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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Hoi everyone

    This is just a general interest question that popped in my head

    Now a little about me: I'm a support main. In almost all games, including dnd, I steer towards support roles. Dnd , atleast 5e edition, has a system that makes having a dedicated typical "healer" a nice to have but not mandatory.

    I want to know. In your experience of the games you've run or been a part of, how often is there someone playing "a healer". Not counting "someone who occasionally throws out a cure wounds". A character that made a class or subclass choice to focus on healing aspects.

    I know support itself is broader than that, so I'm more just focusing on the healer aspect since that's sort of the stereotype that existed for some time

    Interested to hear!

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Foxydono's Avatar

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Never, sometimes someone plays support like a bard, but even that is an exception. Guess my friends are more solo focussed.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Someone who is 'specifically' a healer?

    I've played a total of one game, in the entirety of the time I've been playing 5e (since it launched) and I've only ever had one dedicated healer person. For perspective this is around 10 ish actual games. And the only time we ever had someone who mostly did healing was when I played with a Trickery Cleric, and that's because I don't think Trickery Clerics have much else to do.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Do paladin counts (with just heir lay of hands)?
    If yes, then "ALWAYS". I'm not sure I've ever been at a table that doesn't have a divine spellcaster (cleric/druid/paladin).

    If paladin don't count, I'd say 50% of the time.
    [Yes, we have a paladin at our table more than 50% of the campaigns]

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    About half of the time.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    We nearly always have someone who has access to solid healing, and often 2 out of the four people.

    Usually a Druid, Bard, or Cleric. However, we have one campaign where we have a Paladin and a Celestial Warlock. Another one where we had a Moon Druid with the healer feat and a bard/fighter who could drop emergency healing.

    The one where we have the least amount of healing is where we have a Ranger, Artificer, and Wizard. So, no one is focused on it but there are two people that can. In that campaign we have a house rule going where you can drink a healing potion as a bonus action to help keep us alive.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    In 5e? Rarely. Yeah there's usually someone who can heal when we need some, but the party is usually tough enough they can go without, they just have to rely more heavily on using potions and HD.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Depending on your definition, either all the time or about 1/3 of the time. My tables always have at least one character able to drop healing word or other bonus action healing on PCs, but I donít regularly see someone focus on it. Occasionally someone plays a Life Cleric, Dreams Druid, or Celestial Warlock with a chunk of resources put into healing.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Dedicated healer: rarely. Had one game where they optimized a multiclass healer to the point where the DM upped the enemy's damage so high just to not have the party end the fight with everyone basically at full that fighting without the healer would have been suicide. (this was before healing spirit errata)

    Characters built to be decent at healing: most games. The shepherd druid that focuses usually on summoning violence also doubles as a really good party healer when unicorn spirit goes up.

    Have someone who can do some healing: every game. If no one has healing, someone is going to multiclass or take the healer feat.

    No healing: this one time, for a one-shot we all decided to play rogues to mess with the DM. It was a TPK.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    I've found that 5e characters have enough staying power and various means to heal themselves and others that a dedicated healer character is rarely needed, but nice to have on hand. None of my players have played a cleric so far, oddly, but I've had paladins, rangers, artificers and bards. I'm also quite generous when it comes to healing potions, and I've ruled that that sort of stuff is actually something you can buy easily in most cities from an apothecary.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    When we were session-zero-ing our first 5e game, someone asked 'who is going to be the healer', which immediately turned me off so for the cleric I had planned, I only took a grand total of one healing spell (healing word, totally broken and op according to what I've read) and ran him as a frontline blasty-stabby 'murderdeathkill is the best way to prevent opponents from hurting us in the first place' which went perfectly dandy ^^ (Coincidentally I had just read some guides on a jrpg where the healer-character was considered a bad choice as party member)

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    stoutstien's Avatar

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    Depending on your definition, either all the time or about 1/3 of the time. My tables always have at least one character able to drop healing word or other bonus action healing on PCs, but I donít regularly see someone focus on it. Occasionally someone plays a Life Cleric, Dreams Druid, or Celestial Warlock with a chunk of resources put into healing.
    Aye having a little bit of recovery spread across the party is a safer and less costly approach than trying to have it consolidated on a single PC. It's nice to have the big guns but hardly a necessity.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Dedicated? Never because there is no healer class in 5e. Even life cleric smacks people with spiritual weapon and spirit guardians.

