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AstralFire
2009-08-05, 09:31 AM
Continuing a side discussion from here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120160), as I don't feel it's appropriate to twist Fax's thread when he's put a lot of work into that thing. I do hope Fax reads this thread, but I don't want his to be derailed for my simulationist itch.


Combine that with the fact that most small towns will have adepts rather than clerics (who, I'd assume, aren't affected by the move to unlimited healing) and suspension of disbelief shouldn't be more of a problem than normal.

(Since Dirdle seemed to misinterpret my tone, let me make clear my intentions: I honestly want to know what is it about the magic words "at will" that make people dislike it, when it makes little difference in play?)

In a small village, sure, you're right.

What happens in a big town? Or a city, no less? Out of a million people, I'm sure way more than six take injury every day, constantly. There's also the issue that it's at level 1. The training to be able to do this is fairly minor, so there becomes more and more places that will have their own local Hospitaloid.

There's also the issue that the cleric knows it's at-will. When he doesn't, he can justify saving some of his uses, in case there's an emergency. When he knows that he can, in fact, do everything he wants to do to help the local people (or get money for little effort, depending) with time as his only and minor limitation - I just don't see why he'd stop himself unless he was particularly curmudgeonly.

This is why I really like healing that autoscales to character level or works like a second wind mechanic. The healer can use his glowy hands all day, but there's a limit to what the soul can take. Genuine, no holds barred, full contact Messiahdom healing should be extremely special until level 9-ish, I think. That's when you're fully past the limits of what D&D considers reality and Wizards can begin making their tweaks to the universe permanent.

Morty
2009-08-05, 09:46 AM
I'd agree with that. At-will healing might not look too bad in the context of an adventuring party, but when you apply it to the entire world - especially one where mid-to-high level characters aren't uncommon, like Faerun - problems arise. So there needs to be a damper of some sort.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-05, 09:50 AM
I'd agree with that. At-will healing might not look too bad in the context of an adventuring party, but when you apply it to the entire world - especially one where mid-to-high level characters aren't uncommon, like Faerun - problems arise. So there needs to be a damper of some sort.

A divinely sanctioned limit? After all, if the gods could heal everyone all the time why wouldn't they have done it already?

jmbrown
2009-08-05, 09:51 AM
Are we talking about 4E here? Because healing surges are a heroic thing I.E. the average layman has no ability to heal himself rendering the idea of at-will healing a moot point.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 09:53 AM
Are we talking about 4E here? Because healing surges are a heroic thing I.E. the average layman has no ability to heal himself rendering the idea of at-will healing a moot point.

3E, a mechanic Fax was introducing for his d20r. I really like, from a simulationist standpoint, how 4E's healing works, especially as it more thoroughly suggests HP as Stamina rather than HP as wounds.

Lysander
2009-08-05, 09:54 AM
Or maybe some fantasy worlds just have lots of cheap healing. Might make things more even considering how many horrific monsters are out there waiting to injure you.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 09:55 AM
Or maybe some fantasy worlds just have lots of cheap healing. Might make things more even considering how many horrific monsters are out there waiting to injure you.

This I'm fine with, but it makes it hard to universally import D&D classes into a world that is - as Pair O'Dice put it - Medieval England with MAAAAAGIC.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-05, 09:59 AM
This I'm fine with, but it makes it hard to universally import D&D classes into a world that is - as Pair O'Dice put it - Medieval England with MAAAAAGIC.

And going to war with Undead would be a nightmare. For the Undead.


Or maybe some fantasy worlds just have lots of cheap healing. Might make things more even considering how many horrific monsters are out there waiting to injure you.

I'm not sure it makes a difference in the monster situation. A "horrific monster out there waiting to injure you" would probably dispose of Joe Commoner pretty easily, and even if LowLevel McCleric was there, he wouldn't be much more of a problem.

It generally applies in a much more significant fashion to everyday injuries.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 10:02 AM
Random thing I just noticed - isn't it odd that Sci-Fi and Sci-Fantasy will often consider the effects of widespread and cheap, easily available healing but that games based on them do not make healing a major lynchpin of the combat mechanic often (generally using them as post-fight patchup), while Fantasy is the opposite?

Tempest Fennac
2009-08-05, 10:49 AM
I know Reiki isn't as effective as D&D healing by a large margin, but I can do that all day without feeling drained because it's not actually using my energy (Reiki is like Divine magic in the sense that it uses another source of energy).

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-05, 10:51 AM
In a small village, sure, you're right.

What happens in a big town? Or a city, no less? Out of a million people, I'm sure way more than six take injury every day, constantly. There's also the issue that it's at level 1. The training to be able to do this is fairly minor, so there becomes more and more places that will have their own local Hospitaloid.

In a big city it's not as much of an issue. In a small town, you'd probably have one or two divine casters at most, so changing those from adepts into at-will-healing clerics would make a big impact. In a large city, though, where you have temples of Pelor with several dozen 1st-level clerics with the Healing domain and temples to several other good gods with available healing, an individual cleric's healing capacity being increased is less noticeable. One cleric with the Healing domain can heal 6 people of life-threatening injuries; a dozen can heal 72; three dozen can heal 216. Assuming only two other temples of clerics without the Healing domain (5 heals a day), that's 578 people healed every day--and if you have close to 600 people suffering lethal wounds every day, you have a bigger problem than infinite healing. :smallwink:


There's also the issue that the cleric knows it's at-will. When he doesn't, he can justify saving some of his uses, in case there's an emergency. When he knows that he can, in fact, do everything he wants to do to help the local people (or get money for little effort, depending) with time as his only and minor limitation - I just don't see why he'd stop himself unless he was particularly curmudgeonly.

Well, if one of your PCs plays a dragon shaman, does he stand around hospitals healing the commoners to consciousness for the glory of Bahamut? Yes, a cleric could do that, but he has other duties--bringing food and water to the hungry, asking his god questions on the king's behalf, and so on, not to mention spending time in prayer to thank his god for these powers. Conversely, if a particular order of priests has dedicated itself to do nothing but heal the people, eliminate disease, and otherwise make death a minor problem, they shouldn't have to tell people "Sorry you're going to die in a few minutes, but I'm out for the day. See you in 8 hours, if you survive."


This is why I really like healing that autoscales to character level or works like a second wind mechanic. The healer can use his glowy hands all day, but there's a limit to what the soul can take. Genuine, no holds barred, full contact Messiahdom healing should be extremely special until level 9-ish, I think. That's when you're fully past the limits of what D&D considers reality and Wizards can begin making their tweaks to the universe permanent.

Level 6 is closer to the cutoff point, but I agree that scaling/internal healing is a good option if you don't like the infinite healing issue.


I'd agree with that. At-will healing might not look too bad in the context of an adventuring party, but when you apply it to the entire world - especially one where mid-to-high level characters aren't uncommon, like Faerun - problems arise. So there needs to be a damper of some sort.

As I mentioned on the other thread, healing is the least of your worries if you're concerned about verisimilitude.
Create water and purify food and water give you gallons of water per day guaranteed to be fresh and disease-free.
Light and dancing lights make the chances of fire much less likely in larger wooden buildings.
Mending saves commoners money, as they can repair most of their possessions rather than spending money on new ones.
Cure minor wounds stops a bleeding wound and lets you get someone to a temple for more healing.
Ray of frost lets you keep meat and other food cold by turning a container of water into a minifridge.
Ghost sound and message allow mid-range remote communication.
Mage hand and open/close allow you to retrieve items on roofs, close high windows, and do other things without needing ladders or scaffolding.
Prestidigitation...well, it's awesome.

And that's only looking at the cantrips and orisons, without going outside of the PHB. Characters can get up to 3rd level spells before they hit the superhuman mark, and that gives you things like fly.


This I'm fine with, but it makes it hard to universally import D&D classes into a world that is - as Pair O'Dice put it - Medieval England with MAAAAAGIC.

I didn't have quite so many A's in there, but that's the general sentiment. :smallwink: If you try to keep everything as medieval England and then add magic on top of that, without considering the ramifications D&D's plentiful, easy magic has, you have one of two outcomes: broken verisimilitude or a world that doesn't look like medieval England. I prefer the latter for its internal consistency, but if you prefer the former, you're probably going to be disappointed.


Random thing I just noticed - isn't it odd that Sci-Fi and Sci-Fantasy will often consider the effects of widespread and cheap, easily available healing but that games based on them do not make healing a major lynchpin of the combat mechanic often (generally using them as post-fight patchup), while Fantasy is the opposite?

I don't know about that. I've seen many Sci-Fi series where a stimpack or medkit or some other sort of applied medical phlebotonium takes a wounded guy and lets him fight again for while; low-magic settings tend to make healing magic simply enhance natural healing, and D&D healing isn't as useful in combat as out-of-combat healing except for the really big spells. Sci-Fantasy tends to be split pretty evenly (for every get-well-quick handwave there's a bacta tank).

FinalJustice
2009-08-05, 10:53 AM
My suspension of disbelief would not be broken, as unlimited healing would be sort of an extension of 'public health' for me. I explain. The unlimited heal would be like current medicine, publicly accessible (how accessible would depend of other factors, of course) and able to treat most problems of the common men. Other afflictions, like vile damage, lycanthropy and curses would demand more specialized care (higher level Clerics/Adepts).

I'd encourage the GM to reinforce the flulff that, while the injure is healed or healing, there's still pain, recovery time, etc... Nothing that would affect gameplay, but everyday life. It would also add awesome to the PCs, people who just shrug these annoyances and keep on fighting, which is a good thing in my book.

Lamech
2009-08-05, 11:01 AM
Doesn't everyone if 4th have healing surges and a second wind? More importantly don't most people have 1 hp because they are minions? (Humans at least.)

Anyway HP healing in 3.5 can fix anything that a couple days could for most people anyway, so it isn't a big change. So magical healing is really just an emergency type thing, to stablize someone. Something a heal check could do anyway... I don't think at will healing would change anything, I suppose people would recover like a week sooner from life threatening injuries, but that wouldn't be a major change from the way things are now. Whats the big change everyone is worried about?

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 11:03 AM
In a big city it's not as much of an issue. In a small town, you'd probably have one or two divine casters at most, so changing those from adepts into at-will-healing clerics would make a big impact. In a large city, though, where you have temples of Pelor with several dozen 1st-level clerics with the Healing domain and temples to several other good gods with available healing, an individual cleric's healing capacity being increased is less noticeable. One cleric with the Healing domain can heal 6 people of life-threatening injuries; a dozen can heal 72; three dozen can heal 216. Assuming only two other temples of clerics without the Healing domain (5 heals a day), that's 578 people healed every day--and if you have close to 600 people suffering lethal wounds every day, you have a bigger problem than infinite healing. :smallwink:

I think part of this is that I find it more pivotal for D&D to be able to work in MEw/M than to work in its canon settings - all you have to do for the latter is scale up the character levels. So much as one of these clerics at level 1 in London, though, would be a miracle.

And I don't allow dragon shamans. Or any dragon-inspired class. :smallfurious:


I didn't have quite so many A's in there, but that's the general sentiment. :smallwink: If you try to keep everything as medieval England and then add magic on top of that, without considering the ramifications D&D's plentiful, easy magic has, you have one of two outcomes: broken verisimilitude or a world that doesn't look like medieval England. I prefer the latter for its internal consistency, but if you prefer the former, you're probably going to be disappointed.

I prefer the latter for the same, but I think - again - any attempts to reformat D&D as a whole have to consider the former. It's what everyone thinks of when they say D&D - the quaint little hamlet where a local hero becomes a savior upon entering the depths of the wider world before him.


