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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Spamalot in the Playground
     
    Psyren's Avatar

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    Default Re: Would excessive magical healing have psychological side effects?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scalenex View Post
    The thought occurred to me that adventurers or warriors who regularly sustain a lot of serious injuries and then have the injuries magically removed might develop psychological problems.
    There are gritty systems for this sort of thing if you want them - like spellblights and spelltouched feats - but in general, hit points are not actually (or at least, not only) meat though. This means that healing spells - even when they nominally drill below this abstraction with terms like curing "wounds") don't necessarily have to deal with any potentially traumatic reversals of grievous injury.

    An even simpler alternative - the spells themselves don't say they cause any psychological damage, so they don't - in-universe, this would involve insulating the target's psyche in a similar way that knocking out a patient before opening them up for surgery allows them to be distant from what is actually happening to their bodies. Moreso in fact since they don't have to deal with any lingering pain or recovery.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
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  2. - Top - End - #32
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Would excessive magical healing have psychological side effects?

    We know that, in real life, injuries can have permanent physical consequences.
    We know that, in real life, injuries can have permanent mental consequences.

    But a world of D&D is not real life, and we have invented healing magic that can prevent the permanent physical consequences. We have done so
    in order that the game can continue, even after the characters have had many injuries. Otherwise the permanent physical consequences would very likely make the PCs unplayable for the long term.

    We are now considering the problem that permanent mental consequences, like permanent physical consequences, can cripple a PC and make that character unplayable.

    Since we have no knowledge of how healing spells work, and since they exist to keep the PCs playable for the long term, I will make the assumption that they in fact heal all bad effects of injuries, rather than only the physical effects.

    Therefore the mental consequences of injuries will not cause any more problems for the game than the physical consequences do.

    And if I ever play a game in which the mental effects are permanent, my cleric will immediately start researching Cure Light Mental Wounds, Cure Moderate Mental Wounds, etc.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Would excessive magical healing have psychological side effects?

    First off, a big warning - Not everyone wants to include mental health issues in a game they're in. Some people will be upset about an issue which is close to them (themselves, family, partner etc) being depicted inaccurately or in stereotypical fashion. Some will be unhappy with an accurate portrayal because they roleplay to get away from their reality. Don't do this without the OK of all the players and work hard at making sure they can say no if that's the right answer for them. So probably one on one and if any of them say no you just don't add it in.

    That said ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    We know that, in real life, injuries can have permanent physical consequences.
    We know that, in real life, injuries can have permanent mental consequences.

    But a world of D&D is not real life, and we have invented healing magic that can prevent the permanent physical consequences. We have done so
    in order that the game can continue, even after the characters have had many injuries. Otherwise the permanent physical consequences would very likely make the PCs unplayable for the long term.

    We are now considering the problem that permanent mental consequences, like permanent physical consequences, can cripple a PC and make that character unplayable.

    Since we have no knowledge of how healing spells work, and since they exist to keep the PCs playable for the long term, I will make the assumption that they in fact heal all bad effects of injuries, rather than only the physical effects.

    Therefore the mental consequences of injuries will not cause any more problems for the game than the physical consequences do.

    And if I ever play a game in which the mental effects are permanent, my cleric will immediately start researching Cure Light Mental Wounds, Cure Moderate Mental Wounds, etc.
    This ^. there's no need for there to be trauma because of this to maintain consistency or anything.

    OTOH, if you wanted to run a game with accumulating trauma, don't limit it to mental. Have the characters choose - physical healing can be accepted, knowing the price must be paid in nightmares about the wound, or accept the natural healing (which doesn't guarantee peace of mind either...).
    So, if you want to put this in the game, it should be a feature or the whole campaign, not an add on to an otherwise normal game. Every powerful character is going to have their trauma, not just the PCs. Many monsters the same: Intelligent undead trumatised by their own death, resent the clerics who've tried and failed to put them down. Dragons who know they can defeat the adventurers but fear the pain of the wounds of battle.

