Buff the Druid and Bard healing pls. (for alternatives to a cleric)


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Liberty's Edge Contributor

I actually like that Clerics stand head-and-shoulders above everyone else in regards to healing; it helps differentiate them and give them an advantage over the Bard, who recieves three times the skills, and Druids who, well.... do everything.

I agree that the healing burst they get could scaled back a little bit, but I don't think the other classes that don't really have much to do with healing should be just as good at it as the choosen channelers of divine energy.

Besides, Druid and Bards can always suppliment their healing with wands and scrolls. We've played entire campaigns without a Cleric and come across fine; it just means you've got to pack a little differently to compensate.

Sovereign Court

Two parts of this discussion have my support:

1. Clerics' spontaneous casting tied to their domain choices.
2. Druids having the healing domain added to their Natural Bond options.

In addition, I think every god, except the evilly aligned gods, should have the healing domain as an option. In these worlds, the temples are the hospitals, and every non-evil god nurtures or at least shepards their worshippers.


As for the last idea, Fitz, the UA gives this idea, that every good god should grant the Healing Domain. However, to compensate for the only 9 spells (instead of aaaaaall the (healing) spells), to do this: Instead of the +1 cl to cast (healing), clerics of this domain use d12 intead of d8 to cast (healin) spells.


I think buffing classes to balance against another isn't the right approach. Morover, buffing healing affects the whole game, making it overall easier. What would happen once you have both an overpowered cleric AND a newly buffed druid or bard in a party ?

One thing would be to write off the ridiculously overpowered new channeling rules for priests, then consider toning down spontaneous healing (i'd limit it by using a turn undead attempt to cast a spontaneous cure spell).

It's not about buffing druids and bards (and paladins), it's about nerfing priests.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
This is exactly what Iconocast was railing about, giving the druids improved healing but letting him keep everything else.

To be fair, this is how paizo handled the cleric, the cleric's healing powers are in [i]addition[/b] to existing healing power already gained by the class. Beforehand, the only thing making a cleric better at healing than a druid was spontanious healing (which even then, a druid could always take the feat that allowed spontainous healing as well)

But now, even if feats are spent on excess healing and the druid focuses on healing, the druid will still never match the cleric.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If your solution to the lack of a cleric is to make other classes healers, I think you are missing the point. Why not make a cleric fun to play, instead?

It seems to me that part of the reason for changing the cleric in the way that Paizo has is to change the simple fact that no one wants to play the cleric, and that what they did will greatly alleviate that.

In the past, the cleric was along because he was the healer. He burned all his spell slots making sure other people stayed alive. Sure, once a year he might turn a skeleton or two, but in nearly thirty years of play, I think I have seen undead turning maybe 10 times. With the new and improved energy thing, he no longer has to burn all his slots to heal, he still gets to blast the odd zombie here and there, AND he can do a multitude of other, more interesting things.

This alone should make people look at the cleric as a fun and interesting class again.

Um, Orisons, anyone? Detect Magic or Poison at will? No more burning a spell to create Light? Resistance at will? Stabilize an ally at will (at range, even!). Holy crap, these are FANTASTIC additional abilities, and they are AT WILL.

The Domain powers are very interesting in and of themselves. Summon Companion, anyone? Now my cleric has an animal companion like the Druid. Oh, and wait, at 8th level I can beast shape like a druid, as well?

Give me a cleric of Gozreh with Plant and Animal domains any day.

I think that, given the improvements to Clerics, they don't need to be replaced with Bards and Druids, they need to be re-examined by all those folks who never wanted to play one before.

Zandari


Nero24200 wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
This is exactly what Iconocast was railing about, giving the druids improved healing but letting him keep everything else.

To be fair, this is how paizo handled the cleric, the cleric's healing powers are in [i]addition[/b] to existing healing power already gained by the class. Beforehand, the only thing making a cleric better at healing than a druid was spontanious healing (which even then, a druid could always take the feat that allowed spontainous healing as well)

But now, even if feats are spent on excess healing and the druid focuses on healing, the druid will still never match the cleric.

