Spicy Healer Cookbook (or, How to Have Fun With Your Cleric)  

Posted by Michael Donaldson in

During the initial stages of conceptualizing a character, I often try to look at the mechanics of a character and strip all flavor down to the barest essentials. By looking at the raw rules-relevant information, you can then begin to re-imagine the descriptions and intricacies that make up the uniqueness of your character. In the end you often come away with a very personalized avatar, even if his mechanical build does not stray very far from typical or pragmatic choices.

I had a conversation with a friend last night about playing healers, and at some point the discussion turned into a brainstorming session on how one could creatively avoid the standard fantasy trope of healing effects always being some form of "soothing light". Healers can often get stuck in the trap of feeling unheroic or cookie-cutter, especially when they are relegated to healing the party in battle. Many times this feeling of almost being just another NPC can be overcome by personalizing your healer, and this begins with your healing. (continued after the jump)

Here are some ideas for re-flavoring healing to match the healer you want to play:

  • A Dry, Warm Desert Breeze -  Anu swept up behind Clara, who continued firing one of her revolvers sporadically towards the cowering spriggans at the end of the hall as she cradled her other arm gingerly, a deep laceration bleeding steadily down her coat. Shifting his scimitar to his off hand, he grasped a small pendant around his neck and whispered soft prayers. A soft breeze, warm and comfortable, stirred beneath them as it formed a small sirocco around the two. Clara barely noticed that her arm was considerably less stiff as she loosened it to reload. Her hair billowed slightly, and she brushed it out of her face with her free hand, drawing the second revolver once more as she began a second advance down the hallway with renewed vigor.
  • Grisly Reconstitution -  Anskar stepped into the center of his battered troop, warriors barely keeping the advancing forces away from him as he began his ritual. Exhaling, he gathered his hands as if lifting a great burden and closed his eyes, his whole body raising towards the sky. Around him, blood previously spilled began to rise from the firmament and vibrate rapidly as the shaman began a low, guttural growl. As the magic pulsed its strongest, he let out a final exclamation and the blood snaked violently back towards the wounds it had come from, as if being sucked back into the bodies that had created it. Each of Anskar's companions hissed in pain, but fought with a renewed vigor.
  • Molting - Mal kneeled down next to his wounded companion, a soft smirk dancing upon his lips. Lord Akihiko lay here breathing heavily, hand grasped over his gored stomach, blood dripping from his lips. "Shhh..," Mal whispered, and lifted his hands, the grass around his lord growing taller as his skin began to crawl. Taking on a hard, chitinous texture the wound hardened after a few seconds, and to his lord's great disbelief he was able to peel the dead, wounded skin to reveal young, raw flesh beneath.
 What are some ways you've reflavored class abilities or spells? 

This entry was posted on March 9, 2012 at Friday, March 09, 2012 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



Describing healing can be a challenge.

I had a priestess of Tyche (goddess of fortune) and her magical 'healing' was revealing that the wound was not as bad as it looked, could be easily fixed by some simple means, had just missed being deadly and so on.

March 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I had a cleric of fire who's healing spells were pale flames that burned the wound as if it were fuel, leaving behind tender pink skin.

June 10, 2015 at 10:23 PM

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