Martial Healing

twilsemail

Visitor
It kind of drives me crazy that a Druid really has to search to find a Healing power and nearly all of them are Dailies, but Warlords get them right and left.
I've heard this from a few people. Well, the Martial healing thing in general. I think most people that are irked by "Martial Healing" are those that still think of damage as cuts and bruises as opposed to physical damage and demoralization.

I've seen you post a ton of times, so I know you're not new at this, KarinsDad. Can I ask what actually bothers you about the idea of Martial Healing?

I know that rousing someone from unconciousness with a few words can seem a bit mystical, but I think with RP that can be represented well enough.
 

keterys

Visitor
I can understand having a problem with getting someone unconscious up, but a problem with martial healing _at all_? That suggests an implicit disconnect behind the concept that hit points aren't purely damage, which I think you pretty much have to adhere to in order for the system not to explode brains :)
 

MrMyth

Visitor
Admittedly, at least part of the problem seems more that KarinsDad wasn't a fan of them splitting the druid conceptually into druid (wildshaper/nature caster) and shaman (nature healer/companions/summoner). I could have used a few more druid healing utilities to capture a bit of the old feel, but I don't think adding full healing functionality to a controller would have been remotely a good decision.
 

KarinsDad

Visitor
I don't have an issue with Martial Inspiring. There should be a lot of ways that Martial PCs can inspire other PCs to greatness.

I have an issue with Martial Healing.


Healing is healing. Some major percentage of hit points should be actual damage. It should not mostly be fatigue, it should not mostly be luck, it should not mostly be morale. A significant percentage of it should be, "I got smacked around".

By having Martial Healing, hit points become 100% not damage at all as opposed to 50+% actual damage and I don't particularly like that concept.


Playing D&D as "You don't actually get physically damaged until that very last attack" messes with my sense of disbelief. I am no longer immersed in a fun roleplaying experience, I'm jarred into being reminded that I am playing a game. JME.
 

TerraDave

5ever
This is an oldy, not sure its a goody.

What is martial healing? Over coming pain, adrenaline, placebo effect, avoiding shock, will-to-power. Fine. Healing surges represent a limit on it. Also fine.

The problem is that PCs are supposedly getting clawed, stabbed, set on fire, burned with acid, poisened...

Sure, some may just be a loss of energy and a lot of scratches. But if you have an 8 round combat of getting clawed, stabbed, set on fire, burned with acid and poisened, encouraging words seem like a stretch. No matter what hp "represents". (Rapid overnight recovery is a related issue).

Though if its good enough for Die Hard, maybe its good enough for your game. Maybe.
 

Kingreaper

Adventurer
Playing D&D as "You don't actually get physically damaged until that very last attack" messes with my sense of disbelief. I am no longer immersed in a fun roleplaying experience, I'm jarred into being reminded that I am playing a game. JME.
Martial, inspiration based, healing doesn't require that you not have been hit.


Sure, you're bleeding, sure your leg is badly injured, but you know what? YOU WILL :):):):)ING PRESS ON OR I WILL TAKE YOUR HEAD OFF AND CARRY IT HOME TO YOUR FAMILY IN A BAG!

That's how I picture one of the warlords I've played with.
 

KarinsDad

Visitor
Admittedly, at least part of the problem seems more that KarinsDad wasn't a fan of them splitting the druid conceptually into druid (wildshaper/nature caster) and shaman (nature healer/companions/summoner). I could have used a few more druid healing utilities to capture a bit of the old feel, but I don't think adding full healing functionality to a controller would have been remotely a good decision.
Druids are listed as potentially secondary Leaders and then they don't get any real Healing powers until mid-Paragon.

Sometimes wrong with that picture.


Adding a few Encounter powers that had side effects of Healing wouldn't break a Druid.
 

keterys

Visitor
KD, do you also object to Second Wind, or to healing during a short rest?

I think it helps to visualize it more like Die Hard. You can still be pretty damn beat up physically, while able to continue fighting just fine. One scene you're barely walking, the next you suck it up and you're back into it. Feet are still bleeding, sure, but you've overcome that.

I've actually multiple times seen the premise that you aren't hurt physically _at all_ until bloodied. That's "First Blood", as it were.
 

KarinsDad

Visitor
KD, do you also object to Second Wind, or to healing during a short rest?
Second Wind was an issue for me when the game first came out, but I now visualize it as "Die Hard" and since it is once per encounter, no biggy.

