Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 70
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me

    A Healer's Handbook

    "Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up" - Batman Begins
    (Style shamelessly pilfered from EvilAnagram's guides, because they're amazing. If you haven't, go look them up.)



    So, you want to be a healer? Or maybe your party thinks it needs one? After all, how hard can it be? Even a new player can't screw it up, right?

    Well, bad news. Healing is, typically, pretty bad in D&D. 95% of healing is suboptimal at best, if not a deficit to the party because of opportunity cost. Unfortunately, the people who often get saddled with this usually don't know any better, and so they come to view it as a chore.

    Good news! Healing can be, if utilized correctly, an extremely fun and rewarding path which contributes heavily to a party. In fact, if you play it optimally, a healer can be fun not just for you, but for the whole party. It can even take some stress off for the DM.


    Why Healing Is Good



    It's Rewarding

    Healing is a thankless job. Or it's a job everyone appreciates. Depends on the party. But in a friendly group it usually comes with at least some praise. Whether or not it comes with a doggie treat and a pat on the head, some people just enjoy that playstyle. I am one of them. Nothing screams awesome to me like bringing someone back from the brink of death and putting them almost to full hp(if they're a squishy) in one turn, only to see them charge forward and decapitate their foe. We like seeing heroes pick themselves up and win. As a healer, you can make that happen.


    It Reduces Stress

    Having a dedicated healer means the party will be somewhat less stressed out about fights, while still allowing things to feel dangerous. Having someone watching over you at all times means you can charge forward into danger with more resolve. For a DM, this also means that you can throw more difficult or interesting encounters at players knowing that if things get bad they'll be able to get a second chance. That doesn't necessarily mean they can jack up the CR. A good controller wizard will be a better option in that case. But the DM can do extended encounters with waves of enemies, or "swingy" high damage effects without worrying about it resulting in a TPK. Either way, it makes the DM feel a little more comfortable trying different things.


    It's Reliable

    Healing has no critical hits. It has no saving throws. It always does what it says it does. Barring a well timed counterspell or some form of disruption, you can be pretty confident you'll get your healing off. D&D combat can be swingy. Healing is not. It reduces the chance of a critical putting you in a bad spot. Cutting Words can't stop a critical(though it's pretty much better than healing in every other situation), but healing can undo it.


    Why Healing Is Bad


    It's Inefficient

    Even for a dedicated healer, you *never* want to heal first. Healing should be plan B even for the most dedicated. A simple comparison. Guiding Bolt does 4d6 damage(avg 14) and grants advantage on the next attack roll. Factoring in hit chance, that might only be like 7 damage, but it's still granting advantage which is a net gain. Cure Wounds does 1d8+3(at level 1), which averages 7.5 hit points, but doesn't grant advantage. Now that seems like it's equal footing, but keep in mind that you're only one party member. If you're facing multiple orcs with bows, their damage output is going to be way higher than a measly 7.5 hit points.


    It's Suboptimal

    The opportunity cost of healing is bad. Generally speaking, healing stops one round of damage from one enemy. Killing that enemy stops all subsequent rounds of damage. Walling or control is even better, because it stops all subsequent rounds of damage(or at least mitigates them) without having to chew through it's HP first. Basically even in the most dedicated healer you don't want to heal if you can avoid it.


    Color Coding

    • This is best in class.
    • This is VERY strong.
    • This is pretty good.
    • This is okay. It could also be campaign dependent or situational.
    • This is bad.
    • This is absolute garbage.



    Generally speaking, anything from Purple up is playable. Not all of them will be great, but as with most optimization guides, you need to weigh how much fun something is. The goal of this guide isn't to make you always play the best possible option, but to let you find a way to do what you want(healing, you masochist) without being a liability. Going a bit further, I need to explain the rating system in greater detail. I will be rating things off of 2 categories.

    The first category is how good it is at healing(since this is a healing guide). The second will be how good it is at other things. Since healing is always plan B, you need to have an actual plan A or else you're going to be pretty weak. I am placing MOST of my emphasis on healing first and foremost, but other factors will weigh into it as well. Mostly this comes down to opportunity cost. Am I gaining more in plan B than I am losing in plan A? Is plan A still viable? This rating system means that good classes may be rated badly in healing, but a bad build that heals well will never be rated highly.
    Last edited by Garresh; 2017-12-29 at 03:53 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    "It ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward." - Rocky


    Types of Healing


    Healing comes in many different categories. If you haven't gathered from the last few paragraphs, opportunity cost is the deciding factor between good and bad healing. It is the dividing line between a great healer and a great way to get your party killed.

    Sustained Healing

    If you came from a game like World of Warcraft, or Overwatch, or Killing Floor, this is what you think of when you see healing. This basically means you heal every round of combat with the intent of keeping your party topped off. This is beyond bad. You're basically NPC tier at that point, and probably about as useful as someone half your level in combat. Don't do this.


    Out of Combat Healing

    The viability of an out of combat healing option is going to depend on a number of factors. Some healing can be rated as high as Sky Blue. Others will be firmly Brown. As with most things, the thing to consider is what you're paying for it. As an out of combat option, Cure Wounds and Healing Word drop in power massively as compared to Prayer of Healing. However, out of combat, everyone has some capacity to heal themselves simply by resting. Healing potions in most compaigns are readily available. Factoring this, the viability of out of combat healing is going to vary substantially. I would say that in a typical campaign it is Purple, but in an Adventurer's League game which focuses heavily on dungeon crawling and combat, it can rise to Blue. Generally, you can't go wrong grabbing some efficient out of combat heals. Just don't go multiclassing JUST for out of combat heals.


    Incidental Healing

    Basically, healing in such a way that you don't use actions, or only use bonus actions to do it. The ideal goal of this type of healing is that you're healing other party members while still performing your primary function, or at least doing some decent damage. You still need to consider costs in terms of spell slots, but spells like Healing Word or Aura of Vitality are never bad spells to have access to. People are going to drop eventually, and when that happens you need to be able to get them up quickly without losing rounds of combat to pure healing. This is where incidental healing comes in. If you're a class or build that doesn't rely on bonus actions as much, or using a form of incidental healing that doesn't consume other resources, then you really can't go wrong with doing that. Sometimes even when people are below half but haven't dropped yet. It depends on a number of factors(as always), but this type of healing is generally good.


    Burst Healing

    Sometimes, bad things happen. You run into an enemy who rolls high on that fireball after you were already a little beat up from the last fight. Now your rogue and wizard are down, you're in single digits, and there's more AoE effects which threaten to knock you out or kill your party outright. Enter the burst heal. This is generally the best healing option, because for one round healing catapults up such that it is no longer an opportunity cost. When you're level 5 and you put out over 70 healing in one round across the whole party, you've definitely earned your keep. Generally burst healing will use your action, but after that you resume crushing skulls.

    Chumbawamba/Whack-A-Mole

    This isn't so much a strategy(although sometimes it can be) as it is a result of healing in a bad situation. Since healing doesn't keep up with enemies, you will often be unable to outpace enemy healing once someone goes down. But leaving them downed is an extremely dangerous proposition, so you have to keep bringing them back up every round. Depending on their position in initiative, this may result in them more or less not losing any actions except half movement to stand up. Or it could result in them losing almost every turn. This is why burst healing is generally better than incidental healing. It bypasses this. But if you have access to incidental healing, better to keep your friends alive while still doing damage than to let them die.

