Why are Wands of CLW such a problem?


Prerelease Discussion

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jimthegray wrote:
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

sadly, not enough people get that


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Kerrilyn wrote:
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*

1) You'd need to be 5th level due to the Craft Wand prerequisite.

2) There are very few ways to lower crafting costs, they only lower it by 5%, and they don't stack, so 356 gp is the lowest you can go. This is about 7 gp per charge, or 1.27 gp per hit point healed.
3) There is a limit of crafting one item per day, so you could never craft more than one wand per day under any circumstance.
4) The spell will be weaker than one cast at your natural casting level with your natural ability score, which is why wands are almost always utility spells.

Kerrilyn wrote:
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).

I'm pretty sure that's just a typo in the CRB that no one has ever bothered to fix. As you note, the math shows that it's supposed to be 25%. Alternately maybe it's supposed to be 15% on consumables and the other 10% is an allowance for other expenses. In any case, the point is that there's clearly some consistent math underpinning the system and tying the treasure-per-encounter guidelines to the wealth-by-level guidelines.

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

Or, put another way, adventurers expect their profits to exceed their expenses. That's exactly how it's supposed to work.

Kerrilyn wrote:
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.

If enemies cannot sufficiently threaten PC's, then this will just inflate the level of threat we need to use to challenge them. One way or another, we will get back to the problems of enemies who threaten to damage PC's.

The fact is that we as GM's are put in a very difficult balancing act. On the one hand we want to create challenging and interesting encounters, and we also need the specter of death to give real weight and consequence to your actions (your character, which you've put so much emotional energy into, really could die). The threat of death also helps avoid perverse incentives, as players tend to be aware of what level of plot armor they have and act accordingly. On the flipside, we don't actually want to have player deaths; death puts the brakes on the narratives and is a crushing blow to player morale. This is a hard balancing act with no right answer, since by definition death needs to be a possibility in order to be a credible threat. Any reasonable balancing point will involve enemies who can and will damage PC's and - on occasion - even kill them.

Kerrilyn wrote:
(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)

I don't think many people would care if it were just wands that were affected, and scrolls and potions remained to fill the role of a gold->HP conversion mechanic. It's not so much wands in specific that people are concerned about, but the niche they filled.


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WatersLethe wrote:
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.

A wild PFS appeared... Whatever style is the one by RAW is the one that will be used for this popular mode. So if this is an issue in that format, it will be fixed so that it applies to it as the "default".

In other words, if the people in charge of designing for PFS don't like wands, they will be nerfed core and buffing it will be the house rule.


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I think the issue of playstyle/game tone is an important one.

One camp likes "tension-based" games, where the threat of character death is very real. Games may be grittier and more challenging, where you really need to play the game as well as you can if you want to survive. Groups that enjoy challenging combats may prefer this style.

Another camp likes "narrative-based" games, where it's all-but-assumed that the PCs will generally survive. Character death may only occur due to very poor decision-making, or else at critical dramatic moments in the story. Groups in which the overall story is interwoven around the PCs and their personal quests may prefer this style.

For the "tension-based" style, it makes sense that wands of CLW would interfere, as it is a sort of "get-out-of-jail-free" card that can be used to absolve the PCs of poor combat performance, because they can heal up and "undo" the encounter. In this style, doing poorly in a combat should have a price associated with it, whether that be going into the next battle wounded, or having to rest and possibly failing at "secondary objectives" like saving prisoners before they are killed.

For the "narrative-based" style however, wands of CLW play a critical role in keeping the PCs alive so that their storylines can play out. Wands of CLW also help keep the story clipping along - whether you do well in a combat or do poorly is less important, because you can heal up and move on to the next set piece on schedule.

I would personally think the easiest way to accommodate both styles is to include wands of CLW in the game, with a note that GMs should feel free to disallow them in their campaigns.


I'd like to start a poll out of curiosity, about how many people on the boards here generally play Pathfinder with the expectation of being healed to full after each combat (with the occasional exception of time constraints preventing) vs having hp attrition over the course of the day and healing provided only by individual PC daily resources (e.g. spells).


