Why are Wands of CLW such a problem?


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Scarab Sages

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I am utterly flabbergasted by the existence of this thread. CLW wands are the sine qua non of adventuring. Why should it be a bad thing that players heal up between fights? They wouldn't survive any «interesting» fight at all if they came in at half hitpoints! And making healing more expensive or harder to get by would just be taxing the players for things they absolutely need — it's like the Big Six in 1e, which 2e is thankfully getting rid of.

In my experience, my DM is more likely to complain about our adventuring days being too short rather than too long. There is something satisfying about clearing out a dungeon in one go, especially if time is of the essence.

We played Legacy of Fire with my Paladin as the group's only healer... until 4th level, we were stuck with the few potions the NPC Cleric was willing to hand us out between sorties. We sometimes literally had to run back home after a single encounter because it had cost us all the potions! That was not fun at all; very frustrating in fact. Way to kill the momentum.

Of course, if 2e will remove CLW wands but hand out another form of reliable healing, that's perfectly fine with me. I particularly like the idea of the Barbarian healing the group that I've been hearing about.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
But the complaint of "It trivalizes all Non boss fights" is something that keeps coming up about CLW wands.
People also complain repeatedly about the existence of classes

Really?

I see/do a fair share of complaint about the restrictive way classes are created and even more restrictive way some people interpret them and want Paizo to create them, but I don't see a lot of complaint about the existence of classes...

At least the way I've read it around here, people complain about classes not being able to do everything, not being as good at *role* as another class, or not getting whatever unique feature another class gets. In other words, some people want classes to do everything and anything you want them to with absolutely no niche protection which is basically saying you don't want classes without actually saying it since the entire point of class systems is to split characters into gameplay/narrative niches.


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Ok, yeah, if you want to use classes to segregate characters into niches rather than as a framework of growth then I don't want classes by that standard either.

I do like a framework of classes for a level based system, but as a means of empowering characters to grow the way the player/character desires not as a restriction on them.


Catharsis wrote:

I am utterly flabbergasted by the existence of this thread. CLW wands are the sine qua non of adventuring. Why should it be a bad thing that players heal up between fights? They wouldn't survive any «interesting» fight at all if they came in at half hitpoints! And making healing more expensive or harder to get by would just be taxing the players for things they absolutely need — it's like the Big Six in 1e, which 2e is thankfully getting rid of.

In my experience, my DM is more likely to complain about our adventuring days being too short rather than too long. There is something satisfying about clearing out a dungeon in one go, especially if time is of the essence.

We played Legacy of Fire with my Paladin as the group's only healer... until 4th level, we were stuck with the few potions the NPC Cleric was willing to hand us out between sorties. We sometimes literally had to run back home after a single encounter because it had cost us all the potions! That was not fun at all; very frustrating in fact. Way to kill the momentum.

Of course, if 2e will remove CLW wands but hand out another form of reliable healing, that's perfectly fine with me. I particularly like the idea of the Barbarian healing the group that I've been hearing about.

One reason to dislike CLW wands is because they crap all over a really impressive healing skill. Why spend the skill points if you can just spam CLW, which is, at least around 10th level, hardly a significant money sink. If you get rid of them, the healing skill takes on new levels of cool. Just as high levels of Athletics can let you (paraphrasing someone at Paizo) leap 30' straight into the air to smash a giant on the head, surely healing, at high levels, could get everyone back into fight shape while in exploration mode.


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totoro wrote:
One reason to dislike CLW wands is because they crap all over a really impressive healing skill. Why spend the skill points if you can just spam CLW, which is, at least around 10th level, hardly a significant money sink. If you get rid of them, the healing skill takes on new levels of cool. Just as high levels of Athletics can let you (paraphrasing someone at Paizo) leap 30' straight into the air to smash a giant on the head, surely healing, at high levels, could get everyone back into fight shape while in exploration mode.

This is an ideal, but the Heal skill in PF1 does not work that way. Using Heal skill to provide first aid does not restore any hit points and using Heal to treat deadly wounds can be performed only once per day per person.

Provide First Aid
You usually use first aid to save a dying character. If a character has negative hit points and is losing hit points, you can make him stable. A stable character regains no hit points but stops losing them. First aid also stops a character from losing hit points due to effects that cause bleed. Action/Time: 1 standard action. DC 15.

Treat Deadly Wounds
Requirement: You must expend two uses from a healer’s kit to perform this task. You take a –2 penalty on your check for each use from a healer’s kit that you lack.
When treating deadly wounds, you can restore hit points to a damaged creature. Treating deadly wounds restores 1 hit point per level of the creature. If you exceed the DC by 5 or more, add your Wisdom modifier (if positive) to this amount. A creature can only benefit from its deadly wounds being treated within 24 hours of being injured and never more than once per day. Action/Time: 1 hour. DC 20.

Healing seems to be set up in D&D 3rd Edition as a monopoly of clerics and bards. Pathfinder expanded the classes that could cast Cure Light Wounds, but did not challenge the Cure and Heal spells as the only way to heal encounter-level damage in a single day. Fortunately, Pathfinder made wands more accessible, so the Wand of Cure Light Wounds became the alternative to a caster who could cast Cure spells.

