What can I make for a non-cleric healer?


Advice


I'll probably be joining a new group and they mentionned they've always been missing a healer..and at the same time commented how the climate of the campaign might not suit a cleric very well. Apparently they're leaning towards chaotic with not much attention for gods.

The group mentionned consisting so far of a "warrior, thief and mage"..with the "mage" apparently being a druid really

I've thought of a life oracle with my self-made race, that would have a neat look together, but there's a question mark on whether or not they might accept the race.
On the other hand I just can't "see" myself playing an oracle with anything else..not enough feel for the class i suppose.

What else could I have to fill in a healer role, look cool with a race from the books and hopefully not be just a healbot? And not be a cleric/oracle/overly lawfulness-enforcing creep?

and while at it, problem nr.2: they mentionned starting around level 10..and my parties so far never made it further than 7, so..yeah I'll be needing help actually building that character with feats and gear


I have never tried it as a main healer, but an Occultist with Conjuration can make an effective healer.


Witch. Hands down. Otherwise your expected to be a healbot.


You can build a similar thing to the oradin with a multiclassed war priest and shaman with the life spirit, which gives swift action self healing to you and lifelink which takes damage from your allies and applies it to yourself. So you'd fight however you want with your war priest, and occasionally heal yourself.

Grand Lodge

Oracle of Life is the best healer.

But healer is not a group role...its part of a role.

Witch is great as you can prevent damage by Hexes and Crowd control meaning you do more than just lick your teams wounds.

Shaman Like the witch can do well as a healer but brings other tools as well.

I know you don't like Cleric...but an Evangelist Cleric can do a lot of work. Bardic Performance as your main "Buff" and using your spells to prevent damage makes for a great support type. I absolutely love Using either Enchantments or Summons to help reduce the amount of healing the party needs.

You could Cross class Oracle and Paladin for the Oradin build.

Lastly you Could go Hospitaler Paladin and VMC into Cavalier order of the stars or Bard VMC. Both add great options and the H. Paladin does very good with LoH removal of status effects and Channel energy.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Witch Doctor Shaman and Life Oracle (as you mentioned) are the two healers that I would recommend. Of course, the human or half elf favored class bonus for both is really, really nice.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whatever you build, you should be more than a healbot. In combat healing is best reserved for emergency situations, on most of your turns you should be doing something that actually helps directly win the fight (do unto them before they do unto you is often the best healing in the game.)

Having condition removal (one of those emergencies) is important though, and it is really hard to beat the cleric for that.

From what you have said though, I don't see anything that would prevent a cleric from working fine in that campaign. There are of course plenty of chaotic gods out their, so alignment isn't an issue.

The fact that they aren't into gods seems like a role-playing opportunity to me. If they want your healing, your god comes with it as part of the package (not forcing them to convert or anything, but listening to a sermon now and then is a fair exchange.) As long as your alignment pretty much matches with the rest of the party, the fact that you are devout and they aren't shouldn't cause major issues.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've surprised people with an Alchemist as Healer... Alchemist (Chirurgeon)...

I get Breath of Life as a 4th level Extract - which I put in poisoners gloves and can hand off to other PCs (like the Barbarian in the party). It's something else to see the party barbarian charge across the battlefield and punch a Breath of Life into someone that just went down.

or if I'm close enough, I can punch a body with a BoL, and take my second attack to punch it again...."Clear!... AGAIN! CLEAR!"

makes a great RP event...

Then Healing Bombs can just get ... interesting. Not Channeling, but an AOE that heals living creatures and hurts undead and does both AT THE SAME TIME...

Plus all the other things Alchemists do...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You could go skald, with the skalds vigor feats you pass out fast healing to your party while buffing them with RAGE! And RAGE powers could be an interesting take on the buffer/healer kind of role


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Healing between combats in parties without Clerics should probably be handled primarily with wands. Our goblin party uses mostly potions of Infernal Healing, but that's only practical because the DM gave the Witch a Blackwick Cauldron as kind of a low level gift.

