Pathfinder Player Companion: Healer's Handbook (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Healer's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Good for What Ails You!

Whether it's for getting patched up after a fight, dealing with a debilitating disease contracted in a fetid dungeon, or negating the effects of a terrible poison in the middle of combat, eventually every adventurer needs a healer. Most healers have their own agendas, though, and these don't always end at mending their allies' ailments. With Pathfinder Player Companion: Healer's Handbook, characters can learn to efficiently heal their patients—without finding themselves reduced to being walking first-aid kits.

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Healing-focused archetypes for 10 classes, such as the angelfire apostle cleric and invigorator paladin—plus options for arcane healers, such as the faith singer bard and arcane physician wizard.
  • Feats geared toward characters who like to heal on their own terms, plus feats that allow any adventurer to harness her own vigor in the heat of battle.
  • A host of new options to customize features for classes that dabble in healing, including focused blessings for warpriests, new paladin mercies, druidic herbalism, and a shaman spirit specialization.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-914-1

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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New basic options for classes? Sold!

5/5

Book gets five stars for some really neat stuff design-wise. It expands the basic options for some classes- no archetype compatibility issues, no extra features you don't care about or trading out stuff you wanted. If you play a Druid or a Paladin, you now have additional options on your list. I'd love to see more of this in future books!

If you're a Druid, you can get an alchemist-esque potion-making ability for Nature's Bond. There are some balance issues on the money part of it, so I recommend GMs go with "you can stockpile, but not sell". Could be a good idea to rule that expensive material components still cost money, too.

If you're a Paladin, you can choose from three new bond choices instead of a weapon bond or mount. More healing, a communal ward against evil, or being one terrifying avatar of divine justice. In addition, there are a bunch of new choices for mercies ranging from things that are great for a character arc to cementing your position as the last thing an evil wizard wants to run into.

Another really neat design choice that I'd love to see more is explicitly compatible archetypes- the Alchemist's healing archetype is designed to work with Chirurgeon, addressing overlapping features. Having two compatible archetypes with similar goals is great for character customization- you now have three levels of healing archetype to apply (one, the other, or both). Also solves the big issue with Chirurgeon while it's at it! Both Alchemist archetypes are pretty awesome, and do a great job of expanding character options with good balance.

Clerics get an archetype that doesn't mess with their domains. Whoo! Warpriests and Shamans get subblessings and subspirits.

That said, this book will contain disappointments for people looking for certain things (as some of the other reviews show):
-There's really only one good thing for the heal skill, an inexpensive magic item to expand its effectiveness. Nonmagical healing in the book is not very impressive otherwise.
- If you wanted more healing on non-healing classes, this isn't the book for you. It's a book about making the existing healers better at their job or giving them more options while they do it.
- Sorry, evil Clerics. You're still preparing healing spells in slots like before. You can now use them for torture or manipulation, though, so those spells will be more versatile.

All in all, a great win for character versatility!


Some good options

4/5

This book is all about healing, as you probably guessed. But how does it provide more healing options?

Mainly Archetypes. Just over a dozen. Most are meh, a few are bad, and a few are good.

There are also some Feats. An interesting Feat chain is now available for characters with a 13+ CON, that lets them "rest" as a standard action to re-gain HP.

Outside of Archetypes and Feats, there are a few Traits and Magic Items and Spells that offer a bit here and there, but nothing too earth shattering from what I saw.

Overall I think this is a good book. Not quite 5 stars, and a bit on the bland side, but good.


2/5

A book on healing is going to be a very daunting task, so it's hard to judge too harshly here. I'm not terribly impressed with this book, but I'm not angry I purchased it either.

In general, I found the majority of the Archetypes very lacking, especially the Angelfire Apostle I was most excited about.

I'm also a bit disappointed that the book starts out describing how the ability to heal (including removing conditions and raising the dead) is the most miraculous and wondrous feat of all magic, but then the book basically goes out of it's way to hand it out like candy. I'm of the opinion that there is already too much available, cheap healing as is, and it's detrimental to the game, so adding even more, and basically stomping even more over the line of one of the defining traits of divine magic (vs Arcane, Occult, and Martial abilities) was a really poor call. Again, just my opinion.

