Combat Healing


Prerelease Discussion

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ryric wrote:
I'm not really sure the game is improved by having an MMO-style "healer" whose job is simply to keep everybody topped off as much as possible. While I enjoy playing that role in online games, those proceed at a much faster pace than tabletop combat, and if you create a character who can heal at that rate, you risk requiring that rate of healing.

Enabling such a Healer to the players that enjoy it is a massive boon to the game. I speak from experience within my own houserules where every once in a while a player decides they want to play the White Mage / Priest(ess) of Life angle.

So long as the game is not built on the assumption that a party will have this degree of healing, those characters can be incredibly fun and effective. It takes a LOT of healing mojo to be as beneficial to a party as a combatant without rewriting the combat system.

Which brings me back to a point I've made several times before. Such healing must not be assumed by the system. They're a blessing for a party, not a requirement. You make them a requirement and A: you wind up with parties forcing a Combat Healer role on people who never wanted it and B: it loses its special flavor as a rare treasure and becomes a mere cog in the machine.


This is really best handled by guidelines for the GM in the Gamemastering chapter. To wit, in paraphrased form: "If the party has a powerful healer, you can get away with more encounters per adventuring day, or more and stronger enemies per encounter. If the party does not have such a character, be more careful about this unless you wish to implement such and such guidelines and optional rules." Which would then be listed in that section and include things like giving more healing items and relaxing resonance requirements for such items.

As far as published adventures like adventure paths, they can be balanced around both parties with a lot of healing and those without by guidelines in each adventure. "Make these tweaks if your party has/doesn't have a healer" depending on what the base assumption is.


Probably not Fuzzy.

The power of that healing likely isn't at-will. I treat such parties the same as parties that lack a Combat Healer.


The Sideromancer wrote:

If you spend combat time healing a live target,

  • you have not progressed your team towards the goal condition
  • you have not increased your team's capabilities to achieve the goal condition
  • you have not decreased you opponent's capabilities to accomplish their victory condition
Effectively, you are trading your time with that of the opponent's damage-dealers. You would be healing almost all the time only if that trade was worth it almost all of the time (remember, if you can heal twice the oncoming damage, at least 50% of your time should be spent on something other than healing). In other words, the enemy DPR/DPS is sufficiently large to dominate the match-up. I don't view that as balanced.

Um I would argue time spent healing in combat is actively helping your teams progress towards the goal condition of not dying. When you die it no longer matters what your goals were you failed. As long as everybody is still alive then they still have a chance to complete their task.

Having your teammates not being incapacitated or dead helps increase your teams capability in reaching their goal condition by them not being dead means they still can have goal conditions.

You directly decreased your opponents capability to accomplish their victory by negating damage done. You erased their progress towards their victory condition.

If one healer is capable of negating one or two opponents worth of damage that is a very direct contribution.


If spending an action to heal more or less negates the damage taken by one enemy attack, I think we are fine.
Healing is safe while the attack can miss, but you also have critcals and more powerful abilities to take into account. Healing spells are limited too, so it wouldn't break the game I think.


Megistone wrote:

If spending an action to heal more or less negates the damage taken by one enemy attack, I think we are fine.

Healing is safe while the attack can miss, but you also have critcals and more powerful abilities to take into account. Healing spells are limited

That is precisely why 'healing negates one enemy attack' does not work for a Combat Healer. (It is fine for a casual caster who tosses out a heal)

Spending a limited resource to undo a single unlimited action of the enemy is very much not good for a Combat Healer unless it's also 'at-will' (trading actions while preserving the big healing for emergencies later on.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Single-action healing scales at about 9hp per two levels. So, if you move up and spend two top-level slots (or two spell points for a healing Cleric?), you can perform something pretty close to a full heal. If you’re doing it on yourself, you never need to move, so you can heal to full and attack in the same turn.


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Dasrak wrote:
That's a pretty huge caveat to consider when buffing healing in general; anything that makes it a good specialization for PC's could turn it into something outrageously annoying in the hands of NPC's.

A lot of people have misgivings about monsters using different rules than PCs. I have a few of them myself. But this is a strong argument in favor of the swap, it let's us design a game for the players to play, without worrying about non players abusing the same rules.


I don't consider npcs utilizing the pc rules to be abusing them.

That being said Combat Healer encounters should be rare and memorable.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

I don't consider npcs utilizing the pc rules to be abusing them.

That being said Combat Healer encounters should be rare and memorable.

