A new thought on healing

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So, apparently a large portion of the base doesn't like healing surges.  Yet propoprtionate healing makes a ot of sense and takes care of a lot of problems.  What if the character sheet did the following:

Your hit points are divided into 5 stages.  Divide your hp into six, rounding down (min. 1).  So your hp may appear as follows:
































HPStage

22



5 (max)
174
133
82
41


Then the cure spells would say:
Cure Light Wounds: Heal 1d8+4 hp or restore your hp or to the first stage value, whichever is greater.
Cure Moderate Wounds: Heal 2d8+4 hp or to the second stage value, whichever is greater.
Cure Serious Wounds: Heal 3d8+4 hp or to the third stage value, whichever is greater.
Cure Critical Wounds: Heal 4d8+4 hp or to the fourth stage value, whichever is greater.

Inflict spells would inflict that much damage or reduce your hp by one or more stages. 

Calculating hp stages isn't very complicated, since you only do it when you level up.  Electronic sheets would calculate it for you. It provides a framework for wound charts (which I hate but others like).  It allows for effects based on your stage as well.  (I.e., this effect kills creatures who have fewer hp than their first stage value.)
Calculating hp stages isn't very complicated, since you only do it when you level up.  Electronic sheets would calculate it for you. It provides a framework for wound charts (which I hate but others like).  It allows for effects based on your stage as well.  (I.e., this effect kills creatures who have fewer hp than their first stage value.)

An interesting alternate mechanic, but I think it would tie in better with a wound chart that as a replacement for healing surges.

As is, hit dice scale well (which is what this looks like it is trying to do, mainly) but it doesn't have the major benefit of healing surges in that it doesn't limit daily magical healing.

And if all the people that hate healing surges start liking this, I don't even...

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."


Calculating hp stages isn't very complicated, since you only do it when you level up.  Electronic sheets would calculate it for you. It provides a framework for wound charts (which I hate but others like).  It allows for effects based on your stage as well.  (I.e., this effect kills creatures who have fewer hp than their first stage value.)

I like it, mostly because it makes healing scale while at the same time insuring that minor healing isn't enough for high level tough characters. It gives space for clerics to scale healing a bit, without healing becoming over powered.

it doesn't have the major benefit of healing surges in that it doesn't limit daily magical healing.

Healing surges in 4e are not much of a limit anway, they are easy to move between characters via ritual and many characters will have more healing surges then they can practically use in a day. The more practical limit is simply the limited number of daily healing powers you can get.

I always had the impression that the number of healing surges was set fairly high with the intent of using them to power magic items and other non-healing effects. In practice this didn't turn out to work well, so they stopped using them for anything but healing, without ever reducing the number of healing surges.


I like it, mostly because it makes healing scale while at the same time insuring that minor healing isn't enough for high level tough characters. It gives space for clerics to scale healing a bit, without healing becoming over powered.

Cure light heals one surge worth; cure moderate heals two surges; cure serious heals 3 surges worth; cure critical heals to full (oh look, very close to exactly how that works in 4e).

Healing surges in 4e are not much of a limit anway

From what I understand, if you run the 4e modules WotC has published, this is very true. In my personal experience, it's an extremely limiting factor (and then some), perhaps because I try to really challenge my players. I've gone over earlier in another thread why that works; even on top of that, you can say "healing surges in 4th edition didn't work because you had too many of them" and then simply reduce the number of healing surges in a game. This is a great, obvious, transparent way to easily scale the difficulty of a game.

they are easy to move between characters via ritual and many characters will have more healing surges then they can practically use in a day.

If a group has 40 healing surges altogether, it doesn't matter if one person has 12 and another 8, etc etc. If you actually wear down on your group properly - in the manner I think the game intended, when it wasn't on easy mode - then your group will walk into encounters with the defender at 3 surges, a striker at 1, another striker lucky at 2, and the healer only has 2.

The more practical limit is simply the limited number of daily healing powers you can get.

Practical? No. Traditional? Yes. Better? No. What happens if you have two healers in the group? Suddenly your group can go, more or less literally, twice as long before a long rest. How do you balance out consumable healing items like healing potions?

they stopped using them for anything but healing, without ever reducing the number of healing surges

I'm not sure who "they" are. The writers of the 4e adventure books? There are a number of class features, abilities, magic items, and rituals that involve surges. Moreover, there are monsters that deal damage in the form of removing surges. Related to why healing surges are better than just limited healing powers, you can use surges in a half-dozen utilitarian ways. It speeds book-keeping, enhances game play, and adds in tactical and character choices into the game.