I would prefer an awesome Heal skill that healed enough damage to matter. I am willing to limit it to requiring expensive Healer's Kits or a really good Survival skill that can improvise a Healer's Kit from nature.


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Mathmuse wrote:
I would prefer an awesome Heal skill that healed enough damage to matter. I am willing to limit it to requiring expensive Healer's Kits or a really good Survival skill that can improvise a Healer's Kit from nature.

I am not willing to limit it to requiring expensive and/or consumable Healer's Kits.

Does a wizard need to pay for expensive components for Color Spray or Sleep or Glitterdust or Web or Fireball or...

Does said wizard need the Survival Skill to gather their components from nature?

I see a Healer Kit exactly the same way I see spell component pouch. It holds the supplies required to ply the craft and is refilled offscreen by the Healer.

Perhaps an expendable Healing Kit can be a tool that allows non-Healers to patch eachother up in a pinch. Expendable uses that allow someone Untrained to make Trained only checks. [It might be interesting if a Master Survivalist can refill this and thus serve as a Healer in a pinch]


Mathmuse wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

So long as health is primarily propped up by the Heal Skill with an infrequent gap left behind for magical healing then we'll be just fine.

With the retooling of the skill system it's my sincere hope the Paizo Devs treat Heal right this edition.

What difference does it make?

Any gold spent on healing is by design supposed to be given right back to players - cost is a non issue unless it costs too much as a % of player wealth to keep the item in hand, should you move the scale that far then you get back to 'Must have healer' play.

Any skill check or other method of healing between fights = the exact same thing as a cure light wounds wand. Changing the words or action taken makes no difference - if the end result is 'party is healed to full or almost full after every fight' then the system didn't change anything.

That's the point here - if you get rid of wands that's a real change, but if you just replace it with 'more complex system' that does the same thing that's not a better change - it's just the new boss, same as the old boss.

Let's go back to Mekkis' list of problems with wands of Cure Light Wounds. I removed "Allows healing classes to prepare spells for use in-combat," because thorin001 meant that as a benefit of wands not a problem, and added my most recent observation.


  • (1) A claim that it breaks immersion and balance by ensuring characters start every fight at full health.
  • (2) Lack of opportunity cost due to the low cost of the wands; Allegedly breaks Wealth-by-level due to a lack of expenditure on consumables.
  • (3) Breaks the economy of the internal consistency of the universe
  • (4) A 'learning problem' where new players don't know of their existence
  • (5) They make attrition useless (see claim 1)
  • (6)
...

If want to get rid of discarded thing, just have wands regain 1 charge per week for free.

So overtime, the wand is good to go (could lower max charges to 25 if wish).


kyrt-ryder wrote:


Allowing multiple Heals per battle is illogical and not something I do.

We don't know what the heal skill will look like - or if it's even the thing they are fixing 'cure wands' with. We only know that a barbarian was able to heal - most likely through getting angry at the wounds.

Quote:

I enjoy a mix of casual encounters and fierce encounters and hate the concept of a 'boss fight.' As a GM I'm not building to some climactic encounter at the end of some dungeon, I'm just roleplaying a dangerous world the PCs live in.

I like how the adventure paths work - it's the singular reason I want Pathfinder 2 to be good - if they change from boss fights (which they do overwhelmingly now) I'd be shocked.


MerlinCross wrote:
But the complaint of "It trivalizes all Non boss fights" is something that keeps coming up about CLW wands.

I don't think it's the wand that's the problem, it's the number of ways that players have to overcome foes - and the fact that I think GM's forget sometimes players are supposed to have on average 2 'easy' encounters per day and 2 'not hard' encounters per day - the problem with that (tangent here) is that fights at high level take so long to resolve no one wants to run 6-7 encounters for a single day.


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Starbuck_II wrote:

If want to get rid of discarded thing, just have wands regain 1 charge per week for free.

So overtime, the wand is good to go (could lower max charges to 25 if wish).

That would be an inventory nightmare.

"How long has this wand been recharging?"
"Is it the one we used up in the Dungeon of Eternal Madness or the one we used up in Lord Fowl's Castle?"
"How about we just sell both and buy a fully changed wand instead?"

Tossed into a trunk for a few months until it recharges long after the adventure is over is barely better than being discarded. It still does not match how wands are treated in folklore.

Or maybe that explains why fully-charged wands are found in dusty old trunks in some stories.


Wands as a tool that lets you burn a spell slot to cast the spell in the wand is an interesting idea too.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Wands as a tool that lets you burn a spell slot to cast the spell in the wand is an interesting idea too.

Or it doesn't cost resonance for a wizard to use a wand if they have the spell prepared, assuming wands still have charges in PF2.

Or if you spend resonance on a wand in the morning, you get a certain number of charges that depends upon whether you first prepare the spell in the wand. So, Gurg the Barbarian spends resonance to get a single charge, but Smarty the Gnome gets 4 charges because he has the spell prepared when he spends resonance.