Since we have a Cleric in our group, short rests are magical healing.

I think it helps to visualize it more like Die Hard. You can still be pretty damn beat up physically, while able to continue fighting just fine. One scene you're barely walking, the next you suck it up and you're back into it. Feet are still bleeding, sure, but you've overcome that.
Meh.

I don't want to put "mental wrappers" around the word Healing.

Healing should be healing, it shouldn't be "inspiration" or "suck it up" or any of that nonsense.

Just because one can kind of, sort of, shoehorn fluff the healing mechanics into an inspiration rational shouldn't mean that one should be forced to do so.

Healing should be healing. It should be magical / mystical / supernatural and it shouldn't be inspiration and it shouldn't be mundane (i.e. martial IMO).

One could use Temporary Hit points for Inspiration. They keep one in the fight, even if the PC has 1 hit point remaining. But they don't bring an unconscious PC conscious.


In fact, that would be a good fluff and mechanics line to draw in the sand.

Second Wind could even be Temporary Hit Points.

Hmmmm. Something to think about if I ever want to house rule this stuff.


One of my biggest issue with 4E is that every PC now has magic. Magic isn't special anymore. Segregating Martial Inspiration into temporary hit points and Magical Healing into real hit points would help me with that.
 

korjik

Visitor
Druids are listed as potentially secondary Leaders and then they don't get any real Healing powers until mid-Paragon.

Sometimes wrong with that picture.


Adding a few Encounter powers that had side effects of Healing wouldn't break a Druid.
Druids should have been leaders and Shamans should have been controllers. Both would have fit into those roles better.
 

keterys

Visitor
So, basically, you'd prefer if a Martial party and/or leader were innately less powerful (due to inability to heal) compared to... presumably every other power source.

It's a tough sell to make, though I did actually write up some house rules for how to do it - mostly with making martial healing more pre-emptive.

But even so, short rests don't need to have a cleric or whatever to heal. You just, poof, do.
 

Nahat Anoj

Visitor
Given 4e's hit point paradigm, I don't even think getting dropped to 0 or less hp is necessarily "real" damage, because with a simple healing power you can get right back into the thick of things. The only damage that's really, really bad is 1) getting below negative bloodied hps or 2) failing your third death save. No other hit point damage "matters."

If there's a problem with martial healing, I think it's mostly because people over-embellish the narration of the damage. Like, when you crit someone with a sword, I've know people who like to described that as a massive, sucking chest wound when it may not have even reduced the damaged character's hp by a healing surge.
 

Dice4Hire

Visitor
To me D&D is a game, with tradeoffs of realism vs gameplay. Hit points are one of those things, trading realism (massive blood loss and maiming when a sword hits you), versus fun (heroism). There are a lot of others.

If the hit points, or martial healing bothers someone too much, delete it form your game. Easy to do. If it bothers you too much to do that, there are a lot of other game systems out there.
 
I have no real problem with Martial (suck it up! This is no time to lay down!) Healing. In total opposition to Karinsdad I think that the major proportion should be exhaustion and running out of luck, most real damage is by way of bruising, the real hurt starts to happen at bloodied.
 
KarinsDad said:
I don't have an issue with Martial Inspiring. There should be a lot of ways that Martial PCs can inspire other PCs to greatness.

I have an issue with Martial Healing.

Healing is healing. Some major percentage of hit points should be actual damage. It should not mostly be fatigue, it should not mostly be luck, it should not mostly be morale. A significant percentage of it should be, "I got smacked around".

By having Martial Healing, hit points become 100% not damage at all as opposed to 50+% actual damage and I don't particularly like that concept.

Playing D&D as "You don't actually get physically damaged until that very last attack" messes with my sense of disbelief. I am no longer immersed in a fun roleplaying experience, I'm jarred into being reminded that I am playing a game. JME.
I agree with you on this.

In fact, I would argue that ALL HP loss is caused by damage. When you hit with an attack, you roll damage. When you fall 10+ feet, you roll damage. I can't fathom how one can translate that into "See, the attack didn't really hit, and the fall didn't really hurt. You just feel kinda tired from overexertion".

It just seems like martial healing is too much of a stretch. It doesn't seem to be intuitive, or else this discussion likely wouldn't be happening.
 
I think that hit points need to be kept firmly in the realm of "abstraction", or else they really start making no sense, with or without martial healers.