Am I the only 4e DM that had traps that dealt damage in surges? Included monsters (especially life-sucking undead) that took away surges? Diseases/curses that reduce surge value? Enforced using surges for elixers? Am I the only 4e DM that properly challenged his players that they actually needed as many surges as they had?

I'm not being satrical here: Am I the only 4e DM that challenged his players?

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

And if all the people that hate healing surges start liking this, I don't even...

There were many, many reasons to dislike healing surges which have nothing to do with healing being scaled to max HP. Most notably, healing surges were tied into the heavy abstraction of HP, to the point where you could just shrug and recover HP. (To contrast, Next currently requires the use of a healer's kit in order to recover HP - implying that all lost HP are actual wounds.)

Merely using one-quarter or one-fifth max HP as a convenient base number for magical healing is a completely separate point that has very little to do with any prior implementation of healing surges.

So yes, I'm a big fan of this sort of healing module, even though I hate healing surges.

The metagame is not the game.
I like it.  Six is a good number, as well.  Four would be too few, eight too many. 

Straightforward, flexible, can support modification. 

I like it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Most notably, healing surges were tied into the heavy abstraction of HP, to the point where you could just shrug and recover HP. (To contrast, Next currently requires the use of a healer's kit in order to recover HP - implying that all lost HP are actual wounds.)

If you're using hit points as a direct wound system, and this makes sense to you, I don't know what to tell you. D&D has used an abstract hit point system since 2e, and this has been written and explained explicitly in the core books in every edition since then. I'm pretty sure it was that way in 1e too, but I never played it so couldn't expressly say so.

As far as shrugging and healing, are you perhaps confusing the "Second Wind" mechanic with healing surges? I don't see what you don't like about that concept; the hero coming thru after being beaten down is a very common troupe, in both film and literature.

Merely
using one-quarter or one-fifth max HP as a convenient base number for magical healing is a completely separate point that has very little to do with any prior implementation of healing surges.
Actually using healing surges to scale healing was a major point of why to even use them.

So yes, I'm a big fan of this sort of healing module, even though I hate healing surges.

You don't like a limit on daily magical healing.

I still have yet to find a good mechanical reason why surges are bad, other than "I really don't like them because of the way I choose to view them".

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I like it.  Six is a good number, as well.  Four would be too few, eight too many.  


Six was my other option, mostly because stage three becomes the bloodied value which seems too useful to abandon.  The only problem with six is that it becomes a bit too much for low-level characters, many of whom might only have six or eight hp.  But I'm not totally opposed to having six stages.

Four could be fine, but there's no way to distinguish all the healing spells.  The healing spells have a pretty nice progression:

  1. Cure Light

  2. Cure Moderate

  3. Cure Serious

  4. Cure Critical

  5. Mass Cure

  6. Heal

  7. Improved Mass Cure

  8. ??

  9. Mass Heal


With only four stages, there's nothing more Cure Ciritical to do.  (Or, more precisely, Cure Ciritcal and Heal would do the same thing.)
I'm not seeing the formula from your example wrecan. Shouldn't each stage have roughly the same HP amount? It seems like you are having each stage ~20% of your max HP (round down), with the left over being evenly distributed among the top stages.

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Perhaps stages could be limited by Hit Dice.  As in, at 1 HD you only have one stage, and CLW heals you to full (which it probably does already, just by the numerical heal).  Two HD gets you two stages, and so on, until you reach some maximum number of stages.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I'm not seeing the formula from your example wrecan. Shouldn't each stage have roughly the same HP amount? It seems like you are having each stage ~20% of your max HP (round down), with the left over being evenly distributed among the top stages.


This is just due to rounding.  All the stages are either 4 or 5, and whether it's 4 or 5 is a matter of rounding. 
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I still have yet to find a good mechanical reason why surges are bad, other than "I really don't like them because of the way I choose to view them".

As stated previously, every edition prior to 4E has allowed the option of viewing HP as wounds. In spite of the handwave that HP are supposed to represent multiple factors, most evidence within each edition had shown clearly that every hit created some physical damage.

Except for 4E, where you could just "spend a Healing Surge" with no justification - even in the middle of combat - and suddenly you're up to full.

