Surges vs Hit Dice

On the surface, hit dice and surges fill the same mechanical role: they both allow characters to regain HP without using magic.  They also remain static as you gain level (in terms of total healing).  Surges will heal more HP as you gain levels, but the same total percentage of your HP.  Hit dice heal the same amount as you gain levels, but you gain more of them, and so the total healing as a percentage of your HP remains the same.

However, while currently you can only spend Hit Dice after taking a short rest in Next, surges interacted with the game in many ways.  In addition to using them after a fight, characters could spend surges during a fight (second wind, healing word, and other healing powers), use them to recharge some magic items, use them when drinking a healing potion, and use them to heal other characters.  Some monsters would have attacks that drained surges, and environmental effects might cause you to lose surges as a way to represent a loss of endurance.

What has occurred to me is that there is no reason why Hit Dice can't fill all of those roles too.  A character could use the Second Wind action to spend any number of hit dice as long as it wasn't within the reach of any hostile creatures.  With a healer's kit, you could allow an adjacent creature to spend hit dice, again provided neither of you were within the reach of a hostile creature.  Monsters such as vampires and wraiths could drain hit dice, with more powerful creatures draining more hit dice.  Some magical items might require your own life force, and thus would drain a hit die with each use.  Similarly, environmental effects can drain hit dice.

In this way, I think the increasing number of hit dice with level is actually an advantage, especially when combined with bounded accuracy.  A monster that drains a single hit die is a scary threat for low level characters, and still a threat for high level character when encountered in large groups.  A monster that drains numerous hit dice would be instantly deadly for low level characters, and a good threat for high level characters.  Similarly, lesser environmental dangers might only drain 1 hit die every 4 hours (a very harsh desert, for example, if you didn't have any shade or cover), while something like the Elemental Chaos might drain a hit die every 30 minutes.  Magic items that require a hit die become more useful for higher level characters, and only high level characters could make use of mighty artifacts that drain multiple hit dice.  The spells Cure Wounds and Healing Word could even be balanced around hit dice.  Cure Wounds would heal 2 hit dice worth of HP, and Healing Word would heal 1 hit die worth.  Both would increase in effectiveness when placed in a higher level spell slot.

So what do you think about all this?  Can the design space of Hit Dice be expanded?
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Absolutely! I saw the possibilities immediately when HD were introduced in Next and have allowed my players to use Second Wind to regain 1 HD during a fight.

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It can be yes.   I would want that to be in a module because I don't even want hit dice.

In fact why not have a module with nothing but hit points and another with 4e surges.   Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

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Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.




Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

 

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Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.




Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

 



And I like something inbetween!
Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.

Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

Seems like a solid compromise solution.  It's better than one of us getting our way at the expense of the other and people in the middle get a crappy healing option that they are fine with.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.




Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

 



And I like something inbetween!



Thats what I meant by - (or three or four).   I have a feeling though that those in the middle on this issue aren't really that numerous.

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Daily spells should not require expending hit dice.  They can be based on hit dice, but still should not expend them.
i.e.:  Cure: Roll a hit die, gain that many HP.  Those hit dice are not expended.  Special: Roll an extra hit dice per level.
But otherwise i agree.  Wraith's draining a hit die would work well.


However, hit dice in general didn't score too well.   Not that they where rejected as hard as alignment on monks, but they still don't have the massive support that advantage has.

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Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.




Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

 

In play we have found the HD mechanic to work well. I could see changing it from a die roll to a static #, but otherwise it works well and ties in neatly to other game mechanics (think dragons fear and spells).

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.




Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

 


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Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.




Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

 

In play we have found the HD mechanic to work well. I could see changing it from a die roll to a static #, but otherwise it works well and ties in neatly to other game mechanics (think dragons fear and spells).



I've found it worked well either and I like it as a dieroll instead of static roll. I especially like in combination with the slow recovery module: using hitdice during the day not only expend a depletable resource (healing kits) but also possibly means less hitpoints recovered after a long rest. With hitdice you dig in your reserves and you pay that back in a slower recovery.
Hit dice as a compromise isn't going to work anyway. 

It seems like the fairest compromise so far.  One where nobody is really happy but are willing to either deal with it or ignore it.




Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.

 



And I like something inbetween!



Thats what I meant by - (or three or four).   I have a feeling though that those in the middle on this issue aren't really that numerous.



