Healing in combat = doing it wrong?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

201 to 249 of 249 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

james maissen wrote:
t is quite possible to make a mid to high level character that is VERY hard to hit for example. If this is your tank, and he can draw enemy fire reliably then healing them even sporadically is quite efficient.

As a side note, while making a character with high enough defenses to really make healing efficient on him is possible, it's very difficult for that character to actually draw enemy fire, assuming the enemies are reasonably intelligent (and played that way). You sacrifice a lot of offense for the defense, and 3.5/Pathfinder have very, very few ways of incentivizing enemies to attack certain targets.


Chris Kenney wrote:
Just out of curiosity, what did you do about multiple attackers and all the various things that implies? Things like pincer attacks, ambushes, and even simply overwhelming the Barbarian's threat radius and getting past him? This sounds like a great tactic when there's only one BBEG and a bunch of obvious mooks, but much less so when there are multiple realistic threats in the same area coordinating their attack.

Hope you can read this, even though I'm posting a response so late.

The barbarian was a goliath, as previously mentioned. I did forget to mention he was a frenzied berserker. Therefore most of the time my character was hiding to avoid being killed in one hit (One party member eliminated). The favored soul usually would backpack him until all the enemies were dead, then cast calm emotions to bring him out of the frenzy. The third party member was a were-bat or something that could fly. So the only two legit targets were the favored soul and the barbarian. Both of those were usually right on top of one another. So your choices were go after the giant death machine or his little friend, or go after the less dangerous threat in the air. A lot of the game took place in ruins, underground etc. so there weren't a lot of threats that could reach him.

I admit it's kind of a specific example, but with the fighter deal much more damage in Pathfinder I felt the example could be somewhat useful.


Zurai wrote:
james maissen wrote:
t is quite possible to make a mid to high level character that is VERY hard to hit for example. If this is your tank, and he can draw enemy fire reliably then healing them even sporadically is quite efficient.
As a side note, while making a character with high enough defenses to really make healing efficient on him is possible, it's very difficult for that character to actually draw enemy fire, assuming the enemies are reasonably intelligent (and played that way). You sacrifice a lot of offense for the defense, and 3.5/Pathfinder have very, very few ways of incentivizing enemies to attack certain targets.

There is such a thing as having too high an AC. Nothing will ever target you, and that makes mitigating damage harder.

So have the cleric use Imbue with Spell Ability and cast shield other on another party member who ends up getting hit.


Zurai wrote:
james maissen wrote:
t is quite possible to make a mid to high level character that is VERY hard to hit for example. If this is your tank, and he can draw enemy fire reliably then healing them even sporadically is quite efficient.
As a side note, while making a character with high enough defenses to really make healing efficient on him is possible, it's very difficult for that character to actually draw enemy fire, assuming the enemies are reasonably intelligent (and played that way). You sacrifice a lot of offense for the defense, and 3.5/Pathfinder have very, very few ways of incentivizing enemies to attack certain targets.

Depends on the party and the situation, but it can be an issue.

If your party deals with threats at a reasonable to swift pace, then before they know that they can't hit Bob.. they don't get to learn.

Illusions, also often discounted, are nice here. Seeming/Veil can have the bad guys thinking that they are targeting the party wizard instead of the party tank...

-James


Zurai wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
dulsin wrote:
I like there to be suspense in the fight. If the players are not in fear for their lives then what is the point of the fight?
This is something I feel needs addressed again.
And that's not even touching on high-level combat. It's called "rocket tag" for a reason; damage values are so high and save-or-die/suck effects are so common that the party's risk of TPK increases at a greater than geometric rate with every additional round of combat. High-level parties, generally speaking, either finish a fight quickly, retreat via teleportation, or TPK.

That's a self fulfilling prophecy. It begins with a philosophy that dealing damage/forcing save or die is the "best" option, therefore players and DMs design parties/encounters optimized to deal damage/force save or die.

In reality, parties/opponents designed for well rounded and versatile tactics will almost always defeat those designed around one trick, "Hulk smash!" tactics.


Mynameisjake wrote:
That's a self fulfilling prophecy.

No, actually, it isn't. I don't care how well-rounded your party is, you can only take a couple rounds of multiple AOE save-or-die effects before you TPK.


A BBEG who attempts more than one round of AOE save-or-die effects gets pwned in the face by the Paladin.


Loopy wrote:
A BBEG who attempts more than one round of AOE save-or-die effects gets pwned in the face by the Paladin.

