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Whack-a-mole

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  • Whack-a-mole

    I our last session, my players faced off against an Ogre. When he eventually dropped one of the party members to zero hit points, the mage promptly healed that character, so the Ogre dropped him again, etc... This Ogre wasn't particularly smart so he didn't go for the mage, but could have. How do people deal with this "whack-a-mole" situation?

    I've seen house rules for injuries, which I like since it comes from the computer game. Does that help? I could always got for a knock-out, mages can't heal that (hehe).

    I recognize this isn't a new problem in Dragon Age RPG, just looking for a DA take on the issue.

  • #2
    Re: Whack-a-mole

    They're out of the fight unless they get Revival. Heal IMO just keeps people alive/stabilized.

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    • #3
      Re: Whack-a-mole

      I don't actually find any evidence healing can't pop someone up again. The only one that seems likely to do so, however, is magic (the others are either more limited, or seem hard to administer to an unconscious target during a fight like potions), so the simple answer would be that intelligent opponents at least would respond by turning their attention to the mage.

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      • #4
        Re: Whack-a-mole

        Originally posted by Darkdreamer View Post
        I don't actually find any evidence healing can't pop someone up again. The only one that seems likely to do so, however, is magic (the others are either more limited, or seem hard to administer to an unconscious target during a fight like potions), so the simple answer would be that intelligent opponents at least would respond by turning their attention to the mage.
        I don't think there's evidence that it cannot in the GR book. But Heal didn't work that way in the video game, and there would be no point to the Spirit Healer spells. I'd say, because there is the SH line and Regeneration, that you should go by what the spell says it can do, rather than not do what it cannot.

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        • #5
          Re: Whack-a-mole

          By RAW it would seem that healing of any kind bring the character out of "dying" state and rules don't provide anything that would describe "not dying nor unconscious but still unable to fight" situation.
          This is problematic on at least two levels, however. First of all, the whack-a-mole situation - but I consider it a minor problem. It's much worse with breathers. Going by RAW, the party should desperately keep the last enemy alive until the downed character receives healing - since if he is healed above 0 hp before combat encounter ends, he'll get to benefit from his breather (and that's substantial health recovery) while if the enemy unfortunately dies too soon, the downed person - despite receiving exactly the same aid at exactly the same time - will not be eligible for the breather...

          Trying to find the spirit of the rules rather than going by the letter, I think the best approach would be to consider a downed character as permanently removed from combat. Healing (magical or not) stops the death timer, but doesn't restore any hp until either the combat encounter ends, or the person in question gets brought on her feet by some dedicated means (like revival). Revival would also allow for benefiting from breather even if cast after combat encounter ended.
          The details may differ depending on preferences (healing might immediately restore hp but not combat capability; breather should then be dependent on whether the character was brought to 0 hp at any moment of the encounter), but the main idea is: if you're downed, you need a spirit healer to get back to fight, otherwise you watch the rest of the encounter from the floor. It may be harsh and may make some encounters considerably higher risk (if you get downed quickly, you stay down and the rest has to make do without your help), but it resolves whack-a-mole and breather problems. And, also, it makes dying rules more meaningful - now intelligent enemies don't really have any reason to waste time on finishing off dying enemies. When anybody can bring downed character back to fight, it may make some sense for enemies to spend this extra effort to prevent such an occurance. If, however, it requites a rare mage specialization? Well, most enemies will, most likely, leave incapacitated foes alone. There's a fight to win, after all, and if a downed character ceases to be a threat for the rest off the battle - why bother? There's little incentive to go after such target.

          PS:
          Going by how dying is described, I'd say that a dying character CAN benefit from a potion. Dying character is NOT unconscious. PC in this state still has enough control to speak, so - in my opinion- if someone comes and helps with a potion, drinking it should definitely be possible.
          Last edited by eliastion; 11th July 2015, 12:38 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Whack-a-mole

            Thanks for the feedback. I hadn't considered a taking characters out of the fight completely, and I'd completely forgotten the Revival spell from DA:O.

