Solid healers who aren’t clerics?


Advice

Scarab Sages

So for PFS I have been making my way through both heritages and classes, trying to not repeat any. So I have a Dwarf Bard, Goblin Monk, human Rogue, Tiefling Cleric, Elven Investigator, 1/2 elf Barbarian, and Aasimar Magus. But I’ve been noticing in society play a distinct lack of people who can heal. My Tiefling cleric is already in high demand even though she isn’t optimal. So I am thinking of starting another healer character for low levels and I’m just wondering what to do. Another divine caster seems like a natural, but I am trying to figure out which way to go. I was leaning Wyrmblessed sorcerer, into dragon disciple for flavor, as the 4/ spells/day/level and the feat divine evolution seems like I could throw out a lot of healing in a pinch or, on missions where healing isn’t as nessissary, throw out other magic. A fervor witch could also be a way of doing things, any suggestions out there?

I don’t need to be able to heal AS GOOD as a cleric, but I want to have enough healing to get a party through a mission.


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Forensic Investigator is an amazing healer. Take Assurance Medicine and Expert Medicine at 2 and you have guaranteed successes. You can easily rack up all the basic medicine feats fast and you can battle medicine everyone once an hour.

Add Medic Dedication for more nonsense.


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I prefer primal caster myself. The druid is makes a great party healer while also bring a ton more to the table.

Fervor witch is good too. My buddy prefers the Fervor Witch for the party healer because he likes buffing people's damage and using hexes when not healing.

I also like primal or divine sorcerers. Elemental or angel sorcerer make good healer with other abilities. Or Psychopomp.

Some of the oracles are fun too. Cosmos oracle is surprisingly durable with their damage resistance.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Fervor witch is good too. My buddy prefers the Fervor Witch for the party healer because he likes buffing people's damage and using hexes when not healing.

I haven't gotten a chance to actually play mine in a game, so I can't be certain about it. But hearing that it works well for other players is good news.

------

Generally I don't like having to use powerful spell slots with the Heal spell. That is why Cleric is nice - they get a pile of top-level Heal spells as a separate resource. Trying to do that with other classes such as Oracle, Sorcerer, Witch, or Druid feels less than ideal.

Making a good after-combat heal character is a lot easier. Then things like focus spell healing and medicine skill healing come into play.

One that I noticed recently that I thought was amusing is Sorcerer with Phoenix bloodline. It is uncommon and PFS-limited though. But a focus spell that does AOE healing as well as damage is just fascinating (can't be used to heal yourself though, which is a bit of a significant drawback). Gets Primal spell list too, so Heal is still on the table.


I play an Angelic Sorcerer in PFS. Healing has been central to my character the first 2 levels, secondary to my character the 2 next levels and since then I nearly never heal (I'm even thinking in retraining the Divine Evolution feat as I never use it).
My experience is that healing is extremely valuable at low level and at mid to high level it becomes only important as an emergency ability. That's why I don't find Clerics to be that interesting as very quickly their ability to cast tons of Heal becomes overkill.

That's also why, in my opinion, any character with access to Heal is a healer. You just need a couple of high level spell slots invested in Heal and you're set as a healer. I also find that characters relying on Medicine (when they have at least the Medic Archetype) are pretty potent healers able to save the day when you really need it. I also play an Alchemist, and I've been able to maintain my party alive despite the lack of other healer (I must admit that being able to put Elixirs of Life in the Monk's hands has been very handy).

I think when it comes to healing, you have a lot of choice. Cleric, Divine/Primal Sorcerer, Oracle, Divine/Primal Witch, Summoner, Alchemist (but not before level 5 so not that interesting for you) are all excellent healers. Bard, Forensic Investigator, Champion, Medic or Blessed One archetypes can be supplemental healers.
So, I'd say: Play what you like and it should be fine.

Grand Archive

My personal experience has been with Life Boost from witch as a foundation. If you grab that in some way or another and have your familiar get the 1/day focus point rejuvenation, you have most of the healing you need. If you add in a casting of spirit link, you're golden.


Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
My personal experience has been with Life Boost from witch as a foundation. If you grab that in some way or another and have your familiar get the 1/day focus point rejuvenation, you have most of the healing you need. If you add in a casting of spirit link, you're golden.

Life Boost has been a really useful hex.