Who said I was talking about a single enemy? Any single enemy gets pwned in the face by a party unless he's just way more optimized than the party or way too high a CR. And actually, I was referring to multiple save-or-dies a round, although when I revised my statement that got lost, so I don't blame you for not knowing that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mynameisjake wrote:
In reality, parties/opponents designed for well rounded and versatile tactics will almost always defeat those designed around one trick, "Hulk smash!" tactics.

Unless they run into a party of negative-level-inflicting vampires. I take it you haven't read OotS 'Start of Darkness' have you?


Mynameisjake wrote:
Zurai wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
dulsin wrote:
I like there to be suspense in the fight. If the players are not in fear for their lives then what is the point of the fight?
This is something I feel needs addressed again.
And that's not even touching on high-level combat. It's called "rocket tag" for a reason; damage values are so high and save-or-die/suck effects are so common that the party's risk of TPK increases at a greater than geometric rate with every additional round of combat. High-level parties, generally speaking, either finish a fight quickly, retreat via teleportation, or TPK.

That's a self fulfilling prophecy. It begins with a philosophy that dealing damage/forcing save or die is the "best" option, therefore players and DMs design parties/encounters optimized to deal damage/force save or die.

In reality, parties/opponents designed for well rounded and versatile tactics will almost always defeat those designed around one trick, "Hulk smash!" tactics.

Just to be absolutely clear:

My initial post was that you can challenge your party without having to have them on death's door through HP damage, and you can have fights that have a purpose other than "try to kill the PCs".


Zurai wrote:
Mynameisjake wrote:
That's a self fulfilling prophecy.
No, actually, it isn't. I don't care how well-rounded your party is, you can only take a couple rounds of multiple AOE save-or-die effects before you TPK.

Yes, actually, it is. When you begin with the assumption that "multiple AOE save-or-die effects" are the only winning strategy, then using and developing such tactics becomes the sole goal of both parties and opponents. "If all you have is hammer, then everything looks like a nail." To which I would add, "if you believe that a hammer is the only tool you'll ever need, then you won't even bother looking for any others."

Edit: Corrected some phrasing.


Zurai wrote:
Loopy wrote:
A BBEG who attempts more than one round of AOE save-or-die effects gets pwned in the face by the Paladin.
Who said I was talking about a single enemy? Any single enemy gets pwned in the face by a party unless he's just way more optimized than the party or way too high a CR. And actually, I was referring to multiple save-or-dies a round, although when I revised my statement that got lost, so I don't blame you for not knowing that.

Wouldn't a group of enemies popping SoD spells also have rather low DCs and HP? (See my comment about the face mutilation.)

Abraham spalding wrote:

Just to be absolutely clear:

My initial post was that you can challenge your party without having to have them on death's door through HP damage, and you can have fights that have a purpose other than "try to kill the PCs".

I know of no better purpose in life. ;)


Loopy wrote:
Wouldn't a group of enemies popping SoD spells also have rather low DCs and HP? (See my comment about the face mutilation.)

Not always, no. Not even usually. Medusae have plenty of hit points and a no-action, 30' radius save-or-die ability and they're only CR7, for example. Using the suggested guidelines from the 3.5 DMG (there are none in the Core Rulebook or I'd use those), you could actually encounter a medusa as early as 2nd level, and CR7 creatures aren't even terribly uncommon at 3rd-4th level. At higher levels, we have creatures that can use power words, blasphemy, wail of the banshee, and so on multiple times per day or even at-will while still being more than capable combatants in their own rights.


To prove Zurai's point a bit more we can look at the outsiders and dragons as main contenders in the high hp/ attack/ AC and deadly spell like abilities.

Some constructs also have similiar abilities: The iron golem for example.

Finally even the lowly cockatrice could do the trick in groups.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DM_Blake wrote:


The question really is whether the healing will keep up with the cleric's damage output. Or to put it another way, comparing the cleric's healing numbers against the monsters' damage numbers is a fallacy - we should be comparing the cleric's healing to the cleric's damage.

That's not correct. You need to compare the cleric's healing numbers with all the other effects they can generate - NOT their raw damage output, because "heal or melee" are not the two options open to a cleric.

Buffs enhance overall party damage. Prot. Evil, Sanctuary, and other protection spells prevent damage being taken. Fear/Turning/Hold Person do the same thing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Starbuck_II wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

The other week I ran a combat with some wolves against level 1 pcs. I started with 4 wolves, but their howls had attracted another group that was on their way. I ASSUMED the PCs would run from a pack of 8 more wolves. The Cleric channel spammed and said: "We're ready, lets do this."

