Do anyone think that Healers should be obligatory in parties?


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Robert Bunker wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
CLW wands have been one of the worst things ever in this game. the healer role is a central to this game, as is the skill monkey, the physical damage dealer, and the arcane caster.

The Arcane Caster was better at skills than anyone else because they could use spells to bypass most of them.

The Arcane Caster was the best physical damage dealer and melee combatant for most off the game's history.

You could absolutely do any and all of the content without any of the primary roles as long as you had a Wizard and a lot of splat books.

The problem is that the healer in previous editions of the game had the option of using wands or scrolls, or crafting potions to keep people alive because using those things didn't prevent you from wearing magical items.

High-level spell slots were used for buffs or debuffs and not strictly for healing spells.

this is not true. this really only happened in 3.0. and onwards for whatever reason the designer decided to create an unbalanced game.

if a wizard in Ad&d second edition got into melle combat, dead wizard. Codzilla was not a ADA 2nd edition and below thing. I don't now where the idea comes from that game started in 3.0 or was the most popular incarnation of the game. The game before 3.0 was unbalanced but always very balanced. wizards were strong, but an all wizard party would die. clerics rogues and fighters while not as powerful in absolute terms as wizards they were nonetheless 100% indispensable even at high level.


Tridus wrote:
Trap finder is handy, diplomacy guy is handy, etc. But if you don't have them, you can usually work around it in a suboptimal way.

Trapfinders are important, because it's generally considered impolite that the barbarian will be willing to use their d12s as a backup method of dealing with traps.

necromental wrote:
On the OP, I don't a healer class should be necessary, especially for out-of-combat healing. It should be handled by magic items with rebalanced costs, better Medicine skill, or a subsystem like stamina, healing surges or short rests (I'm partial to rebalanced item pricing and stronger Medicine, rather than subsystems). The healer class should be exceptional for in-combat healing and condition removal.

Once again, Spheres of Power would be a great source of inspiration for 2e.

Someone needs to play the cleric- Any caster can dip in the Life sphere, although it requires investment of more talents to become amazing at healing.

Stronger healing potions are too expensive- If you just need hit point damage healed, it's still more economical to spam small potions. But because of how Life talents work, those larger potions come with helpful riders. For example, 200 gp can either get you 4 potions that just heal 1d8 hp or 1 potion that heals 2d8 hp, but also heals 1d4 ability damage, removes fatigued, shaken, sickened, staggered, and dazzled, and reduces exhausted to fatigued, nauseated to sickened, panicked to frightened, and frightened to shaken.

There aren't any effective non-magical options- The Scholar from Spheres of Might can use the Heal skill to restore hp. DC 15, heals 1 hp plus 1 for each point you beat the DC by, can be attempted Int mod times per day per target. Also, anyone can dip in the Alchemy sphere, which includes the Panacea formula for removing negative effects and the Salve formula for healing. (1d8 per 2 ranks in Craft, minimum 1d8, 1/2 ranks in Craft plus practitioner modifier uses per day per target)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can I ask people that are for wands of CLW a question. Is the reason you want the wands because of difficulty? So far I'm at chapter 3 and a cleric wasn't "obligatory." We haven't had any TPKs. If you use good tactics and teamwork you can get through combats that are quite difficult and still come out with health to spare.

If it was possible to play through the game without a cleric BUT you had to spend money and resonance on healing potions would you still not like it because you want to have inexpensive unlimited healing and start combat full hp every time to make the game easier?

Maybe I'm just a different type of gamer. I like difficulty. I don't play games on easy mode because it's too boring. Or maybe it's not a difficulty thing idk. I just can't really understand the complaints because from my games a cleric hasn't been required, and our party got through fine.


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Dire Ursus wrote:

Can I ask people that are for wands of CLW a question. Is the reason you want the wands because of difficulty? So far I'm at chapter 3 and a cleric wasn't "obligatory." We haven't had any TPKs. If you use good tactics and teamwork you can get through combats that are quite difficult and still come out with health to spare.

If it was possible to play through the game without a cleric BUT you had to spend money and resonance on healing potions would you still not like it because you want to have inexpensive unlimited healing and start combat full hp every time to make the game easier?

Maybe I'm just a different type of gamer. I like difficulty. I don't play games on easy mode because it's too boring. Or maybe it's not a difficulty thing idk. I just can't really understand the complaints because from my games a cleric hasn't been required, and our party got through fine.

To me, going through several fights already injured isn't an increase in difficulty, it's an increase in tension. It's an increase in the chance that my character goes down instead of contributing to the fight. It's an increase to the chance that I ooc have to sit around doing nothing past rolling a death save on my turn. And frankly, it's just good sense to see to injuries once it's safe to do so. I can't imagine why any character would think it's a good idea to walk around with a bleeding wound, one good hit away from dropping, when an in-universe efficient solution could be available. A solution that would allow the caster to use their spells for more interesting effects than emergency bandaid.


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Obligatory? No. Really useful? Yes.

Dedicated healers are a staple of the genre and some people (myself included) actually do enjoy playing them. But they shouldn't be obligatory any more than a party needs an arcane caster or a rogue. Beneficial but not required.

Based on my experience so far, dedicated healing feels obligatory but not really useful. Granted I haven't experienced Clerics as required - just healers. Sessions went fine with Bard and Divine Sorcerer.

I'd like to see more thematic and dynamic healing. More healing spells that are cast as reactions (e.g. Breath of Life). More healing options that are tied thematically to their spell list (e.g. Goodberry).


