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Healing without a "healer"


Advice

51 to 74 of 74 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

How does your GM feel about the Leadership feat? I'm currently running a game with no dedicated healing class. The PCs just hit 7th level, and one of my players took Leadership and created his follower to be a pure heal bot, with no other real combat capabilities. I have some reservations about Leadership (I won't go into details, you can find plenty of other posts related to the subject on these boards), but in this case, I allowed it just so the group had more healing capabilities beyond simple wands.

The player also built an elaborate backstory into his follower so it makes sense to have this heal bot following the party around, which certainly helped my decision to allow it.

Other than that, I would agree with the notion that wands can only get you so far, especially at the higher levels. I think that without a dedicated healer, the party just has to go with a multi-discipline approach to healing. When they next level up, encourage the other players to boost skills and take feats that help them heal themselves and others. It will take the whole party pitching in to make up the difference.


In the ninth level campaign I am currently running, the party paladin took leadership and has a "healbot" too. It's an interesting dynamic. I play my NPCs as intelligent and when they see someone zipping around healing people up, they sometimes take notice of the activity. She does use "sanctuary" to reduce her vulnerability, but that doesn't stop every potential attack. She was knocked unconscious in our last boss fight by an empowered fireball, and that caused some interesting role playing for the paladin.

Shadow Lodge

Kevin Morris wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
You really do have the right to play the character you want to play. I understand you don't mind and don't want to upset anyone, but if you're not having fun because you're expected to fill a role, or if your party is in serious jeopardy because you've decided not to fill a role, something needs to give and it looks like you've been giving.

This keeps coming up, so I want to reiterate something:

I am the only person making a new character. The DM's games often have a wide variety of situations and challenges, and healing is generally necessary in some form or another. If I do not make a character without access to at least some healing, the group will not have one, we will all very likely die, and we will not have a game to play. I would rather play than not play, and I think the rest of the group would agree with me. I want to make sure my character has access to healing, accordingly, but I want to look for different options than I'd been employing previously. So, I made this thread to ask about others' experiences, especially with respect to wand-based healing, as it's often been said off-the-cuff that wands of cure light wounds are all you really need.

Please stop insinuating that my group is terrible because we're in a situation where we need a healer, and I am the only person in a position to fill that role, as the other characters are pre-established. This thread should have never been about the character of the players involved in the game.

I'm not insinuating anything. I don't think your group is terrible. I've been in your position, of making character build choices to fill a role and in my situation it wasn't really the build I wanted to play. In my case it was because the cleric left the group and I was the only other character with any healing ability - so again, it's not like anyone else could have stepped in. My group wasn't bad. I told them I'd pick up the healing and they took me at my word. And despite it being occasionally frustrating it was an excellent game. But it was hard in some ways and when I came on the forums to talk about improving my healing ability some of the people here rightly advised me to talk to my group about ways to take a little bit of healing responsibility off my character, like having the sorcerer train UMD and use a wand of CLW.

If you are happy and having fun playing a healer, great, but we want to make sure you know it's not your only option if you want to play. EDIT: Leadership is a good example of an alternative option.

If you are having fun, ignore those comments.

It sounds like you're leaning towards the Thundercaller bard, so play the bard. If my group survived in a low-wealth game with restricted wands and scrolls and only my Inquisitor as a healer, you should probably be OK with a bard, and it sounds like that's what you are most interested in. Do have a look at the Songhealer + Soundstriker combination, since the out of combat Heal is very useful for condition removal, but the Thundercaller should do fine if you're not enthusiastic about the other. Also have a look at the Samsaran's Mystic Past Life ability. I'm not sure, but you might be able to get Restoration and Heal off the Alchemist's list with that.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Grey Wind wrote:

How does your GM feel about the Leadership feat? I'm currently running a game with no dedicated healing class. The PCs just hit 7th level, and one of my players took Leadership and created his follower to be a pure heal bot, with no other real combat capabilities. I have some reservations about Leadership (I won't go into details, you can find plenty of other posts related to the subject on these boards), but in this case, I allowed it just so the group had more healing capabilities beyond simple wands.

The player also built an elaborate backstory into his follower so it makes sense to have this heal bot following the party around, which certainly helped my decision to allow it.

Other than that, I would agree with the notion that wands can only get you so far, especially at the higher levels. I think that without a dedicated healer, the party just has to go with a multi-discipline approach to healing. When they next level up, encourage the other players to boost skills and take feats that help them heal themselves and others. It will take the whole party pitching in to make up the difference.

