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Old 05-28-2018, 10:49 PM   #11
Jim Kane
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Has anyone been in contact with TY?

I am very anxious to learn his thoughts on SJ's current rules draft, being that he is likely the biggest proponent of a Healing Spell for TFT; and the idea of adding such a spell, in any form, is a pretty big deal.

Anyone have a SUMMON TY BEARD scroll in their backpack?

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Old 05-28-2018, 11:32 PM   #12
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
Comments: There is no HEAL spell in the original game because of concerns that it would make an adventuring party too self-sufficient. I no longer think that is a big problem.
Having played TFT for years with no healing spells, rare fragile healing potions that cost $100 for one dose that heals one point of damage, and having to devise ways to survive years of adventure anyway (making sure you have enough people and a physicker, and/or finding safe places to heal and actually resting), I still feel your original design was best.

It makes injury significant. There are ways to survive and triumph despite no healing spells, and I still find that more interesting and satisfying than the typical alternative of easy healing, which I find tends to make injuries less relevant, and actually tends to up the stakes of combat as players expect to be able to fight people and get hurt but then heal up relatively quickly for no really serious consequence.

I think, since I know that it can be done and that we really enjoyed playing without healing spells, that it offers something valuable to not have them, and so there should at least be a note somewhere that the original game had no healing spells, and so it's an option for GM to consider whether they want it or not.

I also note that if/when given access to healing spells, there's a natural technique of exploiting them. Similar techniques to the ones we used to manage having to heal woulds (e.g. having a large party or staff/servants available) will logically be used to heal the more powerful characters with priority. It will logically apply to NPC opponents as well. So don't count on merely severely wounding an opponent to be a lasting effect, if he can head over to the Wizard's guild, or has wizard friends with apprentices or just willing Drain Strength subjects, because they logically would do that as soon as possible to get the strongest warriors and wizards back to full strength. Again, that removes the element of play of having to deal with wounds, or being able to lastingly wound someone with resources to zap back to full strength. And that also ups the stakes and drives the desire to kill people off once and for all.

Sometimes less is more, and I'm so grateful there was no healing spell in TFT, and would be sad to see one added. Unfortunately, it may be hard to convince people who haven't played a lot without healing magic.

In the (GURPS) games I have run where its healing spells exist, I at least add nerfing rules of various types that greatly limit the rate of healing possible, and/or adding expensive consumed spell components and/or increasing risks the more it's used.

It's a matter of degree, rather than that there must be no healing magic. Do a little math and notice the difference in healing speed between TFT (1 per 2 days while resting all day), or this spell (1 point per 45 minutes wizard-rest, spreadable to apprentices and Drain Strength subjects, i.e. complete instant healing if you have enough fST available). There are many intermediate points where it's not a "zap, you're healed" effect and then it can be not so severe an effect. For example, the mentioned idea that lets you heal up to 2 or 3 points like a physicker. And/or, a spell that would let you heal while doing other things besides lying around (so you could heal while continuing to travel or even adventure). And/or, a spell that lets you heal 1 point per day instead of 1 per two days.

Last edited by Skarg; 05-29-2018 at 12:02 AM. Reason: typo fixes
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:56 PM   #13
Jim Kane
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Having played TFT for years with no healing spells... THE WHOLE POST...
THAT my friend is one strong case against introducing Healing Spells into TFT!

Wow, if TFT had never been published, why you could have been... a nationally famous prosecuting attorney!

IF a Healing Soell goes in, it will need a massive cap on it. You raise an additional concern of mine which I did not include in my feedback to SJ; and that is:

I would cringe at the idea of a TFT Adventure Party now being filled with essentially useless "cleric-types", who are non-combatant cannon-fodder, while the sole-intent of their being on the scene is only to grant Frederick, the Foolhardy, unending "free plays" down in the tunnels; and if one of these magical-healers happen to die themselves.... Fredrick brought 3 more in his entourage... so no biggie.

Are we having fun yet?