    Someone who can when needed heal/rise party member, do between encounters healing and rise dead party member? Always as my wife always play druids, clerics or now mark of healing life cleric 1\6 wizard halfling who can heal a lot.

    And there is always some Paladin :D

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    I'll also re-voice the common theme - there is pretty much always some healing in the party, but rarely a PC who spends the majority of their actions healing.

    I did play one long running campaign with a cleric PC who healed often, and the majority of the time I believed they should have been doing something more useful. Part of it was the player doing odd things like an upcast cure wounds on someone at 30% health, to bring them to 50% - not an efficient use of a 3rd level spell slot IMO, and they very rarely used any concentration spells, etc.

    "Even life clerics smack people with spiritual weapon and spirit guardians." - I agree but would want to add "SHOULD" into this statement.
    Last edited by da newt; 2021-09-14 at 10:39 AM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Echoing others, but yeah I don't think I've ever seen a dedicated healer at the table.
    1- combat healing is pretty unforgiving mathematically
    2- rest based healing is extremely forgiving

    If one or two people have access to healing word (LoH, CW, etc) and someone eventually gets revivify or some such, I'm happy. I'd honestly prefer not to have a party member spec'd to max healing -- means they are probably not pulling their weight in other (more mathematically sound) aspects of combat.

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

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Oh and add to the above threads, one caveat. When the game is a meat grinder where the kobolds stab the unconscious guy, and the evil caster uses disintegrate, healing in combat goes from inefficient to a necessity.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    I never design characters to do nothing but heal, but "good at healing" is a design goal for about half of my characters. So, roughly one game in two since it's usually me. In my current group I can only think of one PC who spent a lot of time healing that wasn't played by me. And a good thing, too, because in that campaign I played a hyperactive kobold barbarian...
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    generally one, but I'm including things like our thief rogue who we give potions.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    In our Curse of Strahd game, my light cleric and our divine soul sorcerer *can* heal, and will if needed, but would rather Blow Things Up. The artificer can also do some emergency healing.

    In our Saltmarsh game, the twilight cleric does toss out a lot of heals even when casting Sword would probably be a little more efficient.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    It's pretty typical to have characters who can heal, but dedicated healing in combat is not typical. We usually do have someone who can do it when the need arises, however.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Quote Originally Posted by da newt View Post
    I'll also re-voice the common theme - there is pretty much always some healing in the party, but rarely a PC who spends the majority of their actions healing.

    I did play one long running campaign with a cleric PC who healed often, and the majority of the time I believed they should have been doing something more useful. Part of it was the player doing odd things like an upcast cure wounds on someone at 30% health, to bring them to 50% - not an efficient use of a 3rd level spell slot IMO, and they very rarely used any concentration spells, etc.

    "Even life clerics smack people with spiritual weapon and spirit guardians." - I agree but would want to add "SHOULD" into this statement.
    I think clerics in general shouldn't focus on combat healing, but life clerics get efficient enough healing that they can effectively do so.

    A life clerics level 3 mass healing word (1d4+4+5 = 11.5 healing is a great reply to a fireball or breath attacks 14 damage on dex save and 28 on fail - It's almost enough healing to make the whole party feel like they had evasion. And you can still attack with a cantrip afterwards.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zhorn's Avatar

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Dedicated healer: rarely, though having access to a healing spell or two in the group is still common.

    Often during group formation we'll have someone ask about roles such as 'Who's going to be the healer? Who's going to be the tank', which usually becomes a conversation about that being a concept from different games and not the same thing, nor even a requirement, in 5e D&D.
    These folks are usually from a videogame background and new to D&D, so their perception is that of a healer is there to heal every round and keep the party topped off. And while I think that letting them try that and see how it goes from experience, I also don't want to let them fall into a trap-option based on a misconception. These folks tend to pick a caster first and burn all their spells in the first combat, taking a few sessions to get the idea of spellslot efficiency and resource attrition, which are must have skills if you go down the healer route.
    Mostly for new players I find the big thing that I emphasise a lot to them is 'play what you think is fun, don't treat roles like obligations' and 'just because a class can do a thing, it doesn't mean that class is only every that thing'.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    In the games I have played there are often multiple players who can heal.

    Paladin, bard, artificer, druid, celestial warlock, divine soul sorcerer, and occasionally cleric.

