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    Canonfire :: View topic - Availability of Healing Potions
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    Availability of Healing Potions
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 01, 2004
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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:23 pm  
    Availability of Healing Potions

    Hello Everyone,

    My players party must now rely on potions of healing now that the party cleric (or more appropriately, the player who used to play the cleric but has now left the group) has fallen from grace, so to speak. I truly do not reilish the idea of every encounter ending with a stockpile of potions of healing or some such items. Sad Unfortunately, until I find a player who is willing to play a Cleric or Paladin, I am unsure of what to do. I have always felt that potions of healing were a great boon to players, but were at the least uncommon in the World of Greyhawk.

    How available are potions of healing in your campaign? I find the idea of a church or wizard stockpiling them...silly Confused How available are potions of healing in your campaign? Are they easily bought from a church? A store? A guild? Do all your monsters have at least one in their lairs? I would appreciate your opinions on this sensative issue. Wink

    I Miss the Wild Coast,
    Dwarf from Nyrond
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:35 pm  
    Re: Availability of Healing Potions

    DwarffromNyrond wrote:
    Hello Everyone,

    My players party must now rely on potions of healing now that the party cleric (or more appropriately, the player who used to play the cleric but has now left the group) has fallen from grace, so to speak. I truly do not reilish the idea of every encounter ending with a stockpile of potions of healing or some such items. Sad Unfortunately, until I find a player who is willing to play a Cleric or Paladin, I am unsure of what to do. I have always felt that potions of healing were a great boon to players, but were at the least uncommon in the World of Greyhawk.

    How available are potions of healing in your campaign? I find the idea of a church or wizard stockpiling them...silly Confused How available are potions of healing in your campaign? Are they easily bought from a church? A store? A guild? Do all your monsters have at least one in their lairs? I would appreciate your opinions on this sensative issue. Wink

    I Miss the Wild Coast,
    Dwarf from Nyrond


    It's a shame you weren't able to work things out with your problem player.

    Most players don't like being seen as valued only as the "medic" for the group. I've played clerics in the past, and it can be beneficial to play them if you choose the right god and do it right. But that's neither here nor there.

    Our group also does not have a cleric, has not for some time. Our GM usually finds a way for a few healing potions to fall into our hands before we go to do something very dangerous, or we can seek to buy them (expensive). Once we've used up the potions, that's it--we're on our own. This isn't necessarily a bad thing: it means the players will have to think about what they are doing and not rush blindly into things.

    Some may get hurt. Some may even die. It will make your game more dangerous. And it may convince a player to play a cleric.

    If worse comes to worst you can create a GMPC cleric to occasionally be on hand to heal the party--but don't over use it, or the players will come to rely on it, and the tension of the adventure will disappear.

    Theala
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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:46 pm  
    Reliance on outside forces

    Heya Theala,

    Wow, talk about a quick reply Smile I too wish things could have been worked out, but right now I'm getting "The Silent Treatment." This is silly b/c the chap didn't even try and talk to me or ask how he could atone. Obviously I was being unfair, cruel and singleling him out Shocked Cool I have no problem with a potion here or there, but I am concerned they will always expect it. There are ways around that though. As for the npc cleric, that is most certainly an option as all of the players have their own gods. Once an adventure they may find a fitting church or temple where their reputation preceeds them and the good works they do Wink

    On a side note, the player in question is, in my opinion, a nice guy. I think that if he were able, he would do anything for people, but b/c of his...seclusion, he isn't the social butterflies we all are Wink But then again, he is a rules monkey something fierce. He is playing in a werewolf game and I've been hearing that he is already trying to maximize eveything and turning every encounter and situation into a long drawn out rules affair (sigh), but I digress.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:12 pm  

    I tend to make healing potions a little more avaiable than other potions, but not much. Along the line of GMPC/NPC, your players might be ready for henchmen. Perhaps a survivor in Gannaway. I hope things work out with your friend.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:33 pm  
    Thanks

    Heya Wolfsire,

    Thanks, I appreciate that. Cool To be honest, I never thought of having a henchman from Gannaway. That's actually a very awesome idea! That's brilliant, but I won't admit it in public Wink The bard is working on a "love interest" in Gannaway and maybe....

