Hating on the Wand of CLW


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Is it just me?

CLW wands are ubiquitous; experienced players will generally pool their resources to buy one at 2nd level, and certainly no later than 3rd. From then on until, oh, 7th or 8th level, they have a massively distorting effect on gameplay. PCs become much more difficult to kill in melee, and between melees they'll tend to heal up entirely. The hit point aspect of the game dwindles almost into insignificance; instead, gameplay becomes about resources. You don't pause and leave the dungeon for the day when you're low on hp, because you're never low on hp; instead, you leave when your casters are out of spells and limited-use powers. This makes for a very different game, and IMO one that's rather less fun.

Way back in 1e, healing was a fairly rare and precious commodity. It was clerics and the very occasional potion -- and clerics had to choose between cure spells and everything else. That's one big reason 1e was so lethal. With 3e, the pendulum has swung far in the other direction; clerics have spontaneous casting *and* burst heals with Channel Energy *and* the party is carrying a CLW wand. The CLW wand is obnoxious enough in its own right, but it's being piled on top of the enhanced healing abilities of the 3.x cleric. The result is... not overkill... overheal?

Also, as an aesthetic point, it kinda bugs me that the gods are willing to invest a bunch of holy healing power in a stick, to be unleashed by anyone who can make a UMD check. That makes perfect sense when dealing with arcane magic, but... well, it just seems wrong that you can whack the High Priest of Zon-Kuthon, pick up his black-and-silver wand of CLW with the screaming skull on the end, and start using it to heal your paladin and her mount. It's a minor point, sure, and more about aesthetics than gameplay. Still.

But anyway: CLW wands! I hate 'em. Am I the only one?

Doug M.


I have always hated Wands of CLW and potions of it, too.

When I run D&D or Pathfinder, I don't use any magic items like that. If I do include a few magic items, they are either MacGuffins or extremely rare with storied history.

It's worked out really well. And people still don't play healers, amusingly enough.

Grand Lodge

Yes. The game in effect has also gotten more leathal as well. As we've seen the rise in healing go up so has an enemy's ability to dish out damage. Yes, players last longer, but I see no problem with that. Why is it wrong for player survivability to be increased? It creates a more enjoyable game and longer character interaction.

Plus my players whine less when they're alive.

Heck, I killed 3 of them just last session!


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I too hate that players aren't required to play clerics anymore.

My ideal D&D game consists of going back to town and sleeping for two weeks after every battle, waiting for the incredibly slow natural healing to have an effect.


These things tend to be cyclical. GMs adjust their games to deal with the tactics employed.

CLW wands are only effective if you get enough downtime to spend minutes using them since they only heal 55 hit points per minute. They're also pretty expensive for the lower level groups that benefit the most from them. And, if you really want to as the GM, you can steal them.

I agree that the amount of healing in Pathfinder creates a completely different dynamic than the healing that was available in AD&D, and that AD&D was far more lethal and that gave a completely different flavor to the game. But I'm pretty adaptable. I can play it either way.

As a GM I more or less accept that the party will heal up between encounters. There are other resources they have to manage. And I try to make my games about more than just beating down the PC party anyway.

Liberty's Edge

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I also dislike them. I have oscillated between not allowing them (in a Kingmaker game) and allowing them (in my current Way of the Wicked campaign). The party actually hasn't bought one yet, which surprises me. It's likely due to having a Cleric and also some other means of acquiring a few HP per day (Infernal Healing and the like).

In general, though, I dislike the concept of Divine wands. I vastly prefer limiting wands to Arcane energies, with potions picking up the slack for the low-level Divine spells. For high-level Divine spells, well...you need a high-level Divine caster. In my view, this makes for a slightly more gritty atmosphere.


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Roberta Yang wrote:
I too hate that players aren't required to play clerics anymore.

It's funny how people differ.

IMO what you pointet out there is why wands of CLW are great. Now people can actually play Clerics because they want to, not because "someone's gotta do it".


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Jeremiziah wrote:
In general, though, I dislike the concept of Divine wands.

Every cure spell is on the Bard and Witch list--they're not strictly divine.