    Even clerics are, in many cases, more likely to use their spell slots for Spirit Guardians and Spiritual Weapon among other spells.

    So usually, there are characters who can heal and there is very rarely a character in a healing role where that is how they primarily see the character and want to play them. I have been in two games with folks playing life clerics who wanted to play the healing role. They used spells in combat to heal and support the party.

    In one case, the character was a pacifist and never acted offensively in any of the sessions I played with them (this was Adventurer's League). Last I saw they were in tier 4, doing great and always an asset to the party. In the other case, the character saw themselves as a healer but would still use spirit guardians and other spells to support the party while being close to the front lines to heal them.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindal View Post
    Hoi everyone

    This is just a general interest question that popped in my head

    Now a little about me: I'm a support main. In almost all games, including dnd, I steer towards support roles. Dnd , atleast 5e edition, has a system that makes having a dedicated typical "healer" a nice to have but not mandatory.

    I want to know. In your experience of the games you've run or been a part of, how often is there someone playing "a healer". Not counting "someone who occasionally throws out a cure wounds". A character that made a class or subclass choice to focus on healing aspects.

    I know support itself is broader than that, so I'm more just focusing on the healer aspect since that's sort of the stereotype that existed for some time

    Interested to hear!
    Is capable of healing: One or more in every party
    Devotes some specific attention to healing: One in every 2-3 parties
    Going for the healbot stereotype: Only ever seen one

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    In terms of a party member with healing spells, the large majority of the time someone has them.

    But a party member whose primary focus is healing? Almost never.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    In 0% of the games I have played has their not been a "healer" to some degree. Because healing in DnD is a niche the same way "face" is a niche and a variety of other things are a niche. You don't have to be defined by and only act as a healer in the same way you don't have to be defined by and only act as a party face.

    But neglecting to have anyone fill a niche is going to drastically limit what kinds of adventures a party is able to tackle.

    In 0% of the games I have played has their ever been someone who only heals. Because the game mechanics don't actually allow a person to only heal.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadMech View Post
    In 0% of the games I have played has their not been a "healer" to some degree. Because healing in DnD is a niche the same way "face" is a niche and a variety of other things are a niche. You don't have to be defined by and only act as a healer in the same way you don't have to be defined by and only act as a party face.

    But neglecting to have anyone fill a niche is going to drastically limit what kinds of adventures a party is able to tackle.

    In 0% of the games I have played has their ever been someone who only heals. Because the game mechanics don't actually allow a person to only heal.
    I feel like 5e has gone a long way in reducing "healing" from a niche to an ability. Almost any spellcaster can pick up basic healing spells with minimal effort (and they scale), potions of healing are mundane equipment, short rests give you HD rolls, and most martials have at least a self heal baked into their class. I find "filling the niche" has become more a question of "do we have sufficient healing ability across the party" than "do we have a healer." And honestly, even if the answer is no, just budget for potions.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Somewhat often, because it is me, because I like the role

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Quote Originally Posted by Christew View Post
    I feel like 5e has gone a long way in reducing "healing" from a niche to an ability. Almost any spellcaster can pick up basic healing spells with minimal effort (and they scale), potions of healing are mundane equipment, short rests give you HD rolls, and most martials have at least a self heal baked into their class. I find "filling the niche" has become more a question of "do we have sufficient healing ability across the party" than "do we have a healer." And honestly, even if the answer is no, just budget for potions.
    Sure and what happens when you run into something that can permanently petrify you all of a sudden? Or get hit by a spawn of kyuss, or any number of things that can only be mitigated with a very timely restoration?
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: How often do you have a 'healer' in your party

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadMech View Post
    Sure and what happens when you run into something that can permanently petrify you all of a sudden? Or get hit by a spawn of kyuss, or any number of things that can only be mitigated with a very timely restoration?
    The bard, cleric, or druid (none of whom's lives have been defined by their access to healing magic) cast Greater Restoration because it is a spell available to their class, not to the "role" of "healer."

    Or I attempt to strike a noble pose in my last moments and hope that I look cool as I serve as potent warning to the next group of adventurers that happens by.

    But really I think restoration is outside the bounds of "healing." "Support" is still a valuable role, I'm just arguing against "healer" as one.
    Last edited by Christew; 2021-09-14 at 10:21 PM.

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