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View Full Version : [3.5] Legality (and repercussions) of the Healstick?



tuesdayscoming
2010-11-12, 12:14 AM
So one player that I regularly DM for has always insisted on my letting him create a 'healstick' that is, a rod or similar object capable of casting Cure Light (or even Minor) Wounds at will.

The item would never be used for combat, but would let the players heal up after combat, provided they were willing to spend the requisite time repeatedly using the spell.

As we usually play in high-arcane settings, the real resource the players need to conserve is spells/day, and I've found that allowing the stick to fill those tasty hps back to the brim isn't necessarily a game breaker.

If you think about it as a video-game style 'auto-heal', it does detract from the 'realism' of the setting. Even keeping in mind that it's an item, if these exist then why doesn't every adventuring party in the setting (npcs included) carry them around? So maybe, if one were to allow such an item, perhaps it would be best to treat the thing as an item of some profound rarity? A micro-artifact?

Additionally, can you think of circumstances in which an item would break the game? A particular build, perhaps, that could take unfair advantage of the refill?

Thoughts?

TroubleBrewing
2010-11-12, 12:21 AM
These are all valid questions, but they overly complicate the issue.

Let the players have it, but let them know that if they abuse it, you will take it away from them. What that means is up to you, whether it means the item simply stops working, it gets stolen, other groups start having them, it begins to malfunction in some suitably amusing/terrifying way, etc.

Ashram
2010-11-12, 12:21 AM
So, it's an infinite wand of CMW? (Or CLW.) Not really that busted in the case of CMW, but most infinite wands can only be used a certain number of times a day. (Like, two.) Unless you want to make it a legitimately infinite charged wand.

I'd treat it as an exceptionally rare item, but not artifact level.

As far as game-breaking, not really. Each casting a couple seconds, possibly more if there isn't a cleric or UMD monkey around.

Flarp
2010-11-12, 12:23 AM
I once played in a game where Orisons/Cantrips were at-will, leading to the same situation - it worked out just fine, and actually enabled our DM to have longer, more complex encounter areas earlier on, as opposed to most 1-5 dungeons, which need a rest spot after every encounter.

Arbitrarity
2010-11-12, 12:24 AM
There are a fair number of unlimited heals, but the default game assumption is to try and prevent such things from occuring, and make HP a daily/item limited resource. See Belt of Healing, Cleric spells, etc.
"unlimited" sources of healing include Persisted Mass Lesser Vigor, Buer, any fast healing/regeneration (which are rare for PC's), Tomb Tainted Soul shenanigans, abusing Shadow Sun Ninja, etc.
Also, see the Healing Guide (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19871786/A_Players_Guide_to_Healing_(And,_why_you_will_be_J ust_Fine_without_a_Cleric_to_heal))

Consider pricing (or placing in setting value terms) such an item at having a 1/day Persisted Lesser Vigor, or around 65200 gold, which is sufficiently expensive that not all parties would find it worthwhile to get one. Particularly since that's the value of over 80 healing belts, which provides 480d8 of healing that's usable on shorter notice, which probably covers a day's adventuring.
The lack of healing during combat balances out to allowing a slightly faster regen rate, imo, so you might look at around 20 hp/minute for the entire party.

Keld Denar
2010-11-12, 12:32 AM
All it means is that eac encounter is started at full HP. There are other resources you can tax them on.

Kuma Kode
2010-11-12, 12:39 AM
That is actually the best part of the recharge variant from Unearthed Arcana. The players always start with full resources, so they can take on more powerful monsters and need not retreat to town after every few battles, which can ruin the mood.

I don't see much of a problem with that, and the higher cure spells still have utility as emergency healing during combat.

Boci
2010-11-12, 12:41 AM
abusing Shadow Sun Ninja, etc.

Huh? How do you abuse the SSN's infinite healing? Surely you're just using it as it was intended.

faceroll
2010-11-12, 12:43 AM
A wand of lesser vigor costs 750 gp (half that to make) and heals 550hp. At that price, it's pretty much unlimited healing.

Persisted mass lesser vigor heals everyone all day.

The Crusader gets unlimited healing with some of his strikes/auras.

The Hellbreaker gets unlimited healing.

Akal Saris
2010-11-12, 12:54 AM
I've allowed infinite Cure Minor Wounds for 13K gold before, but I'm not a big fan of the infinite healing. I've found that even at the highest level game that I currently run, 14th level, making PCs spend money on healing and rolling each 1d8+1 gives them a definite sense of losing resources, even if 750g is really nothing by that point. It also lets the one PC with fast healing 1 feel good about her character :smalltongue:

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-11-12, 12:56 AM
Make it a teddy bear which casts Cure Minor Wounds on you whenever you hug it. It's a standard action that provokes AoOs, so not much use in combat and takes a *lot* of time to top off the whole party outside of combat.

Coidzor
2010-11-12, 12:57 AM
If you think about it as a video-game style 'auto-heal', it does detract from the 'realism' of the setting.

You're in a high-arcane setting, there's no realism to detract from. You're in a high-arcane setting, meaning people are more likely to make items that can dispense as much healing as needed.

If you couch it in the terms of "this is a video-game," then, yes, you will think of it as a video game mechanic. There is nothing about it in and of itself that obligates one to approach it in that manner though.


Even keeping in mind that it's an item, if these exist then why doesn't every adventuring party in the setting (npcs included) carry them around?

Because you as the DM said that it was that way. As far as the designers, if they make a unique magic item, they usually do something more interesting than infinite but slow healing, especially since NPCs are meant to either be overcome in the first encounter or to be encountered later on such that they wouldn't have had time to heal or would have had plenty of time to have healed it through more mundane means.

Infinite healing is useful but boring, and it is not invulnerability as it requires a fair period of time in which to work. That, and attempting to use a level-appropriate healing spell in combat (before heal) is generally going to be a net loss versus what damage a level-appropriate foe can dish out. So something like lesser vigor which is an out of combat healing spell anyway wouldn't be a good choice of actions in combat except for in cases of needing to stabilize something or someone before returning to the fight.