I know.  However, I think the middle is probably the vast majority - that is the group that doesn't post on these boards.  Judging by the playtest numbers that is the enormously vast majority!  Obviously I don't know how all those playtest feel, but I find the passionate (posters) usually lie on one side or the other, while the less passionate (non-posters) generally are more willing to except the middle.
I think it would be nice if Spare the Dying just let the target spend a hit die.
On the surface, hit dice and surges fill the same mechanical role: they both allow characters to regain HP without using magic.  They also remain static as you gain level (in terms of total healing).  Surges will heal more HP as you gain levels, but the same total percentage of your HP.  Hit dice heal the same amount as you gain levels, but you gain more of them, and so the total healing as a percentage of your HP remains the same.




I agree with most everything with the OP but with one minor nitpick. Healing surges served to role of limiting magic healing as well. That is the thing I want most to return as an option. 

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I can see second wind being an action available in combat as a modular option.

Second Wind

With the second wind action, you spend one of your Hit Die. Roll the die and add your Constitution modifier to it. You regain hit points equal to the total.


I think it would be nice if Spare the Dying just let the target spend a hit die.

That would be cool!

Danny

Healing surges served to role of limiting magic healing as well. That is the thing I want most to return as an option.

Me too.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Healing surges served to role of limiting magic healing as well. That is the thing I want most to return as an option.

Me too.

Well, there was surgeless healing too: Clerics had daily powers that healed without requiring surges to be spent.  The reason encounter healing powers required the expenditure of a surge was to keep healing from being unlimited.  There is really no need for daily powers to require a surge to be spent; such powers are already limited.

I did like how potions of healing required you to spend a surge.  This was nice both mechanically (no more stocking up on 100 potions) and thematically (I liked the idea of healing potions requiring the drinker's own endurance in order to work...you can't automatically save someone with a potion).  For D&D Next, potions could allow you to spend a certain number of hit dice, up to a maximum depending on the power of the potion.

Having Spare the Dying let the recipient spend a hit die is a great idea.  It prevents the repeated spamming of the power.  I'd just have it stabilize the target if they had no hit dice remaining.


I know.  However, I think the middle is probably the vast majority - that is the group that doesn't post on these boards.  



That may be true for many things but that doesn't make it true for all things.  On this issue I don't think it is true.

Not that it matters, but I'd guess regular old plain hit points would be the majority view.  

HD by the way are already out if what the devs say means anything.   We haven't seen the latest rules and won't till gen con.   I was just suggesting instead of eliminating them that we just make clear distinct modules that cater exactly to the various viewpoints.   At least any viewpoint that has any reasonably sized support.

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I agree with most everything with the OP but with one minor nitpick. Healing surges served to role of limiting magic healing as well. That is the thing I want most to return as an option.

That seems very metagamey and likely to annoy people when their healing potions suddenly become ineffective when they're needed most.  The real solution (IMO) is to make magical items very expensive to purchase (and not available in unlimited quantities) and time-consuming (and expensive) to craft.  Not only will that make found magical items awesome again, but it will prevent "wands of healing" from making HPs meaningless again.
Hit dice heal the same amount as you gain levels, but you gain more of them, and so the total healing as a percentage of your HP remains the same.



  You only gain half your HD back on a long rest though.


Since healing is so flexible and modular by nature why not have two modules (or three or four) that really suit the groups using them.   Instead we are halfway to surges.  The surge people want more and the non-surge people want less.   So no one is happy and will end up houseruling anyway.



  Altering the amount of in-combat healing isn't simple.  Monsters would have to be much more powerful if the party has a lot more healing available to it.  Currently healing potions only offer a very limited amount of in combat healing, going beyond them will require additional rules for the DM to deal with a party who regenerate faster than a pack of trolls.


I agree with most everything with the OP but with one minor nitpick. Healing surges served to role of limiting magic healing as well. That is the thing I want most to return as an option.



  Tying magical healing to non-magical was one of the biggest mistakes of 4E.  There was literally nothing beneficial about doing it and only huge huge problems.  If you want to limit magical healing, then limit magical healing, don't turn magical healing into teleporting a can of fast-acting Red Bull into their stomach.


I can see second wind being an action available in combat as a modular option.

Second Wind

With the second wind action, you spend one of your Hit Die. Roll the die and add your Constitution modifier to it. You regain hit points equal to the total.


  I hope you realize that such a small amount of healing would be a horrible use of an action beyond second level.  You would have to have it scale so "up to half your HD" or something.


