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Calming Touch and Cure Wounds

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#1 r_b_bergstrom



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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:23 AM

Are these two spells the annoying source of trouble that I suspect they are going to be? (Context: I'm already pretty annoyed at the natural healing, long-term care, and first aid rules.)

Calming Touch is a Rank 1 Shallya blessing for 4 favour that heals a wound or recovers a critical of severity 3 or less (which is most of them) for 2+ successes.

Cure Wounds is a Rank 2 Shallya blessing for 6 favour that heals a bunch of wounds, and can sometimes cure a critical if you roll a large number of boons.

These two spells seem kinda broken to me. The problem isn't really "the PCs start every fight with zero wounds", as I'm mostly okay with that. The problem I have with it is all the time spent rolling, rerolling, currying favour so you can roll again, etc, in an attempt to get the correct number of successes or boons to fix a character who'se been really badly hurt.

Most of the healing (or crit-healing, or disease/insanity/mutation curing) spells have some sort of limitation. They don't recharge till sunrise, and/or they say something like "May only attempt this blessing once per disease", and/or they have pretty dire chaos-star lines. The high-end healing-ish spells all seem pretty well balanced and reigned in, but these low-rank ones just encourage you roll again and again until you succeed by mathematical brute force.

Has this proven to be a problem in most people's campaigns? What solutions, if any, have people found for it? 


EDIT: Does the Shallya POD include any alternatives that might alleviate this problem? Or any that make it worse? I haven't ordered that one yet.

#2 Emirikol


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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:41 PM

Always remember:  Once per day per type of healing.  That means that ONE calming touch and ONE cure wounds per day per character.

Also, I think that any party with a priest of shallya deserves to be blessed.  It's not like those priests can do anything else :)  Being a priest of shallya is a pretty sucky job.  I would overwhelm the character with important NPCs asking favors and such all dang day long so that their occurence of Chaos stars is increased with potential bad outcomes story-wise.

It's actually a good chance for you to look at all the shallya cards, and target situations that would get the player to diversify the cards.  Wounds are NO-THANG' compared to insanities, CORRUPTION,diseases and conditions otherwise.    I would target the odd-action cards and look at the situations that would prompt them and get the character to diversify.


I don't have the shallya POD, but I'm planning on getting it pretty soon.  I can fill you in then. 




#3 dvang



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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:37 AM

I agree with Emirikol.  Kudos to a player who plays a Shallyan priest(ess). As well, there is the restriction of once per act per 'wound' mentioned above.

I would potentially use a house rule that says, in a non-stress environment (outside of combat with plenty of time) a failure attempting the blessing heals one wound.  This prevents continuous attempts at succeeding, but allows a slight positive effect. Alternately, you could house rule that it is one ATTEMPT per act per wound, although that is harsher.

Personally, I love Shallyan priest(esses). If I ever manage to be a player in a game, I'd likely play one. They might not have the combat ability, but they are beloved everywhere they go, and make great social characters.

#4 r_b_bergstrom



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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:13 AM

Emirikol said:

Always remember:  Once per day per type of healing.  That means that ONE calming touch and ONE cure wounds per day per character

Does it say that in the rules? If so, on what page? I found where it says that Healing Draughts are once per day, but nothing about healing Actions.

I don't actually have a Shallyan in my group, by the way. We're just passed the point in The Enemy Within where the PCs are spending the night at the Welcome Rest Inn. Next door is a leper colony run by Shallyan Nuns. The scenario notes say the nuns have First Aid and Medicine, but the overnight rest, long-term care, and healing rules are frankly kinda clunky. I'd have to make two different rolls for NPCs to determine how many bonus dice they get to add to the roll the PC then makes.