So maybe, if one were to allow such an item, perhaps it would be best to treat the thing as an item of some profound rarity? A micro-artifact?

If you want. I would recommend against cutting heavily into their wealth with it, as it really doesn't contribute much to their character's power level when compared to the 750 gp wands which are trivial to pay for out of party loot after low levels.

Arbitrarity
2010-11-12, 12:57 AM
Huh? How do you abuse the SSN's infinite healing? Surely you're just using it as it was intended.

I always assumed "using as intended" meant "in combat, hit your opponent, heal yourself". I didn't assume it meant "get someone with Tomb Tainted Soul (or who is undead) and heal them with the negative energy, then heal yourself with positive"

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 01:00 AM
The main problem with infinite healing is not "power" for adventuring purposes. The problem can be that unless it's really expensive you can sell access to it for very little money. In a setting where such items exist everyone and their destitute grandmother will be able to drop by the local healing dispenser if they suffer damage (that can be healed by CLW). Which should have noticable effects on society.

VirOath
2010-11-12, 01:01 AM
Make it a teddy bear which casts Cure Minor Wounds on you whenever you hug it. It's a standard action that provokes AoOs, so not much use in combat and takes a *lot* of time to top off the whole party outside of combat.

And brings some funny images to mind

faceroll
2010-11-12, 01:05 AM
I use a couple healing tricks to keep my party topped off on hp between battles, and we still almost die to monsters. Our DM is really old school, so he was really resistant to it at first, and had totally overwhelming encounters, but then he realized fast healing 1 on the whole party means we don't have to spend 3 weeks clearing a dungeon out or whatever.

Mark Hall
2010-11-12, 01:07 AM
The main thing to keep in mind with such an item is that, if they are possible, they'll be used by others, too. A "bead of healing" (Cure Minor Wounds, command word, unlimited use, no space limitation) is going to run about 1800gp. That's expensive, but not unreasonable for the well-to-do to have as part of their survival gear.

If you want that in the game, then I don't see a particular problem with it. The main thing you will want to do is establish how long it takes to heal using this method... you may have the party occasionally surprised mid-heal, or the like, since they're going to have to sit around for a little bit and heal. If they have all the time in the world, so do the bad guys.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 01:36 AM
A "bead of healing" (Cure Minor Wounds, command word, unlimited use, no space limitation) is going to run about 1800gp.
That seems too cheap. Which means you're not pricing it correctly.

senrath
2010-11-12, 01:42 AM
That seems too cheap. Which means you're not pricing it correctly.

That's the price you get if you use the guidelines. While any individual DM is well within their rights to change that price, that's what the DMG recommends.

0.5 (0th level spell) * 1 (caster level) * 1,800 (Command Word Item) * 2 (No slot)

Mark Hall
2010-11-12, 01:43 AM
That seems too cheap. Which means you're not pricing it correctly.

Cure minor wounds (0th level, so .5), cast at 1st level (1), times 1800 (command word activation). That gets you a cost of 900. Multiply it by 2 because it doesn't have a space limitation, and you have a total cost of 1800gp.

Per the tables in the DMG/SRD.

Terumitsu
2010-11-12, 01:47 AM
In a similar but likely less than liked move, one can pay 200 gold more for a continuous effect of cure minor wounds to effectively get regeneration. String a few pearls of such as a necklace and you've got a team who pretty much has constant healing at a pretty good rate. Good for mid-level parties. I don't mind if my players do that, at least. It means I can throw some slightly meaner stuff at them and good times are had by all.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 01:54 AM
..., that's what the DMG recommends.
No it doesn't.

The DMG (282) states that "many factors must be considered", and suggests comparing a proposed item to existing items. Should that fail it offers guidelines for estimating the value of an item.

The Magic item Compendium (233) further emphasizes the importance of using your own judgement when pricing new magic items.

If you price an item solely based on the table in the DMG you're doing it wrong according to RAW.

Boci
2010-11-12, 01:54 AM
Cure minor wounds (0th level, so .5), cast at 1st level (1), times 1800 (command word activation). That gets you a cost of 900. Multiply it by 2 because it doesn't have a space limitation, and you have a total cost of 1800gp.

Per the tables in the DMG/SRD.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Its useless in combat, is so slow it may very well be too slow for between combat in certain situations (especially with shorter duration buffs), and its expensive enough that smaller settlements may not have it.

senrath
2010-11-12, 02:00 AM
No it doesn't.

The DMG (282) states that "many factors must be considered", and suggests comparing a proposed item to existing items. Should that fail it offers guidelines for estimating the value of an item.

The Magic item Compendium (233) further emphasizes the importance of using your own judgement when pricing new magic items.

If you price an item solely based on the table in the DMG you're doing it wrong according to RAW.

First, no, we're not "doing it wrong". There is nothing in RAW that says "If you use this table, you're doing the wrong thing". It's up to the DM to price things how they see fit.

Which brings me to my second point: We're not the DM in question. We can only offer suggestions, and around here we generally turn to the source material for help. That's what we did. And you coming in and saying "It seems too cheap, therefore you must be doing it wrong" is not constructive in the slightest.

Thirdly: It's an item that heals you at a rate of 1 point per 6 seconds, assuming you can devote your standard action to it each round. In combat that's not going to be good for anything except maybe stabilizing someone, and out of combat there are much more cost effective (and faster) ways of healing.

Mark Hall
2010-11-12, 02:02 AM
In a similar but likely less than liked move, one can pay 200 gold more for a continuous effect of cure minor wounds to effectively get regeneration. String a few pearls of such as a necklace and you've got a team who pretty much has constant healing at a pretty good rate. Good for mid-level parties. I don't mind if my players do that, at least. It means I can throw some slightly meaner stuff at them and good times are had by all.

I probably would not allow that with Cure Minor Wounds; continuous, to me, means there is a duration of other than Instant, and the table implies this, as well, with its notation about spell durations on continuous items. A Continuous Lesser Vigor would do the job, but then you're looking at 16000gp (1st level spell * 1st level caster * 2000gp * 4 for duration measured in rounds * 2 for no space limitation). Definitely worth it... but not the 1800 you can pay for a koosh-ball of healing.

