3.5 Wizards and healing spells

Tilenas

Villager
It has come to it at last,
our group's wizard is hellbent on researching cure-spells and I as the GM cannot come up with a believable reason why he shouldn't be allowed to.
I mean, in AD&D it was fairly easy as I recall, as the rule went "Arcane spells cannot restore lost HP or cure detrimental effects on health. Period." (If I'm mistaken there, please feel free to correct me).
In any case, in 3rd ed. I can't make that claim, as bards (arcane spellcasters) get the whole menu of cure-spells. As we play by the book at the moment, I can't houserule it out.
Any suggestions how I can keep the player from pursuing this without sounding like a douche?
 

Corsair

Villager
As we play by the book at the moment, I can't houserule it out.
Wait, what now?


DMG, page 35. 5th bullet point.

"Wizards and sorcerers should not cast healing spells but they should have the best offensive spells. If the spell is flashy or dramatic, it should probably be a wizard/sorcerer spell."


But despite that bullet point, researching new spells is already house rule territory by definition. The fact that it is in the DMG should be a hint there. You're going to have to make a decision as to whether it is "appropriate." This is a flavor/setting decision as much as it is a mechanical one. The current rule assumes wizards don't heal. If you want to maintain or break that in your game, that is up to you.

Edit: Also note that Bards aren't wizards, any more than paladins are druids. Paladins, druids, clerics, and rangers have very different spell lists.
 

Nebten

Villager
A good way to go about would be to raise the spell level. If they want to create CLW-type spell, just make it a 3rd level arcane spell. Or you can decrease the die value (d6s or d4s instead of d8s). You can also add a time, money and XP value to this type of research, like magic items. Or add a costly material component.
Pretty much try to make it an unappeasing choice without saying no =v).
 

Loonook

Villager
It has come to it at last,
our group's wizard is hellbent on researching cure-spells and I as the GM cannot come up with a believable reason why he shouldn't be allowed to.
I mean, in AD&D it was fairly easy as I recall, as the rule went "Arcane spells cannot restore lost HP or cure detrimental effects on health. Period." (If I'm mistaken there, please feel free to correct me).
In any case, in 3rd ed. I can't make that claim, as bards (arcane spellcasters) get the whole menu of cure-spells. As we play by the book at the moment, I can't houserule it out.
Any suggestions how I can keep the player from pursuing this without sounding like a douche?
Everyone complains about how clerics are too overpowered... yet granting mages one of their abilities which (without spontaneous casting) is rarely used as a 'go to' by the class that it is meant for... well, I guess I don't see the need for problems. One wizard knowing how to heal wounds does not world imbalance make.

Slainte,

-Loonook.
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
Everyone complains about how clerics are too overpowered... yet granting mages one of their abilities which (without spontaneous casting) is rarely used as a 'go to' by the class that it is meant for... well, I guess I don't see the need for problems. One wizard knowing how to heal wounds does not world imbalance make.

Slainte,

-Loonook.
I have to disagree completely with your starting point and conclusion. CoDzilla is no stronger, or barely stronger, than a wizard (or sorcerer with broken sorc-only splatbook spells) at upper levels, and is only mediocre (contrasted with weak for arcanists) at early levels.

Even if clerics and druids were significantly better than wizards, that doesn't make wizards underpowered. Just because one of the "high tier" classes is better than another one doesn't justify empowering the weaker (but still high tier) class.


All that said, I wouldn't mind giving a wizard inferior healing options compared to a cleric. And do remember, cleric is THE best at healing of the core classes, druid is typically paying +1 spell level for healing spells by comparison. The idea of +2 levels sounds good. I've also noticed a limited number of variants and class features to let an arcanist do healing. The one most recently that I saw was a sorcerer variant in CChampion. It let the sorcerer heal or improve deflection AC at the cost of spell levels (and loss of familiar completely). That did 1d6/spell level healing. Mind you, this was a variant class feature so it had limited availability and cost a class feature. Compare to a wizard who just researches a spell and adds it to his book to cast whenever he wants from then on. So if you don't go with +2 levels, you should aim for something that ends up slightly weaker than 1d6/spell level, I'd say.
 

