Why are Wands of CLW such a problem?


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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.


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The fact the Wand it tied to Resonance now is what solves the 'problem' of CLW.

Kinda. Maybe. I think.

From 1-3 even at 0 CHA mod, you're going to have your level in Resoance. And unless you use a potion(The difference of using a potion vs a wand is only cost rather than the act it seems), that's still 1-3 pokes of a wand per person.

Seems like a silly overblown way of trying to solve the problem.


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MerlinCross wrote:

The fact the Wand it tied to Resonance now is what solves the 'problem' of CLW.

Kinda. Maybe. I think.

But without understanding exactly what the problem is I can't evaluate whether or not Resonance is actually fixing the problem and if it is the best fix for the problem.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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

Healing back to full after every fight messes with the balance of the game which doesn’t assume PCs walk into every battle at maximum hp.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

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

Healing back to full after every fight messes with the balance of the game which doesn’t assume PCs walk into every battle at maximum hp.

While not of stories it is a key idea in games. I can't picture doing an RPG run without healing items.

This also sounds like an encounter design issue or a player imposed one. Take away viable healing in anyway and they are likely to die or turn back.


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Because healing is jacked

Liberty's Edge

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

I don't understand why this is such a concern for people. Standing around waiting your turn to hit someone isn't part of any fantasy story, but is an integral part of how the game works.

In most fantasy stories, the main cast barely, if ever, gets hurt. Often times when they do, they happen to be killed, usually for dramatic effect. A game where no one gets hurt, except for when they're killed wouldn't feel very rewarding, or engaging. So instead we have hit point values, and damage is usually a factor in combat, because, while it may not fit a fantasy narrative, it works as a game effect.

I also don't see how every character being at full health would be a balance issue either. If anything is should make encounters easier to design, because you don't have come up with a standard assumption of what hit points characters will be at for certain combats, and you don't need to find a way to compensate for overwhelmingly good, or bad luck during play. If you start every combat at full health, all you really need to consider is the range of hit point totals a character of a certain level will have, at least when thinking about hit points

Silver Crusade

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It’s not that it’s boring or silly but that it breaks the design of the game. The Adventures and encounters aren’t built under the assumption that you are able to heal up completely after every fight without spending significant resources to do so. Stockpiling cheap wands of CLW breaks that assumption and makes non super challenging fights basically meaningless.


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I would assume the encounter(at least low levels) aren't designed for the Wizard/Sorcerer to be casting Magic Missile by way of wand either.


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MerlinCross wrote:
I would assume the encounter(at least low levels) aren't designed for the Wizard/Sorcerer to be casting Magic Missile by way of wand either.

Which is another problem Resonance will alleviate.


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Malk_Content wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
I would assume the encounter(at least low levels) aren't designed for the Wizard/Sorcerer to be casting Magic Missile by way of wand either.
Which is another problem Resonance will alleviate.

By giving those players another problem to solve. Or plink with cantrips or crossbows.

Yeah no. I have one experience where a faster would be largely useless the first few levels outside of the wand and skill checks/info. I also don't think it will solve the problem just move it elsewhere(Picked it up for an AP but would not buy a wand of Barbed Chains under this system)

But this topic is directed CLW wands. Good news for those that hated it, it's getting nerfed. Bad news, there's probably going to be a work around and each charcter seems able to self heal to a degree so, um, at least they aren't poking around a stick?


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Rysky wrote:
It’s not that it’s boring or silly but that it breaks the design of the game. The Adventures and encounters aren’t built under the assumption that you are able to heal up completely after every fight without spending significant resources to do so. Stockpiling cheap wands of CLW breaks that assumption and makes non super challenging fights basically meaningless.

People have been using healing wands for years. The adventure writers have probably heard about it by now.

I'm not convinced the 'attrition' concept is particularly valuable. Game balance that relies on wearing down the group requires a very specific degree of urgency in order to work. If you're in an urgent race against time, then it becomes really hard to balance; a mistake or bad die roll can make it impossible to continue and dooms the adventure. If there's no real urgency (like in a game based around exploration) then there's little to prevent the PCs retreating and resting after every battle.