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Can I ask people that are for wands of CLW a question. Is the reason you want the wands because of difficulty? So far I'm at chapter 3 and a cleric wasn't "obligatory." We haven't had any TPKs. If you use good tactics and teamwork you can get through combats that are quite difficult and still come out with health to spare.

Only speaking for myself, there are a few things.

1. Nobody is really "for CLW". We're for "downtime recovery options that don't consume all your healer's daily casting." CLW does that. There's better options to also do it (like short rest). Paizo removed CLW and replaced it with nothing.

2. Yeah, difficulty. When we did dd2, we had no deaths, but only because I was playing a Cleric. I burned through shocking amounts of healing on every combat encounter (we did two socially and bypassed one entirely). While that made me feel pretty invaluable, I have no idea how we would have survived if we'd had the same group only with me playing a Wizard. Ironically, the person most at risk of dying was me, because I ate the trap, got crit, and was one shot from full to dying. Without a source of healing to recover that, I'd be going into the next combat at 1HP, or more likely, just doing a full rest.

The trick with difficulty is that it's not uniform. None of us had played 2e before. We probably had suboptimal characters. We were probably doing things wrong. It doesn't help that have a DM who is routinely incapable of rolling below 17. But those things all happen in real play all the time. If the goal is to make a game that only works if you optimize and use perfect tactics all the time, Paizo will learn pretty quickly the market for that is just not very big.

3. 15 minute adventuring days are narratively stupid. Yet if you have no way to recover between battles, what else can you do? Pressing on while everyone is below 40% HP and thus a bad crit away from death is just foolish. (Again in dd2, that Manticore was taking people in my group from full to low health so quickly that starting below half would have been suicidal.)

3. Some groups won't have a healer at all, and they should have a way of still getting by. CLW spam was never an ideal solution, but it was an effective one. Replacing it with nothing is strictly inferior.

Quote:

If it was possible to play through the game without a cleric BUT you had to spend money and resonance on healing potions would you still not like it because you want to have inexpensive unlimited healing and start combat full hp every time to make the game easier?

Maybe I'm just a different type of gamer. I like difficulty. I don't play games on easy mode because it's too boring. Or maybe it's not a difficulty thing idk. I just can't really understand the complaints because from my games a cleric hasn't been required, and our party got through fine.

It's likely you're just better at the game than I am, or you had a better group, or something. But our experience was not the same as yours, at all.

Giving us a way to recover without burning all my spells is at least something, and we could have used it. As it was, we rested frequently. If we'd been forced to do 3 of those encounters back to back to back, we'd have TPKd.


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ikarinokami wrote:
I don't now where the idea comes from that game started in 3.0 or was the most popular incarnation of the game

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't but you are on a forum of a game which is basically a tweaked copy of 3.x chassis, I actually wonder why do you play Pathfinder, considering you don't seem to like any of it's strengths (going by your posts).


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Can I ask people that are for wands of CLW a question. Is the reason you want the wands because of difficulty?

In a way, that's already why you need a cleric. Paizo's even stated that one of their assumptions in designing 2e is that every team will have a healer. The pro-healstick side just disagrees that it should be a cleric. Other roles let you approach them in various ways. For example, you could replace a trapfinding rogue with a barbarian using their d12s, a wizard using summoned creatures as trap fodder, or a bard with disable device and dispel magic. But because the Heal skill doesn't actually heal very effectively, the only real alternative to a healer was buying a healstick and handing it to someone with good UMD.


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I don't want anyone to be forced to play something they don't want to play, so, I would prefer no mandatory classes (cleric, etc). I would approve of more nonmagical ways to regain hit points.


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Dire Ursus wrote:

So far I'm at chapter 3 and a cleric wasn't "obligatory." We haven't had any TPKs. If you use good tactics and teamwork you can get through combats that are quite difficult and still come out with health to spare.

If it was possible to play through the game without a cleric BUT you had to spend money and resonance on healing potions would you still not like it because you want to have inexpensive unlimited healing and start combat full hp every time to make the game easier?

Maybe I'm just a different type of gamer. I like difficulty. I don't play games on easy mode because it's too boring. Or maybe it's not a difficulty thing idk. I just can't really understand the complaints because from my games a cleric hasn't been required, and our party got through fine.

My experience with the game so far is very similar to yours. No cleric in Part 1 or 2 and we did just fine (although we did have sources of healing). We rested once in Part 1, only because we didn't know what dangers we would face if we continued without full resources and in retrospect probably didn't need to rest at all.

In part 2 we only rested when we had adventured for 8 hours a day and risked fatigue.

Part 3 with clerics was definitely easy mode for our team. Although we did have one character get knocked down by a massive crit and successful multiattack.

I like the current difficulty and wouldn't want it to be too much easier. If significant additional out of combat healing is available perhaps it could be optional rules.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like CLW wands because it gives a steady way to convert gold into HP, up to a limit. Once you run the wand dry, you gotta resort to other means or try to find another one if it's available. It keeps the party topped up without demanding the Cleric use all their resources on healing, and generally makes it easier to balance a party and dungeon.

Since it's related, I wanted to ask people who love HP attrition: how do you make the first few fights of the day interesting?

Let's say you face four battles, and you've designed it so that the players' HP will take a hit from each battle until the end.