The wolves attacked, and it was a close thing a couple of times, except the Cleric was spending all of his actions healing the party where it was needed. When someone got knocked down to 1 hp or lower he'd be there. Running back and forth across the battlefield.

The fight took a while but ended with the PC victory, fairly high HP levels all around.

I was impressed at how effective healing could be.

The Cleric was like: "What's next? I've still got 2 channels left."

That is the appropiate time to heal. Especially when over CRed/ECL. If it had just been the 4 wolves: not as needed. But since they attracted 8 more (how much CR increase?) they had to heal in combat.

4 CR 1 wolves is CR 2 (but I have 6 PCs so CR 1 again)

8 CR 1 wolves is CR 3 (but again 6 PCs so CR 2)

I've never sweated CR math too much, I've been running games since 3.5, and if a fight is too tough there's always the retreat option.


Zurai wrote:


Not always, no. Not even usually. Medusae have plenty of hit points and a no-action, 30' radius save-or-die ability and they're only CR7, for example. Using the suggested guidelines from the 3.5 DMG (there are none in the Core Rulebook or I'd use those), you could actually encounter a medusa as early as 2nd level, and CR7 creatures aren't even terribly uncommon at 3rd-4th level. At higher levels, we have creatures that can use power words, blasphemy, wail of the banshee, and so on multiple times per day or even at-will while still being more than capable combatants in their own rights.

Umm.. first flesh to stone is not save or die. Second, baring a surprise round/shock you can close your eyes/avert your gaze/simply leave that range.

Second, if your argument rests on APL+5 encounters being problematic at LOW levels... well duh!

Third, power words don't have saves (they do have SR), blasphemy didn't used to (except for banishing), and wail of the banshee is a 9th level spell...

Not really sure where you're going in this flailing around here,

James


james maissen wrote:

Umm.. first flesh to stone is not save or die. Second, baring a surprise round/shock you can close your eyes/avert your gaze/simply leave that range.

Second, if your argument rests on APL+5 encounters being problematic at LOW levels... well duh!

Third, power words don't have saves (they do have SR), blasphemy didn't used to (except for banishing), and wail of the banshee is a 9th level spell...

Not really sure where you're going in this flailing around here,

James

First off it's not flesh to stone, it's:

"Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 16 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
"

So yeah that's pretty much "dead". Especially if it gets the entire party. Yeah you could avert your eyes -- now you are fighting blind -- great choice there! Leaving range could be a good choice however you have to stay out of range too which limits your actions, and in some cases simply isn't possible.

And he said you could face one as early as second level -- that is not the same as should or will.

Finally: It doesn't matter what level spells these are -- Zurai is pointing out that there are monsters than can kill you in "one hit" at all levels and some (and only some) of the means they have for doing so.

His purpose in doing so is to show that "HP damage" isn't the great end all that it could be, and that it can be quite easy to set up a situation where the party is facing multiple monsters that can TPK with a few failed saves instead of just "whacking you to death."


Abraham spalding wrote:

First off it's not flesh to stone, it's:

"Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 16 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
"

So yeah that's pretty much "dead". Especially if it gets the entire party. Yeah you could avert your eyes -- now you are fighting blind -- great choice there! Leaving range could be a good choice however you have to stay out of range too which limits your actions, and in some cases simply isn't possible.

And he said you could face one as early as second level -- that is not the same as should or will.

Finally: It doesn't matter what level spells these are -- Zurai is pointing out that there are monsters than can kill you in "one hit" at all levels and some (and only some) of the means they have for doing so.

His purpose in doing so is to show that "HP damage" isn't the great end all that it could be, and that it can be quite easy to set up a situation where the party is facing multiple monsters that can TPK with a few failed saves instead of just "whacking you to death."

Thank you. At least I know someone is getting what I'm saying.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Our group are terrible optimisers as a whole. I'm sure we take far longer to kill things than most, prepare stupid spells, heal unnecessarily, target the wrong opponents, adopt dumb strategies, etcetera etcetera. I'm squarely in the "do what suits your character concept, even if it isnt the most tactically sound" camp.

Having said that, I find this antagonism perplexing. People like Zurai (who would no doubt tear his hair out if he had to play in one of our parties) are gold for people like me. I'm never going to play or DM the way he does but it doesnt matter - hearing the reasoning behind a different style of playing/DMing than mine is far more valuable than hearing the reasons for doing what we already do.


Steve Geddes wrote:
People like Zurai (who would no doubt tear his hair out if he had to play in one of our parties)

Nah, not unless you were playing intentionally stupidly or were unpleasant to play with in general. I try to optimize to the level of the party, even if that's "we just play for fun, dude". I've even gone so far as to voluntarily give up class features for no return (or just plain refuse to use class features or spells) to limit my own characters' power. I just prefer to make my decisions from as strong an information base as possible.

