Tactics 101 (Triage)


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I understand this is strangely topical given soem of the subjects floating around but I actually started typing this around a week ago.

It's a discussion worthy of debate. Is healing in combat worth it in pathfinder?

By the math, no.

Here's some harsh truth.

At 1st level is about the only time where healing is really viable from a math sense. Consider this; at 1st level a cure light wounds spell will heal around 5 points of damage. Our closest partner in crime in terms of offensive spells, shocking grasp will deal around 3.

Not bad. But, this spell loses it's luster rapidly. At level 3 the first point where characters are coming into their own the same spell will be healing around 7 points of damage while shocking grasp is hitting for 9. Uh oh.

Go on to level 5, the first major changing level for pc's, and where the spells peak and you see a difference of 9 points of damage versus 15.

But at level five you have better spells right?

Cure serious wounds will heal around 17 points of damage verus Fireball's 15. But then that's not really a fair comparison. Afterall fireball does require a save for half and the spell does go over a wide area so it can potentially do far less or MUCH more damage than you might suspect. So what's a better comparison?

How about an empowered shocking grasp? Now your average damage on that 1st level spell is around 21. Ouch.

But most opponents aren't trying to match you spell for spell. So let's look at my barbarian. With his +10 attack (with power attack) and his +1 BArdiche he'll be doing upwards of about 21 points of damage assuming one round of rage and no crit.

But hey, you're not fighting pc's right? Right. So let's crack open one of my many monster books and check the average damage charts for monsters around CR5.

High 20. Low 15. Ouch. So you can kind of sort of outheal a low damage dealing creature of the same CR at that level.

But wait! You say. I'm a cleric with the healing domain!

Indeed that cure serious wounds will look mighty fine at 6th level healing 26 damage. And a CR6 beastie even built around damage is going to have a hard time beating that. But you still spent a 3rd level spell and a domain for the capability of negating the round of a single creature only once. Let's not forget that higher CR critters can hit for much more.

So no, math wise offense is likely going to win out. You spend too many resources to negate the turn of one creature at a time.

But let's get back to an earlier remark about the Healing domain. A big part of building your character is building an overall strategy you want to employ in combat. By choosing things like Shield Other as a common spell and the Healing domain or Life mystery you imply with your character that you will be doing a lot of support through healing.

But let's think about that for a minute. You basically built a reactive defense character in a game that favors proactive actions and offense. Sure, you can do other things, buff, hit things with a mace or possibly summon a thing or two. But, let's face it you took the healing options so you could use them. So when the opportunity presents itself you step into those shoes and fill that role.

But strategically speaking you spent a lot of resources for little actual gain. How you ask? Well consider this. If I cast haste instead of cure serious wounds I gain the following.

~+1 to Attack, AC, and Reflex saves
~ +30ft. Additional movement speed.
~ An extra attack during full attack actions.

Vs.

26 healed damage.

If we break this down into strategic terms it looks something like this.

~5% extra chance to hit, be missed, or make save (Numbers)
~One less extra move action taken to get into good positioning (Actions+positioning)
~Potential for loads of extra damage based upon the number of actual damage dealers the group has; a force multiplier. (Actions+numbers)

Vs.

~The possibility to negate a single round of damage from one creature. (numbers and maybe actions)

You see the main reason that healing just isn't a good idea from a strategic standpoint is that healing spells rarely, if ever, do anything to end the fight. Often what they do is negate the action of an enemy, spending one standard action for another standard action (or full attack action).

The trouble is such a strategy only really works if you are using it before your group is taking damage. To that end casters employ summon spells and battlefield control spells in order to negate actions through good use of offensive spells. Often these spells will negate more than one action making their worth last beyond the round they were cast in.

This fact is important to remember since we'll be exploring it later. But for now it's best to understand that healing strategies are not worth investing greatly in through character building.

So we got all the out of combat/game stuff out of the way. How does this philosophy of bazookas over bandages work in the meatgrinder?

Well it depends on the situation. General optimization strategies assume averages. They do not often take into account bad rolling streaks, great rolling streaks, unforeseeable scenarios, or just poor play by players in general;. More than that most optimization at that level deals with individual strategies and thought. Rarely will you find information based around dealing with situations that crop up as a result of being on a team. Afterall if everyone is optimized and doing the right thing you shouldn't need to heal right?

Well, actually, sometimes you have to. For better or worse healing is a question of risk assessment. Will healing be detrimental to the group or significantly beneficial? This is where tactics comes in.

At its core tactics is about asking questions and determining the best course of action. This kind of on the fly decision making can be tough on a character capable of healing. After all the enemy isn't going to be getting passive aggressive at you because you didn't kill him fast enough, but Bob the Strong and Fair may get a little annoyed that you started casting summon spells instead of keeping him conscious. So there's that kind of pressure on top of everything else.

Ultimately what you have to do is some quick and dirty math.

First: Determine who among your group has the highest hp's and lowest hp's respectively.

Second: Determine who your glass cannons (high damage, low hp) characters are.

Third: Determine who you're meatiest meatmen are. Easy enough.

Once you have that information you can consider how best to handle situations where a heal spell might be called for.

Remember the goal of the fight is always to defeat it as quickly as possible. So your healing should reflect an offensive strategy ensuring those that are doing the most damage continue to do that damage. It's sort of a passive aggressive means of getting people to do their jobs. Mean spirited one might say, but when lives are at stake you're not their to stroke egos and be a bandaid, you're there to kill stuff. But what does that really mean?

It means paying careful attention not just to hp totals and and potential danger but also potential risks and benefits of using a heal. After all it does no good for you to heal a target only to have them get critically hit and killed the next round leaving you usually within five feet from said bad guy.

So since tactics are all about questions let's talk about what questions should be asked when determining about heals.

1. Do I have a big enough heal to affect the outcome? Simply put if you want to heal you want to heal big. You want to negate not only the current damage the target has taken but any future damage the target might take next round. If you don't have a big enough heal to mitigate that kind of damage than seek other options.

2. Will healing put me or my party at an unnecessary risk? It's important to keep in mind that as a character who can heal you can also do things like buff, summon, or in some cases do raw damage. All of these things work towards ending the fight. By healing, you willingly give up one of those actions to give a small boost of survivability to a party member. So by not doing one of those other three things will your group suddenly be surrounded because you didn't summon? Will the barbarian fail to kill the caster on his round because you didn't boost his attack or saves?

