Why are Wands of CLW such a problem?


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Wands of CLW are not a problem for me.

Attrition in PF1 has never been HP-based. Attrition has always been based off spell slots and use/day abilities. And that's a very good thing, because it puts agency in the hands of the players, and makes for interesting choices.

"Do I use a 3rd-level spell on this encounter?" is an interesting choice. "Do I get hit by that orc's axe or not?" is not a choice, it's a die roll. I'd rather we keep the PF1 system where attrition is based off meaningful choices and player agency.

Pacing is another key point - pacing is critically important for the dramatic tension of a story. Allowing players to own the pacing, by deciding themselves whether or not to spend a use/day ability, keeps that tension and dramatic arc by marrying attrition directly to player perceptions of the current threat and urgency. That's interesting! If HP-based attrition becomes a thing, then your day isn't ended because you chose to expend your powers, your day is now ended because you took an unlucky crit... when you haven't even fought the boss yet!

Use/day power attrition is well-suited for a typical adventure, which often has a form like "these innocents are in dire peril, you must rescue them without delay!" There, you know that you need to be able to save up your resources for that final encounter where you save the captives. With HP-based attrition, (due to the way that dice work,) you cannot design an adventure that (1) is all-but-assured to be completed in one day (important for dramatic narrative) and (2) is not so easy the party will just steamroll it.

As others have said, the reason you don't see "wands of CLW" appear in fiction is because fictional characters have plot armor. The pacing is arbitrated by the author. In TTRPGs where characters don't have plot armor, the PCs need some degree of agency over the pacing. HP-based attrition robs them of that agency, and hands it over to the dice.


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I mean, for my money I don't really like consumable items as a player, nor do I really like their importance as a GM. It feels like "you read a scroll at no cost to yourself save gold" is kinda the least interesting way to generate a given effect, and magic wands shouldn't be the sorts of things we burn through a sack of in the course of running through a dungeon.

So I would prefer pretty much anything else besides wands and potions for out of combat, non-emergency healing. Potions are fine for "pour down the throat of the unconscious person" in a pinch, but I can do without wands entirely as they are in PF1.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Terquem wrote:
Blah Blah Blah

... does your world also not have Channel Energy? Every good-aligned cleric in Golarion has an ability they can use every day that is used for nothing but healing HP damage. If a villager gets hurt, they can just show up to basically any temple for the nightly services, and they'll be healed at the end of mass.

Sandpoint for example is a town of 1,240 people, and it has five clerics even just counting NPCs named in the book. Wands of CLW would be the expensive option for healing commoners - channeling is ubiquitous and free. I'm honestly curious how you deal with that in your setting - you just have fewer clerics?nothing but healing HP damage....

Yes, I treat Channel Energy differently as well, it is Housed Ruled, and again the players in my games usually don't complain, but I'm not going to bore anyone with details of my little silly campaign world

But you are right, this is another "aspect" of the game that has been included to make Adventures work the way the players (including the GM) want them to work, and even though I've never particularly liked "channel energy" I get how it has become a core mechanic of the game and how it works isn't terrible, it just isn't something that lends itself to having manageable worlds where life isn't revolving around adventurers.


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Wands of CLW are only dumb because of the math used to price wands.

Wand of CLW heals for 50 charges of 1d8+1 and costs 750gp.
Wand of CMW heals for 50 charges of 2d8+3 and costs 4500gp.

So you can buy 6 wands of CLW for the same price as 1 wand of CMW and get WAAAY more overall healing out of it.
However, in order to get that healing, you have to stand around like a dunce for several minutes just dumping charge after charge into someone - which doesn't feel very epic/heroic/whatever.

tl;dr- The math is busted, which is almost always the problem in 3.PF. ;)

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A potion of cure light wounds (CLW) costs 50gp for 1 use.
A scroll of CLW costs 25gp for 1 use.
A wand of CLW costs 15gp for 1 use.

Potions and scrolls are single use items. A wand can be used up to 50 times.

Potions, scrolls, and wands all weight about the sa,e (no more than 1 ounce for a wand, about an ounce of fluid for a potion (the vial has neglegable weight) and weight is undefined for a scroll (acording to it's physical description entry).

All of that is why CLW wand spamming is a thing. Put single usages of wands, potions, and scrolls on more even footing (with a little price balancing for how easy each is to use in combat or under duress) and you salve part of the problem.

-Skeld

Edit: If you give players multiple options and one of those options is obviously more efficient than the others, they'll generally use it unless there are other mitigating factors.


Wands of CLW have a learning curve associated with them. Thus new people to the game might not pick up on their use quickly. Making it hard to design adventures for a wide audience.

Tracking the charges and rolling the exact healing numbers and calculating the gold costs / impact they have on WBL (Wealth By Level) is also a pain.

If you want to have everyone heal up between combat, a method that doesn't need this much tracking / costs this much gametime would be better.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Die Hard would be a very boring movie it John McClane had a wand of Cure Light Wounds.

If Die Hard was a tabletop RPG, John McClane would have had to go home and rest for 8 hours in the middle. And if he'd continued anyways, some mook would have shot and killed him because he was at low HP. Seriously, player characters in tabletop RPG's don't have the same level of plot armor as the John McClanes or Aragorns or Han Solos of the fictional world. Our characters can and will be damaged by ordinary mooks at inopportune times, and proceeding into mortal danger while already severely injured is likely to get them killed. Wands of Cure Light wounds aren't the problem here, they're the solution that allows the narrative to proceed when practicality would otherwise slam on the brakes.

A better comparison would be Frodo getting stabbed by the Ringwraiths or Shelob. He was basically out of commission after these events, and other characters had to take over until he recovered. Do you want to play a game where this happens all the time? That every story is constrained by the fact that the heroes could run out of resources and be forced to turn back any point? Consumables are the safety release valve that ensure that it's at least possible to press forward even against the most dire circumstances and bad luck. And that is a good thing in my view.

