Why are Wands of CLW such a problem?


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Silver Crusade

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necromental wrote:
You (and a couple of others) keep saying that encounters are not balanced for PCs being at full health, but it's simply not true if CR guidelines are to be of any meaning.

Actually, it is. Encounters are not balanced around being at Full HP without expending significant resources.

That's the benchmark Adventure/Encounter designs are built around, how much resources they consume from the party, with HP being just one type of resource.


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Kerrilyn wrote:

Lil kerri thought: real world economics - why are CLW wands so cheap if they always sell out? The magic shopkeeps don't understand supply, price, and demand I guess?

This is the issue. Magic items are not priced by supply-demand, or by usefulness. They are priced by cost, through a formula. Every single 1st lvl wand cost the same, it doesn't matter if it is the very useful ones like CLW, Mage Armor, Detect Secret Doors or shield, or totally useless like the any of the lvl spells which are not useful with DC11 and/or 1 round/lvl duration.

Besides that:
My own peet peeve with CLW is not that players heal before encounters. I'm fine with that, be it "healing surges" or free healing from clerics or whatever. My pet peeve is that carrying a quiver full of CLW at high level, and then proceed to poke someone for 40 rounds healing them 1d8+1 until they recover 200hp is lame.


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Yeah, I don't have a problem with players being at full health each encounter, in fact I encourage it since casters or other ranged characters tend to take no damage, and melee characters take it all to the face it doesn't feel very equitable for the party. When you reduce the availability of healing you're simply increasing the chance the fighter dies. And he's already at a disadvantage compared to the wizard or cleric. Let everyone be at full health between basically every combat and design around that principle. For extra tough encounters you might design a time crunch that doesn't allow for being at full health, but then you design with that in mind too.

I agree 10 minutes of poking someone for healing looks stupid, but getting rid of easy access to healing is a huge problem IMO,


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Rysky wrote:
necromental wrote:
You (and a couple of others) keep saying that encounters are not balanced for PCs being at full health, but it's simply not true if CR guidelines are to be of any meaning.

Actually, it is. Encounters are not balanced around being at Full HP without expending significant resources.

That's the benchmark Adventure/Encounter designs are built around, how much resources they consume from the party, with HP being just one type of resource.

The problem with that, as has been said, is that:

a) Wands are a resource. That they become plentiful at later levels doesn't change this.
b) HP is not comparable to other "resources". You can lose much, much more HP in a fight than you do spells. Or rage rounds. Or bombs. Or what have you. Therefore you need a better way of recovering them than any of the others. This is why you have a plethora of healing options out there but stuff like Pearls of Power are incredibly expensive: because recovering HP is not seen as valuable as recovering a spell.
c) However, at the same time, HP is much more of a "woah, stop" resource than any of the others. A Paladin without Smite or Lay on Hands is probably fine. A barbarian without Rage is severely diminished but not useless. Spellcasters with few spells are in a tougher position, but I've seen Wizards/Clerics go on without spells more than once. Everyone stops in their tracks if they're low on HP because nobody wants to die.

The only problem with the current situation is that players expend too little resources to be at full HP (at later levels, anyway). You can dislike that (I don't, having players leave the dungeon to go rest is far worse than having them sit around for a bit with wands) but it's derived from poor price scaling for healing items, coupled with those healing items being the best option to keep adventuring (because everyone wants to keep playing).

Scarab Sages

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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
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)

AD&D included the infamous Potion Miscibility Table, which you had to roll on, if you drank a potion while still under the effects of a previous one.

Results went from the mundane (second potion fails to work, half effect, first potion replaced by second) to the alarming (one of the potions' effects become permanent) to the lethal (drinker explodes).

So there is precedent, for wanting to reduce the number of potions a PC consumes.
The old school writers didn't want anyone wearing a chugger hat filled with four flavours of resist energy, then going Leroy Jenkins through the Temple of Elemental Evil.


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Kerrilyn wrote:

why are CLW wands so cheap if they always sell out? The magic shopkeeps don't understand supply, price, and demand I guess?

The standard economy where CLW wands are easy to find and cheap to buy makes sense to me. A CLW wand takes a few hours to craft (for 375gp) and is probably one of the easier magic items to sell (for 750gp) since the demand is so high. Going by my standard '1gp = $100' rule of thumb, that's $37,500 profit for half a day of work (minus overhead costs for the magic shop). So lots of people will be making a good living in the CLW-wand-crafting business. The prices are probably kept stable by guild pricing regulations.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
My pet peeve is that carrying a quiver full of CLW at high level, and then proceed to poke someone for 40 rounds healing them 1d8+1 until they recover 200hp is lame.

Nothing about wands requires anyone to poke anything.

Imagine a healer crouching over the body of a fallen ally, holding a green-glowing wand in one hand and placing the other hand on their injuries, softly chanting the magic word over and over again. Gradually, over four minutes, the wounds close up.

Is this any sillier than any other form of RPG healing?

Silver Crusade

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TheFinish wrote:
Rysky wrote:
necromental wrote:
You (and a couple of others) keep saying that encounters are not balanced for PCs being at full health, but it's simply not true if CR guidelines are to be of any meaning.

Actually, it is. Encounters are not balanced around being at Full HP without expending significant resources.