I simultaneously misspoke and conflated two separate issues. Sorry for that.

To give an example of the kind of thing I'm talking about . . . when the Dimensional Dervish line of feats came out, they were balanced for players to use. (Or so we'll assume for the purpose of this conversation.) They weren't balanced for dragons to use. I wouldn't call a dragon using a feat exactly the way it was intended to be used abusing the feat, per se, just because they have loads of natural attacks, but it isn't the sort of thing that I'd want your typical bestiary dragon to do. I designed a memorable encounter, actually, around a dragon that used dimensional dervish. But that was because I knew those players, specifically, could handle it. If dragons weren't allowed to take that feat, I wouldn't be mad. If monsters weren't allowed to take feats, or cast spells, and instead got unique abilities made up by a designer or a DM, I wouldn't be mad.

I admit, I would be a little sad. I'd lose my pretense of legitimacy, and my "if it's good for PCs, it's good for monsters" quip, and I'd get less opportunities to chuckle forebodingly when the players put the pieces together and realize what who is doing and how. I said I had misgivings.

But I think that the new system should very much put an emphasis on letting players effectively play the characters they want, rather than worrying about their enemies using the same rules to be better at the same ends. I'm fine if an evil cultist heals a well-mathed number that isn't the same as what the cure line heals, characters don't know what a d8 is anyway.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Single-action healing scales at about 9hp per two levels. So, if you move up and spend two top-level slots (or two spell points for a healing Cleric?), you can perform something pretty close to a full heal. If you’re doing it on yourself, you never need to move, so you can heal to full and attack in the same turn.

It seems to me that 2 top level slots are a rather large investment. If we judge by that, it seems like healing is rather weak. Unless slots work a lot differently than in PF1. As for Clerics and Spell Points, that seems to be encouraging "who's gonna be the Cleric", unless everyone can get access to something similar.

Regarding healing vs damage, I would think a 'normal' heal fixing 1.5*the average attack seems right when just spitballing ideas.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
A lot of people have misgivings about monsters using different rules than PCs. I have a few of them myself. But this is a strong argument in favor of the swap, it let's us design a game for the players to play, without worrying about non players abusing the same rules.

Even presuming monsters get weaker abilities than equivalent PC classes in some categories, this does nothing to help those of use who run mostly urban campaigns where the majority of antagonists are NPC's with PC class levels.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
As for Clerics and Spell Points, that seems to be encouraging "who's gonna be the Cleric", unless everyone can get access to something similar.

While I can't comment on other classes, my presumption, given that they said that spell points will govern domain abilities, is that free Cures is going to be a Healing domain thing rather than a general cleric thing.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
FedoraFerret wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
As for Clerics and Spell Points, that seems to be encouraging "who's gonna be the Cleric", unless everyone can get access to something similar.
While I can't comment on other classes, my presumption, given that they said that spell points will govern domain abilities, is that free Cures is going to be a Healing domain thing rather than a general cleric thing.

You could totally be right, and I can see it happening, but that would make the situation even worse in my opinion. Given what Mark has said on healing, I'll hope to be surprised by the rules once they come out. In the playtest games from GCP, the healing abilities didn't seem nearly as generous as what's been talked about though.

Scarab Sages

We still haven't heard how potent the non-magical healing abilities of that certain Barbarian are who supposedly heals the whole party after a fight. I'm assuming that kind of thing is strictly for out-of-combat healing, but it could certainly support a Cleric-less party if it were effective enough.


Dasrak wrote:
Even presuming monsters get weaker abilities than equivalent PC classes in some categories, this does nothing to help those of use who run mostly urban campaigns where the majority of antagonists are NPC's with PC class levels.

I haven't played a lot of Starfinder, but my understanding is that NPCs, even humanoid NPCs who call themselves technomancers or solarions or whatever, use entirely different math, and don't actually get class features. This is a thing I have mixed feelings about, but it does something to help those of us who run mostly urban campaigns.

But, on the other hand, building NPCs is one of the joys of GMing. But, on a third hand, it is time-extensive. Hence the mixed feelings.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
I haven't played a lot of Starfinder, but my understanding is that NPCs, even humanoid NPCs who call themselves technomancers or solarions or whatever, use entirely different math, and don't actually get class features.

Now see, that is a complete and total dealbreaker for me. Run of the mill mooks who would just be using the warrior class in PF1, I can get using a quick-build system. Everything else? Gimme the full suite of PC options.