Dark Archive

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I'm going to disagree. Healing wands allow for a party that isn't limited to one combat per day at low levels, and allows the cleric to do more interesting stuff than saving all resources for healing "just in case".

I have no desire to play the guy who has to use all of his class features to keep other people alive. A cure wand allows me to play a cleric without feeling like a jerk.


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Heh. If you opt to remove CLW, you might as well ban leadership while you're at it. Why? You can have two players pick leadership for cleric/oracle cohorts who lurk around the corner on healing duty. Hell, a bard would work.

The whole discussion shouldn't revolve around the 'curse of the CLW wand', but around the question of pace. Do you like the pace that PF sets? Or do you prefer the game being a bit slower with pc's having to find shelter to recuperate after one or two combats? With some sleight tweaks and an agreement with his/her players, any dm can get the pace desired.


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mplindustries wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
In general, though, I dislike the concept of Divine wands.
Every cure spell is on the Bard and Witch list--they're not strictly divine.

Oddly enough, my experience with DM's who have nostalgia for the old days of 1e/2e (and especially those who try to make 3.5/PF feel like that game) are completely oblivious to Bardic healing powers, and have never even looked at the witch class. And they HATE the idea that PC's could obtain an item they wanted, versus one that got dropped.

Alot of guys who have been playing for 25+ years just assume they can jump in with only a basic sweep of the rules. You can usually spot them when you start hearing about how crafting rules are broken, when they ask about how to run a "low magic" game in pathfinder, or when they complain about a 750gp wand "Breaking" their game.


As someone who only plays relatively low level campaigns, I cannot express how much I dislike wands of CLW. I think they totally distort the idea that encounters should wear down the resources of the party. While, in an absolute sense, a party using such wands is using up resources, these resources are a piddling sum compared to expenditure of spell slots or use per day class abilities.

I don't know how to fix this, either, from a houserule perspective without being metagamey (uh, CLW isn't a valid wand spell anymore... because magic?) or rewriting some large section of the game (CLW or how wands work).

Grand Lodge

As I read the original comment I thought "I wonder how far I'm going to have to read before I find Roberta's snarky comment. EDIT: Not Complaining

Roberta Yang wrote:

I too hate that players aren't required to play clerics anymore.

My ideal D&D game consists of going back to town and sleeping for two weeks after every battle, waiting for the incredibly slow natural healing to have an effect.

On topic... I'd think if healing bothered you a wand would be the least offensive. It costs money and can require a skill check that can actually have consequences.

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
it just seems wrong that you can whack the High Priest of Zon-Kuthon, pick up his black-and-silver wand of CLW with the screaming skull on the end, and start using it to heal your paladin and her mount.

I think Zon-Kuthon should be miffed that the High Priest presumptously stored his divine mojo in a stick assuming that he would still favor the priest. :D


Between witch, paladin and bard, my party tends to forget they even have wands of cure light wounds. They tend to use more potions of cure light/medium wounds anyway. Mostly because witch produces a few between quests.


I find that at higher levels, CLW and healing in general become slightly irrelevant except for reducing downtime and even that's not that common. (the Bard and Godling generally each got a sizable pile of spell-slots left at the end of the day, that'll come back in the morning). Everyone bought a CLW, expecting they'd need it, but so far, we've used collectively a few less than 20 charges. That's with 13 encounters over 4 days, against enemies who are ashamed if they pump out less than 100 damage a round.

My in-person campaign involves fighting with a significant degree of rocket tag. The players generally win hard or get aced. Finishing the battle wounded but victorious has only happened twice in our campaign, which has gone from 11 to 12, and suffered 4 casualties. Which, fortunately, I'm not blamed for, as 3 of those were from a very well executed betrayal by one of the players (who will now be playing a bad guy that the reformed party will be chasing.)

Since the Sorcerer didn't take teleport, it usually takes awhile between encounters anyway, seeing wherever the party goes generally ends up as a slag filled crater (yes, it's a fireball sorcerer, how did you tell?) not exactly suited to second encounters.

