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Clerics: What should they do in combat.


Advice

151 to 192 of 192 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Sczarni

Crosswind wrote:
JrK wrote:

Everything that would shut down that enemy is better.

Crosswind wrote:
Unless your heal saves somebody from going down, or wastes the turn of an enemy. Then, you're trading your action for somebody else's action. This is _always_ a good idea, because until about level 7, a cleric's action is worth THE LEAST OF ANY CLASS IN THE GAME.
Unsubstantiated nonsense. A lvl1 cleric already has command.

It's a bit difficult to establish that clerics pretty much have the worst action in the game. Nonetheless, it's true. Cleric spell list is the worst in the game, and full BAB people do a ton more damage. I guess you might argue that bards are in there too.

But you have, perhaps, made the best argument that cleric actions suck in the game: Your claim that the command spell is a good way to spend an action.

The command spell is a close range, single-target Save or Suck spell with a 1 round duration. If this spell was on any other spell list, it would never be taken. Every other spell list either has a long-duration save or suck, or an AOE save or suck...and almost all of them have spells that satisfy both qualities.

Command is lousy. Your belief that it's a good action for a cleric to take pretty much establishes that a cleric action is worth less than anybody else's.

-Cross

I'm glad somebody brought up Command; I've been wanting to talk about it.

Command is probably the most visible evidence of Clerics being nerfed in PF. In 3.X, it was "any one-word command you can think of, except 'die'". It encouraged creativity, and it never failed to generate some fun stories of that time you commanded an orc to do this or that.

Now, you get a short menu of possible options, none of which really capture the imagination the way the old Command did. Sure, forcing an enemy to spend his entire turn dropping prone is pretty good- even after the spell wears off, the baddie still has to spend another action to stand up- but it's hard to forget about all that lost possibility.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think clerics losing heavy armor proficiency is the most visible evidence of that.


JrK wrote:
Crosswind wrote:
Cleric spell list is the worst in the game
You just totally voided your 'opinion'; probably never heard of CoDzilla. But you are most probably a forum lurker with regenerative capabilities anyway.

Not _really_ a lurker, though I really only post when I have something to contribute. In this case, I wanted to clarify the reasoning behind how a cleric should optimally act.

Now, I will post to inform you that CoDzilla, in Pathfinder, is awful. Pathfinder removed most of the super-long-term buffs, and the ability to get persistent buffs via divine metamagic that was present in 3.5. Simultaneously, they buffed every melee class. CoDzilla, in pathfinder, is a pretty terrible build, except when you have a number of rounds prior to a combat to buff yourself. And then you move from bad to mediocre.

It's an understandable mistake on your part - a lot of people missed the stealth nerfs to clerics, combined with the buffs to other classes, on the way from 3.5 to pathfinder. But if you're going to be arguing as much as you are in a cleric thread, you ought to be a bit more aware.

-Cross


Silent Saturn wrote:
Sure, forcing an enemy to spend his entire turn dropping prone is pretty good- even after the spell wears off, the baddie still has to spend another action to stand up- but it's hard to...

I agree with your whole post, except for the part where Command is good. "Prone" makes him drop prone (free action) - he can still attack you. So you just spent an action and a spell slot to have a chance at giving a guy a -4 to an attack.

You're almost better off casting Daze, a 0th level spell. Given the fact that spellpower tends to increase better-than-linearly with spell level, when a 1st level spell is comparable to a 0th level, that spell is in trouble.

-Cross


I was depressed when i saw the divine spelllist...
Divine power - well that was kinda fair...

But you should still be able to make a cleric that CAN fight. And if you have 4 guys hitting a single foe - how can you NOT kill him in 1-2 rounds?

If you spend all your feats on things like selective channeling, you can't fight - so you are better of healing, buffing, debuffing (yes you can do that) But if you spend your feats to become a reasonable warrior - hitting things is GOOD option - you don't use spell slots, things die - and dead thing don't hurt your friends (unless they are undead.. but you get my point).

I think people who assume hitting things is a better idea than healing play with a party that can kill foes quickly - so a single full attack from the cleric is enough to tip the scale and stop the monster from ever attacking again. But if you plan to spend 3-4 round to bring the thing down - you will need every guy in the party...

As for Healing being a valid and good option all the time:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0077.html

The clerics just spend huge amount of the daily resourses - the monster didn't...