    On that note, I've often noticed that many D&D players aren't aware of just how dangerous falling unconscious is. Any source of damage, no matter how small, results in a failed death save. Worse, if an enemy attacks an unconscious target, the attack is an automatic critical, which results in 2 failed death saving throws. I actually had a character die in AL(a dedicated healer, ironically) because I went down and my party was like "We'll get him up after the fight" while extra damage killed me next turn.

    It's something of an implicit understanding by DMs not to attack downed players. Not even necessarily because they're aware of how fragile the downed player is, but because it's just not fun for anyone involved. Mostly, the DMs who do that are *****. Now there are good reasons to attack a downed player, such as an assassin hired to kill that particular player, or a particularly vicious dragon who enjoys eviscerating his food in front of its companions. If a DM crosses that line they'd be a total **** not to at least warn the party what's coming.

    Regardless, even if they don't target downed players specifically, there are lots of AoE and ongoing damage effects which can kill a downed player very quickly if not healed. So don't delay. Give them the bare minimum healing and actions required to get them back up, so they get a little safety. Then focus on ending the fight. Unless you're a burst healer. Then you just bring them back above half in one turn because you're awesome.
    Last edited by Garresh; 2017-12-29 at 03:54 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook


    "It's time to be immortal, 'cause heroes never die." - Megadeth

    Class Options


    Before going forward, let me say that I have not tried every build listed below. I have played a LOT of healers, and tried a lot of the stuff included herein. I've also seen some other options played by other players at tables. Since this is still a work in progress, I will be marking builds that I haven't personally played using the following guidelines. I would appreciate any feedback if someone has more information there. This guide just spans too much material to be done to optimal accuracy by one person, so I will take any feedback.


    *Played Something Similar

    Basically this is a case where I've played something very similar to the combination, except with different subclasses. I'm making some guesses as to how it plays in practice, rather than theory. But the jump is small and can be considered reasonably accurate. These may need to slide up or down in tier by a bit, but can be considered fairly accurate.


    **Have not played at all

    This is pure theory. I've run some numbers and looked at stats, but I would take this with a hefty grain of salt.



    Edit: So I'm making some adjustments based on the feedback received so far. I had initially intended to keep status effect removal as more of a utility caster thing. In hindsight, it really should be bundled under the healer role. I will be adjusting tier placements accordingly. Additionally, I had some oversights with regards to some spells from Xanathar's, and will be adjusting that as well. Also got a lot of feedback from Paladin players which raised good points.

    Single Classes


    Cleric X

    Unfortunately, as a healer, the average cleric is not nearly as exciting. It still has access to all the key incidental heals such as Healing Word and Mass Healing Word, but without the efficiency increases they feel much less exciting. Warding Bond becomes a lot more dangerous when you don't have the potency of a life cleric. On the upside, Clerics of all sorts do still get access to the restorations and to remove curse. All in all, from a non-healing perspective you can consider Clerics to be very strong, but not for the purposes of this guide. Make no mistake though. Clerics are an AWESOME class, and nearly every domain is excellent. But only one domain stands out as a healing domain.



    Cleric(Grave) X

    Grave is a weird domain. It tries to focus on healing through death, and I'd say it does a good job thematically. Circle of Mortality makes its healing of unconscious targets much better. Of course with Healing Word it retains the ability to perform incidental healing, but the bonus from Circle of Mortality won't be enough to match the bonus from Disciple of Life. On the other hand, an upcast Cure Wounds suddenly becomes a *very* powerful burst heal. Sentinel at Death's Door is also really good, but it comes up pretty rarely. While it arrives pretty late, Keeper of Souls is effectively a "free" heal as far as action economy is concerned. Even with all these abilities you're way behind the Life domain. The general takeaway is that the Grave domain is really good at healing people who are unconscious. Given that in an ideal world that is the *only* type of healing you should be doing in combat, I'd say that makes this above average. But from an optimization perspective, unless you're looking to use the channel divinity to combo with some ungodly burst from someone else, you really shouldn't pick this. It's spells are weaker, and its heals more situational. Still, if you have reasons to pick this due to backstory, you absolutely should. They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and compared to the Life domain pretty much everything else is crap. You're still above average in the grand scheme of things. You can do a lot worse than this domain.



    Cleric(Life) X

    Few options are better than a pure life cleric. It gets decently powerful buff options like Bless, which last all career. It gets Spiritual Weapon and Spirit Guardians, so it can wade it and do damage. With heavy armor, you can always feel useful no matter the context. No class has as many ways to remove status effects and keep party members from being disabled by diseases(though other classes get counterspell). Also, its healing efficiency gets jacked up a bunch. Life clerics possess pretty strong incidental healing in the form of Healing Wordand Mass Healing Word, which both benefit from Disciple of Life.

    Prayer of Healing gives excellent out of combat healing which gets the Disciple of Life boost to each target. Going up higher, you get access to things like Warding Bond which can be paired with Blessed Healer to make your incidental healing even MORE efficient. Then you get spells like Revivify and Heal. Preserve Life is a fantastic burst heal which can be used with Mass Healing Word. And as if that weren't enough Life Transference means that burst healing is almost always available(albeit risky at times). Luckily, the self damage is somewhat offset by Blessed Healer. And as you approach the capstone, you get Supreme Healing which basically maximizes every heal from there on out. The only downside of life clerics is they're a tad boring for my tastes. They're powerful, but unless you enjoy roleplaying a priest you may get bored with them. Either way, they have incredible options for Plan A AND Plan B, so you can never go wrong with them.



    Bard X

    Bards aren't going to be stealing the spotlight on healing. They get a little out of combat healing bonus, and some good debuff spells and ways to amplify damage. Heroism is good at low levels. On the whole, they're just going to be behind other classes at most levels. They have Healing Word, so they can bring some panic incidental heals, but not very much. They also get access to Lesser Restoration although it comes at the cost of a spell slot. Still, every little bit helps. HOWEVER, after level 10 they can still start pilfering some decent healing spells. Admittedly, gems like Aura of Vitality will come late, but any bard past level 10 who chooses can be considered a passable healer.



    Bard(College of Glamour) X*

    This is a weird one, and kind of hard to rate. Mantle of Inspiration is a pretty good effect, but the healing is secondary to it. It blocks like, maybe half of an attack, but it uses bardic inspiration dice AND is an AOE that affects pretty much your entire party. It won't bring downed members back up, but used in conjunction with Cure Wounds it will give them enough HP to maybe last one hit, AND allow them to get a free disengage(though standing up will eat half their movement). It's a weird case of trading raw healing for a powerful incidental effect that also grants a lot of mitigation. It's also sort of spammable. I wouldn't recommend this by itself, but it's a nice way to play a conventional bard while also buffing in an atypical way. Still, I think Lore pretty much crushes it in almost every category. Speaking of...



    Bard(Lore) X

    What? Bard is a better healer than cleric?! Sort of. So the thing about bards is that with magical secrets, they can pilfer Aura of Vitality at a pretty low level. They also get Cutting Words, which does enough to provide mitigation that it becomes worth mentioning. Also, while it doesn't come up every fight, Counterspell becomes Amazing when pilfered by a Lore Bard. Song of Rest gives them a little bit out of combat healing. It's pretty small, but it's also free, so it's worth using. They also use charisma, which means they can pick up Inspiring Leader which is really good for reasons I'll get into later. Individually, any of these would not be enough, as it shows with the rating of Glamour. But together it gives a hodgpodge of good incidental healing and mitigation which makes for a pretty nice package deal. It still doesn't have anything even remotely approaching a burst heal though. Bards are just an amazing support class, and Lore bards make that better in every way.



