Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-16-2019, 05:26 AM   #361
warhorse11h
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: HEAL spell?

An opponent of healing spells posted this list of objections to healing spells a while back. I got my nose out of joint and didn't respond to them. I should have. So, now I will.

1) Fatigue recovers quite quickly with rest. (True enough, but whether the players get that time is up to the GM. Random encounters can break up a rest recovery cycle very quickly.)
2) Fatigue can be replaced immediately with Aid and/or Drain ST. (Subject to the availability of Aid spells in the party and willing subjects for a Drain ST spell. Aid is also only a short term fix. It lasts two turns (I believe that equates to 10 seconds). Members of the party may be unwilling to fatigue themselves further just to keep wizard up to snuff. And again, much of this is under the control of the GM. Use of Aid to cast the Healing spell is possible, but again, this is dependent on the number of wizards in the party and their willingness to fatigue themselves to help heal someone else. Setting a pattern with a couple of random encounters will force them to have the idea in the back of their mind that they may need that ST for their own protection.)
3) The above lead to an extremely strong incentive to engage in tedious but powerful tactics where you want as many people to learn Aid as possible, and to be resting as much as possible per day. (If you have that many wizards in the party, its possible, but otherwise unlikely, unless you can convince the fighters to learn the Aid spell, sacrificing three slots and to forego any iron/steel weapons and armor just to be able to cast it at -4 DX, again just to keep the wizard up to snuff.)
4) The result is that lasting injuries become very very rare, and the incentive to stop and do magic healing and resting/Aid drills till max healing has been accomplished, is very high. (Completely under GM control. Random encounters can fix a great many problems about the flow of the game, if the players want to dawdle along at a slow pace.)
5) It creates a great desire and competitive necessity for having a healing wizard, and for wizards to spend a lot of their time and energy doing healing. (Currently running a group using the spells. There is one wizard who has healing capability, and there is a physicker. Most of the healing has been done by the physicker, on a per combat basis. It has proven adequate in most cases and the wizard has usually been forced to expend ST to cast spells in battle and has only been able to cast the Lesser Heal spell one time.)

Last edited by warhorse11h; 01-16-2019 at 05:48 AM.
warhorse11h is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2019, 12:05 PM   #362
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
Some of the more vigorous opponents of a healing spell have developed a simple solution to extra healing without a magical spell. Healing by wound done by a physicker or master physicker, not by combat. It is a simple solution to the question, modifying only one rule regarding two talents and in many cases will offer as much or more healing than the spells listed above. If I had gone down that road initially, I might be in the other camp now. But I didn't and I am reluctant to give up what I have developed without giving it a fair chance in play. It is a viable and effective option though.
In the case of the people I played with, we did physicker healing per wound, but not because we wanted faster healing. We did it because it seemed like the only way that made any sense.

It does tend to have the effect of meaning less rest is needed, and from pretty much only ever playing this way, I never had a sense of a "need" for faster healing other than healing potions.

An effect that I really like about healing per wound is that it means minor wounds and fist fights and so on tend to be not very serious long-term, but major serious wounds DO require serious recovery efforts, either by days or weeks of actual rest, and/or expensive/rare healing potions. To me, that has a really nice feel and gameplay about the significance of combat events and consequences to it. I really like that effect, and it would be undermined by magic healing that heals already-physicked wounds at a steady rate that is much faster than bed rest.
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2019, 12:31 PM   #363
warhorse11h
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
In the case of the people I played with, we did physicker healing per wound, but not because we wanted faster healing. We did it because it seemed like the only way that made any sense.

It does tend to have the effect of meaning less rest is needed, and from pretty much only ever playing this way, I never had a sense of a "need" for faster healing other than healing potions.

An effect that I really like about healing per wound is that it means minor wounds and fist fights and so on tend to be not very serious long-term, but major serious wounds DO require serious recovery efforts, either by days or weeks of actual rest, and/or expensive/rare healing potions. To me, that has a really nice feel and gameplay about the significance of combat events and consequences to it. I really like that effect, and it would be undermined by magic healing that heals already-physicked wounds at a steady rate that is much faster than bed rest.
I can appreciate your feeling that way about your approach. I also admit there is a certain logic to it within the game. If a character has serious damage due to multiple smaller wounds, it does make sense that a physicker could treat each of them separately. I would also go so far as to say that if you use that approach, you do not need any healing spells. In combination, they would tip over the apple cart.

