The "realism" of Magical vs Martial healing


While discussing the concept of altering the low level healing options for Clerics the issue of the "power" of healing.  I realised that  my biggest issue with Cleric healing at the moment is that it is unrealistically powerful.

The low level "cure minor" spell should only be able to heal wounds if the character is above 50% HP, otherwise the wound is not "minor".

Curing HP between 0 and 50% should require more powerful magic, "cure moderate wounds" for example.

While actually healing unconscious characters who are bleeding to death (very seriously wounded) should require a "cure serious wounds" spell at a mininum or non-magical intervention.

While I have no issue with "minor" healing spells I think they should only heal HP if a few are missing, or grant temp HP.

These are more appropriate "minor" effects.

The current ability of "minor" magic to heal severe wounds is unrealistic and breaches my ability to suspend my disbelief.   
Actually the magical healing requires a significantly higher level of suspension of disbelief.

This is a problem because even in the fantasy writing used as the basis for D&D magical healing is rare, usually only granted through quests.

The kind of easy healing allowed for in D&D generally is already straining the limits of the basic assumptions of a "fantasy" setting.  Therefore there should be more hard limits on magical healing to reduce this strain.

The current settings for healing magic are thus vastly more "unrealistic" than mundane recovery from unconsciousness due to severe injury thanks to inspiration, which has real-world precident.

...

To sum up, non-magical healing is currently more effective and more common in the game than in the fantasy literature which is the basis for most D&D concepts.  The current magical healing is too common and too powerful, especially given the current HP assumptions.

Non-magical healing, being based on real-world examples of the effectiveness of "inspiration" as well as common TV/Film and Fantasy tropes, should thus be more effective than the magical equivalent... in at least some situations.

We should therefore push for a reduction in the effacy of magical healing and the enhancement of non-magical options.
I like the idea that inspiration healing works better on conscious people, but doesn't work at all on people who are unconscious. You shouldn't be able to warlord a guy back from bleeding to death, that should take a cleric. However if the guy is just battered but still standing, then the warlord should give him more of a boost than a cleric could.
That is incorrect.

There are real life examples of individuals being woken from unconsciousness due to "inspiration" from others.

Further the concept of calling the name of someone to wake them, even from death, is so common a trope that it's impossible to ignore.

In other words real life examples + common trope = should be reflected in the game.

This is exactly why non-magical healing should trump magical healing, the real world examples and common tropes both argue in it's favour.       
That is incorrect.

There are real life examples of individuals being woken from unconsciousness due to "inspiration" from others.

Further the concept of calling the name of someone to wake them, even from death, is so common a trope that it's impossible to ignore.

In other words real life examples + common trope = should be reflected in the game.

This is exactly why non-magical healing should trump magical healing, the real world examples and common tropes both argue in it's favour.       


Your argument is that non magical healing should be more powerful than magical because there's less examples of magical healing in the real world? I'm really confused.
My two copper.
They should be equally powerful.  You know, that whole 'game balance' thing.
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And magical healing is less common in the fantasy sources used as inspiration for D&D.

But ultimately, if it can actually be done by real people in the real world it should be able to be done by characters in a D&D game.

Magic should be able to do things which are impossible in the real world, but if real people CAN do it then the non-magical option should be better.

Otherwise we're just back to "why play anything other than a caster?"     
It's simple really:
"That guy's hitpoint total is a larger number than it was a little bit ago"

If you're roleplaying healing, you are trying too hard.
Problem with game balance is... oh wait there's no problems.

Yes they should be equal, in all ways, warlording someone who is unconscious/about to die to full HP. Characters aren't just regular people, after all, not every leader of five or more bandits will be able to do this or even be a member of this class.
I think I could compromise to "magical healing and non-magical healing are equally effective".

But I don't think that the literature supporting D&D, the common tropes from TV and Film or the real life examples argue for anything other than non-magical healing as more effective.

So it'd have to be a compromise.

On the face of it, non-magical healing should be superior in every area.     
I think I could compromise to "magical healing and non-magical healing are equally effective".