    I Miss the Wild Coast,
    Dwarf from Nyrond

    PS- but do the temples and churches in your Greyhawk campaign stock up on stuff like this? If so, how much do they charge per potion?
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:25 pm  

    How about treating your group to healing pools,puddles wells, springs, mists/fogs, magic symbols/runes, puzzles/traps, intelligent goodly creatures, dripping stalagtites, and other goofy ojects-healing turds or posionous insects which heal you at a certian cost:lol:
    I always treasured my potions of healing and used them only in an emergency or before battle. You never know when you might need one.
    I also would hate to lose that feeling of excitement of finding one after a hard fought difficult encounter.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:30 pm  

    Well, the pc's will just have to start PAYING somebody for potions of healing(imagine that!). Most temples should have such potions, though they might only sell off healing potions of 3rd level power (such as cure serious wounds ) and lower. If playing 1e/2e then allow for both healing and extra-healing, though I'd limit the amount of extra-healing potions made available. Healing is a valuable commodity, and clerics have the monopoly on it.

    Putting in healing pools, puddles, wells, springs, mists/fogs, magic symbols/runes, etc. is a sure way to further the idea that healing can just be taken for granted and that clerics really are just those guys who stand in the back and heal the real adventurers, and that clerics are not worth playing(which is a load o' turds).

    Let the pc's suffer a bit when their character gets hacked down without a healer nearby. They will suddenly be coughing up cash for healing potions every time before they go on an adventure. They may have to think a bit about actually being prepared for the adventure then with regards to healing themselves.

    Getting hold of healing potions shouldn't be too big of a deal(though the pc's will hae to PAY for them), and more importantly, it enhances the importance of the cleric's "fall from grace". It is suddenly much more of a big deal. There is always the case of the pc's being in the middle of no where and without much access to healing. This should just make things that much more "edgy".

    In any event, do what you want to. There are some ideas here, but it is your campaign in the end. I myself would not reward a player's lack of enthusiasm, imagination, or whatever by simply making easily available what the player's pc has lost for the entuire group due to their actions. There should be consequences, and sometimes they are felt by all of the pc's due to the actions of just one of the pc's. Tha is just the way things fall into place sometimes.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:32 pm  
    Re: Reliance on outside forces

    DwarffromNyrond wrote:
    Heya Theala,

    Wow, talk about a quick reply Smile I too wish things could have been worked out, but right now I'm getting "The Silent Treatment." This is silly b/c the chap didn't even try and talk to me or ask how he could atone. Obviously I was being unfair, cruel and singleling him out Shocked Cool I have no problem with a potion here or there, but I am concerned they will always expect it. There are ways around that though. As for the npc cleric, that is most certainly an option as all of the players have their own gods. Once an adventure they may find a fitting church or temple where their reputation preceeds them and the good works they do Wink

    On a side note, the player in question is, in my opinion, a nice guy. I think that if he were able, he would do anything for people, but b/c of his...seclusion, he isn't the social butterflies we all are Wink But then again, he is a rules monkey something fierce. He is playing in a werewolf game and I've been hearing that he is already trying to maximize eveything and turning every encounter and situation into a long drawn out rules affair (sigh), but I digress.


    I've had similar problems with my GM, who is a dear, dear friend. But sometimes we don't see eye to eye, and he's hurt my feelings. Sometimes I was the one in the wrong and being unreasonable. We've always been able to work things out. Sometimes that doesn't happen, and players end up leaving the group. When I was the full time GM I sometimes had to ask players to leave my group because of disruptive behavior. It happens, and it doesn't always mean the person is not a nice person in other respects.

    I suspect your player is a game mechanic because it gives him a sense of control and power he lacks in his real life. This is inappropriate behavior. Hopefully he'll come around. If you like him otherwise, and feel comfortable inviting him back, let him know the door is still open, and leave the ball in his court. Either he returns under your rules, or he doesn't. It's up to him.

    Until then, a GMPC cleric would probably be a good idea. To keep the players from overly relying on him, I would suggest a quid pro quo approach on the part of the cleric: "I provide healing services, you help me perform tasks that my church has set me, no questions asked, and you get a share of any treasure beyond what the church wants out of the mission." It gives you automatic adventure hooks, provides some healing availability, and the players learn nothing in life is free Happy

    Theala
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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:10 pm  

    When I run p&p, I don't generally have a wide availability of healing potions. They occur as drops and the players can find them ot buy if they really want need to. But I do not run a combat heavy campaign and do have characters (bards, clerics, etc) with spell healing.

