A party without a healer

Kroax

Explorer
One problem that I keep coming across is having groups without any healers. Parties with 2 rogues, 1 mage, a barbarian and a fighter, that sort of party. Usually someone ends up with volounteering a career change to something along the lines of cleric or druid, but it's happened more than once that they're standing there without anyone to mend their wounds after a fight.

In my experience this tends to slow down the game a lot, and even the weakest of enemies becomes dangerous obstacles since it takes several days to heal just one hit. This means that most dungeon crawling, storming of enemy holds or anything else that requires killing a lot of weak enemies, is quickly thrown off the table. It's just not viable.


So I'm asking you, short of carrying around an enormous arsenal of healing potions (and that's hardly likely at low levels) what other options are there when you don't have a healer? I'm asking for solutions for both players and DMs.
 

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Tharian

First Post
In the case of my group, which lacked a cleric until November, two members of the party maxed out their class ranks in UMD and started carrying around some wands of CLW. By now, though, my players are all at 6th level. As a DM, I also implemented the Reserve Points from Iron Heroes (though I believes it's documented in the SRD as well). Between those two things, the party managed to survive with the only serious damage resulting from a rather involved encounter with a green slime.
 


xrpsuzi

First Post
We played a campaign without a healer and it just made us more careful. :)

It came about because we all just accepted that someone had to play a cleric (just like someone had to play a thief to disarm traps), and it became a chore. So the DM said, "play what you want, you don't need a cleric." Sure, we couldn't whine to the cleric for healing (which was happening a lot before this campaign), but we all got to play exactly what we wanted.

To expedite playtime, move through the "days off healing" time periods and suggest that someone take Heal Skill (even if it's not a lot). So if the party gets hurt badly and time is not of the essence in the story, it's a matter of the players saying "We use PC B' Heal skill and rest X days until we are full up."

If time is of the essence (i.e. consequences for taking time off), have a healer in town that will help to a point (so it's not abused) or have healing potions be a large portion of the treasure.

-Suzi
 

kenobi65

First Post
TPK them. Repeat until one of your players wises up and actually creates a cleric.

In all seriousness, if you've got 5 players, and they can't co-ordinate their character choices sufficiently to have *someone* cover healing (they seem to be willing to cover all the other iconic cases), I have a distinct lack of sympathy.
 

Kroax

Explorer
Maybe I've missed something, but isn't the heal skill a bit redundant at higher levels? From what I've gathered, you can't heal more than 2 hp/day, and that's with complete bedrest. It's enough to make a lvl 13 barbarian with CON 17 start crying.

I'll go and check out the Reserve Points that you mentioned Tharian (as well as try to remember to make sure someone got UMD next time :p).
 

shilsen

Adventurer
If working with the RAW, some of the PCs can invest in Use Magic Device and use wands or can hire an NPC healer to accompany them.

If willing to get a little radical, make a house rule that wounded PCs recover 50% (or whatever number suits you) of their lost hp between encounters.
 

Aust Diamondew

First Post
In most games I've run there has been no dedicated healer but the players have made up for by using wands as others have suggested.
After all paladins, bards, rangers and anyone with use magic device (usually rogues) can use wands of cure X wounds any between battles. Usually everyone will carry around a couple healing potions themselves in case of emergencies. At higher levels characters might want to pick up potions of restoration too.

In one game I ran a PC specifically took a level of cleric just so he could use a staff of healing. This really helped ease the load off the cleric in the party and when that character died (and wasn't replaced by a cleric) the party got along fine just with character with 1 cleric level.
 

Thurbane

First Post
Although a party without a healer may seriously struggle at times, I see no need to "shoehorn" someone into playing a character they really don't want to just to fill out all the party roles...
 

Drowbane

First Post
kenobi65 said:
TPK them. Repeat until one of your players wises up and actually creates a cleric.

In all seriousness, if you've got 5 players, and they can't co-ordinate their character choices sufficiently to have *someone* cover healing (they seem to be willing to cover all the other iconic cases), I have a distinct lack of sympathy.

I agree to a point. Don't go out of your way to TPK them, but don't coddle thier foolishness either.

Let the dice fall where they may. "No healer" is a self-correcting problem in D&D.
 

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