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Catharsis wrote:

I am utterly flabbergasted by the existence of this thread. CLW wands are the sine qua non of adventuring. Why should it be a bad thing that players heal up between fights? They wouldn't survive any «interesting» fight at all if they came in at half hitpoints! And making healing more expensive or harder to get by would just be taxing the players for things they absolutely need — it's like the Big Six in 1e, which 2e is thankfully getting rid of.

In my experience, my DM is more likely to complain about our adventuring days being too short rather than too long. There is something satisfying about clearing out a dungeon in one go, especially if time is of the essence.

We played Legacy of Fire with my Paladin as the group's only healer... until 4th level, we were stuck with the few potions the NPC Cleric was willing to hand us out between sorties. We sometimes literally had to run back home after a single encounter because it had cost us all the potions! That was not fun at all; very frustrating in fact. Way to kill the momentum.

Of course, if 2e will remove CLW wands but hand out another form of reliable healing, that's perfectly fine with me. I particularly like the idea of the Barbarian healing the group that I've been hearing about.

I know as a GM, I prefer longer adventuring days. Especially since I give XP at the end of the session based on "amount accomplished" instead of the strict values given for each monster, so I can throw more challenges at the players without them levelling too fast.

I don't like CLW wands though, it's just so out of character and gamist, it doesn't feel like a wand to me. So what I've always done is that I have been using short rests for years before 5E was even a thing, I've buffed the Heal skill significantly, I hand out lots of healing potions, I allow casters to add their casting modifier to healing spells... all kinds of little tweaks to let the players stay in good shape longer.

Of course the fact that PF1 /needs/ to be houseruled to this extent to make it work without CLW wands is not a good thing. So I'm very intrigued to see how they handle it in PF2.

Scarab Sages

I an all for making the Heal skill effective at party upkeep. I guess this is how that certain Barbarian did it. Keep potions for emergencies and the gravely wounded.

BTW: Paizo, please keep the name Heal, I hate the «Medicine» of 5e...

I don’t understand why people like potions better than wands, though, especially if you still need to chug them by the dozens.


I think the argument against the heal skill being more effective at healing people stems back to realism.

Even today, with modern medicine, you can't heal someone who's been badly burned, or suffered serious stab or gunshot wounds in a manner of seconds.

I always thought that healing is one of the most "magical" aspects of high-fantasy RPGs (it's up there with teleportation).

Whether the fact that a stored spell can cheaply and effectively provide such healing might of course be one of the "Problems" that this thread is trying to enumerate.

But having non-magical healing able to get someone who's been caught in a fireball back to full health in a manner of minutes is much less realistic than saying "a cleric with a CLW wand did it".

Scarab Sages

That problem is circumvented by the fact that HP damage is not equal to wounds. Also, magic herbs and salves and stuff... that‘s why moon radishes are so sought-after. ;o)


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Mekkis wrote:
I think the argument against the heal skill being more effective at healing people stems back to realism.

Except it's not the real world. It's a fantasy world filled with magic and wonder. The same substances an alchemist would use to brew his potions and extracts are right there for the medic's use. He can't brew up a stable concoction that functions in an instant but he damn well better make liberal use of the power of plants and vegetation in his craft as a healer.

Quote:
Even today, with modern medicine, you can't heal someone who's been badly burned, or suffered serious stab or gunshot wounds in a manner of seconds.

Modern Medicine is reliant on real world substances.

Quote:

I always thought that healing is one of the most "magical" aspects of high-fantasy RPGs (it's up there with teleportation).

Whether the fact that a stored spell can cheaply and effectively provide such healing might of course be one of the "Problems" that this thread is trying to enumerate.

Possibly. It's not the sort of game I want to run or play, but it is possible.

Quote:
But having non-magical healing able to get someone who's been caught in a fireball back to full health in a manner of minutes is much less realistic than saying "a cleric with a CLW wand did it".

Healing with Fantasy World Herbs applied by a skilled hand is arguably more realistic than 'we sealed divine magic in a stick and now we're healing with that magic.'

To me at least.


Catharsis wrote:
That problem is circumvented by the fact that HP damage is not equal to wounds. Also, magic herbs and salves and stuff... that‘s why moon radishes are so sought-after. ;o)

Your description doesn't match the game rules - just 'fluff' that doesn't actually affect the game. A death spell doesn't damage your 'luck' or 'ability to avoid a hit' - it tries to kill you - thankfully levels give you more life force to use. Despite the belief that hit point abstraction needs to be 'fixed' no system to date that alters it has ever been popular - instead you see hit points used in other genres that have nothing to do with rpgs :)


Mekkis wrote:

I think the argument against the heal skill being more effective at healing people stems back to realism.

Even today, with modern medicine, you can't heal someone who's been badly burned, or suffered serious stab or gunshot wounds in a manner of seconds.
...
But having non-magical healing able to get someone who's been caught in a fireball back to full health in a manner of minutes is much less realistic than saying "a cleric with a CLW wand did it".

