Healing fix


Combat & Magic


Hitpoints represent a combo of toughness and skill - the body to resist the blow and the skill in ameliorating the blow at the last second. Which is why people can tool around with 140 hitpoints and the idea of assassinating someone like that without a spell jacked up / uber feat rich / sneak attack maxed assassin becomes problematic.

Curing spells provide a random range amount of healing. Trouble is a CLW heals a 1st level PC near full but a 9th level PC hardly at all. As a game mechanic it makes sense. As a suspension of disbelief it does not.

Instead it should be based on character level. Trouble with that is it means lower level characters get thumped a bit since a CLW isn't going to do much no matter the level - and a low level caster can only cast lower level healing magics.

So to that end give healing a bump. Make miraculous healing easier at lower levels. For example;

Character Level * Spell Level * 3. No having to roll dice at all. A flat figure. It represents the body's healing being sped up as if someone had several days bed rest.

Sure lower level PCs still grapple with the issue of less healing potential but then the Wand of CLW will still pull their bum out of the fire there.

I've had it as a home rule in my PBEM for 5 years and it's worked really well. I've included a house rule of a DC 15 Heal check taking a minute boosts spell level by one.

If the Turn Undead Burst thing stays in the game then the spell level becomes the highest spell level you can cast. So if you're a 5th level cleric then you do Xd6 damage and heal 9 character levels each time.


Actually bugger character level. Make hitpoint level equal to a character's BAB. Why? Well if you have a good BAB then you're a fighting type. A bad BAB - not so much. Trouble with character levels is that Mr fighter gets back the same amount as Mr Wizard. So Mr Wiz is feeling fine while Mr Fighter is not.

By linking to BAB it's linked (roughly) to amounts as well.


How about this...

Instead of basing it on Character Level or Base Attack Bonus...base it on hit die. Where X= Class Hit Die type...A Cure Light Wounds restores 1dX + 1/caster level to 10...Cure Moderate Wounds restores 2dX 1/caster level to 10 and Cure Critical WOunds restores 3dX 1/caster level to 10. A cleric casts Mass Cure Light Wounds on her party. The Fighter gets back 1d10+10 while the Wizard gets back 1d6+10 etc etc.

-Weylin Stormcrowe


Back in 1st ed, I used a similar houserule, that Cure spells would at minimum heal a set percentage of the recipient's hit points (CLW 10%, CMW 25%, CCW 50%, etc). That seemed to work well, and helped the spell names from becoming bad jokes at high-level play. ("How bad are you hurt?" "Only down about 30, I could use a Cure Critical Wounds, but I'm fine without it.")

Your BAB idea is elegant (I may steal it), but doesn't take the recipient's CON into account. Perhaps SpellLevel * (BestHitDie + CONBonus)? Hmm, a little ugly, that. I think I prefer the percentages.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Stormcrowe


OK, using Class Hit Die is potentially problematic for multiclassed characters (maybe just use best hit die?).

It also occurs to me that mundane daily healing rates share the same problem as Mikeynerd's complaint. How about this:

Healing Factor = BAB + CON bonus.

Resting for 24 hours heals hp equal to your Healing Factor, doubled for long-term care.

Cure spells heal Spell Level * Healing Factor.

Scarab Sages

Forgive me if my question is not appropriate... but why does healing have to be fixed? What if I don't think it's broken? :) The easily available (and sometimes even unnecessary due to personal abilities) healing was something that turned me off of 4e. The point of Pathfinder is to keep the 3.5 feel of D&D, if I recall correctly.

Perhaps you should define the problem you're trying to solve, first, then perhaps your solution would be clearer to me. :)


We should make the best healing tool in the game even better.

*Sighs.*

Hitpoints are always going to be a metagame concept. You can't change that without breaking backwards compatibility.


I see the point why healing MIGHT need an overhaul.
But I will just remind you to use AS SIMPLE Mechanics as possible.

Let's take a look at the mechanics now:

The cure spells (although they are called light/moderate/...) heal a very fixed and narrow amount of HP.
So the light/moderate/.. descriptor is refering to a what-so-ever (and you're right, a somewhat strange) objective point of view.

This results in a CLW healing a much greater part of HP at lower levels then in the higher ones. And the higher level PCs need higher level spells to heal their "wounds".

If the spells would be revised, so that a CLW would cure a certain amount of HP regardless of level (like 10% or so), the danger would be, that PCs could use their relative unimportant low-level spells for healing large amounts of HP without the real need to use the higher level healing spells.

I am running out of time so I just quit here.


I have a friend who felt that magical healing just wasn't very magical so he houseruled that every die of healing heals 25% of the recipents hit points. He has done this in both 2nd and 3rd editions (and maybe first, but I wasn't around then).

It scales very nicely with level and allows PCs to get back to adventuring instead of hiding in the broom closet for a night.

It's not overpowering as A) evil clerics use the rule too and B) magical healing *is* weak.

Also, as an added benefit, if you are playing the cleric, (or any other healing class) casting a low level spell to heal the fighter 20-25 points doesn't feel like a waste of an action.


DracoDruid wrote:

I see the point why healing MIGHT need an overhaul.

But I will just remind you to use AS SIMPLE Mechanics as possible.

Let's take a look at the mechanics now:

The cure spells (although they are called light/moderate/...) heal a very fixed and narrow amount of HP.
So the light/moderate/.. descriptor is refering to a what-so-ever (and you're right, a somewhat strange) objective point of view.

