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Pathfinder 2E Healing issues, and multiclassing in 2e?


I'm pretty new to 2E. Having mainly played actual RPG games like pathfinder: kingmaker 1E, and baldur's gate 2.5E, neverwinter nights 3E, etc.

I'm DMing for a group of 5 friends.

Gnome Wizard

Human Paladin

Half elf Rogue

Elf Ranger

Ratfolk Inventor

Most people will immediately realize the party severely lacks healing.

The paladin and inventor are trained in medicine, and yes the paladin has lay on hands, but 6 hp once, between 10 minute rests is pretty rough, and the 60 minute pause between medicine healing (if it even succeeds) is also rough.

Last night the party was ambushed while resting.

A compsognathus bites the rogue for 6 damage, fails his fort check poisons him. Rogue is at 11/17. Wizard kills the compsognathus who was the last enemy and thankfully ends combat.

Ratfolk tries to treat poison, fails.

The rogue fails the fort check. Takes 1d6 = 6 damage 5/17

Paladin uses lay on hands heals 6hp, rogue at 11/17

Ratfolk tries to treat poison, fails.

The rogue fails the fort check. Takes 1d8 = 5 damage 6/17

Ratfolk tries to treat poison, fails.

The rogue fails the fort check. Takes 1d8 = 6 damage 0/17 Unconscious rogue

Ratfolk tries to treat poison, fails.

Paladin tries to treat wounds, crit succeeds. Rogue back to 17/17.

The rogue fails the fort check. Takes 1d8 = 6 damage 11/17

This is quite a stream of unlucky roles, and perhaps as the DM I shouldn't have had them fight something with poison (they rolled a 4 on d20 to see what they would fight, and 6 -1 CR compys seemed merciful based on that)

But one compy bite (a -1 CR) nearly killed a character. Even with everyone using what they could to heal.

Now after researching, I realize that medicine can be used to stabilize someone, but that is only out of combat. (unless that combat medicine feat works, but really?).

The cleric cantrip can also be used to stabilize someone, but all of this is still pointing to one glaring issue.

Healing and recovery is entirely based on making a single medicine check. A critical failure (a 1, 2 3, 4, or 5 depending on their skill) does 1d8 damage. So using it on someone who was just stablized can potentially kill them, and then they can't be healed again for an hour while in the dying state?

Regardless of the above, it made me and everyone else think. Oh damn, we need some kind of healing. Everyone at the table had either played D&D or 1E PF. So the rogue volunteered to dual class to a cleric.

We come to find out dual classing is far different in 2E. That you need to take dedication feats, and that you get a single level 1 healing spell as a dedication cleric at level 4. They're all level 1.

Depending on a characters wisdom score, a dual classed cleric thief would have 2 - 4 healing spells immediately available in 1E, but this alternative just seems pathetic.

I don't want to force anyone in my group into a specific role that won't be fun for them, but none of them want to be babied either and be unkillable, or have me purposefully pulling punches and fudging rolls every time they get close to death.

Am I missing something, or is the only real way to heal to either have a dedicated healing class character. Or just otherwise rely on the whimsical nature of the medicine checks?

Do I give them a magical ring that can heal 1d8 three times a day?

Have them find resurrection rods out of no where whenever someone dies or they otherwise lack one?

It doesn't seem like there's actually any reliable way to heal as a character besides just being a cleric.

Does anyone know a practical way to multiclass without the lackluster dedication thing? Or do I need to homebrew up a cleric thief class concept?

Best way to heal at level 1 without a cleric, or best way to homebrew multiclass in 2E

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Low-level healing is rough in PF2. It's not as rough as in 3e, but nowhere near as generous as in 4e or even 5e. I think part of the issue is that compared to 3e/PF1, low-level characters have a lot more hit points, but low-level healing seems scaled to 3e values (healing potions restoring 1d8 and elixirs of life 1d6, for example). The heal spell when used with 2 actions, as well as the soothe spell, recovers a big chunk, but nothing else comes close to them.

Once you get to level 4-5 someone in the party can get Expert in Medicine as well as Continual Recovery and maybe Ward Medic as well to recover quickly between encounters, but until you get there it's rough. Paizo's adventure design, at least in early PF2 (they might have gotten better) doesn't really help, as they often assume 1st level characters will be able to face several encounters in a row without a full rest.

As for increasing your healing available, the best short-term option is probably the Blessed One archetype from the Advanced Player's Guide. It basically lets you lay on hands as a paladin which gives you another heal per 10-minute period. The Inventor might also want to look into Searing Restoration as a 2nd level feat.

Another option on the GM side is to use the Stamina rules from the Gamemaster's Guide. It splits hit points into two pools: hit points and stamina (somewhat skewed toward hp at first but later more skewed toward stamina (ancestry hp are all hp, Con bonus goes to stamina). Stamina is lost before hp, and can be fully recovered with 10 minutes rest and the expenditure of a Resolve point, of which you have a number equal to your primary stat bonus (so usually 4).


You can stabilize in combat with the Administer First Aid action. It doesn't remove poison, but I don't think it's a problem that someone dies of poison after failing that many Fortitude saves while all attempts to treat the poison also fails.

