An Ethical Solution To The Healing Problem


Magic Items

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I've mentioned a few times in a few threads that, when it comes to healing items, the incentives are all wrong. The best healing items in terms of HP/GP are the lowest level items, and once you get away from the really low levels the HP/GP ratio drops of dramatically. It was the same way in PF1, too. This is why the wand of CLW was unbeatable. And because the wand of CLW was unbeatable, we got resonance applying to consumables in PF2 - the wrong solution to the problem.

And I say with confidence that it's the wrong solution because resonance doesn't actually change the incentive to use those lower-level consumables, because even though you don't get to use as many of them in a day (because of resonance), they're still your best deal when it comes to getting your money's worth out of your magic items. People don't like to throw their money away, even fake money that was given to them. Why would they?

So I spent a few hours with excel, trying to work out a scheme by which I could adjust the prices of potions, wands, etc. to make them work out that the higher the level of consumable you bought, the better the HP/GP ratio. This was a nightmare, and while I got something that you could call "results," they would have necessitated changing the prices of literally everything in the game, and that was a headache.

So I scrapped that idea and worked the problem in reverse. I took the existing prices, and figured out how much healing they needed to provide in order to be, at minimum, the exact same deal (in terms of HP/GP) as the cheapest version of itself. This was so much easier, because it doesn't mean changing literally every price in the book. But whoo boy, did the numbers start rocketing up so fast that by the time you were looking at higher-level potions you were starting to need on the order of 128d8. That's just ridiculous! Man, the economic scaling of the Pathfinder universe is bonkers.

But then it hit me... why do we have to tie these healing items to dice? One of the most common house rules I've seen is that you can "take the average" with your consumables (or something functionally like it, either more or less generous). So why not get rid of the dice altogether? It makes the math so much nicer.

So, long-winded speech aside, this is my ethical solution to the healing problem: healing potions, elixirs of life and healing wands* will heal you a fixed amount when you consume the beferage or take the zot. Below is the pricing scheme, and how it works out in HP/GP, and the comparison to what they are in the rules as presented.

Elixirs of Life
Minor Elixir of Life (3gp): was 1d6; now heals 3HP (1 HP/gp)
Lesser Elixir of Life (12gp): was 3d6; now heals 15HP (1.25 HP/gp)
Elixir of Life (60gp): was 7d6; now heals 90HP (1.5 HP/gp)
Greater Elixir of Life (250gp): was 10d6; now heals 400HP (1.6 HP/gp) This is patently rediculous, and I'm not even going to mention the True elixir. Neither of them are necessary
EDIT: I'd really recommend letting an alchemist add their modifier to these when they make it for their party themselves. It becomes negligible at the highest levels, but makes it suck less at the lowest.
They already kinda sucked, though, so ::shrug::

Healing Potions
Minor (3gp): was 1d8; now heals 5 HP (1.7 HP/gp)
Lesser (8gp): was 2d8+3; now heals 15HP (1.9 HP/gp)
Moderate (20gp): was 3d8+8; now heals 40HP (2 HP/gp)
Greater (60gp): was 5d8+12; now heals 140 (2.3 HP/gp)
Much like the elixirs above, the higher two are rediculously unnecessary. I suggest adjusting the naming scheme and leaving them out

Healing Wand* Prices assuming 10 charges, even though my preference would be for charge-less wands in general
Level 1 (27gp): was 1d8+mod; now heals 7 HP/charge (2.6 HP/GP)
Level 2 (72gp): was 3d8+mod; now heals 20 HP/charge (2.8 HP/GP)
Level 3 (180gp): was 5d8+mod; now heals 50 HP/charge (2.8 HP/GP)
Level 4 (405gp): was 7d8+mod; now heals 120 HP/charge (3 HP/GP)

Under this pricing structure, better healing items are worth both your money and, if still necessary, your resonance as well. You do not have to wonder whether or not drinking that potion is worth it right now. You know before you drink it whether or not you're wasting any of it, and how many hit points you'll still be down afterwards. You're not getting screwed by randomness or the hyper price inflation. If you want to reduce the impact of characters going straight for the low-level heals every time, this is how you do it.

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*Careful! Not to be confused with an actual wand of heal! You can still make that if you want... but the pricing structure is going to kick you in the balls like normal. I can't do anything about that, but one might find it worth it if you want the versatility of the actual spell :\

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I don't think higher grade healing items should have a better GP/HP ratio, because they also have an advantage of speed: in combat, if you have time to drink just one potion, you want bang for your buck..

But making the price curve a lot less steep would be a good thing yeah. So if a minor healing potion gives 1.7 ratio, the others could be 1.6, 1.5, 1.45, 1.4 etc.


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Leedwashere wrote:
And I say with confidence that it's the wrong solution because resonance doesn't actually change the incentive to use those lower-level consumables, because even though you don't get to use as many of them in a day (because of resonance), they're still your best deal when it comes to getting your money's worth out of your magic items. People don't like to throw their money away, even fake money that was given to them. Why would they?

To stay alive?

The best deal for saving money on healing is to not use healing items at all. Just cast healing spells / rest for the night.

But sometimes players have a job to get done that takes priority over saving money, so they spend what needs spending to keep them alive and fighting. Under the current rules they would, I imagine, sometimes use a high-level consumable rather than burn through all their Resonance.


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If going from master proficiency to legendary proficiency reduced your bonus, people would would be up in arms - and they would be right to do so.

If power attack gave you 2 dice when you took it, and then reduced that to 1 die at level 10, people would be up in arms - and they would be right to do so.

What we have now is a situation where your options get worse as you level. And not just worse by a little bit, but exponentially worse. That's just not okay.

You know how many times my players, across 3 completed campaigns and 2 in process, have chosen to purchase anything higher than CLW in PF1? 0. Because they're not worth it. They'll hang onto them for emergencies if they find them, but they're not dumb enough to be excited about paying more to get less.

And that PF1 problem is only magnified in PF2, because not only is the value for your money dropping off exponentially, your HP pool is growing much faster. So that value is even worse than it looks.

You can tweak resonance all you like. You can add healing rituals, beef up the medicine skill, add stamina, use hero points, whatever. At the end of the day, though, if the economics don't work (like they don't now) all that will do is add more reasons to not use healing items at all. Because that's what the incentives say to do.

If you want to fix the healing items, you have to fix the incentives. Anything else just dances around the problem.


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I agree with this change. I like the main advantage of small healing items being, rather than efficiency, when you simply don't need as much healing. Bulk purchases are usually better value, let this apply to bulk HP recovery!


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Cross-posting from another thread for relevance:

Leedwashere wrote:

A concession: If (and only if) spending resonance to empower a potion brings that potion's healing range up to the point where the value of the healing (in terms of HP/GP) is at least consistent across the level of items, then this will be an effective solution to the problem of exponential value drop-off.

I realize that I'm totally fine with a higher-level healing potion being a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad value unless you spend resonance on it. Because there's at least a possibility of getting your money's worth, I think people would suddenly be willing to pay for it, instead of reluctant. And with only so many times you can get your money's worth in a day, that also incentivises having other healing options at your disposal (whether those are healers, rituals, whatever).

Solution synergy.

Avalon Reln wrote:

To get a *little* bit math-y, there will always be some cost/benefit line (as you had described) that will separate items that are "worth" the money or not. I have no doubt in my mind that Paizo has some internal work done around looking at where consumable items fall. With this suggested change, you could have consumables fall below this ideal cost/benefit line normally, but have their heightened values fall above it.