The first fight should never be able to put a significant dent in HP, or the party will never make it to fights 2, 3 and 4. Is a fight that only gives the party some light scratches narratively interesting? One out of every four fights in every single dungeon? If the enemies are so nonthreatening, couldn't you just, you know, skip forward?

The second fight is in the same boat as the first, and the third shouldn't take the party down to less than half health, because the fourth fight is likely to be the main one and no one is going into a boss fight under half health. So the one fight that has a real chance of death is the last one?

I typically balance each encounter assuming the party is a full health, and there is a risk of death. Do you design encounters after carefully plotting out expected damage from the previous fights? What if they skip too many, now is the boss trivial too?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

I like CLW wands because it gives a steady way to convert gold into HP, up to a limit. Once you run the wand dry, you gotta resort to other means or try to find another one if it's available. It keeps the party topped up without demanding the Cleric use all their resources on healing, and generally makes it easier to balance a party and dungeon.

Since it's related, I wanted to ask people who love HP attrition: how do you make the first few fights of the day interesting?

Let's say you face four battles, and you've designed it so that the players' HP will take a hit from each battle until the end.

The first fight should never be able to put a significant dent in HP, or the party will never make it to fights 2, 3 and 4. Is a fight that only gives the party some light scratches narratively interesting? One out of every four fights in every single dungeon? If the enemies are so nonthreatening, couldn't you just, you know, skip forward?

The second fight is in the same boat as the first, and the third shouldn't take the party down to less than half health, because the fourth fight is likely to be the main one and no one is going into a boss fight under half health. So the one fight that has a real chance of death is the last one?

I typically balance each encounter assuming the party is a full health, and there is a risk of death. Do you design encounters after carefully plotting out expected damage from the previous fights? What if they skip too many, now is the boss trivial too?

I play with an experienced group in 1e, so in order to make actual "threatening" encounters I have to make them much much higher CR than the APL. Meaning the first few fights in a dungeon let's say aren't really crazy hard, but if the party slips up they could run into issues. Usually I like to use the first few fights as ways for the party to figure out what type of creatures are in the dungeon and what their weaknesses are. For instance if they are in a kobold encampment. The first few fights they will encounter are groups of kobolds, maybe a few kobold traps/snares. and then the boss at the end will be a dangerous high level kobold, maybe with a beastie friend, and some of his guards. The first few combats are unlikely to kill the party but they are gaining information from them, and possibly items as well.

However there's still reasons to actually be aware, and try not to get hit much during the starting encounters because I don't allow wands of CLW in my game. If they make bad decisions or if the dice aren't in their favour they might lose a significant amount of HP and have to use up their spell slots or extra potions to stay topped up.

15 minute adventuring days aren't a problem either because I always add limiters to how long they must complete the task. "The kobold king will call in support if you don't hurry, or the kobolds will pack up and leave".


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Dire Ursus wrote:
However there's still reasons to actually be aware, and try not to get hit much during the starting encounters because I don't allow wands of CLW in my game. If they make bad decisions or if the dice aren't in their favour they might lose a significant amount of HP and have to use up their spell slots or extra potions to stay topped up.

Right on, when I started up my 3rd Ed Planescape campaign back in the day, I carried on as I did in AD&D, magic items are generally found, stolen, or bequeathed, etc, not off the rack. It just so happens some magic items are occasionally available in Sigil (if there is one place...), but nothing like nipping down to pick up a magic wand, or +1 dagger.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Robert Bunker wrote:
You'll never find fantasy literature that includes an MMORPG style healer. I don't seem to remember there being an iconic health battery in The Lord of the Rings.

This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, especially as I play through Dark Souls Remastered. You're right that there's no "healer" in LotR.

How often did party members actually get wounded in LotR?

LotR (and a lot of other fantasy literature) assumes that the heroes rarely suffer significant wounds. On the rare, dramatic occasion that this happens, it's generally a significant plot point requiring medical care and bed rest (The Houses of Healing), or a great work of magic (Elrond healing Frodo's Morgul-blade wound), or some special rare skill ("hands of a king"). Or straight up resurrection (Gandalf the White). Or you die (Boromir). Or you have a shiny mithril plot device (Frodo). The Fellowship wasn't losing HP every fight.

One of the big things about D&D/Pathfinder is that the math assures that you'll get hit. You can mitigate damage, reduce damage... but short of investing so deeply that your other contributions will suffer, you can't reliably avoid damage. (Certainly not in PF2, with how monster math works.)

I'd actually prefer it if, rather than having a big barrel of HP and someone/something to top them up, the focus were on avoiding or enduring damage to one's relatively precious health. A healer could still play an important role here, by providing security and protection when wounds do happen, making wounds less threatening (thus freeing up party resources for offense), and making it easier to deal with other afflictions. However, a party with no healer could focus on defense and damage avoidance and still get by, maybe with potions for the occasional injury. But that's not the system we've ever had, and I don't expect to see it in Pathfinder or D&D at any point.

So, yeah. As long as we have a system that assumes you get hit most of the time, you're going to need a healer. Even if it's just a silly stick. (I don't like the wand of CLW, personally. But I understand why it happened.)

Grand Lodge

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Zautos' wrote:

I read thro "On the topic of Hit Points Healing -- What about Stamina?" forum post and most people there think that they should not be obligatory.

Do anyone think that it's a good thing to always need a cleric or other healing focused class in the party?

No role should be obligatory. However, it's my firm belief that roles not filled should hamper the party in some way- hamper in a way, for example, that nobody should have the healing power a cleric does, or the casting power of a wizard.

