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5E Is the Healer Feat Broken?

Giant2005

First Post
You and many others have stated that sentiment and it's one I held a while back on the WOTC forums. I would disagree now unless the party has some very good between combat healing sources. Looking at the first combat of the day it is definetely true that inspiring leader is better for that combat. But there's going to be about 5 more encounters over the day. The ability that can cause more net hp gain is going to be much better in the later encounters unless there is enough healing in your party such that it's not very difficult to get back to full hp without the healer feat.
But the difference isn't really very significant, one is 1d6+4+level, the other is chamod+level. Assuming that the person with Inspiring Leader is a Sorc/Bard/Warlock/Paladin that will be maxing out its Cha, you are only looking at an average difference of 2.5 hit points (or even less if you manage to get yourself some Tomes of Influence or something).
Sure it is possible that those 2.5 hit points could make the difference, but I think it is more likely that Inspiring Leader's proactive approach will make the difference by giving you the hit points prior to the fight that you need them in, rather than after the fight when you are already dead.
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
They do have an hour to bandage themselves, if that helps you visualize it.
And that's why the healer feat makes more sense - you have a trained combat medic helping people getting back on their feet, vs a bunch of murder-hobos who spontaneously heal.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
But the difference isn't really very significant, one is 1d6+4+level, the other is chamod+level. Assuming that the person with Inspiring Leader is a Sorc/Bard/Warlock/Paladin that will be maxing out its Cha, you are only looking at an average difference of 2.5 hit points (or even less if you manage to get yourself some Tomes of Influence or something).
Sure it is possible that those 2.5 hit points could make the difference, but I think it is more likely that Inspiring Leader's proactive approach will make the difference by giving you the hit points prior to the fight that you need them in, rather than after the fight when you are already dead.

It's also the 1hp back on ur feet effect.
 

Despite the fact that my group agrees it's one of the best feats, no one has yet to take it. Part of this is the fact that it's a "group" benefit (like Inspiring Leader), and they don't want to spend "their" feat for the party. Part of it is that it has to compete with ASI and other really good feats. A small part is probably the number of Short Rests we tend to take per day (between 0 and 1).
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
I was running a Tempest Cleric with it in our HotDQ campaign. It saved me spell slots so I could be more effective in combat, and it helped me get pcs up if they fell, but we still had our hands full in a number of situations. I never felt like it ruined the game or made playing through the adventure too easy.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
Rather than ban it, I'd much rather resurrect the 4e rule that lets you trigger healing surges with the application of a healer's kit.

The problem with this feat is that it's a feat, not that mundane in-combat healing exists.
 


Flamestrike

Adventurer
And that's why the healer feat makes more sense - you have a trained combat medic helping people getting back on their feet, vs a bunch of murder-hobos who spontaneously heal.
Hit points are (by RAW) luck, resolve, health and endurance and the will to live. They are not (by RAW) 'meat'.

They increase with experience, with warrior types getting more. In other words they also represent combat skill (the ability to parry a blow at the last second, turn aside a fatal hit on your shield, not zag when you should have zigged, duck under a greatsword when it would have felled a normal man etc).

Taking an hour to put your feet up, grab a hot brew and bind your wounds and count your lucky stars your still alive goes a long way to replenishing what HP 'are'.

If you want to instead imagine PCs with wounds closing like starfish during that hour, go right ahead.
 
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Psikerlord#

Explorer
I think if you want a "gritty" feeling game, then yes healer feat is very broken, and I would not allow it.

On reflection, in fact, I think 5e plays better with no feats - or perhaps it is better to say, only with custom feats that the DM approves, consistent with the kind of game the table is going for.
 



UngeheuerLich

Adventurer
"Broken"? No. If it's only taken by a small subset of players in a small subset of builds but it proves to be very useful to them based upon how they play... then that's the mark of a good ability.

It's the abilities that every player that can take it does, and is so useful that it makes the other members of the party obsolete that you might assign the descriptor "broken".

"Broken" is the most incorrectly used word in D&D discussion threads I have found. Followed by "straw man" a close second.
I must look up the exact wording but IIRC you can only benefit once per short rest from the healer feat and I guess it does not matter who is bandaging you.

Edit: I now realize that you didn't mean that everyone should take the healer feat. So by your definition it can't be broken and I agree. Although 1d6+5 is a lot and makes the purple dragon knoght look at yo with envy.
 
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Mistwell

Legend
Hit points are (by RAW) luck, resolve, health and endurance and the will to live. They are not (by RAW) 'meat'.

They increase with experience, with warrior types getting more. In other words they also represent combat skill (the ability to parry a blow at the last second, turn aside a fatal hit on your shield, not zag when you should have zigged, duck under a greatsword when it would have felled a normal man etc).

Taking an hour to put your feet up, grab a hot brew and bind your wounds and count your lucky stars your still alive goes a long way to replenishing what HP 'are'.

If you want to instead imagine PCs with wounds closing like starfish during that hour, go right ahead.
By raw, fluff text is not set in stone...and what you're talking about is fluff test :) Seriously, 5e isn't a game where "Rules As Written!" is a very important issue, particularly when it comes to descriptive text.
 

muppetmuppet

Explorer
I took this on my Monk at level 1 and it has indeed been very useful so far but we have only got to level 3 and I expect it will be progressively less and less good. We still had one death but we like a game where death is possible and everything is not a walkover.

So I wouldn't worry about it if your groups want to be able to stay alive at low level then let them it will even out as they level up.
 

