Healing Word post combat

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After a combat has ended (the last monster falls), do any of you permit characters to spend unused Healing Words in order to get a jump on their short rest?

I'm of the opinion that combat is a definite and specified period within the context of the game, and view the expenditure of left-over heals after combat has ended to be a rather gamist inclination that disrupts the intended function of classes that formally afford out-of-combat heals (ie Bards).

When combat ends, the combat encounter (as an explicit contest in the game) ends, barring the use of Encounter powers and related capabilities. -- Not to say that they can't be used "out of combat," but that a new period of resource measurement has begun.

Thoughts?

Danny

Let 'em do it. It's a non-issue and still drains their surges.

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The 'encounter' includes the immediate aftermath of the fighting - any effects that the PCs wish to sustain (up to the 5-minute limit) or expend at that point are part of this.
The problem will then become the players milking a few more turns of combat just to get the leader more time to use their healing powers.

And the question is: why should resources (i.e. surges and abilities) expended when there are active opponents be different than when those same resources are expended right after said opponents are defeated?
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Of course.  Perfectly legal, smart play, and the devs have said that it's expected and intentional.
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Of course.  Perfectly legal, smart play, and the devs have said that it's expected and intentional.



Additionally, it's perfectly legal and valid, as per the developers, to take multiple short rests in a row in order recharge your leader healing powes and get the most of you healing surges.
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IIRC there's even a feat for the Cleric Healing Word meant for its use in a short rest.  That maximizes all dice-rolled healing it does.

If time isn't an issue for the party there's no reason they can't take a 5 minute break, heal, then take another five minute break after an encounter to allow their heals to recharge.

I would ask, after combat, if somebody has something like ongoing 5, 10, etc damage, do you continue to make them roll saving throws against it? 
Because if combat ends, just ends, and all effects from the combat ended, then it wouldn't be unfair in that case to deny the use of encounter powers for healing.

"When the last guy dies, combat is over, if you're dazed or bleeding out, that ends, but you can't use healing powers post combat."

If your party agrees it's fine I guess.

But like everybody above said, it's pretty common to continue to heal after a combat.  Equate it to a real world situation where you would need just a little bit more time to catch your breath before pressing on.

Just reach a reasonable understanding with them. Obviously it'd be ridiculous for them to take a 20 minute break between fights to get as much healing with a healing power as they can.  Besides, if they stall too much that's the perfect time for a wandering guard patrol to stumble across them.
IIRC there's even a feat for the Cleric Healing Word meant for its use in a short rest.  That maximizes all dice-rolled healing it does.


You're probably thinking of Restful Healing in the PH2.  It works for all healing, not just Healing Word.  So bards like it too.

Just reach a reasonable understanding with them. Obviously it'd be ridiculous for them to take a 20 minute break between fights to get as much healing with a healing power as they can.  Besides, if they stall too much that's the perfect time for a wandering guard patrol to stumble across them.


And 20 minutes is really not a long time at all.  That's about as long as a half-hour show without the commericials.  You probably don't want to spend 20 minutes standing around in a fortified stronghold, but it's a pretty reasonable rest period if you're, for example, exploring a forest or some other relatively mundane wilderness.  It all depends on the circumstances, of course.
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Actually, depending on the circumstances, it wouldn't be unreasonable to take an extended rest in a fortified stronghold.  Sieges and battles often took several days.  I'm referring, of course, to the violent part of a siege and not the waiting around and starving them out part.  Front line soldiers, having fallen back, would need to take extended rests in order to relieve and reinforce their comrades at the front.
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It's not necessary for DMs to get hung up on the actual durations of rests. The game can handle characters getting the Healing Word bonuses for each of their surges. Nothing will break.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

The 'encounter' includes the immediate aftermath of the fighting - any effects that the PCs wish to sustain (up to the 5-minute limit) or expend at that point are part of this.

My thinking is that the same should go for effects already in play that monsters have contributed to the encounter, other managed conditions that are normally waved at the conclusion of a fight, etc.

It opens a can of worms that is best left out of the realm of explicit adjudication.


Of course.  Perfectly legal, smart play, and the devs have said that it's expected and intentional.



Additionally, it's perfectly legal and valid, as per the developers, to take multiple short rests in a row in order recharge your leader healing powes and get the most of you healing surges.

I only solicited input on the conversation because the issue has arisen in an organized play setting. The story dictates the pacing such that only five minutes (a short rest's time) elapses between one encounter and the next.

If we were sitting around a table at home, using a different structure, etc., then my concerns would be a non-issue.