This is mostly true... clerics have always been better at healing though, spontaneous healing was part but also the cleric has had access to more healing spells or equivalent ones at lower levels (Cure Moderate, Cure Serious... etc).

Clerics gained healing by channeling and the lost some spells at higher levels... not a lot but some. Certainly it was not a balanced exchange. Your suggestion suggests to me that clerics (one of the strongest classes in the game already) should not have gotten this powerful new mechanism for healing.


Zandari wrote:

If your solution to the lack of a cleric is to make other classes healers, I think you are missing the point. Why not make a cleric fun to play, instead?

...

I think that, given the improvements to Clerics, they don't need to be replaced with Bards and Druids, they need to be re-examined by all those folks who never wanted to play one before.

What if none of your players are interested in playing a cleric? Ultimately, the popularity or lack of popularity of a class has less to do with the power of the class and a lot to do with how appealing a class is to play. Think of how many people played fighters in 3.5. These people are obviously not looking for the strongest class, they are looking for a class that meets their role-play needs.

If the class lacks appeal continuing to make it more and more powerful only makes it more appealing to the power gamer type players.

The fact is the demand for healing outstrips the desire of people to play the cleric. The new channeling rules only make this situation worse because now the cleric is going to be an even more mandatory component of the group.

Sczarni

Interesting discussion here.

Currently, I am playing a Druid 10/Beastmaster 1 in a 3.5 Rise of the Runelords campaign.

He's a crazy little goblin riding around on an equally crazy direwolf.

However, his biggest asset to the party (other than the wolf tearing things faces off) is his healing.

Now, I have the Augment Healing feat (Complete Divine, i believe) and 2 Bards in the party with the Healing Hymn bardic music ability (Complete Champion? maybe Adventurer).

So, with the use of 2 abilities (1 passive, 1 active), I can reasonably handle the healing needs of the party, despite the Cleric/Ardent using his actions to heal himself after overchanneling or simply blasting the enemies. There's been a few close calls, but with a properly built druid (keep in mind, this IS 3.5, and we are using multiple alternative-class-features here) you can be a good healer.

Now, if I were playing a Cleric under these same circumstances, the healing would likely be slightly better, but the other benefits of being a druid (wolf, nature-spells, slightly different spell levels on things) would be lost.

I think the healing needs of the party CAN be handled by a NOT-Cleric, even under Pathfinder rules (but I do love that channel energy burst so very very much), but the loss of effectiveness is what you're trading off to have access to other, non-cleric, abilities.

-t


I too have a goblin druid... I don't get to play him much though :(

My concern here is that once the game starts rolling adventures are going to be designed in light of the idea that parties have massive amounts of healing available. The channel positive energy class feature took the class that was good at healing and made it absolutely incredible at it. Are adventures going to be built around the assumption that you have a massive healing machine on hand?

I would actually prefer that rather than making parties even more dependent on clerics by mega-boosting the clerics healing that healing role be spread around a bit. In some ways I like the 4e concept of 'healing surges' which completely broke parties reliance on clerics.


Improving the bard and druid only helps if there is one in the party as a cleric replacement. In the past, having a party without one of the four iconic classes (arcane caster, divine caster, fighter, rogue) was still a totally viable option. It took some effort, but no class made or broke the party by its presence or absence.

However, hit points increased:
- New creation methods (racial hp bonus, double con, etc.).
- Larger hit dice for several classes.
- More generous racial ability score adjustments.
- And other subtle changes (eg - toughness feat now +1 every level.
These changes are especially drastic at start and through the low levels.

It is now easily possible to have second level fighter types with 30hp!

BUT, all those cure light wounds scrolls, potions, wands, etc. are still (1d8+1)

Without upping the power of the cure spells (thus making clerics, and to a much lesser extent druids and bards more powerful) there needs to be a way to up the power of consumable healing items.

