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OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-05, 10:27 PM
((Another one of my articles copied over from the WotC boards))

Healin'. Patchin' up the wounds. Sewing the Fighter's larynx back in after he took an arrow through the neck and lived and wanted to tell about it. Every player knows the drill. But oddly, a lot of players just use really... silly methods of going about healing themselves, and have some wild misconceptions about how to do it effectively and even how much of a priority it should be.

The Problems

Some players think they *have* to have a cleric or druid to cover the healing role, and place healing as an extremely high priority, even in combat, and even if they don't. Many even spend inordinate amounts of money on extremely inefficient healing items that may hurt them more than help them.

To summarize a few common issues:

Players overprioritize healing in combat when there are more effective options available to them.
Players spend too much money on healing, often spending wads of cash on things like potions of Cure Moderate Wounds.
Players believe they can't heal efficiently without a Cleric or Druid or similar class in the party, and view such as an essential role, to the point where some even *force* others to play a Cleric or Druid just so that they can have a dedicated healer, and then downplay the extraordinary talents of those classes and belittle them to a mere healing role, making for an unenjoyable experience for the victim of this treatment.
Many players just don't know how to get the best healing for their buck.


Some Information and Comparisons

First, an effort at dispelling some of the myths. First off, you should probably never be buying healing potions, perhaps with the exception of Cure Light Wounds or a similar level 1 spell. The reason for this is simple. The cost is exorbitant, and it's really not worth it. A Cure Serious Wounds potion will heal, on average, 18.5 hp, and it will cost you 750gp, and it will take either a standard or a full round action to use, and it will provoke AoOs unless you did some further investment to prevent that, and on top of that it probably smells bad and tastes bitter. Yuck. For the same price, you could have gotten a Wand of Cure Light Wounds (275hp total instead of 18.5hp), a Wand of Lesser Vigor (550hp total instead of 18.5gp), or a Healing Belt (Either 6d8 hp (average 27 hp) a day, or 18 hp (same as the potion!) per day if you burst heal, usable as a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.)) Would you rather get 18 hp, or 18 hp per day? Now would you rather use a standard or full action that provokes AoOs, *and* need to draw the item, or would you rather use a standard action that doesn't provoke AoOs? And hey, wouldn't you like the option to heal even more for efficiency, outside of battle? There's even another option, this one for artificers, that costs a mere 50 gp a pop: Infuse an ally with Greater Healing armor. This will give them 6d8+30 total healing (3d8+15 as a swift action, usable twice). As an added bonus, it will even automatically heal you if you get knocked unconscious. The point is... potions are bad. Potions are inefficient. So are scrolls of Cure Moderate Wounds, Cure Serious Wounds, and so forth.

Second, a dedicated healer is not a necessary combat role. Seriously.

First off, healing often does not outpace damage. Moreover, removing an enemy a threat can often be much more effective at saving your allies' necks than going up and poking them with Cure X Wounds. If an enemy were to deal 50 damage to an ally, and you can take that enemy out by either disabling or killing them, then you've "healed" that ally of the 50 damage he would have taken. Additionally, as healing often does not keep up the pace with damage, even if you can't disable the enemy, healing the ally might not be good enough to save them. Instead, you might want to use an ability to help the ally escape, or block the enemy from attacking them (this can be something as simple as Benign Transposition, really). In fact, healing in combat is only situationally a good choice, and is often a subpar tactical option. In general, Prevention > Healing.

Secondly, you can get very efficient out-of-combat healing quite easily without a Cleric or Druid, and indeed a Rogue, Artificer, Paladin, Ranger, Factotum, Warlock, or Bard could fill the healing role with a wand of Cure Light Wounds or Lesser Vigor. In fact, you can even get good, cheap burst healing comparable to the Cleric or Druid's ability at low levels with items like the Healing Belt.

Actually, the Artificer can prove to be a fantastic healer, cheaply (we're talking 37.5% market price here) turning out healing belts, wands of lesser vigor, and providing Greater Healing armor infusions (a mere second level infusion) at an early level. The Paladin and Ranger can use wands of Cure Light Wounds without penalty, and the others can use UMD to master the efficient wands. On top of that, members of *any* class can easily chip in with the very efficient Healing Belt.

These things considered, you really can get by without a Cleric or Druid. In fact, if you do have a Cleric or Druid, they're probably going to be more useful in most combats if they are doing something OTHER than healing, since they have considerable talents in many regards.

How to Heal Effectively
(Author's note: I have excluded a few very potent and efficient means of healing because things like the infinite-healing-for-cheap trap and other such things are just plain abusive, and few sane DMs will allow them)


Blessed Bandages (10gp, MiC page 152): 10gp to automatically succeed to stabilize an ally. Can definitely save a friend at very low levels.

Wands of Cure Light Wounds (750gp, Core): The hallmark of efficiency. These wands will dish out an average of 5.5hp a pop, and with 50 charges that will add up to 275 total healing. This wand gains an advantage over Lesser Vigor in two respects: Speed of use, and the fact that Lesser Vigor is a Cleric and Druid only spell, and thus is only available to those classes and UMD users, while Paladins and Rangers and the like will stick to Cure Light Wounds.

Wands of Lesser Vigor (750gp, Spell Compendium Page 229): These are the most efficient healing wands around! You get 11 hp per pop (though it takes a full minute to gain that 11 hp), and you get a total of 550hp of healing for your 750gp.

Healing Belts (750gp, MiC page 110): For 750gp, *anyone* can heal 6d8 hp a day, and even burst heal for 4d8hp as a Standard action with a Touch range, and does not provoke attacks of opportunity like spells and scrolls. Also, with the MiC rules for adding common effects, you don't even need to worry about "keeping the slot free" anymore. You can actually just say, give one of these to everyone in a party of 5 for 30d8 healing per day, and just subsidize your healing costs. This is a great way to keep everyone alive at low levels. As if this weren't good enough, you get feel-good +2 bonus to Heal checks as a bonus.

Artificers can heal very effectively with Greater Healing Armor (MiC page 12), dishing out 3d8+15 healing *twice* usable as a swift action, and even automatically healing a character should they fall unconscious. Best of all, this only costs you 50gp for a total of 6d8+30hp healing, and is available at a very low level.

Wand of Faith Healing (Spell Compendium): It's kinda cheesy, but it's worth mentioning if your DM allows it. It's exactly the same as Cure Light Wounds, except maximized and only usable on people who share your faith (which can easily just be everyone in your party). I personally don't allow this spell as a DM.

Touch of Healing (Reserve Feat, Complete Champion pg 62): This one is for the actual "healers." As long as you have a healing spell of second level or higher ready to cast, you can heal anyone up to half their total hp (but no higher, meaning you have to use more abilities to fully heal them) for free. Basically, for the cost of a feat, you get a lot of free healing.

Summon Nature's Ally IV (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/summonNaturesAllyIV.htm) (Core): Summoning a Unicorn (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/unicorn.htm) nets you a free set of 3 CLWs, 1 CMW, and a Neutralize Poison. It has a caster level of 5th, so that'll total 5d8+20 points of healing (and a neutralize poison). It's even something a druid can cast spontaneously. Not bad.

Revivify (Cleric 5, Spell Compendium page 176): Revive your dead buddy for 1000gp as a standard action instead of for 5000gp as a much longer action, and best of all *no level loss.* A no brainer really. You just need to be quick about it, acting within 1 round of the victim's death!

Revenance (Cleric 4, Paladin 4, Bard 6): This spell can target any character that died within 1 round / caster level of casting. The subject comes back to life (as if by Raise Dead except with no penalties) and is able to fight (with a +1 morale bonus on attack, damage, and saves against the person who killer her) for 1 minute per level, at the end of which the character dies again. The real seller here is that it has a wider window to cast than Revivify (1 round / level), and moreover the ally will die at the end of the spell (or after being killed again), often allowing you to use Revivify when it would otherwise be impossible (window passed) or too dangerous (in the middle of combat).

Delay Death (Cleric 4, Spell Compendium page 63): As an *Immediate Action*, the ally becomes unable to die from hit point damage (they'll still fall unconscious, they just won't die.) This means that you can instantaneously cast this spell when a buddy takes their final hit, and they won't die for 1 round/level (during which time you can finish the encounter, then heal them up.) Can definitely be a lifesaver.

Tomb Tainted Soul (Feat, Libris Mortis): This handy feat allows you to be healed by negative energy. This means that a living Dread Necromancer can heal you to full as much as she likes with Charnel Touch, and that you can heal yourself with things like Uttercold metamagiced spells and the like.

Amulet of Retributive Healing (2000gp, MiC Page 69): This handy little doodad lets you double up on your healing 3 times per day. When activated (as a swift action) this amulet allows you to cure yourself of an amount of damage equal to however much you cured your buddy of. So, if you cast Heal on your ally, you can activate this item to use a free quickened Heal on yourself. Works with scrolls and everything, too.

Collar of Healing (5000gp, MiC page 90): As an *Immediate action* once per day, heal your animal companion of 50hp and cures the Fatigued or Exhausted conditions. Keep your little buddy going. As an added bonus, it works at any range (as long as you're on the same plane), and lets you know your companion's exact hit point total at all times.

Heal (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/heal.htm) (Core): Heal is a great spell. It really is. It's the healing spell you actually might want to use in fights fairly often. It heals a ton of damage, and it takes away ability damage, blinded, confused, dazed, dazzled, deafened, diseased, exhausted, fatigued, feebleminded, insanity, nauseated, sickened, stunned, and poisoned. A laundry list of status effects, some of which are quite deadly in their own right! However, Heal is not a necessary party role in and of itself! Again, you don't actually need *any* in-combat healing to have a highly effective party. Still, when you *do* have a Cleric or Druid around, there's no reason they shouldn't have this ready. If you don't have a Cleric or Druid around, you may want to consider a scroll or two of this for those few situations where you really do want a Heal (i.e., your buddy just got blasted for 100 damage and got stunned to boot).

Divine Ward (Feat, PHB II): This feat will help out the "true healers," allowing them to use Close Range instead of Touch Range for their healing spells on one ally by spending your Turning attempts. You can get a similar results with Divine Metamagic (Reach Spell) (Which happens to be doubly useful for, say, a ranged Slay Living).

Augment Healing (Feat, Complete Divine): Add +2 healing per level of the healing spell cast. Simple and effective for a dedicated healer, should you choose to get one.

False Life (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/falseLife.htm) (Sor/Wiz 2, Core):
Instead of taking up an action to heal during combat, take an action to heal up to 1 hour / level before combat ever happens! See also, Aid (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/aid.htm) (Cleric 2, PHB)

Empathic Transfer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/empathicTransfer.htm) (Egoist 2, Psychic Warrior 2, XPH): This useful power is the standy of healing as a Psionic character. The method is a little unique as opposed to standard methods of healing, but it works just as well. You eliminate anywhere from 2d10 to 10d10 (depending on augment) hp of damage from an ally, and transfer half of that damage onto yourself. Combined with Vigor (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/vigor.htm) (Psion 1, Psychic Warrior 1, XPH), and Share Pain (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/sharePain.htm) (Psion 2, XPH) both shared to your psicrystal through Share Powers, the temporary hit points will absorb all of the damage.

Vigor (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/vigor.htm) (Psion 1, Psychic Warrior 1, XPH): This power giives you 5 temporary hit points per power point spent, lasting for a minute per level. It's like healing *before* you ever take damage, and lets you buff beforehand in order to avoid the need to heal in combat.

Amulet of Tears (2300gp, MiC page 70): Another source of temporary hit points, this handy item stores 3 charges per day and grants temporary hit points lasting for 10 minutes based on the number of charges spent. For 1 charge, you gain 12 tmporary hit points, and for 3 charges grants 24 temporary hit points.

Share Pain (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/sharePain.htm) (Psion 2, XPH): This power transfers half of the damage dealt to you to a willing subject, and thus helps a good deal with damage mitigation. It lasts for an hour per level, so can last for a full day's worth of encounters, and a popular use is to combine it with a Vigor (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/vigor.htm) (Psion 1, Psychic Warrior 1, XPH) power shared with your psicrystal and make your psicrystal the subject, effectively doubling the effect of vigor and transferring a good deal of hp damage onto a target that is often a noncombatant.

Shield Other (Cleric 2, Paladin 2, Core) (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shieldOther.htm): This is much like Share Pain, except it deals half of an ally's damage to you, helping you to protect them. It also adds a +1 resistance bonus to saves and a +1 deflection bonus to AC for the target, as an added plus.

Vampiric Touch (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/vampiricTouch.htm) (Sor/Wiz 3, Duskblade 3, Core): 1d6 damage per two levels, and gain temporary hp equal to the damage dealt. This spell is notable for combining offensive abilities and effective in-combat "healing" into the same attack. This spell is useful in spell storing weapons, or channeled through a Duskblade's "Arcane Channelling" ability. It is generally *not* a good idea for the average mage to run up into melee and try to touch an enemy with it, because the damage will be low and the temporary hp probably won't save you from a world of pain (unless you have other protective spells and such up). Also note that if you're an Unseen Seer or Arcane Trickster, you can increase the amount healed with sneak attacks!

Bloodstone weapon enhancement (+1, page 29 MiC): Stores and casts Vampiric Touch (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/vampiricTouch.htm) just like a spell storing weapon, except that it's automatically empowered. Basically, this will deal extra damage on attacks equal to (1d6 per two caster levels)*1.5, *and* give the wielder of the weapon temporary hp equal to the damage dealt. Thus, you're adding to damage and to healing at the same time! See also: Vampiric Touch.

Bodyfeeder (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/items/weapons.htm#bodyfeeder) weapon enhancement (+3 bonus, XPH): This handy enhancement will grant its wielder temporary hit points equal to the damage dealt by any critical hit he dishes out. With an expanded critical hit range, you can expect this to give a steady stream of temporary hp. This enhancement can be granted by an artificer spending a 3rd level infusion and a small amount of gp. (Note: Though "Wrathful Healing" is almost certainly more effective, it's much less likely to be allowed)

-Signed,
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u211/SatinFist/Sephiroth.gif

TheOOB
2007-09-05, 10:52 PM
This guide has some useful stuff, but it doesn't mention several key pieces of information, and can be fairly misleading.

The first and foremost thing any party healing needs to know is that it is far better to prevent damage from happening then to heal it once it happens. Healing is inherently reactive (barring to a small extent to vigor spells, but those are not very efficient in battle), and to keep your party alive you need to be proactive. At level 1, cure light wounds heals 5.5 hp on average, but a casting of shield of faith, protection from alignment, or cause fear can prevent several attacks from hitting your party, preventing far more damage then cure light wounds heals. Anything that makes your party get hurt less, or defeats enemies faster making it so the battle is shorter reduces the need for healing.

Thats not to say healing is worthless, people do take damage, and that damage needs to go away, often in the heat of battle, so healing spells have a use.

Another thing to note is that healing potions, even CSW ones, have a use. Everyone should have some ability to heal their own wounds, and not everyone can use a wand. When your party is separated, or your healer is down, you need something to keep everyone alive and kicking, and potions fit the bill, they can even be used by a non-healer on an unconscious cleric. CSW potions have a use in that they are virtually guaranteed to get an unconscious party member above 0 hp and fighting fit where as a CLW or CMW are not. Also, not everyone can use their belt slot for a healing item, it's hard to say, trade in a STR bonus for limited use healing item.

As far as clerics, and druids, I think you underestimate them. While it is possible to run a party without them, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Yo-u can run a party with 4 samurai too, that doesn't mean you should. From a pure healing standpoint, you can't match a cleric or druid in effectiveness, items can be a decent subsitute, but even as cash efficient as wands of CLW and Lesser Vigor are, you are still paying money for each spell you use, in addition to the fact that both of those spells are horrible at in battle healing. Only clerics and druids (and other primary divine casters e.g. the favored soul) get enough powerful healing fast enough to keep a party alive through tough battles without having to drain their bank account to do so. At high levels you lose hp in 50-100+ increments, and healing 200 hp a pop with a single heal spell is something very useful indeed. Aside from that, clerics and druids, like mentioned above, add a lot to a party beyond simple healing, from proactive protection measures to status healing to combat ability.

Mattarias, King.
2007-09-05, 10:58 PM
*applause!!*

:smallbiggrin: Aw, man, this was the best D&D read I've seen in a while. Probably helped by the fact by our cleric never shows up to games.. ^^;

But still! Is this in Regdar's Repository? I vote that it should be. :smallcool:

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-09-05, 11:00 PM
When you start getting into bigger fights against creatures with lots of HP, sometimes an extra attack just isn't as useful as guaranteeing that the party will survive the enemy's next strike. I agree that clerics/druids shouldn't play heal-bot, having lots of different healing options is a good idea, and that under normal circumstances it's better to down an enemy faster then heal everyone the moment they get slapped, but the healer role is still a necessity when HP starts going down fast. Plus, clerics/druids can bring back the dead at 500 gp a pop. That's a good enough reason to always have one right there.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-05, 11:13 PM
This guide has some useful stuff, but it doesn't mention several key pieces of information, and can be fairly misleading.

The first and foremost thing any party healing needs to know is that it is far better to prevent damage from happening then to heal it once it happens. Healing is inherently reactive (barring to a small extent to vigor spells, but those are not very efficient in battle), and to keep your party alive you need to be proactive. At level 1, cure light wounds heals 5.5 hp on average, but a casting of shield of faith, protection from alignment, or cause fear can prevent several attacks from hitting your party, preventing far more damage then cure light wounds heals. Anything that makes your party get hurt less, or defeats enemies faster making it so the battle is shorter reduces the need for healing.

Thats not to say healing is worthless, people do take damage, and that damage needs to go away, often in the heat of battle, so healing spells have a use. Completely agree with this part, except that you totally shouldn't be casting Shield of Faith (You want to cast Cause Fear, Command, or Blade of Blood. Possibly Protection from Alignment, if you expect to be fighting certain enemies). This was actually what I was trying to get across. Prevention > Healing, when possible. Of course, healing in battle should ONLY be done if you can heal enough to save your ally.


Another thing to note is that healing potions, even CSW ones, have a use. Everyone should have some ability to heal their own wounds, and not everyone can use a wand. Use a Belt of Healing. Not a CSW potion. Everyone can use it. Heals as much as a CSW potion (or more!). Costs the same as a CSW potion. Lasts forever. No attunement time.
When your party is separated, or your healer is down, you need something to keep everyone alive and kicking, and potions fit the bill, they can even be used by a non-healer on an unconscious cleric. Healing belts do this *better*, being less action-intensive. No draw action. No full-round to trickle it down the throat. Just a standard touch.


CSW potions have a use in that they are virtually guaranteed to get an unconscious party member above 0 hp and fighting fit where as a CLW or CMW are not. Also, not everyone can use their belt slot for a healing item, it's hard to say, trade in a STR bonus for limited use healing item. The thing is, in a lot of cases, if you put an ally back on their feet you can actually get them killed if you're not careful. One hit *will* kill them if they're at low hp, and they'll be prone and vulnerable. Also, besides low levels, the the 10hp "dying" area doesn't actually come up that often. You get disabled, killed by a save or die, or blasted by something that deals a more damage than your current hp+10 far more often. Anyways, if an ally just stayed down (not being a threat) and you moved to protect him and neutralize the threat, you'd actually probably have a better chance of saving him in many cases.


As far as clerics, and druids, I think you underestimate them. While it is possible to run a party without them, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. I never said it wasn't a good idea, and I *DEFINITELY* do not underestimate clerics and druids! They're the most powerful classes in the game! That said, that doesn't mean you HAVE to use them. I've seen people get shoehorned into playing them, and that's just wrong. THAT is what I'm saying no to. I'm not saying that it's a bad idea to have a cleric (indeed, it's a very good party member)
Yo-u can run a party with 4 samurai too, that doesn't mean you should. From a pure healing standpoint, you can't match a cleric or druid in effectiveness, items can be a decent subsitute, but even as cash efficient as wands of CLW and Lesser Vigor are, you are still paying money for each spell you use, in addition to the fact that both of those spells are horrible at in battle healing. Only clerics and druids (and other primary divine casters e.g. the favored soul) get enough powerful healing fast enough to keep a party alive through tough battles without having to drain their bank account to do so. At high levels you lose hp in 50-100+ increments, and healing 200 hp a pop with a single heal spell is something very useful indeed. Aside from that, clerics and druids, like mentioned above, add a lot to a party beyond simple healing, from proactive protection measures to status healing to combat ability.

