Let Clerics Heal


I may be in the minority here (or perhaps I'm just an old guy), but in the next version of the game we all love can we go back to the idea that clerics heal folks?

The healing surges/second wind mechanic from 4e felt very wrong to me. I know we are playing elves and wizards and such, but having a fighter "magically" heal himself didn't even make sense within the fantasy genre from which D&D was born. Having  the clerics heal with spells just made more sense - they channeled the power of their gods and the gods granted healing.

We don't need to have every class be able to do the things other classes can. Niches are good. You don't spend your whole life studying the powers of the cosmos to become a mighty wizard and also be the master at the great sword. If you want to do both, you aren't going to be as good at either as someone who focused on only one.

Multiclassing is good. Sacrifices are good. But let's return to more logical things....please?

 
Sure. Just let fighters be the only ones who do damage. And rogues the only one with skills.
The idea that the living body can recover from exhaustion and pain is 'illogical'?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
You want to play Palladium Fantasy.

That is the game you want, go check out Palladium Fantasy, it has everything you desire D&D to be.
I'd agree with you - if only the loss of hit points represented physical damage and only physical damage.

But since it doesn't, since it also represents fatigue, pain, even morale - I have no problem with non-magical healing.

I'm not saying that the 4E system can' t be improved upon.  I just don't necessarily agree that healing need be restricted to spellcasters

Carl
The "more logical thing" is precisely what people said to correct before 4e came out. No one wanted to be forced into the role of a healer, so we got a workable self healing mechanic. The fighter didn't "magically" heal himself. He gritted his teeth and worked through the pain. The fact that this abstraction is lost on some people tells me how literally those people take the words "health points".

Clerics are natrually going to be a superior brand of healer. They always have been and always will be. But that doesn't mean that if a party wants someone to be able to heal them that only the guy playing a Cleric should be able to do it, or any leadery type class for that matter. Self healing is important. It's not entirely out of the scope of possibility that when the Ranger takes his second wind he's really using some mystic forest medicines to help close wounds and numb pain away. How you can flavor the mechanics is only as limited as your own imagination.
I'd agree with you - if only the loss of hit points represented physical damage and only physical damage.

But since it doesn't, since it also represents fatigue, pain, even morale - I have no problem with non-magical healing.
 
Carl



Not to mention luck and the depletion of miraculous and magical energies ... atleast according to EGG.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 


I may be in the minority here (or perhaps I'm just an old guy), but in the next version of the game we all love can we go back to the idea that clerics heal folks?

The healing surges/second wind mechanic from 4e felt very wrong to me. I know we are playing elves and wizards and such, but having a fighter "magically" heal himself didn't even make sense within the fantasy genre from which D&D was born. Having  the clerics heal with spells just made more sense - they channeled the power of their gods and the gods granted healing.

We don't need to have every class be able to do the things other classes can. Niches are good. You don't spend your whole life studying the powers of the cosmos to become a mighty wizard and also be the master at the great sword. If you want to do both, you aren't going to be as good at either as someone who focused on only one.

Multiclassing is good. Sacrifices are good. But let's return to more logical things....please?

 



The fighter can't magically heal himself. It's called Second Wind for a reason. It is just that. It is also something you can only do once per encounter.

Clerics DO heal in 4e, and they are the best at it. If a Fighter has to use Second Wind, things are going very badly. The leader is probably out of healing, and the Fighter has to give up his standard action to burn a healing surge which is FAR less efficient than if a Cleric had healed him. So, no damage, no mark, no conditions, nothing. Just a flat 1/4 hp heal.

One other thing. You seem to sitll be caught up on the idea that hp = health. They do not explicity represent health, nor have they ever done so. 
While I don't disagree with the arguments for surges here at least from a logical standpoint, the fact still remains that healing surges destroy my immersion in the game.  I think most of the people hating surges feel the same way.  It just doesn't feel right.  It's hard to get over it.  

So I've been thinking of ways of achieving a similar effect without destroy our sense of versimilitude while still solving the problem that surges is addressing.

1. Limit the number of times a player can receive a healing power of any sort to x number of times per day.
2. Make healing cheap and easy.  Healing potions that do a surge worth of healing can be purchased for a trifle.
3. Clerics and other healing classes still heal magically.
4. Non-magic classes that used to provide healing now have abilities that permit them to allow another character to drink a potion as a free action.

