There needs to be less rampant access to Heal pools


General Discussion


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Thus far, I have GMed two iterations of The Lost Star under no updates, one iteration of In Pale Mountain's Shadow under no updates, one iteration of In Pale Mountain's Shadow under update 1.0, two iterations of The Rose Street Revenge under update 1.0, two iterations of Raiders of Shrieking Peak under update 1.1, two iterations of Arclord's Envy under update 1.1, one iteration of Affair at Sombrefell Hall under update 1.2, one iteration of Affair at Sombrefell Hall under update 1.3, two iterations of The Mirrored Moon under update 1.3, one iteration of The Frozen Oath under update 1.3, and one iteration of The Heroes of Undarin under update 1.4. I say this to establish that I have run a fair few combats and have seen characters in play.

Heal is arguably the single most powerful combat spell in the game. It heals a huge amount of hit points. It is very versatile, coming in one-action, two-action, and three-action versions. The one-action version is especially noteworthy for healing oneself and adjacent allies, particularly since it can be used multiple times during one turn. The crucial thing about heal is that it simply works, no questions asked, without having to fumble with attack rolls and saving throws. I personally think that heal could use just a slight, slight downgrade, though not so much as to make in-combat healing useless.

The more egregious factor, however, is PCs with heal pools. Here is what having a heal pool means: several automatically, maximally-heightened castings of what is debatably the game's most powerful spell. Clerics, by default, have a heal pool from their channeled energy. Paladins also gain access to a heal pool with Channel Life at 4th, but they have some trouble with the Somatic Casting unless they take Cleric Dedication and Blazon Symbol. Bards and sorcerers can multiclass into paladin and incinerate several feats for better armor proficiencies and Channel Life, a trick mentioned in this thread, which is a very strong way to transform bard or sorcerer spell points into a powerful heal pool.

I think it is a little excessive for there to be classes and multiclasses running around with several maximally-heightened castings of heal per day.


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I agree that all the max-heighten heal is very strong.

Imagine if, to parralel a Cleric's Channel Energy, Wizards got ~7 extra spells heightened to their highest level? A couple people already went crazy when I suggested giving wizards the ability to refresh spells gained 4-5 levels lower than that.

That said, I feel players should be raised up with cool things in general compared to current, so... I like this thread as a place to discuss how strong having many max-heightened bonus spells (aka a heal pool) is, but I don't agree that nerfing it is certainly the right answer, although I could be convinced.


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Unfortunately having piles of healing is what keeps he game rolling and functioning as a game.

The alternative is having something sane like wands of cure light wounds or healing surges, or you can say goodbye to any sense of timed events or anything but overly defense turtle play with constant stops to recharge.


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Hot take: I disagree.

Build the game around entering every encounter at mostly full (90%+) health, but reduced resources for every successive fight.

Also keep in mind that it will generally be rare for a party to have more than 1 character with access to healing capabilities.

It's unlikely to have a cleric and a paladin. And if they do they're sacrificing other things.

It's also important to emphasize things other than pure HP damage, such as conditions, poison, etc to harm the PCs besides just hit point damage.

If you do these things, it keeps a majority of players happy who like their characters surviving (myself included) while still making for challenging fights.

Liberty's Edge

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My characters require Heal regularly just to stay in the fight. The "+10 = crit" rule means that characters are going to get pounded hard and often. A Heal Monkey keeps everyone alive, assuming there is someone willing to do this.

Planning for Organized Play, a Heal Monkey is much less likely to be present. I would also suggest running one of your next playtests with a couple of characters 2 levels below tier, if you have players willing. The AC difference alone should show the need for prodigious healing resources.


Medicine (Treat Wounds) exists for regenerating hit points outside of combat. I am more concerned about the in-combat application of heal pools.

Is it really that unlikely to have both, for example, a sorcerer/paladin and a pure caster cleric in the party? I had both of those in my Heroes of Undarin run, and several other parties I have run for have had two heal-pool-capable party members. It is not as though casting heal was all they could do, since they had other spells at their disposal, outside of their heal pool uses.

As for non-hit-point-related debilitations, those are relatively rare (and many poisons deal hit point damage anyway). For the most part, if the party can take care of its hit points through judicious damage-dealing and heal uses, then the party should be able to handle most level-appropriate challenges.


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Claxon wrote:
… Build the game around entering every encounter at mostly full (90%+) health, but reduced resources for every successive fight. …

Great idea, and gets to the heart of the issue - but almost impossible to do. The reason healing is such an issue is that PF2E (in particular) is extra deadly with those bonus dice on crits. So nobody wants to go into combat at half or 3/4 health (which *did* happen often in my PF1E games).

The problem is that whoever is writing the adventure never knows which combats to expect the party to start with full resources/health, and which will come along when the party is partly drained. No group goes through an adventure at the same pace or in the same order. You can't assume that every group will reach 'Encounter 13c. Irate Bats on a Rampage' with the same amount of HP and remaining combat and healing capability.