This results in a CLW healing a much greater part of HP at lower levels then in the higher ones. And the higher level PCs need higher level spells to heal their "wounds".

If the spells would be revised, so that a CLW would cure a certain amount of HP regardless of level (like 10% or so), the danger would be, that PCs could use their relative unimportant low-level spells for healing large amounts of HP without the real need to use the higher level healing spells.

You're right in that at 25% per die rolled, Cure Critical Wounds will heal a PC of 100% of hit points. But that is a 4th level spell that could have been used for Freedom of Movement, Restoration, Summon Monster IV, or Greater Magic Weapon. Also, that just healed 1 person. What about the other 4 or 5 (more if you include animal companions, cohorts, dying villagers, and the rogue's personal valet.

Futhermore, there aren't that many higher level healing spells, just mass versions of the lower versions and heal.

The mass versions can be treated just like the lower versions (25% per die rolled) but apply to more targets.

Heal takes care of a lot more than just hp damage. Go reread the spell description, if you are so inclined. It takes care of ability damage, feeblemind, stunned, poison, disease and a lot of other stuff - all at once.

Heal is not a spell that is going to go away just because the lower level versions work better now.


Double post.

Scarab Sages

DracoDruid wrote:

I see the point why healing MIGHT need an overhaul.

But I will just remind you to use AS SIMPLE Mechanics as possible.

<snip>

If the spells would be revised, so that a CLW would cure a certain amount of HP regardless of level (like 10% or so), the danger would be, that PCs could use their relative unimportant low-level spells for healing large amounts of HP without the real need to use the higher level healing spells.

OK, I can see what is being perceived as needing to be tweaked. I'm not sure I'd like to see it as part of the core rules, but definitely an optional ruling on how healing works would be in order for those who want a less dangerous / higher fantasy version of healing.

Something I might suggest (so as not to have minor healing spells overtake higher level spells) would be the following:

CLW - heals a character to 25% of maximum
CMW - heals a character to 50% of maximum
CSW - heals a character to 75% of maximum

Leaving heal to bring people back to full HP. Or you could even create the 4d version, which heals the character back to full without all of the added benefits of the Heal spell.

That means, of course, that higher level spells have LESS of an effect on lower level characters... so the problem has just been inverted. That could be mitigated by adding the following on to the end of the above descriptions: ", or [20/40/60] HP, whichever is greater."

Then, of course, you're working with fixed healing amounts... which I like. I hate randomly rolled healing. It's a controlled environment with a willing subject... there's no reason that randomness should come into play (as a related sideline, we've always house ruled that a cleric's healing works as "maximized" when cast on himself or if he actually spends a slot on it, rather than swapping it into his spells for the day).

The numbers, of course, would likely need to be tweaked with more thought put into them, but I make the suggestion to be played with if anyone wishes to do so. :)

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

CLW healing 25% might be a fine idea when you have 50 hit points.

But when it's the only heal you can cast and you're trying to heal someone with a maximum of 10 hitpoints at level 1, getting 2-3 hitpoints back is a TERRIBLE idea.

If all I'm getting back is 2 hitpoints I would have prefered the cleric to waste the casting on Bless, Bane, or Shield of Faith during the fight, because those probably would have helped KEEP 2 hitpoints more then getting them back.

In order to avoid falling back into the 15 minute day hole, healing needs to be more effective so that clerics cast LESS spells, not more. Wizards have gotten out of that problem, the new turn healing keeps the clerics out of it. Any tinkering with heal spells risks forcing them to rest more often again.

Scarab Sages

SirUrza wrote:

CLW healing 25% might be a fine idea when you have 50 hit points.

But when it's the only heal you can cast and you're trying to heal someone with a maximum of 10 hitpoints at level 1, getting 2-3 hitpoints back is a TERRIBLE idea.

If all I'm getting back is 2 hitpoints I would have prefered the cleric to waste the casting on Bless, Bane, or Shield of Faith during the fight, because those probably would have helped KEEP 2 hitpoints more then getting them back.

In order to avoid falling back into the 15 minute day hole, healing needs to be more effective so that clerics cast LESS spells, not more. Wizards have gotten out of that problem, the new turn healing keeps the clerics out of it. Any tinkering with heal spells risks forcing them to rest more often again.

I don't think you finished reading my post once you got to the 25% line... :)

While I suggested something to counteract it (it would also heal up to a static number, if it were greater than the %age), it does ring of having one's cake and eating it too. You can't complain that the healing falls behind and is useless at higher levels based on percentages, then complain that it's consistent at low levels when it heals the same percentage.... Well, actually it can be argued.. it's just not sensible. :) However, we're not recreating reality here, we're suggesting things that solve perceived problems.

I really would be interested to see if you have a different thought on my post when you finish reading it. I have no idea if it's a good idea, or not, but it's what came to me at the time. :) I think it would work, and would mitigate the "falling behind" of healing spells at higher levels (regardless of how we try to rationalize *what* hp really are).


After some more thought on this regarding natural healing. I would like to see an optional system similar to starting hit points options and the three different advancement charts. One that allowed for quicker natural healing, one that used the current system and one that made healing slower. Different types of campaigns should have different healing rates...a very high heroic campaign would likely have character's healing much quicker while a grittier setting might have them healing slower.

-Weylin STormcrowe

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