Silver Crusade

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Rysky wrote:
It’s not that it’s boring or silly but that it breaks the design of the game. The Adventures and encounters aren’t built under the assumption that you are able to heal up completely after every fight without spending significant resources to do so. Stockpiling cheap wands of CLW breaks that assumption and makes non super challenging fights basically meaningless.

People have been using healing wands for years. The adventure writers have probably heard about it by now.

I'm not convinced the 'attrition' concept is particularly valuable. Game balance that relies on wearing down the group requires a very specific degree of urgency in order to work. If you're in an urgent race against time, then it becomes really hard to balance; a mistake or bad die roll can make it impossible to continue and dooms the adventure. If there's no real urgency (like in a game based around exploration) then there's little to prevent the PCs retreating and resting after every battle.

It is, since if you make every fight challenging that turns into an even worse game of attrition, whereas if you make every fight other than “main” ones not challenging in the slightest it becomes boring. They probably have heard of players stockpiling CLW wands to stay topped off, but that doesn’t account for every character or game (due to not wanting to or not having access to), so making being at full HP after every fight the base assumption would be a bad idea.

As for a bad die roll/mistake dooming a character, um, yeah?

As for the resting for how ever long after each and every fight I would look at Paizo APs and Modules, the enemies aren’t static, sitting around waiting for the PCs to open the door. They patrol. They regroup. They call in reinforcements.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

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

Healing back to full after every fight messes with the balance of the game which doesn’t assume PCs walk into every battle at maximum hp.

Both of these things, yes. It makes for terrible narrative and also ruins verisimilitude as well as game balance. What about those tense stories where you're pressing on through a dungeon using every last scrap of what you've got, grit, willpower, items, tricks, everything you can find? What about those desperation moments where heroism shines all the brighter? It's not very satisfying from either a narrative or a gameplay perspective to jab your allies with CLW wands after every fight, nor to assume that you must be at full resources going into every single dangerous scenario.

Silver Crusade

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


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The issue is that there's no real opportunity cost. After a few levels, the gold is trivial, especially if the party is pooling to buy these things.

A cleric gives up several of her highest spell slots or very limited daily use channels to heal the party. She cannot use them for other purposes afterwards.

A rogue gives up spellcasting altogether to be able to evade, move silently, and be sorta okie at dealing with traps and have a bunch of skill points.

A fightie gives up sneakiness and magic to get a handful of combat feats, armor and weapon proficiency, full bab and d10 hit die.

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

There's no scaling to it. It's useful forever. It's not like 15th-level characters can't use it or something. Compare that to an in-combat wand. Do you want to use a CL1 wand of magic missile as your main attack at level 15?? Of course not! It rapidly became useless. Same for like a Cure Moderate Wounds wand. It might be good as an emergency heal in combat .. for three levels, then it's junk.

By the way, "it's traditional, it's always been this way" isn't a good argument. In 1st ed, wands took forever to make and were rare, epic loot (a wand of magic missiles was 35,000 gold...but could be used by anybody), not tied up in bundles of 20 at the general store of a thorpe of 50 people. They could be recharged, but only by casting the wand's spell back into it over and over and over again. It would take less time to heal by resting than it would to recharge that Cure Light Wounds wand.. except the CLW wand didn't even exist back then.


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If people hate CLW wand, then fix the lack of healing, end the magic item mart and fix wands.


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

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

>.<

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

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


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Kerrilyn wrote:


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

Because it is.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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It's not an interesting choice: you CLW Wand spam because it's the most resource-efficient way of healing between encounters. There's no reason to go into the next fight with less than maximum health when healing is such a minimal cost.

Healing between encounters should consist of interesting decisions, or the time-consuming 1d8+1 roll spam and marking off of charges should be removed for a more efficient system.


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I never liked CLW wands. If you want tension there has to be a chance of failure. If you can always heal up and mostly use classes that aren't very reliant on daily ressources you will quickly find yourself in a situation where tension can only be generated within a single fight, but not really over the course of several small skirmishes.