Dasrak wrote:
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
I haven't played a lot of Starfinder, but my understanding is that NPCs, even humanoid NPCs who call themselves technomancers or solarions or whatever, use entirely different math, and don't actually get class features.

Now see, that is a complete and total dealbreaker for me. Run of the mill mooks who would just be using the warrior class in PF1, I can get using a quick-build system. Everything else? Gimme the full suite of PC options.

I mean nothing's stopping you from just building a gaggle of jerks using PC rules rather than the fast track monster ones.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
I haven't played a lot of Starfinder, but my understanding is that NPCs, even humanoid NPCs who call themselves technomancers or solarions or whatever, use entirely different math, and don't actually get class features.

Now see, that is a complete and total dealbreaker for me. Run of the mill mooks who would just be using the warrior class in PF1, I can get using a quick-build system. Everything else? Gimme the full suite of PC options.

I mean nothing's stopping you from just building a gaggle of jerks using PC rules rather than the fast track monster ones.

Actually, in Starfinder that won't work as the math for NPCs is designed to produce different results than PCs. An NPC will have lower AC, better attack rolls, and better skills than an equivalent level PC.

I'm really hoping that isn't true for PF2e as that was major 4e dealbreaker for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
I mean nothing's stopping you from just building a gaggle of jerks using PC rules rather than the fast track monster ones.

If standard combinations routinely break the game, it does.


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The fact that even in PF1 where combat healing is weak, there is still a very common sentiment that someone needs to play a healer makes me very worried what would happen if PF2 buffs combat healing.

I've actually seen people post on reddit with questions like "Right now the party is a druid, a witch, and a ranger, so we need a healer. How can I make a cleric that isn't boring?" This conception that you need a healer just won't die, so reinforcing that conception by making combat healing powerful will unintentionally mean a lot of players get pressured into playing a character they have no interest in playing. This is especially a problem for new players! New players don't have the system mastery to refute and say "actually we can get along just fine without a cleric," and they're more likely to accede to pressure from other players on what kind of character to make. That leads to uninspired characters and bad (first) play experience.

I'd almost like to see language right in the cleric class description of the CRB, something like "While druids get their healing powers from their connection to natural life forces, and wizards get their healing powers from manipulation of the material fabric of the world, clerical healing powers are a direct gift from the divine." Just some kind of bright flashing message to brand-new players - "there are other options!!!"

To clarify, I have nothing against the cleric class - I actually love it - but I do object to seeing players get pressured into playing a specific role, and that happens A LOT. Buffing combat healing is bound to make that problem worse.

Liberty's Edge

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ryric wrote:

Actually, in Starfinder that won't work as the math for NPCs is designed to produce different results than PCs. An NPC will have lower AC, better attack rolls, and better skills than an equivalent level PC.

I'm really hoping that isn't true for PF2e as that was major 4e dealbreaker for me.

They have specifically said this is not true in PF2 and that building a character using the PC rules as an enemy is both legal and will result in a challenge of the right CR for the level of the character (or whatever term they use). So you should be good to go there.

The way they put it is that the PC rules are one route to power in-setting but not the only one. So using the NPC/Monster creation rules is, thematically, the same as giving them NPC Classes or using Racial HD was in the previous edition (ie: something unavailable to PCs but an existent thing in-setting). I'm cool with that explanation, as long as the system supports it.

Scarab Sages

I liked the 4e approach of having several classes with healing powers, but allowing for the game to work without any of them. The game made that clear in the introduction chapter.


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RumpinRufus wrote:

The fact that even in PF1 where combat healing is weak, there is still a very common sentiment that someone needs to play a healer makes me very worried what would happen if PF2 buffs combat healing.

I've actually seen people post on reddit with questions like "Right now the party is a druid, a witch, and a ranger, so we need a healer. How can I make a cleric that isn't boring?" This conception that you need a healer just won't die, so reinforcing that conception by making combat healing powerful will unintentionally mean a lot of players get pressured into playing a character they have no interest in playing. This is especially a problem for new players!

This problem is a combination of a lack of education and the game coasting too long on old tropes.

For one thing, the 'example party' should not include a cleric to help prevent this sort of assumption. Perhaps Wizard, Ranger, Bard and Monk would be good.

Emphasize in some sort of 'party composition' section [likely within the Classes Chapter] that most parties get by with out-of-combat-healing and that In Combat Healing is assumed to be a rare treasure used by players who like that sort of play experience and absolutely should not be pushed on anyone because it's not needed.

