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BECMI Healing Spells Revamped

by Colin Davidson

Something I've come back to again and again with my players over the years is the healing spells available to clerics.

They're not bad, but there's rather an odd balance to the spells. A cleric gets his first spell at level 2 - and its probably going to be Cure Light Wounds, allowing him to heal 1d6+1 hp, once a day. On the plus side it means after a little down time the whole party is cured, and as he advances in levels he can cast more of them. But the next curing spell is level 4, Cure Serious Wounds, and it only heals for 2d6+2. A cleric has to be 8th level to cast a spell only twice as good as the first level spell they get at second level, by which time the party have got four times the number of HP to lose. At level 10 they get to cast their first 5th level spell, which might be Cure Critical Wounds which cures 3d6+3, and then at level 12 comes Cureall, which more or less sorts all the healing out they need.

Those gaps seem ok, the gap between a cleric being level 2 and level 8, when they get the actually quite disappointing Cure Serious Wounds is quite long.

So I'm thinking I might play with healing a bit. Something along the lines of this...

Level Spell Effect
1 Cure Light Wounds 1d6+1
2 Cure Moderate Wounds 2d6+2
3 Cure Serious Wounds 3d6+3
4 Cure Critical Wounds 4d6+4

The advantage of this is that a cleric can do more healing with fewer spells - which means they can devote more of their slots to other things. I know its a significant bump in healing power, but of course with later additions to the game (things like weapon mastery, which we didn't get until well after the levels of the healing spells we have were set down) I'd say clerical healing fell well behind where it needed to be to maintain the same kind of balance.

As ever, this will be in perpetual playtesting to see whether it works. Let me know your thoughts...