That is a very good point. I mentioned I would accept limitations on a better Heal skill. A limit that the Heal skill can restore hit point only up to half the maximum hit points could serve as a acknowledgement that non-magical healing takes time. Hit points are an abstraction of health and the extra hit points gained from higher levels could represent something besides physical tissue. And even physical tissue can be stitched up and bandaged so that the injury is not as severe.

On the other side of the coin, the once-a-day limit on PF1 Treat Deadly Wounds is also unrealistic on a character who is injured a second time after having his deadly wounds treated.


Mekkis wrote:
But having non-magical healing able to get someone who's been caught in a fireball back to full health in a manner of minutes is much less realistic than saying "a cleric with a CLW wand did it".
Catharsis wrote:
That problem is circumvented by the fact that HP damage is not equal to wounds.
Ckorik wrote:
Your description doesn't match the game rules - just 'fluff' that doesn't actually affect the game.

Descriptions vary between editions:

PF1 Fluff wrote:
Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Hit point abstractions could be seen as existing on a scale from 'stamina' ("You were 'hit' by an arrow and lose some stamina avoiding it.") to 'meat points' ("The giant plunges his greatsword right through your torso. Take 23 points of damage.")

If we're trying to deduce how the game world works from the mechanics, D&D5e seems more like a 'stamina' system, since you can rest for an hour and recover massive numbers of hit points. (Unless you're supposed to all be able to magically regenerate like trolls?)

PF1 leans towards meat-points, since without magical healing you have a hard time getting better - but the idea that you avoided most of the damage somehow is more plausible to me than the idea of taking massive injuries and keeping on going. And once you're thinking of things that way, it's easy to believe that mundane healing could be effective. Although that logic breaks down a bit when a high-level character falls a hundred feet into lava and survives.


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Catharsis wrote:

I am utterly flabbergasted by the existence of this thread. CLW wands are the sine qua non of adventuring. Why should it be a bad thing that players heal up between fights? They wouldn't survive any «interesting» fight at all if they came in at half hitpoints! And making healing more expensive or harder to get by would just be taxing the players for things they absolutely need — it's like the Big Six in 1e, which 2e is thankfully getting rid of.

.

Well its not just the CLW wand. There are about a half a dozen different wands that one could be carrying around which are ridiculously useful.


I would like to have a system with the following.

- Minor wounds become meaningless after the heat of combat. Characters can quickly heal themselves, to an extent, with a bit of rest: enough time to catch their breath, apply a bandage, drink some booze, or just remind themselves that their mission can't be hindered by a simple flesh wound. A time in the order of minutes, I'd say.
How often they can do this, and how much they should recover (compared to their total HP), is something that should be playtested. I can guess around half their HP, at least, over the course of a day.
- The Heal or Medicine skill should do more, up to much more (with the added chance of removing bad conditions) when the proficiency gets better. Maybe requiring more time (in the range of 10 minutes - 1 hour, probably reduced with an appropriate skill feat).
- Magical healing can be used in critical moments in combat, or out of combat in case of nastier wounds.
The healing wand can serve this purpouse, as a substitute for healing-capable classes or simply for their spell slots. But it gets spammed much less, because it's not your only mean of restoring HP, and using an higher level wand is useful because it saves resonance.

My main goal is prolonging the adventuring day without sacrificing resource management.
Attrition still counts because your free healing is not unlimited, but it's expecially important when you don't have those five or ten minutes to rest, let alone one the half hour needed to prepare and make use of some miracolous herbs with your Medicine skill.
I can think of exciting situations where you are getting attacked by wave after wave of enemies and your HP are going down, and you have to find a way to hole up somewhere and gain enough time to patch up.
In a slightly less 'under pressure' scenario you may have to choose if it's the case to invest magic and resonance to heal quickly, or take a risky break before tackling the enemy. Definitely, you shouldn't have to rest eight hours everytime you are low on resources.


Lily Moore wrote:
Catharsis wrote:

I am utterly flabbergasted by the existence of this thread. CLW wands are the sine qua non of adventuring. Why should it be a bad thing that players heal up between fights? They wouldn't survive any «interesting» fight at all if they came in at half hitpoints! And making healing more expensive or harder to get by would just be taxing the players for things they absolutely need — it's like the Big Six in 1e, which 2e is thankfully getting rid of.

.

Well its not just the CLW wand. There are about a half a dozen different wands that one could be carrying around which are ridiculously useful.

Well that doesn't even get into the fact that wands are capped at level 4 spells (and potions at level 3) - almost like they were intended to be low level spells...

I'm curious how a wand of stoneskin works with the new system - do I never have to spend cash to cast it again? Do spell trigger items now require the material component to use, as they no longer have charges?

Does this mean that I can no longer hand my players a super wand with like 2 charges left as a reward? What about the ring of wishes or luckblade? A low level party getting a wish early will no longer be possible if you need a component for every spell trigger item, also.. ring of wishes... with no charges?

The implications of 'no charges' really is starting to hit me - so many iconic items throughout the history of the game have been x/day ....


Ckorik wrote:


The implications of 'no charges' really is starting to hit me - so many iconic items throughout the history of the game have been x/day ....

