On the topic of Hit Points Healing -- What about Stamina?


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We were talking on the Pathfinder_RPG Reddit Discord about the present troubles surrounding healing options, particularly at level 1. One need not look too hard to see that a single cleric can double or more the length of a given party's adventuring day. As I stated in another thread, I don't believe this is a fault of the cleric being too powerful, but more that other characters generally do not have good enough healing options to substitute them.

Further, the mundane sources of healing, battle medic and natural medicine, both have extremely high DCs for level 1 characters. Coupled with the low number of spell slots available to heal-capable casters like the druid, level 1 options just aren't there outside of the cleric. Beyond level 1, the cleric has at least twice the capacity to heal of any other casters, without even sacrificing their ability to cast other spells of highest level.

A number of solutions came to mind, and after some discussion we got something we liked. The following is a result of a few hours of discussion amongst GMs and Players about what we would like to see as a possible solution to the issue.

Stamina
The Starfinder system has a split "health" system, cut in half between "hit points" and "stamina points". You gain a number of hit points and stamina points from your class per level, and you add your CON to your stamina points. When taking damage, damage is removed from your stamina pool first.

In starfinder, a character can spend 10 minutes and a resolve point to regain all of their stamina points, but in my view I don't see that adding resolve points is necessary or adds any appreciable depth to the game. As such, I'd say it would work just as well for characters to be able to regain all of their stamina points with only 10 minutes of rest.

TLDR: Stamina but without resolve points.

Mundane Healing

All sources of healing would restore points to the target's hit point pool, then if that is full, restore points to the target's stamina point pool.

Battle Medic and Natural Healing gain DC10 and DC15 options: they heal the target a number of points equal to the user's WIS mod at DC10, and restoring 1d6+wis and 1d4+wis points for Battle medic and Natural Healing respectively for DC15.

Sidenote: With Stamina Points and Spell Points we have 2 things which can be abbreviated to "sp" -- this is a good chance to rename Spell Points to Power Points. Powers are the only things which use spell points, and this change would ruther remove spell points from the misconception of any use of them for spells.


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Having spent the last 3 months playing Starfinder, I wholeheartedly second the adoption of Stamina Points in PF2. It doesn't reduce the threat of combat but definitely helps keep the party in the fight beyond the 15-min adventuring day. Healing is still valuable but cleric-style healing isn't essential.

I would love to see PF2 go this route. And this is coming from someone who wasn't a fan of Stamina Points on my initial read-through.

I'd also like to see the inclusion of Resolve Points, but Stamina Points is definitely the bigger selling point.


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One of the thing that i most dislike in PF 1ed and 2ed it's the 15-min adventuring day


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The addition of Stamina Points (and the subsequent removal of the healer requirement for every table) is one of my favorite things about Starfinder, and one of the reasons I came out of semi-retirement from playing d20 games.

Stamina makes a lot of tables viable... two soldiers an operative, and a technomancer, with no healing magic whatsoever, can now roll a Starfinder Society scenario because all they have to do between fights is take a breather.


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I feel it would be even more useful in PF2 considering all the big damage the monsters are dishing out. It would greatly reduce the need for a caster that uses most of his spell slots /powers for healing.


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Imagine a cleric that could do something useful besides healbot, without feeling guilty...

Liberty's Edge

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Can't agree with this more. Always liked stun/body split in champions and while this doesn't have the same problem ie unconscious foes it's even better. Allows for interesting options such as a party that's injured pushing forward on few hp but full stamina points. Simulates injured but heroic effort that straight hp doesnt

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I didn't play Starfinder very much, but this does sound like something worth considering for 2nd edition.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Stamina was a system created to allow for a different kind of story telling in Starfinder. Stories in that type of setting do not have healers as part of their core, nor is resting in the middle of an adventure really make a lot of sense. That does not mean that the system could not be used in Pathfinder, but it does greatly affect the texture of the story and the game, so it is not something we would do lightly. Having a healer be a part of the group (in some way shape or form) is baked into a lot of the games understandings and math.

That said, we consider all feedback and we will take this under advisement, but I am not sure it is something we are going to do.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Stamina was a system created to allow for a different kind of story telling in Starfinder. Stories in that type of setting do not have healers as part of their core, nor is resting in the middle of an adventure really make a lot of sense. That does not mean that the system could not be used in Pathfinder, but it does greatly affect the texture of the story and the game, so it is not something we would do lightly. Having a healer be a part of the group (in some way shape or form) is baked into a lot of the games understandings and math.

That said, we consider all feedback and we will take this under advisement, but I am not sure it is something we are going to do.

