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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    Is it bad to want to heal? No. Is it bad to want a game where magic items don't exist? No. Is it bad to want to incorporate economics into an urban campaign? No.

    But 3.5e does all these things very, very poorly - so while you may want to, without heavily houseruling or a very specific style of DM'ing, it may be bad to actually incorporate them into the game.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    There's something that hasn't been addressed in this thread yet.

    Y'see, in earlier editions of D&D, "Band-Aid" was considered an essential party role. This role was really, really unpopular for the most part, though you'd get the very rare player that enjoyed it. This lead to problems where someone in the group was 'stuck' being The Healer, and memorizing Healing Spells What Heal People with Healing.

    3.5 assumed that this was true, but the reality changed, making healing less viable and less necessary. The phrase, "You are not a healer," is to remind folks that unless they enjoy healing and want to heal as part of their concept, they shouldn't feel obligated to heal whatsoever.


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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Viability of healing is decent in a low to mid op game.
    Low op you should be healing about d8+3 at first level using just the srd with healing domain and the spell trait. vs a CR 1 monster that does d6+4 or so its about on par.

    Mid op your going to need to get a bit higher, and maybe get the feat that lets your healing give 3/alignment dr, or temp hp equal to character level. With augment healing your healing d8+5 and 3/dr vs an orc fighters damage of 2d6+6 your a little behind but not by much.

    Grab a rod of lesser empower at 6th level to help with boss fights, and you should be alright.

    Against high and very high op games the orc becomes a barbarian and whirlypounce barbarian, respectively dealing 2d6+9 or more. You can't keep up with healing that sort of damage and being a marshal that boosts initiative will prevent more damage and life lost than a healer cleric will.
    Last edited by Lans; 2012-11-19 at 08:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    The viability of healing depends on who you're playing with, and how your party tactics fit together.

    If your group is not very confident with their tactics, then in-combat healing is, literally, a lifesaver. Whenever something goes wrong, you can step in and stop someone getting killed. Just don't rely on the higher level cure X spells, like cure serious wounds, because at that level, you've fallen behind the curve in terms of damage healed by you vs. damage dealt by opponent. Use spells like insiginia of healing and close wounds at that level instead, and you'll save more lives.

    If, by contrast, your group is very very good, then you're looking at fitting in with the tactics of the group. For example, one common tactic on the tournament circuit is to have very high AC front-liners, and then back them up with healing as necessary. The idea here is to get a higher level of efficiency then merely relying on combat-winning spells, which typically rely on some kind of failed save. Any monster passes on a natural 20 - a 5% chance - and it's easy with a skilled group focusing on melee to get efficiency well above that. In this kind of format you're focusing on mitigating good luck by the monsters, or covering a failed tactic and change of plan.

    Where healing doesn't work so well is in 'high-op' games, where the rules are interpreted quite loosely and generously, almost nothing is banned for balance reasons, and power is down to getting the most out of your build. In these circumstances, there are many powerful exploits you can get with your spell slots, and using them for healing slides way down the list. Many internet guides are basically exploit handbooks written for this style of game, and thus rate healing very poorly as a tactic.

    As for the points you touched on as why people get so vocal about this, we are in a hobby that attracts, amongst others, people with poor social skills, who seek to use their technical knowledge as a bludgeon to gain social acceptance. It's rare, but it happens. So spare a thought for the person who feels that his experience and analysis holds for all games everywhere, and proceeds to lecture you that you're playing the game 'wrong'. Sure he comes across as an idiot, but he may be a well-meaning idiot, genuinely trying to help, and simply blissfully unaware that there is no such thing as a standard or default way to play the game.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    As for the points you touched on as why people get so vocal about this, we are in a hobby that attracts, amongst others, people with poor social skills, who seek to use their technical knowledge as a bludgeon to gain social acceptance.
    Behold: the explanation for every argument about D&D ever.

    I only wish that i could thumbs up or like this post somehow. this is all I can do.

    as far as meaningful contribution to the thread goes, clerics can do other things besides heal, it's not really an either/or choice as people have said. the healing handbook linked earlier shows that for a minimal gp investment, people can have enough healing belts and wands of lesser vigor to patch them up out of combat, and if you're set on healing, maximize spell and mastery of day and night is a not horrible choice, at least finally making the cure x wounds outstrip the vigor line (persisting aside, because I don't think a player that wants to focus on healing is the DMM:persist type)

    it's really just a mindset thing. as the healing handbook says, if you kill a minotaur with a flame strike or something, and next round it would've dealt 40 points of damage to the party's sneak, you have healed the sneak of 40 damage. ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure and all that. it's not that replenising hp damage is bad, just that as shown earlier with maths, it won't let you break even, so it's better to prevent damage and winnow down threats rather than allow them to continue jamming up your teammates.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    To add my two-cents, compare healing in D&D to healing in FF7 (which was the first FF I played, and what I consider to be a good game).