I would ask, after combat, if somebody has something like ongoing 5, 10, etc damage, do you continue to make them roll saving throws against it? 
Because if combat ends, just ends, and all effects from the combat ended, then it wouldn't be unfair in that case to deny the use of encounter powers for healing.

This is my exact thought process.


It's not necessary for DMs to get hung up on the actual durations of rests. The game can handle characters getting the Healing Word bonuses for each of their surges. Nothing will break.

Pacing of the story is breakable. -- As is expectation of challenge.

In organized settings, especially in situations where you are leading 30 players through a season of events, you definitely start to impact the experience when some are gaining benefits that others are not. It's A LOT of management, in my perspective (as an organizer), and I wanted to offer a thoughtful and concise clarification for when I make an official ruling on the matter.

Danny

After a combat has ended (the last monster falls), do any of you permit characters to spend unused Healing Words in order to get a jump on their short rest?

Absolutely. In fact, the PC's can even get extra uses of healing word if they are willing to take 10 or 15 minute rests.

The writers stated that this was intentionally how they designed 4e, and this is alluded to in PHB p.263: "If you use an encounter power (such as a healing power) during a short rest, you need another short rest to renew it so that you can use it again."
It's not necessary for DMs to get hung up on the actual durations of rests. The game can handle characters getting the Healing Word bonuses for each of their surges. Nothing will break.

Pacing of the story is breakable. -- As is expectation of challenge.

In organized settings, especially in situations where you are leading 30 players through a season of events, you definitely start to impact the experience when some are gaining benefits that others are not. It's A LOT of management, in my perspective (as an organizer), and I wanted to offer a thoughtful and concise clarification for when I make an official ruling on the matter.

Ok, nothing the game was designed to handle will break.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

The 'encounter' includes the immediate aftermath of the fighting - any effects that the PCs wish to sustain (up to the 5-minute limit) or expend at that point are part of this.

My thinking is that the same should go for effects already in play that monsters have contributed to the encounter, other managed conditions that are normally waved at the conclusion of a fight, etc.

It opens a can of worms that is best left out of the realm of explicit adjudication.



I would ask, after combat, if somebody has something like ongoing 5, 10, etc damage, do you continue to make them roll saving throws against it? 
Because if combat ends, just ends, and all effects from the combat ended, then it wouldn't be unfair in that case to deny the use of encounter powers for healing.

This is my exact thought process.



By the RAW, effects and conditions do not automatically end when any/all opponents are defeated unless the description of the effect states otherwise.  They continue until their normal durations expire or until forced to expire, such as from using a Heal check to end ongoing damage.  Though many groups choose to waive them at the end of an encounter for the sake of expedience, that is a houserule.

Of course.  Perfectly legal, smart play, and the devs have said that it's expected and intentional.



Additionally, it's perfectly legal and valid, as per the developers, to take multiple short rests in a row in order recharge your leader healing powes and get the most of you healing surges.

I only solicited input on the conversation because the issue has arisen in an organized play setting. The story dictates the pacing such that only five minutes (a short rest's time) elapses between one encounter and the next.

If we were sitting around a table at home, using a different structure, etc., then my concerns would be a non-issue.



Organized play or not, these are the standard rules of the game. 

However, organized play events, such as those sponsored by WotC, often have event-specific house rules and guidelines that differ from the standard rules.  If this is case for you, you should check if the rules you are concerned with are covered by your event's houserules.  And if you are a DM of such a game, you should also check how much freedom you have to deviate from said guidelines.

If you are organizing such an event yourself, and therefore have full control of what rules will be implemented and how, then it is up to you to come up with solutions that fits you unique situation.





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Apart from disrupting the artificially imposed pacing, what happens if characters take more than one short rest? Are the monsters in the next encounter better prepared? Do the monsters get away? Do the PCs suffer environmentaly effects? Because unless they do, there's not much incentive not to just take the time to use the enhanced healing.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

There are quite some adventures in organized play where the '5 minutes until the next encounter' is inserted specifically to make the characters think somewhat longer about who to heal and why, since they will have limited resources to heal with. These moments happen when there's a continuous or imminent threat to the players, in which they don't have the luxury of waiting another short rest for some more healing. I've even seen Healers use daily healing powers for such moments, which usually saved the day. 

Remember though, that players are able to expend any number of healing surges themselves outside of combat to regain hit points. They don't need healing powers specifically to do this. It's just that healing powers are more efficient in healing characters.
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By the RAW, effects and conditions do not automatically end when any/all opponents are defeated unless the description of the effect states otherwise.  They continue until their normal durations expire or until forced to expire, such as from using a Heal check to end ongoing damage.  Though many groups choose to waive them at the end of an encounter for the sake of expedience, that is a houserule.