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Alchemist's get a feat at level 4 that lets them throw elixirs of life at people to heal them from a distance.

Honestly I think the image of pelting a bottle at the back of someone's head and yelling "Be Healed!" is hilarious.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

Alchemist's get a feat at level 4 that lets them throw elixirs of life at people to heal them from a distance.

Honestly I think the image of pelting a bottle at the back of someone's head and yelling "Be Healed!" is hilarious.

The video game Final Fantasy Tactics does exactly that too. So if you want to literally watch an animation of that, there is where to find it.


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

Alchemist's get a feat at level 4 that lets them throw elixirs of life at people to heal them from a distance.

Honestly I think the image of pelting a bottle at the back of someone's head and yelling "Be Healed!" is hilarious.

Unfortunately it's quite a trap feat though.

It's only for quick Alchemy AND additive 2.

That means that at until 6th level, you spend a full reagent and 2 actions (1 to create and 1 to throw) to heal... 1d6 hp.

Alternatively for 1 more action, you spend 1/3rd of a reagent to heal 3d6+6. Still bad, but not 1d6. No feat required.

In general, your elixirs are already behind the curve, but at least plentiful.

This feat removes the plentiful component of them, and gets them even further behind.

Especially because Elixirs (for some reason that still eludes me) are not upgraded at every "spell level" but instead every 2 "spell levels", going further 2 level behinds means that for half your levels, your healing "bombs" are so far behind the curve that spending actions on them actively hinders you.

P. S.
And all that still doesn't account that you can simply whiff and spend all that for literally nothing. And the "counterbalance" to whiffing and doing nothing is... The elixir actually working fully lol.

If pf2 wanted to avoid "trap feats" they failed on this one.

Liberty's Edge

Bard + Barber Background + Medic Archetype (If you're using Free Archetype this pairs exceptionally well with Maestro Muse as it grants Soothe for free along with Lingering Composition which you then with your first actual Bard Feat selection, Hymn of Healing, so that you don't need to spend actions to actually maintain it every round)

This is pretty much all the healing that most any reasonably balanced party will ever need and it comes both in-combat and downtime healing and it provides the best suite of buffs and party support that the game currently has to offer.


shroudb wrote:
Especially because Elixirs (for some reason that still eludes me) are not upgraded at every "spell level" but instead every 2 "spell levels", going further 2 level behinds means that for half your levels, your healing "bombs" are so far behind the curve that spending actions on them actively hinders you.

Well, they are heightened double every other level. The equivalent of Heightened (+2) +2d6+6 HP restored. It still comes out to about 1d6+3 per spell level equivalent. And then -3 from that result because why not.

The reason seems to be to interlace the increase from Elixir of Life with Potion of Healing - which also heightens erratically.


Healing 1 HP at range on a dying person can be quite useful.


SuperBidi wrote:

I play an Angelic Sorcerer in PFS. Healing has been central to my character the first 2 levels, secondary to my character the 2 next levels and since then I nearly never heal (I'm even thinking in retraining the Divine Evolution feat as I never use it).

My experience is that healing is extremely valuable at low level and at mid to high level it becomes only important as an emergency ability. That's why I don't find Clerics to be that interesting as very quickly their ability to cast tons of Heal becomes overkill.

That's also why, in my opinion, any character with access to Heal is a healer. You just need a couple of high level spell slots invested in Heal and you're set as a healer. I also find that characters relying on Medicine (when they have at least the Medic Archetype) are pretty potent healers able to save the day when you really need it. I also play an Alchemist, and I've been able to maintain my party alive despite the lack of other healer (I must admit that being able to put Elixirs of Life in the Monk's hands has been very handy).

I think when it comes to healing, you have a lot of choice. Cleric, Divine/Primal Sorcerer, Oracle, Divine/Primal Witch, Summoner, Alchemist (but not before level 5 so not that interesting for you) are all excellent healers. Bard, Forensic Investigator, Champion, Medic or Blessed One archetypes can be supplemental healers.
So, I'd say: Play what you like and it should be fine.

I agree. Healing is an important role in combat but a lot of the time is is just useless. What are you doing in the early round or two of combat before anyone is significantly hurt? Are you near the end of the combat - you can probably clean up on the healing with out of combat healing abilitites rather than wasting precious slots.

You can always make Healing more relevant by not contributing towards the attack. It will often just buy you extra time.