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Vote here for: I normally expect to be healed to full after each combat


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Vote here for: I don't expect to be healed to full after combat


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it depends


Matthew Downie wrote:

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.

You'll have to go the buying route, you can only make 1 magic item per day:

CRB p.549 wrote:
Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day

Also scrolls are letter-paper-sized and double rolled rather than single rolled. I didn't know that! Somehow I imagined them being smaller and rolled into a single roll..

Claxon wrote:

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.

I'm up there, every day, doing my best to keep those peoples alive. Even though it puts me into a situation where I have monk levels of MAD-ness, and I end up tanking things with medium armor and d8+1 hit dice.

What do I get in return? I cease to exist in most examples and get replaced by a little 375gp stick t.t


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Kerrilyn wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

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.

You'll have to go the buying route, you can only make 1 magic item per day:

CRB p.549 wrote:
Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day

In Kingmaker, you can just take a year off adventuring and craft another 365.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Kerrilyn wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

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.

You'll have to go the buying route, you can only make 1 magic item per day:

CRB p.549 wrote:
Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day

In Kingmaker, you can just take a year off adventuring and craft another 365.

Only if your GM allows it. Nothing in Kingmaker says things remain static, if you don't act, the Stag Lord will just amass more followers and end you, or any of the other myriad threats will rear their ugly heads.

Kingmaker has a slower pace, but it still expects players to be active and deal with troubles of their new kingdom. You can't just take a year off to craft things.


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Kerrilyn wrote:
What do I get in return? I cease to exist in most examples and get replaced by a little 375gp stick t.t

No offense, but I consider that a feature and not a bug.

No one should have to play a healer. Ever. Period.

Now, someone who wants to play a dedicated healer should have the option, and should be better at it than magical items, but that's it's own separate issue.

Requiring a heal bot is the opposite of progress for the game.

Grand Lodge

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Kerrilyn wrote:

I'm up there, every day, doing my best to keep those peoples alive. Even though it puts me into a situation where I have monk levels of MAD-ness, and I end up tanking things with medium armor and d8+1 hit dice.

What do I get in return? I cease to exist in most examples and get replaced by a little 375gp stick t.t

I find that most people really like when I join their party.

Not only can I use the wand when the party isn't in immediate danger, I am also able to call forth healing energies when the party is in trouble. In an emergency, I can channel three times in the same round. No cheap wand can do that.

PF1 Rules:
Quick Channel, Selective Channeling, ring of protected life. Once a day you can use the ring to channel as a swift action. The headband has been upgraded to +4 Wis/Cha as well.

Silver Crusade

Omar Senay wrote:
Kerrilyn wrote:

I'm up there, every day, doing my best to keep those peoples alive. Even though it puts me into a situation where I have monk levels of MAD-ness, and I end up tanking things with medium armor and d8+1 hit dice.

What do I get in return? I cease to exist in most examples and get replaced by a little 375gp stick t.t

I find that most people really like when I join their party.

Not only can I use the wand when the party isn't in immediate danger, I am also able to call forth healing energies when the party is in trouble. In an emergency, I can channel three times in the same round. No cheap wand can do that.

** spoiler omitted **

I've done that, but they were alignment channels to take down a qlippoth in one round.

Silver Crusade

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My first and primary character is a cleric of Iomedae. I am a cleric. I am not a walking bandaid, I am not a first aid kit. I have my uses of channel and in dire circumstances I will cast a cure spell. But mine is not a goddess of healing. I carry a variety of spells which at 4th level, almost 5th, are very limited. I have 1 wand of clw. I think I have used maybe 6 charges. And yes, I keep having party members handing me wands of clw saying use my wand for me if I get hurt. I will quite possibly never buy another wand of clw. In my play I am not so much a healer as a divine caster, trying to follow the proper tenets of Iomede, valor, glory, honor, healing is something I can do to assist my party, it is never what I am.


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Were-wraith wrote:

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.

Once the spell has been granted to the crafter and cast into the wand, it's out of the gods' hands.