That's the benchmark Adventure/Encounter designs are built around, how much resources they consume from the party, with HP being just one type of resource.

The problem with that, as has been said, is that:

a) Wands are a resource. That they become plentiful at later levels doesn't change this.
b) HP is not comparable to other "resources". You can lose much, much more HP in a fight than you do spells. Or rage rounds. Or bombs. Or what have you. Therefore you need a better way of recovering them than any of the others. This is why you have a plethora of healing options out there but stuff like Pearls of Power are incredibly expensive: because recovering HP is not seen as valuable as recovering a spell.
c) However, at the same time, HP is much more of a "woah, stop" resource than any of the others. A Paladin without Smite or Lay on Hands is probably fine. A barbarian without Rage is severely diminished but not useless. Spellcasters with few spells are in a tougher position, but I've seen Wizards/Clerics go on without spells more than once. Everyone stops in their tracks if they're low on HP because nobody wants to die.

The only problem with the current situation is that players expend too little resources to be at full HP (at later levels, anyway). You can dislike that (I don't, having players leave the dungeon to go rest is far worse than having them sit around for a bit with wands) but it's derived from poor price scaling for healing items, coupled with those healing items being the best option to keep adventuring (because everyone wants to keep playing).

I’m not really seeing the “problem”/ anything that contradicts what I said.

Encounters are built around diminishing “significant” resources. The fact that you can skip using potions/higher level wands/spells with a bag full of cheap CLW wands to restore the party to full HP is an issue.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Kerrilyn wrote:

why are CLW wands so cheap if they always sell out? The magic shopkeeps don't understand supply, price, and demand I guess?

The standard economy where CLW wands are easy to find and cheap to buy makes sense to me. A CLW wand takes a few hours to craft (for 375gp) and is probably one of the easier magic items to sell (for 750gp) since the demand is so high. Going by my standard '1gp = $100' rule of thumb, that's $37,500 profit for half a day of work (minus overhead costs for the magic shop). So lots of people will be making a good living in the CLW-wand-crafting business. The prices are probably kept stable by guild pricing regulations.

let's say the average household consists of four people. a CLW wand with 50 charges that heals 50 minor to major injuries like broken bones or flesh wounds probably lasts at least half a life time for them. and the 750 GP are way beyond what Farmer Joe and his family earn in three generations. So I don't see a huge market there.

Nobles can afford them, but their lives might be not as dangerous as the lives of the peasants (except maybe hubting incidents or a taste for dangerous sports), so, again, one wand per noble house is probably enough for a decade or so.

The market for CLW consists mostly of mercenary groups with a rich sponsor or Adventurers. And I don't think Adventurers are as common as some believe. The characters are special for a reason.

So, we are talking about a very small niche here, with not much demand outside of the PCs and a handful of NPCs who can afford it.

Scarab Sages

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thflame wrote:
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.

Another legacy rule from AD&D, that never made the cut to D&D3, was that dwarves had to roll for item failure (20%!), for anything that was not armor or weapons.

The reasoning being that dwarves were highly antimagical, hence the bonuses to saving throws (highly prized in those days, when resistance items were rarer).

D&D3 kept the flavour, kept the bonuses to saves, included bonuses to Con, (later increased by PF to Wis AND Con) that bumped saves, keeping dwarves as the kings and queens of passed saving throws, but dropped the downside; having to be more self-reliant, because you can't depend on your gear.

Silver Crusade

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Snorter wrote:
thflame wrote:
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.

Another legacy rule from AD&D, that never made the cut to D&D3, was that dwarves had to roll for item failure (20%!), for anything that was not armor or weapons.

The reasoning being that dwarves were highly antimagical, hence the bonuses to saving throws (highly prized in those days, when resistance items were rarer).

D&D3 kept the flavour, kept the bonuses to saves, included bonuses to Con, (later increased by PF to Wis AND Con) that bumped saves, keeping dwarves as the kings and queens of passed saving throws, but dropped the downside; having to be more self-reliant, because you can't depend on your gear.

People were really confused when Dragon Age used that for their Dwarves :3


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Rysky wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Rysky wrote:
necromental wrote:
You (and a couple of others) keep saying that encounters are not balanced for PCs being at full health, but it's simply not true if CR guidelines are to be of any meaning.

Actually, it is. Encounters are not balanced around being at Full HP without expending significant resources.

That's the benchmark Adventure/Encounter designs are built around, how much resources they consume from the party, with HP being just one type of resource.

The problem with that, as has been said, is that:

a) Wands are a resource. That they become plentiful at later levels doesn't change this.
b) HP is not comparable to other "resources". You can lose much, much more HP in a fight than you do spells. Or rage rounds. Or bombs. Or what have you. Therefore you need a better way of recovering them than any of the others. This is why you have a plethora of healing options out there but stuff like Pearls of Power are incredibly expensive: because recovering HP is not seen as valuable as recovering a spell.
c) However, at the same time, HP is much more of a "woah, stop" resource than any of the others. A Paladin without Smite or Lay on Hands is probably fine. A barbarian without Rage is severely diminished but not useless. Spellcasters with few spells are in a tougher position, but I've seen Wizards/Clerics go on without spells more than once. Everyone stops in their tracks if they're low on HP because nobody wants to die.

