Variable Healing - Is it so wrong?

I've read quite a few complaints on here about the healing system set up for Next.  This is especially true when the subject of using a random die roll for healing comes up. 

My only question is this: For those opposed to the random, then why do you play using random damage?  Why not have damage static, just as you want your healing?

This only makes sense to me.  The two are literally the same thing; damage and healing both directly affect hit points.  They are actually the only two things that do.  So why be so consistent with one, yet unwielding to compromise about the other?   

I'm guessing there are supporters out there that can answer this question.  I cannot.  And I am a fan of static healing.  Undecided
It seems to me that it would be fine to just take averages (round down) on everything thats not a d20 roll- and just incorporate that onto the character sheets.

So your cure light wounds does 5 (1d8+1)
The fighter in the playtest deals 14 (2d6+7)

etc

would speed up play by however long it takes people to grab the right dice, roll and add them up.

In fact you could choose to let damage be static and healing random- it's really up to how your table wants to do it.  I really like that, that is a heavily pushed concept in all the stuff they're putting out for dndnext (with the modular play philosophy) 
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Vaiable healing is only part of the problem. Even 4E had it to some extent. No, the general  issue is with how minimal and  magic-constrained healing currently is.

Loss Aversion and the idea that the average value is really "breaking even" on a die rather than every number being a pure gain, combined with a little bit of me vs. other psychology going on.

First, considering that healing the average amount feels like the baseline, healing the minimum damage feels about twice as bad as healing the maximum damage feels good.  

Secondly, when you deal damage, you're changing the state of another.  It doesn't directly affect you, so it feels more even--the highs and lows are less severe.  Meanwhile, when you are healing damage, it affects you, so the effects are intensified.  I mean, think about it--when the cleric rolls minimum to heal the Fighter, does the Cleric feel bad (hint: not really) or does the Fighter (hint: he's totally unhappy)?

When combined, this means you're feeling pretty decent when you roll max damage, slightly less good than normal when dealing minimum damage, pretty good when you heal max damage, and absolutely horrible when you heal minimum.  

Having static healing values keeps the averages the same, so it's not statistically different than the expected values are over a long period of time, but it takes away the sting of low rolls, which is worth it in the long run when high rolls are equally likely, but less satisfying than the low rolls are bitter.

Note that I actually have no problem with random healing rolls, I just understand the psychology behind wanting static values.



It seems to me that it would be fine to just take averages (round down) on everything thats not a d20 roll.

Sounds good to me.

Many players like rolling dice, and no problem, while those who prefer to use damage averages (rounding up from point .5) have a reliable alternative.
I've read quite a few complaints on here about the healing system set up for Next.  This is especially true when the subject of using a random die roll for healing comes up. 

My only question is this: For those opposed to the random, then why do you play using random damage?  Why not have damage static, just as you want your healing?

This only makes sense to me.  The two are literally the same thing; damage and healing both directly affect hit points.  They are actually the only two things that do.  So why be so consistent with one, yet unwielding to compromise about the other?   

I'm guessing there are supporters out there that can answer this question.  I cannot.  And I am a fan of static healing.  Undecided


Because variable damage adds a sense of uncertainty to combat that variable healing does not.  If damage were always a static number, with the way HP work, every hit would not only result in a binary fine or not fine scenario, it would also be an entirely predicatable one.  Risks become much easier to take when you know whether or not they can kill you, like if the fighter dealt precisely 8 damage per hit, when the DM is running an orc with 10hp, he knows the orc can take a hit and still get away.  However, if that same fighter deals 1d8+4, then the DM knows that hit could kill the orc or leave him alive.  It makes combat less predictable.

Out of combat variable healing doesn't do that.  In combat variable healing kind of/sort of does that, but it also isn't under much contention. 
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For me, it's because combat is a here-and-now and healing is a contingency for the future.  The primary plan is always to avoid getting hurt in the first place, but we know that's not always possible.  Maybe it's easier to accept short-term uncertainty than to have your long-term plans fall out from under you.  Maybe it doesn't feel so bad to have random damage on an at-will ability, because the only thing you're out is your action.

thestoryteller is probably right about it, from a psych standpoint.  I know that it feels about as bad to roll minimum healing as it feels to *miss* with a daily ability, or roll low on Hit Points.
The metagame is not the game.
As above and average healing is less than average damage making it feel week and underpowered while at the same time encounter design makes it mandatory to have it.
Variable healing in combat, where that variation is part of the excitement is fine.  Variable healing between combats just complicates bookkeeping and resource management for no gain.  If you've ever sat through someone actually declaring and rolling all the charges from his CLW wand, you know what I'm talking about...