Quote:
New players don't have the system mastery to refute and say "actually we can get along just fine without a cleric," and they're more likely to accede to pressure from other players on what kind of character to make. That leads to uninspired characters and bad (first) play experience.

Agreed. It needs to be explicit from the start that in combat healers aren't needed or expected.

Quote:
I'd almost like to see language right in the cleric class description of the CRB, something like "While druids get their healing powers from their connection to natural life forces, and wizards get their healing powers from manipulation of the material fabric of the world, clerical healing powers are a direct gift from the divine." Just some kind of bright flashing message to brand-new players - "there are other options!!!"

I would prefer none of the classes get any built-in healing powers. Optional healing powers they could pick if they wanted as class feats certainly- acupuncture qingong for the monk, morale inspiration from the fighter, healing music from the bard, etc- skill feats to boost/accelerate what should be a very powerful out of combat heal skill prior to feat investment or general feats to enhance the heal spell, but no 'healer class' so to speak.

Quote:
To clarify, I have nothing against the cleric class - I actually love it - but I do object to seeing players get pressured into playing a specific role, and that happens A LOT. Buffing combat healing is bound to make that problem worse.

Neglecting combat healing makes the game worse for the people who enjoy it. The more inclusive and flexible we can make the game the better.

Don't try to protect non-healer parties by making them the only ones viable- that method doesn't even work if you look at the assumptions and expectations of many casual groups out there.

Protect non-healer parties by including clear and concise education in the rulebook, and protect the fun of Healer Fans by making Combat Healing a powerful option to those who wish to pursue it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
They have specifically said this is not true in PF2 and that building a character using the PC rules as an enemy is both legal and will result in a challenge of the right CR for the level of the character (or whatever term they use). So you should be good to go there.

Good to hear that. I still have my reservations about what's happening with monsters, but at least my precious NPC's are spared (at least until they come face to face with my players and meet their inevitable demise)


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:

The fact that even in PF1 where combat healing is weak, there is still a very common sentiment that someone needs to play a healer makes me very worried what would happen if PF2 buffs combat healing.

I've actually seen people post on reddit with questions like "Right now the party is a druid, a witch, and a ranger, so we need a healer. How can I make a cleric that isn't boring?" This conception that you need a healer just won't die, so reinforcing that conception by making combat healing powerful will unintentionally mean a lot of players get pressured into playing a character they have no interest in playing. This is especially a problem for new players!

This problem is a combination of a lack of education and the game coasting too long on old tropes.

For one thing, the 'example party' should not include a cleric to help prevent this sort of assumption. Perhaps Wizard, Ranger, Bard and Monk would be good.

Emphasize in some sort of 'party composition' section [likely within the Classes Chapter] that most parties get by with out-of-combat-healing and that In Combat Healing is assumed to be a rare treasure used by players who like that sort of play experience and absolutely should not be pushed on anyone because it's not needed.

Quote:
New players don't have the system mastery to refute and say "actually we can get along just fine without a cleric," and they're more likely to accede to pressure from other players on what kind of character to make. That leads to uninspired characters and bad (first) play experience.

Agreed. It needs to be explicit from the start that in combat healers aren't needed or expected.

Quote:
I'd almost like to see language right in the cleric class description of the CRB, something like "While druids get their healing powers from their connection to natural life forces, and wizards get their healing powers from manipulation of the material fabric of the world, clerical healing
...

Also, making the cleric fun to play will very probably be one major goal of teh new system. I don't remember where, but one of the designer once said they saw the problem with clerics right when they did the APG and realized they didn't have anything to swap for archetypes... That's probably one class they are itching to fix.

Why they weren't in the Unchained book? Dunno. Probably lack of space, and they game priority to the more urgent ones they published.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

This problem is a combination of a lack of education and the game coasting too long on old tropes.

For one thing, the 'example party' should not include a cleric to help prevent this sort of assumption. Perhaps Wizard, Ranger, Bard and Monk would be good.

Emphasize in some sort of 'party composition' section [likely within the Classes Chapter] that most parties get by with out-of-combat-healing and that In Combat Healing is assumed to be a rare treasure used by players who like that sort of play experience and absolutely should not be pushed on anyone because it's not needed.

Agreed. It needs to be explicit from the start that in combat healers aren't needed or expected.

I would prefer none of the classes get any built-in healing powers. Optional healing powers they could pick if they wanted as class feats certainly- acupuncture qingong for the monk, morale inspiration from the fighter, healing music from the bard, etc- skill feats to boost/accelerate what should be a very powerful out of combat heal skill prior to feat investment or general feats to enhance the heal spell, but no 'healer class' so to speak.