But after the first few levels, I normally find that you actually need to heal only when you suffer a major setback in an encounter, or you need to change tactics. So maybe a third of all encounters. Still a very very useful ability. But do you need to overspecialize in it?

Grand Archive

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'Healing' and 'healers' have different expectations with different groups. Presuming that your expectations of a healer/healing is universal is...well...presumptuous.

When I play healers, I go all in. The character is built for healing and nothing else. If they happen to end up with a damaging ability (Divine Lance in this system), lucky me. The sheer efficiency of my 2e healer has caused me to twiddle my thumbs a number of times in different combats. Could I have built more damaging options? Yes. Did I want to? No. I have yet to hear bemoaning about my healers in spite of this.

[soapbox]
Different people view healing/healers differently. If you get one at your table, one who volunteers to be the healer. I'd suggest being kind to that person. They do not have to heal you. People willing to play healers tend to be more rare. Take what you can get.
[/soapbox]


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Good luck to you. For one off games I do the same, but I find overspecialization to be a problem for a long cmapaign.

I normally design an overspecialized build with all the bells and whistles, so I can understand everything that contributes to my goal. Then I whittle it down. Which of these is really essential and contributes in a meaningful way in a reasonable number of situations? Then I use the freed up space in the characters design to have a plan B and a plan C.

Liberty's Edge

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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

'Healing' and 'healers' have different expectations with different groups. Presuming that your expectations of a healer/healing is universal is...well...presumptuous.

When I play healers, I go all in. The character is built for healing and nothing else. If they happen to end up with a damaging ability (Divine Lance in this system), lucky me. The sheer efficiency of my 2e healer has caused me to twiddle my thumbs a number of times in different combats. Could I have built more damaging options? Yes. Did I want to? No. I have yet to hear bemoaning about my healers in spite of this.

[soapbox]
Different people view healing/healers differently. If you get one at your table, one who volunteers to be the healer. I'd suggest being kind to that person. They do not have to heal you. People willing to play healers tend to be more rare. Take what you can get.
[/soapbox]

Someone who built a character who does not contribute as much as they can is not welcome at my table. I do not care why they do it and what character they play.

PC parties are dependent on each other. Having someone not fully playing the team game puts a heavy burden on other players.


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breithauptclan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Especially because Elixirs (for some reason that still eludes me) are not upgraded at every "spell level" but instead every 2 "spell levels", going further 2 level behinds means that for half your levels, your healing "bombs" are so far behind the curve that spending actions on them actively hinders you.

Well, they are heightened double every other level. The equivalent of Heightened (+2) +2d6+6 HP restored. It still comes out to about 1d6+3 per spell level equivalent. And then -3 from that result because why not.

The reason seems to be to interlace the increase from Elixir of Life with Potion of Healing - which also heightens erratically.

yes, but a healer, doesnt heal with healing potions.

for chirurgeon, that's fatal mistake in scaling. and it's one of the core reasons why chirurgeon can never be considered a main healer for a party.

again, you are healing 1d6 hp at level 4.
You are healing 3d6+6 at level 8
and etc.

basically the breakpoints are terrible for absolutely no reason.

probably skimmed on the elixirs to save space, but for what's worth, for something as inherentlyimportant as a whole class mechanic, i wish they simply removed a bunch of magic items and had ore alchemical ones so as to nomralise the curve.


I DM Abomination Vaults for quite a lot of players. I have 2 dedicated healers in the parties. At the beginning of the campaign, they were awesome. The parties without them were struggling far more. Now that we reach the second half of the campaign, I see them struggling. They make miserable healing during the first rounds trying to top everyone and end up being both useless and lacking lasting power (as they try to heal every round). On the other hand, due to their lack of contribution, combats are far more deadly for the parties having them. Overall, they are a burden. PF2 is a game where overspecialization is a bad idea.

@Shroudb: With proper coordination, Chirurgeons make great healers. Not before level 5, I agree. But after that, you can heal twice per round (Valet + 2 Elixirs) during many rounds. You just need to properly position yourself (I play my Chirurgeon on the frontline or just behind the martials).
Also, as you can heal for just one action, I tend to use more 'small' healings during combats. One action here, one action there, just to keep PCs away from harm.
It's obviously not equivalent to healing with a Cleric, but it competes with secondary healers.