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

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"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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Vaiable healing is only part of the problem. Even 4E had it to some extent. No, the general  issue is with how minimal and  magic-constrained healing currently is.



As above and average healing is less than average damage making it feel week and underpowered while at the same time encounter design makes it mandatory to have it.



Both of these reasons, for me, are the big issues. I don't mind variable healing, as long as it's also effective healing. But I saw 1's rolled on too many healing potions during the playtest I've been running, and that becomes a major disappointment. Add in the fact that only magic allows people to heal without relying on gimmicky healing kits (no mid-combat second winds), and the healbot cleric becomes a necessity. This is directly opposed to the idea of making all the classes optional.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually miss 4e healing surges. And I'm one of the folk who disliked healing surges as being too gamist and immersion breaking. I think my main complaint was the NUMBER of healing surges characters got. I think I could stomach healing surges combined with randomly rolled HP, as long as I limited the number of surges and allowed character to get some static modifier (like adding con) to the number rolled so that rolling low doesn't sting so much.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
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personaly i liked the healing surge value, becouse it was a move to percentile healing.

level 1 fighter 2 cure lignt wounds and he is probebly good to go.
at level 20 he needs loads nore healing while equaly wounded.

i would like to see a spell somthing like this
heals 25% of targets Hp at spell lvl 1 
heals 40% of targets Hp at spell lvl 2 
heals 55% of targets Hp at spell lvl 3 
heals 70% of targets Hp at spell lvl 4 
heals 85% of targets Hp at spell lvl 5 
heals 100% of targets Hp at spell lvl 6

so at level 6 it fully heals like the classical heal spell did  
I don't mind variable healing, especially in combat but the variation should be kept lower e.g. 2d4 + 2 instead of 1d8 + 2 for potions.  Maybe Hit Dice should restore 1HD + con + 1 hit point for every 2 levels.

I would say healing word as a class feature could be scaling d6 rolls (eg every 5 levels) + wisdom bonus of caster + con bonus of recipient during fights.  That could be 1d6+10 if both caster and recipient have stats of 20, so well worth having.  Spending a single HD in a fight should be possible once as a second wind.

Cure light wounds et al should be rituals between encounters, maybe doubling the hp ganed when you spend hit dice + con modifier + 2 for each die of healing word you would gain during a fight.  That could then scale to +4 for cure serious wounds, +6 for cure critical wounds and +10 for a heal spell.

So assuming stats of 16 at level 1, a fighter could gain 1d10+3 for second wind, 1d6+6 for a healing word, or 2d10+5 for spending a HD with cure light wounds during a short rest.

A level 10 fighter could gain 1d10+8 for second wind, 3d6+6 for a healing word (from a level 10 cleric), or 2d10+15 for spending a HD with cure serious wounds during a short rest.

None of the healing impacts on your daily spells and it's still limited in combat and out of combat (by hit dice remaining and cost).  A bit of tweaking can implement inspiring word and majestic word/song of rest mechanics etc.
Im for random healing in combat and max amount healing out of combat.

so cure light wounds would be 1d6 + wisdom in combat and 6 + wisdom out of combat, etc... 
Im for random healing in combat and max amount healing out of combat.

so cure light wounds would be 1d6 + wisdom in combat and 6 + wisdom out of combat, etc... 



I like that method too, Trance. 

To me, it adds too much variance to HP. Damage is (let's just say) 1d8+modifiers which has a standard deviation of 2.2913. If healing is also 1d8+modifiers, then the standard deviation of one attack and one heal would be 3.2404. That means, statistically, over the course of many die rolls, the game will be significantly more fatal. That's fine if you want that in your game, but I don't.

