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Old 01-02-2019, 08:33 AM   #1
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Druidic healing

How unbalancing is it if I let druids have access to healing spells? I usually run games for small groups of 3-4 players. We've never yet had anyone choose to play both a cleric and a druid. Often, if someone doesn't want to play a battle-mage, there is a pressure to play a cleric because of their healing abilities. By allowing druids to have the healing spells too, this might broaden their appeal. But I haven't looked things over carefully. Would that rebalance things to the point that they no sensible munchkin would choose cleric over druid?

I will probably reskin the spells a bit so I could also nerf them. Perhaps they require a longer casting time ("applying sacred mud") so they can't really be cast in combat. This would give an edge to clerics. Or is Herb Lore good enough and I just have druids carry around wineskins of healing potions? (In effect, I suppose the latter is about the same as nerfing the healing spells. Both are slower than a cleric. The spells trade FP for HP and the potions trade $.)

Just musing here. Love to hear if others have played around with this.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: Druidic healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
How unbalancing is it if I let druids have access to healing spells?
Not even a little bit. In my opinion Druids kinda get shafted, so it's nice little 'power-up' for them.

Something I've also done is allowed Holy Might as a "half stand-in" for Power Investiture. It's treated as Power Investiture except it doesn't add to spells, this allowed a Holy Warrior in one game to pick up some useful "not during combat spells" (like Light, Healing, etc) in a game where no one wanted to play a Cleric.

Quote:
Would that rebalance things to the point that they no sensible munchkin would choose cleric over druid?
No. Clerics get so many useful spells (and are good in combat), that unless you're doing a wilderness hex-crawl, they'll never get overshadowed by Druids.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:28 AM   #3
martinl
 
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Default Re: Druidic healing

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
How unbalancing is it if I let druids have access to healing spells? ...
When I did this I nerfed them in combat.

In retrospect, I kind of regret it. As the evile donkey says, no one I know of plays druids for the munchkin factor.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:31 AM   #4
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Druidic healing

You wouldn't balk at letting them learn a shield or Two-handed Axe or how to pick locks if they wanted. I think the spells of other professions should be similarly available. I'm not sure if I'd make them available under the Druid's casting advantage or perhaps I'd limit access to the more powerful Cleric spells under it.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:08 PM   #5
Expy
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Default Re: Druidic healing

I don't think that it would be imbalanced at all and so long as no one else is upset that the druid is stealing their limelight, no problem. It's not how I'd do it though, I think that it might damage the cool wilderness expert thing that they have going on if they /don't/ have to pre-prepare potions and poultices or otherwise hunt through the underbrush for just the right thing for the job.

I do agree that their healing leaves a bit to be fesired though. Off the top of my head, I might try either:
- 1 free Gizmo per rank of PI Druid (or maybe a spellcaster perk?) to pull out some herbs and chew them up into a poultice/ steep in water/ whatever to instantly produce a potion with an Herb Lore roll (-1 for every 100$ cost?)
or
- Increase the paltry 1d-3 HP min 1 you get from bandaging if you're using Esoteric Medicine. Maybe a Weapon Master-like effect wouldn't be so bad?

For in-conbat healing, maybe a special perk to pull potions out faster?
Potions being unreliable can also be frustrating if you've spent a few turns pulling one out inly to come up ones. Alternate potions with flat healing or a way to add a flat amount? 1d+3 is a lot safer than 2d

Last edited by Expy; 01-02-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:23 PM   #6
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Druidic healing

It's pretty rare for players to object to not being forced to spend their mana on healing instead of fun stuff.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Druidic healing

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's pretty rare for players to object to not being forced to spend their mana on healing instead of fun stuff.
This is a good point.
Druids who can heal as well as Clerics may infringe on their niche but that is not important if no one wants to play a cleric anyhow.
But from the clerics point of view another healer frees up options for the cleric, which should be able to do more than just heal after a fight anyhow.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:33 PM   #8
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Druidic healing

Perfect. This is what I figured, but it's always good to hear from others that I'm not yanking the keystone from the DF arch. Some specific responses below.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Something I've also done is allowed Holy Might as a "half stand-in" for Power Investiture. It's treated as Power Investiture except it doesn't add to spells, this allowed a Holy Warrior in one game to pick up some useful "not during combat spells" (like Light, Healing, etc) in a game where no one wanted to play a Cleric.
I've been mulling something similar. As a GM, I love religious characters in the game because they're automatically embedded in the lore of the campaign world and it's so easy to throw them plot hooks. I'd like to make sure all of the flavors are viable and useful.