  At 1 HD, all you're really doing is giving players free healing potions, which I don't think is the mechanic you're after.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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I know.  However, I think the middle is probably the vast majority - that is the group that doesn't post on these boards.  



That may be true for many things but that doesn't make it true for all things.  On this issue I don't think it is true.

Not that it matters, but I'd guess regular old plain hit points would be the majority view.  

HD by the way are already out if what the devs say means anything.   We haven't seen the latest rules and won't till gen con.   I was just suggesting instead of eliminating them that we just make clear distinct modules that cater exactly to the various viewpoints.   At least any viewpoint that has any reasonably sized support.



Can't argue with that!

  Altering the amount of in-combat healing isn't simple.  Monsters would have to be much more powerful if the party has a lot more healing available to it.  Currently healing potions only offer a very limited amount of in combat healing, going beyond them will require additional rules for the DM to deal with a party who regenerate faster than a pack of trolls.


I think you are missing the point.  You would only use a large amount of in combat healing module if you didn't want the monsters to hit so hard.  Something like this:

Low healing * Y monster damage = gritty/dangerous
Medium healing * Y monster damage = fantasy
High healing * Y monster damage = super hero 

Thus, monsters don't change, but you can dramatically change the feel of the game by changing access to healing.

1.  Hit Dice in D&D Next should be optional.    
2.  Hit Dice should be renamed.



1.  Hit Dice in D&D Next should be optional.    
2.  Hit Dice should be renamed.

Yes and yes.  Honestly, I think "Healing Surge" is a good name for them.  What about "Endurance Dice"? 

But anyway, we really do need to wait for the next packet...it could be that Hit Dice will go the way of the Dodo.  That would make me sad...having a pool of self healing is a great mechanic I feel.  It lets you have a deadly fight without requiring that the PCs either rest or have access to magical healing.

Without it, fights need to be trivial (costing the party only a few HP); otherwise the group will need to rest or will need magical healing.  The Devs keep saying, "You won't need a cleric!" and I am starting to think they mean that literally.  I kept interpreting it as, "You won't need a healer", but it might actually be that you won't need a cleric...because Druids, Paladins, and Rangers can also heal.

Surges/Hit Dice really do make it so that a healer isn't needed.  Combined with the fact that healers don't have to choose between healing and using another cool spell, they made for a great game.  Whether I am a Cleric, Druid, Paladin, or Ranger, I don't want to feel bad if I use my spells for something other than healing.  And I don't want to have to turn back after one hard fight.

I think you are missing the point.  You would only use a large amount of in combat healing module if you didn't want the monsters to hit so hard.  Something like this:



  No, adding ANY more healing in is a "large amount of in combat healing."  Giving players a second wind means the monsters may have an entire extra player's worth of HP to deal with, or more.  Where monsters could threaten a party now with doing just a bit more than the amount of healing a cleric puts out in a round, if you add second winds the monsters need to doing significantly more.

Low healing * Y monster damage = gritty/dangerous
Medium healing * Y monster damage = fantasy
High healing * Y monster damage = super hero



  Adding a multiplier on damage is WAY beyond the complexity 5E is shooting for, let alone the fractional Ys you'd need.



@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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  Adding a multiplier on damage is WAY beyond the complexity 5E is shooting for, let alone the fractional Ys you'd need.




FSAA, I was not adding a multiplier to the damage.  That was not the intent, I apologize for the presentation.  I will explain more naratively (simplified for clarity of intent):

For a gritty game:  Remove all healing (long rest only), monster damage remains the same.
For a heroic game:    add some type of short rest healing, monster damage remains the same
For a super heroic game:  add some type of in combat healing, monster damage remains the same.

Thus, monsters don't change, but the survivabilit of the characters changes quite a bit.  I belive a modular approach could do the above.  I am not sure how it would work with the current healing rules, but that is not really important at this time.

  No, adding ANY more healing in is a "large amount of in combat healing."  Giving players a second wind means the monsters may have an entire extra player's worth of HP to deal with, or more.  Where monsters could threaten a party now with doing just a bit more than the amount of healing a cleric puts out in a round, if you add second winds the monsters need to doing significantly more.