:)


What were we talking about again?

Oh yeah....

Healing in combat is a waste of time.

Well... it's a game, and what are we doing if not wasting time {now don't jump on me and say 'It's not a waste'... you know what I mean}.

I personally would just prefer if fewer people used WOW-like optimization techniques and arguments for PF/D&D/Whatever we call it these days. Obviously, no one can make a general statement that will apply to all cases, everywhere. Does damage out-pace healing... usually yes. Does that mean NO ONE SHOULD EVER HEAL IN COMBAT?.... Kind of a silly question if someone has actually experienced a combat, isn't it? Sometimes a cleric heals because that is what is called for by the situation. Sometimes the same cleric will have the opportunity to do something else, and maybe that will help his party more. It's about the freedom to choose what is best at the moment. And none of us can know what is going to be the best thing at someone else's table because we don't even know them.

Every character is going to be faced with actions every round, and all we can hope to do is choose the best action at the time for the purpose of helping our party survive {so we can take the bad guys' stuff, right?} Someone trying to dictate what that action should be is sort of a waste of time, isn't it? Oh wait. What are we talking about again?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zurai wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
People like Zurai (who would no doubt tear his hair out if he had to play in one of our parties)

Nah, not unless you were playing intentionally stupidly or were unpleasant to play with in general. I try to optimize to the level of the party, even if that's "we just play for fun, dude". I've even gone so far as to voluntarily give up class features for no return (or just plain refuse to use class features or spells) to limit my own characters' power. I just prefer to make my decisions from as strong an information base as possible.

:)

The bolded part is what I was obliquely referring to - your comments are really useful to me, even though one of my favorite characters was a cleric with a 20 intelligence and 14 wisdom, I never plan feat choices ahead of time, I make ad hoc decisions at each level without reference to a 'build' and I quite frequently adopt (unintentionally) moronic tactics on the grounds that I hate sitting there while other players meticulously weigh all their options, so I'll just do something. Seriously - I think I'd irritate you no end (or at least make you bury your face in your hands regularly).

Personally, I don't have the inclination or ability to comb through the rules coming to grips with all the ins-and-outs of game design so it's great to hear the perspective of someone who does understand such things. I find it odd that these debates get so heated (in both directions) since what someone says on the internet is just free information - it's another option to consider even if you dismiss it immediately. It only has whatever bearing on your game you want it to. Even if someone misunderstands my position - who cares?

[/politeness rant]


Chris Kenney wrote:
General Dorsey wrote:
I was going to mention that healing is more than just cure spells.

Umm...no, actually, it isn't. You can be somewhat generous with the definition and include "status-clearing" effects like Remove Poison and Remove Fear but that's basically the definition of "Healing."

Quote:
It includes preventative measures as well. As others have mentioned, by lessening the damage coming, you are having the same basic effect of healing but doing it better. If you can stop 120 points of fire damage from a adult red dragon's breath, you can still have cure spells left over to deal with the melee damage. You can use Shield Other to take half the damage on yourself, making it even easier to use your healing burst since you will have less damage to heal.

These are all examples of PROTECTIVE spells, a fairly distinct category of buffing magic. And all are usually a more effective use of combat actions than the spells with "Cure" in their name.

It may seem like I'm being pedantic here. Part of that comes from my MMO background, where the most fun I've had was in City of Heroes/Villains. Which is another game where playing a pure "Healer", while semi-viable, is really selling your actual abilities short even as a character with enough oomph to do that job.

Glad to know that there is only one proper way to categorize spells and what the expectation of a healer is. I'm going to go back to my wrong way of gaming and enjoy myself.


Zurai wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
dulsin wrote:
I like there to be suspense in the fight. If the players are not in fear for their lives then what is the point of the fight?
This is something I feel needs addressed again.
And that's not even touching on high-level combat. It's called "rocket tag" for a reason; damage values are so high and save-or-die/suck effects are so common that the party's risk of TPK increases at a greater than geometric rate with every additional round of combat. High-level parties, generally speaking, either finish a fight quickly, retreat via teleportation, or TPK.

Depending on what you mean by high-level combat, I would say this is not 'true'. At least not to our game and at least to all the time. Our parties generally have characters with a good defense. Most of characters have good saves, good AC and the party usually have a good buffer/healer.