Cheliax

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I do not see people talking about how bad the action economy and resource management is when the cleric casts these so called save or suck or battlefield controll spells and the enermy does exactly just that, save. Wasted action and wasted spell.

The cleric spell list is not an exciting list to cast off of. Please tell me mote about these offensive spells they should be casting. what are they? I think too much time was spent on 6th level spells. What is the cleric casting before that? I'll give examples myself to get started.
-Spiritual weapon is nice though not all that great. I find I often hold it unless he fight a flyer or incorporeal, otherwise it sits unused till the last expected fight.
-Silence can totally screw spell casters and has no save. Not nearly as good in open areas and be careful about giving up your own spell casting.
-Sound burst does damage weather they save or not. Though it is so little, it is not exciting unless it stuns them. That brings us back to weather or not the DC is high enough.
-Not at all exciting but I cannot end without mentioning: remove paralysis, lesser restoration and energy resistance. Problem is, they are strong candidates to swap out for healing, so will you even have them when they are needed? Especially since you would want multiples when they are good.

I think clerics are forced to choose between high wisdom(minimum 18 to start) and high spell DCs and no real combat ability or fair wisdom and mediocre combat ability. With high wisdom/DCs, you just do not have points left for physical stats. Good physical stats mean your saves will always be saved against. Even then, I found clerics with 14 strength and 3/4 bab to be sorely lacking in the to hit department, even with weapon focus and a masterwork weapon. When they did roll 10+ to get a hit, the damage was negligible compared to what others can do. If you are casting buff spells, you are wasting a standard action decreasing the value of those spells by a round and the fight is only goinging to be a few rounds anyway right?


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JrK wrote:


RP wise that's fine but it's just foolish to think this has anything to do with being optimal.

If you are in a situation where an action spent healing on your part will keep another party member on his feet for another round, then healing is probably optimal; it costs you one action to heal the damage, it costs the enemy one action to deal it again, and it gives your ally one extra action.

That situation doesn't come up all that often, but when it does, healing is probably optimal (assuming by "optimal" we mean "most likely to win the fight".) And the fact that you can do it at will without needing to prepare any specialized spells means that when it is optimal to heal, then you can always do so.

Now, it's not optimal to use combat healing to keep your allies at max HP; it's probably better to let them take a few hits, hit the enemy a few times yourself, and then heal them after the combat. But if a heal spell this round will keep your ally on their feet for another round, then it's worth using.


Yosarian wrote:


Now, it's not optimal to use combat healing to keep your allies at max HP;

People confuse 'in-combat healing' with 'downtime healing'... and when they do the later in the midst of combat it gets confusing for some.

This then propagates on the internets that healing in combat is a mistake. You might as well add using consumables to that list. When they are misused they are a waste as well.

Balance it right and treat in-combat healing as a buffing spell. You are empowering the target with choices that they wouldn't otherwise be able to entertain (i.e. in extreme cases: the option to continue breathing).

Healing in combat increases the odds that the party can go without a bad swing causing one of them to get killed.

-James

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think part of the reason that people can get worked up over in-combat healing is that it's one of the more dangerous things to get wrong.

If the cleric casts bless halfway through the fight instead of at the beginning, then (barring strange circumstances) he made a poor decision, got relatively little benefit for his expenditure of resources, and could even be argued to have "wasted" his action/spell/both. Casting bless isn't universally bad, and even used poorly it's "merely inefficient".

If the cleric sees someone drop to negatives, casts cure light wounds, and the BBEG sees the target get back up, he's going to splatter him to make sure he stays down this time. Even though in-combat healing may not be universally bad, used poorly it literally costs a PC their life. Instead of lying around unconscious for a couple of rounds while the BBEG defended itself from more relevant threats (again, barring unusual circumstances), the PC became a target again only with a much smaller buffer between him and death.

Like any other tactic, there is a right time and a wrong time to heal during combat. But the consequences of doing it wrong can often be far more deadly than other tactics.

Sczarni

Crosswind wrote:
Silent Saturn wrote:
Sure, forcing an enemy to spend his entire turn dropping prone is pretty good- even after the spell wears off, the baddie still has to spend another action to stand up- but it's hard to...

I agree with your whole post, except for the part where Command is good. "Prone" makes him drop prone (free action) - he can still attack you. So you just spent an action and a spell slot to have a chance at giving a guy a -4 to an attack.