Starting every encounter with full-or-close-to-full resources is a very video-game expectation and feel. It takes almost no time in a modern video game to recoup everyone's health and magic resource, and so video game designers can balance for full-strength parties. TTRPGs don't have and shouldn't have that assumption. Probably reasonable to have boss fights balanced around 90% capability if you design the game to allow the party to decide when and on what terms they meet that challenge, but all the rest? They should be balanced (somehow) around parties that are injured and with limited remaining resources.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would concur; the heal spell is currently one of the strongest combat spells in the game, and that makes healing pools quite overpowered compared to other options. With that said, I feel the solution is to buff everything else. As Claxon mentioned, the only reason the game even works right now is because a cleric is there to keep the party propped up. The new out-of-combat healing options help, but if you find yourself in a drawn out fight that comes down to attrition of HP you need in-combat healing. I feel the solution isn't to nerf the cleric, it's to buff the other classes so the party isn't completely reliant on a cleric. If Wizards could actually prevent incoming damage as they could in PF1, the need for in-combat healing would be diminished, but that would require a fundamental overhaul to magic to vastly increase its power.

I feel the best way to look at the heal spell and to compare it with other spells is by considering action economy. When looking at a heal spell, we must consider how many actions the enemy used to cause the damage being healed. If the enemy spent 3 actions to deliver that damage, then a cleric is negating 3 actions worth of damage with 1 action. For 2-action offensive spells to match this they'd need to completely incapacitate a target for at least 2 rounds. Since offensive spells also call for a saving throw they would need actually be more powerful on a failed save, so closer to 3 or 4 rounds of incapacitation. Few spells come anywhere near that level of power, even at the highest levels.

The reason healing was bad in PF1 was for much the same reason; offensive spells typically had better action-economy value than defensive healing. In PF2 the 1-action heal option combined with the nerfing of other spells has flipped this on its head. Reactive healing now has the action economy advantage.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Heal is quite powerful, but I would hesitate to call it the most powerful thing in the game. However, the Heal pool of a cleric is crazy powerful, it is the strongest class feature bar none. It single handedly swings the feel of the game, making encounters balanced around its presence and tipping us dangerously toward a "Tank/Heal/DPS" meta.

I don't know what the best solution is, because I very much like healers being able to do stuff besides healing, but the sheer power of the Heal pool is destabilizing to the game.

I'd be tempted to dial back the Heal pool, make spell slots a viable healing resource, and grant more class feats based around non-spellcasting activity.

Clerics being able to swing a mace better or *something* would help ameliorate the negative feeling of using spell slots primarily on heals if you want to play a focused healer.


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Dasrak wrote:
As Claxon mentioned, the only reason the game even works right now is because a cleric is there to keep the party propped up.

I'd say the multiple cleric-less parties disagree with you on that.

That's not to say healing isn't strong and could be weakened in how easy access full pools are, but it's certainly not as necessary as people like to portray it.

Sample parties that worked:
1: Paladin, Rogue, Druid, Draconic Sorcerer
4: Paladin, Ranger, Bard, Barbarian
Neither party is particularly healing-heavy, and neither has a cleric.


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Didn't think I would find myself agreeing with Colette, but in this case 150%.

Channel Energy as a class feature is objectively bad for the game, because it is so powerful that a party without access to it is meaningfully hampered in their capabilities compared to a party with it, in all circumstances, regardless of party composition.

I want healer Clerics to be the best in-combat healers, but the massive, massive boost of Channel Energy is not the way to do it.

I also want Clerics of Irori or Torag or Iomedae to not automatically be amazing healers regardless of what kind of build they are. Why should my forge-priest of Torag, who dedicates his life to building weapons and armor to protect his clan and fighting evil in defense of said clan, be forced to have healing be his strongest class feature?


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Cyouni wrote:
I'd say the multiple cleric-less parties disagree with you on that.

I have no doubt it's possible to build cleric-less parties, but it's a huge drop in power and slows down the pacing of the game because you run through party resources more quickly. In Pale Mountain I ran a 3-person party, and we found from the Manticore onward the cleric basically needed to tap his entire daily healing pool in a single encounter to keep the party standing (it was 5 minute adventuring days from that point on). In Mirrored Moon we had a similar experience with the sea serpent and dragon encounters, which tapped the cleric completely to keep the party standing.

Now I'm sure you can use Druids and Bards and Paladins to fill the void, but it's less effective and runs through more of your daily resources.


Dasrak wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I'd say the multiple cleric-less parties disagree with you on that.

I have no doubt it's possible to build cleric-less parties, but it's a huge drop in power and slows down the pacing of the game because you run through party resources more quickly. In Pale Mountain I ran a 3-person party, and we found from the Manticore onward the cleric basically needed to tap his entire daily healing pool in a single encounter to keep the party standing (it was 5 minute adventuring days from that point on). In Mirrored Moon we had a similar experience with the sea serpent and dragon encounters, which tapped the cleric completely to keep the party standing.