This makes me think that it could be the best of both worlds--you don't leave people without means of healing, but it is in your best interest (optimizing-wise) to heighten it with Resonance. This gives the player agency to tailor the consumables to the situation, but encourage them to "spend upwards" using Resonance for maximum effect.

I believe that it is also worth mentioning that this change could add a lot of relevance and power to the Alchemist. Having the ability to pre-heighten potions could make an alchemist a party-bag healer that hands out useful potions at the start of the day. These potions could still have the infused effect, and therefor only be good for one day at a time, but I think that it could make the alchemist feel like they are really doing something useful. Even just being able to Infuse and Heighten potions at a better rate (2 per Resonance during daily prep), this change could very easily expand the number of viable ways to heal a party without resorting to needed a dedicated healer.


Honestly I think it would be a great idea if Elixir's (and other ones. I just only know much about Elixir) healed a static number..

The reason is, reasonably the magic healing will always be a t more of a premium, it is just user perspectives "magic is special"
having static numbers for the elixir would give them their own design space. You know how much you heal

It would allow items to be more of a planned asset I guess..

WHich I am a fan of.
but I also love Alchemist's built like Rokka no Yuusha.


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Alternately, they could be tied to percentage. 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%. That way the numbers scaling doesn't really get out of hand, and improved HP gain doesn't obsolete any tier.

Sovereign Court

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In the other thread about the Twitch topic they wanted to switch Resonance to being about boosting magic items to be better, instead of requiring it to even function.

Here's a very straightforward proposal:

1) Potions work fine normally.
2) If you spend Resonance while drinking one, the dice result is maximized. This incentivizes using high-grade potions because you get more bang for your Resonance.
3) Potion prices scale linearly with the healing conferred. The GP per HP ratio is the same for all potions. The "price" for bigger potions is twofold: you might use a bigger potion than you need; and they require a bigger investment of money ahead of time, tying up more of your funds. The benefit is that if you need a big burst of healing in one round in combat, the stronger potion does that.

This should be paired with a Stamina or Short Rest system so that all parties can be expected to enter fights relatively fresh, making encounter design sufficiently predictable.


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repost from another thread. relating to healing wands and costs. Note Potions cost even more. 50 cure light potions are 2500gp and it's 50 items to carry.

I've been trying to wrap my head around why resonance is needed.

Cost for wand of clw 2225. By my calculations a 6th level party of 5 that loses half their hit points per 6th level encounter will blow through a CLW every 3 encounters. Those three encounters should net around 6000 gp of treasure. so the wand will use more than 1/3rd of the treasure you obtain. that doesn't include scroll or other items that will be used. At 10th level a wand is going to be used up in one encounter that should net 5800 gp. so it actually costs more to use the wand at higher levels vs amount you should be netting.

a Wand of Cure moderate wounds is 6750gp Does 4 times the healing so it should make it through 4 level 10 encounters that would net 22400 gp.
4 1st level wands needed to do the same would cost 8900 to healthrough that many level 10 encounters.

A Wand of Cure Serious wounds is 11250 would heal through 6 encounters for a cost of 11,250 vs 6 CLW at 13350.

This doesn't even address the fact that the CLW is nearly useless during combat at level 10.

now the argument that no one is going to use a staff with only 10 charges that cost 30k holds some water. But being rechargeable by the caster, one could make the argument that it is more cost effective in the long run.


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Scythia wrote:
Alternately, they could be tied to percentage. 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50%. That way the numbers scaling doesn't really get out of hand, and improved HP gain doesn't obsolete any tier.

Let's explore this concept. There are 6 grades of healing potions, so following the pattern I'll set that highest one to 60%.

Ignore for the moment that the expected result for a first level character (the one most likely to use the minor healing potion) is 1, 2 if they're particularly beefy. We can always set a "minimum result" or a threshold where a dice value becomes a percent (like if you're 3+ levels above the item level, etc)

So here's how those percentages stack up:

Minor (3gp, 10%): 3.33 %HP/GP - was 1.5 HP/GP
Lesser (8gp, 20%): 2.5 %HP/GP - was 1.625 HP/GP
Moderate (20gp, 30%): 1.5 %HP/GP - was 1.075 HP/GP
Greater (60gp), 40%): 0.667 %HP/GP - was 0.575 HP/GP
Major (250gp, 50%): 0.2 %HP/GP - was 0.206 HP/GP
True (1200gp, 60%): 0.05 %HP/GP - was 0.05875 HP/GP

As you can see, it's got the same dramatic drop-off in value, except even more pronounced. But here's what it would look like if you corrected the percentages to make the %HP/GP equal:

Minor (3gp): 10% <- our baseline
Lesser (8gp): 26.67%
Moderate (20gp): 66.67%
Greater (60gp): 200% <- and we're broken already, but not done yet
Major (250gp): 833.33%
True (1200): 4,000%

So we can safely say that this is an ineffective solution.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

In the other thread about the Twitch topic they wanted to switch Resonance to being about boosting magic items to be better, instead of requiring it to even function.

Here's a very straightforward proposal:

1) Potions work fine normally.
2) If you spend Resonance while drinking one, the dice result is maximized. This incentivizes using high-grade potions because you get more bang for your Resonance.
3) Potion prices scale linearly with the healing conferred. The GP per HP ratio is the same for all potions. The "price" for bigger potions is twofold: you might use a bigger potion than you need; and they require a bigger investment of money ahead of time, tying up more of your funds. The benefit is that if you need a big burst of healing in one round in combat, the stronger potion does that.

This should be paired with a Stamina or Short Rest system so that all parties can be expected to enter fights relatively fresh, making encounter design sufficiently predictable.

Let's explore this concept. It sounds promising!

Here's how the MAX HP/GP stacks up, because in this paradigm we don't care that the base values are broken, we only want the potions to be competitive when you spend resonance on it.

Minor (8HP; 3gp): 2.67 HP/GP
Lesser (20HP; 8gp): 2.5 HP/GP
Moderate (32HP; 20gp): 1.6 HP/GP
Greater (52HP; 60gp): 0.867 HP/GP
Major (76HP; 250gp): 0.304 HP/GP
True: (102 HP; 1,200gp): 0.085 HP/GP

This is not an effective solution. You still have immediate and dramatic drop-off in what you get compared to what you pay. If you want to have an exactly linear scaling of HP/GP values (i.e. you get no effective discount for "buying in bulk"), here's what those HP values would have to be:

Minor: 8 HP
Lesser: 21.3 HP
Moderate: 53.3 HP
Greater: 160 HP
Major: 666.67 HP a very evil potion! :P
True: 3200 HP

EDIT: Here's what those potions would have to cost if you wanted to instead adjust the prices:

Minor: 3 GP - Item level 1
Lesser: 7.5 GP - Item level 3
Moderate: 12 HP - Item level 5
Greater 19.5 GP - Item level 8
Major: 28.5 GP - Item level 12
True: 38.25 GP - Item level 16

These prices get very small very fast. There aren't even any levels where you can't afford moderate (if you wanted to you could spend 120 sp to start with a moderate. Is that a good idea? Probably not, but it's something that's entirely out of reach of level 1 characters now)


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Leedwashere wrote:
Greater Elixir of Life (250gp): was 10d6; now heals 400HP (1.6 HP/gp) This is patently rediculous, and I'm not even going to mention the True elixir. Neither of them are necessary.

