Looking for suggestions for an effective non-cleric, non-oracle healer


Advice


Clerics, and especially Oracles, are just really hard to compete with when it comes to in-fight healing. I'd like to try something a bit different, if possible. Any ideas?

More specifically:

1) Should come online around level 6 at the latest.

2) Standard WBL, no house rules, no 3rd party material. (PFS)

3) While I'm not expecting cleric/oracle levels of healing, it should be a better healer than just having access to healing spells on its spell list.

Grand Lodge

Shaman?

Ok, ok, you said no cleric or oracle. Although, really good look at the Witch Doctor archetype with a life spirit. 2 pools of channel.

Next couple best I can think of is mostly self healing.

Paladin with lay on hands (bonus for being halfling). It is a swift action to heal self and can expend 2 uses to channel.

Warpriest with his ferver. Better uses for it I think (not super familiar with the class yet) but still there.

Inquisitor or Verminous Hunter with their fast healing. Inquisitor gets it via judgement, so it can be very limited (although awesome in a super long battle). Verminous Hunter can git it (with fortification) via the Worm Focus. If your pet is dead, this can be constant/ on only until you are fully healed

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hospitaler Paladin is a decent choice.

Hex Channeler Witch does this alright as well.


Paladin. Hospitaller if you want to be heal bot but honestly a vanilla paladin is more than adequate.


I like Witches for their healing, because you can use your familiar's touch spells thing to affect people at greater range then touch, and can use Scar + Healing Hex over distance as well. It's a more removed healer, which make senses for a more fragile character.

Of course...Shaman does get it's honorable mention since it can do all that, AND better, but it's pretty similar to Oracle/Cleric, so you may not be interested.


Dafydd wrote:
Warpriest with his ferver. Better uses for it I think (not super familiar with the class yet) but still there.

Fervor is best used for free Quickened spells.

Witch, take their various Healing Hexes and, at 2nd level, the Hex Vulnerability spell. Heal away.


+1 for Hospitaler Paladin, and consider the Greater Mercy feat at level 3 for the extra 1d6 lay on hands for when your mercy doesn't apply.

Also, the White Mage archetype for arcanist lets you spontaneously switch out prepared arcane spells to cast cure spells 3+level times per day..... bedazzle your friends as the healing sorcerer!


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I've looked at Shamans, and I may actually go with one, but I always get this feeling that I'd just be playing a worse version of a healing Oracle. The familiar does add some possibilities, but it's not that hard to get a familiar on a different class now anyway.

Paladins are a solid class, for sure, but even Hospitalers aren't that great at pumping out in-combat healing. A level 6 paladin's LoH heals for 3d6 = 10.5 healing.

A healing domain cleric, on the other hand, is casting Cure Serious Wounds for (3d8+6)*1.5 = ~29 healing, without even trying.

I've also briefly looked into Alchemists with Healing Bombs, but they also seemed similarly weak.

The Exchange

+1 to the Hospitaler. You will probably want a phylactery of positive channeling ASAP if you are interested in group healing. And bracers of the merciful knight.

Hex Channeler and Shamans are probably the most effective but they are also the closest to a cleric or oracle.

-White Mage is interesting as well though you will have NO group healing until you get mass cure light wounds at 8th level.
-An alchemist with Healing Bombs and Directed Bomb can be surprisingly effective between levels 4 and 10 but isn't really a substitute.

The Exchange

Byakko wrote:

I've looked at Shamans, and I may actually go with one, but I always get this feeling that I'd just be playing a worse version of the Healing Oracle. The familiar does add some possibilities, but it's not that hard to get a familiar on a different class now anyway.

Paladins are a solid class, for sure, but even Hospitalers aren't that great at pumping out in-combat healing. A level 6 paladin's LoH heals for 3d6 = 10.5 healing.

A healing domain cleric, on the other hand, is casting Cure Serious Wounds for (3d8+6)*1.5 = ~29 healing, without even trying.