In our recent campaign, we solved the problem by making Wands unavailable via purchase or crafting, only Potions and Scrolls. We might each carry two or three CLW potions, but it is nowhere near the healing of a CLW wand any more, which suits us well so far.

In a default standard game, however, Wands are too readily available IMO, and by the rules even a town of a couple hundred people will most of the time have a CLW Wand available. Something needs to change for a default game assumption, not necessarily as radical as Resonance, but something to make games with easy magic item purchase (à la the GMG) the exception rather than the rule.


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Maybe, but now you're just talking about a low magic campaign which is a pretty different setting than the base assumptions of Pathfinder. Magic is pretty readily available everywhere, including as magical items.

You can take another baseline with the game, but it will be a large departure from what about 50% of people are used to. (Which actually leads me to believe that the other half of the players play in groups which just ban wands of CLW, but that's a separate thing.)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Also not one who really understands the need to 'fix' CLW wands. When you have a party that can't heal, and even heal well, they are pretty much a necessity.

I know PF2e will have more means to heal with each class, but I doubt they will be 'good' means to heal. At least compared to having a dedicated healer (like a Cleric or maybe Paladin).

And I disagree that design is based around going into combat with HPs down. Used resources, yes. Less spells, used up potions, scrolls, less charges on wands. But I look at going into battle with less HPs than full (unless you are talking about a minuscule amount) it's just foolish. I see situations like that happening where if you do go down, and maybe even die, you find yourself regretting you did that extra healing.

So that you use your CLW wand to heal the party up between battles I see nothing wrong with that.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Pffft!

I predict that we will have other options to enter combat at full or close to full hit points in PF2.0.

- The Heal skill will be improved. It's got to be.

- Improved options for defensive actions (Raise Shield, Dodge and Parry actions will be a thing) will reduce the damage accrued by frontliners.

- Alchemical healing will be non-magical in nature and as such not require resonance to activate.

- Perhaps players will realise that cleric characters are not simply "healbots" and that they have many other in-combat and out-of-combat roles to play.

Personally, I hate wands of CLW, both as a player and as a DM. I think wands should be restricted to arcane spells only, and hence the only healing available will be through potions and scrolls. But regardless of my personal feelings, it is obvious that there should be some available avenues for healing between fights, and that such healing should burn resources in some way. Perhaps the PF2.0 crafting system will make wands of CLW less of a sweet deal, and make wands (or potions) of higher-level healing spells more viable than is currently the case in PF1.0.


TheFinish wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Kerrilyn wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

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.

You'll have to go the buying route, you can only make 1 magic item per day:

CRB p.549 wrote:
Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day

In Kingmaker, you can just take a year off adventuring and craft another 365.

Only if your GM allows it. Nothing in Kingmaker says things remain static, if you don't act, the Stag Lord will just amass more followers and end you, or any of the other myriad threats will rear their ugly heads.

Kingmaker has a slower pace, but it still expects players to be active and deal with troubles of their new kingdom. You can't just take a year off to craft things.

I think they meant after defeating the stag lord.


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Wheldrake wrote:
- Alchemical healing will be non-magical in nature and as such not require resonance to activate.

This isn't true as per the podcast. The alchemist made "potions" and those required the drinker to spend resonance.


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Wheldrake wrote:
I think wands should be restricted to arcane spells only, and hence the only healing available will be through potions and scrolls.

Right like CLW from the bard or the witch or...

CLW is an arcane spell too, limiting wands to only arcane doesn't help.


Starbuck_II wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Kerrilyn wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

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.

You'll have to go the buying route, you can only make 1 magic item per day:

CRB p.549 wrote:
Regardless of the time needed for construction, a caster can create no more than one magic item per day

In Kingmaker, you can just take a year off adventuring and craft another 365.

Only if your GM allows it. Nothing in Kingmaker says things remain static, if you don't act, the Stag Lord will just amass more followers and end you, or any of the other myriad threats will rear their ugly heads.

Kingmaker has a slower pace, but it still expects players to be active and deal with troubles of their new kingdom. You can't just take a year off to craft things.

I think they meant after defeating the stag lord.

