Treat Wounds OP?


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So ... Treat Wounds. How do you play this ability in your games. As RAW or with some house rules attached.

As written it would seem you can just Heal a PC every hour for 2d8 hps, or every 10 minutes with a feat. This seems slightly excessive. What's the point of healing magic if in 20 minutes my healers kit can restore someone that just took a sword through the chest. Some stitches & a bandage and you can do heart surgery and restore someone to full health. That's an impressive healer's kit !

Just wondering how everyone runs their games with this as a consideration, as from what I can see this has been incorporated as core rules for P2.

Dark Archive

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We play with the rules as written. It makes it so a heal bot is not necessary and allows clerics to be more than group life support if necessary. As good as treat wounds is, it requires a feat to treat in battle once a day, so healing magic is still very useful in battle. Outside of combat, it serves as an option to save spell slots that can be of greater use put to something else or needed in a critical moment.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It removes the absurdity of running around with a golf bag full of CLW wands. Working as intended, one of best changes in PF2. Healing magic is now for in-combat heals.


Treat Wounds is far from OP. If you need quick healing, you'll use healing magic. And after level 10, magical healing price starts to plummet, so you stop using Treat Wounds.
Treat Wounds is supplemental healing. You can't use it as main healing source outside of a very small level bracket.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

1-10 is literally half of your characters lifespan, so I wouldn't call that "a very small level bracket".


Before you get Medic Ward and Continual Recovery, Treat Wounds isn't very efficient. If you need to heal your Barbarian from 0 to full, it'll take you hours.
So, Treat Wounds is really efficient from level 6 to a bit above ten for characters who raise Medicine as their first skill increase. A small level bracket.

Silver Crusade

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But that's precisely what the skill is about - patching up your party during downtime without having to wand of CLW and expecting the players to have enough system mastery to know that wands of CLW is how you play the game.

If you're expecting full healing in 10 minutes, you're playing the wrong game.


Of course, I'm not making up things :)
But it's far from OP, as the OP is suggesting.
You can't use Treat Wounds as your main source of healing, as there are many cases where you will need quick healing (you can't rest for hours inside a dungeon). But it's a very nice way to get supplemental healing and reduce the resource spent on magical healing.


Eh Continual Recovery can be gained quite a bit before then and is frankly much better than Ward medic unless you have an enormous amount of people to heal. And even without them, the time it takes to heal is only a meaningful constraint if the campaign exerts time pressure, which varies quite a bit.

Sovereign Court

orphias wrote:

So ... Treat Wounds. How do you play this ability in your games. As RAW or with some house rules attached.

As written it would seem you can just Heal a PC every hour for 2d8 hps, or every 10 minutes with a feat. This seems slightly excessive. What's the point of healing magic if in 20 minutes my healers kit can restore someone that just took a sword through the chest. Some stitches & a bandage and you can do heart surgery and restore someone to full health. That's an impressive healer's kit !

Just wondering how everyone runs their games with this as a consideration, as from what I can see this has been incorporated as core rules for P2.

Simple: healing magic is fast enough for in combat.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Eh Continual Recovery can be gained quite a bit before then and is frankly much better than Ward medic unless you have an enormous amount of people to heal. And even without them, the time it takes to heal is only a meaningful constraint if the campaign exerts time pressure, which varies quite a bit.

If the campaign doesn't exert time pressure, magical healing is also facilitated.

The question is not much about the campaign exerting time pressure, but about some moments in the campaign with such pressure. If you have to fight 3 times in a row without rest, you'll start the third fight on your knees if you only use Treat Wounds. So, whatever the campaign, you'll have to rely on magical healing, just more or less.


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It's now overpowered. IT'S NECESSARY! ;D


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orphias wrote:
As written it would seem you can just Heal a PC every hour for 2d8 hps, or every 10 minutes with a feat. This seems slightly excessive. What's the point of healing magic if in 20 minutes my healers kit can restore someone that just took a sword through the chest. Some stitches & a bandage and you can do heart surgery and restore someone to full health. That's an impressive healer's kit !

First of all, you may need to revise your narrative interpretation of wounds. Who told you that Bob Bleedalot just "took a sword through the chest"? Maybe Bob is just laughing it off and claiming "It's only a flesh wound. I've had worse."

Now if Bob was just sent stright to Dying 2 with a nasty critical hit, I might agree with the "sword through the chest" portrayal. Still, having a robust non-magical healing skill does seem to really keep adventures going.