They still are. X now equals your resonance score.


It'll be fine. You've had the resources to live without them forever. We don't even have them in Starfinder and we're just fine.

Resource expenditure has always been a big part of adventure/encounter design. The wands always obscured that as they were a cheap usually quite readily available resource. Yet the tools to progress have always been available.

Every spellcaster has had some form of hp restoration available.
You had safe and relatively easy methods to camp anywhere available by 3rd.

Personally I'm all for options that force players to play like actual people. And actual people don't happily get shopped up knowing they can be sewn up in seconds as if it didn't happen.


Planpanther wrote:
Ckorik wrote:


The implications of 'no charges' really is starting to hit me - so many iconic items throughout the history of the game have been x/day ....

They still are. X now equals your resonance score.

And for a huge number of items that would make them OP to the point of 'ok lets end the game as you win'. How they handle this - I think is going to be more important than the CLW debate.


I think it's been mentioned before in this thread, but I'll make the point again. After 8th or so level, hit points are only part of the damage players are taking, and sometimes not the most important type of damage. Characters are getting hit with poisons, diseases, negative levels, ability damage and drains, curses, and so on. None of these are easily dealt with by 1st level wands. "Healing up" between encounters usually involves a lot more than just filling up everyone's hit point tank.


Mekkis wrote:

I think the argument against the heal skill being more effective at healing people stems back to realism.

Even today, with modern medicine, you can't heal someone who's been badly burned, or suffered serious stab or gunshot wounds in a manner of seconds.

I always thought that healing is one of the most "magical" aspects of high-fantasy RPGs (it's up there with teleportation).

Whether the fact that a stored spell can cheaply and effectively provide such healing might of course be one of the "Problems" that this thread is trying to enumerate.

But having non-magical healing able to get someone who's been caught in a fireball back to full health in a manner of minutes is much less realistic than saying "a cleric with a CLW wand did it".

Actually, you can.

Link: https://www.sciencealert.com/this-incredible-surgical-glue-heals-wounds-fas ter-than-ever-before

Originally Published By: Australian and American biomedical engineers have developed a stretchy surgical glue that rapidly heals wounds, a “breakthrough” that has the potential to save lives in emergencies, its designers say. The injectable glue, MeTro, is based on a naturally occurring protein called tropaelastin.


Eh....that doesn't so much heal a wound as it stops wounds from bleeding terribly. The damage is still there, but it presents less of a problem. But it's hard to represent that sort of thing in an RPG.


rainzax wrote:

What if all damage healed back after a short rest, unless it was the result of a critical success / failure?

Two damage tracks: Hit Points, and Wounds.

The Heal Skill and Curative Magic operate on a per-Wound basis.

Meaning barring a skilled healer or powerful magic, some wounds take time to heal (while others don't).

This is very similar to a homebrew system I've been using for a few years now - the Strain/Injury System created by Mythic Evil Lincoln. Most damage (Strain) gets healed with a few minutes rest. Damage from a crit, a failed save, or an attack that drops you below 0 hp is Injury and heals like regular hp (days of rest, treat deadly wounds, spells).

It has virtually eliminated the "heal stick". The PCs still have one to cure the injury, but it is used rarely and only to heal grievous injuries. Mechanically, it pretty much the same as a CLW wand - there is an option to apply a monetary costs to all that "free" healing that I don't use, but it would make it identical to a wand of CLW.

I suppose the appeal for us is the reduced accounting. After most fights, everyone just heals back to full. Every four fights or so, there is a real healing issue to deal with. It is another challenge or obstacle for the PCs to overcome.

Maybe that is the "problem" with the CLW wand (or PF1): the game system creates real healing issues for just about every PC in every fight. It also puts tripping and falling down a flight of stairs for 1d6 damage in the same category as taking a full-attack from an adult dragon (pick any color). There is no "brushing it off", so all damage is a real healing issue. I suppose that gets tedious encounter after encounter.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Mekkis wrote:
But having non-magical healing able to get someone who's been caught in a fireball back to full health in a manner of minutes is much less realistic than saying "a cleric with a CLW wand did it".
Catharsis wrote:
That problem is circumvented by the fact that HP damage is not equal to wounds.
Ckorik wrote:
Your description doesn't match the game rules - just 'fluff' that doesn't actually affect the game.

Descriptions vary between editions:

PF1 Fluff wrote:
Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Hit point abstractions could be seen as existing on a scale from 'stamina' ("You were 'hit' by an arrow and lose some stamina avoiding it.") to 'meat points' ("The giant plunges his greatsword right through your torso. Take 23 points of damage.")

If we're trying to deduce how the game world works from the mechanics, D&D5e seems more like a 'stamina' system, since you can rest for an hour and recover massive numbers of hit points. (Unless you're supposed to all be able to magically regenerate like trolls?)

PF1 leans towards meat-points, since without magical healing you have a hard time getting better - but the idea that you avoided most of the damage somehow is more plausible to me than the idea of taking massive injuries and keeping on going. And once you're thinking of things that way, it's easy to believe that mundane healing could be effective. Although that logic breaks down a bit when a high-level character falls a hundred Ifeet into lava and survives.