Terumitsu
2010-11-12, 02:06 AM
I probably would not allow that with Cure Minor Wounds; continuous, to me, means there is a duration of other than Instant, and the table implies this, as well, with its notation about spell durations on continuous items. A Continuous Lesser Vigor would do the job, but then you're looking at 16000gp (1st level spell * 1st level caster * 2000gp * 4 for duration measured in rounds * 2 for no space limitation). Definitely worth it... but not the 1800 you can pay for a koosh-ball of healing.

Perfectly understandable. I generally limit it to a max of three on a string which makes it a total of 6000gp and 'regen' 3... But when one factors in damage taken to how much it heals, it's more of just a slight buffer than anything. I personally haven't had any troubles from my players due to it so I guess it's just a difference of style there. Although, I will think on your suggestion there as it does sound quite nifty.

FelixG
2010-11-12, 02:10 AM
If you price an item solely based on the table in the DMG you're doing it wrong according to RAW.

As RAW is rules as written, and there is no rules written concerning the extra stuff that it is based on...using that to price new magic items isnt doing it wrong by Raw...Nice try though!

Also I just looked on the SRD: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicitems/creatingmagicitems.htm

Things like 0 level spells, skill restrictions, class/feature restrictions are some of the things that it says you have to take into account

it goes on to say its a judgment call, things like staffs, potions and scrolls are made fairly as needed by their creations, other things require judgment calls.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 02:16 AM
First, no, we're not "doing it wrong". There is nothing in RAW that says "If you use this table, you're doing the wrong thing". It's up to the DM to price things how they see fit.
RAW says that DMs must use their own judgement and offers several suggestions to help them estimate the proper price of an item.

You're claiming that items should be priced solely based on the table in the DMG, with no need for DM judgement. This is contrary to the RAW. Plain and simple.



Which brings me to my second point: We're not the DM in question. We can only offer suggestions, and around here we generally turn to the source material for help. That's what we did. And you coming in and saying "It seems too cheap, therefore you must be doing it wrong" is not constructive in the slightest.
Mark Hall clearly wasn't making a carefully considered judgement call for his own personal campaign. I think you know that.

You're not doing it wrong by having a different subjective opinion about the price of a magic item, you're doing it wrong (according to RAW) by, like I said, pricing an item solely based on the DMG table.



Thirdly: It's an item that heals you at a rate of 1 point per 6 seconds, assuming you can devote your standard action to it each round. In combat that's not going to be good for anything except maybe stabilizing someone, and out of combat there are much more cost effective (and faster) ways of healing.
You don't think such an item will be at all popular among players/PCs?

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 02:19 AM
As RAW is rules as written, and there is no rules written concerning the extra stuff that it is based on...using that to price new magic items isnt doing it wrong by Raw...Nice try though!
"no rules written concerning the extra stuff that it is based on"...? What are you talking about? What "extra stuff"?`:smallconfused:

senrath
2010-11-12, 02:20 AM
RAW says that DMs must use their own judgement and offers several suggestions to help them estimate the proper price of an item.

You're claiming that items should be priced solely based on the table in the DMG, with no need for DM judgement. This is contrary to the RAW. Plain and simple.

Um, no, I'm not. I said that the DM was free to price the item however he (or she) felt like. It's literally the second line in my first post.



Mark Hall clearly wasn't making a carefully considered judgement call for his own personal campaign. I think you know that.

You're not doing it wrong by having a different subjective opinion about the price of a magic item, you're doing it wrong (according to RAW) by, like I said, pricing an item solely based on the DMG table.

There's a huge difference between saying "my opinion is different than yours, so you must be doing it wrong" and "my opinion is different than yours, and here's why". The latter is constructive, the former isn't.



You don't think such an item will be at all popular among players/PCs?

I never said that. I just said that there are other options that are better than it, so I don't see where the problem is.

Shyftir
2010-11-12, 02:20 AM
I would homebrew some kind of "Rosary of Healing" As long as you keep counting beads you can heal up the party, but it can't be used in combat. (i.e. you have to pray and count the beads the whole time) Maybe let it provide a fast healing 3 effect as long as the cleric focuses on it. This allows you to heal up effectively between encounters and it's more interesting than several Cure Light Wounds wands floating around the party.

Coidzor
2010-11-12, 02:24 AM
RAW says that DMs must use their own judgement and offers several suggestions to help them estimate the proper price of an item.

You're claiming that items should be priced solely based on the table in the DMG, with no need for DM judgement. This is contrary to the RAW. Plain and simple.

He was offering up an example price. The guidelines are guidelines and thus valid things to be brought up. Mark Hall used his judgment and did not believe that the guideline's price was "too low."

You are not the sole arbiter of what the right price is for the purposes of this thread nor are you for the OP.


You're not doing it wrong by having a different subjective opinion about the price of a magic item, you're doing it wrong (according to RAW) by, like I said, pricing an item solely based on the DMG table.

And you're doing it wrong by telling us that we're doing it wrong by deeming the guidelines' price acceptable. Because you're telling us that our judgment is invalid if we decide things in a certain way.


You don't think such an item will be at all popular among players/PCs?

The popularity of the item is irrelevant. It is the balance that is relevant and that depends on the feel that is desired of the game.

ffone
2010-11-12, 02:29 AM
That's the price you get if you use the guidelines. While any individual DM is well within their rights to change that price, that's what the DMG recommends.

0.5 (0th level spell) * 1 (caster level) * 1,800 (Command Word Item) * 2 (No slot)

It's disingenuous to suggest the DMG 'recommends' using the formula for any particular spell. It's more like a guideline or starting point for something you're considering at all. The DMG has some items which don't follow the formula (bracers of armor +4 are 16K instead of 2K).

Don't forget the slotted True-Strike-at-will item for the same price.

Boci
2010-11-12, 02:32 AM
Don't forget the slotted True-Strike-at-will item for the same price.