            I might want to figure out some rules for bringing back a downed character, something annoyingly heroic (e.g., maybe allow a Con check if someone tries to rouse them). Interesting that Revival doesn't mention anything about bringing a character back into the fight.

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            • #7
              Re: Whack-a-mole

              Originally posted by mmacvicar View Post
              Thanks for the feedback. I hadn't considered a taking characters out of the fight completely, and I'd completely forgotten the Revival spell from DA:O.

              I might want to figure out some rules for bringing back a downed character, something annoyingly heroic (e.g., maybe allow a Con check if someone tries to rouse them). Interesting that Revival doesn't mention anything about bringing a character back into the fight.
              Frankly, I think they just assumed that hp>0 mean back in the fight. But, as I mentioned, this creates some problems.

              Still, Revival, while not being so special by RAW, remains a really strong healing spell. Used on downed character of, say, 2 Constitution and mage sporting 6 Magic (nothing abnormal normal by journeyman specialization level), it's a whopping 18 hp healed in one casting - that's the maximum amount you can get with full-power Heal (3d6 with 3 sixes rolled). It ends up being a little bit cheaper and about twice as action efficient (per hp healed) as single-target basic heal. Though, obviously, it's very situational, working only on dying people. It's a nice thing to have, but nothing to write home about (or spend spell choices if you had a choice). Making it the only spell capable to restore fallen companion to combat would make it much more worthwhile and boost Spirit Healer to TWO cool levels and only one meh

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Whack-a-mole

                Originally posted by eliastion View Post
                Frankly, I think they just assumed that hp>0 mean back in the fight. But, as I mentioned, this creates some problems.

                Still, Revival, while not being so special by RAW, remains a really strong healing spell. Used on downed character of, say, 2 Constitution and mage sporting 6 Magic (nothing abnormal normal by journeyman specialization level), it's a whopping 18 hp healed in one casting - that's the maximum amount you can get with full-power Heal (3d6 with 3 sixes rolled). It ends up being a little bit cheaper and about twice as action efficient (per hp healed) as single-target basic heal. Though, obviously, it's very situational, working only on dying people. It's a nice thing to have, but nothing to write home about (or spend spell choices if you had a choice). Making it the only spell capable to restore fallen companion to combat would make it much more worthwhile and boost Spirit Healer to TWO cool levels and only one meh
                It's not that much better. Heal heals 3.5 HP/MP, Revive heals 3.6 HP/MP, only with a higher max possible HP. It is more action efficient, but not enough to justify an additional minor action, 7 levels, 2 talents, a dying character, and 2 chances at a magical mishap.

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                • #9
                  Re: Whack-a-mole

                  Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                  It's not that much better. Heal heals 3.5 HP/MP, Revive heals 3.6 HP/MP, only with a higher max possible HP. It is more action efficient, but not enough to justify an additional minor action, 7 levels, 2 talents, a dying character, and 2 chances at a magical mishap.
                  Wait, what? What additional minor action, what two chances of magical mishap, what? Spirit Healer is going to fight in Summoning mode either way, even if he never uses any spec spell other than group heal. And saying that all his 7 levels are there just to get to revival is quite ridiculous, unless your point is the rather obvious "revival is not a spell somebody will build his whole character around". As I said, by RAW it's a situational spell that's nice to have, but nothing that will change your life. Still, since it's mandatory just for completing the Spirit Healer spec, you are going to have it (unless it's your second spec or you decide to give up on having two, since RAW doesn't allow leaving spec half-finished and taking up another). And while you already have access... I find it hard to believe that anyone having a choice between Heal and Revival to bring downed companion back to fight would choose the former. Group Heal could be an alternative (if other people need quick healing too) but not Heal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Whack-a-mole

                    Originally posted by eliastion View Post
                    Wait, what? What additional minor action, what two chances of magical mishap, what? Spirit Healer is going to fight in Summoning mode either way, even if he never uses any spec spell other than group heal.
                    You need to enter Spirit Mode. That's a minor action. You'll probably be in Spirit Mode, but it's still a minor action that needs to be taken. Both entering Spirit Mode, and casting Revival can fail, causing a mishap.