And keep in mind that most healing spells require you to be in touch range for them to work. So if your target is far away you'll have to get out of positioning in order to effectively use the spell sometimes even taking attacks yourself. Simply put, if your healing would result in more damage to others or yourself than what you can possibly heal than it might be worth seeking another option.

3. Will healing this particular target ensure a quicker end to the fight?

This all depends on the target. If they are buffed to the gills, doing enormous amounts of damage every round than the answer is obvious. However if they're a wizard just popping crossbow bolts because they blew their entire wad last fight than you should seriously consider doing something better. This is a question that requires you to understand your group.

Ultimately, the thing to understand is that healing is usually an ineffective action. Yet, in situations as described above it might just be what's required.


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Your entire premise is based on casting Cure X spells in combat. Your best case is CCW with Healer's Blessing at level 7 for (4d8+7)*1.5, or about 37 points.

However, an actual level 7 dedicated healer is putting out 21 points of healing for every ally, double that in a tight spot.


There are healing spells that do not cure a single hit point that are quite useful in combat. The first two that come to mind are delay poison and remove blindness/deafness. Similarly effective "healing" spells include, but do not begin to be limited to, remove fear, suppress charms and compulsions and remove paralysis.

Condition removal is a major factor for "healers", not just curing hp. A blind or frightened/panicked/cowering or dominated or paralyzed (full BAB class character) is a dead man walking.


Turin the Mad wrote:


Condition removal is a major factor for "healers", not just curing hp. A blind or frightened/panicked/cowering or dominated or paralyzed (full BAB class character) is a dead man walking.

I'm more or less addressing HP attrition. You'll note that nowhere in this piece do I mention condition removal. This is not to reduce or exagerrate it's importance. It's just to deal with and address a common issue of healing hp.

In the case of status removal I think that's an almost entirely different and inarguable subject.

Pupsocket wrote:


However, an actual level 7 dedicated healer is putting out 21 points of healing for every ally, double that in a tight spot.

Actually my entire premise is based on offense and control vs. HP healing and defense. Cure spells are used as a base to make a point since I honeslty don't want to make comparisons with Lay on Hands (which heals less), Channeling (which heals less most of the time), or other such abilties. Cure spells are the most common base we have to work with, so that's what I use.

Also that's really nice...if you're level 7. That doesn't help me in levels 1-6.

It also doesn't help that a CR equivalent critter at that level is smacking me around for between 22 and 30 damage not assuming crits or sudden terrifying streaks. That's in one round of attacks.

More importantly, stating the math doesn't really help the argument. Hell I can crush that math with a barely optimized NPC. No, most of the problem is action advantage and positioning.

In fact a lot of the "dedicated healer" builds I tend to see try to solve these problems in admittedly elegant ways. Shield Other is a nice spell. Particular when paired with channeling, swift action type heals, healer's blessing and all that. Seriously you heal a lot. But I tend to think that you either go too far or never go far enough.

But even if you heal a thousand points of damage in one round you've still dealt zero to the other guy. He's still swinging at his full capability.

Lastly, keep in mind this post is not about always/never healing. It's about doing it intelligently.


I don't disagree with your math, but a missing part of this kind of equation is that a unconscious or dead character does 0 damage per round.

And yes unintelligent healing is unintelligent, along with over healing and over damaging is just wasteful or non-tactical.

When the group dynamics is working, my players are only healing when necessary to reduce that a character will fall in combat and deal no damage, but yes, offensive is the best defensive. If there was really no chance that the character would fall in combat and the characters knew that, and they choose to heal anyways, that would be dumb. But how much information do PCs have about monster's attack triage?

Silver Crusade

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You are talking HP attrition, but arguing about the case of matching the damage output of the enemy. That is NOT the healer's job.

The healer's job is to keep the other party members up and fighting long enough to defeat the enemy. To do this, they have to heal damage greater than the monsters' damage output, minus the party members' starting hitpoints. They can have their teammates left with a single hitpoint at the end of the fight.

Cutting it as close as that description is pretty darned tough, so there will need to be a buffer, of some sort. That comes with practice and experience.

The enhanced fireball that does enough damage to take the party down to 50% hit points will, if repeated, put people down. If the healer can take away just 20% of the party's total hp in damage, getting them back up to 70% of hit points, means that they -won't- go down on the next fireball. So, healing doesn't need to match damage for damage with the offense against the team. It just needs to mitigate it enough to survive the fight.

Cure spells are one of the healer's weapons in the fight to keep the team up. They are single target, and short range. They are a challenge to use. But, as one tool in the toolkit, they have their place.

This is separate from other condition removals and tasks a healer must deal with. And, healing hit points might be needed starting from the beginning of the fight (being on the wrong end of a surprise round comes to mind), but if not, then it is time to buff out the party, or control the battlefield. There's only so many times you can cast haste or blessing of fervor in a fight.


Consider this scenario:

4 man party at level 10: Fighter, Wizard, Oracle of Life, plus 4th class

The oracle has: Fey Foundling, Swift Channel, Selective Channel as well as Life Link and Combat Healer revelations.

The oracle has life link on everyone and shield other on the Fighter and the Wizard who both fail a saving throw vs a maximized fireball and take 60 damage each. Due to shield other the fighter and the wizard take 30 damage, with 60 going to the Oracle and now it's the Oracle's turn so life link heals them both for 5 hp each and takes an extra 10 from the Oracle.

So now the Fighter and Wizard have 25 hp damage and the oracle has 70 hp damage. Using swift channel as a move action the Oracle channels positive energy healing 3.5*5=17.5 damage from the fighter and wizard and healing the oracle for (3.5+2)*5=28.5 damage and now the oracle casts a swift action cure serious wounds on himself for (4.5+2)*3+10 = 29.5. Now the Oracle has 12hp damage, and the fighter and wizard have 12.5 damage and the oracle still has a standard action to do something else.

In combat you don't need to cure all the incoming damage, you just need to keep your damage dealers up and functioning.


Healing in combat is not a matter of negating someone's action. That is only what healing is for if you accept one of the unexplained slogans you presented: The purpose of fighting is to win the fight as quickly as possible. This is certainly not the case. It may be, in some instances, such as a big monster hitting for massive damage every round, but in general, the purpose of fighting is winning the fight at a minimal COST. What, then, is a cost? Typically, it's said to be about expended resources: Hit points, rage uses, spells, potions, and so on. I would say that so long as you have functioning healing between fights, hit points lost is not really a cost. Someone dying, however, is a big one. Given that you are just as effective at 1 hp as at full hp, it's fine if everyone has just 1 hp left when the battle is over - and far preferable to everyone unharmed except for one who is dead.