The only problem with the current situation is that players expend too little resources to be at full HP (at later levels, anyway). You can dislike that (I don't, having players leave the dungeon to go rest is far worse than having them sit around for a bit with wands) but it's derived from poor price scaling for healing items, coupled with those healing items being the best option to keep adventuring (because everyone wants to keep playing).

I’m not really seeing the “problem”/ anything that contradicts what I said.

Encounters are built around diminishing “significant” resources. The fact that you can skip using potions/higher level wands/spells with a bag full of cheap CLW wands to restore the party to full HP is an issue.

Because then you have the problem of someone being forced to play the healer or having a 15-minute adventuring day. Both of which are pretty much non-existant thanks to CLW wands, IMO.

Silver Crusade

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All three of those things are a problem.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

let's say the average household consists of four people. a CLW wand with 50 charges that heals 50 minor to major injuries like broken bones or flesh wounds probably lasts at least half a life time for them. and the 750 GP are way beyond what Farmer Joe and his family earn in three generations. So I don't see a huge market there.

Nobles can afford them, but their lives might be not as dangerous as the lives of the peasants (except maybe hubting incidents or a taste for dangerous sports), so, again, one wand per noble house is probably enough for a decade or so.

The market for CLW consists mostly of mercenary groups with a rich sponsor or Adventurers. And I don't think Adventurers are as common as some believe. The characters are special for a reason.

So, we are talking about a very small niche here, with not much demand outside of the PCs and a handful of NPCs who can afford it.

If Farmer Joe has Profession: Farmer, he makes about 750gp profit every two years. But he wouldn't buy one because he doesn't have UMD skill; he might get a potion of CLW for emergencies.

The military and the churches (which I think are the hospitals of Golarion) would be a major market for wands. (Other groups, like criminal gangs, would want them too.) And while the market is limited, the number of wand crafters is limited too, so it probably balances out. Crafters can crank out a wand a day, or take a day off if the market is getting saturated.


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Sometimes, I get this really weird feeling that maybe, just maybe, we are not all playing the same game.


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Rysky wrote:
All three of those things are a problem.

If one of those three negates the other two, that's pretty much not a problem in my book. I mean a have a flavor problem, of it being stupid (exactly like gustavo iglesias said above), but I find that games where hp attrition (not other resource attrition) is significant are just not fun (Dark Heresy comes to mind, I mean great for what it's trying to convey, but horrible for 1 fight=5 days in infirmary pace of the game). As such some other way of OoC healing should exist to replace them.

Silver Crusade

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necromental wrote:
Rysky wrote:
All three of those things are a problem.
If one of those three negates the other two, that's pretty much not a problem in my book. I mean a have a flavor problem, of it being stupid (exactly like gustavo iglesias said above), but I find that games where hp attrition (not other resource attrition) is significant are just not fun (Dark Heresy comes to mind, I mean great for what it's trying to convey, but horrible for 1 fight=5 days in infirmary pace of the game). As such some other way of OoC healing should exist to replace them.

A problem removing a problem doesn’t make the first thing not become a problem, especially if it becomes frustrating/boring in it’s use.


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Rysky wrote:
necromental wrote:
Rysky wrote:
All three of those things are a problem.
If one of those three negates the other two, that's pretty much not a problem in my book. I mean a have a flavor problem, of it being stupid (exactly like gustavo iglesias said above), but I find that games where hp attrition (not other resource attrition) is significant are just not fun (Dark Heresy comes to mind, I mean great for what it's trying to convey, but horrible for 1 fight=5 days in infirmary pace of the game). As such some other way of OoC healing should exist to replace them.
A problem removing a problem doesn’t make the first thing not become a problem, especially if it becomes frustrating/boring in it’s use.

No, but if the problem it removes is a bigger one, people will put up with it.

I feel people are upset because they feel a removal of CLW without an acceptable compromise will just lead to worse games, while leaving CLWs in is easy and a GM can just say "no" if they don't like them (organised play aside).


necromental wrote:
Rysky wrote:
All three of those things are a problem.
If one of those three negates the other two, that's pretty much not a problem in my book. I mean a have a flavor problem, of it being stupid (exactly like gustavo iglesias said above), but I find that games where hp attrition (not other resource attrition) is significant are just not fun (Dark Heresy comes to mind, I mean great for what it's trying to convey, but horrible for 1 fight=5 days in infirmary pace of the game). As such some other way of OoC healing should exist to replace them.

If your hapless band of acolytes isn't shambling across the end of the mission missing a leg, one of their eyes, and four fingers on their left hand perhaps the inquisitor should find a more suitably challenging task for them. That or there's a biomancer in the party.


Matthew Downie wrote:


gustavo iglesias wrote:
My pet peeve is that carrying a quiver full of CLW at high level, and then proceed to poke someone for 40 rounds healing them 1d8+1 until they recover 200hp is lame.

Nothing about wands requires anyone to poke anything.

Imagine a healer crouching over the body of a fallen ally, holding a green-glowing wand in one hand and placing the other hand on their injuries, softly chanting the magic word over and over again. Gradually, over four minutes, the wounds close up.

Is this any sillier than any other form of RPG healing?