This may be due to the lack of dungeons/timed challenges in my campaign, so I'll try out a dungeon next with a timed challenge and see if that changes the dynamic.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Way back in 1e, healing was a fairly rare and precious commodity. It was clerics and the very occasional potion -- and clerics had to choose between cure spells and everything else. That's one big reason 1e was so lethal. With 3e, the pendulum has swung far in the other direction; clerics have spontaneous casting *and* burst heals with Channel Energy *and* the party is carrying a CLW wand. The CLW wand is obnoxious enough in its own right, but it's being piled on top of the enhanced healing abilities of the 3.x cleric. The result is... not overkill... overheal?

In games I play I rarely see anyone picking up Cure wands (potions are preferred because they can easily be used by anyone), and I practically never see them if someone has Channel except in rare circumstances (hey gaiz we're going for what might be a week long run through the underdark with no chance to rest because we'll get eaten if we stop; lets get a wand to help us not die).

I could have used one when my Dark Tapestry Oracle was low level though; practically every last spell of my extremely casting focused Oracle went into Cures which mostly left me trying to be creative with Mage Hand and Create Water in combat. That lasted til level 5 I think, where I talked to the DM and said I wanted to be able to take the Channel Revelation from the Healing Mystery or I wanted to kill off my character and make a new one as enjoying the character's roleplay can only take you so far.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Whale_Cancer wrote:
or rewriting some large section of the game (CLW or how wands work).

I vaguely remember a set of variant rules for wands that had them working kinda like the "Page of Spell Knowledge". The caster would hold the wand and expend one of his spell slots, piping that power through the wand, basically turning whatever spell was in the slot he expended into whatever spell the wand was designed to produce (provided the spell slot expended was sufficiently high level).

If the spell in the wand wasn't on your list, you had to make a UMD check or risk a mis-hap.

Dark Archive

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Wyrmholez wrote:
I think Zon-Kuthon should be miffed that the High Priest presumptously stored his divine mojo in a stick assuming that he would still favor the priest. :D

I disagree. Zon-Kuthon's portfolio includes torture. What torturer would not benefit from magic that brings the victim back into the realm of consciousness?


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Personally I am quite happy to use the wands, or heck I even offer renewable healing items to my party without it being wands. I make healing belts (from 3.5) as a common item that get given to the party. Not to the degree where everyone has it, but one for a normal party and 2 or 3 for larger parties. I am very opposed to someone having to play the 'healer' be a required party member. And I also dont like the overly deadly game that was 1E. At low levels, regardless of healing you are usually one crit away from going to unconcious. At high levels monsters do so much damage, that one full attack can often take a character out completely.

That said I think problem is really a disparity of assumptions in the game. The game assumes that resources will be worn down over the course of the day, but not all resources are per day. Casters have per day resources but martial characters, (other then class special abilities) have hit points, which are not per day. I honestly think that if 8 hours of rest recovered hp completely (or mostly) then you could design a system where you could wear down hp over time. But as it stands that doesnt work if you want the pace of an adventure to have consecutive adventuring days.


I've never had an issue with Cure Light Wounds(CWL) Wands. They are limited to 50 charges. 750 GP is pretty heavy for limited item at level 2, it's pretty rare to see them at that level in my games, 4th is more common. I've seen a CWL wand expended in one night of adventuring at higher levels when it becomes more affordable but then you are burning through them that much faster rate.


I like CLW wands, because they ensure that you don't have to "rest" in the dungeon after each encounter, and they allow clerics to use their spell columns as intended, instead of merely placeholders for spontaneous cures. CLW wands make the game far better in my opinion.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
PCs become much more difficult to kill in melee, and between melees they'll tend to heal up entirely.

Why on earth are you trying to kill them? Such an adversarial attitude is the hallmark of bad GMing.

For shame!

;P

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here's the real question Douglas.

IF you're unsatisfied with what you have, that generally means you're looking for a change.

What is your desired goal? You mentioned one of your observations that "PC's are hard to kill"

Are you looking to make them stop and rest more often? Are you looking for a given mortality rate? Living Greyhawk used to aim for a 25 percent rate per table, The GM I knew in Ramapo generally killed off 2 or more PC's per game session.