I don't know about that. I've seen many Sci-Fi series where a stimpack or medkit or some other sort of applied medical phlebotonium takes a wounded guy and lets him fight again for while

I mean there's not so much the mentality that you should have one guy - 'meat shield' standing in the front of the group taking all of the hits while someone cowers behind him going "GET BETTER! GET BETTER! GET BETTER!", and you can do that in D&D at low levels and again once you pick up heal.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 11:25 AM
So let me attempt to justify my reasoning for allowing at-will healing.

1. The d20r Cleric has an at-will spell mechanic. This is probably the root of the whole issue: most people are used to seeing a cleric with Vancian casting, while this one appears more like a CArc Warlock. A cleric taps into his god's power--which, if not limitless, is certainly of gigantic capacity--and uses that energy to render his god's influence upon the world. What this does is it better represents the connection between a cleric and their god: rather than having a cleric who hand-picks which spells they're going to pray for today, they merely know how to tap into their god's powers in a limited and specific fashion that they maintain from day to day and from level to level.

2. The d20r Cleric doesn't know every prayer on it's list. Rather, they know specific prayers/level. Since the cure prayers aren't limited to domain-only, they're available for every cleric, but aren't necessarily something every cleric is going to take.

3. At-will healing is effectively already in the basic game. Let's start with the Dragon Shaman, wands of lesser vigor, wands of cure light wounds, spontaneous spell conversion, the Eldritch Disciple...these all have been in the game for quite some time, and none of them have rendered the game unplayable. Some of them are certainly limited (wands in particular), but their functions are essentially at-will in that you can use them whenever you need a quick fix and can readily obtain more.

4. In a world with at-will healing, why would there be injury, death, or disease? There's nothing saying that clerics would give out healing for free--in fact, as we can see by modern-day hospitals, healing can often be quite expensive. Further, if we go back to #2, we'll recognize that not every cleric will have the capacity to heal people, and we can also assume that clerics of evil (and frankly most of the non-good) alignments won't be handing out healing for free either. Sure, some clerics will hand out their healing for free or cheap (like modern-day free health clinics), but there's only so many of them and only so much care they can provide in a day--they need to eat and sleep sometime, or at least rest to keep from going insane.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-05, 11:32 AM
4. In a world with at-will healing, why would there be injury, death, or disease? There's nothing saying that clerics would give out healing for free--in fact, as we can see by modern-day hospitals, healing can often be quite expensive. Further, if we go back to #2, we'll recognize that not every cleric will have the capacity to heal people, and we can also assume that clerics of evil (and frankly most of the non-good) alignments won't be handing out healing for free either. Sure, some clerics will hand out their healing for free or cheap (like modern-day free health clinics), but there's only so many of them and only so much care they can provide in a day--they need to eat and sleep sometime, or at least rest to keep from going insane.

This doesn't really work as a comparison because a Cleric's at-will healing is essentially free. You don't need that many to provide round-the-clock, manageable care for all the injured that will come to them. If we assume the presence of a dedicated god of healing and their followers, then it's even more likely.


3. At-will healing is effectively already in the basic game. Let's start with the Dragon Shaman, wands of lesser vigor, wands of cure light wounds, spontaneous spell conversion, the Eldritch Disciple...these all have been in the game for quite some time, and none of them have rendered the game unplayable. Some of them are certainly limited (wands in particular), but their functions are essentially at-will in that you can use them whenever you need a quick fix and can readily obtain more.

I think the issue with this point is that the existing methods require either a certain real, physical cost or are otherwise performed by a class which is seen as much, much smaller in numbers and less organized on a societal level than the Cleric class.


2. The d20r Cleric doesn't know every prayer on it's list. Rather, they know specific prayers/level. Since the cure prayers aren't limited to domain-only, they're available for every cleric, but aren't necessarily something every cleric is going to take.

It seems likely that the overwhelming majority of clerics will take at least the lowest-level of the cure spells, because of the advantage that some healing has over none.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 11:37 AM
1. The d20r Cleric has an at-will spell mechanic. This is probably the root of the whole issue: most people are used to seeing a cleric with Vancian casting, while this one appears more like a CArc Warlock. A cleric taps into his god's power--which, if not limitless, is certainly of gigantic capacity--and uses that energy to render his god's influence upon the world. What this does is it better represents the connection between a cleric and their god: rather than having a cleric who hand-picks which spells they're going to pray for today, they merely know how to tap into their god's powers in a limited and specific fashion that they maintain from day to day and from level to level.

I agree that at-will spells are a far superior mechanic for this. Far. Vancian casting should be the sole province of the Wizard, and I've never liked it generalized.

Points 2 and 3 do not bother me, except that with point 4, I question what Cleric would not take at least some form of at-will healing.


4. In a world with at-will healing, why would there be injury, death, or disease? There's nothing saying that clerics would give out healing for free--in fact, as we can see by modern-day hospitals, healing can often be quite expensive. Further, if we go back to #2, we'll recognize that not every cleric will have the capacity to heal people, and we can also assume that clerics of evil (and frankly most of the non-good) alignments won't be handing out healing for free either. Sure, some clerics will hand out their healing for free or cheap (like modern-day free health clinics), but there's only so many of them and only so much care they can provide in a day--they need to eat and sleep sometime, or at least rest to keep from going insane.

This still has wide implications for any ME+M game. You can have clerics who effectively can wield their healing power as a club with which to gain great power and glory for their lord. I mean, how many gods are not going to appreciate diplomatic or extortive uses of this? You can end up with Mad Max style roving warlord Clerics - all because they can heal lackeys indefinitely. Also, real life medicine has a lot of overhead going into both producing a doctor and making upkeep; here we're talking 6 seconds in the microwave. I think it's much harder to find reasons - especially if there's any level of competition - for healing to be anything less than an ordinary occurrence.

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-05, 11:39 AM
I think part of this is that I find it more pivotal for D&D to be able to work in MEw/M than to work in its canon settings - all you have to do for the latter is scale up the character levels. So much as one of these clerics at level 1 in London, though, would be a miracle.

Well, there's a difference between "Medieval England...with MAGIC!" and "something resembling medieval England with magic." I've seen people make settings with hyperrealistic detail such that even a single spell cast or a single elf played wrecks it all. In general, D&D isn't averse to too much magic use, since healing for heroes is fairly plentiful and monsters are all over the plane; really, D&D kind of assumes that magic will be there, as what other explanation would there be for having fairly stable cities with fairly healthy commoners and a good degree of literacy besides magic or technology?

So yes, if you're in historical England, a single cure spell is a miracle; if you're in D&D's assumed medieval-ish world, it's not so much of a stretch.


And I don't allow dragon shamans. Or any dragon-inspired class. :smallfurious:

Eh, drop the flavor and they're fine. I gave the dragon shaman a nice Seelie fae spin and my players like it, even the dracophobes.


I prefer the latter for the same, but I think - again - any attempts to reformat D&D as a whole have to consider the former. It's what everyone thinks of when they say D&D - the quaint little hamlet where a local hero becomes a savior upon entering the depths of the wider world before him.

As mentioned, you can have the quaint little hamlet while still having a not-insignificant level of magic. The point about infinite healing not working so much with MEwM was more regarding "having magic affect the world breaks verisimilitude" rather than "medieval England doesn't work as a basis for D&D."


I mean there's not so much the mentality that you should have one guy - 'meat shield' standing in the front of the group taking all of the hits while someone cowers behind him going "GET BETTER! GET BETTER! GET BETTER!", and you can do that in D&D at low levels and again once you pick up heal.

*cough*Team Fortress 2*cough*
*cough*Starcraft*cough*
*cough*People who play all SF RPGs as if they're in the above*cough*

:smallwink:

Morty
2009-08-05, 11:40 AM
As I mentioned on the other thread, healing is the least of your worries if you're concerned about verisimilitude.
Create water and purify food and water give you gallons of water per day guaranteed to be fresh and disease-free.
Light and dancing lights make the chances of fire much less likely in larger wooden buildings.
Mending saves commoners money, as they can repair most of their possessions rather than spending money on new ones.
Cure minor wounds stops a bleeding wound and lets you get someone to a temple for more healing.
Ray of frost lets you keep meat and other food cold by turning a container of water into a minifridge.
Ghost sound and message allow mid-range remote communication.
Mage hand and open/close allow you to retrieve items on roofs, close high windows, and do other things without needing ladders or scaffolding.
Prestidigitation...well, it's awesome.

And that's only looking at the cantrips and orisons, without going outside of the PHB. Characters can get up to 3rd level spells before they hit the superhuman mark, and that gives you things like fly.


Fax's d20r features an entirely different magic system. The things you mentioned may very well not be a factor there. We don't know that yet. However, at-will healing is a factor, as it's been estabilished to exist.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-08-05, 11:40 AM
That the party cleric can heal at will does not have to mean that there are NPC clerics doing at will healing continually in the imagined world.

It's like any other at will power. That the party warlock can blast at will does not have to mean that there are NPC warlocks doing at will blasting continually in the imagined world.

"At will" should mean "at will for game or story purposes" not "once every 6 seconds in the imaginary world".

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-05, 11:45 AM
This doesn't really work as a comparison because a Cleric's at-will healing is essentially free. You don't need that many to provide round-the-clock, manageable care for all the injured that will come to them. If we assume the presence of a dedicated god of healing and their followers, then it's even more likely.

Again, a few dozen clerics spread among a handful of temples can already meet the healing needs of a city. At the point where a city is big enough to support a dedicated temple (i.e., about the same point one or two adepts can't heal everyone who needs it) your healing needs are most likely already covered.


Fax's d20r features an entirely different magic system. The things you mentioned may very well not be a factor there. We don't know that yet. However, at-will healing is a factor, as it's been estabilished to exist.

This is true. However, it has also been established that, in D&D core, you have effectively infinite healing for heroes at a minor cost and as much healing as you'll need for the general population. This isn't just an issue of infinite healing in Fax's d20r (though that started the discussion), it's an issue of infinite healing in general, since (A) many people add that to homebrews and (B) many people dislike it.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 11:48 AM
It seems likely that the overwhelming majority of clerics will take at least the lowest-level of the cure spells, because of the advantage that some healing has over none.
I think in the type of world we are talking about impacting significantly, it is safe to assume that most people will be ECL 4 or less. A 4th level d20r cleric knows 4 orisions and 1 litany--five prayers. Cure light wounds is an orison that heals 1d6 damage, +1 per caster level (max +5). Cure moderate wounds is a litany that heals 3d6 damage, +1 per caster level (max +8).

That's...really not all that much. 3d6+4 is 7-22 points of healing. A comparatively leveled warlord with 16 Con will have 4d10+12 HP, or 16-52. A comparatively leveled dreadnaught with 18 Con will have 4d12+16+4, or 24-68.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 12:04 PM
Aside not relevant but tangential to discussion:
These sorts of assumptions I think are what ultimately killed 3E for me the most. I don't like the Christmas Tree effect, so I hate most items with charges. Things with charges should be (in my own preference) things like bags of caltrops or quintessence, stuff that doesn't provide a direct mechanical benefit. Therefore, I prefer a party ultimately be limited by their personal physical stamina. And for all the improvements to game balance that were wrought by 3E as it dragged on, it felt more and more like they were more interested in running with the implications of a 3E core world than they were in trying adjust the impact of those implications.

Draz74
2009-08-05, 12:05 PM
I really like, from a simulationist standpoint, how 4E's healing works, especially as it more thoroughly suggests HP as Stamina rather than HP as wounds.

It does do that, but IMHO it has plenty of simulationist problems of its own ... like how there's no wound that won't heal with one night's rest ...


Prestidigitation...well, it's awesome.

