that people in the grapple can be more easily hit, because they can't move as freely as they want? He has Precise Shot, so what is the problem here?


MicMan wrote:

A: In combat, healing is usually worse than killing the enemy!

B: OUTRAGEOUS: healing is important.

A: Uhm, yes, but we talk about in combat healing, not healing in general.

C: Healing is useless, everyone knows this!!11!!

A: Uhm, no, not useless, just mostly sub optimal in combat. But not always.

D: But playstyle varies, who are you to dictate whats optimal?

A: Because its in the frigging math of the frigging game!

B: OUTRAGEOUS: this is a great game not a frigging one!

C: Right, but healing is still useless.

B: No it isn't!

C: Yes, it is!

D: You can't know, noone can know!

A: *Sigh*

@Wraith
You had to do this thread, had you?

:)


DrDeth wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
james maissen wrote:
[... bunch of stuff just repeating the mantra that the only way to be sure you are being challenged is to be bleeding all over the place all the time...]

Having the ability to heal is indeed a valuable tactical option to have available on occasion.

That was never the issue. The issue is whether healing is or should be a standard option for most encounters.....
The need to provide constant healing in combat for the majority of encounters is, in my humble opinion, a clear indication of one of two things....

#2 happens to the best players and teams on occasion, and it is best to be prepared when it does. So healing as a tactical option is indeed important to have handy when it is needed.

You know, james never said anything about ALL THE TIME. The point is, if your DM NEVER gets any PC to within one hit of dropping (or even drops one) , then you are not being challenged.

I can agree with this train of thought. The party should worry about death or defeat to some extent every once in a while.


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Nobody I have seen on this thread has been sayning that you should never heal in combat. I certainly haven't. In my mind the issue is how parties approach in-combat healing. The suggestion I have been making is to treat in-combat healing as a last-ditch emergency behavior as opposed to an integral battle tactic.

As far as this thread is concerned, perhaps it has made a few players rethink how they approach healing in combat such that they decide to investigate serious alternatives to having a party member dedicated to combat healing. If so, perhaps those few people will have their game play and tactical awareness enriched such that they enjoy the game a little bit more. Then this will have been a worthwhile thread.

Sczarni

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Nobody I have seen on this thread has been sayning that you should never heal in combat. I certainly haven't. In my mind the issue is how parties approach in-combat healing. The suggestion I have been making is to treat in-combat healing as a last-ditch emergency behavior as opposed to an integral battle tactic.

As far as this thread is concerned, perhaps it has made a few players rethink how they approach healing in combat such that they decide to investigate serious alternatives to having a party member dedicated to combat healing. If so, perhaps those few people will have their game play and tactical awareness enriched such that they enjoy the game a little bit more. Then this will have been a worthwhile thread.

This. Right here.

There is another thread in this section about a GM that FORCED a player to play a Cleric focused on healing with the Merciful Healer Archtype and Healing domain or something stupid. Thats absurd! There should NEVER be a case where the ONLY tactic is to run head first into combat and have one player that all they do is heal.

I've played D&D for over 15 years and in that experience it is rare that you need to have a healer like some here are pushing.


I'm not saying that you *have* to have a healer. But it will make things much easier, at least from what I've experienced over the last twelve years of playing 3.X D20 D&D + Pathfinder.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Nobody I have seen on this thread has been sayning that you should never heal in combat. I certainly haven't. In my mind the issue is how parties approach in-combat healing. The suggestion I have been making is to treat in-combat healing as a last-ditch emergency behavior as opposed to an integral battle tactic.

As far as this thread is concerned, perhaps it has made a few players rethink how they approach healing in combat such that they decide to investigate serious alternatives to having a party member dedicated to combat healing. If so, perhaps those few people will have their game play and tactical awareness enriched such that they enjoy the game a little bit more. Then this will have been a worthwhile thread.

You should never heal in combat, especially if everyone is playing an undead character. Healing them is not healthy.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

why does he feel a need to be so confrontational and dismissive, claiming that my games are "babysat" by the GM or snarking that my party must be "awesome" (meaning, of course we're not) and other such direct comments challenging the assertion I've repeatedly made?

So it's no strawman. I'm responding to his actual posts and comments.

I don't seem to recall ever saying that your (or anyone's) games are 'babysat' by the GM. When did I do this? (To double check I went through a few of the prior pages, to no avail).

I do see you as being *very* defensive, and I don't know why.

You did react to the idea put forth by one of the 'anti-in-combat-healing side' that the fighter could be consistently hit for over half his hps each round as very extreme. Crap happens. Sometimes you pick on something that can do that to you.. perhaps you shouldn't have, or approached it a different way.. but you didn't.

Now I did run with that example as the other poster was claiming that this situation, which I think we can agree did mandate in combat healing as it was presented, did not demonstrate the opposite. Even trying to use what some have called 'broken' spells it left a good probability of PC dead or even TPK, while a reasonably proficient in-combat healer makes it a standard encounter.

In-combat healing is a form of party buffing. That's the extreme nature of my posts. Period. I do say that when faced with things that are lesser threats to the party that such buffing is not as needed or even tactically the proper choice.

You seem to equate that with some aspersions to the challenges you face in your games. That's on you I'm afraid.

-James

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Nah, you are right, it's only -2 to AC, due to -4 Dex. Which is not *that* insignificant, especially since it lowers touch AC, too. I mostly was conflating the other negative penalties of the grappled condition with the AC. I'm not at my rules best sitting at work and posting in the short moments where I can't do anything productive.

