Sunday, January 23, 2011

Healing in RPG's

I am starting to prep for the finish of my game groups modified 4th Edition D&D Tear of Ioun adventure. It is kind of hard to get back into the flow of 4e after playing and running Savage Worlds for the past couple of months.

One of the issues I had in planning encounters for the current party is trying to create encounters that are challenging enough for a party that can heal pretty much all damage to itself at least once over (if not more). Access to healing, especially magical healing, is one part of D&D that really hurts the game for me. I think that this access to healing actually bled over into our Savage Worlds game as our party seems unusually able to heal all damage to the party. That is not something I have seen in previous SW games.

I am working my way through all of the adventures and material available for the 3rd edition in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP), and thinking (way) back to when I played first edition. In WFRP it seems like from the very first time you have an encounter you are wounded to some degree. There just isn't enough healing to fully heal an entire party. In the third edition of the game players not only have to face standard wounds but also critical wounds, disease, fatigue, stress and other corruptions and mutations. Some of these can be healed, and some of these cannot be healed. It is a dangerous world, and WFRP is a game that captures that danger and helps you to feel that getting smacked with a sword, no matter how solid your armor, is going to hurt. I like the fact that if you have some healing droughts (potions) you can only use one per day. All of this adds up to a party that needs to pick the right fights, build up and develop not just strength but skill, and over all leads to a better game experience.

I am considering what I can do in the wrap up to the Tears 4e game to make combat a bit more dangerous. The obvious choice is to simply create an environment where I can kill the Cleric quickly, but I would prefer to do something more subtle. Will be spending some time with the various monster guides hoping to come up with something clever.

My gaming group tends to fight first and talk later. It is access to healing that makes it this way I think. There is no consequence for just jumping into the fight. We have D&D to thank for that. As I re-read the WFRP material, mostly because of the release of the new Guides, I am reminded why it is my favorite RPG setting. I am also reminded why 3rd edition is my favorite, if you fight the wrong fight you will be dead.

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