If the whole point of choosing a system is to play one which allows you to tell the kinds of stories you want, while deviating as little as possible from what you would expect to happen within the confines of that genre, then yes, I don't like Healing Surges because they conflict with the way I choose to view the game.

And to try and keep this on topic, I would point out that the traditional pitfall of scaling CLW = 1/5 max HP, and CSW = 3/5 max HP is that low-level characters have very few HP and 1/5 of 8 is only 1; offering the minimum of 2d8+4 or 40% max HP is a great workaround that keeps lower-level spell slots valuable against high-HP targets.


The metagame is not the game.
If you're using hit points as a direct wound system, and this makes sense to you, I don't know what to tell you.


It's a matter of degree.  4e was my favorite edition to date, but the level of abstraction was definitely higher than in prior editions and healing surges were a part of that.  

Like others, I also found that surges/day offered little to no true limit on the amount of healing and I sent some pretty severe encounters at my players.  But between Comrade's Succor and defenders and controllers doing their jobs well, people never ran low on surges.

And the game worked fine.  So, as far as I'm concerned, it's not necessary for 5e's surge analog to provide a limit on healing.  The healing kits and spell slots do that fine.  I don't see a lot of people complaining that there's too much healing.  As long as they avoid wands of curing, it should all be good.

As far as shrugging and healing, are you perhaps confusing the "Second Wind" mechanic with healing surges? I don't see what you don't like about that concept


Again, at some point, hp loss does represent actual wounds -- particularly for attacks with carriers, like poison -- and it can be difficult to reconcile second wind with the healing of actual wounds.

I personally liked it, but I know a lot of people who did not.  That said, changing HD to surges is very easy.  Just eliminate the need for healing kits to spend a HD to heal, and limit your HD to the size of your HD plus three.  I.e., if your HD is d8, you get 11 uses of HD.

I still have yet to find a good mechanical reason why surges are bad


There's nothing mechanically wrong with surges.  It's an aesthetic preference.  And that's just as valid as a mechanical complaint.
Perhaps stages could be limited by Hit Dice.  As in, at 1 HD you only have one stage, and CLW heals you to full (which it probably does already, just by the numerical heal).  Two HD gets you two stages, and so on, until you reach some maximum number of stages.


That really would make it complicated and I'm not sure what it accomplishes.
It accomplishes not having the system break completely at very low numbers of hitpoints.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
How does the system break with low numbers of hp?  The minimum hp that most PCs should have is 5 (wizard with 8 Con).  Which means 1 hp/stage at level 1.  (Another reason I went with 5 stages instead of 6.)
Well, it breaks in that having stages isn't useful at low levels.  Nothing built around stages would interact with them at all.  You'd still have hard-coded numeric thresholds, from the 1d8+X for CLW to the 3d8 of Sleep.

This system works great as soon as you have enough hitpoints for a stage to be a meaningful contributor, but as the current hitpoints work that would only happen at high level.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I think I'd rather just accomplish the proportionality part of your proposed change by having Cure spells use the same sized dice as the character.


I..e - if you use CLW on a fighter, you heal for 1d10 +4 while if you use CLW on a wizard you heal for 1d6+4.


Carl   
Well, it breaks in that having stages isn't useful at low levels.  Nothing built around stages would interact with them at all.  You'd still have hard-coded numeric thresholds, from the 1d8+X for CLW to the 3d8 of Sleep.

Which is where a "greater of" comes in.

But really, the 'stages' should be based around intervals of 10%.  Dividing HP by ten and then multiplying that is much faster than dividing by six.

Thus we get A CL* that's XdY or (Z*10)%, whichever is greater.

Cure Light Wounds: greater of 1d8 or 20% max.
I like the HP/damage model used in the board games a lot. It keeps the numbers small (good for the younger/math-challenged players), and would make combat that much faster, since most hits will do 1 damage, with 2h weapons dealing 2 damage, and a crit could simply be +1 damage. You won't gain a HP every level, but you won't need to.

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If you want proportional healing, Next already has a mechanic in place: hit dice.  Just change the healing spells to the following:

Cure Light Wounds: The target regains hit points as if they had spent a hit die. 
Cure Moderate Wounds: The target regains hit points as if they had spent two hit dice.

If you want, give each spell a +4 or +8 to the amount healed (just like the current versions).

But honestly, I'm not sure why proportional healing is so important.  The high HP characters already have an advantage: they have more hit points.  I don't see why they also need to recover more HP from magical healing.  The way I look at it is that damage isn't proportional, and so healing shouldn't be either.  When a goblin hits you, you take 1d6-1 damage regardless of how many hit points you have. 

The trick is to remember that hp are abstract, and that real wounds don't show up until you are below 0.  So the wizard who is healed from 1 hit point back to full isn't having his bones mended and organs put back in; his scrapes and bruises are healed, but more importantly he recovers his stamina and energy.  He can once more dodge attacks to turn a killing blow into a grazing hit.
If you want proportional healing, Next already has a mechanic in place: hit dice.  Just change the healing spells to the following:

Cure Light Wounds: The target regains hit points as if they had spent a hit die. 
Cure Moderate Wounds: The target regains hit points as if they had spent two hit dice.


Argh!  You saw what I was doing there.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I was thinking the same thing as Carl, since the clerics capacity to heal could be based on the recipients ability to heal. You could take this further in a low magic or no magic campaign that healing just restores hit dice used to heal. Versus healing coming from external source, i.e. diety.

As to the way 4E represented hit points versus previous editions, I see no difference, except 4E spread the healing resources around, and allowed the characters to recover themselves. It had more flexibility to deal with low magic or no magic at all.  
Here's what I don't get about cure light/moderate/etc.  Higher HP totals are supposed to represent better ability to avoid taking damage: if one guy has twice as many HP as the other, it's not because he can survive getting his liver skewered twice as many times its because he's a more skilled combatant who can dodge and parry and what have you to the point where the skewer is only half as deep and in half as vital a location.  This is the only way to avoid rapid HP growth turning you into the black knight, and I'm fine with it.  This is why it makes sense for healing to be proportional, so that CLW heals an equal percentage of a fighter's and a wizard's health, because it's the percent that actually measures physical damage (to the extent there is any physical damage in D&D.   

But if healing is going to be proportional between the fighter and the wizard, why isn't it proportional between the level 1 fighter and the level 20 fighter?  Either the level 20 fighter is indeed the black knight, absorbing a quiver full of arrows and a dozen skewered organs before falling, or he's taking minimal to nil physical damage from the 5-10 HP that would have killed his lesser brethren.  If 20 out of 50 HP is the same amount of physical damage as 4 out of 10, why isn't CLW healing 20 for the high level fighter?  If a healing spell will heal 20/50 for a level 5 fighter and 10/25 for a level 5 wizard, why doesn't it heal 20/50 for a level 10 wizard?

The only answer I can come up with is, "because we need 1st level spells to stop being useful to high level clerics."  I'm not happy with that answer.  Does someone have a better one? 
Here's what I don't get about cure light/moderate/etc.  Higher HP totals are supposed to represent better ability to avoid taking damage: if one guy has twice as many HP as the other, it's not because he can survive getting his liver skewered twice as many times its because he's a more skilled combatant who can dodge and parry and what have you to the point where the skewer is only half as deep and in half as vital a location.  This is the only way to avoid rapid HP growth turning you into the black knight, and I'm fine with it.  This is why it makes sense for healing to be proportional, so that CLW heals an equal percentage of a fighter's and a wizard's health, because it's the percent that actually measures physical damage (to the extent there is any physical damage in D&D.   

But if healing is going to be proportional between the fighter and the wizard, why isn't it proportional between the level 1 fighter and the level 20 fighter?  Either the level 20 fighter is indeed the black knight, absorbing a quiver full of arrows and a dozen skewered organs before falling, or he's taking minimal to nil physical damage from the 5-10 HP that would have killed his lesser brethren.  If 20 out of 50 HP is the same amount of physical damage as 4 out of 10, why isn't CLW healing 20 for the high level fighter?  If a healing spell will heal 20/50 for a level 5 fighter and 10/25 for a level 5 wizard, why doesn't it heal 20/50 for a level 10 wizard?

The only answer I can come up with is, "because we need 1st level spells to stop being useful to high level clerics."  I'm not happy with that answer.  Does someone have a better one? 

Yes, I do.  Think of it this way: a strong orc attacking with a sword does 1d8+4 damage.  When you get hit, you take between 5 and 12 damage.  It could be that the damage is enough to reduce you to 0 or lower: you have taken a big hit, enough to drop you.  You might also have enough HP that the hit simply takes you a step closer to being knocked down.

Now the cleric heals you with CLW.  You regain 1d8+4 hp.  No matter how many HP you have, you can now take another hit from that orc. 

Note that this works even if the characters were knocked out, and even if they have very different HP totals.  The 1st level fighter and 20th level fighter will both be able to take one extra hit from that orc.  The difference between these two fighters is that the level 20 guy can "avoid" a lot more attacks before he goes down.  He might be covered in scratches, bruises, small cuts, etc., but he still reacts as well as an unharmed level 1 fighter.

The trick is to avoid getting caught up in the name of the spell, and to remember that HP are very abstract and incorporate the concept of being hit.

I would prefer a return to somehting similar to surges (but call them stamina because anything associated with 4e is badwrongfun) where each one spent heals for 25% of max HP.

Make in combat healing exceptionally rare, so that it is not required for a party to succeed. Then have cure spells be one of the only ways to spend stamina mid-combat. Cure light is a level 1 spell and allows you to spend 1 stamina. Cure moderate is a level 3 spell and allows your target to spend 2 stamina. Cure serious is a level 6 spell and allows your target to spend 3 stamina. Heal is a level 9 spell and allows your target to spend 4 stamina (bringin someone from 0 to full HP).

This makes magical healing based on the % of the targets HP, it makes magical healing powerful, but it also makes magical healing not necessarily mandatory for a groups success as the game should be designed around the assumption of no in combat healing.
But if healing is going to be proportional between the fighter and the wizard, why isn't it proportional between the level 1 fighter and the level 20 fighter?

That's one of the major arguments in favor of the "Black Knight" model. If an arrow to the torso is 8 damage, then healing 8 damage is un-doing a wound equivalent to an arrow to the torso. The high level fighter can take 20 arrows to the torso, for 160 damage, and each cure light wounds un-does one of those injuries, and cure critical wounds un-does four of them. It's all very internally consistent.

The trade-off is that you have to imagine a high-level fighter powering on through twenty arrow wounds for ~30 seconds without succumbing to those injuries (adrenaline?) and then you have to ignore the possibility of bleeding out (but then, it's a pretty safe assumption that tending to your wounds is an immediate priority after combat).

Considering that this is the point where a wizard can cast sky castle, I'm perfectly happy with the fighter's extraordinary capability to not die.

The metagame is not the game.
But if healing is going to be proportional between the fighter and the wizard, why isn't it proportional between the level 1 fighter and the level 20 fighter?

That's one of the major arguments in favor of the "Black Knight" model. If an arrow to the torso is 8 damage, then healing 8 damage is un-doing a wound equivalent to an arrow to the torso. The high level fighter can take 20 arrows to the torso, for 160 damage, and each cure light wounds un-does one of those injuries, and cure critical wounds un-does four of them. It's all very internally consistent.

The trade-off is that you have to imagine a high-level fighter powering on through twenty arrow wounds for ~30 seconds without succumbing to those injuries (adrenaline?) and then you have to ignore the possibility of bleeding out (but then, it's a pretty safe assumption that tending to your wounds is an immediate priority after combat).

Considering that this is the point where a wizard can cast sky castle, I'm perfectly happy with the fighter's extraordinary capability to not die.



While certainly an entertaining image, it also applies to the Rogue or Wizard who decided to invest in a 20 Con and has 200+ HP by level 20 and that starts making very little sense.

I think it makes far more sense to imagine that the 200 HP fighter getting hit for 8 damage from an arrow manages to avoid most of the impact so that the arrow barely grazes him. The 20 HP fighter who is hit by the 8 damage arrow would instead have the arrow bite into him more harshly.
Well yeah, that's the trade-off.  You can either have internal consistency, or you can have characters grounded more closely to reality. This module is trying to walk a middle path, and solves the difference with additional complexity. Other solutions involve less scaling of HP, such as removing the Con modifier at every level, or not gaining hit dice past level 10.
The metagame is not the game.
Here's what I don't get about cure light/moderate/etc.  Higher HP totals are supposed to represent better ability to avoid taking damage: if one guy has twice as many HP as the other, it's not because he can survive getting his liver skewered twice as many times its because he's a more skilled combatant who can dodge and parry and what have you to the point where the skewer is only half as deep and in half as vital a location.  This is the only way to avoid rapid HP growth turning you into the black knight, and I'm fine with it.  This is why it makes sense for healing to be proportional, so that CLW heals an equal percentage of a fighter's and a wizard's health, because it's the percent that actually measures physical damage (to the extent there is any physical damage in D&D.   

But if healing is going to be proportional between the fighter and the wizard, why isn't it proportional between the level 1 fighter and the level 20 fighter?  Either the level 20 fighter is indeed the black knight, absorbing a quiver full of arrows and a dozen skewered organs before falling, or he's taking minimal to nil physical damage from the 5-10 HP that would have killed his lesser brethren.  If 20 out of 50 HP is the same amount of physical damage as 4 out of 10, why isn't CLW healing 20 for the high level fighter?  If a healing spell will heal 20/50 for a level 5 fighter and 10/25 for a level 5 wizard, why doesn't it heal 20/50 for a level 10 wizard?

The only answer I can come up with is, "because we need 1st level spells to stop being useful to high level clerics."  I'm not happy with that answer.  Does someone have a better one? 

Yes, I do.  Think of it this way: a strong orc attacking with a sword does 1d8+4 damage.  When you get hit, you take between 5 and 12 damage.  It could be that the damage is enough to reduce you to 0 or lower: you have taken a big hit, enough to drop you.  You might also have enough HP that the hit simply takes you a step closer to being knocked down.

Now the cleric heals you with CLW.  You regain 1d8+4 hp.  No matter how many HP you have, you can now take another hit from that orc. 

Note that this works even if the characters were knocked out, and even if they have very different HP totals.  The 1st level fighter and 20th level fighter will both be able to take one extra hit from that orc.  The difference between these two fighters is that the level 20 guy can "avoid" a lot more attacks before he goes down.  He might be covered in scratches, bruises, small cuts, etc., but he still reacts as well as an unharmed level 1 fighter.

The trick is to avoid getting caught up in the name of the spell, and to remember that HP are very abstract and incorporate the concept of being hit.




I don't know if you do, but you certainly haven't given it to me yet.  Your argument rejects proportionate healing altogether, which is at least consistent even if it doesn't make sense (to me).   If that's how you're thinking of it, then CLW has no business healing more HP on a 1st level fighter than a first level wizard.  You're still running into the problem that proportionate healing is curing 1 orc hit on a level 1 fighter with 12 HP but only half a hit on a level 2 wizard with 12 HP.

As to why it doesn't make sense: an orc hit is not an orc hit is not an orc hit, so it doesn't make sense that CLW cures an orc hit or an orc hit or an orc hit.  Put more clearly but less alliteratively, someone which large amounts of HP takes only a scratch from an orc hit, while someone with only a small amount of HP suffers massive tissue damage and blood loss.  Therefore it doesn't make sense that CLW would heal only the scratch on the high HP guy but the whole shebang on the low-HP guy.  Unless you're arguing that the spell is limited to curing a single injury but nearly unlimited in the severity of the single injury it can heal (seals up one cut, whether that cut is a paper cut or a gaping, profusely bleeding, seconds-to-live gash)?  And then the only explanation I can come up with for why that is is "because we needed an in-world explanation, however nonsensical, that justifies letting us make 1st level spells to stop being useful to high level clerics."  In other words, more or less back where we started.
i know the arguments of the system used before 3rd edition when it came to healing but why not use a modified version of that and do away with surges.
I would prefer a return to somehting similar to surges (but call them stamina because anything associated with 4e is badwrongfun) where each one spent heals for 25% of max HP.

Make in combat healing exceptionally rare, so that it is not required for a party to succeed. Then have cure spells be one of the only ways to spend stamina mid-combat. Cure light is a level 1 spell and allows you to spend 1 stamina. Cure moderate is a level 3 spell and allows your target to spend 2 stamina. Cure serious is a level 6 spell and allows your target to spend 3 stamina. Heal is a level 9 spell and allows your target to spend 4 stamina (bringin someone from 0 to full HP).

That would just encourage parties to stockpile those spells and effects until they are needed. Everybody would want a cleric or other healer because it would be the only effective way to get healing in combat.

I think a better solution is to put Second Wind back in the game as an action, and make combat healing spells, potions and anything else use the characters second wind. Healing spells would then heal the same amount as second wind (surges, HD or stamina) plus some bonus depending on the spell. That way a healer isn't critical and in combat is limited but they are not encouraged to stockpile healing either and they are useful because healing spells are more efficient that second wind.

A few high level spells and effects could be exempted when they are in the range that nobody can cast to many per day. It would also be possible to have non-combat only healing spells that take a 1 minute to cast and some other variations to give the pure healers more to do.

so its more believable in game that a rogue after getting his ass kicked in 3 encounters can self heal with no skill in healing at all. i played many old school healers and i never stockpiled anything. the bonus spells you got for high wisdom helped you balance things at low levels. plus you are also a partial combat class so you have many things to do
Either the level 20 fighter is indeed the black knight, absorbing a quiver full of arrows and a dozen skewered organs before falling, or he's taking minimal to nil physical damage from the 5-10 HP that would have killed his lesser brethren.


 
  Back in 1st edition when breaking 100 HP was unheard of, yes.  Gaining a level often meant gaining a single HP and a +3 sword was godly.  A high level character was heroic, but not to the point where a few arrows wouldn't kill him still.

  Newer editions give more HP for a variety of reasons, but the result, which people seem to forget, is that a level 20 black knight can't get hit by an arrow anymore.  A level 20 character is not a character that faces level 1 challenges because the system is not made to support inconsequential fights.  The arrows he gets hit by are heart-seeking-vorpal-of-greater-human-bane +10 fired 3 at a time by a maralith.  He doesn't get hit by 1d4 magic missles, he is getting hit by 20d6 polar rays.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

As stated previously, every edition prior to 4E has allowed the option of viewing HP as wounds.

Not really. I mean, if you see an orc make an attack roll, hit, roll damage, and that means that the arrow he fired struck your character, then how you manage to think your way through that is absolutely beyond me. On top of that, you're pretty much saying that anytime hit points are healed, it's the medical/magical treatment of wounds, and that doesn't fit with a lot of things in a lot of editions of D&D - I feel comfortable saying "this simply does not fit with D&D".

In spite of the handwave that HP are supposed to represent multiple factors, most evidence within each edition had shown clearly that every hit created some physical damage.

Until your character gets that one shot that puts him down, it's supposed to be generally superficial damage.

Except for 4E, where you could just "spend a Healing Surge" with no justification - even in the middle of combat - and suddenly you're up to full.

I have never understood how "grit your teeth and bear thru the pain because you need to do this to be the big damn hero" is such a strange, mystical, no-reason thing, when you see it all the time in movies and books and comic books and anime and videogames and seriously this troupe confuses you!? More importantly, this is not what healing surges are. You can have a Second Wind mechanic with or without healing surges. You can have healing surges with or without a Second Wind mechanic.

If the whole point of choosing a system is to play one which allows you to tell the kinds of stories you want, while deviating as little as possible from what you would expect to happen within the confines of that genre, then yes, I don't like Healing Surges because they conflict with the way I choose to view the game.

I expect to tell a story of heroic fantasy. The confines of that genre easily supports people not being able to go any further in a day, being too exhausted, even with the presence of magic.

There's nothing mechanically wrong with surges.  It's an aesthetic preference.  And that's just as valid as a mechanical complaint.

And all game preferences should be supported. I'm all for a module that removes surges entirely, gritty or not. Sure. But the question is more "should the core rules have them" for the game style that fits D&D most appropriately, is easiest to introduce new players to, and is easiest to handle mechanically.

i know the arguments of the system used before 3rd edition when it came to healing but why not use a modified version of that and do away with surges.

I'm not understanding your point. Why do way with surges? Because you want a modified older version of the rules? Why are those rules better? Feel free to elaborate.

so its more believable in game that a rogue after getting his ass kicked in 3 encounters can self heal with no skill in healing at all.

Hit points are not about how many times an arrow stuck in you, how many times you got stabbed with a sword, or how badly you were burned by that fireball. Hit points are about how capable you are of moving forward despite the minor injuries you've sustained. This is what hit points have always been about, and it's been explicitly explained that is how the rules work in every edition since 2e.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I don't like healing surges. But it's a great example of a modular system because it can be added on without disrupting anything in the core.


I like dice and randomness. I'm not gonna defend my position 'cause I think the argument is neverending. If you disagree and want to make it less random then I respect that and I want you to have your module. I don't want to use it, personally.


I like HP as actual wounds too. Again, not gonna defend that. I find that narratively it just makes more sense to me. If you don't then that's great and I respect that. I don't need a module to describe HP as actual wounds any more than someone who likes HP as a function of morale needs a module to describe it the way they want. HP works both ways which is why it's still being used.


I like my healing to be magic only or naturally aided bed rest. Martial healers are totally fine for some but not for me. I don't see any reason why we need a module for either point of view; whether something's justified by magic or not is a matter of narration and metagame. My warlord will use magic of some kind to heal people. Sorry if that offends you but that's what I like. If that offends you, take comfort in the fact that your use of martial healing without magic doesn't particularly offend me.



This module - it's interesting. I've been staring at it trying to figure out why I'm not sold on it. I'm not and I don't see myself using it but I can't actually articulate why. I think probably I just like random.

I like this. I would also use it for self-healing, allowing a number of times per day for a wounded character to pull himself up to the next hp stage.

Way better than HD, which no kind of player seems to like anyway - but that the designers are determined to shoehorn into the game anyway for no other reason than it having a 'classic' feel to it.
If you want proportional healing, Next already has a mechanic in place: hit dice.  Just change the healing spells to the following:

Cure Light Wounds: The target regains hit points as if they had spent a hit die. 
Cure Moderate Wounds: The target regains hit points as if they had spent two hit dice.

If you want, give each spell a +4 or +8 to the amount healed (just like the current versions).

But honestly, I'm not sure why proportional healing is so important.  The high HP characters already have an advantage: they have more hit points.  I don't see why they also need to recover more HP from magical healing.  The way I look at it is that damage isn't proportional, and so healing shouldn't be either.  When a goblin hits you, you take 1d6-1 damage regardless of how many hit points you have. 



I don't think you actually understand what 4e players mean when we say "Healing surges were proportional healing" heck, I don't even think WoTC get it for that matter.

We're not just talking about differences between classes we're also talking about differences between levels. Cure light wounds in 4e healed you 1 surge worth of HP. That means a level 1 fighter regains 25% of their HP, A level 15 cleric regains 25% of their HP, and guess what, a level 30 barbarian regains 25% of their HP.

Now, look at what you suggested (or even what the current spells do). Wow, Mr magic toes casts cure light wounds and healed me 1 hit dice, Oops, I'm lvl 20 and have 20 hit dice + 20xCon mod worth of hp. Mr magic toes just cured my paper cut.

If the healing spells don't scale with level then they get progressively more worthless as you gain levels. This also means that any feature which gives you the effect of a spell (such as the feat which gives you cure light wounds or the cleric domain which means you always have it prepared) are worthless.

It's a problem that goes beyond healing and is rooted in their decision to scale the number of spell slots you get rather than the damage/healing values of spells as you gain levels. +X to hit/AC scales with level, +X HP or X damage doesn't. By level 20 none of the low level damage/healing spells will be worth it.

It's kind of weird that they seem to have realised this with cantrips as they now just scale with level but regular spells only scale with spell slot. I mean, who's going to fill their level 2 wizard slots with melf's acid arrow when a cantrip does the same damage and you can prepare another knock/invisibility/whatever.

If you really hate healing surges and love hit dice then healing spells need to cure a number of hit dice proportional to your level.


If you really hate healing surges and love hit dice then healing spells need to cure a number of hit dice proportional to your level.



Seconded. As they are right now HD are just a second health pool per day. 
I'd rather them to be stripped entirely out of Basic and Standard and have instead a system along the lines of what Wrecan or Lawolf are suggesting here in Advanced.  

Another idea I'd like to explore as an option would be to have healing magic consume 'surges' when cast normally, but be surge-free when cast as a ritual.  

I like hit dice as a gesture. The name sucks and it's not powerful enough to rely on but it's a buffer.


If the system feels insipid and unviable, that's because it is. And it's supposed to be substandard because it's meant to reflect how well we can recover on our own without any help (not very well by their estimation). As such, modifying it to be more or less generous or even taking it away is totally fine.


I like everyone having a minor mechanism to self heal that reflects the fact that we can't really heal anything resembling a serious injury. We'll recover from minor cuts and bruises but the big stuff takes magic or days of bed rest.


For my purposes, HD works better than surges ever did.

You can have proportional healing and scaling spells if you use hit dice, versus having healing spells use a seperate dice mechanic like a d8. As to a wound system that may include a bloodied condition, I recommend it be addressed as a seperate set of rules.