A modest proposal: Full heal after combat


Playing the Game


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Encounters are balanced around characters being at full HP entering combat, so just do that! Say resting for 15 minutes fully recovers your HP. To make combat threatening, every time you go unconscious, you take a wound. When you have 3 + Con modifier wounds, and take a wound you become crippled, applying penalties to most things. When you take a wound while crippled, you die.

Sleeping heals some number of wounds and there may be mid-level spells that will remove wounds. Done.


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There are many threads and conversations going on along these lines. Most are less extreme, such as using Starfinder's stamina system, or my thread here that had some good conversation.

That said, the general problem is a big one and I agree it needs proper addressing.


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I'm not really a fan of this -- if only because I don't think wounds are much of a "threat" in combat, compared to the extent threats we already have of "running out of resources" or "losing". I also don't think wounds will come up that often; in my experience, most combats are either of the type where all or almost all of the party remains standing the whole fight, or where multiple party members drop and are picked back up, but that's the last fight of the day.

That said, it's not a terrible concept, and I'd be okay with it if it was implemented.

Spoilered for conversational irrelevance:

My personal preference is still for "use purchaseable magical resources to recover HP between fights, up to player's preference for how much money is spent on healing vs how much is spent on equipment". That leaves the entire equation to the players, doesn't really require an outside mechanic, and helps to limit the occurrence of "adventurer workday syndrome".


If not addressed in the final version, my house rule is going to be that combat medic can be used in exploration mode as a non fatiguing, 10 minute tactic


wizzardman wrote:

I'm not really a fan of this -- if only because I don't think wounds are much of a "threat" in combat, compared to the extent threats we already have of "running out of resources" or "losing". I also don't think wounds will come up that often; in my experience, most combats are either of the type where all or almost all of the party remains standing the whole fight, or where multiple party members drop and are picked back up, but that's the last fight of the day.

That said, it's not a terrible concept, and I'd be okay with it if it was implemented.

** spoiler omitted **

My goal was to prevent the "wack-a-mole" problem where the fighter drops and is healed back into combat 5 or 6 times. With wounds you would at least be threatened while doing that while allowing a few heroic resserections.

My experience in the playtest had been fighter-types going down in about 2 rounds in any non-trivial fight. If that's the balance point paizo is going for, then 2 wounds per 4 round fight feels right to me.


Knight Magenta wrote:


My goal was to prevent the "wack-a-mole" problem where the fighter drops and is healed back into combat 5 or 6 times. With wounds you would at least be threatened while doing that while allowing a few heroic resserections.

My experience in the playtest had been fighter-types going down in about 2 rounds in any non-trivial fight. If that's the balance point paizo is going for, then 2 wounds per 4 round fight feels right to me.

With a target of crippled on 5 wounds? That limits us to about 3 combats per rest cycle (assuming most frontliners have 14 con), ignoring wound-removing healing spells. That's... workable, but playing it kind of close; there's good odds that the party will end up having to "adventurer workday" after those 3 combats (especially at low levels, where its likely the players don't have the spell slots to remove some or all of those wounds). Change "crippled" status to 5 + con mod, and that'll put us back to the 4-per-rest ratio that spellcasters nominally operate on.


Well you don't go down in every combat :p but obviously this would be playtested.


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I think "you can restore HP fully with a brief rest" is preferable to automatic healing after combat, since this puts the decision on whether to push on or pull back on the players and does allow for tense situations where the party decides to push on for narrative reasons even if they're a little banged up.


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I personally like NOT auto-healing between fights.

Since Gary Gygax first created this game 4 decades ago, PCs have had to manage their resources. HP and the ability to heal them has always been a resource that required careful management. It's a core system of every edition of this game that has ever existed and I'm quite fine with that. It forces players to think and strategize and plan what they're going to do, which elevates this game into a game where our brains actually matter as much as our dice.

If I want to fully heal between fights, I have plenty of video games to play where I can do exactly that.


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DM_Blake wrote:

I personally like NOT auto-healing between fights.