I think the above would go a long way towards solving some of the versimilitude issues while still covering the needs of the surge concept.

 
Healing surges are nothing more than an expression of the Encounter vs Daily mechanic.

Hit points are your "Encounter HP", while healing surges are your "Daily HP".  You have a limited amount of HP per encounter (based on how many surges you can access in an encounter, which will depend on party composition), and you have a limited amount of HP per day (based on your surges per day).  They are two separate limits.

That's the mechanical separation that surges provide.  If you want to come up with a way to replace surges, then that's your goal.  Everything else is secondary to providing the ability to separate HP into an encounter resource and a daily resource in one.


(I don't entirely think this is a good thing, btw, but it's the thing that surges do.)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
Second wind, imho, if perfectly logical and makes absolute sense (given an understanding of hit points as described above).

Warlord healing is a bit more problematic.  Specifically warlords healing unconscious characters with a word from twenty-five feet away.

If I'm unconscious (and the rules, mechanics and fluff all indicate that I am when at 0 hp) how does his 'inspiring word' stir me to rise to my feet and keep on fighting?

If you really want to make the game a bit more 'immersive', and also give clerics (and other divine healiers) a real advantage - change their healing powers so that only clerics can heal you once you are down.  The warlord might be great at "healing" the party during the fight - as long as he gets that inspring word off before you fall unconscious.  Maybe he even has a touch 1, standard action ability to get you going again once you are down  (slap a bandage on you, splash some water in your face and kick you in the rear).  But only the cleric can call upon his deity to quickly (and remotely) get you going when you are down.

Carl

Disclaimer:  Although I used 4E terms in the above, obviously there is no reason to assume 4E like mechanics.  It's just easier to describe concepts that way.

Addendum:  I personally wouldn't mind a two-phase hit point system, say "Body Points" and "Fatigue Points", with damage being taken off of the latter before being taken out of the former.  And with warlords being restricted to restoring the latter while only clerics can restore the former.

But that's not particularly D&D like and I don't expect to see anything like that in the future.

CFT
4. Non-magic classes that used to provide healing now have abilities that permit them to allow another character to drink a potion as a free action.



"HEY FIGHTER, OPEN UP" *Warlord pegs a potion into the fighters mouth*

What part of that makes sense?

What part of that makes more sense than "we can do it! We're fighting for the villagers, we MUST NOT FAIL, we CANNOT fail!" And the fighter gets all tingly and adrenal.

How strange is it really that many equate HP with health? That idea is reinforced in almost all media (computer games, cartoons, movies, what have you) all the time, and even in the game itself: Damage is dealt by hitting them in the noggin with a hefty axe, dousing them with fire, stabbing them in the ankle with a poisoned dagger...


Morale is more often expressed in terms of "fighting better", something like a +1 to hit. If you sleep with the BBEGs wife the night before the big showdown and makes sure he learns of it - has he lost HP from this? If you're in a good mood from doing this deed (or you're just feeling good because you helped an old lady get her cat down from a tree) - do you enter battle with a nice little HP bonus? To my knowledge, D&D has never worked like this.


Sure, HP is an abstraction, and Second Wind is probably like some Rocky movie where Sly is nearly down and out and then finds new courage, but frankly I find it only natural that many perceive HP as physical wounds.

The idea that the living body can recover from exhaustion and pain is 'illogical'?



No not illogical. Bodies can recover given time. The issue that I had with surges and second wind was that it happened instantly.

I understand the folks that want to play clerics without being type-cast as the "healer", but that's not a great reason to give healing and/or recovering abilities to all classes. I've played clerics who didn't heal, and it did create issues in the party, they were roleplaying issues and made the game much cooler.

I also get the whole hp isn't health idea, but I just can't buy into it. That's just me.

I just liked the days where you had to memorize spells, powers were for those who had the gift (arcane, psionic, divine or otherwise), and the melee folks concentrated on tactics, weapons and damage. Some of the things in 3.5/4e added to this and some detracted. I'm just putting in my two cents for a nod back toward classic d&d-esque Healing/spell casting.
While I don't disagree with the arguments for surges here at least from a logical standpoint, the fact still remains that healing surges destroy my immersion in the game.  I think most of the people hating surges feel the same way.  It just doesn't feel right.  It's hard to get over it.  

So I've been thinking of ways of achieving a similar effect without destroy our sense of versimilitude while still solving the problem that surges is addressing.

