D&D (2024) How to buff healing, make it reliable and discourage whack-a-mole?


To get pre-emptive healing I suggested that the change to Cure Wounds was good - but Healing Word should remain as is. It's always going to be more cost-effective to heal as a bonus action and from 0 with 5e rules - so Healing Words needs to do so little healing that it really just has the "bring allies back" role.
healing word is still as useful or as useless in anyway you put it:

1st, no one is going to use spell slot higher than 1st for healing word, unless you are out of 1st level slots.

2nd, 2d4 vs 1d4 makes no difference at all, as you are still going to be 1 hit KO with next attack in 99% of cases.

3rd, healing is not really fun thing to do, so all this should fall into Bonus action category so a Healer can do something to the enemy with their Action, cantrip or whacking them with mace on the head.

4th, make all healing fixed amount so healer can make an informed and calculated decision on how much healing must be spent on certain target.

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He Mage
... They back-pedaled on most good changes for 2024 because of "muh compatibitah", which will be thrown away anyway, one year in new revision when more than one book arrives.
That is a fair point. There is a kind of inevitability.

In 2014, 4e was effectively anathema in the design. 5e snuck in any 4e-isms thru the backdoor under heavy disguises.

But 4e did produce many good ideas and insights, and these useful 4e-isms are finding their way into 5e designs.

Even the extra feat for a beefy background for level 1 is a 4e-ism. The heavier healing is comparable to the 4e high hit points at level 1. The focus implements +1 for spell DCs, in Tashas, are a 4e-ism. Etcetera.

It would be interesting to see a list of all the 4e-isms that are absent from the 2014 core, but are part of 5e today.

I suspect you are right. Many playtest experiments that were less supported by surveys, thus be absent from the 2024 core, will probably find their way in some reincarnation in the 5e of the years to come.


What if any healing that took you over your maximum made the extra into temporary hit points that last until a long rest?
Yoyo/wackamole healing doesn't have anything to do with a fear of overheating. It happens because there is so much incentive to exploit phb197 to literally retxcon away significant damage with trivial resource expenditure and near zero risk after gaining a few levels.

Such a change is unlikely to make any difference


He Mage
If excess healing adds temporary hit points, I hope spells cant stack. Use whichever healing spell casting would add the most temporary hit points after maximum hit points. But dont add any temporary hit points together with each other.


If excess healing adds temporary hit points, I hope spells cant stack. Use whichever healing spell casting would add the most temporary hit points after maximum hit points. But dont add any temporary hit points together with each other.
temp HP do not stack by default so that will not be a problem.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
So the playtest has a spell (Power Word, Fortify, I think it was) that lets you drop 120 temporary hit points on someone (or split it up, which is a bit less dramatic), and that got me to thinking-

If we got rid of combat healing magic entirely and just had spells grant temporary hit points, so instead of healing damage, you're trying to keep "shields" on people, would that change the paradigm sufficiently?

You could still have healing spells and effects, but they take a minute or longer to use, so they're after combat.


Isn't part of the reason many people seem to have an issue with the idea of "yo-yoing" is that they are combining a narrative state into a mechanical one, and the narrative is what people have the issue with? That it's the idea of PCs "falling unconscious" then "waking up" then "falling unconscious again" then "waking up" again repeatedly that is the issue for a lot of folks? That it narratively just feels weird from a "what's happening in the world" standpoint, even though the mechanics turning "on and off" doesn't really matter?

Mechanically, when your "HP" score reaches 0, the following game mechanics happen to the character (taken from the "Unconscious", "Incapacitated" and "Prone" conditions:
  • Character cannot take Actions or Reactions. ("Incapacitated")
  • Character cannot Move ("Unconscious")
  • Character's only option for movement is to Crawl ("Prone" - but whose rule gets overridden by the "Unconscious" condition)
  • Character has Disadvantage on attack rolls ("Prone" - but whose rule gets overridden by the "Incapacitated" condition)
  • STR and DEX saving throws are automatically failed. ("Unconscious")
  • Attack rolls against the character have Advantage. ("Unconscious")
  • Attack rolls from within 5' of the character have Advantage. ("Prone" - but whose rule gets overridden by the "Unconscious" condition)
  • Attack rolls further than 5' from the character have Disadvantage. ("Prone")
  • Any attack that hits the character from within 5' is automatically a Critical Hit. ("Unconscious")
  • The character drops anything "in hand", is "incapable of speech", and is "unaware of its surroundings" (three narrative rather than mechanical abilities.)
While this is a lot of game mechanics that turn off and on when you go from 0 HP to positive HP... we players usually don't care when mechanics do. For instance when the "Prone" switch is thrown-- which means the character "cannot move except to Crawl or spend have your move value to Stand Up"-- we flip it on and off all the time throughout a combat and no one has an issue. A creature can "fall prone" and then "stand up" every round and it's just part of the mechanical combat-- heck, the new martial weapon abilities are giving the opportunity to throw the "prone" on and off switch more opportunities to be thrown than ever before.

So It seems to me the easiest way to "fix" the issue is to just change the narrative. If we remove the idea that a character "falls unconscious" when they mechanically reach 0 HP and get all those mechanics above turned off... and instead we just define them as being in some other state of being... moving them back and forth from that state of being and turning those mechanics on and off no longer becomes as much of an issue.

So for instance if we just called reaching 0 HP as "having your bell rung", or "stunned" or "overwhelmed" or "out of breath" or any other Thesaurus word you want to use... where narratively the character just has to pause a few moments to try and regain their senses while unable to do anything (can't move, can't act, can't react, doesn't want to speak, drops what it's holding, stops paying attention to what's happening around them)-- the idea of someone shaking them out of it (by giving them healing) but then they possibly return back to that state in a few moments when they lose it (if they go back to 0 HP)-- doesn't feel as weird.

I mean is it really that important that we have a state in the game when a character has completely blacked out? I don't think so. Blacking out is no better or worse a narrative state than just being out of breath or at a loss for words and action (stunned, dazed, the world goes fuzzy, however you wish to define it). So why be beholden to defining 0 HP that way? Just change how we view 0 HP and you don't have to worry about futzing with the mechanics (unless of course you like futzing with the mechanics, in which case have at it!)
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I played a warhammer rpg version, where falling to 0 as a player just meant, that while you can still act now you are vulnerable to all different thing.
You could receive wounds and so on. So just falling down and try to not take more hits is wise, but you could as well just go all in.

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