What it's silly is to carry 40 of them in a quiver and spend 50 rounds using it because we (the players) have spreadsheets that show they are slightly more efficient from a mathematical point of view.


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necromental wrote:
Because then you have the problem of someone being forced to play the healer or having a 15-minute adventuring day. Both of which are pretty much non-existant thanks to CLW wands, IMO

That's true. However, a solution that simply makes other and better wands more desirable in the long run solve the stupidity of running with full quivers of low level magic items, without removing the adventage of not needing dedicated healers to keep playing.

The problem I have with CLW can be seen like this: Imagine it's legal to tie together non-magic arrows, and each arrow you tie together gives +1 to attack and damage to the first one. Then everybody runs around shooting packs of 5 arrows tied with piece of cord, because it's far cheaper to buy 5 normal arrows than a +5 arrow. It's cheaper, and mathematically correct, and the best option, and probably one can make an argument that it's the "way the game is balanced because archers need it as they don't add str x1.5 as other 2h weapons do" or whatever argument you want. But it's stupid.


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Dasrak wrote:
So yes, combat is extremely easy to hear from a long distance away. If you're just going to have nearby enemies twiddle their fingers after hearing the sounds of battle... well, you don't get to complain that your PC's leisurely have several minutes to cast spells after the fight.

Sometimes, in a dungeon filled with heartless unorganized creatures, the reaction is, "Heh heh, sounds like the kobolds to the east are getting their butts kicked. Those uppity reptiles won't be bothering us anymore." Other times, in a organized dungeon, the reaction is, "I hear battle. Sound the alarm and bring in the heavy reinforcements."

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

If the enemies are going to barge in and join the fight then their CR needs to be calculated into the challenge of that fight. So basically round two of every combat of your game basically doubles in challenge?

Cool, so you kill two-five rooms worth of bad guys in one fight literally every combat?

Your games must be very fast. Although each individual battle must take like two hours.

I have run reinforcements rushing to the sound of combat many times. Whether the party meets the second challenge after a period to refresh and heal, or on the heels of defeating the first challenge without a moment to blink, or the two challenges combine into one bigger challenge, by RAW the experience points earned are the same. And the time to roleplay the double combat does not shrink.

Yes, the challege rating is greater, but so long as the combined CR is less that APL+3 I don't worry about it. Because after all enemies in earshot have been defeated, then the party will have time to refresh and heal.

Since my players do know that some enemies are organized and will send reinforcements, they look for clues about the fortress's level of organization and set a fast pace to defeat such a fortress before they get fully organized. At such a pace, the only delay to heal is for the poor PC who took a nasty critical hit in the last battle. The players like the challenge.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If the enemies are going to barge in and join the fight then their CR needs to be calculated into the challenge of that fight. So basically round two of every combat of your game basically doubles in challenge?

If there are guys sitting in literally the next room over, then yes they're effectively part of the encounter (it's not quite so simple as merging the CR's, since having half the encounter arrive a few rounds later significantly lowers the overall difficulty). If they're a bit further away such that it takes 5 or 6 rounds for them to arrive, then they are a separate encounter. If the PC's choose to stand around after a fight, they take the risk of someone coming to investigate the sounds of battle.

Hythlodeus wrote:

The market for CLW consists mostly of mercenary groups with a rich sponsor or Adventurers. And I don't think Adventurers are as common as some believe. The characters are special for a reason.

Just throwing out some ballpark estimates: Suppose that 25% of the population is 3rd level or higher, of which 5% are clerics, of which 10% have the craft wand feat, gives 0.125% of the population being divine wand crafters. Presuming they craft 4 days a week, that gives about 5 wands being produced per week for every 1000 people. You could support a pretty healthy adventurer population (no pun intended) with that much wand production.

Mathmuse wrote:
Since my players do know that some enemies are organized and will send reinforcements, they look for clues about the fortress's level of organization and set a fast pace to defeat such a fortress before they get fully organized. At such a pace, the only delay to heal is for the poor PC who took a nasty critical hit in the last battle. The players like the challenge.

One thing to note is that if you do include reinforcements arriving to investigate the sounds of combat, players will adjust their behavior accordingly and will take proactive steps to protect themselves. That means taking a minute to heal will be seen as a liability and a risk.


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This thread is getting really absurd. We all know it's not about realism or drama or whatever, but about an exploit to easily have maxed health at negligible cost. The developers don't have a problem with wands, just with "Wands of CLW" at high levels exclusively.

The solution is to make the high-level and high-cost healing items more desirable than the low-level ones. They have succeeded at creating a system that achieves this. Now if you don't have a healer, you can still manage, but it'll cost a more equivalent amount of resources than that CLW wand at level 2. That CSW may look like it costs a lot, but it's also extremely powerful, so it should be worth sacrificing some other stuff for "mega healing".


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ChibiNyan wrote:

This thread is getting really absurd. We all know it's not about realism or drama or whatever, but about an exploit to easily have maxed health at negligible cost. The developers don't have a problem with wands, just with "Wands of CLW" at high levels exclusively.

The solution is to make the high-level and high-cost healing items more desirable than the low-level ones. They have succeeded at creating a system that achieves this. Now if you don't have a healer, you can still manage, but it'll cost a more equivalent amount of resources than that CLW wand at level 2. That CSW may look like it costs a lot, but it's also extremely powerful, so it should be worth sacrificing some other stuff for "mega healing".