This can be problematic, because I believe skirmishes are overall a better option. A small group of goblins wouldn't challenge your fully healed party. But they might be able to down one or two adventurers if they find the group injured. Fortunately chances are good the rest of the party will eventually prevail and get their uncoincious mates into savety.

If their enemy was of higher CR balanced to threaten a fully healed party, then chances increase drastically it will defeat the whole party with some lucky rolls. High CR encounters always threaten a TPK, which is why they are usually reserved for important boss fights.

Basically what I'm saying is that CLW wands require the GM to raise the threat level and make every encounter a boss fight. I prefer a bruised retreat over death, so we usually agree to stay away from wands or use them very sparingly. The only exception would be Pathfinder Society, where they are pretty much expected and you play with people you don't know.

Scarab Sages

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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
If people hate CLW wand, then fix the lack of healing, end the magic item mart and fix wands.

I imagine they could do all four.

If all classes had some form of self-healing, it would negate the assumption (which I've always hated), that every party has to have an obligatory cleric.
Though for non-casters, that healing would be framed as toughness, grit, perseverance, chugging from a whiskey flask, taking a cigarette break, looking at a photo of Aunt May and Mary Jane, remembering your promise to the nun at the orphanage, before picking yourself up and crawling on.

The problem with wands and other spell-in-a-can items is the ability to go nova with them. Having the wand as an extra option isn't a problem. By limiting the number of times an object can be used per day, it increases the PCs' range of spells known/prepared, without excessively increasing their number of spells blown through in one day.

And having items be used less often, means they will cease to be bought in vast quantities, thus fixing the Magic Mart anachronisms.


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Snorter wrote:


I imagine they could do all four.
If all classes had some form of self-healing, it would negate the assumption (which I've always hated), that every party has to have an obligatory cleric.
Though for non-casters, that healing would be framed as toughness, grit, perseverance, chugging from a whiskey flask, taking a cigarette break, looking at a photo of Aunt May and Mary Jane, remembering your promise to the nun at the orphanage, before picking yourself up and crawling on.

The problem with wands and other spell-in-a-can items is the ability to go nova with them. Having the wand as an extra option isn't a problem. By limiting the number of times an object can be used per day, it increases the PCs' range of spells known/prepared, without excessively increasing their number of spells blown through in one day.

And having items be used less often, means they will cease to be bought in vast quantities, thus fixing the Magic Mart anachronisms.

People hate 5e round here, but it did solve the healing issue. The issue with many magic items in 3.x is you can buy them and they are cheap. You are stupid not to buy them, and even fixing healing, you still need to address cheap magic items


Snorter wrote:
If all classes had some form of self-healing, it would negate the assumption (which I've always hated), that every party has to have an obligatory cleric.

Well, you're in luck. Even better than luck! All characters get self healing. Or wor--better.

Mark Seifer was in another thread discussing about a barbarian healing the whole party. And not using class features either.


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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
If people hate CLW wand, then fix the lack of healing, end the magic item mart and fix wands.

I did this back in late 3.5/early Pathfinder.

Its not the wand thats the problem, more the cheap and easy purchase/make items of 3.x.

If you had a wand of CLW in AD&D no problem its under the DMs control a lot more.


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Kerrilyn wrote:


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

your hubby is a smart man


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Rysky wrote:
As for a bad die roll/mistake dooming a character, um, yeah?

Dooming the adventure, not the character. If we're on a genuine strict race against time, then every setback becomes a disaster. ("Seelah died! Now we have to either go back to the temple for a Raise Dead, in which case the ritual will be completed and the world will end, or we can struggle on at a massive disadvantage and probably all die and the world will end, while Seelah's player just waits around for five hours.")

Choosing when to rest is a good way for groups to self-balance (which is a lot easier than writing an adventure that is perfectly balanced for everyone). The competent groups can fight for longer and the inexperienced groups can rest sooner.

For that to work well you need a party that is motivated to keep going, but a get out excuse if they can't. ("You must rescue your friend who is probably being tortured! You must hurry, but not so much that you get killed!")

Rysky wrote:
As for the resting for how ever long after each and every fight I would look at Paizo APs and Modules, the enemies aren’t static, sitting around waiting for the PCs to open the door. They patrol. They regroup. They call in reinforcements.