Though... when you DO have a cleric, he's generally going to be better off NOT being a heal-bot. You want to have Close Wounds, Heal, Delay Death, and Revivify, sure, but you generally don't want Cure X Wounds in most cases, because it tends to make for a suboptimal action choice. In fact, my clerics rarely even make use of the ability to spontaneously cast cures (after all, you can't spontaneously cast Heal, which is one of the few curative spells you actually care about using in battle).

To define what I mean by an optimal action choice... I mean "leading to overcoming encounters with the lowest amount of risk to the party members, the greatest chance of success, and the least amount of resources expended."


When you start getting into bigger fights against creatures with lots of HP, sometimes an extra attack just isn't as useful as guaranteeing that the party will survive the enemy's next strike.

If a curative spell will ensure an ally's survival and save their life while an attack may not take the enemy down, go for it. That is an optimal case for using a curative spell. No one is saying that you shouldn't. However, lots of other things can protect the party as well, and curative spells aren't actually an order of magnitude better than all those other options to the point that you need to force someone to play a heal-bot.

Actually, the reason I originally wrote up this quick little guide was because some less experienced players of mine were *trying* to heal in fights with CXW spells, doing a terribly ineffective job of it, and getting CRUSHED (as in, almost TPKs) by encounters (even though I was kinda going easy, as it was the first coupla sessions), and burning through resources at an alarming rate. By contrast, I've seen groups take on much greater challenges with pretty much no healing (except, of course, out of combat), last all day, and generally never see anyone die.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-09-05, 11:30 PM
I think we're at mostly the same opinion, then. Clerics/druids are very good classes and their presence is a great boon to a team (to the point that I'll even play it if no one else will), but their best stuff isn't actually vanilla healing and that's only going to come into play in certain fights. They have all kinds of awesome buffs and abilities that can turn the tide of battle much better and more often if they aren't stuck healing the fighter every time he gets whacked.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-05, 11:37 PM
Let me give an example of a character that is well protected in combat. One example might be my Level 5 Psion from a current game... he has 16 dex, a +1 darkleaf breastplate of nimbleness (courtesy of the party's artificer, I could afford this even with the normal starting wealth for level 5), and the powers Mental Barrier, Force Screen, Skate, Entangling Ectoplasm, Energy Stun, and Precognition.

We use the psicrystal and the other members of the party, as well as his Seer powers (like Clairvoyant Sense) to scout ahead when possible.

His base AC is 19. As an immediate action he can put up Mental Barrier for 23 AC. He can also cast Force Screen and Skate if he has a round or two buff (which he often gets, thanks to Clairvoyant sense and scouts), raising his movement speed and putting his AC up at 27 if he spends 1 PP, or 28 if he spends 5 (and, of course, most of this AC even applies against touch attacks). In addition, he'll use Entangling Ectoplasm to slow an enemy to half speed, lower their AC and saves, give them a -2 to all attacks, and a -4 to ranged attacks. Basically, enemies will not be able to reach him, so they're going to have to hit an AC of 31-32 to hit him with ranged (at level 5) or about 25 Touch. Additionally, he blast small areas with Energy Stun, damaging enemies and forcing them to make a fairly robust save or be stunned. If he knows a big, scary encounter is coming, he might even use a power stone of shared Vigor / Share Pain with his psicrystal to effectively double his hp for a while.

Both Entangling Ectoplasm and Energy stun help to prevent his allies from being hit, while making it easier for his allies to dish out the heavy damage and bring down the enemy. My character's role is mostly to support allies outside of battle, debuff and harass enemies during battle, and not die (All characters should fill this last role!)

I can also get Displacement as a swift action or Greater Healing Armor courtesy of the party's Artificer (displacement probably being better since, if I'm hit by anything threatening, I'll probably kinda just die...). Or take advantage of the cover provided by the party's warforged fighter. The party's paladin can heal me, but if I ended up getting hit I'd probably be dead so it hardly matters. Further, he would have to stop tanking and run over me to do that healing. And it wouldn't be very much healing. What would actually be a better support from the paladin would be if he could block enemies from getting to me, or cast Shield Other on me, taking half of the damage I do, and thus stop that telling blow from the manticore from making my character dead in one volley of spikes. Of course, he can't actually cast that until level 8 unless he's using a wand or scroll, but a *CLERIC* could.

In particular, a cleric could help be stay alive with Close Wounds / Shield Other stopping me from dying more than he could with a cure X wounds spell.

Anyways, point is, this guy is going to be tough to kill, and if he relied on cures for his survival (with his measley hp...) then he'd probably be a good deal easier to kill.


I think we're at mostly the same opinion, then. Clerics/druids are very good classes and their presence is a great boon to a team (to the point that I'll even play it if no one else will), but their best stuff isn't actually vanilla healing and that's only going to come into play in certain fights. They have all kinds of awesome buffs and abilities that can turn the tide of battle much better and more often if they aren't stuck healing the fighter every time he gets whacked.

Absolutely true. A cleric has tons of options that will save allies, and many of them are better than Cure X Wounds. In fact, I've had a good deal of my clerics hardly ever take advantage of that spontaneous casting ability. It's rather disappointing, actually, since you can't spontaneously cast the actually GOOD healing spells, like Heal.

Examples range from Shield Other to a cleric tanking (and thus, if he leaves his tanking post to go use a touch spell, then he risks AoOs and letting that enemy run amok uncontrolled) to a cleric actually just going and destroying the threat outright.

Of course, this is not to say that there aren't very, very effective healing builds that make people really really hard to kill, and that those things aren't good. It's just to say that you don't need to beat up some poor shmo to play some role he doesn't want to.

John Campbell
2007-09-06, 01:16 AM
Something I noticed a while back, but have yet to exploit (haven't decided whether it's worth taking Craft Wand for)...

The eternal wand, from the MIC, is about the same price as a regular wand, give or take a bit depending on the level, can hold any single arcane spell of up to 3rd level, and can be used twice a day, eternally, by anyone who can cast arcane spells, regardless of whether or not the spell appears on their spell list.

Bards are arcane casters, and all the cures up to cure serious wounds are 3rd level or lower on the Bard spell list. Give a crafting wizard a little bardic assistance, and suddenly all of your arcane casters are healers too. Only twice a day, unless you get multiple wands, but, unlike normal wands, they last forever.

TheOOB
2007-09-06, 02:07 AM
Something I noticed a while back, but have yet to exploit (haven't decided whether it's worth taking Craft Wand for)...

The eternal wand, from the MIC, is about the same price as a regular wand, give or take a bit depending on the level, can hold any single arcane spell of up to 3rd level, and can be used twice a day, eternally, by anyone who can cast arcane spells, regardless of whether or not the spell appears on their spell list.

Bards are arcane casters, and all the cures up to cure serious wounds are 3rd level or lower on the Bard spell list. Give a crafting wizard a little bardic assistance, and suddenly all of your arcane casters are healers too. Only twice a day, unless you get multiple wands, but, unlike normal wands, they last forever.

By the time you can afford an eternal wand it's not all that amazing to only get three CLWs a day. Even at low levels a CLW will only heal about one attacks worth of damage, and a low roll makes it near worthless (1 out of 8 uses it will only heal 2 hp, lame). The reason a normal CLW wand is near mandatory is so that a)you always have the ability to stabilize a dieing party member, and b) you can burn through charges to heal people back up between encounters, even if it is a little expensive.

namo
2007-09-06, 02:31 AM
he has [...] a +1 darkwood breastplate of nimbleness

A darkwood armor ?! That's a funny houserule.


The eternal wand, from the MIC, is about the same price as a regular wand, give or take a bit depending on the level, can hold any single arcane spell of up to 3rd level, and can be used twice a day, eternally, by anyone who can cast arcane spells, regardless of whether or not the spell appears on their spell list.

I remember making the same remark over on the wizards boards. It won't get people to full health, but if somehow the cleric became unconscious, it's the wizard that patches him up for a change.

Leon
2007-09-06, 04:19 AM
I agree that clerics/druids shouldn't play heal-bot

Unless they choose to


A darkwood armor ?! That's a funny houserule.


Quite, unless he means Darkleaf (from ECS - Similar to the tenents of Darkwood but not the same)



Use a Belt of Healing. Not a CSW potion. Everyone can use it. Heals as much as a CSW potion (or more!). Costs the same as a CSW potion. Lasts forever. No attunement time. Healing belts do this *better*, being less action-intensive. No draw action. No full-round to trickle it down the throat. Just a standard touch.


Still as pointed out - Needs a Belt Slot, if your wearing another blet slot item your still going to take the time to exchange belts.



Also, besides low levels, the the 10hp "dying" area doesn't actually come up that often. You get disabled, killed by a save or die, or blasted by something that deals a more damage than your current hp+10 far more often.

Dunno about you but for the campagin im in atm the -1 to -10 zone happens quite often (normally for my druid...)



optimal


Horrid Word



Last Campagin that i played with the current DM, when i joined (about lvl 12) they had a Druid, she got board however and remade a Diplomatic Fighter/Rogue. we also had a paladin/holyliberator/cleric - he mostly healed himself with his limited cure's

Party healing was by Pots and Scroll with a Limited Wish for backups when we needed something big. we survived without any dedicated healer or without "Horrid Word" in any regard and no the DM didnt go easy on us since we lacked healing

the only PC death while we played was the wizard and no amount of healing or preventive actions were going to save him (tho his contingant teleports save everyone else)

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-06, 04:40 AM
A darkwood armor ?! That's a funny houserule. That's actually a typo. It's Darkleaf armor, and it's no houserule. It's from the ECS. Fixed.

Roderick_BR
2007-09-06, 02:42 PM
Ah, I saw it once there. Very interesting.
Also another example of how some 3.x stuff is unbalanced. Just pick a bunch of healing itens, and you can let the cleric play the fighter's role.

Tor the Fallen
2007-09-06, 03:29 PM
Wands are pretty useful for healing stuff up after battle, but in battle, sometimes you find yourself at 15/150 HP after a lucky critical. Druid and Cleric are busy doing their not healing you thing, and you're a touch away from death. Having opted out for the +6 belt of strength rather than a belt of healing, what do you do? A single hit will put you dead.

Well, you back out, chug a couple CSW potions, and, if the fight's still happening, get back in.

There are just times when the healers are all tied up and can't patch the party's grievous wounds. That's why everyone should have a several thousand gold in a couple of healing items they can use in an emergency. This is especially important when your wizard's currently in the belly of an invisible dragon, or the cleric just fell down and can't get up (because he's dead).

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-06, 05:46 PM
Wands are pretty useful for healing stuff up after battle, but in battle, sometimes you find yourself at 15/150 HP after a lucky critical. Druid and Cleric are busy doing their not healing you thing, and you're a touch away from death. Having opted out for the +6 belt of strength rather than a belt of healing, what do you do? A single hit will put you dead.

Well, you back out, chug a couple CSW potions, and, if the fight's still happening, get back in.

There are just times when the healers are all tied up and can't patch the party's grievous wounds. That's why everyone should have a several thousand gold in a couple of healing items they can use in an emergency. This is especially important when your wizard's currently in the belly of an invisible dragon, or the cleric just fell down and can't get up (because he's dead).

Unless you have HEAL or something similar that will fully restore you, you may be better off doing something other than healing when you've got that 15/150hp after one hit, because even if you do get healed then you'll just get knocked down to nothin' again. But yes, having a source of emergency healing is a good thing, and again no one is saying that in certain cases you shouldn't use it. See, the thing is, while you can name a few cases you can die without powerful enough healing, odds are you can name just as many for lacking other party capabilities, and people drop those roles all the time too. All I'm saying is that people shouldn't trip over losing a Cleric or Druid as much as some do.

Likewise, if you have 150hp, a belt of healing is not going to be very useful in a fight. If you use a CSW potion when you have 15/150 hp, you're going to go up to 32 hp or so, and then the enemy is going to KILL YOU DEAD with his 100 damage full attack or whatever while you wasted your action and 750gp, and you're not contributing to the fight in any way during that time. You'd probably get more of a chance of survival if you took a potion of Displacement or invisibility or something that makes you hard to hit period, or use an escape item. Or trying to disable or finish off the enemy when your turn comes around. Or using a Bloodstone weapon or something to heal *while dishin' it out.* And no, the fight isn't still going to be raging once you took a few rounds to potion up, because D&D combats just simply don't usually last that long if either side has a clue what they're doing. Lastly, realize that you can have a Belt of Healing that gives +6 strength due to the "adding common effects" rules in the Magic Item Compendium.

Step by step...


Wands are pretty useful for healing stuff up after battle, but in battle, sometimes you find yourself at 15/150 HP after a lucky critical. Druid and Cleric are busy doing their not healing you thing, and you're a touch away from death. Having opted out for the +6 belt of strength rather than a belt of healing, what do you do? You can get a +6 strength added onto your belt of healing. A more realistic case in an MiC-allowed would be that you got, say, a Belt of Battle instead. (Not that I'd actually allow a Belt of Battle, since that's just a giant barrel of cheese)
A single hit will put you dead. A single hit will put you dead even after you used your Cure Serious Wounds potion, though, since it only puts you up into about the thirties. So you haven't accomplished anything except wasting your action that could have saved you.


Well, you back out, chug a couple CSW potions, and, if the fight's still happening, get back in. The fight won't still be happening. You will have been taken out of the fight as surely as if you had died if you're taking 2-3 rounds to chug potions (and, of course, 3 CSW potions won't even put you back up to a respectable hp total in this example). IF you survive the attempt to go back and chug CSW potions, which you likely won't because 25-40/150 hp is dangerously low as surely as 15/150.


There are just times when the healers are all tied up and can't patch the party's grievous wounds. True, which is why you shouldn't be overly reliant on it.
That's why everyone should have a several thousand gold in a couple of healing items they can use in an emergency. Any suggestions for what to use? A scroll of Heal is good, but a potion that heals 1/6th of your hp (what you suggested) isn't, and only serves to keep you as vulnerable as you were before you healed (or perhaps even moreso, since you could open yourself up to AoOs and the like, and need to have a free hand), and takes you out of the fight.
This is especially important when your wizard's currently in the belly of an invisible dragon, or the cleric just fell down and can't get up (because he's dead). Carry scrolls of Revivify or Revenance (or, core only, Raise Dead). Rogue can use it reliably at the same level a cleric can. There, he's up! In the case of Raise Dead, you can and should totally wait until after the fight to do it.

Skjaldbakka
2007-09-06, 07:13 PM
Generally speaking, everyone in a party should have a potion of healing, the biggest one they can afford. You shouldn't rely on potions for healing, but you should still have them. Of course, odds are you aren't buying these potions, but looting them. There really is no reason to sell a potion of healing, so you should just split the ones you find amongst the party.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-06, 07:26 PM
Generally speaking, everyone in a party should have a potion of healing, the biggest one they can afford. You shouldn't rely on potions for healing, but you should still have them. Of course, odds are you aren't buying these potions, but looting them. There really is no reason to sell a potion of healing, so you should just split the ones you find amongst the party.

If you have UMD, scrolls are generally better. Except at low level, you should only be failing those on 1s.

Potions are alright (as long as you're not dumping cash on them), but they generally don't heal enough when you get them to be useful in combat. And of course, a Belt of Healing does the same as a CSW potion, except better in every way (except that it takes up a slot). If you can, get an alternative, because *most* things are more cost-effective than potions.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-06, 07:29 PM
If you have UMD, scrolls are generally better. Except at low level, you should only be failing those on 1s.

Potions are alright (as long as you're not dumping cash on them), but they generally don't heal enough when you get them to be useful in combat. And of course, a Belt of Healing does the same as a CSW potion, except better in every way (except that it takes up a slot). If you can, get an alternative, because *most* things are more cost-effective than potions.

True, but if you're finding a potion, you're not paying for it. Further, in a pinch, one can make the difference. 99% of the time, though, if you need it that badly, you're boned anyway.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-06, 07:38 PM
True, but if you're finding a potion, you're not paying for it. Further, in a pinch, one can make the difference. 99% of the time, though, if you need it that badly, you're boned anyway.

If you sell two, you get a Belt of Healing. Or more than one belt of healing, if you're an Artificer or something.

Even if they're loot, they can still net you OTHER items.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-06, 07:45 PM
Yes, but a Belt of Healing precludes the use of a Belt of Giant Strength, a Monk's Belt, or similar.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-06, 07:47 PM
Yes, but a Belt of Healing precludes the use of a Belt of Giant Strength.

If you would read what I wrote, I already specifically addressed this. Twice. So... I don't want to go in circles. In any case, at the point that having 4d8 burst healing is particularly useful, you don't have the resources for either of those belts. Additionally, with the rules in MiC (the source of the Healing Belt) you can stack on the effects of a Belt of Giant Strength to any of a few slots at no additional cost to the normal belt of giant strength. It basically doesn't require a slot saved for it any more, and that's a positive thing because having people always get the same items is boring as it gets. So no, it doesn't preclude you from getting a belt of giant strength's +6 bonus.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-06, 07:53 PM
If you would read what I wrote, I already specifically addressed this. Twice. So... I don't want to go in circles. In any case, at the point that having 4d8 burst healing is useful, you don't have the resources for either of those belts. Additionally, with the rules in MiC (the source of the Healing Belt) you can stack on the effects of a Belt of Giant Strength to any of a few slots at no additional cost to the normal belt of giant strength. It basically doesn't require a slot saved for it any more, and that's a positive thing because having people always get the same items is boring as it gets. So no, it doesn't preclude you from getting a belt of giant strength in any form.

Yeah, I suppose. Still, I'm not much one for totally cutting potions out of the picture. Healing potions, sure, but others? I'll keep my potions of Animalistic Power and Girallon's Blessing, thanks.

knightsaline
2007-09-06, 09:27 PM
Ever heard of a cantrip called cure minor wounds? it only heals 1 point of damage. most clerics don't use it, but it has 2 advantages. 1st: it automatically stabilized dying characters. most people seem to think that you have to heal them back up to 0 or above HP. that can place them in danger if they are weak. most monsters will not keep beating down on a seemingly dead body, yet will target the weakest target. so instead of wasting an action to bring someone back into the fight, you could be making an action that could save your parties arse. when the threat is gone, then you commence with the healing. the 2nd advantage is that you are not wasting a high level spell to stabilize someone. Clerics can convert any of their spells (except domain spells) into cure spells. I load my clerics 0 level slots with light spells. not all of them will be used, so at the start of the day, I actually know what spell to convert into a cure minor wounds.

now to work out how to bind a cure spell into a amulet of flurries, so the monk can heal someone by punching them.

tsuyoshikentsu
2007-09-06, 10:06 PM
Yeah, I suppose. Still, I'm not much one for totally cutting potions out of the picture. Healing potions, sure, but others? I'll keep my potions of Animalistic Power and Girallon's Blessing, thanks.

Right. Which one of those is a healing spell?

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-06, 10:31 PM
Right. Which one of those is a healing spell?
Good to know someone pays attention ;)


Yeah, I suppose. Still, I'm not much one for totally cutting potions out of the picture. Healing potions, sure, but others? I'll keep my potions of Animalistic Power and Girallon's Blessing, thanks.

Potions of buffs are sweet. I CERTAINLY never said that they weren't, because that would make me crazy. Potions of healing spells, though... not so much.


Ever heard of a cantrip called cure minor wounds? it only heals 1 point of damage. most clerics don't use it, but it has 2 advantages. 1st: it automatically stabilized dying characters.

Except that you have to weigh this against great choices like Guidance (a nice pre-emptive buff at low levels) and Detect Magic. And, the fact that Blessed Bandages, usable by anyone, are only 10gp.

skywalker
2007-09-06, 11:46 PM
Hmmm. My group tried 3 of the free Wizards modules on their site. After the 1st 2 ended in a TPK and the survivors cutting and running, we decided you DO need a cleric. Mainly for healing outside of combat. Between encounters. Because yes, you can have a wand, yes, you can have a belt of healing, but that wand won't help you when the rogue hasn't maxed his use magic device. That belt won't help you if you need that slot for something else (keep in mind, since STR boosts are in belt form, an *optimal* fighter certainly won't be wearing a belt of healing.) My vote is, let the cleric heal, if your cleric likes to fight(like a lot of them I know) buy them a wand of cure mod(like a lot of them I know). It doubles as a deathstick for undead, too. 2d8+CL per round on a touch? I'll go for that.