Comparing *anything* to a healing domain cleric for single target efficiency is a foregone conclusion. Do, though, consider that at 8th level a halfling paladin with Greater Mercy and Vambraces of the Merciful Knight is laying on hands for 7d6+4 ~ 28 while the healing domain cleric is casting cure critical for (4d8+8)*1.5 ~ 39. Still a lot better but the cleric can do that 4 or 5 times a day while the Paladin is looking at around 10 a day (with a decent Charisma, more if she is pure Charisma).


Well here's the thing.... Clerics and oracles are the best healers there are simply because they are the only ones that heal in the middle of the fight and still do something else that is worthwhile. The life oracle is best at the but a cleric of variant channel, evangelist, or such is doing something else on the side. Most other classes can't even try this.

A paladin has a great advantage over many of his competitors in that his healing, smiting, spells, and saves are all based on one attribute. Because of that even if one or more of those are not up to your preference or par it's ok because you still had plenty of other perks for the same investment. The MADness of paladin is a big seller.


Yeah, I know it's not realistic to come that close to a Healing domain cleric or Life oracle in terms of brute healing output, but it'd be nice to get something at least in the general ballpark.

The above halfling's healing is close enough, for example, imho. But once we're getting up to that level, a cleric/oracle is going to be bringing so much more support to the table than a paladin. Flight, Invisibility Purge, Breath of Life, etc.

I'm not trying to outright beat the cleric/oracle in healing/support, but I'd like to have something that is at least halfway competent in filling the healing/support role at mid to high levels.

The Exchange

Byakko wrote:
The above halfling's healing is close enough, for example, imho. But once we're getting up to that level, a cleric/oracle is going to be bringing so much more support to the table than a paladin. Flight, Invisibility Purge, Breath of Life, etc.

While the Paladin is bringing full BAB, Heavy Armor Proficiency, a divine bond, and - with Ultimate Mercy - free raise dead.

Quote:
I'm not trying to outright beat the cleric/oracle in healing/support, but I'd like to have something that is at least halfway competent in filling the healing/support role at mid to high levels.

Ah. I guess it's going to depend on your group. A paladin is good at stepping onto the front line (if need be) while the clerics and oracles have a lot more buffs to offer.

If you want the great buffing with decent healing you are probably going to end up with a shaman or witch.


Alchemists can be pretty good healers and you also have bombs to play with. Takes you a few levels to get good at the healing part though.

Level 2 is when you get to pass out extracts to buff/heal the party. By level 4 you have a pool of HP for yourself, by level 6 that pool is 30 HP that you can spread around in increments of 5 and that pool goes up by 5 every level.


You also have the White Mage archetype for Arcanist.


It sounds like you're asking for a cleric/oracle that isn't a cleric/oracle. I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist man. NOTHING will match them for their healing abilities. Since that's kinda one of their main themes, the divine healer magic guy.

The Exchange

HyperMissingno wrote:

Alchemists can be pretty good healers and you also have bombs to play with. Takes you a few levels to get good at the healing part though.

Level 2 is when you get to pass out extracts to buff/heal the party. By level 4 you have a pool of HP for yourself, by level 6 that pool is 30 HP that you can spread around in increments of 5 and that pool goes up by 5 every level.

Are you talking about the Healing Touch discovery? It's actually pretty weak, it's a standard action to heal one person for 5 points. And the healing per touch doesn't increase with levels. Similarly infused cure extracts are just slightly better than equivalent potions (since you use the alchemist's caster level).

Healing bomb and directed bomb discoveries can combine to be surprisingly effective at low levels. A 4th level alchemist can use a cure moderate wounds extract with his bomb and heal his target for 2d8+4 damage, then direct a 15' cone which heals 6 points to everyone in it. Very resource intensive but roughly as useful as a channel or mass cure spell up 'til about 10th level.

The alchemist really shines with buffs you simply can't get on a non-caster any way but extracts. True strike, false life, resinous skin, even overland flight at high levels.


Belafon wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:

Alchemists can be pretty good healers and you also have bombs to play with. Takes you a few levels to get good at the healing part though.