Since Gary Gygax first created this game 4 decades ago, PCs have had to manage their resources. HP and the ability to heal them has always been a resource that required careful management. It's a core system of every edition of this game that has ever existed and I'm quite fine with that. It forces players to think and strategize and plan what they're going to do, which elevates this game into a game where our brains actually matter as much as our dice.

If I want to fully heal between fights, I have plenty of video games to play where I can do exactly that.

That's great in theory. I wrote this thread after a play-test where our level 4 barbarian, with 72 hp, went down consistently within 2 rounds in relevant but non-boss encounters. In a world like that, you can't decide to "risk it and push ahead" because being below full HP is suicide.

Besides, there are plenty of other interesting resources to manage: spells, spell points, resonance, etc...


Alchemic_Genius wrote:
If not addressed in the final version, my house rule is going to be that combat medic can be used in exploration mode as a non fatiguing, 10 minute tactic

Not sure why this feels better than a wand of cure light wounds, but to me it does..

SALVE OF HEALING
Item 1+
Consumable, Healing, Magical, Necromancy, Oil

Method of Use held, 2 hands; Bulk L
Activation <<A>> Operate Activation
You spend 10 minutes applying the salve to 6 or fewer creatures.
Each creature regains the listed number of Hit Points.

Type minor; Level 1; Price 3 gp
The oil restores 2d8+4 Hit Points.
Type lesser; Level 3; Price 8 gp
The oil restores 3d8+8 Hit Points.
Type moderate; Level 5; Price 20 gp
The oil restores 5d8+12 Hit Points.
Type greater; Level 8; Price 60 gp
The oil restores 7d8+20 Hit Points.
Type major; Level 12; Price 250 gp
The oil restores 9d8+30 Hit Points.
Type true; Level 16; Price 1,200 gp
The oil restores 11d8+40 Hit Points.


3gp for (effectively) a 2nd level Heal spell is...underpriced according to Table 11-5, but feels overpriced (remember that silver is the base unit now, so this is equivalent to 30gp in PF1!).


I dont like autoheal. My suggestion would be SF Stamina or, at the very least, much improved mundane healing feats.


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Alchemic_Genius wrote:
If not addressed in the final version, my house rule is going to be that combat medic can be used in exploration mode as a non fatiguing, 10 minute tactic

But keep in mind that exploration mode has the unwritten assumption that the party is moving. I am having a tough time picturing somebody administering effective first aid to an ally who is moving.


+1 for Stamina. Yes I'm being that guy lol.


Wasn't automagic healing between fights with cheap consumables the problem that the Resonance system is supposed to bury?

I suppose, automatic 'topping up' would work much better if you had a 'meat points + stamina' system, where stamina is your ablative plot armour that recharges between fights, while actual meat wounds need healing. Especially if your stamina doesn't recharge to 100% while you are injured.

The problem with such a system is to balance when stuff ought to get through your plot armour and inflict some wounds still. Sneak attacks come to mind. Even though they have been toned down in PF2, if one were to allow those to attack meat points directly...


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Combat has to be designed to, MOST of the time, CHALLENGE players/PCs and only SOMETIMES a PC dies. Combat encounters are better when they hinder the group and/or force the expending of limited resources. Remember, when a character dies, the PLAYER is also out of the game. It's NO fun if this happens often. Character death should be rare and, if possible, NEVER casual.

To the Devs...
Rework HP, damage and refresh rules in the game for both sides so that the PCs can encounter at least 2 BALANCED battles per day and have a 90% chance to survive the first, and a 75% chance to survive the second. (with level-reasonable healing resources available)
Revisit the Damage and effects that monsters do at their level.
Recheck the Encounter building rules.
I feel that complete healing after combat is not a good idea because it severely plays down the LIFE giving aspect of HP.
Healing should be complete overnight for ALL.

My thoughts.
Peace.


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I feel that complete healing after combat is a good idea, because it allows for more challenging battles.

Most aspects of the game require that PCs can take on four or so battles per day. We cannot realistically make the PCs fight foes who are stronger than them, because then they'll probably die very quickly. So already we have to make the PCs fight weaker foes, ones who are unlikely to get a single kill.