Beyond that, I am afraid that you and I will have to respectfully disagree on this topic. If I have given any offense to you in any of my posts, I sincerely apologize. No offense was intended.
warhorse11h is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2019, 12:35 PM   #364
Shadekeep
 
Shadekeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Aerlith
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
In the case of the people I played with, we did physicker healing per wound, but not because we wanted faster healing. We did it because it seemed like the only way that made any sense.
Just sticking my oar in to concur. This is both logical and practical. Makes a good house rule, for folks similarly inclined.
Shadekeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2019, 12:53 PM   #365
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
An opponent of healing spells posted this list of objections to healing spells a while back. I got my nose out of joint and didn't respond to them. I should have. So, now I will.
I didn't mean to upset anyone, but just to provide what seem to me like valuable considerations to bring up around healing magic.

Clearly some people want fast strong healing magic and I'm not trying to change their minds.

But often healing magic gets mentioned as something "missing" from TFT or that "should" be there, and it seems to me that for the sake of new and undecided players, it should be mentioned that TFT works well without healing spells, that it offers an interesting contrast to the bazillion other games that have fast easy healing, that it can remove an interesting element of play to have major wounds go away quickly, and that there are several sometimes subtle considerations that would be good to consider before adding healing spells.

I don't mean to belittle anyone's thinking process or have an acrimonious argument. I just feel a duty to mention the considerations I see that seem to be missing if I don't respond.


Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
1) Fatigue recovers quite quickly with rest. (True enough, but whether the players get that time is up to the GM. Random encounters can break up a rest recovery cycle very quickly.)
True.


Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
2) Fatigue can be replaced immediately with Aid and/or Drain ST. (Subject to the availability of Aid spells in the party and willing subjects for a Drain ST spell. Aid is also only a short term fix. It lasts two turns (I believe that equates to 10 seconds). Members of the party may be unwilling to fatigue themselves further just to keep wizard up to snuff. And again, much of this is under the control of the GM. Use of Aid to cast the Healing spell is possible, but again, this is dependent on the number of wizards in the party and their willingness to fatigue themselves to help heal someone else. Setting a pattern with a couple of random encounters will force them to have the idea in the back of their mind that they may need that ST for their own protection.)
Also true, though with strong enough healing spells, I think non-wizards would want to learn Aid too just for this purpose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
3) The above lead to an extremely strong incentive to engage in tedious but powerful tactics where you want as many people to learn Aid as possible, and to be resting as much as possible per day. (If you have that many wizards in the party, its possible, but otherwise unlikely, unless you can convince the fighters to learn the Aid spell, sacrificing three slots and to forego any iron/steel weapons and armor just to be able to cast it at -4 DX, again just to keep the wizard up to snuff.)
The heroes would tend to wait until things seemed safe enough and then remove their iron and cast Aid. Unless the group is constantly being harrassed by new attackers AND doesn't have enough cover and/or members to spare one warrior, even in dangerous situations one warrior could drop their iron and cast Aid, and spend time resting.

It could even be worth bringing along extra people (slaves, hirelings, followers, allies) who mainly just know the Aid spell and will rest to produce as much healing as possible.

Sure if they're constantly being attacked and never get to rest, this may not work for constant danger situations, but in worlds where there is sometimes time to rest, the comparative healing rate to taking two days to rest is enormous. If a healing spell heals unlimited amounts of ST for say 4 fatigue per point, that's one hour to heal a point of damage, and the wizard and the patient don't even need to be the one resting. That's 48 points of healing per IQ 9 person with the Aid spell. Also compare to healing potions at $150 list price per 1 ST healed. i.e., compared to using healing potions, having a DX 10 slave of pal with the Aid spell is worth how ever many hours he can rest per day, divided by two for 50% Aid spell success rate, times $150. So every person with the Aid spell can result in as much healing as $600-$1500 worth of healing potions per day (and compared to healing potions, lacks the need to actually find them, bring them along, not get them broken, not run out of them, etc).


Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
4) The result is that lasting injuries become very very rare, and the incentive to stop and do magic healing and resting/Aid drills till max healing has been accomplished, is very high. (Completely under GM control. Random encounters can fix a great many problems about the flow of the game, if the players want to dawdle along at a slow pace.)
For labyrinth situations or ongoing short-term tactical/adventure situations, those can preclude lots of time to rest fatigue, sure.

But that is only completely under GM control as long as the GM is going to use that control to confine play to certain situations to avoid healing, which seems to me an undesirable meta restriction.

Our campaign games have usually had a lot of interesting play at the scale of days and regional map movements. What people do when they travel, having the party set up camp to rest to heal people while other people scout and go on raids, etc., is where much of the decision-making happens, and where serious lasting injuries are interesting situations to overcome. That's when people rest on a scale of days. If there's unlimited healing that's much faster than bed rest and doesn't require rest except by Aid casters resting on a moving wagon, that will remove that whole type of consideration from play. It won't be possible for your best warriors to ever have lasting injuries and need to spend time healing unless the situation somehow prevents you from using fast magic healing. I like having the possibility of combat resulting in important people being seriously hurt and needing to rest for a long time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
5) It creates a great desire and competitive necessity for having a healing wizard, and for wizards to spend a lot of their time and energy doing healing. (Currently running a group using the spells. There is one wizard who has healing capability, and there is a physicker. Most of the healing has been done by the physicker, on a per combat basis. It has proven adequate in most cases and the wizard has usually been forced to expend ST to cast spells in battle and has only been able to cast the Lesser Heal spell one time.)
Ok, but again, I'm thinking more of the impact on play on a scale of days when bed rest would be an option. If it's safe enough to do bed rest, it's safe enough for someone with Aid to rest fatigue for the healing wizard.

My own experience is mainly with GURPS healing spells, and parties taking one or more people with the spell, and always using them as much as they can to keep the party as healed as possible, which only makes sense because the spells are so efficient. The result is that unless the group is in a constant adventure situation with no time to rest fatigue, that almost no one in the party ever has lasting injuries to think about. And even in constant adventure situations, the best use of such wizards's fatigue is often to heal injuries on others.

The other impact is that players tend to then relate to dangerous situations as having all or nothing risks, which seems to tend to escalate their overconfidence to the point and reduce outcomes to either "we won, we healed, we're all fine" or "some or all of us died". I much prefer it when there is a likely result that fighting dangerous things also leads to "some or all of us are really injured and now we need to figure out how we can best recover from that and make it home without dying".

Last edited by Skarg; 01-17-2019 at 10:28 PM. Reason: added missing end-quote section marker
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2019, 01:17 PM   #366
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Oh, and the other impact is just on how the other people in the world operate, and their expectations.

Because such a healing spell makes a huge impact on how effective a group is in terms of what they can take on and how many days it takes to do an adventure, and in terms of whether they can beat another group and what tactics they use.

Without a healing wizard, a party might go assault some dangerous location, and would be best advised to be as careful as possible to avoid getting injured in the process. They'd likely get injured anyway, and maybe need to retreat to distant hidden safe camp to have some/all of their members heal for days while others scouted and/or when on other missions. They'd need to bring enough men to guard a resting camp, and enough food to possibly have to rest for a long time without running out. There would often be situations where several people are somewhat hurt but it would be overly cautious or even foolish to try to rest until everyone is completely healed, so the group needs to assess everyone's condition to decide how best to deploy injured people. Any time someone was greatly injured, they'd need to consider what to do about it. If there are healing potions, how many should be used on whom, and who pays for it? How many people can rest on a wagon while traveling? Etc.