So: I agree that in-combat healing is not something you do often. The tactical limitations are pretty severe. However, if a monster hits for up to 45 damage, it's a huge difference to have 31 hp or having 10. The dedicated healer is not there to take out monsters, she's there to give the group flexibility in receiving damage so death can still be avoided even if things do not always go as planned.


Triage is an ironic phrase to use in this discussion. ;)


Ari Kanen wrote:
I don't disagree with your math, but a missing part of this kind of equation is that a unconscious or dead character does 0 damage per round.

I actually talk about that extensively if you read the whole thing.

A character who's not doing much damage anyway is almost as bad as zero damage.

Quote:
But how much information do PCs have about monster's attack triage?

A lot.

Simply paying attention can give you a fair idea on how much and how hard. Soemtimes it's as simple as paying attention to what the monster is doing, what tactics it favors, what weapon it's using etc.
Knowledge checks can give you lots of information as well. Roll them. The worst that can happen is nothing.

Sissyl wrote:
Healing in combat is not a matter of negating someone's action. That is only what healing is for if you accept one of the unexplained slogans you presented: The purpose of fighting is to win the fight as quickly as possible. This is certainly not the case. It may be, in some instances, such as a big monster hitting for massive damage every round, but in general, the purpose of fighting is winning the fight at a minimal COST. What, then, is a cost? Typically, it's said to be about expended resources: Hit points, rage uses, spells, potions, and so on. I would say that so long as you have functioning healing between fights, hit points lost is not really a cost. Someone dying, however, is a big one. Given that you are just as effective at 1 hp as at full hp, it's fine if everyone has just 1 hp left when the battle is over - and far preferable to everyone unharmed except for one who is dead.

HP loss is a cost. Because it costs you spells, or wand charges, or scrolls/potions or what have you. And each of these have a different value.

I tend to think in terms that the spells and slots on a divine casters sheet are more valuable than 1 HP, we all acknowledge this. The question is is it more valuable than all the HP the other guy has?

It depends on the situation, we all acknowledge this. And because healing is often situational it's often not worth it to invest too far into healing hp. Is some investment worthwhile? Again I think it depends on overall group strategy. A fighter with high ac and saves is rarely going to need it versus the low dex barbarian.

Sissyl wrote:
The dedicated healer is not there to take out monsters, she's there to give the group flexibility in receiving damage so death can still be avoided even if things do not always go as planned.

I would prefer a dedicated buffer/controller who eventually hopped into the fight themselves. My ideal scenario is not having flexibility in getting hurt, but not getting hurt at all. IF we do get hurt it's easily mitigated and future hurt is dealt with by dealing with the source of the damage, rather than the wound.

If major hurt is being dealt than we consider what we're doing wrong, spend a few actions to heal and as many actions as it takes to correct the problem.

Desolate Harmony wrote:

You are talking HP attrition, but arguing about the case of matching the damage output of the enemy. That is NOT the healer's job.

The healer's job is to keep the other party members up and fighting long enough to defeat the enemy. To do this, they have to heal damage greater than the monsters' damage output, minus the party members' starting hitpoints. They can have their teammates left with a single hitpoint at the end of the fight.

You've actually made the argument worse on yourself.

In my argument I discussed healing as a tit for tat game where you are trying to gain action advantage through healing. This is entirely possible even without a dedicated healer build. It's just horribly inefficient.

You discuss it as a race where you fuel the engine. That's bad that is. No one character should be fueling the engine. They especially shouldn't be fueling it with inefficient actions. Especially when, as you said, it's okay for everyone to have 1hp at the end of the fight. I'm thinking it's okay to have one or two guys at the negatives if it saved you 6 different spells and killed the fight four rounds sooner.

Quote:
The enhanced fireball that does enough damage to take the party down to 50% hit points will, if repeated, put people down. If the healer can take away just 20% of the party's total hp in damage, getting them back up to 70% of hit points, means that they -won't- go down on the next fireball. So, healing doesn't need to match damage for damage with the offense against the team. It just needs to mitigate it enough to survive the fight.

Okay, but you forgot the rest of it. Are you at an unnecessary risk after healing?

Quote:
This is separate from other condition removals and tasks a healer must deal with. And, healing hit points might be needed starting from the beginning of the fight (being on the wrong end of a surprise round comes to mind), but if not, then it is time to buff out the party, or control the battlefield. There's only so many times you can cast haste or blessing of fervor in a fight.

I agree. The question is, however, how often are you healing versus how often are you doing all those other things?

To me, large amounts of in-combat healing is a symptom of bad group tactics and strategic laziness. IF a dedicated healer is required versus just something you wanted to try than you have a problem.


Turin the Mad wrote:
Triage is an ironic phrase to use in this discussion. ;)

It's remarkably appropriate. :)

Healing in combat is all about prioritization. Which is all the argument for and against really swings upon.

Plenty of others try to look at it as some kind of damage mitigation. But, we've already proven that's inefficient compared to straight up preventing it. So I'd rather save my healing spells for when they well and truly make a difference.

And you know I like how everyone in these arguments breaks out the outlier scenarios and situations. I especially like how its the fighter that gets beaten up. If said melee guy was a barbarian or paladin he'd likely laugh off these sudden fireballs out of nowhere that allows the oracale of life with fey foundling, three castings of shield other, and a martyr complex to validate its existence.

I'm going to grab a rather intelligent post and drop it here real quick since I've found it very relevant to the discussion.

Spoiler:
Blueluck wrote:

This is a great example of the debate over healers and healing getting out of hand. The argument, "You need to heal when the next hit will drop your buddy" is used by both sides in the debate.

The argument for healing recognizes that:

  • Nobody wants PCs to die.
  • An incapacitated party member doesn't help win the fight.
  • A party with healing available is more able and willing to take risks, and therefore gets more done.

The argument against healing recognizes that:

  • It is easier to deal damage than to heal damage.
  • Characters operate at 100% efficiency all the way down to 1 hit point.
  • A fight isn't over until the enemy is defeated.

The side for healing claims that:

  • Healing in combat is necessary.
  • Somebody's primary job should be healing the party.

The side against healing claims that:

  • Just because somebody is wounded doesn't mean they need healing in combat.
  • Every party member should contribute to defeating the enemy, not just healing the party.