Leadership is banned for the game, based partly on feedback I provided drawn from the last game I ran, where it was allowed.

The group does already have a Monk focused on battlefield control (he's using some combination of archetypes I can't remember), so we've got a decent foundation to rely on that, as well. That's part of what makes me think I can go half-caster or something and succeed here.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

You said that oracle wasn't allowed, yet you have a gunslinger in the party. Why is oracle not allowed?

Also, what is the party composition?


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I would recommend that you play a supportive healer who can do other things. Druids are great, so are witches. They have enough healing that they can be the healer, but they also give you the opportunity to gradually train the party away from the need for in-combat healing, and as they learn to rely more on tactics and less on buckets of hit points, then you can move your druid away from dedicated healing to more rewarding encounter activities. And you can still keep enough critical heals ready that if the need arises, you can again fill that dedicated healer role for an especially difficult encounter.

I have to agree with this. I know you played a Dedicated Healer druid once, but there are a ton of other ways you can go with a druid (or a witch).


Xexyz wrote:

You said that oracle wasn't allowed, yet you have a gunslinger in the party. Why is oracle not allowed?

Also, what is the party composition?

No oracles?!

Then...who does everyone else in the group infuriate by continually calling them a cleric?!

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Xexyz wrote:

You said that oracle wasn't allowed, yet you have a gunslinger in the party. Why is oracle not allowed?

Also, what is the party composition?

Cleric, Inquisitor, Oracle, and Paladin are not allowed for the time being because we are working for an organization that is hiring (or enslaving, depending on how you look at it) us to kill members of any and all faiths and anyone that draws power from the gods. They're in a war with the gods and trying to kill all of them.

"Philosophy" clerics don't exist on this world, either.

The party has a gunslinger, a soulknife (Dreamscarred's version), a monk, and a rogue.

Shadow Lodge

Kevin Morris wrote:

Cleric, Inquisitor, Oracle, and Paladin are not allowed for the time being because we are working for an organization that is hiring (or enslaving, depending on how you look at it) us to kill members of any and all faiths and anyone that draws power from the gods. They're in a war with the gods and trying to kill all of them.

"Philosophy" clerics don't exist on this world, either.

The party has a gunslinger, a soulknife (Dreamscarred's version), a monk, and a rogue.

Given that the two best healers are forbidden by campaign concept I would assume that the DM intends for you to be able to play through this campaign without a dedicated/optimized healer.

Do you still have access to magic items that provide healing (scrolls, wands, etc)? Are cleric/oracle-only scrolls restricted?

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Weirdo wrote:
Kevin Morris wrote:

Cleric, Inquisitor, Oracle, and Paladin are not allowed for the time being because we are working for an organization that is hiring (or enslaving, depending on how you look at it) us to kill members of any and all faiths and anyone that draws power from the gods. They're in a war with the gods and trying to kill all of them.

"Philosophy" clerics don't exist on this world, either.

The party has a gunslinger, a soulknife (Dreamscarred's version), a monk, and a rogue.

Given that the two best healers are forbidden by campaign concept I would assume that the DM intends for you to be able to play through this campaign without a dedicated/optimized healer.

Do you still have access to magic items that provide healing (scrolls, wands, etc)? Are cleric/oracle-only scrolls restricted?

You would assume incorrectly. The DM doesn't design encounters based around one particular party composition or another.

Magic items are fairly rare in this game, so counting on getting scrolls and wands beyond starting equipment isn't a good bed.


I would suggest a chirurgeon alchemist or a hedge witch is you want to be able to heal.
For your comrades I'd suggest taking godless healing. Fits the setting and takes some of the healing burden off the healer.


As a side question: Do you play in golarion? If so is Razmir considered a god for the organisation you'll be working for?

Even if he is I could imagine it to be fun to play a razmiran "priest" (it's a Sorcerer archetype) in that kind of game. He being an infiltra(i)tor who hopes that in such a conflict, your organisation vs the gods, Razmir could be the one taking advantage.

But if you want to be able to heal properly this is the wrong path.

Shadow Lodge

Kevin Morris wrote:
You would assume incorrectly. The DM doesn't design encounters based around one particular party composition or another.

Even when he dictates party composition? That's... harsh.