If you're looking for advice, you need to define your end goals.


You know, I don't think my Serpent Skull party has one, or if they do, they don't use it much.

Truthfully, the CLW want is only important if you have a campaign with a fast pace that relies upon wearing the players down rather than throwing a series of difficult challenges. There's nothing wrong with wearing them down to set them up for a big wallop if that's your style, but I'm not a big fan. I prefer the PCs to be at least somewhere near the top of their game when I beat them like a rented mule.


Wow, that got long fast. Okay, couple of thoughts.

1) I'm not particularly nostalgic for 1e. I mentioned it for historical context, not because I think, dang, 3.x sux because PCs survive more than two sessions instead of getting eaten by the four-armed gargoyle as Gary intended. I think there's a context here: 1e and 2e were too lethal, so 3.x swung hard the other way.

2) As noted in the OP, I can live with spontaneous casting and burst heals -- and note that the cleric still gets to cast plenty of spells, use domain powers, and join in fights. It's the CLW wand *on top* of all that.

3) 50 charges for 750 = 15 gp per CLW. That's a lot cheaper than a potion, and in a much lighter and easier to carry form, too.

4) Someone mentioned that at high levels the CLW wand becomes kind of pointless. Well, yes -- again, I mentioned this in the OP. A CLWW holds an average of 50 x 5.5 = 275 hp of healing. After 8th level or so, that's just not that much; the party tank may be able to burn through that in a day. At that point the party has to invest in some more advanced (and expensive) healing systems. But from 2nd level until 7th or 8th, the CLWW is ubiquitous, and it has a very distorting effect on gameplay.

Doug M.


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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Is it just me?

CLW wands are ubiquitous; experienced players will generally pool their resources to buy one at 2nd level, and certainly no later than 3rd. From then on until, oh, 7th or 8th level, they have a massively distorting effect on gameplay. PCs become much more difficult to kill in melee,

I find this hard to believe. If a character is giving up a standard action (and possibly move action; most healing isn't ranged) to heal a single character for an average of 5.5 hit points, and that's distorting combat, there's something else going on.

Quote:
and between melees they'll tend to heal up entirely. The hit point aspect of the game dwindles almost into insignificance; instead, gameplay becomes about resources. You don't pause and leave the dungeon for the day when you're low on hp, because you're never low on hp; instead, you leave when your casters are out of spells and limited-use powers. This makes for a very different game, and IMO one that's rather less fun.

1) The alternative are cowardly PCs who simply huddle and avoid encounters. (Note that avoiding combat doesn't nullify hit point damage. Traps can still hurt. Failed Diplomacy checks can hurt. Failed scouting can hurt. Etc.)

2) This avoids the 15 minute adventuring day problem so ubiquitous in D&D (with the exception of 4e).

3) D&D and Pathfinder have very poor natural healing rules. Many non-D&D games have very poor natural healing rules, in fact. Some DMs want PCs to huddle at home for days until they've healed enough to risk going outside. This might be fun for some DMs, but it's fun for very few players.

Quote:
Way back in 1e, healing was a fairly rare and precious commodity. It was clerics and the very occasional potion -- and clerics had to choose between cure spells and everything else. That's one big reason 1e was so lethal.

That was a different age, where characters often didn't get names until 3rd-level, and you adventured for loot, not plot or character.

Quote:
With 3e, the pendulum has swung far in the other direction; clerics have spontaneous casting *and* burst heals with Channel Energy *and* the party is carrying a CLW wand. The CLW wand is obnoxious enough in its own right, but it's being piled on top of the enhanced healing abilities of the 3.x cleric. The result is... not overkill... overheal?

I think you're stressing out. Combat is still dangerous, even with a "5.5 hp/round at the cost of fun" safety net. Outside of combat, PCs are running low on spells and other resources too.

Just take a look at how much damage you could take from a single sneak attack or barbarian chop. If PCs can't heal effectively, the DM had better use only cakewalk encounters.