Kerrilyn wrote:
The wand? It's about one percent of a level 10 character's wealth..assuming the party didn't split the cost six ways.

It's actually closer to 1% per day. CLW may be cost-efficient, but they don't heal very much by the standards of 10th level characters. Presuming average rolls and no wastage, a wand of CLW will heal 275 hit points in total over its 50 charges. A 10th level party can blow through that much healing in a single encounter if the dice go poorly.

That expense seems reasonable to me. These are getting to levels where clerics are starting to become bottomless wells of healing, so why shouldn't cleric-less parties have a cheap and efficient alternative?

Rhedyn wrote:
Who is ready for the new meta? Summoning wands to Summon monsters to use level 1 CLW wands.

There is no way summoned creatures will be allowed to use wands, otherwise you could create an infinite loop by passing of the summoning wand to the summoned creature.


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At least to me, CLW wands are basically symptoms of multiple areas of the game math crumbling and to a lesser extent a flavor bug bear.

As others have said, the reason everyone defaults to the sack of healing sticks is because the other healing consumables are complete garbage so we have a breakdown of math in the price area. On top of that, it breaks the presumed math that PCs should be going through around 4 challenging encounters per day since it's trivial to slap everyone up to the full which means that casters get to conserve their resources and chug through even more encounters by just letting the sword guys lose some HP in favor of smashing face. That's a breakdown of the combat math since lets be honest, PF combat is pretty trivial to break if the GM isn't bending over to throw stuff supposedly far out of your weight class or redesign.

Then there's the generic notion expressed by a bunch of people that gathering around and waving wands after every fight isn't very heroic looking. Whatever annoys you annoys you.

A 3/day short rest or other similar mundane restoration type thing ultimately represents a way to pace an adventure day for the devs and requires a bit (I personally don't believe that much) more tactical thought than supremely trivial hp restores that the wands represented. Consumable healing can be (rightly to me anyway) regulated to emergency stuff in combat (improving their payloads would be needed) or for a last big push if you're against a ticking clock.


I do not like the idea of consumable magic items. I prefer games where magic items are few and far between, and those that are found have both in-world significance and permanent effects (even if the permanent effects are only useable on a per time unit basis). CLW wands are just another consumable that I would eliminate.

As for healing, I would suggest having a time-increment-based natural baseline healing rate that is hit die dependent, and which can be increased through the use of a successful heal skill check at the beginning of the time increment. The heal skill check could be buffable with aid another, mundane healing kits, spells and other class features.


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Let's say we replaced the "CLW" wand with a healer's kit and someone who has invested in the heal skill. Since "levels of skill proficiencies" work like skill unlocks in unchained, you can have the healer heal progressively more damage in progressively less time as they advance to legendary status.

Of course, the tradeoff here is that the "healer's kit" will take long enough to use that one's short term buffs will expire before you're good to go (like this takes 15 minutes) but I figure "should we keep going or heal up" is a reasonably good tension.

If the game worked like this, it would be more thematically satisfying wouldn't it? Applying bandages and poultices is sort of a better fantasy than "waving a stick".


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The problem here IMO is people are looking at resonance as being added to the game solely to combat clw wand spamming, when that is only one facet of the change. It also streamlines resource management and gets rid of body slots. Depending on implementation it may also help meter access to especially powerful items by requiring a larger investment (something I have heard theorized but have no proof of).

If you look at this solely as a reaction due to wand spam then yes, it does seem to be an over reaction, but in light of the other issues it touches upon perhaps it's worthy of the playtest and critique.

Have a good day every one. The 20th is International Happiness Day so hopefully game this weekend and approach the day glad : )


I think that Wands of CLW make magical divine healing a little too cheap, both in terms of actual in game cost and in terms of narrative importance.

I think a more believable way to offer the same thing, but not step on the toes of actual divine healers is something like a "First Aid Kit" that has 50 charges, that can be used with a heal skill check to restore the same amount as a CLW wand.

It offers the same kind of healing, but makes a lot more sense from a narrative point of view. You have a person with some first aid skill bandaging up the party in between fights.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It’s fictionally unsatisfying, it’s just not part of any fantasy story ever.

So you've never seen a fictional story where one or more characters are knocked around or what have you and have to be continuously healed for a good while? (it happens in anime a whole lot, for one)


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A lot of the issue here is folks assume HP re wounds and really the game does not treat them that way. Your fine at full power until you hit 0. It does not matter if your t full HP or 2 HP, you are at full power.

Heck you can go to -6 get healed to 1 Hp and are fine.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Making a CLWW 2500 golds (50goldsx50charges) would do a quicker job of fixing the issue than making a huge pile of other math, and it'd make the other wands reasonable as well as discourage spam.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Skeld wrote:

A potion of cure light wounds (CLW) costs 50gp for 1 use.

A scroll of CLW costs 25gp for 1 use.
A wand of CLW costs 15gp for 1 use.

Potions and scrolls are single use items. A wand can be used up to 50 times.

This is the biggest one to me why spamming the wands is such a commonplace thing at low levels, but also at higher levels. I would like to add/support this point with what bothers me about this the most.

A potion of CMW costs 300gp for 1 use.
A wand of CMW costs 90gp for 1 use.

So immediately it's obvious to new players that it's cheaper to buy 6 potions of CLW than 1 bottle of CMW without really considering the difference.

CLW is a minimum 1d8+1, CMW is a minimum 2d8+3. so for 6x the price I get an additional 1d8+2 healing.
Using a wand of CLW, I heal 2 HP and a maximum of 9HP per 15gp.
with CMW, however, that same wand means my minimum is 4 HP to a maximum of 19 HP 90gp.
That comes out to paying 6x more for 2x more the healing.

The scale gets progressively worse with higher cost magic items simply for the fact that crafting is constructed in such a quadratic increase. Economically it makes sense to continue buying the Wands of CLW.