That really doesn't even begin to cover it. The sanitation implications alone are staggering ... do you know how many people in medieval times died, in the long run, just because of how dirty their "bathrooms" were? Modern lifestyles save a lot more people by preventing disease than even by curing it.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 12:07 PM
Aside not relevant but tangential to discussion:
These sorts of assumptions I think are what ultimately killed 3E for me the most. I don't like the Christmas Tree effect, so I hate most items with charges. Things with charges should be (in my own preference) things like bags of caltrops or quintessence, stuff that doesn't provide a direct mechanical benefit. Therefore, I prefer a party ultimately be limited by their personal physical stamina. And for all the improvements to game balance that were wrought by 3E as it dragged on, it felt more and more like they were more interested in running with the implications of a 3E core world than they were in trying adjust the impact of those implications.

So what you're telling me is that I'm not going to be able to satisfy you.

What if I were to make the cure spells Healing Domain only and allowing them access by using a higher level slot? That would mean that the earliest a non-Healing domain cleric could learn cure light wounds would be as a litany (meaning available at 4th level).

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 12:12 PM
So what you're telling me is that I'm not going to be able to satisfy you.

That would be why I put this into another thread. I realized this, and I didn't want to harass your efforts with my pet peeves about 3E. :smallwink: Sorry.


What if I were to make the cure spells Healing Domain only and allowing them access by using a higher level slot? That would mean that the earliest a non-Healing domain cleric could learn cure light wounds would be as a litany (meaning available at 4th level).

I think that would work. You start transcending mortals physically around level 5 (and fully reach that point by level 9, imo), so there wouldn't be many NPCs in a lower-powered game walking around at level 4.


It does do that, but IMHO it has plenty of simulationist problems of its own ... like how there's no wound that won't heal with one night's rest ...

I did say (or if I didn't, I meant to), 'at least in this regard'. :smallsmile:

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-05, 12:16 PM
It does do that, but IMHO it has plenty of simulationist problems of its own ... like how there's no wound that won't heal with one night's rest ...

"I got better!"

Draz74
2009-08-05, 12:37 PM
I think that would work. You start transcending mortals physically around level 5 (and fully reach that point by level 9, imo), so there wouldn't be many NPCs in a lower-powered game walking around at level 4.

Unless there's a popular god who grants the Healing Domain. Then you could still have L1 Clerics who change the history of entire kingdoms by just going around healing all day ...

oxybe
2009-08-05, 12:39 PM
a "civilized" D&D town needs pretty much just 2 things to get going:

1) a "evil" breadbox trap (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6020989&postcount=26), which will create all the food the people actually need. it's nothing fancy but quite good

2) and a "cure light wounds" treatment zone: a 500 GP "trap" (as per trap rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/traps.htm#magicDeviceTrapCost) ) that activates whenever it is stepped on. for an extra 7500gp you can add remove disease to the effects.

so for about 16500gp a town can have all the food, water, and medical treatment (wounds, diseases & parasites) it could ever want. for 9000gp you're only lacking removal of diseases and parasites.

note that the cost is only slightly more then that of 2 +2 items and less then a single +3.

even a small village of 200 could save up the money needed without too much hassle, as i'm ballparking that a peasant/hireling makes approx 5-7 SP a day (as room + board in an inn is about 5sp a night, depending on the quality), or about 4GP a week. this means about 200GP per peasant with each of them having 20 or so GP a year saved up.

if the mayor taxes them each 10GP a year to save up for the services, they could pay it off in 8-9 years, purchasing the "medical center (cure light wounds only)" in the span of a few months.

once the breadbox is paid for, they won't need to spend money on food (well, food that isn't fancy at least), so that can be donated to the fund or kept & spent on other things.

the reality of things is that people don't consider how easy it actually is to get the things if you know how to use the rules of the game for the desired effect. they're happy with a "pseudo-medieval europe... with magic" for lack of a better term IMO, and that's fine as there is nothing wrong with it.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 12:40 PM
Unless there's a popular god who grants the Healing Domain. Then you could still have L1 Clerics who change the history of entire kingdoms by just going around healing all day ...

This is correct; however, that's much easier for a group to say 'not for us.' I don't necessarily believe that a god who believes in certain things has to grant a domain for those things. The domain can be viewed either as "this is what my god is interested in" or as "this is what my god has the power to do."

I hate to use an example from Forgotten Realms as it's not my favorite setting, but Kelemvor (I do like him! Hate the stories he's in, but I do like him) has obligations that transcend what he wants to do for people.

Lysander
2009-08-05, 12:50 PM
Forget healing. Imagine a world with resurrection.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 12:52 PM
Forget healing. Imagine a world with resurrection.

5th level. Once you can start to assume that you regularly have people of 5th level PC classes and higher, the world has to start looking more like Eberron or Forgotten Realms or Planescape and less like ME+M.

Siosilvar
2009-08-05, 12:53 PM
even a small village of 200 could save up the money needed without too much hassle, as i'm ballparking that a peasant/hireling makes approx 5-7 SP a day (as room + board in an inn is about 5sp a night, depending on the quality), or about 4GP a week. this means about 200GP per peasant with each of them having 20 or so GP a year saved up.

if the mayor taxes them each 10GP a year to save up for the services, they could pay it off in 8-9 years, purchasing the "medical center (cure light wounds only)" in the span of a few months.

once the breadbox is paid for, they won't need to spend money on food (well, food that isn't fancy at least), so that can be donated to the fund or kept & spent on other things.

the reality of things is that people don't consider how easy it actually is to get the things if you know how to use the rules of the game for the desired effect. they're happy with a "pseudo-medieval europe... with magic" for lack of a better term IMO, and that's fine as there is nothing wrong with it.

You're forgetting (if we assume they make 6 SP a day) that the peasants need to survive. If they spend 4sp average a day on food and a place to stay (rent), that adds up to 10 GP per year extra. If you assume that 1 sp is taxed out of their daily income (possibly a little low for "pseudo-medieval Europe"), then you've only got 5 GP. What if they need to buy tools? A shovel wipes out nearly half of their year's savings. If they want a fire, flint and steel will run them another gold piece.

So if we assume 2 GP a year per peasant, your "village of 200" will take 41 years and 3 months. Most of them likely aren't going to live to see the results of their money.

Of course, this is discounting those who make more money than your typical peasant.

Fixer
2009-08-05, 12:56 PM
Brother Bob: "So, what brings you into McChurch today, Mrs. Thomas."
Mrs. Thomas: "Me husband has died. I need ye to fix that for me."
Brother Bob: "Of course. We have a special today, two raisings for the price of one, do you have any other dead relatives you'd like us to bring back?"
Mrs. Thomas: "Not today. Can I bring in my prize bull tomorrow? I would like to have the meat for me poor Henry when he wakes up."
Brother Bob: "Certainly. Please place Henry on the altar."
Mrs. Thomas: "This altar?"
Brother Bob: "What? Oh, no!"
Mr. Thomas: "Urrrrrr brains...."
Mrs. Thomas: "Dear me!"
Brother Bob: "That is the animate dead altar, not the raise dead altar."
Mr. Thomas: "BRAINS!"
Mrs. Thomas: "No! Henry! Brother Bob!" *gurgle*
Brother Bob: "It would appear you do have a second relative to raise today. Well, Henry, let's take care of you first."

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 12:58 PM
-claps- I always enjoy humorous scripts.

Myrmex
2009-08-05, 01:12 PM
I don't see why the existence of certain spells or effects would necessarily change the game world. Just because something is possible doesn't mean it has to happen. America could feed the whole world, for instance, but can the world afford to be fed?

Casters' abilities are going to be in exceedingly high demand, and if we assume a limited supply, then the cost for one is going to be astronomical. They're the sort of individuals that are kept on retainer by powerful warlords or wealthy nobles.

You're also in a setting where there's more at play than human behavior. Maybe the Elves DO live in a perfect utopia of longevity and leisure, thanks to their selfless community approach to managing social affairs. Maybe there is a shining, golden city ruled by a beneficent god-king and his generous clergy. That doesn't mean that every city has to be that way. Any number of influences besides plain human greed could result in the sort of backwards squalor of the middle ages.

AstralFire
2009-08-05, 01:16 PM
I don't see why the existence of certain spells or effects would necessarily change the game world. Just because something is possible doesn't mean it has to happen. America could feed the whole world, for instance, but can the world afford to be fed?

Casters' abilities are going to be in exceedingly high demand, and if we assume a limited supply, then the cost for one is going to be astronomical. They're the sort of individuals that are kept on retainer by powerful warlords or wealthy nobles.

These are both actual excellent portrayals of what I'm saying. Even if there are somehow zero healing clerics being granted these powers because they want to help people, the fact that they have these powers in reserve makes them individuals of tremendous might, resources to be bought, fought for, and stolen. That alone would sweep a landscape.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 01:21 PM
Forget healing. Imagine a world with resurrection.

Resurrection is a ritual, not a prayer.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-05, 01:33 PM
I think in the type of world we are talking about impacting significantly, it is safe to assume that most people will be ECL 4 or less. A 4th level d20r cleric knows 4 orisions and 1 litany--five prayers. Cure light wounds is an orison that heals 1d6 damage, +1 per caster level (max +5). Cure moderate wounds is a litany that heals 3d6 damage, +1 per caster level (max +8).

That's...really not all that much. 3d6+4 is 7-22 points of healing. A comparatively leveled warlord with 16 Con will have 4d10+12 HP, or 16-52. A comparatively leveled dreadnaught with 18 Con will have 4d12+16+4, or 24-68.

I'm still not really convinced by the 4th level Cleric only knowing 5 spells: I just think it's resoundingly better to grab that Cure Light Wounds over say your version of Aid (which seems to have been written twice, now that I look again) or Bane. However, that's probably just my playing style: thematically I suppose I have to agree with you. A Nature Cleric will be grabbing Feral Power, a Tyrannous one Cause Fear. Maybe I can't see not having healing by level 4, but there should be fewer of them even among the limited numbers of PC classes anyway.

I confess I hadn't even really considered the other sources of healing available. I'm not particularly concerned with the high level healing as for the purposes of world-altering change I don't think it matters too much whether it's 1d6+5 or 3d6+8 at will. Still... do they work on the same basis? Are they are usable as often as the Cleric's Orison?

Also, are those classes you mentioned still available for comment:smalltongue:? Looking at the Warlord I feel the Bloodlust Aura is a little weak but there may be a feat that improves this, I don't know.

I should maybe finish by stating that I'm not actually particularly opposed to the healing. I find your work on the d20r project to be really impressive and have a great urge to try the system out. All I'm really arguing for is that this is an enormous change to most people (and as you can see above, I'm not even too sure about that). I even think the idea that I can see a lot of village Clerics with ranks in Ride, so that they can get out to outlying farms and 'doctor' quicker, kind of cool.

Addendum:


I don't see why the existence of certain spells or effects would necessarily change the game world. Just because something is possible doesn't mean it has to happen. America could feed the whole world, for instance, but can the world afford to be fed?

It's not really the same thing, because feeding all those people still requires some kind of physical cost. This is completely free on a material basis.

Myrmex
2009-08-05, 01:49 PM
It's not really the same thing, because feeding all those people still requires some kind of physical cost. This is completely free on a material basis.

Materials aren't the only thing that affects cost. Your computer, for instance, is about 10 bucks worth of sand and plastic, yet you likely paid about 100 times that amount for it. Why?

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-05, 01:53 PM
Materials aren't the only thing that affects cost. Your computer, for instance, is about 10 bucks worth of sand and plastic, yet you likely paid about 100 times that amount for it. Why?

