View Full Version : Help with a healing build 3.5

Wolfgang Hype
2011-02-17, 12:40 AM
I'm looking to make a healer for a (currently) low level campaign since at the moment we are relying on a bard for the healing. However, aside from clerics I don't know any other healing classes and if I do go cleric I don't really know what domains or feats or anything to take.

I don't really need to worry about anything else since the rest of thre group has eveything covered, so healing and support are my only priorities. Any help is appriciated.

2011-02-17, 01:14 AM
1) Healing is not a necessary in-combat role. Preventing damage (through defensive buffs or through helping to kill whatever's damaging you) is better than giving back about as much HP as your foe is dishing every turn. Healing should be done out of combat by means of items. Wands of Lesser Vigor are the gold standard, but even wands of CLW work. Every character should have a Healing Belt (Magic Item Compendium) by level 3 or 4 at the latest.

2) The cleric is the best healer, mostly because it can do more than just heal. The healer class (Miniatures Handbook) is good at low levels (if you want to do nothing but healing, which you don't), but runs out of steam fast and is pretty boring.

3) If you have Complete Champion, consider basing your domain choices off what you want out of the Imbued Healing feat. Or just take what will make you awesome. Healing isn't a big deal.

2011-02-17, 01:22 AM
So you just want to heal and buff? That's easy to build.
Healer (Mini Handbook)- Great at healing, as the name would imply. Not so great in the buffing department though.
Cleric- The default healer for most players. They have an excellent selection of spells. Some good domains to choose are: Protection, Strength, Travel, War, Celerity.
Druids- Are quite good at healing, though you may want to take Spontaneous Healer so you don't have to waste spell slots preparing to heal.
Favored Soul- Has good potential to heal, but since you have a limited selection of spells, you have to carefully balance your choice of curative/buff spells against combative spells.
Archivist- Has excellent potential to heal/buff. Between having access to any divine spell and using Dark Knowledge to buff the party, they can do just fine.
Spirit Shaman- See Druid.

Feats to consider are:
Augmented Healing (CDiv)- Nothing huge, just adds a little extra to your healing spells.
Extend Spell- Increases the duration of your buffs.
Shielded Casting (RoS)- If you have a shield equipped, casting doesn't provoke an AoO. Good for when you need to run into the fray to save a comrade.
Spontaneous Healer (CDiv)- Take this if you go the Druid/Favored Soul/Archivist route.
Sacred Boost (CDiv)- If you go the Cleric route. It allows you to expend a Turn/Rebuke attempt to maximize any curative spell cast by the end of your next turn.

Saint GoH
2011-02-17, 01:24 AM
If you want a healer, play druid and grab spontaneous rejuvenation from PHB2. You lose the ability to spontaneously summon creatures, but instead by expending a spell slot you heal +spell level for 3 rounds as fast healing to all allies within 30 ft. Grab Augment Healing (?) or whatever allows you to add +2 per spell level for heals from Complete Champion. Also grab some Imbued Healing for extra special goodies.

Grats, yer a druid and you have decent in-combat healing.

2011-02-17, 01:44 AM
Human Cleric of Pelor, Healing and Sun domains, spontaneous domain casting ACF from PH2 for Healing. Go Cleric 5/ Morninglord (PGtF) 1/ Radiant Servant of Pelor 5/ Morninglord 9, or if you can't use that Cleric 6/ Radiant Servant 5/ Sacred Exorcist 9. Your Radiant Servant domain should be Glory.

If flaws (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/buildingCharacters/characterFlaws.htm) are available get Extend, Persistent, DMM: Persistent, Improved Turning, Touch of Healing, Extra Turning, Craft Rod, and anything else you may want. Switch Extra Turning and Improved Turning if you're not using Morninglord. Use DMM: Persist with Mass Lesser Vigor so the whole party gets Fast Healing 1 all day, so they heal to full for free between fights.