Unless charges are going away from wands and there's a massive overhaul of the crafting system, I don't see how resonance alone will fix the cause of why we have CLW spamming and instead simply force the band-aid of it to no longer suffice.


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Yrtalien wrote:

The problem here IMO is people are looking at resonance as being added to the game solely to combat clw wand spamming, when that is only one facet of the change. It also streamlines resource management and gets rid of body slots. Depending on implementation it may also help meter access to especially powerful items by requiring a larger investment (something I have heard theorized but have no proof of).

If you look at this solely as a reaction due to wand spam then yes, it does seem to be an over reaction, but in light of the other issues it touches upon perhaps it's worthy of the playtest and critique.

: )

I for one think item slots are a much more natural way to limit magic items than some kind of magic mana system to see if you can use them. Get rid of the stat items and make items that "DO" something. Putting powerful or any item behind some kind of level gateway I think does more harm than the problem it fixes. People complaining of the christmass tree effect because it was assumed that players would have X items. That limited what other items you could use. As the system now just gives you those bonuses just leave the good items.


JSOtter wrote:
Skeld wrote:

A potion of cure light wounds (CLW) costs 50gp for 1 use.

A scroll of CLW costs 25gp for 1 use.
A wand of CLW costs 15gp for 1 use.

Potions and scrolls are single use items. A wand can be used up to 50 times.

This is the biggest one to me why spamming the wands is such a commonplace thing at low levels, but also at higher levels. I would like to add/support this point with what bothers me about this the most.

A potion of CMW costs 300gp for 1 use.
A wand of CMW costs 90gp for 1 use.

So immediately it's obvious to new players that it's cheaper to buy 6 potions of CLW than 1 bottle of CMW without really considering the difference.

CLW is a minimum 1d8+1, CMW is a minimum 2d8+3. so for 6x the price I get an additional 1d8+2 healing.
Using a wand of CLW, I heal 2 HP and a maximum of 9HP per 15gp.
with CMW, however, that same wand means my minimum is 4 HP to a maximum of 19 HP 90gp.
That comes out to paying 6x more for 2x more the healing.

The scale gets progressively worse with higher cost magic items simply for the fact that crafting is constructed in such a quadratic increase. Economically it makes sense to continue buying the Wands of CLW.

Unless charges are going away from wands and there's a massive overhaul of the crafting system, I don't see how resonance alone will fix the cause of why we have CLW spamming and instead simply force the band-aid of it to no longer suffice.

Potions are a bit more balanced because many small ones can quickly clutter inventory. Not to mention that small ones also lose on the biggest advange of potions, which is that anyone can use them mid-fight by themselves to heal. You don't usually get the turns to spam them like wands outside of combat.

Still, the pricing scheme is stupid even for them.


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Hargert wrote:
I for one think item slots are a much more natural way to limit magic items

I don't think there is anything remotely natural or sensible about "you can wear a magic hat, headband, and goggles because your head, your forehead, and your eyes are all different body parts, as well as a magic cloak, shirt, and armor even though those all go on one on top of the other, but you can only ever equip 2 rings despite having more than 2 fingers and your fingers are clearly distinct from each other." But your mileage may vary.

Likewise, there is nothing natural or sensible about "you can put on 3 magic amulets, but only the one you put on first functions, if you tear it off then the second oldest one starts working".

I am glad item slots are going away and will tolerate resonance purely for that.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Hargert wrote:
I for one think item slots are a much more natural way to limit magic items

I don't think there is anything remotely natural or sensible about "you can wear a magic hat, headband, and goggles because your head, your forehead, and your eyes are all different body parts, as well as a magic cloak, shirt, and armor even though those all go on one on top of the other, but you can only ever equip 2 rings despite having more than 2 fingers and your fingers are clearly distinct from each other." But your mileage may vary.

Likewise, there is nothing natural or sensible about "you can put on 3 magic amulets, but only the one you put on first functions, if you tear it off then the second oldest one starts working".

I am glad item slots are going away and will tolerate resonance purely for that.

As opposed to the new system where if you use x+1 you can use any more active items whatsoever. Not an improvement. At all.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I don't think there is anything remotely natural or sensible about "you can wear a magic hat, headband, and goggles because your head, your forehead, and your eyes are all different body parts, as well as a magic cloak, shirt, and armor even though those all go on one on top of the other, but you can only ever equip 2 rings despite having more than 2 fingers and your fingers are clearly distinct from each other." But your mileage may vary.

Likewise, there is nothing natural or sensible about "you can put on 3 magic amulets, but only the one you put on first functions, if you tear it off then the second oldest one starts working".

I am glad item slots are going away and will tolerate resonance purely for that.

I'm of the exact opposite opinion. I feel item slots avoid arguments, are well understood by people with even fleeting RPG experience and easy to grasp for everyone else, create opportunity for varying strength of magical gear based on different slots, are simple to track, and more.

I don't think Resonance's Item Level in disguise and muddying the waters between gear and consumables is at all desirable.


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Ugh! Finally made it through all the comments.

What this comes down to is individual expectations of the system.

Some people like the idea of being able to heal to full between every encounter, some people think that you should eventually have to stop for the night to rest.

I think Resonance is more than just a CLW wand patch. It effects ALL uses of ALL use activated magic items, as well as the number of worn magic items you can use. No more can PCs spam wands/scrolls of Fireball, saving their "real" spells for the boss, so the can go nova.

For healing, Resonance makes the higher level healing items more efficient. Sure, it may cost you 3 times as much for the next level of healing item, but it is more useful. Nobody buys Cure Moderate/Major wands, because they are less efficient gp-wise, and time isn't a factor when you can heal outside of battle.

I see a lot of people wanting to have potions and scrolls be unaffected by Resonance, but then the CLW wand problem becomes a "Bag of Holding + 50 potions" problem or, as one of my PC's wizards did, "Handy Haversack of scrolls" problem. While this is more expensive than just the wand, all this does is push the problem back a level or two.