Runestar

Villager
Clerics are not really overpowered because of their healing capabilities, especially considering that healing during combat is generally considered inefficient anyways. And not while wands of CLW are still standard issue anyways.;)

It is not that the wizard cannot learn healing, but that he shouldn't, since he will then step on the toes of other healers such as clerics and druids. You can let him learn them, I don't think it would break anything from a mechanical POV.
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
I do think it's a mechanical issue to let arcanists heal, as they get a lot more spells to effectively remove themselves from a fight for a little while, and at earlier levels than divine casters do. Being able at level 3+ to go invisible, walk around and heal up, then rejoin the fight with a lesser orb spell or whatever is a definite power boost, IMO.

EDIT: Even if you can argue that clerics are just as good at utilizing this tactic as a wizard would be, it remains true that you're giving the wizard a useful combat ability he didn't typically have before. So, while I don't mind letting them have healing, it should be pretty weak. Certainly worse than what a Bard can do (factoring in the slower spell level progression). It should also be worse than the self-healing powers psionics offers, which are...pretty weak.
 
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Loonook

Villager
I have to disagree completely with your starting point and conclusion. CoDzilla is no stronger, or barely stronger, than a wizard (or sorcerer with broken sorc-only splatbook spells) at upper levels, and is only mediocre (contrasted with weak for arcanists) at early levels.

Even if clerics and druids were significantly better than wizards, that doesn't make wizards underpowered. Just because one of the "high tier" classes is better than another one doesn't justify empowering the weaker (but still high tier) class.
And yet, in the area where it counts, the spells do absolutely nothing for the arcane caster . . . if Wizards can't spontaneously heal with it, it's not going to be nearly as beneficial. Sorcerers... ehh, it becomes an issue admittedly, but then again the wizards and clerics lack wildshaping, turning, a mid-size HD and 3/4 attack progression along with all sorts of nice feat selections..

When the system leans to breaking they come out even or comparable in your eye because of their benefits . . . but the granting of these things isn't really changing anything save for giving the option to a wizard to be able to use a (x)LW wand without needing a cleric or a bard around to do it or have a 'safety' spell to go to. Basic positive energy channeling shouldn't be beyond a wizard... the only reason it's 'beyond' a wizard in most cases is because people think that clerics should serve as healers.

Give a Wizard up to Critical Wounds while raising the spell level, or don't. Either way, it isn't a 'deal breaking' spell.

Slainte,

-Loonook.
 

Herzog

Adventurer
I think the real question we should be asking is: WHY does your wizard want to learn cure spells?
is it because you have no one that wants to play a cleric (or other healing type class)?
If that is the case, I would say: let him. The system depends on there being available in the party.

If the player wants it to free up the spells of the cleric: that's a different story. Although I don't agree with the uberness of the cleric, I do think some of the Cleric's abilities where added as a sweeter to being the one spending his spells on healing. Both spells AND heavy armor without spellcasting failure?
Also, when providing the wizard with healing spells, what's keeping the cleric from researching flashy wizard spells to add to his repertoire?


In any case, if you're looking for ways to make it difficult, you could also require a 'channel positive energy' feat (can be taken as a wizard bonus feat) to enable healing by arcane casters, suggesting that this feat is part of all divine classes and the bard class by default.

There are examples (Unseen Seer PrC comes to mind) where arcane casters can take divine spells and add them to their spell list (although in case of the US PrC it only applies to divination spells) so you could even build some kind of PrC around it.

But, these are all 'houserules', and if you want to keep it RAW, I think the abovementioned quote from the DMG stands: wizards and sorcerers shouldn't cast healing spells.
 
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Thanee

Villager
I think the real question we should be asking is: WHY does your wizard want to learn cure spells?
Exactly.

Besides, Wizards already have access to the most powerful healing spell in the PHB... Planar Binding. ;)

Summon Monster at higher levels is also a good healing substitute.

Bye
Thanee
 

irdeggman

Villager
There is a new magic item in the Magic Item Compendium (originally in the Eberron core rules book) that I believe is called an everlasting wand.

It is not a wand though. It allows any arcane caster to cast the spell within it once per day. It can be one of the cure spells too.