Someone on the forum once had an idea that HP is actually a measure of your personal well of positive energy. All creatures are infused with it, and it allows them to withstand abuses that otherwise would stop them cold. Cure spells merely replenish the pool. As you level up, your well of positive energy increases, allowing you to take more abuse and have it be depleted even more. You could potentially take a sword to the stomach, and your guts are held in by positive energy invisibly coursing through every fiber of your being. Undead have a similar deal with negative energy.

I thought it was a cool idea, but thought it was too esoteric to ever gain traction. While I liked tying positive energy as the literal life force sustaining all things, I figured there would be narrative implications with unforseen consequences.

However, it occurs to me that this idea isn't so far removed from Resonance..


Just a thought... Now that healing is necromantic, perhaps it is time to (I know this requires bookkeeping) have a tally of "soul damage" that increases each time you receive a healing spell. Rather like resonance, once you reach a certain number, the healing spells can start to fail. So you are better off using higher-level spells and you will be tempted to tough it out until you can switch to exploration mode and let the healer apply a salve that doesn't do soul damage.

You'd probably need to be able to make a save if you want, to avoid high level offensive use of CLW. :)


The Paizo Blog: All About Spells has revealed the spell that will replace Cure Light Wounds in Pathfinder 2nd Edition. I heard the name before, when the Glass Cannon podcast playtest used an Elixir of Heal Minor.

Heal
Spell 1
Healing, Necromancy, Positive
Casting Somatic Casting or more
Range touch, Range 30 feet, or Area 30-foot aura (see text); Target one willing living creature or one undead creature

You channel positive energy to heal the living or damage the undead. You restore Hit Points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting modifier to a willing living target, or deal that amount of positive damage to an undead target. The number of actions you spend when Casting this Spell determines its targets, range, area, and other parameters.


  • Somatic Casting The spell has a range of touch. You must succeed at a melee touch attack to damage an undead target.
  • Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting The spell has a range of 30 feet and doesn't require a touch attack when targeting an undead creature. An undead target must attempt a Fortitude save, taking half damage on a success, no damage on a critical success, or double damage on a critical failure.
  • Material Casting, Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting You disperse positive energy in a 30-foot aura. This has the same effect as the two-action version of the spell, but it targets all living and undead creatures in the burst and reduces the amount of healing or damage to your spellcasting ability modifier.

Heightened (+1) Increase the amount of healing or damage by 1d8, or by 2d8 if you're using the one- or two-action version to heal the living.

I have no idea how Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting, and Material Casting will combine with wands.

Sovereign Court

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John Lynch 106 wrote:

The only reason I've heard for Wands of CLW being such a problem is because it feels stupid to sit around with a level 1 wand and heal up to full after every fight.

But why does that feel stupid? Is it the act of using a wand to heal up to full? Or is it a level 1 wand that's the problem? If it was a higher level wand would it then be okay? Is being at full HP for every fight a problem??

I don't really understand how the changes we've heard of PF2e are addressing the Wands of CLW problem.

The only problem I have with them is pricing as it is much more efficient to by CLW wands then higher level cure wands (you get more hp/gp on average)but I always saw this as a pricing problem not a "we need to change how magic works" problem.

Resonance just feels very metagamy IMHO


I actually like the basic concept of resonance as an alternative to individual charges, empowering Magic items with personal mojo rather than carrying an armload of items with separate batteries.

Where resonance breaks down (setting aside the implications of basing it on Charisma) is for healing.

Grand Lodge

Has there been any preview on how PCs can quickly heal up a bit after combat with the removal of Happy Sticks?

I haven't been able to find time to look at this Thread (or much of the other Playtest stuff) in a couple months so am way behind.

I'm starting a new campaign in a few weeks and am looking for a new way / new mechanic or option for my Players to heal their PCs in between fights.


I have no problem healing up between fights. (Maybe not to full, but it all depends on how things are balanced). I don't like Wands of CLW because they just seem contrived. It has always been something that's pulled me out of the game, more than potions or casting of heal spells, because it just feels so out of place for me in the narrative. Especially when you're casting multiple CLWs on the same person just to get them up to top shape.

I have many problems with 4e and 5e to be sure, but their method of hit dice/healing surges replacing Out of Combat healing items is something I could certainly get behind for PF2e. Maybe not exactly as they were then, but I could see something like resonance, but perhaps based on CON, to heal back so long as you have some time to catch your breath, recuperate and bandage your wounds.


W E Ray wrote:

Has there been any preview on how PCs can quickly heal up a bit after combat with the removal of Happy Sticks?

I haven't been able to find time to look at this Thread (or much of the other Playtest stuff) in a couple months so am way behind.

I'm starting a new campaign in a few weeks and am looking for a new way / new mechanic or option for my Players to heal their PCs in between fights.

Yesterday's Paizo blog, Learning Takes a Lifetime, gave a clue.