Now I'm sure you can use Druids and Bards and Paladins to fill the void, but it's less effective and runs through more of your daily resources.

I think the only healing resource we actually used on the Manticore was a lesser elixir of life (maybe a single soothe?). I am willing to admit Treat Wounds played a large part in that, but we were quite good at mitigating damage in combat. (Aside from that one part where my goblin was set on fire for 6 rounds, that hurt and required some mid-combat healing.) Average was probably 0-1 Lay on Hands per fight, 0 Soothe.


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This is an interesting thread and I understand where you're coming from. That said...

Colette Brunel wrote:
Heal is arguably the single most powerful combat spell in the game. It heals a huge amount of hit points.

It has to, or you're in 1e territory where it isn't worth doing in favor of killing faster.

Quote:
It is very versatile, coming in one-action, two-action, and three-action versions. The one-action version is especially noteworthy for healing oneself and adjacent allies, particularly since it can be used multiple times during one turn.

At the cost of a lot of resources, but yes. It actually uses the three action economy, which almost no spells do. That's a plus, I would think.

Quote:
The crucial thing about heal is that it simply works, no questions asked, without having to fumble with attack rolls and saving throws. I personally think that heal could use just a slight, slight downgrade, though not so much as to make in-combat healing useless.

The absolute best thing about Heal is that it works. I never feel more powerful than when I'm casting Heal in 2e, precisely because I actually accomplish what I'm trying to do. Which is often "get another player back into the fight", which I would argue is a good thing since that's fun for TWO players (me as the healer, and the target as getting to do something on their turn).

That isn't something that can be said about a lot of my other spells, with how often saves are being made and some general bad luck I've had trying to hit TAC. Often times I'll burn two actions and a spell slot and get very little to show for it in the outcome.

Quote:

The more egregious factor, however, is PCs with heal pools. Here is what having a heal pool means: several automatically, maximally-heightened castings of what is debatably the game's most powerful spell. Clerics, by default, have a heal pool from their channeled energy. Paladins also gain access to a heal pool with Channel Life at 4th, but they have some trouble with the Somatic Casting unless they take Cleric Dedication and Blazon Symbol. Bards and sorcerers can multiclass into paladin and incinerate several feats for better armor proficiencies and Channel Life, a trick mentioned in this thread, which is a very strong way to transform bard or sorcerer spell points into a powerful heal pool.

I think it is a little excessive for there to be classes and multiclasses running around with several maximally-heightened castings of heal per day.

The other end of the healing pool is that they largely eliminate healbots. With Channel, you can have strong healing but not be forced to "play a healer". You can fill your spell slots with other stuff and take more meaningful actions in combat when there isn't healing to do.

With how few slots we get now, if that was the only source of healing I had, then doing any kind of meaningful amount of healing would pretty well eliminate my spell list. Am I going to prepare a spell with a save they'll probably make, or Heal? The answer is usually Heal, because getting the Fighter back into the fight is a more useful contribution than most of the other spells I have access to.

As someone in the distinct minority of people that likes playing support roles and doesn't have to be coerced into being the healer, I still don't want to be that one dimensional. In that setup, I'm hitting things with a weapon until someone needs healing and that's about it.

The answer here is that other things need buffs so that more classes can feel awesome at something the way Clerics are awesome at healing.


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Requielle wrote:
Claxon wrote:
… Build the game around entering every encounter at mostly full (90%+) health, but reduced resources for every successive fight. …

Great idea, and gets to the heart of the issue - but almost impossible to do. The reason healing is such an issue is that PF2E (in particular) is extra deadly with those bonus dice on crits. So nobody wants to go into combat at half or 3/4 health (which *did* happen often in my PF1E games).

The problem is that whoever is writing the adventure never knows which combats to expect the party to start with full resources/health, and which will come along when the party is partly drained. No group goes through an adventure at the same pace or in the same order. You can't assume that every group will reach 'Encounter 13c. Irate Bats on a Rampage' with the same amount of HP and remaining combat and healing capability.

Starting every encounter with full-or-close-to-full resources is a very video-game expectation and feel. It takes almost no time in a modern video game to recoup everyone's health and magic resource, and so video game designers can balance for full-strength parties. TTRPGs don't have and shouldn't have that assumption. Probably reasonable to have boss fights balanced around 90% capability if you design the game to allow the party to decide when and on what terms they meet that challenge, but all the rest? They should be balanced (somehow) around parties that are injured and with limited remaining resources.

I again strongly disagree.

I think the writers of APs should be giving this kind of guidance.

"This challenges are written to all take place in the same day, you should encourage your party to continue on assuming they meet the average party dynamic (healer, skill support, magic support, martial). If you don't meet this you can adjust the difficulty of monster by increasing or decreasing by...."