1. Limit the number of times a player can receive a healing power of any sort to x number of times per day.
2. Make healing cheap and easy.  Healing potions that do a surge worth of healing can be purchased for a trifle.
3. Clerics and other healing classes still heal magically.
4. Non-magic classes that used to provide healing now have abilities that permit them to allow another character to drink a potion as a free action.

I think the above would go a long way towards solving some of the versimilitude issues while still covering the needs of the surge concept.

 



Your lack of imagination is not our problem.



Look, I think this kind of attitude is a problem. We are all supposed to be here working toward a new edition in some small way. Coming down on someone in the way you have is neither constructive nor polite.

Lets keep things friendly.

I agree with what some of you have been saying as that HP represents far more than your bodily health.  To me, it's always represented your ability to protect yourself.  Most of the time when you take damage, you didn't actually get hit, instead you've been pushed closer to your limit.  Hit point loss represents wearing your opponent down to the point that you can finally score that one, telling blow upon them that brings them down.  Only certain kinds of attacks and effects actually produce wounds.  Certainly anything that makes your character bleed out.  Critical hits are attacks that blew through your defenses to land a solid blow.  In 4e, the attack that bloodies you probably drew actual blood.  Or whatever the equivalent may be for things like undead, constructs, and plant creatures.  

Thus it is not all that difficult to imagine a fighter may be able to dig deep and find the will to keep fighting.  When he uses second wind, he's not magically closing wounds, he's refocusing himself so that he can continue fighting.   
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Second wind is a real life phenomena, I thought it was only pain resistance but researching it, its somewhat more rare and generally involves somebody in very heavy fatigue it does involve cellular level healing, fatigue involves poisons in muscle cells that both impairs there functioning and damages the cells some joggers and stamina athletes may actually be a tad addicted to the feeling (it is awesome). I think if I was to try and make it more realistic I would say you couldnt do it till after a milestone or two, ie its probably more of a daily but action heroes bounding back seems way more common than even that. 

I dont recall Conan or just about any heroic fantasy figures with healing potions and or clerics in toe so for me that is very anti-genre.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Second wind is a real life phenomena, I thought it was only pain resistance but researching it, its somewhat more rare and generally involves somebody in very heavy fatigue it does involve cellular level healing, fatigue involves poisons in muscle cells that both impairs there functioning and damages the cells some joggers and stamina athletes may actually be a tad addicted to the feeling (it is awesome). I think if I was to try and make it more realistic I would say you couldnt do it till after a milestone or two, ie its probably more of a daily but action heroes bounding back seems way more common than even that. 

I dont recall Conan or just about any heroic fantasy figures with healing potions and or clerics in toe so for me that is very anti-genre.




Thats interesting. If the secondwind was handled in the same manner as the Eberron action points. A limited supply per level rather than a daily thing, it would feel more like the product of PC experience.

Second wind is a real life phenomena, ... I think if I was to try and make it more realistic I would say you couldnt do it till after a milestone or two, ie its probably more of a daily but action heroes bounding back seems way more common than even that. 

Action-movie heroes usually bounce back more than once just in the final fight.

And their bouncing back can be triggered by a call from an ally, a call from a victim they are trying to rescue, a snide word from an enemy, a hallucination, or even by nothing discernible even to them (rolled a 20 on a death save).

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Second wind is a real life phenomena, ... I think if I was to try and make it more realistic I would say you couldnt do it till after a milestone or two, ie its probably more of a daily but action heroes bounding back seems way more common than even that. 

Action-movie heroes usually bounce back more than once just in the final fight.

And their bouncing back can be triggered by a call from an ally, a call from a victim they are trying to rescue, a snide word from an enemy, a hallucination, or even by nothing discernible even to them (rolled a 20 on a death save).




Yes I know, I dont necessarily consider second wind and a heroic surge as a 1 to 1 correspondence, heck an action point is also a component of a second wind burst of speed is the first mentioned element of it.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I have a big problem with "this class is the ONLY one who can do this". Wether it be "ONLY rogues can find traps or open locks" or "ONLY clerics can heal and raise dead". Fluff aside (HP and damage have been discussed by better than I) we need different classes who can heal just to give players choice and keep the game interesting.

