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5E Is the Healer Feat Broken?

AtomicPope

Explorer
This is ridiculous. If the feat was "broken" it would be a "must have." There are few "must have" feats and they're typically limited to classes:

* Great Weapon Master - any class with a GW fighting style
* Sharpshooter - any class with the Archery fighting style
* Spell Sniper - Warlocks


At higher levels the feat Alertness is just too good to pass up. I'm playing in a game and we're all 20th level. All of us have Alertness. Why?
* +5 Initiative stacks with Foresight
* Hidden attackers don't get Advantage stacks with Foresight
* Never surprised (not all of us have Foresight :p )
 

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Saelorn

Hero
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.
If you're the DM, then you can change anything you feel like, and your players can either take it or leave it. It doesn't even have to make sense to anyone else, but if it doesn't make intuitive sense then you risk losing the players rather than having them buy into it.

If you're a player, then you can describe the fluff of a thing and the DM will tell you its one true mechanical representation, which is not negotiable. Players should not be under the mistaken belief that they can use greatsword stats for their greataxe because fluff doesn't matter. Fluff is significantly more important than game balance.
 

This is ridiculous. If the feat was "broken" it would be a "must have." There are few "must have" feats and they're typically limited to classes:

* Great Weapon Master - any class with a GW fighting style
* Sharpshooter - any class with the Archery fighting style
* Spell Sniper - Warlocks


At higher levels the feat Alertness is just too good to pass up. I'm playing in a game and we're all 20th level. All of us have Alertness. Why?
* +5 Initiative stacks with Foresight
* Hidden attackers don't get Advantage stacks with Foresight
* Never surprised (not all of us have Foresight :p )
To further emphasize your own point; even the things which you list here and claim as "must have" aren't.
 

Ashrym

Hero
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.
Binding wounds in active combat pushes it a little but one should keep in mind that hit points don't really even show wounds until the character is below 50% max hit points. It's assumption that some of the supplies aren't stimulants as well. The healer's kit contains bandages, splints, and salves. It's not just binding wounds. It's perfectly reasonable to allow a salve applied below the nose and inhaled to help. What a "salve" can do is open to interpretation.

It's not any different than the spellcaster trying to cast a spell and touch the target who expects the target to wait a moment for the spell effect to take place than it would be for the salve applicator for a minor wound to touch the target and expect the target to wait a moment for a quick smear.

The only time what you are describing becomes an issue is when all hit point recovered are specifically the binding of wounds. This clearly isn't the case in the game mechanics because the healer kit and feat does restore hit points even when the target is not shown to be visibly hurt.

Don't forget that dancing around combat triggers opportunity attacks as well, so it's not so bleh as one might think. Moving in to perform the act described requires movement and triggers opportunity attacks. The target is still defending himself. It's not just as safe as "awesome dude!!" ;-)

In the end, if it really is that hard to envision, I think it's reasonable to make a judgement call by the DM to require the target spend a reaction when engaged in active combat as an environmental factor. It's part of the DM's role to interpret the environment impacts to abilities, after all.
 


Saelorn

Hero
Binding wounds in active combat pushes it a little but one should keep in mind that hit points don't really even show wounds until the character is below 50% max hit points.
Again, the exact nature of damage is going to vary from table to table. If you want to use sharks as your metric - and why wouldn't you? - then even one HP of damage must correspond to some amount of blood loss.
 

Ashrym

Hero
Again, the exact nature of damage is going to vary from table to table. If you want to use sharks as your metric - and why wouldn't you? - then even one HP of damage must correspond to some amount of blood loss.
Because the rules specify that characters don't show signs of injury until below 50% maximum hit points. Ignoring that is house ruling the hit points and then complaining that the house rule doesn't fit with other mechanics instead of also house ruling those other mechanics to match.

If a person wants to simplify all hit points as some physical damage then that same person should be willing to make other adjustments to fit that description instead of complaining that changing part of the game makes another part appear broken. It's a self-inflicted issue.
 

Saelorn

Hero
Because the rules specify that characters don't show signs of injury until below 50% maximum hit points. Ignoring that is house ruling the hit points and then complaining that the house rule doesn't fit with other mechanics instead of also house ruling those other mechanics to match.
Actually, if you look at it, it says that characters typically don't show signs of injury unless below half, but different DMs are likely to run this differently so be sure to ask.