It lacked much in the way of non-magical applications (or expansions) for the Heal Skill, or even much in the way of talking about healing equipment or goods.

Unfortunately, I just found most the material bland and/or mediocre. On one hand, I love just how much crunch they put in this book, and am honestly surprised with how much they touched on so much variety, (a trait for this deity, an option for that one), I didn't really expect to see.

I also like some of the spells the book offers, but at the same time, I really wish they where a few Spell Levels lower so that they might actually be used in play. Or at least had lesser versions.

I think there was just far too much split focus for this product to really have been that effective. No real Channel Energy or Lay On Hands options, and as I mentioned, nothing really for the Heal Skill. There is a bit for Occult stuff, but even being not a fan it looked kind of lackluster. For the most part, this book doesn't really make Being the Healer Fun as it offers a few different ways to do so, without really helping to much to do it well or that interestingly.


Healing Can Be Fun

4/5

Some interesting options for healing and curative related spells, powers, etc.

The good
-New kineticist wild talents, oracle mystery, witch hexes and patron, paladin divine bonds and mercies, bardic masterpieces, alchemist discoveries, warpriest blessings, and druid nature bond.
-New feats that allow you to heal yourself.
-Some interesting new archetypes.

The bad
-No new channeling, lay on hands, or healing enhancing feats.
-No healing focused archetypes for non-casters(except one monk and one ranger).


(Magic) Healer's/Supporter's Handbook

3/5

This book's kind of hard to get a perfect read on because it's so densely packed, but what I've been picking through seems average. There's a few interesting options such as the Angelfire Apostle that effectively adds a breath weapon to healing spells and the spell Balance of Suffering which allows you to heal one target at the expense of another's life force, or the Phoenix Feather which is just a Phoenix Down, or the Paladin stuff which is all pretty great. But a lot of the stuff just seems very bland at best. The Arcane Physician for example is probably the most "meh" thing in the book, since it's just a Wizard that gets healing spells. That's really about it. There's also a weirdly high amount of options dedicated to status suppression and miscellaneous support abilities instead of actual healing, such as the Sacred Attendant who gains the ability to boost Charisma checks.

Also, most of the options in the book are caster-oriented. There are two non-caster archetypes (a lesser but unchained-friendly version of Monk of the Healing Hand and a Ranger that's okay at finding plants), and the Combat Vigor feats are more work than they're worth unless you're a Fighter with plenty of feats to spare to make them worthwhile, not to mention they're self-only unlike a wand of a cure spell.

tl;dr, if you're expecting new uses for the Heal skill or new alchemical healing items, or feats and abilities that make even the least magically-inclined Barbarian into a somewhat viable out-of-combat healer, this isn't the book for you. If you're looking for new ways for your existing healer to heal more differently, then pick this up.


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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Spells:

I counted 7 spells in total, none of which are necromancy, one is on the sorcerer/wizard spell list.

To expand on the previous statement:
6 of the 7 spells are conjuration (healing) spells, the other one is enchantment (compulsion)[curse, mind-affecting] as it is on the witch spell list.


What is the one sorcerer/wizard spell called?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Franz Lunzer wrote:

Spells:

I counted 7 spells in total, none of which are necromancy, one is on the sorcerer/wizard spell list.

To expand on the previous statement:
6 of the 7 spells are conjuration (healing) spells, the other one is enchantment (compulsion)[curse, mind-affecting] as it is on the witch spell list.

Dragon78 wrote:
What is the one sorcerer/wizard spell called?

Franz, you're talking about "Befuddled Combatant", yes? Which Dragon, as you might guess, is the other one. It's on a bit more than just WizSorc list, but it's the only one I saw that they get. The intent of the spell being that now that enemy can't do as much damage.

Oddly enough, the material component is cooked noodles.