If a party wants to forsake playing a wizard, the hampering effect comes in when they need arcane spells. Same with a cleric. If they don't have someone who can heal like a cleric, they are hampered by the lack of that cleric.

Now, can other classes offer a smidgen of healing/arcane casting? Sure, the bard could provide some of this. But any class offering the main role of another class should never be AS GOOD as that main class (unless, of course, you build that bard to be a super healer).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Totally agree with nogoodscallywag. Healers got the short end of the stick in 1e and it felt pretty bad because of wands of CLW. If not having a healer didn't hamper your party, then there'd be no reason to not just run another fighter.


Kalindlara wrote:


One of the big things about D&D/Pathfinder is that the math assures that you'll get hit. You can mitigate damage, reduce damage... but short of investing so deeply that your other contributions will suffer, you can't reliably avoid damage. (Certainly not in PF2, with how monster math works.)

I don't believe this is true. My cleric/fighter just went through part 3 of Doomsday and got hit once for 8 points of damage. It was a natural 20 that didn't crit because it otherwise wouldn't have hit. I attribute this to his effective AC of 29 (26 plus, reactive shield for 28 and buff).


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Totally agree with nogoodscallywag. Healers got the short end of the stick in 1e and it felt pretty bad because of wands of CLW. If not having a healer didn't hamper your party, then there'd be no reason to not just run another fighter.

I don't know about him, but you got this wrong. Healers were great for in-combat healing. If you didn't have something like life oracle or a cleric you mostly healed after the fight, meaning you had to prevent taking damage to a much bigger degree than if you had one.


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I will be direct, if the there is a healer role and it requires any form of decent investiment for a party to work even remotely like a party should, aka being able to fight more than once a day without being damaged, then in my experience there will be issues at tables.

The only time a healer role was EVER picked that i have seen, was when there are less than 4 players and me or the other GMs made a NPC to do it. I have never seen a human being voluntarily pick this role in a table top game.

PF1 healing was pretty much 100% left to the wand and if anyone happened to be a cleric, then often whatever basic channel they had. Even spending spell slots was something people already didnt like at all.

I admit, it will be hilarious if when PF2 launches, a GM needs to ask if any player want to be a main healer or they should just drop the system altogether.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Can I ask people that are for wands of CLW a question. Is the reason you want the wands because of difficulty? So far I'm at chapter 3 and a cleric wasn't "obligatory." We haven't had any TPKs. If you use good tactics and teamwork you can get through combats that are quite difficult and still come out with health to spare.

Speaking for myself (and I believe most people who are in favour of the mechanic feel the same way), it's not exactly because of difficulty. I'm quite in favour of difficult games and gritty settings myself. But having access to reliable healing (either through wands, or a dedicated healbot) makes the game far, far easier.

If every group has access to reliable healing, that's fine, and challenges can be balanced with that in mind. If no one has access to reliable healing, that's also fine (if a bit unusual for d&d systems). Any given GM, or writer of a module, will tone down the power of the encounters they send against the group.

However, if both modes of play are possible, and if which mode you go for depends not on the GM's choices about his setting, or the players' telling the GM how hard they want the game to be, but on whether anyone has a character concept that involves being a cleric and/or wants to play a "healbot", that's a problem. Particularly if the game is being balanced assuming you're playing one mode or the other, and incorporates that assumption into its guidance on how dangerous an enemy will be for the group. And particularly if that game is known for its modules and adventure paths, with prewritten encounters designed to save the GM having to design the encounters himself.

I congratulate you on getting through to chapter 3 without a cleric. As, unfortunately, I've not yet been able to play the playtest modules I can't comment on how much of an achievement that is. But it seems like however easy the modules may or may not be without a cleric, they'll be a good deal easier with one. Indeed, your group (who appreciate a harder challenge, and perhaps put more thought than most groups into your tactics) might have found it too easy.

Quote:
If it was possible to play through the game without a cleric BUT you had to spend money and resonance on healing potions would you still not like it because you want to have inexpensive unlimited healing and start combat full hp every time to make the game easier?

If it was properly balanced, sure. That is to say, if the amount the group was losing out on in terms of extra money for gear, and extra magic item "slots" from resonance, was equal to the power gained from a character changing from a cleric who focussed their abilities on healing to a more offensive class and build. However, I don't think that's possible, at least without coming up with some radically different limiting mechanic - the amount of healing a group will need is just too variable depending on player skill, the nature of the encounters the GM likes to throw at them, etc.

And if Paizo doesn't get the balance right for your group, it becomes either inexpensive unlimited healing - but worse, inexpensive unlimited healing that the premade modules aren't balanced for - or either a TPK (if resonance stops the group healing and their hp runs out in an adventure) or a long, drawn out death spiral (if money is the limit and the group starts falling more and more behind the wealth the modules expect). This can be partly dealt with by a skilled GM who isn't running a premade module (or is willing to do substantial tweaks), of course. But "Pathfinder 2: Ignore our GMing advice and make sure you're an experienced GM before you start playing! Oh, and don't buy the modules as they won't be properly balanced for your group!" is not a very good tagline :)

And anyway, it's certainly not possible to play without a caster who can heal you at present. Unless you play a human, you can't even use mundane methods to heal hp at all until level 2, and even then medicine is almost as likely to harm you as heal you.