As Dave Justus mentioned, condition removal is important. Here are a few favorite condition removal spells which came to mind along with who can cast them:
-Restoration - Level alchemist 4, cleric/oracle 4, inquisitor 4, paladin 4, shaman 4
-Remove Disease - Level alchemist 3, cleric/oracle 3, inquisitor 3, druid 3, ranger 3, witch 3
-Remove Curse - Level bard 3, cleric/oracle 3, inquisitor 3, paladin 3, shaman 3, sorcerer/wizard 4, witch 3
-Delay Poison - Level alchemist 2, bard 2, cleric/oracle 2, druid 2, inquisitor 2, paladin 2, ranger 1, shaman 2, witch 2
-Break Enchantment - Level bard 4, cleric/oracle 5, inquisitor 5, paladin 4, shaman 5, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
-Dispel Magic - Level antipaladin 3, bard 3, cleric/oracle 3, druid 4, inquisitor 3, magus 3, paladin 3, shaman 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, summoner/unchained summoner 3, witch 3
-Protection from <Alignment> - Level cleric/oracle 1, inquisitor 1, paladin 1, shaman 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, summoner/unchained summoner 1

Alchemist has a few spells from that list along with Cure spells and Brew Potion...might not be too bad...

Bards or Skalds can make Cure and other wands cheap if you take Craft Wand at 5th level - no deity required (plus some archetypes potentially expand your spell list)

Cleric looks like the winner for condition removal. Cayden Cailean or a similar deity might fit a Chaotic group as long as they're not downright Evil. If they are there are LOTS of options for deities...

Witch could be nice especially if the familiar can act as a wand jockey to apply a little wand based curing and buffing to PCs during combat without wasting your PC's action on it.


If you need a main healer (the one to call when it starts to rain crits or fireballs) the oracle (Life) is the best. Next best is a cleric with the healing domain and a shaman with the life spirit. After those come druid, witch and the others. The only class that can rival an oracle of life as healer is the vitalist from the Ultimate Psionics book, if that is allowed and your cup of tea. In most cases it depends on a sub-choice how well they do as healers (archetype, class features).
First you should find out how much healing is actually needed. For this you need to talk to the others, how the DM handled stuff so far. No need to roll an oracle, if it turns out you need only a bard in lieu of a wand of healing.

You start at level 10, which is where the minor heals usually don't cut it anymore, including channeling. You may see fighter types, who can attack 3-5 times per round and produce a crit every round or two. Crits can do easily 50+ damage and ruin your day. Two enemy sorcerers, lets make them level 8, can burn your group for 16d6 per round with fireballs, while using displacement, mirror image and/or fly to stay out of harm's way.
So you need to find ways to prevent/negate that kind of damage. There is a feat, divine interference, one can take at level 10, which forces a re-roll to prevent really nasty crits. If your own HP are OK, you can use shield other to protect the one who gets it the most. And there is breath of life if someone bit the dust and you are quick.
AE damage is nasty and hard to prevent. Only thing that kinda works are the communal buffs combined with the feat reach spell. And counterspelling, if you face only one major caster and you have the dispels to burn (tricky one that, as it costs your round).
Some spells from the later books are also good to have for cleaning up afterwards. E.g. greater path of glory provides a lot more healing than any other spell of 4th level and can be used after the battle for maximum effect.

And as Fruian said, healing is only part of what a healer does. There are buffs, debuffs and actions like counterspelling to prevent damage happening at all. Sometimes a well placed flamestrike will be better than a heal afterwards.
So what will be most beneficial to your group? You have basically two and a half melee to work with. As an oracle, I will probably lead with prayer/blessing of fervor - any hit that connects just by the value of my buffs is actually my damage. Then I can provide a flanking buddy, probably the rogue, be it by myself or spell.
Any spell that turns an enemy into an ally - and be it only for a round - swings the balance of battle in your favor. That is something only some divine casters can provide, though.