The Raven Black wrote:
Someone who built a character who does not contribute as much as they can is not welcome at my table. I do not care why they do it and what character they play.

What happens when how much they think they can contribute differs from how much you think they can contribute?

Liberty's Edge

Watery Soup wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Someone who built a character who does not contribute as much as they can is not welcome at my table. I do not care why they do it and what character they play.
What happens when how much they think they can contribute differs from how much you think they can contribute?

As long as they play the team game, why would there be a problem ?

We can talk about it and share ideas.

And they just might give me precious tips on how to improve my own contribution.


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SuperBidi wrote:


@Shroudb:
Also, as you can heal for just one action, I tend to use more 'small' healings during combats. One action here, one action there, just to keep PCs away from harm.
It's obviously not equivalent to healing with a Cleric, but it competes with secondary healers.

you cannot heal with 1 action though.

you can heal with one action ONCE per encounter, from melee range. That's a huge difference. (since you can start with 1 vial on hand)

As an example, simply picking Blessed dedication gives a better heal for 1 action (it also grants AC bonus for a round via lay on hands) or, if you want 1 action healings, you can go Witch and use her focus power for ranged 1 action healing.

Healing with elixirs is simultaneously both action economy wise inneficient (1 action to draw (or 0.5 action to draw with valet), 1 action to administer, 1 action to move vs 2 action spells) and output inneficient.

the only thing they are better is in their quantity.

But that means that you need to keep spending actions to "keep up" with the more efficient spell healing, so effectively what happens is that you heal the same, yes. But they heal the same PLUS do all other kind of stuff like control or damage "in the same amount of rounds/actions".

Chirurgeons are at best off-healers imo.

You "can" play them as main healers, but you'll far more inefficient than any other healer out there. Because any other healer can do the same healing as you and still have actions to spend providing other effects.


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shroudb wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:


@Shroudb:
Also, as you can heal for just one action, I tend to use more 'small' healings during combats. One action here, one action there, just to keep PCs away from harm.
It's obviously not equivalent to healing with a Cleric, but it competes with secondary healers.

you cannot heal with 1 action though.

you can heal with one action ONCE per encounter, from melee range. That's a huge difference. (since you can start with 1 vial on hand)

As an example, simply picking Blessed dedication gives a better heal for 1 action (it also grants AC bonus for a round via lay on hands) or, if you want 1 action healings, you can go Witch and use her focus power for ranged 1 action healing.

Healing with elixirs is simultaneously both action economy wise inneficient (1 action to draw (or 0.5 action to draw with valet), 1 action to administer, 1 action to move vs 2 action spells) and output inneficient.

the only thing they are better is in their quantity.

But that means that you need to keep spending actions to "keep up" with the more efficient spell healing, so effectively what happens is that you heal the same, yes. But they heal the same PLUS do all other kind of stuff like control or damage "in the same amount of rounds/actions".

Chirurgeons are at best off-healers imo.

You "can" play them as main healers, but you'll far more inefficient than any other healer out there. Because any other healer can do the same healing as you and still have actions to spend providing other effects.

I disagree on many things. First, depending on your Familiar you can have 3 of them 'at hand', if you go for Independent and Manual Dexterity.

Also, it's true that you are more constrained in terms of action economy, but I've rarely seen healers use their third action effectively. From first hand experience, it works, I don't have to move often (I position myself properly), and I also use Elixirs a lot on me.
Also, the sheer quantity is important. When a Blessed One will use their healing only if it's necessary, you can more easily use your healing as you know you can always draw more.
Overall, I've found that Strike + Heal + Stride/Valet is a proper round for an Alchemist. Sure, I can go Blessed One or whatever, but it costs me feats and Dedication, when the Elixirs of Life are available from my class.
And in terms of output, they are following roughly the 2-action Heal output (half of it, but you can use 2 per round). Unless you only consider topmost Heal, you'll be on par with other healers who don't always want to use their highest level spell slot on healing.

I will never consider Elixirs of Life like the pinacle of healing. But they are better than putting you in an off-healer position. I've found them quite reliable.