If you can't use flaws, go Improved Turning, Divine Spell Power, Touch of Healing, Extra Turning, maybe Craft Rod, and whatever else you want. In either case, wear heavy armor and use a heavy shield, and get a Lesser Rod of Extend to cast Magic Vestment on your armor and shield every day once it will give +2 (Divine Spell Power helps, if you don't get a high enough bonus just don't cast it that round and burn another turn to try again). Maybe cast Ice Axe and go into melee, maybe cast Heat Metal on a dangerous opponent's sword so he drops it, or if there's undead just Greater Turn them and win the fight single-handedly. You should be able to start out with an Ephod of Authority (MIC), and you should work on getting a Rod of Defiance as well.

Undead won't stand a chance against you, any party could always use another tough non-liability frontline guy, and he'll be good at healing in case the party actually needs any during combat. Between fights use Touch of Healing until everyone's at half, then Wand of Lesser Vigor 11 points at a time on anyone who needs it, and cast a low level cure to make up any difference.

Something to ask your DM about, since the Mass Cure (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/cureLightWoundsMass.htm) spells have a specific number of targets based on caster level, see if he's OK with targeting the same character multiple times with it. For example, if you cast Mass Cure Light Wounds at 9th level, affecting two people twice and another five times, those two would each be healed for 2d8+18, and the last would be healed for 5d8+25 (would be 9x5=45 but it specifies a maximum of +25). Why else would Mass Cure Critical Wounds specify a maximum of +40, it's not like you'll have a caster level that high if you could only target a creature once with it. That will actually make those spells worth casting, rather than just wasting most of the spell's available targets and only hitting each person once.

2011-02-17, 02:36 AM
Healing is the least effective way to keep your party alive. Buffing your party and disabling opponents is the way to go.

Don't play the healer class, it's garbage. Honestly a druid, cleric, or favored soul all have more healing then you'll ever need. If the class has heal on it's spell list, it can serve as a healer.

2011-02-17, 04:49 AM
Here is what I would do:

Human Dragonshaman 1/Crusader x

You provide fast healing 1 for all your allies. Every time you hit an opponent you heal yourself or an ally 2 hit points. Also you have a maneuver called Crusader's Strike it'll heal your allies for 1d6+x points of damage.

At low levels you can fulfill healing and support with this; healing in the form of fast healing (usually outside of combat but if it's low levels this works really well during combat) and support in the form of battle field control. Get a reach weapon and combat reflexes + Stand Still.

Wolfgang Hype
2011-02-17, 08:01 AM
Well if buffing is more effective, what's a good build for that? I've not really played enough to know what all's worth doing and what's not.

Angry Bob
2011-02-17, 08:22 AM
In-combat healing is a waste of actions, but you can't neglect out-of-combat healing. In a recent dungeon, we lost four guys before we realized what we were missing.

Try to get a wand of cure something as soon as possible, and the Touch of Healing reserve feat from the Complete Champion.

2011-02-17, 08:32 AM
In-combat healing is a waste of actions, but you can't neglect out-of-combat healing. In a recent dungeon, we lost four guys before we realized what we were missing.

Try to get a wand of cure something as soon as possible, and the Touch of Healing reserve feat from the Complete Champion.

A wand of Lesser Vigor (Complete Divine) is better. It grants you fast healing 1 for 10+CL rounds. At CL 1, a wand of Cure Light Wounds heals an average of 5.5 damage per cast, while a wand of Lesser Vigor will heal 11 damage every time. That's twice as many HP for the same GP (and if you're making them yourself, XP) cost.

Touch of Healing is a nice investment if you find someone in the party gets beaten below half their max HP on a regular basis, but it doesn't work on anybody with more than that, so how useful it'll actually be can be iffy. Great for stabilizing, though.

2011-02-17, 08:37 AM
Well if buffing is more effective, what's a good build for that?
Be a cleric and worship The Holy Trinity: Divine Favor, Divine Power and Righteous Might :smallcool:

Seriously; if the party needs a healer, go with a cleric and remember the two most important rules of healing:

Rule one: Unless you absolutely, positively need to save someone from certain death right now, healing is best done after combat ends.