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You don't have to be a divine caster to invoke the Flying Spaghetti Monster with magic.

Contributor

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Lanitril wrote:
Oddly enough, the material component is cooked noodles.

As the person who originally pitched that spell, I would like to add that you are effectively, "Making your enemy as strong as a limp noodle."


We need a write-up for the FSM in Pathfinder terms. Domains,Portfolio,servitors,etc.


MannyGoblin wrote:
We need a write-up for the FSM in Pathfinder terms. Domains,Portfolio,servitors,etc.

Clearly he's a variant Flumph.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
MannyGoblin wrote:
We need a write-up for the FSM in Pathfinder terms. Domains,Portfolio,servitors,etc.

Completely unrelated to my work for Paizo:

In my home games, I use mythological deities for my campaign setting. (Its pretty easy to build on thousands of years of storytelling by doing so.) I pull from EVERY religion, EVERY credence, everything for my campaign setting. Including Pastafanarianism.

Man, the adventure where the PCs encountered a fun-loving band of seafaring Pastafanarian Pirates as a GREAT adventure....

Dark Archive

p. 29 NURSING NECKLACE

has Scarab in table text/CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS but Mosquito in body text and spell requirements

remove sickness (mosquito only)

which is it scarab or mosquito?


I like the Healing Flames spell: doing damage to evil foes and healing allies simultaneously is really nice!

Silver Crusade

Oh my it feels like the 25th and the PDF release is really crawling to get here!

On the first page I suggested a way to get Channel Energy for the White Mage Arcanist; I'm inferring from a lack of discussion that this wasn't something that made it into the book and no worries.

Was there anything Arcanist-specific, like new heal-related exploits, which are applicable to healers?


What level/class(es) is the healing flame spell?


Dragon78 wrote:
What level/class(es) is the healing flame spell?

I'm holding off on answering detailed questions like that. That one might be getting too specific. The book will be out soon, though!

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
chopswil wrote:

p. 29 NURSING NECKLACE

has Scarab in table text/CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS but Mosquito in body text and spell requirements

remove sickness (mosquito only)

which is it scarab or mosquito?

It's mosquito, and where it says scarab in the price and construction tables, it should say mosquito. :)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Huzzah, finally got my copy. For the Take a Breather feat, though, shouldn't it be as an immediate action instead of a swift action? I mean, there are ways to get attacks of opportunity on your turn, but they're not that common...?


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I finally got mine last night. Can the kineticist use kinetic restoration on another person without combining it with kinetic healer?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, for Unconquerable Resolve, it says they vanish after one minute in the second sentence of the Benefits and after twenty-four hours in the third sentence...which is it?

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

For Unconquerable Resolve, the temporary hit points last for 1 minute.

Since it'd be a shame for this thread to become too bogged down in adjudication questions, I'd like to gently suggest that folks make a separate thread for such inquiries, perhaps on the Player Companion board.

Thanks, folks!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lanitril wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

Spells:

I counted 7 spells in total, none of which are necromancy, one is on the sorcerer/wizard spell list.

To expand on the previous statement:
6 of the 7 spells are conjuration (healing) spells, the other one is enchantment (compulsion)[curse, mind-affecting] as it is on the witch spell list.

Dragon78 wrote:
What is the one sorcerer/wizard spell called?

Franz, you're talking about "Befuddled Combatant", yes? Which Dragon, as you might guess, is the other one. It's on a bit more than just WizSorc list, but it's the only one I saw that they get. The intent of the spell being that now that enemy can't do as much damage.

Oddly enough, the material component is cooked noodles.

It's pointless though, unfortunately. It's a 5th level spell negated by Will, so there's no reason to cast it instead of a spell that fully removes the target from combat on a failed save, debilitates multiple targets, or is Will Partial or no save. It also has very little effect on weapon attacks, it mostly just reduces save DCs.

Dark Archive

Dragon78 are the Kineticist options good?


One of them is alright. There's a wild talent for healing physical ability score damage, but it's no better than lesser restoration and it's self only. The other is sort've like an improved breath of life if you're a kinetic chiurgeon.