You're correct that we can't plan for every permutation, but we can advise GMs on how to deal with the various situations that arise.

Of course, then you get players complaining about railroading. But honestly every AP requires railroading, you just need to worry about having the illusion of choice adequately maintained.


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Tridus wrote:
The answer here is that other things need buffs so that more classes can feel awesome at something the way Clerics are awesome at healing.

This solution is completely acceptable to me as well.

Although I still want it be easier to build Clerics that aren't healers.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:
I think the only healing resource we actually used on the Manticore was a lesser elixir of life (maybe a single soothe?). I am willing to admit Treat Wounds played a large part in that, but we were quite good at mitigating damage in combat. (Aside from that one part where my goblin was set on fire for 6 rounds, that hurt and required some mid-combat healing.) Average was probably 0-1 Lay on Hands per fight, 0 Soothe.

My Manticore had hot dice (he scored two critical hits on his first volley) so it's entirely possible that we simply had different experiences due to change. Statistically, though, the Manticore should be able to land 75-90 damage (depending on your party's AC) before running out of spikes, which is enough that two PC's should be at or near 0 HP if they didn't receive healing, so I suspect your Manticore had relatively poor dice rolls.

For me the fire elemental had the entire party, including the animal companion, on fire within three rounds. The damage being racked up was obscene. I handwaved the minion rules and allowed the ranger to tell his animal companion to run away as a free action, because the cleric couldn't afford an action to heal it and it was going to die if it stayed.


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Dasrak wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I think the only healing resource we actually used on the Manticore was a lesser elixir of life (maybe a single soothe?). I am willing to admit Treat Wounds played a large part in that, but we were quite good at mitigating damage in combat. (Aside from that one part where my goblin was set on fire for 6 rounds, that hurt and required some mid-combat healing.) Average was probably 0-1 Lay on Hands per fight, 0 Soothe.

My Manticore had hot dice (he scored two critical hits on his first volley) so it's entirely possible that we simply had different experiences due to change. Statistically, though, the Manticore should be able to land 75-90 damage (depending on your party's AC) before running out of spikes, which is enough that two PC's should be at or near 0 HP if they didn't receive healing, so I suspect your Manticore had relatively poor dice rolls.

For me the fire elemental had the entire party, including the animal companion, on fire within three rounds. The damage being racked up was obscene. I handwaved the minion rules and allowed the ranger to tell his animal companion to run away as a free action, because the cleric couldn't afford an action to heal it and it was going to die if it stayed.

My party healed through the manticore's fairly effective assault with our Druid's prepared heal spells and my wizard's wand charges. Having a cleric would have been nice, but I don't feel that a cleric was necessary or would have even been a disproportionate advantage over another character with decent ranged damage options.


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Claxon wrote:

I again strongly disagree.

I think the writers of APs should be giving this kind of guidance.
"This challenges are written to all take place in the same day, you should encourage your party to continue on assuming they meet the average party dynamic (healer, skill support, magic support, martial). If you don't meet this you can adjust the difficulty of monster by increasing or decreasing by...."
You're correct that we can't plan for every permutation, but we can advise GMs on how to deal with the various situations that arise.
Of course, then you get players complaining about railroading. But honestly every AP requires railroading, you just need to worry about having the illusion of choice adequately maintained."

You're correct that we can't plan for every permutation, but we can advise GMs on how to deal with the...

That sort of thing may work well with some groups. I can tell you absolutely that my group would be so full of nope. I (personally) intensely dislike adventures-on-rails.

That doesn't mean your game is bad. Or mine is. But it does mean locking down the APs to the point that there is a menu of expected encounters in a particular order per game day isn't a neutral option. It's a fundamental game philosophy decision that will define who wants to play the game.

I referenced it earlier in another thread, but maybe a restatement is in order. My group does not play the Pathfinder APs for Paizo's stories. They play to enjoy *their character stories* with the APs as the gorgeous backdrops. That doesn't devalue what Paizo does for us, and we've been loyal customers for years because they produce wonderful stuff for us to use in *our stories*.

That doesn't mean my way is the one true way to TTRPG. But it means I'm an old bat who knows what she likes, and I already know I'm not even vaguely interested in railroad games (even well-disguised ones).


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Colette, I'm confused here. You have a massive thread in the GM section talking about how none of your parties have survived any of Doomsday Dawn and make complaints about how difficult it is. But then you make a post about how strong heal is and that the players have too much access to it at max spell level.

But to actually talk about the discussion. I dont really think it's that strong overall in the context of channel energy. It's 3+charisma uses per day. If you have a healer spending multiple in 1 round the party probably has other issues than just needing a heal. And even if they are they are going to burn through that pool real quick.