    Druid X

    So Druids lose out on a lot of spells that Clerics get access to. No Mass Healing Word, Revivify, or Prayer of Healing means they have a much smaller selection than a cleric. People often go to Goodberry but in truth it scales poorly unless paired with Disciple of Life, which we'll get into later. A Cure Wounds with +5 wisdom mod heals an average of 9.5 HP, only .5 less than Goodberry. Goodberry also doesn't make up the gap from losing Prayer of Healing. It's not all bad though. Druids have a lot of hidden gems in their spell list, and can arguably make a better support than many clerics via spells like Faerie Fire, Heat Metal, the various walls and ensnares it can create, and other fun tricks it has up its sleeve. However, with the release of Xanathar's, druids have gained access to Healing Spirit which is an insanely efficient heal, both in and out of combat. You can think of it like Aura of Vitality, except better in every way. Additionally, since it is only a second level spell, it seriously offsets the loss of Prayer of Healing over a cleric. It's still not as good, but it is very good.

    After rereading the rules, it clearly specifies that Healing Spirit has a limit of once per turn, not once per round. This is the same logic that allows rogues to sneak attack twice per round whenever they get an opportunity attack. This makes Healing Spirit one of the most overpowered healing spells in the game. It may be enough to bump every single Druid and Ranger multiclass up a tier. I'm holding off for now, but the spell is seriously good.



    Druid(Circle of Dreams) X*

    Balm of the Summer Court is an extra pool of healing that is used as a bonus action, has a range of 120 feet, and heals 1d6+1 hp per two levels. That's...okay. Not great, but it's not bad. Having a pool of bonus action heals handy means you can do incidental heals without wasting spell slots. It definitely gets better as you level though. A level 10 druid probably isn't going to upcast their Healing Word for an extra 2.5 hp per level. A Balm of the Summer Court on the other hand will be putting out an average of 22.5 hp as a bonus action twice per day, assuming you use it at max power. You can choose to hold that in reserve and spend it in single die increments if you're chumbawamba-ing, or you can combine it with an upcast Cure Wounds to create a moderate burst heal since it's not a spell. Lastly, there's nothing I can see that blocks you from using it while wildshaped. I mean, I don't know why you'd be wildshaped as a non-moon druid in a situation where you need healing, but sometimes edge cases occur.

    On the whole, it's a nice supplemental source of healing which can be used alongside your spells. With all that being said, I still sort of recommend against this. You lose so much utility in other categories. This is one of the rare cases where you're trading more Plan A for Plan B, but it's still viable. That's more a testament to all the gems on the druid spell list than a statement of Balm of the Summer Court being really good. But scaling healing that doesn't use spell slots IS good. And while it is somewhat niche, Balm of the Summer Court doesn't count as a spell, so it can heal in situations where spellcasting is impossible. If you want to do this, weigh the choice heavily. It's a weird subclass, but definitely viable.



    Druid(Circle of The Shepherd) X*

    What the Circle of Dreams gets in efficiency, the Circle of the Shepherd gets in burst potential. Unicorn Spirit is basically what happens if you turn Disciple of Life into a 1/rest ability, and then give it steroids. Really, the potential of this ability is absolutely insane. If it was only once per long rest it would probably be on par with the Circle of Dreams. But once per short rest makes this rather absurd, especially since it can be activated as a bonus action. While it still is rather slot intensive, you can upcast a Cure Wounds within the aura and get a powerful burst heal. Otherwise, on each subsequent turn after dropping the aura, a 1st level Healing Word now recovered 2.5+Wis+Level, with your level in healing to *everyone* in your party. This more or less gives you Mass Healing Word as a 1st level spell slot.

    It may be somewhat clunky at times, but the potential here is great. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure how the Unicorn Spirit interacts with Healing Spirit. In one reading, it heals when cast. However, since the initial heal it delayed you can read that it doesn't benefit from Unicorn Spirit at all. Or you could say it works identical to Disciple of Life in which case it is the most overpowered spell in existence(if it isn't already). Outside of that, the only thing holding this back from going higher is that it doesn't have good healing on demand once Unicorn Spirit is on cooldown. Consider this rating as the lowest possible rating, assuming no interaction between Unicorn Spirit and Healing Spirit. Depending on how your DM rules it, this could be as strong as a single class Life Cleric on its own.
    Last edited by Garresh; 2017-12-31 at 11:04 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook


    "Whether you think you can or you think you canít, youíre right." - Henry Ford


    Fighter X

    For the sake of completeness, I'm mentioning fighter since they have 2 archetypes that technically get access to healing. Purple Dragon Knight actually gets a good heal that can only be used once per short rest. But the archetype is generally middle-of-the-road compared to other options. Not terrible though. In the event you were planning on playing a fighter and already interested in that archetype, you do get a free AoE incidental heal panic button once per rest. Not too shabby. Battlemaster also gets a heal, but it's crap. It's a shame, too. The idea of spending a superiority die for a bonus action heal is a nice thing, and WOULD be good if it wasn't temporary hit points.

    See, the healing output is really low. Superiority dice are generally fairly coveted due to their awesome uses. So a superiority die giving temporary hitpoints to someone is awful. IF it wasn't temporary hitpoints, it would actually be really good as a panic option when you need to chumbawamba, especially if a healer went down but the fighter is still up. If your DM allowed it, I'd recommend making Rally give real HP and work on downed targets. It's still worse than all the other maneuvers, but it would make it worth taking then.



    Paladin X

    Paladins have been upgraded to passable, with a caveat. It's important to know that Paladins start *slow*. Prior to level 9, they have absolutely no incidental healing. And that uses a 3rd level concentration spell, which still requires an action to cast initially. It's good for a bard because that's in addition to Healing Word, and is accessed sooner than a paladin. Now the paladin does get Lay On Hands, which is really good when used as a burst heal. But it requires being in melee, and also uses your action. So why does the paladin get a bump? Well, the paladin can burst heal pretty friggin good, and the paladin has access to a lot of ways to remove status effects. You can think of the paladin as being red prior to level 9, and then passable after that.

    While it's not under the category of healing, Aura of Protection offers some excellent mitigation against spells and the like. The big issue with auras is that the radius is relatively small. It's one thing to say that they proactive defenses is better than reactive defenses, but the small radius means that positioning is a big problem. The people who are most in need of protection will likely be at risk if they stay within the radius. But hey, at least you don't have to worry about healing yourself as much.

    All that being said, a paladin kicks ass and makes no apologies for it. But it errs so heavily on mitigation that it straddles the line between being a healer and a tank. Regardless, it is a combat powerhouse and is extremely durable. The one upshot is that as a charisma class it's a good fit for Inspiring Leader, but its also fairly MAD. Anyways a burst heal that is only usable once a day(realistically if you're bursting you're using well over half your pool) and heals that use your actions limit Paladins from being rated higher.