Don't try to protect non-healer parties by making them the only ones viable- that method doesn't even work if you look at the assumptions and expectations of many casual groups out there.

Protect non-healer parties by including clear and concise education in the rulebook, and protect the fun of Healer Fans by making Combat Healing a powerful option to those who wish to pursue it.

I do agree with everything you're saying - if they find a way to make it crystal-clear to new players they shouldn't allow themselves to be bullied into playing a role that's not interesting to them, then I have no objections to a strong healer class (except maybe for combat speed impact.) But, I don't know how easy it will be to get that message across in the CRB.


I have plenty of objections to 'a strong Healer Class' :p


Hah fair point, read that as "possible builds with strong healing."

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
ryric wrote:

Actually, in Starfinder that won't work as the math for NPCs is designed to produce different results than PCs. An NPC will have lower AC, better attack rolls, and better skills than an equivalent level PC.

I'm really hoping that isn't true for PF2e as that was major 4e dealbreaker for me.

They have specifically said this is not true in PF2 and that building a character using the PC rules as an enemy is both legal and will result in a challenge of the right CR for the level of the character (or whatever term they use). So you should be good to go there.

The way they put it is that the PC rules are one route to power in-setting but not the only one. So using the NPC/Monster creation rules is, thematically, the same as giving them NPC Classes or using Racial HD was in the previous edition (ie: something unavailable to PCs but an existent thing in-setting). I'm cool with that explanation, as long as the system supports it.

You are correct that either path works just fine in PF2. We don't have legacy math requirements and the dominated PC problem isn't as big (thanks to Critical Successes and Failures; for instance, when Jason's wizard got dominated, he nearly TPKed us right away blowing all his best abilities on us after we were hammered by the enemies, but since it wasn't a critical failure, he broke free shortly thereafter), so there's no need to have the NPCs on a shifted math scale like in Starfinder.

Thus, you can build like a PC, or use the monster generation rules, and they'll both work out great! The one trick of building like a PC is the NPC might drop way too much wealth, so I personally am considering using a hybrid for in-depth NPCs where I build like a PC at first but then don't give PC wealth and instead use the monster rule guidelines to give some quick automatic bonus progression.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
ryric wrote:

Actually, in Starfinder that won't work as the math for NPCs is designed to produce different results than PCs. An NPC will have lower AC, better attack rolls, and better skills than an equivalent level PC.

I'm really hoping that isn't true for PF2e as that was major 4e dealbreaker for me.

They have specifically said this is not true in PF2 and that building a character using the PC rules as an enemy is both legal and will result in a challenge of the right CR for the level of the character (or whatever term they use). So you should be good to go there.

The way they put it is that the PC rules are one route to power in-setting but not the only one. So using the NPC/Monster creation rules is, thematically, the same as giving them NPC Classes or using Racial HD was in the previous edition (ie: something unavailable to PCs but an existent thing in-setting). I'm cool with that explanation, as long as the system supports it.

You are correct that either path works just fine in PF2. We don't have legacy math requirements and the dominated PC problem isn't as big (thanks to Critical Successes and Failures; for instance, when Jason's wizard got dominated, he nearly TPKed us right away blowing all his best abilities on us after we were hammered by the enemies, but since it wasn't a critical failure, he broke free shortly thereafter), so there's no need to have the NPCs on a shifted math scale like in Starfinder.

Thus, you can build like a PC, or use the monster generation rules, and they'll both work out great! The one trick of building like a PC is the NPC might drop way too much wealth, so I personally am considering using a hybrid for in-depth NPCs where I build like a PC at first but then don't give PC wealth and instead use the monster rule guidelines to give some quick automatic bonus progression.

This does not bode well for my hopes regarding the PF2 economy...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
The one trick of building like a PC is the NPC might drop way too much wealth.

This same issue existed in PF1, but honestly it's a problem I enjoy working around and worth the downsides. After all, getting a cool sword is nice, but prying a cool sword from an enemy's cold dead hands after a furious battle with them is even sweeter.

To be honest, my bigger concern with respect to WBL is that I can't just dump a massive treasure trove on the players without it being funneled into uber gear. Is it so much to drop a small fortune on them and hope they'll spend it on a personal fortress and an airship? I was kinda hopeful at first that the resonance system would act as a sort of "gear limiter", but from everything we've learned so far it can only address issues relating to large numbers of inexpensive items.