It's also supposed to be a resource the PCs can use throughout the whole adventuring day. They aren't going to drop 6 in a single combat. Maybe 2 and a 3rd after the combat still leaving them with ~4 or so for the rest of the day.


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Mildly off topic, but I feel like a bit of a weirdo here for not being here for the adventure paths. IDK, maybe that'll change as I get a bit more busy, and I'll end up giving in to the suggestion of using Kingmaker as the base material for something.

Also. Based on how much my players enjoyed clerics in part 3, probably count me in the "Bring things up, leave heal pools as is" group of people, if relevant.


Requielle wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I again strongly disagree.

I think the writers of APs should be giving this kind of guidance.
"This challenges are written to all take place in the same day, you should encourage your party to continue on assuming they meet the average party dynamic (healer, skill support, magic support, martial). If you don't meet this you can adjust the difficulty of monster by increasing or decreasing by...."
You're correct that we can't plan for every permutation, but we can advise GMs on how to deal with the various situations that arise.
Of course, then you get players complaining about railroading. But honestly every AP requires railroading, you just need to worry about having the illusion of choice adequately maintained."

You're correct that we can't plan for every permutation, but we can advise GMs on how to deal with the...

That sort of thing may work well with some groups. I can tell you absolutely that my group would be so full of nope. I (personally) intensely dislike adventures-on-rails.

That doesn't mean your game is bad. Or mine is. But it does mean locking down the APs to the point that there is a menu of expected encounters in a particular order per game day isn't a neutral option. It's a fundamental game philosophy decision that will define who wants to play the game.

I referenced it earlier in another thread, but maybe a restatement is in order. My group does not play the Pathfinder APs for Paizo's stories. They play to enjoy *their character stories* with the APs as the gorgeous backdrops. That doesn't devalue what Paizo does for us, and we've been loyal customers for years because they produce wonderful stuff for us to use in *our stories*.

That doesn't mean my way is the one true way to TTRPG. But it means I'm an old bat who knows what she likes, and I already know I'm not even vaguely interested in railroad games (even well-disguised ones).

I get the sense that you and your group only very loosely use the APs then. Because I feel most of them are pretty on the rails, and thought they lack explicit direction like "All this should happen in one day" I feel it's usually pretty clear.

I feel your way is fine if it works for you, but if your using the APs losely and more for inspiration it seems obvious that it's never going to fit your group well. I feel like you might more like a Gazetteer style publication that says "These are things that are happening in the world around your character, feel free to get involved". But that's definitely a different kind of adventure style. In such a thing you can never really effectively manage a party's resources. So it doesn't matter how you treat healing or anything else, you could never plan for it anyways.

And please don't take this as a criticism of your play style, it's just not something anyone outside of your group could really write.


Dasrak wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I think the only healing resource we actually used on the Manticore was a lesser elixir of life (maybe a single soothe?). I am willing to admit Treat Wounds played a large part in that, but we were quite good at mitigating damage in combat. (Aside from that one part where my goblin was set on fire for 6 rounds, that hurt and required some mid-combat healing.) Average was probably 0-1 Lay on Hands per fight, 0 Soothe.

My Manticore had hot dice (he scored two critical hits on his first volley) so it's entirely possible that we simply had different experiences due to change. Statistically, though, the Manticore should be able to land 75-90 damage (depending on your party's AC) before running out of spikes, which is enough that two PC's should be at or near 0 HP if they didn't receive healing, so I suspect your Manticore had relatively poor dice rolls.

For me the fire elemental had the entire party, including the animal companion, on fire within three rounds. The damage being racked up was obscene. I handwaved the minion rules and allowed the ranger to tell his animal companion to run away as a free action, because the cleric couldn't afford an action to heal it and it was going to die if it stayed.

Most of us were pretty near 0 by the end, and we honestly got decently lucky in that we managed to take it out very quickly after it landed. Even one more turn might have thrown us off enough that it would have been hard to recover. (I also got crit twice on the first volley, and from my memory quite a few more crits were flying around.)

That said, I'm tracking how many heals my 4-cleric party uses in Sombrefell Hall, and we'll see how that goes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:
That said, I'm tracking how many heals my 4-cleric party uses in Sombrefell Hall, and we'll see how that goes.

I found Sombrefall Hall extremely easy. Two clerics in an undead-heavy adventure is just a curbstomp. The sorcerer was depleted by the end, but the clerics were still mostly fresh. IIRC the party still had about 10 uses of channel left between the two clerics, plus 18 charges worth of 3rd level heal from wands (with the resonance to use it, since literally everyone in the party had 18 charisma), plus the clerics still had a few spell slots left over. The paladin and sorcerer were completely depleted, though.

The lesson I took from that was that two clerics in a party filled with people who can self-heal is just gratuitous overkill.


Dasrak wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
That said, I'm tracking how many heals my 4-cleric party uses in Sombrefell Hall, and we'll see how that goes.