    Paladin(Oath of the Ancients) X

    You can think of Aura of Warding as an upgrade to Aura of Protection. Take every upside and amplify it, but keep the downsides. So if you're facing magic users, anyone standing in your aura will be insanely safe. But the risks of positioning close to you remains. Oath of the Ancients is awesome, but it won't raise your viability as a healer by much. As a tank though it's a fantastic option.



    Paladin(Oath of the Crown) X

    Of all the Paladin archetypes that provide healing effects, this is by far the worst. The only reason this isn't downgraded is because it's not losing any of the base Paladin features. Turn the Tide suffers from a very serious problem that prevents it from being better. It requires that a target be able to hear you. This means that it doesn't apply to an unconscious target. However, if your DM rules that it DOES apply to an unconscious target, it gets upgraded all the way up to blue. A bonus action AoE heal is always good. But the low amount and limited supply(it uses your channel divinity) means it will never go higher. Still, this has the potential(depending on DM ruling) to cover a rather large weakness in the Paladin healing kit. Regardless of what ruling your DM chooses, this isn't strong(or weak) enough to move the Paladin to a different tier.



    Paladin(Oath of Redemption) X

    It's the same as with Oath of the Ancients. Aura of the Guardian basically enhances your defensive aura. Unlike with Aura of Warding which is only really useful against spells, Aura of the Guardian works against every type of damage. The downside is that it's inefficient, since the full damage is still being dealt to you instead of the target. Either way, this is good.



    Ranger X

    Limited incidental heals. No burst heals. By every metric we care about, Rangers are terrible as healers. If a Ranger is forced to use Cure Wounds in combat, something has gone *horribly* wrong. However, at level 3 they get access to Healing Spirit, which puts them on the high end of red. Since they tend to favor the back line, they're likely to be able to use it every round. On the other hand, it is directly in competition with spells such as Hunter's Mark. Still, this little addition has given them a surprising jump in power. Consider them viable as a supplemental healer for out of combat.



    Rogue(Thief) X

    Well, they're not as good as other options, but they still have some surprising utility. The Healer feat allows you to use healing kits to actually heal people. The Thief can use it as a bonus action. In addition to a fairly decent amount of healing at low levels, it also has infinite uses on downed targets. It can keep bringing someone back to consciousness at 1 HP. Basically, if you have a ranged Rogue who has access to this, they're actually a better healer than a Paladin in many ways until around level 9 or so, when they get Aura of Vitality.

    Even THEN you're technically more efficient in action economy since they don't need an action to start the aura up. By no means can you consider Rogue a real healer or anything. But in a panic situation it actually does a surprisingly good job at Chumbawambaing. And even if it doesn't heal for a ton later on, the heal comes back on a short rest. It also scales better than Healing Word. At level 10, Healer will recover 1d6 + 14 HP, or around 17.5 A Healing Word doesn't match that unless you cast it at 5th level(3rd level for a Life Cleric)! As far as opportunity cost is concerned, if you're playing a Thief there's very little reason not to grab the Healer feat. It's just a nice trick to have up your sleeve.



    Sorcerer(Divine Soul) X

    This is another one that is difficult to rate. Despite its bonus to healing through Empowered Healing, it's still a really low amount without bonuses. Most of the ways to jack up healing come from dice pools or additional flat amounts. See, the cleric spell list IS really good, and there's a few spells like Healing Word which can really carry the day. The thing is, factoring in that Sorcerers are already extremely limited in spell selection, it's really hard to get the spells you need for healing without paying too much in other categories.

    By itself, it's just not enough. However, metamagic does push the sorcerer up to viability because of Twin Spell and Quicken Spell. They can quicken spells like Revivify and Heal, while still doing something else that turn. They can twin Healing Word, and giving a Sorcerer access to Spiritual Weapon is outright hilarious. There's a LOT of potential here. One of the silliest things you can do is to grab Warcaster, Twin cast Warding Bond on 2 of your squishiest allies, and then polymorph into a large beast. You'll need that high concentration save to stay polymorphed, but it's a really powerful option. Of course, it begs the question of why didn't you just twin the polymorph? Or maybe you should twin both? So many choices...



    Warlock(Celestial) X**

    At first glance, this appears to be very similar to the Circle of Dreams druid. Unfortunately, Healing Light just isn't as good. Your maximum amount of dice you can spend is limited by your charisma modifier, rather than your level. This means it doesn't scale as well for the purposes of burst healing. And even if you were to burst heal, it's not like warlocks are exactly rolling in spell slots. Spending a warlock slot casting Cure Wounds is like trading away a box of ammo for a band-aid. So why is this rated so high? Well, even if the ability to spend from your pool scales horribly compared to the Dreams Druid, you still have a pool of the same size. It's also a tad weaker per die roll.

    On the other hand, at level 10 it gets Celestial Resistance, a weaker version of Inspiring Leader. What this subclass loses in power, it makes up in consistency. It basically has a lot of tools which are cheap in action economy and last a long time. Considering how many rounds as a warlock you're just eldritch blasting, being able to do full DPR while also healing a downed ally like 10+ times a day is no joke. And, much like with the Circle of Dreams druid, Healing Light doesn't count as a spell, so it can be used when spellcasting is impossible. One more nice thing they get is Remove Curse. Classes like Bard and Druid do not get this, so Warlocks have at least one surprising niche benefit as a healer.
    Last edited by Garresh; 2017-12-31 at 08:56 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    "A knight in shining armor is a man who has never had his metal truly tested."



    Multi-Class Options
    Prepare for a lot of Life Cleric dips...


    Due to the sheer number of classes with healing features, this list is by no means exhaustive. I have tried to cover all the top tier healing builds, but as you go down in tier the number of options increase exponentially. The upshot of this is that if you have an unusual build not listed here, it might be viable. Just stick with the "Plan A" rule first and foremost and you're probably okay. Don't make healing your only goal, make sure you're viable in some other category, and you can probably run the build with some success.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Bard(Lore) X

    Here we go. Now we're getting to the good stuff. This has all of the strengths of the bard that I listed in the previous section, but additionally gets a huge boost from Disciple of Life. When you combine this with Aura of Vitality, it becomes Gold. Now you've got a character who can cast a spell or make an attack every round, which probably includes Vicious Mockery to grant disadvantage. Then your bonus action is spent negating some of the enemy's incoming damage. Then your reaction is spent counterspelling, or using vicious mockery to "countersword" the enemy. If Lore Bards are already insane, this makes them even more insane, for the cost of a single level. It doesn't even end there. You also get heavy armor proficiency. Now I mean going a strength bard is questionable given your expertise, but you can always grab medium armor instead, so you're still getting an upgrade. Shields work regardless of attribute choice.

