Challenge: Combat healing as powers

In my writeup of Cadmus, +Mark Langsdorf and I had a brief interchange about combat vs. non-combat healing. Cadmus is very, very powerful as a healing machine assuming that he has time to recover. The combination of Lay on Hands (Empathic Faith Healing) and Flesh Wounds (rapid wound recovery means he can bring a party of five adventurers from 0 HP to 15 HP each in about two hours.

But that’s two hours. Two. Hours. 120 turns. Pretty much a “Frederickburger” situation if you’re in combat.

That’s where the Clerical magic comes in. Poof, here’s a few dice of healing right there in the middle of combat. A virtual reset button, which is a big deal.

If you can lay on hands in hours, what are the ways to buff one or more of your party members using Powers?

So: here’s a challenge! Post some builds of powers that would make sense using Divine Favor so that a Warrior Saint or Saint can provide combat-useful healing in a challenging DF environment.

+Antoni Ten Monrós: I’d be particularly interested if you’ve thought on this.

The First Answer
Based on some interactions in the comments below, my instinct is, at the same level as you can take Lay on Hands (Divine Favor 8), you can just get Ranged Healing (Healing [30], with Faith Healing [+20%], Ranged [+40%], and Divine [-10%] [45], or 9 points as an LP). This lets you fling a spell-like healing effect by burning FP and making a hit roll. The better way is probably as a Malediction, which at its cheapest is a +100% for -1 per yard of range, and that’s 63 points (Divine Favor 10, 13-point LP) and will cut significantly into combat utility.

Challenge Expanded!

Go ahead and throw down your most potent healing builds, both in-combat and out-of-combat. Ritual Path Magic, regular GURPS Magic – you name it. Just note the build, the amount of healing, and what the limitations are!

Cheat: Power Investiture/Magery


One quick way to get this done is to buy Power Investiture 1 (10 points) and since you are not studying magic, buy Major Healing directly. It’s a Very Hard skill, so with IQ 12 (Cadmus’ level), Power Investure 1 (adds to skill), you will want to spend 12 to 16 points to get IQ+1 or IQ+2, which should net a Healing spell at 14 or 15.

That still winds up on the order of 25 extra points to get healing in there. If you’ve already got Divine Favor 8 and Lay on Hands, the Ranged Healing option above is cheaper.

8 thoughts on “Challenge: Combat healing as powers

  1. I'm pretty sure the following is OK for Divine Favor builds: Healing (Can only spend 5 FP when healing injuries, -5%; Contact Agent, -30%; Cosmic, No die roll required, +100%; Divine, -10%; Faith Healing, +20%; Reduced Fatigue Cost 5, +100%; Reduced Fatigue Cost 5, Disease Only, +60%; Reliable 8, Only to offset disease penalties, +20%) [107]. Of course, I'm sure cuz it's Enhanced LoH.

    For pure combat healing, consider dropping all the disease stuff, and reducing contact agent to short range.

    As a tangent, a lot of Divine Favor powers use "Limited to 5 FP" or "Limited to 10 min" style limitations when the power can be re-invoked, absolutely reliably (as a learned prayer), immediately.

    1. Yow. Requires Divine Favor 12 [110 pts] and costs 22 points as a Learned Prayer!

      So this gives back 10 HP per use, instantly, with no FP cost, if I read this right. Only limit is really that you have to touch the guy, and can't do it from a distance.

  2. Combat Healing is provided by the Enhanced Lay on Hands. I've though about this, and personally, I believe that it's something that should be available to saints (as cleric variations) and not so much for warrior saints. Of course, should a warrior saint wish to go deeper into divine favor, the best way is with the warrior saint-saint lens 😉

  3. Spending 132 points for combat healing is all well and good, but let's look at what you need to do this by RAW Magic:

    Magery 3 (35 points)
    Spells: This is effectively Great Healing and Cure Disease wrapped up in one. 7 points buys you all the spells and pre-reqs.
    Prerequisites: Great Healing -> Major Healing->Minor Healing->Lend Vitality->Lend Energy
    Cure Disease ->Major Healing (see above); Relieve Sickness->Lend Vitality (see above)

    So that's 42 points, and you've got a range of options you can select from. Granted, this takes one minute for Great Healing, and 10 minutes for Cure Disease . . . so those aren't really combat viable. Drop it down to Major Healing (which is the same 2HP per 1FP you get from the Healing power) and you only need Magery 1 (15 points) and the pre-reqs (Major Healing and 3 pre-reqs). Seems like you could do Johnny Four-Spell here very easily.

    Likewise, maybe just take Faith Healing flat out as an alternate ability. You pay FP and heal 2:1 as usual, and you give Divine (-10%), Faith Healing (+20%) and Healing [30] for a total of 33 points. That's Divine Favor 7 and 7 points as a Learned Prayer.
    Toss in Malediction (Size and Speed/Range) for +150% and that's a 16-point LP and Divine Favor 11.

    I think that's the answer if you're willing to spend FP. With Divine Favor 8, which gives Lay on Hands, you can get Healing with up to +50% Modifiers, which is enough for Ranged (+40%) plus the usual Faith Healing and Divine.

    1. You get Divine Favor for the whole gamut of possibilities it gives you, not just for Lay On Hands (Enhanced). Either a combination prayer for Righteous Fury and guide my hand, or Righteous Fury (Enhanced) are worth the price of admission, and once you get that, you don't pay much more for Lay On Hand (Enhanced).

      Again, comparing gurps magic to powers need to take everything into account, not just the edge cases.

    2. By the same token, though, the things that you have to do to get to Lay on Hands (Enhanced) are character-defining. In your conception, very clearly combat healing is the provenance of the Saint, but with Divine Favor 12 at 110 points, that's nearly half the budget for a DF warrior – more importantly, it's +65 points over the Divine Favor 8 requirement for Lay on Hands. And that's without the extra 22 points for the Learned Prayer.

      For that, and with GM permission, you can invest 25 points to be WM in Axe and Shield (for example) with 40 points left over to give a +1 to each of ST, DX, and HT. While that's not quite as good as Righteous Fury, it IS Guide My Hand.

      What I'm looking for (and I think I found with the Ranged Healing) is a combat-usable healing prayer that is functionally the same as the Major Healing spell. You could even toss in an Energy Reserve (Piety Points?) for healing only (again, GM permission), but the marginal cost to add this ability is low, at only 9 points.

      And fact is, you can add the marginal utility of casting Lay on Hands (Enhanced) for about half the cost using Magery or Power Investiture if that's all you want. And my question is not about the overall utility of Divine Favor, but "how do I add combat healing utility to the Warrior Saint?"

      At a marginal cost increase of 87 points, increasing Divine Favor from 8 to 12 and picking up the healing prayer isn't the way to go.

    3. I get it. Again, the Warrior Saint is not a main combat healer, not without sacrificing a lot of combat capability, and that's by design. The Saint can get Enhanced Lay On Hands rather quick, and that allows them to be a decent healer in combat, again by design. You're straddling the line between saint and warrior saint, that's why i recommended taking the lens and making it official.

      Also, Holy Fire is available at divine favor 10, and it's a major source of smackdown 😉

    4. Hrm. Righteous Fury (Enhanced) and Holy Fire at Divine Favor 10, too.

      And DivFav 8 to 10 is only 25 points. Hmm. I think I know what I'm going to do with some of those "cross over the top of the world" points. 😛

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