But that doesn't work either. The world isn't static, as time goes on, Varnhold still vanishes, Irovetti still has his plans in motion and Nyrissa is working towards her plans. If you stop for 1 year to craft, any sensible GM would just say you lose.

A "relaxed" timeline doesn't mean no timeline at all.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:


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.

Yeah, but there's nothing particularly heroic about curb-stomping everything. A long and draining sequence of fights with serious tension as to whether PCs will survive fits with that genre well IMO.


Claxon wrote:
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?

Games with people using unintended exploits to make them excessively easy generally are.

Quote:


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.

Death of characters whose career, skills, and concept is all about wading into a fight is a problem now ?

Besides, if the melee are taking that much more of the damage, the enemy need to up their tactics.

Quote:


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.

I'm all for going easier on PCs when they are low-level enough that not being able to raise dead comrades is a serious problem. And I rarely set out to actually kill a PC (with the exception being players who want that particular character to have a death as part of their character arc, noble sacrifice or the like), but unless you fudge all your dice rolls, it's hard to avoid.


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Hobbun wrote:
Also not one who really understands the need to 'fix' CLW wands. When you have a party that can't heal, and even heal well, they are pretty much a necessity.

Again: no. Non-class reliant healing is what it is necessary. You could work with wands of cure moderate wounds, or potions of cure critical wounds, or scrolls of summon monster to bring an outsider with healing SLAs.

Wands of CLW just happen to have the best WBL vs average heal dice ratio, as shown in any spreadsheet the player runs.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wands of CLW just happen to have the best WBL vs average heal dice ratio, as shown in any spreadsheet the player runs.

Is there something that prevents a CHARACTER from figuring out that same healing ratio? Even if they don't have the exact mathematical percentages, I'm sure they can/will figure out the wand of CLW is the cheapest option: it's not something you need to be a scienticion to figure out.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
- Alchemical healing will be non-magical in nature and as such not require resonance to activate.
This isn't true as per the podcast. The alchemist made "potions" and those required the drinker to spend resonance.

As I understand, the alchemist is exempt from the resonance cost.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wands of CLW just happen to have the best WBL vs average heal dice ratio, as shown in any spreadsheet the player runs.

I'd like to reiterate that I don't believe many people would have a problem if it was just wands that used resonance, and single-use consumables (potions and scrolls) remained generally usable without a daily limit. The problem is that resonance applies to everything, so there is nothing to fill that niche that wands filled in PF1E.


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graystone wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wands of CLW just happen to have the best WBL vs average heal dice ratio, as shown in any spreadsheet the player runs.

Is there something that prevents a CHARACTER from figuring out that same healing ratio? Even if they don't have the exact mathematical percentages, I'm sure they can/will figure out the wand of CLW is the cheapest option: it's not something you need to be a scienticion to figure out.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
- Alchemical healing will be non-magical in nature and as such not require resonance to activate.
This isn't true as per the podcast. The alchemist made "potions" and those required the drinker to spend resonance.
As I understand, the alchemist is exempt from the resonance cost.

This.

These are rules that govern the world the characters live in. In our world we have figured out non-linear pharmacokinetics. I think they are capable of figuring out d8+3 without having access to the CRB.


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

Games with people using unintended exploits to make them excessively easy generally are.

Death of characters whose career, skills, and concept is all about wading into a fight is a problem now ?

Besides, if the melee are taking that much more of the damage, the enemy need to up their tactics.

I'm all for going easier on PCs when they are low-level enough that not being able to raise dead comrades is a serious problem. And I rarely set out to actually kill a PC (with the exception being players who want that particular character to have a death as part of their character arc, noble sacrifice or the like), but unless you fudge all your dice rolls, it's hard to avoid.

How is it unintended? It's an obvious consequence of the rules.

Even if you don't allow magic items to be easily bought at the market, once PCs hit 5th a cleric can pick up craft wand and create 1 wand clw with 1 day of downtime.

If it wasn't an obvious thing to be expected then you shouldn't have ever allowed wands of CLW in the first place.

And the idea of restricting it to crafted CLW only is absurd because then it just means someone has to play a cleric (or other class with CLW on the list) and pick up the craft wand feat. Which is just bad design. The game should function regardless of what classes players select.