    In my NWN based campaign, the temples do sell curatives, partly because combat is more chaotic and uncontrolled and partly because the healing characters are not always around when adventures occur. Players hate using them, though, because they are fairly expensive relative to my skinflinty rewards....
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:35 pm  

    I've had this in campaigns before. (No cleric or druid or what not.) And I usually resolve it by placing more healing as treasure. However, I always subtract it from the overall value of the general treasure. If the players do start taking the time to stock up on other healing supplies, I generally allow it to the limit of their purses. The real issues appear with higher level cures that can't be easily stored as potions, and that can be crucial in the middle of battles and modules.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:00 pm  

    You need to sit down and think through what genre you are trying to convey as a DM, and what genre the players want to play in.

    If you are aiming at a setting that is "realistic" or "gritty", the lack of a healer should be fealt strongly, and you need make no special amends. If a party is without healing, so be it. They may actually have to run from encounters! They may have to use up time healing naturally. There may be times when they are way out in the wilderness with no way to get back easily and need healing - they will have to hunker down and hope for the best, or drop as much as they can and run back to town.

    On the other hand, if you and they are going for "high fantasy", then healing should be available SOMEHOW. This genre calls for players to start every adventure series, and sometimes every encounter, "at full". In this genre, things happen because the action needs to be kept going - if the party can't heal, how are they going to act heroic in the next encounter?

    It really depends on where you are trying to go with the campaign, and what the players expect. In a Living Greyhawk campaign, you "know" that you have to have "party balance" to complete a module, that the monsters thrown at you reflect party level, that healing of some sort will be available to prepare you for what lies ahead, that if you have to face a medusa or cockatrice or basilisk that SOMEWHERE in the complex there must be a scroll or potion of stone to flesh...it is one kind of fantasy logic. This kind of campaign is focused on the excitement of combat, and it is a drag not to be able to enter combat because people are unhealed.

    On the other hand, if you and your group like to pass sessions roleplaying about avoiding and paying taxes, talking to NPC's, scouring a town for henchmen, or otherwise realistic but non-combat activities, then you should adopt a more realistic approach.

    I don't know 3rd edition, but in 2nd, a NPC with herbalism and healing NPC can make a big difference if the party is allowed some down time. A week of complete rest can get back 21 points without counting Con bonus, which is good enough at low and mid levels.

    What are the characters doing? If they are adventuring to help people, there should be some gratitude. If they are getting rid of bandits and orcs and other menaces to the community, then the local townsfolk, churches, and lord should be greatful, and should make healing available. If the party is more motivated by treasure, and killing monsters for their loot, well then some of that loot should go into buying potions.

    I like the idea of an NPC cleric accompanying the party, as it has good roleplaying and adventure hook potential. However, such an NPC should be of lower level than the party, so that it is clear that he or she is there to heal, not to save the party or fight on their behalf. Such a lower level NPC probably will not have enough spells to go around, so I would suggest he or she be equipped with some sort of healing staff. These staves have a limit of curing spells per day PER PERSON, so everyone in the party can get a boost, instead of just one person per spell. Obviously the church lending such a device will have to trust the party, so a few missions performed on their behalf up front are in order.

    Let me close with a personal anecdote. Once my party was off in the wilderness when we finally got to our adventure locale. The first encounter was brutal, and ended with a PC dead and the others severely wounded. The cleric was not of high enough level to raise dead. We knew of one in the closest city that could - but also knew that we would have to get the PC body back in less than a week. None of the PC's were in any condition to travel, we could not have sustained a wandering monster encounter. In the two or three days it would take us to heal up, the dead PC would be too far gone to raise by the time we returned him to the city.

    Faced with the choice of sitting tight and having one surely dead PC or trying to return him in time and having the chance that a wandering encounter could turn into TPK, we finally decided to sacrifice the dead PC for the good of the party. The PC's player agreed that it was not fun, but was the most reasonable course of action. This decision was based on our genre of play and what we could expect from the DM. If we had been playing "high fantasy", we could have expected the DM to fudge the rolls on the way back to town to make sure we got there. But we were playing a more serious campaign, and knew the DM would make the rolls for real - not merciless, not cruel, but "fair". So we found a hiding spot, hunkered down, and healed up. When we completed the adventure, we donated a large share of the treasure to the church of the town to pay for a very fancy tomb inside the cathedral for the fallen PC, and buried him with his magic items. It was the best tribute we could think of for his sacrifice. Occasionally his spirit (as an NPC) still makes contact with the party cleric and offers us advice.
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:18 am  

    DwarffromNyrond: “PS- but do the temples and churches in your Greyhawk campaign stock up on stuff like this? If so, how much do they charge per potion?”