When it comes down to is:
"We need someone who can keep the party on its feet. You have to play a Cleric. They're the only dedicated healing class." 
"I don't really feel comfortable playing a religious type..." 

vs

"We need someone who can keep the party on its feet. You can play either a Ardent, Artificer, Bard, Cleric, Runepriest, Shaman, or Warlord. They all heal, but have different stuff."
"I don't want to be a priest or a hippy, but bard or warlord sound like fun." 
also lets face it the only one thet ever used 2nd wind was the dwarf.
for any other the tax of losing 1 standard action is to high compared to the benefit on 2nd wind. 
also lets face it the only one thet ever used 2nd wind was the dwarf.
for any other the tax of losing 1 standard action is to high compared to the benefit on 2nd wind. 



Action Point to Second Wind is a fairly popular move in my group.
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Yeah, same thing happened in my games Salla. Mainly because no one wants a wasted action point, and at least in my group, action point attack rolls had a tendancy to come up single digits.
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I think that a) second wind should be changed to a minor action for everyone (assuming that both second wind and minor actions are in the game) and b) it should require the player to be bloodied.

A - because as noted above it isn't used much and remains an option of last resort (if that).  This, imho, indicates that the cost has been set too  high.


B - because the idea of a second wind is that someone who is exhausted and beaten down draws upon his reserves and rallys to continue to fight.  If you aren't bloodied, you aren't 'stressed' enough to trigger a second wind. 

Carl
I may be in the minority here (or perhaps I'm just an old guy), but in the next version of the game we all love can we go back to the idea that clerics heal folks? 

Clerics are the best healers in the game.  After the Templar nerf, that's their claim to fame, really.  So, unless something major changes, no worries.

 

 

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2. Make healing cheap and easy.  Healing potions that do a surge worth of healing can be purchased for a trifle.



That kinda breaks immersion for me though. Healing potions are a mechanic that's mostly in video games.

I've never seen Conan drink a healing potion. Sure, Raistlin brew potions but it wasn't like Caramon and Tanis were chugging them the whole time. Drizzt doesn' break out a flask whenever Artemis almost hits him. Aragorn wasn't chugging potions after every encounter.

Potion drinking is something that the tabletop dungeon game D&D started and influenced all videogames since.
So yeah, I have the opposite reaction to this than you. healing surges was the first time that I felt like I could play as Conan, John McClane, Aragorn, and those literary heroes, without the need for gamey potion chugging.
Second wind, imho, if perfectly logical and makes absolute sense (given an understanding of hit points as described above).

Warlord healing is a bit more problematic.  Specifically warlords healing unconscious characters with a word from twenty-five feet away.

If I'm unconscious (and the rules, mechanics and fluff all indicate that I am when at 0 hp) how does his 'inspiring word' stir me to rise to my feet and keep on fighting?

If you really want to make the game a bit more 'immersive', and also give clerics (and other divine healiers) a real advantage - change their healing powers so that only clerics can heal you once you are down.  The warlord might be great at "healing" the party during the fight - as long as he gets that inspring word off before you fall unconscious.  Maybe he even has a touch 1, standard action ability to get you going again once you are down  (slap a bandage on you, splash some water in your face and kick you in the rear).  But only the cleric can call upon his deity to quickly (and remotely) get you going when you are down.

Carl

This post articulates my sentiments exactly. Divine healing should be the only healing that raises unconscious characters.

Enforcing this distinction would go a long way towards differentiating the healers.

Danny

Second wind, imho, if perfectly logical and makes absolute sense (given an understanding of hit points as described above).

Warlord healing is a bit more problematic.  Specifically warlords healing unconscious characters with a word from twenty-five feet away.

If I'm unconscious (and the rules, mechanics and fluff all indicate that I am when at 0 hp) how does his 'inspiring word' stir me to rise to my feet and keep on fighting?

If you really want to make the game a bit more 'immersive', and also give clerics (and other divine healiers) a real advantage - change their healing powers so that only clerics can heal you once you are down.  The warlord might be great at "healing" the party during the fight - as long as he gets that inspring word off before you fall unconscious.  Maybe he even has a touch 1, standard action ability to get you going again once you are down  (slap a bandage on you, splash some water in your face and kick you in the rear).  But only the cleric can call upon his deity to quickly (and remotely) get you going when you are down.

Carl

This post articulates my sentiments exactly. Divine healing should be the only healing that raises unconscious characters.

Enforcing this distinction would go a long way towards differentiating the healers.