                    And saying that all his 7 levels are there just to get to revival is quite ridiculous, unless your point is the rather obvious "revival is not a spell somebody will build his whole character around". As I said, by RAW it's a situational spell that's nice to have, but nothing that will change your life.
                    What's ridiculous? You have to be level 8 to cast Revival. You can cast Heal at 1. Heal has lower requirements all around. It should be a weaker spell. Instead, it's a similar spell with much greater utility.

                    Still, since it's mandatory just for completing the Spirit Healer spec, you are going to have it (unless it's your second spec or you decide to give up on having two, since RAW doesn't allow leaving spec half-finished and taking up another). And while you already have access... I find it hard to believe that anyone having a choice between Heal and Revival to bring downed companion back to fight would choose the former. Group Heal could be an alternative (if other people need quick healing too) but not Heal.
                    That's the rub, if you have it, you're better off using Revival instead of Heal. Key word: if. You're better off not finishing the specialization, and getting a useful spell and not letting your party die in the first place.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Whack-a-mole

                      Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                      You need to enter Spirit Mode. That's a minor action. You'll probably be in Spirit Mode, but it's still a minor action that needs to be taken. Both entering Spirit Mode, and casting Revival can fail, causing a mishap.
                      But including that minor action and mishap chance as part of Revival isn't fair since the situation where Spirit Healer is in situation where he wants to use Revival and isn't in Summoning mode already seems very artificial.

                      What's ridiculous? You have to be level 8 to cast Revival. You can cast Heal at 1. Heal has lower requirements all around. It should be a weaker spell. Instead, it's a similar spell with much greater utility.
                      Revival, when first acquired, has about twice the healing power of Heal - and then it continues to scale. It's not similar spell, it's much stronger - or rather it would be if it were not so situational. Either way though, it's a moot point since the spells are never in opposition - you don't choose Revival, you simply get it for leveling the Spirit Healer. It's just a neat little trick you pick up on the way. What it does is very limited, but it's definitely viable in that narrow area it's simply the best spell out there, hands down.
                      Contrast Aura of Might - that's a spell requiring specialization (but not given as part of it, you still have to pick it up separately), gives bonus inferior to both <elemental> weapons and that (unlike these spells) can't be extended and doesn't affect other party members. Now that is a problem of useless spell. Revival, despite its shortcomings, remains the go-to spell when it comes to raising fallen comrades for any journeyman or higher Spirit Healer.

                      That's the rub, if you have it, you're better off using Revival instead of Heal. Key word: if. You're better off not finishing the specialization, and getting a useful spell and not letting your party die in the first place.
                      Yeah. Still, unless Spirit Healer is your second spec, you have to finish it or stick to having only one specialization. That may be the problem with Spirit Healer that has one thing going for it and it's on novice level (master level spell is also pretty meh - maybe if it could be cast a couple hours in advance it would have its place, but the way it is it's almost useless). But it's the spec's problem, not the spell's.
                      It's not a spell you take instead of heal - or instead of anything else for that matter. You either have revival (and then it's a good spell when applicable) or you don't and then it doesn't matter how weak or powerful it is. It might not even be a spell, but "if you are in Summoning mode you can cast a special version of Heal on dying character, it heals 10+target's CON+your MAG hp instead of normal amount, costs 5 mana, has TN of 14 and can lead to magical mishap" specialization power. Comparing it to normal spells that you choose to add to your repertoire just doesn't serve much purpose.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Whack-a-mole

                        Originally posted by eliastion View Post
                        But including that minor action and mishap chance as part of Revival isn't fair since the situation where Spirit Healer is in situation where he wants to use Revival and isn't in Summoning mode already seems very artificial.
                        Why? I'm looking at costs. What does it take to cost Revival? Two actions, 5 MP. The seperate minor action does matter because Heal is available to any mage. The chance to mishap does matter because Heal doesn't have those.