Respectfully, Starfinder does have healers as part of their core; Mystics can heal hit points and Envoys can heal Stamina. Many adventures that one can have in Pathfinder can also be had in Starfinder; what is an abandoned space station in the Vast but a dungeon by another name? Does this make it make more or less sense to rest in the middle of the adventure?

I played the gonzo 4E D&D-inspired Gamma World for several years, and it had a similar take on healing, with everyone being able to heal half their hit points once each battle with a Second Wind, and the pacing was great! Removing the absolute requirement for healers made it extra special when a healer DOES come in for a clutch heal at a crucial moment.

I don't really have a dog in the Pathfinder 2.0 fight, because the 5 minute work day and absolute reliance on cleric healing is one of the things that drove me away from D&D and its descendants in the first place. A blind adherence to tradition doesn't seem characteristic of Paizo's modern take on their game, so I might suggest at what is actually lost by splitting health into stamina and hit points.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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It does have healers, that is true, but they are not absolutely required as part of play. Healing has been a part of the fantasy RPG experience forever. I am all for challenging dogma for the sake of dogma, but I am not sure this is it. Magical healing is a fantasy trope, and I feel that walking away from that trope might do a fair bit of damage to peoples view of the game.

That said, stamina might still be an option we look at, but I am not sure that we would ever put it in a position to replace healing.

Thanks for the feedback.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

... Having a healer be a part of the group (in some way shape or form) is baked into a lot of the games understandings and math.

That said, we consider all feedback and we will take this under advisement, but I am not sure it is something we are going to do.

Please, please take this out of the core assumptions and math. It's nice having party composition be less restrictive, and when it's not assumed to be there, the cleric actually feels more useful because they can push a party to new heights, not keep them at par.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

That said, stamina might still be an option we look at, but I am not sure that we would ever put it in a position to replace healing.

Thanks for the feedback.

I don't think that having Stamina replace healing is necessary. Ideally, a good balanced could be struck between Stamina, mundane healing and magical healing.

Stamina allows the party to take some damage each fight and it not be a huge deal. I do think this is important because a fight in which the party takes no damage doesn't feel very threatening or engaging, while taking a bit of damage and then taking a breather to recover feels more natural. I will specify that if Second Edition adopts a stamina system, the character hit points should be adjusted so that HP + stamina doesn't exceed the current hit point totals.

Mundane healing makes sense as the low-resource but also slow healing option. Needing to break out the healer's kit and treat deadly wounds, apply poultices, etc. puts things pretty squarely within the Exploration mode, not combat. Alchemical items would also fit well into this category.

Finally, magical healing needs the most resource expenditure (spell slots, spell points, resonance) but it functions in a snap. You can heal your ally back up so they don't just survive, but keep fighting. In an emergency, it can save a downed ally from death's door, or spells like Breath of Life can bring someone back from death entirely.

3 types of "healing", with their own niche that different party members can choose to specialize in, and also with their own drawbacks so they don't overshadow the others.


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Honestly I think the stamina system of Starfinder would make even more sense in Pathfinder than it does in Starfinder.

I see stamina as a character's heroic ability to turn a successful attack from an enemy into no HP damage because of some strenuous exertion. In Starfinder that effectively means dodging bullets and laser beams. In the swords and sorcery theme of Pathfinder, that would instead be a last second duck of an arrow coming in or jumping over a sword swing.

But whatever the mechanic, I think that non-cleric healing needs to be available and meaningful. I doubt that any cleric player is going to feel that their role is being trivialized by having other healing options available in the party. Instead, as was mentioned before, the cleric player will likely feel that they can actually use their entire spell list rather than just the one spell.


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Rules Artificer wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

That said, stamina might still be an option we look at, but I am not sure that we would ever put it in a position to replace healing.

Thanks for the feedback.

I don't think that having Stamina replace healing is necessary. Ideally, a good balanced could be struck between Stamina, mundane healing and magical healing.

Stamina allows the party to take some damage each fight and it not be a huge deal. I do think this is important because a fight in which the party takes no damage doesn't feel very threatening or engaging, while taking a bit of damage and then taking a breather to recover feels more natural. I will specify that if Second Edition adopts a stamina system, the character hit points should be adjusted so that HP + stamina doesn't exceed the current hit point totals.

QFT :) I'm not going to pretend to have a numbers-perfect solution, but whether it's a 25%/75% SP/HP split or a 50/50 split or anywhere around there, I do think it's an elegant framework through which we can build deeper storytelling and greater mechanical freedom into our party composition.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

It does have healers, that is true, but they are not absolutely required as part of play. Healing has been a part of the fantasy RPG experience forever. I am all for challenging dogma for the sake of dogma, but I am not sure this is it. Magical healing is a fantasy trope, and I feel that walking away from that trope might do a fair bit of damage to peoples view of the game.