That's not a bad way to do it, but most Paizo APs include large dungeons that you can't possibly complete in a day. So you're going to have to rest at some point, and that means the bad guys are guaranteed to have time to prepare. At which point, there's not much incentive to hurry; it's already too late.

Paizo also uses a lot of fake deadlines, which works pretty well. ("Quick! The villain is going to destroy the world any day now! Just kidding: when you get there you discover the ritual went wrong and turned the villain into a soul-eating demon instead, and now you accidentally released him from the magical wards keeping him trapped.") But if the game design depends on it too much, you have to make the story revolve around the four-encounters-a-day template, even if that's not the story you want to tell.

Kingmaker, for example, has very little time pressure, and you rarely fight more than once in a day. If the gameplay can't accommodate that, Kingmaker doesn't work. I'm pretty sure at least one AP has so many forced battles in the first book, and the party doesn't have a wand of healing yet, that without a really well-balanced party it's nearly impossible to survive.

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

(Anyway, like every other design issue being discussed in these forums, you can't please everyone. I don't really have a replacement for the attrition paradigm...)


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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.

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

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Rysky wrote:
As for a bad die roll/mistake dooming a character, um, yeah?
Dooming the adventure, not the character. If we're on a genuine strict race against time, then every setback becomes a disaster. ("Seelah died! Now we have to either go back to the temple for a Raise Dead, in which case the ritual will be completed and the world will end, or we can struggle on at a massive disadvantage and probably all die and the world will end, while Seelah's player just waits around for five hours.")
And? If you have bad luck and die in a fight the exact same scenario plays out in either edition.
Matthew Downie wrote:
For that to work well you need a party that is motivated to keep going, but a get out excuse if they can't. ("You must rescue your friend who is probably being tortured! You must hurry, but not so much that you get killed!")
One of my groups broke up and another almost did over that exact scenario.
Matthew Downie wrote:
That's not a bad way to do it, but most Paizo APs include large dungeons that you can't possibly complete in a day. So you're going to have to rest at some point, and that means the bad guys are guaranteed to have time to prepare. At which point, there's not much incentive to hurry; it's already too late.
There's not, unless you think you can clear it. Not every situation is a rush.
Matthew Downie wrote:
Paizo also uses a lot of fake deadlines, which works pretty well. ("Quick! The villain is going to destroy the world any day now! Just kidding: when you get there you discover the ritual went wrong and turned the villain into a soul-eating demon instead, and now you accidentally released him from the magical wards keeping him trapped.") But if the game design depends on it too much, you have to make the story revolve around the four-encounters-a-day template, even if that's not the story you want to tell.
The encounter designs for areas are built under this assumption in APs, that a party can handle 4-5 encounters before need to rest (also was that an actual example or something you just made up. Curious, not snarky :3)
Matthew Downie wrote:
Kingmaker, for example, has very little time pressure, and you rarely fight more than once in a day. If the gameplay can't accommodate that, Kingmaker doesn't work. I'm pretty sure at least one AP has so many forced battles in the first book, and the party doesn't have a wand of healing yet, that without a really well-balanced party it's nearly impossible to survive.

kingmaker is an exception, being a sandbox, haven't gotten to play it sadly but I believe the CR is all over the place on purpose.

As for the second part I'm pretty sure that is Giantslayer, which is indeed a very brutal first adventure.

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

Eh, I wouldn't really consider that a good thing as presented, especially as it's more likely to make it go in the other direction with the casters being bored and feeling useless since they don't want to "waste" their spells. And it would get boring for the martials to (it would for me anyway) after a bit if we knew there was less and less danger. Having unlimited healing trivializes encounters for everyone.


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


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MerlinCross wrote:

The fact the Wand it tied to Resonance now is what solves the 'problem' of CLW.

Kinda. Maybe. I think.

From 1-3 even at 0 CHA mod, you're going to have your level in Resonance. And unless you use a potion(The difference of using a potion vs a wand is only cost rather than the act it seems), that's still 1-3 pokes of a wand per person.

Seems like a silly overblown way of trying to solve the problem.