I think this would also make the divine caster classes more fun to play, because the healing duty could fall more to potions, and scrolls and wands rather then spell slots.

As a start, would anyone think it over powered if all cure wounds potions were empowered, or even maximized?

Note: I would like to start this as a new thread, but as it is my first post here, I don't seem to have permission yet.


Fergie wrote:
Note: I would like to start this as a new thread, but as it is my first post here, I don't seem to have permission yet.

You have the power!! Just click on the discussion forum name first, from the main view you can't start a thread. FWIW welcome to the board.

Well I've seen someone suggest that healing magic is drastically overpriced and the prices of healing magic should be reduced, in particular the healing past CLW.

I have heard Jason suggest that many of the HP expanding ideas may well end up as optional-sidebar rules. If so the HP expansion won't be nearly as bad as you suggest (unless your group adopts all of the options).

Shadow Lodge

Dennis da Ogre wrote:
I would actually prefer that rather than making parties even more dependent on clerics by mega-boosting the clerics healing that healing role be spread around a bit. In some ways I like the 4e concept of 'healing surges' which completely broke parties reliance on clerics.

You must have been thrilled, then when 4e reset the wizard vs fighter debate by making everyone a wizard. At last, no need to have clerics (stupid healing batteries - fie! or wizards - stupid overpowered casters!).

Clerics need to be good at healing. Did they need the healing burst - perhaps not, but the real issue is that no clerics I know cast ANY healing spells (even spontaneously) unless the situation is dire indeed. They use wands or rods instead (even in combat) and use their spells to beat the crap out of the opponents. "Clerics as healbots", as far as I know, went out a *long* time ago. Since all healing is via magic devices except in the greatest emergencies, the bard or druid is absolutely as capable as the cleric to heal the group, even in combat, since they can use these devices. I suspect that the "cleric as healbot" idea was so outmoded that the PFRPG designers gave the cleric a healing surge just for the emergencies I mention - to allow the cleric to keep all of his prepared spells available for other things and to further identify him as "not the healbot".


Lich-Loved wrote:
You must have been thrilled, then when 4e reset the wizard vs fighter debate by making everyone a wizard. At last, no need to have clerics (stupid healing batteries - fie! or wizards - stupid overpowered casters!).

"You must love 4e then because... blah blah blah..." It's trying to invalidate what someone says by association because you have nothing really interesting to say.

Lich-Loved wrote:
Clerics need to be good at healing.

Why? And more important, why should they be so much better at it than the other classes that can heal?

The rest of your points talk about issues I did not raise.

Shadow Lodge

Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Lich-Loved wrote:
Clerics need to be good at healing.
Why? And more important, why should they be so much better at it than the other classes that can heal?

Because it is their forte? They are not in a straitjacket to do only that, as you seem to think, but when they put their mind to it, they are the best at it. You might as well be asking why the druid has to be best at wildshaping or the mage at controlling the battlefield.


Lich-Loved wrote:
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Lich-Loved wrote:
Clerics need to be good at healing.
Why? And more important, why should they be so much better at it than the other classes that can heal?
Because it is their forte? They are not in a straitjacket to do only that, as you seem to think, but when they put their mind to it, they are the best at it. You might as well be asking why the druid has to be best at wildshaping or the mage at controlling the battlefield.

The issue I have is that most groups feel they need a cleric because no one else can heal as well as the cleric. The result is that often players are wrangled into playing clerics when they would rather play something else. You are the one who brought up this whole heal-bot/ straight jacket concept.

Under 3.5 the cleric has an edge with healing but it's not that huge, in particular it's not huge if you used the wand based healing as you suggest. Under PRPG the cleric surges ahead in healing in a big way.

This increases party demand for clerics but doesn't really make the class more appealing to the individual who would play a cleric.

Suggesting that clerics should be so much better at healing because it's their forte is circular logic.