The point is that, as many people want, and as the game was originally intended, you are supposed to run out of resources and need to stop and rest.

Being able to stock up on an immeasurable amount of low level healing items and maintain full HP essentially turns the game into nothing more than a series of boss fights that all have the potential to kill the PCs. If you don't throw CR +2-6 encounters at the party, they just fully heal and keep on going.

I think, and I don't mean this in an offensive way, that most 3.P players have been spoiled on this idea that you are able to heal up completely and think that this is a feature and not a bug.

I am also aware of the issues that people are afraid that this will force players to play healers. Couple point here.

1) If healers aren't necessary(or at least extremely useful), then the idea of playing a healer is less appealing. Why be a Cleric over a Wizard if the Cleric's healing isn't necessary and the Wizard is more effective in combat?

I also find it weird that groups tend not to have trouble finding people to play other "necessary" roles such as tank, skill monkey, and blaster.

2) About half of the Classes count as healers, and they all have decent alternate qualities. People who want to play the "blaster" could easily pick Alchemist, Cleric, or Druid and be able to cover healing while blasting. Skill monkeys can play the Bard and still be able to heal. Tanks can play Cleric or Paladin and cover healing simultaneously.

3) GMs can supply NPCs to cover the healing role. I think it would be wise if every new module for PF2 comes with optional NPCs to cover necessary roles for the module. Yes, it's more work for the GM, but it fixes the problem of forcing someone to play the healer.

4) Groups could just spec into the new Medicine Skill and heal people with that, as has been STRONGLY hinted at. Not to mention that we literally don't know if there might be alternate healing mechanics aside from spells and the Medicine Skill.

5) Groups could also sell their low level CLW wands for stronger ones at higher levels such that low amounts of Resonance aren't an issue.

As I see it, this isn't an issue. CLW wand spam (and other magic item spam) IS a problem and this is fixed with Resonance.

Also, if Resonance replaces X times/day stuff, then that's less bookkeeping for us.


If divine magic just didn't work with wands that would probably solve the issue.

Divine potions, divine scrolls, staves? Sure, but the gods just don't Grant divine wands.

Of course practionishers of Asmodeous will mention wands of infernal healing, but most kingdoms have ruled them illegal, there being an inconclusive, unprovable correlation to unfortunate incidents, but again that's likely from their wide spread illegality...

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
JSOtter wrote:
Skeld wrote:

A potion of cure light wounds (CLW) costs 50gp for 1 use.

A scroll of CLW costs 25gp for 1 use.
A wand of CLW costs 15gp for 1 use.

Potions and scrolls are single use items. A wand can be used up to 50 times.

This is the biggest one to me why spamming the wands is such a commonplace thing at low levels, but also at higher levels. I would like to add/support this point with what bothers me about this the most.

A potion of CMW costs 300gp for 1 use.
A wand of CMW costs 90gp for 1 use.

So immediately it's obvious to new players that it's cheaper to buy 6 potions of CLW than 1 bottle of CMW without really considering the difference.

CLW is a minimum 1d8+1, CMW is a minimum 2d8+3. so for 6x the price I get an additional 1d8+2 healing.
Using a wand of CLW, I heal 2 HP and a maximum of 9HP per 15gp.
with CMW, however, that same wand means my minimum is 4 HP to a maximum of 19 HP 90gp.
That comes out to paying 6x more for 2x more the healing.

The scale gets progressively worse with higher cost magic items simply for the fact that crafting is constructed in such a quadratic increase. Economically it makes sense to continue buying the Wands of CLW.

Unless charges are going away from wands and there's a massive overhaul of the crafting system, I don't see how resonance alone will fix the cause of why we have CLW spamming and instead simply force the band-aid of it to no longer suffice.

The thing is, cure potion prices are based on the price for all potions of a given level, right?

This is a matter of using favoring an elegant, one-size-fits-all math formula for item pricing, instead of adjusting prices based on effect because that's a lot of work. All 1st level spells turned into potions cost (spell level)*(caster level)*50, regadless of whether all 1st level spells are balanced against one another, much less versus spells at other levels.

Plus, there's other consideration on top of that (ie. action ecomony of drinking 2 CLW potions versus 1 CMW, etc.)

-Skeld


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How about make wands like staves, but with 20 charges.

You can only add a single charge per day, so if you burn through them after a single fight, it will take you 20 days to recharge the wand.

And if they are priced a fair bit higher, then you will likely see less sacks of CLW wands.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Making a CLWW 2500 golds (50goldsx50charges) would do a quicker job of fixing the issue than making a huge pile of other math, and it'd make the other wands reasonable as well as discourage spam.

You're on the right track, but I think it'd be better to limit a wand to 15 changes. Then a wand of CLW still costs 750gp. Lower level characters can still afford it without going all in, but 15 charges isn't nrealy as spammable.

-Skeld


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If a GM doesn't want the PC's to "spam" consumables, then don't give them consumables? Why hard code this limit into the system to solve a 'problem' that should be nothing more than the GM deciding what power level he want's to play?

If the issue is thematic, you don't like that the players sit around for a few minutes poking each other with sticks, then make higher level healing more affordable so instead of 10 pokes with CLW, its economically reasonable for them to do 5 pokes with CLW or 2 pokes with CSW.

If it is the fact that the wand is doing the healing, why not just tweak the wand/potion paradigm a bit and say healing and boons are in potion form only while negative conditions and damage are reserved for wands? Then you fly/healing/magic armour/restoration etc magic are potions and your Melf's/curse/magic missiles are wands.

If the issue is healing between encounters, I just have to say that I've played with many different groups from all over the place and the have all had different tolerances for pressing on with different levels of resources, but the one constant that was always a hard limit was HP. Wizard out of spells? We can keep going. Cleric out of healing? Well, we are full on HP so we can risk it. Fighter down to half hp? We're done here. Personal anecdote? Yes, but take it for what its worth.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It’s fictionally unsatisfying, it’s just not part of any fantasy story ever.