But I don't think that the literature supporting D&D, the common tropes from TV and Film or the real life examples argue for anything other than non-magical healing as more effective.

So it'd have to be a compromise.

On the face of it, non-magical healing should be superior in every area.     



D&D may attempt to emulate such things, but it cannot duplicate them because it's an entirely different medium.  It would not be a good thing if D&D were to attempt to mimic TV, film, or books too closely.
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I think that adding a rule like, "whenever you use an inspirational healing ability on someone above half health, it restores an additional small amount; whenever you use a magical healing ability on someone below half health, it restores an additional small amount," would be perfectly balanced and fun and a little bit of a nod toward your particular interpretation of hit points.  It also adds some amount of additional bookkeeping, and would probably be better left as a house-rule (or minor module).

The small amount should be enough that you never want to wound someone just above the threshold in order to bring them down to the point where they'd get the extra healing.  I was thinking 1d4, or +1 per die rolled, or something like that.

The metagame is not the game.

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@OP: I'd agree.  Magical healing is far more powerful in D&D than it is in fantasy.  What I think they should do though is make Clerics have to find exotic reagents to heal people.  Like not even something that they can buy, something they have to go on quests to get.  That matches the fiction about magical healing in most sources.  It takes artifacts or things like the Grail or something insane.  

So cure wounds can heal someone from unconscious to full, but it should take a 2-3 session quest to find the materials needed to cast such exotic magic. 
I think that adding a rule like, "whenever you use an inspirational healing ability on someone above half health, it restores an additional small amount; whenever you use a magical healing ability on someone below half health, it restores an additional small amount," would be perfectly balanced and fun and a little bit of a nod toward your particular interpretation of hit points.  It also adds some amount of additional bookkeeping, and would probably be better left as a house-rule (or minor module).

The small amount should be enough that you never want to wound someone just above the threshold in order to bring them down to the point where they'd get the extra healing.  I was thinking 1d4, or +1 per die rolled, or something like that.



While an interesting concept which is worth considering that in no way responds to the core issue which I was raising in the OP.

The point is that magical healing in D&D is too common, too effective and too easily applied when compared to the fantasy literature and TV/Film tropes which it is (at least partly) replicating.

At the same time non-magical healing is more effective than D&D often suggests, a balance I am suggesting should be corrected.   

While discussing the concept of altering the low level healing options for Clerics the issue of the "power" of healing.  I realised that  my biggest issue with Cleric healing at the moment is that it is unrealistically powerful.

The low level "cure minor" spell should only be able to heal wounds if the character is above 50% HP, otherwise the wound is not "minor".

Curing HP between 0 and 50% should require more powerful magic, "cure moderate wounds" for example.

While actually healing unconscious characters who are bleeding to death (very seriously wounded) should require a "cure serious wounds" spell at a mininum or non-magical intervention.



Right now, hit points are abstracted in 5e so that if you are above 50% hit points, you haven't actually taken any physical damage.  It's not until you drop below 50% that you even start to suffer minor damage, with serious/critical damage not occurring until you drop below 0.  It's unclear where moderate damage starts, but I could see it starting at 25%. 

That causes your ranges above to be off by a bit.  They should be...

Minor: 25% to 100%  
Moderate: 0-25%
Serious/critical: under 0     
The point is that magical healing in D&D is too common, too effective and too easily applied when compared to the fantasy literature and TV/Film tropes which it is (at least partly) replicating.

At the same time non-magical healing is more effective than D&D often suggests, a balance I am suggesting should be corrected.

I think this might be one of those Necessary Weasels.  Player Characters within the heroic fantasy genre which D&D represents get injured far more than is reasonable for any other genre.  I mean, the standard (level 1) fighter in 3.0 can withstand getting hit solidly by a longsword, going from full health down to zero, as a daily occurrence.

That the cleric wields magic to trivially restore the wounds caused by such a hit is a secondary factor to the ability to trivially survive such hits in the first place.

To "fix" everything involved with this would mean to redefine hit points in such a way as to exclude the physical model, thus making actual injury rare enough that healing magic could be allowed to be equally rare.  Some people already define hit points as mostly non-physical, and in doing so, the common interpretation means that healing magic becomes notably unimpressive and no longer needs to be rare at all.