    I don’t have the DMG before me, but I would use the treasure list value as a base, adjusting it for the circumstances. IMC just about every temple and church as at least a small stock, but that does not mean they will necessarily sell it or sell it at the list price. Consider such factors as the nature of the Church’s deity (healing diety?), the size of the church (lg/sm), the diety of the buyer (conflict?), the buyer/party’s relationship with the church (good standing?) and the like. Perhaps the church would only sell after a short quest, or exchange magic items.

    Kirt, mentioned healing healing herbs. I typically do this when there is no cleric/druid. There are probably several netbooks on this subject. There is one here: http://www.dndresources.com/index.php/files/c124/?startnum=21. I usually try to keep it fairly simple and fairly weak, like d4 hp heal/day, or double daily recuperation.

    If you want to go with a henchman, but do not want to make it too easy with a cleric, then perhaps a ranger or some other type with herbalist skill.

    Theala_Sildorian: “I suspect your player is a game mechanic because it gives him a sense of control and power he lacks in his real life.”

    Maybe he should be a DM. Wink
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:02 pm  

    Again, these are all very good suggestions. Players who have done very good works for a given power or locale (such as the City of Greyhawk or the elves of the Vesve forest, for example) then almost certainly those groups will provide healing to a party that's been a valuable ally. Apart from the simple adage of one good turn deserving another, those groups also know that the heroes can't do much good if they're all dead or in no shape to fight. So the free donation, or at least sale at reduced rates, of healing spells and potions are a great way to repay any goodwill the players have earned.

    Also, any number of churches can and probably do produce potions of healing for sale to adventurers, or will perform healing-for-hire to those who make appropriate donations. You should, of course, take into account the reputations of the players, and the churches doing the healing.

    A fighter who has no divine magic of his own, but has been a beacon of Pholtus's blinding light and an example to others of his faith can probably count on Pholtine clerics healing him up either at 50% of the normal spellcasting costs, or even free of charge if he's on an important mission for the church. A fighter coming in off the streets, with the clerics not knowing him, could probably get away with paying the normal costs, although that would only apply for the first one or two times. After that, he's going to have to convert if he hopes to get any more healing. A fighter worshipping St. Cuthbert, of course, will get a cold shoulder, if he isn't attacked outright.

    PCs who are famous heroes, of noble rank, or what have you can probably get healing from Zilchus or another god of trade and commerce...provided they pay a very hefty price for doing so. Clerics of Ralishaz, Norebo, or other gods of gambling, luck and chance might heal PCs who beat them at games of chance, since the god is obviously favoring them. Priests of Rao will probably heal anyone and everyone who asks for it, but only those who are truly in need, or on a mission of critical importance, will get to the front of the line, as most Raoans are probably going to save their energies for the poor and sick.

    Clerics of Nerull or Incabulos who have temples in a non-evil city like Greyhawk, Niole Dra or Irongate will not be inclined to heal sterling heroes of good, though less morally inclined characters who are doing jobs for important powers like governments, powerful organizations, or the temples themselves will probably be healed. Given that these temples only appeal to the more decadent/twisted members of a population, players going to these temples are probably in for more trouble than the healing's worth.

    Some priests might refuse to heal demi-humans ("Sorry, we only heal people in here, pixie"), members of disliked states (a Greyhawker could be refused healing in Dyvers, a Nyrondese could be refused healing in Urnst, etc.) or alien religions. Some few religions, like Fharlanghn, will probably heal any stranger who stops in, provided they give a small donation, some extra food, sharing some information on travel conditions with the clerics, and just small talk in general.

    As for making healing potions directly for purchase: some clerics (such as Rao, for example) probably do this all the time to raise funds for their charitable work. If you look at the 1E DMG's guide on the various herbs and plants and their reputed medical uses, you can see how healing potions can be produced with commonly available herbs and a little magic, and still be sold for (relatively) low prices, but still reap fine profits.