Oh, I completely agree. I was going to make a point about paying for skills in regard the Cleric situation but I couldn't think of how to phrase it. I guess my counter to that would be that the majority of clerics with healing domains are going to be the divinely-empowered servants - and in truth, in terms of power dynamics more like thralls - of gods who do in fact support or allow healing.

So I can't really see the prices jacking up past the affordable range of a commoner. I could maybe see like a state donation that a country of city makes, in return for the temples operating at helpful capacity in that area. That would turn temples into these kind of very rich, very influential international entities.

Myrmex
2009-08-05, 02:26 PM
Oh, I completely agree. I was going to make a point about paying for skills in regard the Cleric situation but I couldn't think of how to phrase it. I guess my counter to that would be that the majority of clerics with healing domains are going to be the divinely-empowered servants - and in truth, in terms of power dynamics more like thralls - of gods who do in fact support or allow healing.

So I can't really see the prices jacking up past the affordable range of a commoner. I could maybe see like a state donation that a country of city makes, in return for the temples operating at helpful capacity in that area. That would turn temples into these kind of very rich, very influential international entities.

While this is true, there simply won't be enough Good clerics to heal everyone that needs it. It may be more efficient to charge large sums to those who can afford it, and then use the money to buy and distribute food, for instance.

I imagine it would likely work similar to how charitable organizations work, actually. The demand far outstrips the supply.

ericgrau
2009-08-05, 03:24 PM
I think at-will healing or healing limited per person may be fine for the adventurers, but it falls apart when applied to common folk. Since just 1 priest can literally heal 4800 people in an 8 hour day, even the rare presence of low level clerics or adepts would remove the existence of injury from normal life. There'd be a dramatic boost to society in the direction of Eberron, people would take more risks, more might become adventurers or deep cave gold miners or etc., competition would increase among such decreasing payout & specialness of those who engage in such things, etc.

If you want to say "unlimited for all practical adventuring purposes, but actually there is a rather high limit if you try to heal too many different people", then ok, there we go.

Arbitrarity
2009-08-05, 03:28 PM
Hm. Verismilitude, why Clerics with at will healing aren't running around for the good of all people.
First:
Many deaths in medieval times were due to disease and poor sanitation, not wounds. This means for clerics to make a big difference, they need to perform rituals to cleanse things, and those cost money, and a lot of time, as well as requiring a decent level. Thus, those deaths may still remain common.
Second:
HP != Wounds. Not all injuries can be healed with Cure Light wounds, such as limb loss, etc.
Third:
Critical Existence Failure and bleeding out.
For an injury to be dangerous to a person in D&D, they have to be unconscious or otherwise losing health constantly. This means that you have to get a cleric to them in a minute or two, or they'll likely die.
Fourth:
Minor injuries are kind of irrelevant anyways.
When was the last time you had an NPC with a sprained ankle, a broken toe, or who cut themselves while flourishing a sword?
Probably never. Your game likely doesn't care about such minor hindrances to NPC's, so who really cares?

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 03:35 PM
Oh, I forgot the last instance:

5. NPCs aren't taking the cleric class. They'll take an NPC/Complete Commoner class instead, which would give them access to only very specific orisons and litanies.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-05, 03:40 PM
I think at-will healing or healing limited per person may be fine for the adventurers, but it falls apart when applied to common folk. Since just 1 priest can literally heal 4800 people in an 8 hour day, even the rare presence of low level clerics or adepts would remove the existence of injury from normal life. There'd be a dramatic boost to society in the direction of Eberron, people would take more risks, more might become adventurers or deep cave gold miners or etc., competition would increase among such decreasing payout & specialness of those who engage in such things, etc.

If you want to say "unlimited for all practical adventuring purposes, but actually there is a rather high limit if you try to heal too many different people", then ok, there we go.

Well, I mean, it really is godly power - they draw magic from what is basically a divine battery, I guess. So it is DM fiat where exactly you want to say the power runs out (and how tangible that limit really is, too).


While this is true, there simply won't be enough Good clerics to heal everyone that needs it. It may be more efficient to charge large sums to those who can afford it, and then use the money to buy and distribute food, for instance.

I imagine it would likely work similar to how charitable organizations work, actually. The demand far outstrips the supply.

While I can totally see this, I think it actually probably works better when Clerics have limited heals. I mean, how big exactly is demand? Your largest urban centre has maybe 2 or 3 million people. A couple of clerics and one to do the night shift are still going to manage a hell of a lot of the daily injuries in that city.


Hm. Verismilitude, why Clerics with at will healing aren't running around for the good of all people.
First:
Many deaths in medieval times were due to disease and poor sanitation, not wounds. This means for clerics to make a big difference, they need to perform rituals to cleanse things, and those cost money, and a lot of time, as well as requiring a decent level. Thus, those deaths may still remain common.
Second:
HP != Wounds. Not all injuries can be healed with Cure Light wounds, such as limb loss, etc.
Third:
Critical Existence Failure and bleeding out.
For an injury to be dangerous to a person in D&D, they have to be unconscious or otherwise losing health constantly. This means that you have to get a cleric to them in a minute or two, or they'll likely die.
Fourth:
Minor injuries are kind of irrelevant anyways.
When was the last time you had an NPC with a sprained ankle, a broken toe, or who cut themselves while flourishing a sword?
Probably never. Your game likely doesn't care about such minor hindrances to NPC's, so who really cares?

While I appreciate these points, they're really more to do with how HP is viewed in D&D than the effect of At-Will healing from a Cleric. I'd rather not get into argument, because rather than a point of view or observation on a fantasy world it is something that cannot be defined. At least, not over the internet :smallwink:.

Addendum:


Oh, I forgot the last instance:

5. NPCs aren't taking the cleric class. They'll take an NPC/Complete Commoner class instead, which would give them access to only very specific orisons and litanies.

Well, that completely changes my point of view. Thanks for clearing that up Fax, and I look forward to seeing the finished class.

HamHam
2009-08-05, 03:44 PM
Oh, I forgot the last instance:

5. NPCs aren't taking the cleric class. They'll take an NPC/Complete Commoner class instead, which would give them access to only very specific orisons and litanies.

These sorts of PCs-are-special solutions break versimilitude, imho.

oxybe
2009-08-05, 03:47 PM
verisimilitude is in the central eye of the beholder.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 03:50 PM
These sorts of PCs-are-special solutions break versimilitude, imho.

How so? The PCs are heroes and as such are not your average person. Your everyday clergyman is not a hero.

Matthew
2009-08-05, 03:55 PM
How so? The PCs are heroes and as such are not your average person. Your everyday clergyman is not a hero.

Indeed; such things do not break verisimilitude, unless you conceive of a world where there are a great many clerics, or where player characters generally are not clerics. Totally subjective.

Susano-wo
2009-08-05, 04:32 PM
Ray of Frost! brilliant! I was just going through the PHB a couple of days ago and examining what he effects would be on an X-lvl magic world. [really :smallbiggrin:]
I took a look at a world with onl 0th lvl spells and 4 degrees of commonality for the caster classes (1. less than 1 in a wide area in a generation, 2. about 1 in a generation, 3. might have one in a mid sized town and 4. common as dirt- training is readily available), and I noted damaging spells for their demoralizing effect(commoners have 2hp, so ray of frost/orb of acid has a 67% chance to drop them, as well as being unpleasant ways to meet your fate, especially with the latter), but I didn't even think of the food preservation angle.
I figured the impact of bards to be fairly minimal until lvl 3, when their stealth enhancing spells make skulking about easier for a large group of people, wizards would be aout the same, mostly for their ability to aid with armies and similar organizations (you need to get pretty close, but ranged touch spells are a nice way of taking down an opposing bruiser, and message makes a great logistical aid to those bereft of radios :D)
Clerics and druids, however show impact even at lvl 1. the appearance of a cleric or druid would bolster a religious sect and cause people around to flock to it, altering the political reality, though a druid miht just hang out in the woods and not effect too many people ^ ^
(I'm moving on to lvl one casters now, which is a bit more complicated :P Also, I didn't think about the level od monsters/magical creatures when I wa thinking about this hypothetical world. Not sure if it make too much diffrence with 0th lvl spells, but once you get nastier monsers, more magic is going to be devoted to killin' said monsters)

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-05, 04:45 PM
These sorts of PCs-are-special solutions break versimilitude, imho.

This isn't 4e where PCs and NPCs don't have the same structure in common. They're simply different classes--any PC can take an NPC class, and important NPCs can be clerics. Just because Joe Average would probably only take a commoner version of the cleric class doesn't mean the laws of the universe prevent him from being important enough to merit a PC-level class.

Granted, I don't like having a PC/NPC class split that much either, but then I prefer the view that the PCs start at the same level as the average people and their actions make them heroes around level 3 or 4, rather than their class choice making them heroes. However, that isn't an issue of verisimilitude, that's an issue of playstyle preference between two styles of equivalent verisimilitude.

HamHam
2009-08-05, 04:46 PM
How so? The PCs are heroes and as such are not your average person. Your everyday clergyman is not a hero.

PCs have above average starting ability scores. That's the only really special thing about them.

If praying to a god will give you spiffy magic powers, why would it work for some people and not at least some others?

If killing a couple of orcs will give you spiffy fighting powers, then Joe the Farmer who got lucky should be able to get levels in fighter.

And in the order for a village to even exist in your typical DnD world it needs to get saved from monsters by someone on at least a yearly basis. That requires a lot of adventurers.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 04:51 PM
PCs have above average starting ability scores. That's the only really special thing about them.

If praying to a god will give you spiffy magic powers, why would it work for some people and not at least some others?

If killing a couple of orcs will give you spiffy fighting powers, then Joe the Farmer who got lucky should be able to get levels in fighter.

And in the order for a village to even exist in your typical DnD world it needs to get saved from monsters by someone on at least a yearly basis. That requires a lot of adventurers.

Do yourself a favor and look at The Complete Commoner. NPC classes have most of the same traits as heroes. The difference is PCs are better at them, get more of them, and are generally tougher and better in a fight. See also: Nominal Importance. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NominalImportance)

ericgrau
2009-08-05, 04:54 PM
Oh, I forgot the last instance:

5. NPCs aren't taking the cleric class. They'll take an NPC/Complete Commoner class instead, which would give them access to only very specific orisons and litanies.

Not even 1 per 4800 people hurt per day (so perhaps 1 per 500,000, assuming only 1% of people get hurt each day)? The PCs are the only "elites", so to speak? Even then you'd have to wonder why the party cleric doesn't spend a great deal of his downtime serving the greater good by healing people that hurt themselves.

As for those injured in ways other than HP damage: If that's so frequent, why doesn't it happen to the PCs so often while they're getting swords swung at them, burned, and falling from high places? Is getting kicked by that donkey really so special? I can see diseases and what not being a problem, but if everyone had a fatal disease then there'd be nobody left. Most of them get better with only a bit of bedrest. Limb loss is rare, except from gangrene from not healing a wound before it gets infected. With abundant healing that's not an issue.

But again, all the DM has to do is set a very high limit on the "at-will" healing, so it's only "unlimited" compared to the needs of the adventuring party.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 04:56 PM
Not even 1 in 4800? The PCs are the only "elites", so to speak? Even then you'd have to wonder why the cleric doesn't spend a great deal of his downtime serving the greater good by healing people that hurt themselves.How's this. Unimportant people use "common classes", Complete Commoner-like stuff. Important People use "heroic classes", your regular PHB sort of thing. And frankly, if a cleric dedicated to a god of healing doesn't do that at least somewhat during his downtime, he'll probably get a stern talking-to from his superiors in the church.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-08-05, 04:58 PM
And in the order for a village to even exist in your typical DnD world it needs to get saved from monsters by someone on at least a yearly basis. That requires a lot of adventurers.
Imagine a tea kettle on an imaginary stove and picture steam coming out of the spout. Does there have to imaginary water boiling in the imaginary tea kettle for the imaginary steam to come out?

ericgrau
2009-08-05, 04:58 PM
Ah, but then I was referring to their ability to then heal everyone who ever gets hurt, like I was talking about before. Unless the DM limits the "at-will" healing to a certain number of people that's easily higher than the number of people in an adventuring party but still far from everyone in town. Or socio-economic stuff changes when wounds, cuts, etc. no longer have time to get infected and kill people.


