Cure Wounds alternative idea


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


Cure Wounds:
"This spell heals xdy points of damage, UP TO A MAXIMUM OF N"

This way, higher level characters can't refill their HP pools by using low-level wands.
However, You can sill use low level spells to help people in critical conditions.

Make N depend upon both the spell power and the recipient so that you don't get fully healed wizards and partially healed barbarians.

I will not go into details with the math because I don't want to focus on tweaking the numbers, that is not my purpose.
Assume the numbers are correct and fulfill the above statements for the purposes of this thread.

To make the system less restrictive, maybe add the following:

"By spending *daily resource* you can overcome this limitation"

So if you REALLY need that extra HP you can get it. But you cannot refill your HP after every single battle.

What do you think?


I don't understand. Heals X damage up to N per cast, or X damage up to N per day?

Because one of those doesn't stop high level characters from healing with multiple low level spells, and the other is going to quickly become incredibly onerous to keep track of.


up to N HP per character

Let's say you have 100 max HP, and you took90 damage, a low level spell coul only heal up to 30


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I don't like the idea of adding bookkeeping to individual spells used on individual characters. That sounds like a lot of work.


Alyran wrote:
I don't like the idea of adding bookkeeping to individual spells used on individual characters. That sounds like a lot of work.

You don't need any book keeping

EXAMPLE

Cure wounds

This spell can heal 1d8 HP, up to 20 HP. If the recipient has more than 20 HP maximum, this spell can only heal up to 20 HP.


D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Alyran wrote:
I don't like the idea of adding bookkeeping to individual spells used on individual characters. That sounds like a lot of work.

You don't need any book keeping

EXAMPLE

Cure wounds

This spell can heal 1d8 HP, up to 20 HP. If the recipient has more than 20 HP maximum, this spell can only heal up to 20 HP.

Oh, wow, I totally misunderstood what I read. Sorry about that. I thought you meant that that spell would only heal 20HP per person in a day. Your idea seems pretty reasonable now, though I still don't think I like it as an overall solution. It would (admittedly rarely) create situations where someone might have a low-level heal prepared and be unable to shore up their party member's HP, making the difference between an enemy downing them and leaving them standing.


Yeah, this seems too complicated to me.


Isn't this the exact same thing first edition's cure spells do?


Sanmei wrote:
Isn't this the exact same thing first edition's cure spells do?

No, those just heal X. Period.


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I think it's solving the wrong problem.

People spam healsticks at all- The root problem is actually that Cure X Wounds is the only time-effective way to heal someone, so if you want to conserve spell slots, it's your only option. Add better non-magical healing, and fewer people will use healsticks.

People use healsticks of CLW, not the other spells- Take a page from SoP and add secondary effects to healing potions. Suddenly, CLW potions are still the most cost effective way to heal if you only care about raw healing output, but things like "2d8 for the price of 4 1d8 potions, but it also removes negative levels and ability drain" are still worth it when you need the riders.


RazarTuk wrote:

I think it's solving the wrong problem.

People use healsticks of CLW, not the other spells- Take a page from SoP and add secondary effects to healing potions. Suddenly, CLW potions are still the most cost effective way to heal if you only care about raw healing output, but things like "2d8 for the price of 4 1d8 potions, but it also removes negative levels and ability drain" are still worth it when you need the riders.

The suggestion here would absolutely solve the 'people get CLW wands instead of CMW wands' problem (if it is a problem, which I'm not convinced it is) - if CLW can't take you above 30HP, no high level PC is going to want to rely on wands of CLW.

Adding secondary healing effects is an interesting idea, but the majority of the time only hit-point healing is needed.


Tridus wrote:
Sanmei wrote:
Isn't this the exact same thing first edition's cure spells do?
No, those just heal X. Period.

Okay, then I'm not understanding what the original poster is suggesting, because healing spells which cap at a certain amount of healing is already what those spells do.

Unless the idea is "a healing spell cannot be used to heal above X HP."

Whereupon I say are you TRYING to enforce the 5 minute adventuring day?


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Matthew Downie wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:

I think it's solving the wrong problem.

People use healsticks of CLW, not the other spells- Take a page from SoP and add secondary effects to healing potions. Suddenly, CLW potions are still the most cost effective way to heal if you only care about raw healing output, but things like "2d8 for the price of 4 1d8 potions, but it also removes negative levels and ability drain" are still worth it when you need the riders.