Summary: I like your writing style, if you're using the same name as from the WotC boards, I love your re-balanced paladin, and you say some really good things here, but the cleric is still the #1 option for healing, and without one, you're fine, yes, but you could be doing a hell of a lot better.)

knightsaline
2007-09-07, 12:05 AM
With the belts thing, you could wear 2 belts and only have one "active" at a time. problem is that its unrealistic to wear 2 belts and it requires DM OKing in order to do that.

The Cure Minor wounds thing has an advantage, as clerics can convert (almost) any of their spells into cures. My Cleric is actually a Cleric/Sorc multi, so any detecting of magic will be done by the pure Wizard. The belt thing could prove to be a problem with me because I'm going for a monks belt. The DM knows about my CMiWing strategy and approves. Also, what do I do if the book that most of your solutions is not allowed due to the DM/Majority of group not having the book? (I play by forum). I joined the group because they needed a healbot. I provided them with a healbot. I am happy to play a healbot. I chose my domains with that in mind (Sun and Healing, CG cleric of Pelor, not going for RSoP or RCoP). In the group, they know next to nothing about D&D (the person who got me in is used to 2nd ed). One of them thought that all the healing could be done by a level 7 ranger until I pointed out that a rangers spell slots are rarer than a clerics. the ranger idea has been dropped and been replaced by a rogue. the party consisted of (at the time of my joining);
1 samurai (some people do not have objections to CWar samurai)
1 Wu Jen
1 ranger, TWF style (dropped after the group realized that they needed a trapmonkey)
1 Wizard
1 Cleric/Sorc (me)
The group thought that the DM would throw a purple worm at a group of 5 level 7 PCs until I pointed out that it would result in a TPK, even with me going into full healing mode.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 01:42 AM
With the belts thing, you could wear 2 belts and only have one "active" at a time. problem is that its unrealistic to wear 2 belts and it requires DM OKing in order to do that. Unrealistic, huh? Few seem to question outfits like, say, the iconic Sorceror Hennet's. Even if it's unrealistic.

Still, I see little need to actually wear more than one. 4d8 burst healing is only good at low levels (where you don't really need the belt slot open anyways) and later it becomes an efficiency healing tool.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 01:46 AM
Hmmm. My group tried 3 of the free Wizards modules on their site. After the 1st 2 ended in a TPK and the survivors cutting and running, we decided you DO need a cleric.

Actually, there are probably tons of ways you could have improved your tactics without a cleric. I've never had any problem conquering modules, and indeed, I tend to find them fairly easy...


but that wand won't help you when the rogue hasn't maxed his use magic device. *Then there's something wrong with your Rogue.* All rogues should maximize UMD. There is pretty much no reason not to.
That belt won't help you if you need that slot for something else (keep in mind, since STR boosts are in belt form, an *optimal* fighter certainly won't be wearing a belt of healing.) Actually, unless that "something else" has an attunement time, you can totally just switch them out. Additionally, I am THOROUGHLY annoyed that I have had to address this THREE times already, even though it's covered in the guide: Belts of Healing don't prevent you from taking extra strength boosts, because of the new rules in MiC. Doesn't anyone in this forum read a post before responding?! :smallannoyed:
My vote is, let the cleric heal, if your cleric likes to fight(like a lot of them I know) buy them a wand of cure mod(like a lot of them I know). Why would you buy a wand of cure mod for OUT of combat healing? A Cure Light will heal you up almost as fast, and cost a lot less. A Lesser Vigor wand will take a bit longer, but it'll be even more efficient.
It doubles as a deathstick for undead, too. 2d8+CL per round on a touch? I'll go for that. That's pitiful damage, to be completely honest, especially against undead from a Cleric. And especially for that utterly exorbitant price. I can safely say that you're making a poor financial decision.


Summary: I like your writing style, if you're using the same name as from the WotC boards, I love your re-balanced paladin, and you say some really good things here, but the cleric is still the #1 option for healing, and without one, you're fine, yes, but you could be doing a hell of a lot better.)

Actually, an Artificer can generally outheal the Cleric pretty handily at low-mid levels, particularly with Greater Healing Armor enhancement at level 3 giving 6d8+30 without consuming actions at the small cost of 50gp. He can also outfit the party with 30d8 healing per day out of combat healing for a mere 1400gp or so. He can also put out very cheap Lesser Vigor scrolls.

Also note that a Cleric typically is going to pay 25gp (or 12.5 gp and 1 xp if he took scribe scroll, which he probably should) for 11 hp healing out of combat healing at low levels, since you actually totally need to fill your few slots with things like Command, Cause Fear, Inhibit, Blade of Blood, Close Wounds, Shield Other, Hold Person, and the like to make sure the party can survive the rigors of low level mortality. As such, the Artificer isn't actually spending much more money to accomplish his 6d8+30 healing (which is *far* more effective in combat than the cleric's healing at low levels, and is divvied up into two handy sets of 3d8+15, which will totally full heal people as soon as they get knocked out or use a swift action).


The group thought that the DM would throw a purple worm at a group of 5 level 7 PCs until I pointed out that it would result in a TPK, even with me going into full healing mode.

Note that this is an issue of the party not being very effective. A good party of 5 level 7s could probably beat up a purple worm without too much trouble. They're stupid, for one (ray of stupidity vs touch AC 4, anyone?) and they have a horrific will save of +4. Basically, if your party knew what they were doing, it would be pretty unlikely to be a TPK, because they'd actually take out the worm after a round of carnage (which should be offset by protective abilities you have active that, you know, AREN'T cure X wounds).

But yes, FULL HEALING MODE will *not* save you from a challenging encounter in its own right unless you've got a build that's very, very effective at it to the point that enemies won't be able to . What would actually save those level 7 PCs is the offensive power to shut down that worm quickly so it can't kill people with its power attacking, improved grappling, poisoning, cleaving, awesome-blow-ing attacks.


One of them thought that all the healing could be done by a level 7 ranger until I pointed out that a rangers spell slots are rarer than a clerics. See, I would say "Yeah, so what? I'm a Ranger, and I can be the party's healer, and you'll be FINE, because I totally don't even need to use my spell slots to be the party healer. I can also be the party's healer as a Rogue, since we're level 7 and I can easily have great UMD." And it'd totally work. I've done it. It works *fine.* You just don't heal during combat. Heck, Tempest Stormwind's example on the other thread of the party's main healer for his games was a Swordsage/Shadow Sun Ninja (if I recall correctly). I've done all my healing for a party with a paladin, who just carried around a wand of Cure Light Wounds (this was before I made the Rebalanced Paladin, which actually has some handy in-combat healing options. And before the Guardian Spirit showed up in the Dungeonscape book.) No one died as a result, despite stiff challenges.

Even a cleric is going to be doing a bunch of his out of combat healing via wands or scrolls (at least, until he's got a good supply of spare spell slots to burn), and hey, a Rogue can use that wand just as well as the Cleric can, barring that 5% chance of failure before he gets Skill Mastery or something of that sort.

Psions, Warlocks, Rogues, Psychic Warriors, Wilders, Artificers, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, Rangers and Bards can all do a good enough job of healing to carry a party of 4. Heck, that's not even mentioning all the classes, or any PrCs...

As far as healing in combat goes, it's just one of *many* forms of damage mitigation. And no, it's not far and away the best.


if you're using the same name as from the WotC boards, I love your re-balanced paladin, and you say some really good things here

Yes, I'm OneWinged4ngel from the WotC boards. I'm trying out a few different boards, since I didn't much like the idea of them stealing people's material and having a hidden "agreement" that gives them your intellectual property.

Jannex
2007-09-07, 02:46 AM
*Then there's something wrong with your Rogue.* All rogues should maximize UMD. There is pretty much no reason not to.

There are plenty of reasons not to, foremost among them being that sometimes even 8+Int/level isn't enough skill points. The Rogue skill list is both long and varied, and you don't always have enough points to cover all the skills you really want, let alone the ones that are just "useful," even if they're not in-character. This is especially true at low levels, since the DCs are high enough that you're not going to be successful the vast majority of the time. Those points are just rotting away in a skill you really can't use yet, when they could have been put in a skill that might have saved your butt in a different situation.

knightsaline
2007-09-07, 04:27 AM
You still didn't answer the ultimate question: What in the nine hells do you do if the DM does not allow the MiC or other books vital to your strategy? The DM has final say over what goes in his/her game or what books are allowed. most of the things are not from core. some DMs only use core and possibly XPH.

Telonius
2007-09-07, 11:58 AM
Hmmm. I've read the thread, and this seems like a ... potentially good guide.

Leaving the early levels aside, most of the time healing of any kind during combat aren't the best thing you could be doing. Most healing ought to be done outside of combat. d8+5 to a Barbarian really doesn't mean that much, if he's currently being attacked by ... well, anything bigger than a dire rat. You've done an excellent job with the in-combat sorts of healing - unless it either 1) bumps somebody up enough that they can get back in the monster's face without dying, or 2) stabilizes them, it shouldn't be done.

The problems arise when you get out of combat. Yes, you can pump money into wands of Lesser Vigor (one of, if not the, most efficient healing items in the game, in terms of gp per hp) or the other items you've mentioned. But money spent there is money not spent anywhere else. Even with an Artificer in the group, it's more expensive than having a "true healer" there to cast lots of healing spells, every day, at the cost of 0 gp. (I'll note that even parties with true healers should have those kinds of wands; they'll just go through them a lot less quickly).

I would also mention something that's been left out of the discussion so far: the Heal skill. A check of DC 15 will allow a character to provide "long-term care." The check is easily reachable; three ranks, a Wisdom modifier of +1 or greater, and taking ten gives an automatic success. It makes a resting character recover HP at twice the normal healing rate. A word of caution; depending on how your DM rules on this, it may require your character to stay up all night watching them - therefore not regaining spells, and suffering penalties for not sleeping. Other DMs simply have you make the check before resting and proceed. Ask first.

Regardless of how they rule, keep the overnight HP recovery in mind. Many parties will use their items to heal up to full, only to turn in for the night. This is a waste of resources, when people heal naturally at 1hp/level per night.

Starbuck_II
2007-09-07, 12:31 PM
The problems arise when you get out of combat. Yes, you can pump money into wands of Lesser Vigor (one of, if not the, most efficient healing items in the game, in terms of gp per hp) or the other items you've mentioned. But money spent there is money not spent anywhere else. Even with an Artificer in the group, it's more expensive than having a "true healer" there to cast lots of healing spells, every day, at the cost of 0 gp. (I'll note that even parties with true healers should have those kinds of wands; they'll just go through them a lot less quickly).

But without the wands you can't afford healing.

Let us look at level 3, wands are affordable.
Assuming 16 Wis Cleric: how many cures in a day without wand?
2 CMW, 3 CLW +both domain spells (if healing I guess) : also 4 CminorW
:
You can heal 5 times a day +4 CminorW.

I don't know about you, but I don't think 5 cures is really enough in a day (cure minors are too minor for this argument).

This is why you use CLW wand out of combat: You might need a few extra CLW spells.

Yes, it costs money, but since party needs the healing they should chip in or something.


I would also mention something that's been left out of the discussion so far: the Heal skill. A check of DC 15 will allow a character to provide "long-term care." The check is easily reachable; three ranks, a Wisdom modifier of +1 or greater, and taking ten gives an automatic success. It makes a resting character recover HP at twice the normal healing rate. A word of caution; depending on how your DM rules on this, it may require your character to stay up all night watching them - therefore not regaining spells, and suffering penalties for not sleeping. Other DMs simply have you make the check before resting and proceed. Ask first.


Sleep has no effect on Divine casters. Only Arcane casters must sleep. It says so in the PHB. Most Divine casters don't even read that part and think they need sleep too.

I know Order of the Stick's Roy thought that about Durkon. That dwarf got the gravy train: people assuming he needed it to cast spells.

Tor the Fallen
2007-09-07, 12:51 PM
Lastly, realize that you can have a Belt of Healing that gives +6 strength due to the "adding common effects" rules in the Magic Item Compendium.

The price goes up pretty substantially, doesn't it? like a 150% increase to both prices? By the time you can reasonably afford it, it may not be worth it.


The fight won't still be happening. You will have been taken out of the fight as surely as if you had died if you're taking 2-3 rounds to chug potions (and, of course, 3 CSW potions won't even put you back up to a respectable hp total in this example). IF you survive the attempt to go back and chug CSW potions, which you likely won't because 25-40/150 hp is dangerously low as surely as 15/150.

It really depends on the situation. If you're midlevel (9-14), most enemies will be doing somewhere from 15-50 damage per hit (unless the DM decides to only throw shocktrooping berserks at you or something). On a lucky critical, that 20 damage could turn into 40, 60 or even 80.

If the battle opens up with that, you can pull back, heal, and get back in the game. Even healing 18 hp from a cheap CSW pot means you're not going to go down from an AoE, arrow, magic missile or any other stray things that may come your way.

But you're right, at the point when most meleers have 150 HP, a CSW pot isn't going to cut it.

Really, it'd be a healing pot you keep for a rare situation, not something you healed with. Personally, I'd rather have the potion, as I've been in many situations, and seen many situations played, where healing pots saved lives in the heat of battle.


True, which is why you shouldn't be overly reliant on it. Any suggestions for what to use? A scroll of Heal is good, but a potion that heals 1/6th of your hp (what you suggested) isn't, and only serves to keep you as vulnerable as you were before you healed (or perhaps even moreso, since you could open yourself up to AoOs and the like, and need to have a free hand), and takes you out of the fight. Carry scrolls of Revivify or Revenance (or, core only, Raise Dead). Rogue can use it reliably at the same level a cleric can. There, he's up! In the case of Raise Dead, you can and should totally wait until after the fight to do it.

Buy CSW pots with higher caster levels. I think 1,875 GP for 15+3d8 (~28 hp) healing is worth it. Not for healing all the time, but in when you need that boost right now, immediately.

Of course, wondrous items of CCW, heal, or any of the other spells you mentioned would be better. That depends on availability and DM fiat a bit more than asking for healing potions with higher caster levels.

Darrin
2007-09-07, 01:05 PM
Two things you might want to add:

Crusaders from ToB have several maneuvers/stances that heal damage, allowing them to attack and heal with the same standard/fullround action. There are some caveats (such as the target needs to be an immediate threat) but these can be circumvented with a bit of rules-wrangling.

Troll-Blooded, a regional feat from Dragon #319, gives you Regeneration 1, but requires Toughness and causes fatigue when exposed to sunlight:

http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Troll_Blooded,Dragon

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 03:41 PM
The price goes up pretty substantially, doesn't it? like a 150% increase to both prices? By the time you can reasonably afford it, it may not be worth it. Check your facts, please. No, the new rules don't make the price go up more than usual. A belt of +6 strength costs 36,000gp. A Healing Belt with +6 strength is 36,750 gp. Not that you'd ever get a Healing Belt of +6 strength, because by the time you have 36,000gp to spend you'll probably only be usin' those belts outside of fights.


Two things you might want to add:

Crusaders from ToB have several maneuvers/stances that heal damage, allowing them to attack and heal with the same standard/fullround action. There are some caveats (such as the target needs to be an immediate threat) but these can be circumvented with a bit of rules-wrangling. [/url]

Yep, I've been meaning to add ToB. The reason I haven't is because I've not actually had a whole lot of experience with it yet.


Buy CSW pots with higher caster levels. I think 1,875 GP for 15+3d8 (~28 hp) healing is worth it. No, it's not. It costs a standard action or more to use. It heals only about 28 hp. It cost you ~2000g! Take a second to see when that's affordable, then check out the threats you go up against at those points, and just how precious standard actions are.


It really depends on the situation. If you're midlevel (9-14), most enemies will be doing somewhere from 15-50 damage per hit (unless the DM decides to only throw shocktrooping berserks at you or something). On a lucky critical, that 20 damage could turn into 40, 60 or even 80. If you're taking 15-50 damage per round tops at FOURTEENTH level, then your DM is coddling you. Period. You don't need a lucky critical or ubercharging to do way, way more damage than that. In fact, ubercharging tools and the like are typically banned in games I play in, and 50 damage per round would be considered paltry. Heck, if enemies DID do 50 damage per round at 14th level (instead of, I don't know, multi-save or loses, or hundreds of damage), that defeats the "you need healing" argument in and of itself, because enemies are practically harmless and they'll be dead before they can do anything to you.

Though, 50 per HIT would be okay, if you're doing a few hits per round.



If the battle opens up with that, you can pull back, heal, and get back in the game. Even healing 18 hp from a cheap CSW pot means you're not going to go down from an AoE, arrow, magic missile or any other stray things that may come your way. No, if the battle opens up with that, you don't need to pull back because you're not even hurt, and you're not OUT of the game to begin with. Heck, if we're talking 14th level, a mere squishy Psion can be expected to take on something like 269 damage just from Share Pain, a 14 Con, and Vigor alone. Why would he even FLINCH at 50 damage? What kind of game are you playing?

Nerd-o-rama
2007-09-07, 03:54 PM
*Butts In*

A creator can add new magical abilities to a magic item with no restrictions. The cost to do this is the same as if the item was not magical. Thus, a +1 longsword can be made into a +2 vorpal longsword, with the cost to create it being equal to that of a +2 vorpal sword minus the cost of a +1 sword.

If the item is one that occupies a specific place on a character’s body the cost of adding any additional ability to that item increases by 50%. For example, if a character adds the power to confer invisibility to her ring of protection +2, the cost of adding this ability is the same as for creating a ring of invisibility multiplied by 1.5.
So, adding Healing Belt properties to a Belt of Giant Strength +6 would bring the total to 37,500, which is still not much more since the BoH is cheap in the first place. Doing it the other way around, however...

*Butts out*

Tor the Fallen
2007-09-07, 03:54 PM
Check your facts, please. No, the new rules don't make the price go up more than usual. A belt of +6 strength costs 36,000gp. A Healing Belt with +6 strength is 36,750 gp. Not that you'd ever get a Healing Belt of +6 strength, because by the time you have 36,000gp to spend you'll probably only be usin' those belts outside of fights.

Broken. That **** would never fly in any of the games I play in.




No, it's not. It costs a standard action or more to use. It heals only about 28 hp. It cost you ~2000g! Take a second to see when that's affordable, then check out the threats you go up against at those points, and just how precious standard actions are.

It's a lot better option than dying. Cheaper, no level loss. Investing in a 2000gp item once that I may need to use every 20 or so encounters is fine by me, especially if it saves me the hassle of dying (level loss and at least 5k cost [more if a scroll]).


If you're taking 15-50 damage per round tops at FOURTEENTH level, then your DM is coddling you. Period. You don't need a lucky critical or ubercharging to do way, way more damage than that. In fact, ubercharging tools and the like are typically banned in games I play in, and 50 damage per round would be considered paltry.

Per round? I was talking per hit, and most things get more than one attack.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 03:59 PM
Broken. That **** would never fly in any of the games I play in. "You NEED this head slot for +int, and can NEVER use it for anything else if you're a member of X class!" A lot of people recognize this as a design flaw. MiC fixes it. Also, it does nothing that's game-breaking, even if you think it might be overpowered. I find people throwing around the word broken like candy to basically break the purpouse of the word. You want to talk about Broken, we can look at Wildshape, Polymorph, Gate, Diplomacy, or Exploding Runes. These things are actually powerful enough to crush a campaign under their heels. Not using a slot for something that every character is going to get anyways isn't.




Per round? I was talking per hit, and most things get more than one attack.

I should hope so. But if you're talking about per hit and people are taking 200 damage plus status effects, healing 30 with a CSW doesn't do bull**** for you except waste your action.


It's a lot better option than dying. Cheaper, no level loss. Investing in a 2000gp item once that I may need to use every 20 or so encounters is fine by me, especially if it saves me the hassle of dying (level loss and at least 5k cost [more if a scroll]). If you do that, you WILL die, because you WASTED your standard action to bleed out 2000g, healing you to a point where... you'll still die the very next round. Or maybe your ally will.


*Butts In*

So, adding Healing Belt properties to a Belt of Giant Strength +6 would bring the total to 37,500, which is still not much more since the BoH is cheap in the first place. Doing it the other way around, however...