Imagine a tea kettle on an imaginary stove and picture steam coming out of the spout. Does there have to imaginary water boiling in the imaginary tea kettle for the imaginary steam to come out?

Ah, but more often than not the PCs will try to look in the kettle or pour some water. And then you'll regret not statting it up. This kind of thing may not matter for video games, but every time there's one less thing in your environment you're allowed to interact with, the RP in the RPG dies a little. This is where truly great and interesting plans, villanous goals, problems for the PCs to overcome, etc. come from. Video games only have "Monsters are attacking, go kill them." Ignoring such things is do-able and a lot of people don't care, but such games tend to be more hack-n-slash and less awesome & intricate planning.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 05:01 PM
The NPC class will feature per-day uses on prayers. The Heroic class' advantage is that it gets to use it's prayers all the time.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-08-05, 05:13 PM
Ah, but more often than not the PCs will try to look in the kettle or pour some water.

True. But I was trying to get the point across that it's best not to think too much about how it works. Replace kettle with dragon and steam with fire and few ask how fire comes out of the dragon or whether dragons could be used to provide unlimited energy.

Anyway, I agree with you when you said, "If you want to say "unlimited for all practical adventuring purposes, but actually there is a rather high limit if you try to heal too many different people", then ok, there we go." Infact I said something similar to that before.

HamHam
2009-08-05, 05:16 PM
The difference is PCs are better at them, get more of them, and are generally tougher and better in a fight.

Why?

What in-world explanation is there for this?

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 05:19 PM
Why?

What in-world explanation is there for this?

In-world explanation: The PCs Are Heroes. Heroes Are Special. NPCs Are Not (Generally) Heroes--They Are Commoners. Commoners Are Not Special.

Otherwise, you end up with tavernkeepers who can kick a red wyrm dragon's ass using the party fighter as an improvised weapon. Which destroys immersion.

HamHam
2009-08-05, 05:24 PM
In-world explanation: The PCs Are Heroes. Heroes Are Special. NPCs Are Not (Generally) Heroes--They Are Commoners. Commoners Are Not Special.

Why are they special?


Otherwise, you end up with tavernkeepers who can kick a red wyrm dragon's ass using the party fighter as an improvised weapon. Which destroys immersion.

How so? He would have to pretty high level to do that, and if he's spent his life tavernkeeping he's not going to be because tavernkeeping does not produce a lot of XP.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 05:36 PM
Why are they special?
The game is about the PCs. They're the stars of the show. Therefore, they are special. No one likes playing Joe Leftelbow the Uninspiring.


How so? He would have to pretty high level to do that, and if he's spent his life tavernkeeping he's not going to be because tavernkeeping does not produce a lot of XP.You're nitpicking an example.

The point is, PCs are Special: that's why the game is about them. Ordinary people do not slay dragons, perform miracles, or threaten entire nations with undead hordes--exceptional, heroic individuals do that.

HamHam
2009-08-05, 05:54 PM
The game is about the PCs. They're the stars of the show. Therefore, they are special. No one likes playing Joe Leftelbow the Uninspiring.

This is a metagame explanation.


The point is, PCs are Special: that's why the game is about them. Ordinary people do not slay dragons, perform miracles, or threaten entire nations with undead hordes--exceptional, heroic individuals do that.

On the contrary, it's the other way around. They are exceptional, heroic individuals because they do all these things, not some natural gift of birth that lets them take PC classes.

Susano-wo
2009-08-05, 05:56 PM
I think the point is, that only a fraction of the people in the word are chosen by the gods to wield their power, or are able to understand the secrets of magic enouh to ast anything that would be of a level to count as a DnD-type spell, or even to be experts enough with the blade to qualify as a fighter, instead of a warrior.
You, as PCs, happen to be among this group. Why? because you're the focus of the game, and that's the style the game/setting is going for. You can do a game/setting where the PCs are run of the mill, at least at first, and that's fine, but that's obviously not the choice that's being suggested here.
Saying that PC's being special breaks verisimilitude is like saying that PCs being brilliant scientists, testing the limits of the scientific frontier, while most people cannot even keep up in a conversation with them, is breaking verisimilitude
Pair'ODice: Personally, I prefer the idea that as first level characters, you are a cut above the rest alreay, not necessarily the baddest of asses, but already fuly trained in your class (at least to be considered, say, a wizard in your won right, not just an apprentice). Of course, part of this is because I hate crap like fumbling under most circumstances, and also the omfg, you are 1st lvl? U suxxors noooob! kind of mentality ^ ^ And finally, class, in character, is not so much a 'selection,' but something you have either dedicated a large potion of tie learning, or are ome sort of prodigy at

Fax Celestis
2009-08-05, 05:56 PM
This is a metagame explanation.It is. Why is that a problem? Character classes are a metagame concept, so they deserve a metagame explanation.


On the contrary, it's the other way around. They are exceptional, heroic individuals because they do all these things, not some natural gift of birth that lets them take PC classes....then you are looking at it from the other end than I am. Heroes are represented by the mechanics of their classes, since it is the only way to differentiate someone who is heroic from someone who is not heroic.

Matthew
2009-08-05, 06:21 PM
If praying to a god will give you spiffy magic powers, why would it work for some people and not at least some others?

If killing a couple of orcs will give you spiffy fighting powers, then Joe the Farmer who got lucky should be able to get levels in fighter.

That's not how it works, though. Praying to a deity doesn't get you spiffy powers, nor does killing an orc let you advance as a fighter. Joe the farmer might advance as a commoner, but not a fighter. The game world isn't populated by PC equivalent avatars who function within the physics of the D&D game world. All mechanics do is describe the world, inverting it so that the mechanics are the world is the number one mistake in trying to rationalise how a D&D world could exist.

Draken
2009-08-05, 07:47 PM
The explanation is quite simple from an ingame point of view.

Being a PC is hard. Training as a cleric is more difficult than training as an adept. Training to be a fighter is more intensive than training to be a warrior. Training to be a rogue requires more skill than being an expert.

There is really not excuse to be a commoner other than that you suck and I can't really pull something to compare to an aristocrat.

Being a member of an NPC class is easier. And your average individual will do what is easier, because ultimately he doesn't really need to be able to do the same things a guy who is out there killing monsters needs to.

Yahzi
2009-08-05, 10:48 PM
That the party cleric can heal at will does not have to mean that there are NPC clerics doing at will healing continually in the imagined world.
Yes, it does. Magic makes your player characters powerful enough; giving them unique magic makes them world-breaking. At level 1.

I have a pretty good answer for where levels come from (people's souls). And making the world psuedo-medieval just requires a) steepening the XP curve (so it doubles every level) and some malevolent force (like mind-flayers or demons).

aje8
2009-08-05, 11:00 PM
Just FYI commoners DO NOT make 4-5 SP per day. Commoners make 1 CP per day..... it's in phb or the DMg somewhere.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled thread.

Blacky the Blackball
2009-08-06, 02:00 AM
4. In a world with at-will healing, why would there be injury, death, or disease? There's nothing saying that clerics would give out healing for free--in fact, as we can see by modern-day hospitals, healing can often be quite expensive. Further, if we go back to #2, we'll recognize that not every cleric will have the capacity to heal people, and we can also assume that clerics of evil (and frankly most of the non-good) alignments won't be handing out healing for free either. Sure, some clerics will hand out their healing for free or cheap (like modern-day free health clinics), but there's only so many of them and only so much care they can provide in a day--they need to eat and sleep sometime, or at least rest to keep from going insane.

For those who are old fogeys like me, the 3rd edition Runequest set discusses the implications of this sort of magic in the world when it comes to the Glorantha setting...

1) Easy/free access of cure disease spells? Most normal diseases are eradicated or at least rare occurrences and are dealt with quickly. However, the Goddess of Disease (or demons or whatever) soon come up with magical diseases that resist being cured. They are the ones - actively spread by the Goddess's worshippers - that get devastating.

2) Easy/free access to healing/resurrection spells? Most normal injuries are easily taken care of since any group or religion who heals for free will be extremely popular and gain recruits/converts very easily. However, people are much less afraid of injury. Inter-group violence and feuding becomes much more common and murder is much less of a crime. Those bandits who want to steal some sheep now have no qualms about killing (or at least fighting-to-unconsciousness) the farmer and his family in order to make the theft easier. After all, the farmer will just get raised by their village - and any bandits who die in the attack will (assuming their bodies are recovered by their allies) be raised when they get back to the camp.

Of course, this may sound far removed from the "standard" D&D world - but when you think about it, it isn't that far off. With the amount of bandits/monsters/wars the average D&D world assumes happen (for dramatic purposes and to give adventurers something to fight) the world would be pretty depopulated without this kind of healing availability.

The standard "medieval with magic" world is a fiction. If a campaign world were really like that then there would be little to nothing for adventurers to do. The towns would be threatened by orcs or bandits or dragons once every few years (or decades), not on the weekly basis that most campaigns have to assume in order to give the players something to do.

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-08-06, 02:01 AM
Otherwise, you end up with tavernkeepers who can kick a red wyrm dragon's ass using the party fighter as an improvised weapon. Which destroys immersion.

Fax does not play in the Forgotten Realms. :smalltongue:

vampire2948
2009-08-06, 02:18 AM
I've thought of a potential solution:

Give Clerics both At-Will and Regular (spell slotted) healing.

But - Make the at-will healing take larger amounts of time.
For adventurers, this will mean that they will need to stop, rest and recover for a few extra minutes between encounters - And I don't think that'd be a bad thing. Or else they could spend some of their prescious spell slots.

In the rest of your world, the parts populated by NPCs, the clerics would be able to heal far less people per day, due to time constraints - and it would thus likely be more expensive.

Meh, it just seems silly to me that an action such as Healing should fill a less than six second period. 10-minute ritual type things are more interesting,

Vampire2948,

Eldritch_Ent
2009-08-06, 06:14 AM
I don't really see what the problem is, I mean yes it wouldn't be close to the "real world" ancient europe or whatnot, but is it supposed to?

I'd say that having large amounts of "at will" healing doesn't hurt the setting at all. I mean yes, the peasants probably won't bleed to death and death during childbirth would probably be very uncommon, but a lost hand will remain lost, and a level 1 commoner killed by raiding orcs will probably remain dead, since Restoration is hard to get, and Raising is both expensive and dangerous, what with it being a high level spell with an expensive Material Compenent... As well as docking you a level or two each time it's used.

Basically, yes the medical care is better, but the risks (Especially if uncontrolled by adventuring parties) outweigh it, since there's still a very high chance of getting your soul devoured by succubi, having Wights convert your village into more Wights, or other equally nasty things.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-06, 06:35 AM
I don't really see what the problem is, I mean yes it wouldn't be close to the "real world" ancient europe or whatnot, but is it supposed to?

I'd say that having large amounts of "at will" healing doesn't hurt the setting at all. I mean yes, the peasants probably won't bleed to death and death during childbirth would probably be very uncommon, but a lost hand will remain lost, and a level 1 commoner killed by raiding orcs will probably remain dead, since Restoration is hard to get, and Raising is both expensive and dangerous, what with it being a high level spell with an expensive Material Compenent... As well as docking you a level or two each time it's used.