As for "Healing in combat = doing it wrong?"
Healing all the time = doing it wrong
Healing sometimes/when needed = not necessarily doing it wrong.
I think rkraus2 was spot on when he wrote: " I've seen too many clerics who literally don't know most of the spells on thier list. There are times when a resist energy or wind wall is 10x better then cure mod."
Starting a fight with prayer or casting align weapon on the fighter's weapon is much better than waiting for someone to cry "I need healing". A cleric who never knows when to cast Magic Circle against Evil, Shield Other, Remove Paralysis, resist energy, Silence, freedom of movement, Align weapon (a great spell BTW) or prayer or even bless and instead only heal is a crappy Cleric. Hell even spells like Searing Light can be useful.


Zurai wrote:

Then why, pray tell, did the designers of Pathfinder use 3-4 rounds as the length of the average combat when they were computing how long abilities should last (reference the old threads about bardic performance being rounds per day)?

In that thread Jason wrote;

The answer is about 5 rounds... that is roughly where we were to be the critical length of the combat. This value changes of course, depending on level.


General Dorsey wrote:
Glad to know that there is only one proper way to categorize spells and what the expectation of a healer is. I'm going to go back to my wrong way of gaming and enjoy myself.

This has nothing to do with your definitions of party roles. It has everything to do with what's actually being discussed. By trying to change the definitions mid-stream, you're moving the goalposts in the argument.

"Healing", especially as it is being discussed in this thread. covers a fairly narrow set of spells and class abilities. You can't just try to expand the definition everybody's using. Casting bless does not heal, nor does casting Resist Energy or Stoneskin or Grease.


I am officially really confused about where this argument has gotten to. I see some people saying that in their campaigns it has been their experience that healing during combat is a regular and useful event. I see other folks arguing that one would do well to be prepared for other negative effects from combat as well. I really can't see myself arguing against any of this.


I think a lot of people use the strategy of heal when damaged.

The anti-heal party is saying use spells that protect the party, and increase damage output so healing is not necessary, but we realize sometimes it has to be done. In other words be proactive, not reactive.

I have DM'd two different parties, with one player that played in both groups. In one group he used every channel and spell he had. In the other more tactical group he kept wanting to heal, but it rarely happened.

PS: I am not saying everyone that gets healed is lacking in tactics, but it is an observation that planning, and strategy make healing less of an issue. YMMV depending on the party, and the DM.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some more posts. Deep breaths, people. It's a debate on the Internet. There really isn't much point in getting angry.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
There is no right way. Only the left way.

Arise ye workers from your slumbers

Arise ye prisoners of want
For reason in revolt now thunders
And at last ends the age of cant.
Away with all your superstitions
Servile masses arise, arise
We'll change henceforth the old tradition
And spurn the dust to win the prize.
So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale unites the human race.
So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale unites the human race.

No more deluded by reaction
On tyrants only we'll make war
The soldiers too will take strike action
They'll break ranks and fight no more
And if those cannibals keep trying
To sacrifice us to their pride
They soon shall hear the bullets flying
We'll shoot the generals on our own side.

No saviour from on high delivers
No faith have we in prince or peer
Our own right hand the chains must shiver
Chains of hatred, greed and fear
E'er the thieves will out with their booty
And give to all a happier lot.
Those at the forge must do their duty
And we'll strike while the iron is hot.

Liberty's Edge

Ross Byers wrote:
I removed some more posts. Deep breaths, people. It's a debate on the Internet. There really isn't much point in getting angry.

Drat, I looked forward to reading the posts to see how many more words "not in common usage" would appear in the posts. Seemed that the more angry people got the more their written language skills improved, interesting effect.

S.


Should we heal or not?
That damn cleric is lazy.
They should do it all.


"Ow! I am injured!"
Cure moderate wounds times two.
"Taste my sword's cold steel!"

Mark L. Chance | Spes Magna Games


comrade mauled by large monster.
wall of stone or cure critical.
splitting headache.

Liberty's Edge

Haiku Monster wrote:

Should we heal or not?

That damn cleric is lazy.
They should do it all.

*applaudes*

I love this guy!


Before each battle
Prayer of valor shelters friends,
Swiftly ending foes


Inspiration shines
Its beacon of pure radiance
On these varied views

===== ======= =====

The views expressed here
May not necessarily mean
Much of anything

===== ======= =====

But a new direction
Like a sudden summer storm
Is a welcome respite

===== ======= =====

Luck and good humor
Understanding, compassion
Are spring's raw essence


But keep the WOWSpeak on another board*

{*that's a joke}

201 to 249 of 249 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Healing in combat = doing it wrong? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.