I realized I was wrong about this. While a 400 HP healing elixir is crazy much, some characters (especially dwarven barbarians) can get up above that threshold.

So, I guess there's a place for it after all :D

Sovereign Court

@Leedwashere: I'm having some difficulty following your example. I think I was a bit too terse in my original explanation of point 4.

Say a level 1 potion cures 1d8 HP for 3GP. That's an average of 4.5HP, so a HP costs 0.667 GP.

Now a level 3 potion cures 2d8+4 HP for GP, with an average of 13HP, so a HP costs 0.615 GP, actually slightly cheaper.

A level 5 potion cures 3d8+8 HP for 20 GP, with an average of 21.5GP, so a HP costs 0.93 GP, not so attractive.

My proposal is to flatten that cost: let the L3 potion cure 2d8+3 (average 12) at 12*(2/3) GP = 8 GP. Slightly worse because the L3 potion turned out to be minutely underpriced.

But the L5 potion: make it heal 3d8+9 (average 22.5) for 22.5*(2/3) = 15GP.

So fiddle the exact amounts of healing each potion does to make the math nicer. Now let's spend some Resonance to maximize our potions:

L1: 3.5 HP extra healed, effectively earned 2.33 GP
L3: 7H HP extra healed, earned 4.667 GP
L5: 10.5 HP extra healed, earned 7 GP.

You get more HP for your Resonance if you use bigger potions, which means you save money, but perhaps more importantly in combat: you save time. If you're desperate and drink a potion in combat, and have Resonance to spend, you get a guaranteed big boost of HP all at once. You don't have to spend several rounds healing up, you get a big boost all at once.

That gives you good incentives to buy a couple of high-grade healing potions.


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In that case the question becomes whether or not the healing potions being priced differently from other items of their own item levels is a problem. In practice, it was essentially supposed to be the price of a higher-level healing item that prevented you from buying it regularly if your level was lower than its level.

Under this scheme the gating condition becomes whether the purchaser has the HP to get the most out of the potion. Is that a bad condition? I'm not sure it is. It's definitely better than putting arbitrary caps on the level of an item you're allowed to buy like Starfinder does. It does, however, dramatically differ from how everything else in the book is priced. Is having an outlier okay, or does the whole economy need to be overhauled to match? Is that even possible?

So my issue with this pricing scheme is not from an angle of effectiveness in execution (because it definitely can be made to be effective) but more from an angle of rules consistency.

That being said, would I rather the rules work than be consistent? Absolutely! Do the people making the decisions? I dunno, but I doubt it. So I have to make my analysis properly include the ways a change would interact with everything else in the rules around them.

But it boils down to one of two options: Fix the prices or fix the HP. My original post champions the second, while your proposal champions the first. Both can work equally well for the items by themselves, but the latter potentially requires fewer systemic changes. But as long as one of them is implemented, it will be sufficient for me.


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The "Healing Problem" is that the designers haven't defined the Healing Problem.

We can look at Pathfinder and define how it works there:

There are three scales where healing matters:

Overnight healing, which is basically free; leftover channels and slots can deal with it.
Between-combat healing, which is currently priced at 750gp and needs to be renewed every few levels (by use of a wand of CLW or Infernal Healing)
In-combat healing, which either uses a scarce daily resource (high-level slot or channel) or significant gold (scroll of Breath of Life or Heal).

It is possible to crossover these scales: going up the scale - occasionally channelling between combat - works well but can be wasteful. Going down the scale (pulling a wand of Infernal Healing in combat) is dangerously ineffective.

What I believe Resonance is supposed to encourage is for the cost of between combat healing to scale quadratically with level (like in-combat healing does)

If this is the design goal, Paizo needs to explain why this is desirable. Then we can look at Resonance to see whether it succeeds in the goal.

What it does at the moment is makes between combat healing use the same pools as in-combat healing, resulting in groups that don't have generous numbers of healers (clerics) to treat between combat healing as overnight healing.


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What do you mean by 'ethical'? I'm all for getting a better balance for how potions are bought and used, but I don't find any method of potion distribution in any version of D&D or PF to be 'unethical'.


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EberronHoward wrote:
What do you mean by 'ethical'? I'm all for getting a better balance for how potions are bought and used, but I don't find any method of potion distribution in any version of D&D or PF to be 'unethical'.

It’s probably to cut down on littering. Just think about how many empty bottles and wands high level adventures are leaving all over the place when they burn through a pile of low level consumables after their fights.


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Laser—Boards wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
What do you mean by 'ethical'? I'm all for getting a better balance for how potions are bought and used, but I don't find any method of potion distribution in any version of D&D or PF to be 'unethical'.
It’s probably to cut down on littering. Just think about how many empty bottles and wands high level adventures are leaving all over the place when they burn through a pile of low level consumables after their fights.

Potion bottles can be cleaned and recycled. I assume that turning in tiny empty containers to merchants for a few copper is a not-uncommon way that street urchins make money. Much like they are probably the source for a lot of those oddball spell components that are neatly packaged into component pouches for sale - someone has to catch the fireflies.

And spent wands? Kindling, baby!


Requielle wrote:
Laser—Boards wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
What do you mean by 'ethical'? I'm all for getting a better balance for how potions are bought and used, but I don't find any method of potion distribution in any version of D&D or PF to be 'unethical'.
It’s probably to cut down on littering. Just think about how many empty bottles and wands high level adventures are leaving all over the place when they burn through a pile of low level consumables after their fights.

Potion bottles can be cleaned and recycled. I assume that turning in tiny empty containers to merchants for a few copper is a not-uncommon way that street urchins make money. Much like they are probably the source for a lot of those oddball spell components that are neatly packaged into component pouches for sale - someone has to catch the fireflies.

And spent wands? Kindling, baby!

I don’t think you’re going to find many street urchins hanging around ancient evil ruins and the like. Well uneaten ones at least.

Yeah they potentially make good kindling, which is bad because that makes them a fire hazard when they build up.


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Leedwashere wrote:
But it boils down to one of two options: Fix the prices or fix the HP. My original post champions the second, while your proposal champions the first. Both can work equally well for the items by themselves, but the latter potentially requires fewer systemic changes. But as long as one of them is implemented, it will be sufficient for me.

I'd think the best solution would be to adjust both prices and the healing. Some prices are bad, 1,200 gp for a potion is nuts. Maybe if it was a raise dead item like the Elixir of Rejuvination it might be worth the price. But for healing? No way. Even for 100% of HP. And as you found out, adjusting just one variable makes the other go nuts at the extremes.

My general assumption for price for healing items is that 1 use items like potions should be more expensive per healing received than wands (just not 1,200 gp). I see them having different uses. Potions are for quick emergency healing in combat. In combat the incentive is towards something fast with a lot of healing in one shot. Wands on the other hand, can be ok in combat, but might be best used for between-fight healing when time isn't as essential but maximizing the value is. Guzzling a six-pack of potions between each fight just isn't the most practical method of healing. Or potentially the role for between-fight healing could be moved to something else entirely (like magical surgical tools or bandages that work over 10 minutes or so) and have wands as the versatile switch-hitter of healing items that can do both well.

Another way wands might be able to be balanced is by adjusting the number of charges depending on the level of the wand. For example 5 for a 1st level wand, 10 for 2nd, 15 for 3rd and 20 for 4th. So changing only that and assuming a modifier of 4 and single targets would give:

  • 1st level wand, 5 charges 27 gp: 8.5 hp per charge, 42.5 hp total, 1.57 hp/gp
  • 2nd level wand, 10 charges 72 gp: 17.5 hp per charge, 175 hp total, 2.43 hp/gp
  • 3rd level wand, 15 charges 180 gp: 26.5 hp per charge, 397.5 hp total, 2.21 hp/gp
  • 4th level wand, 20 charges 405 gp: 35.5 hp per charge, 710 hp total, 1.75 hp/gp.