And just because you enter a combat a full health doesn't make it easy. Like I mentioned, the melee character is my groups will typically be at 50% or less of their total health after each combat. If they didn't have CLW wands the party would get about 2 combats a day and decide to stop. That's also bad design.

And yes, death of a specific character types is a problem when they are disproportionately likely to die because they can't be healed sufficiently.


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graystone wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
- Alchemical healing will be non-magical in nature and as such not require resonance to activate.
This isn't true as per the podcast. The alchemist made "potions" and those required the drinker to spend resonance.
As I understand, the alchemist is exempt from the resonance cost.

true, he's exempt when he drinks his own things. When he hands them out for others to use they spend resonance to drink them.


graystone wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wands of CLW just happen to have the best WBL vs average heal dice ratio, as shown in any spreadsheet the player runs.
Is there something that prevents a CHARACTER from figuring out that same healing ratio? Even if they don't have the exact mathematical percentages, I'm sure they can/will figure out the wand of CLW is the cheapest option: it's not something you need to be a scienticion to figure out.

In world? Yes, the fact that hp are an abstraction. It is you who knows CLW heals "1d8+1". He only knows it cure light wounds.


Dasrak wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wands of CLW just happen to have the best WBL vs average heal dice ratio, as shown in any spreadsheet the player runs.
I'd like to reiterate that I don't believe many people would have a problem if it was just wands that used resonance, and single-use consumables (potions and scrolls) remained generally usable without a daily limit. The problem is that resonance applies to everything, so there is nothing to fill that niche that wands filled in PF1E.

Better wands.

If 1 resonance let you use a CLW, or moderate, or serious, or critical wounds, then cure critical is going to be much better.


BigDTBone wrote:
In our world we have figured out non-linear pharmacokinetics.

Personally I don't even know the meaning of that. I'm going to dare to say not every single person in the middle ages (even in fantasy middle age) know about that too. Certainly not to the level of understanding that a player has about simple math like the ratio of CLW cost


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
graystone wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wands of CLW just happen to have the best WBL vs average heal dice ratio, as shown in any spreadsheet the player runs.
Is there something that prevents a CHARACTER from figuring out that same healing ratio? Even if they don't have the exact mathematical percentages, I'm sure they can/will figure out the wand of CLW is the cheapest option: it's not something you need to be a scienticion to figure out.
In world? Yes, the fact that hp are an abstraction. It is you who knows CLW heals "1d8+1". He only knows it cure light wounds.

Whatever HP are an abstraction of IS IN THE GAME WORLD. And the players in there know about that stuff. HD is a thing people must know about since there are lots of spells that are derived off of it. And thus they know that cure light wounds fixes an amount of abstractions somewhere in the range of 2-13 depending on the caster and "luck" (is it time of day that makes spells better? maybe it's the environment?) They'd also be able to know that cure mod fixes between 5 and 26 depending on caster and luck. Also knowing the price of these two spells they'd be able to easily find out which gives the most for their money.

In real life when doing sports we know that water, gatorade, orange slices and other things can all help people play better. We don't know the exact amounts, but we know that some do better than others. So in the pro scene everyone uses the best option. Even though they don't know EXACTLY how it's working, they know what things are better and they know the price of things.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
In world? Yes, the fact that hp are an abstraction. It is you who knows CLW heals "1d8+1". He only knows it cure light wounds.

The hit point effects may complicate the comparison of different spells, but when it comes to the same spell it's simple arithmetic. A wand is 750 gp for 50 charges, or 15 gp per charge. This is a very easy calculation for an in-universe character who knows how wands work and how much they cost. A scroll is 25 gp for a single-use. It's the same spell, so the wand is clearly the cheaper option.

Comparing CLW with the higher-level cure spells would be a bit more complicated in-universe, but at least by PF1E standards the pricing difference was so extreme that it would be pretty easy to conclude that CLW is better value even if you don't know by exactly how much. It's 4500 gp for a 2nd level wand, or 90 gp per charges, so CMW would need to be 6 times more potent than CLW to match it for value. It isn't even close (it's roughly twice as potent) so it would certainly be possible to conclude in-universe that the wand of CLW has the best overall value.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
If 1 resonance let you use a CLW, or moderate, or serious, or critical wounds, then cure critical is going to be much better.