Standard action to activate. It wouldn't be out of place in medium-high optimized group. Its the continous item that cannot by RAW (and should not) exist.

senrath
2010-11-12, 02:33 AM
It's disingenuous to suggest the DMG 'recommends' using the formula for any particular spell. It's more like a guideline or starting point for something you're considering at all. The DMG has some items which don't follow the formula (bracers of armor +4 are 16K instead of 2K).

Don't forget the slotted True-Strike-at-will item for the same price.

No, Bracers of Armor still follow the same guidelines. Armor bonuses have their own set of guidelines (bonus squared * 1000).

But yes, "recommends" was probably the wrong word to use. Perhaps I should've said "recommends as a starting point".

ffone
2010-11-12, 02:35 AM
Standard action to activate. It wouldn't be out of place in medium-high optimized group. Its the continous item that cannot by RAW (and should not) exist.

I know, I'm just so sick of players asking about it that I had to make the comment. :smalltongue:

My usual DM answer for things like this is 'you can get 5/day for that price, per the guidelines'. I usually reserve unlimited to things that are already in the manuals (like ring of invisibility, hat of disguise). Or maybe very situational spells like Comprehend Languages where unlimited vs 5/day is basically just to reduce bookkeeping on charges remaining.



No, Bracers of Armor still follow the same guidelines. Armor bonuses have their own set of guidelines (bonus squared * 1000).

Right, that set of guidelines (the whole table), but not that particular line in the table for use-activated or continuous. Your point is one I often use to reply to playes who ask about it though ("that other line in the table trumps that one"). Most of the rest of the table I do allow when DMing (+2 sacred to saves for 10K, lesser vigor 1/day for 360, etc.)



But yes, "recommends" was probably the wrong word to use. Perhaps I should've said "recommends as a starting point".

It wasn't so much the word 'recommends' as phrasing which suggested that it recommended it for that particular spell. (Which I didn't really think you meant, but other people reading might've gotten that idea and run off to argue to their DM on that basis).

Runestar
2010-11-12, 02:43 AM
A 5th lv binder with improved binding can heal at-will. And we can acquire 1 via leadership. :smallbiggrin:

Not to mention that healing isn't that hard nowadays. You already have a reserve feat which lets you heal up to 1/2 hp indefinitely, and wands of vigor are dirt cheap. So given sufficient downtime in between fights, parties shouldn't have problems undoing all the damage they have taken. :smallsmile:

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 02:44 AM
Um, no, I'm not. I said that the DM was free to price the item however he (or she) felt like. It's literally the second line in my first post..
You said any DM had the "right" to change the price, which is self evident to anyone who knows anything about RPGs. You then went on to claim that the DMG "recommends" using the (unmodified) price from the guidelines, which is not true.

But let's do a short summary of the conversation, shall we?


Iku Rex: Pricing item an "solely based on the table in the DMG" is "doing it wrong" by RAW.
senrath: No it isn't.
Iku Rex: "You're claiming that items should be priced solely based on the table in the DMG, with no need for DM judgement."
senrath: No I'm not.

First, you disagree that using only the table, and thus no judgement, is wrong.

Then, when I call you on it, judgement is suddenly important again.

Can you see how this is confusing?



There's a huge difference between saying "my opinion is different than yours, so you must be doing it wrong" and "my opinion is different than yours, and here's why". The latter is constructive, the former isn't.
Do you think it's possible to do something wrong according to RAW?



I never said that. I just said that there are other options that are better than it, so I don't see where the problem is.
Such an item would be picked up early and eagerly by pretty much every adventuring group. (Though I suppose if they have a gullible DM they may go for a CLW item instead, to save a little time.)

It is, in my opinion (as I thought made clear in my very first post on the subject) too cheap. And thus incorrectly priced, since a new magic item should not be too cheap or too expensive.

senrath
2010-11-12, 02:49 AM
First, you disagree that using only the table, and thus no judgement, is wrong.

Then, when I call you on it, judgement is suddenly important again.

Can you see how this is confusing?

Because using only the table is, in fact, a judgement call. And it's not wrong.


Do you think it's possible to do something wrong according to RAW?
If you're the DM? Nope. If you're a player, plenty of places.



It is, in my opinion (as I thought made clear in my very first post on the subject) too cheap. And thus incorrectly priced, since a new magic item should not be too cheap or too expensive.
You did make it clear that it was your opinion. You also made it clear (whether it was your intention or not) that anyone who disagreed with you is doing something wrong.

Keld Denar
2010-11-12, 02:55 AM
Hey, can you bring the tone down just a hair on your accusations? Its possible to debate without that tone...

I, as a DM, have absolutely no problem with such an item. What it does is saves me from pulling punches. I don't have to worry that my opening volley of a combat is gonna level 3 people because they couldn't get adequately healed up between encounters.

Besides, for 1800g, you can buy almost 2.5 Wands of Lesser Vigors, which heal 550 hp each. Thats around 1300 HP in a given campaign before the "Pearl of Healing" pays for itself compared to that. Thats most PCs health 30 times over before ~level 6. Thats a LOT of healing.

Trust me, it only sounds strong, but compared to what's already out there, its really not so bad.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 02:56 AM
He was offering up an example price. The guidelines are guidelines and thus valid things to be brought up. Mark Hall used his judgment and did not believe that the guideline's price was "too low."

The post does not contain any hint that he used any judgement in evaluating the price. He just did the math using the table.



You are not the sole arbiter of what the right price is for the purposes of this thread nor are you for the OP.

I never said I was. I said Mark Halls math-derived price seemed too low.



And you're doing it wrong by telling us that we're doing it wrong by deeming the guidelines' price acceptable. Because you're telling us that our judgment is invalid if we decide things in a certain way.

I said, and I quote: "if you price an item solely based on the table in the DMG you're doing it wrong according to RAW." If you use the table to get a price and then, using your own judgement, conclude that this is an appropriate price, you're not pricing the item "solely based on the table". You're pricing the item based on your own judgement, with some help from the table.


The popularity of the item is irrelevant. It is the balance that is relevant and that depends on the feel that is desired of the game.
Let me quote the Magic Item Compendium: "... each price is set individually by comparing the item (and more important, its likely perceived value to player characters) to other items commonly used by PCs."