    In FF7, you coupled Cure materia to All, and restored 1/2 to 3/4 the party's HP at low levels. And it pretty much stayed that way throughout the game (thanks to materia leveling up to Cure-2 and Cure-3 at opportune times), until you used W-Item to get 99 Megalixers, and then those were your main healing source in the endgame. Or Full-Life materia. Either way, Cure-3 on a decent magic character like Aeries/th could overtake the normal damage dealt by enemies and bosses. And in the really important battles, like boss fights, you could spare an ether or two on the person who brings your party back from the dead.

    In D&D, you can max out CxW pretty easily (and I have done so). You still don't heal much, by which I mean, 9.5 HP is decent at level 1, but not level 3. 19 is okay at level 3, but not level 5. And you only have 2-3 of those high-level cure spells available per day. And you don't have Ether, either.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Togo and Venger are both wrong.

    1. Most handbooks are not 'collections of exploits'. In fact, compared to actual CO and TO, most are very tame and simply list feats, PrCs, spells that are useful for that character class, and the ability scores one should prioritize. Even the specific builds aren't usually particularly optimized.

    2. The reason that 'You are not a healer' is repeated in many places is, as has been stated many times in this thread already, because as a legacy from earlier editions there is an assumption that the cleric is a healbot. And if a cleric is not healing (both in and out of combat) that cleric is a 'bad cleric'. This is because grognards never, ever, learn anything if they can help it, and forcing people to play the healer and heal everyone all the time and never do anything else was a favourite pastime of said grognards.

    3. The OTHER reason that 'in-combat healing' is seen as such a bad idea is that unless you are playing a MiniHB Healer, every class with access to healing spells has much better ways of making people live than healing hp damage. Either by AC, BFC, Damage, or SoD effects. If they are spending their actions not doing those, the party will be more likely to die. The Cure line of spells do not scale to damage even at low levels. Examples have been given of wounds they could heal, but most CR appropriate encounters are going to outdamage healing spells by huge amounts - taking action to wipe out enemies is, in nearly all circumstances, going to be a much better idea.

    So, again, the purpose of this was to counteract people going 'the point of a cleric is to heal'. It wasn't to say that spending a round shoving a cure moderate into the wizard so he can sit up and fireball the room is a waste of time. Or that healing someone on -9 is a terrible idea. I'm pretty sure no-one is actually saying either of those things.


    If you want to spend time doing nothing but healing, that's great. Then the advice was not for you, as you're actually choosing to do it, not assuming that that is what you're supposed to be doing.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Togo and Venger are both wrong

    (stuff)
    but... I agreed with all the points you made. what?
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    The healer is an inferior at healing than the cleric is, I would avoid it
    Specifically, the main issue is that you can't get the Prophecy's Shepherd feat (one of the best dedicated healing feats) without the ability to spontaneously cure or inflict. While that feature is available through PRCS, it is not available to PRCs without loosing caster levels.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    *snip*
    1: The better handbooks are closer to general tools then anything. They may cover TO and high op, but they can also go the other way.

    2+3: the "you are not a healbot" comes from the fact that Cure/Repair X Wounds spells dont scale at all. The other significant problem is that there is no economy in expending your delicious 5th level heal spells on fixing that punctured Aorta, as opposed to stopping that aorta from being punctured.The only people who can get the good healing without terminal investment are paladin and crusader, because paladins can heal twice in a round and still have time to punch the nearest dude in the face, while crusaders can punch people through the face.


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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acanous View Post
    Personally, I have the strategy that damage is a tax. If you make a poor decision? Damage. Did not prepare for an eventuality? Damage. If your tactics were not applicable? Damage.

    A healer is someone who goes out donating to people who have to pay that tax, which encourages poor decision making. By playing a healer, you may be enabling poor play, which will make things harder the longer the game goes on.
    Right, but to follow that analogy, there are occasions where some people are going to pay that tax regardless of the preparation or tactics. There isn't a heck of a lot that stops that guy from getting that lucky crit that somehow makes it through just about every form of defense you can reasonably obtain. Luck will always be a factor, murphy's law and all that.
    Yes, the Healer is paying that tax, but paying that tax keeps party members alive so they can make the other guy pay the death tax VS the damage tax.