"I make a mad dash for the doorway as a blast of magical fire scorches the table I was using for cover, trailing blood from the knife wound in my back. I reach for the pouch on my belt where I keep my 'life insurance policy' handy, fish out the little bottle, pull the cork with my teeth, suck down the minty liquid...and nothing happens. No wash of radiant warmth closing the wound, no nothing. Gods, why'd I have to use that Vanish Potion to sneak in here."

Said no fantasy novel ever.

Though now that I think about it, I can imagine quite the trade in fake healing potions now that they're suddenly unreliable. Quite a few alchemists getting whacked because their healing elixirs didn't do anything.


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Conversely

"Throw another fireball Gandalf!"

"Sorry, I only studied it once the night before, I can't do it again,"

"You wha-"
-Death by orcs

Doesn't happen in any fantasy novel either. Turns out that most RPG mechanics don't actually translate to other mediums. Weird that.


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Speaking as someone who puts ranks of Use Magic Device on every one of my characters so they can lug around CLW wands to take care of the party (because most parties I've played in won't bring much healing of their own...), I'll offer my thoughts on what's so wrong with CLW Wands.

It's a damn headache in terms of bookkeeping. After a fight, I have to roll, no lie, 30-50 dice just to get the party back to proper health. "UMD... failed. UMD... failed. UMD... failed. ...UMD, success, here's 1d8+1 heal and I'll mark the charge off the wand... UMD failed natural 1, switching to second wand... UMD success, there's 1d8+1 and I'll mark a charge off THAT wand... UMD failed nat 1, switching to THIRD WAND... UMD success, there's your 1d8+1 and marking a charge off the third wand..."

This goes on for a while. It is really, really annoying to me as a player, and to the GM who has to verify all this junk.

Gets tiring real fast. I do it because it's smart play and has sometimes made the difference between TPKs or successful adventures, but it sucks. I want a better system.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Conversely

"Throw another fireball Gandalf!"

"Sorry, I only studied it once the night before, I can't do it again,"

"You wha-"
-Death by orcs

Doesn't happen in any fantasy novel either. Turns out that most RPG mechanics don't actually translate to other mediums. Weird that.

But those novels are what most groups are trying to recreate at their table.


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eternaldesire wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Conversely

"Throw another fireball Gandalf!"

"Sorry, I only studied it once the night before, I can't do it again,"

"You wha-"
-Death by orcs

Doesn't happen in any fantasy novel either. Turns out that most RPG mechanics don't actually translate to other mediums. Weird that.

But those novels are what most groups are trying to recreate at their table.

I have never once met a group that tried to emulate Lord of the Rings, not even in the One Ring RPG. 70% of the time they become Monty Python and the Holy Grail knock-offs and the other 30% is something more akin to the Slayers anime.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Unlimited healing consumables can also reduce martial/caster disparity. If healing hit points is easy, then casters have an incentive to hold back their best spells whenever possible and let the Fighter have his chance to shine.

? I think the opposite would happen wouldn't it? There's the BBEG. I've spent nothing on healing, and probably won't have to during or after.. so... nova time!

AaronUnicorn wrote:
Can we just agree that arguing about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not is more contentious than any "Should this Paladin fall?" thread, and leave it at that?

Actually um, nobody's really disagreed. I'm sort of indifferent about it ... like, it's odd, but not wrong either. It's set at Christmas time, but yet is an action film. So I just shrug and watching it anyways. It makes him happy.

Dasrak wrote:

It's actually closer to 1% per day. CLW may be cost-efficient, but they don't heal very much by the standards of 10th level characters. Presuming average rolls and no wastage, a wand of CLW will heal 275 hit points in total over its 50 charges. A 10th level party can blow through that much healing in a single encounter if the dice go poorly.

That expense seems reasonable to me. These are getting to levels where clerics are starting to become bottomless wells of healing, so why shouldn't cleric-less parties have a cheap and efficient alternative?

Clerics of 10th level aren't anywhere near to bottomless wells of healing. If you do nothing but heal, are at least somewhat casting-focused (so no 17 str, 12 wis melee clerics), and have a healing domain .. your total daily healing power is about 520 health of single-target spells, plus 109 of CLW:M for a 5-person group. Channel adds about 438 to that. Total of about 1070 or a bit less than four wands. That's including using the healing spells as domain spells btw.

A non-healing-domain cleric is 790, or just a bit less than three wands worth. Keep in mind that they've done nothing but cast healing spells. No restoration, buffing, crowd control, damage, or anything.

Now, a 10th level, 5-person party has about a total wealth of 310,000 gold according to WBL. The guidelines state that no more than 15% of their wealth should be disposable items. That's 46,500 gold...or 62 wands. Each wand is about 1.6% of their disposable-item wealth, or 0.8% if player-crafted.

Days isn't a super duper measurement for wand consumption .. per encounter would be better. It takes about 20 CR10 encounters for a party to level up, or about 7-8 for CR13 encounters. How many wands per encounter are being consumed?

A 10th level barbarian with toughness and +5 con bonus and the +1 hit point favored class bonus should have about 140 health at that level .. and that's pritty much the high end. I'll have on average about 68 health by then? Anyways I guess that would mean that a party might have as much as two wands worth of health if they're all hit-point barbarians. So you could need as many as 40 wands in that case. However if health is more like my own, that's only 20 wands (one per CL10 encounter, but a CL10 encounter is only supposed to drain 1/4 of resource)..and if you only take half damage.. 10 wands between 10th and 11th.. out of 62 buyable without impacting permanent items.

So I guess in really rough terms the opportunity cost at that level is about 1/6th of your disposable item income?

Or a 10th level healbot is worth about 7,750 gp. You'd have to rest overnight at least three times to let her recharge, whereas the wands would be good to go.

totally sorry for the big wall of text everybody! t.t

Yrtalien wrote:

If you look at this solely as a reaction due to wand spam then yes, it does seem to be an over reaction, but in light of the other issues it touches upon perhaps it's worthy of the playtest and critique.