Both sides use straw man arguments and allow outliers to contaminate their main. Healing is obviously different when special circumstances apply, and everyone knows it. These special cases should be left out of the main argument, and addressed only as called for:

  • Unusually high or low wealth
  • Unusually high or low access to magic items
  • UnusuallyUnusually large or small party size
  • Unusually hard or easy battles

Healbot vs. Paramedic
When the chaff is cut away, the real point of disagreement is fairly narrow. It can be seen in two areas, character building, and battlefield actions.

When it comes to character building, the anti-healing camp wants a cleric to invest in offense, physically (high strength score, power attack, and a two-handed magic weapon) or magically (spell penetration, dazing spell, or augmented summoning). The pro-healing camp wants resources spent to maximize healing and defense.

When it comes to battle, the difference can be illuminated with a single question. When the fighter says, "One of the two monsters is down, but I've been hit twice and I'm at 40% health." should the party's best healer cast a healing spell, or make an attack?

Liberty's Edge

The real problem IMO is that people argue whether healing in combat is good or bad when the real point to better clarify is what is the optimized use of healing in the game, and in combat.

A hint : Not at all is not the answer.

This is also the reason why I dislike people casting healers in such a bad light as to make the healer's role seem suboptimal (or even subservient to the other PCs) when it is in fact absolutely needed. Not to mention a splendid opportunity for roleplay (contrary to the common band-aid/medic trope too often posted on the boards).


I will agree that dedicated healers are generally not a great idea. It is better to be a decent healer and capable of also buffing and performing some battlefield control with summons spells. You can save more hp (from everyone) by killing a monster or forcing it to attack a summon so that you have to heal (everyone) less after the end of combat.

Of course a healer should also be generally aware of how much damage monster can inflict and how this will negatively impact other PCs. A blind PC's damage output drops drastically which increases the amount of time to kill the enemies. At that time it is worthwhile to remove the blindness. But on a barbarian that has 250 hp and he takes 30 points of damage, you probably don't need to worry about healing him up at that time. Now, if he's sitting at 10 hp left, and that next attack will knock him out, then yes, now would be a good time to go ahead and cast Heal on him and get him out of the danger zone. A unconcious PC deals 0 damage.

Liberty's Edge

As is true of most things in the game, it is situational and party dependent. If there is one PC in the party who is better able to deal with a given threat than the healer, keeping that PC alive to do what they do makes more sense than another, less efficient action. If the Wizard is on the edge of dying without a heal and they are the one who needs to stay alive, heal them. If the fighter will make a full attack next round for ridiculous damage if they can survive to the next round, heal them.

Strategy within the context of the party is more important than individual output in a given action set, in my experience.

Liberty's Edge

A point worth some thoughts IMO is how much healing you spend after combat.

I go for the full health after any combat as efficiently as possible, even if it means healing 8 HP on a guy who only needed 5 to get back to full HP.

But I have seen some other groups who seem quite okay with conserving their healing for later and going back in the next encounters with only 75% of their full HP.

How does this make sense ?


I think in combat healing comes down to the action economy again. Does the healer blow an offensive action (broadly offensive, I'd include casting haste in that) to make sure that their ally does not lose their next offensive action due to taking a dirt nap, and the additional actions and resources that this will also lose? For this math to make sense, the healer's best possible action without the healing needed should be less useful for ending the encounter than the actions by the character being healed.

Sometimes this is obvious (keep the fighter with the magic bane sword swinging at all costs), sometimes not.

Also a character built specifically to heal will generally not have many powerful offensive options to do instead so they will have to heal. An offensive build will not need to heal as much because it is more useful in combat. Kind of a catch 22.

Finally, this makes me wonder why false life isn't a higher rated spell. It is similar to cure moderate wounds in scale, but by casting before combat and leaving it up all day, it functions as pre-heal healing. By keeping a glass cannon's hp farther away from 0, healer's don't need to waste their in-combat actions keeping the cannon firing.


There's a big elephant in the room insofar as combat healing is concerned. Most people write as if I was their GM (I'm a fairly extreme simulationist by today's standards). Fact is, I'm pretty sure I'm not, and that your GM is considerably more narrativist/gamist than I.
Your GM likely wants to feel as if you were 'challenged', and will likely ratchet up the difficulty (frankly, most will even fudge), so as to force you to use in-combat healing. Only when your cleric/oracle/etc is hopping like a mad hatter with reactive in-combat heals is he likely to be satisfied that, say, his BBEG encounter was sufficiently challenging or possessed suitable narrative righteousness.
This is also an issue for the highly optimized SOD/SOS caster, and even the more refined blaster builds. Remember that you're not just playing the game, you're playing the other players and the GM. If you don't like that ground truth, you need to find an even harder-core simulationist than myself to run your games. God help you if you don't even lay out mutual expectations regarding the game prior to character generation and gameworld buy-in.


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Ah the argument against power gaming: if your whole party totally sucks and uses a 10 point buy, then all the monsters will be non-threatening. If your whole party is heavily optimized, synergized, and based on a 25 point buy, then the monsters will be using unblockable death attacks.

I don't think that is really an elephant in the room when talking about general tactics. It just points out corner cases and the part of the game that isn't easily quantified. As such, I don't think it changes the nature of this discussion.


Healing can be incredibly useful, and I know even the "never heal in combat" crowd knows there are some very rare situations where you might have to heal. For example: combat order is: Healer, enemy, fighter. The healer does not have a high enough BAB to reliably hit the enemy twice in a row, and the enemy is strong enough to barely knock out the weakened fighter in one hit, and will have no problem killing the healer after that. Similarly, the fighter is strong enough to kill the enemy monster in one hit, assuming he is not killed first. The healer can either attempt to buff himself strong enough to deal damage equal to the fighter for the turn the fighter dies, attack unbuffed and hope the monster turns its attention to you, run away, make the fighter act before the enemy, or heal the fighter. Healing the fighter will work the most often in a scenario like this. Hard to change from a 1/2 BAB class to a full BAB class in one round of buffing. The enemy deciding randomly to attack the cleric and let the fighter kill it the next round is GM kindness, running away works, but leaves the enemy alive, and moving the fighter up the initiative order is a little difficult to pull off (an eraser and a well timed distraction?). Healing the fighter will let him weather that last enemy hit, and kill the enemy in turn.

The problem is you will not necessarily know how much HP you, your team-mate, and the enemy will have, depending on the GM. Also, random chance can thwart the mathematically best plans. However, I think think it is fair to say that in a position like the one described above, in-combat magic healing is the best solution to avoid the party's demise.