Even though the general rule is that the DM can change anything and nobody should assume that anything in the book will be valid for any given campaign, Hit Points are (as far as I could see) the only thing where the default is called into question as it is presented.

Also, be sure to keep your terminology straight. This isn't a house rule; it's an interpretation. A house rule involves making up a new rule, which contradicts something else in the book. An interpretation is a disagreement about what a rule means in the first place. (Not that there's anything wrong with house rules, of course.)
 

jgsugden

Hero
Taking a feat is a huge cost. Taking a feat that gives you the opportunity to not attack, but instead aid your allies, needs to be strong or nobody will take it.

One goal of 5E was to avoid making the cleric a PC that heals allies every round and does nothing else. That is boring. That is one reason why out of combat healing is so effective and in combat healing from class abilities is so weak. It reduces the perception and reliance upon those classes as 'healing batteries'.

Now, if a player wants to go out of their way to be a healing battery - the player is taking on the role by specific election and there is no reason to protect the PC from being 'stuck' with the healing. Thus, it makes sense to allow that healing to be more effective. You're not worried about 'forcing' something on them...

And don't forget that you're paying 5 silver per use of the healing kit. At low levels, that adds up. By mid levels it is almost an afterthought, you're still spending hundreds of gold on those kits over time, potentially.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Here we are four years later and I am finally considering taking the healer feat and making a Thief rogue to use Fast Hands with it.

The question is, is it worth it at 4th level instead of boosting Dex? I am a halfling lightfoot rogue. Will it still be effective to begin using this at 4th level? We don't have any other dedicated healers, though we do have a Druid PC and a Wizard with a single level in Cleric.

Your thoughts @Zardnaar ?
 
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Olrox17

Adventurer
Every single 5e party I've DMed so far had the healer feat, usually on a thief or a cleric. It's incredibly powerful at low levels, but it remains useful at higher levels (my 10th level party still considers it useful).
 



ccs

40th lv DM
Here we are four years later and I am finally considering taking the healer feat and making a Thief rogue to use Fast Hands with it.

The question is, is it worth it at 4th level instead of boosting Dex? I am a halfling lightfoot rogue. Will it still be effective to begin using this at 4th level? We don't have any other dedicated healers, though we do have a Druid PC and a Wizard with a single level in Cleric.
I'll start by asking my usual question: Does taking this option fit your character? Not your pile-o-stats/abilities, or how you play tactically, the person those things represent. If yes, take it. If no, take something else.

Next up; Wich will be more useful? Another +1 to things you already do well? Or another entire mechanical option?
Opinion: In a game like 5e where good enough is often fine, I know what I'd pick....

Answer those & you'll have your answer about its worth.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Here we are four years later and I am finally considering taking the healer feat and making a Thief rogue to use Fast Hands with it.

The question is, is it worth it at 4th level instead of boosting Dex? I am a halfling lightfoot rogue. Will it still be effective to begin using this at 4th level? We don't have any other dedicated healers, though we do have a Druid PC and a Wizard with a single level in Cleric.

Your thoughts @Zardnaar ?
Depends on the situation. Also if you have higher than normal rolled stats.

These days I consider the feat top 5 and it's never bad even in a higher level game. It's essentially mass cure wounds later on. Plus a short range at will healing word on a thief.

A lot of games don't go high level.

I like it YMMV. Alot of rogue players like using mobility (badly) instead of doing some thing more relevant line dealing damage.

Depends how much dual wielding and running around you like doing.
 

FarBeyondC

Explorer
The best part about the Healer feat's healing?

It's 100 percent non-magical healing that works on any creature not somehow explicitly unable to regain hit points. Which, while I've (funnily enough) been in more scenarios that have required explicitly magical healing than I have scenarios where non-magical healing was the only possible healing (chalk that up to antimagic areas / fields being really rare), the value of being able to quickly heal someone in places where magic doesn't work or isn't desirable shouldn't be underestimated at higher levels.
 

