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Re: (TFT) Healing Spells - how has TFT philosophy changed with these?

Rick, it occurs to me that we actually had a bit of the healing your system provides, without magic. That is, when feasible, we often had fairly large parties with many NPC comrades, mercenaries or people induced into joining for a share of the loot, and a wagon/cart or two. When some people got wounded, they'd ride in the wagon to heal up, and the group was always assessing the condition of the men and rotating the healthiest into the front lines while the worst healed and the moderately wounded would avoid being up front, etc. Having some fighters out of action for a while made sense, provided consequences for combat risks, created interesting situations and choices, and caused the cast of active characters to be mixed up.

Clearly different people like different styles of play regarding healing.

Now, even though people here aren't generally advocating instant unlimited healing, I think it's important to consider the effects of such. I think some problems with D&D-or-CRPG-style healing, where people can heal up completely between battles with little/no cost, include:

* It makes combat consequences all-or-nothing - there are fewer considerations over whether to fight or not based on attrition. The players' decisions around whom they attack will tend to boil down to whether they can win, only. No more great concern for being injured and needing to rest to heal, nor for being injured and so the next fights getting more and more dangerous. Which makes it all much more all-or-nothing, and little for players to worry about besides actual death.

* Therefore the bar of acceptable risk is higher, and the cost of mis-estimating is more likely to be PC death. This gets closer to the territory of "not interesting because no real risk" or "upsetting because we died", since there is no possible outcome of "oh crud we got all butchered and now we have to hide and heal" (unless they lose their means of healing).

* If healing is very fast, then the world has little time to react to PC attacks, which removes an interesting and natural balance to the world situation. For example, if players need to heal up for several days, that gives their adversaries several days to heal, regroup, bring in reinforcements, retreat, make new plans, etc. If they can magically heal in a short time, then that kind of development has much less time.

* A challenging target becomes only as challenging as any one encounter between healing up. This means a group of players who can beat any one situation starts to be able to overpower much larger targets, even over a short time scale.


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