They're an out of character, game mechanical abstraction that measures whether or not a creature can keep fighting, and how close they are to not being able to fight anymore. You almost have to assume that they mostly represent willpower, energy, morale, and grit. Otherwise, it starts being simply absurd that any humanoid person could take such extreme amounts of damage and still be fine.

A dagger does 1d4 damage. If hit points represented solely "real meat" on a person, there's no way that anyone should have more than, say, about 20 hit points. Even that is pretty damn tough. At 20 hit points, you'd have to be stabbed a minimum of five times to drop, and could potentially be stabbed nineteen times and still be standing! (Not only standing, but entirely unhindered by these wounds.) Most people in the world should have five or less hit points. That guy with 20 is a real hero.

How does it make sense that my first-level character (say, 25 hit points) could be laying helpless in a coma, and an average adult male human commoner with a dagger would have to coup de grace him at least seven times to even put him in jeopardy of dying, or ten times to actually kill him? This is a regular guy with a large knife, carefully and precisely stabbing a totally defenseless person in an ideal kill spot (an automatic "critical" hit).

So, say he does that only six times, and then stops. My character gets up, perfectly fine for all intents and purposes, despite having been stabbed in the throat and heart and eye sockets six times while he lay unconscious? And if those hit points represent "real bodily damage", then he's really THAT slashed up, having only 1/25th of his essential biological integrity remaining, but no worries, he's fine?

Oh, and if he waits five minutes, he can spontaneously repair all of that damage to himself, if he wants to.

Seriously, that makes sense?

But if hit points are an abstraction representing "lucky avoidance of serious damage" and "determined will to fight despite injuries" then it can make some sense. Then when you get "healed" you're not necessarily stitching together flesh, you could just be "soldiering up" and steeling yourself to fight on, despite your cuts and bruises. Which makes martial healing perfectly reasonable.

I understand the desire for greater simulationism. Game systems which attempt to realistically model actual physical injuries and their effects on the character are cool, and have many devoted followers. I like them, too. But that's not how D&D is, and it never has been. I submit that if a person is really concerned about hit point loss and restoration being realistic (and representing real physical wounds), that D&D is not the best game for that person.

Martial healing makes perfect sense within the D&D game system, given what D&D takes hit points to be. They are an abstraction, and can represent many different narrative concepts relating to a character's ability to continue functioning. It never has to be, "The warlord yells at you and your broken leg miraculously knits itself back together in an instant." The game system itself never insists that this is so.

Yes, I'd admit that hit points are perhaps even more abstracted now in 4E than they were in prior editions. But really, they were never very realistic or a reasonable simulation of physical damage in the first place.
 

Kingreaper

Adventurer
I agree with you on this.

In fact, I would argue that ALL HP loss is caused by damage. When you hit with an attack, you roll damage. When you fall 10+ feet, you roll damage. I can't fathom how one can translate that into "See, the attack didn't really hit, and the fall didn't really hurt. You just feel kinda tired from overexertion".

It just seems like martial healing is too much of a stretch. It doesn't seem to be intuitive, or else this discussion likely wouldn't be happening.
The question is does "damage" in the game-mechanical sense= Damage in the physical sense.


There's no reason it has to. And it's clear that the default assumption in 4e is that it doesn't.

That broadsword may have barely scratched you, but taken a huge chunk of HP because of how much effort it took to jump backward, avoiding decapitation.

The jumping backward would be HP damage, due to exhaustion.


Of course, given as exhaustion is ACTUALLY a form of physical damage, the distinction isn't that clear cut. Healing from exhaustion without days of bed-rest is every bit as unrealistic as healing from bleeding wounds without days of bed-rest.


But they're both perfectly in genre.
 

Tuft

Visitor
The question is does "damage" in the game-mechanical sense= Damage in the physical sense.

There's no reason it has to. And it's clear that the default assumption in 4e is that it doesn't.

I've used exactly this flipside of the "martial healing works, since HP is all morale" argument for my Bard. She doesn't do anything as violent as "damage" at all! Nope, it's just that her enticing dance saps their morale, and drains their will to fight... all expressed in HP, of course.
 
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I've used exactly this flipside of the "martial healing works, since HP is all morale" argument for my Bard. She doesn't do anything as violent as "damage" at all! Nope, it's just that her enticing dance saps their morale, and drains their will to fight... all expressed in HP, of course.

I think that this is exactly the kind of creative narrative retexturing that 4E encourages players to do. I really like it.
 

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