There's always the old "they find healing potions pretty frequently" fix to not having healing spells.


Well I'm glad it isn't just me. It's difficult to balance level 1 I suppose, because most adventurers don't have their full tool box yet, but I hope it's something they look at in the expanded rules.

I'll see if the rogue wants to dedicate to Blessed one at 2, and perhaps someone else will. The inventor will probably be fine to go for Searing restoration. I suppose they're going to have to spend an awful lot of gold on potions between adventures. And I'll try to encourage the other people to get medicine. It seems like they're just going to have to mainly get lucky until level 2.

I also talked with the paladin about letting him use lay on hands more than once per 10 minute period. Or reducing its cost to half a focus point. Since he worships Sarenrae and his character story revolves all around protecting and redeeming people, he's unnaturally imbued with healing prowess. He considered just being cleric, but the entire party is super squishy besides him. 1E paladins were basically just healing tanks with multiple lay on hands, mercy, and channel positive energy. Which is what he wants to go for.

The stamina system seems interesting, but they're too new to 2E and the concept might be off putting. It's definitely a good last resort to look at.


Just looking at your party make-up, I'd really suggest if they're new players, to seriously, SERIOUSLY, consider bringing in a cleric to replace one of their 5 members.
[I'd suggest changing out the inventor. Inventors are difficult to play for new players, and tend to under-perform even in the hands of the most experienced players.]
But if you have a party of 5 and they can't do the basic stuff a party of 4 are expected to do in the system, you basically have two choices:
1) Have the players change their characters and tactics to fit the expectations of play.
2) As GM, be constantly fighting against the system to accommodate #1.
If what I'm reading in your OP is right, and you're all just learning the system, stick with the basic classes. Learn those first. Learn how healing works. Figure out how to strategize with the basic game before you start adding Uncommon Ancestries and Classes.


You might also consider having the Rogue take the Medic Archetype. Among other things, the Medic provides level 2 expertise in Medicine, which allows access to key skill feats like Continual Recovery and Ward Medic, which a Rogue can start picking up at level 2. That would give you enough healing to bring the party back up to full with just a little time. And the Medic has some great follow-up feats as well, feats which both improve the action economy of healing and expand the use of Medicine to removing a number of different kinds of debuffs.


Everyone wants the inventor to change. We're all experienced in D&D (and me in 1E) besides the inventor, which is ironic as it is the class all of us understand the least.

But he is really enthusiastic about being an inventor, wrote up a backstory, does a voice for the character and everything. But he's entirely useless in combat.

The rogue is willing to change, but he thinks we need someone skilled in thievery and stealth, and while the ranger is able to do that technically, he doesn't want the paladin to be the only melee character. He also has the best written character out of the group. (The ranger is just entirely against any melee build, but is actually the highest damage dealer right now.)

I actually managed to convince the rogue not to be a gunslinger, which I'm thankful he changed, but the inventor isn't so willing. Early on we started making characters under the assumption we'd just multiclass later to fill in the gaps, two people planned to hop on a few levels of cleric. but now I'm not so sure how to do that.

I'll see if the rogue wants to try one of those feats, taking lay on hands and medicine feats feels like a band aid, but it feels better than saying. "You're the cleric, you're the fighter, you're the wizard, and you're the rogue" we're mainly just counting the inventor as a useless character along for the ride.


Everyone wants the inventor to change. We're all experienced in D&D (and me in 1E) besides the inventor, which is ironic as it is the class all of us understand the least.

But he is really enthusiastic about being an inventor, wrote up a backstory, does a voice for the character and everything. But he's entirely useless in combat.
Pathfinder 2e is a team game - probably even more so than most other TTRPGs. If the player isn't able to learn the character and be able to start pulling its weight for the team, it's time to tell your player "hey, look, you're being a little selfish here. Your character voice, backstory, etc., are coming at the cost of the party's chance of survival."
Did you do a Session 0 to figure out the role the characters are going to play in the group? Do the backstories connect at all to the campaign and the other players? If not, I'd really suggest you back up and give all the players the opportunity to make characters with the goal of synergy.


The rogue is willing to change, but he thinks we need someone skilled in thievery and stealth,
That's one of the things I see as something of a weak point in PF2. Character creation is, for a D&D descendant, very flexible while at the same time making it hard to make a character that's useless in combat unless you're really trying. But there isn't anywhere near the same "safety net" out of combat, particularly not with the way DCs increase with level. So it's fairly easy to have a party that just utterly fails at some non-combat challenges.

I think the game would work a lot smoother if higher-level DCs were calibrated to give an OK chance (maybe success on 9+) to a Trained character with a 12 or 14 in the relevant stat, and then had those specializing in something absolutely crushing those types of challenges, rather than set the DCs so specialists have a very slowly increasing chance of success and punishing those who don't specialize by making that type of thing impossible.

As an example, let's say you have a 7th level character with Dex 14 and Trained Thievery. Assuming regular gear, they will have a Thievery bonus of +11. A typical level 7 trap has a Disable DC of 27, so the character needs to roll a 16+ to succeed. Oh wait, no they don't, because you don't even get to try unless you're an Expert. And I mean sure, you can retry, but it's still to the point where you wonder why you even bothered investing a rank in Thievery.

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