You're almost better off casting Daze, a 0th level spell. Given the fact that spellpower tends to increase better-than-linearly with spell level, when a 1st level spell is comparable to a 0th level, that spell is in trouble.

-Cross

My mistake-- the "approach", "halt", and "flee" commands specifically say the target can't do anything else that round, so I missed the part where the "fall" command still lets him attack.

I still think the "flee" and "halt" modes are pretty useful-- especially "flee", since they pretty much have to full run away, then spend a second round running back to you. But let's be honest-- it's a 1st-level spell. None of the classes' spell lists get anything to stand up and scream about until at least 3rd level.


Raymond Lambert wrote:
I think clerics are forced to choose between high wisdom(minimum 18 to start) and high spell DCs and no real combat ability or fair wisdom and mediocre combat ability. With high wisdom/DCs, you just do not have points left for physical stats. Good physical stats mean your saves will always be saved against. Even then, I found clerics with 14 strength and 3/4 bab to be sorely lacking in the to hit department, even with weapon focus and a masterwork weapon. When they did roll 10+ to get a hit, the damage was negligible compared to what others can do. If you are casting buff spells, you are wasting a standard action decreasing the value of those spells by a round and the fight is only goinging to be a few rounds anyway right?

Sure you have to choose - but both types have and offensive option - doesn't really matter if you cat and offensive spell or smack things with a sword...

I think one of the things a HATE about being a heal bot is that I should use my action to give my ally another action - which would make my action less important than his. Why would I wanna play some less important than than the other players?
So I don't play a heal bot - if my allys are low on hit points they should run away! Then I'll either finish the encounter myself or flee with them.
If the only thing you give the party is healing then you can be replaced with a few wands of cure light wounds and a selection of potions... Do you wanna be that guy?`

As for spells: (I'll start with lvl 3 since low level spells are just that - low level..)
Bestow curse - the right target (low will save) and he will suck!
Blessing of Fervor - that the buff spells that you want!
Spit Venom - blinded is bad
Forbid Action, Greater - that will save your fiends more than healing them
Plane Shift - big monster with no loot - will save or elemental plane of fire!
Wall of Stone - buy some time...
Animate Objects - target don't have DR? Then animate something big with plenty of attacks...
Harm (Heal vs Undeads) - is one of your frinds gonna act before BBEG? then harm the BBEG instead of healing your friend

IF a cleric melee type has problems hitting - then he should start combat with buffing. Everytime.


Actually, something came to mind from earlier points on this thread.

In one campaign, my Cleric of Zon-Kuthon did rather well as combat support.

Using a mix of darkness spells, buffs and a large spiked chain, she was able to deal some good damage.

Of course, she also didn't usually have to waste combat actions for healing, since she had a wand that she used after a fight.


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Raymond Lambert wrote:
I do not see people talking about how bad the action economy and resource management is when the cleric casts these so called save or suck or battlefield controll spells and the enermy does exactly just that, save. Wasted action and wasted spell.

That's because we don't annoy the 'healer' camp either with the happenstance that you heal someone and that person botches his action. Not to mention that you can actually fail a healing spell...

Two wasted actions for the price of one.

RE: Command. It is just lack of imagination that makes anyone think it is a bad spell. Especially the flee/approach command is great. Example: set it up so the target has to run through ally threat ranges, especially if they have Combat Reflexes.


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Bigtuna wrote:


I think one of the things a HATE about being a heal bot is that I should use my action to give my ally another action - which would make my action less important than his. Why would I wanna play some less important than than the other players?
So I don't play a heal bot - if my allys are low on hit points they should run away! Then I'll either finish the encounter myself or flee with them.
If the only thing you give the party is healing then you can be replaced with a few wands of cure light wounds and a selection of potions... Do you wanna be that guy?`

This is just so much wrong.

First, if you are enabling another character their actions when they would otherwise be denied them, then anything that they accomplish with them is something that YOU gave them. This doesn't make you 'lesser', rather it makes you ESSENTIAL.

Second, if no one in the group realizes this, then that's something the group needs to learn. This might just be a perception problem for your group.

Third, 'everyman for himself' is not a great battle strategy for a party. One of the great redeeming things about D&D that I have always been able to say to people (even way back when at the time D&D was seen as 'bad') is that it demonstrates the value of cooperation.