While creating many other problems.


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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
If people hate CLW wand, then fix the lack of healing, end the magic item mart and fix wands.

Yes to all of those things.

1) IMHO, wands of cleric spells shouldn't exist at all. Wands should only hold arcane spells. Aside from that, I have the same aesthetic objections to CLW wand spamming as many of the Paizo guys. It just doesn't "feel" right. Then again, I'm an old grognard, and back in my day, you either had a cleric, a boatload of potions, or you went back to the inn and rested for a week.

2) The lack of healing can be fixed by slightly upgrading the Tret Mortal Wounds action, and perhaps by including alchemical healing of some sort.

3) The magic mart is just silly. IMHO there shouldn't be magic items for sale on every street corner. Magic should be rare enough that most folks don't want to part with it.

4) "Fix wands" should really be amended to say "fix the entire magic item crafting system." The formulae need to be adjusted, the loopholes closed, and some degree of randomness (and chance of failure) reintroduced. And wands of cleric spells simply shouldn't exit. No, wait, I said that already. <g>


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If ‘resonance’ is introduced, it should instead be tied to magic item -creation- rather than magic item -use-.


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Let me see if I can collect all of the angry rants I've seen. They basically boil down to narrative problems and mechanical problems. Actually, after typing this all up, it all boils down to Cure Light Wounds being the most cost effective strategy. Try two!

Narratively, "Let's all stop for a few minutes to heal up" isn't necessarily a problem. The problem is that you're then burning multiple (especially at higher levels) consumables to do it. If it were potions nobody would have to explain this. The Hero chugging 20-30 potions after every battle has a drinking problem. Which is an acceptable choice but it has to be a choice, not the only sane and reasonable way to play.

Mechanically, wizards and other casters are based around having limited resources. In return they get stronger powers. Fighter's and... rogue's? (most other martials still have per-day abilities) only resource tends to be HP. However, because cheap healing is available this tends to be an all-or-nothing affair (either you die or you're back up to full next batttle). And this has been going on so long everything is designed assuming that's what's happening, meaning encounters and abilities will always assume the Fighter is at full strength but the Wizard is out half of their spells. So Fighter abilities won't be great without per-day limitations and Wizard abilities will either stay the same or get stronger.

As I've said, the largest problem is that CLW is the most cost effective way to go. I don't think anyone has a problem with "Fighter chugs a single potion to heal up before continuing". Similarly, using a higher level consumable to heal up would mean an actual resource expenditure after a battle instead of the trivial cost of the CLW wands at high level.

Now, as for the solution, who knows? The short answer is that healing has to get better as you get to higher levels, not worse. More +CL instead of random dice? Lower the cost for healing items specifically? Do the Starfinder/4e thing with short rests/long rests and recovery? In-class healing of some kind? Lots of options, Resonance is apparently their take. We'll have to see in totality what it ends up meaning.


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So ‘solve’ the heal issue by breaking other things?


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I dont have narrative issues with CLW problem. I did enjoy the scene where John McClain cast reduce person on himself so he could sneak past the guards in the venting system. Then later when he cast feather fall to jump off the side of the building to avoid the delayed blast fireball... Wait Die Hard is a ridiculous comparison to PF. Though one thing is for certain, its definitely a Christmas movie, and that is a fact.

I cant speak for anyone else, but I can discuss a bit why spells in a can are a problem for me. In ye olden days the game was focused on surviving dungeons and dragons. It wasnt about being a fishman from the inner sea who likes to ride in airships and cast spells all day like a God. (There is nothing wrong with all that, it just wasnt a default assumption of early D&D) The focus was more on being clever to survive challenges either through resource management or making smart decisions. Spells were few and far between so they had to be managed well. Later editions gave casters more spells to cast and players in general more ways to get consumables. The devil ended up being in the details here as it shot resource management to hell and gave casters an exponential power boost over martial characters. Now our 4 room dungeons of yesterday have become 40 room dungeons of today.