If the party is having a lack of healing try providing some of those items to help them out - or if there are any divine casters (or bards) then a few wands would help a lot.
 

Thanael

Villager
Check out the 2E Complete Book of Necromancers, esp the section on white necromancy in chapter 4.

Although white magic can be used to heal wounds and bone fractures, it is no substitute for clerical healing. White necromancy derives its healing power from a volunteer's source of life energy (often the caster's), as in empathic wound transfer. Clerical magic, in contrast, bestows healing through a combination of faith and divine authority. Short of a wish (or for a brief duration, a limited wish), wizard spells cannot "create" new hit points - the Art usually shuttles life force from a donor to recipient.

I'm not sure if the spells Empathic Wound Transfer or Wound conferral have ever been converted to 3e though.

Also i dimly remember a spell mend broken bones in the 2E SPells & Magic Player's Option books, but this was to counter critical hit effects from Combat & Tactics, i.e. dependent on that subsystem.
 
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Thanee

Villager
There is one such necromantic healing spell in the Forgotten Realms.
Healing Touch (3rd level) - heals 1d6/2 levels and you take that much damage.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Oni

Villager
I'm not convinced that healing spells would overpower a wizard simply because each healing spell you have prepared is one less SoD or chance to alter the battlefield et c. It makes you less proactive and more reactive.
 

Allegro

Villager
How about a letting the wizard research a transmutation spell that will turn a PC into a clock-work or war forged version of themselves. The new form perhaps gives a plus to will saves versus enchantments and a penalty to reflex and initiative. Then let the wizard apply repair spells as appropriate. The wizard isn’t healing flesh he is repairing a construct.
 

irdeggman

Villager
I'm not convinced that healing spells would overpower a wizard simply because each healing spell you have prepared is one less SoD or chance to alter the battlefield et c. It makes you less proactive and more reactive.

If a wizard can research a healing spell then so too could a sorcerer and then "learn" it as one of normal spells (instead of one of the published ones). This would then make a sorcerer potentially much more powerful.

So be careful with this application.
 

frankthedm

Villager
IMHO the Cleric's main balancing factor is that the party drains their spells for healing. You keep hitting the party hard enugh where thre cleric must burn virtually all his actions healing others to prevent death. If you let the parties other casters be able to take some of that burden off the cleric, you add more power to the cleric.

If done at all, I'd say let the wizard have pseudo healing spells that convert normal damage to non lethal. This way the cleric still needs to use real curative magic next round in battle, but the effect is practically doubled. Used out of combat these spell also nicely enforce some downtime.

Cauterize 0th level, short range, Stabilizes a dying creature in the most painful way imaginable.
Stitch light wounds touch 1st level 1d8+level [Max +5] damage converted to non lethal.
Stitch moderate wounds 2nd level 2d8+level [Max +10] damage converted to non lethal.
Stitch serious wounds 3rd level 3d8+level [Max +15] damage converted to non lethal.
Stitch Critical wounds 4st level 4d8+level [Max +20] damage converted to non lethal.
 

prospero63

Villager
To completely simplify, IMO a wizard who can heal is... a cleric. I've never been a fan of the "party of one" concept that has become so prevalent in 3e. Players want their character to be able to do it all. "But the barbarian can deal out so much melee damage in a hit"... "yes, and if you wanted to do that, you should have been a barbarian. Instead you are a warlock. You get to fling magic all day long. Use what you have, don't complain about what others have". At least that's my policy on it. The closest houserule I would even consider is like the 2e "take your lifeforce and give it to another" type of a spell.

This is totally my opinion though, not trying to influence anyone one way or the other. Per the RAW though, I don't see an option. With houserules... well, you can do anything you want in a house rule. :)
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
I'm not convinced that healing spells would overpower a wizard simply because each healing spell you have prepared is one less SoD or chance to alter the battlefield et c. It makes you less proactive and more reactive.
One of my main problems with it is that once it's on the spell list, you can make wands and scrolls of it to avoid this dilemma entirely.
 

Thanee

Villager
Well, the one that casts the spell does not need to be the same one that makes the item, so a Cleric and a Wizard can already make such items together (given the Cleric doesn't have the feat as well).

Bye
Thanee
 

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