This would make the 2nd level wand the best, but the wands are fairly close together, and the rest can be done with changing the prices, healing provided and/or number of charges.

How about keep the charges as outlined above
Change the price of the 1st level wand to 20 gp (2.13 hp/gp)
Change the price of the 2nd level wand to 80 gp (2.19 hp/gp)
Change the price of the 3rd level wand to 175 gp (2.27 hp/gp)
Change the price of the 4th level wand to 305 gp (2.32 hp/gp)

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd level wands aren't changed too much in price, but the 4th is pretty dramatic. The jump from 1st to 2nd is bigger than the others. So a different charge scaling scheme might be better. Maybe 5, 10, 20, 35.
so

  • 1st level wand, 5 charges 27 gp: 8.5 hp per charge, 42.5 hp total, 1.57 hp/gp
  • 2nd level wand, 10 charges 72 gp: 17.5 hp per charge, 175 hp total, 2.43 hp/gp
  • 3rd level wand, 20 charges 180 gp: 26.5 hp per charge, 530 hp total, 2.94 hp/gp
  • 4th level wand, 35 charges 405 gp: 35.5 hp per charge, 1,242.5 hp total, 3.07 hp/gp.

Clearly this can be tuned more (like drop the 1st level price or increasing some of the other prices, or adjusting the charge numbers further), but I think this might be the right direction. Will the number of charges make other high-level magic wands more powerful like wand of Fireball? Yeah, probably. Is that a problem? I'm not so sure. But now the 4th level wand is a clear winner.

Scarab Sages

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:
But it boils down to one of two options: Fix the prices or fix the HP. My original post champions the second, while your proposal champions the first. Both can work equally well for the items by themselves, but the latter potentially requires fewer systemic changes. But as long as one of them is implemented, it will be sufficient for me.

I'd think the best solution would be to adjust both prices and the healing. Some prices are bad, 1,200 gp for a potion is nuts. Maybe if it was a raise dead item like the Elixir of Rejuvination it might be worth the price. But for healing? No way. Even for 100% of HP. And as you found out, adjusting just one variable makes the other go nuts at the extremes.

My general assumption for price for healing items is that 1 use items like potions should be more expensive per healing received than wands (just not 1,200 gp). I see them having different uses. Potions are for quick emergency healing in combat. In combat the incentive is towards something fast with a lot of healing in one shot. Wands on the other hand, can be ok in combat, but might be best used for between-fight healing when time isn't as essential but maximizing the value is. Guzzling a six-pack of potions between each fight just isn't the most practical method of healing. Or potentially the role for between-fight healing could be moved to something else entirely (like magical surgical tools or bandages that work over 10 minutes or so) and have wands as the versatile switch-hitter of healing items that can do both well.

Another way wands might be able to be balanced is by adjusting the number of charges depending on the level of the wand. For example 5 for a 1st level wand, 10 for 2nd, 15 for 3rd and 20 for 4th. So changing only that and assuming a modifier of 4 and single targets would give:

  • 1st level wand, 5 charges 27 gp: 8.5 hp per charge, 42.5 hp total, 1.57 hp/gp
  • 2nd level wand, 10 charges 72 gp: 17.5 hp per charge, 175 hp total, 2.43 hp/gp
...

Maybe new items like :

- Bandage of healing (lesser)
3 actions to put.
After 10 minutes the wounds under the bandage Heals up to 10 hp.

- Bandage of Healing
3 actions to put
Same but up to 30 hp.

- Bandage of healing (greater)
Blablabla ... 90 hp.

For the price I have no idea but less than potion so that potion are for emergency use in fight while bandage are useless in fight.

....

Well that is kinda just short rest with GP cost though.


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EberronHoward wrote:
What do you mean by 'ethical'? I'm all for getting a better balance for how potions are bought and used, but I don't find any method of potion distribution in any version of D&D or PF to be 'unethical'.

I do find it to be unethical to package character options that get worse as you level.

I find it even more unethical to take character options that get worse as you level, find that people are using the best option "too much" and then just throw down the ban-hammer instead of looking deeper at the reasons why people are using the best option "too much."

This is one instance of a pattern I've seen, going back to first edition, where broken options are handled in a way that actually ignores what the problem with the option is, by the laziest possible solution (the ban-hammer).

I think it's telling that the first implementation of resonance was all stick and no carrot. I think that breeds resentment. And I think that's unethical.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:
But it boils down to one of two options: Fix the prices or fix the HP. My original post champions the second, while your proposal champions the first. Both can work equally well for the items by themselves, but the latter potentially requires fewer systemic changes. But as long as one of them is implemented, it will be sufficient for me.

I'd think the best solution would be to adjust both prices and the healing. Some prices are bad, 1,200 gp for a potion is nuts. Maybe if it was a raise dead item like the Elixir of Rejuvination it might be worth the price. But for healing? No way. Even for 100% of HP. And as you found out, adjusting just one variable makes the other go nuts at the extremes.

My general assumption for price for healing items is that 1 use items like potions should be more expensive per healing received than wands (just not 1,200 gp). I see them having different uses. Potions are for quick emergency healing in combat. In combat the incentive is towards something fast with a lot of healing in one shot. Wands on the other hand, can be ok in combat, but might be best used for between-fight healing when time isn't as essential but maximizing the value is. Guzzling a six-pack of potions between each fight just isn't the most practical method of healing. Or potentially the role for between-fight healing could be moved to something else entirely (like magical surgical tools or bandages that work over 10 minutes or so) and have wands as the versatile switch-hitter of healing items that can do both well.

Another way wands might be able to be balanced is by adjusting the number of charges depending on the level of the wand. For example 5 for a 1st level wand, 10 for 2nd, 15 for 3rd and 20 for 4th. So changing only that and assuming a modifier of 4 and single targets would give:

  • 1st level wand, 5 charges 27 gp: 8.5 hp per charge, 42.5 hp total, 1.57 hp/gp
  • 2nd level wand, 10 charges 72 gp: 17.5 hp per charge, 175 hp total, 2.43 hp/gp
...

I think you would need some more tweaks to make sure that those HP/GP numbers still come out slightly ahead instead of behind for the higher tier wands (or at the very least equal).

But otherwise, like I mentioned in response to Acalaphus's post, as long as something is done to fix it all, I'm just as happy with a mix of the two approaches as I am with one extreme or the other.

Any mixing with the prices or number of charges does have to be done with a careful eye to the ramifications it has on everything else around it (for good or ill).

For example, do we now make the charges of all wands based on the wand level? We may have fixed the healing wand, but did we just break a wand of bless instead? Probably not, but it's something to look out for.

I'm pretty sure they set the price of the 1,200 gp potion by using some percentage of expected PC expendable income, but you're right that even a "heal to full" potion at 1,200 gp can never be worth the money. So that one either has to be scrapped, the price (and item level?) changed, or give it some extra-special effect besides healing that makes it worth that kind of money - Like make it always heal a character to full, even if they've been dead for up to X rounds or something.