Fourth, you are confusing in-combat healing with downtime healing being done during combat. In-combat healing is about enabling actions and insuring that random swings don't get out of hand. It is a valuable resource for the party to have on the table, and allows them other tactical options, as opposed to being left only with 'flee, maybe I'll join you in fleeing'.

Fifth, Yes I like playing the guy that is the lynchpin of the group, that helps them achieve things that they couldn't reach without him. They can even feel more freedom to be occasionally stupid and get away with it as a result!

-James

Shadow Lodge

Actually no, it's so much right. Notice the Healbot part. More likely than not, it was the other players "everyone for themselving" that led to the situation, essentually blackmailing the healer into that role. If your trading in your action so they can continue to do something "better", that does make your actin "lesser" and drives people away from the role. There is a reason there is a phrase, "who is going to take one for the team this time and play the Cleric". There is also a reason there are so many builds out there that remove as much healing as they can exept for out-of-combat.


I don't think it's everybody for themselves. And I have nothing against off-combat healing/downtime healing - except on very low levels i'm not gonna use my spell slots for off-combat healing. That's what wands are for.
restoration, removing a disease, curse or poison - yes I do that - but not in combat. (se below)

Ok never say never - if only the fighter has boots of flying an we are fighting something flying (it's a made up exsample so don't tell me to carrie a potion of fly - i do) I would heal him/remove any number of negative status effects on him so he could do the job i couldn't.
But let's say theres no flying monster, my fighter friend just got staggered - he can't make a full attack - now i can remove the staggered condition from him - I have spells for that - OR i could hit the monster potientially removing him from the fight - and if nothing else If I hit him he might start hitting me instead of other party members. Or replace staggered with badly damaged - If I hit the monster I'm a treat (or I just removed the monster) - if I heal the fighter (with anything less than a heal spell) the fighter would still be the treat - and thus most likely get the next full attack from the monster - which could kill him.

I'm playing with a syntesist and a paladin/synteist - both broken beyond belief (they have syntesist levels which by it self is broken in my book) - so I should look a any given encounter the optimal thing i could do would be to let them kill things and not stand in the way, and just keep removing any negative staus effects they might get/buff them.
I don't - I fight, I kill things (not as many - but I contribute, and have fun).

meaningfull in combat healing as I see it is limited to heal, removing save of suck effects (like paralysed, neasiated, stunned) limited healing from cure-spells and channeling is just a waste of action 95% of the time.
I see a Healbot as mainly a divine caster that wastes his action in combat to heal his friends, giving them a warped sense of the need for more AC.
Enabler - that could be a divine caster - that helps the other people do things they could do normally - an something most clerics should do from time to time. Buff spells, start combat with a freedom of movement when fighting anything with tentacles, resist energy.. you name it.

And let's have a look at timing. When is incombat healing needed? Either after a few rounds of combat - by then monsters should also have suffered serious damage - which should make it more likely that the melee cleric could finish him off - ending the encounter...
Or early in combat thanks to a few lucky GM rolls or an overpowered NPC... If your team starts to have problems this early - fleeing isn't a bad option if you want to avoid TPK.


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Bigtuna wrote:


I think one of the things a HATE about being a heal bot is that I should use my action to give my ally another action - which would make my action less important than his. Why would I wanna play some less important than than the other players?

Well, no. If by healing you give your ally another action :AND: you negate your enemy's action at the same time, then your action is now roughly TWICE as important as your allies action.


But that were we disagree - I don't think I can negate my enemies action by healing my ally.
Yes at low level (lvl 1-2) a cure light wounds can keep up with an enemy that makes a single attack pr round. And Yes a Heal spell will get you partymember back in the fight. But i just don't see cure spells or channeling keeping up with damage from monsters at higher levels.

And every cure spell you cleric uses is part of his daily resourses, if he has to cast spells every round he will run out of spells quickly. And do you want to be the guy whi needs nap time after the second encounter that day?

And again if you can't get your ally up to a desent HP level (aka using heal) then you are just putting him at risk.


You know, there is channel energy and the simple 2nd level buff spell Shield Other for higher levels.

And if you negate 70% of the opponent's damage that's very good. Look a page or two back, I did the math on a _hard_ encounter on level 11 against two CR11 monsters. Even if they did manage to single out one character to attack over and over, the channeling kept up pretty well. And that's not a precious resource as it's only for channeling.

