Wednesday, January 3, 2018

An Amateur’s Guide to Healing like a Pro 4

An Amateur’s Guide to Healing like a Pro: Part IV

By Gerry Chartier

[Editor's Note: to catch up on previous portions of this series, click here for Part I and here for Part II]

Referral to a Specialist

The War Tourney Healer

The war tourney healer is all about cranking out combat raises, because in a field battle one rarely has time to use a slow raise.  Generally speaking, the war tourney healer is a 2-path Alchemist, 1-path Healer.  Taking all the 4th, 5th, and 6th circle slots in the Alchemy paths for Potion of Combat Raise Dead, and the 5th and 6th circle Healer slots for Combat Raise, one war tourney healer can cast 18 Combat Raises one way or another, then use 7th circle Alchemy’s Power Potion on themselves to generate another 6, for a total of 24 Combat Raises.  The 2nd and 3rd circle Alchemy slots are open for buy-downs, as are 3rd and 4th circle Healer.  I expect buy-downs for Repair Armor and Repair Item, plus Protection from Missile.  Some of the Combat Raise potion slots may be sacrificed for Enchant Armor and Armored Cloak.  Heal Limb, obviously, is retained at Healer 2nd circle.

An alternate version of this build swaps out a path of Sorcerer for the path of Healer.  A Sorcerer can get 4 Combat Raises via Familiar and a 2-pt Implement, and gets Protection from Missile and Armored Cloak innately rather than having to buy down for them.  This is a better trade-off than having only 3 Combat Raises to buy down for Armored Cloak.  This build does not innately get Heal Limb or Raise Dead, but Heal Limb can easily be bought down for (Swap out Potion of Heal Limb for it), and slow raises aren’t particularly relevant at tournaments.  

How effective is this build?  Let’s put it this way – this year’s Queen of Hearts teams were capped at 30 members.  Three such casters could get a whole team up twice, with some raises left over.

Critical Spells: Potion of Combat Raise Dead, Combat Raise Dead, Power Potion

The Quest Healer
The quest healer is quite different from the war tourney healer.  The war tourney healer has to be able to pump out bursts of fast healing.  The quest healer has more time to work – potentially all day – but must also be able to keep getting people up all day.  This means using multiplier spells and unlimited casting spells to keep the PC party going.

Builds may vary, but what is most effective for a quest healer is a 2-path Healer with Seed of Life.  Seed is slow, but it never runs out, so it’s used either when time is not a pressing factor, or when faster spells have run out.  At 6th circle, one may invest in Circle of Healing once, but Circle is a highly situational spell, whereas more Combat Raises are always useful.  5th circle will be Combat Raise twice, unless the caster decides to invest in an Armored Cloak buy-down.  4th circle is apt to be buy-downs for Raise Dead, but there’s a spell or two from other paths that might make the running.  3rd circle – Raise Dead twice.  2nd circle – obviously Heal Limb, and then probably Group Healing.  You get 2 uses of it, and it can be used to multiply a Combat Raise, so it’s worth having.

If you’re going to do a 2-path Healer build, you might as well take a 3rd path of something.  Blacksmith would make you a very effective support character.  Channeler gives some potent defensive spells, as does Sorcerer.  Shaman would give you some regeneration ability, and Necromancer plays into another potent schtick.

Critical Spells: Seed of Life

The Necromantic Collective

The Necromantic Collective is based on an exploit Animate Undead General lends itself to.  An undead general can only have three lesser undead running at any given time, but can cast Animate Lesser Undead an unlimited number of times.  The exploit there is that casting Animate Lesser Undead can also bring back a downed greater undead or undead general as if they’d just had the relevant spell cast on them.  That means an undead general can use their pool of unlimited Animate Lesser Undead spells to re-animate another undead general.  Thus, a cooperative group of undead generals can raise each other an unlimited number of times.  A not-inconsiderable fringe benefit is that undead generals can also cast unlimited re-animations on any greater or lesser undead they created via the relevant spells.

This particular exploit gets more effective as more characters get involved in the effort.  More casters in the collective means there’s more casters running around who can get you up and keep you in the collective.  If there’s a half dozen or so casters in the collective, it becomes more potent than Embrace Death – you may not be able to get yourself up independently, but odds are one of your fellow collective members will get you up within minutes.

There are a couple quirks to the collective. One is that there’s a certain musical chairs-aspect to who happens to be in charge of whom, as the last person who casts Animate-whatever on you becomes the boss of you.  There’s also the fact that conventional healing can disrupt the collective – cast some iteration of Raise Dead on an undead general, and they’re out of the collective.  Having a member of the collective with Disease Weapon who can disease all the collective members can provide a buffer against this possibility.  Doesn’t completely negate the risk, but a healer who hears you call “No Effect” to one of their raises is apt to move on rather than dumping more of their limited resources into an already-unsuccessful effort.

Critical Spells: Animate Undead General

Getting a Second Opinion

The magic system is like a box of loose Legos.  Everybody is going to build something different with it.  Not everyone is going to run a healer like one of the examples I described.  I had a single path of Healer until about a year ago, paired up with two paths of Sorcerer.  That wasn’t anything like what I’ve described above, but I contributed to keeping people up.  My point here is that there’s no right way to do it.  However you choose to do it is the right way as long as it works for you.  So, don’t worry if you didn’t max out on Potion of Combat Raise Dead, or if you took Cry of Life instead of Seed of Life.  Just get out there, restore some limbs, and get people back on their feet again.  No one is going to complain about how you raised them from the dead.  If someone does, don’t get mad.  Just let them stay dead next time!

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