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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    I'm contemplating creating a character for Pathfinder Society, but am new to the system, though I've been playing D&D for close to 30 years.

    I'd like to play a Healer. Yes, that's a very general concept, I know. I'm interested in hearing all sorts of Healer concepts and builds, so I don't want to restrict it more than that. Well, I suppose if people play Pathfinder Society, they might well know better than me what to look for. If so, feel free to include that too.

    Basically, go wild. Heck, if you want to share your favorite Healer character, feel free! I guess I'm looking for inspiration, you might say.

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrukio View Post
    I'd like to play a Healer. Yes, that's a very general concept, I know. I'm interested in hearing all sorts of Healer concepts and builds, so I don't want to restrict it more than that. Well, I suppose if people play Pathfinder Society, they might well know better than me what to look for. If so, feel free to include that too.

    Basically, go wild. Heck, if you want to share your favorite Healer character, feel free! I guess I'm looking for inspiration, you might say.
    Oracle with the Life Mystery.
    You can get Channel Energy.
    Life Link you can heal without needing to be in Touch range, AND without spending/wasting actions.
    Safe Curing lets you Cure without provoking AoO's.


    OR for a much more unorthodox approach:
    Paladin with LOTS of Archetype stacking.
    Default Paladin has Lay On Hands and Channel Energy for straight healing. And gains Mercies which can be used to remove a variety of Status Effects. Also is Immune to Fear/Disease, and gains a major bonus to Saves, so even if the rest of the group gets Debuffed, you'll still be standing ready to get them back on their feet.

    Oath of Charity makes your Lay On Hands heal 50% more on others (50% less on self), and loses Divine Bond for the ability to change your Mercies daily.

    Hospitaler loses some uses of Smite Evil, and cannot use Lay On Hands to power Channel Energy, BUT you gain an actual Channel Energy ability (3+CHA/day uses). And at 11th you can use a Channel Energy to generate an aura that gives allies an extra Saving throw against effects.

    Warrior of the Holy Light is debatable. It loses Spellcasting, but gains extra uses of Lay On Hands and by spending a use of Lay On Hands you emit an "Aura of Light" (30ft. radius) for 1 minute. This give allies a boost to Attacks and AC. At 8th level is heals 1d4 ability damage. 12th level grants allies Energy Resist 10 (your choice). More bonuses at higher levels.

    Definitely do an Oath of Charity/Hospitaler. It's up to you if extra Lay On Hands/effects are worth lost casting.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Like he said, Life Oracle is the best road, but Cleric with Healing domain is right up there.

    Yes, a pally with those archetypes (esp Hospitaller) will work almost as well. And- be more of a tank. But what does the party already have?
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Paladin with the Sacred Shield archetype is decent. Less for the healing that it provides and more for the damage negation with Bastion of Good and pumping the rest of the parties AC.
    Paladin also gets plenty of nice boosts with Lay on Hands, like Greater and Ultimate Mercy, being able to heal at range with Word of Healing. I also like being able to heal yourself as a swift action.
    Life Mystery Oracle is a great healer for the above mentioned reasons.
    A cleric with the Healing Domain is obviously good, since who wouldn't like free Empowered Cure spells?

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    After some more though on the matter I have found a useable, yet unorthodox build. I have roughly optimized the build progression, but it is still flexible to account for various party configurations/needs.
    I will explain how it all fits together at the end.

    Stat priority is CHA > CON > STR > DEX/INT/WIS to taste. The plan is to wear Heavy Armor w/Shield.
    Leading Race choices are Human and Gnome for core races. Suli if Monster races are allowed. Either way, Favored Class will be Paladin, taking the extra HP each level.
    Oracle 1, Life Mystery, grab Channel Energy for your Revelation. For Curses, Lame, Tongues, or Haunted are the better choices.
    Paladin 2 Hospitaler, this grants Lay on Hands, and Divine Grace.
    Oracle +2 take the Life Link Revelation. You can now form bonds with up to 3 of your companions, and your Channel dice gain +1d6.
    Paladin +2 grants Immune Fear/Disease, a Mercy, and Channel Energy (3+Cha/day Channel, from Hospitaler), and 1st level Paladin spells.