You say this is a replacement character? For how long has the campaign been running, and what sort of fights have you seen? Removing negative conditions such as ability drain or negative levels is going to be very tricky if you not only lack a cleric/oracle but are unable to cooperate with them. In fact, the only "allowed" class that gets Restoration at all is the Alchemist - and I don't think there is any other way to remove permanent negative levels or drain.

Scarab Sages

Weirdo wrote:
Kevin Morris wrote:
You would assume incorrectly. The DM doesn't design encounters based around one particular party composition or another.
Even when he dictates party composition? That's... harsh.

This is seeming more and more like a 'set them up to fail' situation, as the restrictions accrue.

There are games where you can get by without a healer, or backup healing consumables (Vampire the Masquerade, for instance). Pathfinder is not by design one of them, in most instances (although you could, perhaps, run a Kingmaker style game without a healer, since combat encounters may come days or even months apart, but that's *hardly* the standard...).

I'd love a robust set of non-Cleric healing options, such as Monks able to use a much improved Wholeness of Body on allies, or Rogues able to expand uses of the Heal skill the same way they expand their use of Perception/Disable Device to do things that others cannot do, or a Barbarian rage power that provides fast healing, or a bardic song that provides fast healing to allies, or some arcane healing spells in the Transmutation and / or Necromancy schools, but that kind of stuff doesn't exist in this game.

No clerics, inquisitors, paladins or oracles *and* restricted access to potions or wands of cure wounds, etc? Get used to being beat up and having incurable negative conditions. The level loss will be the most brutal.


Since your GM is allowing Dreamscarred Press' stuff, are you guys allowed to use other third party stuff too? Is so, there are some useful tricks such as Super Genius Games Feats of Mulitclassing that allow you to grab a single Oracle's Revelation that they could take at level one, counting as your level -3 for how effective it would be. It takes two feats to do it (You need Skill Focus in one of the Oracle's Mysteries skills) and, technically speaking, it's probably of divine origin...but that might be fun to roleplay in your campaign. And the Life Mystery has such lovely things as Channel Positive Energy.

There's also the Mystical Healer third party feat from Rite Publishing, which can enhance most healing effects. It does work better if you have some caster levels, but it'll certainly boost a bard's abilities somewhat.

There's probably some other tricks, if I can be bothered to go check out the various bits and pieces of half remembered stuff floating in my head, but those two are what instantly spring to mind and there's not much point in researching something your GM won't allow.


JonGarrett wrote:


There's also the Mystical Healer third party feat from Rite Publishing, which can enhance most healing effects. It does work better if you have some caster levels, but it'll certainly boost a bard's abilities somewhat.

Works best on a druid with glorious heat, a celestial blooded sorcerer or a life necromancer as it enhances all healing by the same number, no matter how much it heals without it.

There may be other options that make as good use of it, those are just the ones I found up to now.

Oracles can use it even better but as they are banned I will not go into detail here.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Set wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Kevin Morris wrote:
You would assume incorrectly. The DM doesn't design encounters based around one particular party composition or another.
Even when he dictates party composition? That's... harsh.
This is seeming more and more like a 'set them up to fail' situation, as the restrictions accrue.

I asked for folks to stop judging the table, but it's still happening, so I'm going to break it down.

The situation we're in is actually the PCs fault, not the DM's. At the start of the game, most of the standard classes were allowed (with notable exceptions being Summoner and Wizard, which were banned for various reasons mechanical reasons). I elected to try out a hedge witch for a healer, as it fit the concept I had best.

After several sessions, we got in over our heads and attacked a dragon way out of our level range, completely of our own accord. Two of us died, including my original witch.

One PC used a Hero Point to convince the dragon to stop long enough to talk. Long story short, this resulted in two things: the PCs leading the dragon to an embodied god, which it killed, and the dragon turning the remaining two living PCs over to the dragon kingdom, which, as I said before, is at war with the gods.

We were given the option to either continue playing the game or to end it. We were informed that divine classes would not be allowed. We were all interested in the story that had unfolded up until that point, though, and so now, our characters are working for the enemy and hoping to find a way to break out of their control (which is partially supernatural, making it more difficult than just running away).

The DM did not "set us up to fail." We, the PCs, did. As a table, we are all committed to going where the story takes us, and if that means certain character types will not be available until some other time, then so be it.

My second witch died in our first adventure in service of the dragon kingdom, again, completely of my own accord. To make it a cliche, he took a bullet for a six year old girl. It was an in-character decision, and I made it knowing full well it would mean death and a new character.