    How about those spells? Clerics get ritual casting, and bards have limited spells known. You can offload Detect Magic and possibly Healing Word(it'll be a bit weaker as a result) to the Cleric list, freeing up more spells known for Bard. Bless is a fantastic spell that scales all game and doesn't care about your casting attribute, which Bards do not get. Then you get a bunch of detection spells which are also rituals. Even if you ignore healing entirely, a cleric dip is pretty beneficial. I mean even Treantmonk said that wizards who dip Cleric for 1 level get a lot of benefit, and that guy knows his stuff. This is one of the gold standards of healing builds, and also remains extremely open ended with how you want to play with skills and combat. And on top of all that, it's a good fit for Inspiring Leader. The only downside here(and it is a very small downside) is the lack of Remove Curse or Greater Restoration, but given the sheer mitigation and the ability to pick those up at level 11, you're not missing much.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Sorcerer(Divine Soul) X*

    All the power of a Sorcerer, all the healing of a Life Cleric. And the lower level spell selection gets offloaded to Cleric so your precious spell slots aren't affected as much. Much like Bards, you find incredible benefits even outside of the healing portion. You get a big AC boost, shield proficiency, and the ability to offload some of your spell selection to free up spell choices. Unlike the Bard, you have an easier time grabbing choice Cleric spells down the road since you can keep recycling spells towards other things. A Bard has to wait for key levels in order to grab the things he wants. Of course, Bard also get to pilfer Wizards, Druids, and Rangers, so don't get too big for your britches.

    Still, this option gives you so much versatility and power that it's hard to resist. But the other big thing you get going for you that no one else has? Metamagic. You can use this to skip picking up some Cleric spells to be even more efficient. Why grab Mass Healing Word when you can just twin a regular version? How about twinned Freedom of Movement? Quickened Spirit Guardians? Most of the healing spells that take an action suddenly become bonus actions, jacking their action economy WAY up. Even excluding all that, the base Sorcerer kit comes with a lot of fantastic buff spells made better by Quicken. Burst heal is a little iffy, as you have to upcast fairly heavily, but once you get Heal things look up. Even still, the sheer efficiency and versatility makes this solid gold. Inspiring Leader also applies.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Druid(Circle of the Shepherd) X**

    Untested or not, it's hard to argue with math. The combination of Unicorn Spirit and Disciple of Life means you now have access to incidental burst heals, every round. When your 1st level Healing Words are healing everyone in your party for as much as a normal Healing Word without bonuses, you've officially become an incidental burst healer. Unfortunately, Healing Spirit may not actually benefit from Unicorn Spirit every turn. Technically, it might not even benefit on the first turn since the effect is delayed. The wording is tricky. Even if it doesn't, it still benefits from Disciple of Life. The ability to put out that much healing using bonus actions makes Life/Shepherd a fantastic healer. That it can put out those heals while still concentrating on something else means your healing doesn't disrupt your usual tactics at all. This is a good.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Sorcerer(Wild Magic) X

    So this is going to raise a lot of eyebrows. Remember how I was talking about how amazing Bards were because of Cutting Words? Well Wild Magic gets access to Bend Luck at level 6. Unlike Bardic Inspiration, which has a fairly limited supply, Bend Luck has an extremely large supply. That combined with metamagic basically means a sorcerer can do that hybrid of mitigation and healing to bring about a net positive. Basically, think of this as a worse Divine Soul build with a weaker but more long lasting version of Cutting Words, and you've got a good feel for this. It also has the added bonus of being pretty damn fun.



    Druid 1/Cleric(Life) X*

    This is so close to being gold it hurts. The only reason this isn't is because Druids can't wear metal. This means that when you take this multiclass you lose 2-4 points of AC. In exchange, you get access to Shillelagh, which makes you completely SAD. You get a ton of dirt cheap spells that can stay useful for a long portion of your career, such as Faerie Fire, Fog Cloud, Longstrider, and Absorb Elements. And last, you get Goodberry. I know I said out of combat healing is pretty easy to get, and generally shouldn't be focused on. But this combo is a bit different. See, when you're using out of combat heals, it's very rare that you get everyone up to exactly full HP. Usually they're within a few points. Or the fighter is like 10 below max and you say screw it let's see what happens.

    If you go blowing spell slots topping everyone off, you often don't have those spell slots to use in the fight, killing enemies faster or mitigating damage. And so you have to weigh out of combat healing against in combat uses of spell slots. Goodberry basically turns that on its head. Because it produces 10 discrete chunks of 4HP, it can be assigned at maximal efficiency. This translates directly into more spells freed up for combat. If multiclassing Druid didn't cause you to take a substantial hit to your AC, this would be gold. As is, it's still not terrible. You can reasonably have like 17 AC if you use a shield and have decent dexterity. But compared to the 19 or 20 you'd have otherwise, that's not great.



    Druid 3/Cleric(Life) X*

    This is also really close to being gold, but barring additional testing and feedback I can't feel comfortable pushing this up. As is, getting access to all of the benefits of the Cleric spell list in addition to the insanity of the Healing Spirit means this could potentially be gold. Until I get more info this will stay at the very strong rating.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Sorcerer(Divine Soul) X/Paladin X*

    Do you feel like your borderline OP Sorcadins just don't have quite enough healing and buffs? Guess what, now you can get even more healing, and access to amazing gish spells like Spirit Guardians, and Spiritual Weapon. The Life Cleric dip is optional at this point. Just Sorcadin by itself with cleric spells is monstrous. I'm making a note here because this is somewhere between * and ** as far as my experience. I have a lot of experience with sorcadins, and sorclerics. In theory, this should be the best of both worlds. But exacerbating the MADness of the sorcadin is not something I relish considering. I can't imagine this will be going down, but it may possibly go UP to gold.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Druid(Dreams) X*

    Life Cleric basically just extends your healing options nicely, while also transferring over a bunch of good buffs. It boosts your sustained incidental healing. It boosts your burst heals when you combine Balm of the Summer Court with Cure Wounds. Normally, it would stop there, but with the release of Xanathar's, Cleric/Druid comboes appear to be *much* stronger. The combination of Disciple of Life and Healing Spirit means you now have the ability to heal 7.5 HP/round on the low end, or 75 HP using a second level spell slot outside of combat. Even more terrifying, if you don't use a bonus action to relocate the spirit, you can heal with it AND use your Balm of the Summer Court on the same turn. At level 5, you could theoretically burst heal for 16.5 with just your bonus action. The potential here is absolutely insane. The only downside of this combo is that druids do not get access to Remove Curse. I want so badly to rate this as gold, and depending on feedback it might still move up. However, it doesn't have the power of mitigation that a Life Bard gets, nor does it have the ability to pilfer additional spells like Remove Curse later. As is, this sits very close to being gold.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Druid(Moon) X*

    Life Moon Druids are now the king of the incidental heal. With the ability to use Healing Spirit to heal using a bonus action(or less) every round while also fighting in melee, you would struggle to find a more efficient healer from an action economy standpoint. They can precast spells like Warding Bond and Goodberry, so that they can absorb half of all damage taken by an ally into their bonus HP pool, then heal the party outside of combat while still in wild shape. If they start a tough fight in human form, they can cast Healing Spirit then wild shape after the fact. I'm marking this as semi-unplayed and in need of feedback since I have not had a chance to test out Healing Spirit first hand this way. But as someone who has played a lot of Druids, and has played a Life/Moon Druid to great effect, I think this borders on gold due to sheer action efficiency.



    Paladin X/Warlock(Celestial) X**

    I'm leaving this blank until I can get more feedback. In theory this should be good. Paladin Warlock multiclass has a history, and the combination covers each other's weaknesses. As is, I don't feel confident enough to assess this.



    Rogue(Thief) 3/Paladin X**

    I have seen Paladin/Assassin combinations in the past, and have played a lot of Rogue multiclass, but this is a bit too far outside of my element, so I'd consider this potentially interesting.