Basically, yes the medical care is better, but the risks (Especially if uncontrolled by adventuring parties) outweigh it, since there's still a very high chance of getting your soul devoured by succubi, having Wights convert your village into more Wights, or other equally nasty things.

The chance of those last few cannot be very high, especially if PC classes are particularly rare, for any kind of still-functioning kingdom. The hand loss thing, too, is pretty arbitrary - it's still essentially a function of HP, so where you draw the line is again more about HP loss than the effect of At-Will healing.

I agree with you that most commoners who are killed by fantastical means will still be dead.

Omegonthesane
2009-08-06, 07:30 AM
The explanation is quite simple from an ingame point of view.

Being a PC is hard. Training as a cleric is more difficult than training as an adept. Training to be a fighter is more intensive than training to be a warrior. Training to be a rogue requires more skill than being an expert.

There is really not excuse to be a commoner other than that you suck and I can't really pull something to compare to an aristocrat.

Being a member of an NPC class is easier. And your average individual will do what is easier, because ultimately he doesn't really need to be able to do the same things a guy who is out there killing monsters needs to.

On the other hand, take enough levels in Warrior and you're actually superior to that cut-above-the-average Fighter from Bash University, which kinda breaks the "PCs are awesome" paradigm...

I'd rule that NPCs are level 1 in an NPC class. Pretty much by definition. If they reach 2nd level - 3rd level, if the universe is cruel they adapt to the horrific circumstances that forced them to do so by taking levels in a real class, and retraining all their NPC class levels as they do so by the PHBII rules.

Or you could go all meta and say the NPC classes are just so GMs can quickly stat somewhat level-appropriate enemies with class levels. But that's not an in-universe explanation.

Johel
2009-08-06, 08:30 AM
On the other hand, take enough levels in Warrior and you're actually superior to that cut-above-the-average Fighter from Bash University, which kinda breaks the "PCs are awesome" paradigm...

I'd rule that NPCs are level 1 in an NPC class. Pretty much by definition. If they reach 2nd level - 3rd level, if the universe is cruel they adapt to the horrific circumstances that forced them to do so by taking levels in a real class, and retraining all their NPC class levels as they do so by the PHBII rules.

Or you could go all meta and say the NPC classes are just so GMs can quickly stat somewhat level-appropriate enemies with class levels. But that's not an in-universe explanation.

Each two level, their's a difference of 2 HP and a new feat. So, the gap deepens quickly.
Maybe a 4th level warrior can beat the snot out of a 2nd level fighter but that's it. Unless you mean "A warrior with twice as many levels as a fighter can always beat said fighter", I really don't see how a few more levels can help "Redshirt".

In-universe explanation for picking warrior in the first place ? It's a lot easier and quicker to train as a warrior than as a fighter. And if you are to be just a random member of the citywatch, whose main ambition is to earn easy gold and raise a family, you won't concern yourself with "not being the best". Even random soldiers aren't always on the field and they don't care about these few elite people who dedicate their life to become the ultimate fighter.

NPC won't always change for "real" class because everything is not about battle and adventures. Your village might have had a few problems with local goblins but you won't change your career for it !! Experts feels actually pretty well in their class, not because of their 6+Int skills but because of the "the expert can choose any ten skills to be class skills".
Same for Aristocrat, who actually get the right skills for their job : to rule people.
Adepts... well, they LOVE their gods but... they haven't been chosen. Maybe aren't they THAT devoted in comparison to real priests ? Or simply their wisdom score sucks and the church didn't want to spent time and money to train a man into a crappy priest while he can be a perfect adept.

Omegonthesane
2009-08-06, 10:04 AM
Each two level, their's a difference of 2 HP and a new feat. So, the gap deepens quickly.
Maybe a 4th level warrior can beat the snot out of a 2nd level fighter but that's it. Unless you mean "A warrior with twice as many levels as a fighter can always beat said fighter", I really don't see how a few more levels can help "Redshirt".
As I was saying, I don't see why a 4th level warrior exists at all. If you have gone through the kind of battle and terrible danger that gets you to 4th level, why stay in a gimped class?
Also, a Warrior with a few levels on a Fighter, while still not closing the gaps in feats and HP, is way ahead of Fighter in terms of his Fortitude save (affects save-or-dies) and his Hit Dice (affects a few spells) and his BaB (affects attack rolls) and his Skill points (affects... various). A person weaker than the hero shouldn't be stronger in that many ways. 9 Warrior is crap compared to 8 Fighter, but guess which one shrugs off http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/hypnotism.htm]Maximised Hypnotism.


In-universe explanation for picking warrior in the first place ? It's a lot easier and quicker to train as a warrior than as a fighter. And if you are to be just a random member of the citywatch, whose main ambition is to earn easy gold and raise a family, you won't concern yourself with "not being the best". Even random soldiers aren't always on the field and they don't care about these few elite people who dedicate their life to become the ultimate fighter.
I wasn't questioning that NPCs might choose a career as a warrior at 1st level. I was questioning why NPCs would keep being warriors once they've got past 1st level.


NPC won't always change for "real" class because everything is not about battle and adventures. Your village might have had a few problems with local goblins but you won't change your career for it !! Experts feels actually pretty well in their class, not because of their 6+Int skills but because of the "the expert can choose any ten skills to be class skills".
Your village has a few problems with local goblins and you're the city watch? Good for you. You have 2 NPC class levels and never ascend to 3rd level. Never.

Let's escalate things a little. Your village has a few problems with local wights. You learn the tricks that separate a real fighter from the Warrior class, and you learn them quick soldier, because Warriors aren't cut out to face this kind of opposition.


Same for Aristocrat, who actually get the right skills for their job : to rule people.
Aristocrats live exactly as long as their guards and combat skills are strong enough to keep them alive. Not one second longer. If an Aristocrat is regularly getting into enough trouble to reach 3rd level, then ruling is the least of his problems.


Adepts... well, they LOVE their gods but... they haven't been chosen. Maybe aren't they THAT devoted in comparison to real priests ? Or simply their wisdom score sucks and the church didn't want to spent time and money to train a man into a crappy priest while he can be a perfect adept.
Indeed. And because they aren't chosen - because they aren't devoted - they never reach 3rd level. If it takes a lot of training to reach 1st as a PC... that's nothing compared to the kind of sheer awesome it takes to reach 3rd as anything.

Sorry if the above is a little vehement, but you appeared to have missed my point. NPC classes don't exist above 3rd level because you can only reach 3rd level by truly becoming a hero. Not a merely exceptional dude - that's a 1st level PC. 3rd level = Hero, not NPC.

I take your point about Aristocrats and Experts having perfect skill sets for Ruling People and Whatever Career WotC Didn't Give A Class For, though. Experts, however, can retrain as the other Expert class (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm#expert), the one intended for player characters, and still have their I-Have-Any-Class-Skills-I-Want-Forever gimmick.

Aristocrats have no easy fix, sadly - but they're set up as administrators, not real rulers. Good King Lightwarden of Lawful Good Land is not a 3rd level Aristocrat. He's either a 2nd level Aristocrat (and therefore not a hero, so can have an NPC class) or at worst by RAW he's a 2 Aristocrat/1 Fighter - and more likely he's a 10th level Paladin who just got too old to be an effective fighter. Ideally, though, if you want a 3rd level King, he's a 3rd level Adventuring Aristocrat, a hypothetical homebrew class whose sole purpose is to buff the NPC Aristocrat to PC levels.

Morty
2009-08-06, 10:10 AM
Fax does not play in the Forgotten Realms. :smalltongue:

I wouldn't be so sure of that. There's no dragon-killing barkeeps in FR except for the one who's a Masked Lord of Waterdeep. You'd know that if you'd actually read the books instead of repeating what you've read on forums.
As far as PC/NPC classes go, I'm not too fond of PC classes being restricted to PCs either. I see no reason for exceptional NPCs to be restricted to NPC classes. A common footsoldier is a warrior. An officer might be a warrior as well, but a high-ranking officer might very well be a fighter. A thief will be an expert, but a crimelord will be a rogue. A village priest will be an adept, but the head of a major temple will be a cleric. And so on.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-06, 10:23 AM
I wouldn't be so sure of that. There's no dragon-killing barkeeps in FR except for the one who's a Masked Lord of Waterdeep. You know that if you actually read the books instead of repeating what you've read on forums.
As far as PC/NPC classes go, I'm not too fond of PC classes being restricted to PCs either. I see no reason for exceptional NPCs to be restricted to NPC classes. A common footsoldier is a warrior. An officer might be a warrior as well, but a high-ranking officer might very well be a fighter. A thief will be an expert, but a crimelord will be a rogue. A village priest will be an adept, but the head of a major temple will be a cleric. And so on.

That's exactly the intent. The Complete Commoner job classes are explicitly designed so a DM can make unimportant NPCs on the fly. Important NPCs should probably be statted beforehand and likely will not use Complete Commoner jobs.

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-06, 10:40 AM
Basically, yes the medical care is better, but the risks (Especially if uncontrolled by adventuring parties) outweigh it, since there's still a very high chance of getting your soul devoured by succubi, having Wights convert your village into more Wights, or other equally nasty things.

See, at first glance, I would answer to the OP:

"AARRRGH healing at-will would destroy on ANY setting!"

But, after I read your post, I see that there is a good chance that at-will healing can BRING consistency in the gameworld.

I mean, if, after were-thing, undead-thing, demonic invasions, dragons, evil fey, the commoners should face casualities for more common dangers, well, there would be villages at all in most areas, I guess.

On the other hand, this could break a very gritty setting I guess - but see above were - thing, undead-thing, and so on.

vampire2948
2009-08-06, 10:46 AM
But not if you make the healing take time. Then clerics will be less likely to do it, due to it wasting a significant portion of their lives.

Why is no one taking my suggestion into account? Or debating with it? It solves all the problems the rest of you keep complanining about.

:smallsmile:
Vampire2948,

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-06, 10:53 AM
But not if you make the healing take time. Then clerics will be less likely to do it, due to it wasting a significant portion of their lives.

Why is no one taking my suggestion into account? Or debating with it? It solves all the problems the rest of you keep complanining about.

:smallsmile:
Vampire2948,

Actually, my point was "maybe, is not a problem at all, even by the point of world coherency".

Anyway, something similar to what you said can be done for a gritty game: there is varian in UA, IIRC, that makes healing spell only switch lethal damage in subdual one.

Of course, this DOESN NOT fit well with a lot of D&D campaings. :smalltongue:

Zore
2009-08-06, 11:03 AM
But not if you make the healing take time. Then clerics will be less likely to do it, due to it wasting a significant portion of their lives.

Why is no one taking my suggestion into account? Or debating with it? It solves all the problems the rest of you keep complanining about.

The problem with your suggestion is that no one heals in combat, its horribly inefficient and underpowered. Outside of combat it would have to take hours to cast the spells for it not to be worth it, and at that point a lot of mechanics and assumptions begin to break down. Not to mention Fax's cleric is built on a warlock, at-will, chassis so limited abilities don't make much sense.

Frankly this whole discussion reminds me of when I first bought Complete Arcane and everyone in my group was freaking out over how overpowered the warlocks were. At-will healing is barely a stretch from the current DnD setting anyways.

vampire2948
2009-08-06, 11:33 AM
The problem with your suggestion is that no one heals in combat, its horribly inefficient and underpowered. Outside of combat it would have to take hours to cast the spells for it not to be worth it, and at that point a lot of mechanics and assumptions begin to break down. Not to mention Fax's cleric is built on a warlock, at-will, chassis so limited abilities don't make much sense.


