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D&D 5E Playing non-healer clerics

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
Gone are the days where you need to spend half your spell slots on heals, especially with short rest healing, but you should still consider having some for emergencies to keep people in the running.
I always prepare cure wounds at lower level and hope to not have to use it
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Personally, my PCs are never really healers per se. I will pick up healing word and aid for bringing back downed party members during combat in a pinch, and I will keep revify on hand as long as the party pitches in for the diamond. But I am not going to top you up between combats because that is generally not the character I like to play
I've been doing that since 2e.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Gone are the days where you need to spend half your spell slots on heals, especially with short rest healing, but you should still consider having some for emergencies to keep people in the running.
All that said, there isn't much that beats the healing power of a life cleric with the Goodberry spell :)
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Since each class has it's "thing" that it's sort of expected to do, like fight monsters or bypass traps, it's natural for players to go "ah! you can heal us, that's your thing! do that!".

But healing is a thankless job. Most of your spells are woefully inefficient compared to anything else you could be doing. Much of the time, you're expected to save other players from their own lapses in judgement. Be it the Barbarian using Reckless Attack too much, or a dual-wielding Rogue bellying up to a powerful melee enemy.

"Oh it's fine, the Cleric will heal us!"

Except the Cleric will run out of spell slots fast that way, while many other classes can keep doing their thing all day long as long as they have hit points. And it's not very fun, either- even just using Healing Word every turn to pop up characters relegates you to nothing more interesting than cantrip spam.

Cure Wounds isn't even twice as good as Healing Word, and requires you to run up and touch a guy to heal him. It's just not a battle you can win.
If only we could design a game where providing support to your allies was actively fun in and of itself, and where the tools and resources for providing healing were reliable, effective, and an expected part of play.

But surely such a game is impossible.

(Just to be clear, you are not the target of my sarcasm here. You just provided the jumping-off point.)
 


James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
If only we could design a game where providing support to your allies was actively fun in and of itself, and where the tools and resources for providing healing were reliable, effective, and an expected part of play.

But surely such a game is impossible.

(Just to be clear, you are not the target of my sarcasm here. You just provided the jumping-off point.)
Oh no, I get it. And it's really easy, you know? You could create spells or abilities that let you attack or do things, and hand out good healing or buffs to allies simultaneously, so you're contributing to situations both directly and indirectly.

But some people don't like that sort of thing, because that's not how D&D was played for 30+ years or whatever.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
But some people don't like that sort of thing, because that's not how D&D was played for 30+ years or whatever.
Sure. That means they don't want to play characters designed to do support.

"There are people who don't want to support others, they want to be directly active themselves" is a GREAT reason to design the core type of character options (for D&D, that type is "classes") so that some do that and others don't. It is a TERRIBLE reason to decide that support should suck and be generally ineffective and uninteresting.
 

aco175

Legend
5e changed some of the cleric schtick in that there are bonus action healing spells, that allow clerics to do something and heal where needed. Kind of like how 3e allowed you to take spells other than healing and convert them if needed. 5e tries to make cleric a healer and allow you to do other things like fireball or such.

When your party only has 4-5 people filling roles, you want to fill them with people who can do their job. The problem is that in the game we have players and characters. Everyone wants to let players play to PC they want to play instead of having the leader of the party sitting at the tavern and interview characters for the mission.

"Hi, I'm Bob the 4th, and I'm putting a band together to raid the goblin tombs."
"I'm Pyrro the fire cleric. I do not cast healing and like to cast area fire spells."
"We already have a fire mage that has all the fire spells."
"But, I'm a cleric."

So we let the player play the PC they made to have fun for everyone and then hope/blame the DM for not adjusting or giving out more healing or places to rest. Then the player tells the others to spend their 4th level feat to take the one that lets you cast a single 1st level spell if you want more.
 

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