Second of all, you shouldn't be complaining about the Treat Wounds action of the Medicine skill, where the medic needs 10 minutes, 2 free hands and access to a healer's kit. Take a look at the Battle Medicine feat. With no hands and no patches, you can cure Bob with a stern glance.

At least until we get some sensible errata. <g>

The Exchange

It is working as intended in my opinion.

As others have stated, it allows you to heal up between encounters without the absurdity of rapid smacking the six pack of feel-good wands (it also makes some dungeon crawls much harder since those with a timer cannot have fully healed parties after encounters in a few minutes the way CLW/CMW/CSW/CCW wands would easily do)

Side note: How often do you play in a campaign where you play Lvl 14+? Think about the number of sessions you played in a year - How many of those sessions had PCs Lvl 14+? I tend to think not in terms of a PCs adventuring lifespan but rather what levels do I participate as a playe. Thus, levels 1-10 may easily be 90% of my adventures


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Treat Wounds kind of trades one absurdity (a bag full of CLW wands) with another absurdity (healing wounds in just minutes with mundane techniques). My hope is that the GMG has some alternative healing rules.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

This is only a problem if you think lowering HP is inflicting deadly wounds which has never been the case even in prior editions. PF2e even adds a condition called wounded as a seperate pool for tracking your deadly wounds. If this mundane jealers toosl bothers you just houserule CLW to be more accessible...or make heal a renewable focus spell.

Healing is excessive after encounters because crits are double damage to PCs and way more likely to happen against bosses that are way more accurate than you. Critical damage is much worse than doubled die if nat20. Devs know you can heal more so they countered it with a Bestiary that hits more hard.

The design of encounters is that the way to hurt the players is to kill them, thus any boss can easily take down a player, which makes them wounded, which makes taking them down again that much closer to death, so now crit hit the dying kills them. Even if not proceeding on from that fight into the next one without healing makes things very deadly.

So they do intend you to heal every fight because any boss can take you down every fight. But because 10m is often not enough, you really need 1-2 hours - they counter that healing spam by adding time pressure which the GM can use to put more wounds on them.

It is very different math than D&D 5e where encounters are just scratch attrition and you are not expected to heal until many encounters.

Just add up your encounter XP - two moderates without a break is equivalent to an extreme encounter - which is intended as campaign ending boss fights (very likely to kill a player with high risk of TPK)


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Another things to be considered is that individual combats are balanced to be deadlier and more tense in 2nd edition.

A "Moderate" encounter is keyed at one-half the party's strength. A "Severe" encounter is close to the party's strength. These encounters will drain the party's resources and if they're to be tense and exciting they likely will involve knocking a character or two down to zero.

Mundane and repeatable out-of-combat healing being available to all classes is now part of the game balancing. It is a corollary to the combats being more interesting in this edition.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
orphias wrote:
So ... Treat Wounds. How do you play this ability in your games. As RAW or with some house rules attached.

Our subgroup dabbling with PF2 plays it as-written, and we have no interest in reducing its efficacy.

It's just no fun to "well, let's go back to town and rest overnight because we got mauled by those <monsters>." Days go by. The poor player stuck being "the healer" keeps nagging their deity. It's just... lame... most of the time.

Now the only thing keeping a party from actually spending most of their time adventuring is that casters have limited slots. Cantrips help, but they're still the cause for short days.

If you think it's odd or immersion-breaking that healing can happen in a few 10-minute sessions, well, it's only a matter of degree different from resting overnight.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If mundane healing wasn't as good as it is, we'd be facing multiple TPKs every other session.

Laran wrote:
It is working as intended in my opinion.

Agreed. Or as one of my player's dwarf characters likes to say, "Rub some dirt on it you big baby!" lol.

Ravingdork wrote:
It's now overpowered. IT'S NECESSARY! ;D

Stupid auto correct.

It's not overpowered. IT'S NECESSARY! ;D


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You were always going to need some kind of out of combat healing, since if "the party takes no damage in the fight" were a common occurrence, some things need rebalancing.

As far as "where that healing comes from" it's more satisfying to have it come from the person with the bandages, sutures, poultices, etc. than the golfbag full of magic wands.


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My group in Plaguestone is often walking away from fights with two party members down and the other two below 50% hp. Our "primary" healer? the Redeemer with once per 10 minutes layon hands for only 6 hp. Without treat wounds they would be in bad shape. As it is they often sit for 30+ minutes at a time while the Redeemer is constantly praying/spamming LoH.