    Cleric(Life) 1/Wizard(Abjuration) X**

    This is pretty theoretical, but a look over the Xanathar's spell list shows that wizards actually get access to Life Transference. Since Life dips generally kick any caster class up to mediocre, the addition of a powerful burst heal on top of that means this has potential. Additionally, Wizards get access to Remove Curse, and Abjuration especially gets significantly boosted Counterspells *AND* the ability to push a ward out to affect allies. This is going to sit firmly in the theory category for now, but it remains a possibility.


    Cleric(Life) 1/Ranger X**

    Since Rangers get access to Healing Spirit, this should make a Cleric dip a very attractive option for them. Since this is basically untested, it's difficult to say where it falls on the spectrum. It may be worthy of bumping up a tier from sheer healing output. But on the other hand there's still no access to burst healing, very little status removal, and significantly fewer spell slots over another class. Regardless, Healing Spirit's insane strength means that it can make a viable healer by itself when combined with Disciple of Life.
    Last edited by Garresh; 2017-12-31 at 06:49 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook


    "That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable"

    Races

    There are only really 2 races worth mentioning. In general, these races have something to offer, but not enough to make them mandatory. Go with a race that fits your build, but if that happens to line up with these races, go ahead and pick them.

    • Aasimar: A once per rest heal that uses your action isn't amazing, but it's still a heal. Factoring in all their other great racials, this is a good race if your stats line up.
    • Human(Variant): A free feat means you can grab Healer or Inspiring Leader at level 1, without having to use an ASI. On the other hand, you don't get any exciting abilities like darkvision. As always, consider how it fits into your build. That said, it's pretty hard to find a situation where variant human is bad. I'm not sure it exists.



    Feats

    There are not many feats which affect healing, and doing an assessment of feats outside of that is too dependent on your build. Still, from the context of healing we can make a reasonable assessment.

    • Healer: This feat is of highly variable value. At base, it can be considered red. It has neither burst nor incidental healing, and scales somewhat poorly. On the other hand, as an out of combat healing tool it provides a seriously huge amount of healing, especially at low levels. When valuing this feat, you have to consider how many combat encounters you have on a given day, how many short rests you have on a given day, and how large your party is. The more you increase those variables, the higher in value this becomes. In the event you have a party of six with like 8 combats a day and 2 short rests, and you are playing a Thief Rogue, this is Gold. Regardless, even in a campaign with 1 encounter a day, for any Rogue Thief this is still Sky Blue.
    • Inspiring Leader: If healing is only good when it uses bonus actions, what could be better than a heal that uses no actions? This will get chewed through on your frontline nearly instantly, but for your squishies this gives you a nice buffer. I wouldn't grab this if you're MAD, but if you're charisma based and fairly SAD then this is a good thing to pick up.
    • Magic Initiate: This feat is insanely strong, but if you're grabbing it for healing you're basically throwing your attribute increase in the trash.
    • Martial Adept: If you somehow decided to grab this and use it to learn Rally, then this feat is worse than Brown. Please just don't.
    • Resilient: You won't find many casters that don't require concentration for something. This is always useful.
    • War Caster: Ditto


    Class Features

    Because so many different classes have the ability to heal, and multi-classing opens up so many options, there comes a point where listing builds becomes excessive. Chances are, if you're reading an optimization guide, you've either designed your own build before, or enjoy multi-classing and theorycrafting. To that end, I've organized every class feature which heals or affects healing by level. Abilities which scale with class levels will be marked with a plus sign after the level. An explanation will follow.

    For example, Mantle of Inspiration is an ability gained by a College of Glamour Bard at 3rd level, and scales with Bard levels. I have rated it as above average blue, So it will be notated as:
    Mantle of Inspiration(Bard-Glamour, Lvl 3+)



    • Disciple of Life(Cleric-Life, Lvl 1): This scales with spell slots, not levels, but it does scale. Anyways, if it's a spell and it heals, this makes it better. A lot better. And since it only requires a single level in Cleric there's almost no reason not to grab this for any healing build, attributes permitting of course. Basically if you can get 13 in Wisdom and spare a level without ruining your "Plan A", do it.

    • Circle of Mortality(Cleric-Grave, Lvl 1): Maximized healing on unconscious targets. This is absolutely nuts for an ability gained at 1st level. If only you could multi-class Cleric with Cleric.

    • Lay on Hands(Paladin, Lvl 1+): This is very close to being mediocre, but it's saved by a rather insane degree of flexibility it offers. It's a catch-all tool to remove status effects or bring unconscious allies back to 1 hp. It does this at relatively low costs as well. You really shouldn't be playing whack-a-mole with this in combat, but being able to do it 10+ times at level 2 has to count for something. The big draw here is an extremely powerful burst heal it offers.

    • Healing Light(Warlock-Celestial, Lvl 1+): This is an odd ability. It comes on a class that normally doesn't have access to healing. While this *technically* comes with the ability to spend spell slots to heal, the opportunity cost is *WAY* too high. So this really is a standalone ability. As a sustained incidental heal it has some insane longevity. You can keep popping people up with a d6 of healing all day long. It's burst healing, on the other hand, peaks around level 3-4 then rapidly drops off to nothing. This is basically Balm of the Summer Court except worse in every way. The base class doesn't have the spell slots to combo burst off this. But you can do a lot worse than bonus action healing that doesn't use a spell slot.

    • Preserve Life(Cleric-Life, Lvl 2+): An AoE burst heal that isn't a spell(so you can use Healing Word on the same round) is amazing. Unfortunately, you can only heal a target up to half their max HP. Fortunately, that's about the only downside. This scales heavily with your cleric level, both in terms of raw power, and in terms of additional uses per rest.

    • Balm of the Summer Court(Druid-Dreams, Lvl 2+): Depending upon feedback, this may move up a tier. The raw healing isn't amazing, but it scales extremely well. Better, it's not a spell, so it can be used to combo burst heal someone. Or you can use individual dice on a steady drip feed of low power incidental heals. This is definitely on the high side of blue.

    • Unicorn Spirit(Druid-Shepherd, Lvl 2+): It takes a bonus action to activate this, but once active this is effectively a Disciple of Life on steroids. Any healing spell, no matter how weak, becomes AoE and much stronger. If used in conjunction with something else, this can lead to some absurd burst healing. The only downside is that it takes a bonus action to turn it on, and is only once per rest. Still, this basically removes the opportunity cost of healing in combat.

    • Bear Spirit(Druid-Shepherd, Lvl 2+): A bonus action that gives a big chunk of temp HP is pretty good. If it wasn't temporary hp it would be sky blue. It won't bring an unconscious ally back up, but it also goes off without needing a second action. Basically, this is an objectively good ability, but you should consider it red since you have access to Unicorn Spirit as well. Use that instead unless you're facing a horde of grapplers or something.

    • Mantle of Inspiration(Bard-Glamour, Lvl 3+): An odd ability to be sure. The healing output is low, comes in the form of temporary hit points, and doesn't work on unconscious targets since it requires that they hear you. So why is it rated above average? It only takes a bonus action, AND it allows those affected to reposition to a safer location. Once they're unconscious this isn't very good, but since it's not a spell you can cast Cure Wounds and then follow it up with this. Despite all of its weaknesses, it does a lot to protect your party. Seems like a good pickup for a healer.