I want casters to have more than one spell a day at level 1. I dont want them to have unlimited ability either derived through class or consumables. I want to get back some reasonable resource management game that can maybe curtail the power of casters a pinch. Maybe we can have 14 room dungeons tomorrow? Id love to meet in the middle if possible. Even if that means I only get my way for 5-10 levels I can live with that. I think resonance is a good compromise mechanic for this.

That said, im fully ready to hear about Paizos new short rest mechanic they have been working on since at least 2013 or the individual healing resource pool called surges thats been on the chalkboard since 2005. Folks will scream yippie kiyay mother f@#$er to their hearts content as they cast their 70th attack cantrip to kill the 90th Gobo for the day. I think im getting too old for this sh!@.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
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??

Hit points and spell slots are pacing mechanics, that limit how much combat/exploration a party of a certain level can handle in a given period of time.

CLW wands allow PCs to bypass these limits, by substituting gold for time. If the dungeon were a vacuum and the PCs were perfectly spherical, they could face level-appropriate challenges more or less indefinitely as long as their gold income outpaced their use of CLW and lesser restoration wands.

This can wreck adventure modules that are designed around characters that need to rest.


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FaerieGodfather wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
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??

Hit points and spell slots are pacing mechanics, that limit how much combat/exploration a party of a certain level can handle in a given period of time.

CLW wands allow PCs to bypass these limits, by substituting gold for time. If the dungeon were a vacuum and the PCs were perfectly spherical, they could face level-appropriate challenges more or less indefinitely as long as their gold income outpaced their use of CLW and lesser restoration wands.

This can wreck adventure modules that are designed around characters that need to rest.

Pretty much this. 5E built in the assumption of 6-8 encounters per adventuring day. I love the idea of an adventuring baseline, it makes design easier for both the developer and the GM. Id like to see the default day reduced to 4-6 encounters, but I do so love the concept. Consumables can make it difficult to plan that out. On the other hand, they can make up for class short comings too. Though if devs have some idea of what to expect the average adventuring party to have, its going to make for some better gaming IMHO.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

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

Healing back to full after every fight messes with the balance of the game which doesn’t assume PCs walk into every battle at maximum hp.

And laying around for a week to charge up your meat points even though you aren't physically impacted in any way is so fictionally satisfying? Imagine if the turtles had to go back to the farm after EVERY fight with the hand.


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I think the issue is the diminishing value of the resources sunk into obtaining and using the wand of Cure Light Wounds. The D&D 4E invention of healing surges made the issue obvious -- traditionally, you must use up a daily or otherwise not too easily renewable resource in order to heal player characters. In D&D 4E, the issue was that healer characters had "per encounter" powers that could be used to heal, so healing surges were added as a daily limit on how often any given character could be healed by such powers.

In more traditional games than D&D 4E, the issue we run into is that 1st level consumable magic items become cheap compared to average character wealth at that time, but the wand of Cure Light Wounds (in particular) remains valuable when you are no longer in combat and thus can afford to use more actions to heal somebody.

I am not sure that Resonance is the best solution to this problem (as it was originally designed as a way to attune more or less permanent occultist implements, not control consumables), but some sort of limitation other than cost is needed for the lower level consumable items.


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Hello! This is my first post on these boards ever.

I find myself agreeing with Kerrilyn. I like the idea of wands, but they're just too easily accessible, so any cost associated with them (either in charges, or in gold) is pretty negligible. I feel like potions are different since they're gone after a single use, as are scrolls.

I kinda wish that wands worked more like staves, where they had far less charges, but could be recharged over time. Then, when you got one, it would really be something special as opposed to a fairly banal part of the game. If you found a Wand of Healing, it was probably in an ancient temple or on the body of a powerful enemy cleric. If you are given one, it's because you saved a church from destruction or something. Sure, maybe you could buy one, but probably only in a very special or prominent shop, and at a significant cost.

Just my 2 cents, I guess. :)


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are some starting modules where if one does not have a clww the module is lethal, even with a healer.

CR needs better weighting.


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I have three points about the wand of CLW.