TarkXT wrote:
You want to negate not only the current damage the target has taken but any future damage the target might take next round.

I'm very curious as to how this is done. In most cases, you can't heal "future" damage.

TarkXT wrote:
I'm thinking it's okay to have one or two guys at the negatives if it saved you 6 different spells and killed the fight four rounds sooner.

If everyone if your party agrees, then this works. If the other party members don't want their characters to die, then this is the wrong strategy. Especially if your non-healing clerics don't regular prepare Stabilize to keep the guys in the negatives from bleeding out or if the bad guys have area effects that continue to catch the unconscious characters.

The biggest problem with arguing "by the math" is that you have to state your "givens" up front so everyone knows the parameters of the equations and the end goal. "Optimal" doesn't have a concrete, objective definition, so you have to define it before you start. (See, for example, the calculations regarding DPR: the "math" is about how to get the highest DPR. Whether or not focusing solely on DPR as the optimal strategy is philosophy.)


I think a problem is with the Pathfinder system itself. The cleric has to wear so many hats that they can't cover all the bases,

1.Dish out the debuffs/buffs/Comabt magic? No healing/condition cure spells when something lands in your group
2.Healing optimized? No crowd control/buffs/debuffs.

Channeling has taken a severe hit from 3.5. The iconic ability to make undead run away/explode now struggles to deliver minor burns due to several factors,

1.Channel resistance(unless one goes Sun/Glory)
2.Strong will saves layered onto channel resistance(on the undead you really want to hurt)
3.Class levels making things even worse(Oh joy, vampire antipaladins with 20 CHA)

A 20th level cleric can do 10d6(12d6 with the channeling item) when they channel, this will be against creatures who are either effectively immune or are immune(I'm looking at you, crucifixtion spirit) to channeling. A 20th level wizard/sorc will be dishing out Metammagic enchanced(rods and feats) fireballs that leave a mushroom cloud behind, Magus's will(as demonstarted in the Way of the Wicked game) be Force Hooking themselves into the monster's face and unleashing 200 point attacks as a 'hello.'

The best tactic does seem to pre-buff against the stuff you really need to defend against (Resist Energies, Death Wards) and then hit hard and fast.

The Exchange

Combat Triage sorts people into 3 categories:

1) You can wait.
2) You're as good as dead already
3) I can save you to fight again.

Doing it in the middle of combat only makes sense if the target of the healing will survive to make a better hit than the healer could.

Thst being said, it turns out to be considerably more effective at low level, and in a recent scenario that I played this was the major contribution made by a 1st level Witch (the only healer in the party) playing in a Tier 3-4 module with several 2-4 level characters. I lent him my Wand of CLW and he went to town with it in what seemed to be a couple of interminable combats where we couldn't hit the monsters effectivley most of the time, and they couldn't hit us much either. Thanks to his healing efforts, we mananged to wear them down.

The player felt like he was contributing by healing us in mid-combat (as he was), especially since most of his other spells were being shrugged off by the monsters saving throws. Later in the game, he was inspired to drag my uncontrollably laughing body closer to the BBEG just in time for the BBEG's spell to wear off, so that I could stand up and whack him a couple of times.

This in now way negates anything that TarkXT said at the start, and probably actually proves his statement that it IS a good tactic at low levels. However, the actual debate is about whether it is a good tactic at higher levels (5+).


John Kerpan wrote:
Healing can be incredibly useful, and I know even the "never heal in combat" crowd knows there are some very rare situations where you might have to heal.

That crowd is about 1% of us. The rest of us are thrown with them because we see healing as the last option.

Plan A:Don't get hurt that badly. It is a lot more complicated than that, but it involves buffing,debuffing, and battlefield control + other strategies.

Of course that does not always work. Then we have to heal..


While I mainly agree with Tark, I dont like party members in the negatives. That can lead to death and raise dead is 5000 gp..

GM's like myself will drop a fireball on your location to get to an annoying caster while you are bleeding out.

Now I don't like to see character's die, but the NPC's don't. If your character is at the wrong place at the wrong time that is just the way it is. The NPC's just want to survive.


All I can say is that n my experience, healing has been useful and has saved the group. All that math doesn't mean much to me when I have seen a significant difference made in-person.

Keep in mind you need not keep up with damage, only more than 25% (as the other three members of the party are still swinging). Then it favors the group.


Gwen Smith wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
You want to negate not only the current damage the target has taken but any future damage the target might take next round.

I'm very curious as to how this is done. In most cases, you can't heal "future" damage.

Depends on the encounter but it's generally forcing an opponent to spend two rounds punching through the HP you healed with your standard. action. This usually means that the target has taken damage before. This is fine since it prevents you from wasting good healing rolls on a fully healed character.

The trick is to build action advantage where you normally wouldn't. Which is why I think the healing domain works fine if it's something you want to be capable of.

This is not as good as say, having a summon up to soak up hits. But, it beats losing the target (I'm going to stop saying fighter because frankly the target can be anyone) and it beats the lousy trade of one per one or less than one actions that healing would normally provide.

[

Gwen Smith wrote:


If everyone if your party agrees, then this works. If the other party members don't want their characters to die, then this is the wrong strategy. Especially if your non-healing clerics don't regular prepare Stabilize to keep the guys in the negatives from bleeding out or if the bad guys have area effects that continue to catch the unconscious characters.

IF area affects continually catch unconscious characters than encouraging the guy to contiue throwing those things by standing directly next to the prone, near unconscious character is not sound advice.

Also, if no one wants their character to die they should endeavor to, you know, not die. In a lot of cases that I see pointed out where a dedicated healer is required I find myself wondering about the events that led up to it. Sometimes it's unavoidable. But in a lot of the scenarios I see brought up in every thread its like "class a" (usually a fighter) is fighitng some monster (never defined) toe to toe and gets hit once and knocked to near unconsciousness. "Class b" (usually some highly specific oracle of life build with specific features, spells, running up. Is just within range and etc. etc. you get the idea.

But I'm thinking. That's great. But what happened before? Where's the rest of the group? Etc. Etc.

Gwen Smith wrote:

The biggest problem with arguing "by the math" is that you have to state your "givens" up front so everyone knows the parameters of the equations and the end goal. "Optimal" doesn't have a concrete, objective definition, so you have to define it before you start. (See, for example, the calculations regarding DPR: the "math" is about how to get the highest DPR. Whether or not focusing solely on DPR as the optimal strategy is philosophy.)