When it comes to feats as a healer, I found these to be good:
- reach spell: so many divine spells have a range of touch, but you simply cannot stand next to your buddies all the time
- spell perfection: gained at level 15 soonest, but check the prerequisites now; if you are a standard caster, you can use the feat for the spell heal; as spontaneous one, forget it
- spell penetration: useful for all casters with an offensive spell
- combat casting: to be considered unless you are one of the classes who get features like "doesn't provoke an AoO when casting heal spells"
- bouncing spell: if you usually face more than one enemy at once, this one is useful for offensive casting
- persistent spell: useful for all offensive casting

Last but not least: the less divine your class is, the more fun it is to play (for most people). The divine spell list is pretty meh (holy smite anyone?), but it has all the tools to repair any damage. If you can lay your hands on arcane or psionic stuff too, you get more pro-active stuff that doesn't sit in your slots waiting to become useful (like lesser restoration or neutralize poison). Arcane spells also don't suffer so much as divine ones when it comes to practical use. Divine spells require often a touch attack and still grant a save to negate it completely (e.g. bestow curse).
So if your "mage" is a druid as you say and can actually do a little healing (probably doesn't want to, the slacker), you can get away with one of the half-healers, too.


Herb witch makes a great status healer if you can wait on having your hexes for a bit.

Grand Lodge

Well said Vatras.

I actually love the divine list tho.

Command
Spiritual weapon
Holy smite
Blade Barrier (omg this spell)
Wall of stone
Summon monster
Suggestion

A well picked domain can help fluff it out to be even better.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
HyperMissingno wrote:
Herb witch makes a great status healer if you can wait on having your hexes for a bit.

I have a herb witch in one of the campaigns I'm currently playing in. At 3rd level our main damage dealer was hit with blindness from a blindness/deafness spell. Thought we were in a lot of trouble, but the witch just saunters over, applies a remedy, rolling a 4 on the dice for the profession herbalist check, and still removes the blindness. Never bugged the player about not having misfortune by level 2 after that.

If you add the healing patron, the witch has most of what you need to be a healer, and is a damn effective debuffer.

Grand Lodge

Gah, the server ate my post. :(
I second the Skald suggestion, only since you're starting at 10, so Greater Skald's Vigor gives everyone FH 4. Probably an Urban Skald to avoid people not wanting to accept your rage. Spell Kenning for any corner case cleric removal you need for downtime.
Mix in some of: Lesser Celestial Totem, Path of Glory, Guarded Life, Greater Guarded Life, Exquisite Accompaniment, Tale of Twisting Steel, Accept Affliction.

Then spend most combats casting Haste and smashing faces.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alchemists are one of the best choices if you want to be more than a "heal-bot." Just take the Infusion discovery and hand out free healing "potions" at the start of each day.

That way you can fully contribute in taking down the enemies (usually the best use of PC actions), instead of burning your rounds patching damage that normally happens faster than it can be healed.

Scarab Sages

I'm partial to the Spirit Guide Oracle with the Life Spirit. This gives Channel Energy and a slew of condition fixing spells, while leaving your spells known and mystery open for whatever focus you want.

Want to hit stuff? Battle mystery is great, and you can pick up a variety of buff spells to go with it.

Blaster? Fire's got your back with everyone's favorite fireball, and other fiery mystery abilities.

Perhaps you're touched by lycanthropy? Go with the lunar mystery, and pick up an animal companion and an hours/level shapeshift.

Remember, oracles don't necessarily worship a deity, or even know where their powers come from. If you're not interested in that aspect of play, just don't worry about it.

The only downside for this build is you don't get Channel until level 7. Until then, you'll need to rely on your spells to cast Cure X Wounds for healing.


Something a bit different -
Go with a negative channel cleric with the alternate channel feature & quick channel feat.
This allows you, as a move action, to negative energy channel a bad status effect with a high DC saving throw. There's a number of different types of bad status you can choose from, but I think the worse is the ones that apply nauseating condition. This saves you your standard action for anything else.
Only bad thing about doing this is its a bit feat intensive and burns through your channels fast.