And obviously popularity and game balance are closely connected. If everyone wants an item as soon as they can afford it, it's probably overpowered.

Boci
2010-11-12, 03:00 AM
And obviously popularity and game balance are closely connected. If everyone wants an item as soon as they can afford it, it's probably overpowered.

+1 weapons are overpowered? Also, the item could just fix what is percieved by the group to be a disign flaw of the game.

ffone
2010-11-12, 03:00 AM
Besides, for 1800g, you can buy almost 2.5 Wands of Lesser Vigors, which heal 550 hp each. Thats around 1300 HP in a given campaign before the "Pearl of Healing" pays for itself compared to that. Thats most PCs health 30 times over before ~level 6. Thats a LOT of healing.


But this begs the question - why not just point out to the players that they can buy THAT stuff instead?

I've noticed, in both DnD and real life, that 'free'* vs 'cheap' has a profound psychological difference. I've seen both with healing in campaigns, and 'cheap' but not 'free' seems to encourage a craftier and, in my opinion, more interesting PC and party mentality. (They won't just start walking through fire, etc. without caring.)

*healing is *marginally* free once you buy the item - a 'sunk cost' - and that's what determines incentives and how PCs behave.

It's like the thread on Brutal vs Forgiving DMs ('appear Brutal but be Forgiving'.) As a DM, you can easily pepper enough healing loot in the campaign to keep the PCs going (and it makes sense for slain NPCs to've been carrying it)...but when it's not guaranteed and seen as a truly infinite entitlement, the PCs will behave much more economically.

senrath
2010-11-12, 03:00 AM
And obviously popularity and game balance are closely connected. If everyone wants an item as soon as they can afford it, it's probably overpowered.

I'd like to contest this. I know many, many people (myself included) who play blaster wizards/sorcerers/<insert other caster here>. In fact, I'd say it's rather a popular thing to do, although not so much when discussing things on these boards. And it's been proven time and time again that blaster wizards are definitely not overpowered.

ffone
2010-11-12, 03:03 AM
I'd like to contest this. I know many, many people (myself included) who play blaster wizards/sorcerers/<insert other caster here>. In fact, I'd say it's rather a popular thing to do, although not so much when discussing things on these boards. And it's been proven time and time again that blaster wizards are definitely not overpowered.

People do play classes and archetypes b/c it's just what they want to roleplay (which is the desired state of things).

But an item is different, especially one like 'cure light wounds at will for 1800' that isn't going to be the defining item of a character (like the warrior's favorite weapon may be). Well, maybe the party's L2 cleric. It can be easily 'added on' to a party and its popularity will mostly reflect its crunchy usefulness.

senrath
2010-11-12, 03:05 AM
People do play classes and archetypes b/c it's just what they want to roleplay (which is the desired state of things).

But an item is different, especially one like 'cure light wounds at will for 1800' that isn't going to be the defining item of a character (like the warrior's favorite weapon may be). Well, maybe the party's L2 cleric. It can be easily 'added on' to a party and its popularity will mostly reflect its crunchy usefulness.

I was contesting the point that popularity is a good gauge of power. And as Boci pointed out, +1 weapons are popular, and will almost always be bought as soon as possible. Does that make them overpowered?

(Also, it's 3600 for CLW rather than CMW, using the guidelines :smalltongue:)

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 03:11 AM
If you're the DM? Nope. If you're a player, plenty of places.

So when you objected to me saying that doing something a certain way was "wrong" according to RAW you were in fact making a personal and pointless semantic quibble. Right.



You did make it clear that it was your opinion. You also made it clear (whether it was your intention or not) that anyone who disagreed with you is doing something wrong.
I made it clear that, "if you price an item solely based on the table in the DMG you're doing it wrong according to RAW."

{Scrubbed}

ffone
2010-11-12, 03:13 AM
I was contesting the point that popularity is a good gauge of power. And as Boci pointed out, +1 weapons are popular, and will almost always be bought as soon as possible. Does that make them overpowered?

Well, CLW wands are also popular (or were until Lesser Vigor). As is the spell cast by clerics.

+1 weapons are popular b/c they are required for any other magical enhancements, so that's a bit disingenuous. I suspect they wouldn't be that popular after all if that weren't required.

A better example would be enhancement ability score items. They're popular, but that's OK because they are also just fairly general, and they don't cause a reduction in 'tactical or character diversity' because they just augment what characters are already doing.

Enhancement to armor is also a better example (b/c the other armor enhancement properties tend to be less popular, probably b/c optimizers are so offense-focused and-or b/c most armor special properties have flat-price equivalent wonrous items, which in the long run are cheaper than increasing your armor's BPB).

They're popular, yeah. But because they're vanilla - as you level up and gain wealth, you increase your AC. (Someone may reply here about using miss chances instead.) And again, they don't reduce tactical diversity, they just 'increase your numbers'.


Also, the unlimited healing item would be popular in a 'you'd feel stupid passing it up' way, whereas people will often forego the (next) +1 to armor or +2 onto the ability score in favor of some other thing.



(Also, it's 3600 for CLW rather than CMW, using the guidelines :smalltongue:)

Why's it 3600? 1800 x spell level 1 x caster level 1, I think? No duration factor since it's an at-will command rather than some continuous effect?

(Another issue with that line of the table btw - a powerful instantaneous spell becomes cheaper than a slightly less powerful one with a short duration).

Coidzor
2010-11-12, 03:15 AM
The post does not contain any hint that he used any judgement in evaluating the price. He just did the math using the table. He bothered to post it. Thus he judged it worth posting.

Thus he used his judgment.


I never said I was. I said Mark Halls math-derived price seemed too low.

You stated the price was too low as a summary dismissal of it without any justification.

I said, and I quote: "if you price an item solely based on the table in the DMG you're doing it wrong according to RAW." If you use the table to get a price and then, using your own judgement, conclude that this is an appropriate price, you're not pricing the item "solely based on the table". You're pricing the item based on your own judgement, with some help from the table.

No, you're using your judgment that the guidelines are solid enough to be used save in cases where an exception may be made. There's no way to violate the RAW because there's no way for the DM not to make a judgment call on the issue.