The metagame is not the game.


While discussing the concept of altering the low level healing options for Clerics the issue of the "power" of healing.  I realised that  my biggest issue with Cleric healing at the moment is that it is unrealistically powerful.

The low level "cure minor" spell should only be able to heal wounds if the character is above 50% HP, otherwise the wound is not "minor".

Curing HP between 0 and 50% should require more powerful magic, "cure moderate wounds" for example.

While actually healing unconscious characters who are bleeding to death (very seriously wounded) should require a "cure serious wounds" spell at a mininum or non-magical intervention.



Right now, hit points are abstracted in 5e so that if you are above 50% hit points, you haven't actually taken any physical damage.  It's not until you drop below 50% that you even start to suffer minor damage, with serious/critical damage not occurring until you drop below 0.  It's unclear where moderate damage starts, but I could see it starting at 25%. 

That causes your ranges above to be off by a bit.  They should be...

Minor: 25% to 100%  
Moderate: 0-25%
Serious/critical: under 0     



That's a fair call.

You are mostly right about the abstraction, though I disagree that it's that precise.

There is certainly room for negotiation around the placement of the "lines".

But the core concept, that mundane healing is more effacious and more common in the literature, tropes and reality, is the key here.     
Personally:

D&D hp before "martial healing" didn't make any sense to me.  I had people telling me that hit point loss wasn't just physical wounds - but at the same time, every way to recover hit points deals with physical recovery.

Made no sense to me - still makes no sense to me.
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The point is that magical healing in D&D is too common, too effective and too easily applied when compared to the fantasy literature and TV/Film tropes which it is (at least partly) replicating.

At the same time non-magical healing is more effective than D&D often suggests, a balance I am suggesting should be corrected.

I think this might be one of those Necessary Weasels.  Player Characters within the heroic fantasy genre which D&D represents get injured far more than is reasonable for any other genre.  I mean, the standard (level 1) fighter in 3.0 can withstand getting hit solidly by a longsword, going from full health down to zero, as a daily occurrence.

That the cleric wields magic to trivially restore the wounds caused by such a hit is a secondary factor to the ability to trivially survive such hits in the first place.

To "fix" everything involved with this would mean to redefine hit points in such a way as to exclude the physical model, thus making actual injury rare enough that healing magic could be allowed to be equally rare.  Some people already define hit points as mostly non-physical, and in doing so, the common interpretation means that healing magic becomes notably unimpressive and no longer needs to be rare at all.



Even if HP were purely physical (which they are not and never have been) then non-magical healing should still be more effective.

After all, we have real world examples of people being woken from a coma caused by severe injury simply through hearing their names being called... it's hard to argue with reality!

But the point that magical healing should always be significant only feeds into my original concept.

I'd be VERY happy with a Cleric class that was healing a LOT less and buffing/enhancing a LOT more instead... it'd be far more in line with the literature, tropes and "realism".     
They should be equally powerful.  You know, that whole 'game balance' thing.



This is not necessarily true.  The classes that contain each should be equally powerful.  It is not an issue if class A (magical healing) is better at healing than class B (martial healing), as long as class B also has something it's better at than class A.  For example, granting attacks.


The 4E cleric is better at restoring HP than the 4E warlord, but that doesn't create a balance problem because the warlord has other things it's better at than the cleric.
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Personally:

D&D hp before "martial healing" didn't make any sense to me.  I had people telling me that hit point loss wasn't just physical wounds - but at the same time, every way to recover hit points deals with physical recovery.

Made no sense to me - still makes no sense to me.



That assumes that clerical healing is only physical.  I could easily see the infusion of Godly power to be inspiring and invigorating.  A cure serious for 24 points could be 5 points physical and 19 points refreshing/invigorating/inspiring/etc.
Personally:

D&D hp before "martial healing" didn't make any sense to me.  I had people telling me that hit point loss wasn't just physical wounds - but at the same time, every way to recover hit points deals with physical recovery.