NPCs getting random bonuses because they're NPCs is really way too gamey for me. Starfinder is pretty much ruined because of the random bonuses monsters get 'just because', porting this over to PF2 is a big red flag.

I thought PF2 was removing the big six, why are you talking about ABP?

A chimera having a different rule and build set is fine because it's a chimera, Jimbo the npc fighter getting a different rule set because he's an NPC is... The wrong design decision.


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Dasrak wrote:


To be honest, my bigger concern with respect to WBL is that I can't just dump a massive treasure trove on the players without it being funneled into uber gear. Is it so much to drop a small fortune on them and hope they'll spend it on a personal fortress and an airship?

So long as wealth continues to translate directly to personal power rather than organizational power, the answer is yes that is too much to hope for.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
ryric wrote:

Actually, in Starfinder that won't work as the math for NPCs is designed to produce different results than PCs. An NPC will have lower AC, better attack rolls, and better skills than an equivalent level PC.

I'm really hoping that isn't true for PF2e as that was major 4e dealbreaker for me.

They have specifically said this is not true in PF2 and that building a character using the PC rules as an enemy is both legal and will result in a challenge of the right CR for the level of the character (or whatever term they use). So you should be good to go there.

The way they put it is that the PC rules are one route to power in-setting but not the only one. So using the NPC/Monster creation rules is, thematically, the same as giving them NPC Classes or using Racial HD was in the previous edition (ie: something unavailable to PCs but an existent thing in-setting). I'm cool with that explanation, as long as the system supports it.

You are correct that either path works just fine in PF2. We don't have legacy math requirements and the dominated PC problem isn't as big (thanks to Critical Successes and Failures; for instance, when Jason's wizard got dominated, he nearly TPKed us right away blowing all his best abilities on us after we were hammered by the enemies, but since it wasn't a critical failure, he broke free shortly thereafter), so there's no need to have the NPCs on a shifted math scale like in Starfinder.

Thus, you can build like a PC, or use the monster generation rules, and they'll both work out great! The one trick of building like a PC is the NPC might drop way too much wealth, so I personally am considering using a hybrid for in-depth NPCs where I build like a PC at first but then don't give PC wealth and instead use the monster rule guidelines to give some quick automatic bonus progression.

This does not bode well for my hopes regarding the PF2 economy...

You can't really have an economic system where your team of 4 characters can fight 30 enemies who each have the same wealth as you do before leveling up without increasing the party's wealth by a huge multiplier every level (and even if you did say that wealth quadruples each level or something akin to that, you'd run into a problem where you fight a boss two levels higher than you and get x16 of your current wealth).

Paizo Employee Designer

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Dasrak wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The one trick of building like a PC is the NPC might drop way too much wealth.

This same issue existed in PF1, but honestly it's a problem I enjoy working around and worth the downsides. After all, getting a cool sword is nice, but prying a cool sword from an enemy's cold dead hands after a furious battle with them is even sweeter.

To be honest, my bigger concern with respect to WBL is that I can't just dump a massive treasure trove on the players without it being funneled into uber gear. Is it so much to drop a small fortune on them and hope they'll spend it on a personal fortress and an airship? I was kinda hopeful at first that the resonance system would act as a sort of "gear limiter", but from everything we've learned so far it can only address issues relating to large numbers of inexpensive items.

We'll get into how we handle this later. A party with, to use a simplification for ease of discussion, unlimited gold to spend is less of a balance problem than it was in PF1, but unlimited gold is always going to let you do certain really powerful things if that's what you want to do with it, regardless of the system. Fortunately, we have some tricks up our sleeve towards going with cool ideas like airships and fortresses, but economy is a complicated topic and best served with a full treatment in a blog.

Also, this is a derail from combat healing, so let's get back on track.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
This does not bode well for my hopes regarding the PF2 economy...
You can't really have an economic system where your team of 4 characters can fight 30 enemies who each have the same wealth as you do before leveling up without increasing the party's wealth by a huge multiplier every level (and even if you did say that wealth quadruples each level or something akin to that, you'd run into a problem where you fight a boss two levels higher than you and get x16 of your current wealth).

The solution (which is admittedly not without detractors) is to have no gear economy

Power expectations by level would be met purely by the characters innately.