As an expensive, late-game consumable, there's a whole host of useful things it could do in addition to healing to make it possibly deserve both its price and its name (true healing). So many conditions it could cure. My first suggestion was death, but what about pouring it into a petrified creature to fix stone to flesh? Or blindness, deafness, etc. Or, heck, all the above. It's an expensive, true healing potion.

Just like you point out that the two knobs can be turned together, there are other, less obvious knobs that can be turned as well.

But a good starting point to the discussion is to point out the extremes, so that everyone has a good understanding of the basics of the problem. It's only with that understanding that we can come up with the best solution: one which actually solves the problem which needs to be addressed instead of skirting around it.


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I like the idea someone else suggested:

1) Make all consumable healing treated as temporary hitpoints until a full rest, at which point it converts to normal hitpoints.
2) Temporary hitpoints don’t stack. Temporary hitpoints plus normal hitpoints can’t exceed the PC’s max hitpoints.
3) Remove Resonance cost of consumables.

4) Heals cast from a PC’s spells or spells or spell points are treated as normal hitpoints, with no effect on temporary hitpoints.

Note there may be other sources of temporary hitpoints that can exceeded a PC’s max hitpoints, but they still don’t stack with temporary hitpoints and they usual expire without converting to normal hitpoints after a full rest. (Example: False life spell)

If you want to keep Resonance, then treat any consumable healing boosted by resonance as normal hitpoints instead of temporary.

(This would effectively limit a PC to have only a single consumable healing in effect at once time.)


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GlennH wrote:

I like the idea someone else suggested:

1) Make all consumable healing treated as temporary hitpoints until a full rest, at which point it converts to normal hitpoints.
2) Temporary hitpoints don’t stack. Temporary hitpoints plus normal hitpoints can’t exceed the PC’s max hitpoints.
3) Remove Resonance cost of consumables.

4) Heals cast from a PC’s spells or spells or spell points are treated as normal hitpoints, with no effect on temporary hitpoints.

Note there may be other sources of temporary hitpoints that can exceeded a PC’s max hitpoints, but they still don’t stack with temporary hitpoints and they usual expire without converting to normal hitpoints after a full rest. (Example: False life spell)

If you want to keep Resonance, then treat any consumable healing boosted by resonance as normal hitpoints instead of temporary.

(This would effectively limit a PC to have only a single consumable healing in effect at once time.)

This sounds like a fine (if draconian) house rule someone who wanted to limit the usefulness of consumables might implement. It doesn't really touch the fundamental brokenness of the pricing scheme, though. And, personally, I wouldn't want to replace resonance with something even more restrictive like that.

It would also really suck to be a barbarian under this system, or a spellcaster with false life, or any other character that uses temporary HP regularly.


Leedwashere wrote:

I do find it to be unethical to package character options that get worse as you level.

I find it even more unethical to take character options that get worse as you level, find that people are using the best option "too much" and then just throw down the ban-hammer instead of looking deeper at the reasons why people are using the best option "too much."

This is one instance of a pattern I've seen, going back to first edition, where broken options are handled in a way that actually ignores what the problem with the option is, by the laziest possible solution (the ban-hammer).

I think it's telling that the first implementation of resonance was all stick and no carrot. I think that breeds resentment. And I think that's unethical.

Well, I'll just have to disagree. The problem isn't Resonance. It's that people would be resentful for not getting an imaginary luxury item. There's nothing ethical in supporting that.


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EberronHoward wrote:
Leedwashere wrote:

I do find it to be unethical to package character options that get worse as you level.

I find it even more unethical to take character options that get worse as you level, find that people are using the best option "too much" and then just throw down the ban-hammer instead of looking deeper at the reasons why people are using the best option "too much."

This is one instance of a pattern I've seen, going back to first edition, where broken options are handled in a way that actually ignores what the problem with the option is, by the laziest possible solution (the ban-hammer).

I think it's telling that the first implementation of resonance was all stick and no carrot. I think that breeds resentment. And I think that's unethical.

Well, I'll just have to disagree. The problem isn't Resonance. It's that people would be resentful for not getting an imaginary luxury item. There's nothing ethical in supporting that.

The problem with healing consumables has never been with resonance. Resonance was never a solution to it in any effective manner (although designer comments have suggested that it was somehow intended to be).

Selling someone a banged-up Yugo, priced and advertised as a Lamborghini, is unethical. This is still true if the Yugo, the Lambo, and the money exchanged are all entirely imaginary. That's the best analogy I can come up with to explain why consumables are a problem as presented. The ideas in this thread amount to giving us the proper price for the banged-up Yugo, or give us the Lambo we're being charged for (or some compromise in between).

I'm not sure what part of that you could have a problem with.

And if your problem is specifically that I used the term "resentment" in reference to how it feels to see bad mechanics made arbitrarily worse, well all I can say is that it's instilled from a long pattern of behavior shown through years of errata. There's more than a handful of feats and equipment and spells and general concepts over the years that they've chosen to nerf into the ground instead of bothering to fix them. There's a saying: "once bitten, twice shy."


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Leedwashere wrote:
Selling someone a banged-up Yugo, priced and advertised as a Lamborghini, is unethical.

OK.

Leedwashere wrote:
This is still true if the Yugo, the Lambo, and the money exchanged are all entirely imaginary.

Disagree.

If I sell you an imaginary car for one imaginary dollar, am I being ethical or unethical? Neither. I am imagining being generous, but I am not being generous in real life.

Plus, this analogy doesn't really apply, because where is the false advertising?

Leedwashere wrote:
At the end of the day, though, if the economics don't work (like they don't now) all that will do is add more reasons to not use healing items at all. Because that's what the incentives say to do.

That's the intention of Resonance, as far as I can tell: to make a new system where the use of healing items is strongly discouraged, in order to create the 'exciting' situation where you have to continue adventuring while injured.

(I actually disagree with this goal, but it's no more unethical than sending imaginary zombies to attack an imaginary town and other things done in order to create a challenge for the party.)

Nevertheless, if you have low HP and no other source of healing and no opportunity to rest, there is a very strong incentive to use healing items, because otherwise you will die.


Leedwashere wrote:


This sounds like a fine (if draconian) house rule someone who wanted to limit the usefulness of consumables might implement. It doesn't really touch the fundamental brokenness of the pricing scheme, though. And, personally, I wouldn't want to replace resonance with something even more restrictive like that.

It would also really suck to be a barbarian under this system, or a spellcaster with false life, or any other character that uses temporary HP regularly.

I think you can do a similar but less draconian thing that makes higher tier items more attractive than lower tier items by simply giving them a maximum value that they can heal you to.

If a minor potion or 1st level heal spell can only take you to 10 hp and not above that, then they're still fantastic to decent at low levels, but 15th level characters don't really care for them, excepting that you can be stopped from bleeding out with one.

Sure it's still going to suck for your 400 HP Barbarian if the best healing spell caps out at half your full HP or less, and although you could do something like a minor potion maxes out at (10+con mod)*1, a lesser at (10+con mod)*2 and so forth, that's a level of math I can't really see the designers accepting.


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The cost of consumable healing dosn’t really matter.

If it cost too much then PCs will just take more full rest and parties will have to have a healer.

If it cost too little then expect every encounter for the PCs to be at full health.

PCs will always gravatate to using the lowest cost healing method. You could declare healing is based on the cost of the item or charge consumed. 5sp = 1 hp for all level of items. then PCs would use what ever item was most convenient.

Why not just have a hitpoints jug of healing which you can drink as much as you need to top off your hitpoints. (Sounds a bit like the CLW wand.)