That is the point. If you want to use the extra healing module, you should expect that fights will be less threatening or you need to fight more/bigger monsters.  If you don't want that, you don't use that module.  It is about the style of play the group wants to achieve.
I think you are missing the point.  You would only use a large amount of in combat healing module if you didn't want the monsters to hit so hard.  Something like this:



  No, adding ANY more healing in is a "large amount of in combat healing."  Giving players a second wind means the monsters may have an entire extra player's worth of HP to deal with, or more.  Where monsters could threaten a party now with doing just a bit more than the amount of healing a cleric puts out in a round, if you add second winds the monsters need to doing significantly more.



I think each healing module could affect the x.p. budget no doubt.   For simplicities sake, lets assume one module was twice as hard as another.  Then whats wrong with upping the x.p. budget some reasonable amount to reflect the easier healing being available.


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1.  Hit Dice in D&D Next should be optional.    
2.  Hit Dice should be renamed.

Yes and yes.  Honestly, I think "Healing Surge" is a good name for them.  What about "Endurance Dice"?



  How about Troll-Blood Legacy, since it's just a short term high power regeneration triggered under stress. 

But anyway, we really do need to wait for the next packet...it could be that Hit Dice will go the way of the Dodo.



  They should, they're bad.

That would make me sad...having a pool of self healing is a great mechanic I feel.



  Lots of games do this without having a pool.  It's really an unnecessary number to track.

It lets you have a deadly fight without requiring that the PCs either rest or have access to magical healing.



  Spontaneous healing is magical.  If you don't have access to magic then, why should you have spontaneous healing?

Without it, fights need to be trivial (costing the party only a few HP); otherwise the group will need to rest or will need magical healing.  The Devs keep saying, "You won't need a cleric!" and I am starting to think they mean that literally.  I kept interpreting it as, "You won't need a healer", but it might actually be that you won't need a cleric...because Druids, Paladins, and Rangers can also heal.



  Having a healer is expected.  If the party doesn't, then they need to fight monsters that are weaker than a party that has a healer.  There is nothing wrong with that.

  If they want to go healer-less than they need to change the paradigm so what you're taking in combat isn't wounds.  Then you don't need "wound closing" things like "healing surges" to get them back.  At the end of combat, you just get your HP back.  You're no longer "out of position", you aren't "out of breath", you aren't "wrong-footed", your grip isn't loosened, your equipment isn't askew, so all of that goes away, so you return to full HP.  Actual wounds should be tracked separately, like from falling, or a critical hit, and require actual healing.

Surges/Hit Dice really do make it so that a healer isn't needed.  Combined with the fact that healers don't have to choose between healing and using another cool spell, they made for a great game.  Whether I am a Cleric, Druid, Paladin, or Ranger, I don't want to feel bad if I use my spells for something other than healing.  And I don't want to have to turn back after one hard fight.



  As it stands we burn out our HD extremely quickly in after-combat healing.  Typically 1 fight.  2 if we are at full HD rather than the half you would normally be at.

  If you don't want to cast heal spells, be a wizard.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie


1.  Hit Dice in D&D Next should be optional.    
2.  Hit Dice should be renamed.

Yes and yes.  Honestly, I think "Healing Surge" is a good name for them.  What about "Endurance Dice"?



  How about Troll-Blood Legacy, since it's just a short term high power regeneration triggered under stress. 

But anyway, we really do need to wait for the next packet...it could be that Hit Dice will go the way of the Dodo.



  They should, they're bad.

That would make me sad...having a pool of self healing is a great mechanic I feel.



  Lots of games do this without having a pool.  It's really an unnecessary number to track.

It lets you have a deadly fight without requiring that the PCs either rest or have access to magical healing.



  Spontaneous healing is magical.  If you don't have access to magic then, why should you have spontaneous healing?

Without it, fights need to be trivial (costing the party only a few HP); otherwise the group will need to rest or will need magical healing.  The Devs keep saying, "You won't need a cleric!" and I am starting to think they mean that literally.  I kept interpreting it as, "You won't need a healer", but it might actually be that you won't need a cleric...because Druids, Paladins, and Rangers can also heal.



  Having a healer is expected.  If the party doesn't, then they need to fight monsters that are weaker than a party that has a healer.  There is nothing wrong with that.

  If they want to go healer-less than they need to change the paradigm so what you're taking in combat isn't wounds.  Then you don't need "wound closing" things like "healing surges" to get them back.  At the end of combat, you just get your HP back.  You're no longer "out of position", you aren't "out of breath", you aren't "wrong-footed", your grip isn't loosened, your equipment isn't askew, so all of that goes away, so you return to full HP.  Actual wounds should be tracked separately, like from falling, or a critical hit, and require actual healing.