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I've always found the discussion of hit point recovery interesting because of the folks that seem to be operating under the assumption that it isn't supposed to be a reliable and regular thing.

Like... do they really believe that in a hypothetical situation where Treat Wounds or something else didn't facilitate shoring up HP totals between encounters that the players would press onward without complaint, rather than find a way to get their HP totals back up?

The end result of taking away all the quick and efficient healing rules that don't cost limited resources isn't players taking their characters into encounters without recovering HP first - it's players being willing to go as far as retreating back to a safe enough place to rest it out for however long it takes because the choice becomes A) retreat to recuperate and potentially fail your goals as a result, or B) definitely fail your goals because the party is dead.

So it's not a question of whether or not quicker and easier recovery should be a thing: it's what you'd rather the described means of recovery be. And I am partial to the means being primarily just narrative treating of wounds because that straddles the mid-ground between "just having a bit of a breather makes everything fine" and "because magic"


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Given CLW wands were 1 standard action to use, the old system was much more prone to return to full after every single fight, given the same narrative plot timing constraints. And it should be said, not just specific narrative timing, but standard implications of Fatigue setting in after given number of hours, which is shortened in bad conditions.

If time is NOT an ignorable factor where PCs "drop out" out of the world while healing HPs, then Treat Wound limits are very much real (not to mention chance of CritFail damage), and other activities like Focus regen and Shield repair also may "compete" for out-of-combat time. So if anything I think Treat Wounds healing (vs generally more damaginge encounters) is not OP, but actually MORE at mercy of world events.


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I mean, "you, as the GM, feel the party is going through an excessive number of 10-minute activity cycles" is a perfect opportunity to use those "random encounter tables."

Since if you spend an hour in the hallway between "one room which used to have monsters" and "the next room, which probably has monsters" at some point something's going to wander out of that room.


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orphias wrote:

So ... Treat Wounds. How do you play this ability in your games. As RAW or with some house rules attached.

As written it would seem you can just Heal a PC every hour for 2d8 hps, or every 10 minutes with a feat. This seems slightly excessive. What's the point of healing magic if in 20 minutes my healers kit can restore someone that just took a sword through the chest. Some stitches & a bandage and you can do heart surgery and restore someone to full health. That's an impressive healer's kit !

Just wondering how everyone runs their games with this as a consideration, as from what I can see this has been incorporated as core rules for P2.

What's the point of healing magic? Sometimes you don't have 10 minutes to spare. Sometimes you need some healing right way. That's the point of healing magic.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, "you, as the GM, feel the party is going through an excessive number of 10-minute activity cycles" is a perfect opportunity to use those "random encounter tables."

Since if you spend an hour in the hallway between "one room which used to have monsters" and "the next room, which probably has monsters" at some point something's going to wander out of that room.

Tension pools work great for this too.


Up until recently I have been a 5E DM - so this whole unlimited mundane Treat Wounds phenomenon was a tad jarring. Still, I am seeing some fairly considerable support for the idea here :)

I must say, the ability to do some impressive muggle healing is considerable. My players just hit 3rd level. 2 of the 4 party members have picked up the following feats & skills. They can now do ...

Expert Medicine DC 20, heals 2d8+10
Ward Medic, can now treat 2 patients
Continual Recovery, Treat Wounds every 10 minutes.
Battle Medicine, 1/day encounter heal

So, generally speaking if they succeed on the DC skill checks and they both have Medicine +9 this will allow them to fully heal a PC within about 20 minutes. Damn impressive. Still, from reading over everyone's replies this seems to be a core mechanic and just a general assumption for Pathfinder. Good to know. I appreciate everyone's jumping in and giving their views on this. It certainly changed my first opinion on the subject. LOL

Will be interesting to watch and see how this plays out in the longer campaign as they enter chapter 3 of Plaguestone and then Hellknight Hill.


Biggest advantage to the new treat wounds is that it means nobody who doesn't want to play a magical healer has to. Magic healers are still plenty valuable, having ranged healing and aoe heals and faster heals than mundane healers, so someone playing a healer feels important. However, if nobody plays one the narrative can still continue without someone learning to use magic healing, it just slows down as they wait 20 minutes to heal up. If treat wounds were not an option, my current home game would not work because the party would either be too late because they rested for 3 days after each fight or they would be dead because they went into a hard fight under-health. Or would be a different party as someone would be a class capable of magic healing.


hmm, I also noticed that Treat Wounds appears to completely remove the Wounded condition.