                        Revival, when first acquired, has about twice the healing power of Heal - and then it continues to scale. It's not similar spell, it's much stronger - or rather it would be if it were not so situational. Either way though, it's a moot point since the spells are never in opposition - you don't choose Revival, you simply get it for leveling the Spirit Healer. It's just a neat little trick you pick up on the way. What it does is very limited, but it's definitely viable in that narrow area it's simply the best spell out there, hands down.
                        It has about twice the power, but it also has about twice the cost, and it doesn't really scale up much more - CON isn't picked up very much, and MAG doesn't go much past 6. So you have 3.5 efficiency for Heal, and a 3.6ish for Revival.


                        Yeah. Still, unless Spirit Healer is your second spec, you have to finish it or stick to having only one specialization. That may be the problem with Spirit Healer that has one thing going for it and it's on novice level (master level spell is also pretty meh - maybe if it could be cast a couple hours in advance it would have its place, but the way it is it's almost useless). But it's the spec's problem, not the spell's.
                        Why? You get one specialization at 6, and you get the second at 14. You don't have to finish the first to get the second, so you just get additional talents instead.

                        It's not a spell you take instead of heal - or instead of anything else for that matter. You either have revival (and then it's a good spell when applicable) or you don't and then it doesn't matter how weak or powerful it is. It might not even be a spell, but "if you are in Summoning mode you can cast a special version of Heal on dying character, it heals 10+target's CON+your MAG hp instead of normal amount, costs 5 mana, has TN of 14 and can lead to magical mishap" specialization power. Comparing it to normal spells that you choose to add to your repertoire just doesn't serve much purpose.
                        of course comparing serves a purpose. You think to yourself, I can either be a Spirit Healer, and this this and this, or choice B. If the GM allows Heal to revive, then there is no reason to be a Spirit Healer past Novice - Revive may be better, but the utility cost is too high.

                        And again, looking at DA:O - Heal did not revive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Whack-a-mole

                          Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                          Why? I'm looking at costs. What does it take to cost Revival? Two actions, 5 MP. The seperate minor action does matter because Heal is available to any mage. The chance to mishap does matter because Heal doesn't have those.
                          It doesn't take the minor action because you're almost always in the right mode already. It's like including minor action in melee attack cost because you need to draw your weapon. Yes you do, but that generally happens a t the beginning of the fight and you don't need to bother with that anymore. You wouldn't really bother with including minor action required to draw weapon when comparing sword attack to unarmed attack, right?

                          It has about twice the power, but it also has about twice the cost, and it doesn't really scale up much more - CON isn't picked up very much, and MAG doesn't go much past 6. So you have 3.5 efficiency for Heal, and a 3.6ish for Revival.
                          And how often does per-mp efficiency really matter when a heal is needed during the combat? It's the burst healing that matters.

                          Why? You get one specialization at 6, and you get the second at 14. You don't have to finish the first to get the second, so you just get additional talents instead.
                          I looked it up and apparently you're right - I'm not sure whether it was changed in the compiled book of it was always like that, but apparently you can take second specialization at level 14 even without finishing the first one.

                          of course comparing serves a purpose. You think to yourself, I can either be a Spirit Healer, and this this and this, or choice B. If the GM allows Heal to revive, then there is no reason to be a Spirit Healer past Novice - Revive may be better, but the utility cost is too high.
                          Well, in that case you should compare it to various Talents rather than spells. And, well, I'd consider it specialization problem rather than spell problem either way - just a 1-level specialization, really... Though frankly, Spirit Healer isn't even the worst case of specializations requiring some tweaking... Even among ones for the mage alone, there is Keeper that is mostly a joke and Force Mage has one very situational spell on journeyman level with novice and master levels doing nothing...
                          ...but I guess that's not something to talk about in this thread.

