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D&D 4E What do you like about 4e healing?

What do you like about 4e healing?

  • Healing scales with base hit points

    Votes: 91 77.8%
  • Soft cap on hit points healed per day

    Votes: 69 59.0%
  • Healers need not sacrifice attacks

    Votes: 89 76.1%
  • Common rest cycle for hit points, spells and abilities

    Votes: 62 53.0%
  • Non-magical hit point recovery

    Votes: 83 70.9%
  • All PCs can restore their own hit points

    Votes: 80 68.4%


Healing scales with base hit points. That's not as problematic as some of the other ones, but I do have some issues with it. If take it to the extreme, you have an effect that simply restores someone to full health, that can be quite unbalancing (the Heal spell used to do this in 2e and 3e, but was revised for 3.5). The converse is the old Harm spell, which was also rather unbalancing.

I'm also not a big fan of math. Scaling healing with hp presumably forces one to calculate fractions if you're not healing all of your damage at once (honestly I don't know 4e mechanics to that level of detail so I don't know if that's the case but it seems like it would be). Sometimes that's necessary, but I'd like that kept to a minimum.

The last thing is that I think it's important that magical healing reflect the power of the caster, not the target.

I don't see at as being a huge conceptual dealbreaker, but I'm fine with CLW being 1d8+CL and so on.
IMO, the harm spell was more unbalanced than the heal spell. Interesting lack of symmetry there, I suppose - I guess conceptually, it's difference between more chances to win and a near-automatic win. The former holds more uncertainty and tension than the latter.

Anyway the 4e system is that the standard unit of healing is 25% of your maximum hit points. This is calculated in advance, so there is less need to do the math at the table. Characters who are particularly good at healing are often able to heal extra hit points on top of that. For example, a low-level cleric might allow you to heal an additional 1d6 hit points, while a high-level one might allow you to heal 6d6 additional hit points. So, the number of hit points restored are a function of both the power of the recepient and the power of the healer.

That said, although 4e uses 25% of maximum hit points, it isn't necessary to stick to that percentage, especially if you think that hit point recovery is too fast in 4e.

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I like many of the things about the healing. I do however think that it is too hard to beat down characters unless you make the monsters' damage equally ridiculous. That in turn leads to dedicated healing classes (my warlord was turning into a medical kit for perma-noobs by the time paragon level approached) if the party is not optimized.


Well, looking at the responses here, I hold out one hope for 5e:

Healing will be one of those areas with some very strong setting dials. Those who want rare healing/magical healing only should be serviced, but, I definitely want to be serviced as well.

That actually shouldn't be too hard to hit IMO.
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My biggest complaint is the names.

Replace Hit Points with Shock Value, and Healing Surges with Hit Points. And then the damage you've taken becomes clear.


First Post
None of the above I'm afraid.

Unfortunately the edition wars have meant that some people have vocally supported one side or the other and identify with one position or another so much, that they see another way of doing things as somehow losing.

I tried 4th edition for about a year as a GM. Unfortunately despite me being the driving force for our game, in the end I was foced to conclude that the system was not what I wanted in a game, and specifically not what I wanted in a game of D&D. To be frank it is the only version of D&D I would not play again.


5ever, or until 2024
I have grown to like 4E healing less and less.

Tracking surges, plus surge-less healing, plus involved short rests of healing...seems like a lot of this could be done with much simpler "rests" mechanics.


The two that I 'LIKE' (in other words, hope to be kept in the next game) are #1 and #3. Percentage of a PCs hit points recovered per heal and that the healer need not sacrifice attacks to do so.

Percentage of points returned just reduces the amount of healing you need to have available over the 1d8/2d8/3d8 style of editions past. As people say... getting a wizard back to full being easier and using less resources than a fighter just doesn't make much sense to me. I certainly can understand Ahnehnois' desire that the level of the caster have more of an impact on HP return than the level of the recipient (which the die rolling accomplishes but the percentage style as it stands really doesn't)... but that's easily accomplished the other way by just reducing the percentage regained per heal (say down to 10% rather than 25%) and then as the healer goes up in level, he returns MORE of those blocks with each healing spell. So a level 1 heal returns 1 block (10% total HP), a level 3 heal returns 2 blocks (20%), level 5 three blocks (30%) etc. etc. You satisfy both camps.

And as far as not needing to use an Attack action to heal... that just makes perfect sense assuming healing during combat is meant to occur as frequently as it always has. Sure, if you reduce the amount of in-combat healing that can be spent (say, you only get to cast 3 healing spells total within combat for the day)... then using an Attack action those three times is fine. But when in 3E the cleric has a dozen spell slots of potential healing available, and in 4E there are at least two heals available to use every encounter... then NOT making that person use their Attack actions is paramount.

All the other ones, I have no problems with... don't mind they exist... but I also wouldn't care if they got changed in the next game. Especially if some new format or concept was introduced to make them even better.

There actually is one remaining thing that wasn't in the Poll that I would have voted YES to had it been there, which is this:

7. There are more than just one class (cleric) that can serve as the potential "healer" for a party of 4-6.

Even side-stepping the "martial healing" issue... the fact that the Bard, Shaman, Artificer, and Essentials Druid can all serve as the effective healer for the party is a godsend (pun intended). Yes, it does mean that classes outside the purview of the Divine source get to be healers on par with the cleric... but you know what? The cleric just ain't that goddamn special (pun again definitely intended.) ;)
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I like all listed features but the minor action healing, and this one is not a strong dislike, too. I really appreciate balance, robustness and ease of use of 4e healing system. I also have no problems with abstract nature of HPs, warlord healing and similar things.
I'd just prefer either removing "healing" classes entirely and giving more self-healing, or adding stronger tactical effects to healing and making it standard actions. The current approach suggests that healing is nothing important ("I won't stop smashing enemies to help you, but I may spare a single word") and I don't like it.

That being said, I have strong dislikes concerning 4e healing. But they have nothing to do with the poll options.

1. Terminology. If abstract points represent luck, stamina and dodging blows, don't name them "hit points". "Dodge points", "hero points" or "determination points" would be much better. Also, if there are no wounds involved, no "healing surges", "healing words" etc. It's confusing and it puts people in different mindset than they should be. Making a fallen ally stand up and fight by calling commands is ok; "healing" them this way is absurd.

2. Lack of lasting injuries. I'm OK with HPs back to full after encounter and surges back after one night. But when somebody goes down below zero, it should be something that hurts, not something that improves healing they receive. It should result in a serious wound that would not go away easily - requiring long time or a costly ritual (be it a priestly prayer or Aragorn using herbs).

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