However, a compromise could be in order, that several in this thread have mentioned: In combat, healing can be more variable, so that it's usually used, more often, as a sort of last resort, such as if a person is down, and is just about one missed death saving throw from bleading out. It's less appealing, since it's more variable, and variance with reguards to HP is usually a bad thing for whoever's HP is being affected. Out of combat, however, it's usually less of a life-or-death situation, and it's more has to do with whether the adventuring day can continue, or not.

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

Variable healing in combat, where that variation is part of the excitement is fine.  Variable healing between combats just complicates bookkeeping and resource management for no gain.  If you've ever sat through someone actually declaring and rolling all the charges from his CLW wand, you know what I'm talking about...



Take note here I'm agreeing with Tony.  And no it is not the Apocalypse.  Yet.

Why not allow max hit points when healing outside of combat.  And roll inside.  I'd be for a gentler bell curve though.  Maybe you reroll ones or you roll twice and take the best or you roll and take the average or the roll.  There are lots of ways to approach in combat healing.

@storyteller
I know you said you didn't mind the sting so this is not me getting on you.

I am of the belief that without the sting there is no good feeling.  I'm sick of the nerfing of bad things happening in the game.  And 3e I'm looking at you on this because you are the one that started the trend.  4e just followed with the same philsophy.  We lost level drain, rust monsters, permanent stat loss, level loss at death, death itself in many cases,  etc....   Now I'm not saying that 1e/2e's versions of these things was perfect.  Perhaps I want something a scale of 2 or 3 on the 1 to 10 chart and 1e is a 1.  But 3e is an 8 and 4e is a 9.  So I hope 5e at least allows for a tougher game.


 
Allows for, perhaps, Emerikol, but I certainly don't think it should be standard. I only started with 3.5, but I did play 2e once, when one of the guys at my table bought the books at a yard-sale. Essentially, I found I could see why some people liked it, but I could also see why I and the people at the table didn't. I wanted to be able to tell a story, and when death was so common, it made telling a story much more difficult. To me, death should be a realistic threat, only when the narrative demands it should be, like at the climax of an adventure, or if a character tries something particularly high-risk. However, how I can see people liking 2e was that it felt more realistic, in that, realistically every fight should be potentially lethal. It may not make for the best story, but sometimes people like that there is a sense of reality, and that they are not playing characters in a story, but that they are playing adventurers in a fantasy setting. But 5e shouldn't nessisarily say that one of these playstyles is more legitimate than the other. 

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

D&D has always had what I considered cheapo resurrection which undermined the meaningfulness of death....In fact it had easy death and easy resurrection both of which were detrimental to the story. I have always preferred more difficult death and consequentially more difficult resurrection.  
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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."

 

@Avric
I agree.  I don't even think I'm in the majority on the issue of lethality.  The great thing about our healing and likely resurrection systems is they will be very flexible.  This is a hot button issue but a very easy one to even houserule so I'm hopeful.  I've been ignored for 2 editions so even getting the possibility of playing my way has me excited.  (and I'm not saying ignoring me on this point when you are designing a non-modular game was a bad idea.  Just saying I am glad that is no longer necessary.)

@Garthanos.
I rarely want death to be final unless at low level when rolling a new character is ok.  I do want though death to be feared.  So that is a challenge.  The way I like to see it done is to allow for resurrection but make it extraordinarily painful from a gamist perspective.   I don't mind the loss of an entire level for a death.  The loss of a point of con was ok too but that might flirt with too severe even though it seems more realistic to me.   Its the same reason I like xp drain from undead.  It makes a monster feared on multiple levels.   It makes the players emotions and the characters emotions become closer.   It's a technique but for me it works.





 
I am of the belief that without the sting there is no good feeling.  I'm sick of the nerfing of bad things happening in the game.  And 3e I'm looking at you on this because you are the one that started the trend.  4e just followed with the same philsophy.  We lost level drain, rust monsters, permanent stat loss, level loss at death, death itself in many cases,  etc....   Now I'm not saying that 1e/2e's versions of these things was perfect.  Perhaps I want something a scale of 2 or 3 on the 1 to 10 chart and 1e is a 1.  But 3e is an 8 and 4e is a 9.  So I hope 5e at least allows for a tougher game.
 