That said, stamina might still be an option we look at, but I am not sure that we would ever put it in a position to replace healing.

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm all for longer adventuring days. In the current iteration of the playtest rules, this doesn't even really appear possible without a Cleric in the party. A system like stamina, which does obviate a dedicated healer, would help immensely in that regard.


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magnuskn wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

It does have healers, that is true, but they are not absolutely required as part of play. Healing has been a part of the fantasy RPG experience forever. I am all for challenging dogma for the sake of dogma, but I am not sure this is it. Magical healing is a fantasy trope, and I feel that walking away from that trope might do a fair bit of damage to peoples view of the game.

That said, stamina might still be an option we look at, but I am not sure that we would ever put it in a position to replace healing.

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm all for longer adventuring days. In the current iteration of the playtest rules, this doesn't even really appear possible without a Cleric in the party. A system like stamina, which does obviate a dedicated healer, would help immensely in that regard.

All I can say is that look 5ed, they have the "short rest" and clerics are still played.

Heal out of combat it's something important, it takes so much resources and time... And when this resources ends all players call a day...

Don't Mather it they adventured for like 10 minutes they will wait another day to recover, so why not just take away this mess from the start?

Healers should be played because you like to play they, because you want to make a history about this. No because the system assumes so

Dark Archive

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Magical healing would still exist in a Pathfinder game with a stamina system. It would just become far more about curing status and debilitating effects, which is a more complicated and interesting role anyway. What has a bigger story impact, curing a festering cursed wound or bringing someone back up from 12 to 67 hp?


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I thumbs-upped the OP while at the same time not sure if Stamina is the best solution.

4e and 5e have a similar idea of having a limited daily resource to take a short rest to get a small restoration of your hit points. That currently seems to be the cleanest way to deal with the dedicated healer problem. (I personally didn't like having to think in terms of two numbers to think about a character's health in Starfinder. )


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I like this Stamina idea. Clerics are too darn required now and its the thing I like the least about the current system.

As an aside, there is plenty of fantasy fiction that doesnt have clerics.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

It does have healers, that is true, but they are not absolutely required as part of play. Healing has been a part of the fantasy RPG experience forever. I am all for challenging dogma for the sake of dogma, but I am not sure this is it. Magical healing is a fantasy trope, and I feel that walking away from that trope might do a fair bit of damage to peoples view of the game.

That said, stamina might still be an option we look at, but I am not sure that we would ever put it in a position to replace healing.

Thanks for the feedback.

I disagree that magical healing is as big a fantasy trope as it's made out to be. Most fantasy stories that aren't directly inspired by D&D don't have clerics at all.

I think in-combat healing, status removal is more than enough of a great boon that it's worth bringing a cleric along so that you can recover from big hits, or AoEs.

But a cleric/dedicated healer shouldn't be essential to every adventuring party. That's incredibly limiting.


I'm definitely in favor of some sort of stamina system, it must be really well thought out though, not just something tacked on. I've always liked systems that have fewer actual hitpoints, maybe only equal to your con score, but you only but you only take damage to them when you fall below zero in stamina or take a critical hit.

I'd also like to see more options for a main healer, but in ways that are particularly flavorful to the class like how paladins healing with holy light that protects with a +1 to AC.

Leaf Druids I could see having a potent regenerative healing, which because that can often be less powerful than burst healing like the cleric gets against burst damage would keep people alive and waking up when they hit zero hit points for a few rounds, or fill them with life energy whenever they are over healed giving them a +1 to hit or a burst of speed.

Abjurer wizards could front load healing by casting powerful shielding spells that grant temporary hit points at a similar level to a cleric.

Alchemists healing brews should approach the level and quantity of a clerics heal but could also add the effects of a mutagen for a few rounds at higher level, letting them buff and heal at the same time.

A monk of the healing hand might be able to restore some small amount of spell points (if there's a way to make that a non recursive cycle) with a heal as they unblock the ki in their patient.

I'm not sure about bards because but I'm sure someone who connects better with that class than I do could come up with something.


I do see something that the game devs may be thinking of. If there are multiple effective healing options available, what happens to the campaign balance when some power gaming group decides to have all of them available in the party?

When a party has cleric main healer; and a abjurer wizard casting damage negating spells; and a druid with regen powers; and a fighter with a strong medicine skill - how could the scenario ever manage to challenge this?