If full healing of HP isn't possible, then even enemies who are likely to cause significant HP damage to PCs are unacceptable, because a party that keeps going when its frontliners are running low on HP is going to die against any foe that's even slightly threatening. Adventure writers who want to keep the game playable for unoptimized groups with limited healing abilities will have to err on the side of safety; balancing a sequence of fights with progressively more injured PCs is far harder than balancing an individual fight.

This means we can really only fight trivial foes in 90% of battles, enemies who might at most land a hit or two before dying, enemies who really ought to run away without a fight if they had the slightest idea how outclassed they were.

That doesn't feel very heroic to me.


I'm kind of split on this issue myself.

Healing after every combat, from a gameplay perspective, allows for players to move forward rather than constantly stop. It enables progress and encountering more content.

However, HP is something that is fundamental enabling a more "realistic" world. Despite the incredibly abstract nature of HP in Pathfinder and the fact that it truly doesn't make actual sense, HP forces players to take a step back and think about their next move carefully. It isn't so much about being able to survive encounters, but communicating to the players that their character is hitting their limits and, in reality, probably needs a rest or medical attention.

Removing that aspect means that such risks in many ways disappear, and have to be offset by individual encounter threats.

Personally, while I am all for streamlining the game and making it easier for players to trudge on I don't really know how I would narratively represent the fact that my character was beaten to within an inch of his life in that last fight, perhaps even lost a limb. Auto-heals after combat eliminates all that.

This is a game, yes. But it's not a videogame. It's equally a storytelling medium as much as it is a game.


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The game isn't balanced around healing to full between combats, and shouldn't be.

1. It makes weak encounters meaningless
2. It forces rocket-tag; for encounter to matter, they need 100-0 potential if players start at 100
3. If an encounter can 100-0, the enemies need to either be extremely tough, extremely numerous, or extremely deadly to account for the difference in action economy
4. If most encounters have that potential, you create more opportunities for party wipes or 'random' deaths
5. This ISN'T balanced. It makes fights that matter 50/50 endeavors ... but parties need to win to advance. RPGs require the PCs win 90% of the time just to advance the plot. Fights need to feel challenging and have consequences without becoming rocket-tag or making every combat a coin-flip.

It is foolish to advance into combat at <50% health if you can manage otherwise, but I've found in both Heroes of Undarin and The Affair at Sombrefell Hall that players are generally okay at 70-80%. Note that in both cases I had the healing of both a Paladin and a Cleric, it just wasn't used to top-off everyone after every combat.

My take as a GM was simply to shrug and accept the necessity of a healer and to run a low importance Paladin/Cleric if the party lacked one. This still gives meaning to weaker combats (they run through healing resources), without creating 20-0 encounters that prey on low-life parties or forcing 100-0 encounters.


Would some sort of middle ground work better, where you halve the hit points a PC currently gets but then give them an additional pool equal to that value (call it stamina or something to represent physical exertion rather than injury). You lose stamina before you lose hit points, and stamina returns to full with a ten minute rest at the end of a fight, whereas hit points return to full with a night's rest.

That way it's possible to lose some resources in smaller fights, but never be faced with going into a fight with less than 50% hp.

You'd probably want to rejig the amount healed by the healing spells and potions, but that could also open up some design space for making in combat healing not suck, like having it auto maximize if you choose to heal stamina instead of hit points, or heal the amount rolled on the dice from both pools simultaneously (like how lethal and non-lethal are healed in PF1).


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manbearscientist wrote:

The game isn't balanced around healing to full between combats, and shouldn't be.

1. It makes weak encounters meaningless
2. It forces rocket-tag; for encounter to matter, they need 100-0 potential if players start at 100
3. If an encounter can 100-0, the enemies need to either be extremely tough, extremely numerous, or extremely deadly to account for the difference in action economy
4. If most encounters have that potential, you create more opportunities for party wipes or 'random' deaths
5. This ISN'T balanced. It makes fights that matter 50/50 endeavors ... but parties need to win to advance. RPGs require the PCs win 90% of the time just to advance the plot. Fights need to feel challenging and have consequences without becoming rocket-tag or making every combat a coin-flip.