    • Cutting Words(Bard-Lore, Lvl 3+): It may not heal, but mitigation that only uses your reaction is pretty good too. It scales with your Bardic Inspiration dice and your Charisma. The only downside is that it can't negate a critical hit, and the reserves are fairly limited. But even with those this ability is absolutely amazing.

    • Rallying Cry(Fighter-Purple Dragon Knight, Lvl 3+): This has the rather huge drawback that the targets must be able to hear you. That means you can't use it to bring unconscious targets back. On the other hand, how many heals do you know of that GIVE you an action instead of costing one? That's a pretty big exception to the normal rules.

    • Turn the Tide(Paladin-Oath of the Crown, Lvl 3): I can't think of a worse use for a channel divinity. It has to be within 30 feet. The target must be able to hear you, so it can't be unconscious. The target must ALSO be below half of its maximum hit points. And in exchange for blowing your channel divinity with all these restrictions? You cause them to heal 1d6 + Cha Mod. Wow. A whole 11 HP assuming you roll max? Aura of Vitality heals for almost the same amount, every single turn for 10 turns. And it works on unconscious targets. This is the trappiest trap option that ever trapped.

    • Blessed Healer(Cleric-Life, Lvl 6): Now when you heal others you get change back. It's a free boost to your healing efficiency. This ability is ambiguous with regards to delayed healing effects, so you may have to ask your DM. Either way, this is a really good ability.

    • Sentinel at Death's Door(Cleric-Grave, Lvl 6): It's like Cutting Words, except only for criticals. And you still take normal damage. Honestly, it's still pretty good when you can use it. Just think of it as a way to normalize incoming damage. No spikes in damage, but useless the rest of the time.

    • Aura of Protection(Paladin, Lvl 6): This is such a great ability hamstrung by the small area affected by it. In the event that you're in a party of all melee characters, this is probably gold. Otherwise, it's more of a tanking ability. But if you know you're facing a lot of saving throws, group up and protect your party.

    • Empowered Healing(Sorcerer-Divine Soul, Lvl 6+): This technically doesn't get better with levels, but more levels means you have more uses of it. Anyways, this is a really hard ability to rate. For starters, dice rerolls are nowhere near as good as maximizing dice values. This also costs resources which might be better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, it can apply to healing spells other players cast if they're adjacent to you. Healing spells in general tend to use less dice than damage spells. If this wasn't eating up resources it might be rated higher.

    • Bend Luck(Sorcerer-Wild, Lvl 6+): This technically doesn't get better with levels, but more levels means you have more uses of it. This is objectively worse than Cutting Words in most ways. However, this can also be applied to boost allied rolls. Mostly, it's just usable way more often than Cutting Words at high levels. This is really good, but Cutting Words is better.

    • Projected Ward(Wizard-Abjuration, Lvl 6+): This can probably block an attack. Maybe two. Maybe less. Either way it's no Cutting Words. It's not even a Bend Luck. The thing holding this back is just how hard this is to recharge for something in such short supply. If you're battling a bunch of spellcasters, you can recharge this in a couple rounds via Counterspell. If you're fighting a horde of orcs you're probably not going to get a chance to cast abjuration spells other than maybe Shield. The pool of HP available is going to fluctuate wildly, and the typical encounter doesn't give you much to work with. The silver lining here is that it works even on critical hits or very high rolls. The fact that it DOES work in any situation, even if it only works a single time, makes this decent. Just don't build around it.

    • Aura of Warding(Paladin-Ancients, Lvl 7): The same weaknesses as Aura of Protection, only now you're doubly effective vs spell damage.

    • Aura of the Guardian(Paladin-Redemption, Lvl 7): The same weaknesses as Aura of Protection, except this affects any type of damage. It's just also much less efficient because rather than reducing damage, it redirects it. On the other hand you're probably the tankiest person in the party. Still, this is an ability that is really good when it comes up.

    • Celestial Resilience(Warlock-Celestial, Lvl 10+): Much like Healing Light, this is also the worse cousin of another ability. In this case, it's the feat Inspiring Leader. Anyways, free bonus HP that scales(poorly) isn't bad. But this is still outclassed hard by other options.

    • Supreme Healing(Cleric-Life, Lvl 17): Maximized healing. I'm actually not sure if this should be gold or sky blue, since most of the best scaling heals stop using dice. Either way, better healing.

    • Keeper of Souls(Cleric-Grave, Lvl 17): This is going to be highly variable in terms of value. This is tentatively rated as average, but this is very campaign dependent. The more often things die, the better this is. But on the other hand, if the things dying are too weak you don't get much value. Honestly, this is one ability I'm seriously uncertain about its value. You could get a lot of mileage out of this in the right campaign. Or it could be absolute crap.
    Last edited by Garresh; 2018-01-01 at 12:24 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Spell analysis will go here.
    Last edited by Garresh; 2018-01-01 at 12:24 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Also Reserved For Later

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    You should really include some sort of rating for Lay On Hands. It surpasses non-Life Cleric Cure Wounds as soon as 2nd Level and scales wonderfully. More importantly, the fact that it's a pool you're allowed to divide exactly how you want means it's excellent at picking people off the ground, even though it does take a full action.

    On a different note, it's also probably worth adding some commentary on healing-adjacent spells like Greater Restoration, Dispell Curse, and so on.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Good job remembering to include hit chance under inefficient.

    You might also want to include something somewhere about when it IS more efficient. Ie on hard to hit allies. The other way to think about the efficiency is "how many enemy actions am I negating". These two together, chance of ally being hit times enemy damage, or inbound DPR, are common sense. But often overlooked when base-lining the power of healing spells.

    Of course, at times, disastrous times, high AC allies, who are often high HP too, are the ones that need healing the least. But if your party is doing everything right, the high AC targets are taking the most attacks anyway.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Nidgit View Post
    You should really include some sort of rating for Lay On Hands. It surpasses non-Life Cleric Cure Wounds as soon as 2nd Level and scales wonderfully. More importantly, the fact that it's a pool you're allowed to divide exactly how you want means it's excellent at picking people off the ground, even though it does take a full action.

    On a different note, it's also probably worth adding some commentary on healing-adjacent spells like Greater Restoration, Dispell Curse, and so on.
    Yeah I rated it low because the pool is bad at incidental healing and low for out of combat healing. It's good because it's one big burst, but others can do that better.

    That's a really good point about healing-adjacent spells, as you say. I will expand on this.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Lay on Hands is a bonus action, not a regular action. It's basically the undisputed master of Whack-A-Mole healing, and is the incidental healing part of a paladin you're missing.

    I still agree they aren't a replacement for a proper healer as-is, though.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    A healers guide with no mention of Healing Spirit when discussing druids?
    Last edited by Contrast; 2017-12-27 at 04:05 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Garresh View Post
    It's good because it's one big burst, but others can do that better.
    Waterdeep Mercy is right. I almost never pass out Lay on Hands hit points more than one at a time.
    Last edited by GooeyChewie; 2017-12-27 at 04:07 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    I've reported this thread...

    ...to Daishan for inclusion in the Guides Guide. :)

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...-D-amp-D/page7

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Contrast View Post
    A healers guide with no mention of Healing Spirit when discussing druids?
    Crap. I knew I missed something. Good catch. I'm out of the house but I'll update when I get home. That may force a tier reevaluation.

    Sorry bout that. Still haven't committed all of Xana to memory yet. XD


    Also I double checked. Lay on Hands isn't a bonus action.