I sort of discussed the subject of what's required and optimal in pathfinder combat at length and in great detail.

A lot of my information, thoughts, and philosphies have been echoed through the years by people working on their own guides, projects, and debates. Ultimately all I did as parse it down, boil away the extras, skim the scum off the top and explained the raw elements.

The math of healing takes many forms, and much of it doesn't look so good. That being said, nothing else cures the condition of being at -1 HP. When looked at from the perspective of status removal, rather than defensive measure it starts to look much better. And the best part is that all classes are capable of curing that condition either naturally or with some work.

The only thing that no student of the game can account for on a general basis is GM quirks. I find the idea of a GM who considers the idea of damage taken to be the same as challenging to be amateurish. Which is okay, it's a mistake I've made often over the years and I have to remind myself occasionally after frustrating moments where the characters just would not be so kind as get hurt that it' actually resources spent, not damage taken, that work as an objective measure for difficulty.

@Andrea1: You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Healing, well, sucks to be concise. It has it's uses, and when done well can save a character. But it doesn't end the fight by itself or prevent the enemy from hurting you more or in much more profound ways.

@Wraithstrike: Tell me about it. I don't think I've ever met anyone whose flat out said "never heal" or "always heal".

The debate, as Blueluck put forward well in another thread, lies in how far you go one way or the other.


TarkXT wrote:
Also, if no one wants their character to die they should endeavor to, you know, not die. In a lot of cases that I see pointed out where a dedicated healer is required I find myself wondering about the events that led up to it. Sometimes it's unavoidable.

There are dice involved. It's never completely under your control. Last week I rolled nine 1s in a single session, and two 20s. Meanwhile, the player across the table had five 20s and no 1s.

I'm not suggesting that groups need a dedicated healer so that they don't have to learn good tactics, but tactics will never cover every situation, like

  • Haunts that immediately drop you to -1 HP
  • The bad guy who just happens to have bane weapons for your race/type (even better if he has your race as a favored enemy)
  • Giant falling bells
  • An invisible magus with an empowered shocking burst, lying in wait for you with a readied action
  • Black tentacles in the surprise round. Even better when followed up with a fireball early in the initiative order.

Whether or not a group considers a healer necessary depends on their past experiences. Since scenario authors often go out of their way to deplete the characters' resources before the big fight, you can't assume that any given set of tactics will always work. Once players manage to "beat" a situation, the authors will throw something new at you. ("You have an adamantine sword now? Good for you, but this guy has DR 10/-, sorry!")

And then there's always those dice. Those damn, damn dice.


TarkXT wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:


The biggest problem with arguing "by the math" is that you have to state your "givens" up front so everyone knows the parameters of the equations and the end goal. "Optimal" doesn't have a concrete, objective definition, so you have to define it before you start. (See, for example, the calculations regarding DPR: the "math" is about how to get the highest DPR. Whether or not focusing solely on DPR as the optimal strategy is philosophy.)
I sort of discussed the subject of what's required and optimal in pathfinder combat at length and in great detail.

Summarizing that at the beginning would certainly help define the parameters.

TarkXT wrote:
[@Wraithstrike: Tell me about it. I don't think I've ever met anyone whose flat out said "never heal" or "always heal".

This is why I said that "math vs. philosophy" is such a critical distinction, and why I said you need to clearly define the parameters. "Math" is objective, concrete, and universal. "Philosophy" is based on past experiences, values, and personality.

When you say, "By the math, healing is not worth it", you are actually implying "never heal", because math is concrete and universal. Within the physical confines of a single universe or geometry, the same numbers always get the same result. If healing is "mathematically ineffective", it is always ineffective. (As a analogy, mathematically-driven Texas Hold'em players will always fold 7-2 off suit no matter how many times the flop comes up 7-7-2, because mathematically, 7-2 is a bad hand.)

If you want to talk about trade-offs for actions in combat, then a mathematical comparison of healing vs. other actions would point out when healing is effective and when it isn't. For example, what % chance does a cleric need to hit to make it worth taking a swing instead of a guaranteed healing--10% 25%? What about healing vs. casting Bless or Prayer? Etc. That kind of math would probably make your point more effectively and give other players concrete suggestions for what to do instead of healing.

But if you say "Mathematically, healing in combat sucks," many people will understand your point to be "You should never heal in combat." To most people, invoking a universal concept implies a universal statement.


Gwen Smith wrote:


This is why I said that "math vs. philosophy" is such a critical distinction, and why I said you need to clearly define the parameters. "Math" is objective, concrete, and universal. "Philosophy" is based on past experiences, values, and personality.

When you say, "By the math, healing is not worth it", you are actually implying "never heal", because math is concrete and universal. Within the physical confines of a single universe or geometry, the same numbers always get the same result. If healing is "mathematically ineffective", it is always ineffective. (As a analogy, mathematically-driven Texas Hold'em players will always fold 7-2 off suit no matter how many times the flop comes up 7-7-2, because mathematically, 7-2 is a bad hand.)

If you want to talk about trade-offs for actions in combat, then a mathematical comparison of healing vs. other actions would point out when healing is effective and when it isn't. For example, what % chance does a cleric need to hit to make it worth taking a swing instead of a guaranteed healing--10% 25%? What about healing vs. casting Bless or Prayer? Etc. That kind of math would probably make your point more effectively and give...

Than consider it a philosophy built on mathematics if you like. The actual math portion of the entire piece is only a third of the info presented.

I also talk overall strategy in how it's not just mathematically inefficient, but often strategically unsound based on that math.

I also go into the why and when it's a good idea to heal at times as a "tactic". Which is the explicit purpose behind everything.

The reason I don't much bother going further into the math is because every group is different and as you said, the game isn't so clear cut as the math suggests. This is confounded by the fact that every single class in the game is capable of some form of healing and a lot of damage.

So yeah, I present the math as a baseline to draw conclusions from and hone that using actual common sense.

AS to the cases you presented, the modules, the "Sudden" stuff. Most, if not all that is preventable in some form and some of what you presented aren't stopped or even rectified by a dedicated healer. But you know what? Healing's there if you need it. Everyone can do it. Everyone. The question is only whether or not you built to have that capability and if so how far?

Some think you should go as far as possible. Others as little as you can manage. I say start little but when it's called for, go big.


Just as with the much-maligned fireball-slinging wizard, the healing cleric/oracle is generally considered subpar by folks with a high-level knowledge of the game mechanics.