Surges/Hit Dice really do make it so that a healer isn't needed.  Combined with the fact that healers don't have to choose between healing and using another cool spell, they made for a great game.  Whether I am a Cleric, Druid, Paladin, or Ranger, I don't want to feel bad if I use my spells for something other than healing.  And I don't want to have to turn back after one hard fight.



  As it stands we burn out our HD extremely quickly in after-combat healing.  Typically 1 fight.  2 if we are at full HD rather than the half you would normally be at.

  If you don't want to cast heal spells, be a wizard.




FSAA, you do realize that Arithezoo has a different playstyle than you.  You are basically saying, nope you can't play that way.  Maybe that is what will happen, but the designers & developers have said they want to be inclusive through modularity.  I don't know if that will work/happen, but I sure hope they try.  Personally, I like to play different styles and  I would like to have an easy way to switch between styles in one game system.
If you don't want to cast heal spells, be a wizard.



When you're reduced to an ultimatum or empty platitude as a final answer, it's a pretty good clue you've gone wrong somewhere.

One should be able to be the 'healbot' (I hate that term, but it does fit) if one wants to.  There should be entire religions/philosophies dedicated to it, in fact.  It should -definitely- be a fully playable, viable group concept.

One should also be able to play '!healbot'.  Just because they have access to healing doesn't mean they should be expected to carry it.

If you wanted to be healed, play a cleric. (See how useless that thought-terminating cliche is?)

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

The problem with in-combat healing (at least, easy in-combat healing) is that it just drags the fight out unecessarily.  If you can spend a round taking a "Second Wind", you might as well just start with more HPs to begin with.  Then you still have the exta HPs, and you save the turn you wasted using "Second Wind".

In-combat healing should have a signifcant cost, be it the (hopefully expensive) cost of a healing potion, of the loss of one of the Cleric's spells. (And as for heal-bots, take away the "turn-any-spell-into-a-heal" and the Cleric isn't a heal-bot anymore.)

There might even be an argument for healing spells/items to only affect fallen companions, making their use important, but not default.
People who play the most potent healer in a game and do it expecting to melee rather than heal can be described in one word.  Idiots.

  If you want to play a melee play a fighter or barbarian or monk.  If you want to be a melee that can heal, play a paladin.  If you want to be a spell caster who doesn't heal, play a wizard.  If you want to play an idiot, play a cleric and don't heal.



Rather, I'd say if you want to play a Templar, then play a melee cleric.  If you want to play a soldier, play a fighter.  If you want to play the loner/forester type, play a Ranger.  And if you want to heal, then load up on healing spells.

Calling someone an idiot because you disagree with their choices in a game is, ironically enough, a sure sign of one.

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

If you want to play an idiot, play a cleric and don't heal.

Aww, that's not nice.

Really, Clerics are Paladins.  Or were.  The current Paladin is just some sort of weird specialist Cleric.  There's a reason that Clerics are nearly as good as Fighters in combat.  They're supposed to be out there busting infidel heads with non-edged weapons.  Spells are just a side benefit, and healing only a small part of that.
to me the most important thing about healing surges was the healing surge value, not the surges themselves.

The move to % based healing in my opionion was the best and most needed change made to the same since we started playing ADnD 2nd edition. 
I agree with most everything with the OP but with one minor nitpick. Healing surges served to role of limiting magic healing as well. That is the thing I want most to return as an option.

That seems very metagamey and likely to annoy people when their healing potions suddenly become ineffective when they're needed most.  The real solution (IMO) is to make magical items very expensive to purchase (and not available in unlimited quantities) and time-consuming (and expensive) to craft.  Not only will that make found magical items awesome again, but it will prevent "wands of healing" from making HPs meaningless again.



It seems like the opposite to me.  When healing is described in many fantacy novels people who get healed tend to be exhausted by the process. Its very often suggest even though it rarely occurs that there is only so far the body can push itself even with healing and that the process could itself kill the patient.

I think its more strange that if you have multiple potions that you can just keep stabbing yourself over and over and drinking them with no effect at all. It doesn't matter to me that the situation is rare and can be mitigated, It at odds with how I see healing.

