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RPG Superstar 2015

Wife wants to play a healer


Advice

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Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

But I've never built a healer. From a little poking around, it seems like a Life Oracle would be good. Any input from the community?

Constraints:
This is for PFS.
She wants to play an aasimar. I do have Blood of Angels available.

Marathon Voter 2014

I'm currently in a group with an Aasimar Cleric with the "Merciful Healer" archetype from the Ultimate Combat book.

We're not dead yet, so it seems like as good of an option as any for a "healy heal healer" type.


Life Oracle and Merciful Healer are both very good. Hedge Witch is also quite nice, though not as much throughput as the other options. It just has more non-healing options available.


Depends on what else you want to do. Often, people (in my region anyways) have a Wand of Cure Light Wounds, which is just a tap away.

If you just want to do purely healing, yeah I think I'd have to agree the Life Oracle does that well. The Life Link revelation might be interesting if you build a high constitution. Spirit Boost, Enhanced Cures, Channel, and Combat Healer look pretty great too.

If you want to help the party as well as healing, Bard, Witch, Inquisitor, and Paladin are pretty nice.


healer has become very broad in PF
Witch has hexes for in-combat and can heal out of combat.
Alchemist has a good flavour for healing and can do fine.
Cleric, well it's obvious.
Oracle, perhaps even more focused than cleric, but might lack diversity.
Bard isn't all that bad either.

If she's into optimizing, she probably needs the last three to go with her stat boosts, but apart from that more input from her would be nice so we don't suggest the opposite of what she wants.


Quote:

If she's into optimizing, she probably needs the last three to go with her stat boosts, but apart from that more input from her would be nice so we don't suggest the opposite of what she wants.

Not true. He has Blood of Angels. Periblooded has +2 INT and CHA as its bonuses.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

She wants to be "cool".

I have relatively little additional guidance at this point. She's mentioned the possibility of hitting people with a staff, or possibly being a "don't get my hands dirty, just use magic" type person, or maybe jump around like a ninja.

Or something.

So I guess really I need to understand the underpinnings of what's required to be a sufficiently competent healer, so that I know what resources remain for me to apply to other competencies as she decides on them.


My wife made up a Life Oracle for our current game and she likes using Magical Lineage (with CLW) and Reach Spell feat to cast CLW at short range. She also took a trait Inspired by Greatness that allows her to cast CLW at +1 caster level for the lower levels. She plans on picking up the Enhanced Cures revelation to make CLW somewhat viable as she continues to level (applying various metamagics to it via ML). She enjoys it so far (we just made level 6).


Life oracle can work very well.

Pick spells you find amusing because you can always cast the cures or channel if the others don't apply in a specific situation.

Ones I particularly like:
murderous command
ant haul
sun metal
oracles burden
pilfering hand
spear of purity
borrow fortune
chain of perdition


Maybe a Paladin with the Word of Healing feat?

They make decent healers and can still kick ass if she wants to.


being cool.
Well I imagine the witch as more distant, but she definetly doesn't get her hands dirty and is at least as much about magic as the wizard.
The cleric and the oracle don't wear shades as they want to see their god.

Which leaves us with the epitome of coolness, the alchemist.
Use magic device with wand of cure light wounds and that discovery to use your "spells" on other people and for the rest you have to decide if it's either physicical coolness (chuck a potion and smash someone in the face) or mental coolness (chuck a potion and outsmart everybody, and throw bombs while putting your sunglasses on).

As she's a woman I bet she goes for the latter, I would go mindchemyst, and perhaps psychonaut if you expect the game to last till later levels and she enjoys the power behind the throne kind of thing. Kirin strike is a nice feat to up the damage considerably with insane high intelligence.

On the other hand this is just my opinion and you can play every class in cool manner. The inquisitor can be like the Punisher, or the cleric like Captain America.
Don't expect however to be like monk or like a ninja, they can still heal with use magic device, but don't have such an innate ability.


Jiggy wrote:


She wants to be "cool".
"don't get my hands dirty, just use magic" type person

That's exactly what my witch does xD And yeah, people are a big fan of Fortune and Misfortune as well as healing. I also tend to prepare debuffs, and a good number of Cure Something Spells. I don't even prepare damage spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Alchemists don't need UMD for CLW wands. That's how cool they are.