EDIT: if you are interested in continuing this topic Mark it would be awesome if you could split this derail into its own thread

Paizo Employee Designer

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
This does not bode well for my hopes regarding the PF2 economy...
You can't really have an economic system where your team of 4 characters can fight 30 enemies who each have the same wealth as you do before leveling up without increasing the party's wealth by a huge multiplier every level (and even if you did say that wealth quadruples each level or something akin to that, you'd run into a problem where you fight a boss two levels higher than you and get x16 of your current wealth).

The solution (which is admittedly not without detractors) is to have no gear economy

Power expectations by level would be met purely by the characters innately.

EDIT: if you are interested in continuing this topic Mark it would be awesome if you could split this derail into its own thread

I don't know how to do that easily, but feel free to start a new one! :)


Gear should provide some bonus, the question is how much. Starfinder gear is like 90%+ of your characters power which was way too much for me. I think something closer to 20-40% is preferable, but it's hard to say really.


Gear Shouldn't be the primary source of personal power unless your character is essentially Atanasio Stark, also called Iron Man or Tony. and Iron Man is a unique exception rather than the common rule. a detective who gains the Psionic Power called "the Eye of the Heart" by maintaining the bhuddist inspired vow of Living the NEET lifestyle would be less gear dependent and donate that wealth gained from rewards to charity and prefer to live on the minimal diet of Doctor Pepper and Ramen. the NEET Detective would have different motivations for Adventuring than the Greedy Treasure Hunter. Gear shoul at best be less than 5% of your personal power unless the gadgets are your build.

Scarab Sages

To return to topic: I just watched the playtest video, and wow, this system is deadly. Crits do an incredible amount of damage and immediately drop you within a single bad save’s reach of death. Also, healing doesn’t bounce you back to consciousness immediately, and you remain in increased danger of death for a few rounds more. Frankly, that sounds like your party better have a combat healer or two, or you’re going to lose people all the time.

I’m assuming there’s a reasonably effective non-magical way to stabilize a fallen friend that work in the midst of combat....?


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RumpinRufus wrote:

The fact that even in PF1 where combat healing is weak, there is still a very common sentiment that someone needs to play a healer makes me very worried what would happen if PF2 buffs combat healing.

I've actually seen people post on reddit with questions like "Right now the party is a druid, a witch, and a ranger, so we need a healer. How can I make a cleric that isn't boring?" This conception that you need a healer just won't die, so reinforcing that conception by making combat healing powerful will unintentionally mean a lot of players get pressured into playing a character they have no interest in playing. This is especially a problem for new players! New players don't have the system mastery to refute and say "actually we can get along just fine without a cleric," and they're more likely to accede to pressure from other players on what kind of character to make. That leads to uninspired characters and bad (first) play experience.

I'd almost like to see language right in the cleric class description of the CRB, something like "While druids get their healing powers from their connection to natural life forces, and wizards get their healing powers from manipulation of the material fabric of the world, clerical healing powers are a direct gift from the divine." Just some kind of bright flashing message to brand-new players - "there are other options!!!"

To clarify, I have nothing against the cleric class - I actually love it - but I do object to seeing players get pressured into playing a specific role, and that happens A LOT. Buffing combat healing is bound to make that problem worse.

Eh... Not really. The reason why people think clerics are so necessary has very little to do with HP damage, which clerics aren't actually that good at during combat. It is because clerics are the best class for removing status conditions like cursez, poisons, or blindness. And ability damage. And in rare cases, death itself.

And making combat healing better doesn't mean you need a healer, but even if it did there's a pretty good chance a Bard who knows the Heal spell could handle HP damage nearly as well as a cleric.

Liberty's Edge

Catharsis wrote:
To return to topic: I just watched the playtest video, and wow, this system is deadly. Crits do an incredible amount of damage and immediately drop you within a single bad save’s reach of death. Also, healing doesn’t bounce you back to consciousness immediately, and you remain in increased danger of death for a few rounds more. Frankly, that sounds like your party better have a combat healer or two, or you’re going to lose people all the time.

The bolded part isn't quite true. You do remain unconscious and keep the Dying condition at positive HP, but as long as you maintain positive HP you can't actually die. At that point the per round Save is just to see if you wake up. You can get coup de grace'd, I suppose, but that was always true.

Going down a second time is indeed super deadly, since your Dying condition doesn't go away until after the fight, but it's not quite as bad as this makes it seem the first time you go down.

And criticals vary quite a bit in how deadly they are. A +1 Mace vs. 1st level PCs is super deadly, but that's hardly a common situation, and still probably less deadly than a Greataxe in PF1.