I know that game, it is published by the competition, and is it NOT TFT.

Death is a BIG DEAL, and the cost to avoid death on Cidri should be kept BIG.

SKARG, thanks for taking up a well thought-out CASE AGAINST,... now, let's see what happens when our brother TY shows up to make his CASE FOR... and when the smoke clears... LOL!.. I hope what's left on the table will be of use to SJ in making his decision on what he ultimately does with the idea.

One of your best posts yet my friend - And I hope SJ will read every word of it.


Last edited by Jim Kane; 05-29-2018 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Typo and Addition
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Old 05-29-2018, 01:29 AM   #14
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Oh, I should add that the other thing a fast healing spell does, is become invaluable and indispensable, making those who have a wizard with it much more capable than those without it. Without them, physickers are already very important to have, but this spell is vastly stronger than physicking. Which means that groups with this spell will be much much more capable that those without.

* Competent leaders of (PC and NPC) groups will want to give great weight and consideration to the availability of healing wizards.
* A leader with injured men facing an enemy that isn't wounded will be wise to try to use healing magic to get fully healed as often as possible. This can get annoying in play.
* Parties will (and should) be doing whatever they can to make sure they have a healing wizard.
* Many players (and NPCs) may become recalcitrant (and with good reason!) about doing anything risky unless a healing wizard is along.
* Wizards who have IQ 14 but no healing spell may be resented by players.
* Wizards with the healing spell may get sick of mainly needing to use their power to heal everyone else all the time.
* Wounded people may resent wizards who do other things with their magic other than heal them first, and in many cases they'll have good reason to.
* There start being some annoying tactics to consider around bringing along more apprentices and (to a lesser degree) using people as Drain Strength subjects to be able to get healed as quickly as possible.
* It becomes relevant to track the fatigue recovery of at least all the people with healing or Aid spells constantly until everyone is healed up.
* And other such side-effects.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:30 AM   #15
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Carrboro, NC
Default Re: HEAL spell?

At the risk of adding too much complexity, the ST cost per hit healed could increase. Either linearly, one for the first hit, two for the second, three for the third, etc. So healing four hits costs 1+2+3+4=10, or exponentially 1+2+4+8=15.

Making the cost exponential would effectively cap healing at 3 or 4, except for larger, coordinated undertakings.

I wonder though, if a healing spell would marginalize wizards by making them save their strength for healing other characters, rather than casting combat spells.

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Old 05-29-2018, 05:05 AM   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: HEAL spell?

When I worked on the healing rules for the Iron Kingdoms (the D20 version of the setting), one of the initial discussions with the editor was that healing hurts. Healing spells were a thing, yes, but the act of casting a healing spell could lead to painful consequences for the caster and the target of the spell.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:46 AM   #17
David Bofinger
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: HEAL spell?

My feeling is that starting out with a proposed rule is the wrong way to start. We should ask instead, what are we trying to achieve?

With standard TFT rules a serious injury to a character, say seven points of damage less two from Physicker, might take ten days of rest to recover. Wounded characters are incapacitated in the sense they shouldn't be trusted adventuring, other characters are not incapacitated so either they sit idle or get roll-per-week jobs or leave the casualty behind, none of which is a great option.

With the spell provided the situation is the same if the party lacks the Heal spell, presumably because they lack an IQ 14 wizard. If they do have the Heal spell available then a serious injury becomes something that can be completely fixed in four hours (less with Aid). During that time the wounded character, the wizard and anyone providing Aid are all incapacitated. That seems pretty close to the "self-sufficient party" Steve mentioned.

Now I don't know what the objective is but neither of these strikes me as ideal. The idea starting parties get totally crippled by injuries then as soon as the wizard hits IQ 14 they're enormously better off seems ugly. That might be fixed by having a hierarchy of healing spells that get more effective as IQ rises.