*Butts out*

That doesn't apply by the new rules in MiC. As I've mentioned so many times now, I wonder if anyone on this board reads people's posts.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 04:02 PM
Check your facts, please. No, the new rules don't make the price go up more than usual. A belt of +6 strength costs 36,000gp. A Healing Belt with +6 strength is 36,750 gp. Not that you'd ever get a Healing Belt of +6 strength, because by the time you have 36,000gp to spend you'll probably only be usin' those belts outside of fights.

Incorrect.


Multiple Similar Abilities
For items with multiple similar abilities that don’t take up space on a character’s body use the following formula: Calculate the price of the single most costly ability, then add 75% of the value of the next most costly ability, plus one-half the value of any other abilities.

Multiple Different Abilities
Abilities such as an attack roll bonus or saving throw bonus and a spell-like function are not similar, and their values are simply added together to determine the cost. For items that do take up a space on a character’s body each additional power not only has no discount but instead has a 50% increase in price.


A creator can add new magical abilities to a magic item with no restrictions. The cost to do this is the same as if the item was not magical. Thus, a +1 longsword can be made into a +2 vorpal longsword, with the cost to create it being equal to that of a +2 vorpal sword minus the cost of a +1 sword.

If the item is one that occupies a specific place on a character’s body the cost of adding any additional ability to that item increases by 50%. For example, if a character adds the power to confer invisibility to her ring of protection +2, the cost of adding this ability is the same as for creating a ring of invisibility multiplied by 1.5.

None of these statements agree with you.


That's wrong, by the new rules in MiC. As I've mentioned so many times now, I wonder if anyone on this board reads people's posts. It makes it feel rather pointless for me to contribute here any longer.

Also, it's worth noting that, believe it or not, the thing you just cited isn't a rule. It's expressly a guideline.

Let's be straight: despite being all about Magic Items, MIC is not primary source on how to create magic items: the DMG is. Therefore, the DMG is correct, unless you can specifically point to text in the MIC that says, "The MIC supersedes one of the core books of the game on how to make magic items."

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 04:03 PM
Incorrect. It most certainly is correct, according to PAGE 234 of the Magic Item Compendium. The source the belt is from.


None of these statements agree with you.

For the 6th time now... Rules in the MiC... page 234... mentioned in the first post...

Does anyone here listen to anything that people say?

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 04:05 PM
For the 6th time now... Rules in the MiC... page 234... mentioned in the first post...

Does anyone here listen to anything that people say?

I was actually responding to that bit right when you posted. Perhaps some patience would be better than anger.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 04:07 PM
I was actually responding to that bit right when you posted. Perhaps some patience would be better than anger.

Sorry, but I don't appreciate having to repeat myself dozens of times because people can't pay attention to the first post.


Let's be straight: despite being all about Magic Items, MIC is not primary source on how to create magic items: the DMG is. Therefore, the DMG is correct, unless you can specifically point to text in the MIC that says, "The MIC supersedes one of the core books of the game on how to make magic items."

Let's read the ACTUAL DMG. It says "These are guidelines. You should not follow them exactly. Use your judgment. These aren't actual rules." It makes this pretty clear. By contrast, the entry in the MiC is actually rules by RAW.

To reiterate:

THE DMG CUSTOM ITEM RULES ARE EXPRESSLY GUIDELINES (NOT RULES). THE MAGIC ITEM COMPENDIUM ADDING COMMON EFFECTS RULES ARE EXPRESSLY OFFICIAL RULES.

Clear enough?

Don't bring houserules to analysis of the actual rules. Thanks.

Also, even if the DMG guidelines *were* rules, the answer to every question posed to WotC on "which one's right?" says that later books take precedence.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 04:11 PM
Let's read the ACTUAL DMG. It says "These are guidelines. You should not follow them exactly. Use your judgment. These aren't actual rules." It makes this very clear. By contrast, the entry in the MiC is actually rules by RAW.

To reiterate:

THE DMG CUSTOM ITEM RULES ARE EXPRESSLY GUIDELINES. THE MAGIC ITEM COMPENDIUM ADDING COMMON EFFECTS RULES ARE EXPRESSLY RAW.

Well and granted. Even so, the DMG is still primary source, and the "guidelines" in it are still to be followed, even if the MIC provides magic item creation "rules". Does the MIC say that "all text regarding the creation of magic items in the DMG is to be ignored"? No. Does the MIC say that "the item creation rules here supersede the guidelines in the DMG"? No. Does the MIC say anywhere that the DMG's magic item rules are to be ignored, altered, or otherwise removed beyond what the MIC clarifies? Show me, and I'll believe you.

And yes, you can quote it, due to Fair Use quotation rules.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 04:14 PM
Well and granted. Even so, the DMG is still primary source, and the "guidelines" in it are still to be followed, even if the MIC provides magic item creation rules. Does the MIC say that "all text regarding the creation of magic items in the DMG is to be ignored"? No. Does the MIC say that "the item creation rules here supersede the guidelines in the DMG"? No. Does the MIC say anywhere that the DMG's magic item rules are to be ignored, altered, or otherwise removed beyond what the MIC clarifies? Show me, and I'll believe you.

And yes, you can quote it, due to Fair Use quotation rules.

Fax, the DMG guidelines are to help you create houserules (and, they're obviously flawed, so you NEED to use a whole big dose of common sense.) for *new, custom magic items.* The MiC "adding common effects rules" apply to very specific effects, so guidelines on creating custom magic items don't even apply. It's like picking an item out of the book and shouting at the top of your lungs "THE RULES DON'T ALLOW THIS SPECIFIC ITEM!!! IT DOESN'T FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES THAT I THINK ARE HARD AND FAST RULES THAT MUST BE APPLIED TO EVERYTHING!!!"

You have no argument. My argument is *actually verifiable fact.* You can't argue with fact. It says right there "these are the rules." Guidelines aren't rules. The rules are the rules. You're free to houserule them, but they're still houserules.

Solo
2007-09-07, 04:14 PM
Sorry, but I don't appreciate having to repeat myself dozens of times because people can't pay attention to the first post.

You're not helping your case, you know?

Tor the Fallen
2007-09-07, 04:15 PM
"You NEED this head slot for +int, and can NEVER use it for anything else if you're a member of X class!" A lot of people recognize this as a design flaw. MiC fixes it. Also, it does nothing that's game-breaking, even if you think it might be overpowered. I find people throwing around the word broken like candy to basically break the purpouse of the word. You want to talk about Broken, we can look at Wildshape, Polymorph, Gate, Diplomacy, or Exploding Runes. These things are actually powerful enough to crush a campaign under their heels. Not using a slot for something that every character is going to get anyways isn't.

There's an Epic feat that let's you get extra item slots. At one point, designers believed that item slots were valuable enough to warrant only Epic levels being able to double up on traditionally either/or propositions of what to put around your neck or forehead.

So yeah, broken.


I should hope so. But if you're talking about per hit and people are taking 200 damage plus status effects, healing 30 with a CSW doesn't do bull**** for you except waste your action.

Again, I'm talking about specific circumstances.


If you do that, you WILL die, because you WASTED your standard action to bleed out 2000g, healing you to a point where... you'll still die the very next round. Or maybe your ally will.

Or the enemy mage pwns you with a barrage of magic missiles or a simple AoE spell, even after you drop the enemy meleer.

You're totally missing my point- investment in expensive healing potions while never absolutely critical, can, in the long run, save you time, money, and experience.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 04:17 PM
Fax, the DMG guidelines are to help you create houserules (and, they're obviously flawed, so you NEED to use a whole big dose of common sense.) for *new, custom magic items.* The MiC "adding common effects rules" apply to very specific effects. And they're rules. I'm right, by the books.

Um, no, not particularly, they're not for making houserules. They are guidelines that are set to make items. You will note how they appear in the SRD, unlike any other variant rule that appears in the DMG. This indicates that hte designers of the game wanted this to be central to the mechanics of the game. Further, most--if not all--of the items presented within the DMG itself follow those guidelines.

Therefore, the guidelines are not to be assumed to be houserules and are therefore intended to be used for the creation of items.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 04:20 PM
Again, I'm talking about specific circumstances. As you'll recall, Tor, I already said that if it will save your life, go ahead and use healing. It's situationally useful. So if you're arguing *against* me saying that it's situationally useful, you're actually agreeing with me and don't know it.


Leaving the early levels aside, most of the time healing of any kind during combat aren't the best thing you could be doing. Most healing ought to be done outside of combat. Actually, I've demonstrated that it wasn't a good idea even at early levels, running the percentages in scenarios some people arguing with me devised to *specifically* favor healing (and there were still many better options available).


The problems arise when you get out of combat. Yes, you can pump money into wands of Lesser Vigor (one of, if not the, most efficient healing items in the game, in terms of gp per hp) or the other items you've mentioned. But money spent there is money not spent anywhere else.
This is true, but it applies to *any* missing role or capability. Want to teleport, but don't have a guy who can cast it? Well, you have to invest in it. That said, out of combat healing tends to be fairly cheap as far as replacing roles goes. In-combat healing tends to be expensive, and *generally* not worth it compared to alternative means of protection, though you'll probably want to have at least one or two sources of emergency healing, just in case.


Even with an Artificer in the group, it's more expensive than having a "true healer" there to cast lots of healing spells, every day, at the cost of 0 gp. (I'll note that even parties with true healers should have those kinds of wands; they'll just go through them a lot less quickly). Eh, until you have throwaway spell slots, a healer is going to want to use expendable items to heal anyways, since you actually totally want things like Hold Person or Cause Fear in your top spell slots. But again, this is true. True healers help efficiency. That doesn't make them a necessary party role to the point that you need to force someone in the party to be a cleric.


I would also mention something that's been left out of the discussion so far: the Heal skill. A check of DC 15 will allow a character to provide "long-term care." The check is easily reachable; three ranks, a Wisdom modifier of +1 or greater and taking ten gives an automatic success. It makes a resting character recover HP at twice the normal healing rate. A word of caution; depending on how your DM rules on this, it may require your character to stay up all night watching them - therefore not regaining spells, and suffering penalties for not sleeping. Other DMs simply have you make the check before resting and proceed. Ask first. I disagree here. You'll probably want to full heal between every fight, and not wait for nightfall to recover. Adventurers lead dangerous lives, and danger can come at any time, in any place.


Regardless of how they rule, keep the overnight HP recovery in mind. Many parties will use their items to heal up to full, only to turn in for the night. This is a waste of resources, when people heal naturally at 1hp/level per night. It's not a waste of resources for the express reason that you can be attacked during the night, and further that it only costs you 15gp (at most) to heal 11 hp. I always prefer to air on the side of caution.

The only time I'd probably rest overnight for hp is when I'm doing it safely within the confines of a Rope Trick or something.


Um, no, not particularly, they're not for making houserules. They are guidelines that are set to make items. You will note how they appear in the SRD, unlike any other variant rule that appears in the DMG. This indicates that hte designers of the game wanted this to be central to the mechanics of the game. Further, most--if not all--of the items presented within the DMG itself follow those guidelines.

Therefore, the guidelines are not to be assumed to be houserules and are therefore intended to be used for the creation of items.

And what part of that makes them override actual rules? What part of that makes them go out and say "Hey, Magic Item in Book X, you can't be used because you don't follow these flawed guidelines!"?

They're guidelines for designing custom content, not things that say that official content doesn't really exist. *Rolleyes*

The Great Skenardo
2007-09-07, 04:36 PM
We seem to have drifted from the original spirit of the thread here...I'm certain there exists a "Which one is the real item-crafting rules?" thread.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 04:36 PM
And what part of that makes them override actual rules? What part of that makes them go out and say "Hey, Magic Item in Book X, you can't be used because you don't follow these flawed guidelines!"?

They're guidelines for designing custom content, not things that say that official content doesn't really exist. *Rolleyes*

They override the "actual rules"--that you have yet to provide evidence that they explicitly state that they replace the DMG's guidelines--by mere fact that they are within the DMG, the primary source for magic items and magic item creation. The rules you are referencing are not in the primary source for how magic items are created and function, and therefore take a back seat to the guidelines in the DMG. As such, the guidelines are to be followed while creating magic items while following the rules provided in the MIC--provided you have access to the MIC.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 04:38 PM
We seem to have drifted from the original spirit of the thread here...I'm certain there exists a "Which one is the real item-crafting rules?" thread.

Back on topic, does anyone have any more suggestions on how to heal effectively? (Barring, of course, extreme cheese like abusing the trap rules for infinite healing at bargain basement prices.)

I would like to be able to add Tome of Magic and Incarnum to the guide, but I can't do it myself since I have *no* experience with those systems (Don't even have the books). I also would like to get Tome of Battle in there, as well as a few classes like the Dragon Shaman that I... have no experience with.

By the way, when I say effectively, I mean...

1) If it's for out of combat healing, it must comparably efficient to things like CLW wands, Lesser Vigor, and the like. Or it has to cure status effects.
2) It must be affordable at the levels it's useful at. 4d8 healing can be good at level 4, but not when you get it at level 15.
3) If it's in-combat healing, it must heal enough to make a difference comparable to other standard actions (For example, Heal), OR it must not be action-intensive (i.e. Close Wounds is a great spell because it's an immediate action, Greater Healing infusion is great because it's either swift or automatic *and* does a large deal of healing. Or Vampiric Touch or Bodyfeeder or Crusader maneuvers allowing you to attack while healing.)

If it doesn't heal effectively, it's not worth mentionin' in the guide, because then it's clutter.

dyslexicfaser
2007-09-07, 04:41 PM
I'm not overly familiar with ToB, but the only healing in the book is from the Crusader (Devoted Spirit school, which only crusdaer has access to), and I believe he tends to only heal himself in the course of battle.

There's a level 1 stance that lets him heal any of his allies in a 30' radius for 2hp every time he hits something - it would add up. Other than that...

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 04:44 PM
I'm not overly familiar with ToB, but the only healing in the book is from the Crusader (Devoted Spirit school, which only crusdaer has access to), and I believe he tends to only heal himself in the course of battle. Actually, that's not the only healing in the book. Tempest Stormwind's example had a Shadow Sun Ninja (not a Crusader) from ToB as a main party healer in the other thread, using Touch of the Shadow Sun.

Heck, Touch of the Shadow Sun can even be doubled up for healing, if you've got an Undead or Tomb-Tainted-Soul in the party.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 04:44 PM
Back on topic, does anyone have any more suggestions on how to heal effectively? (Barring, of course, extreme cheese like abusing the trap rules for infinite healing at bargain basement prices.)

I would like to be able to add Tome of Magic and Incarnum to the guide, but I can't do it myself since I have *no* experience with those systems (Don't even have the books). I also would like to get Tome of Battle in there, as well as a few classes like the Dragon Shaman that I... have no experience with.

Tome of Magic's remarkably straightforward when it comes to healing. There are I think three Vestiges that heal, as well as four or five Truenamer utterances. None of them are remarkably efficient.

As for Incarnum, I'd have to reference the book itself. Tome of Battle has some smite-heals attached to it, which is a good way to heal if you're in a pinch, but it requires dangerous foes in every instance. Dragon Shaman has its own Lay on Hands-like ability that can do more than heal HP, and also has an aura that grants Fast Healing to targets with less than half HP, which is good only when you can have two or more auras active at once (since you can set it as secondary without forgoing your normal benefits).

dyslexicfaser
2007-09-07, 05:12 PM
Actually, that's not the only healing in the book. Tempest Stormwind's example had a Shadow Sun Ninja (not a Crusader) from ToB as a main party healer in the other thread, using Touch of the Shadow Sun.

Heck, Touch of the Shadow Sun can even be doubled up for healing, if you've got an Undead or Tomb-Tainted-Soul in the party.
Isn't Shadow Sun Ninja a PrC?

Just wondering - it's been awhile since I cracked open the book.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 05:13 PM
Isn't Shadow Sun Ninja a PrC?

Just wondering - it's been awhile since I cracked open the book.

It is. Touch of the Shadow Sun is a class feature.

illathid
2007-09-07, 06:02 PM
They override the "actual rules"--that you have yet to provide evidence that they explicitly state that they replace the DMG's guidelines--by mere fact that they are within the DMG, the primary source for magic items and magic item creation. The rules you are referencing are not in the primary source for how magic items are created and function, and therefore take a back seat to the guidelines in the DMG. As such, the guidelines are to be followed while creating magic items while following the rules provided in the MIC--provided you have access to the MIC.

Here are the relevant quotes from the MIC:



Crafting Magic Items
...This section reiterates the basics of magic item creation; for more details on creating the different types of magic items, see the information on item creation feats in Chapter 5 of the Player's Handbook, as well as the appropriate guidelines in Chapter 7 of the Dungeon Master's Guide.



Improving Magic Items
...In most cases, if the item is one that occupies a body slot, the cost of adding an additional ability to that item is 1-1/2 times the the value of the added power (or the value of the added power plus 1/2 the value of the existing item, if the added power normally costs more than than the existing item). For example...

This added cost doesn't necessarily apply when adding some common effects to existing item; see below.



Adding Common Item Effects to Existing Items
One of the most frustrating roadblocks to using interesting, unusual items is that they take up body slots that you need for an ability boasting item... To address this issue, Magic Item Compendium presents official rules for adding common item effects to existing magic items.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-07, 06:10 PM
Here are the relevant quotes from the MIC:

The quotes you provide agree with me: The DMG's guidelines are to be used with MIC's rules, and adding an ability to an existing item costs +50%.

illathid
2007-09-07, 07:03 PM
The quotes you provide agree with me: The DMG's guidelines are to be used with MIC's rules, and adding an ability to an existing item costs +50%.

Unless it is an "Common Item Effect" that is defined by the MIC to include stat boosting items such as Belts of Strength.

Dausuul
2007-09-07, 07:29 PM
Unless it is an "Common Item Effect" that is defined by the MIC to include stat boosting items such as Belts of Strength.

Precisely. If you turn the page, there's a very specific example in which Lidda spends 4,000 gp to upgrade her boots of striding and springing to boots of striding and springing and +2 Dexterity. If the "50% guideline" were still in effect, that would have cost 6,000 gp.

The MiC also goes to considerable lengths to emphasize that the guidelines in the DMG are just that--guidelines, not rules. It then presents "official rules for adding common item effects to existing items." No, it doesn't explicitly say that the official rules supersede the previously existing guidelines, but if that's not the case, then everything on page 234 of the MiC was the designers splattering ink across the page to amuse themselves.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 07:32 PM
Precisely. If you turn the page, there's a very specific example in which boots of striding and springing are upgraded to boots of striding and springing and +2 Dexterity at a cost of 4,000 gp--not the 6,000 gp that would be implied by the +50% guideline.

The MiC also goes to considerable lengths to emphasize that the guidelines in the DMG are just that--guidelines, not rules. It then presents "official rules for adding common item effects to existing items." No, it doesn't explicitly say that the official rules supersede the previously existing guidelines, but if that's not the case, then everything on page 234 of the MiC was the designers splattering ink across the page to amuse themselves.

Exactly correct.


Isn't Shadow Sun Ninja a PrC?

Just wondering - it's been awhile since I cracked open the book.

Right, it's a PrC.


The quotes you provide agree with me: The DMG's guidelines are to be used with MIC's rules, and adding an ability to an existing item costs +50%.

No, it doesn't. As illathid and Dausuul already pointed out.


You still didn't answer the ultimate question: What in the nine hells do you do if the DM does not allow the MiC or other books vital to your strategy? Huh? That's already answered, and no where did I say MiC or anything was vital. It all holds true in core-only games too, and we survive just fine against higher-CR-than-we-are encounters all day just fine without Clerics or Druids. Not sure where you're getting that idea from.
The DM has final say over what goes in his/her game or what books are allowed. most of the things are not from core. some DMs only use core and possibly XPH.

How is the MiC or anything else vital to my "strategy"? (I didn't actually present a strategy, oddly enough... merely aimed to dispel a few myths and provide a list of useful tools for healing the party.) The principles stated hold true for a Core-only game. A rogue with a wand of CLW is a perfectly fine healer, and the party's not doomed. Disabling enemies is still great in core. None of those extra books are "vital" to that. It has been something recognized on CharOp since 3.5 came out. Long before we ever had all those other books.

