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Old 03-24-2018, 12:42 PM   #1
Mister Negative
 
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Default Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

I'm really curious about the rationale behind limiting Healing spells (once per spell per caster per subject without penalty), particularly given the lack of restrictions on Healing potions.

I get that this acts to promote resource management, and discourage a particular mindset in fights (offense over defense, just heal up later), but it still seems really odd to me.

It reduces the role of the Cleric in healing, while greatly expanding the importance of potions in the same role. It seems to strip out some of the niche protection of the Cleric, in a way that people would obviously object to if say, charged wand use was prioritized over Wizards.

It still allows massive damage/healing cycles, just through the use of potions rather than a Cleric. After a huge fight (or during), people just bust out the potions, rather than waiting patiently for the Cleric.

It just seems like a restriction that doesn't particularly do anything to meet the flavor of old-school dungeon crawling. Wizards were ALSO limited in spells per day, and that's not a feature of DFRPG. Healing potions were present in old-school dungeon delves, but not emphasized to the point they are in DFRPG.

Has anyone tinkered with it? I'm thinking about 'reintroducing' ritual magic to DFPRG, where the Healing Spells are limited to one 'normal' casting per spell per caster per subject, but allowed to be cast an unlimited number of times as a ritual spell (10x normal casting time). So healing is readily available after a fight, provided you have the time and FP (and time to recover FP).

Either that, or maybe go back to specific injury tracking and only allow each injury to receive ONE healing spell (and a Stop Bleeding first) and specifying that Great Heal is a whole body, all injuries thing. So if you get a nasty cut on your arm, you can get a Minor Healing, OR a Major Healing, but not one of each, or two of one. I don't like the extra book-keeping that involves, even though I think it captures the situation best.

IDK, I just think the current restrictions are a bit onerous for no real benefit. You know you can't rely on the Cleric for much healing per delve, but you can buy craploads of potions, so you just move 'per fight healing' from the Cleric to the potion supply.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post
After a huge fight (or during), people just bust out the potions, rather than waiting patiently for the Cleric.
I've never once seen this in play... so... I suspect your mileage is greatly varying to mine.

Quote:
Either that, or maybe go back to specific injury tracking and only allow each injury to receive ONE healing spell (and a Stop Bleeding first) and specifying that Great Heal is a whole body, all injuries thing. So if you get a nasty cut on your arm, you can get a Minor Healing, OR a Major Healing, but not one of each, or two of one. I don't like the extra book-keeping that involves, even though I think it captures the situation best.
How very shades of Shadowrun. Not a terrible idea (I did this for a non-DF fantasy game I ran and it worked fine), but as you say, it adds to the book keeping (minimal in my opinion - but then I already record all injury the Characters sustain when I run, so again YMMV).


Quote:
You know you can't rely on the Cleric for much healing per delve, but you can buy craploads of potions, so you just move 'per fight healing' from the Cleric to the potion supply.
Again, I have no idea where this is coming from. Are you actually seeing this in play?

Is your group really so lavish with the potions that they can't wait a few minutes for the Cleric to get around to slapping a heal on them? Or is your group pushing forward so hard that time (both post battle resting and taking a night to 'cool-down' the timers on heal) is itself more precious than the money spent on potions?
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:30 PM   #3
ArchonShiva
 
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

Clerics using a $40 scroll heal more on average than a $120 potion; they aren't really getting their thunder stolen.

However, the penalties are mostly to prevent people from recovering ridiculously fast in more down-to-earth fantasy, as well as prevent repeated 1-point heals at zero FP cost due to skill.

Here's an alternative that will change how the game feels but won't break it: Repeated healing spells don't have a -3 penalty, but both caster and subject pay the FP cost, which cannot be reduced by high skill.

You could even let the caster choose which of the two rules they will use for each casting.

As an aside, you can recover unlimited HP for free with Stop Bleeding, Esoteric Medicine-15 and a very weak cutting or impaling weapon. Expect your GM to be upset, though.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

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Originally Posted by ArchonShiva View Post
As an aside, you can recover unlimited HP for free with Stop Bleeding, Esoteric Medicine-15 and a very weak cutting or impaling weapon. Expect your GM to be upset, though.
I suspect you're misinterpreting some rules... but in the interest of having missed something, what's this secret?
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:31 PM   #5
ArchonShiva
 
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

Have an imp weapon that can reliably cause 0 damage. Inflict a wound on a DR0 body part, it will inflict 1 HP of damage.

Cast Stop Bleeding, which gives back 1d6-3 (min 1) for 1 FP (costs zero with skill 15).

Repeat.

One third of the time, you will heal more than you inflicted. Esoteric Medicine prevents any critical failures from crippling the subject or summoning a demon. You can heal everyone to full HP in a matter of minutes.