Of course doing this every turn isn't good, but if you can both heal up your guy so ze gets actions and the risk of death is lowered dramatically, and at the same time reduce an opponents damage output with 70% or so, that's not bad.

So while having healing as your main schtick doesn't work, it's a good secondary schtick, much like how dealing with traps is a secondary schtick for rogues and some bards and rangers. Some people will tell you that's worthless too, but it's so heavily affected by playing style, campaign style and circumstance it's hard to say anything but: It depends.

Grand Lodge

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It does depend, and I do not think anyone is suggesting it doesn't. Yes, play style is a major factor, but as a general rule, healing, specifically healing in combat (except if someone is about to die, or drop), generally is one of the worst things a Cleric can do.

Return fire -> Secure the area -> Bandaid.

A simple Heal Check, minor Healing, or Stabalize will stop the threat of death and not risk (the generally very likely) chance that said dropped charcter will take even more damage (and actually die outright), allowing others to soak up some, which is much more convenient and a wiser use of healing through Channel Energy after the combat than burning through your small number of spells and usually wasting them soon afterwards.

Your suggesting that if you heal someone they become another active offensive member, which sometimes is the case. But more typically, you are trading your limited resource to prevnt a portion (which can just as easily be 1% as it can 70%) of the enemies unlimited resources, can still fail, and even worse can either greaten the threat to the wounded character or yourself, (which is far, far worse). Especially when we start getting into encounters with largr creatures with multiple attacks and natural reach.


Bigtuna wrote:

But that were we disagree - I don't think I can negate my enemies action by healing my ally.

Depends how your party plays and how everyone was built.

It is possible, however to do just this.

Can it be resource intensive? Sure.. when you are going with the situation of one PC negating the enemy turn, and the entire rest of the party not doing things of similar magnitude... Heck, the real answer is 'of course'.

In combat healing is a buffing action. It enables choices and allows for strategies to become viable.

For some reason it has gotten a bad reputation on the internet.. but then again people here can be obsessed with DPR computed by expected damage over time while D&D is a turn based game where damage comes in discrete amounts over a short period of time rather than continuously over longer periods. In other words, the internet routinely misses the point.

-James


Generally, I'm inclined to agree with you. However:
In many games, area damage is common, especially at a bit higher levels. Everything between fighting in extreme temperatures to combating dragons and casters. In such circumstances, there's a very huge difference in risk of dying between being at -5 and stable and being at +20 and stable - even if you lay low.

While number of attacks may be unlimited in theory, a typical combat doesn't last forever and so their resource isn't unlimited - it's actions. In fights where the players outnumber the foes, a PC's action is worth less than the foes action - and so, spending an action to remove an action is a good deal. In a 4v1 fight, spending an action to reduce their action's effectiveness by half is a good deal, even. There might be better ways to do this depending on situation, but it healing shouldn't be ignored as an option.

But I agree that using spells to heal hit point damage is very, very rarely a good option (barring the heal spell which has it's uses). Basically non-existant.

But I don't see how the threat becomes greater for the wounded character by gaining hit points. Nothing forces the wounded character to jump up and continue beating, if they think they will die if they do. Also, depending on the monster, there's a risk that it will attack a downed character again. While the in-game effects of dying and getting raised in a controlled environment might be small, I dare say that it's at least a little more than fluff to not want to die and avoiding it even if you can be raised later on.

So while it might be about enabling a later action in the round, but it might also be about enabling a character to survive, and thus later actions throughout the adventure.


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As for the "putting party members at risk"; that can be true, it depends on the sitatuion. Generally, though, if the cleric heals you back up to 2 hitpoints, you don't charge into melee. It's certanly something to keep in mind.

It can go the other way, too. If you're in a situation where "This fight should be fine, we're winning, but the fighter is getting a little low and there is a 5% chance that that guy gets a full damage crit next round and just kills the fighter in one shot", it can be a reasonable option to heal the fighter to get him out of megacrit range. Yeah, a 5% risk is small, but it will happen from time to time, and avoiding unnecessary risks is a good thing.

"Devil's Advocate" wrote:


Your suggesting that if you heal someone they become another active offensive member, which sometimes is the case. But more typically, you are trading your limited resource to prevnt a portion (which can just as easily be 1% as it can 70%) of the enemies unlimited resources, can still fail, and even worse can either greaten the threat to the wounded character or yourself, (which is far, far worse). Especially when we start getting into encounters with largr creatures with multiple attacks and natural reach.