In such case, expedience has always been a part of my particular group's gaming culture.

This issue arose three sessions ago, and it's not something that I am inclined to outlaw outright, but I don't feel that the original player who inspired the practice, nor those who have now begun to follow suit, understand the implications of waiving expedience.


If you are organizing such an event yourself, and therefore have full control of what rules will be implemented and how, then it is up to you to come up with solutions that fits you unique situation.

This practice (taking advantage of an 'entire' encounter, post combat) is new to our group.

As an organizer in this particular instance (D&D Encounters), I facilitate 6 DMs overseeing 30+ players on a weekly basis. Our DMs (which rotate every season) take part in virtual workshops to keep the experiences of the organized setting roughly homogenized (since the players are randomized by role and play with different people every week as well).

When these issues arise, I like to make official rulings that everyone buys into and understands. Since it is our usual practice to waive end-of-encounter book-keeping for the sake of expedience, I view it as only fair to waive player actions in the same way that lingering effects, statuses and the like are waived. Otherwise, and it is up to them, they may maintain the 5 minute 'encounter,' use their remaining capabiities, but still face lingering effects, statuses, etc.

I take from the responses offered in this thread that this is a perfectly fair ruling, either way.


Apart from disrupting the artificially imposed pacing, what happens if characters take more than one short rest? Are the monsters in the next encounter better prepared? Do the monsters get away? Do the PCs suffer environmentaly effects? Because unless they do, there's not much incentive not to just take the time to use the enhanced healing.

We would have no way of knowing, or preparing, since the implications of such require an undue amount of collaboration, planning, and adventure re-scripting.

The structure of the organized event is such that the encounters and obstacles faced take into account the amount of rests, healing and resources characters have at their disposal. Toying with that, or deviating from expectation, creates oddities in outcome that may lead to flat playing experiences. Also, a ruling has to be made that blankets the entire group so that one table isn't gaining the boons of additional healing while others are being denied. The organization of the experience extends beyond the story itself.


There are quite some adventures in organized play where the '5 minutes until the next encounter' is inserted specifically to make the characters think somewhat longer about who to heal and why, since they will have limited resources to heal with. These moments happen when there's a continuous or imminent threat to the players, in which they don't have the luxury of waiting another short rest for some more healing. I've even seen Healers use daily healing powers for such moments, which usually saved the day.

Correct. In this particular season of D&D Encounters, the players are denied a rest any longer than a single Short Rest for five sessions of play.

Danny

In this particular season of D&D Encounters, the players are denied a rest any longer than a single Short Rest for five sessions of play.

I thought you were worried about some kind of carefully referreed organized event. If it's just Encounters, I wouldn't sweat it if one group did something one way and one did it another. Things like that give a DM support for keeping the heat on the PCs outside the general rules, but if a DM missed that part of the adventure or chose to ignore it for the sake of fun or even just good feelings around the table, it wouldn't tip anything over.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I thought you were worried about some kind of carefully referreed organized event. If it's just Encounters, I wouldn't sweat it if one group did something one way and one did it another. Things like that give a DM support for keeping the heat on the PCs outside the general rules, but if a DM missed that part of the adventure or chose to ignore it for the sake of fun or even just good feelings around the table, it wouldn't tip anything over.

LOL Encounters is some serious business! ;)

It was actually the DMs who came to me with the issue. Contention arose when one DM allowed it and the next denied it. They want an official stance they can all reference.

I think I was most surprised that it was even an issue. -- Just one of those things that arise when your group gains new blood and draws attention to something you've always assumed or otherwise took for granted.

Danny

It was actually the DMs who came to me with the issue. Contention arose when one DM allowed it and the next denied it. They want an official stance they can all reference.

Yeah, wow. Myself I'd tell them that each DM is allowed to rule however works for their table and if a player doesn't like a ruling to take it up with the DM after the game.

I think I was most surprised that it was even an issue. -- Just one of those things that arise when your group gains new blood and draws attention to something you've always assumed or otherwise took for granted.

Yeah, I'd probably be amazed to learn all the ways people interpret the game differently than my group.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

If a leader hasn't used it during combat I allow it immediately after combat within reason.  In my games I also will allow it out of combat if it’s dramatically appropriate. 

I see no reason why a leader can't use on a NPC.  In fact I find such things useful and give bonuses to such players you heal someone and then make a diplomacy skill check with the same person.


I do give them perhaps one healing like every 15 min in non combat.


As long as its non abused it allowed in my game, that is just how I run.