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Old 06-08-2018, 01:14 AM   #141
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
I guess there's more than two scenarios for healing:
  1. When you need healing, you can't have it. The PCs start uninjured, gradually accumulate wounds and hope to make the finish line before they (all) die. Fights are severe enough to make this challenging, which means that no individual fight has much chance to defeat the players, unless they are already badly injured near the end of the quest. Problem with this is that the PCs might do badly early on, take a lot of wounds and be doomed, but not know it. The GM can fudge it by providing healing potions in the treasure, assuming there is a GM and the system includes healing potions. Also the fights are never severe enough there's a risk of losing, which takes a good deal of the tension out of them.
  2. You can get healed by stopping and doing nothing for a long time. The fights might be tough enough to be threatening, in which case there are lots of wounds and the campaign becomes very slow in game time. Or they are easy enough people don't get seriously hurt, in which case there's not much tension.
  3. You can get healed easily, after every fight, with a short pause. The fights are tough enough to be threatening. Injuries become a short-term problem. I don't see a problem here, but some people are offended, maybe by failure of suspension of disbelief?
  4. You can get healed easily, either after a fight or during if the healer can keep up. Fights are even tougher, to be challenging. I don't see a problem here.

TFT as originally published is 2, except some MicroQuests might be 1. TFT with the proposed healing spell would be something between 2 and 3 (lots of resting). D&D is a hybrid of something between 2 and 3 (clerics take a night to get their spells back) and 4.

The key point is that as healing gets better it becomes practical to make the monsters more powerful, so simplistic ideas like "healing makes the players better off" don't apply.



I don't find bottom line concerns ("Am I kiling things fast enough to keep up with the healing bill?") An interesting way to play. It seems more of a wargaming thing and less a role-playing thing.
I think there are more than four possible healing schemes, too.

I don't quite follow your description of #1, and I don't think it quite describes the MicroQuests such as the Death Tests. In the Death Tests, you have little or no healing and need to survive several unknown combats and other threats in a row. Several of them are supposed to be potentially deadly by themselves. I certainly wouldn't agree that "the fights are never severe enough there's a risk of losing". However there's almost always some hope as long as you're alive. I don't see the uncertainty of what your odds are as a problem - that seems like part of what makes it interesting and exciting. Death Test does not hand out mercy healing potions because the party is injured (which I think is a good thing), but there is a small chance that if some PCs die, an NPC will join them. I think that if you play the original MicroQuests as written, with weak enough characters, they're quite exciting and adding easy healing would throw off the balance and make them less tense and interesting. I also think it would tend to remove one of the most interesting things about them: instead of being just a series of arena combats, what happens in each fight is relevant to the rest of the fights because there is little or no opportunity to heal between them.

I also disagree with your characterization of TFT as necessarily "The fights might be tough enough to be threatening, in which case there are lots of wounds and the campaign becomes very slow in game time." In my experience (though we did play with physickers healing each wound), it becomes significant whether you can not only defeat opponents, but do so without getting injured, and that is possible by using good tactics, at least some of the time. You can also develop good strategies for coping with when someone is seriously hurt, and managing that situation becomes an interesting part of play, that means that avoiding injury in combat is valuable and significant. And, a group that has good tactics and good methods for handling the wounded can still start to get in trouble from accumulated wounds or other developing situations, and THAT is really interesting. All of those things I like could/would be removed by strong/cheap/easy enough healing magic.

So those are some of the main reasons why I'm bothered by #3, and also as you say because of "failure of suspension of disbelief", and reduction of logical realistic consequences. I chose TFT over other games because it made more sense and seemed more like what ought to logically happen in a given situation.