Well, it still depends on the PF2E costing of these items. Remember that resonance also means that such items will go obsolete eventually (since you'll have better use of your daily resonance) so they'd have an expected useful lifespan between when you get them and when they're no longer worth the resonance. We don't have the numbers to analyze that yet, so it'd be purely speculative as to how they'd stack up to single-use consumables.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
In our world we have figured out non-linear pharmacokinetics.
Personally I don't even know the meaning of that. I'm going to dare to say not every single person in the middle ages (even in fantasy middle age) know about that too. Certainly not to the level of understanding that a player has about simple math like the ratio of CLW cost

Well let's do some middle ages time-framing. Let's say I developed a plow. I suddenly have more and better crops. My neighbor hears of this and I share how I'm successful, now my village all uses plows and our village is booming so the local lord notices we're better off and sends his people to find out why. He then spreads it to all his villages. A neighboring lord is jealous and sends spies to find out what's going on and then his area is doing it. Then more neighbors find out and more and more and then everyone is using a plow. Then merchants will take word of the super successful region with them to other regions that will want to copy it too. Say it takes 100 years to fully spread. It doesn't matter since in the game world plows can be purchased anywhere there's a village, that means they are commonplace and pretty well understood. No one know WHY the plow works they again just know it's better and everyone knows that by now, everyone also knows that cow plows are better than hand plows. But because of cost, most will stick with hand plows because they are the most cost effective bang for their buck.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What even is this conversation anymore?

Scarab Sages

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
What even is this conversation anymore?

a brawl between 4 camps

camp 1 enjoys the game as is, sees it as it's own genre of fantasy.

camp 2 wants to be in middle earth and get hurt and heal as much as frodo did, they see the CLW wand as an affront.

camp 3 thinks the low level item being the best healing by price is weird, and should be "fixed"

camp 4 thinks that the CLW wand is a symptom of a damage/healing system that has fundamental flaws and no good way to make the narrative and game flow in a way that appeals to everyone.

then there are people in each camp that can't agree on whether or not CR assumes you are always healed up (though in PFS I've usually seen not topping off as inviting death, or at least making my job as a team mate harder because your dirt nap is coming early)

every camp seems to be bringing more and weirder examples along as this circles like that thing in Abendengo.


Dasrak wrote:
Comparing CLW with the higher-level cure spells would be a bit more complicated in-universe, but at least by PF1E standards the pricing difference was so extreme that it would be pretty easy to conclude that CLW is better value even if you don't know by exactly how much. It's 4500 gp for a 2nd level wand, or 90 gp per charges, so CMW would need to be 6 times more potent than CLW to match it for value. It isn't even close (it's roughly twice as potent) so it would certainly be possible to conclude in-universe that the wand of CLW has the best overall value.

They might be able to do that, but also maybe not. It would be hard to determine in-character the potency of the spells...and they really should be testing in-character before they go bonkers when the Magic-Mart has a 25% off sale.

Remember, CLW can easily be like, 2,3,2,2, and CMW could easily go 12,15,14,19. In my last game, I had to channel all my channels because it was literally 1,2,2,1,1. 7 out of 30 possible! *stress* The characters might think that a channel is only worth about the same as a typical CLW.

PS: I like your posts. They're very well written and reasonable, and in a very balanced, neutral tone. Even if I don't always agree with them, they're good. ^.^


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A better example of the difference between the player spreadsheet and the PC knowledge in world would be a video game, before and after the inner mechanics are revealed. Back in the day, when Wow was starting, nobody knew exactly how aggro worked. So players used tank skills as they felt it was better. Often, wrong. Latter, when the math was revealed, people found the optimal skills and every tank started to do same rotations (same for DPS or heal).

That is the difference between the "eye test" the character rely on in world, and the absolute mathematical proof of someone who knows the real engine behind the world, as the player do.