Mistwell

Legend
I'll start by asking my usual question: Does taking this option fit your character? Not your pile-o-stats/abilities, or how you play tactically, the person those things represent. If yes, take it. If no, take something else.
It's a brand new character starting at level 1 and I have not developed the RPG elements enough to know that, beyond the fact he's a rogue who swipes from the wealthy to give to the poor and his family. So it could fit fine, but as we are just beginning it could also be I fit the characters concept around the mechanics.

Next up; Wich will be more useful? Another +1 to things you already do well? Or another entire mechanical option?
Opinion: In a game like 5e where good enough is often fine, I know what I'd pick....

Answer those & you'll have your answer about its worth.
I don't have that answer. If I did, I wouldn't have asked about it :)
 

Here we are four years later and I am finally considering taking the healer feat and making a Thief rogue to use Fast Hands with it.

The question is, is it worth it at 4th level instead of boosting Dex? I am a halfling lightfoot rogue. Will it still be effective to begin using this at 4th level? We don't have any other dedicated healers, though we do have a Druid PC and a Wizard with a single level in Cleric.

Your thoughts @Zardnaar ?
@Kreinas had some excellent observations about this on page 1.
Basically, if the Thief isn’t wielding the kit, there are rules about stowing (or dropping) weapons and retrieving items from packs.

The result is that the primary benefit of Fast Hands is that the Thief is the only one who can dig the kit out of his pack and use it in the same turn.

Of course, now your weapons are on the ground. There’s an inconvenient rule around that, too.

Things also depend on how many hands your DM says a kit requires. I would rule 2.
 

Mistwell

Legend
@Kreinas had some excellent observations about this on page 1.
Basically, if the Thief isn’t wielding the kit, there are rules about stowing (or dropping) weapons and retrieving items from packs.

The result is that the primary benefit of Fast Hands is that the Thief is the only one who can dig the kit out of his pack and use it in the same turn.

Of course, now your weapons are on the ground. There’s an inconvenient rule around that, too.

Things also depend on how many hands your DM says a kit requires. I would rule 2.
If you needed two hands to use the kit, then you couldn't hold the kit at all, right?

The general rule is things take one hand to use them (the hand with the thing in it) unless otherwise specified. Here, it's not otherwise specified. I am not saying it would be unfair to rule otherwise, but my read of the rules says that's how it's normally done.

I think both the rule and the intent is to have a weapon or other object in one hand (like a rapier or spell focus) and nothing in the other, withdraw the kit as a free action along with your movement or action for that round, and then use an action (or a bonus action with the feat) to use the kit. I do not think you ever need to drop your weapon or focus, provided you have one free hand. Just like a component pouch or a potion use or a poison application use, which all take just one free hand and no need to have both hands free.
 

If you needed two hands to use the kit, then you couldn't hold the kit at all, right?
Put kit on ground. Open it up. Use two hands to administer it.

Hold kit in one hand, dig around in it and find the things you need with the other hand.

Etc.

There's a few ways you could fluff it, but in general it doesn't seem to me that wrapping a bandage around somebody's ankle (or whatever the heck you do with a healer's kit) is something you do with one hand.

The general rule is things take one hand to use them (the hand with the thing in it) unless otherwise specified. Here, it's not otherwise specified. I am not saying it would be unfair to rule otherwise, but my read of the rules says that's how it's normally done.
Where is it written that non-weapon objects only require one hand? (I'm totally willing to be wrong on this, I just don't recall ever seeing that written.). Do you think that applies to all the other kits as well? (Forgery, Herbalism, Climbers', etc.)

I think both the rule and the intent is to have a weapon or other object in one hand (like a rapier or spell focus) and nothing in the other, withdraw the kit as a free action along with your movement or action for that round, and then use an action (or a bonus action with the feat) to use the kit. I do not think you ever need to drop your weapon or focus, provided you have one free hand. Just like a component pouch or a potion use or a poison application use, which all take just one free hand and no need to have both hands free.
Even if you (or your DM) rule that it only takes one hand, sheathing a weapon uses your free action, and drawing something from your pack uses your free action. So if your rogue dual wields the only option is to drop one of the weapons. Now, whether or not you and your DM decide that you can use a Healer's Kit not only with one hand but your offhand, is up to you.
 

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