And obviously popularity and game balance are closely connected. If everyone wants an item as soon as they can afford it, it's probably overpowered.

To assume such is the case without using your judgment seems hypocritical considering you were just lambasting anyone who would use the DMG guidelines' recommended price.

Again, popularity is not the issue, whether it's overpowered is. Using "popularity" as a way of casting aspersions on players detracts from the rest of the conversation.


But this begs the question - why not just point out to the players that they can buy THAT stuff instead?

Because the DM doesn't care? Because he wants a different paradigm that isn't the one you elaborated on?


It's like the thread on Brutal vs Forgiving DMs ('appear Brutal but be Forgiving'.) As a DM, you can easily pepper enough healing loot in the campaign to keep the PCs going (and it makes sense for slain NPCs to've been carrying it)...but when it's not guaranteed and seen as a truly infinite entitlement, the PCs will behave much more economically.

Only if you prevent them from spending their wealth on it as well or are otherwise keeping them in line via absolute control over their gear.

Boci
2010-11-12, 03:17 AM
Why's it 3600? 1800 x spell level 1 x caster level 1, I think? No duration factor since it's an at-will command rather than some continuous effect?

If the items slotless you double the price.

senrath
2010-11-12, 03:19 AM
So when you objected to me saying that doing something a certain way was "wrong" according to RAW you were in fact making a personal and pointless semantic quibble. Right.

I'm sorry, what?



I made it clear that, "if you price an item solely based on the table in the DMG you're doing it wrong according to RAW."

So what I said was that you are doing something wrong "according to RAW" if you price the item "solely based on the table". You have chosen to overlook what I actually said in favor of dishonestly claiming that I said that "anyone who disagreed with [me] is doing something wrong".
Except that as I've already said, there is no place in the rules that state "If you just use this table, you're doing it wrong."

And as I also said, whether or not it was your intention, that was what it was coming across to me as.

Terumitsu
2010-11-12, 03:21 AM
*Cough*
http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab337/RPNotebook2/DnDemotivators/111146f.jpg

I think that the OP was more about healing items and their effectiveness than rules quibbling about costs, among other things.

Remember, all DMs have Rule 0 to use as they see fit. I'm pretty sure it's made mention of such in the DMG in some way. As such everyone is allowed to play the game their own way, thus meaning that there really isn't a perfectly right or wrong way. There are precedents and such that many of us follow as it helps make the game go smoother and be fun for all of us but there is always the option of a DM asking one day "Hey guys, wanna try Roleplaying this next bit out? I've got a cool idea." or something like that, maybe more off the wall depending upon the subject. This human adjudication is what makes the game so good. We're the ones ultimately in charge in over what happens. So one person thinks Item A while the other person likes the concept of Item B. That's all fine and dandy but I don think all of us will agree to getting so-and-so's Item A in their Item B.

Remember, we're all here to have fun with a cool game. Differences happen but that doesn't mean we should make things less fun because of it.

Anyway, that's my take. I'm out now.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 03:21 AM
+1 weapons are overpowered?

I have not found that everyone wants +1 weapons (rather than the alternatives) as soon as they can afford it.

(I'll add that I did weasel in the word "probably" in that sentence. And that some concepts, like "magic swords" are staples of the fantasy genre and so should probably be slightly more powerful than alternatives if you want a certain kind of game. )


Also, the item could just fix what is percieved by the group to be a disign flaw of the game.

Sure.

Coidzor
2010-11-12, 03:26 AM
*Cough*
http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab337/RPNotebook2/DnDemotivators/111146f.jpg

I think that the OP was more about healing items and their effectiveness than rules quibbling about costs, among other things.

Indeed. It's a paradigm shift. If you want the paradigm shift, don't take an arm and a leg from the players to pay for it. If you don't want a paradigm shift, then don't.

Keld Denar
2010-11-12, 03:28 AM
But most players DO tend to chase after +2 stat items for their relevant stats. +2 Int is popular among wizards, and +2 Cha is prefered among sorcerers. +2 Wis is often desired by clerics, druids, and often monks. +2 Con is generally the second most desired stat by everyone.

I can almost garuntee that if you look at all of the character sheets for all PbP games on this forum with characters above ~6th level who have some modicum of WBL, 95+% will have at least 1 +2 stat item or higher.

Thats like, almost everyone. Why? Because its popular. Because its a strong choose. That doesn't make it bad though.

As I've said before, if you compare what such an item can do vs what is already available, it really isn't as strong as you think it is.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 03:35 AM
I'm sorry, what?

You were objecting to "doing it wrong according to RAW". Turns out your objection really had nothing to do with magic items - you just have semantic issues with that wording in general. (For DMs.)



Except that as I've already said, there is no place in the rules that state "If you just use this table, you're doing it wrong."

There is, however, a place in the rules that states (paraphrasing) "this is how you estimate the price of new magic items". If your approach contradicts those rules, such as by just using table with no further judgement, you're doing it wrong according to those rules. I just can't understand what you don't get about that.

senrath
2010-11-12, 03:38 AM
I was objecting to "doing it wrong according to RAW" because there's nothing in RAW that supports your point! It gives guidelines and says this is how you estimate prices, and that you should use your judgement and adjust the prices accordingly. If you simply use the table, you're exercising your judgement and saying "This is good enough, I have no problems with this." It is impossible for a person to price out a magic item without making some form of a judgement call, even if that call is to use the guidelines as strict rules.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 05:16 AM
I was objecting to "doing it wrong according to RAW" because there's nothing in RAW that supports your point!

Let's do another recap.


Iku Rex: "Do you think it's possible to do something wrong according to RAW?"
senrath: "If you're the DM? Nope."

As long as you don't think it's possible for a DM to do something wrong according to RAW there is no point in pretending the actual RAW is relevant here. You'll disagree no matter what.