    Of course, you have the final say in all this. Mix and match all of these suggestions as you see fit, depending on the needs of your plotline, your characters, etc.
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    Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:20 pm  

    I've been playing lately rather than DMing and we too have this no cleric problem. Rather than load up on potions like everyone else, I took a new approach with my rogue character. The Use Magic Device skill in 3.5 or its equivalent in 2.0 is useful in that you can use Curative Wands quite easily, granted your skill in UMD is high enough. So now my rogue is quite handy in a pinch as a backup healer. Wands hold more than potion bottles and are easily toted around.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:04 am  

    I like Wolfsire's suggestions, using this as an opportunity to encourage the PC to court the favor of churches, or even druids. In Masters of the Wild, druids have herbal concoctions (?sp) called Infusions. You consume them, and they're basically the equivalent ot healing potions. In addition to druids being much more scarce than clerics, I see 2 advantages to steering the party toward druids:

    1) The motives of a druid might create morale dilemas for your party, especially if you stick with the original idea of druids being true Neutral and a force for Balance. The Old Faith is certainly this way, so even if you allow good and evil druids into your campaign, you can force the party to deal with members of the Old Faith. You can work some great plot-hooks and intrigues into the party's need for some healing. This would be most effective away from large cities.

    2) Because infusions are only listed in one source, you might get a lot less flack from any rules-lawyers if you tweak them a bit. Maybe they don't heal as many hp, or they heal effectively but they have a side-effect (like making you Sickened, Dizzy, etc. for a couple of hours).

    This would also keep the party feeling the pain of not having a cleric, but also giving them options so they don't feel screwed. Wink
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:57 am  
    major good idea

    Basiliv,

    That is an excellent idea. If the party seeks out someone, they can come across a druid. Herbal concoctions that have side effects? Brilliant!
    Thank you for your help. Smile Cool

    I Miss the Wild Coast,
    Dwarf from Nyrond
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    Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:35 pm  

    Thanks! Glad I could help. Smile
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    Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:09 pm  
    Re: Availability of Healing Potions

    DwarffromNyrond wrote:
    How available are potions of healing in your campaign? I find the idea of a church or wizard stockpiling them...silly Confused


    Note, my answer relies upon 3rd edition rules.

    Very available. Most small shrines are likely to have, if not a couple of potions of cure light wounds, a couple of scrolls of the same.

    The players in my game, however, are far more likely to commission the creation of wands of cure light wounds, which the clerics are happy to create for them for the appropriate fee. There's something to be said for powerful adventurers who need your church to stay around!

    With paladins, rangers, clerics, druids, bards and possibly rogues able to use the wands, they make up for the lack of a cleric in the party. This, I feel, is a good thing. Of course, on those occasions when a more important clerical magic is needed (e.g. restoration), then things can get serious.

    I would far rather have an enjoyable heroic campaign rather than one where the PCs are afraid to get into combat.

    I think it is unbelievable that churches would not have a small stock of healing magical items in case of emergencies. You're not going to find hundreds of potions in the same place, but you should find some.

    Cheers!
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    Merric Blackman
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    Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:51 pm  
    selling

    Heya Merric B,

    I am sorry, I have failed to communicate my perspective correctly. Embarassed In general terms, I have no problem with players seeking the aid of a church or temple and buying potions of healing. Cool My problem is with Greyhawk and it's many wars. I would suspect that there is a concerted war effort going on to help the major forces of Nyrond, Furyondy, Veluna, etc. Why would a church sell precious magical curatives to a bunch of wandering rubbish like adventurers? Wink Now granted, that's where charisma comes into play (and negotiation, diplomacy, intimidate, all of the above). I just figure that with all this magic freely floating around, the common peasant would have no worries. Shocked

    That leads into something else; Mastercrafting a weapon. I would think that to do so, a weaponsmith would have to be the top of his game. If he is, wouldn't he be in the service of the nobility? Now obviously there are retired folks who are masters, but if we go "by-the-book," a city of 10,000 should have something like 200 suits of mithril armor being made!!! Maybe I did my math wrong, but that's waaaaay to much. Mithril?!? That used to be an incredibly cherished item, but now with munchkin 3.5v......I'm sorry, I digress.

    I Miss the Wild Coast,
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    Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:16 pm  

    It depends a lot on how you envision your society "medieval" :"low tech modern", etc. But in general, elite craftsmen are not sitting around waiting for commissions from passersby. Some would be part of someone's household or an organization, others would simply be in great demand. Given a choice between a commission from some wanderer or a commission from a local powerbroker, the craftsman is almost always gonna go with the powerbroker. Money is always nice, but status/influence is generally better.

    Players should have access to such craftsmen, particularly when they are the hero of the hour. But they shouldn't be treated as commodities, nor should every town (much less smaller communities) have an assortment of them.

