Did I miss something or is the Heal skill largely pointless at this stage in the playtest?

I rolled up a cleric and grabbed the Heal skill right away, believing that its usefulness was a forgone conclusion. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The brief description read:

Heal: Apply first aid or treat illness or poison

The Heal skill itself reinforced these myths:

You can use Heal to apply first aid to a wounded character or treat someone who's affected by illness or poison.

Upon a closer inspection of the rules, I find virtually no use for it. The Heal skill does scant little. The Healer's Kit (included automatically in every Adventurer's Kit) does it all.



  • A standard action with the Healer's Kit automatically stabilizes a fallen comrade.

  • One use of the Healer's Kit allows 10 characters to spend any number of healing Hit Dice.

  • The Healer's Kit grants advantage on all Heal skill checks made to heal, of which there are none!


Seriously, I went looking. After scouring through the 'DM Guidelines' PDF, I found zero DCs for the Heal skill.

At best, the Heal skill can be used as a kind of pseudo-Knowledge skill when the area of study pertains to humanoid biology.

Unless the Heal skill becomes more integral to the game, take something else, like Listen or Spot. You won't have to heal quite so much after battle if you can get a bead on the enemy beforehand.
 Check out the beastiary. You'll see thing like diseases and poisons listed under monsters. Those would be the DC's you are looking for.

Thanks electgraystone, that's a good point. I checked it out, but at first blush, the Heal skill isn't mentioned anywhere.

I looked at what I thought would be the obvious places, such as the Lycanthrope, Mummy, and Vampire, but nothing. Perhaps those illnesses are considered more magical in nature -- as curses go -- and so require magical solutions to cure.

Then I checked out the Carrion Crawler and Giant Centipede. They, like every other creature that deals poison damage, have Constitution saves for the player, but nothing that stands out for the Heal skill to cure.

Sure, I can 'imagine' that my Cleric could make a Heal check on a poisoned player using the same Constitution DC that got them poisoned in the first place, but this really needs to be spelled out.

Right now, the 2nd level Lesser Restoration spell can neutralize poison, remove disease, and remove paralysis. Are we to assume the Heal skill can do all of those things as well?

With the Hezrou and Troglodyte, could I Heal myself to be immune to their stench abilities? If so, for how long?

Same goes for the Vrock and their spores. That ability actually spells out needing the Bless spell or Neutralize Poison version of Lesser Restoration to cure the lingering effect. Wouldn't the heal skill be mentioned at that point if there was a practical application?

With the Aranea, Imp, Green Dragon, Giant Lizard, Lizardfolk, Medusa, Otyugh, Giant Snake, Giant Spider, Wyvern, and Yuan-ti their poison deals damage immediately (with no lingering effects). Can I heal all of their poison damage away afterwards with a Heal check? Or does the poison simply burn me like acid?

The Amphisbaena Snake, Pit Fiend, and Spirt Naga actually make reference to 'neutralizing' their poison, but without describing the mechanics for doing so. The Lesser Restoration spell could definitely handle the job, but the Heal skill? That would be great if it could, but needs to be clearly outlined somewhere.
I assume that you use your heal check in place of the con DC. Since there is VERY little to go on, I looked to 3e/4e to see how the heal skill worked.

3e is:


 Treat Poison

To treat poison means to tend a single character who has been poisoned and who is going to take more damage from the poison (or suffer some other effect). Every time the poisoned character makes a saving throw against the poison, you make a Heal check. The poisoned character uses your check result or his or her saving throw, whichever is higher.


Treat Disease

To treat a disease means to tend a single diseased character. Every time he or she makes a saving throw against disease effects, you make a Heal check. The diseased character uses your check result or his or her saving throw, whichever is higher.

4e is:
 


Treat Disease:


Make a Heal check to treat a subject infected by a disease. Rather than taking a particular action, you must attend the subject periodically throughout an extended rest taken by the subject and make a Heal check when the rest ends. You can take an extended rest at the same time. The check result determines the disease's effects if the result is higher than the result of the Endurance check (or other check) that the subject makes against the disease.

So to me, it seems like you'd just make a roll and let the target pick their save or your heal roll. 


What you have to keep in mind is that no matter whan the Heal skill does, it must be something that can be done without the Heal skill.