But just like the fireball-slinging caster, the healing priest is an iconic image that has become a staple of fantasy worlds and games.

So, theoretically, what would it take to make healing a viable role? Would it require different spells, feats, and character mechanics? Would it require a change in the way combat works? Or just a change of assumptions and encounter design?

Healing is viable in Warcraft (at least, end-level play, where dying is more than an inconvenience) because SOD/SOS and battlefield control don't work properly in those encounters, and the encounters last long enough that hit points won't last through the fight without help.

But there's a big difference between a paladin taking an action to drop a quick heal when a character would otherwise die (the current paradigm of D&D), and a dedicated healer carefully managing all of his resources to buy as much time as possible for other characters with the resources available.

Of course, healing by itself can be kind of boring. World of Warcraft makes it engaging through several different methods, but the only one easily transferable is resource management. For that to be engaging, there has to be more to healing than casting cure spells every single turn.

I understand that the fundamental mechanics are so incredibly different that comparison is almost impossible, but I thought it would be an interesting discussion. After all, how weird is it that one of the images the D&D game brought to the world is actually no longer effective in their own game?


So tactically, how does a group do that?

I would think it would be good to have no dedicated healer, but at least one character with spells on their class list, and then scroll and wand up. Why have heal memorized if you can just have it on a scroll if you only might need it once every 5-10 battles?


wraithstrike wrote:

While I mainly agree with Tark, I dont like party members in the negatives. That can lead to death and raise dead is 5000 gp..

GM's like myself will drop a fireball on your location to get to an annoying caster while you are bleeding out.

Now I don't like to see character's die, but the NPC's don't. If your character is at the wrong place at the wrong time that is just the way it is. The NPC's just want to survive.

I meant to say the NPC's dont care.


bfobar wrote:

So tactically, how does a group do that?

I would think it would be good to have no dedicated healer, but at least one character with spells on their class list, and then scroll and wand up. Why have heal memorized if you can just have it on a scroll if you only might need it once every 5-10 battles?

If you are asking how its possible to "never" heal I would say that is impossible, but it can be possible to make it so that most, if any healing, is done after the combat is over.

Don't ignore personal defenses such as AC and saves.

If you are outnumbered, heck even if you are not outnumbered use spells such wall and fog spells to count down on enemy actions. Summoning affects the battlefield, and they draw attacks, and every attack they take is an attack not directed at a PC.

Debuffing the bad guys lowers their chances to hurt you.

Buffing your teams allows them to kill the bad guys faster. All of these combined can increase your chances of not having to heal anyone, at least until the fight is over.

Just to be clear these are not guarantees, but the odds will be in your favor.


wraithstrike wrote:

If you are asking how its possible to "never" heal I would say that is impossible, but it can be possible to make it so that most, if any healing, is done after the combat is over.

Don't ignore personal defenses such as AC and saves.

If you are outnumbered, heck even if you are not outnumbered use spells such wall and fog spells to count down on enemy actions. Summoning affects the battlefield, and they draw attacks, and every attack they take is an attack not directed at a PC.

Debuffing the bad guys lowers their chances to hurt you.

Buffing your teams allows them to kill the bad guys faster. All of these combined can increase your chances of not having to heal anyone, at least until the fight is over.

Just to be clear these are not guarantees, but the odds will be in your favor.

I think you'll literally need to teach a defensive tactics course.

The stuff about fog spells didn't help much. Yes, my druid PC could cast Fog Cloud to avoid being shot by guys in towers, but not if the archers could just move back and shoot when we came out. It also doesn't help in melee (we can't see either).

IME, DMs hate buffing and summons. If you do the former, expect more battles per day, and if you're a wizard that's cutting into your combat actions per day too. (Most wizards like to cast a spell every round. Never mind if it's bad tactics, it's fun.) Other players tend to hate it when another PC summons (and for good reason; they take up actions [time] and space).


Kimera757 wrote:


I think you'll literally need to teach a defensive tactics course.

The OP has been developing a guide series that does more or less that. Even a "defensive tactics course" though, will still require a certain amount of creativity on the student's part, though.

I can write you the catalog summary, however:
110A. Defensive Tactics . Lecture, one hour; discussion, one hour, practicum, three hours. Prerequisite: Rules 100A. Methods of avoiding taking damage. Enhancing personal defenses using combat abilities, spells, and situational effects. Enhancing defensive effectiveness through improved offensive and movement efficiency. Enhancing defensive effectiveness through combined activities designed to minimize exposure to hostile effects.

Case in point:

Quote:


The stuff about fog spells didn't help much. Yes, my druid PC could cast Fog Cloud to avoid being shot by guys in towers, but not if the archers could just move back and shoot when we came out.

All right, you've passed the midterm; using a spell like Fog Cloud to hide from archers. That also, incidentally, gives you control of the tempo of the battle, since the enemy archers are just waiting for you to come out.

So, you passed the midterm but you failed the final; you didn't take advantage of this huge tactical advantage. You didn't, for example, find a way out of the fog cloud that the enemy weren't watching. You didn't drink potions of Vanish and move into a better tactical position. You didn't find the Protection from Arrows scroll that the mage has been saving for a rainy day. You didn't find a way to distract them like a summoning or an illusion spell. You didn't even send the rogue with the awesome Stealth check to slit a few throats.


Gwen Smith wrote:


When you say, "By the math, healing is not worth it", you are actually implying "never heal", because math is concrete and universal. Within the physical confines of a single universe or geometry, the same numbers always get the same result. If healing is "mathematically ineffective", it is always ineffective. (As a analogy, mathematically-driven Texas Hold'em players will always fold 7-2 off suit no matter how many times the flop comes up 7-7-2, because mathematically, 7-2 is a bad hand.)

Bad analogy. A mathematically-driven Texas Hold'em player will always fold 7-2 off-suit because he has access to no other situational information (prior to the flop) and needs to make a decision now. After the flop, there's almost never an "always" situation because what he does depends not only on the cards he holds, but also on what the flop was and how other people behave. Similarly, if a blackjack counter knows that the lowest card in the deck is a 9, he'll stand on a hard 13 even if basic strategy and the dealer's card say to hit.

By the math, healing is not worth it; the expected damage healed is dwarfed by the usefulness of most other options you have. But if you know something that TarkXT didn't know when he wrote the paragraphs above, you have additional information that can overrule his basic math.