Quote:
Maybe I'm just a different type of gamer. I like difficulty. I don't play games on easy mode because it's too boring. Or maybe it's not a difficulty thing idk. I just can't really understand the complaints because from my games a cleric hasn't been required, and our party got through fine.

I also like difficulty. That's why, in the game I'm playing in at the moment, my level 3 halfling earned the emnity of a level 20 lich wizard-king in backstory. In a game where the PCs we're using spheres of power, which is considerably less powerful at high levels. It's also why I'm running an old school megadungeon, and have added a number of house rules (to 5e, as it happens) to make things more difficult.

If Paizo would offer optional variants to the rules to make things harder for the players, I'd be rather interested. 5e has done a little bit of that - the DMG contains options for tweaking the resting mechanics, and so on.

But I don't want the difficulty to be determined by whether someone's playing a cleric or not.


Kalindlara wrote:

LotR (and a lot of other fantasy literature) assumes that the heroes rarely suffer significant wounds. On the rare, dramatic occasion that this happens, it's generally a significant plot point requiring medical care and bed rest (The Houses of Healing), or a great work of magic (Elrond healing Frodo's Morgul-blade wound), or some special rare skill ("hands of a king"). Or straight up resurrection (Gandalf the White). Or you die (Boromir). Or you have a shiny mithril plot device (Frodo). The Fellowship wasn't losing HP every fight.

HP loss is not supposed to represent just physical damage/injury, doesn't always make sense under scrutiny (but hey, that's HPs for ya), but that's the idea.


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Nox Aeterna wrote:
The only time a healer role was EVER picked that i have seen, was when there are less than 4 players and me or the other GMs made a NPC to do it. I have never seen a human being voluntarily pick this role in a table top game.

I am a human who likes to play the Healer and I am not the only one. Now that does not mean that I enjoy playing a magical bandaid - rather I enjoy playing characters who bring others back from the brink of death with a fingersnap (e.g. Breath of Life) and who power others up with gamechanging buffs (e.g. Deathless, Freedom of Movement, etc).

The last healer I played - a Blind Tengu Oracle who finished around level 10/11 - spammed Darkness and Wall of Stone for battlefield control while using tremorsense to navigate the battlefield healing and casting buffs. It was a lot of fun.

Being a magical bandaid is, usually, not fun. It can be spiced up with roleplaying - love playing clerics of wealth deities who charge per heal - but mechanically it's a chore.


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All that to say... The root problem, in my opinion, is that many players people don't find the Healer role interesting and the solution is to make it more fun. So offer more dynamic healing (along the lines of Breath of Life), more flavorful healing (Primal or Occult healing should feel different from Cleric healing), and more secondary options to prevent harm (buffs and battlefield control).

Liberty's Edge

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Hampered is fine, but if you don't have a reliable source of magical (or at least alchemical) healing, your recovery time is painfully long. Natural healing is really slow, though it does get a bit better at higher levels if you bump your CON. Even with the downtime feats, you're looking at having to take a couple of days out of the adventure to patch up if someone gets knocked down and you don't have something magical to put them back to full.

Even that's much faster than reality, but it doesn't sound especially fun to deal with.

I'd really like to see more classes with good bonus healing like clerics have now.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Totally agree with nogoodscallywag. Healers got the short end of the stick in 1e and it felt pretty bad because of wands of CLW. If not having a healer didn't hamper your party, then there'd be no reason to not just run another fighter.

Healsticks actually make it easier to play a healer because of UMD. Most characters need to use UMD to operate a healstick, but because clerics have CLW on their spell list, they can use healsticks for free. This makes them more interesting to play, because you no longer feel pressured to conserve all your spell slots to convert to Cure spells.

Also, I'm not really sure the fighter argument holds. You can make a trapfinder in several ways- rogue, bard with dispel magic, barbarian with d12s. You can make a damage dealer in several ways- strength fighter, dex fighter, blaster mage. You can make a battlefield controller in several ways- debuff magic, attacks of opportunity.

But because non-magical healing is next to impossible, the only real option for the healer role is CLW, whether it's from your own spell slots or with a magic item.

Letting people use the Medicine skill to restore hp wouldn't give healers the short end of the stick. It would open up more options for the role, like already exist for virtually everything else.


Zautos' wrote:

I read thro "On the topic of Hit Points Healing -- What about Stamina?" forum post and most people there think that they should not be obligatory.

Do anyone think that it's a good thing to always need a cleric or other healing focused class in the party?

Should someone be forced to play a cleric? No, I do not think so. Often times in my group, it's the least favorite class for folks to play, and no one wants to feel obligated to play a class they aren't interested in.

I'll be curious to see if the other divine classed presented in PF1e make their way into the official rules of the new version later on (Oracle, etc.). My group tends to enjoy playing those much more than a cleric, as the players really get tired of being called on during encounters to simply provide healing to others. No matter what people say about role playing, and play your cleric your way, break the mold, etc. the routine always falls into line once the campaign is in full swing and people start taking damage. 'Where's the cleric? They should be healing us'.


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Zautos' wrote:
Do anyone think that it's a good thing to always need a cleric or other healing focused class in the party?

Yes. In fact, that is part of the bedrock of DnD. If it isn't balanced to have the 4 main archetypes of which one is healing, hard to see how it is DnD.

With that said, there are ways to "fill" the healing archetype, as PF1 has shown, but even still the foundational 4 archetypes of the whole system include healing.