It is foolish to advance into combat at <50% health if you can manage otherwise, but I've found in both Heroes of Undarin and The Affair at Sombrefell Hall that players are generally okay at 70-80%. Note that in both cases I had the healing of both a Paladin and a Cleric, it just wasn't used to top-off everyone after every combat.

My take as a GM was simply to shrug and accept the necessity of a healer and to run a low importance Paladin/Cleric if the party lacked one. This still gives meaning to weaker combats (they run through healing resources), without creating 20-0 encounters that prey on low-life parties or forcing 100-0 encounters.

Oh I agree that you can make a game that's not balanced around being at full. But my argument is that P2 *is* balanced around 100% HP. If my fighter was not at full or near full HP each fight he would go down in one the turn instead of two.


Matthew Downie wrote:

I feel that complete healing after combat is a good idea, because it allows for more challenging battles.

Most aspects of the game require that PCs can take on four or so battles per day. We cannot realistically make the PCs fight foes who are stronger than them, because then they'll probably die very quickly. So already we have to make the PCs fight weaker foes, ones who are unlikely to get a single kill.

If full healing of HP isn't possible, then even enemies who are likely to cause significant HP damage to PCs are unacceptable, because a party that keeps going when its frontliners are running low on HP is going to die against any foe that's even slightly threatening. Adventure writers who want to keep the game playable for unoptimized groups with limited healing abilities will have to err on the side of safety; balancing a sequence of fights with progressively more injured PCs is far harder than balancing an individual fight.

This means we can really only fight trivial foes in 90% of battles, enemies who might at most land a hit or two before dying, enemies who really ought to run away without a fight if they had the slightest idea how outclassed they were.

That doesn't feel very heroic to me.

Mostly what you says is true but strongly exaggerated.

Wording like "die against any foe that is even slightly threatening" and "only fight trivial foes" really overstates the situation of PF1e or other systems that are tuned for 4 encounters per day.

It doesn't have to be "slightly threatening" or "only trivial".

Your overall point is valid that tuning the difficulty for 4 encounters per day means that each fight should be less threatening than they would be if the system is tuned for 1 encounter per day. That is definitely true.

But, that is also obvious and, as it happens, that is by design.

Now, in this playtest, it seems as if each encounter is tuned too hard for a 4-encounter day. I've only done two chapters of Doomsday but we haven't had any run of 4 encounters before resting yet. Usually resting happens after 2-3 encounters. I honestly don't know if the devs did that on purpose or not. Maybe they're trying to change the encounters per day paradigm, maybe they just tuned it badly.


I would just like to say: CALLED IT.

Easy healing after combat with the medicine skill. Take wounds when you go down. Take too many wounds and you die. I award myself 1 achievement point!


On the other hand, wounds look super deadly.

When you go down the second time, when you fail your saving throw and increase your dying value by 1 you just die:

You go down the second time: (Dying 1 +1 from Wounded 1) Dying 2
When you take damage or fail your save: (Dying 2 + 1 +1 from Wounded 1) Dying 4
Dying 4: dead.

Also:
If you have Wounded 2 and go down due to a crit, you're dead.
If you have Wounded 3 and go down, you're dead.
(I'm ok with these two)

Quote:

Wounded

You have been seriously injured during a fight. As long as you
have the wounded condition, if you gain the dying condition
or increase it for any reason, increase the amount you gain or
increase by your wounded value. The wounded condition ends
if someone attends to you with Treat Wounds, or if you are
healed to full Hit Points and rest for 10 minutes.


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Lol, well, that should improve Collette's TPK percentage...


DM_Blake wrote:

Lol, well, that should improve Collette's TPK percentage...

Ok, this encounter is tough: you have a 120% chance of a TPK.

Sounds evil!


Draco18s wrote:

On the other hand, wounds look super deadly.

When you go down the second time, when you fail your saving throw and increase your dying value by 1 you just die:

You go down the second time: (Dying 1 +1 from Wounded 1) Dying 2
When you take damage or fail your save: (Dying 2 + 1 +1 from Wounded 1) Dying 4
Dying 4: dead.