Have a good day every one. The 20th is International Happiness Day so hopefully game this weekend and approach the day glad : )

I'm certain that you're right - if they just wanted to look at CLW wand spam, they would have simply raised the cost of CL1 wands.

Is... is that Happiness day a thing? There's a day for everything now. Oh well! Happy Happiness Day! ^.^

thflame wrote:

For healing, Resonance makes the higher level healing items more efficient. Sure, it may cost you 3 times as much for the next level of healing item, but it is more useful. Nobody buys Cure Moderate/Major wands, because they are less efficient gp-wise, and time isn't a factor when you can heal outside of battle.

Yep.

RickDias wrote:
It's a damn headache in terms of bookkeeping. After a fight, I have to roll, no lie, 30-50 dice just to get the party back to proper health. "UMD... failed. UMD... failed. UMD... failed. ...UMD, success, here's 1d8+1 heal and I'll mark the charge off the wand... UMD failed natural 1, switching to second wand... UMD success, there's 1d8+1 and I'll mark a charge off THAT wand... UMD failed nat 1, switching to THIRD WAND... UMD success, there's your 1d8+1 and marking a charge off the third wand..."

Um, leaving aside whether or not CLW wandspam is good or not, don't you have any divine casters? The requirement for a wand without UMB is just to have the spell on your class list.. you don't actually have to be able to cast it at all:

"Spell trigger items can be used by anyone whose class can cast the corresponding spell. This is the case even for a character who can't actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin."

So someone could dip a level of ranger, cleric, druid, bard, paladin, oracle, thri-kreen, witch, or other divine caster... or maybe even alchemist (not sure bout that!) and not have to roll UMD.

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Doesn't happen in any fantasy novel either. Turns out that most RPG mechanics don't actually translate to other mediums. Weird that.

Actually um, the (much hated) spell memorization thingie was invented by Jack Vance.. in his Dying Earth novels. So I assume it does happen there. Blame him!!


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Kerrilyn wrote:


Actually um, the (much hated) spell memorization thingie was invented by Jack Vance.. in his Dying Earth novels. So I assume it does happen there. Blame him!!

I haven't actually read his stuff, but I recall hearing that even in those novels the spellcasting wasn't what eventually would darken the doorstep of DnD and its derivatives (Note: I am not a fan of prepared casting).

Plus if I want to fish for examples of potion failure for chugging too many, I could point out the Witcher for that sort of thing (okay, that's actually a build up of toxins within the potions and not wibbly wobbly resonance, but the effect is similar)


technarken wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It’s fictionally unsatisfying, it’s just not part of any fantasy story ever.

"I make a mad dash for the doorway as a blast of magical fire scorches the table I was using for cover, trailing blood from the knife wound in my back. I reach for the pouch on my belt where I keep my 'life insurance policy' handy, fish out the little bottle, pull the cork with my teeth, suck down the minty liquid...and nothing happens. No wash of radiant warmth closing the wound, no nothing. Gods, why'd I have to use that Vanish Potion to sneak in here."

Said no fantasy novel ever.

Though now that I think about it, I can imagine quite the trade in fake healing potions now that they're suddenly unreliable. Quite a few alchemists getting whacked because their healing elixirs didn't do anything.

What level is this theoretical character that he both has Vanishing Potions and a Healing Potions but not enough Resonance to use both safely?

By the rules on acquiring magic items, this character shouldn't even be able to get an invisibility potion until level 3, and it would be a BIG deal. At that point, he has 3 + CHA mod. Resonance.

If you want to claim that his Resonance is being used up by stuff like his magic armor, then he has to be an even HIGHER level to be able to afford this stuff.

Also, I have read fantasy stories where a character's magic item didn't work when they needed it to. It added tension to the story and made it a whole lot more interesting.


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As has been pointed out, resonance touches on a lot of things. There are certainly a lot of discussion points on the system, but I think a lot of people are missing the forest for trees. The problem isn't the change to wands per say. Rather, the wand of CLW just seems to be a banner to rally behind/against. I personally don't mind them changing to chargeless items that are limited by resonance, and am much more bothered by scrolls and potions getting anchored down by the resonance system.

The problem that I think a lot of people aren't really addressing directly is that this is a paradigm shift in resource management. In PF1E, daily resources were a soft limit due to the fact that consumables could be used to effectively convert gold into more daily resources (with the caveat that this gold needed to be spent ahead of time). Whether this was a good or bad thing depends on your perspective, but I firmly pitch my tend in the "it's a good thing" camp. It allows the narrative to proceed when practicality would otherwise have intervened. Unlike a completely fictional story, we're bound by the rules of our game, and thus need to deal with a degree of unpredictability that unfettered authors do not. I and a lot of people rely on consumables as a means of addressing that problem. I'd also add this isn't just wands of CLW; giving the wizard something to do when he's out of spell slots is a great use of wands. We may need to tread a little more carefully there (1d4+1 damage magic missiles isn't going to break anything in PF1E, but 3d4+3 damage in PF2E could be a problem) but it keeps the wizard happy and participating even after he's expended and that can be a very good thing at 1st when wizards can blow through all their spells very quickly.

The concern here is that the resonance system portends a paradigm shift towards a hard daily limit, where you are literally done with no further recourse at a certain point. The worry is that that PF2E simply won't support the style of play that many of us are accustomed to and find desirable. Whether wands fill that role or not isn't really relevant; I'm perfectly happy with them filling a new role as a permanent item that sucks up resonance every time it's used. The concern is that there will be nothing to fill their traditional role. It's clear some people consider that a good thing, but I for one do not.


Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:

A lot of the issue here is folks assume HP re wounds and really the game does not treat them that way. Your fine at full power until you hit 0. It does not matter if your t full HP or 2 HP, you are at full power.

