Healing


Prerelease Discussion

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Fergie wrote:

Healing works just fine in Pathfinder.

Burning a spell of that level at that level to heal a mere 80% of high average damage is 'works just fine'?

That's just fine for the cleric as written who is primarily a combatant who only heals in extremely pivotal moments to save a life or bring an unconscious ally back into the fray (if the stars align that said ally is more valuable in that circumstance than some other action the cleric could take) but its nowhere near appropriate for someone who wants to play a dedicated healer.

Even an optimized to the hilt life Oracle struggles to keep up and keep going.

They do manage, but I feel there is a bit of room for improvement and much room for simplification.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Burning a spell of that level at that level to heal a mere 80% of high average damage is 'works just fine'?

Sounds about right to me.

If you're healing 80% of the damage taken, then you've reduced the enemy to 20% effectiveness (with a 100% success rate, unlike save-negate spells and attacks).

It's an expensive use of spell slots, but reducing the enemy to 20% effectiveness is basically auto-win (unless the enemy was five times as powerful as the group in the first place) so it shouldn't be something a cleric can do all day.

Liberty's Edge

As Downie says, powerful in-combat healing has a lot of consequences. Heal already completely undoes multiple rounds of damage with certainty.

We simply don't see these because healing spells other than Heal/Mass Heal are underwhelming.

I'm eager to see how the limited healing will work, and whether Paizo can balance the amount of damage taken around this - as the current wand method always takes me out of the spirit of things.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Burning a spell of that level at that level to heal a mere 80% of high average damage is 'works just fine'?

...more.

Here is a little more info. The main point was, with no investment beyond a domain choice, and channeling positive energy, a cleric can be very effective. 10th level was selected because it is the point when Heal is not available, and there is no 5th level cure spell. If you want to optimize, you could probably find some sort of quickened channel and probably double the healing.

Clerics can heal just fine. Bards, druids, etc have issues.


Again, that's just fine for a cleric with other purposes in battle.

I am discussing a character concept more akin to a White Mage. A healbot concept for those of us who enjoy it.


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I know some people have a problem with the class, but I have a player who is playing a Kinetic Chirurgeon and she loves it. While they are still low level, the amount of healing she does is insane. She says that for the first time, she actually feels like a healer.

I hope that something similar is included in 2nd edition.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
A Reddit report from Garycon said there’s a limit on how many use activated magic items you can use per day, which included wands. His was only 1+Cha, so spamming CLW wands won’t work anymore and you’ll have to invest in higher level cures at some point. It also makes shields more valuable if you can’t heal cheaply between fights.

I’m looking forward to doing the math on the even sillier approach of getting a bunch of wand-using hirelings when the playtest comes out to save on buying expensive wands.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I am discussing a character concept more akin to a White Mage. A healbot concept for those of us who enjoy it.

What would that look like in Pathfinder? Positive energy necromancer? Cha Wis or Int based? Arcane or divine? Armor? Etc.?

I don't think a "healing only" class makes sense, but healing and other stuff makes for a great character.


Fergie wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I am discussing a character concept more akin to a White Mage. A healbot concept for those of us who enjoy it.

What would that look like in Pathfinder? Positive energy necromancer? Cha Wis or Int based? Arcane or divine? Armor? Etc.?

I don't think a "healing only" class makes sense, but healing and other stuff makes for a great character.

The pathetic 3e "Healer" class from Miniature's Handbook. Known as one of the worst classe sin the game because it literally could do nothing but heal.

Closest equivalent right now is the "Life" Oracle I guess.

Just know that most players do not want to be healers, usually. It's why D&D Cleric has always been badass.


Perhaps dump CLW wands and build some stuff from 3.5 Complete Divine into the base cleric class.

Even wands of CLW are not the problem as such just the ability to make/buy them cheap. If you had them in AD&D under the DMs control its no problem.

Wands of CLW aside I am happy with the nonmagical healing in PF. Magical healing rates can be looked at perhaps with new spells or class abilities on it such as the life domain in 5E or the healing domain in 3.5/PF. Something simple like a healing domain that when you cast a spell that restores hp you get +1d8 healing or something like that.

CoDzilla can be prevented just by removing wands of CLW as a thing, they would have to devote some of their spells to healing. Wands of CLW were a custom item anyway


It doesn't necessarily need to be a class. Simple and obvious feats in core is one path it might take.

An archetype available to any caster with healing and condition removal on their list is another.

The 'positive energy necromancer' angle Ferfie mentioned could pan out well, though it's a little awkward if PF2 keeps healing spells as conjuration.

Some of us really enjoy the role I am discussing, but only if it's actually outpacing incoming damage (while the spell slots hold out.)