If the scenario could challenge this and put this party in threat of its life, how would any normal party comp be capable of handling the new, more deadly scenario?

If we do get powerful and effective healing from things other than a cleric, then the cleric healing is going to need to be nerfed.

Now, the Starfinder stamina system does this by making the healing powers (whether healing serums or the Mystic Cure spell) only heal HP. So if your character is at 1 HP and you get the Mystic of the party coming to your rescue, he can only heal you up to a bit less than half of your full total health pool.


I was thinking most of these options would just be for stamina and that actual hp healing would be a slower process, probably based on the medicine skill.


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Stamina is one fantastic solution, as long as NPCs have them, too.

Grand Lodge

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Lucas Yew wrote:
Stamina is one fantastic solution, as long as NPCs have them, too.

I'm going to challenge this.

Why?
Narratively it doesn't matter if they only have HP or only Stamina or a combination.

For your average combat encounter it doesn't matter, as players will have to go through both stamina and hp of the npcs to down them anyway, and it's not like the npcs can take a 10 minute rest during combat to replenish their stamina.

For the escaping boss it also doesn't matter, because once he's away he can heal up.

The only thing giving stamina to npcs does is add more paperwork to a GM.


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I said this in another thread (more or less) but I will say this again here: Paizo, please feel free to innovate and take chances. Please slay those sacred cows and make big moves. Playing it safe won't inspire anyone. GO BIG.

This is a prime example of where yo can really make PF distinct. This meets a need. This solves a problem. This works well with your system. DO IT!


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I'm usually pretty traditionalist but even I'm ok with stamina.

Sovereign Court

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

It does have healers, that is true, but they are not absolutely required as part of play. Healing has been a part of the fantasy RPG experience forever. I am all for challenging dogma for the sake of dogma, but I am not sure this is it. Magical healing is a fantasy trope, and I feel that walking away from that trope might do a fair bit of damage to peoples view of the game.

That said, stamina might still be an option we look at, but I am not sure that we would ever put it in a position to replace healing.

Thanks for the feedback.

If you wade through all the threads about Resonance both on these forums and facebookland, you notice that a lot of people don't like the idea of healer as a mandatory role. For two decades, Cure Light Wounds wands have gotten people used to the idea that this role was not actually mandatory - a "full healer" in my mind is someone that can wrangle many conditions fast to get people back into the fight, and uses only the occasional burst healing so that someone else doesn't have to retreat from the front line. So I think "healers have always been part of the game" is less of a dogma than you present it as.

I think in Starfinder you guys have managed to hit on a piece of pure genius, because it balances a lot of different things very nicely:


  • You don't have to have a healer, but they are certainly useful, because Resolve can't bring back hit points. This satisfies both people who don't want mandatory healer roles, and people who do enjoy healers.
  • There is no way to regain Stamina that doesn't somewhat deplete daily resources. Either spending your own Resolve, or an Envoy boosting you once per encounter (if he wants to do it more often, he has to pay Resolve). This guarantees that the party's healing resources tick down over the course of a day, fitting the CR/attrition based model of an adventuring day.

  • Both Envoy and Mystic ways of healing quickly start costing the healer resources, spreading the attrition among the adventuring party. Which is good, because it means the party is more likely to pause when everyone is feeling it instead of when only one member is tapped out and the rest has to stop too.

  • Money can buy healing serums, making some of healing open to cash power, and everyone has a decent chance of stabilizing (not so hard Medicine) or waking up (affordable serum) other people.

  • However, cash-based healing can't heal Stamina, and Stamina is lost first. This means you don't get the drudge of "oh it's a damaging trap, grab the CLW wand". Those things do actual attrition.

  • At higher level you gain more abilities that use Resolve, creating some competition for your "survival points". Spending something that could be necessary to save your life later on is a bit of a gamble, an exciting one. It also means that Resolve pools don't get too full.

Playing Starfinder, I've played in parties with and without healers, and both worked out. Healers definitely felt very useful and made the group more robust, proof against sudden nasty surprises. But a highly competent other class member could have maybe helped jump down on a monster before it did much damage. So this system really opened up more choice for players to pick roles they enjoy, instead of rigidly trying to make a party of all four food groups.

I think the number of parties I played in with healers has been about a third, but when it happens a surprising burst of healing really does feel amazingly good, not "regular maintenance". Healing seems more impressive and cool. I think we are starting to see more mystics in our local meta because people are realizing having a few (spontaneous!) healing spells along other spells is fun to play.

Silver Crusade

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I'm going to be the odd one out then, having played Starfinder I really did not like Stamina. I hated having to keep track of two separate health pools.