                          And again, looking at DA:O - Heal did not revive.
                          Well, that's one of these things deeply rooted in how DA:O combat looked. There were also mana quickly recovering out of combat, stamina (mana for non-mages), no danger of dying from being knocked out as long as the battle ended in your favor... (dis)similarities to DA:O can hardly be considered binding.
                          In DA:O fallen people were completely immune to Heal and non-magical healing, after all...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Whack-a-mole

                            Originally posted by eliastion View Post
                            It doesn't take the minor action because you're almost always in the right mode already. It's like including minor action in melee attack cost because you need to draw your weapon. Yes you do, but that generally happens a t the beginning of the fight and you don't need to bother with that anymore. You wouldn't really bother with including minor action required to draw weapon when comparing sword attack to unarmed attack, right?
                            If you are comparing total costs, then yeah, I would factor the minor action to draw a weapon. Just that a weapon is tons better than unarmed. Revive isn't.

                            And how often does per-mp efficiency really matter when a heal is needed during the combat? It's the burst healing that matters.
                            And how often does dying happen? Lolz


                            I looked it up and apparently you're right - I'm not sure whether it was changed in the compiled book of it was always like that, but apparently you can take second specialization at level 14 even without finishing the first one.
                            It was always like that. Set 3 always referred to level 14 as the second specialization, which makes for weirdness if you couldn't finish your first, but wanted to.

                            Well, in that case you should compare it to various Talents rather than spells. And, well, I'd consider it specialization problem rather than spell problem either way - just a 1-level specialization, really... Though frankly, Spirit Healer isn't even the worst case of specializations requiring some tweaking... Even among ones for the mage alone, there is Keeper that is mostly a joke and Force Mage has one very situational spell on journeyman level with novice and master levels doing nothing...
                            ...but I guess that's not something to talk about in this thread.
                            But this one is easily fixable. Heal stabilizes, but doesn't Revive.


                            Well, that's one of these things deeply rooted in how DA:O combat looked. There were also mana quickly recovering out of combat, stamina (mana for non-mages), no danger of dying from being knocked out as long as the battle ended in your favor... (dis)similarities to DA:O can hardly be considered binding.
                            In DA:O fallen people were completely immune to Heal and non-magical healing, after all...
                            hardly binding, but thrown in with everything else, I'd say the evidence leads to Heal not reviving characters.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Whack-a-mole

                              Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                              If you are comparing total costs, then yeah, I would factor the minor action to draw a weapon. Just that a weapon is tons better than unarmed. Revive isn't.
                              (...)
                              And how often does dying happen? Lolz
                              And how does it matter since Revive and Heal are only ever considered an alternative when the mage has both and is in situation where he could use both - not when it comes to choosing spells?...

                              But this one is easily fixable. Heal stabilizes, but doesn't Revive.
                              No, it doesn't solve the problem, at the very best it pushes it down the road - master is still not worth it. Not that taking away reviving from heal (one way or another) is a bad idea, as I already mentioned, but it is not a fix for the problem the Spirit Healer has. A highly desirable master level could make a difference (making less than impressive journeyman into a stem on the way to master) but simply buffing journeyman doesn't work the same.

                              hardly binding, but thrown in with everything else, I'd say the evidence leads to Heal not reviving characters.
                              Well, we're in a disagreement here. RAW it's pretty obvious that heal "revives". There is no "stabilized" status or anything other like that. You're at 0hp and dying (and can't do anything other than talking) or above that and not dying. Heal or healing action or anything other of the sort gives you hp back and the very Revive spell contains no additional effects other than giving hp back. Basically, there is nothing suggesting that someone who was dying but received healing isn't back in action.
                              It is definitely a sensible houserule to change that, but a houserule nonetheless.

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