I’ve always found it odd that cleric’s cure wounds spells were on levels 1, 4, and 5, with heal at level 6 and resurrection at level 7. (Well, I also find the existence of the 5th level raise dead odd, but that’s something different altogether.)

Spell levels 2 and 3 are skipped when it comes to hit point healing spells, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that clerics don’t advance in their healing power from first level until they reach seventh level. So for our homebrew game we’re doing this:

Cure Light Wounds

Level: Clc 1, Drd 2
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch

Restores 1d6+1 hit points of damage or can remove paralysis.

Cure Minor Wounds

Level: Clc 2, Drd 3
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch

Restores 1d8+2 hit points of damage or can remove paralysis.

Cure Major Wounds

Level: Clc 3, Drd 4
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch

Restores 2d6+2 hit points of damage or can remove paralysis.

Cure Serious Wounds

Level: Clc 4, Drd 5
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch

Restores 1d6+1d8+3 hit points of damage or can remove paralysis.

Cure Critical Wounds

Level: Clc 5, Drd 6
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch

Restores 3d6+3 hit points of damage, can remove paralysis, or can restore 1 point of STR or CON lost through energy drain if subject makes system shock check.

Heal

Level: Clc 6, Drd 7
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch

Restores all but 1d4 hit points of damage and cures diseases, blindness, paralyzation, poison, amnesia, and feeblemind or can be used to restore 2 points of STR or CON lost due to energy drain if subject makes system shock check.

Note that the duration is instant (meaning that the damage is immediately restored and then the spell is complete and gone) rather than permanent, which we are defining as meaning a spell that functions indefinitely.

Also note the final two spells being able to restore points of STR or CON lost due to energy drain attacks. In our game, energy drain can reduce STR, CON, or character level depending on the creature. Levels lost via energy drain can still be regained using the restoration spell as usual.

Finally, I realize that the names might not really be in the most intuitive order. For instance, I think that major wounds sounds worse than serious wounds, which is higher level than major. We kept the original levels of the original names in order to facilitate compatibility with standard systems.

Regarding the number of points restored by each spell, the progression looks like this:

cure progression

The red shows the possible range and the blue line shows the average result.

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21 Comments to “Cure X Wounds
–Thursday Thaumaturgy”

  1. David says:

    Well, what if, instead of creating new spells to fit the slots, you take a page from 3e and allow them to swap another spell for a healing spell? And spells of 5th level can restore Str or Con, and 6th level can cures diseases, blindness, paralyzation, poison, amnesia, and feeblemind or restore 2 Str/Con.

    • Kilgore says:

      The idea of being able to swap spells for healing spells is fine, but it does not address the fact that there is a 1st level cure spell and then no improved cure spell until 4th level.

      Using the swap system, I would think swapping a 3rd level spell for a cure spell should get a 3rd level cure spell, not a 1st level cure spell. After all, swapping a 4th level spell for a cure spell gets a 4th level cure spell.

      It’s not the lack of slots for healing spells that I find odd, it’s the complete lack of 2nd and 3rd level healing spells at all.

      • David says:

        If I recall correctly the cure power scales. So a 1st level spell swapped out did 1d8 plus the level of the cleric (max 5). A second level spell would be 2d8 plus the level of the cleric (max 10), a 3rd level spell would be 3d8+level of the cleric (max 15), etc.

        • Kilgore says:

          Okay, I wasn’t aware of that. So it basically scales similar to what I’ve got here as spells.

          The choice then would be to rewrite the 1st level spell to scale up and then delete the two higher-level cure spells OR to use a scaling series of spells. I think I prefer the latter, though I will have to think about the former.

  2. Kilgore says:

    I tweaked the ‘serious’ spell slightly to get the progression and the range progression where I wanted it.

    • Kilgore says:

      I also corrected the ‘minor’ spell to 1d8+2 from 1d8+1. The range and average were right on the chart but wrong in the write-up.

  3. 1d30 says:

    I like incorporating the “Lesser Restoration” effect. But there is already a history of intermediate healing spells, and your terminology made me confused when I read it at least 😉

    Ideally you’d keep with the same naming order, this:

    Minor
    Light
    Moderate
    Serious
    Critical

    But we can shift things around a bit if we add one at the top: Deadly.

    So this:

    Cure Minor Wounds (Cantrip) Heal 1 HP

    Cure Light Wounds (L1) Heal 1d6 HP, 2 in 6 cures paralysis

    Cure Moderate Wounds (L2) Heal 2d6, 4 in 6 cures paralysis, 2 in 6 restores 1 ability score point

    Cure Serious Wounds (L3) Heal 3d6, cures paralysis, 4 in 6 restores 1 ability score point, 2 in 6 heals broken bones / organ damage

    Cure Critical Wounds (L4) Heal 4d6, cure paralysis and 1 ability score point, 4 in 6 heals broken bones / organ damage, 2 in 6 reattaches limb

    Cure Deadly Wounds (L5) Heal 5d6, cure paralysis, restore 1d2 ability score points, heals broken bones / organ damage, reattaches limb

    Heal (L6) Heal 6d6, cure paralysis, restore 1d2 ability score points, heal broken bones / organ damage, reattach limb, cure diease, poison, insanity, amnesia, and blindness

    This leaves Regeneration to regrow limbs that are lost (eaten, burned, disintegrated), it leaves lower-level specialized Cure Disease and Neutralize Poison, and discards Remove Paralysis and Cure Blindness / Deafness which nobody thinks to take anyway.

    What are you doing with Raise Dead / Resurrection? We use a maximum number of deaths equal to your CON, after which even a Wish won’t bring you back. Raise Dead leaves you unable to adventure for 2d6 days, and Resurrection only 1 day. But in both cases you come back at 1 HP.