This is not entirely accurate.  4e is just as dangerous as AD&D if you play both editions with the same playstyle.  For example, the random city encounter table in the 1e DMG has a chance you can run into a rakshasa.  Use the exact same random encounter table in 4e and you will have similar results as AD&D.  I certainly have.

The issue is not so much game mechanics, but rather, that 4e (and 3e) encourage specifically designing encounters based upon the party composition rather than the environment.  You could do the exact same thing in AD&D (albeit with significantly looser guidelines available), and your AD&D game will have about the same amount of sting as a 4e game.

Now I will grant that 4e mostly eliminated permanent malicious effects short of death and taking away equipment.  However, I fail to understand how an AD&D DM, who is pretty much required to do the whole rulings instead of rules thing due to the many holes and inconsistencies in the rules, would suddenly stop being able to make judgment calls and houserules in 4e. 

The rules for a character's hand being cut off in 4e are identical to the rules in AD&D, they don't exist and are based on DM whim.
Actually 2e had supplements with some nasty crit charts involving limb loss and death. Stat and movement loss were also possible.

Also the resurrection in 2e had a save that if failed would mean that death was permanent and it got harder with every res due to lowered Con.

But the encounter design is a very accurate point concerning chances of death.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Actually 2e had supplements with some nasty crit charts involving limb loss and death. Stat and movement loss were also possible.


As tacked on options in some supplement, sure.  Assuming you have the books and enjoy such things, tack the exact same options onto 4e.

Also the resurrection in 2e had a save that if failed would mean that death was permanent and it got harder with every res due to lowered Con.


To be honest, I could count on one hand the number of characters in games that I've played which have been raised from the dead/resurrected over the years, and one of those involved a significant quest to save the character's soul prior to the judge of the dead making judgment.  My friends and I pretty much like to let the dead rest in peace.

But if a group wants resurrection with consequences, it takes about as much effort to add a resurrection check and lower Constitution as it takes to design one single encounter.  Sure it will be do-it-yourself, but if it is something your group cares about, it is a do-it-yourself project that literally takes about a minute to think about.
Of course, AD&D also included things like ghosts who could age you, and the haste spell that took a year from your life, each of which could also trigger System Shock and kill you outright.
The metagame is not the game.
Yep, haste was an elf only spell for many.

But yeah we also tend to let the dead lie in our games. I had one character come back in 20+ years and he was reincarnated as a hobgoblin on the random reincarnation chart since we didn't have a priest.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Watch how opposite we can be.

 

@Garthanos.
I rarely want death to be final unless at low level when rolling a new character is ok.


I dont like low level death it means the characters story really hasnt had time to pan out... the player is less likely to be ready to explore another character type so its in that sense a worse time. Though I can see how the player might have gained much more attachment to the higher level character.

 
 I do want though death to be feared.


I want heroic characters who arent paranoid with there 10 foot pole constantly poking and forever running from evil.
however I dont mind putting in juge hunking clues that say this is really beyond what your character beleives he can handle... ie the slap slap slap, "run you fool" bit 
 
 So that is a challenge.  The way I like to see it done is to allow for resurrection but make it extraordinarily painful from a gamist perspective.   I don't mind the loss of an entire level for a death.  The loss of a point of con was ok too but that might flirt with too severe even though it seems more realistic to me.   Its the same reason I like xp drain from undead.  It makes a monster feared on multiple levels.   It makes the players emotions and the characters emotions become closer.   It's a technique but for me it works.
 


I want the return to be something significant and not even some here pay the gold ... not even with an it hurts clause.
I like those who return from the beyond to be like all the legendary and mythic ones. They have under gone a change which usually means they are more awesome not less, by putting resurrection as a culmenation of a quest and where the heroes are litterally fighting there way out of the grey realm.  (Gandalf becomes ... Gandalf the White and in 4e terms it could be seen as his paragon transition)

 
  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."

 

Damage rolls happen far more often than healing spells (in my experience). The more random events you have, the more likely the sum of the results of those events is to tend towards the average. So large random variance in something that you don't do many times gives a better chance of 'getting screwed'.