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SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:


@Shroudb:
Also, as you can heal for just one action, I tend to use more 'small' healings during combats. One action here, one action there, just to keep PCs away from harm.
It's obviously not equivalent to healing with a Cleric, but it competes with secondary healers.

you cannot heal with 1 action though.

you can heal with one action ONCE per encounter, from melee range. That's a huge difference. (since you can start with 1 vial on hand)

As an example, simply picking Blessed dedication gives a better heal for 1 action (it also grants AC bonus for a round via lay on hands) or, if you want 1 action healings, you can go Witch and use her focus power for ranged 1 action healing.

Healing with elixirs is simultaneously both action economy wise inneficient (1 action to draw (or 0.5 action to draw with valet), 1 action to administer, 1 action to move vs 2 action spells) and output inneficient.

the only thing they are better is in their quantity.

But that means that you need to keep spending actions to "keep up" with the more efficient spell healing, so effectively what happens is that you heal the same, yes. But they heal the same PLUS do all other kind of stuff like control or damage "in the same amount of rounds/actions".

Chirurgeons are at best off-healers imo.

You "can" play them as main healers, but you'll far more inefficient than any other healer out there. Because any other healer can do the same healing as you and still have actions to spend providing other effects.

I disagree on many things. First, depending on your Familiar you can have 3 of them 'at hand', if you go for Independent and Manual Dexterity.

Also, it's true that you are more constrained in terms of action economy, but I've rarely seen healers use their third action effectively. From first hand experience, it works, I don't have to move often (I position myself properly), and I also use Elixirs a lot on me.
Also, the sheer quantity is important. When a...

I find your insistence on not accounting for the move action completely skewers the truth.

It is a fact, that people move while in combat. Any time anyone of your melees move, you have to move as well.

Since that happens in the majority of rounds, no matter your uncanny positioning, in the majority of rounds, you spend 3 actions for 1 elixir.

So you spend 50% more actions for 50%*less healing.

Giving chirurgeon abysmal output.

At least this has also been my actual experience where chirurgeon needs to be extremely heavily houseruled just to be brought up to par.

If your experience is different, good for you, but for anyone inexperienced with chirurgeon, my advice is clear: don't pick him up as a "main healer".


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shroudb wrote:
Since that happens in the majority of rounds, no matter your uncanny positioning, in the majority of rounds, you spend 3 actions for 1 elixir.

I've used 1-action Elixirs of Life, 1.5-action Elixirs of Life (most of the time) and 2-action Elixirs of Life. But 3-action Elixirs of Life, I don't recall. How come considering that I should do that "in the majority of rounds"?

Because in the majority of rounds, I don't need 3-actions. Either I don't need to move or I don't need to draw.

First, movement can be used for many things. The caster who got attacked at melee range will move, they can move next to me to get their healing. Martials also move, and sometimes, they can get back for a move instead of getting next to an enemy and take their 3-action routine. I also move to position my bombs, and I always move next to a lot of allies. And I sometimes heal myself.

Another important point about healing with an Alchemist is that you can heal while doing your main thing. And that's hard for casters. My Angelic Sorcerer very often use 1-action Heal because it's the only form of healing that goes well next to a Fireball. Let's be honest, the healing efficiency is low and I'd prefer to have my Alchemist healing efficiency.

And you completely forget about the other healers difficulties. Sorcerers and Witches have low AC and lower hit points. It's a weakness.
Witches and Druids are prepared casters with 3 max slots. You can't take much healing in such spell list.
I have an Oracle, and you will hardly convince me to Heal with a highest slot so I very often have a lower healing per action than what I should get.

The only point I agree with you is that I would discourage a beginner to play an Alchemist. Actually, I would in general discourage someone to play an Alchemist (but in that case we speak of PFS and PFS is a nice environment for an Alchemist).

Considering all our discussions, I really think we don't play our Alchemists the same way. I don't think you're wrong, I think we don't have the same experience (whatever the reason).


Tender Tendrils wrote:

Alchemist's get a feat at level 4 that lets them throw elixirs of life at people to heal them from a distance.

Honestly I think the image of pelting a bottle at the back of someone's head and yelling "Be Healed!" is hilarious.

Make sure to shout "Apply directly to the forehead!" when you do.

More on-topic, we have a life oracle in our group right now, and they've been a pretty helpful healer. They mostly use spot-healing with their revelation spells, sharing their HP with the rest of us passively while they blast the enemy. That and some out of combat healing between the oracle and ranger means the only character we have had go down to Dying so far was the ranger's animal companion.

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