    Example:
    Barbarian at half health. Healer decides to not top him up, casts something else.
    Boom, barbarian drops due to a crit. Fact of the game, luck is still a factor, as is murphy's law. Now he's out of the fight, his damage output turns into zero, his tactics are no longer available, and the enemy can now capitalize on this. The encounter now goes 3 rounds longer due to this loss. A single dose of healing might have kept that barbarian up. Now, due to a choice to NOT pay the damage tax for the barbarian, the rest of the party is hit with more damage tax as well as strain on other resources, such as more magic being spent or more potions being used, in order to win the encounter. Healing isn't just paying the damage tax, it's avoiding it as much as possible.

    I look at healing like a buffer zone. The more healing available, the more wiggle room you have in your tactics. Yes, it does encourage a party to make more mistakes and pay more of that damage tax. On the other hand, it means the party can also survive long enough to learn better tactics (your milage will vary, possibly to extremes here) that make them pay less damage tax. Healing in this context should be taken to include removing debuffs and non-HP damage, rather than just HP based damages.

    Eventually, things begin to hit hard enough that HP healing becomes much less relevant. Usually if there is HP healing to be done, it means someone survived a hit that probably should have killed them, or were fighting a lower CR encounter. This is where it tends to boil down into defensive measures and preparations made, and less and less about reacting. But by this point, any Cleric can have access to spells which contribute more than healing, and usually has resources which can take care of those pesky debuffs without making a dent in the Cleric's casting for the day. Resistances and Immunities become far more relevant and reliable by this point as well. Healing does transition into a defensive game, typically using the spell Heal rather than cure spells or channels/turn attempts. Channels and Turn attempts are usually fueling DMM by this point, and to awesome effect.

    To sum that up, at lower levels it isn't the worst thing in the world. At higher and higher levels it does become progressively less effective. Unless, your DM continues to throw enemies and spells which mostly deal HP damage rather than the variety of other effects the DM could be using to defeat you.
    At worst, by that point you have channels dealing decent healing (and it is worth it to quicken channels to perform them as a move action instead of a standard) so you can in fact heal and do other things every round if need be.
    Remember, preventing damage and removing debuffs is still healing.
    Last edited by Karoht; 2012-11-19 at 02:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hecuba View Post
    Specifically, the main issue is that you can't get the Prophecy's Shepherd feat (one of the best dedicated healing feats) without the ability to spontaneously cure or inflict. While that feature is available through PRCS, it is not available to PRCs without loosing caster levels.
    What's the source on this feat? I was thinking Imbued Healing from Com. Champion.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Magic of Eberron and requires another feat called Dragon Prophesier.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    The only good healing classes in the game are Serenity+Divine Spirit Paladin and Crusader. This is because they both get healing of similar effectiveness to the heal spell, and have ways to heal in combat without spending valuable actions when compared to a cleric.
    Dread Necromancer wishes to differ. He has healing of similar effectiveness to Heal spell, and is quite capable of healing in combat while harming enemies.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Personally, I think the biggest issue with Healing comes down to the need to be adjacent to your target, but mobility being at a premium in D&D. If you run up to heal the Fighter, he might have a couple people adjacent to him, and to keep healing him, you're going to expose yourself to risk. If the party gets separated, you probably won't be able to get to them to heal, or you'll have to spend more actions doing it than you're getting out of it.

    So I figure that step 1 is to make Cure X Wounds spells into range: Short. Let Lay on Hands be that thing and let Cure X Wounds be a thing you can do without being so friggin' hard. Step 2 I think is to provide some degree of bulwark against the target of healing being put right back down to less HP than before the Cure spell by your next action. Perhaps by providing, say, half the healed HP as temporary HP that go away at the beginning of your next turn... allowing in-combat healing to be a good way of keeping people on their feet without establishing an invincible bulwark as long as the heals keep coming, and without ballooning numbers and making Cure spells heal so much that healing becomes effective immunity to HP damage.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diarmuid View Post
    Magic of Eberron and requires another feat called Dragon Prophesier.
    Cool feat, though your also going to want prophecy's shaper.

    So Strongheart hafling augment healing, imbue healing, take flaws for Dragon Prophesier, and Prophecy’s Shepherd, grab prophecy's shaper.
    Third level enter prophesier mod fire off CWL for d8+d4+10

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    The issue as I see it, in a nutshell, is that in most cases, healing in combat is one character using up all of her actions in a round in order to partially negate the actions of someone else in the round. In partially negating the actions, the person doing the healing is neither entirely nullifying the actions of the adversary, nor making said adversary any closer to defeat (barring exceedingly unusual circumstances like just needing to hold off someone for X number of rounds).