    Edit: Btw I'm not trying to be obstinate. When I played my paladins I found it was somewhat inefficient compared to other healers, but the burst potential was really good. Am I blind or did Lay on Hands get errata'd?
    Last edited by Garresh; 2017-12-27 at 04:16 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    NW USA
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    There should be a shout out to Protector Aasimar, who get a racial healing abilityl?

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Garresh View Post
    Also I double checked. Lay on Hands isn't a bonus action.

    Edit: Btw I'm not trying to be obstinate. When I played my paladins I found it was somewhat inefficient compared to other healers, but the burst potential was really good. Am I blind or did Lay on Hands get errata'd?
    Nope. It's not efficient use of a Paladin's combat actions.

    What it's great for is topping off the exact amount of HPs you want out of combat. Although I also often see it dropped all in one go one someone who is very very low.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Garresh View Post
    Crap. I knew I missed something. Good catch. I'm out of the house but I'll update when I get home. That may force a tier reevaluation.

    Sorry bout that. Still haven't committed all of Xana to memory yet. XD


    Also I double checked. Lay on Hands isn't a bonus action.

    Edit: Btw I'm not trying to be obstinate. When I played my paladins I found it was somewhat inefficient compared to other healers, but the burst potential was really good. Am I blind or did Lay on Hands get errata'd?
    Well I'll be, you're correct about it being an action. I've been letting my players get away with a bit too much, it seems. I think it's a holdover from 4e that I didn't double check.

    Still more useful in small measures, I'd say. And still no replacement for a proper healer.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    There should be a shout out to Protector Aasimar, who get a racial healing abilityl?
    Good point. It just feels strange to put in a section on races and then have it only have one entry. I'm thinking I'll mix a lot of those odds and ends together into one section along with feats maybe?

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterdeep Merch View Post
    Well I'll be, you're correct about it being an action. I've been letting my players get away with a bit too much, it seems. I think it's a holdover from 4e that I didn't double check.

    Still more useful in small measures, I'd say. And still no replacement for a proper healer.
    I suppose the question is, is it enough to push it to Purple? The lower spell slot progression means less healing available, and while Lay on Hands is good, it's more limited than you'd think. Like a life cleric gets that same pool of healing in an AoE nova which recovers on short rest. Even a non-life cleric will get far superior healing output. Let's use level 5 for example. A 5th level paladin has a 25 HP pool. This recovers on a long rest. In a burse scenario a cleric at 5th even without Life can heal 17.5 hp in a life or death scenario, blowing a 3rd level spell slot. Now out of combat prayer of healing will put out 52 hp in a party of four, and that's a second level spell slot, without Life domain.

    Of course a paladin still has their spell slots. So perhaps I'm undervaluing their half casting, but they don't get any of those really good heals. Just Cure Wounds.

    But once they hit 9 Aura of Vitality can be a game changer. Especially with their bonus to saves. If they take a feat for con prof or Warcaster they can sustain it for a long time.

    So I guess what I'm saying is am I being too harsh? Paladin players, lend me your voice.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    As a dedicated healer? No. Lay on Hands can rescue the party in a Chumbawamba situation, but mostly because you can keep the primary healer up and healing.
    We don't need no steeeenkin' signatures!

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    I'd argue that since a Paladin can usually out-burst a non-Life Cleric without even using a spell slot, they're worth bumping up to purple. It takes a Main Action and requires touch, which are both significant drawbacks, but Paladins have decent bonus action utility and are generally in the thick of things to get others to benefit from their aura.

    If you're talking about damage mitigation, Aura of Protection and Ancients' Aura of Warding complement spells like Heroism or Aid nicely.
    Last edited by Nidgit; 2017-12-27 at 05:07 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Welp, just got home. I goofed hard on Druid. I forgot about that spell completely, and it is balls to the walls insane. Like Cleric 1/Bard X insane. Gonna have to do some rewriting. XD

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Garresh View Post
    Welp, just got home. I goofed hard on Druid. I forgot about that spell completely, and it is balls to the walls insane. Like Cleric 1/Bard X insane. Gonna have to do some rewriting. XD
    On the ranger spell list too. Obviously bards can pick it up with magical secrets as well so bards still rock

    Edit - I feel Shepherd druid is worth a mention as well. Unicorn spirit can be nice healing if you're casting a lot of healing words.
    Last edited by Contrast; 2017-12-27 at 05:32 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Garresh View Post
    I suppose the question is, is it enough to push it to Purple? The lower spell slot progression means less healing available, and while Lay on Hands is good, it's more limited than you'd think. Like a life cleric gets that same pool of healing in an AoE nova which recovers on short rest. Even a non-life cleric will get far superior healing output. Let's use level 5 for example. A 5th level paladin has a 25 HP pool. This recovers on a long rest. In a burse scenario a cleric at 5th even without Life can heal 17.5 hp in a life or death scenario, blowing a 3rd level spell slot. Now out of combat prayer of healing will put out 52 hp in a party of four, and that's a second level spell slot, without Life domain.

    Of course a paladin still has their spell slots. So perhaps I'm undervaluing their half casting, but they don't get any of those really good heals. Just Cure Wounds.

    But once they hit 9 Aura of Vitality can be a game changer. Especially with their bonus to saves. If they take a feat for con prof or Warcaster they can sustain it for a long time.

    So I guess what I'm saying is am I being too harsh? Paladin players, lend me your voice.
    Oath of crown Paladin also has a bonus action mass heal. I have only played it through level 7 but have functioned as the party's main source of healing since our campaign started. It does help that my dm ruled that unconscious characters can still hear. I also have inspiring leader.

    I can pre heal, bonus Action mass heal, and use my lay on hands if the situation is dire. As you've pointed out, the fact that it is an Action to use makes me very reluctant to LoH in combat. It can be used to cure disease and poison though, so that is an additional benefit outside of combat.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Galadhrim View Post
    It does help that my dm ruled that unconscious characters can still hear.
    Definitely a major house-rule in regards to anything that requires hearing to apply a buff or heal.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    KK. Man I'm glad I posted this. So much good feedback already. I was holding off on doing all the UA stuff for right now. Oh well. More stuff to add, and a lot of corrections to make.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    What about Druid(Shepard) and Unicorn Spirit + Healing Word? Sounds like some good incidental healing.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM

    Default Re: This Hurts You More Than It Hurts Me: A Healer's Handbook

    I've played more life clerics (and a life 1/lore x once) than any other class for 5e. Anytime I have a paladin in the group, I know it's gonna be a good time. It means I can be a bit less concerned with my own health, going into melee combat with Warding Bond up, because that Paladin can burst me if the unforeseen happens and I get pelted.

    It's something that doesn't come up, except in the "can you help me threads" where players talk about the rest of the party makeup... but I think it's pretty important, concerning efficiency: what meshes better in a party.

    I've been curious about trying a Celestial Warlock as a healer, as I think it'd be quite fun, and a very different feel. But it wouldn't work well in a typical primary caster group, given the need for short rests, and primary casters don't necessarily need them. But in a group with monks, fighters and rogues, it could potentially be quite effective.

    So, while a Life Cleric will probably always be Gold, regardless of the rest of the groups' make up, just because they are more efficient and still combat capable as outlined in the thread, there might be other healers that get close, depending on the other party members...
    Trollbait extraordinaire

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •