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View Full Version : Healing Effect, experiences?



danelsan
09-23-2014, 06:33 AM
I have very rarely seen the Healing effect used in my games, but now I have a player who plans to have a high rank of it for their character and I wanna be prepared. So, what have been your experiences with this powers? Is it balanced? The cost-benefit ratio is ok? Does it take away too much from the tension of combat?

It is looking like it might be too hard to challenge the group if an effective healer is present. In particular, this player is looking to make a Move Action, Selective Area version so that they can heal the entire group most rounds and still contribute offensively with their Standard Action to blast at range, which seems like it might be too much. He is looking at a rank 15 Healing, which guarantees at least one condition cured and easily goes to two, most rounds, for multiple members of the group at once.

I have had some issues with high ranks of Regeneration before, which I solved by balancing it with a higher cost and a "Virtual defensive PL modifer" in that the high regen character was required to be under his caps on defense to compensate. This healer, however, would affect the entire group and It doesn't feel fair to force everyone to lower their defenses.

Also, not the case I have in my hands, but out of curiosity: anyone ever dealt with a case of Reaction Healing, automatically attempting to cure as soon as damage happens? If so, how it affect the game?

Goldar
09-23-2014, 06:58 AM
Not sure if it makes any difference, but what type of healing are you referring to/does your character have? Mystical healing like that of Doc Strange or the Enchantress or a mutant power to heal ability or more like Angel's healing blood that heals anyone if they receive it as a transfusion or self-healers like Hulk, Beast, Wolverine and Wonder Man?

badpenny
09-23-2014, 07:01 AM
Well, first off: don't allow it if you think it's going to be disruptive. Having to take a Standard action at least removes that character from attacking that round, and Selective Area anything is always something watch out for. If you're aware of the impact of Regeneration, and have both increased the cost and factored it into PL trade-offs, I d believe you already have your answer.

I have a character who has Healing, but it's Empathic. It's also a Standard action, and a single person. Most GMs don't have an issue with the power.

Reaction Healing is expensive, and especially without a Source Flaw, it pretty much makes a character unstoppable.

IMO, players take these extremes (Regen 10, tons of Healing) because they want to win. And that's just contrary to good roleplaying.

Batgirl III
09-23-2014, 07:09 AM
I've never had any trouble with it. The key is to come up with ways to challenge or threaten the heroes other than direct damage. Healing doesn't effect all conditions, I don't care what the book says, a Cure Serious Wounds spell doesn't untie the bolas wrapped around your feet.

It certainly doesn't tell you where the Conundrum has hidden the nuclear bomb.

Rev. Pee Kitty
09-23-2014, 03:43 PM
In the last game I played in (as opposed to running), one character was Healing-focused. He had Reaction Selective Area Healing 10 . . . which, weirdly enough, wasn't all that broken, because it was in an array and he usually ended up using one of the more powerful (but not Reaction) abilities in his array.

The one that saw the most use was his Energizing Healing. If anything unbalanced the game, it was that, because it basically meant we could use Extra Effort far more often. It's not that being Fatigued or even Exhausted is all that bad -- it's that you can only do it three times before passing out. When you have an Energizing healer nearby, that's far less of a restriction.

Of course, that said, I think the game ended up being fair because it just upgraded the types of enemies we could face. The GM just bumped the power level of our challenges a bit.

badpenny
09-23-2014, 04:23 PM
When you use the Energizing Extra, you take on the Fatigue condition of those you heal and you cannot use Healing to remove them from yourself--and this means from your own uses of Extra Effort.

rwknoll
09-23-2014, 04:38 PM
One of my players uses it. One thing I didn't understand until I read the RAW more closely is that you actually need an "attack" roll to make contact with a target, unless you upgrade it to Perception Ranged. So, that extra cost helps keep it from being too powerful. The GM can also get around it with the Incurable modifier on damage effects, unless they have the Persistent modifier.

badpenny
09-23-2014, 04:41 PM
That's only true if you're Healing someone against their will.

rwknoll
09-23-2014, 04:42 PM
That's only true if you're Healing someone against their will.

Referring to Healing with the Ranged modifier:


Ranged: Ranged Healing requires an attack check to “touch” the subject with the Healing effect. The GM may waive the check for a willing subject holding completely still, but the subject is defenseless that round, making it an unwise decision in the midst of combat. +1 cost per rank.

badpenny
09-23-2014, 05:36 PM
You don't need an attack roll, nor does the recipient have to become Defenseless, if you use the power at close range.

rwknoll
09-23-2014, 05:37 PM
I know, and I'm fine with that. My player in particular wanted to be able to do this at Range without the roll, which is why he just paid the extra points to make it Perception Ranged.

Ysariel
09-24-2014, 03:12 AM
A move action, area burst, selective attack heal will make it very unlikely for the player characters to be defeated with Damage if it is used every round, and if you have issues with Regeneration you are likely to have issues with Reaction Healing.

In situations like this, with a power that is potentially abusive, my response is always "You can have it, but if it turns out to be problematic, you'll be asked to change or remove the power."

I trust my players completely. Anyone who needed a GM to police them all the time would never get into my games in the first place, so I don't want to treat my players as if they might be disruptive or unfair. Besides, I don't want to preemptively say 'no' to everything. Often, whether something is abusive or not depends on the attitude of the player. I would rather wait until it has been demonstrated that something is problematic in practice before taking action.

Nite_Owl
09-24-2014, 07:57 AM
I largely agree With Batgirl, it's impressive but it's not a problem -just something that requires you to vary the challenges you present for the group. However, I would refuse the Move Action part. The character should have to choose between contributing defensively or offensively, particularly when the power is that strong.

Besides, powers that affect others are almost never bought below Standard Action and it seems incongruous. I assume you wouldn't allow a Move Action Blast or Dazed/Compelled/Controlled Affliction.

kariggi
09-24-2014, 09:26 AM
It can be a pain but its true the game gives GMs a lot of tools, the character I foolishly allowed to have Variable:Immunity at a stupidly high level ended up unhappy when I told him being Immune to a stone wall doesn't let you walk through it when I've buried you beneath it, you just didn't take any damage conditions.

...and I have allowed non-selective area afflictions bought to sustained, which isn't too different after the initial action to set it up, and it hasn't been an issue in game.

Rev. Pee Kitty
09-24-2014, 02:47 PM
When you use the Energizing Extra, you take on the Fatigue condition of those you heal and you cannot use Healing to remove them from yourself--and this means from your own uses of Extra Effort.

Fully aware of that -- but we've run into situations where one of us could use Extra Effort in a particularly potent way, and in such a case it was very nice that the healer could basically "lend fatigue" to that person.

rlwr
09-25-2014, 07:16 PM
Fully aware of that -- but we've run into situations where one of us could use Extra Effort in a particularly potent way, and in such a case it was very nice that the healer could basically "lend fatigue" to that person.

with no intent to derail that caught my interest cause to extrapolate the particularly potent?

Rev. Pee Kitty
09-25-2014, 07:52 PM
with no intent to derail that caught my interest cause to extrapolate the particularly potent?

I don't think it's a full derailment if we keep this to a quick tangent. :)

The GM quite reasonably takes issue with players using extra effort to stunt a "perfect foil" to the villain. In other words, no getting fatigued and saying, "I stunt an AE of Nullify (whatever this villain's power source is)!" or some such. Well, there was one fight in which our demigoddess (of the boundary between life and death) had 100% justification in stunting a perfect counter -- the details are a long story, but trust that even the GM had to agree. She was already at 0 HP, so the healer was the reason she got to try three times before finally succeeding and winning the fight.

Another time, we were trying to capture an insubstantial foe, and my Mind Control was the most logical attack, but her Will save was too high unless I used extra effort. Since I was the only one who could really affect the foe, I used extra effort until I was exhausted, then the healer exhausted himself fixing me so I could keep trying. On the fourth (and final) attempt, she finally blew her Will check and we (temporarily) won. If the healer hadn't been there to turn my two attempts into four, we would've had to let her escape.