And... the "ultimate question" as you put it has been answered in the first post. You get a wand of Cure Light Wounds. You might give out a couple potions to heal the guy who carries the wand of cure light wounds if he goes down and no one else can use it. But basically, you just don't heal in combat (except for the occasional scroll or staff of HEAL or some status effects) when you don't have a cleric or druid, and that's perfectly fine. It's not a necessary combat role.

Not sure where you're confused.

tsuyoshikentsu
2007-09-07, 10:00 PM
It doubles as a deathstick for undead, too.

Vendor: You wanna buy some deathsticks?
OneWinged4ngel: You don't want to sell me deathsticks.
V: Uh, I don't wanna sell you deathsticks.
OW4: You want to go home now, and rethink healing.
V: I wanna go home now and rethink healing.

knightsaline
2007-09-07, 10:01 PM
You seem to use the MiC a lot for your strategy. Should DM decide to disallow any books, you are stuck with crappy items to heal someone.

The CR thing; the CR is decided by seeing how well a typical party would fare against it. The typical party is 4 PCs filling the roles of Tank, Blaster, Sneaky, and Healbot. Take the healbot out and the DM has to adjust everything. If from the word go, the DM says low to zero magic, then you have to conserve your resources. Since the campaign may be zero magic, the UMD skill is taken out (you can't use a mish-mash of magical knowledge if there is no such thing as magic).

There is another option for healing, cursed items. Many fantasy tales speak of cursed swords that heal anything they hit. Get the wizard to craft a shiv of healing by intentionally making the item heal anything it hits. its a win-win situation because if he fails, he makes a weapon that hurts things, if he passes, he makes a weapon that heals things.

tsuyoshikentsu
2007-09-07, 10:07 PM
If from the word go, the DM says low to zero magic, then you have to conserve your resources. Since the campaign may be zero magic, the UMD skill is taken out (you can't use a mish-mash of magical knowledge if there is no such thing as magic).

If the campaign is low magic, you have your Bard/Artificer/Warlock/Cleric/Druid take Craft Wand.

If the campaign is zero-magic, you don't have any anyway because you HAVE NO CLERIC.

knightsaline
2007-09-07, 10:21 PM
A zero magic campaign is hard, but fun. the fighter cannot fall back on the "wade in and kill everything" strategy, the Rogue becomes the party stabber. The Cleric exists, but heals in a different way (non magical potions, Heal skill). HP loss is a big deal. Fighters have to be sneaky or be long range. "Wizards" would use non magical ways of defeating things (bombs, blackpowder weapons) and have many ranks in bluff to try and tell everyone that what they do is magic (their definition of magic is "you know one extra fact than the audience")

Low magic means limited spellcasting. this means no Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids or Clerics. Pallys and Rangers don't get spells, bards don't cast as much. the standard +1 sword can buy a whole kingdom. If it is stolen, wars break out. anything above +2 or with enchantments above +2 don't exist. Masterwork weapons can be made so that they have higher bonuses or non magical enchantments (vorpal swords are reaaaaaaaly sharp).

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-07, 11:59 PM
You seem to use the MiC a lot for your strategy. Should DM decide to disallow any books, you are stuck with crappy items to heal someone. No you're not. You have wands and scrolls of Cure Light Wounds, which are totally great. In fact, they're more efficient than Belts of Healing in the short term.

Incidentally, I've already answered this three times.


Vendor: You wanna buy some deathsticks?
OneWinged4ngel: You don't want to sell me deathsticks.
V: Uh, I don't wanna sell you deathsticks.
OW4: You want to go home now, and rethink healing.
V: I wanna go home now and rethink healing.

YES! lmao!

skywalker
2007-09-08, 12:11 AM
Dude, OWA, I never said there WASN'T something wrong with the rogue. This is the same guy who played a sorcerer and didn't max concentration(not only that, but he went so far as putting ZERO ranks in the skill). God bless him though, I still love him. Yes, our party was probably not very well made or strategized. We didn't have healing at all.

As far as the belt being customizable, while the DM was accepting of MIC items, he wasn't very accepting of the new customization rules. Further, you do need the cash to add to that belt. It gets expensive. But I will give you that, the healing belt is damned cool, and a great idea.

I will, however, stick with having a cleric, and if I show up and nobody has a cleric yet, I will gladly fill that role, because you can be fine without one, but you're a damned sight better with one.

Vincentrose91
2007-09-08, 12:13 AM
Im going to keep it short and say, Nice article.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-08, 12:15 AM
Dude, OWA, I never said there WASN'T something wrong with the rogue. This is the same guy who played a sorcerer and didn't max concentration(not only that, but he went so far as putting ZERO ranks in the skill). God bless him though, I still love him. Yes, our party was probably not very well made or strategized. We didn't have healing at all. If it's a problem with the party, don't blame the system for it. Plain and simple.


As far as the belt being customizable, while the DM was accepting of MIC items, he wasn't very accepting of the new customization rules. Further, you do need the cash to add to that belt. It gets expensive. But I will give you that, the healing belt is damned cool, and a great idea.

I wouldn't add to the belt anyways. By the time you can afford to add stuff, the belt isn't something you really care about wearing in battle. You just use it to heal efficiently outside of battle, since it *eventually* becomes more efficient than Wands of CLW after X days.



I will, however, stick with having a cleric, and if I show up and nobody has a cleric yet, I will gladly fill that role, because you can be fine without one, but you're a damned sight better with one.

Also, the reason you're a "damned sight better" with a cleric isn't because the Cleric heals well, but because there's a million ridiculously amazing things the cleric can do as a result of just being a plain ol' overpowered class. :smalltongue:

Adding a healer role isn't any more worthwhile than adding any other important role. That's the faulty logic a lot of people run into, and the reason they beat unwilling players into playing a Cleric (which is just wrong... I love clerics and all, but people should play what they want to play, and you can have a fully coherent and extremely effective team without an in-combat healer. You'll actually be beating up the same challenge encounters and still not gettin' killed, so you're not exactly a "damn sight better off.")

skywalker
2007-09-08, 12:28 AM
I'm certainly not going to beat someone into playing it. That's why I usually wind up as the cleric, because they're also fun in other ways, and you're being responsible(everyone of those tests has labeled me neutral good, I guess it's just in my nature).

It is true that it does become more efficient, eventually. But from personal experience, characters have been saved(perhaps even TPKs averted) by a wand of cure mod in the right hands(in certain cases, the rogue's hands). The belt is more efficient, but it doesn't have the ability to put out the gross amount of healing that the wand can in a short period of time. Which can be important sometimes(especially at low levels).

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-08, 12:54 AM
I'm certainly not going to beat someone into playing it. That's why I usually wind up as the cleric, because they're also fun in other ways, and you're being responsible(everyone of those tests has labeled me neutral good, I guess it's just in my nature).

It is true that it does become more efficient, eventually. But from personal experience, characters have been saved(perhaps even TPKs averted) by a wand of cure mod in the right hands(in certain cases, the rogue's hands). The belt is more efficient, but it doesn't have the ability to put out the gross amount of healing that the wand can in a short period of time. Which can be important sometimes(especially at low levels).

Uhhh... actually, wand of cure mod heals less than the belt. And costs more. The cure wand you *actually* want is Cure Light, or Lesser Vigor.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-08, 11:22 AM
Precisely. If you turn the page, there's a very specific example in which Lidda spends 4,000 gp to upgrade her boots of striding and springing to boots of striding and springing and +2 Dexterity. If the "50% guideline" were still in effect, that would have cost 6,000 gp.

The problem I have with this is that if I started with boots of dexterity +2 and made them boots of dextrous striding and springing +2, the extra 50% would apply that way. To me, this doesn't make much sense, as well as allowing for a whole level of min-maxing.

Chaos Bringer
2007-09-08, 12:00 PM
Great post, very useful for ideas. Unfortunatly i'm in the middle of an EverQuest campaign working off a mana system. The rest of the party keeps yelling at my because i DONT act like a healbot. Maybe i can get them to read this post and be quiet. I think their just bitter that my cleric has a higher AC than the "melee" classes. I know you probably dont know the EQRPG mana system and all that but if you do, an adaptation post on that would be really cool.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-08, 12:05 PM
To me, this doesn't make much sense, as well as allowing for a whole level of min-maxing.

It's actually a great design decision, if you ask me. I don't know about you, but I didn't appreciate *ALWAYS* needing to make my cloak a Cloak of Resistance, since you always, always, always needed to have the Big Six. And hundreds of other magic items available be damned.

Still, criticizing the MiC is COMPLETELY off topic, and I would prefer that you complained about perceived power creep in another topic.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-08, 12:08 PM
It's actually a great design decision, if you ask me. I don't know about you, but I didn't appreciate *ALWAYS* needing to make my cloak a Cloak of Resistance, since you always, always, always needed to have the Big Six. And hundreds of other magic items available be damned.

No, I think you understand me wrong: I don't have a problem with adding secondary features onto an existing item. What I do have a problem with is having it cost less if you do it one way. Starting with the boots of striding and springing and adding dexterity +2 costs 4000. Starting with boots of dexterity +2 and adding striding and springing costs 6000. It is this that makes no sense.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-08, 12:10 PM
No, I think you understand me wrong: I don't have a problem with adding secondary features onto an existing item. What I do have a problem with is having it cost less if you do it one way. Starting with the boots of striding and springing and adding dexterity +2 costs 4000. Starting with boots of dexterity +2 and adding striding and springing costs 6000. It is this that makes no sense.

No, I understand perfectly, you're continuing to derail the thread :smallannoyed:

Also, it can most certainly apply both ways. It's as easy as saying "it applies both ways." And, guess what? That's not a house rule any more than sticking to the DMG guidelines. As has always been stated explicitly by WotC, the DMG guidelines are not rules. At all. They're guidelines.

Fax Celestis
2007-09-08, 12:15 PM
I did say I'd stop, didn't I? I suppose I'd better stick to my word, then. I'll shut up now, unless I've got something better to contribute to the discussion beyond Item Crafting Debate.

Riffington
2007-09-08, 12:29 PM
Have a few potions.
First, there are certain fights where some characters are way more effective than others. Maybe you're a rogue and the party is fighting undead. Maybe you are facing hordes of weak foes, and your cleric already used his few area-effect spells. Maybe your Will save won't let you breach the key opponent's Sanctuary. Whatever.

Hopefully, whether because of DM kindness or player adaptation, you should rarely be useless - but sometimes you will be. Healing is a great backup plan, and potions are cheap for something that you'll rarely use.
Besides, that annoyingly-fragile princess you are trying to rescue can use potions. NPCs don't always take a level of ranger to qualify for wand use.

But yeah, potions should not be a main source of healing.

Aquillion
2007-09-08, 02:53 PM
The bit about surviving without a cleric seems to have left out one thing.

What about spells like Restoration, Remove Poison, and Remove Disease? Healing isn't just about HP; there are other ailments and problems that are very difficult to deal with without a divine healer. Lesser Restoration (level 2, and available in relatively cheap cheap potions) can help a little, but can't restore lost levels or permanent ability drain. Restoration is level 4 and has a 100 gp component, though, which would drive the cost of wands pretty high... and potions aren't listed as being automatically available, so you'll probably have to convice your DM that you can buy them. In any case, carrying potions for all those various ailments is going to add up a bit in cost.

More importantly, what about bringing back the dead? Death happens, and magical items that can do that are few and far between. Having to lug the body around and find an NPC who can do it every time is going to cause problems, especially if it takes you time to reach them.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-08, 06:18 PM
The bit about surviving without a cleric seems to have left out one thing.

What about spells like Restoration, Remove Poison, and Remove Disease? Healing isn't just about HP; there are other ailments and problems that are very difficult to deal with without a divine healer. Lesser Restoration (level 2, and available in relatively cheap cheap potions) can help a little, but can't restore lost levels or permanent ability drain. Restoration is level 4 and has a 100 gp component, though, which would drive the cost of wands pretty high... and potions aren't listed as being automatically available, so you'll probably have to convice your DM that you can buy them. In any case, carrying potions for all those various ailments is going to add up a bit in cost.

More importantly, what about bringing back the dead? Death happens, and magical items that can do that are few and far between. Having to lug the body around and find an NPC who can do it every time is going to cause problems, especially if it takes you time to reach them.

Wands and scrolls can both cure status ailments and raise the dead. But yes, it's fairly expensive.

Aquillion
2007-09-09, 03:31 PM
Wands and scrolls can both cure status ailments and raise the dead. But yes, it's fairly expensive.Scrolls would require a UMD check, or someone with the necessary spell on their class list (and it'd still have a failure chance). And I think wands max out at level 4? There are limited ways to bring back the dead at that level. Some of them were mentioned in this thread, but if it's been more than a few rounds and you don't want to risk a Reincarnation, you're pretty much stuck... plus, the material components for most of those spells would get absurdly expensive in wand form.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-09, 10:32 PM
Scrolls would require a UMD check Which, unless you're low level, is not much of an issue beyond a 5% chance of failure.
or someone with the necessary spell on their class list (and it'd still have a failure chance). Huh? Failure chance if it's on your list?
And I think wands max out at level 4? Scrolls don't.
There are limited ways to bring back the dead at that level. It's a non-issue, because SCROLLS DON'T. And they don't even cost more per use than wands.
plus, the material components for most of those spells would get absurdly expensive in wand form. In *reality*, the material components cost the exact same in item form as they do in spell form.

I think someone needs to reread their core books... you've got a lot of rules errors here. There is no failure chance for wands if the spell's on your class list. Material components are actually the same price in items as they are in spells.

Chaos Bringer
2007-09-10, 12:09 PM
Kinda funny, last night I played through the entire session by your guidelines. I spent nearly all my spells during combat nuking and occasionally buffing, without dropping heals at all. Not only did combat go way smoother, i actually used less spells than just sitting around being a healbot. <3 the guide, and learning that i dont have to be a healbot anymore!

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-09-10, 12:18 PM
It's true, clerics tend to have more fun (and sometimes some of the best fun in the game) when they're not healing. You get all kinds of crazy awesome buffs and cool utility spells.

Someone should make a "How to be Superman" guide for clerics.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-10, 12:26 PM
Someone should make a "How to be Superman" guide for clerics.

Man, Clerics are Superman without even trying. And Druids are arguably worse (Heck, at low level they can easily trip, grapple, pin, poison, cast spells as a full spellcaster, and full attack in the first round. And then their animal companion acts too, and is almost as good as a Fighter in the party. Dear lord.)

Mike_G
2007-09-10, 02:14 PM
The thing you do kinda need either a Cleric or scrolls for is the more specialized "fix the PC" stuff like Restoration, Break Enchantment, etc.

I've covered the group healing very well with my Beguiler, a huge UMD, a wand of CLW and a selection of scrolls.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-09-10, 02:24 PM
We'll call druids Ion. Their powers remind me of the enormous utility of a green lantern, but their level of power certainly deserves the embodiment of someone at or above what we're calling clerics.

Monks can be Aquaman.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-10, 03:16 PM
The thing you do kinda need either a Cleric or scrolls for is the more specialized "fix the PC" stuff like Restoration, Break Enchantment, etc.

I've covered the group healing very well with my Beguiler, a huge UMD, a wand of CLW and a selection of scrolls.

Scrolls can be used with next to no chance of failure (Unlike other skills, UMD normally fails on a 1) by anyone with UMD on their class skill list by the time the cleric gets Restoration.

In fact, I expect that I'll be having my RAVEN FAMILIAR for my new Rogue/Wizard/Unseen Seer/Arcane Trickster, who shares my skill ranks as part of the benefit of being a familiar, heal people up with scrolls (being a raven, he can talk, and thus use command words) like a little black winged medic. Also, shooting lasers out of his eyes with Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability and turning into a troll with Share Spells and all those other goodies familiars always get.

Aquillion
2007-09-10, 03:25 PM
Which, unless you're low level, is not much of an issue beyond a 5% chance of failure.Oh really? The UMD check to activate a level 5 clerical scroll--the minimum for reliablely bringing back the dead without potentially crippling drawbacks or limitations--is 29. Let's see, to lower the chance to 5%, you would need a total of +28 to your roll. Well, you can get +4 from synergies (which is pushing it--we're talking dropping 10 points in skills you're unlikely to use for anything else), and let's say +6 from CHA (it will be much worse if your UMD-monkey isn't a CHA-focused class), so that gives us... 18 skill points required? You'd have to be level 15. Not exactly 'low level'. And that's with a character who has devoted a significant portion of their skill points to this--hardly a painless way to replace the cleric.

And these scrolls are things you can't afford to see fail; they're very expensive, and you won't want to carry huge numbers of them on account of that.


Huh? Failure chance if it's on your list?Yes... if your caster level isn't high enough level to cast the spell yet, scrolls can still fail, and this is the only case when you would be relying on scrolls in the first place.


It's a non-issue, because SCROLLS DON'T. And they don't even cost more per use than wands. In *reality*, the material components cost the exact same in item form as they do in spell form.The wands cost prohibitively more at reasonable levels, that is, since you have to pay for a large number of charges (unless you can convince your DM to regularly make them available used, which is one step away from just relying on your DM to prevent you from ever dying.) A wand of one of the level 4 'quick' resurrection spells listed above would cost a significant chunk of your WBL at most levels; this is not exactly a painless substitute for bringing a cleric along.

Scrolls, as I already noted, have problems for other reasons.


I think someone needs to reread their core books... you've got a lot of rules errors here. There is no failure chance for wands if the spell's on your class list. Material components are actually the same price in items as they are in spells.No, you just didn't think things through.

Can you survive without a cleric? Sure. But you're going to pay extra for it one way or another.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-10, 03:59 PM
Oh really? The UMD check to activate a level 5 clerical scroll--the minimum for reliablely bringing back the dead without potentially crippling drawbacks or limitations--is 29. Let's see, to lower the chance to 5%, you would need a total of +28 to your roll. [Scrubbed] Actually, if your faiure chance is 5%, that means you need to roll a 1 to fail. If you're rolling 2, that means you need +27. 27+2 = 29.
Well, you can get +4 from synergies (which is pushing it--we're talking dropping 10 points in skills you're unlikely to use for anything else), and let's say +6 from CHA (it will be much worse if your UMD-monkey isn't a CHA-focused class), so that gives us... 18 skill points required? You'd have to be level 15. Not exactly 'low level'. And that's with a character who has devoted a significant portion of their skill points to this--hardly a painless way to replace the cleric. [Scrubbed] First off, if I'm, say, an artificer, I need to use UMD for stuff *all the time.* If UMD were 20% as hard as you claim it is, people wouldn't be saying that the artificer is one of the most powerful classes in D&D, let alone would they be telling you that "You totally don't need to invest in Cha because UMD checks aren't that hard. Get Int instead for more skills and bonus infusions," in all the artificer guides.

Anyways, let's say you're a level 10 rogue (ONE level after the Cleric would get Raise Dead). You got Skill Mastery as a special ability, and then you got 13 ranks in UMD. You already have an automatic 23. Now, you have synergies... giving you another +4. Then you have the masterwork tool, giving you another +2. That's already an automatic result of 29 with NO charisma and NO magic items and NO feats. The rogue automatically succeeds on activating the item with a zero percent chance of failure. And that's core only. Also in the repertoire of Core Only is Skill Focus and Circlet of Persuasion. [Scrubbed]

Let's say you're just a plain old shmuck with no special UMD abilities. You're not a Bard, Rogue, Artificer, or Warlock. Or maybe you just didn't want to take Skill Mastery. Whatever. Instead, you have a modest Charisma of 14. You also got something like Spellsight Spectacles (I think? I'm away from books, so sorry if that's the wrong name) for a cheap +5 to UMD for scrolls. Then, you're level 11 (because level 11 is just 2 levels over when a cleric gets Raise Dead, and so it's like every class that gets a spell one spell level later because it's "not their focus.") and have 14 UMD ranks. Then you get a Masterwork Tool for another +2. You also got the +4 from synergies. You're already at +14+2+4+5+2, or +27. If you took Skill Focus: UMD, you'd get it at level 8. Sooner than a cleric gets it, for the cost of one feat and a cheap magic item. That makes you actually BETTER at resurrecting than the cleric at that level. And I'm not even optimizing. This is just... normal.

If you're an artficer, you get +2 from having scribe scroll, and if you're a bard you get to take 10 or 11 on the check with the Magic Savant spell. An artificer is also going to use Skill Enhancement to raise his UMD at lower levels. A rogue can take the Skill Mastery special ability to take 10.