No, I agree. Depending the level, a -2 to AC can be a big deal, especially touch AC.


ossian666 wrote:


There is another thread in this section about a GM that FORCED a player to play (snip). Thats absurd!

This I agree with 100%. It doesn't matter what class is put in there. Players should choose what they want to play.

The party might want certain things 'at the table' but that's amongst the players to decide.

They might want someone that can disarm magical traps, someone that can be friendly to NPCs (i.e. diplomacy), someone that can track, someone that can deal ranged damage, etc.

But each group decides its playstyle, not their DM. And contrary to internet wisdom there is not a sole 'optimal' way to play this game.

I recall in 3.5e marshaling a table to play in an organized campaign's special based on 'seeing in the dark'. We had 5 that could, and the 6th was a wizard that we forced to memorize darkvisions for himself as we, as a party, didn't want to be carrying a light.

I can imagine groups of players deciding that they want to do an all small size stealth-based party as another example. They might avoid most combats that a DM would have 'planned' for a 'normal' group. More power to them.

People seem to want to ascribe 'badwrongfun' to too much of this debate. The idea that a form of buffing the party is 'not worth it' is situational. It depends on the nature of the party and the nature of their challenges.

-James


Healing in combat is something my party had to do often in the Age of Worms campaign I just finished up. The more I converted the game to Pathfinder, the more dangerous the opposition became. They didn't have a dedicated healer; almost everyone had some way to heal themselves or an ally. Part of the problem they had was that they got hit really hard really often. They didn't go out of their way to get better ACs mostly because they felt rushed to stop the Age of Worms from coming. The AP gives that feeling especially the further you go.

Some of the creatures were downright nasty too. I was able to have some of them power attacking with every attack without worry about missing much. Combine that with some well placed critical hits (I use the Critical Hit deck) and things get more dangerous. My players aren't optimizers so some of the fights were near TPKs as well. They didn't use bad tactics most of the time, they just didn't have the resources (feats and gear) necessary sometimes. The enemy also would focus fire on one or two party members if someone appeared too dangerous (something the wizard finally figured out).

Healing is a necessary part of combat but it shouldn't be a primary option. It should only be used when necessary. Even my group would wait until round 3 or 4, or even later if possible. If the fighter was taking roughly 80 points of damage on good hits, then they waited until he couldn't afford to take another hit like that.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:

If you can always avoid it.. great. Perhaps you're that awesome, perhaps your DM is 'babysitting you' or perhaps something else..

Read that in the voice of the Simpsons Comic Book Guy, James. That should clarify why AD feels you're disparaging his game.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Quote:

If you can always avoid it.. great. Perhaps you're that awesome, perhaps your DM is 'babysitting you' or perhaps something else..

Read that in the voice of the Simpsons Comic Book Guy, James. That should clarify why AD feels you're disparaging his game.

And that's just the most obvious and recent example of many such comments from James and others.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Quote:

If you can always avoid it.. great. Perhaps you're that awesome, perhaps your DM is 'babysitting you' or perhaps something else..

Read that in the voice of the Simpsons Comic Book Guy, James. That should clarify why AD feels you're disparaging his game.

He had his back up against the wall before I ever saw the wall TOZ. And anything you elect to say in the 'Comic Book Guy' voice is going to sound that way..

Besides finish that quote: "doesn't much matter on how it comes or doesn't come there.. just whether or not it can."

That was the point. Simply if the situation can hit the fan, not how it came to be that way.

I don't really care what happens one way or another in his games, nor was I making any comment about them. But c'est la vie, I see in-combat healing as a viable part of in-combat buffing that can be appropriate in the right situations. If your combats don't give your party pressure for whatever reason then you don't need such. Likewise you won't need other things. This doesn't devalue them in mass, just in your situation.

You can call it wastes of actions, or whatever. That's your call. I call it something that you can bring to the table,

James


james maissen wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Quote:

If you can always avoid it.. great. Perhaps you're that awesome, perhaps your DM is 'babysitting you' or perhaps something else..

Read that in the voice of the Simpsons Comic Book Guy, James. That should clarify why AD feels you're disparaging his game.

He had his back up against the wall before I ever saw the wall TOZ. And anything you elect to say in the 'Comic Book Guy' voice is going to sound that way..

Besides finish that quote: "doesn't much matter on how it comes or doesn't come there.. just whether or not it can."

That was the point. Simply if the situation can hit the fan, not how it came to be that way.

I don't really care what happens one way or another in his games, nor was I making any comment about them. But c'est la vie, I see in-combat healing as a viable part of in-combat buffing that can be appropriate in the right situations. If your combats don't give your party pressure for whatever reason then you don't need such. Likewise you won't need other things. This doesn't devalue them in mass, just in your situation.

You can call it wastes of actions, or whatever. That's your call. I call it something that you can bring to the table,

James

James, you accuse me of being defensive....

If you agree with me that in combat healing is a viable tactic, then I am not sure why you have felt it was so important to rebut virtually every post I posted. The only thing I can figure is that it's because I said that it's not usually the BEST tactic. Otherwise I can't figure out why you have been so adamant to challenge my posts, since I've consistently, repeatedly and pointedly said that healing in combat is not only something that you HAVE to do sometimes, but that it's a completely legitimate tactic if you WANT to play that way.

It's just not usually the best tactic.

And that's the comment that seems to get your back up.

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