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A party without a healer

Wik

First Post
So far, our group has no problem with healing:

The Dragon Shaman keeps his damage reduction aura active during combat, which reduces the amount of damage taken in the fight (meaning less healing is needed). After a fight, he uses his fast healing aura to heal the group up the 50% of their maximum hit points. In combat, he uses his touch of vitality ability to fix up some bangs on the front line (he also uses it to cure some conditions)

The paladin uses lay on hands in combat to heal his comrades. His big contribution to the group, though, is a wand of cure light wounds. That keeps the group fairly healthy.

On top of all that, the group's rogue has some prayer beads that can heal some of the wounded people in a fight.
 

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Arkhandus

First Post
Just in case it hasn't been made obvious to ya yet: use the Reserve Points option from Unearthed Arcana. You can also find it in the Hypertext SRD, since it's open game content. IIRC it doesn't help in the heat of battle, but cuts down on downtime.

Otherwise: I agree with the suggestion to TPK the party and teach them a lesson about saying "to the Nine Hells with healing, we just wanna kick arse!"

Or: Force them to play races that possess fast healing or regeneration. Of course this means starting the campaign around mid-level or later, since those abilities aren't the stuff of low-ECL races. I have an LA+0 race with minor Regeneration (and various little drawbacks) on the House Rules forum, in Xereq's "Races: Gallery and creation" thread, and Xereq posted a similar race about a year earlier, though his may've been just before the crash....

Also: You can further emphasize your point in the TPK situation by having the group TPK'd by a group of evil Hextorite, Olidammaran, Nerullite, Vecnan, Erythnulite, or Wee Jasican clerics, going into full-bore, Herculean, melee-buffed, arse-kicking, murderous zealot mode. Show them the pain of several clerics, rogue/clerics, and/or monk/clerics with Inflict Serious Wounds, Hold Person, Bane, Aid, Divine Favor, Divine Might, Magic Vestment, Greater Magic Weapon, a gaggle of summoned dretches or fiendish badgers, all kinds of AC-buffing and Shield Other spells on each of them, Luck domain powers, Death domain powers, Destruction domain powers, a legion of commanded skeletons and zombies, and so on and so forth. Don't just make them respect the power of the cleric. Make them loathe, despise, curse, and fear the cleric. Maybe even have them saved, in the end, by a small group of Heirronnean, Kordic, or Moradini clerics.
 

Sialia

First Post
One of the best games I ever ran in had no magical healer in the party. And for that mattter, the GM made them darned hard to find anywhere in the world.

We spent a lot of time trying to solve problems without putting ourselves in harm's way. Tactics, buffing, bluffing, thinking outside the box.

And we got hurt a lot, and felt hurt when we were wounded.

And when we died, the GM ripped up our character sheets and told us to roll up new characters. Every time.

Death took on a very permanent feel in his world.

It did not slow the game down at all. It made it very tense, very fraught with danger, and we were careful how we posted watches and picked fights.

I say go for it. Don't assume that the game won't be interesting with less combat--make the combats that do happen very, very scary.
 

Aaron L

Hero
The last 4 campaigns I played in we didn't have a healer.

In the Eberron game I am playing in currently, I play an Artificer and function as our "healer" using scrolls and wands. In the homebrew setting game I am currently in, I am a Grey Elven Duskblade with maxed ranks in UMD (I call it "cross training" due to his general fascination with magic in all it's forms) and do what I can with wands for in-combat healing (and just use Vampiric Touch for my own wounds.)

In fact, we usually don't have a "healer class" in our parties, because a stated goal of our games is "play whatever you want, and we'll make it work", and e do. Without the DM going easy on us. Retreat is a perfectly viable option when the party is severely hurt. Forming a forced party of the "classic" mix of Fighter, Rogue, Wizard and Cleric every single campaign is anathema to us (unless it happens that everyone in the group wants to play one of each of those classes, a party like that is a very rare occurrence for us.) Our current parties consist of a Duskblade, Sorcerer, and Fighter in the homebrew world, and an Artificer, Fighter, and Fighter/Rogue in the Eberron game. Before that it was a Psychic Warrior, Fighter/Sorcerer, Sorcerer, and Barbarian. The last "healer class" I can remember in one of our campaigns was a Cleric of Wee Jas I played, but he rarely healed, and then usually only with a wand or scroll.


We make do with whatever characters we want to play. We buy wands and scrolls and train in UMD, buy healing potions by the sixpack, and let natural healing take care of the rest when the adventure is over.


Not having a Cleric in the party is hardly a death sentence, and we do just fine without them. Use your wits, use other resources, train in Use Magic Device. Don't force someone in the group to play a healer just because "the party needs one.)
 

Musrum

First Post
It hasn't been mentioned before, but a wand of lesser vigor is your best bang for buck for healing outside of combat (1.36 gp/HP).
 

Darklone

Registered User
I played in several games without a healer... sometimes we had a bard with CLW but that's not enough without wands.

Strangely, everything worked fine. These campaigns have either been pure fighter campaigns (KNIGHTS!) or rogue heavy with scout, sneak, ambush tactics. The fighter teams proved to be too good with their offense, smashing every fight without any problems and big wounds, the rogues... didn't have to fight a lot. So a few potions were enough for both teams... and seldomly used.

I take it as a sign of quality balancewise.
 

charlesatan

Explorer
Darklone said:
I played in several games without a healer... sometimes we had a bard with CLW but that's not enough without wands.

Strangely, everything worked fine. These campaigns have either been pure fighter campaigns (KNIGHTS!) or rogue heavy with scout, sneak, ambush tactics. The fighter teams proved to be too good with their offense, smashing every fight without any problems and big wounds, the rogues... didn't have to fight a lot. So a few potions were enough for both teams... and seldomly used.

I take it as a sign of quality balancewise.

It serves the motto "a good defense is a good offense".
 

EricNoah

Adventurer
Reserve points work well. I would also allow wizards/sorcerers to add the cure spells and maybe the restoration spells to their spell list.
 

Thornir Alekeg

Albatross!
Kroax said:
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.

I would recommend investment in Toughness, Endurance and Run for Feats, skill points into Hide and Move Silent, and maybe purchase a couple of body bags for dead PCs.

It can be done, but you cannot expect to charge in and fight everything the same way you would with a healer in the party. In some ways it could make for a much more exciting game, especially if you don't always give them the opportunity to rest up to full when they need it, or make things happen (toughened defenses, new traps set, Macguffin moved to new location) while they do.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
After playing a Binder for the past three months in our Planescape game, I'm thinking of retiring him and switching to a Cleric. I came to this conclusion after not one, but TWO encounters where one or more of our PCs were stricken blind, and we didn't have the chance to prepare potions or scrolls beforehand to remove the condition. A party CAN successfully play without a cleric, or cleric-analogue (favored soul, druid, etc.) -- there are plenty of ways in 3E to make up for it (half of the classes in the game can cure wounds, there are plenty of magic items to do so, the resting rules are generous, etc.) -- I DEFINITELY wouldn't recommend it in 2E or earlier, but in 3E it's doable.

However, for the high-stakes game we're playing, not only is the Binder a bit too weak for it, but we're prone to long periods without civilization, so being able to do for ourselves is a lot more important. In any game where there's a chance to rest in a city or large town, then a cleric is not strictly essential. But in a more rough-and-tumble campaign, having all the bases covered is essential.
 

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