    It's basically having one party member agree to not take actions in exchange for making one enemy's actions somewhat less effective, which is usually a poor tactical choice.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    *snip*
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    whoever said im wrong about paladin and crusader being better: No, Paladin is the best in the game, because Divine spirit, despite needing your move action to repossition, is free action healing, Crusaders also only have to make a melee attack to heal.


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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    Personally, I think the biggest issue with Healing comes down to the need to be adjacent to your target, but mobility being at a premium in D&D. If you run up to heal the Fighter, he might have a couple people adjacent to him, and to keep healing him, you're going to expose yourself to risk. If the party gets separated, you probably won't be able to get to them to heal, or you'll have to spend more actions doing it than you're getting out of it.

    So I figure that step 1 is to make Cure X Wounds spells into range: Short. Let Lay on Hands be that thing and let Cure X Wounds be a thing you can do without being so friggin' hard. Step 2 I think is to provide some degree of bulwark against the target of healing being put right back down to less HP than before the Cure spell by your next action. Perhaps by providing, say, half the healed HP as temporary HP that go away at the beginning of your next turn... allowing in-combat healing to be a good way of keeping people on their feet without establishing an invincible bulwark as long as the heals keep coming, and without ballooning numbers and making Cure spells heal so much that healing becomes effective immunity to HP damage.
    1) Reach Spell

    2) Skill Focus Concentration or Combat Casting or Both if you want to cast other spells without provoking in threatened areas a lot as well. Having both, 14 Con, max Concentration, starting at level 4 you can always make the defensive casting roll for your highest level spell on a Natural 1.

    3) Pathfinder

    3a) Reach spell is improved a bit but works the same for the purpose.

    3b) Channel Energy heals multiple people at the same time. Efficient. Take Selective Channeling Feat to avoid healing bad guys.

    3c) Oracle Life Mystery is a good healer. Channel Energy, can heal a bit as a move action, doesn't provoke AoO for casting healing spells, gain temporary hit points if healed above max.
    Last edited by navar100; 2012-11-19 at 06:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    It's not that it's bad to want to be a healer, but...

    Once upon a time, D&D clerics were healbots, and that was your role. Like, that was it. If you weren't doing that, it was like you were failing in your role in the party. Of course almost no one ever volunteered to be the cleric, and I know of a few parties that flat out would rather dump huge sums at temples to get healing than any player be willing to take on that role.

    I suspect there's a lot of backlash against the cleric-as-healer role, because that's what the supporting cast does, not the stars of the game.

    Once 3E came around and you could do spontaneous healing, it probably wasn't as big a deal, but in 2E and earlier, you didn't have healing spells unless you used spell slots on it. In my older edition days no one ever wanted to be the cleric because you were the band-aid machine.

    I played exactly one cleric, under 3E. I dislike casters in general, so that's a contributing factor, but I did very little healing, and very little crafting of healing stuff because no one was willing to give up their precious gold (never mind MY xp!) to get that benefit. All the burden was on the cleric. All of it. So screw you, rest of the party, if you're not going to help out, I'm going to keep my healing spells to myself and you can find your healing potions in treasure, 'cause I ain't running a charity here.

    That's why I won't play the healer role. I have no idea how common that problem is in other groups, but it was an issue every single time.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Going to echo the sentiment that healing is just generally a poor option, in combat. Barring the odd Heal because a crit landed, you typically will get more milage from your spells by making the source of damage go away than trying to heal the incoming damage.

    That's not to say you won't still be healing, it just tends to be something done after a fight. D&D combat, especially at higher levels, tends to turn into a game of rocket tag, kill em before they kill you, damage totals are high, insta-death effects become more common. Making the enemy go away fast is the most effective means of ensuring the safety of your party.

    The assumption that you should be a healer probably comes from the only Holy Trinity ideas of party makeup. Tank, DPS, Healer. Combat doesn't flow like that in D&D though, there's nothing to keep the boss hitting the designated tank most of the time. So your goal usually becomes dropping your enemies before they drop you.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    1) Reach Spell
    Doesn't really address the system flaw.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    The issue as I see it, in a nutshell, is that in most cases, healing in combat is one character using up all of her actions in a round in order to partially negate the actions of someone else in the round. In partially negating the actions, the person doing the healing is neither entirely nullifying the actions of the adversary, nor making said adversary any closer to defeat (barring exceedingly unusual circumstances like just needing to hold off someone for X number of rounds).