The suggestion here would absolutely solve the 'people get CLW wands instead of CMW wands' problem (if it is a problem, which I'm not convinced it is) - if CLW can't take you above 30HP, no high level PC is going to want to rely on wands of CLW.

Adding secondary healing effects is an interesting idea, but the majority of the time only hit-point healing is needed.

Except CLW wands being preferred to CMW wands is tangential to the problem. The main problem is the lack of non-magical healing options. The preference for CLW wands as the non-magical magical healing option is just because of the wonky economy.

If you patch the economy by forcing people to use larger wands, you'll just get people complaining about how expensive wands become for sub-par healing. If you give people meaningful ways to heal without magic, people aren't even going to focus on the poorly-scaled economy of healing magic.


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^ Not just non-magical healing options, but an issue with the efficacy of healing options. Healing 4% of the barbarian's HP for 2.5 gold versus healing 6% of the barbarian's HP for 15 gold or 12% HP for 65 gold -- is it any wonder people will take the first option and not the others?

Forcing them to do so isn't going to improve the game. It'll just make characters poorer, or die more often.


Sanmei wrote:
Tridus wrote:
Sanmei wrote:
Isn't this the exact same thing first edition's cure spells do?
No, those just heal X. Period.

Okay, then I'm not understanding what the original poster is suggesting, because healing spells which cap at a certain amount of healing is already what those spells do.

Unless the idea is "a healing spell cannot be used to heal above X HP."

Whereupon I say are you TRYING to enforce the 5 minute adventuring day?

Yes, that is effectively what they're suggesting. Except X would vary by max HP or class or something on top of that.

When the stated goal is "don't let people fill up at high level with wands of CLW", this strikes me as casting Wish to swat a fly. It's vastly overcomplciated and will create more problems than it solves, especially when the "problem" in question was already addressed by Treat Wounds existing.


Sanmei wrote:
Tridus wrote:
Sanmei wrote:
Isn't this the exact same thing first edition's cure spells do?
No, those just heal X. Period.

Okay, then I'm not understanding what the original poster is suggesting, because healing spells which cap at a certain amount of healing is already what those spells do.

Unless the idea is "a healing spell cannot be used to heal above X HP."

Whereupon I say are you TRYING to enforce the 5 minute adventuring day?

The idea (as I understand it) is that, say, Cure Light Wounds can heal you only if your current HP is below, say 30. So for level 2 PCs, Cure Light Wounds does it's job just fine, same as always. But for high level characters, a wand of Cure Light Wounds is going to be of very little use; you'd have to get a wand of Cure Moderate Wounds to heal you up to 60HP, or a wand of Cure Serious Wounds to heal you up to 90HP.

This fixes the 'problem' that high-level PF1 PCs continue to use Cure Light Wounds throughout their career. It doesn't enforce a 5-minute adventuring day, it just means that to keep going you either need to avoid damage, or use high-level healing magic, or press on while injured.

It has the odd side-effect that a high-level PC would say, "I'm seriously wounded - can you cast Cure Light Wounds on me until I'm back to 30HP? OK, now I'm only lightly wounded, so I need Cure Serious Wounds." But that could be fixed with renaming.

Reminder: everyone's goals in this part of the game design are different. ("Mundane healing is stupid; how can a few bandages heal a brutal stabbing?" "I don't want mandatory Clerics!" "Good party balance should be rewarded!" "My game is being spoiled because the party keep stopping to rest until they've got their HP back, and this means there's no attrition and no point in fighting low-level battles!" "I think it's stupid that my PCs keep jabbing each other with low-level wands until they get their health back!" "I want the party to be able to keep going for more encounters; resting spoils the narrative flow!" "I don't care as long as there's minimal tedious book-keeping!" Etc.)


Once again, the fact that people prefer CLW for making healsticks, as opposed to CMW is tangential to the problem. That's just because magic item prices scale quadratically, while the damage healed scales linearly, so unless they do like SoP and add secondary effects, a pile of potions of CLW will always be more cost-effective than larger potions.