Saelorn

Hero
By raw, fluff text is not set in stone...and what you're talking about is fluff test :) Seriously, 5e isn't a game where "Rules As Written!" is a very important issue, particularly when it comes to descriptive text.
By RAW, fluff text is far more rigid than it was in 4E - you can't just change the fluff around how an ability works in 5E, because the mechanics are supposed to reflect the fluff and not the other way around - but damage in particular is called out as varying from table to table. One DM might run it such that every hit is a hit that causes blood loss, and another DM might describe a hit as a close miss that wears down your stamina, and they're both perfectly valid for their own games, but that's a far cry from saying that fluff is inherently mutable.
 


Ashrym

Hero
But the difference isn't really very significant, one is 1d6+4+level, the other is chamod+level. Assuming that the person with Inspiring Leader is a Sorc/Bard/Warlock/Paladin that will be maxing out its Cha, you are only looking at an average difference of 2.5 hit points (or even less if you manage to get yourself some Tomes of Influence or something).
Sure it is possible that those 2.5 hit points could make the difference, but I think it is more likely that Inspiring Leader's proactive approach will make the difference by giving you the hit points prior to the fight that you need them in, rather than after the fight when you are already dead.
That's not quite accurate, however. The 0 hp mechanic also normally ignores extra damage (outside of instant death rules) so someone with 6 hp is in a better position than someone with 9 hp (6 hp + 3 thp) when both take 10 points of damage, for example. After applying the 3 hp from inspiring leader that individual still remained at 0 hp but after applying the healer feat that individual either has 1 hp (whack-a-mole application) or the actual role for healing. In this example, the average difference using the healer feat would be 7.5+level. Anytime we add that 0 hp mechanic into the equation it's going to skew the average.

Inspiring leader can be situationally better but it can only be used before hand so once the temp hp are gone it becomes inactive until after a rest. The healer feat has uses after the healing with stabalization, has a better bonus on top of also catching any 0 hp excess damage, can be used in or out of combat as needed, and has no ability score requirement at all so it seems to be more universally applicable than inspiring leader.

I participated in the debate on the WotC forums at the time and my position was that the initial bonus looks good and can be beneficial, but it's what happens after the bonus is lost that makes the difference. I prefer the healer feat first and inspiring leader second. Both are good feats.

@Zardnaar: You post this same issue, wait a while, then post it again. It was answered for you on the WotC forums with the same general replies so I would find asking it again more questionable than the actual feat itself. ;-)

I agree that the healer feat looks great compared to cure wounds. It provides a lot of healing over the course of the day. However, it still faces the restrictions of the once per person per short rest and requires consumable equipment. The higher level a person gets the less often whack-a-mole actually happens because someone would more likely use an AoE healing spell for efficiency when someone drops to 0 hp, or use healing word with range as a bonus action. The healer feat looks good at higher levels while still compared to low level healing spells, but not necessarily healing in general.

Spending one action on mass cure wounds, for example, clearly has better action economy when healing becomes necessary fast, and spells like prayer of healing or aura of vitality provide a lot of healing efficiently without needing a short rest recharge. The restoration spells and lay-on-hands are still quick answers to status effects that the healer feat does not. I think magical healing is still easily a viable option over the healer feat and that you are missing the bigger picture.

I really like the way 5e has implemented non-spell options. Adding healing potions to the standard equipment list and connecting them to herbalism, short rest HD healing, and feats like healer can add to the hit point concept abstractly or they can simulate first aid. For me, I'm glad to see that a solid healing option exists for all classes that doesn't impact verisimilitude regardless of game style. It's also nice to use those options on classes that I would typically associate with healing in the character concepts like bards and rangers without being forced into using spells to add the healing to the concepts. I'm comfortable on either class with the healer feat, herbalism kit proficiency, and medicine proficiency to fit concept and then fill spells known without healing spells.

I don't think the healer feat is over powered when compared to the full list of healing spells instead of low level examples, and having the feat in the game does nothing but open up options and concepts without creating issues for other characters. It also opens up spell use better than "need a healbot" spell caster.
 

GrumpyGamer

First Post
The healing feat is sort of broken, but I think it has a place in low magic settings where you still want healing, but not divine casters.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
I find it more stupid than broken. My biggest problem with the feat is that it doesn't look good in my mind's eye. Binding wounds with mundane tools should not allow for the kind of healing the Healer feat provides, especially as an action while a target is moving in combat. This isn't a game with injectors of stimulants. I hope no one ever takes the feat because of how dumb it looks in my imagination. I've been tempted to take it because it is powerful to have an additional amount of healing that doesn't use spell slots every short rest. I just can't do it because I can't imagine how it would work in my mind's eye. Some thief jamming on bandages and ointment while everyone is dancing around in an intense combat just seems bleh.
 

Mistwell

Legend
By RAW, fluff text is far more rigid than it was in 4E - you can't just change the fluff around how an ability works in 5E, because the mechanics are supposed to reflect the fluff and not the other way around
First, I don't care how it would compare to 4e as that's not the topic and not my position. However, you can just change the fluff text. Even if the mechanics reflect the current fluff, changing the fluff doesn't make the mechanics change. If nobody cares, you describe it as whatever you want and keep the same mechanics. The mutability comes from the fact that alterations have less of an impact on balance in this game, which means there is tremendous range of fluff already in the game. Hence, making the fluff range even further threatens less in the game.
 

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