The Once and Future Kai wrote:
All that to say... The root problem, in my opinion, is that many players people don't find the Healer role interesting and the solution is to make it more fun. So offer more dynamic healing (along the lines of Breath of Life), more flavorful healing (Primal or Occult healing should feel different from Cleric healing), and more secondary options to prevent harm (buffs and battlefield control).

A lot of people just don't like to heal: no amount of 'fun healing' is going to change that for them as it's 'isn't there thing'. So while I'm all for improving healers and making more fun for those that want to play one, I don't think that would make more people rush to the role that didn't like them before.


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Zautos' wrote:

I read thro "On the topic of Hit Points Healing -- What about Stamina?" forum post and most people there think that they should not be obligatory.

Do anyone think that it's a good thing to always need a cleric or other healing focused class in the party?

I think that healing is a core part of the game. It makes the game more interesting for the players to have specialized roles -- such as "face" or "knowledge guy" etc. Healer is an important one.

My wish would be for more classes to be able to assume this role as well as the cleric currently does it. Druid, Bard and Alchemist, in particular, come to mind.


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Tim Schneider 908 wrote:
Don't hurt the cleric's combat niche but give some options to lengthen the adventuring day for a party without a cleric.

I disagree with the idea that clerics should be the only dedicated healing class. I think the lore fits with the idea of Druids being as a good at healing (natural remedies) and Alchemists as well (magic potions). The idea fo Bard inspiring their friends fits with a certain conception of healing as well.

The more they spread a healing pool concept to other parties the more likely it is that you will end up with a healer in your party (and the more likely you will see a non healing focused cleric).

Frankly, I'm even sure of there is such a thing as "too much healing." Healing is still always finite and having more healing just encourages the players to keep adventuring and taking less naps. I think that is good for the story.

Lantern Lodge

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I think that a Healer should be no more, or less, mandatory than a rogue, a fighter, or a wizard. I strongly feel that it should be up to the players what characters they want to play and what sort of fantasy world they want. That is one of the strengths, and one of the weaknesses, of roleplaying games.

If you build your adventure so tightly dangerous that having an unoptimized character means death for all the characters then you are forcing the players to run those characters in order to avoid a TPK.

Alternatively, if you build an adventure so loosely that an random group of adventurers can survive, then an optimized group will steamroll it.

If a game system is designed so that only the best suited race/class can fill a role, then I think the game system is to heavily specialized. If only a Cleric Healer will do, and a party will fail if there is an oracle healer, a paladin healer, a rogue healer, an alchemist healer, or an arcane healer... Then the system should be changed. As roleplayers, we are creating stories around our characters and they should be characters we love, not characters we were forced to play because if it wasn't a CLERIC healer then we couldn't have enough healing and everyone would die. The same is true of all the other roles.

Boojum the brown bunny


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Robert Bunker wrote:

I don't seem to remember there being an iconic health battery in The Lord of the Rings.

Google: "The hands of the king are the hands of a healer"


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I've noticed something with my time playing the low to mid level playtest... Healers eventually get to the point where they are only healing. They spend all of their actions to heal and move. Sure, it's their role in the party to be the one to get them out of trouble, but eventually it gets to the point that the healer can no longer do anything outside of healing during a nasty combat.


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Tridus wrote:
The game itself is diminished if someone is forced into the role despite not wanting to play it..

I think you are missing the point. If they added a healing pool to druid, alchemist and bard that was similar to what clerics have, then those players would be able to play the class they want AND heal the party between combats. Moreover, the cleric player could potentially focus on something other than healing.

That opens up the game to more possibilities and less enforced roles.


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graystone wrote:
A lot of people just don't like to heal: no amount of 'fun healing' is going to change that for them as it's 'isn't there thing'.

Before I respond, let me start by reiterating my original position from earlier in thread: Healers should be no more obligatory than rogues or arcane casters. Useful, yes. Necessary, no.

graystone wrote:
So while I'm all for improving healers and making more fun for those that want to play one, I don't think that would make more people rush to the role that didn't like them before.

I'd agree that, based on my experience, dedicated Healer is the least popular of the classic roles. I'd estimate that only one in ten of the multitude of players I've interacted with over the years were interested in playing a dedicated healer.

That said - I've also seen most of players who were interested in the healer motif quickly become turned off by being relegated to being a magical band aid. Most people don't think it's fun to have only weak healing that can't keep up with damage while being pressured by the other players every time you take an action that isn't healing them. I've seen more than one "otherworldly Druidess who brings healing and hope to all around her"...stop preparing healing spells altogether in short order. I think that those players, who were turned off by being the magical band aid, are ones who would give it another try. DnD 3.5 and Pathfinder First Edition introduced some material that made healing more interesting and dynamic... My point here is that Second Edition should really focus on that tactic rather than trying to make the magical band aid obligatory.

Lantern Lodge

SqueezeBox wrote:
I've noticed something with my time playing the low to mid level playtest... Healers eventually get to the point where they are only healing. They spend all of their actions to heal and move. Sure, it's their role in the party to be the one to get them out of trouble, but eventually it gets to the point that the healer can no longer do anything outside of healing during a nasty combat.

This gets back to the economy of actions. Make healing not use up your attack action and allow it to not provoke and front line fighters can happily use healing spells/powers/etc. A group of specialists is normally better than a group of generalists.

For example.. Let us say you have a single character with a Trap Disarm of +15 but is worse at melee combat, or every member of your group have a Trap Disarm of +7 and is better at melee combat than the specialist, but not as good as a completely dedicated fighter. Your groups ability to disarm the trap has gotten worse because no one specialized.