I found Sombrefall Hall extremely easy. Two clerics in an undead-heavy adventure is just a curbstomp. The sorcerer was depleted by the end, but the clerics were still mostly fresh. IIRC the party still had about 10 uses of channel left between the two clerics, plus 18 charges worth of 3rd level heal from wands (with the resonance to use it, since literally everyone in the party had 18 charisma), plus the clerics still had a few spell slots left over. The paladin and sorcerer were completely depleted, though.

The lesson I took from that was that two clerics in a party filled with people who can self-heal is just gratuitous overkill.

I honestly expect that as well. Between them, they have 22 castings of 4th-level heal and a wand of 2nd-level heal. And then I think at least one person has Battle Medic on top of that.

I just want to see how many uses they actually go through each fight so I can get a good assessment.


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PsychicPixel wrote:

Colette, I'm confused here. You have a massive thread in the GM section talking about how none of your parties have survived any of Doomsday Dawn and make complaints about how difficult it is. But then you make a post about how strong heal is and that the players have too much access to it at max spell level.

But to actually talk about the discussion. I dont really think it's that strong overall in the context of channel energy. It's 3+charisma uses per day. If you have a healer spending multiple in 1 round the party probably has other issues than just needing a heal. And even if they are they are going to burn through that pool real quick.

It's also supposed to be a resource the PCs can use throughout the whole adventuring day. They aren't going to drop 6 in a single combat. Maybe 2 and a 3rd after the combat still leaving them with ~4 or so for the rest of the day.

A pool of 3 + Charisma modifier per day (that is incidentally how much bard/paladins and sorcerer/paladins have at their disposal for Channel Life) is that many free uses of a maximally-heightened spell per day, which would be preposterous by any other spellcaster's standards.


MaxAstro wrote:
I want healer Clerics to be the best in-combat healers, ...

At least until Life Oracle hits Second Edition.


Cyouni wrote:
That's not to say healing isn't strong and could be weakened in how easy access full pools are, but it's certainly not as necessary as people like to portray it.

The only Cleric that I've had is a GMPC in Rose Street Revenge. My groups have usually had multiple healers (Alchemist, Divine Sorcerer, Occult Sorcerer, Bard)...but they've done alright without a Cleric.


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Claxon wrote:

I get the sense that you and your group only very loosely use the APs then. Because I feel most of them are pretty on the rails, and thought they lack explicit direction like "All this should happen in one day" I feel it's usually pretty clear.

I feel your way is fine if it works for you, but if your using the APs losely and more for inspiration it seems obvious that it's never going to fit your group well. I feel like you might more like a Gazetteer style publication that says "These are things that are happening in the world around your character, feel free to get involved". But that's definitely a different kind of adventure style. In such a thing you can never really effectively manage a party's resources. So it doesn't matter how you treat healing or anything else, you could never plan for it anyways.

And please don't take this as a criticism of your play style, it's just not something anyone outside of your group could really write.

No, we usually manage to do whatever the main point of the AP is, and experience most/all of the listed encounters - but a) we frequently interact in unexpected ways, and b) we often meander off and do things that are not officially planned for while on the main path (which often means coming up with some bonus fluff content on the fly).

For example, during a recent AP there was an encounter with a particular type of ghost. I don't think the expected way to solve it involved one of the characters going in and trying to hug the ghost to comfort it, and yet that was apparently the plan. During the playtest, there was an encounter that gave the options of A. fight or B. avoid - my party went for C. flirt outrageously with the bad guys (and had the rolls to back it up). The unexpected AP choice was easier to adjudicate on the fly than the unexpected playtest choice.

PF1E (and several game systems before this) supported our playstyle well. *Paizo's APs fit us well* - which is why we've been buying them. You may not see how, but I trust you can take our word for it that they do, that is where my feedback and perception comes from.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
PsychicPixel wrote:

Colette, I'm confused here. You have a massive thread in the GM section talking about how none of your parties have survived any of Doomsday Dawn and make complaints about how difficult it is. But then you make a post about how strong heal is and that the players have too much access to it at max spell level.

But to actually talk about the discussion. I dont really think it's that strong overall in the context of channel energy. It's 3+charisma uses per day. If you have a healer spending multiple in 1 round the party probably has other issues than just needing a heal. And even if they are they are going to burn through that pool real quick.

It's also supposed to be a resource the PCs can use throughout the whole adventuring day. They aren't going to drop 6 in a single combat. Maybe 2 and a 3rd after the combat still leaving them with ~4 or so for the rest of the day.

A pool of 3 + Charisma modifier per day (that is incidentally how much bard/paladins and sorcerer/paladins have at their disposal for Channel Life) is that many free uses of a maximally-heightened spell per day, which would be preposterous by any other spellcaste's standards.

??? A cleric gets 3+Cha per day of heal/harm with channel energy because that is their main class ability.