That's pretty awesome. Means you go into every encounter with 0 Wounds. Kinda odd tho that Treat Wounds removes the Wounded condition but magical healing doesn't appear to from anything I have read so far.


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If your hit points are returned to maximum and you rest for 10 minutes your wounded condition ends, so that's how magical healing can deal with it.

Sovereign Court

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Basically, you can't get rid of the Wounded condition in combat. That seems to be exactly the point, they wanted to make 0hp-yoyo games really terrifying.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
orphias wrote:

hmm, I also noticed that Treat Wounds appears to completely remove the Wounded condition.

That's pretty awesome. Means you go into every encounter with 0 Wounds.

Only if you can always take all the time in the world after each encounter to heal. Sometimes it's not possible to spend hours healing? Sometimes it's not even possible to take 10 minutes.

Healing is highly dependent on the time constraints that the DM puts on things, and the extent to which the DM uses dynamic adversary deployment compared to static deployment.


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I also use random encounters when the players want to sit in a dangerous place and rest for hours so they can repeat the Treat Wounds cycle.

I give them 10 minutes after each battle for free (reserving the possibility for exceptions of course). They can heal, loot, whatever. After that, I expect them to be moving forward with the adventure. That could mean a lot of things, but what it can’t mean is “we do nothing for an hour so that we can heal again,”

If their time is only for healing, I will throw a chance of an encounter at them. A random table themed to the area with a chance for nothing at all to happen is great. I also have the next encounter roll perception vs the party's on watch player's stealth DC to see if the party is noticed... if I don’t want to develop a raandom encounter table for the area in question.

Here is the basic table I use.

25% chance nothing finds them and they can rest another cycle.
25% chance a Low encounter finds them
25% chance a Moderste encounter finds them
25% chance a Severe encounter finds them.

Easy enough to populate that on the fly... if in woods, use an appropriate animal or pack of animals. If in a dungeon/fortress, use creatures appropriate to the theme. And so on.

I feel the percentages are a good balance between verisimilitude and player agency... if they want a rest they have a 50% chance that they will either get away with it or have an easy fight, and a 50% chance that they will have a tough time of it.

Of course if the adventure has built in consequences for taking too much time, all of this gets put aside in favor of that specific adventure's method.. see the excellent Pathfinder Society adventure Escaping the Grave for an example.


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Wheldrake wrote:
...dynamic adversary deployment...

I love this phrase for the "random encounter" or "wondering monster" situation.

Because now I can say weird stuff like "Don't let DAD catch you in there" or "I guess that depends on when DAD gets here."

Thank you very much for that.


orphias wrote:
Up until recently I have been a 5E DM - so this whole unlimited mundane Treat Wounds phenomenon was a tad jarring. Still, I am seeing some fairly considerable support for the idea here :)

I mean, how different is it from 5e's short rest system? Sure, it's more healing than short rests, but it also has a skill check attached to it.


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This is why I love Stamina in Starfinder, and can't wait to see those rules in the GMG.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, "you, as the GM, feel the party is going through an excessive number of 10-minute activity cycles" is a perfect opportunity to use those "random encounter tables."

Since if you spend an hour in the hallway between "one room which used to have monsters" and "the next room, which probably has monsters" at some point something's going to wander out of that room.

But that GM should also read the rules which tells you paired moderate encounters will kill a PC, and paired severe encounters will kill the party.

Encounter design already is considering the focus breaks as part of the difficult encounters. If you actually want to do a survivable dungeon crawl without breaks and not a convention one shot death dungeon, then you need to use lower difficulty encounters so that players only take a few lucky shots that build up over many encounters before they need to take a longer break (much like 5e design)


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Salamileg wrote:
orphias wrote:
Up until recently I have been a 5E DM - so this whole unlimited mundane Treat Wounds phenomenon was a tad jarring. Still, I am seeing some fairly considerable support for the idea here :)
I mean, how different is it from 5e's short rest system? Sure, it's more healing than short rests, but it also has a skill check attached to it.

5e is very different there is no 10m break, only one hour break for expending your limited hit die pool. Breaks are intended after many encounters not every moderate/severe encounter. The monsters accordingly have weaker attacks designed to wear you down, you usually hit 2/3 the time, but usually only nat 20 crits, only legendary bosses are really trying to kill you.


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I like the whole Treat Wounds thing, it's nice being able to make a Harm Cleric and not having to be a Healbot.