Made no sense to me - still makes no sense to me.



That assumes that clerical healing is only physical.  I could easily see the infusion of Godly power to be inspiring and invigorating.  A cure serious for 24 points could be 5 points physical and 19 points refreshing/invigorating/inspiring/etc.


Sure.  But (1) I don't recall it ever being presented that way, and (2) that opens the door to "martial healing" anyway - unless only magic can inspire/invigorate/refresh.
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I strongly oppose any attempt to weaken clerical healing (although I'm not opposed to some form of accelerated mundane healing as well, though I would want the mechanic to be quite different).  First, the is a substantial level of "miraculous" healing in the religous traditions of our world.  I certainly have no difficulty then believing in devine healing in a fantasy world.  But whether of not you accept the original poster's notion that magical healing is hard to believe in, it is a practical necessity for the game to be playable.  That is unless you think sitting around months after an injury for natural recovery is fun to role-play.
I've heard people talk about consolidating Vancian spells. I say nay. Vancian magic is too cultural. Divine spells should be diverse however there should only be one spell called cure wounds and one spell called cause wounds. Not every Cleric should have them.
Something I hadn't really considered until reading this thread was throttling all forms of healings, such that low level healing cannot restore people back to full health from death. Personally, I like the idea of a "cure light wounds" having a cap of 25% of maximum health, such that it would take roughly 4 casts to bring someone to full health from 0. The higher spell levels raise the cap, so perhaps the "heal" spell would cap at 100% (but not necessarily a guarenteed amount).

As far as martial vs magical healing, I've always been fine with either being valid, since damage has and always will be fluff, so if you want to describe that massive damage blow as just barely missing you, but you feel you used up most of your luck, have at it. It's the character's story as much as it is the DM's, so make it a good one.

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The point is that magical healing in D&D is too common, too effective and too easily applied when compared to the fantasy literature and TV/Film tropes which it is (at least partly) replicating.

At the same time non-magical healing is more effective than D&D often suggests, a balance I am suggesting should be corrected.

I think this might be one of those Necessary Weasels.  Player Characters within the heroic fantasy genre which D&D represents get injured far more than is reasonable in any other genre

Do they?  How many of the Fellowship of the Ring get wounded and healed back up in every fight?  

D&D characters get wounded and healed a lot more than protagonists in any genre.  Every fight sees them getting "hit" with deadly attacks.  If you take most hits as un-real near-misses, and most healing as little more than encouragement, you could make a D&D encounter look a little more like a fantasy battle.  

I remember hearing the explanation for hit points in the old days.  That they were luck or skill or divine-grace getting you nicked and bruised instead of decapitated and crushed.  But they never held together for me.  They make more sense, now, with Second Wind and Inspiring Words, as well as Healing Words and Cure Light Wounds.
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Personally, I like the idea of a "cure light wounds" having a cap of 25% of maximum health, such that it would take roughly 4 casts to bring someone to full health from 0. The higher spell levels raise the cap, so perhaps the "heal" spell would cap at 100% (but not necessarily a guarenteed amount).

While there is some appeal to this, I'm not sure that it would work well in gameplay.  At level 1, a quarter of your life is only 1-2 HP.  Contrast with a level 10 character, where 25% is closer to 25 HP.  At that rate, it would almost make sense to start with Cure Serious and only gain Cure Light later on when 25% actually means something.

And that's why we should go back to healing surges.  (Wait, what?)

The metagame is not the game.

Healing exists in its more powerful-than-literature form for the same reason that Ressurection spells exist - for the game. From a purely story sense, ressurection, especially, is a DISASTER. However, everyone is playing a game, and sometimes something bad happens to a beloved character and the players don't want to have to write up a new one, so they go and use that spell. In literature, there are no main healers, but the main characters also tend to have a heck of a lot of plot armor (look at all the attacks that miss) than DnD characters and/or do not end up in as dangerous positions as DnD characters. They also tend to spend large amounts of time healing when injured and the scene just moves to different characters; that doesn't work for DnD. So, they implemented a system for healing the characters. While I can understand the issues about martial/mundane healing (though I am not worried about that issue - i liked the novelty of yelling at a person to take a spear out of their chest and get back in the fight), the existence of healing across the adventure is very important.
Personally, I like the idea of a "cure light wounds" having a cap of 25% of maximum health, such that it would take roughly 4 casts to bring someone to full health from 0. The higher spell levels raise the cap, so perhaps the "heal" spell would cap at 100% (but not necessarily a guarenteed amount).