As for the Yugo vs Lamborghini, both are made to get you from point A to point B. Is it ethical that one cost more for the same result? I do understand that a Lamborghini does have other attributes that make it desirable, but I willing to bet the cost per mile driven in the Lamborghini is a lot higher than the Yugo.

Would it be more ethical for healing potions if the cheep potion is bitter, and the most expensive one taste like a fine wine?


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Matthew Downie wrote:

Plus, this analogy doesn't really apply, because where is the false advertising?

The naming scheme and the item level both suggest that the options are getting better, but they aren't. Not really. And maybe it isn't the best analogy after sleeping on it, in terms of absolute applicability, but it does very well describe how it feels to do the math and discover the rottenness at the core of these options. But we're getting into the weeds discussing the semantics of the name I chose to give the thread (and far beyond the possible edit window anyway) instead of the actual topic. I probably shouldn't have even replied to the post in question, but I'm more active in this thread than others because I started it and I feel that it's important.

Matthew Downie wrote:

That's the intention of Resonance, as far as I can tell: to make a new system where the use of healing items is strongly discouraged, in order to create the 'exciting' situation where you have to continue adventuring while injured.

(I actually disagree with this goal, but it's no more unethical than sending imaginary zombies to attack an imaginary town and other things done in order to create a challenge for the party.)

Nevertheless, if you have low HP and no other source of healing and no opportunity to rest, there is a very strong incentive to use healing items, because otherwise you will die.

I get the impression that there are some people of the opinion that the only thing these items need to do to justify their price tags is to heal a larger number of hit points in the absolute. 70.5 average is a bigger number than 4.5 average, so what's the big deal? Isn't it just quibbling over details to note that one of those gives you an expected 1.5 hit points per gold you spent on the item, while the other gives you 0.058 expected hit points per gold you spent on the item?

The design parameters of how often healing items should be used in any game are really only tangentially related to this discussion. One of the biggest repeated complaints is that players from PF1 spent all their money on wands of CLW and used them over and over again. This is because people have done these same calculations to show that the wand of CLW gave the best expected HP/GP.

The lazy solution is to say "well, let's just say you can't use it more than X times in a day, that'll force people to use the more expensive, level-appropriate options!"

The more effective solution is to look at the underlying reason for the behavior you want to change and then alter the incentives. If the higher level, more expensive options are actually better at the fundamental level, then nobody will want to spam the basic healing wand or potion, because the human premise "I will tend to choose the best deal for me" turns them away as soon as they can afford it.

If the healing items are fixed so that they're not providing the wrong incentives anymore and the consensus is that the items are still being used too much, or too frequently, then we can start applying thoughtful restrictions, like the idea posited from the other thread that you only actually get your money's worth on the higher-level items a few times per day.

Desperate people might still drink a true healing potion if they have no resonance in that situation because, as is correct, 70.5 is a bigger number than 4.5, but at least in that case they're choosing to throw the value of that money out the window out of desperation, instead of that being the only possible choice because the prices are bad.


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GlennH wrote:


PCs will always gravatate to using the lowest cost healing method.

I disagree with your premise, here. I instead posit that PCs will always choose the most efficient option.

I've seen numerous threads dating back years in which people either show or discover for themselves the HP/GP ratios of the various wands, potions, and scrolls in PF1. I've seen it happen in real time at my table, while the players are shopping in character.

It's memorable when your players are about to make a wand of cure serious (because 50 charges of 3d8+5!) but then realize that by spending the same amount of money on 15 wands of CLW (and they don't even have to drop all that money all at once!) their money gets them an expected 4,125 expected HP instead of an expected 925 HP.

Then they realized that you could get 6 potions of CLW for the same price as 1 cure moderate, and they never bought anything higher than CLW again. Larger numbers are larger, though, so they hang onto those higher-level options if they can get them for free as loot. But throw money away? No thanks.

Grand Lodge

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Leedwashere wrote:
GlennH wrote:


PCs will always gravitate to using the lowest cost healing method.

I disagree with your premise, here. I instead posit that PCs will always choose the most efficient option.

I've seen numerous threads dating back years in which people either show or discover for themselves the HP/GP ratios of the various wands, potions, and scrolls in PF1. I've seen it happen in real time at my table, while the players are shopping in character.

...

In my haste I failed to explained clearly that “lowest cost healing” is lowest gold cost to hitpoint ratio. (Inverted is Highest HP/GP ratio). Which is the same premise and examples you presented. So I agree with you on those points.

I would add that occasionally players will choose to buy and carry an expensive healing item just in case they need to use it in combat to get the most hitpoints for an action taken efficiency.


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GM Glyn wrote:


In my haste I failed to explained clearly that “lowest cost healing” is lowest gold cost to hitpoint ratio. (Inverted is Highest HP/GP ratio). Which is the same premise and examples you presented. So I agree with you on those points.

I would add that occasionally players will choose to buy and carry an expensive healing item just in case they need to use it in combat to get the most hitpoints for an action taken efficiency.

Ah, that makes a difference!

Anecdotally, I can say that I've never seen them actually be purchased for that reason, since it's always worked out they start dropping as loot on higher-level NPCs and in treasure stashes around the time (or slightly before) they're supposed to start becoming affordable in the published adventures I've run. So they've already had the emergency stash for a little while before the option to buy it is reasonably feasible.

That's not really the fault of the potions, though, it's just making it a little less likely in practice.

I think it's important for everyone thinking about this to remember that just because the higher-level healing items might be made better than the lower-level ones, is doesn't necessarily follow that they get used all the time. The pricing scheme is ostensibly supposed to reflect a reasonable expenditure for its level when compared to all the other things that a character of that level might want to purchase. So a level 8 character shouldn't be swimming in greater healing potions unless they're sacrificing in other areas.

Where this breaks down with the current value is that the level 8 character can spend half as much as 1 greater healing potion to get 10 minor healing potions and get more healing out of it, breaking the economy's expectations and thus breaking the encounter design's expectations.

And, furthermore, if a character had 2 greater healing potions that were expected to heal 110 HP each (for a total of 220 HP) instead of 40 minor healing potions expected to heal 180 HP, you're probably more likely to see characters holding off on drinking their potion until they're closer to that 110 HP threshold of damage, because drinking it early is wasting healing and thus wasting money. So it seems reasonable to me that characters will be less likely to be chugging potions all the time with every nick and scratch, because while nothing is stopping them from affording a bunch of minor healing potions to do so, it's not as economically efficient. This allows potions, etc., to become the in-combat emergency boost item, and leaves between combat top-offs to other areas, like an expanded medicine skill or a 3-action heal spell that are less money-intensive, but instead use other resources like spell slots or channels/day, or skill checks that require time and character investment. (Or if you're seriously wounded after a fight, a potion might still be a good option, but in that case you're drinking one instead of 30, which is more reasonable to visualize and more thematically appropriate.)

I think it would probably regulate itself through intuitive incentives. But, if playtesting were to point out that's not the case, then there's a good reason to start experimenting with adjustments - rather than to start by saying "People use wands of CLW too much, let's just put a cap on the number of wand charges you can use in a day and call it done" without considering the why of the problem.


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I am sure healing weak to make sure combat is not prolonged by potions in your belt being "extra health bars". The NPC is near death, he chugs a potion, he is now topped off, party needs to repeat the combat.