Edit: there's also the fact that low damage due to bad dice rolls from one player can be compensated for by other players, but low healing on one player can halt a party due to that player being unable to continue safely. This means that the damage rolls can be seen as being averaged over the entire party (delta some inequality, like 'striker' characters having higher weighting), but healing is averaged per character.
I think if we want the game to be versatile, we have to allow for various different types of healing, including the healer theme, clerics, bards, warlords, shamen artificers etc or their 5e equivalents.  Maxing out healing during short rests doesn't give us enough options to dsitinguish the different potential healing types.  So we could have:

Second Wind
Spend an action to regaing 1HD + Con +1 per 2 levels

Cleric
Healing Word in combat (1d6 every 5 levels +Wis)
Cure wounds rituals out of combat (Double HD restored + recipient's con and caster's wisdom)

Warlord
Inspiring Word in combat (1d8 every 5 levels +Cha)

Bard
Majestic Word in combat (1d4 every 5 levels +Cha)
Song of Rest out of combat (add bard's Cha bonus to recipients' Hit Dice regained)

Healer Theme
Advantage on Hit Dice rolled + Wisdom bonus
Potions of Healing (2d4+2)
Garthanos,

If I had my party go through such a quest to resurrect a party member then I think a massive transformation would be great for the story.

I don't want the risk to disappear at any level though and something like that would be a group descision.

I'm running a plan escape campaign at the moment where my players have been hired by a third party to rescue one of the party members from the underworld.... But the party member isn't dead yet.

But that's the Planes.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I like the idea of max healing outside of combat, variable inside.  Adds to the air of chaos, like the variable damage does.  I don't like the idea of full healing after only a long rest when the damage dealt is severe.  How is it that broken bones and internal damage is healed with a single nights rest? 

Now I will grant that 4e mostly eliminated permanent malicious effects short of death and taking away equipment. 



I don't disagree that a DM can fix anything.  But we are talking about the game rules.  The recent trend in philosophy has been to take most of those things away like you said.  That was my only point.

I'm not talking about the chance for death specifically either.  I'm talking about permanent bad things happening to a character.  I think without the chance of serious setbacks the game just isn't as rewarding.  Thats how I feel about it.  Others views on this may vary.  For me I want to feel like I entered into a fantasy setting and conquered it's challenges in a fair fight.   
Because damage in D&D has never actually represented broken bones and internal bleeding.
Because damage in D&D has never actually represented broken bones and internal bleeding.



Level drain always reminded me of Brain Damage... not something I see featured in fantasy fiction much in fact when you do see something of that sort its non-debilitating temporary and cosmetic designed to show the hero suprised at how skilled they are... 
  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`m personally of the school of thought that healing IN COMBAT should be random, and non-random out of it.
But just give simple guidelines to calculate averages, then say: "If you don`t like to roll for X, assume the average result."
I`ll definitely do it for out-of-combat healing, maybe more things.

Keep in mind, some people find the act of rolling dice to be fun, even for non-combat healing, so support other playstyles.

On the subject of permanent effects, just make a in-rules cure for each, so the DM doesn`t have to come up with it. Saying this also helps, for those that don`t even like needing a cure: "Every permanent effect can fade away if the DM wants. Come up with a justification, or just say it was never permanent at all to begin with, not in your campaign at least. Or you can just houserule `all permanent effects now last one week` or something."
My character is called Ryotto Tyrannicide, wich comes from "tyrannicidal riot". He wields two magic swords: King Beheader (as in "Beheader of Kings", not "King the Beheader") and Chain Splitter. He's also a bit of a skirt-chaser. So yeah, I REALLY hope you have some Lawful Evil bad guys prepared for me. Government/trade/church conspiracies are optional, but highly recommended.

Now I will grant that 4e mostly eliminated permanent malicious effects short of death and taking away equipment. 



I don't disagree that a DM can fix anything.  But we are talking about the game rules.  The recent trend in philosophy has been to take most of those things away like you said.  That was my only point.

I'm not talking about the chance for death specifically either.  I'm talking about permanent bad things happening to a character.  I think without the chance of serious setbacks the game just isn't as rewarding.  Thats how I feel about it.  Others views on this may vary.  For me I want to feel like I entered into a fantasy setting and conquered it's challenges in a fair fight.   