Legendary Medic Feat 15
General, Skill
Prerequisites legendary in Medicine
You've invented new medical procedures or discovered ancient techniques that can achieve nearly miraculous results. Once per day for each target, you can spend 1 hour treating the target and attempt a Medicine check to remove a disease or the blinded, deafened, drained, or enervated condition. Use the DC of the disease or of the spell or effect that created the condition. If the effect's source is an artifact, a creature above 20th level, or other similarly powerful source, increase the DC by 5.

Untrained Medicine skill allows Administer First Aid, which can stabilize a creature or stop bleeding. Trained in Medicine gives Treat Disease and Treat Poison. Trained in Medicine also qualifies the character for the Battle Medic skill feat, which allows healing to an ally through nonmagical means. That's all we know about it, but based on Legendary Medic, I guess that one hour of treatment will restore significant hit points. Unfortunately, if Battle Medic also has the "once per day for each target" limitation, it will not be able to replace the Wand of Cure Light Wounds.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kerrilyn wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Die Hard would be a very boring movie it John McClane had a wand of Cure Light Wounds.

"Glass? Who gives a **** about glass?"

>.<

He must have had like three hit points left at the end of that movie.

The hubby insists we watch that every Christmas since it's a "Christmas Movie"....somehow?

Die Hard is a Christmas movie. There was even a big poll about it on NPR, and overwhelmingly it was voted to be a Christmas movie.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
W E Ray wrote:

Has there been any preview on how PCs can quickly heal up a bit after combat with the removal of Happy Sticks?

I haven't been able to find time to look at this Thread (or much of the other Playtest stuff) in a couple months so am way behind.

I'm starting a new campaign in a few weeks and am looking for a new way / new mechanic or option for my Players to heal their PCs in between fights.

For me it causes a problem with how it forces encounters to escalate. If you have infinite (even if it is only de facto infinite) out of combat healing then encounters need to scale up to be significant in anyway. Win a fight without casting any spells, but took some damage? It basically didn't happen. This means any encounter that you want to have any significant impact has to be much stronger than it otherwise would be. Can't have a few falvourfull combats against the lesser beasts of the forest because you might as well hand waive them and say "you use 6 charges after the wolves ambush you, now lets get to the fey that might actually kill you."


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If the point of the combat is to be flavorful, does it matter if it isn't draining party resources?

I find that usually people will cast spells even when they don't really need to, either because they want to Do Something Useful, or because they overestimate the danger of the encounter. ("Maybe these aren't just wolves, they're werewolves! Or maybe the real enemy is about to ambush us mid-battle! I'd better start buffing everyone, just in case...")


I mean it is suppose to drain some resources or its not a challenge throw enough non challenging fights in to a game and it becomes boring in my experience.


Matthew Downie wrote:
If the point of the combat is to be flavorful, does it matter if it isn't draining party resources?

If the point of an encounter is to be flavorful, then combat is a bad choice. A friendly encounter would let the party learn more about the setting and its people. The point of a combat encounter is to have glorious victory. Defeating minions delegated to wear down the party is not glorious. However, defeating them is a step on the way to the glorious victory against the Big Bad Evil Guy.

The BBEG wearing down the party with early encounters with low-level minions is a classic dungeon design. It lets the GM create a weaker BBEG because the party has only half their resources. Unfortunately, it does turn Pathfinder into a game of resource management. (Order of the Stick #764: Small Talk)

My players developed tactics to avoid those low-level minions, which is a reasonable way to play the game and rewards some non-combat abilities. The parties with wands of Cure Light Wounds instead rely on consumables to extend their resources.

Wolves in the forest is a battle that a 7th-level party should avoid. Those wolves were dangerous at 1st level and flavorful at 4th level to remind the party they are in a wild forest, but against an 7th-level party, they are merely a nuisance. At that level, the party wizard should have conjured up Communal Phantom Steeds and the party rode so fast that the wolves could not catch them.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:

If the point of the combat is to be flavorful, does it matter if it isn't draining party resources?

I find that usually people will cast spells even when they don't really need to, either because they want to Do Something Useful, or because they overestimate the danger of the encounter. ("Maybe these aren't just wolves, they're werewolves! Or maybe the real enemy is about to ambush us mid-battle! I'd better start buffing everyone, just in case...")

The point is it would be nice to have both. We've only got so much time to play and I know my players get a dissapointed if we drop into initiative but there really wasn't any consequence to the encounter. The wolf example (not the skipping but its existence) was something that happened in one of my games, were the players were hunting for a source of nature twisting malignancy in the deep woods. Things started of normal and got gradually worse, and they used this to kind of zero in. Cool idea that ended up being quite a dull session because of healing mechanics. The next session we did end up straight up skipping a bunch of these encounters to better get to the meat of the adventure, and going forward with PF1 we ended up doing that a hell of a lot.

Sure sometimes they might underestimate an encounter, but for that to work you actually have to roll out several encounters of no consequence, otherwise the players know that if initiative is rolled it is something serious.


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Cylerist wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

The only reason I've heard for Wands of CLW being such a problem is because it feels stupid to sit around with a level 1 wand and heal up to full after every fight.