It gives guidelines and says this is how you estimate prices, and that you should use your judgement and adjust the prices accordingly. If you simply use the table, you're exercising your judgement and saying "This is good enough, I have no problems with this."
If you "exercise your judgement" and say "this is good enough, I have no problems with this", you are not "pricing an item solely based on the table".

dsmiles
2010-11-12, 06:48 AM
I probably would not allow that with Cure Minor Wounds; continuous, to me, means there is a duration of other than Instant, and the table implies this, as well, with its notation about spell durations on continuous items. A Continuous Lesser Vigor would do the job, but then you're looking at 16000gp (1st level spell * 1st level caster * 2000gp * 4 for duration measured in rounds * 2 for no space limitation). Definitely worth it... but not the 1800 you can pay for a koosh-ball of healing.

Wouldn't any of these have to cost more than that, since Craft Wondrous Item has a minimum level to take the feat?

Eloel
2010-11-12, 06:58 AM
Wouldn't any of these have to cost more than that, since Craft Wondrous Item has a minimum level to take the feat?

You can use whatever CL you want, upto your maximum, when casting a spell.

WhiteShark
2010-11-12, 07:26 AM
If you "exercise your judgement" and say "this is good enough, I have no problems with this", you are not "pricing an item solely based on the table".

Right, exactly. It is literally impossible for a DM to not make a judgement call about it. Either they judge that the price by the guidelines is good or that another price is good, but either way they have made a judgement call. They might make a bad judgement, but they literally cannot make no judgement at all.

Iku Rex
2010-11-12, 08:00 AM
They might make a bad judgement, but they literally cannot make no judgement at all.

"The DM must use his judgement" is the short version. There's more to it than that. Petty quibbling about how "choosing not use one's judgement is also using one's judgement" or whatnot is just silly semantics.

Amphetryon
2010-11-12, 08:12 AM
1) Wow, lots of hot tempers around here, by my reading of the thread. It's a thread about a game played primarily in imagination-land, for fun. :smallsmile:

2) If your game uses ToB's Devoted Spirit stances, or Dread Necromancers with access to the Tomb-Tainted Soul feat, unlimited free healing is already available. Will it be potentially problematic in some cases? Possibly, but those seem like corner cases to me. If you track the amount of time spent to top off everyone's HP-o-meter, and make that time actually matter at all, I'd think the times when it's an actual game-breaker will be rare.

Jack_Simth
2010-11-12, 08:14 AM
Thoughts?Well:

Legality:
As the DM, it's as legal as you say it is. The DMG Item Creation Guidelines allow for it, but remember: They're Guidelines, not rules, say the table is for estimating value, and include a few different sentences to the effect of "This is not an exact science, adjust based on the actual value of the item". They're guidelines for a reason (the classic example being the Widget of Use-Activated True Strike, which is more useful than a +10 Sword in most - but not all - circumstances - and the table would estimate it as costing 2,000 (4,000, if unslotted))

Repercussions:
It increases the HP available for players, if they sit down for a few minutes between fights. For classes where the primary limited resource of the class is HP (In Core: Fighter, Rogue, Monk; to a slightly lesser extent, the Paladin, Barbarian, and Ranger; to a noticeably lesser extent, the Druid and Bard), it's a bit of increased endurance, and thus a slight power boost (they can keep it up all day). For classes where the primary limited resource of the class is not HP (In Core: Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric; to a lesser extent, the Druid and Bard; and to a very small extent, the Paladin, Barbarian, and Ranger), there is little (if any) noticeable effect.

panaikhan
2010-11-12, 08:40 AM
As DM, I often slip an 'Eternal Wand of CLW' (1D8+3, 2/day) into the loot fairly early on. It lessens the burdon on the cleric at lower levels, and at higher levels is most likely collecting dust or getting used on passing commoners.

I would, however, have serious thoughts about an unlimited use wand. My players are hard to challenge as it is (their Opt-Fu is better than mine).

Back to the plot - 'healsticks' are perfectly legal by RAW, and can be fairly cheap. By allowing / handing them out, you push the limiting factor on party endurance away from HP, and towards spells and other x/day abilities.

Kensen
2010-11-12, 08:40 AM
I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but according to the SRD, you should reduce the final cost figure if the item requires a skill to use or specific class or alignment. You can reduce the cost by 40% if both conditions apply!!!

By RAW, of course (hah!)

Anyway, I understand Iku Rex's concern. In a discussion on GitP about a low-resource setting where food is scarce, someone said that you can just build a trap that casts Create Food every time you trigger it, and that it's cheaper to build than a similar wondrous item.

Now, in my opinion, if I'm the DM, I don't need to use any silly shenanigans like that if I want to make food production irrelevant. On the other hand, if I'm one of the players, it's arrogant of me to suggest that a DM should let me create a new magic item that's vastly better than those in the DMG, and that the DM is cheating if he won't let me because it's all "by RAW".

I think the healing stick question also boils down to this: If the DM wants the players to be at full HP each time an encounter begins, fine, he can let them have the healing stick and its cost should be irrelevant or whatever the DM says it should be. If, on the other hand, the players insist on having such an item just because the guidelines in the DMG "allow it by RAW", they'd do well to also read the part about using your judgment (i.e. the DM's judgment since it's in the DMG).

Very, very few character options published in official sources give you infinite healing (and usually it either requires some munchkin cheese combo or has an inherent limitation like healing yourself only). If you want a magic item worth 900 gp to change this aspect of the game, well ... have fun. :smallwink: But not in my campaigns!

Mark Hall
2010-11-12, 11:29 AM
The Mod Wonder: Please tone down the verbiage. We try for a civil tone, and this conversation is pushing it.

</end mod text; feel free to comment on or argue with the non-red portions of this message>

As for a judgment call, I didn't make one. I posted the numbers as the table provides them, figuring that the OP would draw his own conclusions about the reasonableness of the cost, depending on the benefits. Personally, I see 1800 as reasonable within the framework of 3.x, given that it's 1hp per round for a standard action. You can move 20-30' and heal 1hp with this item. It's not going to break the game, even if you allow it to be used to stabilize the unconscious.

Yes, the table says "check with your DM to make sure he's not going to change these numbers". But, quite frankly, those guidelines are for players. The OP seemed to be a DM, and rule 0 handles the "DM is right" part, anyway. I don't see much need to belabor "the table is only a guideline" when talking theory, as we usually do on this site.