Shadow Lodge

Denis Da Ogre wrote:
The issue I have is that most groups feel they need a cleric because no one else can heal as well as the cleric. The result is that often players are wrangled into playing clerics when they would rather play something else.

I disagree with this point. The only way "no one else can heal as well as the cleric" is if the other party members expect the cleric to heal with his spells and his channel energy ability and his items. If the party expected the cleric to heal with items only, then a druid, bard and possibly a rogue would heal as well as the cleric, save, of course, for dire emergencies when the cleric would convert a spell or use his channel ability to ensure a burst of healing. It is only this "dire needs" issue that makes a cleric "better", but it is by no means a requirement in a party. If you ditched the cleric in favor of a druid or bard, the assumption is that you would be killing the foes faster and wouldn't need this burst healing, ergo, you don't need the cleric.

Denis Da Ogre wrote:
You are the one who brought up this whole heal-bot/ straight jacket concept.

I and others used these words becuase the things you have said upthread make it seem like your groups expects the cleric to be casting healing spells much of the time. To wit:

Denis Da Ogre wrote:


  • Overall, the turning thing really ramps up the healing in a huge way
  • The game is designed to around the idea that the party have a player who is good at healing.
  • In fact the cleric is pretty much the only class that has a monopoly in a given role anymore.
  • The cleric is vastly superior to the druid and the bard at healing...
  • This is mostly true... clerics have always been better at healing though, spontaneous healing was part but also the cleric has had access to more healing spells or equivalent ones at lower levels (Cure Moderate, Cure Serious... etc).
  • Each of these statements assumes that the cleric is casting healing spells. While you do not say "healbot", you certainly assume that the cleric is running about healing with his spells. Some people call that style of cleric a "healbot". What I am asking is for you to look at the cleric as something other than a healer. The fact that he *could* heal full time is not the issue because no one wants to play a character that does that. In fact, further evidence you view clerics as healbots is that people in your groups don't want to play a cleric because they mistakenly see "healbotting" as their primary role just because the cleric can do it well. It seems like you are stuck thinking that because the cleric *can* excel at healing, he *must* excel at healing. This is absolutely not the design goal of the cleric and hasn't been for years. He is intentionally designed not to be a healbot (read as "the guy using his spells and abilities to do the healing" if you dislike "healbot"), even though he still *could* be the healbot if desired (and do that job very well).

    Denis Da Ogre wrote:
    Under 3.5 the cleric has an edge with healing but it's not that huge, in particular it's not huge if you used the wand based healing as you suggest. Under PRPG the cleric surges ahead in healing in a big way.

    The only advantage under 3.5 the cleric had was the ability to pull big heals (typically beyond the ken of the items on hand) in an emergency. In every other way, he was no better than the druid or bard since they all used items. Under PFRPG, the cleric has not "surged ahead in healing in a big way". He is the same as 3.5, using items to heal, *except* rather than forcing the cleric to burn one of his spells (and it isn't a memorized healing spell and the cleric doesn't have the Healing domain - why would he?), he can use his channel energy ability instead. This is an improvement, but not for the reason you state (e.g. more healing per day). It is better because the only time the cleric would do such a thing is when the chips are down and he absolutely must stop killing things for a moment and rescue someone. In such situations, having an uninterrupted, meaningful heal on tap is exactly what the cleric would need.

    Denis Da Ogre wrote:
    This increases party demand for clerics but doesn't really make the class more appealing to the individual who would play a cleric.

    Again, your party might want a cleric for this guaranteed heal in battle, but I can't see why using a druid to kill things faster or a bard to avoid battles instead of having a cleric is such a loss. Sure, the party loses that burst heal, but they gain a great deal in other ways. In no way do I see clerics being mandatory.

    Denis Da Ogre wrote:
    Suggesting that clerics should be so much better at healing because it's their forte is circular logic.

    No more than saying a fighter should be better at fighting because he is a...fighter.