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Originally Posted by martinl View Post
When I did this I nerfed them in combat.

In retrospect, I kind of regret it. As the evile donkey says, no one I know of plays druids for the munchkin factor.
Curse you for infecting me with an earworm! :)

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
You wouldn't balk at letting them learn a shield or Two-handed Axe or how to pick locks if they wanted. I think the spells of other professions should be similarly available. I'm not sure if I'd make them available under the Druid's casting advantage or perhaps I'd limit access to the more powerful Cleric spells under it.
While I have no problem with this approach, and I've adopted it in some campaigns, for my DFRPG games I buy the fluff that distinguishes spellcasting traditions by their power sources and corresponding advantages. So a regular druid can't just pay a wizard for lessons on the Control Gate spell. She'd need Magery 3 (which may or may not be learnable) and a pile of prerequisite spells.

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Originally Posted by Expy View Post
I think that it might damage the cool wilderness expert thing that they have going on if they /don't/ have to pre-prepare potions and poultices or otherwise hunt through the underbrush for just the right thing for the job.
This is worth thinking about. I loved your ideas for a free healing gizmo or buffing Esoteric Medicine. Every new player at my table has been singularly unimpressed with the First Aid skill. They get it, once I explain that it is entirely mundane bandaging. For a magical sort, though, it seems like it should be more like a ritual casting. Burn minutes (30 of them!) instead of FP on a healing spell.

I like the idea of herbs and chewed bark and mud poultices better than a simple discount on the same old healing potions that everyone else can buy. Hmm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's pretty rare for players to object to not being forced to spend their mana on healing instead of fun stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
This is a good point.
Druids who can heal as well as Clerics may infringe on their niche but that is not important if no one wants to play a cleric anyhow.
But from the clerics point of view another healer frees up options for the cleric, which should be able to do more than just heal after a fight anyhow.
Great points that clinch the niche balance issue in my mind. I'm sure each healer character would be pumped if another healer joined the group.


One flavor piece I was toying with also is the idea that druidic healing—whether by spell or first aid or potion—is more natural than clerical healing (or, at least, that's how druids spin it). I imagine that when a cleric heals a wound, the wound closes up as if it had never happened. Perfect, unblemished skin. That's not how natural healing works: flesh develops scar tissue, trees have burls, herbaceous plants develop kinks, etc. So druidic healing may leave more evidence. This might automatically place druids in a slightly lower caste in the healing hierarchy, and may be another reason they are less associated with civilization. The King's Court keeps clerics on staff for healing, never druids. Not sure that I would have any rules around this, but just offer up physical quirks and appearance disads as especially plausible for druids and those that they care for.

Last edited by Dalin; 01-02-2019 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Cleaned up unexpected linebreaks and some typos.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:12 AM   #9
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Druidic healing

Another wonky idea, based on a suggestion from my six-year-old daughter (who is designing a druid): a druid might have special vipers that can inject healing potion. Keeps them in a basket; sends them in to bite PCs in combat who need a boost. (Though we'd need some exposed flesh, wouldn't we?)

Didn't D&D druids often use darts as weapons back in the old days? What if the darts injected magic healing juice?

Silly, but could work in a certain kind of cinematic game.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:36 AM   #10
martinl
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Default Re: Druidic healing

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
a druid might have special vipers that can inject healing potion. Keeps them in a basket; sends them in to bite PCs in combat who need a boost.
This sort of thinking leads inevitably to discarding sabot snake ammunition for a variety of missile weapons, so it must be encouraged.
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