Lets look at my suggestion again:


I've thought of a potential solution:

Give Clerics both At-Will and Regular (spell slotted) healing.

But - Make the at-will healing take larger amounts of time.
For adventurers, this will mean that they will need to stop, rest and recover for a few extra minutes between encounters - And I don't think that'd be a bad thing. Or else they could spend some of their prescious spell slots.

In the rest of your world, the parts populated by NPCs, the clerics would be able to heal far less people per day, due to time constraints - and it would thus likely be more expensive.

Meh, it just seems silly to me that an action such as Healing should fill a less than six second period. 10-minute ritual type things are more interesting,

Vampire2948,

Note that I talked about keeping spell slots as they already are. They would be solely used to in-combat healing, or times when haste was required.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-06, 11:35 AM
Note that I talked about keeping spell slots as they already are. They would be solely used to in-combat healing, or times when haste was required.

You would be well-served to see the class (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120160) that started this debate.

vampire2948
2009-08-06, 11:39 AM
You would be well-served to see the class (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=120160) that started this debate.

I like the look of that class. Makes Clerics how they should be, well, how I think they should be.
Nice work on that class, Fax Celestis.

The reason I said to keep slots was that only the healing spells would have been unlimited outside of combat. Since they are instantaneous, and wouldn't have effects lasting into the next combat / similar.

Your class is different to that which I outlined above - and a better idea, probably, relative to that which I spoke of.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-08-06, 01:33 PM
Yes, it does. Magic makes your player characters powerful enough; giving them unique magic makes them world-breaking. At level 1.

You didn't get what I meant. I meant that just because a PC can do X at will does not mean that the imagined world has people doing X at will if X at will is abusive to the imagined world's suspension of disbelief. Often, as in this thread, it is argued that some power might break the game's "economy" but what is meant is that it breaks suspension of disbelied.

In general, I take X at will to mean that X can be done at will when the game or story calls for it. For ex, I'm sure one can find some world economy breaking use for a warlocks blast or a fighter's tireless ability to break objects just as you can for at will healing. Although the PC can heal at will for in-game purposes you don't have to imagine another cleric in the game world somewhere breaking the game economy by doing the same. How do you explain the difference? That's easy and can be done in many ways and some of those have been posted by others in this thread. Heck, as the DM you could simply rule that a PC that starts to continually do things at will gets fatigued after some period of time.

And the PCs are unique in the game...they are the drivers of the story. They are not the most powerful characters in the game, with perhaps some exceptions for very high level games. But the story focuses on them. That's why the PCs may "randomly" encounter a CR 1 monster at level 1 but "randomly" encounter CR 20 monsters at level 20. The game, as in what happens in the game session, is not a simulation of a world but the telling of a story around the PCs. So although you can imagine world's with incredible magical powers, you don't have to imagine them as "broken".

This means the PCs are special but so are their opponents. So, for ex, if at will healing may be made available to a PC -- with the understanding that this is not a world economy breaking power -- then the PCs opponents are also eligible for the same or comparable power. That is, the PCs opponent's or special NPCs, not the countless, nameless NPCs that are supposed to inhabit the game world, also have special powers.

How much the "average" NPC in the game world differs from the PC or the PC's enemies varies according to the specific setting and the DM.



I have a pretty good answer for where levels come from (people's souls).

Levels come from the game system. You can play the game world as being aware of levels or as not being fully aware of levels. Now if you want to fluff it as something to do "souls", that's perfectly OK.



And making the world psuedo-medieval just requires a) steepening the XP curve (so it doubles every level) and some malevolent force (like mind-flayers or demons).
No. Making the world pseudo-medieval just requires making it so. The different versions of D&D had different XP progressions, yet each was set in a pseudo-Medieval world...except when they weren't. You have had D&D worlds set in steampunk settings (Iron Kingdoms, Eberron), dystopian settings, "modern" settings (D20 Modern), and futuristic settings (Spelljammer, Star Wars) and I am sure I have not listed all the possibilities.

Myrmex
2009-08-07, 01:17 AM
These sorts of PCs-are-special solutions break versimilitude, imho.

Really? Your life, and those of all the people you know, must be awfully exciting and full of adventure.


This isn't 4e where PCs and NPCs don't have the same structure in common. They're simply different classes--any PC can take an NPC class, and important NPCs can be clerics. Just because Joe Average would probably only take a commoner version of the cleric class doesn't mean the laws of the universe prevent him from being important enough to merit a PC-level class.

Class choice is a metagame decision. Claiming that Joe Average could become something else merely by choice is like claiming a black person could have become president of the US in 1850.


Why?

What in-world explanation is there for this?

There was a Scottish soldier in WW2 who wore a kilt, carried a claymore, and killed Nazis with a bow. He once recaptured an occupied town all by himself, taking the enemy forces prisoner. There were some really epic snipers in the past century. Carlos Hathcock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Hathcock)sometimes referred to as the patron saint of snipers, hunted Viet Cong with a scoped M2 Browning machine gun. His longest confirmed kill was at 7380 ft. That's a mile and a half.

This Finn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%C3%A4yh%C3%A4) had over 500 confirmed kills with iron sights.

There are people who have skiied 60 slopes down 13,000 feet of mountain. They start so high, they are dizzy from lack of oxygen. There's this one guy called the Human Fly who illegally climbs skyscrapers with no equipment, all over the world, just for fun.

Without dipping into mythology, there are scores of people throughout history that have accomplished amazing things that the rest of us can just dream at.

Thespianus
2009-08-07, 02:09 AM
I know Reiki isn't as effective as D&D healing by a large margin

:) One of the largest margins, ever. ;)

Xenogears
2009-08-07, 02:53 AM
As I was saying, I don't see why a 4th level warrior exists at all. If you have gone through the kind of battle and terrible danger that gets you to 4th level, why stay in a gimped class?
Also, a Warrior with a few levels on a Fighter, while still not closing the gaps in feats and HP, is way ahead of Fighter in terms of his Fortitude save (affects save-or-dies) and his Hit Dice (affects a few spells) and his BaB (affects attack rolls) and his Skill points (affects... various). A person weaker than the hero shouldn't be stronger in that many ways. 9 Warrior is crap compared to 8 Fighter, but guess which one shrugs off http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/hypnotism.htm]Maximised Hypnotism.


I wasn't questioning that NPCs might choose a career as a warrior at 1st level. I was questioning why NPCs would keep being warriors once they've got past 1st level.


Your village has a few problems with local goblins and you're the city watch? Good for you. You have 2 NPC class levels and never ascend to 3rd level. Never.

Let's escalate things a little. Your village has a few problems with local wights. You learn the tricks that separate a real fighter from the Warrior class, and you learn them quick soldier, because Warriors aren't cut out to face this kind of opposition.

But a fighter represents the kind of person who focuses everything into becoming the perfect warrior.

A warrior represents the kind of person who has some training but being a warrior is only part of who they are. At the end of the day they go home, have a meal, and see their family or whatever. Sure maybe when the Wights attack they buckle down and get a level of fighter but after that? After the danger is over then being a guard is just a job and they get warrior levels again.


Aristocrats live exactly as long as their guards and combat skills are strong enough to keep them alive. Not one second longer. If an Aristocrat is regularly getting into enough trouble to reach 3rd level, then ruling is the least of his problems.


Indeed. And because they aren't chosen - because they aren't devoted - they never reach 3rd level. If it takes a lot of training to reach 1st as a PC... that's nothing compared to the kind of sheer awesome it takes to reach 3rd as anything.

Sorry if the above is a little vehement, but you appeared to have missed my point. NPC classes don't exist above 3rd level because you can only reach 3rd level by truly becoming a hero. Not a merely exceptional dude - that's a 1st level PC. 3rd level = Hero, not NPC.

See but aristocrats get all their xp from RPing. They never need to fight they just trick everyone into their convoluted web of lies and twist them into doing what they wants.

Just because the NPC's dont devote themselves to their craft 100% of the time doesn't mean they don't improve themselves. Sure the PC goes through 10 different sword forms every day and the NPC does one form every day and sometimes not that. So after 10 years you get a lvl 5-6 NPC. After ten years the PC is either dead or epic.

pingcode20
2009-08-07, 04:06 AM
The fact that clerics can heal at will shouldn't affect verisimilitude in any way - it just changes the game in a day to day sense.

Consider that the average commoner has 2 hp. The average NPC, in fact, has at most maybe 10hp.

Said first level cleric can take care of most patients in about twelve seconds, on the outside. So this means that this Cleric has an extremely high treatment rate - enough to cure up to 2,880 people in a single eight hour work shift. This would obviously be somewhat insufficient for a large city, but for a single person working this is an extremely high rate, and involves what amounts to this one 1st level cleric guy doing a victory run down the street at 30' a round high-fiving the wounded lined up in front of their homes. With the exception of very large cities, this one cleric can easily handle all cases of injury without breaking into overtime.

It must also be said that anybody of first level wounded by only one or two points (ie. Commoners) can simply sleep off the injury and come out none the worse for wear the next morning.

So then, the problem shifts to getting this cleric to those who are in real danger of dying (negatives) or getting the dying to the cleric - a little like a real hospital, in fact. So rather than have the cleric work himself to death, the slowdown simply appears in moving the wounded to the place of healing, where they get cured in ten seconds flat, jump for joy, and run off doing cartwheels.

This means that what will happen is not clerics healing all the time. Instead, you get a lot of people trained in First Aid, who can run out whenever there's someone with a life threatening injury (negatives) and stabilise them. Then, in a city, they take the wounded to the temple where the cleric heals them and they're all better. In a small town, the cleric might run out to heal them directly.

Given how few clerics you actually need, most of the work will be done by experts trained in Heal, who can keep people alive until the cleric can get to them. Diseases and Poisons are handled by those same doctors - yes, a Cleric can wipe it out easy, but a lowly +5 Heal check 1st level doctor can handle most every disease that the common folk come across on a regular basis. Who is easier to train? A 1st level Expert, or a 4th level Cleric?

Breaking out the entire temple for mass healing efforts really only needs to happen in a war, or some other mass injury disaster. And even then, the most important work is done by the hordes of normal doctors whose duty it is to save the victims' lives so the clerics can get to them before they die.

Like a real hospital. Only there's only one or two doctors and they can handle almost 3,000 people a day, so no backlogs.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-08-07, 04:31 AM
But a fighter represents the kind of person who focuses everything into becoming the perfect warrior.

A warrior represents the kind of person who has some training but being a warrior is only part of who they are. At the end of the day they go home, have a meal, and see their family or whatever. Sure maybe when the Wights attack they buckle down and get a level of fighter but after that? After the danger is over then being a guard is just a job and they get warrior levels again.

No. A warrior is a class that is defined to make NPCs less powerful than the fighter of the same class level. Your typical warrior classed NPC will either be ignored by a PC or die at the hands of a PC. This imagined family is not the reason the NPC was stated as a warrior in the adventure.

Even if you are world-building, you don't need to think of discreet classes and levels as equivalent to the laws of physics in the imagined world. The classes and levels and hp and ability scores model what the characters can do in the imagined world. That an NPC is a fighter or warrior mainly tells you what the NPC can do in combat, that is his fighter or warrior stats let you model the NPC's actions in combat in the game. The fighter or warrior levels tell you little of the character of the NPC.



See but aristocrats get all their xp from RPing.