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krazmuze wrote:
But that GM should also read the rules which tells you paired moderate encounters will kill a PC, and paired severe encounters will kill the party.

I'm not sure I agree with the notion that you should always tailor the encounters to the party level. Players need to learn that sometimes they can't charge into combat recklessly, sometimes they need to withdraw and regroup.


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The best thing about Treat Wounds is that no-one has to be a Cleric. You can get by pretty well with Treat Wounds + healing from one of the other healing classes (druid, possibly sorcerer or bard, a little from alchemists or champions) for emergency healing.

One thing I would have liked to see though is complete overnight healing, or at least an acknowledgement that if anyone in the party has Medicine, their daily rest period should be able to get everyone to full hp. I've seen Jason Buhlmahn handwave that in Knights of the Everflame, but it would be nice if it was official. That and making condition removal spells more flexible.

Sovereign Court

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Wheldrake wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
But that GM should also read the rules which tells you paired moderate encounters will kill a PC, and paired severe encounters will kill the party.
I'm not sure I agree with the notion that you should always tailor the encounters to the party level. Players need to learn that sometimes they can't charge into combat recklessly, sometimes they need to withdraw and regroup.

I always get a bit nervous when someone says "players need to learn that..." :P

When you say "charge into combat recklessly", do you mean starting another encounter, or tactics within an encounter? I mean, obviously, picking another fight when you're not at your best is risky. But any time you have a fight, chances are someone is taking damage. There's no brilliant positioning in PF2 that players can learn that will guarantee that they can get through a reasonable difficulty fight without taking a few licks. You can't raise AC high enough for that and usually can't put enough distance between you and the monsters to prevent them from getting to you.

I'd like to change the statement a bit. "Players and GMs need to learn that time between encounters is important."

As a player, you have to keep an eye on your health after an encounter and whether you need to rest, and whether you can afford to rest. Maybe you're not in a safe place, or there's a time constraint. Healing spells and potions give a party the flexibility to push on in such situations, but they're a limited resource. And focus spells, damaged shields, and "convenient loot that will help you in a later encounter" all need their 10 minute time to work on too. So you have limited time and many things to do.

As a GM, you should become intensely aware that the time between encounters, and the possibility (or not) of rest, is now a serious dungeon design element. If you want to add tension, make it harder to rest between encounters (but maybe don't use too hefty encounters). Always think about whether there's a time limit, about whether the monsters in the next room will come looking, whether there are patrols or wandering monsters.

But you also need to design enough opportunities to rest. If you don't give players the chance to rest then you either have to use only really easy encounters, or have TPKs. Neither are really fun, so you need to let sufficient resting be possible.

That has consequences for dungeon design. Really compact dungeons with monsters in every room are a bit problematic in PF2. If the encounters themselves are not trivial, then you need to come up with a reason why they're not all happening in a row. This was true in PF1 too of course, but CLW wand healing was considerably faster than Treat Wounds. So you have this time pressure element to use in designing dungeons, but also you have to think about using it.

One of the biggest very artificial problems here is the tendency to want to put the whole dungeon on one standard flipmat. But that puts the encounters very close together. I think this is bad because you can get a problematic game session because of the shape of your paper.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
But that GM should also read the rules which tells you paired moderate encounters will kill a PC, and paired severe encounters will kill the party.
I'm not sure I agree with the notion that you should always tailor the encounters to the party level. Players need to learn that sometimes they can't charge into combat recklessly, sometimes they need to withdraw and regroup.
I always get a bit nervous when someone says "players need to learn that..." :P

Seriously. That's just shy of outright saying something like "Players need to know their place." Totally not cool.


Wheldrake wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
But that GM should also read the rules which tells you paired moderate encounters will kill a PC, and paired severe encounters will kill the party.
I'm not sure I agree with the notion that you should always tailor the encounters to the party level. Players need to learn that sometimes they can't charge into combat recklessly, sometimes they need to withdraw and regroup.

If you wanna whip your players into submission with ridiculously unbalanced encounters and constant TPKs, that's your business. Some of us refuse to play with GMs who pull stunts like that.


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Ravingdork wrote:


Seriously. That's just shy of outright saying something like "Players need to know their place." Totally not cool.

Not really? The context of that post is just talking about people adapting their tactics to the game as is.

I don't really see how you get from "this tactic isn't reliable and people might have to change their strategy" to "learn your place"


Squiggit wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


Seriously. That's just shy of outright saying something like "Players need to know their place." Totally not cool.