    Clerics should remain the best class at healing - I think that is not really under discussion. However, upgrading Druid healing (I oppose upgrading Bard's healing) as an option would be desirable if it were compensated by removing something else from the class. I would agree with those who want this to be an option to replace the animal companion, much like the Wizard can now replace the familiar with another ability. Another possibility would be for this to replace Wildshape, but I am always for options that reduce the need for a menagerie...

    It would be thematically appropriate to give the druid some sort of herbalist healing options. Perhaps the druid could be the expert at applying salves, using herbs and other 'natural' healing techniques. These could be powers that are practically impossible to use in combat, thus differentiating the healing from that of the superior healer - the Cleric.

    Druid is traditionally a divine caster, so I see no reason why he shouldn't be able to fill the healing part of the divine caster's role effectively, though Cleric should indeed still reign supreme in this field.

    Note: Paladin is now actually a semi-viable healer, given the Channeling Positive Energy rules.


    Lich-Loved wrote:
    Denis Da Ogre wrote:
    The issue I have is that most groups feel they need a cleric because no one else can heal as well as the cleric. The result is that often players are wrangled into playing clerics when they would rather play something else.
    I disagree with this point. The only way "no one else can heal as well as the cleric" is if the other party members expect the cleric to heal with his spells and his channel energy ability and his items. If the party expected the cleric to heal with items only, then a druid, bard and possibly a rogue would heal as well as the cleric, save, of course, for dire emergencies when the cleric would convert a spell or use his channel ability to ensure a burst of healing. It is only this "dire needs" issue that makes a cleric "better", but it is by no means a requirement in a party.

    I am talking about the channel energy ability primarily which is after all the only significant difference in healing ability between the two versions. In the SRD the difference in healing ability was noticeable but not huge. Channel energy makes a big difference.

    "The only way "no one else can heal as well as the cleric" is if the other party members expect the cleric to heal with his spells and his channel energy ability and his items."

    Umm... yes other party members would expect the cleric to heal the party with channel energy, much like they expect any other party member to use their class abilities. I've already heard people on this board talking about how great it is for healing in their playtests. Unless you have a ton of undead on a given day it's not quite as good but even then it's beneficial. The fact that you don't see it as a significant source of additional healing makes me wonder if you've even tried it in actual play.

    Shadow Lodge

    Denis da Ogre wrote:
    Umm... yes other party members would expect the cleric to heal the party with channel energy, much like they expect any other party member to use their class abilities. I've already heard people on this board talking about how great it is for healing in their playtests. Unless you have a ton of undead on a given day it's not quite as good but even then it's beneficial. The fact that you don't see it as a significant source of additional healing makes me wonder if you've even tried it in actual play.

    I do see it as a source of healing (and have tried it) and agree that it is nice to have, but the issue still remains that the cleric does not become mandatory just because of this healing. A 9th level cleric with Cha 16 heals 105hp a day on average with his channeling to all within 30ft assuming he uses this ability exclusively for healing. Mathematically, the same effect can be gained on a party of four by using 35 charges from a wand of cure moderate or 23 charges from a wand of cure serious. The charges actually used, based on my playtests, are actually much less than this because the party of four are not each down 105 HP, thus the large part of the cleric's channeling is wasted on those uninjured, and correspondingly, fewer wand charges are needed to bring the one or two people back up to health. Typically, the 9th level fighter is the most hurt requiring 7-9 charges from a CMW wand to bring him back up and another 5-7 charges to bring everyone else back up for about 16 charges from a CMW wand to heal the two most-hurt characters (wands of CLW are used to top off anyone not badly hurt). Sure, the cleric can make the wand usage moot by using this ability, but that is a basic trade off when the party decides to use a cleric or not. If they don't use a cleric, wand costs will be a bit higher but the party gains the benefit of having that extra, interestingly-skilled party member on hand to help reduce the need for the healing in the first place. I still fail to see how the party must have a cleric.