The same is true for healing. Someone needs to fight the monsters up close. They use all their actions to deal out damage. You have a healer who is not in melee combat keeping the fighter on his feet. Do do this you have to do nearly as much healing as the fighters is taking damage. If you don't specialize in healing, then you don't have the amount of healing needed.

4 characters with CLW wands is NOT as good at healing as one dedicated healer.. particularly one with channel. When they use their wands, they are not attacking. So the archer is keeping the fighter up instead of shooting opponents, and the arcanist is healing the fighter instead of crowd control, and the rogue is healing the fighter instead of backstabbing people.

If you specialize in healing, you CAN'T hit level equal monsters and do reasonable damage. In our last group, our archer was pumping out 150pts of damage a round with his arrows. Our Cavalier could do about 100pts per round with his lance. At high level, the ability to hit the AC of a creature is lacking in addition to doing enough damage to compare to the dedicated warriors.

Currently, the system doesn't support front line fighters keeping themselves healed without taking it away from their number of attacks. That would have to be changed to allow the healer to do combat instead of healing every round.'
Boojum the brown bunny


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SqueezeBox wrote:
I've noticed something with my time playing the low to mid level playtest... Healers eventually get to the point where they are only healing. They spend all of their actions to heal and move. Sure, it's their role in the party to be the one to get them out of trouble, but eventually it gets to the point that the healer can no longer do anything outside of healing during a nasty combat.

Being forced to do nothing but act as the magical band aid is a big problem. This is one reason that I wish that there were more healing spells that cost a reaction to cast.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:

However, it's my firm belief that roles not filled should hamper the party in some way- hamper in a way, for example, that nobody should have the healing power a cleric does, or the casting power of a wizard.

.

Why limit a role to one class? Shouldn't, for example, the 2.0 Bard and Sorcerer "have the casting power of the wizard"? If not, why take them?


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Oh, Roles should absolutely not be limited to one class. That's a terrible idea. XD Indeed, sometimes it's uncommon mixes of roles that create the most interesting classes.

That said, I agree that it's not very fun to be a healbot. Even most MMOs give the healers a couple of attacks to throw at enemies so they're not all heals, all the time. Healing is a very reactive gameplay style - and most people prefer to be proactive and make meaningful decisions that affect the narrative of the game. If you know all you're going to do is heal, why not just say the healer is an NPC and play something that feels more engaging?

Lantern Lodge

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My personal favorite is a character who is both healer AND crowd control. At the beginning of the fight, you use crowd control spells to funnel opponents so they can't just run around the fighters... then begin healing when the damage starts coming in. Being able to summon a monsters to provide flank for the fighters is also pretty cool.

Boojum the brown bunny


I think that while a healer should not be mandatory, not having a healer should have trade-offs (such as feat/skill investments or heavy gold investments). Additionally, healers should not feel useless and unnecessary (I'm looking at you CLW wand) when added to a party.

One of my buddies rolls a healer in PF1 almost every campaign (I don't get why he enjoys it, but hey he does), and enjoys using oradin and vitalist (the GM gave him permission to use it because of his penchance for healing) in order to contribute to healing both in and out of combat using his spells and power points.


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necromental wrote:


Yeah, game design got better since Dark Ages of Gygax, so no one class is necessary.

From earlier in the thread, I think this point is extremely salient. You know what I like as a player? Being able to choose the class I want. You know what mandating certain roles does? Stops me from doing that. So long as you don't see "able to live through and contribute to combat" as a role (which I don't, all characters should be able to do that) then I see no reason that a party should have to have any given role at all, at least not in terms of "the underlying structure of the system expects x". Obviously in a specific game there's a negotiation among the players and the GM what sorts of characters are appropriate, but that's at the table level and not the system level. At the system level it should be blind to these concerns.


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willuwontu wrote:

I think that while a healer should not be mandatory, not having a healer should have trade-offs (such as feat/skill investments or heavy gold investments). Additionally, healers should not feel useless and unnecessary (I'm looking at you CLW wand) when added to a party.

One of my buddies rolls a healer in PF1 almost every campaign (I don't get why he enjoys it, but hey he does), and enjoys using oradin and vitalist (the GM gave him permission to use it because of his penchance for healing) in order to contribute to healing both in and out of combat using his spells and power points.

Letting barbarians, monks, paladins, and rangers be good at raw damage output doesn't negate the role of damage-dealer. It just means you don't have to be a fighter to fill that role.

Letting bards and (sort of) alchemists and wizards have a lot of skills doesn't negate the role of utility party member. It just means you don't have to be a rogue to fill that role.

Giving bards disable device as a class skill in 1e or giving barbarians d12s to soak up damage with doesn't negate the role of trap-finder. It just means you don't have to be a rogue to fill that role.

Letting alchemists, bards, and sorcerers be good at magic doesn't negate the role of magic-user. It just means you don't have to be a wizard to fill that role.

The only role that is still closely tied to a class is clerics being healers. So giving more options than CLW/Heal for significant amounts of healing wouldn't negate the role of healer. It would just mean you'd no longer have to be a cleric to fill that role. Not to mention that healsticks actually make it more interesting to play a cleric, because you no longer feel required to save all your spell slots for CLW. You can use the wand for that and your actual spell slots for the rest of your spell list.


