Friday, March 8, 2019

Healing Hands - A DCC Spell for Wizards

Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeon Crawl Classics and most other systems that follow in (A)DnD's footsteps have a strong cut between arcane and divine magic. For most players, especially early on, the biggest difference will be:"wizards can't heal. Clerics can"

Arcane healing has been a stable of fantasy literature, but is still amiss in many of my favorite role playing games. While there are many good reasons to keep wizards from healing their allies, i have changed this for my DCC games. I wanted to give the wizard a way of healing his comrades and reworked the lay on hands ability from the cleric into a level 1 spell. Go have a look at

The Reasoning behind this is quite simple. I am not fond of the game feel the cleric provides. Healing is too easy and i strongly dislike how most Fantasy games deal with the restoration of hit points. This version of lay on hands discourages wizards from constantly healing their allies up to max hp and the fear of loosing the spell makes it more of a helpful tool and less of a character defining core ability

I don't want to go too deep into the details of why i dislike the clerical healing ability in it's current state. It has been in so many games and there is a good reason. It's not objectively bad, just not befitting of my personal taste. Yes. There are changes to lay on hands. The alignment reliability is gone and it gets worse with every attempt. Those are all intentional designs to better fit a more scholarly approach to healing spells.

So the final question is: "who will be interested in such a spell?". Not everyone likes the cleric and the concept of divine magic. I can't recall which episode of Spellburn discussed this topic, but a suggestion was to drop the cleric class in it's entirety and treat gods as patrons. This spell makes it easier to adapt this kind of play.

I am in the process of completely reworking my current campaign setting for DCC and i want to get rid of clerics in the process and replace them with a completely new class. Both, the rework and the class will soon make their way to this blog. Roleplaying currently takes a backseat. While i run many convention games i am not playing much within my home group. 
Not fantasy wise at least. I recently started a semi-open Traveller campaign for my local gaming meet up and am in the preparation for running the dark of hot spring island. Not sure if any of those will find their way onto this blog. 
Furthermore i got back into tabletop gaming within the last half year. I just love the system and setting of infinity and starting over with it has been a blast. This blog has never been designed to be a exclusive DCC or role playing blog, so maybe some things will find their way here. But i will keep to the style of this blog and won't post any pictures of miniatures. Maybe scenarios or the rule set i work on for a upcoming campaign (that might or might not happen). If you like miniatures though, check out A butterfly's hobby tally. This blog belongs to a close friend of mine who is one of my infinity colleagues and has been roleplaying with me since more than ten years ago.

This post has kind of dissolved into banter, but don't worry. I won't post until i have something to show for it.


  1. Very sensible for a game without clerics. (I guess for a game like that, you might also want Turn Un-Holy to be a wizard spell, too...)

    You should submit this to the Gongfarmer's Almanac or to CRAWL!

    1. Thanks for the Feedback. I have tried to make turn Unholy into a normal Spell but i have not yet found a great way of determining what should be considered Unholy by a per character basis. But yeah. it will becoming.

      I won't submit this to the GFA, mostly because i really look forward to create something completly new for it. My contribution to last years GFA (Lycanthrope Class) is one of my proudest works and i am planning on upstaging myself this time around!

  2. Patron spells to blast things they consider unholy might be kinda cool; perhaps as an extension of Invoke Patron.

  3. I wrote a 2nd level spell called mend living. It's in Angels Daemons & Beings Between, vol 2: Elfland Edition. It could just be made freely available instead of associated with a patron. Re-inventing the wheel is cool, too. Do what you want and all that.

    1. Thanks James for the reminder. I have not yet read Angels Daemons & Beings Between but i am clearly looking forward to it. Especially now, where i want to redesign my world with a more "open" pantheon. I'd bet mend living will find it's way into my regular sessions (once i find the time to have regular sessions again)

  4. Hi Bardo,
    Just a quick question: Will you publish the Curious Dungeon #3 anytime soon? Would love to see it ;)

    1. Hey Grützi
      I have not forgotten aboutthe Curious Dungeon. But inbetween Real Life, the Upcoming Gongfarmers Almanach and ARoMa i just won't have time to fihnish the piece (or any other post) till May.

      But it will come

  5. no rush, just wanted to make sure that i get to see it eventually ;)
    Real Life can be such a distraction sometimes ... but a mans gotta eat ;)
    btw I started my own blog a few days ago, come check it out ;)

  6. It was in Spellburn episode 81 that they talked about just getting rid of the Cleric... all while praising a book that made religion more relevant in DCC.