So they've "fixed" an aesthetic issue that shows up at levels 10+ by ruining the dramatic pacing at levels 1-10, where people actually play? (Just listen to the GCP Playtest for an example of this!) And that sounds like an acceptable trade-off to you?


RumpinRufus wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

This thread is getting really absurd. We all know it's not about realism or drama or whatever, but about an exploit to easily have maxed health at negligible cost. The developers don't have a problem with wands, just with "Wands of CLW" at high levels exclusively.

The solution is to make the high-level and high-cost healing items more desirable than the low-level ones. They have succeeded at creating a system that achieves this. Now if you don't have a healer, you can still manage, but it'll cost a more equivalent amount of resources than that CLW wand at level 2. That CSW may look like it costs a lot, but it's also extremely powerful, so it should be worth sacrificing some other stuff for "mega healing".

So they've "fixed" an aesthetic issue that shows up at levels 10+ by ruining the dramatic pacing at levels 1-10, where people actually play? (Just listen to the GCP Playtest for an example of this!) And that sounds like an acceptable trade-off to you?

You shouldn't need as many charges at lower levels as opposed to high. If you always have the best heal items you can afford to make the best of resonance economy it shoulnd't be a problem. Level 10 is not "CLW range" anymore, that is long gone since like 5.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
You shouldn't need as many charges at lower levels as opposed to high. If you always have the best heal items you can afford to make the best of resonance economy it shoulnd't be a problem. Level 10 is not "CLW range" anymore, that is long gone since like 5.

In the playtest a 1st-level character took enough damage that he needed two healing potions. But guess what, he ran out of resonance after drinking one potion and so the second potion was wasted. They had to rest for the night, inside an undead-infested dungeon, without saving the NPC's sister, so they could recover.


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Oh yah that's another thing: why is it only one day to craft a CLW wand? Who has 50 charges of CLW in them? Does the wand create the charges out of nothing? *munchkinizing Kerri mode* Is there something I could do so that I could create those charges myself without the stick?

Dasrak wrote:

One mistake I think people make is using wealth by level as our benchmark. If we were talking permanent items that would be appropriate, but we're talking about an ongoing expense in the form of a consumable. As a result we shouldn't measure relative to total assets, but rather relative to income. These are two different things, as can be seen by cross-referencing the wealth by level table with the suggested treasure table, which are not in lock-step. So a 2nd level Fighter expects 137 gp income per encounter (his share of 550 in a 4-man party) and a 10th level Fighter expects 1362 gp per encounter.

Except that they aren't necessarily different things. If your DM doesn't track exact wealth rewarded by the adventure, then sooner or later they're going to sit down with the players, calculate how much they have (this is trivial in HeroLab or PCGen), and then increase or reduce the treasure given until things are proper again.

If a new character is created, the CRB recommends that they are allowed to buy their WBL in gear, right? So in essence, that part of their WBL stuffs regenerated spontaneously.

RumpinRufus wrote:
In the playtest a 1st-level character took enough damage that he needed two healing potions. But guess what, he ran out of resonance after drinking one potion and so the second potion was wasted. They had to rest for the night, inside an undead-infested dungeon, without saving the NPC's sister, so they could recover

Um, but you could argue this a different way, and say that perhaps instead of lacking healing, the player defenses aren't adequate, and that players should then have better AC, DR, DR%, and saving throws (or just more hit points). They wouldn't have had to rest then either. Or maybe the monsters are overpowered. Or those particular PCs just happen to be bad at their job...

I personally felt that them having to rest added to the tension of the moment anyways. Would they be safe there? Would the sister be rescued? Was that NPC going to snap and murder them in their sleep?? Is PF2 going to make Kerries even more obsolete??? No wait, that last one wasn't related.


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RumpinRufus wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

This thread is getting really absurd. We all know it's not about realism or drama or whatever, but about an exploit to easily have maxed health at negligible cost. The developers don't have a problem with wands, just with "Wands of CLW" at high levels exclusively.

The solution is to make the high-level and high-cost healing items more desirable than the low-level ones. They have succeeded at creating a system that achieves this. Now if you don't have a healer, you can still manage, but it'll cost a more equivalent amount of resources than that CLW wand at level 2. That CSW may look like it costs a lot, but it's also extremely powerful, so it should be worth sacrificing some other stuff for "mega healing".

So they've "fixed" an aesthetic issue that shows up at levels 10+ by ruining the dramatic pacing at levels 1-10, where people actually play? (Just listen to the GCP Playtest for an example of this!) And that sounds like an acceptable trade-off to you?

Why did they ruin lvls 1-10 by making them use level appropriate wands?

At lvl 2, a wand is one of the best magic items you can have. Having level appropriate items is not 'ruining' anything


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Kerrilyn wrote:
Oh yah that's another thing: why is it only one day to craft a CLW wand? Who has 50 charges of CLW in them? Does the wand create the charges out of nothing?

The material components costing 375 gp, that's where it comes from. If you had 375 gp sitting around, the craft wand feat, and 8 hours of spare time, you too could convert one spell slot into fifty.