So, what's the problem here? Yeah, PC's tend to heal up between combats, what a surprise. And when they run out of limited use abilities, they retreat and rest, if it is feasible.

Unless your entire encounter area serially bum-rushes the party every ten rounds after the end of the prior combat or you got a limited time scenario, that is just what happens, be it prior editions or this one.

Dark Archive

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If it weren't for my Life Oracle's Wand of CLW (which has 12 charges used) we'd have spent 3-4 times as long trying to clear out Harrowstone Prison.

I'm sorry, but sitting around waiting for wounds to heal is about as fun as waiting for paint to dry. If you want super lethal combat, make better encounters. Just forcing everybody to leave and come back whenever they get low, or just have them push ahead with no HP and no way to heal, is generally not fun at all for players.

Maybe if you sit there with a stack of pre-made player character sheets it's okay, but I sure as hell don't want to lose the guy I've spent days making background, personality and motivation for to die just because you're not having fun if you're not murdering PCs.

Go ahead, call me a video gamer or whatever it is you folk like to claim about people who don't want their characters to die. But don't act like you're in some kind of high moral ground when your argument is "I don't get to kill PCs as much anymore!"


I'm still trying to figure out if this is a legitimate thread or just trolling. Hating on CLWW? Never been in an issue for me across a multitude of gaming groups.


I'm trying to build a system where Wands are actually implements kinda like in 4E D&D. The idea is that a Wand of Cure Light Wounds for example, would be able to convert your spells to that spell instead. Level 1 spell converts to one charge of the wand, which lasts for the remainder of the day. Though most of the time you're going to save your spells... then apply them to the wand and immediately use the wand. The idea though is that it takes a standard action to inject it into the wand, so that you will want to have a charge on the wand ready to be used.


Josh M. wrote:
I'm still trying to figure out if this is a legitimate thread or just trolling. Hating on CLWW? Never been in an issue for me across a multitude of gaming groups.

It's not trolling. I really find them annoying. I think they distort play in a way that makes it less fun.

Most of the defenders of CLWW have been advancing some form of "well, without CLWW the game doesn't work! 15 minute adventuring day! things go too slow!" I don't actually think this is true. (Mind, if it is, I think that's pointing to a deeper structural problem in 3.x.) An adventuring party usually faces two constraints: erosion of hp and expenditure of resources (spells, per-days, and other consumables). The CLW reduces that to one constraint. It makes hp damage almost irrelevant. And it makes killing PCs with hp damage very difficult; unless you can bring the PC below -CON with a single blow (or separate him from the party), there'll always be healing to bring him back.

I have the impression a lot of people have internalized this paradigm. "Well, there SHOULD always be healing. That's how the game works now. It's weird to think otherwise."

Doug M.


Roberta Yang wrote:

I too hate that players aren't required to play clerics anymore.

My ideal D&D game consists of going back to town and sleeping for two weeks after every battle, waiting for the incredibly slow natural healing to have an effect.

Only if the players have to play out that 2 weeks of downtime with actual game sessions spent resting and groaning in pain while they fight off infection. Just saying "We rest for 2 weeks now back to the dungeon!" would be a cop out.

Dark Archive

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

It's not trolling. I really find them annoying. I think they distort play in a way that makes it less fun.

Most of the defenders of CLWW have been advancing some form of "well, without CLWW the game doesn't work! 15 minute adventuring day! things go too slow!" I don't actually think this is true. (Mind, if it is, I think that's pointing to a deeper structural problem in 3.x.) An adventuring party usually faces two constraints: erosion of hp and expenditure of resources (spells, per-days, and other consumables). The CLW reduces that to one constraint. It makes hp damage almost irrelevant. And it makes killing PCs with hp damage very difficult; unless you can bring the PC below -CON with a single blow (or separate him from the party), there'll always be healing to bring him back.

I have the impression a lot of people have internalized this paradigm. "Well, there SHOULD always be healing. That's how the game works now. It's weird to think otherwise."

Yes, and?

Your way of playing the game is not inherently better or more fun than anyone else's way. Obviously your players feel differently about it than you do, which should tell you right there that there's a difference in playstyles.