I hear Horror Adventures has a bonafide Wizard healer archetype...


Cleric of a chaotic deity


Using Channel with Shield Other is the only viable way to do in-combat healing. Nothing else can keep pace. But that combo would result in you mostly be a "healbot".

The spirit guide oracle can be a healbot, but also have the freedom of his wandering spirit to spam fire spells or whatever other spirit magic you want to get your hands on. So you can healbot when it's needed and then do completely different things when it's not. And Oracles aren't very religious by design. They don't even need to use a Divine Focus to cast their spells.


Wow, didn't expect such a quick and rich reaction to my post.

The oracle ideas are a nice addition to the prime concept I had with my own race, but from the other things I like the shaman and skald you guys (and gals) proposed.
Seems to me that they have that sort of image I could go with..a shambling orc (well..half orc) ooga-booga style shaman :D
And that viking visage of a skald..hmm..any idea if there's a way to make a dwarf suitable for a skald?

Grand Lodge

Since this is a home game, you might ask your GM if you can play a Dwarven Aasimar, if you want the dwarven background/vibe. Maybe Scion of Dwarvenity instead of Scion of Humanity. Blood of Angels mentions there are Aasimar of other races, and it's not particularly better than a regular Aasimar mechanically.

Skald's aren't *that* Charisma dependent, so you can probably make it work directly with a 12 (14-2) Cha and just focus on Str, Con, and buff spells. Just make sure you get a +2/+4 Charisma headband so you can cast your 4th/6th level spells.


Oh right, reminded me that Skald is a mid caster..maybe I should go with the Shaman idea. Another melee-centric character could make the rogue feel bad with being outshined..specially if i did that bloodrager dip trick.

Having said that. Could someone elaborate more on building that life shaman at least to that 10 level?


StDrake wrote:

I'll probably be joining a new group and they mentionned they've always been missing a healer..and at the same time commented how the climate of the campaign might not suit a cleric very well. Apparently they're leaning towards chaotic with not much attention for gods.

The group mentionned consisting so far of a "warrior, thief and mage"..with the "mage" apparently being a druid really

I've thought of a life oracle with my self-made race, that would have a neat look together, but there's a question mark on whether or not they might accept the race.
On the other hand I just can't "see" myself playing an oracle with anything else..not enough feel for the class i suppose.

What else could I have to fill in a healer role, look cool with a race from the books and hopefully not be just a healbot? And not be a cleric/oracle/overly lawfulness-enforcing creep?

and while at it, problem nr.2: they mentionned starting around level 10..and my parties so far never made it further than 7, so..yeah I'll be needing help actually building that character with feats and gear

There is no problem being a cleric. Just follow Gorum who only cares about fighting. Or Cayden Cailean who is out to have a good time and promote freedom and ale. Tons of options exist.

Grand Lodge

For the Shaman:
What would you like to do when you're not healing?
You main options are:
- Be an awesome full caster. Go Life/Lore for Arcane Enlightenment, pick up lots of Sorc/Wiz spells. You need a moderate amount of Int, and a lot of Wis/Cha to do this though.
- Smash faces. Take Battle as your primary, and pick up Life with your wandering spirit. You need a good Str and Con, as well as pretty good Wis/Cha to do this. But grab a Reach weapon, you get Weapon Specialization, and extra AoO per round, and Bane as a swift action.
- Debuff/Control. Take Heavens as your primary and Life as your wandering. Go crazy with Darkvision, Eclipsed Spell+Light/Daylight, Delay Poison+Stinking Cloud, Slumber Hex, etc.

Do you still want to be a Dwarf? Human, Half Elf, Half Orc, or Aasimar are the best options here. You really want the Human Favored Class Bonus to pick up good Cleric spells (consider: Fallback Strategy, Watchful Eye, Divine Favor, Shield Other, Resist Energy Communal, Invisibility Purge, Prayer, Blessing of Fervor, Freedom of Movement ) I'd probably go half elf with the +2Cha/+2 to any stat alternate Racial trait.