Dotted.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Interesting. I haven't read the posts following the OP, but I don't see anything (correct me if I missed it) about allies' armor class factoring into healing situations. There's a big difference between a 7th-level healer trying to heal an AC 17 barbarian and an AC 34 fighter.

Also, for what it's worth, dedicated healers I've seen hardly ever use cure spells. They tend to use channeling plus shield other: splitting the damage taken onto two targets effectively doubles the healing power when the healing is an AoE.

Sovereign Court

Jiggy wrote:
Also, for what it's worth, dedicated healers I've seen hardly ever use cure spells. They tend to use channeling plus shield other: splitting the damage taken onto two targets effectively doubles the healing power when the healing is an AoE.

Jiggy's got it nailed with that statement.

A cleric who does nothing but heal is quite a waste.
A cleric who refuses to heal when it's most needed is dumb.

In the end, it's a balancing act. Do I need to heal right now, or hit the BBEM with a spell that might end the fight faster?

I'm working on a Life Oracle right now, and even though she is geared into playing a very efficient healer, I'm ensuring she has other options other than just healing (even though most of my feats/spells/items will be going into healing).


Dotting for future reading.

Grand Lodge

There is another point none of you have mentioned and that is how healing effects the Metagame. Healing, probably more that just about any other power, is like an insurance policy. Players know that if they have a good healer on hand they can expect a certain amount of mistake forgiveness. One thing the math crowd seems to overlook a lot is that we are all human and we all make mistakes or have a run of bad luck, and when we do, its nice to have a healer to bail us out and let us get back in the battle. Healing can also extend the fun for everyone by keeping people in the fight longer even if that isn't necessarily the best tactical thing to do. Yes, you can use math and tactics and power gaming to create a well-oiled killer party that wipes out every encounter in 1 round and thus never really needs healing, especially in combat. But exactly how much fun is that?


It's pretty fun actually.


Turin the Mad wrote:

There are healing spells that do not cure a single hit point that are quite useful in combat. The first two that come to mind are delay poison and remove blindness/deafness. Similarly effective "healing" spells include, but do not begin to be limited to, remove fear, suppress charms and compulsions and remove paralysis.

Condition removal is a major factor for "healers", not just curing hp. A blind or frightened/panicked/cowering or dominated or paralyzed (full BAB class character) is a dead man walking.

Yup. I rendered my gunslinger in my game 100% useless with blind.

From skimming through these posts I can't help but feel like most DMs are... Either afraid of PC deaths, or don't run encounters correctly, or have 8 wisdom scores themselves. Pathfinder has some gnarly mechanics for encounters. Intelligent foes shouldn't continue a battle that is no longer in their favor (of course there are exceptions).

What does math say about power attack+rend? That combo often kills players, in one shot too, (round) and in that case, yeah, healing is out the window.


TarkXT wrote:

It's a discussion worthy of debate. Is healing in combat worth it in pathfinder?

When it is a useful buffing action, then it is.

Problem is that people confuse out of combat healing for in-combat healing.

Likewise they think that they need to somehow stagnate combat to be useful healing.

Rather the healing needs to allow or enable actions that otherwise the character would not or could not otherwise do.

Likewise healing is safeguard against bad dice swings, as characters are in for the long haul and much guard against the gambler's ruin.

-James


I agree with your premise, TarkXT, about 90% of the time.

The only time I don't agree is when your playing with min-maxers (which I do on a regular basis) and only in the instance where you are building a party of strikers and you have a Life Oracle.

Basically, as is well stated in other threads and I don't need to repeat it here, the Life Oracle is a gigantic heal bot. When you have a Sorcerer that blasts things, an Alchemist that smacks things, and a Druid Hippo that eats things and they all bring enough utility and damage to the table that all that is needed is a face and something to keep them going during the fight. In this instance, healing becomes FAR more effective than anything else.

Although, at this point I wouldn't so much call the Life Oracle a "healer" so much as a damage mitigator considering they take damage that others would take and then heal themselves to full effectively becoming a gigantic tank.

I guess this would make tanking super effective.


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Look upon this as being like guerrilla warfare: you can have a local superiority against a stronger foe that will enable you to defeat them.

Now for the pcs to have maximum superiority all of them must be bringing force to bear on the enemy whilst minimising their exposure to enemy 'force'.

In the case of your argument there are 2 implications:

1. That by not bringing force to bear on the enemy the healer is being 'sub-optimal' and possibly even allowing the enemy the opportunity to bring force to bear on the pcs that would not have survived the healer's attack.

2. That the healer's offensive action is of equal value to any other action they could take. What I mean by this is that not all bad guys are equal and not all damage is of equal value. A 2h weapon fighter annihilating a goblin is not 'equal' to them seriously hurting a dragon, because even though the dragon is not reduced in combat ability, it may soon remove its threat to the pcs (or be removed) because of the threat to it (i.e. damage).

SO...

If I am a healer my offensive capabilities should be set against my defensive capabilities when judging what is an optimal action for me (e.g. 1d6+2 damage vs 1d8+1 healed to someone who may be able to do more damage than me thus keeping them in the fight).

In other words my contribution to the offensive ability of the party MAY be better maintained by healing than fighting.


strayshift wrote:


SO...

If I am a healer my offensive capabilities should be set against my defensive capabilities when judging what is an optimal action for me (e.g. 1d6+2 damage vs 1d8+1 healed to someone who may be able to do more damage than me thus keeping them in the fight).

In other words my contribution to the offensive ability of the party MAY be better maintained by healing than fighting.

While you are right with this I think once of the arguments this thread tried to make was that by becoming a dedicated healer you made the first mistake because by doing so you gimped your offence.

In other words: A party without a healer but with dedicated damage dealers is better because it can take foes down before they become dangerous.

The above is not my opinion, just what I read out of the OP and some other posts.


What the OP is saying is that dedicated healbots that can do nothing else are not needed. Life Oracles and Heal domain Clerics have plenty of other options but if they need to heal someone in combat they can (and should) do it to their best ability. I am a firm believer in whatever PC's can do so can the DM. so too many times of super smash the NPC's can potentially led to a TPK where DM sets up a similar encounter. Always fun to return the favor. :)

Grand Lodge

Jack Rift wrote:
What the OP is saying is that dedicated healbots that can do nothing else are not needed.

Quite frankly I have never thought it was a good idea to be a dedicate ANYTHING. Having at least some versatility in a character helps the to cover party holes when they occur and makes things more interesting for the player. Doing the same thing over and over again gets old quickly.

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