Also:
If you have Wounded 2 and go down due to a crit, you're dead.
If you have Wounded 3 and go down, you're dead.
(I'm ok with these two)

Quote:

Wounded

You have been seriously injured during a fight. As long as you
have the wounded condition, if you gain the dying condition
or increase it for any reason, increase the amount you gain or
increase by your wounded value. The wounded condition ends
if someone attends to you with Treat Wounds, or if you are
healed to full Hit Points and rest for 10 minutes.

My party had (what was to us) a TPK - yet 3 out of 4 of us lived - even though only no one that lived felt their character would ever try to adventure again after the experience.

With this system it would have been a 100% tpk. I honestly like it - there was nothing heroic about getting up - just to be knocked out again - over and over - and I wonder if the lack of TPK's reported in survey vs the number players feel happened reflect this odd disparity where it was actually quite difficult to kill someone outright.

Hero points can be used at any time to prevent a death - I suspect that they will (in the near future) get the added text 'using a hero point in this way removes all wounds also'. That said - I like deadly, I hate having to have a cleric to adventure - so treating wounds is a huge plus IMO.


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Ckorik wrote:

My party had (what was to us) a TPK - yet 3 out of 4 of us lived - even though only no one that lived felt their character would ever try to adventure again after the experience.

With this system it would have been a 100% tpk. I honestly like it - there was nothing heroic about getting up - just to be knocked out again - over and over - and I wonder if the lack of TPK's reported in survey vs the number players feel happened reflect this odd disparity where it was actually quite difficult to kill someone outright.

Hero points can be used at any time to prevent a death - I suspect that they will (in the near future) get the added text 'using a hero point in this way removes all wounds also'. That said - I like deadly, I hate having to have a cleric to adventure - so treating wounds is a huge plus IMO.

Oh sure. The 1.1 system was too friendly (too whack-a-mole). And I don't have an issue with Wounded in general. It's that the "or increase it for any reason" language that I have an issue with.


Draco18s wrote:
Ckorik wrote:

My party had (what was to us) a TPK - yet 3 out of 4 of us lived - even though only no one that lived felt their character would ever try to adventure again after the experience.

With this system it would have been a 100% tpk. I honestly like it - there was nothing heroic about getting up - just to be knocked out again - over and over - and I wonder if the lack of TPK's reported in survey vs the number players feel happened reflect this odd disparity where it was actually quite difficult to kill someone outright.

Hero points can be used at any time to prevent a death - I suspect that they will (in the near future) get the added text 'using a hero point in this way removes all wounds also'. That said - I like deadly, I hate having to have a cleric to adventure - so treating wounds is a huge plus IMO.

Oh sure. The 1.1 system was too friendly (too whack-a-mole). And I don't have an issue with Wounded in general. It's that the "or increase it for any reason" language that I have an issue with.

Fair - I suspect it will be tweaked. I reserve final thoughts until I get to see it in play :)


No. Rebalance monsters, spells or encounters to provide the required results. I have an issue with this for a few reasons.

1) Adding free healing is a problem. We got resonance because the designers felt that cheap, reliable out of combat healing was an issue. I disagree. But free healing is not a solution.

2) Look to monster attacks & defenses. If it takes a lot of resources to get through a few encounters which runs the 15 minute workday that means a few things.
2 a) Either the resources the PC's use are overpowered
(spells, ranged fire and consumable magic items)
2 b) Or the above resources are too weak
2 c) Or the always on abilities (3 attack options, cantrips) don't
work properly and the fights drag on longer than they should.

I don't feel that allowing people to allowing people meta healing out of consideration for combat is a good thing because it will lead to less choices of healing during combat since people can just rest up afterwards. More offensive and utility spells being utilized causing people to only spec out for sheer DPR (why bother tanking or taking a shield when you can heal up to full after each fight? It gives great weapon wielders, dwarves and barbarians too much of an advantage since they only need to endure a fight to refresh each time.

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