And it didn't actually extend much since you had to spend Resolve to get those back up with rests. So it didn't remove the need for healing, it just gave you a bigger pool that was split in two that you might have access to.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Stamina was a system created to allow for a different kind of story telling in Starfinder. Stories in that type of setting do not have healers as part of their core, nor is resting in the middle of an adventure really make a lot of sense.

Resting for eight or twenty-four hours in the middle of a dungeon after every fight (or after every couple of fights if you have a Cleric) makes even less sense. There's a problem here and it needs addressing.

It doesn't have to be dealt with through Stamina; it could be 5e-style limited short rests, or 4e-style healing surges, or by improving First Aid skill, or by allowing cheap healing items that don't quickly burn through all your Resonance, or by making PC's stronger / enemies weaker so you don't take as much damage in combat, or by turning Bards and Druids and Paladins and Rangers into competent magic healers...

Scarab Sages

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I'm going to have to be in the camp that is for adding in Stamina for PF2. Having played Starfinder with a small group over the last several months without anyone playing a class that can do any kind of healing (technomancer, operative, mechanic), Stamina is great.

As a kind of balance between Starfinder's stamina model and the desire to keep healers relevant, what if PCs had a Stamina pool, determined as it is in Starfinder, but they did not have Resolve points to recover during a short rest, but they did recover to full after a full rest and different classes did have abilities that interacted with stamina points.

Alchemist - some mutagens give temporary stamina points
Barbarian - give a string of class feats that give temporary stamina points while raging, but at a cost of a higher exhaustion during their down round
Bards - compositions/spells/ or an ability using their Spell points to restore stamina
Fighter - they have a class feat available that 1/day can restore stamina points, perhaps equal to their level
Monk - class feat that modifies wholeness of body to restore stamina as well
Rangers - a class feat modifying hunt target to regain a small amount of stamina for dispatching their target
Sorcerer - have an option for them to gain a lesser version of the bard's ability for those with an occult bloodline
Wizard - as has been suggested by others, give the abjurers an ability to give temporary stamina points


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4E had a good idea(one of the few) with healing surges.

When you could heal 25% of your HPs out of combat several times per day.
depending on your class and con mod.

It's better than 5e HDs.

Nice, clean, fixed numbers.


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Igor Horvat wrote:

4E had a good idea(one of the few) with healing surges.

When you could heal 25% of your HPs out of combat several times per day.
depending on your class and con mod.

It's better than 5e HDs.

Nice, clean, fixed numbers.

Count me as another person who wants something like Healing Surges in the game. It’s nice and simple and allows for brutal fights without the 15 minute adventuring day problem or over-reliance on healers


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The basic issue of course here the 15 minute adventuring day is fairly interesting as a game concept, but really terrible for the kind of stories we want to tell/experience where the heroes push on despite being tired because of some time constraint or lack of place to fall back too or whatever.

So how do we get around that? Healing surge type mechanics are an option. Stamina/Resolve type mechanics are an option.

Crazily enough, the CLW wand happystick/cleric in a can of 3.Pathfinder is an emergent solution as well. It's not perfect by any means, but it works. You 'rub gold on it' in a thematic way and heal up to move on.

Taking away the happystick and not replacing it with any other mechanic means we're falling back onto the problem of NEEDING a cleric to mitigate the short day as that's far and away the best healer and the cleric player feeling OBLIGATED to be a healbot instead of it being a cool option to choose.

If having a healer in the group is an important consideration for 2e designers then the solution is obvious. Give a load of other classes healing options. The cleric should be the A+ healer sure, but there should be a bunch of A, A-, B+ and B options as well.

Beef up goodberries for Druids, Give some more powerful low level class feats for Paladin Lay on Hands, Give Mystic Monks some sort of Ki heal power where they use pressure points to channel the healing chakras etc. Give Bards a first level "Song of Surging Resolute Stamina". It relieves the pressure on the cleric and allows the burden to be shared.

As a B option Enhance General Feat Battlefield medic to just allow the Medicine skill to actually get a decent amount of HP back in exchange for using up a medical kit and ten minutes. No high DC rolls. Just have it happen. Why put a DC on it?

Edit: Heck all of this helps out Superstitious Barbarians as well as they can get healed from mundane means or 'powers' that aren't magic we swear.


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I think they should make a survey about healing, healers and what the community thinks/wants


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Damanta wrote:
Lucas Yew wrote:
Stamina is one fantastic solution, as long as NPCs have them, too.

I'm going to challenge this.

Why?
Narratively it doesn't matter if they only have HP or only Stamina or a combination.