ChibiNyan wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
if each class got their own abilities for self healing it could alleviate the need for in combat healing
4e did this.. Watch out... It won't end well.

I don't see the problem with that.


Reducing monster damage is another option if you reduce healing rates.

Not as much need to self heal if incoming damage is less.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:

This is walking a fine line. What I absolutely DO NOT want to see is that it's REQUIRED to have a "healer" in the party.

If you make in-combat healing too strong, and have to balance encounters to accommodate significant in-combat healing, then it's much more likely we go back to the days of the last player who creates their character getting strong-armed into playing a cleric.

The simple key here is NOT to 'balance around the healer.'

'healer' is typically seen as a role less fun than others, it should come with great rewards and commensurate great risks against enemies intelligent enough to identify somebody dishing out healing magic.

Make a dedicated healer (not a casual cleric who throws out healing when he chooses ro) a huge asset to a party but balance the game on the assumption half of parties won't have one.

i've had plenty of fun with a dedicated healer


The CLW wand problem is partly because the magic item creation rules are a bit b0rken. A wand of CLW made at 1st level costs 750gp and heals 5.5 damage. Make it at 2nd and it costs twice as much but heals only 6.5 = 18% more. And so on. So nobody makes them.

A CSW wand made at 5th costs 3x5x750 and heals 3d8+5 = 18.5, so 15 times the price but only 3.36 times more effective. So nobody makes them.

The same math works for potions: a pot CLW1 is vastly cheaper than a pot CSW5.

So the most cost-effective method of healing is a CLW wand or potion made at 1st level, and that's no use in combat because it's too slow. A wounded character might like to step back for a round and chug a potion of CCW (which is easier now we have 3 actions) but it's prohibitively expensive.


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doomman47 wrote:
i've had plenty of fun with a dedicated healer

I knew a nurse like that once...


I find it interesting that quite a few people believe that the current healing works fine. I wonder in what way we play our games differently. We run with buffed healing in our games to be able to have prolonged dungeon crawls (I always find it strange when the party takes a nap in the middle of a dungeon to reset their spells). Usually an adventuring day for us in a dungeon would contain 3-5 easier encounters, 3-5 harder encounters which will all expend some resources and maybe a boss on top of that.

High damage instant kill moves are generally shunned by the party since they feel they destroy the tension and cinematic feeling of the heroic party's journey throughout the dungeon. (This means no wizard with a pure focus on an unbeatable save and SoS/SoD spells, we tried it and no one had a good time.)

Our healers are always very strained by the damage they receive, but they feel that they contribute a great deal. Of course, since the campaign I'm thinking of ran with double healers and one very tanky character it meant that our damage output was lower than some other parties.


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Mudfoot wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
i've had plenty of fun with a dedicated healer
I knew a nurse like that once...

"Hot Lips" Houlihan?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I really wish they wouldn't say stuff like that about wands without filling in the gap of how we're supposed to heal up between fights...

Also, it makes me think the magic item economy will be alive and well, which saddens me.


I don't know if people who want more efficient in-combat healing understand that it prolongs fights? I wouldn't mind some re-balancing in both efficiency and cost (both gold and action economy) of healing I don't want fight now lasting more by default just because enemies can heal as much damage as you deal them.

Also while I find CLW wands a bit immersion breaking and tedious, I wouldn't want the game day to stop because we ran out of healing (pacing is better with reducing other class resources rather than healing, IMO). If CLW wands aren't a thing some kind of short-rest/healing surge out of combat healing mechanic is what I would want.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Party: "Okay, we're leaving the dungeon to go back to camp."

GM: "What?"

Party: "Well, we're at the end of our healing resources for the day, and we don't have any good out of combat healing, so we'll have to sleep and rest for a few weeks to restore our HP."

GM (who had an epic combat planned): "...what?"


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I really wish they wouldn't say stuff like that about wands without filling in the gap of how we're supposed to heal up between fights...

Also, it makes me think the magic item economy will be alive and well, which saddens me.

With wands. Just with better wands.

They did not say they don't want people to use magic wands for healing. They said, tho, they do not want people to carry 50 copies of the cheapest wand because a spreadsheet shows it's economically the most viable option.

So there's nothing wrong, in their opinion, with groups using a wand or two to ignore the need of a dedicated healer in the party. It's just that said wand need to be upgraded to moderate, serious, critical, whatever.


Matthew Downie wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Burning a spell of that level at that level to heal a mere 80% of high average damage is 'works just fine'?

Sounds about right to me.

If you're healing 80% of the damage taken, then you've reduced the enemy to 20% effectiveness (with a 100% success rate, unlike save-negate spells and attacks).