You are fully allowed to enjoy yourself as a DM, but maybe it's time to hang up the DM hat for a little while, let someone else take on the burden. If the only way you can enjoy yourself is killing PCs, it's probably not worth the effort.

Or you could switch to any one of the zillion different systems that are infinitely more lethal than Pathfinder.


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I always work on the basis that if I don't want my players to spend time healing up with CLWs - I ambush them while they are trying :)

Or let them heal up and them ambush them to take away all the HP they have gained. Wasted time and wasted charges.

Or just have the wand misfire occasionally and suck HP out of the character instead. Or summon a strange being that feeds on cure spells.

"Oh, it must have been the one where I dropped the 'special reagent'. No. You can't have your money back. See that sign on the wall that says Caveat Emptor?"


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Seranov wrote:


Your way of playing the game is not inherently better or more fun than anyone else's way.

Dude. Any discussion of "X in Pathfinder seems broken to me / is aesthetically unpleasing to me / is annoying to me" tends to go ad hominem very quickly. And there's always one guy who jumps in with, well, that's just what YOU think, but what YOU think is not what EVERYONE thinks, so don't think that YOU are ANY BETTER than etc. etc.

In this thread, you are that guy. Please don't be that guy.

I'm expressing an opinion. I've advanced some arguments to bolster that opinion. Please feel free to disagree with my opinion. If you can advance some arguments of your own, so much the better! Perhaps you'll change my mind.

(For the record -- sigh -- I do not feel "my way of playing the game" is "inherently superior". It makes me a little sad that I even have to say that, but there it is. I really don't, okay? So.)

Seranov wrote:
Obviously your players feel differently about it than you do,

I'm not quite sure how you reach that conclusion, since I haven't said a thing about my players or what they do. For that matter, I'm not sure why you're assuming that I only DM and don't play.

Doug M.


Solusek wrote:


Only if the players have to play out that 2 weeks of downtime with actual game sessions spent resting and groaning in pain while they fight off infection. Just saying "We rest for 2 weeks now back to the dungeon!" would be a cop out.

As a practical matter, even back in 1e it wouldn't be two weeks -- it would be at most a few days, as the party cleric would say "I study nothing but cures today and tomorrow" and roll a bunch of dice.

In 3.x? Much more so. Take away the CLWW but leave swap-in clerical cures, cures from bards, witches and paladins, and cure-bursts with energy channels, and it's a rare party that will need more than 48 hours to get back up to full health.

Doug M.


We still use Cure Minor wounds as Orison. Takes a long time to heal everybody but players get heal between combats.


Kimera757 wrote:


1) The alternative are cowardly PCs who simply huddle and avoid encounters. (Note that avoiding combat doesn't nullify hit point damage. Traps can still hurt. Failed Diplomacy checks can hurt. Failed scouting can hurt. Etc.)

2) This avoids the 15 minute adventuring day problem so ubiquitous in D&D (with the exception of 4e).

3) D&D and Pathfinder have very poor natural healing rules. Many non-D&D games have very poor natural healing rules, in fact. Some DMs want PCs to huddle at home for days until they've healed enough to risk going outside. This might be fun for some DMs, but it's fun for very few players.

This x1000: Well said.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
And it makes killing PCs with hp damage very difficult; unless you can bring the PC below -CON with a single blow (or separate him from the party), there'll always be healing to bring him back.

Why do you want to kill PCs? Not just defeat them, but kill them? Are your players complaining that their characters don't die enough?

Dark Archive

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Seranov wrote:


Your way of playing the game is not inherently better or more fun than anyone else's way.

Dude. Any discussion of "X in Pathfinder seems broken to me / is aesthetically unpleasing to me / is annoying to me" tends to go ad hominem very quickly. And there's always one guy who jumps in with, well, that's just what YOU think, but what YOU think is not what EVERYONE thinks, so don't think that YOU are ANY BETTER than etc. etc.

In this thread, you are that guy. Please don't be that guy.

I'm expressing an opinion. I've advanced some arguments to bolster that opinion. Please feel free to disagree with my opinion. If you can advance some arguments of your own, so much the better! Perhaps you'll change my mind.