For your average combat encounter it doesn't matter, as players will have to go through both stamina and hp of the npcs to down them anyway, and it's not like the npcs can take a 10 minute rest during combat to replenish their stamina.

For the escaping boss it also doesn't matter, because once he's away he can heal up.

The only thing giving stamina to npcs does is add more paperwork to a GM.

Before actually experiencing Starfinder, I was squarely in the 'NPCs built on PC rules' camp and that extended to my initial assessment of Stamina Points. After playing and GMing Starfinder, I'm not and I agree that NPCs don't need Stamina Points. On the surface, one would think it creates a narrative disconnect but it actually works the other way. Stamina Points underscore the idea that PCs are special and the heroes of the story. As an example - Why is the town asking the PCs to go after the orc raiders instead of sending the Captain of the guard and a patrol? Because the heroes are in much better shape after the attack whereas the Captain of the guard is at 3 hp.

It's actually an elegant mechanic for providing some plot armor to the PCs without being heavy handed about it. The only other system/mechanic that comes close is Savage Worlds' benny mechanic which is definitely more in your face about it than Stamina Points. (That's just a difference, not a criticism of Savage Worlds.)


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With respect to Jason's note about healers and the legacy role of healing within the game, while I like divine casters from a GM and player perspective, in all the time that I've been in the hobby, almost no one wants to play a cleric or healer. Usually, after seeing class features of a villain or NPC ally, a player might become intrigued enough to try out a "healer" class, but no one - not a single player - went there from a "sounds cool, I'll play that" perspective.

I understand cleric is one of the 4 iconic pillars upon which the FRPG framework was built, but it's practically non-existent in the source material which inspires the game. Magic-wielding priests are typically depicted as variant sorcerers. While actual power-from-a-god characters exist, they are definitely a minority.

I'm not suggesting that divine healing magic or divine casters shouldn't be a thing -- far from it, in fact. But assuming that it has to be a core tenet of the game is a sacred cow that could be slain. I've never understood why a priest of the god/goddess of undeath, destruction, etc. would EVER get access to healing magic. Also, since FRPG deities are some numerous, clerics are likely numerous as well, which actually diminishes the uniqueness/specialness of a magical healer since they're likely pretty commonplace. This obviously gets tailored to suit by the GM, but from a "on paper/logical extension" perspective, it's what many players assume.


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Last note on the current topics. I vastly prefer Stamina Points to healing surges even if effectively they amount to the same thing.

Stamina Points reinforce the idea of exertion, bumps, and bruises vs. "significant" damage (i.e. hit points). Narratively, it's easier to describe/parse why a 10-minute rest & a resolve point "refills" the stamina points.

Healing surges seem like "video game health bar regeneration".

It may not be a big deal for some, but for me, the two have a completely different feeling in game. Stamina Points keep me immersed in the story. Healing Surges pulls me right out and slaps you in the face with the fact you're in a game.

Dark Archive

I'm not looking for another resource pool to track. A short rest mechanic would accomplish the same goal without adding additional vital statistics. Please - less lard, not more.


Isn't 'number of times you can short rest today' a resource pool to track and another vital statistic though?


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D&D Clerics were inspired, almost in their entirety, by Bishop Turpin from the Chanson de Roland, right down to their reliance on blunt weapons because a holy man must not shed blood. 3rd Edition D&D eventually got rid of the restriction against non-blunt weapons, because it made zero sense in a polytheistic fantasy universe filled with death gods and war gods and gods that don't care one way or another about "shedding blood."

Chanson de Roland is a fictional account of a historical event, so, D&D clerics (and therefore Pathfinder) are hardly instrumental to the fantasy tradition. Which member of the Fellowship of the Ring was the cleric? Elric of Melnibone' frequently traveled with a priest, but he was an archer, not a healer. Conan of Cimmeria needed nothing from gods!

If nothing else, constant use of magical healing actually cheapens divine power, narratively. In Starfinder, combat damage is not really likely to kill you, but the real threat is diseases, poisons, and conditions (I'm looking at you, Void Death)... all of which a healer can treat, and it feels like a HUGE deal when the mystic is able to take one of those loads off of your shoulders, precisely because they don't happen very often, but are a huge swing in effectiveness when they happen.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I also love the stamina mechanic from Starfinder because of the storytelling options it opens up, and because I think it does a much better job of representing the types of fights we see in media -- where the heroes will shake off lots and lots of minor hits but occasionally get hit real good, causing them an actual injury.