Jiggy wrote:

She wants to be "cool".

I have relatively little additional guidance at this point. She's mentioned the possibility of hitting people with a staff, or possibly being a "don't get my hands dirty, just use magic" type person, or maybe jump around like a ninja.

Or something.

So I guess really I need to understand the underpinnings of what's required to be a sufficiently competent healer, so that I know what resources remain for me to apply to other competencies as she decides on them.

Hedge Witch with Evil Eye as a Hex, probably Extra Hex for Healing Hex, and, at least for a little while, a light crossbow or something to be useful in combat when not dropping Evil Eye.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I can tell you all right now she won't be playing that creepy witch class. Or the alchemist.


Just being a life oracle pretty much guarantees that you have all you need to be at least a decent healer. But you can of course specialize in it much more extensively.

If you spells are mostly summons, buffs, or utility (in addition to the cures) you don't need a terribly high charisma.

Take the channel revelation first.
Take the selective channel feat so you don't have to heal the bad guys.
Reach spell for offensive touches and cures without getting into melee.
Summon monster spells so you don't have to get involved with all that mucky fighting yourself.


Life oracle is best healbot. Lifelink is amazing, though it requires a reasonable amount of HP on your part to keep from dying.


Let me counter all the fancy builds: Cleric of Shelyn. She'll get to wield a glaive. How's that for cool?

Healing will be adequate without intense specialization. Just grab selective channel so you can leave the bad guys out.

And it's easy.

Sczarni

I'd go Cleric...

Archon Blooded

Str-10
Dex-10
Con-12 +2 (14)
Int-10
Wis-17 +2 (19)
Cha-14

Cleric 1
Fire Domain

This would leave you with the ability to heal AND incase you get left to fend for yourself leave you some damaging spells and abilities. Take Selective Channeling and then from there you want things to help you buff up DCs so you can use the Channels offensively and some spells too.


The reason I would recommend oracle instead of cleric is because cleric is a prepared caster.

New players tend to not know all the umpteen bajillion spells well. Consequently, they tend to just take the some basic ones over and over again. Might as well be a spontaneous caster so you can cast any of those basics as often as desired. Can have help here on the forums to pick a very effective spell list along with recommendations on how to use and explanations on the complex parts. Then just need to print out the few you have actually learned and you are good to go.
(I do not know if the 'wife' is a new player or not.)

PFS players are under a fair amount of real world time pressure. Session is just a few hours long and everyone wants to keep the game moving to get it finished before time runs out. Player will not have a lot of time to look through books to find the optimal spells. Do not normally have a lot of background info to pick spells before the game. Therefore they have a strong push to just go with their default list of spells. Again, might as well be a spontaneous caster so you can cast any of those defaults as often as desired.

Obviously these are generalizations and not true for everybody. Some players (definitly not me) do have nearly all the spells memorized and can very quickly customize a apell list for the situation.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

@Kydeem - I was having the same thoughts about spontaneous versus prepared. She is a bit of a newbie, so I'm kind of pushing for oracle. So far, Life oracle seems to fit the "healer" bill, and keeps spellcasting as simple as possible.

Now if I could just figure out what she really wants out of the rest of the character...


My girlfriend plays an aasimar Life Oracle with spells focused on siege engines and crafting construct in a steampunk campaign and firearms. A sort of Seraphim from Sacred the fallen angel game...
Life Oracle are solid healers, check out there in the guide to the oracle for more specific considerations on revelations.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
The reason I would recommend oracle instead of cleric is because cleric is a prepared caster.

My problem with the oracle is that there's a fairly small number of level 1 cleric spells that are fun to cast over and over again.


The nice things about a healbot Cleric is that:

  1. Once you figure out that you really don't need that much healing, you still have all those lovely spells available.
  2. You can't build them "wrong". Even a sub-optimal Cleric still kicks arse.
  3. Religious affiliation grounds a PC nicely in the setting, and "picking a God" pulls players in too.

Sczarni

I'd avoid the pigeon hole as much as possible...give her a domain or something that has OPTIONS to do damage...you never know when she may need that spell to help out or maybe the first round or two there is nothing for her to really heal so she can use the domain power to contribute a little damage.