The desire to not die is super strong among players, for obvious reasons. But proper challenge curve is meant to make sure that one dungeon either kills someone or results in a near death situation. I am one of those who can subscribe to the thinking where loss can lead to triumph, victories have to be earned with blood. Bad potions and resonance exists to make damage last, and if your enjoyment is tied to your character staying alive, you can never enjoy resonance, because it literally exists to kill your comfort zone.


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I'm fond of how Spheres of Power handled healing potions. A simple Potion of Life that heals 1d8 damage costs 50 gold, and a potion with X extra talents is 50*(X+1)^2. Some of the talents are cool things like "Also works on people who died within the past round", but the relevant ones here are the +1d8 talents. If you just stack those talents together, you can heal Yd8 for 50*Y^2. So if all you care about is raw hp healed, the best bang for your buck will always be to spam the cheapest potions. Except those +1d8 talents also have riders. So sure, that one potion that heals 2d8 might cost as much as 4 1d8 potions, but it can also do something like heal all ability damage or restore your senses.


How about healing potions having a number of "ticks", the healing effect is repeated each round for one round per spell level?

This greatly facilitates out of combat healing, but doesn't make all that much of a difference in combat. If we want even lower combat utility, we can say that any damage taken cancels any remaining ticks. Or even that taking 3 actions in a round does so - as long as you stay at 2 actions/round, you continue to get healing ticks.

I am doing a rough calculation on this as I write:

Healing Potions
Minor (3gp): 1d8; now heals 5 HP (1.7 HP/gp)
Lesser (8gp): 2d8+3 x3; now heals 36 HP (4.5 HP/gp)
Moderate (20gp): 3d8+8 x5; now heals 107 HP (5.35 HP/gp)
Greater (60gp): 5d8+12 x8; now heals 276 (4.6 HP/gp)

These figures seem high; perhaps one tic /2 levels?

Healing Potions
Minor (3gp): 1d8; now heals 5 HP (1.7 HP/gp)
Lesser (8gp): 2d8+3 x1; now heals 12 HP (1.5 HP/gp)
Moderate (20gp): 3d8+8 x2; now heals 43 HP (2.15 HP/gp)
Greater (60gp): 5d8+12 x4; now heals 138 (2.3 HP/gp)

Edit: I did the math only on healing potions, but this would apply to all healing, items, spells, first aid, the lot.


Matthew Downie wrote:
But sometimes players have a job to get done that takes priority over saving money, so they spend what needs spending to keep them alive and fighting. Under the current rules they would, I imagine, sometimes use a high-level consumable rather than burn through all their Resonance.

I am not debating you here, this is just an association on your post.

This is where the clw wand let the party keep going, whereas in PF2, adventures will have to feature fewer, less severe fights to be doable. This is also known as the 10 minute day.


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Envall wrote:
I am sure healing weak to make sure combat is not prolonged by potions in your belt being "extra health bars". The NPC is near death, he chugs a potion, he is now topped off, party needs to repeat the combat.

There's a term for an option that is intentionally bad. It's called a "trap option," and its only purposes are to make other options seem artificially better and/or to punish those foolish enough to fall for it.

I would rather no options than intentionally bad options. If they don't want something "messing up the balance" of the game, then why make it in the first place? These rules aren't naturalistic, nothing is there without it being placed deliberately.

And as salty as I am about this still being a problem in PF2, I am still optimistic enough to believe that it's not intentionally bad, just so low on their priority list that it's gotten overlooked, or something.

Envall wrote:
Bad potions and resonance exists to make damage last, and if your enjoyment is tied to your character staying alive, you can never enjoy resonance, because it literally exists to kill your comfort zone.

Again, healing items being limited or not is only tangential to the discussion on making them make sense. If you want to limit them, that's fine. A GM has the right to add or remove options at their discretion. I wouldn't want to play in a game where there's a fundamental distinction between HP healed by spell slots and HP healed by drinking a potion, but some people do.

But making potions intentionally bad ruins them for everyone, whereas adding house rules only affects the people at a given table. It takes a lot more effort and math to get the numbers to make sense than it does to slap a house rule on saying "no potions" or "only so many potions per day" or whatever point on the continuous spectrum of potion usability you want.

And, here's a thought: Paizo likes modes in this edition. They can put a small section offering different difficulty modes. Easy: No resonance to consumables, and all healing items always follow the resonance-boosted numbers; Moderate: Consumables are like they are now, but spending resonance boosts healing items to follow reasonable HP/GP guidelines; Hard: Consumables work as they are now, and cost resonance; Severe: Consumables cost resonance and healing items provide their current values as temporary HP; Iron Man: No healing items allowed.

With a system like this, you print the healing items under the assumption of moderate difficulty, with a resonance amount and a non-resonance amount. The GM tells the players what difficulty this game will be (and/or the group discusses it like adults), and everyone knows what to expect from that game. Heck, this makes it easy for any group to transition between one style and another on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Maybe your one game is a beer-and-pretzels group where everyone just wants to hang out, while your other game is playing through a really gritty horror campaign. You don't require any house rules at all!

EDIT: There are a host of other difficulty- and tone-related common house rules that can be balanced and then sorted along a spectrum like that, not just healing items. Things like access to scrying, or teleportation magic, or frequency of checks for random encounters, or how many HP you get from sleeping, etc., etc., etc.


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RazarTuk wrote:
I'm fond of how Spheres of Power handled healing potions. A simple Potion of Life that heals 1d8 damage costs 50 gold, and a potion with X extra talents is 50*(X+1)^2. Some of the talents are cool things like "Also works on people who died within the past round", but the relevant ones here are the +1d8 talents. If you just stack those talents together, you can heal Yd8 for 50*Y^2. So if all you care about is raw hp healed, the best bang for your buck will always be to spam the cheapest potions. Except those +1d8 talents also have riders. So sure, that one potion that heals 2d8 might cost as much as 4 1d8 potions, but it can also do something like heal all ability damage or restore your senses.

Additional effects are certainly a way to fix the value for your money without actually changing the HP numbers. And changing them in an esoteric way like that makes it harder to calculate for maximum efficiency, which makes "the best choice" a lot less obvious in practice, because there's the opportunity cost of those additional effects to consider.

My concern with such a system (not objection, mind, just concern) is that you have to walk the line of fixing the healing items without making status removal items worthless in exchange. Because who would buy a potion of remove disease (for example) if you could get one that heals HP and removes diseases at a similar price/level point. And if you add the additional conditions too late to compensate for that, you risk making those additional effects irrelevant and now you're back to the original problem.

So it could be a viable solution, it just has to be done very carefully.


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Starfox wrote:

How about healing potions having a number of "ticks", the healing effect is repeated each round for one round per spell level?

This greatly facilitates out of combat healing, but doesn't make all that much of a difference in combat. If we want even lower combat utility, we can say that any damage taken cancels any remaining ticks. Or even that taking 3 actions in a round does so - as long as you stay at 2 actions/round, you continue to get healing ticks.

I am doing a rough calculation on this as I write:

Healing Potions
Minor (3gp): 1d8; now heals 5 HP (1.7 HP/gp)
Lesser (8gp): 2d8+3 x3; now heals 36 HP (4.5 HP/gp)
Moderate (20gp): 3d8+8 x5; now heals 107 HP (5.35 HP/gp)
Greater (60gp): 5d8+12 x8; now heals 276 (4.6 HP/gp)

These figures seem high; perhaps one tic /2 levels?