One thing I have considered changing about the mechanic, however (and I'm not sure how to go about it), would be to have critical hits always interact with hp in some way. Whether that means applying the bonus critical hit damage to hp, or the entire hit to hp, or some other split I have no idea. But I like the idea of criticals causing *actual wounds* that last.


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Dimity wrote:
One thing I have considered changing about the mechanic, however (and I'm not sure how to go about it), would be to have critical hits always interact with hp in some way. Whether that means applying the bonus critical hit damage to hp, or the entire hit to hp, or some other split I have no idea. But I like the idea of criticals causing *actual wounds* that last.

I think that one of the Star Wars games had that mechanic, where you had stamina and health, and most hits took stamina off first, but a critical didn't do much more damage, but it dealt damage directly to health. If you hit them hard enough, you could take someone out with one shot, despite their full stack of stamina.


Dimity wrote:

I also love the stamina mechanic from Starfinder because of the storytelling options it opens up, and because I think it does a much better job of representing the types of fights we see in media -- where the heroes will shake off lots and lots of minor hits but occasionally get hit real good, causing them an actual injury.

One thing I have considered changing about the mechanic, however (and I'm not sure how to go about it), would be to have critical hits always interact with hp in some way. Whether that means applying the bonus critical hit damage to hp, or the entire hit to hp, or some other split I have no idea. But I like the idea of criticals causing *actual wounds* that last.

I was thinking something like this too. Maybe in a critical half damage goes to stamina and half goes to health points.

This makes healers important and could resolve the 15 min adventure heroes


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Dimity wrote:

I also love the stamina mechanic from Starfinder because of the storytelling options it opens up, and because I think it does a much better job of representing the types of fights we see in media -- where the heroes will shake off lots and lots of minor hits but occasionally get hit real good, causing them an actual injury.

One thing I have considered changing about the mechanic, however (and I'm not sure how to go about it), would be to have critical hits always interact with hp in some way. Whether that means applying the bonus critical hit damage to hp, or the entire hit to hp, or some other split I have no idea. But I like the idea of criticals causing *actual wounds* that last.

Honestly, that sounds like needless complexity to me. Crits do more damage, and therefore burn through stamina faster, resulting in hit point damage that "actually wounds".

Stamina points would be a pretty radical (if welcome, IMO) change to the game. The crits apply directly to hit points would be even more radical. The cirt-directly-to-hp also hearkens back to the Vitality/Wounds system from Ultimate Combat, which we tried in my campaigns. The added complexity for little narrative benefit was one of the reasons we dropped it.

Grand Lodge

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I have thoroughly enjoyed the stamina/resolve system in Starfinder. I too would love to see it used in 2nd edition.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I thoroughly agree with the premise that having a character dedicated to healing should be a bonus for a party, rather than a base assumption of the game. I would strongly prefer that choosing to play a dedicated healer should be a rewarding choice and not an expectation. People should play that role because they want to, not because they drew the short straw.

That being said, I never really cared for the stamina system in Starfinder. However, I think there are plenty of things that can be done to bolster existing rules to make healing more plentiful. Here are some of the ideas I've been incorporating into a "potential house rules" document:

Potent Potables (General Feat):

[F] Potent Potables_____________________Feat 1
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Trigger:
You drink a potion or elixir that has a variable result or which attempts a counteract check on you.
___You can use your Resonance to empower potions or elixirs above and beyond their normal effects.
___If the potion or elixir has a variable effect, you may spend 1 point of Resonance to treat the minimum result as half of the maximum result. You may instead spend 2 points of Resonance to guarantee the maximum result.
___If the potion of elixir attempts a counteract check on you, you may spend 1 point of resonance to treat a result of failure as a success instead. You may instead spend 2 points of resonance to treat the potion or elixir as though it had a higher level than the effect it is trying to counteract, even if it doesn't.

Treat Deadly Wounds (Medicine Trained Activity):

Treat Deadly Wounds (Medicine trained activity)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
[Manipulate]
Requirements: You must have healer's tools (see page 186)
___You spend 10 minutes providing medical care to yourself or an adjacent creature. In order to do so you must attempt a low-difficulty Medicine check based on the level of the creature you try to treat (see table 10-2 on page 337).
___Regardless of the result of your check, any additional attempts to Tread Deadly Wounds on the target that same day increase the difficulty of the check by one step (from low to high, from high to severe, or from severe to extreme). If the difficulty was extreme, the target is bolstered to Treat Deadly Wounds instead.
___If you're a Master of Medicine, you can increase the DC by 5 to increase the hit points regained by 2d10. If you're Legendary in Medicine, you can instead increase the DC by 10 to increase the healing by 4d10.
___Success: The target regains hit points equal to 1d10 plus your Wisdom modifier.
___Critical Success: As success, but the target regains 1d10 additional hit points.
___Critical Failure: The target takes 1d10 damage.