Oh, sure. I'm not suggesting that you heal if you can't keep up with damage.

Again, I'm not saying that in-combat healing is usually the best option. Most of the time, you're better off doing something else in combat and healing later, it's better in terms of action economy. But the fact that you CAN do it when it's appropriate is a significant part of your flexibility and combat effectiveness as a cleric, and just forgetting about the option completely does make you less effective.

Grand Lodge

Yosarian wrote:
As for the "putting party members at risk"; that can be true, it depends on the sitatuion. Generally, though, if the cleric heals you back up to 2 hitpoints, you don't charge into melee. It's certanly something to keep in mind.

I'm talking more along the lines of the wounded character standing back up or picking up their dropped weapon, both of which offer AoOs, and getting hit for even more damage, which either drops them right back down to negatives, (and probably worse off than they where before) or outright kills them. Or the enemy throws out an area attack, because there are again more threats and an area attack is now logical. Or the Cleric (or any healer) enters close combat, and either fails the Concentration roll, gets hit and boms the spell, or then becomes the closest target for all those full attacks. It's not even about anter character just charging in, though I've seen plenty of that, too.

It's more about the Cleric leaving their post, NOT doing the other things they should be doing, (back up tanking, helping with Flanking, casting other spells, preventing enemiy(s) from acting, or throwing out some ranged attacks), and instead increasing the likelihood of more damage and a TPK. If it is an easy fight or there is a realistic chance that an ally will die, sure, that's an exception and the Cleric (healer) needs to do something, accepting that they are painting a target on themselves and the ally. If the Fighter/tank is doing that bad off, the Cleric is not going to have the AC, (even with spell tricks) or the HP to stand in their place AND offer support AND do any offense.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, what I get out of all this is this: Building a healbot is utterly pointless if you try to play a cleric. Why? Simple - once you write "cleric" and "channel positive energy" on your character sheet, you've invested enough resources to do it more than well enough unless you then make subsequent choices to negate that selection.

Healing domain? Excessive, the rest of your spells are already Cure On Demand.

Merciful Healer? That's getting really excessive, and it weakens your other abilities to get the overkill.

Selective Channel? Eh, on the off chance you start running out of feats you want (or take Versatile Channel or a variant channel) it's not a bad choice to fill a hole, gives you the option of in-combat channeling without playing a minigame of Tetris. But still not needed.

In short, if you are planning to heal every single round, you're neglecting a huge portion of your class features for the sake of sticking to a narrow and, frankly, weak play-style.

However, no battle plan (your build) will survive contact with the enemy intact. As a cleric, your major strength in dealing with this is that you can drop your initial plan at a moment's notice to start dealing with short-term problems. Many other characters with healing ability need to carefully ration it out in some fashion, whether it's picking up the spell from a list of limited spells known or actually needing to prepare all their Cure Wounds spells in advance. Just like any other versatility trick, the key to getting the most out of it is analysis of your situation. Mileage will vary based on how well you do it.


on "Putting teammembers in danger by healing him"

Yes there is situations where healing is a valid and if not optimal, then at least reasonable in-combat action.
- The heal spell (optimal used if the target also have some sort of negative status effect for you get more out of the spellslot)
- Stabilizing a guy before he bleeds to death (that cost money!)
- crowded spaces - like a 5 feet wide hall way, if the cleric can hit the target/don't have a spell that would make a difference - the cleric would do fine healing the front man...
-Tank with a low chance of getting hit, that seems low on HP after a few lucky GM rolls - again if the cleric can't do something better/decisive, a little healing migth be a goog idea...
- a dead player - breath of life - saves the party money...
- and so on...

Now how much you "put people at risk" depends on the GM - some like to play rational NPC'er - and if you end up awake with 4 HP - monsters can see you are injured. Intellegent monsters will try to take you out of combat - one less action for the party = better survival chance for poor NPC. Others sometimes take steeps to allow players to survive - the enemy fighter might change target if the GM estimates the player is close to death. Making in-combat healing a more valid option, than if your GM WILL attack the wounded player...

Grand Lodge

I'm confussed. How does Stabalize (or even stabalizing via the skill) cost money?

If your in a 5ft hallway and the tank in front of you is down, healing them is actually a really bad idea. They will come back prone (meaning baddies get an even better chance of hitting them, and are looking at 2 AoO's before thy can reay ven be back doing anything, should they survive that long. Granted, if you couldn't do anything before then, you can't do much now, but even a ranged spell or Full Defense, or dragging the body out of the way and eating an AoO so someone else CAN act is a whole lot better at that point. But honestly, ven when their up and not near death, Aiding Another is probably a better idea than blowing through some minor healing just to keep them topped off.


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

I'm confussed. How does Stabalize (or even stabalizing via the skill) cost money?

If your in a 5ft hallway and the tank in front of you is down, healing them is actually a really bad idea. They will come back prone (meaning baddies get an even better chance of hitting them, and are looking at 2 AoO's before thy can reay ven be back doing anything, should they survive that long. Granted, if you couldn't do anything before then, you can't do much now, but even a ranged spell or Full Defense, or dragging the body out of the way and eating an AoO so someone else CAN act is a whole lot better at that point. But honestly, ven when their up and not near death, Aiding Another is probably a better idea than blowing through some minor healing just to keep them topped off.

I think he meant you should use stabilize before they die so you DON'T have to spend money on a resurrection spell.

And for the hallway, you would have to keep him from going down. I think if the tank goes down, you pretty much have to become the tank yourself just to make sure he doesn't finish dying(assuming no one else is in position). Either that or throw a wall spell or something to keep him safe.


Such a contested Subject. It all boils down to two things when your talking about Combat-Healing:

1. Play Style - Different groups play differently. Imagine that. Some groups like having a Combat-Healer and a more defensive combat. Some like quick heavy DPR races. Some enjoy heavy tactics with use of buffs and CC. Most have a mix of all three.

2. Party Composition - Like number one... Different groups are going to be different. If you have a party full of support or defensive type characters with few or no DPR kings... Combat is going to take longer. Longer fights mean more damage, and more then likely will require Healing during combat. On the other hand if you have a party full of DPR then a healer really wont see a ton of use, because the fight will be over.

Saying someone is having Badwrongfun is just pompous. Its all based on the group.

If you want to maximize your use of Channeling then take Selective Channeling and Quicken Channeling... and dont Dump CHA. Thats it. Not a huge investment. 2 feats and one stat. The rest can be used to do something else in combat. At least then you can throw out an AOE heal that will soak a bit of the damage, and you still get to do something with your action.

I dont see why people get so worked up about this subject.


I would work from the assumption that a downed ally on negative HP will be finished off by the enemy next round if I don't heal them or take out the enemy in one go. (You could assume that the GM will be merciful, that the crazed daemon attacking you will choose to ignore an unconscious foe. I prefer not to make that assumption.)
If you do heal them, they can go full defence, or can attack from the ground without provoking, or stand up as a swift action if you cast Blessings of Fervour earlier.

On one occasion, I was playing as a druid and the party cleric was brought down before either of us could act. I did what seemed sensible in the circumstances - trapped the enemy in a wall of thorns.
Unfortunately the cleric had been reduced to one hit point away from death, failed to stabilize, and died before I could act again.

Grand Lodge

If I where that player, I wouldn't fault you for what you did. A healing attempt likely would have still gotten the character killed and then you woud be one major resorce down for the rest of the party who are now in an even worse situaton. Sucks it was right up front of the combat, but it happens.


What Tar-Tar said. Sorry if that was unclear.

Dragonamedrake wrote:
" maximize your use of Channeling then take Selective Channeling and Quicken Channeling... and dont Dump CHA. Thats it. Not a huge investment.".

Not dumping Cha... Hmm is 10 okay? Then i just used 2 feats for an ability I can use 3/day...

Add more and 15 point builds get problems with an other stat - if they want to be a melee cleric - they are in trouble...
MAD is a BAD thing...

2 feats - thats fine... But would you stop there? Would you take a trait to get and extra use/day? Or extra channeling?


But getting to positive hit points does not force one to stand up and grab a weapon. It'd be pretty heavy metagaming by the DM if the monster knows how many hit point someone has and whether they're disabled or just "playing" disabled. And if you're safe enough to act but not to provoke two AoOs, for melee characters aiding another from the ground should be pretty simple. If nothing else, their AC increases dramatically between being prone and helpless and getting just a -4 to AC.

Cheliax

you need cha 13 for selective channeling

Grand Lodge

No it's not, there is actually a Feat that lets you do just that. It's metagaming to just assume that a downed character who just had a spell cast on them is not being healed.

If they don't stand up, or at least act, then what's the benefit of healing them? :) (except tey are not dead if that's in the exception area)

Silver Crusade

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

After reading this thread, I'm coming away with two things:

1. Playing a cleric that heals every little nick and cut in combat, despite having other options (aka healbot), is a suboptimal play style.

2. Playing a cleric that never heals anyone in combat, even to prevent a fellow party member's death, is also a suboptimal play style.

My two cents. Your mileage may vary.


More or less. Look, someone back in 3.5 days someone crunched the numbers, and found out that (in 3.5, which is not Pathfinder, and since PF has Channel the numbers are different) that as long as you don’t care about your fellow PC’s dying, healing during combat isn’t the best choice. Since then, it’s become a meme. It’s outdated since PF and it’s based upon a rather poor roleplaying assumption (“who cares if Sherman the fighter dies, he can just roll Sherman II, right?”.


Bigtuna wrote:

What Tar-Tar said. Sorry if that was unclear.

Dragonamedrake wrote:
" maximize your use of Channeling then take Selective Channeling and Quicken Channeling... and dont Dump CHA. Thats it. Not a huge investment.".

Not dumping Cha... Hmm is 10 okay? Then i just used 2 feats for an ability I can use 3/day...

Add more and 15 point builds get problems with an other stat - if they want to be a melee cleric - they are in trouble...
MAD is a BAD thing...

2 feats - thats fine... But would you stop there? Would you take a trait to get and extra use/day? Or extra channeling?

Let me clarify. Its quite easy to get a decent stat array for a cleric and still have a 13 CHA. Its only 3 points.

Lets take a Human Melee cleric as you suggested.

Str 14 OR 15
Dex 13 -- 12
Con 13 -- 12
Int 7 -- 7
Wis 16 -- 16
Cha 13 -- 13

Thats a perfectly acceptable array on a 15 point buy. It gets even easier if you pick a race with two good stats, or you have a higher point buy.

As far as the whole trait thing... thats up to the player. There is a trait that adds 1 channel per day. Its not a bad choice (if you agree with my Trait guide :P )Extra Channeling? Probably not. Unless you have extra feats you dont know what to do with. There are usually plenty of better choices for a cleric.

Point is. For a small(Modest?)investment a cleric can have some in-combat healing without sacrificing action economy. If you feel it too big an investment... fair enough. That just goes back to my ealier point. Different groups prioritize differently. There is no Badwrongfun.


sowhereaminow wrote:

After reading this thread, I'm coming away with two things:

1. Playing a cleric that heals every little nick and cut in combat, despite having other options (aka healbot), is a suboptimal play style.

2. Playing a cleric that never heals anyone in combat, even to prevent a fellow party member's death, is also a suboptimal play style.

My two cents. Your mileage may vary.

Shh! Don't make things so simple, let them fight it out a bit more. It's fun to watch.


Modest investment - yes, with quickend channeling 2/day a nice little ability that doesn't keeps you from casting a spell that round.
For a caster focus cleric it's not really that big an investment, for a melee cleric. Every feat counts, and 14 str maybe enough for PA but not enough if you want to be a secondary melee char...

And just for the record - if a fellow player dies - we raise him, he doesn't get to just make Sherman II, unless he really hated the old char - in which case in-combat healing isn't a good option :-)

But this is D&D - people know if they have money, they can come back to life should they die... Why else would people go up against a freaking dragon? Point? Sometimes it's better to let the badly injured PC die and kill the dragon before TKP - after all at least one PC have to live so he can get the other raised...

Cheliax

Are you not worried about spending so much on raise dead that you become under equipped and die more often for that reason? Or are you so high level that the cost of a raise is like the cost of a wand or some other consumable?


Silent Saturn wrote:
Command is probably the most visible evidence of Clerics being nerfed in PF. In 3.X, it was "any one-word command you can think of, except 'die'". It encouraged creativity, and it never failed to generate some fun stories of that time you commanded an orc to do this or that.

PG-13:

14 yr old asthyril (playing 1st ed AD&D decades ago) favorite thing to do...

COMMAND WORD : MASTURBATE!

now spend a round trying to take off that armor, buddy! HA HA HA!

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