    For healing potions, magical items, and other works of superior (and limited) skill, it is important to remember that the NPC demand swamps that of the few adventurers. Even if you have every priest be a spellcaster (cleric, adept, whatever), which I do not, the supply of healing won't keep up with the community needs. Potions and even scrolls would be even more limited, since only some of the priests would have the relevant feats. "Scribe Scroll" follows from the religious duties of most faiths, but "Brew Potion" is rather more of a stretch. The average pastoral priest has neither the time, inclination, or laboratory facilities to mess around with such things.


    When I give players access to readily available magical goods, including healing, I generally make that a story element (ie they earned it, know the NPC directly, and know its an unusual situation). If magical healing is avaialable at the drop of a few coins to the PCs, its avialable like that to many many NPCs. And that would have a lot of knock on effects on the rest of society.


    Edit: As for the mithral, its not being worked in that quantity because the material is rare in the extreme. Though the DMG recommendations on a lot of things are poorly conceived as a model for economics. They are entirely focused on a certain kind of game play balance only.
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    Sun May 01, 2005 5:13 am  
    Hello

    I have enjoyed this thread immensely, and the variety to the thought that has been put into each answer.

    Dwarf, each of the suggestions above has merit, and I think Vormaerins point is well taken that the DMG does not have much in the way of solid economics. But neither do your players. Even if one is currently the chair of economics at a college somewhere... they only know what you tell them about the world, even Greyhawk.

    Something that I don't think has been touched on is variations over time. If the characters are going into Geoff (we play in Gran March), they have access to healing potions, as the type of game I have planned will kill'em all. All they know is that it is a cause supported by the Cleric of Merrika(long story) and they are free with the potions.

    However, when they go for a little privateering in the Dim Forest, seeking plunder (though they claim it is to rid the area of whatever infestation), the suspense is higher, combat rarer, and in many cases deadlier as they have no healing.

    On occasion I have placed them in political adventures where there was no combat to speak of, and healing wasn't necessary. But a glass of poisoned wine sure made them long for a cleric. (As an asside, i have changed Neutralize Poison and Cure Disease, so that they are an additional save... the spell grants an additional Save... Caster Level+Ability Mod+D20 vs. the Poison/Disease DC).

    I also adjusted the rarity of Diamonds, so that bringing someone back to life was significantly more difficult. Actually the party has had to quest after diamonds, in order to raise a fallen member. But ask yourself, after the Greyhawk Wars, and IMC, the Invasion of the Giants, how many diamonds do you think are lying about?

    So, IMC, all of the answers above are correct. The players, even in heavy roleplay games, are concenrtrated on other things than economics. If you have an economic system you use, great, but even within it there will be dramatic variations. Where there are 14 temples, potions are common... in the wilderness they are only found on the bodies of the enemy, and that is if the enemy dosen't take them (which even Kobolds and Goblins will do).

    I will say though, that I make magic fairly common, but I put permanent magic items on a fairly steep curve... by 6th level most party members have a basic +1 weapon; but by 15th level, +3 weapons are still hard to comeby, only warrior types generally want to spend the time and effort to get them, and they almost always have some sort of drawback... even if it is only shedding light.
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    Sun May 01, 2005 11:37 am  
    In My Campaign...

    Cathedrals or temples in a city would have enough potions stockpiled to sell some off, a chapel in a town might have enough potions for just the resident clergy's emergency use, and a village shrine would not have any such resources at all.

    I also didn't notice this mentioned (although I may have just missed it because I was skimming), but instead of having PCs finding more healing potions (and this applies to other magic items too), they could be offered to the PCs for undertaking a quest. I'd recommend this more for mid- to high-level PCs, of course, but in exchange for exploring, say, Skull Keep, the Director of Zilchus' Church in Prymp might offer them three healing potions up front and some misc. magic items when they succeed in clearing it.
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    Sun May 01, 2005 5:40 pm  

    Cebrion wrote
    Quote:
    Putting in healing pools, puddles, wells, springs, mists/fogs, magic symbols/runes, etc. is a sure way to further the idea that healing can just be taken for granted and that clerics really are just those guys who stand in the back and heal the real adventurers, and that clerics are not worth playing
    .

    I may have been a little loose in my post, but please let me explain.
    First of all in my camp I like to keep Misc. magic (rings, potions,scrolls, Wands/Rods/Staffs) as icing on the cake.
    If you use to much in game play you can spoil the sence of magic itself.
    That is true for the use of any magic in my opinion.
    Players should be rewarded in ways they least expect, be by luck/hard work, and to the level approprite to the adventure.

    In trying to further answer the original post.