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Danbala wrote:
The more they spread a healing pool concept to other parties the more likely it is that you will end up with a healer in your party (and the more likely you will see a non healing focused cleric).

In MMOs, this is objectively and demonstrably false. FFXIV did that, and the data showed conclusively that when you add a new healer (and tank), the people who actually play it for any length of time are the people already playing healers.

Having five healing clases instead of two spreads the healers across more classes. It doesn't create a ton of new healers. Why? Because people who don't want to play a healer won't, no matter how many classes you dangle in front of them. You can't extrapolate directly from MMOs to tabletop, but the mentality in play is pretty similar. People who don't want to play a support class don't want to play a support class, and you can't force them while also expecting them to have fun.

Clerics actually handle this elegantly right now, because if you make a Cleric of a good deity, you have healing, want it or not. But using it doesn't impact your ability to do other stuff, and you can totally specialize away from healing if you want to. The core competency is there no matter what, which lets you fix people up in downtime. But if you want to build a battle Cleric who never heals in combat? You totally can (although they seem worse in 2e than 1e, as most spellcasters do).

You probably can't do that for every class, but it does help. But just saying "more classes that can heal = more players willing to play the Healer role" is just not really true.

Lantern Lodge

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In Pathfinder First Edition my Life Oracle was also a kickass healer...


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Boojumbunn wrote:
In Pathfinder First Edition my Life Oracle was also a kickass healer...

I mean, the two "absurdly efficient" healers in PF1 (the double-life oracle and the oradin) were honestly a lot of fun to play, even if much of your job could be replaced by a wand vendor.


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Personally, I think the key is for healers to be able to do something besides healing on a frequent basis. That is, something useful and attractive in its own right, whether that's buffing allies, summoning creatures, or otherwise being proactive about affecting battles. When you do that, it makes the class more interesting to more people - and if healing is its own resource on the side, they probably won't object to using it on demand or feeling like they're locked into just doing that (assuming it doesn't take up every action, anyway).


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In classic fantasy literature, movies, and television, heroes rarely have to drag around a healer. Heroes don't get carved up like Thanksgiving turkeys gradually losing health they fight. They get nicked and scratched and bruised and fatigued, but when someone gets in a good hit, it's more often than not the decisive part of the fight against their opponent. More often, healers are at destinations to take injured heroes to on the rare occasion that they are seriously injured. The drama doesn't come from seeing how close to zero the hero's health gets, it's from seeing how close the blows get, seeing clever strategy, seeing tables turned, seeing dodging and weaving, and seeing weapons dropped and recovered. In the fights, characters are sizing each up and deciding whether they can succeed or not and whether to stay in the fight or make a strategic retreat or surrender. It's almost never the case that anyone is healed in the middle of a fight while they are still on their feet.

Healing after an encounter takes a way time that would be better used advancing players through the next encounters. Too much of the game is spent with parties having to after a small number of encounters go sleep for the night so that they can recover hit point and recover healing spells to get everyone all back up to full strength. It wasted a huge amount of time that again would be a lot more interesting and fun spent on the next encounters instead.

Some people really like playing healers and that's great, but it is not at all uncommon for a group of players to have no one who wants to play the healer or for someone to decide to make a healer character because no one else has done it. Players shouldn't feel obligated to play classes and roles that are far from their favorite, especially since it's a classic fantasy game, and healers aren't an integral part of classic fantasy hero adventuring parties outside of RPGs and MMORPGs based on RPGs.

Hit point whittling and having to clean up after it dramatically slows down the game. Combat should be a lot more interesting and fun without significant health or hit point loss for heroes on a constant basis, and healers shouldn't need to be an omnipresent part of the game. If people want to play character with dramatic healing abilities, that's great, but those characters shouldn't be essential.


nogoodscallywag wrote:
Zautos' wrote:

I read thro "On the topic of Hit Points Healing -- What about Stamina?" forum post and most people there think that they should not be obligatory.

Do anyone think that it's a good thing to always need a cleric or other healing focused class in the party?

No role should be obligatory. However, it's my firm belief that roles not filled should hamper the party in some way- hamper in a way, for example, that nobody should have the healing power a cleric does, or the casting power of a wizard.

If a party wants to forsake playing a wizard, the hampering effect comes in when they need arcane spells. Same with a cleric. If they don't have someone who can heal like a cleric, they are hampered by the lack of that cleric.

Now, can other classes offer a smidgen of healing/arcane casting? Sure, the bard could provide some of this. But any class offering the main role of another class should never be AS GOOD as that main class (unless, of course, you build that bard to be a super healer).

Roles are absolutely mandatory, specific classes or builds should not be. Damage dealer is a role. But that role can be filled by fighters, rangers, paladins, druids, monks, and even wizards. Healer is a role, but currently one that can only be filled effectively by the cleric. That is the problem.


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One of the things I loved most about 1E is how flexible it was. You could build nearly anything and chances are could make it function relatively well if you knew what you were doing. Wizards who engaged in melee were possible. Fighters who use magical items to evoke sorcerous effects were possible. An alchemist who turns into a puddle of goo? ... okay y'know what

Now take this framework and look at second edition.

"I was thinking of trying an aasimar fighter and multiclass into a rogue."

"I'm doing another wizard, but this time I thought I'd try a goblin firebug."

"I think I nearly have the ranger build I wanted down. I'm going to add in half-orc for some extra oomph."

"All of these sound awesome. Which of you is playing the cleric instead?"

Screw obligatory classes.

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