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 Post subject: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:29 pm 
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http://celynbrum.tumblr.com/post/142955 ... -moment-to

Discuss.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:31 pm 
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In my games, there has always been the underlying pushback to taking things for granted. Mostly to the annoyance of the players when the old guy at the temple actually expects you to act in accordance with his religious beliefs before healing or going through a ritual. But the simple fact is that positive energy is dangerous. The plane it comes from is the second most hostile to human life. It is the raw energy of life. The bastion of broken souls mentioned that not even the gods have dominance over it, and whether that is something brought about by them in their wisdom or enforced by a higher power is left unsaid. The stuff is dangerous and here you are using it for cuts and to keep your skin from scarring.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:31 am 
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I don't buy it. If it were arcane magic, sure, but I really don't think it's thematically appropriate for divine magic to have this sort of effect. It's restoring to wholeness what has been lessened, not just prompting a rapid growth of cells.

As for emotional scars, I take it as a basic assumption that the PCs heroic stature gives them a special resistance to typical horrors of battle. We have those insanity rules for when you'd rather have a bunch of broken men and women.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:42 am 
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Even Jesus used it sparingly. I think that says a lot about what it does to someone's sense of consequence.

And in every edition before 5e, it was clearly positive energy, and not just 'curing'.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:44 am 
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Jesus did it sparingly because there weren't a whole lot of freshly injured people walking about. He wasn't going on adventures. He (as well as the Apostles) did plenty of disease healings and exorcisms though. I would not draw conclusions from a lack of verses about him healing fresh wounds.

Whether it's positive energy or just "healing" isn't relevant to my point. My point is that this being an almost exclusively divine ability (bards having healing is an interesting throwback to when they used to come from druids) means it shouldn't be thought of as behaving in the same way as just pumping someone full of raw magic and hoping for the best. To me, divine magic has always had a sort of safety and 'refinement' to it that arcane magic lacks: the trade-off being arcane magic is far more versatile.

FURTHERMORE, it is made clear time and again in D&D, across multiple editions, that wounds sustained in combat by PCs are relatively minor. Only stuff that leaves you below 0 hit points does things like disemboweling, and the PC then tends to fall unconscious almost immediately after.

If one WANTS to run healing magic differently, that's their prerogative of course, but I see absolutely no reason to view it in the sense of this tumblr post by default. Especially not things like numbness or massive hunks of scar tissue.

That being said, again, if you're channeling positive energy without the protective medium of divine spellcasting, sure, absolutely, have fun with the body horrors. I'd kind of expect it really. Does anyone recall the positive energy elder evil who turns everything into undying aberrations? Maybe not quite that far but that's not off the table. But that's not how divine spellcasting ought to be seen.

As an aside, this strikes me as one more example of how people simply don't like heroic gaming anymore. Everything must be gritty and tragic.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:59 pm 
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I don't know that heroics and easy healing go hand in hand. Superheroes, for instance, are often denied immediate healing of their injuries, and they manage to be high heroism/high fantasy type stories. The chivalry of King Arthur and his knights didn't entail a lot of magic healing, yet they set the standard for heroic fantasy in myth.

Things are often just how you look at them. Divine spellcasting can be a noble venture, indentured servitude, or something intricate and full of nuance, plots and rituals. Or it can just be a class choice that allows you to push 1d8+caster level into your injured friends. I don't think the added layers of flavor are what prevents high fantasy/heroic fantasy.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:09 pm 
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No, but turning the heroes into broken shells of men for deconstruction's own sake does prevent the high fantasy feel.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:15 pm 
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Does taking magic for granted ever improve or allow the high fantasy feel though? Because that's what I feel the deconstruction is in response to. DnD is one of the most egregious in allowing those who possess magic to operate in the world with almost no restrictions whatsoever. Consider the betrayal of the Circle of Eight, where the keystone action was destroying all of the backup clones the Circle had.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:26 am 
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Kain Darkwind wrote:
Does taking magic for granted ever improve or allow the high fantasy feel though? Because that's what I feel the deconstruction is in response to. DnD is one of the most egregious in allowing those who possess magic to operate in the world with almost no restrictions whatsoever. Consider the betrayal of the Circle of Eight, where the keystone action was destroying all of the backup clones the Circle had.

That is a very good question: especially considering not a single fantasy setting I am familiar with aside from D&D games themselves has the kind of access and ease of use of magic that D&D games have.

I would consider the effects of divine healing magic as a distinct issue from how available magic is in general, though.

And again, based on what hit points and losing them actually represents for PCs, the Tumblr post is significantly overstating the sorts of injuries PCs are getting restored from. IF the PC was having a life-threatening organ-crunching injury healed and IF the source was something other than typical divine magic THEN I would consider existential angst-ridden side-effects. If we're talking life-threatening injuries that are healed by typical divine magic I'd probably throw in some scars and call it a day. Scars when you're dropped to 0 hit points seems fair. Especially if you're a beautiful but vain wizard of noble blood.

And if the PCs want to start angsting on their own...well as a DM I'd be slightly annoyed.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Healing: Help or Horror?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:36 am 
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If hp is non-serious damage, what does loss of hp from acid and lava entail? Someone who just isn't really harmed by the lava?


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