So that's what I mean. I'm not saying it's super common for the fight to hang on one person's extra effort, but when it does happen, an energizing healer willing to exhaust himself for the team can be a pretty great thing to have in your corner.

Batgirl III
09-26-2014, 07:29 AM
But the empathic, self-sacrificial healer is not exactly an alien-element in the genre. It is a potent power, but it's not game-breaking if the GM remembers to use other challenges.

Healing, summoning, insubstantial, teleport, and variable are the five powers that I always advise GMs new to M&M to keep under close scrutiny... But mostly because of the "dungeon bypass" nature of them. If new GMs are too used to thinking of adventure design in as a series of escalating combats and set-piece locations, they're going to have a rough time in the superhero genre.

badpenny
09-26-2014, 08:14 AM
I don't agree that any particular power is problematic--it's the player who chooses abusive options and the GM who won't rein the player in.

Even something as simple as Move-By Action can be abused by attacking and then always moving to safety (often behind cover).

A player will soon reveal him-/her-self by repeatedly pursuing these options. Some GMs eschew these powers from the beginning because they don't want to open themselves to the possibility of their abuse. But that's kind of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Healing is less of an issue than high ranks of Regen is because of the Standard action required for its use. And I don't even think Regen is necessary since 3e has such quick recovery times and the addition of the Recovery action! When everyone recovers from a GSW in a matter of minutes, who doesn't have regeneration? :p

Ysariel
09-26-2014, 08:21 AM
I don't agree that any particular power is problematic--it's the player who chooses abusive options and the GM who won't rein the player in.

This is the most sensible thing that has been said in this thread.

easl
09-26-2014, 11:52 AM
The GM quite reasonably takes issue with players using extra effort to stunt a "perfect foil" to the villain. In other words, no getting fatigued and saying, "I stunt an AE of Nullify (whatever this villain's power source is)!" or some such. Well, there was one fight in which our demigoddess (of the boundary between life and death) had 100% justification in stunting a perfect counter -- the details are a long story, but trust that even the GM had to agree. She was already at 0 HP, so the healer was the reason she got to try three times before finally succeeding and winning the fight.

Another time, we were trying to capture an insubstantial foe, and my Mind Control was the most logical attack, but her Will save was too high unless I used extra effort. Since I was the only one who could really affect the foe, I used extra effort until I was exhausted, then the healer exhausted himself fixing me so I could keep trying. On the fourth (and final) attempt, she finally blew her Will check and we (temporarily) won. If the healer hadn't been there to turn my two attempts into four, we would've had to let her escape.

Those both sound like pretty fun end-of-story fights to me. Throw in a major henchmen for the other PCs to take on, and give the antagonist some escape power if you (the GM) really need them to survive, and you're good to go.
Is it really that disruptive if two PCs, operating as a team against one bad guy, take 4-5 rounds to take them out? That sounds like a fairly well-balanced combat scene to me.

Rev. Pee Kitty
09-27-2014, 12:59 PM
They were fun, yes. And I didn't say that it was a disruptive combo or that it made the game less fun. All I said was that it was a potent power in that it had a definitely effect on game balance, in that extra effort suddenly became a far more attractive option.

It's like having a potent luck controller in your group. Suddenly, everyone has more Luck, everyone has extra HP, etc. Is it broken or disruptive? No. But it does affect game balance.

Darkdreamer
09-28-2014, 10:07 PM
They were fun, yes. And I didn't say that it was a disruptive combo or that it made the game less fun. All I said was that it was a potent power in that it had a definitely effect on game balance, in that extra effort suddenly became a far more attractive option.

It's like having a potent luck controller in your group. Suddenly, everyone has more Luck, everyone has extra HP, etc. Is it broken or disruptive? No. But it does affect game balance.

And, of course, it can turn the PL calculation into some degree of a lie depending on how its applied.