Which is not to say it's not often a bit more deadly, but it's actually less likely to kill someone in a single blow, and that means that if you do have a healer (of any sort) on hand, death is probably less likely in total.

Scarab Sages

It’s just that if a crit gets you to 0, you are one fumbled save away from Death and thus require immediate help. In PF1, you could potentially be left to bleed for 10 rounds or so before things got hairy.

Liberty's Edge

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Catharsis wrote:
It’s just that if a crit gets you to 0, you are one fumbled save away from Death and thus require immediate help. In PF1, you could potentially be left to bleed for 10 rounds or so before things got hairy.

That's only crits that take you down to 0 or below, though. A lot of the time in PF1 a crit that took you down past 0 had a tendency to kill you outright, no fumble on your part needed.

I mean, at 1st level, a Fighter had something like 13 HP and Con of 14 or so. A Greataxe Crit from, say, an Orc could easily do the 27 damage necessary to kill him outright (indeed, the average damage on such a crit is 31.5).

And that tendency actually tends to get worse as levels rise since damage goes up so much. Sure, you don't go from full health to dead any more very often, but once you hit single digit HP? Any crit was an instant death sentence.

Scarab Sages

True, this is mostly a snapshot impression from 1st level. I do find it rather scary how much damage can be put out in 3 actions if you roll well... makes 1st level much swingier than you would expect from the higher starting HP.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
You can't really have an economic system where your team of 4 characters can fight 30 enemies who each have the same wealth as you do before leveling up without increasing the party's wealth by a huge multiplier every level (and even if you did say that wealth quadruples each level or something akin to that, you'd run into a problem where you fight a boss two levels higher than you and get x16 of your current wealth).

Basically, I'm hoping for some limiting factor on acquiring gear that isn't money, and leaving money to do other things. Worrying about the wealth drop from a PC-built foe runs counter to this...EDIT: also, PCs tend to be the only weirdos who carry all their worldly wealth on their person at all times, and it just kind of irks me when that is what is considered 'level-appropriate' gear value.

But, as you said, it's off topic.

To get back on topic,

Catharsis wrote:


True, this is mostly a snapshot impression from 1st level. I do find it rather scary how much damage can be put out in 3 actions if you roll well... makes 1st level much swingier than you would expect from the higher starting HP.

I think the 3 actions basically necessitates higher HP at low levels, which is something that I think people forget when they complain about 'HP inflation'. (although I wonder if the higher HP numbers at high levels will also make going into fights down some HP more feasible...)

I do wonder how the 3 action version of Heal will work out, since a lot of characters are looking like they'll have 15 or more HP. The 4 HP or so you'll get is a small fraction of that. Of course, no worrying about rolling a '1' on your channel, either, so maybe it comes out in the wash.

Liberty's Edge

4 HP for everyone is actually super nice. Yeah, most characters will be north of 15 HP, but they'll also almost all be south of 20 HP. 4 HP is 1/5 of that, which is a significant fraction, and can effect everyone. Assuming 5 PCs, all injured, that's 20 HP healed in sum total.

Also, while three attacks can result in high damage if all hit, it usually doesn't and they usually don't. Mostly, you get hit once, and for similar damage to what creatures do in PF1. So 4 HP tends to average more HP than most foes deal in a round.

Now, if only one person is hurt, you definitely want to do the single target version instead, but the area version is very useful. It's also especially nice between fights just to top everyone off if basically everyone took some damage.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I'd say the 4 hp from an AoE healing spell compares favorably with a 1st level PF1e cleric's 1d6 channel, especially since the 2e spell can both heal the party and harm undead at the same time. And it scales much better than the 1e mass cure spells - compare the 5th level new version at 4d8+mod to mass cure light wounds at 1d8+10 at level 10.

The fact that basic healing spell can do both AoE and ranged healing if desired also really helps with getting healing to dying characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ryric wrote:
I'd say the 4 hp from an AoE healing spell compares favorably with a 1st level PF1e cleric's 1d6 channel

The spell slot itself is a major consideration. At 1st level, you could have a Cleric with 3 spell slots and 4 uses of channel. Not requiring the use of a spell slot is a pretty big deal there.

In addition, you actually need a decent wisdom modifier to do this. If you're a more martial Cleric with 14 wisdom, that's only 2 points of healing. That's not nearly as good as the channeling option they got in PF1, and it's unlikely such a character will be able to make use of the AoE version of this spell.

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