    Raise Dead ages the caster 1 year, Rez and Wish 5 years.

    • Kilgore says:

      Yeah, like I wrote I know the names aren’t quite “in order,” but we intentionally kept the originals where they were.

      As for Raise Dead / Resurrection, we have not decided what to do yet. I’m considering ditching them completely. Dead is dead.

      But I’m not sure.

  4. bat says:

    Very nice alternate healing option. I usually work along the lines of 1d30 as far as Raise Dead in that it ages the caster a year and it also drops the target by a level, as if it had never happened. Thus a 1st level character cannot be raised, and really, it is much easier to roll another up than have a 1st level group running around trying to find someone who can cast the spell.

  5. TimmyD says:

    I’ve never liked the naming patterns of “Minor/Light/Moderate/Serious/Critical” as I find they lack description. If I felt the need to fill in the gaps (as you have), then I would go with simply “Cure I/II/III/IV/V”.

    But I don’t believe that this is necessary, as I think the scale is just fine. When you fill in the gaps, it just makes the cleric less likely to take other types of spells and continues to force him down the path of party band-aid.

    Likewise, I don’t think the 3e/4e path of “healing-spell swaps” to be a good idea. This misguided approach to setting the cleric free of being a medic only cheapened the concept of spell selection and preparation.

    The desire to “fill in the gaps” is decidedly WotC, in my opinion.

    • Kilgore says:

      When you fill in the gaps, it just makes the cleric less likely to take other types of spells and continues to force him down the path of party band-aid.

      I’m confused by this. I don’t see anything about making or forcing the cleric to do anything.

      As for

      Likewise, I don’t think the 3e/4e path of “healing-spell swaps” to be a good idea. This misguided approach to setting the cleric free of being a medic only cheapened the concept of spell selection and preparation.

      we don’t require pre-memorization and limit the ability to use the same spell more than once per day. So we don’t need to swap anything and we don’t worry about the so-called “concept of spell selection and preparation.”

      • TimmyD says:

        C’mon… the clerics is renowned as the party band-aid… everybody knows it! This was the whole reason for the 3e “healing spell swap”!

        While a cleric is certainly never *forced* to prepare such spells, the expectation is that he will.


        Regarding the second part… well, I’ve always used and enjoyed spell selection and preparation (and allowed preparation of the same spell multiple times per day), so YMMV.

        • Kilgore says:

          Everybody knows the cleric is “renowned as the party band-aid”, true. But that’s a reputation earned by unimaginative play or allowing your character to painted into a corner.

          I’ve always seen clerics more as Jedi-like mystic warriors, though I didn’t really put it into those terms until recently when I realized just how strong the public opinion about the cleric-as-walking-medic is. Sure they can heal, and that will often be a critical thing in a tight spot. But they can do a lot more. I find the idea that the best defense against only healing is to make sure that there aren’t additional healing spells to choose from a weak one.

          I actually want to post more on my views about the cleric’s role but haven’t got to it. Maybe I’ll bump that up on the to-do list.

          • TimmyD says:

            “I’ve always seen clerics more as Jedi-like mystic warriors”
            — interesting… I’ve always favoured the holy warrior approach, more a paladin than a priest. Often “called” by the gods (sometimes resenting it!)

            “I find the idea that the best defense against only healing is to make sure that there aren’t additional healing spells to choose from a weak one.”
            — my point is simply that by having spell levels without new healing spells, the cleric is free to prepare those spells.

            In my new campaign, there simply aren’t any healing spells, so the cleric really plays more of a holy warrior role, and everyone suffers equally.

          • Kilgore says:

            We did consider dropping most of the healing spells, actually, but decided against it.

    • Kilgore says:

      Plus I must say that I find it odd that you think “Minor/Light/Moderate/Serious/Critical” lacks description and then suggest “I/II/III/IV/V”.

      • TimmyD says:

        I thought that I would get such a reaction… 😉

        I do like the “Monster Summoning I/II/III/IV…” pattern.

        The categorization of “degrees” using adjectives such as “Minor/Light” and “Serious/Critical” is something I simply don’t like. At work (computer programmer) we use a defect-tracking system that suffers from similar problems, ‘well, is this a minor defect or a trivial defect?’.

        With I/II/III/IV there is absolutely no question of which one is more powerful.

        • Kilgore says:

          I think the monster summoning naming works fine because it refers to the HD of the creatures summoned.

          At the same time, I do see your point about the clarity (rather than descriptiveness) of the I/II/III/IV method, particularly as our descriptions aren’t quite what I’d like them to be in the first place. I may float this idea to my players.

          • TimmyD says:

            Touche wrt monster summoning HD, and also to nailing my point of “clarity” rather than “descriptiveness”. After all, what separates a “serious” wound from a “major” wound?

          • 1d30 says:

            I don’t have much problem organizing synonyms into categories of eseverity. It’s pretty clear to me that Serious is less than Major, that Trivial is less than Minor.

            But one good point is that not everyone sees things the same way. And not every has strong enough language skills to make the leap. And some very few people may have a language disability. A numerical ranking gets rid of all that risk and ambiguity.

            That said, the ambiguity, weirdness, just archaic style of AD&D is part of its charm. Rather than generalized Monster Summoning spells, I’d like to see spells to summon specific monsters. Like Invisible Stalker, or Conjure Fire Elemental.

            I think maybe high-WIS bonus spells for Clerics could have been introduced to give them extra Cure Light spells, to help bridge the Light-Serious gap. You could do away with that side rule if you fixed the reason for having it (whatever that is).

  6. […] I mentioned in passing last week when looking at our lineup of healing spells is the fact that some energy drain attacks sap STR or CON rather than levels. Not your typical 7HD […]