Friday, February 9, 2018

[LotFP & the rest] Weirding up Cure Light Wounds?

It can be interesting to take a good ol' spell that everybody knows and uses, and thinking of ways to make it more weird. I mused about Mirror Image recently, so let's take a look at something else.

Cure Light Wounds is a staple Cleric spell in all iterations of D&D and OSR games, the main reason for "bringing the Cleric along", and so on. There are advocates of getting rid of this spell (and other instantaneous healing effects, like health potions, etc.) to facilitate a more perilous, horrific game environment, where hazards are more "real", because you cannot rely on a quick and easy method of getting those meager amounts of HP back.

Now, I was thinking about making healing spells more interesting. My main line of thought is to make them stand out, make them significantly different from "natural healing". A couple of ideas:

  1. Healing spells leave weird scars. Geometric patterns. Scabs in the shape of occult sigils. They mark the healed person as an object of witchery.
  2. The accelerated supernatural healing process doesn't get rid of foreign objects (arrowhead, bullets, etc.), but incorporates them into the healed person's body. This might lead to medical complications later on...
    So, magical healing as mutation. Turn this up to eleven -- magical healing is body horror! Make sure you drop your weapon, otherwise you risk fusing with it when the Cleric heals you!
  3. And generally, subverting magical healing is an awesome way to horrify your players. If you are using Taint or Corruption like mechanics, make magical healing a source of this malevolent effect. 

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