D&D 4E 4e Heal info in new Confessions article

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Holy Bovine

First Post
I house ruled the Heal skill to be able to restore a number of HP equal to the number of ranks you have in the skill. The treatment must be done within 5 minutes and each application takes 1 minute to perform and only one to a customer. It also requires a healer's kit (which add +2 to the amount healed).


Sitara said:
PC death adds excitement and drama...
In my experience I have never enjoyed this 'excitement and drama'. I've had characters die over meaningless encounters, much to our frustration. Typically this happened due to a sudden dump of out-of-whack hp damage, save or die, or no-save ability damage.

That's what can happen when you follow the rules as written and roll openly and thus fairly.

I think it's a pretty fair claim to say of 3E & earlier that they lacked enough dramatic mechanics for when the pc's are getting wasted. You chugged along nicely until smashed into negatives, of which there was only a small cushion of. Hopefully the bloodied condition, second wind, this new healing skill, and whatever else, can all add up to excitement and drama.

I am certain 4E will not eliminate character death. If it can remove anti-climatic and no-player-fault deaths, then I'll be delighted. :)

Green Slime said:
...and why would you keep playing if your characters die?
One of our players quit after his character died and he couldn't/didn't get attached to the replacement.
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First Post
If they reduce PC death, but also reduce PC resurrection I'll be pretty happy. Nothing is more ridiculous, IMO, than people talking about how death is always a present danger in their campaigns, then talk about how the affected characters were just carted off to the church to be raised. If you can come back, that's not death, that's a temporary inconvenience and the most "video-gamey" part of D&D. From designer notes, it sounds as though resurrection won't be common even for adventurers until Epic levels.


First Post
I'm down, basically at death's door, yet I can find the focus to heal myself?
I would be happy with a heal check reviving someone mid-combat if the terminology was changed from "unconscious" at -1 to -10 HP to something more along the lines of "knocked down" or "disabled" or even "stunned". The mechanics would be the same as 3.5's "unconscious", so -5 HP would mean you are on the ground and can not take any actions, but the flavor is you've been knocked down and disoriented. You might be on the ground moaning and unable to defend yourself, but your buddy comes over and waves some smelling salts under your nose, slaps you on the cheek and says 'Orcus hasn't finished with you yet' or 'On your feet soldier' or 'Come, your friends are dying' or 'Get up and kill that ogre and I'll buy you all the ale you can drink.' If the downed character is truly spent - already used his second wind - then he's down and can't get back up. If the downed character still has a little something left - hasn't used his second wind - then he can get back up and back in the fight. The flavor of "on the ground and bleeding to death from the many stabs and slashed in your body", which is basically the 3.5 flavor, doesn't really fit.


First Post
Danzauker said:
Healing that depends on the TARGET creature more than on the HEALER?

That's great!! It could solve most of the problems tied to old style Light / Moderate / Serious / Critical healing spells!!

If it's used throughout the system, a mechanic for (just speculation from now on), say, Cure Light Wounds that triggers a target's second wind ability, and for Cure Serious Wounds that triggers two second winds (or maximized, or whatever) could basically make healing consistently relative for characters from lever 1 to 30.

Amen and Hallelujah!

I hope they don't phrase it as "Casting Cure Light Wounds grants the target an immediate use of his Second Wind." Because that will make certain types of players flip the heck out. I hope they phrase it as, "Casting Cure Light Wounds heals a number of hit points equal to the target's Second Wind."

Same with heal checks.

Thornir Alekeg

Darkwolf71 said:
While it's nice that Healing has a good use, I'm not sure if I like this 'internal healing reserve' thing. It smells of cheese.

I'm down, basically at death's door, yet I can find the focus to heal myself?

I soooo desperatly want to like 4e, but things like this just turn me off. :(
Think Jack Bauer. He can get the crap kicked out of him, tortured, even have his heart stopped, but less than an hour later he is running full speed, beating up the bad guys etc. He obviously has an internal healing reserve.

Is it realistic? Nope. Is it cinematic? Absolutely.


Darkwolf71 said:
While it's nice that Healing has a good use, I'm not sure if I like this 'internal healing reserve' thing. It smells of cheese.

I'm down, basically at death's door, yet I can find the focus to heal myself?

I soooo desperatly want to like 4e, but things like this just turn me off. :(
You say that, but I think of the bit in Terminator 2 when Arnie switches to auxiliary power and pulls that iron bar the T1000 stuck through him out of his sternum and gets back up, and I get really turned on. In a manner of speaking.