But why does that feel stupid? Is it the act of using a wand to heal up to full? Or is it a level 1 wand that's the problem? If it was a higher level wand would it then be okay? Is being at full HP for every fight a problem??

I don't really understand how the changes we've heard of PF2e are addressing the Wands of CLW problem.

The only problem I have with them is pricing as it is much more efficient to by CLW wands then higher level cure wands (you get more hp/gp on average)but I always saw this as a pricing problem not a "we need to change how magic works" problem.

Resonance just feels very metagamy IMHO

Paizo's pointed this out, but increasing the pricing makes lower-level wands inaccessible for lower-level characters. Without resonance, they'd have a couple options:

1. Redo all the pricing, and try to find a way to not price lower-level wands/scrolls/potions out, but also make it so they're not better alternatives than higher level versions.
2. Rework how the magic items themselves work. But this would be a pretty high overhead.

Note that it's not just Wands of Cure Light Wounds, those are really just the tip of the iceberg. For example, you'd think Sorcerers would have limited spell access? But wait! They can carry around 20 scrolls for a low, low cost, and be able to pull out whatever spell they need at a moment's notice. Also, wands such as Feather Step, Heightened Awareness, Touch of the Sea, Shield... also got abused.

Yes, Resonance does feel somewhat metagamy, even to me, but if you look at it objectively, so did the fact that you could only wear two rings in PF1e, or 1 amulet for that matter. The slot system was also a metagamey system, it's just the devil we know :).


Malk_Content wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

If the point of the combat is to be flavorful, does it matter if it isn't draining party resources?

I find that usually people will cast spells even when they don't really need to, either because they want to Do Something Useful, or because they overestimate the danger of the encounter. ("Maybe these aren't just wolves, they're werewolves! Or maybe the real enemy is about to ambush us mid-battle! I'd better start buffing everyone, just in case...")

The point is it would be nice to have both. We've only got so much time to play and I know my players get a dissapointed if we drop into initiative but there really wasn't any consequence to the encounter. The wolf example (not the skipping but its existence) was something that happened in one of my games, were the players were hunting for a source of nature twisting malignancy in the deep woods. Things started of normal and got gradually worse, and they used this to kind of zero in. Cool idea that ended up being quite a dull session because of healing mechanics. The next session we did end up straight up skipping a bunch of these encounters to better get to the meat of the adventure, and going forward with PF1 we ended up doing that a hell of a lot. ...

Sorry about diverging from the wand of CLW topic, but I am really curious about that sentence, "Cool idea that ended up being quite a dull session because of healing mechanics." What makes combat interesting?

I have one player who simply likes to win. Killing a bunch of wolves would make him happy. Another player (my wife so I asked her) likes creative twists, such as being able to use terrain to her advantage. She adds that danger forces taking risks, and risky tactics are interesting. On the other hand, she said a low-risk battle lets the characters roleplay more, such as investigating why the battle is occurring during the battle. I myself like exploring game mechanics. If my character gained a new ability in a recent level-up, then I want to use it.

For none of us does healing after the battle affect the fun of the battle. The player who likes to win would probably feel happier about a lack of consequences. In theory, damage creates drama, that despite their injuries the party will press on. In practice, that could backfire if the party decides to rest for the day and heal instead.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the question of healing between combats impacting balance has been well addressed numerous times throughout this thread. We could keep treading the same water, but at this point I don't think it's adding anything to the discussion.

In any case, if you think healing between combats is a problem, PF2e is shaping up to exacerbate this by increasing low cost healing availability. From medicine providing more options for healing to clerics getting more dedicated healing resources, indications are that you can expect to heal up between combats.

Removing CLW wands in no way guarantees HP damage carrying over between fights.

Liberty's Edge

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WatersLethe wrote:
In any case, if you think healing between combats is a problem, PF2e is shaping up to exacerbate this by increasing low cost healing availability. From medicine providing more options for healing to clerics getting more dedicated healing resources, indications are that you can expect to heal up between combats.

To be somewhat pedantic: none of these are low cost options by the definition I'd use. They don't cost gold, but all require a specific investment of character resources (Class choice, Skill Feats, etc.)

You have to actually invest in being able to do them.

That doesn't directly counteract the point about them being readily available (they clearly are) but it's an important distinction to make given that the lack of such meaningful character investment in healing enabled by Wands of CLW was one of the main mechanical issues with such Wands being ubiquitous.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


To be somewhat pedantic: none of these are low cost options by the definition I'd use. They don't cost gold, but all require a specific investment of character resources (Class choice, Skill Feats, etc.)

You have to actually invest in being able to do them.

That doesn't directly counteract the point about them being readily available (they clearly are) but it's an important distinction to make given that the lack of such meaningful character investment in healing enabled by Wands of CLW was one of the main mechanical issues with such Wands being ubiquitous.

Fair point, but I will say that the gold cost of wands of CLW and skill points in UMD or requiring a spell list are not to be neglected either.

At early levels, an extra wand or two can mean putting off important gear upgrades and not everyone has the skillpoints to spare for being the UMD-bot. I've also DMed two consecutive games without a divine caster, so it's not like that's unheard of either.

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