Contributor

Aratrok wrote:
One of them is alright. There's a wild talent for healing physical ability score damage, but it's no better than lesser restoration and it's self only. The other is sort've like an improved breath of life if you're a kinetic chiurgeon.

And regular breath of life if you're just a hydrokineticist / telekineticist.


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I think the two wild talents are good but not great.

Grand Lodge

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
One of them is alright. There's a wild talent for healing physical ability score damage, but it's no better than lesser restoration and it's self only. The other is sort've like an improved breath of life if you're a kinetic chiurgeon.
And regular breath of life if you're just a hydrokineticist / telekineticist.

You have my attention!


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
One of them is alright. There's a wild talent for healing physical ability score damage, but it's no better than lesser restoration and it's self only. The other is sort've like an improved breath of life if you're a kinetic chiurgeon.
And regular breath of life if you're just a hydrokineticist / telekineticist.

that should have been an electrokineticist.

CLEAR!

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I think the two wild talents are good but not great.

Then they are doing their job. The game works better if choice exists among utility options. You shouldn't feel like you have to take every utility option to be competent.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
One of them is alright. There's a wild talent for healing physical ability score damage, but it's no better than lesser restoration and it's self only. The other is sort've like an improved breath of life if you're a kinetic chiurgeon.
And regular breath of life if you're just a hydrokineticist / telekineticist.

that should have been an electrokineticist.

CLEAR!

[gets bit in half by a dragon]

[friends apply heart attack treatment]

[survives]

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was mostly looking here for kineticist items, so I may have missed it being mentioned. Anything for the medium? Spells on the medium's list, spirits, feats, options?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
GeneticDrift wrote:
I was mostly looking here for kineticist items, so I may have missed it being mentioned. Anything for the medium? Spells on the medium's list, spirits, feats, options?

One spell is one the Medium spell list, and there is a regional trait that gives you a 1/day trait bonus to a roll that would be modified by the spirit bonus for the spirit you selected that day.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
One of them is alright. There's a wild talent for healing physical ability score damage, but it's no better than lesser restoration and it's self only. The other is sort've like an improved breath of life if you're a kinetic chiurgeon.
And regular breath of life if you're just a hydrokineticist / telekineticist.

that should have been an electrokineticist.

CLEAR!

[gets bit in half by a dragon]

[friends apply heart attack treatment]

[survives]

Actually defibrillators aren't used for heart attacks... but rather cardiac arrest, two different things.

That being said, I completely agree that Electrokineticists should have access to Breath of Life! :O


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^ I actually play my White Mage arcanist's healing ability as similar to a defibrillator in how it works (a charge of electricity) :)


Yeah, I just rule that all Kineticists have access to the healing abilities. In my campaigns, they're universal. Same with the Kinetic Chirugeon. Honestly, healing is either weird or not weird no matter what element you use. But I've seen healing performed with Wind, Electricity, Water, Fire, Smoke, Neon Gas?, Concrete, and Pixels(Video) before, and they're all outlandish in and out of their setting. I haven't seen Telekinetic healing in a setting, but I'm sure it's out there somewhere besides Pathfinder.

It's easy to just rule them universal, cause water is pretty outlandish too.


Lanitril wrote:

Yeah, I just rule that all Kineticists have access to the healing abilities. In my campaigns, they're universal. Same with the Kinetic Chirugeon. Honestly, healing is either weird or not weird no matter what element you use. But I've seen healing performed with Wind, Electricity, Water, Fire, Smoke, Neon Gas?, Concrete, and Pixels(Video) before, and they're all outlandish in and out of their setting. I haven't seen Telekinetic healing in a setting, but I'm sure it's out there somewhere besides Pathfinder.

It's easy to just rule them universal, cause water is pretty outlandish too.

"Water is Life!"