Battle Medic (Medicine Skill Feat):

[A] Battle Medic________________________Feat 1
-----------------------------------------------------------------

[Manipulate]
Prerequisites: trained in Medicine
___You can patch yourself up or an adjacent ally even if you're in the middle of battle. You can perform the Treat Deadly Wounds activity as a single action.

Soothing Performance (Bard Feat):

Soothing Performance_________________Feat 1
-----------------------------------------------------------------

[Bard]
___Your musical energies have restorative properties. You can cast the soothe at a cost of 1 Spell Point instead of using spell slots, even if soothe is not in your Spell Repertoire. When you cast soothe in this way it is automatically heightened to the highest level spell you can cast. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Restorative Performance (Bard Feat):

Restorative Performance_____________Feat 10
-----------------------------------------------------------------

[Bard]
Prerequisites: Soothing Performance
___You can harness the healing powers of your music to counter more insidious conditions. You can cast remove curse, remove disease, remove paralysis or restoration at a cost of 2 Spell Points instead of using spell slots, even if those spells are not in your Spell Repertoire. When you cast these spells in this way they are automatically heightened to the highest level spell you can cast. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Ki Manipulator (Monk Feat):

Ki Manipulator_________________________Feat 6
-----------------------------------------------------------------

[Monk]
Prerequisites: Ki Strike, Wholeness of Body
___Through practice tapping into your own Ki to restore your body, you've learned how to do the same for others. When you cast wholeness of body, you may cast it at a range of touch. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

Goodberry (Revised Spell):

Gooberry______________________________Spell 1
-----------------------------------------------------------------

[Healing, Necromancy]
Casting: 10 minutes (Somatic, Verbal)
Range: touch; Targets: Up to three freshly-picked berries
Duration: 1 day
___You imbue the target berries with the bounty of nature, allowing them to heal and sustain far beyond their normal capacity. A living creature that eats a berry with an Interact action gains as much nourishment as a square meal for a typical human and regainst 1d4 Hit Points plus your spellcasting ability modifier. If not consumed during the duration, the berries wither away.
___Heightened (+1) You can target an additional berry and the healing for each berry increases by 1d4 Hit Points.

Nature's Bounty (Druid Feat):

Nature's Bounty________________________Feat 2
-----------------------------------------------------------------

[Druid, Leaf Order]
___You're especially adept at empowering and harvesting the wonders of nature. You can cast goodberry as a spell-like ability at a cost of 1 Spell Point. Increase your Spell Point pool by 1.
___Special: If you are a Druid of the Leaf Order, you now treat any goodberry spell you cast as though it were heightened one level higher.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

No!!!! Please don't add Stamina to Pathfinder 2nd Ed (PF2e).

I'm a Starfinder GM, and have been totally frustrated by not being able to significantly hurt any of the PCs during Dead Suns. (PCs need to be hurt sometimes, in order to give them a sense of mortality.) I can usually get a couple of them to lose some or most of their Stamina in a single combat, but as soon as the combat is over they rest for 10 minutes, spend a resolve point, and viola! back to full health.

Our Mystic was totally frustrated. She had nothing to do. Medpatches? Who needs them? Medicine skill rolls? Only for diseases... I finally homebrewed a rule that the Mystic could "cure" Stamina instead of HP on a case by case basis.

I don't think that was a good solution, but at least it gave the Mystic something to do, at least until we made it to Eox. (But that's another story.)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... No Stamina in PF2e.


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Singularity wrote:

No!!!! Please don't add Stamina to Pathfinder 2nd Ed (PF2e).

I'm a Starfinder GM, and have been totally frustrated by not being able to significantly hurt any of the PCs during Dead Suns. (PCs need to be hurt sometimes, in order to give them a sense of mortality.) I can usually get a couple of them to lose some or most of their Stamina in a single combat, but as soon as the combat is over they rest for 10 minutes, spend a resolve point, and viola! back to full health.

Our Mystic was totally frustrated. She had nothing to do. Medpatches? Who needs them? Medicine skill rolls? Only for diseases... I finally homebrewed a rule that the Mystic could "cure" Stamina instead of HP on a case by case basis.

I don't think that was a good solution, but at least it gave the Mystic something to do, at least until we made it to Eox. (But that's another story.)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... No Stamina in PF2e.

Feelings towards Stamina Points aside, if your players are finding Dead Suns to be too easy, from what I've experienced and seen discussed online, they are in a small minority.

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