Heck you can go to -6 get healed to 1 Hp and are fine.

But the game just as often does, too. This is why HP as a concept are so contentious. I mean, if HP aren't "meat points," how does CLW even work? And is it satisfying if they represent only luck, and skill, and near-misses, and glancing blows, and only one real strike takes down your hero? Maybe. Depends on the game, the scene, the character, your level, everything.

For instance, early on I can see that working for my proud Fighter as she duels her nemesis. But later on when she's battling a god, as Fingolfin did to Morgoth, I want each strike to knock the combatants through a wall, or shatter the ground beneath their feet, hammer home like meteor strikes that would break lesser warriors, but somehow you're tougher than was thought possible.

So the "HP as luck and skill" crowd runs into just as many problems as the "HP as meat points" crowd. It's not an easy thing to fix by this point. I usually try to strike a balance between both.


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technarken wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It’s fictionally unsatisfying, it’s just not part of any fantasy story ever.

"I make a mad dash for the doorway as a blast of magical fire scorches the table I was using for cover, trailing blood from the knife wound in my back. I reach for the pouch on my belt where I keep my 'life insurance policy' handy, fish out the little bottle, pull the cork with my teeth, suck down the minty liquid...and nothing happens. No wash of radiant warmth closing the wound, no nothing. Gods, why'd I have to use that Vanish Potion to sneak in here."

Said no fantasy novel ever.

That is failure. success of investing in a one time item does happen in fiction:

"Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!" "


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Lord Mhoram wrote:
technarken wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It’s fictionally unsatisfying, it’s just not part of any fantasy story ever.

"I make a mad dash for the doorway as a blast of magical fire scorches the table I was using for cover, trailing blood from the knife wound in my back. I reach for the pouch on my belt where I keep my 'life insurance policy' handy, fish out the little bottle, pull the cork with my teeth, suck down the minty liquid...and nothing happens. No wash of radiant warmth closing the wound, no nothing. Gods, why'd I have to use that Vanish Potion to sneak in here."

Said no fantasy novel ever.

That is failure. success of investing in a one time item does happen in fiction:

"Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!" "

Except now it’s ‘plunk!’ “I knew I shouldn’t have drunk that healing potion, dang it!”


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thflame wrote:
technarken wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It’s fictionally unsatisfying, it’s just not part of any fantasy story ever.

"I make a mad dash for the doorway as a blast of magical fire scorches the table I was using for cover, trailing blood from the knife wound in my back. I reach for the pouch on my belt where I keep my 'life insurance policy' handy, fish out the little bottle, pull the cork with my teeth, suck down the minty liquid...and nothing happens. No wash of radiant warmth closing the wound, no nothing. Gods, why'd I have to use that Vanish Potion to sneak in here."

Said no fantasy novel ever.

Though now that I think about it, I can imagine quite the trade in fake healing potions now that they're suddenly unreliable. Quite a few alchemists getting whacked because their healing elixirs didn't do anything.

What level is this theoretical character that he both has Vanishing Potions and a Healing Potions but not enough Resonance to use both safely?

By the rules on acquiring magic items, this character shouldn't even be able to get an invisibility potion until level 3, and it would be a BIG deal. At that point, he has 3 + CHA mod. Resonance.

If you want to claim that his Resonance is being used up by stuff like his magic armor, then he has to be an even HIGHER level to be able to afford this stuff.

Also, I have read fantasy stories where a character's magic item didn't work when they needed it to. It added tension to the story and made it a whole lot more interesting.

I'm assuming a 3rd level-ish character with a couple of interesting thematic items, who uses an invisibility potion to sneak into a building, gets into a fight he knows he can't win, takes cover, and fails the coinflip. Sure, it raises tension, but it raises tension in a way that is more frustrating than interesting. I don't want my consumables to be things that can just flake out on me like resonance makes them prone to.


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technarken wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
It’s fictionally unsatisfying, it’s just not part of any fantasy story ever.

"I make a mad dash for the doorway as a blast of magical fire scorches the table I was using for cover, trailing blood from the knife wound in my back. I reach for the pouch on my belt where I keep my 'life insurance policy' handy, fish out the little bottle, pull the cork with my teeth, suck down the minty liquid...and nothing happens. No wash of radiant warmth closing the wound, no nothing. Gods, why'd I have to use that Vanish Potion to sneak in here."

Said no fantasy novel ever.

I'd entirely believe it in a Dresden Files novel, fwiw. There are potion malfunctions particularly in the first couple of those that are quite similar.


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I just had a mid level, Gestalt Character with a d10 HD, equivalent 16 con character get two-shot from full health. And the monster was not the boss.

I'm not interested in a Pathfinder where healing is even harder to come by and more expensive. I'm not interested in an attrition based PC meat grinder. If 2e goes that way, I won't be going with it.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It seems to me that some of the problem is people conflating narrative elements and game mechanics.

With a book you have a limited number of words to tell the story. With a movie or TV series, you only have so much time to tell the story. Generally talking about healing the heroes between fights isn't a good use of those limited resources because they don't dramatically advance the story. There are times when it is part of the story -- such as when Strider used leaves of the Athelas and boiling water to heal Frodo’s knife wound. There it showed some skills of the character and how deadly the wound was. Normally it ranks down there with daily meals and hygiene -- it gets glossed over.

Books and movies don't have the sorts of resource management that RPGs do.

We have game mechanics that cover some of the things that normally get skipped over in a story. In gritty games, trail rations get tracked. There are required amounts of rest to avoid fatigue. Part of these mechanics include out of combat healing -- something that as I stated wouldn't be part of a novel or movie.

I see it as a difference caused by the media. What works in a book or movie doesn't always work in an RPG. There are reasons to craft the plot differently.

I don't see a huge problem with CLW wands. They fill a purpose -- allowing you to keep fighting longer and recover from an early fight that took too much out of you. Having played in games with very limited healing, I much prefer those that have readily available healing. I just don't consider out of combat healing exciting, nor do I like taking days off just to recover from the last adventure.