    It's basically having one party member agree to not take actions in exchange for making one enemy's actions somewhat less effective, which is usually a poor tactical choice.
    Again it depends on optimization level, the healer with the before mentioned feats heals an average of 17 points with a CLW, as well as giving a character 3 THP or 3/good dr. After the 1st round he can do this, and fire of a cure moderate wounds for 2d8+9 a round, which is enough to negate a full attack from 3 ogres, 4 medium earth elementals, or a huge earth elemental.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    So, I have a question.

    I generally agree that "CureX" doesn't do diddly, regardless of OP levels, after the first few levels.

    But isn't the issue here more the problem with those lines not being as effective as they should - so much so that anything else is preferrable to cast?

    Instead of making it Xd8+CL (caps at n) why not make it more akin to fireball - Xd8/CL ? So CLW would start at 1d8, and could cap at, say, 5d8. CMW would start at the same number that CLW does at that CL and cap higher, etc. Then metamagic feats (shape spell and split ray, for example) would actually matter more.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Doesn't really address the system flaw.
    Understatement of the century.

    Cure spells suck for what they are designed to do, partly because it's hard to rely on getting in melee with your wounded friends in a single move action where the thing that knocked your friend down is probably looking at you like dessert, and partly because the CxW spells just don't have the numbers to really keep someone up. At least for the most common and powerful healer type, you don't have to prepare the spells ahead of time, and can swap something out for an emergency heal.

    Reach spell mitigates the one problem by exacerbating every other problem with Healing and undoing the few advantages it has.

    And also, Channel Divinity IS an efficient source of healing since it's not touch range and can heal multiple people at once. If you're playing in Pathfinder, it's the direction you should go in, and it's entirely possible to make a pretty effective Divinity Channel machine. However, even there because of the numbers expansion, where HP totals are even higher, and so damage scales even faster, if one guy is getting focused fired, you are going to have to depend on the Heal spell if you want to be an effective healer character. The fact that it's difficult, but possible when using Pathfinder's new ability, after feat investment implies to me that making the option viable is something that needs a pretty significant boost.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Again it depends on optimization level, the healer with the before mentioned feats heals an average of 17 points with a CLW, as well as giving a character 3 THP or 3/good dr. After the 1st round he can do this, and fire of a cure moderate wounds for 2d8+9 a round, which is enough to negate a full attack from 3 ogres, 4 medium earth elementals, or a huge earth elemental.
    To my eye, that looks like a Healer that's optimizing healing more than the DM is optimizing his monsters. If that's the case, then 1) naturally the one working harder with better system mastery will show some advantage, and 2) the optimizer is apparently making a conscious choice to optimize an otherwise poor choice; the same amount of investment in virtually any other direction for the Player would likely result in a better return.
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    Understatement of the century.

    Cure spells suck for what they are designed to do, partly because it's hard to rely on getting in melee with your wounded friends in a single move action where the thing that knocked your friend down is probably looking at you like dessert, and partly because the CxW spells just don't have the numbers to really keep someone up. At least for the most common and powerful healer type, you don't have to prepare the spells ahead of time, and can swap something out for an emergency heal.
    Maybe in your game but not in mine. Playing a cleric I can reach party members just fine. I don't cast Cure Wounds only and forever, but I do it enough to make sure party members don't die in combat. I keep them alive, they get the killing blow, we all win. It's a tactic. It works.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Cool feat, though your also going to want prophecy's shaper.

    So Strongheart hafling augment healing, imbue healing, take flaws for Dragon Prophesier, and Prophecy’s Shepherd, grab prophecy's shaper.
    Third level enter prophesier mod fire off CWL for d8+d4+10
    You'll want Mastery of Day and Night (PGE) before Prophecy's Shaper.

    And it's not that healing cannot be made more efficient with optimization.
    It's that, for any given level of optimization, it is usually relatively less efficient than other options.
    It's not a low ceiling, but a high opportunity cost.


    Edit: Looks like Amphetryon beat me to this point
    Last edited by Hecuba; 2012-11-19 at 11:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    To my eye, that looks like a Healer that's optimizing healing more than the DM is optimizing his monsters. If that's the case, then 1) naturally the one working harder with better system mastery will show some advantage, and 2) the optimizer is apparently making a conscious choice to optimize an otherwise poor choice; the same amount of investment in virtually any other direction for the Player would likely result in a better return.
    True, but if the player's concept is healer, then going virtually any other direction is a direction away from what the player wants to play.

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    Default Re: Why is it so bad to want to heal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    True, but if the player's concept is healer, then going virtually any other direction is a direction away from what the player wants to play.
    As others have said, not all concepts are created equal. Some choices are simply sub-optimal by their nature.
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