    Or if you want to, maybe just the whole lifestyle of the adventurer is bad for one's mental health. Every 5 (or whatever) adventures/levels/stress points makes the PC a little more "odd"
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  4. - Top - End - #34
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Would excessive magical healing have psychological side effects?

    Orconomics has an interesting take on the psychological effects of magical healing.

    Spoiler
    Show
    It feels so good that it's addictive. Healing potion junkies end up mutilating themselves and then begging for a heal.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Would excessive magical healing have psychological side effects?

    It largely comes down to what type of game you want to play.

    For some it will make their characters advancement problematic and they won't like it...over time they may consider it such a problem that their character becomes unplayable.

    For others it may be one of the that will hold a players interest. A sign of character growth...and the idea of real risk to their character besides a TPK that leads to their character not being able to be raised. There is a hell of a lot of story and character to be drawn just from the idea that as the characters change the world the world can change them back. . . And makes their progress all the more sweet for it. Its not just the monsters they killed that killed that paid the price for the PC's advancement, the PC's paid in some ways too. It may even be the strongest thing holding players who have reached power levels where a sword blow doesn't matter etc.

    Only you know your players and where on the range above.

    That said while I Think the idea is very good. (as a Vampire ST I like to use the healing ability as one of the strongest "you are not human" hammers in the tool box and still have a chart of hit targeting and associated wound effects from early 2e Dragon Mag article somewhere) I think it should be aimed at the big stuff. Things like regeneration spells, taking more HP damage in one fight than starting HP but being okay via magical healing, coming back from the dead....big stuff.
    Though treating a cure light wounds potion like it is addictive as heroin does have it's charms. . . Again it makes the choices the PC matter.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Orc in the Playground
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    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Would excessive magical healing have psychological side effects?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    We know that, in real life, injuries can have permanent physical consequences.
    We know that, in real life, injuries can have permanent mental consequences.

    But a world of D&D is not real life, and we have invented healing magic that can prevent the permanent physical consequences. We have done so
    in order that the game can continue, even after the characters have had many injuries. Otherwise the permanent physical consequences would very likely make the PCs unplayable for the long term.

    We are now considering the problem that permanent mental consequences, like permanent physical consequences, can cripple a PC and make that character unplayable.

    Since we have no knowledge of how healing spells work, and since they exist to keep the PCs playable for the long term, I will make the assumption that they in fact heal all bad effects of injuries, rather than only the physical effects.

    Therefore the mental consequences of injuries will not cause any more problems for the game than the physical consequences do.

    And if I ever play a game in which the mental effects are permanent, my cleric will immediately start researching Cure Light Mental Wounds, Cure Moderate Mental Wounds, etc.
    Reasonable points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    First off, a big warning - Not everyone wants to include mental health issues in a game they're in. Some people will be upset about an issue which is close to them (themselves, family, partner etc) being depicted inaccurately or in stereotypical fashion. Some will be unhappy with an accurate portrayal because they roleplay to get away from their reality. Don't do this without the OK of all the players and work hard at making sure they can say no if that's the right answer for them. So probably one on one and if any of them say no you just don't add it in.
    Agreed


    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    That said ...


    This ^. there's no need for there to be trauma because of this to maintain consistency or anything.

    OTOH, if you wanted to run a game with accumulating trauma, don't limit it to mental. Have the characters choose - physical healing can be accepted, knowing the price must be paid in nightmares about the wound, or accept the natural healing (which doesn't guarantee peace of mind either...).
    So, if you want to put this in the game, it should be a feature or the whole campaign, not an add on to an otherwise normal game. Every powerful character is going to have their trauma, not just the PCs. Many monsters the same: Intelligent undead traumatised by their own death, resent the clerics who've tried and failed to put them down. Dragons who know they can defeat the adventurers but fear the pain of the wounds of battle.
    I haven't included dragons in my game yet, but I have a running theme in my setting that free willed undead invariably develop psychological issues.