I'm never a fan of linear characters. I get trying to keep it simple, but after 12 sessions and 5 levels she will start to catch on and then you have pigeon holed her into a spot where she won't be able to wiggle a tad and spread her wings as an individual player.

Just my 2c


If you want something simple, you could try a Theologian cleric with the Fire domain and the trait Gifted Adept (Burning Hands). Then she can blast away with Burning Hands and/or fire beams to her heart's content, as well as healing with Channel Energy.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Jiggy wrote:

@Kydeem - I was having the same thoughts about spontaneous versus prepared. She is a bit of a newbie, so I'm kind of pushing for oracle. So far, Life oracle seems to fit the "healer" bill, and keeps spellcasting as simple as possible.

Now if I could just figure out what she really wants out of the rest of the character...

I wouldn't even say you need a Life Oracle - they can all get the cure chain for free, so a different mystery could give some variety for spells she doesn't need to burn on healing. Even more fun if you can find away to tie her mystery and curse together, backstory-wise...


ossian666 wrote:

... I'm never a fan of linear characters. I get trying to keep it simple, but after 12 sessions and 5 levels she will start to catch on and then you have pigeon holed her into a spot where she won't be able to wiggle a tad and spread her wings as an individual player.

Just my 2c

I understand what your saying. In some cases I agree with you. But at the few PFS sessions I've been to the prepared casters were definitely being pushed to hurry up so all but one of them just used their default selection. And the times I've seen a new player try a spell caster, they were absolutley overwhelmed by the huge number of spells. They would just ask someone what spells should I pick and then would stick with those (even if not a very good choice) for ages.


Personally? I don't like the idea of a Wow style healer. I prefer the meme of cleric who stands in the back but can unleash all hell if pushed to it.

Personally, I'd build her a buff build oracle, and give her a few major healing spells for when it's necassary. The type of charactor that helps out, but can roll up her sleves and be a major 'oh sh@#' button if pushed.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

ossian666 wrote:

I'd avoid the pigeon hole as much as possible...give her a domain or something that has OPTIONS to do damage...you never know when she may need that spell to help out or maybe the first round or two there is nothing for her to really heal so she can use the domain power to contribute a little damage.

I'm never a fan of linear characters. I get trying to keep it simple, but after 12 sessions and 5 levels she will start to catch on and then you have pigeon holed her into a spot where she won't be able to wiggle a tad and spread her wings as an individual player.

Just my 2c

Not to worry, I'm very aware of this issue. I'll make sure she has non-healing options. What those options are will depend a bit on how to build her as a healer, though. For instance, if I go with a Selective Channeling build, then of course she'll have high CHA, which makes offensive spellcasting a solid option (having decent save DCs). If healing is more about spells, however (or if Channeling is saved for after combat, thus not needing Selective Channeling), then CHA becomes less important and I might give her a couple of buff/utility spells and solid physical stats for stabbing/shooting enemies.


I think Aasimar are now legal to play in PFS. At least I remember reading some where that some races are being opened up for play without boons and I think Aasimar was one of them.

I would have her take a solid look at the cleric. Just the core class as it stands is very flexible and can fill multiple roles while allowing her to heal.

Cleric brings -
Channeled Heals
Spells can be converted to heal spells
2 Domains which brings extra abilities and spells
Good Defenses
Decent to Good 'to-hit' for fighting.
Good health
Good class skills (but low skill points)

She can build a Cleric any way she wants, and if she doesn't like something, she can completely re-write the cleric after a seesion till she hits 2nd level.

Over all the cleric is the basic, well rounded healer that can do almost any job if you build your cleric that way. If you play normal advancement, your wife will be able to 'tweak' the cleric after the first 3 mods she plays to try to find a build that she likes.

While the other classes that have been suggested might suit her and work better. They just don't have the flexibility and options built into the cleric. As those classes are more narrowly focused onto doing a certain job.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Trayce wrote:
Personally, I'd build her a buff build oracle, and give her a few major healing spells for when it's necassary. The type of charactor that helps out, but can roll up her sleves and be a major 'oh sh@#' button if pushed.

I'm considering this as well, but there are two issues:

1) I'm not sure she would enjoy keeping track of lots of buffs (she already struggles with this with her archer), and
2) It's the type of character I would build for myself, and she might feel pushed into my style instead of her own.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
ossian666 wrote:

... I'm never a fan of linear characters. I get trying to keep it simple, but after 12 sessions and 5 levels she will start to catch on and then you have pigeon holed her into a spot where she won't be able to wiggle a tad and spread her wings as an individual player.

Just my 2c

I understand what your saying. In some cases I agree with you. But at the few PFS sessions I've been to the prepared casters were definitely being pushed to hurry up so all but one of them just used their default selection. And the times I've seen a new player try a spell caster, they were absolutley overwhelmed by the huge number of spells. They would just ask someone what spells should I pick and then would stick with those (even if not a very good choice) for ages.

Oracles are fine for home games with indulgent GMs or for experienced players who know the spells, but if the player chooses spells poorly there's no way to recover in a reasonable timeframe by RAW.

Cleric, if you choose your spells badly and survive you can revise your spell list for next time you play without restriction. Maybe some spell that looked good turns out to suck in practice. Cleric can just not prepare it next session. Oracle's stuck with it for at least one level and can only fix one mistake every two levels.


It's an interesting challenge. She may not know exactly how she wants to play the character until she gets to use it for real. So: play test!

This is for PFS, so if I understand correctly, she has to start at level 1. Therefore, build her like 3 different level 1 healer options, and let her try each one out in a brief scenario -- just a single encounter, even -- to see which she likes best.

On a final note, if you wind up going Life Oracle, I recommend Channel Energy as her revelation, and Selective Channeling as her level 1 feat. Area of effect healing that scales with level is great at keeping your party on their feet. And CHA governs both oracle casting and selective channeling, so she would probably be able to use it in close combat pretty often without healing the baddies.


I played a Life Oracle for like, over a year, and it rooled skool. I know a lot of people pooh-pooh combat healing, and channel healing in particular, but in that game there seemed to be a lot of Fireballs and breath weapons dropped on us, so the Channel Energy was awesome even around level 10-12. The elemental transformation thing was also cool as heck.

Offensively I used a bunch of enchantment spells, but my DM was really hot on her dice so it became a running joke that my character didn't *really* know Hold Person, he was only pretending to do something.

Still, my vote is that for healing, Life Oracle is the coolest of the cool. I remember fights where our party were just getting hammered at range, and I kept them up until they could get in there and crush faces.


Well, any oracle can be a decent cure X healer. If that is all she wants, it opens up all the oracles mysteries.

Only the life oracle can have the channel and is likely to have all the condition removal spells.

Ask, "Do you want to be an EMT or surgeon?"

If just the EMT, many of the oracles have some fairly wierd spells and revelations.

If the full suregeon fix anything, then the life oracle is the best at it.

Liberty's Edge

Matt2VK wrote:
...and if she doesn't like something, she can completely re-write the cleric after a seesion till she hits 2nd level...

Seriously?!? I never knew that. Carpola.


how about a bard then?
The others have to keep track of their buffs I believe.
You can heal, buff, attack, pretty much the whole thing.

And you can have charisma and be cool, I think bards invented coolness.

If you make her a life oracle and she sees that it's not an MMO and you don't need heal every round, but more like every combat, she might feel useless and might get bored.

also this wouldn't contradict the one golden rules of Rpgs I know: Women like playing bards or elves, or generally both.


Richard Leonhart wrote:
... Women like playing bards or elves, or generally both.

Ohh!!! Comments like that are gonna get you smacked!


Nah, Rangers. Chicks dig Rangers.

There's no accounting for taste.


Jiggy wrote:
I can tell you all right now she won't be playing that creepy witch class. Or the alchemist.

Witch stops being creepy if you take the archetype from the ARG for Half-Elves. Then you become Harry Potter.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Richard Leonhart wrote:
If you make her a life oracle and she sees that it's not an MMO and you don't need heal every round, but more like every combat, she might feel useless and might get bored.

Why do people keep bringing up MMOs? She's not wanting to emulate an MMO healer role. She's never even seen an MMO.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

My PFS Lavode De'Morcaine wrote:
Matt2VK wrote:
...and if she doesn't like something, she can completely re-write the cleric after a seesion till she hits 2nd level...
Seriously?!? I never knew that. Carpola.

Well, that went into effect yesterday.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Richard Leonhart wrote:
Women like playing bards or elves, or generally both.
VRMH wrote:
Nah, Rangers. Chicks dig Rangers.