Do not attempt this in an actual game, or I fully endorse the four Watchers at the Edge of Time suddenly teleporting in behind you.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

Of course, a reasonable GM will rule "100% of the time you will heal 1 hp (the one you just caused)" and "why would you even try that?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchonShiva View Post
Have an imp weapon that can reliably cause 0 damage. Inflict a wound on a DR0 body part, it will inflict 1 HP of damage.

Cast Stop Bleeding, which gives back 1d6-3 (min 1) for 1 FP (costs zero with skill 15).

Repeat.

One third of the time, you will heal more than you inflicted. Esoteric Medicine prevents any critical failures from crippling the subject or summoning a demon. You can heal everyone to full HP in a matter of minutes.
.
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I've never once seen this in play... so... I suspect your mileage is greatly varying to mine.



Again, I have no idea where this is coming from. Are you actually seeing this in play?

Is your group really so lavish with the potions that they can't wait a few minutes for the Cleric to get around to slapping a heal on them? Or is your group pushing forward so hard that time (both post battle resting and taking a night to 'cool-down' the timers on heal) is itself more precious than the money spent on potions?
It's not that they are pressed for time. It's more that the casting penalties for repeated spells make the PCs nervous about getting injured again. So we either go to the '1-encounter adventuring day', which was bad enough to avoid in Pathfinder and 4e, or we stock up on potions. No one wants to retreat out of the dungeon because someone got badly mauled on one unlucky hit, but no one wants to be the guy who gets a second unlucky hit, when there's nothing you can do about it.

I haven't played enough DF or DFRPG to see whether it's a big problem or not, but reading some of the blogs, it seems like a lot of potion use is really common, not retreating and resting overnight to "reset the Cleric". Potions seem like a mechanically viable solution, but I'm curious as to what that design decision added to the game.

In old-school D&D, the wizard AND the cleric both had spells limited per day. Here, all spells are limited by FP (and ER) and time, except healing spells, which are limited further. I know that it's a legacy from straight GURPS Magic, but I'm curious as to why it was preserved.

It seems odd both mechanically, and thematically.

"Hey, man. Little help?"

"Sorry. I mended your wounds from the crossbow trap. That's all I can do for you today."

"But I just got gored fighting a demon FOR YOUR CHURCH."

"And I appreciate it, but one big boo-boo a day is all the Lord will mend."

"But if I get bitten by a snake, you can cure that any number of times."

"Yeah. Snakes suck."
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post
It's not that they are pressed for time. It's more that the casting penalties for repeated spells make the PCs nervous about getting injured again. So we either go to the '1-encounter adventuring day', which was bad enough to avoid in Pathfinder and 4e, or we stock up on potions. No one wants to retreat out of the dungeon because someone got badly mauled on one unlucky hit, but no one wants to be the guy who gets a second unlucky hit, when there's nothing you can do about it.
... do your players refuse to take any action at a skill level below 15?
Do they realize that the healing penalties for different spells (and different casters) don't stack together?
Do they use First Aid at all? You can use First aid repeatedly, just once per fight, not once per career or per day.

I play barbarians, I have for years in GURPS as well (which uses exactly the same rules for healing spells). Giant slabs of beef that tank for the party largely by being a pile of HP and looking alarming and also lightly armored (making them an attractive target). I often play Berserkers, which means all-out-attacks and therefore getting hit a lot. If I end a fight with my character above 1/3 HP, I'm amazed. Naturally, I'm a big healing sponge.

I have never had a problem with not enough healing, even with only one healer in the party. Once I start taking wounds that can't be healed magically today, usually everyone wants to stop for the day anyways. Then I use a potion to clean up HP loss (after again getting First Aid, always get First Aid first) and go to bed. I start the next day with a clean slate.

If your players insist on drinking all their money earned from adventures even if they have a perfectly good cleric right there, I won't stop them... but my barbarian PC may make condescending comments about their PCs. Keel-Breaker is pretty sure all non-barbarians are soft and helpless anyways.
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

Don't forget that having 20-29 HP gives you a 2x healing multiplier so minor healing is as good for the barbarian as major healing is for everyone else. Very rapid healing will increase it another step to 3x meaning a cleric can pretty easily heal you for 24 or more and bandages will give 3-9 HP.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cleric Healing and Healing Potions curiosity

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Originally Posted by DocRailgun View Post
Of course, a reasonable GM will rule "100% of the time you will heal 1 hp (the one you just caused)" and "why would you even try that?"
That's reasonable, but depends on exactly what I think the rule at issue here is trying to avoid needing to do.

It appears that the point of these limits is to allow for different severities of injury - you want a wound that nearly killed someone to need more than casting Minor Healing 20 times in a row. But to do that without a daily limit on Minor Healing, you have to do exactly what you are proposing here and track damage *per wound*, and RAW GURPS doesn't.
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