While there is some appeal to this, I'm not sure that it would work well in gameplay.  At level 1, a quarter of your life is only 1-2 HP.  Contrast with a level 10 character, where 25% is closer to 25 HP.  At that rate, it would almost make sense to start with Cure Serious and only gain Cure Light later on when 25% actually means something.

And that's why we should go back to healing surges.  (Wait, what?)




I must admit to a certain amount of bemusement at the idea of someone with:

"Whenever I see a designer use the word, "abstraction," or describe HP/AC/damage as "a combination of many factors," I read it as, "None of this actually means anything. You might as well play a round of poker to determine the results, for as little as we care about painting an accurate picture of what's really happening.  Just make something up, because we're too afraid of offending anyone to actually do our job and pick a consistent reality to model."

in their sig agreeing with me on ANYTHING, let alone healing.

Surprised

Still, this is a D&D forum, oddness should come in many shapes and sizes.

Tongue Out

I do see the game play point which is made regarding the "cure light" vs "cure serious" issue.  Though, couldn't temporary HP be a perfectly satisfactory answer?

After all, they function basically the same, right?

But the in-game implications are less simulation breaking.                
Personally, I like the idea of a "cure light wounds" having a cap of 25% of maximum health, such that it would take roughly 4 casts to bring someone to full health from 0. The higher spell levels raise the cap, so perhaps the "heal" spell would cap at 100% (but not necessarily a guarenteed amount).

While there is some appeal to this, I'm not sure that it would work well in gameplay.  At level 1, a quarter of your life is only 1-2 HP.  Contrast with a level 10 character, where 25% is closer to 25 HP.  At that rate, it would almost make sense to start with Cure Serious and only gain Cure Light later on when 25% actually means something.

And that's why we should go back to healing surges.  (Wait, what?)




I must admit to a certain amount of bemusement at the idea of someone with:

"Whenever I see a designer use the word, "abstraction," or describe HP/AC/damage as "a combination of many factors," I read it as, "None of this actually means anything. You might as well play a round of poker to determine the results, for as little as we care about painting an accurate picture of what's really happening.  Just make something up, because we're too afraid of offending anyone to actually do our job and pick a consistent reality to model."

in their sig agreeing with me on ANYTHING, let alone healing.

Surprised

Still, this is a D&D forum, oddness should come in many shapes and sizes.

Tongue Out

I do see the game play point which is made regarding the "cure light" vs "cure serious" issue.  Though, couldn't temporary HP be a perfectly satisfactory answer?

After all, they function basically the same, right?

But the in-game implications are less simulation breaking.                

Temp HP is very interesting (and oft talked about for warlord "healing"), however it ends up being a little strange in that it's Pro-active healing instead of reactive healing. Certainly, it can be very useful (gods help me I'm gonna make a WoW comparison: Disc priests vs Holy priests), but reactive healing works very, very well (and is much less likely to be wasted by not being used/fully used, and it is a precious resource).
While I, again, agree that "reactive healing" works better as the game concept the simulational advantages of Temporary HP are difficult to ignore.

Further I believe that they are more appropriate for low level magic than non-magical healing, which has real world precident to back it up as a functional concept. 
A proactive healing would have to be like give every body thp during the charge... so that in effect the harm you cant heal later doesnt happen at all (on just one guy). Are they willing to let a Warlord generate 5 x the THP a cleric makes in regular.?
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At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
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There are lots of ways of handling health in role-playing game, but D&D has always done a piss poor job of it.  Oddly enough Wizards has come up with even worse solutions than the original design like healing surges that was just short of saying "forget the whole thing, lets just make character imortal".