First Post
FireLance said:
It is, admittedly, more cinematic and less realistic. You just have to keep repeating the mantra "hit point gain does not necessarily mean physical healing" to yourself. Think of those scenes in a movie where the hero was knocked unconscious by a trap/an explosion/the BBEG/whatever, and a secondary character is shaking him and trying to make him get up. On a successful Heal check, he does.
Heh, well that does make it a little less painful.

(I still don't like it though. :p)

Greg K

green slime said:
No, because its not very cinematic, and why would you keep playing if your characters die?

Assuming that was a serious question, I want my character's life at risk. If there is no risk of death, there is nothing heroic about the character and I would find the game boring.

Doug McCrae said:
Wow! I'd not seen that anywhere up 'til now. That's a massive change.
Hmm. At what level was it available in 3.5? Level 15? (7th level spell, IIRC?)
If level 1-20 are stretched to level 1-30, what would we expect:
Divide by 2, multiply by 3, and what do we get: 22,5.
True Ressourection was available at 17th level, same formula gives 25,5.

So, it's definitely epic scale, the question is whether its early, middle or late epic.


First Post
Raise Dead is only 5th level, though: so that's 9th level, scaling to make 13.

However, I suspect you're right, Paragons and Epics cheat death: Heroes don't, not without a Hell (pun, as always, intended) of a patron.

Greg K said:
Buffy died!
... and was raised. Twice. No real penalty for dying... And Heal checks in Buffyverse definitely can raise the dead - and it's even better then spellcasting (first death - first aid - kick ass; second death - raise dead - get angsty)

As long as ressourection is common in D&D, death is an annoyance, but not something "heroic". I have seen little death that seemed heroic in D&D. Most of them where to some monster that did incredible damage on its first attack in a surprise round, or from save or die effects. A few others came "naturally" from constant hit point loss. One was due to some stupid infestation nobody was able to heal.
Shackled City Spoiler:

The most heroic death wasn't a real one - it was the Bard willing to sacrifice himself so that
we could gain control of the Oxepedia (sp?) plane. He burned in flames and came back with a cool template. If my fighter hadn't been already been dead at that point, he would have done it. Chosing to die to help your friends is heroic!


Sympathy for the Devil
Darkwolf71 said:
I'm down, basically at death's door, yet I can find the focus to heal myself?
Your problem seems to be one of perception and trying to define abstract rules systems in concrete “this is how it looks in the world” terms. That can be difficult, and it always has been with the abstract nature of D&D hit points. With 4e, hit points and healing surges combine abstractly to define the resilience of your character. Like others have said, if you use a healing surge, it’s more like you weren’t hurt as badly as it seemed or you shook off the damage in a heroic manner. If you don’t manage to, you were hurt or at least left in a vulnerable position when it comes to the harm further hits deal. It might be a little hard to imagine in a narrative sense, but that’s not unlike D&D through the ages in any case. It certainly feels cinematic in play—more so if players use it as a roleplaying cue. It also gives each PC some control over his or her condition during combat, forcing no one PC to be the healer. That is, no one has to use all his or her actions to facilitate the fun of others by casting healing spells or using healing skills/abilities. Sure, that good cleric is still a healer, but he’s also a punisher of evildoers!

Oh, and risk of death is still out there. Ask my players, including the one who's rogue went down in the second round of combat while next to creatures that automatically deal damage to you if you stay near them. Players just have a little more control and a few extra options. Tension is actually more fun when you have choices about what to do next. At least it seems that way to me.


First Post
FireLance said:
You just have to keep repeating the mantra "hit point gain does not necessarily mean physical healing" to yourself.

Unless you've been using the exact opposite interpretation ever since 1e of course. Where HP damage is actual physical injury and HP gain is direct physical healing. Otherwise the various conditions would've been modeled via HP damge rather than modifiers to abilities and restrictions on action.


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Sitara said:
Anyhow, is it even possible to pc's to die in dnd anymore?

See my sig.

On a serious note, it's pretty easy for the party to die in Star Wars Saga. I had worries about the PC being pretty death-proof. After playing about 4 session this isn't the case. No one has dies...however it's a significantly deadlier game than what I thought.

I suspect 4e to be similiar. You need to ask the question "why are they adding all this extra healing?" Probably because they need them


Mr Jack said:
According to World & Monsters, yes.

At Hero levels; it's a lot harder than it was, but basically permanent.
At Paragon; you can get raised but it's not widely available or easy - and, mostly, unavailable to NPCs.
At Epic; it's a "speed bump".

This warms the cockles of my heart.

Level Up!

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