Level 2 is when you get to pass out extracts to buff/heal the party. By level 4 you have a pool of HP for yourself, by level 6 that pool is 30 HP that you can spread around in increments of 5 and that pool goes up by 5 every level.

Are you talking about the Healing Touch discovery? It's actually pretty weak, it's a standard action to heal one person for 5 points. And the healing per touch doesn't increase with levels. Similarly infused cure extracts are just slightly better than equivalent potions (since you use the alchemist's caster level).

Healing bomb and directed bomb discoveries can combine to be surprisingly effective at low levels. A 4th level alchemist can use a cure moderate wounds extract with his bomb and heal his target for 2d8+4 damage, then direct a 15' cone which heals 6 points to everyone in it. Very resource intensive but roughly as useful as a channel or mass cure spell up 'til about 10th level.

The alchemist really shines with buffs you simply can't get on a non-caster any way but extracts. True strike, false life, resinous skin, even overland flight at high levels.

The chirurgeon archetype


Belafon wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:

Alchemists can be pretty good healers and you also have bombs to play with. Takes you a few levels to get good at the healing part though.

Level 2 is when you get to pass out extracts to buff/heal the party. By level 4 you have a pool of HP for yourself, by level 6 that pool is 30 HP that you can spread around in increments of 5 and that pool goes up by 5 every level.

Are you talking about the Healing Touch discovery? It's actually pretty weak, it's a standard action to heal one person for 5 points. And the healing per touch doesn't increase with levels. Similarly infused cure extracts are just slightly better than equivalent potions (since you use the alchemist's caster level).

Healing bomb and directed bomb discoveries can combine to be surprisingly effective at low levels. A 4th level alchemist can use a cure moderate wounds extract with his bomb and heal his target for 2d8+4 damage, then direct a 15' cone which heals 6 points to everyone in it. Very resource intensive but roughly as useful as a channel or mass cure spell up 'til about 10th level.

The alchemist really shines with buffs you simply can't get on a non-caster any way but extracts. True strike, false life, resinous skin, even overland flight at high levels.

Just sharing my experiences. Healing Touch was more of an out of combat healing thing anyways.


If you want in-combat healing with an option to beat on things as well, an Oradin build gets you life link, swift healing & paladin BAB.

In-combat healing isn't much fun if it's your primary shtick. To give yourself other options, you want swift healing so your action economy doesn't suffer, and that leads you back to Oracle and Cleric, at least for a dip.

Can you give us a little more background on your group and your desired role? If you're willing to expend standard actions in combat to generate healing, there are a few options you can pursue.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hedge Witch with the Healing Patron.


^See here, where I just posted an answer for a different thread that wound up needing the same thing (but with the specific requirement to do arcane and divine, set in a time after the SLA FAQ nerf hosed the Mystic Theurge).

Keep in mind that according to several guides AND several threads on these messageboards, you usually don't want to do in-combat healing unless it's an emergency (somebody is about to go down or is bleeding out, or something like that).

Scarab Sages

Druids are another fine choice - no, they can't heal as well as Clerics and Oracles, but never underestimate the "lateral healing" power to be gained from spitting out summoned monsters!


Thanks for the ideas, everyone.

For context:
* I typically play in a large group with cycling GMs using PFS. Sometimes I bring these characters to cons.
* I like playing characters which fill roles in non-standard and unusual ways.
* I noticed I lack a healing focused character, which mostly stems from the difficulty of creating a bizarre build which can be nearly as effective as a cleric/oracle.

While it's true most games don't require a dedicated in-combat support/healer, sometimes that big burst of healing is really good to have available in a tight spot. Of course, having useful things to do when not healing is a big plus, but I don't mind letting others have the glory of dishing out the big damage.