First, healing is often an element of fantasy. Who can forget Aragon seeking the plant Athelas, also known as Kingsfoil, to heal Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring? The students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are patched up in the school's Hospital Wing after their misadventues. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Father Christmas gave Lucy Pevensie a magical healing cordial. Many fantasy tales have the heroes seeking an old wise woman in the forest, an elven enclave, or a mystical healing spring to heal an injured companion.

The only problem with a Wand of Cure Light Wounds in that context is that it is a cheap, store-bought trinket. If a caster in the party made the wand, as happens in my current party, it instead becomes an aspect of their magic.

If healing consumables are store bought, then I would prefer an effective First Aid Kit rather than a magical wand. Currently, Treat Deadly Wounds with a Healer's Kit costs 1/5 of the kit, requires a DC 20 Healing check, restores 1 hit point per level of the creature, and is limited to once per day per creature. Assuming a 2nd-level healer with +9 Heal, that averages 10 gp per damage healed. A wand of CLW averages 2.7 gp per damage healed.

Second, many parties need more healing than their members can provide. In my Iron Gods campaign, the 1st-level skald in the three-member party could cast Cure Light Wounds, but she had only 2 spells per day. So I altered initial deal in Fires of Creation. Five expeditions had gone into the cave. The Third Expedition had spotted the bodies of the First Expedition, and not touched them. The local cleric of Pharasma wanted those bodies recovered for proper burial and he was willing to pay three Potions of Cure Light Wounds in advance. Later, the party had some winnings at the gambling hall and pooled all their money to buy a Wand of Cure Light Wounds. It was not cheap on the budget of a 1st-level party. At 5th level, the skald learned Craft Wand and made her own wands.

Third, full healing between encounters make encounter design easier for us GMs. The party's condition is more predictable. Many dungeon crawls are designed with preliminary encounters to wear down the party before they encounter the final boss. If the hit points were worn down before that tough enounter, that would increase not only the difficulty of the final encounter, but also the chance of a death in the party. A sensible party would retreat and return the next day at full health and full power, nullifying the purpose of the wear-down encounters.

Matthew Downie wrote:
... most Paizo APs include large dungeons that you can't possibly complete in a day. So you're going to have to rest at some point, and that means the bad guys are guaranteed to have time to prepare. At which point, there's not much incentive to hurry; it's already too late.

My players love to finish those without stopping, through avoiding encounters not directly related to the bad guy and through using consumables, such as a wand of CLW.

And I have one point about resonance. I have not played D&D 5th Edition, but I have played 4th Edition. That edition's healing spells tapped a character's inner reserves of healing. If the reserves ran out, then the magic no longer worked. It was quite frustrating to have the healing spells and not be able to benefit from them like characters could in D&D 3rd Edition and Pathfinder. If Pathfinder 2nd Edition creates the same frustation, then I will alter it with a houserule.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As someone who is perfectly fine with CLW wands, I'd be okay with them somehow scaling in gold cost as you level. If Resonance were a resource *only* for wands, well, that wouldn't be so bad. Also, I absolutely like being able to trade gold for time. That keeps gold valuable, encourages limiting damage taken with good tactics, and feels right to me.

People arguing that Resonance will bring us back to the glory days of entering more fights at reduced HP should brace themselves for the easier healing mechanics that are almost certainly coming. The barbarian was a main healer. The medicine skill is getting buffed. I don't think these things indicate great reductions in out of combat healing.


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Corrik wrote:
And laying around for a week to charge up your meat points even though you aren't physically impacted in any way is so fictionally satisfying? Imagine if the turtles had to go back to the farm after EVERY fight with the hand.

Natural healing in pre-4e D&D sucked, primarily because the rate didn't scale with level (or HD size), so high-level characters and tougher characters took longer to heal up after a close battle than weaker characters.

Early D&D assumed the presence of magical healers, and assumed their spell slots would take the place of Hit Points as the primary pacing mechanic.

CLW wands weren't an intentional correction for this design flaw, which the 3e designers probably intended to preserve as "traditional". It was an unintended consequence of the existence of CLW wands and the assumption that "cheap" magic items would be purchasable.

Really hoping that PF2 addresses the natural healing rules in a fashion that properly represents heroic/dungeon fantasy without weird, unintentional kludges.