Keld Denar
2010-11-12, 12:34 PM
I think healing is one of the sacred cows of D&D. Back in the day, someone usually got browbeat into playing a cleric so that everyone else could have their fun. Healing came from a cleric. Period. WotC recognized this paradigm and saught to move away from it. They made healing more accessable as 3rd ed progressed, especially out of combat healing. Healing in D&D is no longer just for the rich clerics. Binders can heal, Dragon Shaman can heal, Crusaders can heal, Factotums can heal, and anyone with UMD can heal. This just takes it to the logical conclusion of allowing everyone to heal so people aren't shoe-horned in to a certain role or class because thats what the group "needs".

Some people are resistant to change. I was chatting with one of my RL gaming groups and mentioned that with SpC and PHBII, teleportation magic is available at 1st level. Wow, they threw a fit about that. Apparently teleportation magic is another one of those sacred cows left over from a bygone day when nobody under 7th level (Dim Door) could ever even consider it. Heck, it became even more readily available as 3.5 grew, between Aporter armor in the XPH and Boots of Big Stepping and Anklets of Translocation and Bolt Shirt in the MIC.

Optimator
2010-11-12, 04:04 PM
Hardly game-breaking. There are many ways to challenge PCs and letting them fully heal after combat won't throw off one's campaign. THere are still many factors to worry about, and making HP recovery less of a worry can improve the game in many cases.

JonestheSpy
2010-11-12, 04:16 PM
I think healing is one of the sacred cows of D&D. Back in the day, someone usually got browbeat into playing a cleric so that everyone else could have their fun. Healing came from a cleric. Period. WotC recognized this paradigm and saught to move away from it. They made healing more accessable as 3rd ed progressed, especially out of combat healing. Healing in D&D is no longer just for the rich clerics. Binders can heal, Dragon Shaman can heal, Crusaders can heal, Factotums can heal, and anyone with UMD can heal. This just takes it to the logical conclusion of allowing everyone to heal so people aren't shoe-horned in to a certain role or class because thats what the group "needs".

Some people are resistant to change. I was chatting with one of my RL gaming groups and mentioned that with SpC and PHBII, teleportation magic is available at 1st level. Wow, they threw a fit about that. Apparently teleportation magic is another one of those sacred cows left over from a bygone day when nobody under 7th level (Dim Door) could ever even consider it. Heck, it became even more readily available as 3.5 grew, between Aporter armor in the XPH and Boots of Big Stepping and Anklets of Translocation and Bolt Shirt in the MIC.

You know, not believing that one needs to incorporate every element from every splatbook into one's campaign does not necessarily indicate reactionary conservatism. If one wants to create a "Magic creates a million shortcuts" campaign that's a choice, but it's certainly not the only valid one.

Keld Denar
2010-11-12, 04:22 PM
The OP did express that it was a "high magic" campaign. I guess I was just running with that conculsion. My point still stands though, people are often resistant to change, regardless of what that change is, and regardless of whether that change might actually benefit them. Look at the people resistant to learning ToB simply because its new and they don't want to?

There is often a solution to every problem, some people just choose not to see it.

ffone
2010-11-13, 02:20 AM
Honestly, if you want to give at-will healing cheaply, you could reduce bookkeeping even further by just declaring every creature in the campaign setting has fast healing 1. Similar out of combat effect (1 hp per PC per round vs 1d8+1 per round, so 4 vs 5.5 for four PCs.)

IIRC one of the Forgotten Realms' Outer Planes, Warrior's Rest, confers a similar benefit on both its denizens and visitors.







Only if you prevent them from spending their wealth on it as well or are otherwise keeping them in line via absolute control over their gear.

Drastic false dichotomy. Peppering healing items in loot doesn't mean not letting PCs craft or buy their own gear as well. (As a DM I'm very liberal with custom gear, but at-will use-activated or continuous is an exception.)

I didn't refer to a case where having healing items at all isn't guaranteed...but where having an infinite supply via an at-will item isn't guaranteed. (In other words, a normal game. Not sure why you're trying to insinuate that means insisting on 'absolute control',)



If the items slotless you double the price.

Ah, I just figured people would make the item slotted if allowed, since it's between-combat usage anyway.

And hmm, would something that has to be held in the hand to be wielded be double the price? If so, wouldn't every PC just prefer a slotless 'body' item (ring, amulet, etc.) so they keep the hand free?

Coidzor
2010-11-13, 01:38 PM
Drastic false dichotomy. Peppering healing items in loot doesn't mean not letting PCs craft or buy their own gear as well. (As a DM I'm very liberal with custom gear, but at-will use-activated or continuous is an exception.)

I didn't refer to a case where having healing items at all isn't guaranteed...but where having an infinite supply via an at-will item isn't guaranteed. (In other words, a normal game. Not sure why you're trying to insinuate that means insisting on 'absolute control',)

After a certain point their wealth alone should account for it without healing HP causing them any concern barring the extenuating circumstances of being run through a gauntlet. Giving it to them as loot is only functionally different than giving them the chance to buy it or the downtime to make it is if you prevent 2 and 3.

Aotrs Commander
2010-11-13, 05:40 PM
I wouldn't lose sleep about it. Hell, I've been on the DMing end of the afore-mention Shadow Sun Ninja Healing (with the Dread Necro/Pale Master's skeletons.) Nowadays, nearly every party packs a wand of Lesser Vigour; with the exception of my 19th level party, who have so much healing (thanks Dragon Mountain stupdily overpowered healing items) that they have about three Heals per day before the Cleric even has to get out of bed...

To top it off, I've also just boosted the power of the Cure (and also Inflict) spells so they amount they heal is actually comparable to spell damage(CLW 5+D8/lvl max 3D8, CMW 10+D8/lvl max 5D8, 15+D8/lvl max 7D8, 20+D8/lvl max 10D8). Making them somewhat more worth while actually casting in combat.

So, I should worry about it, really. Even with that sort of thing, if you want to have a bit to push the PCs and drain their resources, you still can, you just have to curtail the timescale down so that minutes count.