Well, I could always throw somne cold water on a downed ally and tell him to suck it up. Or shake him a bit. or kick him in the shins. I don't see why divine power should be the only thing that can wake someone up when downed.
Even if you discount non-magical healing ... why would divine magic be the only kind of magic that can revive an unconscious character?
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Well, I could always throw somne cold water on a downed ally and tell him to suck it up. Or shake him a bit. or kick him in the shins. I don't see why divine power should be the only thing that can wake someone up when downed.

...for the simple sake of making it special?

Danny

Even if you discount non-magical healing ... why would divine magic be the only kind of magic that can revive an unconscious character?

To give it an edge.

Arcane magic (Necromancy) could allow characters to remain conscious after going negative...

Come up with something cool for everybody!

Danny

Well, I could always throw somne cold water on a downed ally and tell him to suck it up. Or shake him a bit. or kick him in the shins. I don't see why divine power should be the only thing that can wake someone up when downed.

...for the simple sake of making it special?




That's a pretty terrible reason.
Well, I could always throw somne cold water on a downed ally and tell him to suck it up. Or shake him a bit. or kick him in the shins. I don't see why divine power should be the only thing that can wake someone up when downed.

...for the simple sake of making it special?




That's a pretty terrible reason.

In your opinion. 

Danny

Well, I could always throw somne cold water on a downed ally and tell him to suck it up. Or shake him a bit. or kick him in the shins. I don't see why divine power should be the only thing that can wake someone up when downed.

...for the simple sake of making it special?




That's a pretty terrible reason.

In your opinion. 



Not just my opinion.

I don't see what the point is having 5 healer classes is if a player drops all non-cleric healers can do is shrug their shoulders and hope for the best.

Plus it's unfun for me as a player to get dropped during a surprise round then be out for the rest of the fight simply because our healer player didn't pick Cleric as his class.
The idea of divine magic being one of the only ways to revive an unconscious character at a distance is a good one. I don't like the idea of it being exclusive to divine magic, but the ability being common to divine magic and rare to other sources is a solid one.

Many classes should have access to the ability of reviving unconscious characters. There is design space within that ability though, and it can/should be split between classes. 
Not just my opinion.

I don't see what the point is having 5 healer classes is if a player drops all non-cleric healers can do is shrug their shoulders and hope for the best.

Plus it's unfun for me as a player to get dropped during a surprise round then be out for the rest of the fight simply because our healer player didn't pick Cleric as his class.

What if no one chose to play a healer at all?

Having different ways of approaching the same mechanic will differentiate the way healing feels from every angle of the game's proposed modularity. The variety will influence different tactics, uniqie considerations, and make the collection of healers all special unto themselves.

Danny

I'd rather play any healer and be able to actually..I don't know, HEAL when the healing is most needed.

If they chose not to have a healer at all, they're taking the risk and have to deal with the consequences when they happen. Forcing parties to pick clerics just kills variety.
Clarification: This goes to another problem as well.

If you have 5 healer classes, why pick anything but Cleric if they can all heal as well as each other, but only Cleric can pick people off the ground?
Man there was an awesome idea posted just back that we're overlooking because we're fighting.

Arcane (Necromancy) keeping people on their feet after they're unconscious. (Temp HP and the ability to still be conscious)

Extrapolating from that piece of amazing idea we can get stuff like:

Divine healing people when they're down from range. (Extra healing, just flat out through-put)
Martial healing people by shouting at them and making them furious/inspired. (Defense/ally related bonus)
Primal healing people with animal spirits. Maybe if they're unconscious, they come back with a bit of animal in 'em. (Offensive/Enemy related bonus)
Potion drinking is something that the tabletop dungeon game D&D started and influenced all videogames since.
So yeah, I have the opposite reaction to this than you. healing surges was the first time that I felt like I could play as Conan, John McClane, Aragorn, and those literary heroes, without the need for gamey potion chugging.

Agreed. 

If the DM wanted a low-level party to press on beyond the Cleric's limitted healing capacity, he just gave them some healing items - maybe a lot of healing items, not just potions. 

Starting with 3e, items, particularly potions and wands, because so cheap and easy to make/buy that item healing quickly became a trivial resource.

While neither of those is perfect, and I agree that healing surges are probably better, in general, the old-school 'potion as longer-day-enabler' could still be a very valid option.  I've seen 4e DMs add things (like a 'magic pool' or whatnot) that let you regain a surge or two, or have some non-surge healing.  As a DM-controlled resource, that'd be a fine option.

 

 

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