    From here you can take more Oracle, or more Paladin, only take as much Oracle as you need, the rest should go to Paladin.
    Oracle:
    Each level lets you Life Link with +1 ally.
    Level 4 gets 2nd level spells, level 5 is a Curse bonus and +1d6 Channel, level 6 is 3rd level spells, level 7 another Revelation and +1d6 Channel, etc...

    Paladin:
    Every 2 levels advances Lay on Hands and Channel healing by +1d6, and also gives another use of Lay on Hands.
    Level 5 is Divine Bond, level 6 is another Mercy.


    The basic game plan, once you reach level 5 anyway:
    At the beginning of the day (and as necessary) form Life Link bonds with your companions (there is no duration, but they stop working beyond 30ft.).
    Play as you normally would a Paladin, i.e. Hack-n-Slash-Good-Guy.
    As your companions take damage it will be slowly transferred to you. This is where Lay on Hands comes into play, you can 'touch yourself' as a Swift action, this leaves you your Standard and Move actions for the turn.
    You have just achieved Minimal Action, In-Combat, Full Party Healing!

    If/when the whole party takes a hit (i.e. Fireball) is where Channel Energy comes into play. You have 2 Channeling pools (4+2*CHA/day uses!), each will (most likely) have a different number of dice, use the most appropriately sized pool. Recommend take the Selective Channeling feat.

    Mercies and your limited spells are used for healing conditions other than HP damage.

    You can also stack various archetypes with Hospitaler.
    DO NOT take Oath of Charity with this build, as it weakens 'self' Lay on Hands, and you need to be able to heal yourself as efficiently as possible.

    Another option is to take Holy Vindicator sometime after Oracle 3/Paladin 4.
    You'd lose Lay on Hands uses/power, but you can put the 3/4 casting towards your Oracle side, while stacking levels with Paladin for Channel Energy dice. And it's all on a 'Paladin' chassis (d10HD, Full Bab, 2 Skills).
    Last edited by grarrrg; 2012-04-23 at 08:45 PM.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    A nice feature of 3.5 and Pathfinder is that you don't have to be just a healer. To that end, optimizing healing is fine, but I wouldn't optimize healing to the point where that's all you do effectively. Straight up Human Oracle with the Life Mystery (grarrg's first option) optimizes healing pretty easily while still allowing you to do a ton of other stuff. Take additional spells known via the Human's alternate favored class feature listed here, and you can take every healing spell possible and still have support, buff and utility spells that you can cast for all the times when people don't need healing (for instance, out of combat).
    Hello milky way...

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    For any Paladin-based healer build, you'll want Ultimate Mercy eventually. Allows you to cast Raise Dead with no material component by spending 10 uses of LOH.

    Another useful feat is Word of Healing. Allows you to use Lay on Hands at 30' range, albeit at half effect. Good for a tight spot.

    For equipment, if you're multiclassing you'll likely want a Silver Smite Bracelet as soon as you can afford it. Allows you to use Smite Evil as if your paladin level were 4 higher than it is. And of course, a Phylactery of Positive Channeling.
    Last edited by doko239; 2012-04-23 at 08:18 PM.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    grarrrg that is a SWEET build, definitely going to roll that the next time I play healer.

    so in effect you give the party fast healing 5 and you can self heal the damage (swift) and still move + attack (or burst heal with a huge pool of channels)?

    that is pretty sweet!

    it lacks the buffs that a full cleric/oracle could bring, but I guess the wizard could pick up that slack.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    An alternate option to the Oracle/Paladin would be Dex-based and using Ranged attacks to keep yourself a little more out of harms way.

    Stat priority would be CHA > CON > DEX > other.

    Halfling would then be a good choice, especially because it has a Paladin Favored option of +1/2hp to your Lay on Hands.

    Quote Originally Posted by doko239 View Post
    For any Paladin-based healer build, you'll want Ultimate Mercy eventually. Allows you to cast Raise Dead with no material component by spending 10 uses of LOH.