It's an expensive use of spell slots, but reducing the enemy to 20% effectiveness is basically auto-win (unless the enemy was five times as powerful as the group in the first place) so it shouldn't be something a cleric can do all day.

If you're reducing the enemy to 20% effectiveness then you've reduced yourself to 0% effectiveness. You've done nothing to help beat the enemy, you've just made the fight last longer. Prolonging the fight can be a useful tool in some circumstances but it's certainly nothing to build around.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Burning a spell of that level at that level to heal a mere 80% of high average damage is 'works just fine'?

Sounds about right to me.

If you're healing 80% of the damage taken, then you've reduced the enemy to 20% effectiveness (with a 100% success rate, unlike save-negate spells and attacks).

It's an expensive use of spell slots, but reducing the enemy to 20% effectiveness is basically auto-win (unless the enemy was five times as powerful as the group in the first place) so it shouldn't be something a cleric can do all day.

If you're reducing the enemy to 20% effectiveness then you've reduced yourself to 0% effectiveness. You've done nothing to help beat the enemy, you've just made the fight last longer. Prolonging the fight can be a useful tool in some circumstances but it's certainly nothing to build around.

That's only true if you fight 1vs1 against the enemy.

If you fight in a party of 5, assuming everybody contributes to the fight the same way, you reduce the overall damage of the team by 20%, while reducing the damage you recieve by 80%. The fight will be a 20% longer, but much safer.

Is that worth it? It depends on the challenge. If the challenge sucks, and you will win for sure with minimal risk regardless of healing, yes, it's just a waste of time, you are just making the combat a bit longer for no gain. If the challenge is tough, tho, it's really a great idea. I'd rather have a fight a 20% longer, with 1% of TPK, than a fight a 20% shorter but with, say, a 30% chance of TPK.


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Wheeljack wrote:

D&D 4e has a variety of characters with a healing power as a minor action, including clerics, bards and warlords, playing off of the idea that hit points are not meat points, but vigor, morale, dodging and so on. Thus, they can move and attack and heal (usually twice per battle). This is an excellent idea that could be implemented with a healing power as a minor action. Make it outside of the usual spells, an innate power with a theme to the class with the power.

Eliminate the need for healing magic between fights too. Heal up with a rest. Specific injuries as ingering conditions can be addressed by clerical type magic or magic items.

If you get cut with a sword or axe you're not just going to rest it off and heal up in 10 minutes. Immersion is also part of the game, and having everyone effectively have fast healing is not going to work.


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Matthew Downie wrote:

I have never been in a Pathfinder campaign where in-combat healing has not been seen as a valid and useful option.

At worst it is unnecessary because the battle can be won without it.

Just to be clear the idea isnt that in combat healing is never useful. The idea is that it should be a last resort action, and generally speaking you can do more useful things.

Much like in real life an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so if you summon a monster, even for battle field control you can often prevent more damage being prevented than you can heal with a cure spell.


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Xenocrat wrote:
A Reddit report from Garycon said there’s a limit on how many use activated magic items you can use per day, which included wands. His was only 1+Cha, so spamming CLW wands won’t work anymore and you’ll have to invest in higher level cures at some point. It also makes shields more valuable if you can’t heal cheaply between fights.

Terrible idea. I'm definitely going to be against this.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
Wheeljack wrote:

D&D 4e has a variety of characters with a healing power as a minor action, including clerics, bards and warlords, playing off of the idea that hit points are not meat points, but vigor, morale, dodging and so on. Thus, they can move and attack and heal (usually twice per battle). This is an excellent idea that could be implemented with a healing power as a minor action. Make it outside of the usual spells, an innate power with a theme to the class with the power.

Eliminate the need for healing magic between fights too. Heal up with a rest. Specific injuries as ingering conditions can be addressed by clerical type magic or magic items.

If you get cut with a sword or axe you're not just going to rest it off and heal up in 10 minutes. Immersion is also part of the game, and having everyone effectively have fast healing is not going to work.

I've played zero 4E and only a little 5E, but I have to admit - the idea of a little self healing REALLY appeals to me. As Wheeljack said, HP are not pure meat points. Even if you get hit for 10 HP damage by an axe, not all of that is a bloody wound; some of that is freaking you out and throwing you off your game, or pain, or loss of mojo, etc.

I'd appreciate hearing from some 4E and 5E players why this doesn't work as well as planned. Especially in the 3-action world, you could make it "expensive," spend all 3 actions to collect yourself, shove a piece of cloth in the hole, and recoup a few hit points.

