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Old 10-05-2017, 03:20 PM   #23
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Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy with only one Spellcaster "Class"

Originally Posted by Anthony View Post

henchmen healbots (D&D any edition, lots of video games)
I never quite got this characterization of healers, whatever their power source or official profession.

I played a lot of clerics through many years of D&D, and for the most part my experience was that heroes had good enough AC and saves – and enough HP – that I didn't need to heal anybody most rounds. That left me free to whack things (which clerics in D&D are moderately good at) and to use some spell slots for reversed heals and other offensive magic. As of 3.0/3.5, I didn't even have to agonize over that last bit, because I could just "cash in" attack spells for healing spells as needed, so I was free to play at being artillery. I liked being a caster with good armor, HP, and combat rolls, with the added bonus of being able to shoo away a common class of enemies (undead). I didn't feel much like a bot or a henchman . . . often, I felt a little too capable.

This is even more true in the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game, thanks to active defenses and absorptive DR. On average, a party of well-designed characters will dodge, parry, or block most things and have a good percentage of what's left go "ka-PWING!" off armor, so once again, there's no need to heal all the time. Which means turns can be spent fighting instead, and the DFRPG has no armor or weapon restrictions for casters, so casters can wade right in and fight if they want. As spells cost one point apiece, it's easy to have a good mix of things – not just heals and buffs – with the only real limit being available FP. I'd say that's a good reason to restrict the spell list . . . but even with that, playing a cleric doesn't feel like playing a bot or a henchman.

However, I acknowledge that this comes down to character design. It's very possible to throw everything into the "healing" bin and do nothing else. I just prefer to take it as read that I'll heal, make that a small postscript along the lines of "of course wizards can read old books" or "of course scouts can track," and focus on all the rest. Sister Miriam (Delvers to Go!, p. 13) is there to remind gamers of this: fights with a sword that does 2d; has a several defenses at 12 with her shield factored in; wears armor; can self-buff for better damage, defenses, and DR; blasts enemies with Sunbolt; turns undead; exorcizes demons; and has all of 14 points (5-6% of her total) in actually fixing-up-friends healing skills and spells. Sure, she can't tank a dragon, but she's more than a match for cultists, orcs, zombies, etc.
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