The best systems that I have seen that incorporate ever increasing "hit points" was the Vitality system in Star Wars D20.  In that system you had your "health" which was based on your constitution and that only changed when your constitution changed.  Than you had vitality, which was kind of the abstracted hit points as described over the years as hit points.  This worked quite well in maintaining a difference between actual injury and the abstraction that allowed characters to "stay in the fight" while maintaing a sense of reality about the condition of your character.

I always assumed that 4th edition was going to use this component as it was well designed and created the desired effect, but instead we got healing surges which is single handidly the mechanic that caused the largest amount of players to leave the game.  It was a disaster and I personally believe Paizo as a company exists today and Pathfinder as a game has a market because of the existance of this single mechanic in 4th edition.

It wouldn't have been as bad if it was a flexible aspect of the mechanic, but it was simply something you could not remove, the entire system relied on this mechanic and trying to remove it required mountains of work.    

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While I think the sentiment of requiring magic to heal serious wounds is interesting, I think the purpose of the game is better served by giving people who don't innately use magic to do it have some kind of supernatural ability. Basically make it magic. It doesn't have to be a spell, as such, but there's lots of half-magic in character classes so people will just find their own explanations.


Since nobody can agree on what health and healing really is in D&D, let's just leave all of it in a grey area and let the players figure it out for themselves on an individual basis. Honestly, it makes absolutely no difference if we agree or not as long as the numbers function in a way that makes sense.


What I really don't want is the game to dictate to me what HP is and introduce mechanics based on their definition, 'cause I don't want to describe it like they do and forcing the issue will result in me ignoring them. I think that'll happen pretty much at every table, to be fair.

While I understand the OP's point about how a Cure Minor/Light Wounds shouldn't heal someone who has lost over X% of their total (where X denotes moderate or major wounds), I don't agree with the distinction.

I view the spells as magically healing/stitching up wounds in a progressive way.  Cast a CLW on someone who has minor cuts and scratches, and those cuts fade away.  Cast the same spell on someone who is gravely injured, and the spell has some effect, but it doesn't completely heal at all.  Major wounds begin to knit themselves together, and the loss of blood seems to cease, but by no means is the character uninjured.  It would take a more powerful spell, or more subsequent uses of the weaker spell, to fully heal the individual.

That said, I strongly feel that healing should be proportional.  I don't view 1 HP damage to a 10 HP wizard to be equivalent to 1 HP damage to a 20 HP fighter.  A fighter with 50 out of 100 HP left is precisely as "injured" (be it described as exhaustion, cuts and bruises, or open wounds) as a wizard with 25 out of 50 total.  Light, moderate, or severe wounds are imagined as a relative amount of HP expressed as a percentage of the total, so healing should be proportional to reflect that.
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Interesting thread...

A minor comment about proportional healing. I may find your reasons or narrations confusing but I sympathize. I find it as absurd as non proportional healing is to you. Obviously you are not gonna be convinced by a random forum poster so Im not gonna try again. My arguments are already in foxface's thread if anyone cares to read them.

Honestly I may disagree, but I like the fact that people support something because it feels right in their stories. It makes no sense to me but thats one more reason that noone should compare any dnd edition to any computer game out there. Narrations do matter and this is an rpg game so imo they should. Perhaps devs should make healing modules that could support us all.

Admiral unless Im mistaken this is a word semantics argument. Cure light/moderate/serious wounds etc are names for a spell. The spell heals hps and not actual wounds. This is the result of what names the designers decided to give back in the day. If it helps you, name them cure a few hps, cure more hps and cure a bunch of hps. Thats what they do.

Noone argues (at least not me) against the fact that the warlord class should be equally effective as a support role as a cleric.

In my opinion coma and unconcsiousness have a rl meaning and definition and should not be used... lightly or create confusion with "rl" arguments.

The massive headache with proportional healing is you have to determine what the percentages are. If I cast CLW on a character and that spell heals 20% of their max health plus a bonus, I then have to determine that. Sure I've got a calculator to hand but why should I have to do the working out?