A bard/paladin or sorc/paladin would need to take 4 paladin feats (dedication, healing touch, basic benediction, advanced benediction) to have access to channel life. This gives them the ability to use 1 spell pool point (from their pool of Modifier + 1 {from healing touch}) to cast heal at a spell level of half their level rounded up.

Also all caster classes with spell pools have powers that are heightened to max spell level. Non-casting classes are half/level rounded up.


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Tridus wrote:

...

I never feel more powerful than when I'm casting Heal in 2e, precisely because I actually accomplish what I'm trying to do.
...

Can I just say something?

Wow.

I know it wasn't your intention, but that is the biggest gut punch I have seen delivered to the PF2E playtest to date.


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Colette Brunel wrote:

Thus far, I have GMed two iterations of The Lost Star under no updates, one iteration of In Pale Mountain's Shadow under no updates, one iteration of In Pale Mountain's Shadow under update 1.0, two iterations of The Rose Street Revenge under update 1.0, two iterations of Raiders of Shrieking Peak under update 1.1, two iterations of Arclord's Envy under update 1.1, one iteration of Affair at Sombrefell Hall under update 1.2, one iteration of Affair at Sombrefell Hall under update 1.3, two iterations of The Mirrored Moon under update 1.3, one iteration of The Frozen Oath under update 1.3, and one iteration of The Heroes of Undarin under update 1.4. I say this to establish that I have run a fair few combats and have seen characters in play.

Heal is arguably the single most powerful combat spell in the game. It heals a huge amount of hit points. It is very versatile, coming in one-action, two-action, and three-action versions. The one-action version is especially noteworthy for healing oneself and adjacent allies, particularly since it can be used multiple times during one turn. The crucial thing about heal is that it simply works, no questions asked, without having to fumble with attack rolls and saving throws. I personally think that heal could use just a slight, slight downgrade, though not so much as to make in-combat healing useless.

The more egregious factor, however, is PCs with heal pools. Here is what having a heal pool means: several automatically, maximally-heightened castings of what is debatably the game's most powerful spell. Clerics, by default, have a heal pool from their channeled energy. Paladins also gain access to a heal pool with Channel Life at 4th, but they have some trouble with the Somatic Casting unless they take Cleric Dedication and Blazon Symbol. Bards and sorcerers can multiclass into paladin and incinerate several feats for better armor...

So... Did the players start surviving your encounters? Last I saw you were TPK'ing 11/11 games. Did this impact that?


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Snowblind, Snarkwyrm wrote:
Tridus wrote:

...

I never feel more powerful than when I'm casting Heal in 2e, precisely because I actually accomplish what I'm trying to do.
...

Can I just say something?

Wow.

I know it wasn't your intention, but that is the biggest gut punch I have seen delivered to the PF2E playtest to date.

Pretty fair though, for most spells and a fair number of feat actions, mere success often feels like 'minor failure' compared to what you actually want the spell to do.

And it always feel worse with spells, since they're limited resource abilities.

And the ones that require you to hit and the target still gets a save are just amazingly awful, as you're stuck with failure as the default state.


Snowblind, Snarkwyrm wrote:
Tridus wrote:

...

I never feel more powerful than when I'm casting Heal in 2e, precisely because I actually accomplish what I'm trying to do.
...

Can I just say something?

Wow.

I know it wasn't your intention, but that is the biggest gut punch I have seen delivered to the PF2E playtest to date.

Oh wow, yeah. Looking back at it, I totally see that now. I'm glad you understood what the intent actually was. :)

Heal and Channel are great. The game needs more of that. It really hit me last night when we finished Sombrefell Hill. I ran out of prepared spells, shrugged, and just carried on. It wasn't that big a deal. Aside from Fireball, most of what I did wasn't making that much of an impact anyway.

I ran out of Channel, and got worried. That was a big deal.


PsychicPixel wrote:
??? A cleric gets 3+Cha per day of heal/harm with channel energy because that is their main class ability.

Yes, and that is 3 + Charisma modifier maximally-heightened spells per day.

PsychicPixel wrote:
Also all caster classes with spell pools have powers that are heightened to max spell level. Non-casting classes are half/level rounded up.

Heal, for exactly 1 Spell Point, is far stronger than any Spell Point options bards and sorcerers natively has. Basic Benediction (Deity's Domain), Healing Touch, and Advanced Benediction (Channel Life) each give 1 more Spell Point, so all in all, that is 3 + Charisma modifier maximally-heightened spells per day for a bard or a sorcerer. It is well, well worth the feat investment.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Colette Brunel wrote:
It is well, well worth the feat investment.

It's a bit too feat-intensive for most builds, but if you can afford it then it's stupidly good. I have a cleric player who is taking this combo for the upcoming Heroes of Undarin, and he gets an absolutely insane amount of healing. He took an advanced domain to up his total SP to 11 (not the spinal tap meme; he literally has 11 SP), which means along with his 7 regular channels he gets 18 free castings of heightened heal per day without even touching his spell slots.