(For the record -- sigh -- I do not feel "my way of playing the game" is "inherently superior". It makes me a little sad that I even have to say that, but there it is. I really don't, okay? So.)

Seranov wrote:
Obviously your players feel differently about it than you do,

I'm not quite sure how you reach that conclusion, since I haven't said a thing about my players or what they do. For that matter, I'm not sure why you're assuming that I only DM and don't play.

Doug M.

Here's the deal: You're complaining about how other people enjoy the game.

It's a nice opinion, but you can share that with your group. They're the people you should be talking to. Not us. How your group runs has nothing to do with us. "I don't like X because Y" threads don't do anyone any good. Did you really just think that you're only going to get people who agree with you here?


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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Seranov wrote:


Your way of playing the game is not inherently better or more fun than anyone else's way.

Dude. Any discussion of "X in Pathfinder seems broken to me / is aesthetically unpleasing to me / is annoying to me" tends to go ad hominem very quickly. And there's always one guy who jumps in with, well, that's just what YOU think, but what YOU think is not what EVERYONE thinks, so don't think that YOU are ANY BETTER than etc. etc.

In this thread, you are that guy. Please don't be that guy.

I'm expressing an opinion. I've advanced some arguments to bolster that opinion. Please feel free to disagree with my opinion. If you can advance some arguments of your own, so much the better! Perhaps you'll change my mind.

(For the record -- sigh -- I do not feel "my way of playing the game" is "inherently superior". It makes me a little sad that I even have to say that, but there it is. I really don't, okay? So.)

Seranov wrote:
Obviously your players feel differently about it than you do,

I'm not quite sure how you reach that conclusion, since I haven't said a thing about my players or what they do. For that matter, I'm not sure why you're assuming that I only DM and don't play.

Doug M.

If you are referring to the your post previous to the one I am quoting, (it is my opinion that) you are just advancing an opinion and not an argument.

As for an argument as to why CLWs are not a welcome, fun, or good part of Pathfinder:

* CLW wands are cheap. At 750 GP a pop, a level 2 party has enough resources to pool together and buy one early on. It is a better investment than +1 armor or +1 weapons (both of which cost more and only marginally benefit 1 character rather than the party).
* Each wand will cure, on average, 275.5 hp. A CMW wand, on the other hand, costs 4,500 gp and cures, on average, 550 gp (0.367 an HP vs 0.12 an HP). Because of the way wands are priced, CLW wands are a steal and in so being breaks balance (that is to say, a CLW wand quickly replaces a cleric or other healing class for out of combat healing). This scaling gets worse as you get to better cure spells.
* This screws up the idea that PC resources should be expended in encounters; combat encounters end up eating up less resources because healing becomes much cheaper. After level 2, CLW wands become 'duh' options (at least this is how it has become in the metagame I observe, as a lethal DM).
* PCs going into most encounters with fresh HP makes the game a lot easier and it makes martials too good at low levels. It would take too long to explain why that is, so I will just attest to it as a DM who runs lethal low level games (up to about 9th level at best).
* Aesthetically, I don't like the idea of PCs full healing between every encounter. It hurts a certain aspect of storytelling (the valiant heroes who advance despite injury and risk of death). This is entirely subjective.

My entire argument, of course, rests on the premise that the game should be challenging and the risk of death should be very real. Not everyone enjoys this playstyle.


FWIW, our third level party can't even afford a CLW wand... My witch had to take a part time job with a local alchemist just to be able to make some CLW potions for the party...

I can attest to the fact that PF can be played as a low-healing game if you want to.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

FWIW, our third level party can't even afford a CLW wand... My witch had to take a part time job with a local alchemist just to be able to make some CLW potions for the party...

I can attest to the fact that PF can be played as a low-healing game if you want to.

In a game which advances with low wealth (i.e. at a fraction of WBL), I could see CLW wands as being 'balanced'.

I know I have been talking about CLW wands in the context of WBL-respecting games.