But.....D&D has never had much in the way of permanent malicious effects.  Ghosts and Haste aged you.  Blindness or deafness were relatively easily reversed by a 3rd level spell.  Turned to stone is basically the same as death.  Diseases and poison rarely caused permanent effects other than death.  Raise dead caused Constitution to drop a point, but that's reversing the far more serious death. 

Yes, there were a handful of things here and there, and perhaps some optional rules in some supplements, but the core of any edition hasn't had permanent bad effects be a significant factor, just a handful of things.

Level drain always reminded me of Brain Damage... not something I see featured in fantasy fiction much in fact when you do see something of that sort its non-debilitating temporary and cosmetic designed to show the hero suprised at how skilled they are... 



Ahhh....I blanked out on level drain and shadow strength drain.  That was a significant factor for undead.  Outside of undead there was......lamia Wisdom drain. 


But.....D&D has never had much in the way of permanent malicious effects.  Ghosts and Haste aged you.  Blindness or deafness were relatively easily reversed by a 3rd level spell.  Turned to stone is basically the same as death.  Diseases and poison rarely caused permanent effects other than death.  Raise dead caused Constitution to drop a point, but that's reversing the far more serious death. 

Yes, there were a handful of things here and there, and perhaps some optional rules in some supplements, but the core of any edition hasn't had permanent bad effects be a significant factor, just a handful of things.



Well I'm not advocating for every monster in the book to have some permanent malicious effect.  A lot of monsters did have level drain and until pretty high level, it was permanent.   Restoration was limited to high level.  Rust monsters damaged equipment.  Death also resulted in a full level loss in one of the editions.

 


But.....D&D has never had much in the way of permanent malicious effects.  Ghosts and Haste aged you.  Blindness or deafness were relatively easily reversed by a 3rd level spell.  Turned to stone is basically the same as death.  Diseases and poison rarely caused permanent effects other than death.  Raise dead caused Constitution to drop a point, but that's reversing the far more serious death. 

Yes, there were a handful of things here and there, and perhaps some optional rules in some supplements, but the core of any edition hasn't had permanent bad effects be a significant factor, just a handful of things.



Well I'm not advocating for every monster in the book to have some permanent malicious effect.  A lot of monsters did have level drain and until pretty high level, it was permanent.   Restoration was limited to high level.  Rust monsters damaged equipment.  Death also resulted in a full level loss in one of the editions.
 


I got curious, and flipping through the 1e Monster Manual.  I am assuming that turned to stone is the equivalent of death and didn't look at the powerful Demon Lords/Dukes of Hell.  Granting that I may have missed a couple on a flip through, we have:

Brain Mole:  permanent insanity
Cerebral Parasite:  drains psionic points if you're infected (3rd level Remove Disease fixes)
Succubus:  kiss drains a level
Dryad:  charm for 1-4 years
Ghost:  age 10 years
Lamia:  drains Wisdom
Lycanthropes:  cause lycanthropy (Cure Disease requires a 12th lvl caster within 3 days, that's stout)
Mummy:  mummy rot fatal in 1-6 months, Charisma drain, and reduced healing (removed with Cure Disease)
Night Hag:  Constitution drain
Pseudo-dragon:  catolepsy for 1-6 days
Spectre:  drains 1 level
Vampire:  drains 2 levels
Wight:  drains 1 level
Wraith:  drains 1 level

And the following monsters muck with your equipment, which is quite similar to an opponent taking a disarm maneuver against you in combat with his buddy picking up the dropped weapon and running.

Black Pudding:  eats equipment
Gray Ooze:  eats equipment
Green Slime:  eats equipment
Mimic:  sticks weapons
Remorhaz:  melts non-magical weapons
Rust Monster:  rusts metal

Additionally, there are a fair number of monsters with spellcasting and/or psionic ability that might have one of the few spells with permanent effects memorized.

Outside of undead, there just isn't all that much that has permanent effects, including some monsters I've never even used in decades of gaming.  And if you are entering some undead crypt, you should likely have some type of preparation for level drain anyway. 