Roll 3 blue, 1 white, and 2 purple. Determine variable X based on number of successes. Roll 3 blue and 2 purple. Determine variable Y based on pass/fail and number of boons. Then roll PCs Resilience + Toughness + X white + Y yellow + either 1 or 2 purple depending on whether or not the medicine roll passed. Those three extra die rolls per PC will only add about 2 wounds worth of healing total, and that just doesn't seem worth it for all that time and effort. I cannot adequately express my frustration at that clunky and time-consuming mechanic.

That's when I started wondering if it weren't just gonna be easier to have the nuns invoke a blessing. Which lead (eventually) to me noticing that there were no limits on the cards for the two lowest-level healing spells, but there were anti-spam limitations on the higher-level spells.

I tried to house-rule and limit healing to once per day (much like you suggest) and also get rid of the triple-layered long-term-care rules, but quickly found that was going to have ripple effects with various actions and character options.

For example, my party includes a Bright Wizard, who currently has a critical wound and would love to cast Cauterize repeatedly, but is reigned in by that spell's special recharge rules (it recharges during each rally step and at the end of each encounter). They need a Comet to actually heal the critical wound via that spell, so it could take a lot of castings to get the desired effect. A success is just "ignore the critical wound's effects till the end of the Act."   If I slap down a "Max once per Day" limit on Cauterize, then that's pretty much rendering that spell pointless.

To be clear: I'm okay with the PCs recovering all or nearly all their wounds over night, or even between most encounters. What I'm not keen on is rolling again and again to do it. My players are new to the game still, so assembling and then interpretting a die pool takes a lot longer than desired.




#5 dvang



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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:04 AM

I could have sworn it was in the FAQ, but I don't see it.  I can only think, then, that it was either in Jay Little's video seminar or was an official response from FFG posted in the forums that never made it into an updated FAQ.

It is as Emirikol said, though. One healing per source/type per Act per 'wound' (or hit if you'd like).

Ex: Bob the Trollslayer suffers a single hit which causes 8 wounds.

He drinks a healing draught which heals 2 wounds. He then can receive a healing blessing from a local priest healing 4 more wounds. Lastly, he is able to rest and naturally recover the remaining 2 wounds.

Bob could NOT drink two healing draughts. Bob could not receive two healing blessings, even if from different priests. Etc. Unless, of course, Bob receives another hit that causes more damage, in which case the limits are 'reset'.

Also notice that I did not say "once per day".  I said "once per Act", and there is a difference between those most of the time.

You bring up Cauterize. First, keep in mind that a Bright Wizard is not a healer. Cauterize is not intended as a long-term healing solution. It is intended as a short-term fix until proper medical attention can be given.  The best way to cure Criticals is either with a priest(ess) of Shallya, or overnight healing with medical attention.  So, no, Cauterize should NOT be expected to be able to cure a critical wound. That said, being able to ignore the effects of a critical wound can be very important on the spur of the moment. As I said, it is intended to be used, while the PCs are in the thick of things, as a short-term effect until the wound can get properly looked at. It is not meant as a vehicle to actually HEAL the critical. The spell is not pointless. You are just expecting results from it different than what it is intended for.

For example, the group is in the middle of a fight and the Trollslayer, who might be the group's only real fighter, takes a critical that blinds him (or otherwise severely hampers his ability to fight).  The Bright Wizard (keep in mind a BW is *not* a healer) is able to Cauterize the Trollslayer to allow the Trollslayer to continue fighting without applying the penalty he just received.

Once the battle is over, the Slayer will still need medical attention for the Critical Wound, but it was extremely useful (even potentially party-saving) that he was able to ignore the effects of the Critical that he suffered while he was fighting.

All of that said, as the GM you can decide how you want to handle things. Personally, I use the restrictions stated above.  However, when healing is performed in out-of-combat situations, I generally assume a minimum of 1 success and/or 1 wound healed.  This means that there is no "fail", therefore no reroll is required.  If the roll "fails", a minimum is healed and the PC will simply need to attempt healing the next act if they want more… which could be the next hour, day, etc. depending on the story. This prevents multiple rolling until a 'success' happens.

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