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Re: (TFT) Healing spells in TFT.

Charles, I agree with much of what you say, but you seem to be mis-informed about the details of the healing spells available in GURPS Magic.

It's not limited to 3 points of damage per day. There are two main spells, Minor Healing and Major Healing. Minor heals up to 3 per _casting_. Major heals up to 8 per casting. If more than one casting is done with the same caster _and_ subject, then there is a -3 to the roll per repeat. A GURPS mage with skill 18+ in such a spell is not uncommon (and a dedicated healer could specialize and get a much higher skill), so -3 means success of 15 or less, which is almost as trivially easy as the first try. The two spells are treated differently for purposes of the casting limits. Therefore, you're talking about 11 points per character per day, easily (even for a relatively low skill level). More like 22 per character per day assuming a good skill level, without adding much risk at all. Probably more like 33 per character per day with a little risk or a little more skill involved. Now suppose there are two healer-mages available, and all the values double. That is, a strong group might heal 66 per day on someone without much risk. Also, there is no apparent delay in the effect, so this might be done during combat...

With these considerations, I'd say GM's would do well to consider some limits.

The GURPS magic system is pretty neat, but it's extremely powerful - GM's are well-advised to not assume without due consideration that everything is available without limits as written in the book.

At 05:13 PM 9/5/03 -0700, Charles Gadda wrote:
I did not comprehend the objection with GURPS healing - my understanding is
that it only heals up to 3 points per DAY (maximum). That is hardly
excessive, and certainly nowhere near approaches the situation one finds
with D&D. Given an HT (in GURPS) of, say, 12, this is only 25% of ones total
"hit points" - contrast with D&D where a single Cure Light Wounds can heal a
d8 of damage, which is upwards of 80% of a 1st level fighter's max hit
points (sans constitution bonus); and this may be administered multiple
times! The two are not comparable at all.

Interestingly, my biggest objection to not having a Healing spell has
nothing to do with the points discussed. Rather it is the inherent,
fundamentally violent illogic of magical healing not existing in the first
place. Consider:
1. TFT assumes a magical gameworld (admittedly one can disregard Wizard and
play a non-magic world, but this extreme case is not being considered here)
2. Wizards with alchemy talent can make healing potions.
3. Wizards with alchemy talent may also make Youth potions, which
essentially "heal" aging.
4. Powerful wizards may use a Cleansing spell to cure disease (actually by
killing the microorganism, but the specifics need not concern us here)
5. Even more powerful wizards may actually ***raise the dead***

So let me see if I understand: we have a magical universe in which all of
the above is possible, and yet we cannot manage even a simple Healing
spell?!?!!?!?!? That's easily the STUPIDEST thing I've ever heard! (well,
not really, but you have to admit its pretty silly on the face of it). This
internal consistency hole is so huge and glaring one could sail a Kuwaiti
oil tanker through it!

It's a magic system, so like all speculative fiction, it's not hard to make up whatever explanations to get what you want. Disease doesn't necessarily involve microorganisms in a fantasy/medieval world. Reversing aging with magic doesn't necessarily imply that the wizard understands it on a modern medical level, or even that aging works the same way that modern medicine thinks it does. The dead-raising magic in TFT either results in a zombie, or someone with -5 attributes and ST 1 - I don't think I'd necessarily volunteer for their first shots at a wound-healing spell.

Note too that Advanced Wizard does have a healthy section on inventing new spells, with heavy emphasis on the GM carefully considering the effects such a new spell would have. It's perfectly reasonable to add a healing spell, but this leaves it up to GM to decide what abilities it would have, which can and will have a very large effect on the campaign. Exactly what we're seeing here - players can make their own healing spells to fit their own tastes.

So, yes, healing spells ***MUST*** exist - if they don't, then the GM is on
a pretty sharp meat-hook to provide a convincing explanation as to why this
is the case. And while that may be possible, one would have to go through
some serious gyrations to make something even mildly plausible that does not
make you look like an idiot. But why go through the unnecessary bother?

I don't think it's very hard to explain, if that's what you want to do. E.g. for your points above:
1) Yeah, there's magic.
2) Yes, alchemists and physickers can make healing potions. They take a lot of time, effort, equipment and ingredients, and have fairly modest and well-balanced effects. It it takes so much effort to make (and keep unbroken) such potions, naturally it must be even harder to try to generate something instantly out of sheer force of will, no? 3) Youth potions are even more massively expensive/difficult to create, if I recall correctly. Each dose is a major treasure. Whether the effect has anything to do with healing, or understanding of science-like principles about how to do something, I strongly doubt. Magic tends to be more about arcane secrets, calling on dark powers, etc., especially in the Advanced Wizard magic system, where a few unrelated spells can be learned based on IQ level and devotion of a fraction of your intellect to each spell. 4) The cleansing spell is also quite primitive and demonstrates a lack of ability to heal injury by magic, as it actually causes damage as it purges disease. So a trick has been learned to boil the blood or drive out evil spirits or whatever - I don't see that implying a way to re-attach severed muscles, arteries and nerves correctly. 5) Revival is very powerful but it also does permanent damage and leaves the victim completely injured - I don't see how it implies the ability to conjure up first aid. It probably has more to do with spirits than with healing flesh, it seems to me.

However I don't think healing spells shouldn't exist in a TFT world. I just think the GM should carefully consider their balance and what effects they will have, and give them the abilities that match what they want. In my case, I had tons of fun with TFT without feeling a need for any healing spells, so I don't think they're really necessary, though.

The principle objection seems to be one of out of control healing, but there
are plenty of sensible ways to restrict healing and keep it in line (max
amount healed, fST cost, and uses per day). Draconian prohibitions are
wholly illogical and unnecessary. The worries about diminished risk strike
me as overblown, as well - right along with the alleged "benefits" to
gameplay of eliminating healing spells.

Sure. The limit you thought GURPS had, of 3 points per day per victim is probably a reasonable limit. The actual GURPS Magic limit of more like 11-66 per healer per victim per day (even during combat) are a bit overmuch, for my usual tastes, anyway.


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