Rule two: The most important function of a healer is not restoring lost HP, but removing detrimental effects - ability damage, blindness, insanity, curses, death and so on.

Clerics have all the nescessary spells for that on their spell list so they are fine. Favored Souls have them too and still room for a couple of buff spells known, but the class itself is a lot weaker. No heavy armor, no Turn Undead, fewer knowledge skills (bye bye PrC), delayed casting progression and not really much more spells per day than a cleric.

I'd recommend a human cleric; start with the feats Healing Devotion and Extra Turning. Even with a mere 10 CHA (and a cleric should have more), thats 8 packages of 10 HP each without even touching your spells. So use your spells to buff yourself and your party and heal up afterwards with Healing Devotion. At third level, take Touch of Healing which allows you to heal everyone up to 50% HP for free.

This should cover all your low-to-mid-level healing needs (Healing Devotion scales somewhat with level and beats all HP-restoring spells weaker than (Mass) Heal) and leave enough room for spells to actually contribute to your party's goals.

Just my two -cents;

Wolfgang Hype
2011-02-17, 10:42 AM
Well, for post battle healing we're doing pretty good- our bard has a potion of cure serious wounds with 16 uses per day (so far we hasn't even gotten halfway through that), and some healing spells as backup. Mostly I was thinking more for in combat since we don't have much support from that except Bane and Song of Courage (so +1 for us, -1 for the enemy).

Fouredged Sword
2011-02-17, 12:11 PM
The only build that I have seen that can keep up with incombat healing is a bard with healing hymn and the war weaver PRC. It doesn't get going untill around 9th level though.

Until then get everyone a belt of healing or two and tell them to heal themselves or anyone who drops into negatives. There is no need for a dedicated healer in combat.

2011-02-17, 06:21 PM
Don't knock Bane and Bless. True, they're not stellar, but 1 minute/level is a pretty good duration and they affect LARGE areas for first level spells. +1 to hit is more useful than it might look at levels 1 to 3. Bane is less useful since it allows a saving throw to negate, but casting it at a group of enemies can easily affect about half of them (again, at levels 1 to 3.)

Since you're not going to be using your spells to heal (there are far better ways to heal, as has been pointed out above) you don't really lose anything by casting Bless at the start of every battle. Even at higher levels it's not a bad choice for a first level buff, because hey, 5% more hits for anybody in the party making attack rolls, and it lasts a fairly long time. I've played in games where it was pretty much standard operating procedure for the cleric to cast it at the beginning of every combat, and these were level 7 to 9 games.

2011-02-17, 06:48 PM
You could just keep summoning Unicorns all battle, as a Druid, an Archivist, or a Cleric with one of the "pretending to be a Druid" domains that I can't remember. Summon them in the way of enemies, have them heal where necessary, and have them beat on people (they're not bad at it) when no healing is needed. They're also likely to take a fair bit of damage themselves that PCs would otherwise be taking.

Kuma Kode
2011-02-17, 06:55 PM
Since you seem a bit new to the game, I'd suggest you keep it simple. While some of the builds suggested earlier are quite powerful, they can be complicated.

As has been said, generally, in-combat healing is woefully underpowered. Just compare direct-damage spells to the healing ones, and you'll see that you actually get more bang for your buck just killing the monster. Damage spells usually do one die every level, usually to groups of enemies, while your healing spell does one die every other level to one person.

Archivist is very good at support due to the fact that they can learn any spells a cleric can, plus any of the druid-only spells (which are sometimes better or are better in different, stackable ways), and also have class features (Dark Knowledge) geared towards support.

Their only problem is that they are not capable of spontaneous healing, so you have to plan ahead what spells you'll need. Since the healing spells clerics can spontaneously cast are the sucktastic ones we've been talking about, that may or may not be much of a problem.

Just be sure to grab the feats that open up the archivist's Dark Knowledge to new creature types and to jack up those Knowledge skills. Arcane, Nature, Religion, the Planes, and Dungeoneering are all you'll need for that.

Archivist can be found in Heroes of Horror, in case you're unfamiliar with it.