Kerrilyn wrote:
Except that they aren't necessarily different things. If your DM doesn't track exact wealth rewarded by the adventure, then sooner or later they're going to sit down with the players, calculate how much they have (this is trivial in HeroLab or PCGen), and then increase or reduce the treasure given until things are proper again.

The benchmarks are actually designed to work just like that. They are the amount of gold reward you need per encounter to keep the party on pace with WBL guidelines, with the presumption that 25% of the money is spent on consumables.

As an example, imagine you have a 4 person 5th level party with 10500 gp each in wealth. They need 8000 XP each, or 32000 in total, to level up to 6th. This is the equivalent of 20 CR 5 encounters. Looking at the treasure per encounter table, 20x 1550 gp = 31000 gp earned over the course of that level. Split 4 ways that's 7750 gp per player for those encounters. The game presumes you spend about 25% of income in consumables, which means about 5800 gp in wealth is added per player, taking them to 16300 gp in wealth, which is basically the 6th level WBL guidelines.

So if you adjust payout to match to WBL, and your players are using 25% of their income in consumables, then you will end up averaging the same values as the treasure-per-encounter guidelines. I'm aware that real games are much messier than this, but the guidelines actually do a pretty decent job of being good ballpark averages to go off of.

Kerrilyn wrote:
and say that perhaps instead of lacking healing, the player defenses aren't adequate, and that players should then have better AC, DR, DR%, and saving throws (or just more hit points).

You can only ever reduce the chances of taking damage, not eliminate it entirely. If your entire game's pacing breaks down because of one unlucky die roll, that is a problem.

Moreover, if the game system naturally is inclined towards requiring extreme tankiness that could make combat painfully slow. Ever played Neverwinter Nights? It's a video-game based on 3rd edition D&D, and its particular slant on the rules make AC stacking nuts. It's not uncommon to sit there (with real-time running at 6 seconds per round) just waiting for someone to land a hit for over a minute. I couldn't imagine playing that on tabletop rolling through each round manually.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Why did they ruin lvls 1-10 by making them use level appropriate wands?

At lvl 2, a wand is one of the best magic items you can have. Having level appropriate items is not 'ruining' anything

The problem is the hard daily limit. It's supposedly very generous at high levels, but at low levels it's completely insufficient. A 2nd level party might only have 10 points of resonance between them, and if some of that is tied up in magic items and some characters cannot use the wand at all, you may only have 2-3 uses of the wand to last the entire day.

The exact severity of the problem remains to be seen in playtesting, but a lot of people are legitimately concerned with this issue when they don't feel there was a problem in the first place.


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gustavo iglesias 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.

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.

Simple fix: Let wands have more than 50 charges.


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blahpers wrote:
Simple fix: Let wands have more than 50 charges.

Yep, pretty much this: if the logistics/optics of it is the issue, just list the total charges and mark them off: the actual number of wands can be off scene like bathroom breaks.


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They aren't eliminating wands of CLW. They will still effective for low level characters. If you're high enough level that you need to blow through an entire wand of CLW to get back up to full HP, you're high enough level to be able to afford a wand with a more powerful healing spell.

I agree with some other posters upthread who find it odd when wands containing divine spells are for sale by the bundle at the local Magic Mart. Nobody ever cares which deity granted the spell to the cleric who made those wands. Why do deities just sit there and allow it if a party is using spells it granted in opposition to its goals? It make no sense to me that a wand of CLW crafted by a Cleric of, say, Desna would function completely normally in the hands of a character on a mission to serve Asmodeus.


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RumpinRufus wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
You shouldn't need as many charges at lower levels as opposed to high. If you always have the best heal items you can afford to make the best of resonance economy it shoulnd't be a problem. Level 10 is not "CLW range" anymore, that is long gone since like 5.
In the playtest a 1st-level character took enough damage that he needed two healing potions. But guess what, he ran out of resonance after drinking one potion and so the second potion was wasted. They had to rest for the night, inside an undead-infested dungeon, without saving the NPC's sister, so they could recover.

This is a coffin nail to me. Hearing this, makes me never want to play PF2 unless they overhaul the resonance system.

Just build the damn game with everyone entering 95% of combats with full health, and make getting back to full health easy.

I don't understand what's so hard about this. They already did it in Starfinder and it works well.


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Were-wraith wrote:
It make no sense to me that a wand of CLW crafted by a Cleric of, say, Desna would function completely normally in the hands of a character on a mission to serve Asmodeus.

What if the wand was crafted by a witch, bard, ranger, druid...?

Magic items sophisticated enough to make moral judgments on their users are rare.


graystone wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Simple fix: Let wands have more than 50 charges.
Yep, pretty much this: if the logistics/optics of it is the issue, just list the total charges and mark them off: the actual number of wands can be off scene like bathroom breaks.

Someone mentioned earlier in the thread having wands work using the rod mechanic (3-5 times a day, rather than a total number of charges) which really seems like the smart/sweet spot. Limits spamming and disposable feeling for the one group, allows you use everything you have without a troublesome/awkward/heavy-handed mechanic, and still encourages high level healing items at high levels.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Someone mentioned earlier in the thread having wands work using the rod mechanic (3-5 times a day, rather than a total number of charges) which really seems like the smart/sweet spot. Limits spamming and disposable feeling for the one group, allows you use everything you have without a troublesome/awkward/heavy-handed mechanic, and still encourages high level healing items at high levels.