So thus far, the ideas in this thread:
1) Various flavors of paladin and oradin. (but I already have a pretty ridiculous paladin hybrid, so I'm shying away from this)
2) Alchemist, healing flavored
3) Witch or Shaman variants
4) White Mage (not really feeling this, tho I'm sure it works well)

A quick question concerning the Scarred Witch Doctor: can they acquire a familiar, in addition to their mask, by using feats/multi-classing?

Some other ideas I've been toying with, but haven't found a way to make work:
Summoning creatures that heal (required level too high)
Weapons that heal on-hit (healing too low and/or too expensive to maintain)

The Exchange

Byakko wrote:

Thanks for the ideas, everyone.

For context:
* I typically play in a large group with cycling GMs using PFS. Sometimes I bring these characters to cons.

Quote:
A quick question concerning the Scarred Witch Doctor: can they acquire a familiar, in addition to their mask, by using feats/multi-classing?

Note that the scarred witch doctor is not legal for PFS play. (And neither is the hex Channeler.)

Grand Lodge

If you want someone who CAN heal in an emergency but does not make it their focus, I suggest a Storm Druid.

Prepare all your slots as Cure X wounds (level 2 remains open for something like Bear's Endurance) and then spontaneous your spells into attack spells or use your domain powers.

Make casting the focus and while you will not replace a cleric, you will have a strong damage output and still able to do the emergency healing when needed.

Silver Crusade

Verminous Hunter 1/Life Shaman X

Dead companion = Permanent Worm focus on you = permanent fast healing 1 and light fortification

Shaman familiar takes Protector archetype. Shaman hexes are Life Link, then Enhanced Cures, then Healing.

At level 7, take Improved Familiar (Nycar).

-----

At level 3, you can life link to people to take their damage then you naturally heal it.

At level 6, the familiar takes half the damage you take from life link and you both heal your own damage

At level 7, the nycar has regeneration and ferocity, meaning he cannot never stop doing this.

Spells can be used for anything else.
You'll have channels and are free to take Witch Doctor for more channels. -3 cleric levels makes a very small difference and could power channel foci instead.


^Problem:

Prerequisites: Ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see below).

{. . .}
Familiar Alignment Arcane Spellcaster Level
{. . .}
Nycar Chaotic neutral 7th

(Change the part about Arcane Spellcaster Level to Spellcaster Level, because Shaman's Spirit Animal counts as a familar.)

At level 7, your highest Spellcaster level will be 6, because you dipped in Hunter. So you need to wait 2 more levels before you can take Improved Familiar (1 more level if you somehow manage to get a general feat at level 8).

Silver Crusade

UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Problem:

Prerequisites: Ability to acquire a new familiar, compatible alignment, sufficiently high level (see below).

{. . .}
Familiar Alignment Arcane Spellcaster Level
{. . .}
Nycar Chaotic neutral 7th

(Change the part about Arcane Spellcaster Level to Spellcaster Level, because Shaman's Spirit Animal counts as a familar.)

At level 7, your highest Spellcaster level will be 6, because you dipped in Hunter. So you need to wait 2 more levels before you can take Improved Familiar (1 more level if you somehow manage to get a general feat at level 8).

Ah, I forgot that. Level 9 for the nycar. The familiar still has fast healing 1 from spirit animal so it still holds well.

You can also take Improved Familiar earlier and get the nycar when you qualify.


Paladin would be my choice as well, pick selective channel and other channeling related feats and you can help your whole group with extra hit points and keep somewhat up with dealing damage to foes. Shield other is a 2nd level spell for paladins so they gain access to it on lvl7.

Chirurgeon alchemist with healing bombs could be fun as well, a lot more versatility than with a paladin. Not as effective as a healer if you look just at the numbers though.

Scarred witch doctor was mentioned earlier but I believe that it is not available in PFS.


You could try an Occultist Arcanist, and let the summons do the work. A ring of summoning affinity (archon) would let you summon Harbinger Archons to cast cures at level 6. But you'd never be able to Raise Dead, or Restoration.


Unfortunately zanbato13, the Life Shaman's Life Link is a heavily nerfed version of the Oracle's one. The Life Shaman only transfers HP loss if the linked ally is at -5 or lower HP. It's more an auto-stabilise than anything else.