The advantage of dice +modifier is speed of play. I cast the spell, I roll a d8 and my modifier. Job done.


I also agree that we shouldn't get too hung up on the spell names. "cure light wounds" heals a light wound relative to "cure moderate wounds". You don't have to make that distinction relative to the HP of the person you're healing, you can make it relative to the other spells in the series. "Cure 1" and "cure 2" would serve the purposes of the game just as well, but it's nice to have words instead of numbers.


Or we could just morph all the cure spells into one big spell called "cure wounds" and the level at which you prepare it determines how many dice you roll.


The kind of easy healing allowed for in D&D generally is already straining the limits of the basic assumptions of a "fantasy" setting.  Therefore there should be more hard limits on magical healing to reduce this strain.

The current settings for healing magic are thus vastly more "unrealistic" than mundane recovery from unconsciousness due to severe injury thanks to inspiration, which has real-world precident.

...

To sum up, non-magical healing is currently more effective and more common in the game than in the fantasy literature which is the basis for most D&D concepts.  The current magical healing is too common and too powerful, especially given the current HP assumptions.

Non-magical healing, being based on real-world examples of the effectiveness of "inspiration" as well as common TV/Film and Fantasy tropes, should thus be more effective than the magical equivalent... in at least some situations.

We should therefore push for a reduction in the effacy of magical healing and the enhancement of non-magical options.

Personally, I think this is the craziest thing I’ve heard in a long time. I have serious issues with the martial healing approach, because while I agree it’s appropriate in some situations, it really isn’t in any that involve real physical injury. The game mechanics for healing have to make sense in ALL situations, not just those which are convenient.


I don’t care how inspirational a warlord is if my character has just lost most of his liver, one kidney and good portion of his gastro-intestinal tract to an orc axe. Assuming the raw damage and blood loss don’t kill him outright the loss of vital organ function will be in a race with the onset of severe infection to kill him relatively slowly. HP also represents that situation, and no amount of inspirational talking is going to do the job of a competent surgical team in a sterile operating theatre.


If you want to argue that plot armour prevents the PC from taking that hit, then how do explain a sudden dip in lava inflicting similar damage? Or having them drink a cocktail of acid and poison?


The only satisfactory answer in my opinion is to have a catch-all healing system that can address those situations as well. That means magical healing. Change the spell names if you like, because there is a certain logic behind your initial argument, but keep it magical.


 


Regarding your “real-world” examples….. I think we live in very different real worlds. If impassioned calls to harden up really did work there would be far fewer deaths in the world. Heck, even CPR – which is a medical procedure – almost never saves any given individual in the real world despite what dramatic prime-time television shows would have us believe. People die because their bodies stop working in some way, not because they can’t be bothered (although that is sometimes a factor).  


Finally, I think the biggest inspiration for D&D over the last 30 years has been D&D. The basic assumptions of the D&D fantasy settings are those made in the D&D ruleset. They're not there to accurately model some other fantasy setting, so why try to fit the proverbial square peg in the round hole?




IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/12.jpg)

I think the biggest inspiration for D&D over the last 30 years has been D&D.


Dude, D&D is so awesomely meta! I wonder when it develops a degenerative illness or cancer from inbreeding?



For serious though, this is pretty much spot on. While we should allow fantasy writing to inform the system, the system is largely its own thing and shouldn't actually try to recreate the fantasy genre exactly. We create the fantasy; D&D does not.

 
Admiral unless Im mistaken this is a word semantics argument. Cure light/moderate/serious wounds etc are names for a spell. The spell heals hps and not actual wounds. This is the result of what names the designers decided to give back in the day. If it helps you, name them cure a few hps, cure more hps and cure a bunch of hps. Thats what they do. 



In other words non-proportionate hit points are dissassociative.
  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."

 

  the system is largely its own thing and shouldn't actually try to recreate the fantasy genre exactly. 



Wallowing in its own failures ... instead of fixing them.
  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."

 

Everyone has his/her own disassotiations garth. We've talked extensively on this and Im not gonna do this on every thread.

We all have our narrations and playstyles nothing is right or wrong here.