I'm another one who can't stand wands of CLW between combat. I'd MUCH rather see a reasonable, quick first-aid or est mechanic...but I again, I don't know how/why this doesn't work as well in 4E/5E.

ANother option, if lethal/non-lethal is still a thing in PF2, maybe offering a way to quickly turn lethal damage into non-lethal, and then more slowly allowing non-lethal damage to replentish.


I like Starfinder approach a lot. It's a pitty that it doesn't enter the playtest.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I've been surprisingly happy with the SF HP/SP approach. I'd probably get rid of the resolve point spend to get SP back, and just allow any short rest (10m) to recover full stamina. -- ie close to "free" out of combat healing for ~1/2 your total pool. Can probably simplify that to a single HP pool and just recover 1/2 of your max with a 10m rest (once per exploration mode). Less bookkeeping, trying to avoid the 15m adventuring day.

In combat healing should still be possible -- needs to powerful, but rare. Ie not expected for most encounters, encounter design should not be "attrition based" (strings of encounters might be, but not individual encounters). In-combat healing is there to allow the freedom to be willing to try something "crazy" that might backfire, or to deal with an unlucky streak.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
A Reddit report from Garycon said there’s a limit on how many use activated magic items you can use per day, which included wands. His was only 1+Cha, so spamming CLW wands won’t work anymore and you’ll have to invest in higher level cures at some point. It also makes shields more valuable if you can’t heal cheaply between fights.
Terrible idea. I'm definitely going to be against this.

Yeah, it sounds like they're trying to enforce simplicity by saying "No magic item healing after a certain times per day." I hope that this gets absolutely shredded in the playtest, because I don't want to see a repeat of SF's "You can only have so many magic items on you at a time" deal.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Party: "Okay, we're leaving the dungeon to go back to camp."

GM: "What?"

Party: "Well, we're at the end of our healing resources for the day, and we don't have any good out of combat healing, so we'll have to sleep and rest for a few weeks to restore our HP."

GM (who had an epic combat planned): "...what?"

I think you've rather missed the point.


necromental wrote:
I don't know if people who want more efficient in-combat healing understand that it prolongs fights? I wouldn't mind some re-balancing in both efficiency and cost (both gold and action economy) of healing I don't want fight now lasting more by default just because enemies can heal as much damage as you deal them.

To clarify my position here, I don't want this kind of healing handed out to a large percentage of enemies.

Specifically I want the game to assume at least as many parties forgo a dedicated healer as have one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...this mentality leads to *Faster, Harder RocketTag*.

Which isn't really good.

The GM has to race to counterbalance that, and then the players have to go nuclear in every encounter and...


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

I really wish they wouldn't say stuff like that about wands without filling in the gap of how we're supposed to heal up between fights...

Also, it makes me think the magic item economy will be alive and well, which saddens me.

With wands. Just with better wands.

They did not say they don't want people to use magic wands for healing. They said, tho, they do not want people to carry 50 copies of the cheapest wand because a spreadsheet shows it's economically the most viable option.

So there's nothing wrong, in their opinion, with groups using a wand or two to ignore the need of a dedicated healer in the party. It's just that said wand need to be upgraded to moderate, serious, critical, whatever.

It's terrible if the magic item economy is still thriving. Having a huge part of the game be based around spending treasure to improve our characters, and then being told we're not allowed to spend that money efficiently is super frustrating. They should just be making better wands the more cost effective option.

If that's their plan, then fine.


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Having decent out of combat healing is fine, even without a cleric. But I don't think the dumbs wand we had were the optimal solution. Like WTF fantasy is this supposed to represent? Those CLW wands were VERY efficient compared to the high power options but they kinda went against the philosophy of the game. That item is a crutch, an exploit to get more out of an adventuring day (perhaps because they are too short otherwise)

I'm sure they will be replaced with something that is more heroic or elegant. But saying "If it's not a 750 wand of CLW, then the game becomes unplayable" sheesh, this is the only RPG with this crap and the others work fine too.


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Mona was pretty vehement about spamming CLW Wands going away, and I can’t be happier to see it go. It’s a stupid concept that doesn’t make sense in any sort of fantasy interpretation. It needs to go away, whether by restriction on magic item usage or heck just taking that item out of the game.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think the biggest concern here isn't so much whether cheap CLW wands go away or not, in an absolute sense. Rather that if they go away, they need to be replaced with something that works similarly well... whether that's a short rest mechanic, or more individually effective wands being much cheaper because they're less spammable, or something completely different that comes out of left field. If that something else makes more sense thematically, then that's a fantastic bonus. There just has to be something which can pick up the slack if there isn't someone in the group who's excited about playing an amazing healer, and it would be nice if the dedicated healer isn't a core assumption that challenges are based around. So if you have one, great! Your group can allocate more resources elsewhere. But if you don't have one you're not totally screwed, so nobody has to feel like they're letting their group down if they don't pick an option that they don't want to play.