Skill in 5e are not the primary means of interaction with the game, that is the abilty check.  Skills are small bonuses to those checks.



So it can't have a major 'you need the Heal skill to do this' role.  It can only be an additional bonus on rolls.


This greatly limits what it can do.


Carl      
I recently had a player use Heal to stabilize a dying ally just before death. I used DC 15 like it used to be. Right now a lot of the skills don't have a lot of defined DCs.
I'd like to see a more detailed skill section in the next play-test. I'm hoping for a return to the 4th edition degree of success based on your roll.

Monk and Barbarian Versus 4 Bandits
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I'd like skills to play a more prominent role, myself. I want those choices to be meaningful. I understand the desire to make them optional as well but I've only seen one person some out and say they specifically didn't want to use skills.
That's because the folks who post to forums are skewed heavily in favor of those willing to employ advanced modules.  The folks who want a basic game to be played in an afternoon are also not the people who are generally going to post to forums.

That's because the folks who post to forums are skewed heavily in favor of those willing to employ advanced modules.  The folks who want a basic game to be played in an afternoon are also not the people who are generally going to post to forums.

I categorically disagree with you. You could be right, but we have absolutely no way of backing a statement like that up one way or another. I'd point out that a lot of folks have time to post on a forum but don't have time to play a game of D&D for hours on end.

One does not indicate the other.

You could be right, but we have absolutely no way of backing a statement like that up one way or another.


Sure.  I have no evidenceexcept what Iobserve on the forums.
I thought in earlier playtests the heal skill was required to use the healer's kit? That said, I'm glad it's dropped as a requirement. I would like to see a wis (+heal) ability check for treating diseases.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
I'd like to see a default Wisdom (healing skill) roll to activate a healing die to get someone back in the fight (like the cleric if he's the first to go down) otherwise someone is going to have to have healing initiate as their background to cover that.
What you have to keep in mind is that no matter whan the Heal skill does, it must be something that can be done without the Heal skill.



Skill in 5e are not the primary means of interaction with the game, that is the abilty check.  Skills are small bonuses to those checks.



So it can't have a major 'you need the Heal skill to do this' role.  It can only be an additional bonus on rolls.


This greatly limits what it can do.


Carl      

Actually, it seems to greatly expand what the Heal skill can do. For example, when you make a save versus the toxic stench of the Troglodyte, it seems you could add your skill bonus to the save against it. Same goes for any ability check.

What you have to keep in mind is that no matter whan the Heal skill does, it must be something that can be done without the Heal skill.



Skill in 5e are not the primary means of interaction with the game, that is the abilty check.  Skills are small bonuses to those checks.



So it can't have a major 'you need the Heal skill to do this' role.  It can only be an additional bonus on rolls.


This greatly limits what it can do.


Carl      

Actually, it seems to greatly expand what the Heal skill can do. For example, when you make a save versus the toxic stench of the Troglodyte, it seems you could add your skill bonus to the save against it. Same goes for any ability check.




OK - granted.

I'll rephrease.

This greatly limits what it can exclusively do.

The number of things you can come up with to add the Heal skill to as a modifier is nearly infinite and limited only by your (and your DM's) imagination.


Carl
This greatly limits what it can exclusively do.


Personally, I prefer that. I feel the ability checks should handle *everything*. Skills are just bonuses that kick in whenever they seem relevant.

This greatly limits what it can exclusively do.


Personally, I prefer that. I feel the ability checks should handle *everything*. Skills are just bonuses that kick in whenever they seem relevant.




I agree completely - I really like the change to a focus on ability checks rather than skills in 5E.




Carl
The number of things you can come up with to add the Heal skill to as a modifier is nearly infinite and limited only by your (and your DM's) imagination.

I'm all for imagination, but the Heal skill still needs a mechanical framework within which our imaginations can ply it. Right now, the Healer's Kit serves the purpose of the Heal skill quite tidily.
The number of things you can come up with to add the Heal skill to as a modifier is nearly infinite and limited only by your (and your DM's) imagination.

I'm all for imagination, but the Heal skill still needs a mechanical framework within which our imaginations can ply it. Right now, the Healer's Kit serves the purpose of the Heal skill quite tidily.