How do you feel about worshipping Milani or Pharasma? Hopeful Channel and Fateful channel are both great buffs you can add with your channels.


You can take lore as your primary and life as your wandering spirit too. The wandering hex may be chosen from either.


Alchemist with Healing Bombs discovery. Takes a couple levels to come online if I remember right, but worth the wait if you can last long enough.

Silver Crusade

I just made a buff/heal focused witch, with the Scar hex very early. You can scar your entire team, and then cast your hexes on them from up to a mile away, including Healing and Major Healing. Granted, those are only usable once per day, but there are other buff hexes that work with Scar (Fortune, Cackle, Ward), so it's still a pretty nice option for your hexes, while using spells in a more offensive capacity.

Grand Lodge

Fromper wrote:
I just made a buff/heal focused witch, with the Scar hex very early. You can scar your entire team, and then cast your hexes on them from up to a mile away, including Healing and Major Healing. Granted, those are only usable once per day, but there are other buff hexes that work with Scar (Fortune, Cackle, Ward), so it's still a pretty nice option for your hexes, while using spells in a more offensive capacity.

Scar hex on a Elf + Split Hex Feat + Slumber= from a mile away your still making your DM cry.

I've also seen a witch do this to a bag full of Mice and let them loose in the the Dungeon. Kind of Hilarious at the same time Terrifying to think the witch doesn't even need to go into the dungeon to wreck it.

Also With Fortune + Scar you can easily Cackle as much as you need to to keep it up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Don't forget the Arcanist. White Mage can spontaneously cast cure spells like a Cleric, and can take the Fast Healing exploit. Add Unlettered Arcanist to it and you get the Witch spell list instead of Wizard. Can be a pretty effective combo.


too many choices now xD

But the dwarf was about the skald option. For shaman I like the idea of an orc one. Sortof makes me remember the orc shaman pics from the modern King's Bounty games

The remote hexing witch with a bag of mice sounds neat, but I don't want the rest to curse at me from the beginning for kicking off with troll bits


I can think of some ways besides Channel with Shield Other to do "viable" in-combat healing (or at least in-combat healing which has worked for me):
-Heal spell: refill HP tank quickly
-Swift or Free action self-healing (lay on hands, fervor, spontaneous healing, etc): Great for covering low HP emergencies or just playing it safe
-Familiar “wand jockey”: Wands of attack spells might not work well due to low caster level and potential reprisals by the monsters. Familiars using Cure wands can help out in a pinch and will rarely be targeted in most games, especially if they’re invisible (imp is really nice)
-Summoned azatas can provide some spot relief for HP plus some buffs, AoE, or attacks afterwards
-I haven’t actually tried Quick Channel as a PC, but it seems like it might not be terrible in an emergency. Maybe I value healing more since I tend to invest heavily in defense and focus on debuffs.

This can change expectations regarding the "pace" of incoming damage in subsequent rounds. Speaking of avoiding damage, I guess that damage mitigation could be another angle to consider here. Besides obvious stuff like Shield Other or Stoneskin you could look into things like people buying Spell Storing armor and letting casters put Frigid Touch into it. That will pretty much stuff an enemy's full attack down to a single hit at most.

I've also seen pretty good results from a PC in a game I run using Ablative Barrier to convert some damage to non-lethal so she gets more out of her Alchemist's healing touch.


Not one person is going to mention hospitalier paladin? Second best healer in the game with full BAB and some spells? I mean yeah the alignment issue might be ugly or unappealing but it's easily top 2 healers and is more than a heal bot.

Grand Lodge

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Not one person is going to mention hospitalier paladin? Second best healer in the game with full BAB and some spells? I mean yeah the alignment issue might be ugly or unappealing but it's easily top 2 healers and is more than a heal bot.

Like the 4-5th post.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / What can I make for a non-cleric healer? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.