Perhaps, if they are PCs. NPCs don't need or use xp. They don't choose to level. They just are. Even if you are just world building. You don't have to suppose that the level 2 warrior guarding the entrance has 1000 xp. Did the guard gain his level 2 by adventuring, or RP, or fighting battles in the militia, or did he just come out of redshirt school with level? It does not matter. The NPC just is what he is, a level 2 warrior.



It must also be said that anybody of first level wounded by only one or two points (ie. Commoners) can simply sleep off the injury and come out none the worse for wear the next morning.
Again, there is no need to assume the game combat model is the way the imagined world works. Because of the scaling of the game mechanics, a 2 hp commoner is in danger of being killed by a cat, if such a fight actually took place...except they don't. The hp mechanic simplifies and abstract the combat PCs go through. It is not mean to be the laws of biology of the imagined world. Hit points, by design, do not model incapacitating injury or the effects of pain. IMHO, it's silly to imagine that commoners can be stabbed with a dagger and recover completely in 1 day. However, it's not silly in my mind to imagine the PC fighter stabbed through the chest with a sword for X hp but still continue to fight. Likewise it's silly for me to imagine a cleric running a gauntlet of sick people, high-five'ing thousands of them to health per hour. However, it's not silly to me imagine the PC cleric healing once per round, as long as he needs to, as long as it supports the situation or story.

pingcode20
2009-08-07, 04:55 AM
A commoner who has lost 1hp has simply been winged by the knife, or perhaps cut themselves while making dinner or something of the like. It's not a serious injury - and certainly not warranting rushing off to the hospital for help.

Painful, yes, but not life-threatening.

A stabbed commoner would be dropped into negatives, and would very much be in trouble, worth rushing off to the healer's.

The victory run of healing was a bit of a silly example, for sure, but the fact remains that a cleric becomes a significantly more efficient treater of wounds than any comparable alternative.

This only applies to wounds, however - any 4th level cleric is far too valuable to waste time on curing common diseases, when normal doctors can handle it without too much difficulty.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-08-07, 10:05 AM
A commoner who has lost 1hp has simply been winged by the knife, or perhaps cut themselves while making dinner or something of the like. It's not a serious injury - and certainly not warranting rushing off to the hospital for help.

Painful, yes, but not life-threatening.

A stabbed commoner would be dropped into negatives, and would very much be in trouble, worth rushing off to the healer's.

With no in between, right? With no pain or inflamation? With no broken bones or tendons?

The game rules are not the physical rules of the imaginary world. If you imagine a world, the game rules can only cover a fraction of the physics of that world. The game rules simply let you model certain aspects of the game. So a 2 hp commoner does not mean the imaginary character can only have 4 discreet states of injury (2,1,0,negative). The 2 hp points means that the commoner can easily die from just one wound from a small weapon like a dagger (1d4). That a first level fighter has 10 hp does not mean he has 13 discreets states of injury, it means that it is very unlikely that even direct wound from a serious (1d8) weapon like a sword spear can kill him unless that wound hits a critical spot. Why does the game world model this? For realism? Only in part because it is only in part realistic. No this abstract model is adopted for game reason, eg speed of play, ease of mechanic, fun.



The victory run of healing was a bit of a silly example, for sure, but the fact remains that a cleric becomes a significantly more efficient treater of wounds than any comparable alternative.

It's not silly because of the sight of it itself. It's sillyness lies only in that the victory run of healing is imagined as a logical consequence of the rules and outside of a story context. If it was done in the right story context, then it would be actually kind of cool.



This only applies to wounds, however - any 4th level cleric is far too valuable to waste time on curing common diseases, when normal doctors can handle it without too much difficulty.
That all depends. Level is not an absolute in a D&D game even if in the world setting where levels are preset. That is, say a 4th level cleric is a rare commodity in the imagined world. If the PCs in the imagined world ever get to, say 15th level or above, a 4th level cleric is as insignificant as a commoner. And in the story of the PCs, even in this game world where level 4 clerics are rare, high level opponents of the appropriate ECL, like a high level evil cleric, are common place in the story of the PCs.

Fax Celestis
2009-08-07, 10:20 AM
See, I know not everyone plays like this, but I've always considered 1HD LA+0 races to be in the infant-to-toddler range, and 2HD LA+0 races to be from toddler to teenager. 3HD places you as an adult, and for this reason I never start PCs at first or second level.

But consider thus: if a bobcat and an infant get in a fight, the bobcat is going to win. But if a bobcat and an adult get in a fight, the adult is likely going to win, and it'll be an almost certainty if he has weapons to defend himself with.

I find this model satisfies most of my players' concepts of "oh god why can the cat kill the party wizard".

Fenix_of_Doom
2009-08-07, 10:52 AM
See, I know not everyone plays like this, but I've always considered 1HD LA+0 races to be in the infant-to-toddler range, and 2HD LA+0 races to be from toddler to teenager. 3HD places you as an adult, and for this reason I never start PCs at first or second level.


I like this, but as astral fire commented, he considers fourth level an OK level of preforming miracles because he assumes it's hard to get three whole levels. With this system however it means that any adult who gains one level is at the miracle-working level, so that would create a problem for him.

Myrmex
2009-08-07, 11:07 AM
I like this, but as astral fire commented, he considers fourth level an OK level of preforming miracles because he assumes it's hard to get three whole levels. With this system however it means that any adult who gains one level is at the miracle-working level, so that would create a problem for him.

A level 3 commoner isn't exactly a "miracle worker".

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-07, 11:38 AM
A level 3 commoner isn't exactly a "miracle worker".

Yeah, level 6 is when you start being superhuman (not quite a miracle worker) in terms of what you can do with skills and HP and such, but that doesn't mean that getting to any given level before that is particularly challenging. It's mostly arbitrary as to what a level means in your world--if you have a war-torn world or one with lots of intrigue (and RPing XP) or the like, NPCs might all be around level 4 with PC levels as a matter of course, whereas if you consider everyone to start at level 1 and only level through combat you might find all the NPCs to be level 1 commoners.

AstralFire
2009-08-07, 12:02 PM
I like this, but as astral fire commented, he considers fourth level an OK level of preforming miracles because he assumes it's hard to get three whole levels. With this system however it means that any adult who gains one level is at the miracle-working level, so that would create a problem for him.

Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

I mean, uh...

Yeah, then we're getting into deeper problems of 3.5. I like how Saga starts you out with triple maximized dice for HP at first level.

pingcode20
2009-08-07, 08:26 PM
With no in between, right? With no pain or inflamation? With no broken bones or tendons?

The game rules are not the physical rules of the imaginary world. If you imagine a world, the game rules can only cover a fraction of the physics of that world. The game rules simply let you model certain aspects of the game. So a 2 hp commoner does not mean the imaginary character can only have 4 discreet states of injury (2,1,0,negative). The 2 hp points means that the commoner can easily die from just one wound from a small weapon like a dagger (1d4). That a first level fighter has 10 hp does not mean he has 13 discrete states of injury, it means that it is very unlikely that even direct wound from a serious (1d8) weapon like a sword spear can kill him unless that wound hits a critical spot. Why does the game world model this? For realism? Only in part because it is only in part realistic. No this abstract model is adopted for game reason, eg speed of play, ease of mechanic, fun.

But as a measure for the seriousness of an injury for the purposes of clerical attention, it's probably the best yardstick for the purposes of divine healing we have. The game says that 1 hp is recoverable with a night's rest, and 2 hp are recoverable with a day's bedrest - this indicates to me that injury of this magnitude isn't of extremely serious nature. The sort of thing that the doctor would send you home with orders to take it easy for a couple of days. Maybe some ointment to soothe the pain.

At any rate, if anything does come up, it's easy enough to handle at the hospital if the cleric's got a spare moment.


It's not silly because of the sight of it itself. It's sillyness lies only in that the victory run of healing is imagined as a logical consequence of the rules and outside of a story context. If it was done in the right story context, then it would be actually kind of cool.

Either way, it served its purpose of showing how immense the 1st level cleric's day-to-day healing capacity was. He does the job of a hundred doctors - at least in the case of injury.


That all depends. Level is not an absolute in a D&D game even if in the world setting where levels are preset. That is, say a 4th level cleric is a rare commodity in the imagined world. If the PCs in the imagined world ever get to, say 15th level or above, a 4th level cleric is as insignificant as a commoner. And in the story of the PCs, even in this game world where level 4 clerics are rare, high level opponents of the appropriate ECL, like a high level evil cleric, are common place in the story of the PCs.

But, of course, I'm talking in terms of the day to day factor - the one which affects the game world at large.

Yes, compared to the High Priest, 4th level clerics are nothing. But compared to 1st level novitiates they can certainly find more useful things to be doing, and when a competent doctor can do the same job outside of plague conditions, there's no need to come in to cure disease. But all things considered, there's going to be more low-level schmucks than Dark Lords Of Evil.

Just because there's neurosurgeons out there doesn't mean you don't go to the GP when you have the flu.

Set
2009-08-07, 09:49 PM
D&D already has a pretty unrealistic notion of hit point damage anyway.

A 1st level Commoner with 6 hit points who takes 6 hit points of damage and is 'almost dead,' will be up and *fully functional* after one day (because, mechanically, there is no functional difference between a peasant with 1 hp and one with 3122543 hit points). He'll be completely undamaged within six days, and that's without bed rest or the care of someone who can get a 15 on a Heal check. Any amount of damage that doesn't kill him outright (-10) will heal in that amount of days, or, much less, with care and bed rest.

The vast majority of real harm in this game-world is going to come from disease effects, which can slowly kill over a week or so, and Ability Damage does not recover at an accelerated rate with Heal or bed rest. Poisons will be all-or-nothing. If the Commoner didn't die within 60 seconds of being poisoned, it's run it's course, and he now just has to recover from whatever ability damage he took.

Will at will magical hit point healing make a difference? Not much, considering how fast the average commoner recovers from hit point injury anyway (relatively speaking), and how rarely hit point damage is going to endanger a Commoner that the damage didn't kill in the first place. All that curing hit point damage is going to do is allow a Disabled Commoner to get back to work a few days ahead of schedule, and possibly save a Dying Commoner, in the exceedingly rare times when a magical healer just happens to be standing right there when the dude gets trampled by a horse ('cause he's either gonna Stabilize, get First Aid, or bleed to death within 54 seconds. *Nobody's* gonna survive an 'ambulance trip' across the village for emergency healing!).

Where at will hit point healing is going to change things, is for adventurers. Combat will become much more MMO-like (and that's not an insult, I play and enjoy many MMOs), in that healing will no longer be an expendable resource and within moments of the end of any fight, anyone who isn't *dead* is going to be fully healed. If that's an acceptable playstyle, it's no more or less patently artificial than the current mechanic. Hit point-based injury systems will always have this artificiality, and it's just a question of what sort of assumptions you wish to play with.

I like healing as a limited resource, and a sort of 'have/have-nots' distinction between the Commoners who may never receive a point of magical healing in their lives and are expected to work each day regardless of how they feel, and the 'adventurers' who whine piteously if they aren't 'topped off' to full hit points. It amuses me. :)

If I were to introduce a class with an at will hit point healing power, I would limit the healing at the recipients end. The healer might be able to wander through a battlefield and heal every single person on that battlefield, but each person would be limited to X number of hit points magically healed each day (or each hour, or whatever number suits my 'vision' of the game). So mister heals-at-will could heal that Commoner (and every other Commoner in the village) once, but if the Commoner gets himself beat up again, the healer will regretfully inform him that he's already 'taxed his body's resources to their limit by healing him as much as he already has.' Take the limiting factor away from the healer, and make it a restriction on how much healing a single person can receive in a day (and some healing methods might ignore these restrictions, shoving magical energy into the recipient and not at all 'taxing their body' or whatever).