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Anyone who thinks fictional heroes don't have access to cheap, easy healing is watching different shows from me. It's only really the grim and grittiest heroes who won't emerge mostly uninjured one scene after taking damage that should render them unable to fight.

If you want an actual example of something like CLW wand spam in fantasy, there's Berserk, where Guts' life has pretty much become the life of a Pathfinder tank. Fight, take a heap of damage, get CLW spammed so you can fight again. His CLW wands are just intelligent and mouth off a lot, but they also never run out of charges.

I like CLW wands because they're easy to control by just controlling the group's access to civilisation. By the time they can get around that, we're past the point where lack of access to CLW wands especially impedes healing.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

A better example of the difference between the player spreadsheet and the PC knowledge in world would be a video game, before and after the inner mechanics are revealed. Back in the day, when Wow was starting, nobody knew exactly how aggro worked. So players used tank skills as they felt it was better. Often, wrong. Latter, when the math was revealed, people found the optimal skills and every tank started to do same rotations (same for DPS or heal).

That is the difference between the "eye test" the character rely on in world, and the absolute mathematical proof of someone who knows the real engine behind the world, as the player do.

None of that matters as the game world in this case has an observable effect and cost. X charges at x price heals x. x charges are clearly defined, cost is also and spells like deathwatch can give you an estimation of hp. Again, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure these things out IN GAME by the CHARACTERS, especially those rocking IQ's over 200... You seem to give players FAR too little credit in the logical thinking department.

Kerrilyn wrote:
they really should be testing in-character before they go bonkers when the Magic-Mart has a 25% off sale

Why should it be thought of as a big secret? What stops it from being commonly known? If the character can roll to know a troll's vulnerabilities why can't they roll to know CLW wands are the cheapest alternative? IMO that's a DC 10 [or lower] check.


graystone wrote:
Why should it be thought of as a big secret? What stops it from being commonly known? If the character can roll to know a troll's vulnerabilities why can't they roll to know CLW wands are the cheapest alternative? IMO that's a DC 10 [or lower] check.

Well, leaving aside how common knowledge can often be wrong, that's sort of falling in line with.. how many hit points does the troll have?

Do you let the players know that? If you do, well, then you're running a very meta-ish game, and they prolly would know how efficient it is. If not, no.

it's parsing rilly fine information too -- it's only bestest outside of battle. In battle, you would prolly use the highest wand/potion you could get, as it would cost a lot less than a 5000 gp raise dead. So would the myths, stories, and legends around the wand be able to discern that subtle distinction?

10 DC, btw, is silly. That means that anybody can make the check (knowledge only requires training for DCs above 10), and anybody can pass it by taking ten as long as they don't have an int penalty. It's for rudimentary knowledge. like... trolls are monsters and scary rudimentary, and maybe that they live under bridges and eat goats. The DC to know specific monster weaknesses is 10+CR for comparison.

While I can imagine heroes returning to the tavern and regaling the patrons with tales of the hideous monster that could only be harmed by fire, I doubt they boasted for hours on end how their little cure stick from Magic Mart™ healed them all up after the fight, like as if they had the troll's own regeneration.

Okie...now I'm imagining the Magic Mart shopkeep as being that Comic Book Shop Guy from the Simpsons. "Actually, the Wand of Cure Light wounds is the best value per gold piece, I'll have you know. You would be foolish to buy anything else. Best. Wand. Ever."


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
What even is this conversation anymore?

a brawl between 4 camps

camp 1 enjoys the game as is, sees it as it's own genre of fantasy.

camp 2 wants to be in middle earth and get hurt and heal as much as frodo did, they see the CLW wand as an affront.

camp 3 thinks the low level item being the best healing by price is weird, and should be "fixed"

camp 4 thinks that the CLW wand is a symptom of a damage/healing system that has fundamental flaws and no good way to make the narrative and game flow in a way that appeals to everyone.

then there are people in each camp that can't agree on whether or not CR assumes you are always healed up (though in PFS I've usually seen not topping off as inviting death, or at least making my job as a team mate harder because your dirt nap is coming early)

every camp seems to be bringing more and weirder examples along as this circles like that thing in Abendengo.