If it's not banned, Master Summoner Summon Good Monster and Superior Summoning. You have a horde of bodies to soak hp damage for your party, giving effective HP. SM III gives you psuedo healing with at will Aid. Almost every monster you would want to summon anyway starting at SM V (Bralani) will have some form of healing SLA. Get a Ring of Agathion Summoning at 17 and you're spitting out 1d3+1 Leonals, giving you over 1000 hp of healing in less than 1 minute's worth of actions, and then have the Leonals themselves to soak, battlefield control, or carpet bomb with fireballs for 16 minutes.


Dafydd: Not a bad idea, although the heals are still not any stronger than any other caster with cure spells on their list, I believe?

zanbato: It's certainly fun to play around with damage redirection, but as has been pointed out, the Shaman's Life Link is no where as useful as the Oracle's. With the high burst damage at higher levels this feels more of a powerful sustainment tool than a "save their bacon" healing measure. Still worthy of note tho, thanks.

Summoning healing monsters with heals could work, but it takes a bit of time to get going, and doesn't seem particularly effective at lower levels where the few options only have token amounts of healing. For high levels, tho, definitely.

A few more votes of confidence for paladins and alchemists, hmn. A high charisma hospitaler actually seems to be a very strong option, but I've been playing a paladin a lot lately so it'd be nice to go another route.

I am liking the idea of using the Hex Vulnerability spell in conjunction with Healing Hex and Scar. The amount of healing, tho, leaves a bit to be desired.

Grand Lodge

Byakko wrote:
Dafydd: Not a bad idea, although the heals are still not any stronger than any other caster with cure spells on their list, I believe?

Right, the cure spells will do the same a cleric without healing domain is doing. If you use the healing domain cleric as your bench mark, you will not find anyone to compete. However, there are a couple hidden benefits.

You can still dump CHA (since you do not have channel) to increase your Wis Dex Con Str or Int. You get 4+ INT skill points. You get wild shape, meaning you can still wade into melee even with 10s in all physical stats.

CMW is a 3rd level spell for a druid, not much, but that +1 spell level does mean +1 to it's DC if you need to hurt some undead. Also the subsequent cure spells are all at 1 level higher then the cleric version. Helps with the DC (by 1 point) especially when you have mass cures and want to wipe out an army of undead.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
zanbato13 wrote:


At level 3, you can life link to people to take their damage then you naturally heal it.

It doesn't quite work that way. A lot of folks make a common mistake until the followig passage is pointed out. Note bolded section.

Life Link (Su): The shaman creates a bond between herself and another creature within 30 feet. Each round at the start of the shaman's turn, if the bonded creature's hit points are reduced to –5 or fewer, it heals 5 hit points and the shaman takes 5 points of damage. The shaman can have one bond active per shaman level. The bond continues until the bonded creature dies, the shaman dies, the distance between her and the bonded creature exceeds 100 feet, or the shaman ends it as an immediate action. If the shaman has multiple bonds active, she can end as many as she wants with the same immediate action.


Depends on why you want to play a non-cleric, non-oracle healer. Is it the not being tied to divine magic? Patrons? More science-based?

I vote Chirurgeon Alchemist if you want a non-mystical, field medic type.

If you're going to get healing via Paladin, you might as well be an oracle or cleric.


If you can bring in 3PP stuff, a Hospitaler Paladin with a 1-2 level dip in Vitalist can be an insanely good healer.

Add a dude to your Collective, Lay on hands on yourself as a Swift, and then redirect al the healing to him. Then do whatever else you want with all your other actions.


skald with lesser celestial totem and path of glory :)


Otherwhere: My desire for not wanting to play a cleric or oracle healer stems from almost every healing focused character being exactly that. I prefer to fill roles in non-standard and unusual ways.

TunFiskeMad: That's a fun combo! If only skalds played well with others. :( (most casters typically decline any "buff" that prevents them casting, etc)

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