Wouldn't we find ourselves in a similar situation, where the most efficient method is to buy thirty rods of cure light wounds and cycle through them every day?


Matthew Downie wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Someone mentioned earlier in the thread having wands work using the rod mechanic (3-5 times a day, rather than a total number of charges) which really seems like the smart/sweet spot. Limits spamming and disposable feeling for the one group, allows you use everything you have without a troublesome/awkward/heavy-handed mechanic, and still encourages high level healing items at high levels.
Wouldn't we find ourselves in a similar situation, where the most efficient method is to buy thirty rods of cure light wounds and cycle through them every day?

Yeah, that’s fair.

Ok, I’m going to think on this. I feel like there is a more elegant soulution near to this.


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Dasrak wrote:
The material components costing 375 gp, that's where it comes from. If you had 375 gp sitting around, the craft wand feat, and 8 hours of spare time, you too could convert one spell slot into fifty.

So now all I have to do is figure out how to cut down that crafting time and cost I can cast like.. 150 CLWs a day at first level~ *ebil*

Dasrak wrote:
The benchmarks are actually designed to work just like that. They are the amount of gold reward you need per encounter to keep the party on pace with WBL guidelines, with the presumption that 25% of the money is spent on consumables.

The book actually says 15% spent on consumables, but your math proves that it's 25% >.< I verified it by checking to see what happens 9->10 and it's basically the same minus a lil tiny error (gain 19921.875 gp vs. expected 20,000gp, where the WBL increased by 16000).

Anyways my whole point is that the WBL will, in many if not most games, re-create any missing wealth spent on these wands.

Increasing the available money from 15% to 25% makes them even cheaperierer... um, even less expensive.

Dasrak wrote:
You can only ever reduce the chances of taking damage, not eliminate it entirely. If your entire game's pacing breaks down because of one unlucky die roll, that is a problem.

That would only be AC increases. If you went with a percentage based damage reduction-y system, or increased hit points, a party could continue for much longer, just like the CLW-wand-bundle party. A percentage-reduction party would also gain more from healing.

My point was that the lack of super-easy healing is not the only possible answer to that "problem". Not that it was a problem to begin with. The dramatic tension was far higher there because of that.

One-Unlucky-Die syndrome does need to go away though. PF1 is full of those (omg x3 crit enlarged level 1 barbarian >.< ). That's a different thread though.

graystone wrote:

Yep, pretty much this: if the logistics/optics of it is the issue, just list the total charges and mark them off: the actual number of wands can be off scene like bathroom breaks.

Um, if you're using the wands as presented/have no issues with this, you might as well just reduce treasure income by 10% and assume that you always heal to 100% after a 10 minute short rest. You could even skip the 10% part!

BigDTBone wrote:
Someone mentioned earlier in the thread having wands work using the rod mechanic (3-5 times a day, rather than a total number of charges) which really seems like the smart/sweet spot. Limits spamming and disposable feeling for the one group, allows you use everything you have without a troublesome/awkward/heavy-handed mechanic, and still encourages high level healing items at high levels.

The problem here is how cheap the wands are - if they're still 750 gold (or 375 if you make it yourself), then a party could simply buy more of them and just have a big bundle of reusable CLW wands by the time they're level 10.

If you made them less cheap, the problem would solve itself either way.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Wouldn't we find ourselves in a similar situation, where the most efficient method is to buy thirty rods of cure light wounds and cycle through them every day?

Yeps. And that's (prolly) how Resonance was born. The solution to cycling items would then be to limit how many times a given character could use a CLW wand.. but then tracking that becomes complicated, so it's all merged into a Resonance system...

Funny thingie is that I used to have a CLW rod back in 3.5. It had three uses a day, but one was CLW, another was CMW and then CSW, and it could finally do something like Breath of Life. It was a homebrew thingy, unique and uncraftable. Sort of a tangent though. Sorry!


RumpinRufus wrote:
But guess what, he ran out of resonance after drinking one potion and so the second potion was wasted.

Another tangent as this is the CLW wand thread, not the resonance thread (sorry!) but um, I have to say, the wasting of the second potion was not nifty.

(just because I'm anti-CLW-wand doesn't mean I'm pro-resonance btw~ I am willing to try out this resonance stuffs but I have reservations too)


Claxon wrote:


Just build the damn game with everyone entering 95% of combats with full health, and make getting back to full health easy.

Well, that would make it unplayable for me, as a player or a DM.


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I'm just going to stop giving out treasure entirely.

Instead I'll give out coupons, with expiration dates, and lots of fine print that makes them useable only in certain stores and in conjunction with certain other purchases. Make the PCs get jobs so they have to earn money like everyone else

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Terquem wrote:

I'm just going to stop giving out treasure entirely.

Instead I'll give out coupons, with expiration dates, and lots of fine print that makes them useable only in certain stores and in conjunction with certain other purchases. Make the PCs get jobs so they have to earn money like everyone else

Yeah, that's the ticket.

If the quest givers are Devils or Abadarites that's not that far out there.


