How useful are basic healing potions in 4e?

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As per the potion, it heals 10 hp instead of your normal surge value but still costs you a surge.

How useful is one of these potions if:

1.  You have no surges left.
2.  Your surge value is equal to or greater than 10.

If you pour one down an unconcious player's throat who has no surges left, does anything happen?
1. It's not useful at all. You must spend a surge to gain any effect from a Healing Potion. You cannot spend a surge if you have none left.

2. No matter what your surge value is, using a potion is a minor action heal, which can, in a pinch, mean the difference between living and dying. If your surge value is greater than 10, you're sacrificing efficiency for expediency. You can heal up some and attack in the same turn, which is generaly VERY preferable compared to using Second Wind as standard action.

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

As per the potion, it heals 10 hp instead of your normal surge value but still costs you a surge.

...

If you pour one down an unconcious player's throat who has no surges left, does anything happen?

The unconscious creature is restored to 1 hit point and becomes conscious, assuming the unconsciousness was caused by Dying.

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Novacat has it right. Edit: except the bit about no effect: FLAvatar has that right.

On 2, you should also consider the count of leader heals and other options in the party. You can view healing potions as a reserve to that. They are costly and maybe inefficient, but less so than being knocked unconscious early, allowing team monster to survive longer, doing more damage. Plus there is the risk of dying . . .
Novacat has it right. Edit: except the bit about no effect: FLAvatar has that right.

On 2, you should also consider the count of leader heals and other options in the party. You can view healing potions as a reserve to that. They are costly and maybe inefficient, but less so than being knocked unconscious early, allowing team monster to survive longer, doing more damage. Plus there is the risk of dying . . .



Pretty much this. I highly recommend every party member have a small number of healing potions (like 2 or something) on hand, and not expect to use them frequently. A well functioning party will not use them 99% of the time, and that 1% of the time it will be a huge difference and possibly even tip the scales from TPK to no deaths. Think of it like bringing a parachute on an airplane. You didn't bring it because you expect to use it.. you bring it because on the rare instance when you need it, you -NEED- it.
The most important reason for each party member to carry at least one basic healing potion - to administer it to the party healer/leader if the leader is dying.
 
  They also come in handy when the party gets separated during an encounter so that healer can't heal a party member easily, such as:
1) Wall effects
2) Changing Terrain (land slides, traps, moving walls, etc)
3) the healer is  Immobilzed/Restrained/Dazed/Dominated/Petrified, etc
4) Party member falls into a bit, initiating a 2nd encounter (Example: My ranger was lured/slid into a pit by some Harpies, then at the bottom of the bit there were a couple of Carrion Crawlers)

 Also, for extended encounters or chained encounters where the leader runs out of healing power.
I have a fighter who is lvl 17+ that uses the potion because they make me spend a healing surge  I gut the 10 points but who cares about that its the secondary affects thats i care about  i use one every other round to get the bonus  so its the secondary effects i want  alot of time.     we have been is a couple of tights where you had to have the potions,
2.  Your surge value is equal to or greater than 10.



It's still useful. IMC (I'm the DM), we have a dwarven cleric specced for healing but without Sacred Flame or Pacifist Healer; with Healing Word 2/encounter (naturally), Bastion of Health (1/encounter, minor action, lets a PC use a healing surge but with fewer bonus hp), Inspiring Word 1/day (multi-classed with warlord) and at least two daily utility powers that work like Cure Light Wounds. IF the heroes find they still need more healing (it's happened!), being able to spend a minor action to heal is still useful.

PC healing surges are starting to exceed 10 at this point, but more importantly, clerical healing gives loads of bonus hp (+2d6 + Wis + a few other bonuses; I think an average of +12 hp!), so the healing is small. Still, if you've got a minor action to spare and are low on hit points, 10 hp isn't something to sneeze at. You use them when the cleric is out of encounter heals and doesn't want to break out the standard action-using Cure Light Wounds yet, nor do you want to break out the standard action-using Second Wind, either.

I have a fighter who is lvl 17+ that uses the potion because they make me spend a healing surge  I gut the 10 points but who cares about that its the secondary affects thats i care about  i use one every other round to get the bonus  so its the secondary effects i want  alot of time.     we have been is a couple of tights where you had to have the potions,



You're probably talking about the Potion of Vitality, not Potion of Healing. The Potion of Vitality is a paragon-level healing item, it restores 25 hp and lets you make a saving throw against one effect. Is that what you meant? Because the basic Potion of Healing only lets you heal, it does nothing more.
I've gone through heroic levels (1-10) with a melee warlock and had the same healing potion at tenth that I got at first. So the potion is only useful if you expect to drop below 10hp at some point. If you don't, then it just collects dust. Wink
I have a fighter who is lvl 17+ that uses the potion because they make me spend a healing surge  I gut the 10 points but who cares about that its the secondary affects thats i care about  i use one every other round to get the bonus  so its the secondary effects i want  alot of time.     we have been is a couple of tights where you had to have the potions,



What secondary effects? You don't get any bonuses for spending a healing surge. I think you're thinking of Second Wind, which is just another way to spend a surge. Healing potions do not allow you to use your Second Wind.
Uryal is most likely referring to the various feats (e.g. Disciple of Light, Disciple of Stone, Disciple of Vengeance, Virtuous Recovery, Resurgent Attack, Unnatural Stamina, We Were Once One...) that give you other benefits whenever you spend a surge. If you regularly have more surges available than you really need for pure healing (as is quite likely if you're a fighter), it can sometimes be worthwhile to spend them on other benefits.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."

Thankyou duskweaver you right igot a couple of those feets and ive gone threw full mods never needing a healing for my fighter ie surge value after battle enough
Inefficient but they can save lives. If you're having to use them regually, something is going wrong.
Using them normally takes two minor actions (one to retrieve it, one to drink), or a minor action to retrieve it standard action to adminster it to someone else. So more effort than most healing powers that comes off minor actions or as part of other powers.

Unless you have less than 40HP, they heal less than a normal surge. This will be most characters level 4 and over.
Most Leader powers let you heal extra as well.

I assumed if you're out of surges, you simply can't be healed. But! you're right:
Page 295 PH
When you are dying and receive healing, you go to 0 hitpoints and then regain hit points from the healing effect. If the healing effect requires you to spend a healing surge but you have none left, you are restored to 1 hit point.

I'd somehow failed to notice this in six years of playing! This makes them vasty more useful than I first thought.
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