I don't consider that a whole lot of permanent malicious effects, merely a handful of monsters here and there out of hundreds.  Most things just kill you.


But.....D&D has never had much in the way of permanent malicious effects.  Ghosts and Haste aged you.  Blindness or deafness were relatively easily reversed by a 3rd level spell.  Turned to stone is basically the same as death.  Diseases and poison rarely caused permanent effects other than death.  Raise dead caused Constitution to drop a point, but that's reversing the far more serious death. 

Yes, there were a handful of things here and there, and perhaps some optional rules in some supplements, but the core of any edition hasn't had permanent bad effects be a significant factor, just a handful of things.



Well I'm not advocating for every monster in the book to have some permanent malicious effect.  A lot of monsters did have level drain and until pretty high level, it was permanent.   Restoration was limited to high level.  Rust monsters damaged equipment.  Death also resulted in a full level loss in one of the editions.
 


I got curious, and flipping through the 1e Monster Manual.  I am assuming that turned to stone is the equivalent of death and didn't look at the powerful Demon Lords/Dukes of Hell.  Granting that I may have missed a couple on a flip through, we have:

Brain Mole:  permanent insanity
Cerebral Parasite:  drains psionic points if you're infected (3rd level Remove Disease fixes)
Succubus:  kiss drains a level
Dryad:  charm for 1-4 years
Ghost:  age 10 years
Lamia:  drains Wisdom
Lycanthropes:  cause lycanthropy (Cure Disease requires a 12th lvl caster within 3 days, that's stout)
Mummy:  mummy rot fatal in 1-6 months, Charisma drain, and reduced healing (removed with Cure Disease)
Night Hag:  Constitution drain
Pseudo-dragon:  catolepsy for 1-6 days
Spectre:  drains 1 level
Vampire:  drains 2 levels
Wight:  drains 1 level
Wraith:  drains 1 level

And the following monsters muck with your equipment, which is quite similar to an opponent taking a disarm maneuver against you in combat with his buddy picking up the dropped weapon and running.

Black Pudding:  eats equipment
Gray Ooze:  eats equipment
Green Slime:  eats equipment
Mimic:  sticks weapons
Remorhaz:  melts non-magical weapons
Rust Monster:  rusts metal

Additionally, there are a fair number of monsters with spellcasting and/or psionic ability that might have one of the few spells with permanent effects memorized.

Outside of undead, there just isn't all that much that has permanent effects, including some monsters I've never even used in decades of gaming.  And if you are entering some undead crypt, you should likely have some type of preparation for level drain anyway. 

I don't consider that a whole lot of permanent malicious effects, merely a handful of monsters here and there out of hundreds.  Most things just kill you.



Thanks for the answers everyone.  Some great logic.

As for the above, there are what, 200 monsters in MM1?  That's 20 monsters out of 200 - 10%.  That's a lot.  Is it the same for the new compendiums?  Also, many of these creatures were not high level creatures, just a mid level fight.  Maybe that's a bit different as well?
Equipment eaters were basically a way for the DM to say oops I gave you something too powerful... a hokey admittance of a failure in the guidelines for distributing treasure.

  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
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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.
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Yeah to me the list looks like a lot.  Like I said I'm not saying they all did.  It was a more common undead theme.  I think it has to be somewhat rare (or each type does) or it loses it's effect.

 
Equipment eaters were basically a way for the DM to say oops I gave you something too powerful... a hokey admittance of a failure in the guidelines for distributing treasure.




Sometime I'd like to know what sadistic DM you played under so I can have my friends hunt him down and slap him with a large trout or something, because every time you say something like this it just leaves me dumbfounded for a moment.  In 31 years of D&D, I've seen 'equipment eaters' actually -succeed- in eating equipment a handful of times.  And I've used them/seen them a lot more than that, as they are pretty common underground encounters (the slime/mold/ooze variety, but not to imply that we are typically underground).

The worst equipment stealer to ever exist (as far as how many times it stole weaponry) was, thankfully, temporary -- the standard Baaz draconian from Dragonlance.  Those lil buggers would steal about 90% of the killing weapons lol.  Hoopaks to the rescue!

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."