Nice summary. Though we should add in the complication that people differ inside each camp, too. I like the healing of Frodo in Lord of the Rings, so I am in camp 2. However, I don't see the wand of CLW as an affront.

Magic in Pathfinder is supposed to be at the fingertips, because options that are too inconvenient to use are no fun. At 1st level, the ranger making a Survival check to find an herb and then a Heal check to restore hit points with the herb would be fun, but by 4th level he had better be carrying something to fix the wound on the spot.


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

How about having healing wands cure a fixed amount, the average of the spell? Base the cost of healing wands on the number of HP healed per charge.

This way, the PCs will be buying the highest level wand, as the price point HP healed is the same, but the amount of time is drastically reduced to heal up to full (or close to full).


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Kerrilyn wrote:
how many hit points does the troll have?

Who cares? You aren't healing the troll. However you know characters level, or some equivalent to it, and how many charges you need to use isn't hard to figure out. Deathwatch + zap with wand until healed + level is a simple and easy WAY to keep track of uses and adding up cost isn't hard. There is NOTHING hard here.

EDIT: though to trolls a character can figure out basic hp from IDing HD and creature type [which boils down to number of HD, so a common troll has 6d8]. So they can estimate a range of HP.

Kerrilyn wrote:
Do you let the players know that?

They should know their own and be able to feel how much they are healed.

Kerrilyn wrote:
If you do, well, then you're running a very meta-ish game, and they prolly would know how efficient it is.

I don't find it "meta" for characters to understand how their world works. In a world where everything runs of HP and having spells that heal it and sense it, it seems odd/meta to NOT understand them.

Kerrilyn wrote:
it's parsing rilly fine information too

After a fight, use this... WOW was that difficult to parse... :P

Kerrilyn wrote:
10 DC, btw, is silly.

Basic info on how the world works... Seems right IMO.

Kerrilyn wrote:
The DC to know specific monster weaknesses is 10+CR for comparison.

Not quite accurate. "For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster's CR." Wands of CLW SEEM mighty common as does healing and HP... SO maybe DC 10 is high?

Kerrilyn wrote:
I doubt they boasted for hours on end how their little cure stick from Magic Mart™ healed them all up after the fight, like as if they had the troll's own regeneration.

But that seems the EXACT thing a trainer/master would tell their student. "now once a fight is over, use that wand I told you about and make sure you're party is ready for the next fight."

Kerrilyn wrote:
Okie...now I'm imagining the Magic Mart shopkeep as being that Comic Book Shop Guy from the Simpsons. "Actually, the Wand of Cure Light wounds is the best value per gold piece, I'll have you know. You would be foolish to buy anything else. Best. Wand. Ever."

That works too.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'll be honest. My bigger issue with the current healing system is CLW can cure the most grievous of injuries for a low-level character and yet it increasingly loses potency as a character gains power. This isn't something I think happens a great deal in fantasy fiction that involves magical healing (unless it's purposely satirizing TTRPGs or MMORPGs or involves character's stuck in such games).

The healing surge system of 4e may not have been perfect but it did atleast get rid of the sensation above since most healing powers used a healing surge and gave the character's healing surge value (typically 1/4 total hp but that could be increased with options).

That being said, all the previews show that they aren't going to go in that direction.

So instead of worrying about that, let me just say that PF1E will punish characters who don't heal between fights. See symbol of death. So stick me in with the group that prefers to be capped off between fights. Because I've played a scenario in which my character's death at such a symbol would of ruined the narrative of the story since he was the central character in this particular part of the story and had the group spent a short bit to heal up between fights, my HP total would have been above the threshold of the spell.

So I'm Team "Wands of low-level healing magic suck because it doesn't make sense that curative magic loses potency as people gain levels and yet I prefer to be fully healed between fights".

Final note: I do still enjoy playing PF1e and SF despite both having ever weakening healing options. =)


Whatever it is, they are gone for sure in 2e. Doubt you can change the mind of the designers that specifically say they hate CLW Wand and that it will be dead.

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