Personally, I like the way Spheres of Might does it. In that system, you can learn to create what are basically healing packs - but they're limited by the number of times per-day a given character can be affected by them, a maximum amount the creator can have at once, and a 30-minute crafting time. So... useful, but also limited. And not restricted solely to magical characters.


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I got rid of magic item stores in my and haven't had a problem with these wands ever since. HOWEVER, in Pathfinder Society, they specifically made a system that is practically TAILOR-MADE to get anyone access to a lv1 Wand practically an any time they want.

PFS was screwed in this aspect unless they changed the rules specifically to ban this. But at the same time, it's not uncommon to get parties where nobody can heal (people are selfish, after all). And you'd need a method of healing... So it was rough.


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It is a verisimilitude problem

Stop thinking about your character and the think about the world around your character

These wands are not beyond even the basic economy of a small village - they are not difficult to create. Every village , everywhere would have them - generals of every army would have baskets full of them

Noi villager would suffer economic hardships because they could not harvest crops for a week due to a serious injury - no one would die from a fall off a ladder (assuming the fall did not take them to negative numbers equal to their constitution) Grampa bumps his head, goes to -3 hit points, a donation to the church and he's back at the plow

seriously - I've always managed divine magic in a way that is based upon the 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide

Divine Spells are prayed for, and the deity DECIDES if that is really the spell you need for the day OR NOT and by extrapolation, in my campaign settings, there are no wands of healing, of any kind - if they existed they would have a dramatic effect on the natural course of life and death

Now, some may say, "But David, this isn't fair to the heroic characters."

and to this I say, "With the groups I have played with, it has never been a problem."

If the problem in your game is that it is "too scary" to adventure because the characters might die, then we aren't playing the same game. If you want to heal the characters back to full hit points after each encounter, that's great to, as long as you are having fun, I don't see a problem, but I've been running games in the same campaign setting for a while now, and when the games are done, and I am alone thinking about the campaign world that I and the players I play with have created, I want it to make sense, to me, and wands of healing just don't fit that world.


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Terquem wrote:

It is a verisimilitude problem

Stop thinking about your character and the think about the world around your character

These wands are not beyond even the basic economy of a small village - they are not difficult to create. Every village , everywhere would have them - generals of every army would have baskets full of them

Noi villager would suffer economic hardships because they could not harvest crops for a week due to a serious injury - no one would die from a fall off a ladder (assuming the fall did not take them to negative numbers equal to their constitution) Grampa bumps his head, goes to -3 hit points, a donation to the church and he's back at the plow

seriously - I've always managed divine magic in a way that is based upon the 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide

Divine Spells are prayed for, and the deity DECIDES if that is really the spell you need for the day OR NOT and by extrapolation, in my campaign settings, there are no wands of healing, of any kind - if they existed they would have a dramatic effect on the natural course of life and death

Now, some may say, "But David, this isn't fair to the heroic characters."

and to this I say, "With the groups I have played with, it has never been a problem."

If the problem in your game is that it is "too scary" to adventure because the characters might die, then we aren't playing the same game. If you want to heal the characters back to full hit points after each encounter, that's great to, as long as you are having fun, I don't see a problem, but I've been running games in the same campaign setting for a while now, and when the games are done, and I am alone thinking about the campaign world that I and the players I play with have created, I want it to make sense, to me, and wands of healing just don't fit that world.

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

Sandpoint for example is a town of 1,240 people, and it has five clerics even just counting NPCs named in the book. Wands of CLW would be the expensive option for healing commoners - channeling is ubiquitous and free. I'm honestly curious how you deal with that in your setting - you just have fewer clerics?


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How is letting every character self-heal any better? The end result is much the same, either the characters can heal up or not. Just giving everyone their entire HP pool back by either rest/or skill does not solve the issue other than it puts an arbitrary limit on it. Maybe a better way is up the costs of healing wands or just get rid of them altogether. Have healing magic be part of a class ability and remove the cure line of spells if you want to limit it.
Ultimately players being cheesy and gaming the system is up to the DM to squash. That is why they are there and trying to design around every issue leads to creating more problems. Rule zero should exist for a reason.

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