Healing Potions
Minor (3gp): 1d8; now heals 5 HP (1.7 HP/gp)
Lesser (8gp): 2d8+3 x1; now heals 12 HP (1.5 HP/gp)
Moderate (20gp): 3d8+8 x2; now heals 43 HP (2.15 HP/gp)
Greater (60gp): 5d8+12 x4; now heals 138 (2.3 HP/gp)

Edit: I did the math only on healing potions, but this would apply to all healing, items, spells, first aid, the lot.

It's an interesting idea, though I worry it might be a little convoluted as presented. I think we could clean it up and make it more intuitive using the 3-action economy system, though. Like give each healing item an amount it heals per action, so you can essentially "sip" a potion to get a lesser effect if you're in a hurry or "chug" a potion to get the full benefit. And any "remaining" potion can still be finished later, so you're still able to (eventually) get your money's worth out of the thing.

Except now you have to essentially track "charges" on your potions and elixirs (and fractions of a charge on a wand?). I, personally, think it's a little unnecessarily complicated, which is kind of against the design ethos of PF2.

So far my favorite idea has been to have resonance and non-resonance HP values for each potion (where the resonance-boosted values follow appropriate HP/GP guidelines), and let each group decide for themselves whether they want to use resonance for them or not, and in what combinations. PF2 wants to be modular (even if the designers sometimes refuse to let it fully out of the box), and a system like this would be modular on a meta-level.


The point I was trying to make was that each potion is still a single dose, but it acts over several rounds, much like a poison does. By spreading the healing out over multiple rounds, it would be less unbalancing in combat. Healing 140 hp in a single round of level 9 fight is too much, but to heal 35 hit points a round for 4 rounds is much less so.

The healing could be spread out over multiple minutes instead of rounds if preferred - what I want is a way to make noncombat healing more economical.

If we want to keep resonance around as a buff to items, this larger amount of healing could require that resonance be spent. The first version that actually benefits from this is the level 5 version - by level 5 every character has some resonance.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Starfox wrote:

The point I was trying to make was that each potion is still a single dose, but it acts over several rounds, much like a poison does. By spreading the healing out over multiple rounds, it would be less unbalancing in combat. Healing 140 hp in a single round of level 9 fight is too much, but to heal 35 hit points a round for 4 rounds is much less so.

The healing could be spread out over multiple minutes instead of rounds if preferred - what I want is a way to make noncombat healing more economical.

If we want to keep resonance around as a buff to items, this larger amount of healing could require that resonance be spent. The first version that actually benefits from this is the level 5 version - by level 5 every character has some resonance.

Ah, I think I get it now. So it's essentially that healing items give you an abnormally large (but very short duration) "fast healing" effect.

I... actually like that quite a bit, now that I think about it like that, especially considering the astronomical numbers that some of the higher level potions would need. 400 HP at once (for the greater elixir of life as an example) is more than almost everyone other than the highest level barbarians could even use at once, but fast healing 80 for 5 rounds (as a round number division example) could be useful to pretty much any level 12+ character, in or out of combat, and alleviates the "what if the BBEG drinks this potion" problem a bit, since the action economy still means players have the opportunity to blast through it if they keep up the pressure.

Liberty's Edge

Oooooh! I like that idea!

Persistent Healing Potion

Tier 1
X GP
1 Action (Manipulate Trait)
The User gains 1d4 Persistent Healing. The potion effects lasts 3 + Charisma Mod Rounds. During Exploration or Downtime Phases, this Potion restored the PC to Full Health.

Tier 2
2X GP
1 Action (Manipulate Trait)
The user gains 2d4 Persistent Healing. The potion effects lasts 3 + Charisma Mod Rounds. During Exploration or Downtime Phases, this Potion restored the PC to Full Health.

Tier 3
4X GP
1 Action (Manipulate Trait)
The user gains 3d4 Persistent Healing. The potion effects lasts 3 + Charisma Mod Rounds. During Exploration or Downtime Phases, this Potion restored the PC to Full Health.

Tier 4
8X GP
1 Action (Manipulate Trait)
The user gains 4d4 Persistent Healing. The potion effects lasts 3 + Charisma Mod Rounds. During Exploration or Downtime Phases, this Potion restored the PC to Full Health.


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GlennH wrote:

The cost of consumable healing dosn’t really matter.

If it cost too much then PCs will just take more full rest and parties will have to have a healer.

This is true. It's also a serious problem.

If the game only works if someone is playing a cleric to be able to dish out enough healing, that's bad game design. And players having to constantly stop to rest is terrible from a narrative standpoint.

The D&D paradigm of constantly taking damage and healing every round, of having one player be a dedicated healer, of having to stop to rest for 8 hours mid-adventure because you used up all your healing for the day... these are relics of a bygone era that most tabletop RPGs in the 21st century have moved away from. And rather than taking the opportunity of a new edition to change with the times, Paizo has decided to double down on them by causing PCs to take more damage, need more healing, and have more daily limits on healing resources. It's a massive step in the wrong direction.

If you want people to stop buying wands of cure light wounds, then maybe you need to examine what it is about your game that made people want to buy them in the first place and change that.


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Leedwashere wrote:


There's a term for an option that is intentionally bad. It's called a "trap option," and its only purposes are to make other options seem artificially better and/or to punish those foolish enough to fall for it.

I cannot accept this logic on options that are outside of permanent character option choices. A s+$!ty potion is s!+*ty, sure, but it can also be your ONLY option. And it is always a net benefit. There might be a situation where, yes, you can choose from a weak potion, lean wand and powerful scroll. But these are not interchangeable AND they are not equally distributed.

"Potion did not save me, it was a trap to drink it" is a valid statement, BUT it is not proof that the potion is too weak. It can also mean that drinking the potion at the wrong time was a tactical mistake. It is not a fact that potions ought to be good source of healing in middle of a combat.


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Whew! When you said "ethical solution to healing," I thought you were going to say we had to stop grinding up Sprites and Pixies and using Elf blood for our healing potions and elixirs!

Carry on.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
ENHenry wrote:

Whew! When you said "ethical solution to healing," I thought you were going to say we had to stop grinding up Sprites and Pixies and using Elf blood for our healing potions and elixirs!

Carry on.

As the man once said: "Fairy lives don't matter today."

:P


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Envall wrote:
A s!%%ty potion is s+&@ty, sure, but it can also be your ONLY option.

An option being your only option does not make it a good option, or make it any less of a broken option. I don't think that having bad options in the game is a worthy thing, intentional or otherwise. That the options have always been bad doesn't mean that we shouldn't take the opportunity to fix them now.

Envall wrote:
"Potion did not save me, it was a trap to drink it" is a valid statement, BUT it is not proof that the potion is too weak. It can also mean that drinking the potion at the wrong time was a tactical mistake. It is not a fact that potions ought to be good source of healing in middle of a combat.

To borrow from myself...

Leedwashere wrote:
I get the impression that there are some people of the opinion that the only thing these items need to do to justify their price tags is to heal a larger number of hit points in the absolute. 70.5 average is a bigger number than 4.5 average, so what's the big deal? Isn't it just quibbling over details to note that one of those gives you an expected 1.5 hit points per gold you spent on the item, while the other gives you 0.058 expected hit points per gold you spent on the item?
Leedwashere wrote:

If going from master proficiency to legendary proficiency reduced your bonus, people would would be up in arms - and they would be right to do so.

If power attack gave you 2 dice when you took it, and then reduced that to 1 die at level 10, people would be up in arms - and they would be right to do so.

What we have now is a situation where your options get worse as you level. And not just worse by a little bit, but exponentially worse. That's just not okay.

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