It really emphasizes just how out of line the SP powers are from each other. I have no idea what power level Paizo is aiming for with spell points because they literally comprise some of the strongest and weakest abilities in the game, and everything in between.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Snowblind, Snarkwyrm wrote:
Tridus wrote:

...

I never feel more powerful than when I'm casting Heal in 2e, precisely because I actually accomplish what I'm trying to do.
...
I know it wasn't your intention, but that is the biggest gut punch I have seen delivered to the PF2E playtest to date.

Ouch, but this exactly what I complain about with spells right now. We need a lot more "small effect on failed save" type spells. Even cantrips.

Skills are in a similar boat, but it's mostly because the DCs are too high (especially when monsters are involved.

---

On the Paladin dedication, it's four feats, which should mean it's a big opportunity cost. The issue is that the current Bard and Sorcerer aren't designed such that those feats are that big of a deal.

I feel like a cleric is probably better off using the healing domain and Healing Font and then using the other feats on things to increase their versatility (selective channel, channel succor) instead of dumping it all on MOAR HEALS.


PsychicPixel wrote:
Also all caster classes with spell pools have powers that are heightened to max spell level. Non-casting classes are half/level rounded up.

Slightly off topic, but I do not understand why they do it that way. "Max spell level" and "half level rounded" are exactly the same thing, so why explain it differently for different classes and make it look at first glance like they are different. It is unnecessarily confusing.

Anyway, the difference in healing between a party with a claric is massive, and I agree that is a problem. OTOH, I would rather there were other options for hit point restoration that were in the same ballpark as the Cleric, rather than toning bringing the Cleric down too much.

_
glass.


@collete your right I missed the two other spell point increases. So it would be 3+mod for them. At the cost of four feats. At that point it would probably be better just to play a paladin or cleric because you can still take class feats with them instead of just gutting another class by not taking a large chunk of their class feats.

@ Dasrak. Ifa character wants to invest that much into healing that's awesome and they should be rewarded by being able to do it alot. I'd love to hear how that plays out for the party especially for that part of the Playtest. It also would make sense for the characters of that part to have this kind of build.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PsychicPixel wrote:
@ Dasrak. Ifa character wants to invest that much into healing that's awesome and they should be rewarded by being able to do it alot. I'd love to hear how that plays out for the party especially for that part of the Playtest. It also would make sense for the characters of that part to have this kind of build.

As I said near the beginning of this thread, I feel the problem is that everything else needs buffing. Paying nearly all your feats in order to get a truckload of healing shouldn't be a problem, but no one else really has options on this level to really excel at their chosen specialization.

PsychicPixel wrote:
@collete your right I missed the two other spell point increases. So it would be 3+mod for them. At the cost of four feats. At that point it would probably be better just to play a paladin or cleric because you can still take class feats with them instead of just gutting another class by not taking a large chunk of their class feats.

You're not really gutting yourself at all. There aren't that many good Sorcerer or Bard feats at the low levels, so you're not really giving up much at all. It's also worth noting that lacking good ways of spending spell points is a big problem shared between all Sorcerer bloodlines, so multiclassing for a way to fix that is a very good use of your feats.


Hmm. I find some of the feat options really useful for both Bard and Sorcerer. Dirge of doom, harmonize, inspire competence, inspire heroics, widen spell, magical striker, quickened spell. As well I really enjoy almost all the bloodline powers.

Another note for doing the multiclass the character is bound by the paladin oath as well if it wants to be able to use channel life.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PsychicPixel wrote:
Dirge of doom, harmonize, inspire competence, inspire heroics, widen spell, magical striker, quickened spell. As well I really enjoy almost all the bloodline powers.

If your goal is to have the combo online by 10th level, that gives you five class feats, so you still have one left over to pick something from your own class if you want.

Widen Spell in particular can be picked up with Natural Ambition, so that doesn't really count (be adopted if you have to; if you're taking 1st level class feats of a caster then it's worth it). Quickened spell is a beat weak for 1/day in my view. Magical Striker, I will agree, is an amazing feat, but all the more reason why you'd want a spammable spell point power.

For the bard, if you're using this combo you probably won't be spending spell points on harmonize or inspire heroics, so you don't really want to pick up most of the powers you mentioned here. Nothing wrong with the other builds, but if you're doing this combo you don't need or want that stuff.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Well, presumably, if you're looking at doing the Channel thing for your Bard/Sorcerer, you're the only healer in the group (or the group's primary healer). If you're spending most of your combat time throwing heals around, anyway, it's not like you're suddenly going to not be doing that because you took other class feats.

I'm all for Bards and (divine) Sorcerers having better in-class options for healing. I like the idea of "different classes do things differently". If an archer fighter and an archer ranger are both viable in different ways, I'd like to see a healer cleric and a healer bard both be viable in different ways.

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