*sigh*

Her other character is a half-elf Ranger2/Bard1.

Silver Crusade

Azata-Blooded (Musetouched)
Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Cha
Alternate Skill Modifiers Diplomacy, Perform
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Musetouched gain glitterdust as a spell-like ability.

Favord Class : Oracle
Add +1/2 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation. (Revelation : Channel)

Oracle
Mystery : Life
Revelation :
1: Channel
3: Spirit Boost
7: Enhanced Cures
11: Lifesense
Curse : Blackened
Feet's : Slective Channeling
3: Aligment Channel
5: Improved Channel
7: Force Channel
9: Improved Force Channel
11: Greater Force Channel

Channel with spending all favord class bonus on channel revelation.
Oracle (Channel level) Dice (Base DC befor cha mod)
1 (1) 1D6 (10)
2 (3) 2D6 (11)
3 (4) 2D6 (12)
4 (6) 3D6 (13)
5 (7) 4D6
6 (9) 5D6 (14)
7 (10)5D6 (15)
8 (12)6D6 (16)
9 (13)7D6
10 (15)8D6 (17)
11 (16)8D6 (18)
12 (18)9D6 (19)

Shadow Lodge

i would suugest a cleric over an oricle. if she decides she wants to do more then just heal it has the most options. not to mention its amazing at the role of healing.

i like having newer people play the healer when they start playing for the first time. its a very simple low stress role for someone to play. now im not saying your wife is new, she may be a veteran, but solid healers can be fun if the roleplay is fitting to what she wants to play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Richard Leonhart wrote:

being cool.

Well I imagine the witch as more distant, but she definetly doesn't get her hands dirty and is at least as much about magic as the wizard.
The cleric and the oracle don't wear shades as they want to see their god.

Which leaves us with the epitome of coolness, the alchemist.
Use magic device with wand of cure light wounds and that discovery to use your "spells" on other people and for the rest you have to decide if it's either physicical coolness (chuck a potion and smash someone in the face) or mental coolness (chuck a potion and outsmart everybody, and throw bombs while putting your sunglasses on).

As she's a woman I bet she goes for the latter, I would go mindchemyst, and perhaps psychonaut if you expect the game to last till later levels and she enjoys the power behind the throne kind of thing. Kirin strike is a nice feat to up the damage considerably with insane high intelligence.

On the other hand this is just my opinion and you can play every class in cool manner. The inquisitor can be like the Punisher, or the cleric like Captain America.
Don't expect however to be like monk or like a ninja, they can still heal with use magic device, but don't have such an innate ability.

I'm a big fan of the Witch with a Healing Hex. Cure everyone once a day for free, healing spells on top of that, lots of combat and non-combat abilities, fun spells, and a pet to interact with.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've always thought that a Hospitaller Paladin of the Holy Light (those two archetypes) would be great for an intro character. High survivability, the ability to heal people, some damage.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

calagnar wrote:

Azata-Blooded (Musetouched)

Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Cha
Alternate Skill Modifiers Diplomacy, Perform
Alternate Spell-Like Ability Musetouched gain glitterdust as a spell-like ability.

Heh, that's the one she's looking at. Has a lot to do with the picture. ;)

Quote:

Favord Class : Oracle

Add +1/2 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation.

Wow. Okay, you've got my attention.

Quote:
Channel with spending all favord class bonus on channel revelation.

For my own reference, replacing the below parentheses with the dice used by a normal cleric/Life oracle:

Oracle (Channel level) Dice (standard dice)
1 (1) 1D6 (1d6)
2 (3) 2D6 (1d6)
3 (4) 2D6 (2d6)
4 (6) 3D6 (2d6)
5 (7) 4D6 (3d6)
6 (9) 5D6 (3d6)
7 (10)5D6 (4d6)
8 (12)6D6 (4d6)
9 (13)7D6 (5d6)
10 (15)8D6 (5d6)
11 (16)8D6 (6d6)
12 (18)9D6 (6d6)

Wow.

On the other hand, it sounds tempting for Energy Body or Enhanced Cures, too.

Sczarni

Energy Body is good if you position yourself in a way that others can pass through you(doorway)...you basically become a turret of health and death.

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