    Cities an large towns may have a limited supply of potions of healing and don't like to depart with them. During and since the Greyhawk Wars they have been in great demand. I also don't see that there has been a major increase either in aviliability or production.
    I like to look at it like the Red Cross's blood supply.
    Its there if your connected and have a great need for it.
    The supply ebbs and flows depending on the times of war, resources, and effort put into createing it.

    I prefer to use first aid, salves, oils, ointments, brews, and other natural homeopathic remedies as ways to reduce minior or major injuries/illness when a cleric can't be found. Price and aviliability of services depended on region and season.

    Secondly, I picture a game were most strong clerics can stand toe to toe with an average fighter in combat. As well as use a number of aggressive magics ie, spiritual hammer, hold person, feign death. Lets not foregt the Turning ability and defensive magics, which make cleric so indespensable. In thinking that a cleric is only a back up for healing really misses a great part of the game.
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    Mon May 02, 2005 3:23 am  

    Okey-dokey! just no proliferation of those magical pools and such. Happy

    Anyways, such things as magical pools, stones, rainbows. whatever are useful in moderation.

    On the thread topic, most here agree that healing potions are fairly common and readily available. The Greyhawk Wars might change that. Such potions will be in high demand. Temples might be required to provide a quota of healing potions and similar things to the nations in which they operate, or will volunteer themselves for such duty if it suits the goals of the church. Consequently, potions might be less available because of this, as the various churches must tend to their own responsibilities or may not be as willing to give them up to those who are not directly aengaged in a cause sponsored by said church.

    Supply and demand will certainly be a factor regarding even such a simple item as a potion of cure light wounds when it might mean the difference between life and death for a defender of the faith. Such things will more often be kept for the use of the faithful rather than sold to an "adventurer". This doesn't mean that healing potions won't be available at all; just than there might not be as many of them available and those that are available might have a higher price tag.

    That is just how I'm handling things, as my campaign is currently just past the half way point of the Greyhawk Wars at this moment. This hasn't been much of a factor though as most of the pc's see the value of their clerics, protect them, and therefore don't have much trouble with getting healed.
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    Mon May 02, 2005 3:23 pm  

    One thing I disagree on is the status of "adventurers". There seems to be an assumption here that they are of the lower classes.

    That may be the case for their early career, but it is certainly not the case once 5th level and higher has been achieved! Although thieves would be looked down upon by most, a mid-level wizard or fighter is not the sort of person you want to offend.

    Consider also the City of Greyhawk, where its current prosperity is entirely due to the adventurers who have braved the dungeons of Castle Greyhawk and enriched it with treasure.

    The point about most mastercraft smiths being in the employ of nobles or wealthy merchant princes is well made. Masterwork weapons are not made on a whim, but instead to reward those of note within the noble's employ (or as a gift to another noble, perhaps). However, if an adventuring fighter comes by with a sizable sum of money, then why can't the smith make a nice profit (and be taxed by his noble)?

    It does bring in the possibility of role-playing, of course. The noble's armsmaster would meet with the fighter, attempt to gain some idea of his or her allegiance (so that the sword won't be used against the noble in question) and otherwise let the fighter know of the great favour bestowed upon him or her.

    Remember that these items take several days to construct; such is the case in my campaign.

    When requiring clerical magic, a good relationship with the church is also useful. Due to the sheer number of deities in Greyhawk, it becomes impractical to require a devotion to just one church in the case of requesting magic. As long as the characters are somewhat upstanding, any Good or Neutral church should be happy to serve them.

    The exception to this comes in those larger towns and cities where there are competing churches. In those cases, devotion to one of the temples is more important. In the recent "Great Kingdom" campaign I was running, the twin churches of Hextor and Zilchus in Cofston and other towns saw interest from various party members, and intrigues between the two churches were also present.

    Should temples be taken for granted? By no means! Of course, adventurers are some of the very few who have the money to buy potions of healing and the like - and to want them repeatedly. Making 25 gp per day (the profit from a cure light wounds potion in a 3e campaign) is beyond the dreams of most businesses, but it is what comes from a 3rd level cleric brewing potions - assuming that cleric is in an area that adventurers frequent.

    In the situation that is described above - the Greyhawk Wars - then things would be turned about. Those with power and finances would have first choice on clerical magic and adventurers would be disadvantaged.

    However, those adventurers would be in great demand by the nobles for performing special tasks within the war, and thus the access to clerical magic would be restored.

    This all assumes adventuring in a place that isn't the Theocracy of the Pale!