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Claxon wrote:


Just build the damn game with everyone entering 95% of combats with full health, and make getting back to full health easy.
Well, that would make it unplayable for me, as a player or a DM.

It's all in the expectations of the game and the genre. Casually healing to full every encounter would be a horrific design choice in Dark Heresy which is meant to be a gritty game for a grimdark universe and so it has limited healing (aside from those damn biomancers) and therefore there's an expectation that parties will be going through encounters missing health or even being a casual hit away from having their head explode. Such is life in the 41st millenium.

Pathfinder conversely is meant to be a heroic game of heroic dudes. Sitting around crippled for a week is horrific design there and so healing is easy to access and cheap whether in class or item form. Now, the math ended up skewed thanks CLW wands being so cheap, but the general premise that most parties will be cruising from encounter to encounter till out of daily resources (healing and by extension hp, spells, rage rounds, etc) is meant to be the norm, not shambling across the boss with everyone down to 10 hp, 2 rage rounds, and only comprehend languages prepped.

CLW Wands were bad math and doing Starfinder Stamina or Short Rest would have been enough to properly pace the adventure day while leaving the option to push harder by using consumables (or if you're under a real ten seconds till midnight situation) than the more kludgy resonance system as seen.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
the math ended up skewed thanks CLW wands being so cheap

Removing CLW wands wouldn't, in itself, make much difference to Pathfinder. Let's say I'm playing in a campaign with plenty of downtime (Kingmaker or Jade Regent or whatever). If I can Scribe Scrolls, I can make scrolls of CLW for 12.5gp each, cheaper than a 15gp wand charge.

Without a crafter, you can still buy scrolls of CLW for 25gp. More expensive than wands, but not drastically so. Still pretty trivial in high-level play. So now instead of plucking disposable wands from a quiver, you're going through magic scrolls like they're toilet paper.

If you can convert money into healing with no daily limits, most people will choose the cheapest option, whatever that is.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
the math ended up skewed thanks CLW wands being so cheap

Removing CLW wands wouldn't, in itself, make much difference to Pathfinder. Let's say I'm playing in a campaign with plenty of downtime (Kingmaker or Jade Regent or whatever). If I can Scribe Scrolls, I can make scrolls of CLW for 12.5gp each, cheaper than a 15gp wand charge.

Without a crafter, you can still buy scrolls of CLW for 25gp. More expensive than wands, but not drastically so. Still pretty trivial in high-level play. So now instead of plucking disposable wands from a quiver, you're going through magic scrolls like they're toilet paper.

If you can convert money into healing with no daily limits, most people will choose the cheapest option, whatever that is.

Kingmaker also had the design issue of having little incentive to not just regular rest after vaporizing the encounter with your biggest dailies. Still, point of the matter is the math on healing consumables was bad and that messed up the way to properly pace an adventure day. If healing consumables aren't meant to be so ubiquitous as to carry you far beyond the expected amount of encounters then introduce other solutions or fix the math since as I said, PF is a game of heroic heroism where you'll generally go from encounter pretty prepared overall.


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Claxon wrote:


Just build the damn game with everyone entering 95% of combats with full health, and make getting back to full health easy.
Well, that would make it unplayable for me, as a player or a DM.

So base Pathfidner is unplayable to you?

Because with wands of CLW you could start almost every encounter at full health. That is the normal expectation for most players and groups in experience when interacting with other players in person and on the boards.

Because the opposite conclusion makes the game unplayable to me. Because it increases the likelihood of death for melee characters while ranged characters and casters will generally take little to no damage (if melee has done their job properly). It's no fun for the player of the melee character to have to say "We have to stop because I'm about to die and can't heal". Or the party pushes on and the character dies.

The ultimate goal of a GM should have a challenging encounter almost kill, but never actually kill, anyone. That's a fine line to tote, and it can be easy to cross over, but the goal shouldn't be to kill a PC.


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If the devs dislike CLWW wands so much, there's much better options of dealing with it than Resonance though.

A well executed Endurance/Health system ,like what you see in Pillars of Eternity, for example, (soon to get a PnP system as well. It will be interesting to see the transition) would probably be good. For reference:

https://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Vitality#Health

It'd need reworking, since we're not computers and tracking two values at the same time can be a chore (see: Non-Lethal Damage) but it could work.

Another option would perhaps be something akin to Barbarians of Lemuria: as long as your Hit Points were 0 or positive at the end of the fight, you recover half the Hit Points you lost in the fight.

And that's just two of the top of my head. I'm sure people can come up with other systems that don't involve changing the whole consumable item paradigm.

Liberty's Edge

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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
Kerrilyn wrote:


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

yep a estranged husband overcomes ordeals around Christmas and by the end they are once again a family


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:


Well, that would make it unplayable for me, as a player or a DM.

This is fair. We should accommodate both playstyles. Keep wands, so games that like full health encounters can continue using them, and games that like slow healing and HP attrition can ban wands. Acquisition of gear and crafting are well within the control of the GM, so no house rules are required.

The only issue is if they introduce an integral healing mechanic baseline that kills the gameplay of the HP attrition lovers without a suitable option to remove it. Then they have to start house ruling. A system is better the fewer house rules you have to make, in my opinion. As the system grows, house rules can have unexpected consequences.

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