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For an old-school campaign I ran, I simply made the minimum caster level on Wands 5th (and Potions 3rd). It's really just a trick of the mathematical progression that Wands of CLW are so inexpensive. Putting the minimum caster level on it fixes that nicely, and makes potions and wands a little more interesting to find as well.


Majuba wrote:
For an old-school campaign I ran, I simply made the minimum caster level on Wands 5th (and Potions 3rd). It's really just a trick of the mathematical progression that Wands of CLW are so inexpensive. Putting the minimum caster level on it fixes that nicely, and makes potions and wands a little more interesting to find as well.

Brew Potion is, by default, 3rd level.

Liberty's Edge

mplindustries wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
In general, though, I dislike the concept of Divine wands.
Every cure spell is on the Bard and Witch list--they're not strictly divine.

I realize that.


I just see HP as one of the many resources the party must manage. I don't see the CLWW being a big problem. as everyone has said, it is a big money sink, and only heals an average of 4.5 hp per 6 seconds. And if its not on your spell list you cant use it without a UMD check.

You guys wanna buy wands? sure, no new shinys for you. Also the monsters are getting harder and you are starting to take more damage, buy more wands? sure but you aren't decreasing damage taken, just wasting your gold on consumables.

The world is living, its not waiting for you. If you take too long trying to heal up you might just get bushwhacked by the patrols.

Another thing, I agree with the idea that divine magic shouldn't be made into wands, think i just found myself a new house rule. Scrolls and potions yes, but wands just seem a little too mundane to be channeling the power of a god.

That would increase the availability of CLWW. How many Bards really take Craft Wand, few i'm thinking? How common are witches? They are generally outcast due to their strange magic.


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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
Solusek wrote:


Only if the players have to play out that 2 weeks of downtime with actual game sessions spent resting and groaning in pain while they fight off infection. Just saying "We rest for 2 weeks now back to the dungeon!" would be a cop out.

As a practical matter, even back in 1e it wouldn't be two weeks -- it would be at most a few days, as the party cleric would say "I study nothing but cures today and tomorrow" and roll a bunch of dice.

In 3.x? Much more so. Take away the CLWW but leave swap-in clerical cures, cures from bards, witches and paladins, and cure-bursts with energy channels, and it's a rare party that will need more than 48 hours to get back up to full health.

Doug M.

This is the whole problem I have. 'The party cleric'. The thing I like about the cure wand phenomenon is that someone doesnt have to be 'the cleric'. And if there is a divine caster, he doesnt have to devote a big chunk of his reasources to healing the party. He can save them for having fun IE being a divine caster, instead of a walking medkit.

And I dont know about you, but it taking the party 48 hours or even 24 hours to recover from an adventuring day would be a serious problem for most stories that are time dependant. Most adventures are not finished in a single adventuring day (3-4 encounters is the base assumption). Most paizo adventures take a good deal more then that. Other then maybe kingmaker, the adventure, rest for 2 days adventure again path doesnt work for the APs or any published module I've ever read.


Spell Slingin' Steve wrote:
You guys wanna buy wands? sure, no new shinys for you. Also the monsters are getting harder and you are starting to take more damage, buy more wands? sure but you aren't decreasing damage taken, just wasting your gold on consumables.

CLW wands are usually bought by parties. They are a better investment than more expensive single-person enchantments or consumables (+1 armor, for instance, might save your life at some point... but all those HP you are getting back from the wand helps you more mathematically speaking).

Spell Slingin' Steve wrote:
The world is living, its not waiting for you. If you take too long trying to heal up you might just get bushwhacked by the patrols.

I'm notorious for living encounters/dungeons and I can't see that few minutes of healing that may occur being a big deal. This is a hard issue to discuss as everyone's playstyle will be different and not all encounters are built the same.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I may have a distorted gaming experience, or maybe it's just the playstyle of the people that I associate with, but I've never seen anyone ever buy a wand of cure light wounds. We've had them pop up in treasure from time to time, but they get sold as soon as we hit town. Oftentimes for new spells [at least, that's what I did with my wizards].

I guess we qualify as a "Low Healing Game." We prefer to not get hit in the first place, but that's just our playstyle.

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