    Another useful feat is Word of Healing. Allows you to use Lay on Hands at 30' range, albeit at half effect. Good for a tight spot.
    Another few notable feats:
    Extra Lay on Hands: 2 extra uses per feat, more useful at higher levels.
    Extra Channel: In general, this will be a stronger/better option than Extra Lay on Hands. But Lay on Hands can self-heal as a Swift action whereas Channel is a Standard, unless you take...
    Quick Channel: Spend 2 uses of Channel Energy to Channel as a Move action, and boy do we have Channel uses! Hmm... We could have a turn where we: Swift > Lay on Self, Move> Quick Channel, Standard > Regular Channel.
    Also, there's no reason we can't pair a 'weak' Oracle Channel, with a stronger Paladin Channel to use the Paladin Strength at 'Move' speed
    Extra Mercy: In case your group is running into a LOT of status effects.
    Greater Mercy: If the target is NOT suffering from a Status condition they heal an extra +1d6hp.
    Selective Channel: You can exclude targets from your Channeling, very handy if you're NOT fighting Undead.
    Fey Foundling: In exchange for taking +1 damage from Cold Iron weapons, when you receive Magical Healing, you heal +2hp per die rolled
    Fast Healer: The more feat intensive, less powerful, less outright abuse-inducing version of Fey Foundling. You only get a bonus equal to 1/2 your Con Mod (meaning you need 18 Con to get +2hp per heal), and it only applies to TOTAL healing, not per die. But it's a better choice than Fey Foundling if you don't like having rulebooks thrown at your head...
    Last edited by grarrrg; 2012-04-23 at 10:16 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Sacred Servant is also a nice Paladin archetype for healing purposes. It allows you to boost your channel energy power with your celestial bond ability, which can add up to quite a nice bonus later on. Add a phylactery of positive channeling and your channel energy power is unequalled. Only issue is that you won't have a huge number of uses per day (though celestial bond can also grant you extra daily uses of LoH).

    SS also gets you other goodies, such as a domain including domain spells, and the ability to summon celestial allies who can also heal.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    With a Life Oracle there is also action economy to consider.
    I can use 4 healing abilities in one round.
    Combat Casting for a Cure spell as a Swift action.
    Quicken Channel for a channel as a move action
    Standard Action-Spells, more channel
    Energy Body-If someone moves near enough to me, they get a free heal.
    And then there is Life Link to consider on top of that.


    Greater Spell Specialization is an awesome feat to have. 2 other feats as prereq's though. Apply this feat to the spell 'Heal' if you go regular Cleric as opposed to Oracle. Having the ability to cast Heal spontaneously (like an Oracle) rather than prepare it every day is a remarkable advantage to have.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
    "In soviet dungeon, aboleth farms you!"

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    With a Life Oracle there is also action economy to consider.
    I can use 4 healing abilities in one round.
    Combat Casting for a Cure spell as a Swift action.
    Quicken Channel for a channel as a move action
    Standard Action-Spells, more channel
    Energy Body-If someone moves near enough to me, they get a free heal.
    And then there is Life Link to consider on top of that.

    As for multiclassing into Paladin.
    Even if it were just for two levels to get the bonus saves from Charisma, that is pretty darned considerable on it's own. Never mind all the awesome channel/lay on hands stacking that one can do with more than just those two levels of Paladin.


    Important spells to remember:
    From the advanced book, Blessing of Courage and Life. The short description neglects to mention that this spell does in fact provide a heal. The whole spell provides a buff to saves VS Fear and Death effects. AND at any time, anyone with the buff can sacrifice the buff (as a swift action I think, might be an immediate) in favor of a heal. It's not huge, but that heal has managed to keep people alive in a few groups I have played in. It's especially useful on yourself if you're going to use Life Link and start absorbing some of the damage someone else takes.
    If someone else in the party can cast haste, it combo's up very well with Blessing of Fervor. And while you have Blessing of Fervor up, take advantage of that free metamagic effect and double the duration of 2nd level spells. Spiritual Weapon is a decent candidate, several buffs are 2nd level, so they can have increased duration for free.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
    "In soviet dungeon, aboleth farms you!"

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    With a Life Oracle there is also action economy to consider.
    I can use 4 healing abilities in one round.
    Combat Casting for a Cure spell as a Swift action.
    Quicken Channel for a channel as a move action
    Standard Action-Spells, more channel
    Energy Body-If someone moves near enough to me, they get a free heal.
    And then there is Life Link to consider on top of that.
    True, but a straight Oracle has limitations on most of those, limiting them to 'emergency' as opposed to regular use.

    Combat Healer costs two spell slots, and can only be used 1/day at level 7 (max of 4/day at level 19).

    Quicken Channel costs 2 uses of Channel, and Oracles only have 1+Cha/day uses (Clerics have 3+Cha, it balances), so you'd burn through them fairly quickly.

    Energy Body only lasts a number of rounds equal to your Oracle level, and only heals for 1d6+(Oracle level). And it costs a Standard to activate, and 'someone' has to spend a Move action to gain the healing anyway.

    I am not saying the abilities are bad, just that they have their limitations.
    The Palacle (Oradin?) build I presented has lesser limitations on its non-spell healing, but it still has them.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    True, but a straight Oracle has limitations on most of those, limiting them to 'emergency' as opposed to regular use.
    Indeed. I was merely stating how much action economy could be used. Typically, the 'full power' mode only gets used in emergencies, not every round, but you already get the idea.


    Combat Healer costs two spell slots, and can only be used 1/day at level 7 (max of 4/day at level 19).
    Oracles get a lot of spells. Especially if they spend most of their WBL on Charisma upgrades. Though with your Poracle (Oradin), Charisma is likely to be even more valuable. Still, in this case, costing 2 spell slots to power one spell isn't entirely as bad as it sounds. And again, emergency usage.


    Quicken Channel costs 2 uses of Channel, and Oracles only have 1+Cha/day uses (Clerics have 3+Cha, it balances), so you'd burn through them fairly quickly.
    At level 12 I have 15 Channels per day. In theory I can double channel every round for 5 rounds straight. Again, emergency usage.


    Energy Body only lasts a number of rounds equal to your Oracle level, and only heals for 1d6+(Oracle level). And it costs a Standard to activate, and 'someone' has to spend a Move action to gain the healing anyway.
    I usually have it active at the start of combat, and I stay in range of people. It counts if they move past me or if I move past them, and as such it is rather versatile.


    I am not saying the abilities are bad, just that they have their limitations.
    The Palacle (Oradin?) build I presented has lesser limitations on its non-spell healing, but it still has them.
    I'm actually rather fond of your Poracle/Oradin build and I'm going to have to explore it. You are entirely right that it does have less limitations. Again, I was merely listing potential action economy if absolutely needed. That kind of on-demand burst healing is helpful in most situations I've encountered.

    In my experience, healing tends to be very resource intensive at the start of a fight, tends to ease up as the battlefield thins out and the party gets into their groove. Part of why I push buffs before combat whenever possible, and I'm more than willing to use the resources available to me in the opening rounds to keep people topped up if I have to. I like the Oradin build because I have more resources available with less limitations, plain and simple. And I've always wanted to see what a Smite + Charge + Power Attack + Vital Strike + Channel Smite would look like.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
    "In soviet dungeon, aboleth farms you!"

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    At level 12 I have 15 Channels per day. In theory I can double channel every round for 5 rounds straight. Again, emergency usage.

    How do you have 15 channels per day?
    I doubt you have 38 CHA. Extra Channel is only an extra 2 uses per, and I doubt you're spending all of your feats on that.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post

    How do you have 15 channels per day?
    I doubt you have 38 CHA. Extra Channel is only an extra 2 uses per, and I doubt you're spending all of your feats on that.
    18 + 5 (book) + 6 (Headband) + 2 (Ioun Stone) = 31 for a +10 bonus. 3 + 10 + 2 from extra channel.
    The book was purchased by the whole party because we had many charisma casters in the party, and it was house-ruled that the books could be shared but only if we ALL chipped in equally.
    My other items are my +2 armor, my phalactery of positive channeling, and a pair of wands I found along the way.