The key line (from the Healer's Kit) is:



Using this kit provides advantage on checks made to heal. Using this kit provides advantage on checks made to heal.



What are those checks and when do you make them?  Whatever those checks are, the Heal skills (used by someone else) ought to help with them. 

Personally - I'd be tempted to add something like:

During a rest, you can spend one use of the healer’s kit to allow up to ten characters under your care to spend any number of their Hit Dice.   If you have the Heal skill, you can roll your skill die and add the result to the hit points they recover.  Your skill die is not available until for any other use for the duration of the rest.


Carl

hmmm interesting in my reading through the 5e rules, i didnt realise the shift from stat checks to skill checks... i will have to read over that more carefully

my initial feeling is i hope skills are still worthwhile... I want meaningful choices, not just defaulting to stats all the time...

During a rest, you can spend one use of the healer’s kit to allow up to ten characters under your care to spend any number of their Hit Dice.   If you have the Heal skill, you can roll your skill die and add the result to the hit points they recover.  Your skill die is not available until for any other use for the duration of the rest.

That sounds great, but unfortunately flies in the face of how 'skills' (according to the latest play-test) simply modify what all players can do with their ability score checks. The 5th edition philosophy is that I don't and shouldn't need special training to be successful at 'any' aspect of a task, but having an applicable skill will increase my chance of success.
During a rest, you can spend one use of the healer’s kit to allow up to ten characters under your care to spend any number of their Hit Dice.   If you have the Heal skill, you can roll your skill die and add the result to the hit points they recover.  Your skill die is not available until for any other use for the duration of the rest.

That sounds great, but unfortunately flies in the face of how 'skills' (according to the latest play-test) simply modify what all players can do with their ability score checks. The 5th edition philosophy is that I don't and shouldn't need special training to be successful at 'any' aspect of a task, but having an applicable skill will increase my chance of success.





It expands the use - but it doesn't invalidate it.

You don't need the skill to use the healing it.  it just makes you more successful with the healing kit.


It just does it by modifying a die other than the d20.

Carl
This greatly limits what it can exclusively do.


Personally, I prefer that. I feel the ability checks should handle *everything*. Skills are just bonuses that kick in whenever they seem relevant.


My sentiments exactly.

I don't think the Skills should be thought of in terms of Skill Checks at all; they should be thought of as bonuses to Ability Checks.

This greatly limits what it can exclusively do.


Personally, I prefer that. I feel the ability checks should handle *everything*. Skills are just bonuses that kick in whenever they seem relevant.


My sentiments exactly.

I don't think the Skills should be thought of in terms of Skill Checks at all; they should be thought of as bonuses to Ability Checks.

Indeed, I like how skills work now. There are no 'trained only' skills. That being said, I'd be okay with greater consequences for failing a check by 10 or more to make having the skill more meaningful.
This greatly limits what it can exclusively do.


Personally, I prefer that. I feel the ability checks should handle *everything*. Skills are just bonuses that kick in whenever they seem relevant.


My sentiments exactly.

I don't think the Skills should be thought of in terms of Skill Checks at all; they should be thought of as bonuses to Ability Checks.

Indeed, I like how skills work now. There are no 'trained only' skills. That being said, I'd be okay with greater consequences for failing a check by 10 or more to make having the skill more meaningful.

An interesting idea. I doubt it would get much support (at least on these forums), since most people argue against any concept that isn't beneficial to characters as "not fun".

Degrees of success are brought up a lot, usually on the failure side. I think it's something people do whether there are rules for it or not.


I've got mixed feelings on whether there should be rules for it, to be honest 'cause I'm not a fan of codifying everything. One informal way to do this would be if you succeed by one or more DCs you get an exceptional success.


Degrees of success are brought up a lot, usually on the failure side. I think it's something people do whether there are rules for it or not.


I've got mixed feelings on whether there should be rules for it, to be honest 'cause I'm not a fan of codifying everything. One informal way to do this would be if you succeed by one or more DCs you get an exceptional success.




I like the idea of success thresholds.