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Leedwashere wrote:
I think the biggest concern here isn't so much whether cheap CLW wands go away or not, in an absolute sense. Rather that if they go away, they need to be replaced with something that works similarly well...

In my own games I do this with the Heal Skill. At a cost of one minute per patient (2 minutes to treat themselves, with absolutely NON expendable Healer Kits) the heal skill gives huge healing. In PF1 it would be healing equal to the patient's Hit Dice (so 3d10 for a level 3 ranger, etc) up to a maximum number of dice equal to the Healer's ranks.

Can't treat old wounds this way, it only heals damage since the last time the patient received healing, and for each hour since the injury, a -1 penalty is applied to each die rolled for Healing.


wraithstrike wrote:
Wheeljack wrote:

D&D 4e has a variety of characters with a healing power as a minor action, including clerics, bards and warlords, playing off of the idea that hit points are not meat points, but vigor, morale, dodging and so on. Thus, they can move and attack and heal (usually twice per battle). This is an excellent idea that could be implemented with a healing power as a minor action. Make it outside of the usual spells, an innate power with a theme to the class with the power.

Eliminate the need for healing magic between fights too. Heal up with a rest. Specific injuries as ingering conditions can be addressed by clerical type magic or magic items.

If you get cut with a sword or axe you're not just going to rest it off and heal up in 10 minutes. Immersion is also part of the game, and having everyone effectively have fast healing is not going to work.

If you get cut with a sword or an axe in such a way that it doesn't interfere at all with your ability to do things, ten minutes is plenty of time to bandage the minor cut up and get ready to carry on.


And since Pathfinder I’m pretty sure isn’t going to introduce serious long term injuries (since even going down to 1/10 health has no impact on ability to fight) we shouldn’t let immersion be the argument here, especially when the current CLW wand spammage is completely immersion breaking. I’d laugh watching critical role if after a fight everyone just sat there while one character went around and spammed his wand, yet this is considered acceptable and optimal to PF players.

Ideally they just make the heal skill more useful and decrease the time it takes to do some sort of healing. Heck maybe even something like the old bloodied condition where simple heal checks would get everyone up to 50% and then you’d need something more to get up higher. They could do short rest as well. There is lots of ways to deal with this better than the current system.


The main thing I want to see is decent non-magical healing, whether it be through the Heal skill, class abilities, or just innate recovery of some sort.


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Having a Heal / Medicine skill that is actually good would go a long way toward reducing the need for healbots and CLW wands, especially in conjunction with a short rest mechanic and the ability for characters of any class to "spend hit dice" like in 5E or otherwise heal themselves a certain amount of HP every day.

Likewise, outright magical healing should scale not only based on the caster but on the target, so casting CLW on a 10th level fighter heals more than casting it on a 1st level fighter even if the caster is the same.


Leedwashere wrote:
There just has to be something which can pick up the slack if there isn't someone in the group who's excited about playing an amazing healer, and it would be nice if the dedicated healer isn't a core assumption that challenges are based around. So if you have one, great! Your group can allocate more resources elsewhere. But if you don't have one you're not totally screwed, so nobody has to feel like they're letting their group down if they don't pick an option that they don't want to play.

Having powerful healing isn't going to make a party without a powerful healer 'totally screwed'. It will just take them longer and they'll have to be more creative. That's the punishment for not building a balanced party.

People aren't avoiding being healers because they're psychotic murder hobos who are only interested in killing imaginary baddies, they're avoiding it because 4d8+level/single target is pathetic and ineffective and very non-varied. Well, most of them aren't psychotic murder hobos. I hope. Anyways if healing was more interesting and less "I throw away my turn casting 4d8+10 healing on a single target at 0 range", more people might try it out and like it. Especially if the spells have interesting applications, like wizzie spells do.

Plus any improvement to in (and out of) combat healing to the main "healing classes" would also boost the in-between classes like rangers, pallies, and bards.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
Likewise, outright magical healing should scale not only based on the caster but on the target, so casting CLW on a 10th level fighter heals more than casting it on a 1st level fighter even if the caster is the same.

Why does it have to be target-specific? Why not just design it around the idea that you're healing the con/toughness barbarian? It's not like the extra 15 health that the wizard got is going to turn her into Godzilla, especially as it just evaporated into thin air.


I feel that a healer would benefit greatly from having some pre-emptive damage reduction options like how wow's disc priests have the bubble ability

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