    Now, I'm curious how many channels/Lay on Hands I'd get with that kind of setup with an Oradin.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
    "In soviet dungeon, aboleth farms you!"

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    And I've always wanted to see what a Smite + Charge + Power Attack + Vital Strike + Channel Smite would look like.
    OH! OH!
    Gestalt that with this...thing.
    Rogue-ish build that can hit 22d6+44 Sneak Attack damage (non-lethal though...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    18 + 5 (book) + 6 (Headband) + 2 (Ioun Stone) = 31 for a +10 bonus. 3 + 10 + 2 from extra channel.
    The book was purchased by the whole party because we had many charisma casters in the party, and it was house-ruled that the books could be shared but only if we ALL chipped in equally.
    My other items are my +2 armor, my phalactery of positive channeling, and a pair of wands I found along the way.

    Now, I'm curious how many channels/Lay on Hands I'd get with that kind of setup with an Oradin.
    While you're at it, throw on a level of Cleric just for fun.
    7+3*CHA Channels PER DAY!
    Last edited by grarrrg; 2012-04-24 at 01:26 PM.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    While you're at it, throw on a level of Cleric just for fun.
    7+3*CHA Channels PER DAY!
    I think my DM would kill me if I stacked up that many Channels per day.

    In fact I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was an errata that dealt with this.
    But it's still friggin awesome.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
    "In soviet dungeon, aboleth farms you!"

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    I think my DM would kill me if I stacked up that many Channels per day.

    In fact I wouldn't be surprised at all if there was an errata that dealt with this.
    But it's still friggin awesome.

    There IS a ruling, but it's in FAVOR of an obscene amount of Channel uses.
    unless an ability specifically says it stacks with similar abilities (such as an assassin's sneak attack), or adds in some way based on the character's total class levels (such as improved uncanny dodge), the abilities don't stack and you have to use them separately. Therefore, cleric channeling doesn't stack with paladin channeling, necromancer channeling, oracle of life channeling, and so on.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Ioun stones only stack, to a certain limit, and only in certain cases, with themselves, but as they are enhancement bonuses they do not stack with headbands.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2012-04-24 at 02:30 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Ioun stones only stack, to a certain limit, and only in certain cases, with themselves, since they are enhancement bonuses they do not stack with headbands.
    I coulda swore they were an insight bonus. I'll have to look that up.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
    "In soviet dungeon, aboleth farms you!"

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Also consider spells that don't directly heal, but prevent damage from being delt. Me thinks of the stinking cloud.

    These scale directly with you encounters.
    Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does no one else.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudain View Post
    Also consider spells that don't directly heal, but prevent damage from being delt. Me thinks of the stinking cloud.

    These scale directly with you encounters.
    NOO!!! Then the Oradin would actually have to *shudder* cast a spell!

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Again why I am partial to the straight up Life Oracle. You get to learn all the spells you need for free for healing and removing status debuffs, you can pack your spells known list with buffs and battlefield control. Channels for show, spells for a pro.
    ~~Courage is not the lack of fear~~
    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    If the party wizard can't survive a supersonic dragon made of iron at epic levels it's his own fault really.
    "In soviet dungeon, aboleth farms you!"

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    How well would Hedge Witch work?
    Not as optimized I know, but would it be workable as a primary healer?
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    How well would Hedge Witch work?
    Not as optimized I know, but would it be workable as a primary healer?
    As an Archetype it's good.
    As a Healer it's decent, not good, not bad, but decent.
    Losing a Hex for the Spontaneous Healing ability is well worth it
    The witch can “lose” any prepared spell that is not an orison in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower, even if she doesn’t know that cure spell.
    The Empathic Healing ability is... not so worth a lost Hex.

    But Witches suffer from lack of "secondary" healing abilities.
    The Healing Hexes are only useable on each target once per day each.
    And you have to wait until level 10 for the 2nd one.

    Prehensile Hair and the Familiar can help with delivering Cure spells though (stupid 'touch' range...).

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Building a Healer

    Prehensile Hair and the Familiar can help with delivering Cure spells though (stupid 'touch' range...).
    Reach Spell metamagic can also be helpful for anyone relying on touch range spells to heal.

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