With a healing wizard, a party may not need to be as careful, because often injuries from road encounters can be completely magically healed before the next one occurs. There might still be a desire during a raid to retreat to rest, but the resting time in probably measured more in hours than days and there's a reasonable tactic of not proceeding unless everyone is fully healed, because it doesn't take all that long. So often serious risks are faced with a fully healed party whenever possible. When they "clean out" a dangerous location, they probably completely heal up before heading back, so there's not much tension on the way back.

In a world with healing magic, some groups might not have a healing wizard, but look how much less effective, more expensive, and more dangerous that would be. Hence a massive preference for adventuring and military groups to have such wizards and use them as much as possible.

In a situation where rival armed groups face each other, healing wizards would be massive assets, and using them as much as possible would be a crucial tactic to use. Which also means that the PCs' organized adversaries will want to use them as much as possible too, and the efficiency with which the adversaries use healing magic will be a huge part of how difficult they are for the PCs to face. More than ever, opponents should disengage to heal if they can.

And more than ever, adversaries should kill their opponents, rather than leave a dangerous wounded opponent alive, because even if they're severely wounded, a healing wizard could quickly heal them completely and they could come back after you at full ST the next day, and also want to kill you off especially because you could do the same thing.
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2019, 01:27 PM   #367
hcobb
 
hcobb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: HEAL spell?

The default level of healing in a starting party is three points for each figure injured after each battle from your sage plus four healing potions per figure in the party. (What else are you going to spend the starting $1k on?)

That gets one fighter from dead to full strength once plus dead to walking after the next battle.
__________________
-HJC
hcobb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2019, 06:24 PM   #368
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: HEAL spell?

A Bit of Philosophy

I think the way to look at healing is that wounds and healing might want to satisfy some or all of these principles:
  • Undesirability: Players should not want their characters to be wounded, so there should be some penalty that incentivises them to avoid it. I think this is more or less trivial: wounds in sufficient quantity over a short period of time cause death, so there's always a disincentive to being wounded. But some people feel this isn't enough.
  • Entertainment:Being wounded should be fun. The penalty imposed should be good from a gaming POV: something that's fun, or interesting, or exciting, or keeps the player on the edge of their seat, rather than boring or routine. Again this is easy to satisfy during a fight, because the character is in danger of dying, but hard between fights.
  • Optionality and Mundanity: As the name implies, two related principles that tend to go hand in hand. If healing is so effective that it becomes de facto essential then it should be generally available. Parties should be able to go adventuring without a wizard, or a physicker, or in areas where athelas does not grow, without being completely crippled. Industrial magic should not be too intrusive. It should be practical to play TFT in a setting where there is no magic. Industrial magic is more a part of Cidri than most settings so maybe this is not as big a deal in Cidri games.
  • Simplicity and TFTishness:Rules that use similar mechanics to other rules in TFT, and generally simpler rules, are preferred to one-of-a-kind or complex rules.

I think most players care about most of these principles, though not every player cares about any individual principle. This is just as well, since it's unlikely any healing rules will satisfy all these criteria. There might also be other principles I haven't thought of. I think any rules for healing should start by asking which principles they're trying to satisfy, and which they're willing to throw to the wolves.

Using this scheme many objections to a very effective healing system (e.g. Steve's proposal) can be phrased as violations of the principle of undesirability.

In an effort to avoid violating undesirability, some GMs use healing spells that e.g. double the rate of natural healing. But this is perhaps a violation of entertainment, since the difference between a week's enforced rest and two week's enforced rest means little in RPG terms.

The canonical TFT system (no healing spell but healing potions) is in partial violation of the principle of entertainment. During a fight being wounded is exciting because the player fears their character will be killed. But between fights being wounded forces either a return to civilisation for downtime, or burning money on healing potions. Neither is fun.

Steve's proposal is also a violation of the principle of entertainment, since sitting and doing nothing for an hour or two while the wizard rests is kind of pointless, but that's also a criticism of the magic system generally.

A system in which healing magic was very effective and convenient between fights, so that all wounds would be healed before the next one at negligible cost, would be a violation of the principle of optionality and mundanity. IMO it otherwise looks pretty good, and it's probably the scheme I would use if I were GMing at the moment.
David Bofinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.