Considering my original question was about the experiences of others in regard to healing with wands and dedicated healers, I'm surprised this has in part turned into a discussion about how unfair the DM is being.

Let's leave that discussion aside now, as it's almost entirely irrelevant.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

JonGarrett wrote:

Since your GM is allowing Dreamscarred Press' stuff, are you guys allowed to use other third party stuff too? Is so, there are some useful tricks such as Super Genius Games Feats of Mulitclassing that allow you to grab a single Oracle's Revelation that they could take at level one, counting as your level -3 for how effective it would be. It takes two feats to do it (You need Skill Focus in one of the Oracle's Mysteries skills) and, technically speaking, it's probably of divine origin...but that might be fun to roleplay in your campaign. And the Life Mystery has such lovely things as Channel Positive Energy.

There's also the Mystical Healer third party feat from Rite Publishing, which can enhance most healing effects. It does work better if you have some caster levels, but it'll certainly boost a bard's abilities somewhat.

There's probably some other tricks, if I can be bothered to go check out the various bits and pieces of half remembered stuff floating in my head, but those two are what instantly spring to mind and there's not much point in researching something your GM won't allow.

Third party stuff is generally not allowed, and actually, nothing from Dreamscarred except for the Soulknife is allowed, either.


Speaking as someone who regularly services an entire party of meat shields with naught but a bag of wands and a small handful of class abilities even at 14th level, I think your bard build will be fine. Other posters have pointed out the drawbacks related to ability score damage and negative levels, and there's not much to be done about that unless you have an alchemist in your group to fill that niche (as we did at one point).

However, you're going to spend a pretty significant portion of your loot share on wands that can keep up with the damage your allies will take, especially at higher levels when you need to be able to sling around CMW and CSW to put a dent in the high max HP total a typical fighter or barbarian will sport.

If your comrades are willing to chip in for that expense, all the better. If not, you'll either have to suck it up, or get... let's say creative about apportioning treasure (or Sleight of Handing small valuables when no one is looking).

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Power Word Unzip wrote:

Speaking as someone who regularly services an entire party of meat shields with naught but a bag of wands and a small handful of class abilities even at 14th level, I think your bard build will be fine. Other posters have pointed out the drawbacks related to ability score damage and negative levels, and there's not much to be done about that unless you have an alchemist in your group to fill that niche (as we did at one point).

However, you're going to spend a pretty significant portion of your loot share on wands that can keep up with the damage your allies will take, especially at higher levels when you need to be able to sling around CMW and CSW to put a dent in the high max HP total a typical fighter or barbarian will sport.

If your comrades are willing to chip in for that expense, all the better. If not, you'll either have to suck it up, or get... let's say creative about apportioning treasure (or Sleight of Handing small valuables when no one is looking).

Haha, with the extremely chaotic and temperamental half-orc rogue, I'm not sure swiping treasure would be wise.

But otherwise, the higher level experience is very helpful. That's mainly what I've been worried about, as I've no clue how long it will be before there's an opportunity to make a cleric or oracle (which is what I'd originally been planning to make after the death of the first witch).

Both Alchemist and Bard will be pretty strong, I think--considering how much trouble our lack of Diplomacy and Sense Motive have gotten us into, the Bard's Charisma focus and skills may end up more useful than the Alchemist's better healing kit.


My group is fairly healing-limited.

We started out with an oracle (who could cast Cure Light Wounds), and my PC, a druid, who is just an off-healer. Both classes (indeed, every healing class) is limited by the action economy, as well as the low amounts of per round healing. (Only the Heal spell can keep up with damage, sometimes, and we're only 8th-level, so no one has that yet.) The oracle player left the campaign, but our cavalier turned into a paladin (a rebuild), and can Channel AoE healing fairly well. We also have a witch, who is good at healing in combat... well, as much as is possible within the rules.

The issues with healing are three-fold, I find:
1) Healing between combats. Any character that can use Cure Light Wounds can power a wand or three. A wand of CLW is cheap at only 750 gp, but it's too slow to be used in combat. Fortunately bards can make these wands, so they're still available in a non-divine campaign.

2) Healing during combat. Generally too slow south of 11th-level. Any PC who can channel has a few options here, although they're feat-intensive. Note that many healing classes, such as oracles and druids, do not have this ability. Without divine casters, there's no powerful emergency healing. I think even witches don't get Heal, but I'm not entirely sure how that class works. IME in high-level 3.x, the Heal spell is required. (Otherwise the DM has to nerf encounters and avoid anything that does lots of damage. Such as "burn" mages.)

3) Condition healing. This is where my group falls down, as we have neither an oracle or a cleric. In one adventure, half the PCs were blinded by bird swarms, and afterward, my druid healed their sight. (It's Kingmaker, and so we often do months of in-universe time in a session.) Only to find out between sessions that druids don't have Remove Blindness as a spell! The DM let that slide. We also found a large number of scrolls after that battle, including Scrolls of Restoration, Cure Disease and numerous other such scrolls. Our witch doesn't have those spells (and fails the Use Magic Device checks often), our magus is in the same boat when it comes to Use Magic Device, the druid only has a few of those spells, and the paladin only has Cure Disease and Mercy (you don't get all of those, naturally). The end result is certain conditions (such as blindness) could cripple the party for several levels, or at least until we visit a temple. It sounds to me like the OP should be most worried about this aspect, as I don't believe it's possible to heal these conditions without some form of divine magic. If there's no divine casters, items shouldn't exist either, and there wouldn't be any temples either.

I don't think there's any class that can avoid all these problems, and #2 and #3 seem unavoidable unless your DM applies some more house rules to relieve them.


@Kevin: Is there any chance your gm would be open to a thematicly correct prestige class from 3.5 forgotten realms for this game? The UR-Priest stole divine energy from the gods to fight them and would make for an interesting character in what to me seems to be an awesome game.


Kevin Morris wrote:
... Part of my problem is that I find the idea of bardic performance somewhat...difficult to swallow, I think. I actually think it fills a very great role in a party and love having a bard around, but I have a hard time zoning in on a concept that involves someone singing, orating, or dancing in combat ...

That sounds like a post I could have written. =) I have never been able to make the concept work for me either.

Kevin Morris wrote:
... But I have trouble making Fighters, too, 'cause my ideas never seem to aim that way (though the 2 skill points/level doesn't endear me toward the class either).

You might take a look at the Lore Warden fighter archtype sometime. Alot of people really like it for making smart fighters.

----------------

To the original question. IF magic items are fairly available, I think you can easily make do with a secondary (bard) or even tertiary (paladin) healer. Possibly even just a high UMD sorc.

But it might take a conversation with the group and GM. Not saying anything bad about them. Just to see that you're all on the same page. If alot of the healing is going to come from wands, it is unreasonable to expect all the funds for the wands to come from you. So check with the GM to make sure a source is likely to be available (without spoiling the campaign). Let the group know, "Look, I want to try something other than a dedicated healer. So how about we try 2 things. One, work on our tactics to minimize healing needed. Two, put a third of the take into a fund to buy healing items like a wand of restoration."

Not saying anything bad about the group. But a group that has gotten used to having a dedicated healer is probably very oriented around total offense.
Again nothing against your GM, but I said check with him because some GM's do not like a group with a bundle of cure/remove wands.

Shadow Lodge

Kimera757 wrote:
3) Condition healing. ... The end result is certain conditions (such as blindness) could cripple the party for several levels, or at least until we visit a temple. It sounds to me like the OP should be most worried about this aspect, as I don't believe it's possible to heal these conditions without some form of divine magic. If there's no divine casters, items shouldn't exist either, and there wouldn't be any temples either.

This is what I am worried about. One persistent problem with my Inquisitor was condition removal - in my case, disease and poison. And I still got those spells eventually, I just got them later and fewer of them. If a character is blinded and no one can cast Remove Blindness, or if the barbarian takes 6 points of Str drain, and you not only have no way to personally remove that condition but have no access to someone with the power to personally remove that condition, that character is going to be crippled for a good long time.

I do not intent to criticize your group. Clearly you are all enjoying yourselves, so I do not think this is a "bad DM." I am, however, surprised, since the DMs I know generally do not confront players with negative conditions that they cannot remove through any means. That is just my personal experience.

The bard's social skills are a definite plus, especially if your goal is to avoid more combat. The alchemist could still be decent at talking if you invest the ranks, pick up traits that give you Diplomacy or Sense Motive as class skills, and don't dump Cha or Wis, but it is easier with the bard.

If you're not planning on dealing a lot of damage, you might be able to qualify for Healer's Touch.

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