    The first traditional style dungeon I made with a lich at the end. The lich had the power to kill PCs if one of the PCs was controlling the lich but I made the lich super OCD. It's traps were based on the number pi (and homages to pi were painted throughout the dungeon, so the PCs were able to avoid a lot of traps and the lich spent about half his spell slots on redundant defensive spells where if he played offense he could have killed everyone.

    I haven't included them in my campaign yet (but all my ancient vampire lords have their own issues. About half of them have a secret death wish and the other half have reached monstrous levels of paranoia in fear of their own destruction.

    My favorite vampire concept Vralic the Hunter, was given a prophecy that in order to make it to a decent afterlife he has to be defeated by someone in one-on-one combat.

    Supposedly whomever kills him will get a huge reward from the gods but that was forgotten. If Vralic defeats an opponent but the opponent fought well all things considered, he will offer to turn them into a vampire. Now the barbarians who challenge him don't even want to defeat him, they just want to be a vampire.

    If more than one person attacks Vralic at a time, he will be enraged and use his stealth powers and fight dirty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    Or if you want to, maybe just the whole lifestyle of the adventurer is bad for one's mental health. Every 5 (or whatever) adventures/levels/stress points makes the PC a little more "odd"
    The latter sentence is what I aiming for. Quirks and oddities for roleplaying, not weaknesses to cripple a PC's effectiveness.


    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    It largely comes down to what type of game you want to play.

    For some it will make their characters advancement problematic and they won't like it...over time they may consider it such a problem that their character becomes unplayable.

    For others it may be one of the that will hold a players interest. A sign of character growth...and the idea of real risk to their character besides a TPK that leads to their character not being able to be raised. There is a hell of a lot of story and character to be drawn just from the idea that as the characters change the world the world can change them back. . . And makes their progress all the more sweet for it. Its not just the monsters they killed that killed that paid the price for the PC's advancement, the PC's paid in some ways too. It may even be the strongest thing holding players who have reached power levels where a sword blow doesn't matter etc.

    Only you know your players and where on the range above.

    That said while I Think the idea is very good. (as a Vampire ST I like to use the healing ability as one of the strongest "you are not human" hammers in the tool box and still have a chart of hit targeting and associated wound effects from early 2e Dragon Mag article somewhere) I think it should be aimed at the big stuff. Things like regeneration spells, taking more HP damage in one fight than starting HP but being okay via magical healing, coming back from the dead....big stuff.
    Though treating a cure light wounds potion like it is addictive as heroin does have it's charms. . . Again it makes the choices the PC matter.
    I think my players would be on board with this kind of stuff. If not, I won't force it on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by paddyfool View Post
    Orconomics has an interesting take on the psychological effects of magical healing.

    Spoiler
    Show
    It feels so good that it's addictive. Healing potion junkies end up mutilating themselves and then begging for a heal.
    I doubt my players would like to play an addict, but this might make an interesting NPC concept.
    Last edited by Scalenex; 2020-09-30 at 08:41 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Would excessive magical healing have psychological side effects?

    In a D&Desque setting, I have the feeling that healing is just one of many effects that make high level PCs feel alien to normal human types. You can turn aside blows that would kill a score of lesser men in one shot and be cured almost instantly from death, but you can also teleport to wherever you want to be on a whim, reshape the minds of others to suit your convenience, or bring back anyone who got caught in the crossfire of your latest big battle. Healing is just one of many things that makes high level PCs utterly alien to more normal folks, and that alienness will likely come through if you want to make any sort of point about it.

    Something grittier? Healing spells like Cure Wounds tend to be less powerful in such settings precisely because you want to highlight how bystanders might well pay for your overconfidence, and being able to heal them up right quick undermines that. If PCs tend to have a healing factor that's to set them apart from the norms folk, and that being set apart tends to cause psychological issues all on its own.

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