Especially when it comes to improvised actions intended to allow you to do more than would normally be possible within the action economy or within your class abilities:



Something like:

Total Failure (Die roll + Modifiers <= 9) : you fall (figuratively or  maybe literally) flat on your faceand lose your action
Partial Success (Die roll + Modifiers < Some DC):  You fail to gain the extra benefit you were shooting for, but you aren't any worse off than you would have been if  you just did a standard action.    Depending upon what you were doing - you may even have looked really cool in the process - but you didn't 'cheat the system' to gain a benefit.  (Note - depending on what you were trying to do, you may have succeeded in one aspect but not all aspects).
Total Sucess (Die roll + Modifiers >= Some Higher DC):  You did what you wanted and you got the extra benefit.
(Note:  precise DCs variable depending up what the character is trying to do.)

The key is that the most likely outcome is 'fluff' - you look cool, you surf the stairs, you swing from the chandelier, you run up the back of the giant - but you don't actually gain any mechanical benefit.  But there is a small chance of gaining a benefit, balanced by a small risk of losing your action. 

Although one could codify this (miss the DC by x is a total failure; beat the DC by y is a total success) I feel that the number of variables is such that this is better left open to DM tweaking.


As an example:

A character starts his move 20 feet away from a staircase down the outside of the castle walls.  He asks:  "Can I move to the stairs and jump on my shield at the top of the stairs as my move action?"  "Um - OK...".  "Now, since I am standing on my shield at the top of the stairs, gravity will pull me down the stairs on its own - I don't have to do anything except keep my balance.  So I want to use my action to fire my arrows at the orc horde as I slide down the stairs..."

Goal:  Use a stunt and gravity to get a double move (he ends up at the bottom of the stairs but still gets his attack off).  Is it physically possible.  Sure.  Does it violate the action economy.  Also yes.

But the DM decides to allow it.

He tells the player:  Make a dex check.  If you are trained in Balance, you can add your skill die.  If your roll is less than a 10, you will slip off the stairs, fall, lose your action and probably take damage for falling.  If your roll is less than a 15, you will succeed in the surfing move - but you will be so busy trying to keep your balance that you aren't able to get a good shot off.  And if you beat a DC of 15, it works - but your shot has disadvantage.  And if you can beat a DC of 20, it works exactly as you described.

And, of course, you get:


Carl
Carl - Nice idea (and fun example, of course). Sounds like a decent advanced module.

On topic.

The key point is that core method that characters use to interact with the system/world is ability checks (and not skill checks, as with recent editions). Skills are now just an occasional bonus to an ability check. For this reason, neither the basic nor standard game will have any subsystems tied to skills (such as a menu of ways you can use the heal skill).

The basic movement and exploration rules are the best example in the current packet of what this means. The movement and exploration rules cover how to walk, hustle, jump, climb, sneak, hide, search, spot and various lighting and visibility conditions. None of these rules are in the skills section.

Likewise, we can expect to see a basic health section that explains how to heal, what to do about sickness or disease, and what options are available for someone dying (or dead). The heal skill will just be a conditional bonus to ability checks made in the pursuit of these activities.

Degrees of success are brought up a lot, usually on the failure side. I think it's something people do whether there are rules for it or not.

I've got mixed feelings on whether there should be rules for it, to be honest 'cause I'm not a fan of codifying everything. One informal way to do this would be if you succeed by one or more DCs you get an exceptional success.


I agree about codifying everything. I don't want that either, but I think we can codify the DC values for failure setback, failure, success, and wild success while allowing DMs to determine how those results translate at their tables. Honestly, it feels like the game has already done this (10 or less than DC = failure setback, less than DC to 9 less = failure, DC = success, 10 greater than DC = wild success). To each their own for the imaginative consequences.

Getting back to the subject at hand, however, because 'healing' is a highly mechanized part of the game, I think that specific DCs and specific consequences are definitely needed. As a matter of life-and-character-death, it's not a check that should be left to individual interpretation.

Right now (latest play-test) the Healer's Kit feels like more than enough, without ever needing to train the Heal skill.
Hey Carl,

I agree with what you said in that other thread.

To modify your example a bit (you specifically where looking for extra movement in yours) let's say our pretty boy elven hero shot someone and moved to the top of the stairs last round (not improbable). Now he wants to move down the stairs and use the volley power to cap a couple more orcs (not a big deal). Decides he wants some flair to his movement so he comes up with the shield surf. I say let him, rule of cool, he's not doing anything he couldn't do anyway.

That is where I tend to do my improvising in combat. 
Hey Carl,

I agree with what you said in that other thread.

To modify your example a bit (you specifically where looking for extra movement in yours) let's say our pretty boy elven hero shot someone and moved to the top of the stairs last round (not improbable). Now he wants to move down the stairs and use the volley power to cap a couple more orcs (not a big deal). Decides he wants some flair to his movement so he comes up with the shield surf. I say let him, rule of cool, he's not doing anything he couldn't do anyway.

That is where I tend to do my improvising in combat. 


Agreed.


The key difference is (and this gets back to a post esewhere):  Is the end result something the player could have done more prosaicly - or is the player trying to get away with something the system doesn't normally allow.


If the former - let them do it (kinda  - I'll get back to this one).  If the latter - they should have a downside, a risk to make it worth paying that price.   In another context -  it usually costs an action to get advantage (at least up till level 9).  You can pay that by spending an actual action (hide one round, attack the next) OR you can pay that by gambling your action (risk losing the action for a chance at getting advantage).


Now - back to the 'let them do it', 'rule of cool' issue.  I'm a bit conflicted and here it depends on your players.  Players like to roll dice.  Players like to succeed at challenging tasks.  Players like to see character creation choices validated.  Sometimes succeeding without challenge is boring.


For these reasons I actually think that if a character wants to do something 'cool' - it is actually more fun to roll the dice and hope you make it.   Granted, to some degree this depends on the player - some see their characters as 'grand heroes' and thus entitled to be super cool, all the time, and some see their characters as more 'run of the mill' - and thus expect them to struggle a bit more.

In either case - if the end result could have been reached through ordinary means there should be no real cost:  whether you succeed or fail the check, you end up in roughly the same place - the check is just to see with how much style you get there.  I'm just not convinced that automatically succeeding is always the most fun (as we saw with the rogue a few packets back).


To bring this back on target:  How might one allow 'stunts' with the Heal skill?  Is it reasonable to allow players to attempt to heal a character above and beyond what a healing kit allows - with the understanding that a quack doctor always has a chance of doing more harm than good?


Carl
I can see that, I guess. Part of it for me though is, while I like my hit probability high, I personally am not fond of rolling more dice (its the heart of my problem with the advantage/disadvantage mechanic).  If I have to roll something extra for something meaningless (going down the freaking stairs), I'm going to skip it in the interest of speeding up gameplay.

tangental combat rant

This is part of my problem with the speed of combat in DDN right now, the combats are so fast they don't feel meaningful. They feel like filler, there is no meat to them. Part of that is also in monster design so I really want Mike and co. to start prioritizing there.
 
I can see that, I guess. Part of it for me though is, while I like my hit probability high, I personally am not fond of rolling more dice (its the heart of my problem with the advantage/disadvantage mechanic).  If I have to roll something extra for something meaningless (going down the freaking stairs), I'm going to skip it in the interest of speeding up gameplay.

tangental combat rant

This is part of my problem with the speed of combat in DDN right now, the combats are so fast they don't feel meaningful. They feel like filler, there is no meat to them. Part of that is also in monster design so I really want Mike and co. to start prioritizing there.
 





You lost me.

1)  You don't want to roll dice in the interest of speeding up gameplay.

2)  Combats are so fast, they don't feel meaningful.

These seem contradictory.  I'll be the first to agree that #1 is a natural reaction to 4E (and to 3E with some mixes of characters - especially menageries).  But the simplistic response is:  Maybe you should start rolling some more dice in the interests of slowing down gameplay - and see if that helps with issue #2.

That said - I'm probably with you on the whole monster design issue.  But that gets even further off topic than we already are.....


Carl
(Last post on this, I promise [In this thread])

I don't like rolling lots of dice period. If I have to make a trivial check to get a cool fluff effect on something I can do anyway, I will skip the cool fluff effect in the interest of speeding up gameplay.

Combat speed is a matter of personal taste apparantly. I don't dig combats that are basically 'monsters and players swing at each other until the wizard uses his AoE, then wrap up with more swinging" (which is to say, most combats in most editions across the board, until the Dragon, Devil, other special monster hits the board). I like a combat that takes awhile so everyone can make meaningful decisions that advance the victory of Team Hero. Erachima, in his blog post critiquing the final erratta to the 4E cleric demonstrates how many people did not understand the efficacy of the the 4E wizard (or the purpose of controllers in general). They were intended to be capable of clearing a swath of minions while setting up the rest of Team Monster (with help from the Leaders) to be crushed by TEam Hero. 

Likewise, we can expect to see a basic health section that explains how to heal, what to do about sickness or disease, and what options are available for someone dying (or dead). The heal skill will just be a conditional bonus to ability checks made in the pursuit of these activities.

Getting back to the subject at hand, however, because 'healing' is a highly mechanized part of the game, I think that specific DCs and specific consequences are definitely needed. As a matter of life-and-character-death, it's not a check that should be left to individual interpretation.


Right now (latest play-test) the Healer's Kit feels like more than enough, without ever needing to train the Heal skill.


Precisely right. The action of healing is not a place to encourage 'interpretive stunts' in the ability check system. It's tied too closely with character survival. It needs to work in a very specific and reliable way for the sake of fairness. There are plenty of other ability checks if you want to 'creativity interpret' low failure and high success results. The act of healing (modified by a Heal skill die) should have codified rules for restoring hit points, neutralizing poison, removing disease, and possibly removing paralysis -- at the very least. Anything after that, sure, DM/player interpretation can reign supreme.

Likewise, we can expect to see a basic health section that explains how to heal, what to do about sickness or disease, and what options are available for someone dying (or dead). The heal skill will just be a conditional bonus to ability checks made in the pursuit of these activities.

Getting back to the subject at hand, however, because 'healing' is a highly mechanized part of the game, I think that specific DCs and specific consequences are definitely needed. As a matter of life-and-character-death, it's not a check that should be left to individual interpretation.


Right now (latest play-test) the Healer's Kit feels like more than enough, without ever needing to train the Heal skill.


Precisely right. The action of healing is not a place to encourage 'interpretive stunts' in the ability check system. It's tied too closely with character survival. It needs to work in a very specific and reliable way for the sake of fairness. There are plenty of other ability checks if you want to 'creativity interpret' low failure and high success results. The act of healing (modified by a Heal skill die) should have codified rules for restoring hit points, neutralizing poison, removing disease, and possibly removing paralysis -- at the very least. Anything after that, sure, DM/player interpretation can reign supreme.

In all fairness, the consequences of failing an improvised heal roll are probably a lot more severe than failing an improvised tumble roll most of the time. Course, I can think of fatal consequences for failing any roll so maybe that doesn't matter but I still hold that pulling a crazy gamble with someone's life will result in them dying about as often as them making a miraculous recovery.

Go ahead and let 'em improvise with heal rolls, but only if the risks are made clear and they're prepared to accept the risks.



On the rule of cool: at my table with my friends, the rule of cool is what allows a roll in the first place. It allows for stunts and stretching the rules, but mostly we use it to allow a chance for something to happen at all.


You could allow the Heal skill to be used to remove a condition, TN 20 for full round action.


Hmm in the DM Guidelines, under Options for Checks - Requirements: A check might require a specific tool, and the training needed to use that
tool, to complete it. For example, you need thieves’ tools to have any chance of picking most locks, or a healer’s kit to tend to a badly wounded
comrade.


I'd probably rule -
- The Heal Skill OR a Healing Kit can be used to stabalise a dying person (negative hit points) or regain Hit Points after rest.
- The Heal Skill + Antitoxin from Herbalism feat will allow removal of poison affects.
- Both must be used to remove a condition (TN 20) or poisons effects (without the Herbalism feat).


Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

You could allow the Heal skill to be used to remove a condition, TN 20 for full round action.


Hmm in the DM Guidelines, under Options for Checks - Requirements: A check might require a specific tool, and the training needed to use that
tool, to complete it. For example, you need thieves’ tools to have any chance of picking most locks, or a healer’s kit to tend to a badly wounded
comrade.


I'd probably rule -
- The Heal Skill OR a Healing Kit can be used to stabalise a dying person (negative hit points) or regain Hit Points after rest.
- The Heal Skill + Antitoxin from Herbalism feat will allow removal of poison affects.
- Both must be used to remove a condition (TN 20) or poisons effects (without the Herbalism feat).





The only flaw to this is that skills ought not be requried to do anything in 5E.

They provide a bonus - they are't the normal way to do anything.  At least not anything within the scope of a typical adventure.

Therefore - a ruling more consistant with the 5E approach would be:
- A Wisdom Check OR a Healing Kit can be used to stabalise a dying person (negative hit points) or regain Hit Points after rest.  If the character has the Heal skill, they can add their Skill die to the check.
- A Wisdom Check + Antitoxin from Herbalism feat will allow removal of poison affects.  If the character has the Heal skill, they can add their Skill die to the check.
- Both must be used to remove a condition (TN 20) or poisons effects (without the Herbalism feat).


Carl
As always Carl, you roll your Int checks with Advantage.

We have good people in these forums i'm happy to say.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.

While technically a skill is a bonus to an ability check, skill use is still in the game. It has shifted to ability checks instead. Whether you need additional tools like a healing kit, or anti-venom is up to the rules, but at the same time it does not limit the game from just relying on ability checks without a tool. So in that aspect it makes perfect sense for straight ability checks with a skill bonus (whatever applies) to restore a person by granting a second wind in combat, or extra save. The only thing that will change is where the information will be located. So intead of looking up the heal skill, you would go to the combat section or healing section in the rules to lookup how to reoover from poison. In those sections they should provide guidelines on various DCs to accomplish certain tasks. The DM is free to ignore it, but it does allow the flexibility for different styles of play.
skills ought not be requried to do anything in 5E

They provide a bonus - they are't the normal way to do anything.  At least not anything within the scope of a typical adventure.

Therefore - a ruling more consistant with the 5E approach would be:
- A Wisdom Check OR a Healing Kit can be used to stabalise a dying person (negative hit points) or regain Hit Points after rest.  If the character has the Heal skill, they can add their Skill die to the check.
- A Wisdom Check + Antitoxin from Herbalism feat will allow removal of poison affects.  If the character has the Heal skill, they can add their Skill die to the check.
- Both must be used to remove a condition (TN 20) or poisons effects (without the Herbalism feat).


Right on target. I just want to expand.



An ability check cant make something happen by itself. Before the check, the player must come up with some method that sounds “plausible” within narrative. The check is only to see if that method succeeds.

For example, say I use a Prestidigitation cantrip to create a lifelike mask to disguise myself. The Prestigitation doesnt give me any “bonus” to a “disguise check”. Rather ...

The Prestidigitation is itself the explanation for how a disguise might be possible - the method. To create and don a conjured mask that looks exactly like someone, I might need to make a Wisdom check with a high difficulty to see if I can get all the details right. Hopefully a big hooded cloak will obscure my body. Then I might also need to figure out a way to convince others of my assumed identity - despite the fact my face isnt actually moving. I am in an important rush, gesture imperiously with no time to talk while whisking by. A Charisma check whose difficulty depends on how plausible that is in context. If these ability checks succeed, then my methods work.

What needs emphasis is, it is the *story* that decides if something works or not. Not the ability check. Certainly not any skill bonus. Probably most explanations that players come up with for some action will appear plausible in the context of the story, and will automatically succeed. Rarely it is certain that a specific attempt will fail because of extenuating circumstances, and usually the attempt will immediately manifest the reason for its failure. Only in some situations will the results of an action be in doubt. It makes sense, maybe it will work, but maybe it wont work. Only in these cases of uncertainty does the ability check ever happen.

So, in the case of healing. It isnt that a Wisdom check can heal someone. Rather, in the story, I can see one of the sword wounds is deep. The victim is unconscious and bleeding. I am going to attempt to clean and sew the wound together, hoping the stitches lessen the bleeding. Does it work? Maybe, maybe not. I need to roll a Wisdom check to see.

If I dont have thread for stitches, I may have to burn the victim with fire to cauderize the wound. Does it work? Maybe. Roll Wisdom.

It is the story that makes things happen. Never the ability. Especially never the skill.