Perhaps you haven't watched Dune often enough?! Love that movie--my favorite thing Kyle MacLachlan ever did. It helped that Richard Jordan and Patrick Stewart appear in it. And Max von Sydow.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Fourshadow wrote:
Lanitril wrote:

Yeah, I just rule that all Kineticists have access to the healing abilities. In my campaigns, they're universal. Same with the Kinetic Chirugeon. Honestly, healing is either weird or not weird no matter what element you use. But I've seen healing performed with Wind, Electricity, Water, Fire, Smoke, Neon Gas?, Concrete, and Pixels(Video) before, and they're all outlandish in and out of their setting. I haven't seen Telekinetic healing in a setting, but I'm sure it's out there somewhere besides Pathfinder.

It's easy to just rule them universal, cause water is pretty outlandish too.

"Water is Life!"

Perhaps you haven't watched Dune often enough?! Love that movie--my favorite thing Kyle MacLachlan ever did. It helped that Richard Jordan and Patrick Stewart appear in it. And Max von Sydow.

Sting was an AWESOME Feyd-Rautha


Telekinetic contribution to healing: It's not quite the whole bit, as it were -- not "fix damage" --, but I recall a few panels from an X-men comic where TK was used to hold some organs in place during a quick-and-dirty field surgery using a "scalpel" from Marrow. At least an "Aid Another".

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Magneto extracting a bullet comes to mind too ;-)


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The Raven Black wrote:
Magneto extracting a bullet comes to mind too ;-)

Ironman vs magneto

Ironman: "ahah! i made my armor entirely out of carbon fiber composites for this battle!

Magneto: "And that piece of shrapmetal you've been carrying around ?

Ironman:....crud.


The Raven Black wrote:
Magneto extracting a bullet comes to mind too ;-)

spasms

But . . . . but . . . . telekinesis and magnetism aren't the same thing . . . . .

:D


Syrus Terrigan wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Magneto extracting a bullet comes to mind too ;-)

spasms

But . . . . but . . . . telekinesis and magnetism aren't the same thing . . . . .

:D

they are if your author picks up a physics book.


spocked eyebrow

I've never read about telekinesis in any physics book.

Or are you simply referring to the observable results? 'Cause I'm talking about "power source" in a fantasy setting.


Syrus Terrigan wrote:

spocked eyebrow

I've never read about telekinesis in any physics book.

Or are you simply referring to the observable results? 'Cause I'm talking about "power source" in a fantasy setting.

it was a bit of a derail into comics physics

we now return you to your regularly scheduled derail


Hm. Intriguing read. Cool.

assists friendly derail efforts

Still waiting for my hard copy to arrive . . . . That 7-10 business days is no joke!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I won't lie, I'd probably give every element kinetic healer, but that's because I love Golden Sun and every element but air can heal in that game.


Ashram wrote:
I won't lie, I'd probably give every element kinetic healer, but that's because I love Golden Sun and every element but air can heal in that game.

Don't forget. In the DS game, the starting Wind Adept has a group heal.


Lanitril wrote:
Ashram wrote:
I won't lie, I'd probably give every element kinetic healer, but that's because I love Golden Sun and every element but air can heal in that game.
Don't forget. In the DS game, the starting Wind Adept has a group heal.

I like to pretend GS:DD doesn't exist. :P


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I know nothing about it (Golden Sun), but it would seem to me that air-aligned powers ought to get *some* kind of healing . . . . increased oxygenation and such.

Dark Archive

I noticed a discrepancy regarding Combat Vigor.
It allows you to spend up to 1 vigor point per 3 HD to regain 1d6 hp, max 7d6.
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18.
As far as I can see, a PC will never be able to hit that 7d6 cap. Alternatively, it could be intended more like "spend up to 1 vigor point, plus 1 per 3 HD, to regain 1d6."


Anything interesting in the handbook for the witch? I'm playing a hedgewitch/herb witch and while I don't feel lacking I'm still curious as to what this companion could offer.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Decimus Drake wrote:
Anything interesting in the handbook for the witch?

There's a two-page spread for witches. Includes a new patron, some traits, some new hexes, and a spell. ^_^


Ooh tempting.

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