As for your situation #4, there are SO many games like that (D&D, computer games, etc - well, maybe usually without the "Fights are even tougher, to be challenging" part), and my issue with it is the same as #3 but more severe. Lasting wounds are removed as a thing that happens, and an element of play to think about. I like those things, and the game starts to feel not very much like the situation it's supposedly about. The violence feels fake because no one gets hurt. Or, if at least it really is tough and challenging enough that PCs do die fairly often, well, that's actually harsher than many of my games without healing, and I've seen many players just get into a mode where they just push it till they kill everything, or get killed. It also means that both players and NPCs get a much added motivation to kill off all opponents, because everyone can be expected to come back at full strength after a short time. I've seen a lot of that style of gaming, and have rarely found it something more interesting than a game where people sometimes get seriously hurt but not killed and need a significant time to heal.
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Old 06-08-2018, 01:30 AM   #142
Anthony
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
The point where fighting competent people is trivial and best ignored, seems to me like more importantly also the point where the combat system has broken down in an important way.
If your fight against competent people is an autowin, the competent people run away.
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Old 06-08-2018, 01:37 AM   #143
JLV
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

I'm reading through all of this, and more and more, I find myself siding with David Bofinger on this. I like the cut of his jib.

The bottom line is that just about any fight can be interesting, if the GM runs the foes in a clever way. Having a lot of healing available (regardless of the mechanism used) just lets us get to the interesting parts faster.

Sitting around in town or camp and healing is booooring; fighting is fun. Anything that lets me do fun stuff is better than forcing me to do boring stuff.

That's really my bottom line here.
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Old 06-08-2018, 01:42 AM   #144
Jim Kane
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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If your fight against competent people is an autowin, the competent people run away.
Skarg, Anthony is quite correct on this particular point. Here is the definitive documented evidence which supports his statement in full;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92gP2J0CUjc, and to which there is no defensible counter-point or reasonable argument.

JK
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:03 PM   #145
Skarg
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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If your fight against competent people is an autowin, the competent people run away.
Except all the ones that are down in one attack before they get to do anything, and/or can't escape because of TFT Engagement rules.

But the point is that if combat has become trivial, predictable, and/or un-fun, then some limit of the system is starting to break down. That's a different and larger problem than whether or not there should be easy healing, but I think easy healing increases the tendency to get to that point sooner.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:50 PM   #146
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But the point is that if combat has become trivial, predictable, and/or un-fun, then some limit of the system is starting to break down.
The limit of the system is that combats must be trivial if you're going to have multiple of them, because after a combat that isn't trivial you're quite likely to be limping home, not continuing with the adventure.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:17 PM   #147
Kirk
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

Don't forget that as long as combat is serious, PCs should look for other ways to resolve conflicts.

This is where other talents, whether mimic, business sense, sex appeal, languages, etc. etc. all have their part to play.

If the party's response to every situation is to draw their swords and start shooting lightning bolts, that will end badly for everyone eventually, or become incredibly boring.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:04 PM   #148
Skarg
 
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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The limit of the system is that combats must be trivial if you're going to have multiple of them, because after a combat that isn't trivial you're quite likely to be limping home, not continuing with the adventure.
I don't understand how we can have both played the same game. I don't recognize that as a description of what mostly happened in play, at all.

Strong tactics, better ability and equipment, circumstances and good fortune, as well as physicking, can all lead to winning fights without little or sometimes no significant injury, but it's not a certain thing. The interesting part of playing the game to me, is doing all you can to try to succeed without getting killed or seriously injured, and it can be a very satisfying joy when you manage to do that. There's tension and excitement when there's some real risk you'll get killed OR significantly injured.

Also, smart parties bring more than the minimum number of people with them, so when someone is taken out, the party isn't doomed, and hopefully there are even enough people to protect the wounded, and the wagons or pack animals or porters or scholars or whoever else is along, not just for some spicy fight, but for the trip there and back again. There's a whole interesting game in dealing with the whole process of getting a group of people through an adventure of many days across various terrain and situations. One of the main things to manage about that is not just who's dead or not, but who's injured, how injured they are, and what you can do to get them healed.

Adding easy fast healing would reduce the significance of the danger and events in many combats, making more of them trivial, and would largely remove lasting injuries as a situation.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:19 PM   #149
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Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Adding easy fast healing would reduce the significance of the danger and events in many combats, making more of them trivial, and would largely remove lasting injuries as a situation.
The difference is that the fights you think would become uninteresting I think are already uninteresting.
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Last edited by Anthony; 06-08-2018 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:24 PM   #150
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: HEAL spell?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The difference is that you find fights where the only risk is potential future boredom due to downtime interesting.
That's one difference, yes. I find injuries interesting mostly and not boring. And I find reducing the potential results of combat to you live with no significant wounds, or you die, to be less interesting than possibly having wounds to deal with.
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