And these scrolls are things you can't afford to see fail; they're very expensive, and you won't want to carry huge numbers of them on account of that. I'm AFB at the moment, but... the chance of failure for some classes, such as Bard (with magic savant as a level 2 spell) or Rogue (with skill mastery) or Artificer over level (10, I think?) is actually 0%. In fact, you can UMD a wand of Magic Savant to make sure you can ace the checks for *very high* CL scrolls. And that way, you don't lose the high cost scrolls to the 5% failure chance (*if* you're a class that can't get the 0% failure chance).


Yes... if your caster level isn't high enough level to cast the spell yet, scrolls can still fail, and this is the only case when you would be relying on scrolls in the first place. [Scrubbed] Uhhmm... Scrolls are a fantastic tool for increasing your versatility as a caster. If you have access to them, and aren't relying on them, that's just... not smart. Also, wands do not fail the way scrolls do.


The wands cost prohibitively more at reasonable levels, that is, since you have to pay for a large number of charges (unless you can convince your DM to regularly make them available used, which is one step away from just relying on your DM to prevent you from ever dying.) A wand of one of the level 4 'quick' resurrection spells listed above would cost a significant chunk of your WBL at most levels; this is not exactly a painless substitute for bringing a cleric along. Uh, this is why you use scrolls. I never said you should get wands to resurrect people. Ever.


No, you just didn't think things through. I'm pretty sure that the evidence shows that the opposite is true. I believe you didn't think things through.



Can you survive without a cleric? Sure. But you're going to pay extra for it one way or another.

There is no counterpoint here (even if your supporting statements weren't thoroughly lacking)

As I already said, you pay extra for losing any class (unless it's one that's completely awful. There's something seriously wrong if the party doesn't care that you're not there). You make up for that cost in what the other class taken instead brings to the table in other areas.

(Note: You do usually lose more party power for not having a cleric in the party, but it's not because he's a healer. It's because he's awesome at everything, and other classes generally aren't. This is an issue of being overpowered. But making the world's most uber optimized party isn't the topic here. When was the last time you heard someone say "NO! You! Play a cleric! We want to have CoDzilla breathe radioactive fire on our enemies!" What they actually say is "NO! You! Play a cleric! We need to have a healer!" The second statement is the one based in the faulty logic of clerics filling the irreplaceable and invaluable role of heal-bot, which just about any experienced (mechanically) player knows to be false. The first is just an issue of everyone being rampant stereotypical powergamers, and creating a game where they don't want you to play anything that's not on the power level of a Cleric, Druid, Wizard, or Artificer)

Dausuul
2007-09-10, 06:44 PM
Actually, if your faiure chance is 5%, that means you need to roll a 1 to fail. If you're rolling 2, that means you need +27. 27+2 = 29.

Nitpicking here, but you do actually need a +28 to have a 5% chance of failure... because you have to emulate the proper ability score as well. Wisdom 15 requires a UMD check result of 30. Of course, that's assuming your Wisdom is 10 or less (if it's 11 or more, you can boost it with owl's wisdom instead). And a rogue with Skill Mastery can get by with a +20.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-10, 07:52 PM
Nitpicking here, but you do actually need a +28 to have a 5% chance of failure... because you have to emulate the proper ability score as well. Wisdom 15 requires a UMD check result of 30. Of course, that's assuming your Wisdom is 10 or less (if it's 11 or more, you can boost it with owl's wisdom instead). And a rogue with Skill Mastery can get by with a +20.

Nowhere in the hypothetical was it said that he had a wisdom that wasn't high enough, so it's not really relevant to that particular argument. Additionally, you can emulate the casting stat off of any class that can cast it, unless I'm mistaken (I might be... I'll need to double check that), which means that you probably won't have so much trouble qualifying.

Roland St. Jude
2007-09-10, 10:36 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: This thread is trending increasingly uncivil. Please treat each other with more respect and avoid flaming. If you have any question about what we mean by flaming here, please check the Rules of Posting. Thanks.

Dausuul
2007-09-11, 12:26 AM
Nowhere in the hypothetical was it said that he had a wisdom that wasn't high enough, so it's not really relevant to that particular argument. Additionally, you can emulate the casting stat off of any class that can cast it, unless I'm mistaken (I might be... I'll need to double check that), which means that you probably won't have so much trouble qualifying.

Depends on what sourcebooks you're allowed. If you can use Complete Divine, then of course you can emulate the favored soul and use your Charisma, which is presumably fairly decent if you're a UMD-monkey. On the other hand, Core-only characters are more or less stuck with Wisdom.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-11, 03:47 AM
Depends on what sourcebooks you're allowed. If you can use Complete Divine, then of course you can emulate the favored soul and use your Charisma, which is presumably fairly decent if you're a UMD-monkey. On the other hand, Core-only characters are more or less stuck with Wisdom.

I think you can also use Intelligence from the Archivist. So, basically, you can use any stat ya like for divine. And Int or Cha for arcane.

TimeWizard
2007-09-11, 05:41 PM
Ever heard of a cantrip called cure minor wounds? it only heals 1 point of damage. most clerics don't use it, but it has 2 advantages. 1st: it automatically stabilized dying characters.

This has to be, hands-down, one of the most over-looked features of magical healing. Remember that a single point of magical healing automatically stabalizes.

**edit: Isn't there something like a Ring of Regeneration that gives you 1hp/round, forever? What would the cost of something like that be?

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-11, 06:02 PM
This has to be, hands-down, one of the most over-looked features of magical healing. Remember that a single point of magical healing automatically stabalizes. Cure Minor is an okay tool for the low level cleric. However, if you have access to MiC, I would recommend Blessed Bandages at 10 gp a pop (usable by anyone) for automatic stabilization.

Orisons are often underestimated in general. Guidance is a great pre-emptive buff at low levels (hey, you want every +1 you can get) and handy for getting just that extra +1 to be able to take 10 successfully on a skill out of combat, and of course things like Detect Magic are always useful.

Aquillion
2007-09-12, 01:07 PM
First off, if I'm, say, an artificer, I need to use UMD for stuff *all the time.* If UMD were 20% as hard as you claim it is, people wouldn't be saying that the artificer is one of the most powerful classes in D&D, let alone would they be telling you that "You totally don't need to invest in Cha because UMD checks aren't that hard. Get Int instead for more skills and bonus infusions," in all the artificer guides.

Anyways, let's say you're a level 10 rogue (ONE level after the Cleric would get Raise Dead). You got Skill Mastery as a special ability, and then you got 13 ranks in UMD. You already have an automatic 23. Now, you have synergies... giving you another +4. Then you have the masterwork tool, giving you another +2. That's already an automatic result of 29 with NO charisma and NO magic items and NO feats. The rogue automatically succeeds on activating the item with a zero percent chance of failure. And that's core only. Also in the repertoire of Core Only is Skill Focus and Circlet of Persuasion.Artificiers are a special case; they have an ability (unique to them and warlocks) that lets them take 10 on UMD checks. Aside from those two classes, UMD is special; it specifically says in the text that you can't take 10 with it, ever. Skill Mastery doesn't help; it negates restrictions on your ability to take 10 if they come from stress or distractions, but it doesn't let you take 10 on a skill that simply forbids it.

You are welcome to try and convince your DM that the generic masterwork tool means that one exists for every single skill, including UMD, but I wouldn't bet my character on it, no more than you'd expect to be able to buy a masterwork tool to help your diplomacy or bardic knowledge checks. Nothing in the description of UMD implies that there even is a tool involved; using the generic tool listing to argue that a seperate tool exists for each and every skill, and that you can therefore get +2 to all your skills by spending a trivial sum of money, is rather stretching the point. The SRD, after all, doesn't say you can get a tool for any skill you want; it simply says that a masterwork tool grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a related skill check (if any.)

Telonius
2007-09-12, 01:32 PM
**edit: Isn't there something like a Ring of Regeneration that gives you 1hp/round, forever? What would the cost of something like that be?

My answer as DM: "More than you can afford."

My answer as number-cruncher: There are 14,400 rounds in a day. Lesser Vigor lasts 11 rounds, and does the same effect. That means, approximately 1,310 castings of Lesser Vigor per day. 50 charges/full wand = around 26 wands of Lesser Vigor per day. Cost of that: 19,500 gp (750 gp standard per wand). 19,500/(5/1310) is about equal to 5,109,000gp. Round it off for 5,110,000 gp.

As for the actual Ring of Regeneration (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/rings.htm#regeneration):

Regeneration
This white gold ring continually allows a living wearer to heal 1 point of damage per level every hour rather than every day. (This ability cannot be aided by the Heal skill.) Nonlethal damage heals at a rate of 1 point of damage per level every 5 minutes. If the wearer loses a limb, an organ, or any other body part while wearing this ring, the ring regenerates it as the spell. In either case, only damage taken while wearing the ring is regenerated.

Strong conjuration; CL 15th; Forge Ring, regenerate; Price 90,000 gp.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-12, 03:51 PM
My answer as DM: "More than you can afford."

My answer as number-cruncher: There are 14,400 rounds in a day. Lesser Vigor lasts 11 rounds, and does the same effect. That means, approximately 1,310 castings of Lesser Vigor per day. 50 charges/full wand = around 26 wands of Lesser Vigor per day. Cost of that: 19,500 gp (750 gp standard per wand). 19,500/(5/1310) is about equal to 5,109,000gp. Round it off for 5,110,000 gp.

As for the actual Ring of Regeneration (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/rings.htm#regeneration):

Pretty much. And the actual ring kinda sucks. Healing X/hour is pretty useless for 90,000 gp.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-12, 03:56 PM
Artificiers are a special case; they have an ability (unique to them and warlocks) that lets them take 10 on UMD checks. Aside from those two classes, UMD is special; it specifically says in the text that you can't take 10 with it, ever. Skill Mastery doesn't help; it negates restrictions on your ability to take 10 if they come from stress or distractions, but it doesn't let you take 10 on a skill that simply forbids it. That's your interpretation, but nothing in the text really invalidates the other interpretation, either. Which is why it's a subject that remains debated. Regardless, it *definitely* works for warlocks and artificers, and further, a 1% chance of failure isn't bad. So the Rogue still gets that, and thus is unlikely to fail regardless of the interpretation you take.


Skill Mastery

The rogue becomes so certain in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions.

Upon gaining this ability, she selects a number of skills equal to 3 + her Intelligence modifier. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. A rogue may gain this special ability multiple times, selecting additional skills for it to apply to each time.

That said, since it's a point of contention, it probably was a poor choice for an example.


You are welcome to try and convince your DM that the generic masterwork tool means that one exists for every single skill, including UMD, but I wouldn't bet my character on it, no more than you'd expect to be able to buy a masterwork tool to help your diplomacy or bardic knowledge checks. First off, by RAW you absolutely can, and it's *really* easy to justify flavorwise (heck, there was a thread on it somewhere with many, many examples). Be creative for a second and I'm sure you can think of several tools that would aid UMD ;)


Tool, Masterwork

This well-made item is the perfect tool for the job. It grants a +2 circumstance bonus on a related skill check (if any). Bonuses provided by multiple masterwork items used toward the same skill check do not stack.
We're talking about RAW, not your houseruled game, Aquillon.

Second off, it's only a +2, and there's tons of places you can get that +2. You could even, say, get that +6 Cha you used in your example instead of the +2 I used in mine. That already raises it an extra four. And skill focus or nymph's kiss raises it higher for the cost of one feat. And of course, there are magic items. =p

The thing is, no matter which way you go at it, getting a very high UMD just plain isn't very hard. And you can pretty much expect an Artificer, Rogue, Warlock, Bard, or whatever to make UMD checks almost all the time, unless there's an inexperienced player in control or it's really low level.


Nothing in the description of UMD implies that there even is a tool involved Uhhh, that goes for almost EVERY skill. Including ones that have specific +2 tools for them.

Kioran
2007-09-13, 01:54 AM
The worst thing about healing belts: They´re cheap enough to be affordable by lvl 2 and work better than the cleric at healing until lvl 5 at least. There´s something seriously wrong with such an Item, but then, there´s something seriously wrong with most of the stuff wizard brought out in the last 2 years......

No non-comsumable Item should, at the level it becomes affordable, surpass a primary class Feature it could replace/emulate. Ever. That´s just plain broken.

And I know many Forum regulars think that the fruits of bad game-design are their divine inheritance and given to them by the allmighty wizards of the cost, to stand in their glory under the tree of worlds, atop the corpse of tarrasque - at level 7...

.....but some things are simply not right, and it doesn´t take a professional game-designer to see it. I´m all for a game viable without a heal-bot, but it´s the DMs job as well - you do not need to cuddle your players, but items like these are a bad workaround, since people will insist on using them even in a regular campaign, and they significantly (again, *sigh*) heighten the powerlevel.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 02:59 AM
The worst thing about healing belts: They´re cheap enough to be affordable by lvl 2 and work better than the cleric at healing until lvl 5 at least. There´s something seriously wrong with such an Item, but then, there´s something seriously wrong with most of the stuff wizard brought out in the last 2 years...... Eh? Same goes for a Wand of Lesser Vigor for the same price. It just runs out after 20 encounters or whatever. And has the versatility to give more than 6d8 per day. It takes about 20 days of full use (including using efficiency heals rather than bursts) for a Healin' Belt to catch up to a Lesser Vigor wand. That's going to mean a few levels.


No non-comsumable Item should, at the level it becomes affordable, surpass a primary class Feature it could replace/emulate. Ever. That´s just plain broken. Then wands of Cure Light Wounds and Lesser Vigor are broken too. *Shrug.* I've never seen hp restoration as one of the cleric's highlights.


And I know many Forum regulars think that the fruits of bad game-design are their divine inheritance and given to them by the allmighty wizards of the cost, to stand in their glory under the tree of worlds, atop the corpse of tarrasque - at level 7... Ah, no, I can think of quite a few things that do that, but I ban pretty much all of them ;)


.....but some things are simply not right, and it doesn´t take a professional game-designer to see it. I´m all for a game viable without a heal-bot, but it´s the DMs job as well - you do not need to cuddle your players, but items like these are a bad workaround, since people will insist on using them even in a regular campaign, and they significantly (again, *sigh*) heighten the powerlevel.

I think you're overreacting just a bit here. The actual benefit of the heal belt is long term efficiency vs short term full-role benefit compared to the Wand of CLW or Lesser Vigor (which, incidentally, become available just as easily). That, and the healin' belt gives the benefit of burst healing once a day.

So...

Wand of Lesser Vigor: Fully heal everyone in the party between every fight in the day. Takes a good long time to run out.

Healing Belt: Gain a limited amount of healing every day, to a maximum of 6d8 between fights (often not enough to keep a party on its feet all day), or one burst of 4d8. However, doesn't run out *ever.*

There's a tradeoff of benefits there, and indeed I know that I might very well buy a Lesser Vigor wand over a Healing Belt. Yeah, it's effective. But "game-breaking"? That's an exaggeration. It takes more than 4d8 points of healing once per day to break the game. Your enemies can do a whole lot more than 4d8 points of damage during the day.

In fact, there *are* some really great (as in overpowered) ways of healing that are far more efficient than the Cleric, like the cheap infinite healing trap. THOSE are what I think I would consider "too much" and I've intentionally not included those so as not to encourage such stupidity.

Jannex
2007-09-13, 04:28 AM
I wasn't going to post in this thread again, and usually I don't post just to pick on somebody's spelling, but this just struck me as funny... (No offense meant!)



.....but some things are simply not right, and it doesn´t take a professional game-designer to see it. I´m all for a game viable without a heal-bot, but it´s the DMs job as well - you do not need to cuddle your players, but items like these are a bad workaround, since people will insist on using them even in a regular campaign, and they significantly (again, *sigh*) heighten the powerlevel.

You undoubtedly meant "coddle" there, but I will agree that in most games, cuddling one's players is, and should be, strictly optional. Though most people do appreciate a hug now and then, if your gaming group is comfortable enough with one another. :smallwink:

bignate
2007-09-13, 07:50 AM
Quote:
.....but some things are simply not right, and it doesn´t take a professional game-designer to see it. I´m all for a game viable without a heal-bot, but it´s the DMs job as well - you do not need to cuddle your players, but items like these are a bad workaround, since people will insist on using them even in a regular campaign, and they significantly (again, *sigh*) heighten the powerlevel.

I think you're overreacting just a bit here. The actual benefit of the heal belt is long term efficiency vs short term full-role benefit compared to the Wand of CLW or Lesser Vigor (which, incidentally, become available just as easily). That, and the healin' belt gives the benefit of burst healing once a day.

sure the wand of lesser vigor may heal more if you have the time but i would say the reasons the belt is broken and the wand is not are:

1. the wand may be the same price but is consumable, it doesnt last forever.
2. the wand cant be used by everyone, only people that could heal anyway and those that max out UMD
3. anyone can cheaply get the belt and heal negating the benefit of the classes that do heal.(whether or not you want to believe it healing is a class feature for cleric)

i would also like to note that another excellent and efficient healer that i didnt see mentioned here is the dragon shaman, their fast healing aura (up to half) is great and they get a healing touch(at 6th) far better than lay on hand of the paladin.

we currently have a group of:

human dragon shaman(gold) 5
halfling scout 5
half elf bard 5
human bard 3/ranger 2

we do just fine on healing though some times we spend most of the session at half hitpoints(thanks to the DS aura) with no more healing, there was even a point where there was a puzzle where we had to figure out the combination of levers to pull in a dungeon room to open a door and every time we got it wrong it did a small amount of damage(like 5) so we just kept trying them and when we got below half we just started waiting 5 rounds between pulls...:smallsmile:

this actually brings up another good healing thing that we use in this group which i didnt see mentioned here. our half elf bard uses the "healing hymn" alt class feature from complete champion. it is a song that adds the bards ranks in perform to any conjuration(healing) spells cast by those effected so our 5th level bard casts cure light wounds to heal 1d8+13(5 for level and 8 for ranks in perform)! that is an average of 17.5 for CLW at 5th level... this is awesome for healing and would be even better if we had a cleric with cure minor wounds...at 5th level here it would be a 0th leel spell healing 9!

jameswilliamogle
2007-09-13, 08:30 AM
Also, a Binder with Buer get unlimited down-time healing, and an Incarnate can work pretty decently as a backup healer. Also, Dragon Shamans have that really good Vigor aura. Just saying...

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 12:50 PM
sure the wand of lesser vigor may heal more if you have the time but i would say the reasons the belt is broken and the wand is not are

Again, I think you're throwing around the word "broken" pretty wantonly here. It doesn't break the game in half, or even come close. Too powerful might be argued (and indeed, there is a rather extensive thread on it on the WotC boards arguin' both ways), but broken is *really* stretching it.


1. the wand may be the same price but is consumable, it doesnt last forever. Right. The wand generally provides a greater short term benefit, while with the item you're making a longer term investment. It's the same with any decently balanced consumable vs everlasting, really.


3. anyone can cheaply get the belt and heal negating the benefit of the classes that do heal.(whether or not you want to believe it healing is a class feature for cleric) This is just completely wrong. Having a belt of healing doesn't make you the party healer, because 4d8 once a day or 6d8 only healing out of combat does NOT make you good enough to cover the healing role. You'd actually need several belts of healing to reliably cover the group. Having 550 hp on hand to dole out as needed, however, does make you the party healer, and does let you heal as much as you need. A belt of Healing doesn't let you use Close Wounds like a level 2 cleric. It doesn't let you use vigor scrolls. It doesn't let you take the Touch of Healing feat. It doesn't let you heal 6d8+30 damage with swift or non-actions like a level 3 artificer. It doesn't do any of that. All it does is *contribute* to efficiency healing out of combat (not fulfill the role entirely, like a wand of CLW or Lesser Vigor does.), or provide a 1/day burst heal that's *actually decent* at the level you can expect to get it.

Take a level 3 Cleric. He likes to heal, so he has the Healing domain, and the Augment Healing and Touch of Healing feats. He can heal allies up to half hp for free all day every day. He also can Cure Moderate Wounds for 2d8+4+5 (average 18 hp) by expending a second level spell slot. He can also cast Lesser Vigor to heal an ally for 17 hp. He can also cast Close Wounds as an immediate action to heal or prevent 1d4+9 (average 11.5 hp) at a range. He also can use a wand or collection of scrolls of Cure Light Wounds or Lesser Vigor to full heal allies between fights all day.