The real problem is that wands and potions of Cure X Wounds are the closest thing we have to non-magical healing. The only four options for healing, at least in 1e:


  • Someone plays a caster with Cure Wounds and saves their spell slots for healing. (Clerics are even encouraged to play this way with spontaneous healing)
  • Someone plays a caster with Cure Wounds, but uses a wand, so they can use their actual spell slots for other spells.
  • Someone puts ranks in UMD so they can buy a wand and pretend to be a caster with Cure Wounds.
  • You spend a solid week or two recovering. This can be as short as two days, if you have d6 HD, are spending the entire day resting, and have someone making Heal checks. But if you have high Con (say, 26 or so), d10s, no healer, and are just spending 8 hours resting each day, it could take upwards of 2 weeks.

If you give better non-magical options, like Treat Wounds in the latest version of the playtest, then you have more options for healer than just actually being able to cast Cure Wounds or being able to use UMD to pretend to be able to cast it. And at that point, no one cares as much about the poorly-scaled economy of magic items, because wands of Cure X Wounds are suddenly a way for clerics and bards to not need to conserve spell slots for healing, rather than the only way to recover in a short amount of time without an actual caster.


To clarify, since it seems like you're mainly responding to me: I agree. I think non-magic healing of HP is best for the game. But other people don't like it: "My suspension of belief is broken when a PC gets brought to the bring of death by being shot full of twenty arrows and then recovers in ten minutes thanks to a few mundane bandages!"


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Matthew Downie wrote:
To clarify, since it seems like you're mainly responding to me: I agree. I think non-magic healing of HP is best for the game. But other people don't like it: "My suspension of belief is broken when a PC gets brought to the bring of death by being shot full of twenty arrows and then recovers in ten minutes thanks to a few mundane bandages!"

And can easily be re-skinned as a healing ritual that takes 10 minutes and uses the medicine skill.

I get that people don't like that it's a mundane thing in the core book, but I don't see how that completely puts them off the concept in general.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Reminder: everyone's goals in this part of the game design are different.

This is a good point but...a "fast" healing ritual seems flexible enough to address most of them. Or, at least, the examples you provided.

Matthew Downie wrote:
"Mundane healing is stupid; how can a few bandages heal a brutal stabbing?"

Rituals are magic.

Matthew Downie wrote:
"I don't want mandatory Clerics!"

Anyone with the appropriate skills can use a Ritual.

Matthew Downie wrote:
"Good party balance should be rewarded!"

Reliable out of combat healing doesn't negate dedicated healers...it just lets them focus their character resources on healing in combat.

But this is one instance that Treat Wounds and rituals have trouble resolving because it's subjective. Because what is good party balance? Some might answer that this is clerics being the end all for healing. But then just circle back to availability - make a healing ritual rare and it won't influence "good party balance".

Matthew Downie wrote:
"My game is being spoiled because the party keep stopping to rest until they've got their HP back, and this means there's no attrition and no point in fighting low-level battles!"

Unlike Treat Wounds, rituals are uncommon by default. Make a healing ritual rare and that solves the availability issue. It doesn't need to be in your campaign.

Alternatively, (these work for Treat Wounds) interrupt the party with a random encounter or have a hostile environment increase the DC (it's just harder to Treat Wounds in the Abyss).

Matthew Downie wrote:
"I think it's stupid that my PCs keep jabbing each other with low-level wands until they get their health back!"

Treat Wounds and healing rituals resolve this. Also, unlike wands, they can't be used on the move or while mounted.

Matthew Downie wrote:
"I want the party to be able to keep going for more encounters; resting spoils the narrative flow!"

Stopping for ten minutes to Treat Wounds or run a healing ritual shouldn't take much time out of game. Less than spamming CLW wands really (unless the GM handwaved rolling for health and said 15 charges = full health - which I often did).

Matthew Downie wrote:
"I don't care as long as there's minimal tedious book-keeping!"

Treat Wounds and rituals address this. Treat Wounds is a bit easier because it doesn't require tracking material components beyond the healer's kit.

Garretmander wrote:
And can easily be re-skinned as a healing ritual that takes 10 minutes and uses the medicine skill.

This is true - just say that a healer's kit includes mystical healing herbs. Then it's no stranger than elixirs of life.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
This is true - just say that a healer's kit includes mystical healing herbs. Then it's no stranger than elixirs of life.

Good ol' athelas...

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