But what do we want? Do we want a game where wounds are a trivial issue as long as we don't die? Or a game where wounds take us out of play for a while? Or a game where we can keep going for a while on healing and then we have to stop? Or a game where we can keep healing but doing so causes a deterioration in something else gradually until we have to stop. We have to decide this, and then we can write the rules.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:16 AM   #18
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Hi Steve, everyone.
You might want to look at my heal spells described earlier in the forums. Basically they speed natural healing of wounds (so you didn't have to wait around for weeks to recover), but did little to fix wounds instantly. They also allowed people to heal when moving or adventuring, so people with just a couple points of damage didn't have to stop the adventure to get bed rest.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 06-01-2018 at 12:50 AM. Reason: fixed spelling error.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:26 AM   #19
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: HEAL spell?

Poor Steve, he throws some bait in the water and the sharks attack! ;)

But really, all good ideas here, and after a overflight jets interrupted sleep am thinking that either we need to leave healing spells out completely or risk some fundamental changes, not necessarily good ones, to TFT OR perhaps have a somewhat equivalent spell or spells that mimic Physicker and Master Physicker talent.

There are already precedents for this, whether silent movement or door unlocking, etc.

So maybe something along the lines of two spells to avoid the IQ plateauing I mentioned, and have them mimic an equivalent talent in a wizardly way, though. Rope and Greater Rope (I can't remember its name) come to mind.

Something, roughly, like IQ 14 Heal that costs a set amount for living creatures under 20 basic ST, say 3 points to heal 2 points, and IQ 16 Greater Healing for creatures of any ST, 3 points to heal 3 points.

One could limit the healing to a Physicker-like approach, one spell per incident of damage, to keep things from becoming ridiculous, as has been mentioned, with cleric style characters as Insta-Heal abusers.

The two spells allow for a *reduction* of damage, like Physicker, and then that's it. Over several combats, it can be critical to keeping the Party moving, albeit at a reduced effectiveness, as it should be. Often Physicker is helpful to bring someone who is a dead weight unconscious fellow to being able to move on his own, or to avoid ST penalties (like -3) to low ST characters.

I don't think healing should be much more than this, for all of the reasons previously stated in this and other posts.

Last edited by Kirk; 05-29-2018 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:53 AM   #20
A Ladder
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: HEAL spell?

*Never played TFT, but am really interested in this since I heard about it. So take my ideas as something probably dismiss-able*

You could make it so that healing cost more ST each time you heal damage.

So you can heal at a 3:1 the first time you heal some damage. But the next time you heal damage on the same target it is 5:1, and the next time is 7:1, 9:1, etc. (Reduced to 2:1, 4:1, 6:1, etc. with Physicker). The ST cost goes down by 1 for each day the subject rests to recover.

So you using Kirk's example in the previous post...

A ST-13 IQ-14 wizard with this spell at the SJ rate of 3:1 ratio could heal a ST-13 hero from adjST-1 to 5 strength (at a cost of 3:1), rest 3 hours to regain his strength of 13, then when repeated the wizard takes our hero from adjST 5 to adjST - 7 (because the cost is now 5:1), rest 3 hours, then heal only one more from adjST 7 to adjST 8 (due to 7:1 cost), the next couple of 3 hour rest periods really slows recovery as the healing ratio continues to increase (9:1, 11:1, 13:1), bringing our hero up to adjST 11 in a total of 18 hours. Our hero is not fully recovered, and now the wizard is going to demand some days of recovery to get his healing ratio down. The wizard could demand 10 days of rest now to get the ratio from 13:1 down to 3:1 again, while our hero takes another 4 days to get back to full health. (Physickers with the heal spell would be much better at healing, obviously).

So one unmolested day to fully regain ST with a Physicker with the healing spell, four days with a regular wizard with the spell, and without the spell almost a month to recover. But the wizards would need additional downtime to get their healing back to normal bringing our total time to about 5 days for the Physicker, 10 days for the wizard, and 24 days without magic.

This version gives quick recovery of minor wounds (for the first ratio cost), but at repeated diminishing returns forcing the decision to use inefficient healing or to take time to rest and recover outside of the action.
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