By contrast, the Belt of Healing is curing 18 hp (the amount healed by the level 3 cleric's Cure Moderate Wounds) *once per day*. And nothing else. And hey, last I checked Cure Moderate Wounds wasn't awesome anyways. Close Wounds is totally more awesome, cuz it's an immediate action with range and can prevent lethal strikes that otherwise couldn't be healed.

The cleric is in no way being outclassed by the Healing Belt. And heck, he's going to invest in wands of Lesser Vigor, and NOT a Healing Belt. If it was as awesome a choice as you make it out to be (broken) then he'd always pick the healing belt.



i would also like to note that another excellent and efficient healer that i didnt see mentioned here is the dragon shaman, their fast healing aura (up to half) is great and they get a healing touch(at 6th) far better than lay on hand of the paladin.

Well, actually, the dragon shaman's ability to heal allies up to half hp is worth one feat (Touch of Healing, Complete Champion). I hardly consider that "excellent." Anyways, I've never used the Dragon Shaman, and I don't comment on things I have no experience with. However, I would be *glad* to take a contribution on their benefits, and would be happy to add it to the guide. Just remember the qualifiers I posted for being considered "effective."

Oh, and staying for most of a session at half hp is a bad, bad idea. This is a good way to die unless your DM is coddling you. D&D is a game where it's not hard to go down in one round if you're at *FULL* hp. Being at half just makes the job that much easier.


Also, a Binder with Buer get unlimited down-time healing, and an Incarnate can work pretty decently as a backup healer. Also, Dragon Shamans have that really good Vigor aura. Just saying...

Again, I don't have incarnum or Tome of Magic, so I can't add those things to the guide unless *YOU* lay them out neatly for me. Thanks :smallsmile:

PlatinumJester
2007-09-13, 01:30 PM
Tnaks so much for this. Our only healers are our 2 rangers who won't get any healing spells 'till level 6 (and they'll probably use those on themselves. Selfish bastards) and our bard has to take 5 levels of Monstrous humanoid until he can get healing spells.

Kioran
2007-09-13, 01:44 PM
Again, I think you're throwing around the word "broken" pretty wantonly here. It doesn't break the game in half, or even come close. Too powerful might be argued (and indeed, there is a rather extensive thread on it on the WotC boards arguin' both ways), but broken is *really* stretching it.

I´ll admit it doesn´t break the game, but being able to shrug off more damage between encounters makes series of non-threatening encounters wearing the players even more difficult than they already were. 3.87 Ed (+all the Splatbooks and twinkage you want) Encounters are to binary already (either the PCs easily shrug them off, or the PCs start to die immediately). This item is just a disturbing continuation of that trend.


This is just completely wrong. Having a belt of healing doesn't make you the party healer, because 4d8 once a day or 6d8 only healing out of combat does NOT make you good enough to cover the healing role. You'd actually need several belts of healing to reliably cover the group. Having 550 hp on hand to dole out as needed, however, does make you the party healer, and does let you heal as much as you need. A belt of Healing doesn't let you use Close Wounds like a level 2 cleric. It doesn't let you use vigor scrolls. It doesn't let you take the Touch of Healing feat. It doesn't let you heal 6d8+30 damage with swift or non-actions like a level 3 artificer. It doesn't do any of that. All it does is *contribute* to efficiency healing out of combat (not fulfill the role entirely, like a wand of CLW or Lesser Vigor does.), or provide a 1/day burst heal that's *actually decent* at the level you can expect to get it.

Take a level 3 Cleric. He likes to heal, so he has the Healing domain, and the Augment Healing and Touch of Healing feats. He can heal allies up to half hp for free all day every day. He also can Cure Moderate Wounds for 2d8+4+5 (average 18 hp) by expending a second level spell slot. He can also cast Lesser Vigor to heal an ally for 17 hp. He can also cast Close Wounds as an immediate action to heal or prevent 1d4+9 (average 11.5 hp) at a range. He also can use a wand or collection of scrolls of Cure Light Wounds or Lesser Vigor to full heal allies between fights all day.

By contrast, the Belt of Healing is curing 18 hp (the amount healed by the level 3 cleric's Cure Moderate Wounds) *once per day*. And nothing else. And hey, last I checked Cure Moderate Wounds wasn't awesome anyways. Close Wounds is totally more awesome, cuz it's an immediate action with range and can prevent lethal strikes that otherwise couldn't be healed.

The cleric is in no way being outclassed by the Healing Belt. And heck, he's going to invest in wands of Lesser Vigor, and NOT a Healing Belt. If it was as awesome a choice as you make it out to be (broken) then he'd always pick the healing belt.



Well, actually, the dragon shaman's ability to heal allies up to half hp is worth one feat (Touch of Healing, Complete Champion). I hardly consider that "excellent." Anyways, I've never used the Dragon Shaman, and I don't comment on things I have no experience with. However, I would be *glad* to take a contribution on their benefits, and would be happy to add it to the guide. Just remember the qualifiers I posted for being considered "effective."

Oh, and staying for most of a session at half hp is a bad, bad idea. This is a good way to die unless your DM is coddling you. D&D is a game where it's not hard to go down in one round if you're at *FULL* hp. Being at half just makes the job that much easier.

Again, I don't have incarnum or Tome of Magic, so I can't add those things to the guide unless *YOU* lay them out neatly for me. Thanks :smallsmile:

It´s not perfectly balanced against this, but then, this is 3.87 Ed. Class Features have become approximately 3 times as powerful in the meantime, and readily available twinkage makes almost all kinds of wacky specialisation available anyway. Complete Champion is one of the worst offenders in that regard.
Besides, you´re already mentioning binary fights - win-or-die in 2 rounds. The monster will go down in two rounds anyway, either by save-or-die, red-cloud-Chargemonkey or Travesty-of-Blades maneuvers. Any Monster which can be perceived as a threat is thus conceivably able to drop a PC in these two Rounds, since partial damage is, as you have illustrated, only of small importance in 3.87 Ed.
I´m glad there Core-Campaign I´m DMing doesn´t go like that. Attrition creates suspense, and I for one like it.....

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 02:27 PM
It´s not perfectly balanced against this, but then, this is 3.87 Ed. Class Features have become approximately 3 times as powerful in the meantime, and readily available twinkage makes almost all kinds of wacky specialisation available anyway. Complete Champion is one of the worst offenders in that regard.
Besides, you´re already mentioning binary fights - win-or-die in 2 rounds. The monster will go down in two rounds anyway, either by save-or-die, red-cloud-Chargemonkey or Travesty-of-Blades maneuvers. Any Monster which can be perceived as a threat is thus conceivably able to drop a PC in these two Rounds, since partial damage is, as you have illustrated, only of small importance in 3.87 Ed.
I´m glad there Core-Campaign I´m DMing doesn´t go like that. Attrition creates suspense, and I for one like it.....

Fights in D&D have *always* lasted only a couple of rounds on average when everyone knows what they're doing. You might think it's different for a core-only campaign, but it isn't. There's still all the save or loses, high damage, and so forth in core. It's not something that's resulted from supplements, trust me.

Example: A level 1 Wizard casts Sleep or Color Spray and takes out a whole enemy party. Or they make their saves. A level 1 cleric uses Cause Fear. A level 1 Fighter hits someone with a greatsword and does enough damage to take them out in one hit. A level 1 Rogue sneak attacks for similar damage. Wham, "binary" as you put it.

These "binary" fights as you call them are the reality of D&D as it is and as it always has been in 3.5. If your fights are lasting 7 rounds, then odds are people don't have a clue what they're doing, regardless of what sourcebooks you're using.

The idea that core is somehow more balanced in every way than other books is simply not true. Heck, as Tempest Stormwind put it (though in far more verbose form), you can make a more balanced (and still complete) system without using core (psionics and tome of battle instead of Fighters and vancian casters, for example)

Starbuck_II
2007-09-13, 02:34 PM
Fights in D&D have *always* lasted only a couple of rounds on average when everyone knows what they're doing. You might think it's different for a core-only campaign, but it isn't. There's still all the save or loses, high damage, and so forth in core. It's not something that's resulted from supplements, trust me.

Example: A level 1 Wizard casts Sleep or Color Spray and takes out a whole enemy party. Or they make their saves. A level 1 cleric uses Cause Fear. A level 1 Fighter hits someone with a greatsword and does enough damage to take them out in one hit. A level 1 Rogue sneak attacks for similar damage. Wham, "binary" as you put it.

These "binary" fights as you call them are the reality of D&D as it is and as it always has been in 3.5. If your fights are lasting 7 rounds, then odds are people don't have a clue what they're doing, regardless of what sourcebooks you're using.

Although, if the enemy is a higher CR it is possible to last more than 7 rounds:
Like a 7 Party of 8's, versus 2 Fire giants: can last longer than 7 (Because they have 2 CR 10's).

That was a tough fight last game.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 02:36 PM
Although, if the enemy is a higher CR it is possible to last more than 7 rounds

Not really. Odds are that if you can't kill your enemy in 7 rounds, he can kill YOU in that time (though many DMs will actually not utilize the full abilities of a monster, either because they don't want their PCs to die or because they don't actually know how. I always assume the DM isn't coddling). There are exceptions, but generally fights don't last more than a few rounds (again, regardless of sourcebooks used. This issue began in core).

An example of it lasting longer because some people have no idea what they're doing: My current kalashtar psion has next to no offensive power. He really just kinda shuts down enemies and relies on the rest of the party to kill them. When he was level 3, he pretty much completely shut down a pair of Clockwork horrors who were across a pit from him, and with their -4 to ranged attacks from entangling ectoplasm they just plain couldn't hit. Then, he whittled away at them with about 1d4 damage per round from Control Flames. It was pretty hilarious (and kinda sad) because the reason this happened was because the rest of the party seemed to have no idea what they were doing.

The fight began with a pit trap that both tanks fell in, and I threw down a rope to help them out. The roguely type jumps across the 15 foot pit for some reason to go into melee with them alone, and quickly finds herself getting owned for obvious reasons and quickly retreats across the pit (and then actually RUNS OUT OF THE DUNGEON). When the tanks get back up to the surface, the party paladin forgets about gravity and, before I can slap him in the back of the head for being stupid, tries to jump across the 15 foot spiked pit (in full plate) to engage the horrors. Then he falls on the spikes AGAIN and takes falling damage AGAIN and nearly dies. ...Basically, the party had no idea what they were doing, so it lasted longer than a few rounds because, although I had basically "won" by shutting down the enemy's ability to do any damage, no one would deal the damage to kill them with so much as a simple hail of arrows.

Oh yeah, and after it all, I found out the paladin neglected to get a wand of CLW (which he could easily have afforded and could have used with no failure, since it doesn't work like scrolls), so *I* had to heal up the party as much as I could with the Healing Belt that I got just as a last resort.

That's not how your parties should work. Ever.

Kioran
2007-09-13, 02:42 PM
Fights in D&D have *always* lasted only a couple of rounds on average when everyone knows what they're doing. You might think it's different for a core-only campaign, but it isn't. There's still all the save or loses, high damage, and so forth in core. It's not something that's resulted from supplements, trust me.

Example: A level 1 Wizard casts Sleep or Color Spray and takes out a whole enemy party. Or they make their saves. Wham, "binary" as you put it.

These "binary" fights as you call them are the reality of D&D as it is and as it always has been in 3.5.

I know that the win buttons exist even in Core, but they´re more scarce. Besides the Wizard and Cleric monopolizing most of them (which is unfair, but I´d rather have unfairness than a significant increase in win-buttons), they doin´t work reliably. Sure, Tasha´s hiedous laughter(a serial offender, pissing me off by making the use of Class-lvl NPCs a lot more difficult) and Color spray, many low-lvl encounters can be won. But these are about the only win buttons, they don´t work quite as reliably(there´s saves involved), and finally, the wizard will run out of them sooner or later, mostly sooner, because he´ll want some spells like mage armor to protect his scrawny arse.....Mindless creatures or some others will also be immune against many win-buttons, and particularly prepared spellcaster won´t always have another suitable one prepared.
The problem with 3.87 compared to 3.5 is that now, everyone has a win-button, and not having an Ability or special attack capable of instantly defeating many Monsters is actually a hazard and gimping yourself. the other one is going to have a win-button, and if you don´t hit yours, you can be toast in the next round. Didn´t use "Diamond Nightmare strike to put that Barbarian/Psychic Warrior out of your misery? He´ll hustle, take the AoO, Charge and disintegrate you in a fine red mist with 240+ pounce-enhanced Damage.
There´s so many win-buttons, you can´t exhaust them all, nor can anything you build be immune against most of them (except for that Lloth Touched, Half-Dragon, vampiric Wereooze), since there´s oodles and noodles of other ways to have at them, and chances are, your party has them, since everyone has at least one or two.
HP and resilence haven´t nearly scaled with Damage or special attacks, and fights are a lot more lethal now. They need to be, since a monster needs a win-button as well to threaten the players, and things like "Swallow whole" look like not much nowadays if not coupled with reach and the ability to devour the entire party in less than 2 rounds. There´s little in the way of slow death and fights which boil down to "hitting it with pointy objects until it drops"......

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 02:45 PM
I know that the win buttons exist even in Core, but they´re more scarce. No they're not. For casters, most of them are in core (Go check the "list of spells that actually remove people from the game" Frank put up. Though he went through *all* the supplements, most of it is core.)

Also, as for working reliably... uhhh, they're going to work after a few rounds of tries from four players.

Heck, even if it's something as simple as "4 fighters charge the big darn monster, then they continue to attack the enemy, and they only have core feats" it's not going to take 8 rounds.

Usually, when it takes that long, it's because for some reason people are failing to engage or effectively attack (You start a long ways away and no one has long range abilities, for example), or they're just doing something stupid (as in my above example). Or it's a special sort of combat with some special mitigating situation involved.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-09-13, 02:52 PM
The polymorph spells alone are super broken, and the only non-broken versions of those spells I know are the ones that aren't core. I have never DMed a game where I didn't outright ban or severely cripple that entire line of spells.

Core divination in general is likewise abusive, letting you know what the DM's planning to try and challenge you so you can proceed accordingly and prepare a winning strategy weeks in advance.

There are area effect instant death spells in core. Nuff said.

Forcecage, cloudkill, time stop- all core, and the most cited method for insta-killing any living non caster without fail.

What about core spellcasting isn't broken, exactly? Blaster spells?!

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 02:53 PM
The polymorph spells alone are super broken, and the only non-broken versions of those spells I know are the ones that aren't core. I have never DMed a game where I didn't outright ban or severely cripple that entire line of spells.

Core divination in general is likewise abusive, letting you know what the DM's planning to try and challenge you so you can proceed accordingly and prepare a winning strategy weeks in advance.

There are area effect instant death spells in core. Nuff said.

Forcecage, cloudkill, time stop- all core, and the most cited method for insta-killing any living non caster without fail.

What about core spellcasting isn't broken, exactly? Blaster spells?!

Core is full of much brokenation. People who believe otherwise are holding to beliefs as arbitrary as superstition.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-09-13, 03:00 PM
It's true. I could sit here with the PHB open and probably list dozens more stupidly broken core spells. How about Mordenkainen's Disjunction? Ressurection? Gate? Wish? Miracle? Slow gets an honorable mention.

Kioran
2007-09-13, 03:01 PM
No they're not. For casters, most of them are in core (Go check the "list of spells that actually remove people from the game" Frank put up. Though he went through all the supplements, most all of it is core.)

I already said Casters have them in Core, and they have plenty - but the Spell conpendium contains more (shivering Touch anyone?), some of which are decidedly harder to avoid or survive than, say, a cloudkill (Poison immunity anyone? is actually affordable) or many will save-or-dies in Core.


Also, as for working reliably... uhhh, they're going to work after a few rounds of tries from four players.

Now we´re getting somewhere. You´ll need repeated attempts, since sometimes you don´t hae the right tool for the job. This exposes you to more danger and depletes your ressources faster. Thus, the monster doesn´t need to be quite as frightening to cost you the same ressources.


Heck, even if it's something as simple as "4 fighters charge the big darn monster, then they continue to attack the enemy, and they only have core feats" it's not going to take 8 rounds.

Usually, when it takes that long, it's because for some reason people are failing to engage or effectively attack (You start a long ways away and no one has long range abilities, for example), or they're just doing something stupid (as in my above example)

Well, I bet in many games situations like "invisible enemies" or "flying enemies" have new kinds of workarounds ("hearing the air" for example), and since there´s more options, and players have more, they´ll find one sooner.


For all those who do not want to believe in my assertion that class features have become more powerful while HD have stagnated, take a long, hard look at LA. "Mineral warrior" and "Lloth Touched" spring to mind, as newer LA-Templates. Now take a look at the Char-op boards (Hard-core Powergamers are the best playtesters you can have - anything that will be used a lot by them is probably slightly to highly overpowered). I can predict, without actually looking, old LA Tamplates and races disappearing from the builds over the years (well, receeding, as in growing more scarce), and being replaced either by more useful ones (who grant more for their LA) or being replaced by lvls in Prestige classes which have Features simply more worth that lvl in the first place.
Now tell me, am I totally mistaken on that trend?

Edit: Removed the misplaced "munchkin" word-drop.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 03:10 PM
I already said Casters have them in Core, and they have plenty - but the Spell conpendium contains more (shivering Touch anyone?) Spell Compendium has Shivering Touch in it? I think you're just making stuff up. Also, Shivering Touch should be banned, because it's a stupid, overpowered spell.
some of which are decidedly harder to avoid or survive than, say, a cloudkill (Poison immunity anyone? is actually affordable) or many will save-or-dies in Core. Many, huh? Oddly, I can't think of many, and I'm a guy who knows his casters.



Well, I bet in many games situations like "invisible enemies" or "flying enemies" have new kinds of workarounds ("hearing the air" for example), and since there´s more options, and players have more, they´ll find one sooner. Hearing the air isn't any better than core options that accomplish the same goal. It's just a new way to see invisibility. Heck, with core, you use Glitterdust and reveal invisibility to the whole party AS WELL AS blinding in an area of effect as a second level spell.


For all those who do not want to believe in my assertion that class features have become more powerful while HD have stagnated, take a long, hard look at LA. "Mineral warrior" and "Lloth Touched" spring to mind, as newer LA-Templates. Now take a look at the Char-op boards (Hard-core Powergamers are the best playtesters you can have - anything that will be used a lot by them is probably slightly to highly overpowered) I am a Char-Opper guy. I know how to hardcore powergame. I know dozens and dozens of ways to break the game in half (though, of course, I wouldn't ever do those things in an actual game... those things are just for the theoretical op boards). You don't need to tell me that there are some noncore options that are better for some situations than some core options. That doesn't necessarily mean that a straight core wizard won't be able to go to town on it, though. Of course a wizard with all supplements available is going to be better off than one without: There's more options, so he can more precisely choose what he wants. That doesn't mean core's balanced and noncore's broken.

One of the biggest things casters get from supplements are swift and immediate actions. And yes, there are a few broken noncore options, but there are broken CORE options too. Saying that noncore is inherently worse somehow is holding a double standard. You can do the exact same thing to Celerity that you did to Polymorph: Hit it with the banstick like the fist of an angry god.

Also, talking about LA... are you serious? LA has pretty much always sucked, save for a few notable examples. LA has almost always been decidedly underpowered.

Kioran
2007-09-13, 04:01 PM
I am a Char-Opper guy. I know how to hardcore powergame. I know dozens and dozens of ways to break the game in half (though, of course, I wouldn't ever do those things in an actual game... those things are just for the theoretical op boards). You don't need to tell me that there are some noncore options that are better for some situations than some core options. That doesn't necessarily mean that a straight core wizard won't be able to go to town on it, though. Of course a wizard with all supplements available is going to be better off than one without: There's more options, so he can more precisely choose what he wants. That doesn't mean core's balanced and noncore's broken.

One of the biggest things casters get from supplements are swift and immediate actions. And yes, there are a few broken noncore options, but there are broken CORE options too. Saying that noncore is inherently worse somehow is holding a double standard. You can do the exact same thing to Celerity that you did to Polymorph: Hit it with the banstick like the fist of an angry god.