Not really? The context of that post is just talking about people adapting their tactics to the game as is.

I don't really see how you get from "this tactic isn't reliable and people might have to change their strategy" to "learn your place"

It's the word choice and context of what the statement is in reply to.

It reads as one poster saying "A GM should be aware that this much difficult is likely to result in dead characters" and the other saying "it's in the interest of proper player education to intentionally liter their path through the game with exactly that level of difficulty"


Personally, I like having a non-magical option to patch up teammates. If magic was the only reliable way to treat injuries, every doctor in-setting would be a spellcaster.

The amount of healing provided by clerics with healing font is obviously greater than what mundane wound treatment is capable of, and it requires 1/100th of the time and can target multiple people at once. Clearly healing magic is far from falling behind.


Squiggit wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


Seriously. That's just shy of outright saying something like "Players need to know their place." Totally not cool.

Not really? The context of that post is just talking about people adapting their tactics to the game as is.

I don't really see how you get from "this tactic isn't reliable and people might have to change their strategy" to "learn your place"

I recently had some experience with the Arkham Horror LCG and it's very much on the side of "learn your place" as a player, it wasn't a good experience. One person I ended up having a 2 hour conversation with after the game was trying to understand why I didn't have fun and suggested that there was a "tutorial" scenario we'd skipped over (another player who hadn't been present didn't know that there'd been a tutorial we skipped over; I have not verified that it does exist, haven't had the time) so the game we played did a bad job of managing player expectations, as nominally speaking the second scenario we played ended in a loss.

But how bad that loss is we don't know. But in terms of the mechanics-as-presented we did about 2/6th of what we were told to do (and due to random luck only actually got credit for 1/6th, as the last action of the game didn't deal 1 damage to a monster so it survived; if it had died we'd have gotten another turn, maybe two, which could have gotten a 3rd sixth, but for sure by killing it we would have had 2/6ths).

And that sense of just how far off we were from the "win" condition made for a bad experience. Combined with the "mythos" phase being the game throwing stuff in your way that you can't even plan for, much less mitigate, plus the general on-average-you-fail when attempting a check just rubs me the wrong way. Also random keywords that don't make it clear that they're keywords. The scenario said we win when we "find and kill six unique Cultists." 'Unique' there is a specific, magic keyword. It does not mean "six cultists with differently named cards." It means "six cultists that their card includes a * in their name" (and also happens that those cards are ones that generate victory/exp points).

Anyway.

Learning that sometimes you need to run away is fine. But the GM being a dick about it isn't. "By the way, as you're patching yourselves up, you get jumped. (The players should run from this fight)" is being a dick. Entering a fight with full resources, the players should expect to win. There's no reason to expect that they should run from a fight when they've just gotten up from an 8 hour rest. The only time this is acceptable is when they know the next fight is the Big Bad final boss. They know they're going to expend every resource they have and that it will be a tough fight.

What they don't expect is to get dropped into a Serious Encounter where if they don't run a player will be outright dead. "Surprise! Boss fight!" isn't fun.


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Draco18s wrote:
"Surprise! Boss fight!" isn't fun.

I don't think there's a commonly accepted definition of what's fun and what isn't in roleplaying games.


Draco18s wrote:
I recently had some experience with the Arkham Horror LCG...

If you haven't played it, and like the themes and style of Mythos-related games, I'd suggest Elder Sign. Of all the games in Fantasy Flight's Cthulhu line that I've played it is the one with the best input/output ratio of setup and play and actually achieving things, has decent chances of success, and room to strategize a little bit - plus it hasn't ever unintentionally ran 8 hours long like I've had happen with some other games.

Draco18s wrote:
"Surprise! Boss fight!" isn't fun.

This is where the term "telegraphing" comes in. If an extreme threat (or worse) encounter is properly telegraphed the players will be saying "we'll probably die, but let's try it anyways!" if they end up in that encounter, and it will have been legitimately their choice to take on that encounter or go a different way (contrast to a random die roll result determining if the encounter starts or not, or the encounter being guaranteed to start and the players needing to realize this is the one they are meant to avoid/escape).

Encounters without telegraphing leave the players with questions like "How was I supposed to know?" or "How could that have gone any differently?" and, in my experience, often leave a bad enough taste in the players' mouths that the thing they learn is not "character can get into difficult encounters and need to be able to identify those and retreat when appropriate" but "I shouldn't let this GM run games for me" instead.

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