    Cheers!
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    Mon May 02, 2005 4:49 pm  

    Who the adventurers are, status wise, of course depends on the situation in the campaign. But the general assumption is that they are moving about. If the PCs are heavily dug into a particular locale, they quite likely have a fair bit of status. But if they are just wandering guys with weapons, they aren't going to be significantly better treated than any other stranger. Other than in the "crap, I hope this fellow doesn't kill me' sense.

    This doesn't mean they'll be treated poorly. But just because a guy is good with a sword (which may or may not even be known) does not mean he has any special status in a particular locale. And strangers almost always come second to the locals, especially the influential locals, when it comes to things like time and attention from craftsmen. The PC might buy a sword once. Lord Bob's gonna buy a bunch of swords and can be a lot more inconvenient than the PC if he feels slighted.

    As for artisans working on the side, they certainly can. Its simply that those closely associated with a household or organization are unlikely to have a lot of spare time to take freelance commissions. Lord Bob is not going to keep a swordsmith on retainer if he doesn't need a full time swordsmith. Its rather too expensive... Its not that master artisans are unavailable by law (in most cases..), its that they have a full workload and often do not have time for walk in commissions.
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    Sun May 08, 2005 10:03 am  
    Saturday

    Hello Everyone,

    Once again, I would like to say thank you for your input, your insight and just keeping the thread a civilized place to make your voice heard. I have been taking it all in and I will certainly use several of your ideas. My group played Saturday and a village was burned to the ground. In the village was a small shrine to Ehlonna, which was destroyed (go figure) by the raiding gnoll force. When the party searched through the shrine, they found that the fire had burned away a false bottom in the altar and there lay a sack of 2,000gp and 6 potions of Cure Light Wounds. There was great joy as the party has no cleric. On the other hand, there were calls of the DM being a liar, a cheat, etc. Some of the members of the party said, "You said churches and stuff don't have potions. You lied to us." My response was, "Dude, I did not lie to you. What I said was, they don't generally have a bunch of potions just laying around for anybody to come by, pick them up or have adventurers buy them. That is different from not having any at all. Churches, temples, shrines, etc may have lots of magical items within their confines, but that doesn't mean they are going to let anybody buy them. The NPC's in my games are just like the adventurers; they have lives, maybe familes, certainly an agenda, all the elements that make them distinctly human...or otherwise." I wish all of the people on this board could have witnessed it, the proverbial light bulb went off over everyone's head, it was so funny! Laughing Ohhhh, so we might have to role-play to get potions and the like. Priceless!!

    Keeping you folks in the loop,
    Dwarf from Nyrond
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    Sun May 08, 2005 8:11 pm  
    Re: Saturday

    DwarffromNyrond wrote:
    Some of the members of the party said, "You said churches and stuff don't have potions. You lied to us." My response was, "Dude, I did not lie to you. What I said was, they don't generally have a bunch of potions just laying around for anybody to come by, pick them up or have adventurers buy them. That is different from not having any at all. Churches, temples, shrines, etc may have lots of magical items within their confines, but that doesn't mean they are going to let anybody buy them. The NPC's in my games are just like the adventurers; they have lives, maybe familes, certainly an agenda, all the elements that make them distinctly human...or otherwise." I wish all of the people on this board could have witnessed it, the proverbial light bulb went off over everyone's head, it was so funny! Laughing Ohhhh, so we might have to role-play to get potions and the like. Priceless!!


    Heh. Sounds like your game might step up to a whole new level Happy

    Our game recently resolved the "no cleric" issue as well. One of the characters recently finished a plot thread where he did something important for the Old Faith. As a reward, he was granted limited healing ability--with a caveat: if the gods of the Old Faith don't think their power needs to be used to heal a non-believer's skinned knee, then that person isn't going to get healed.

    Suddenly, there's a renewed interest in the Old Faith Happy

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    Mon May 09, 2005 11:46 am  
    Re: Saturday

    Theala_Sildorian wrote:
    Suddenly, there's a renewed interest in the Old Faith Happy

    Theala


    I've done nearly the same thing in my game. The actions of the PCs have perpetuated a growth in the Old Faith around central Keoland.

    Great thread guys, the best I've read in a while!

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    Mon May 09, 2005 3:11 pm  

    DFN: “... and there lay a sack of 2,000gp and 6 potions of Cure Light Wounds.” You softy, literally giving away the store. ;-) Seriously, you answered your own question. What should be the availability of healing potions? Whatever makes for good role playing!
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