I do not claim Core to be balanced or unbroken, but I claim many of the alterations to core being at least as broken as well (and it´s not the percentage of broken that counts, sadly, but the sum), with few things (such as polymorph alterations) actually intended to redress a recognized problem. Hell, some things, like for example orbs, have dealt some of the non-broken or even underpowered options in Core the killing blow.
Generally, going out of Core worsens most core issues, and fixing most things requires houseruling or DM-action anyways. Adding to the amount of things to look out for doesn´t make it better, especially since many of it isn´t nearly as flavorful or necessesary.


Also, talking about LA... are you serious? LA has pretty much always sucked, save for a few notable examples. LA has almost always been decidedly underpowered.

It´s been practical only for two roles anyway: Fighter or secondary Fighter/secondary Skillmonkey, for example to get your hands on some ability scores for your specialty fighting or getting size, specific qualities (DR, Energy resistance, powerful build etc....). Most things you do run off of your HD, and most things your Race influences are basic type and HD. Half-ogres might actually make sound grapplers, for example. For these, LA at least partially works.

As soon as you have classes like full casters, martial adepts or others which rely heavily on class Features for their effective power, practically no one wants to lose class levels for anything. Don´t lose caster levels. The existence of this maxim prooves that this one class feature is more powerful than three increases in HD size, more Strength and better Saves (lloth Touched), in fact, more precious than almost anything not directly synergistic with your primary class Feature.
And this problem, at least, has become worse, since there has been an increase in class-Feature powered classes (favorite Example: ToB, but in a pinch, Beguilers, Duskblades, Warlocks or Spellthiefs also do)over HD-powered classes, which causes the shaky LA to break down completely.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 04:04 PM
I do not claim Core to be balanced or unbroken, but I claim many of the alterations to core being at least as broken as well (and it´s not the percentage of broken that counts, sadly, but the sum), with few things (such as polymorph alterations) actually intended to redress a recognized problem. Hell, some things, like for example orbs, have dealt some of the non-broken or even underpowered options in Core the killing blow. Scorching Ray isn't broken. It's not dealt the killing blow by the orb spells.

The orb spells are kinda silly though. You toss a magically-held-together ball of magically summoned energy into an antimagic field for the win!

Again, though, it's a very easy matter to just say "Okay, we can use Spell Compendium, but I don't like spells X, Y, and Z." The fact that these things come up during character creation, and you can approve or disapprove on the spot on a case by case basis, makes it even easier.


Generally, going out of Core worsens most core issues, and fixing most things requires houseruling or DM-action anyways. Adding to the amount of things to look out for doesn´t make it better, especially since many of it isn´t nearly as flavorful or necessesary. I disagree. I think you get more balance for your buck when you throw in, say, Tome of Battle and toss out the Fighter. And it's easy to ban a few offending broken rules (White Raven Tactics and Iron Heart Surge? Go away. Okay, we're good now!)

Kioran
2007-09-13, 04:13 PM
I disagree. I think you get more balance for your buck when you throw in, say, Tome of Battle and toss out the Fighter. And it's easy to ban a few offending broken rules (White Raven Tactics and Iron Heart Surge? Go away. Okay, we're good now!)

I disagree heartily, and in my mind, ToB is, and will always be, a stopgap. They rebalance the game, with at least partial success, yes. That I will concede and won´t deny in any shape or colour.

What I disagree with: They didn´t do it by actually rebalancing at a current standard, but by setting a new standard and taking some classes a long way towards that new standard. Seriously, almost any ToB-Char can be considered as effective as a somewhat optimized Core non-Full-caster without even trying hard.
And I see few people using even mid-LA Races with ToB anymore, which is, once again, indicative of a massive shift of power from HD to Class as well. That is, though I have other gripes as well, my main problem.
Power derivative from class places a much stricter limit on your role and what you can do, and thus, indirectly on the fluff. Power by HD is nicer for many things, the least of which would be Monster design..........

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 04:24 PM
I disagree heartily, and in my mind, ToB is, and will always be, a stopgap. They rebalance the game, with at least partial success, yes. That I will concede and won´t deny in any shape or colour.

What I disagree with: They didn´t do it by actually rebalancing at a current standard, but by setting a new standard and taking some classes a long way towards that new standard. Seriously, almost any ToB-Char can be considered as effective as a somewhat optimized Core non-Full-caster without even trying hard. Uhhm.

Look, if all choices were balanced, there wouldn't BE much in the way of optimization. Each choice would be balanced, so then picking one over the other wouldn't be all so much more "optimized." If you're optimized without even trying, and not so much more optimized when you are trying, that's indicative of BETTER BALANCE.

Also, there WASN'T a standard of balance before (we're talking Monk vs Druid in core, here, people). I don't know where you're getting that whole concept.



And I see few people using even mid-LA Races with ToB anymore

Errr, I never saw more than 1 or 2 people using races with even a +1 LA ever since core, because even 1 point of LA would generally be a very, very suboptimal choice. The focus of power has always been on class, not HD. Heck, look at the HD vs CR guidelines in the 3.5 MM. WotC tells you that themselves, saying that a monster might have a CR equal to 1/3 its HD if all it's getting is stuff like BAB and the like, as opposed to loads of special abilities.

Ealstan
2007-09-13, 06:05 PM
I saw someone mention this earlier, but I like reiterating, so:

Binder.

At lvl 5 a binder can easily take over as between-encounter healer. When bound, Buer (lvl 4 Vestige) gives the binder 'Healing touch", which as a standard action heals 1d8+Binder lvl every five rounds. There are of course situations in which this is not optimal, such as being on a timer (Save the princess before she falls in the lava!), but even so it eliminates the need for most wands, as Binder's healing is infinite and costs nothing. Now at that lvl you can only pick buer, making you a heal-bot, in a mere two lvls you can bind two at once, which opens your options again.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-13, 06:17 PM
I saw someone mention this earlier, but I like reiterating, so:

Binder.

At lvl 5 a binder can easily take over as between-encounter healer. When bound, Buer (lvl 4 Vestige) gives the binder 'Healing touch", which as a standard action heals 1d8+Binder lvl every five rounds. There are of course situations in which this is not optimal, such as being on a timer (Save the princess before she falls in the lava!), but even so it eliminates the need for most wands, as Binder's healing is infinite and costs nothing. Now at that lvl you can only pick buer, making you a heal-bot, in a mere two lvls you can bind two at once, which opens your options again.

Thanks for giving it in some detail. Is all this information correct? (Don't get to check it myself, so I'd like to see some peer review before I add it to the guide)

Fax Celestis
2007-09-13, 06:38 PM
Thanks for giving it in some detail. Is all this information correct? (Don't get to check it myself, so I'd like to see some peer review before I add it to the guide)

It is.

Also, as far as Incarnum goes (I just got my book back yay!), there's a feat that allows you to invest essentia into your Lay on Hands and/or Wholeness of Body features. It lets you add the number of essentia invested to your class level when determining the actual amount you can do. This is really a pretty minor bonus, however, since the maximum cap for invested essentia is basically HD/5, round up. Smart DMs will houserule it applies to a Dragon Shaman's Touch of Vitality as well.

Also, the Lifebond Vestments soulmeld allows a Lay on Hands-like ability, up to a total number of points per use equal to Meldshaper Level + 5*Essentia Investment. Of course, you take half the amount, rounded up, as damage into yourself. Binding the soulmeld to your Arms Chakra lets you do it at 30', and binding it to your Heart Chakra lets you do it at will, to any target.

The Phoenix Belt soulmeld also allows you to turn fire damage into Fast Healing. Basically, whenever you reduce fire damage through your resistances (the soulmeld gives you some), you gain Fast Healing 1 for a number of rounds equal to the total amount of fire damage you successfully resisted. Notably, it doesn't stack with other sources of fast healing.

The Therapeutic Mantle soulmeld augments any healing you receive equal to the spell's level plus twice the number of essentia you invest in it. Also, when bound to your shoulders, the soulmeld also gives an insight bonus to caster level for healing spells you cast equal to essentia investment.

...and that's about it, as far as healing goes, in that book.

bignate
2007-09-14, 11:24 AM
Fights in D&D have *always* lasted only a couple of rounds on average when everyone knows what they're doing.

if the encounters in your games only last a couple of rounds then it is your group DM that doesnt know what he is doing. if a DM knows his players abilities and plans his encounters accordingly fights will last much longer. use intellegent enemies with varied abilities and it will not be a short fight. as i DM most of the fights i run last 7-8 rounds

now i will give you that in 3.5 once you get above about 10 there is a flaw where if you just throw out a single random even(+/- 2) con mob most fights are kill or be killed in 3 rounds or less but that is where the DM should correct this by chooseing enemies that will not be this way and the best way to avoid it is to use multiple enemies. this is harder on the DM having to keep track of the abilities of all the mobs but it is really worth it.

just as an example: i know the last game i ran i had a frenzied berzerker who could do like 400-500 dmg in a round(at 16th level)...that will end a fight with almost anything real quick but it is easy to compensate for with things like many smaller enemies that negated his damage because every hit did 3 times one creatures hitpoints. i also sometimes used flying or incorprial creatures and one time i was really cruel and had them fight a group of jovocs...he was fun though because he would double the duration of the fights because he would fail his save and attack the party for a few rounds(and nearly caused a TWP twice)...

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-14, 11:49 AM
if the encounters in your games only last a couple of rounds then it is your group DM that doesnt know what he is doing. if a DM knows his players abilities and plans his encounters accordingly fights will last much longer. use intellegent enemies with varied abilities and it will not be a short fight. as i DM most of the fights i run last 7-8 rounds Lessee... In my brand new campaign so far, the fights for the level 4 party have been... a group of sahuagin boarders on a ship. They would swarm individuals with two with tridents and one entangling with a net, they were buffed by a cleric, and they were led by a sublime way variant ranger (basically, the Ranger, ToB-ified). This all happened in the middle of a heavy storm, using rules for heavy rolls and all that from Stormwrack. The enemies did things like swing from the rigging, and they went for the captain (which the PCs had to get to and protect) since it was in a dangerous reef and one false turn would wreck the ship and make it easily salvageable for the sahuagins. Next encounter, the PCs are hiking through the thick jungles of Xen'drik and run across a bladetooth titan (That's a T-Rex to you non-Eberron folks), and promptly have to find a way to sneak around and avoid the encounter. Second fight... carnivorous mutant lightning apes (a homebrew variant on the Horrid ape) stalk the PCs for two days through the thick jungles, and whenever one stepped out of the attention of the main group they would pounce and drag them off into the underbrush. Third fight... the PCs encounter a drow tribe's scouts, which at first engage by using their SLAs and the support from an adept, but quickly flee when outmatched. The PCs need to chase them down to prevent them from warning the larger group. (They fail, as they quickly take advantage of the terrain and disappear from sight). Fourth fight is something of a puzzle encounter. Before them are the ruins of Olech'taruz, defended by strange, tiny golems that crawl under your skin a la The Mummy that swarm over the entire expanse and perimeter. All around them, dozens and dozens of drow armed with various ranged weapons. Before them, about 30 feet into the wall of deadly construct beetles, is the leader of the drow with a strange aura that seems to repel them. The PCs have to think fast or die, and they end up using some teamwork to beat the distance between themselves and the drow leader, beat her into submission, and take advantage of her own protective item to keep the swarms at bay as they rush into the ruins with volleys of arrows comin' in after them. Fifth fight is an encounter with the ancient guardian spirit of the giant architect Haljyan in the Solarium of the ancient sun goddess's temple ruins. The Huge edifices of animated constructs summon giant flails made of pure spikes of sunlight focused from the light streaming in through the massive chamber (spanning a few hundred feet. Giant scaled places are pretty big.) They quickly use Awesome Blow to try and knock the PCs out of the aura of the drow leader into the deadly swarms, as well as doing high damage. Next fight is a trap... a bladed portcullis falls to seperate the party and lock them in to the trap area as they descend into the hall of ashes, and a flammable gas rises into the room, and is ignited as the equivelent of fire elementals are summoned from the urns, lighting the whole room on fire.

All of these encounters had brutal opponents who took advantage of the unique terrain (which indeed differred a lot by encounter. I don't think I've EVER run an encounter in what could be described as an ordinary room) and used smart tactics (such as the sahuagins using entangle and takedown for the dozens of mooks, with buffs before the fight from a cleric and support during, and the Ranger using leadership abilities and charging straight for the casters and/or the captain with prodigious damage). And all of them required completely new and unique tactics on the part of the PCs to defeat. In fact, I've been called a killer DM before, because I tend to make really challenging encounters, including a few that you can't really expect to even win unless you get creative (like the one where they were surrounded by the drow).

Who's not using intelligent enemies or varied encounters? It's definitely not ME. In fact, I've got a lot of experienced players, and they tend to tell me that I make the most interesting and varied encounters of anyone they've played with. Ever.

Are you saying that I don't know what I'm doing as a DM? I think anyone who's ever played a game with me before would beg to differ :smallwink:

((Oh, and guess what? Those things, with all their complex factors and special situations, all still tend to last only a few rounds. And if they don't, the party tends to die, because the enemies are smart enough to kill *them* in 3 rounds))



just as an example: i know the last game i ran i had a frenzied berzerker who could do like 400-500 dmg in a round(at 16th level)...

Heh, I've never allowed frenzied berserkers. Still, 400-500 damage isn't that scary for one. They can really do a whole lot more. Not that it matters unless enemies actually have higher HP than that. If an enemy has 400 hp, it doesn't matter if you do 500 damage or 50,000, so long as it takes them out of the fight. Which is part of why casters doing lower pure damage are still going to be much scarier than that berserker. Also, actually intelligent enemies can trip up a frenzied berserker pretty easily, especially at 16th level.

bignate
2007-09-14, 01:08 PM
did any of those encounters last less than 5 rounds? those are very creative scenarios and even the way to describe tells about the amount of time they took.

i am not saying you are a bad DM, it is just style and every DM has their own, what i am saying is that it is the DMs job to make the fights fun and interesting and if the majority of the encounters are kill or be killed in 3 rounds or less there is something wrong. that propts people to just throw everything they have at it and hope they win. IMHO longer lasting endurance fights where the players have to chose there actions carfully not only for how it will effect the enemy but how it will effect their own endurance are much more fun.

of all the games i have played in or run over the past 15 years i would say the average combat duration has been from 7-10 rounds. IMHO shorter fights provoke players to power game more and not be creative.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-09-14, 01:12 PM
I've never seen a fight last longer then 5 rounds that didn't have an obvious reason for it needing to take that long, such as a tremendous number of enemies or a boss that needed to be avoided about as much as it needed to be stopped. These are pretty special situations and among the few times that it's good to have powerful healing on hand, since staying power becomes an issue.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-14, 03:57 PM
I've never seen a fight last longer then 5 rounds that didn't have an obvious reason for it needing to take that long, such as a tremendous number of enemies or a boss that needed to be avoided about as much as it needed to be stopped. These are pretty special situations and among the few times that it's good to have powerful healing on hand, since staying power becomes an issue.

Yeah, likewise. The only times I've seen normal fights (even ones with lots of special factors) take more than 5 rounds was if someone was doing something seriously wrong, or in situations like those Viscount just mentioned. With a few special exceptions.


did any of those encounters last less than 5 rounds?

Absolutely. In fact, in a few of them there were PCs getting taken down to negative hit points in round 2 or so. No one has died yet, though. The party's an artificer, dread necromancer, duskblade, factotum, and warblade.


Those are very creative scenarios and even the way to describe tells about the amount of time they took. Creative? Yes. OBSCENELY LONG TEN ROUND COMBATS? Heck no.



i am not saying you are a bad DM, it is just style and every DM has their own, what i am saying is that it is the DMs job to make the fights fun and interesting and if the majority of the encounters are kill or be killed in 3 rounds or less there is something wrong.

On the contrary, that's just how D&D usually *IS* unless people really don't know how to take advantage of a monster's or a PC's abilities. Even if PCs are a very low level and doing only, say, a modest 15 damage per round (with no "you lose" effects like Cause Fear, Color Spray, Sleep, Hold Person, and so forth), then that means enemies are going to be expecting 60 damage per round, and people don't have that kind of hp barring, I don't know, a dwarven psychic warrior using Vigor with a maxxed out Constitution. And maybe a cleric using Shield Other to help him out with that.

Cruiser1
2007-09-14, 05:09 PM
I don't have a problem with adding secondary features onto an existing item. What I do have a problem with is having it cost less if you do it one way. Starting with the boots of striding and springing and adding dexterity +2 costs 4000. Starting with boots of dexterity +2 and adding striding and springing costs 6000. It is this that makes no sense.I can see how the above makes sense. An item is like an empty room. If you lay down the carpet first, it's easy to later go in an add furniture. If however you start with furniture, and later want to add carpeting, it's much more expensive (because you have to remove all the future beforehand, and later go put all the furniture back where it was).

For a more in-character analogy, certain magic qualities (such as simple stat buffs) are simple to work with. Adding multiple qualities to a single magic item is like trying to stuff two items in a small box. Specialized qualities like a heal belt are solid, like a bowling ball. Simple qualities like stat buffs are more fluid, like a large bag of sand. It's much easier to start with a bowling ball in a box, and then pour sand around it (i.e. start with a healing belt, and add a stat buff to it) than it is to start with a box half full of sand, and stuff a bowling ball in there too (i.e. start with a stat belt, and add healing to it).

Cruiser1
2007-09-14, 05:32 PM
The orb spells are kinda silly though. You toss a magically-held-together ball of magically summoned energy into an antimagic field for the win!I don't think the Orb spells work that way. You can't cast at a target inside an antimagic field (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/antimagicField.htm) and actually damage things in the field (like you can with non-magic effects like shooting an arrow inside one). The Orb spells are still magic and still supressed by the antimagic field (even if they have the flavor of being conjured non-magic elemental energy that gets thrown). What makes the Orb spells very powerful is they have no saving throw and they ignore spell resistance, so if you can make the easy range touch attack it's basically guaranteed damage.

Only a few specialized spells such as Prismatic Wall (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/prismaticWall.htm) or Prismatic Sphere (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/prismaticSphere.htm) work in an antimagic field, and even than you can't actually cast those spells while in an antimagic field. Those spells just aren't supressed if cast ahead of time and later the area of an antimagic field overlaps them (making those spell effects similar to non-magic or instantaneous permanent effects like Wall of Stone (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/wallOfStone.htm)).

Burrito
2007-09-14, 07:10 PM
alright, I will wade in with some of my antiquated wisdom.

Ring of Vampiric Regeneration, not sure if it made it to 3.5 or if it is still just AD&D. do X ammount of melee damage and you get half of that back to you as healing. Great for the tanks to have.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-14, 07:31 PM
alright, I will wade in with some of my antiquated wisdom.

Ring of Vampiric Regeneration, not sure if it made it to 3.5 or if it is still just AD&D. do X ammount of melee damage and you get half of that back to you as healing. Great for the tanks to have.

Yes, it came back, in an obscure sidebar (I forget the sourcebook, actually), named "wrathful healing." It just seemed too good, though, so I decided not to include it.

Then again, I suppose that is a bit inconsistent of me. I did mention Faith Healing, after all, and that's plenty cheesy. Guess I'll make mention of Wrathful Healing too, but just note that it's, you know, cheesy.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-14, 07:36 PM
I don't think the Orb spells work that way. Well, you thought wrong, unfortunately. You may not think they *should* work that way (and I'm inclined to agree) but that's how they actually work. They also work against magic immune enemies.


(The effects of instantaneous conjurations are not affected by an antimagic field because the conjuration itself is no longer in effect, only its result.)

As instantaneous conjurations, you can *absolutely* shoot orbs into an AMF field.


What makes the Orb spells very powerful is they have no saving throw and they ignore spell resistance, so if you can make the easy range touch attack it's basically guaranteed damage.

Guaranteed damage < guaranteed damage with special effects (dazing, sickening, etc).

tsuyoshikentsu
2007-09-14, 07:44 PM
Yes, it came back, in an obscure sidebar (I forget the sourcebook, actually), named "wrathful healing." It just seemed too good, though, so I decided not to include it.

Then again, I suppose that is a bit inconsistent of me. I did mention Faith Healing, after all, and that's plenty cheesy. Guess I'll make mention of Wrathful Healing too, but just note that it's, you know, cheesy.

Enemies & Allies. I actually had the misfortune to buy the damn thing.

OneWinged4ngel
2007-09-14, 07:48 PM
Enemies & Allies. I actually had the misfortune to buy the damn thing.

All I can say is "Ouch."