    Furthermore, it would seem that having the cleric capable of this sort of healing would actually encourage your characters to play clerics. Clerics are a powerful class, and this ability means that less wands will need to be purchased (or custom healing rods fabricated) so the party can dedicate this resource to other things. Having the ability to do healing of this nature frees the cleric from reliance on any of his spells for healing (except in extremis) and allows him or her to use those free slots for the divinations and buff/debuff spells that can really help the party out. I am wondering why your group fails to see the power and flexibility of the class with this new feature, but to each his own. If they don't like clerics, then they don't, but is certainly comes across as a powerful and flexible class with this new feature.


    Hmmm...

    Silver Crusade

    Personally, I like playing a druid because I can do things other then be the healbot (even though it's between me and the NPC rogue/cleric of Olidamarra). My druid carries 3 cure light wands and a cure moderate wand (now that we are almost 9th level). Some people don't like using potions or wands for healing (or anything) but I like them because they allow me to push the party foward even though I'm out of healing spells by the 3rd encounter.


    Im interested to look at this the other way round, thinking for a moment about damage rather than healing. I read a good post on the class forum that said the barbarian was a problem for (that party) because it was so easily hit that it ended up using all the heals the party had.

    Added to the comments made in this topic about scenarios being designed anticipating a certain level of healing, perhaps the classes are just too fragile. An awesome healing class seems necessary because hit points are lost at what is apparently a massive rate.

    The topic is looking for alternatives to the cleric, perhaps we should consider *damage prevention spells* rather than spells which cure damage after it has been registered as hit point loss. A wizard might not be able to get a heal, but it makes sense to give them better armour type defences or buffs that can shield the party members.

    Perhaps what we are seeking is a better range of defensive buffs that lessen this terrible dependence on powerful healing. I think there is a lot of room among the abilities and spells of the other classes to do this.


    Thed_of_Corvosa wrote:
    The topic is looking for alternatives to the cleric, perhaps we should consider *damage prevention spells* rather than spells which cure damage after it has been registered as hit point loss. A wizard might not be able to get a heal, but it makes sense to give them better armour type defences or buffs that can shield the party members.

    There are tons of damage prevention spells out there... people tend to ignore them or casters often cast them on themselves leaving the barbarian/ fighter swinging in the breeze. Stoneskin, Barkskin, Cat's grace, Protection from XXX, Magic Circle against XXX, Aid... tons more out there these are the ones off the top of my head. One part of the equation is that casters are often conflicted, cast a buff or blast the enemy? Casters, even clerics tend towards offensive capabilities first.

    Scarab Sages

    They aren't clerics, therefore they are an alternative that trades healing for other abilities, you don't need to heal if half your opponents are fascinated...


    Um I don't see why no one has said this prior... Not all clerics are X good alignment and follow a good god and channel positive energy. A cleric could also have negative energy and be adventuring with "good" party and therefore isn't going to be this amazing healer due to the channel energy ability. They can't even spont. cast healing spells at this point. If you want to assume that the cleric is going to be the healbot, that is on you, BUT that is not always the case. Yes a cleric with the appropriate choices will be a wonderful healer, but a player will not always make those choices for the character they want to play. That there are choices like this invalidate a great deal of peoples arguments about the cleric being so much better than other classes at healing. Cleric =/= the "well" of positive energy for the party. If 100% of clerics were positive energy using (which is what these posts assume), then maybe I could give some of these arguments credibility, but that isn't the case. If a cleric does not take positive energy, they are no better and actually worse off than a druid or a bard. A bard can spont. cast a healing spell (which the cleric cannot) and the druid can gain healing through use of SNA at mid levels (unicorns have CLW 3/day among other useful things).

    The Exchange

    bards should be able to heal, what about a song that reinvigorates. it could give fast healing 1, +1per 5 levels, but can only bring allies up to half hitpoints.

    Druids should have supernaturally good recuperative powers within natural terrains (everyone heals 2+CON times level per nights rest)

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