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It seems like the opposite to me.  When healing is described in many fantacy novels people who get healed tend to be exhausted by the process. Its very often suggest even though it rarely occurs that there is only so far the body can push itself even with healing and that the process could itself kill the patient.

I think its more strange that if you have multiple potions that you can just keep stabbing yourself over and over and drinking them with no effect at all. It doesn't matter to me that the situation is rare and can be mitigated, It at odds with how I see healing.

Well, if they write that into the fiction, I suppose that's legitimate.  "Stars Without Number", an old-school inspired sci-fi game has a rating like that, beyond which high-tech or psychic healing strains the body too much.

I also like the approach in ACKs, where HP damage is just scratches and exhaustion and healing spells and items would only "refresh" you.  But if you dropped to 0 or less HP (which intentionally stabbing yourself would do), you would die unless a healing spell stabilized you.  But even then, depending on a roll on a chart, you'd often be out of commission and unable to regain HPs without a day or a week or a month of bedrest.  It made 0 HP not as deadly, but also something to be avoided.  


I agree with most everything with the OP but with one minor nitpick. Healing surges served to role of limiting magic healing as well. That is the thing I want most to return as an option.



  Tying magical healing to non-magical was one of the biggest mistakes of 4E.  There was literally nothing beneficial about doing it and only huge huge problems.  If you want to limit magical healing, then limit magical healing, don't turn magical healing into teleporting a can of fast-acting Red Bull into their stomach.


Your hyperbolic assertion asside, There are plenty of benefits, but the primary ones are to put a limiting on healing overall and providing a resource for manage exhaustion and overall health during an adventure day.

Reality Refracted: Social Contracts

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Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke

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The problem with in-combat healing (at least, easy in-combat healing) is that it just drags the fight out unecessarily.  If you can spend a round taking a "Second Wind", you might as well just start with more HPs to begin with.  Then you still have the exta HPs, and you save the turn you wasted using "Second Wind".

In-combat healing should have a signifcant cost, be it the (hopefully expensive) cost of a healing potion, of the loss of one of the Cleric's spells. (And as for heal-bots, take away the "turn-any-spell-into-a-heal" and the Cleric isn't a heal-bot anymore.)

There might even be an argument for healing spells/items to only affect fallen companions, making their use important, but not default.


A couple of thoughts:

Second Wind in 4E isn't just spending a healing surge to regain HP, it's also getting a full-round defense bonus, and you still get move and minor actions that turn (and if you're a dward, a standard). 5E can spruce up Second Wind so it's not "wasting a turn."

If fights are taking too long, there are plenty of options to deal with that - the DM can play the monsters as having "morale," i.e., the orcs flee having lost half their number; lower monster HP; etc. And fights only "take too long" if the result is a foregone conclusion - if the PCs are in danger of losing, then they desperately want more turns in which to act, either to win the fight or to escape.
It seems like the opposite to me.  When healing is described in many fantacy novels people who get healed tend to be exhausted by the process. Its very often suggest even though it rarely occurs that there is only so far the body can push itself even with healing and that the process could itself kill the patient.

I think its more strange that if you have multiple potions that you can just keep stabbing yourself over and over and drinking them with no effect at all. It doesn't matter to me that the situation is rare and can be mitigated, It at odds with how I see healing.


Well, if they write that into the fiction, I suppose that's legitimate.  "Stars Without Number", an old-school inspired sci-fi game has a rating like that, beyond which high-tech or psychic healing strains the body too much.

Its very common in the D&D novels for someone to be healed and still be out for an extend period of time (e.g., hours days). The book I read recently the guy was injured badly and was healed by a high priestess of Lathander. He was down for at least a day from physical injuries even with a high level priest healing him. Its a common shtick in D&D books, so I think there is some president to justify it as an option. 


I also like the approach in ACKs, where HP damage is just scratches and exhaustion and healing spells and items would only "refresh" you.  But if you dropped to 0 or less HP (which intentionally stabbing yourself would do), you would die unless a healing spell stabilized you.  But even then, depending on a roll on a chart, you'd often be out of commission and unable to regain HPs without a day or a week or a month of bedrest.  It made 0 HP not as deadly, but also something to be avoided.  


That sounds pretty cool. Depending on the style of game I could see using it. I would definitely like to have a chart to roll against to come up with long term injuries.

Reality Refracted: Social Contracts

My blog of Random Stuff 

Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke

Back to Product and General D&D Discussions -- because the mobile site is bad. (Fixed!)

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