I don't mind if they change the mechanics of how it is done, but I really want some sort of out of combat healing. If we are to preserve the narrative of sometimes being already hurt coming into a battle, the right thing to do is make sure that out of combat healing takes time. It doesn't matter as much if the time required is 5 minutes or 10 minutes, it just matters that the scenario/module writers can put you on a timer that prevents the out of combat healing.

I believe that in combat healing is where it gets dramatic. That is when a well timed quaffing of a potion or positive channel energy can make a difference. I know there are players out there that take pride in never having anyone die on their watch. I don't know of any players that want to spend a lot of limited resources on out of combat healing.

By the way, to those who don't buy potions -- perhaps you are using them wrong? Having the most powerful healing potion you can afford can be a life saver. Having a pack full of CLW potions takes too long during battle.


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I hate CLW Wands. IMO, they break the game.

Look back at 3.0. The DMG there had a lot of stuff to say about adventure and encounter design. The idea was that during a day you'd have about 4 encounters with an average encounter level equal to the party's level. Each of these encounters would consume about 20-25% of the party's resources - resources primarily being spells and hit points. That way, the first three encounters in a day probably aren't very dangerous on their own, but they wear you down so the final encounter is exciting and dangerous. This creates actual tension regarding resource use - is it better for the cleric to cast bless to help the party finish the fight faster (thereby taking less damage), or to save the spell for conversion to a cure light wounds after the fight?

In the same book, you have rules for magic items. In previous editions, all items except scrolls were highly specific - an item had a specified effect. This effect might refer back to a spell, but it was often somewhat altered. For example, you had a potion of climbing which gave you a percentage-based chance to climb based on your armor, as opposed to being a potion of spider climb which would have been the 3e equivalent. A potion of healing heals 2d4+2, which is different from the 1d8 healed by a cure light wounds spell. There was no wand of healing - the closest was the staff of curing, but in addition to charges that had the limitation that you couldn't use it more than once per person per day. In addition, making magic items was very difficult (impossible before 7th to 9th level, and requiring significant investment in various equipment), and required weird components, making it a much more DM-gated thing.

But 3e, as a default, essentially lets you turn gold into magic items as you wish, and it also defined potions, scrolls, and wands as spell receptacles. If it is a spell, you can put it on a scroll or in a wand, and sometimes in a potion depending on what it affects. The cost of doing so is defined by the game, and is generally only a gold issue (and in 3e an XP issue, though the XP costs were mostly negligible). This all boils down to wands of cure light wounds becoming ubiquitous, despite almost not being mentioned at all in the 3e books other than as an entry on a random item table. I'll add that the wands are just the worst offender, but if they didn't exist people would use scrolls and potions instead at approximately 1.5 and 3 times the price.

The problem with this is that it makes attrition useless. Who cares if my manticore deals a total of 25 damage to the party, that's just five wand charges. Unless it manages to get close to actually killing someone, it might as well just not have been there. This, in turn, leads GMs to say "Hey, these encounter design rules suck, my players just waltz through, kill everything, and are then back in top form for the next fight. I'll better up the challenge to something that's actually challenging."

This in turn leads to "nova" classes getting an edge over "slow burn" classes, because they're better equipped to handle a small number of tougher fights. That then leads to the perception of "slow burn" classes being bad compared to novas.

TL;DR: 3e core had lots of stuff about encounter design and adventure pacing, all of which gets absolutely wrecked by the wand of CLW. Given that, I'm almost certain that the wand's existence was a mistake.


Hargert wrote:
How is letting every character self-heal any better? The end result is much the same, either the characters can heal up or not.

If the characters are capable of self-healing, their ability to do so is a conscious design decision and the degree of their self-healing abilities can be adjusted for the desired play experience.

I've seen games with no in-game healing at all, and games which assume characters are always at full health for every combat, and many stages in-between.


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I'd say when narrative elements are used to justify game mechanic decisions, we can conflate the 2 a little


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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.

Being at full hp is not a problem. I'd say that it's almost required, to properly make balanced encounters.

I don't think using a wand of CLW twice or three times in each wounded character at lvl 2 feels stupid.

However, using a full wand per combat per character to heal back 200hp at lvl 15+, while carrying an Efficient Quiver full of CLW wands for the whole dungeon, just because it's way cheaper, does sound a bit stupid for me.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Being at full hp is not a problem. I'd say that it's almost required, to properly make balanced encounters.

A balanced encounter in a 3e-based game (which PF1 is), as part of a balanced adventuring day, does not require starting at full hp. Most of the time, you probably should start down a bit - the whole 20% resources thing.

That apparently didn't make it into PF1 (probably because it wasn't in the SRD), but the guidelines on easy/average/hard encounters are still based on that idea.

That said, encounters where you feel you're in danger of actually losing are a lot more exciting than ones where you're winning easily, and the only question is how much you spend getting there. This is one area where I think 4e actually had a good idea (though it might have been better implemented), with their healing surges and short rests. For those who don't know, a 4e PC would have 6 to 10, plus Con modifier, healing surges per day, each healing them for 25% of their max hp. These could be spent during a short (5-minute) rest, which would also recover some character abilities, or sometimes triggered by various abilities in combat. For example, the cleric's basic healing ability, healing word let the target spend a healing surge and heal an extra d6 (more at higher levels). This whole setup let the PCs run into multiple fights per day that actually challenged them, still be in shape for the next fight, and also have an element of attrition (the healing surges). You also had a few abilities that would heal without spending a healing surge, but such abilities were almost always 1/day powers.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:

"Throw another fireball Gandalf!"

"Sorry, I only studied it once the night before, I can't do it again,"

"You wha-"
-Death by orcs

Doesn't happen in any fantasy novel either.

It could happen in Jack Vance's Dying Earth books. Hence the term, "Vancian magic".

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