Chelena Armstrong (the World’s Strongest Halfling)
and her lovely-but-fierce Dragonmark of Healing
I got a little lost on my way into this topic. You can safely skip down to the second image if you only want to know about Halfling dragonmarks and don’t feel like listening to me gripe about the way that “BYOH” now dominates the game.
Now that everyone has been beaten into submission by the NeverHeal faction of the player base, it has become nigh impossible to get a traditional healer to join your group. You are going to have to learn how to heal yourself.
In guild play, sure, you will probably have a healer available. But in PUG play? Fugeddabouddit.
And who could blame those would otherwise be playing clerics? They are going to get flame, either for everyone who dies – no matter how stupidly such deaths may occur – or if no one dies, they will get flamed for not bringing enough DPS and therefore wasting a party slot. It’s as no-win as a situation can get.
I have a heal-specced cleric but I almost never play him and even then only in guild play. My Gamer Girl will not bring her healer on PUGs, ever. She’d rather log off and watch TV. And so, Bring Your Own Healing – “BYOH” – once the cry of the elitist forum slinger, has now become the norm. And everyone must figure out how to heal themselves.
Turbine did not help with this, making not one but two twist-able destiny features that are sort of vaguely healery in the form of Healing Spring and Rejuvenation Cocoon. Limited self-healing available to everyone through a couple of easily-obtained twists of fate.
Other self-heals are available to those in Grandmaster of Flowers form (Wholeness of Spirit), and/or to those who ran the Pirate Cove long enough to acquire a Bottomless Flask of Rum, and/or to those who ran Vault of Night for the Hammer of Life (or even better, the epic version). Throw in things like scrolls of Heal (for the well-UMD’d) and Silver Flame potions (for those with Silver Flame favor), and pretty soon, dedicated healers can start to seem unnecessary.
And truly, that is a lot of potential self-healing. All of it is awkward healing though, the kind of thing that is difficult or undependable to perform while in melee. None of it is fast healing, the kind of healing that can keep up with epic Bosses in melee, or most (any?) melee opponents in Epic Elite.
And thus we have the “Monkcher” character build. Designed to avoid melee damage altogether through dependance on ranged combat. Or one may play a caster. And as far as many people are concerned, that is it. Monkcher or Caster.
Or you could have a healer in your party! But <shudder> no, we can’t have that, better to complain on the forums about how everyone has to play monkchers and casters and call for nerfs.
But I digress. This is not about the way that the game has been twisted away from it’s core of cooperative group play into a solo-based, angry, healer-less mob of ingrates who forget that it is their own fault that the game is now like this. No, that is not the topic of this, no matter how bitter I may seem to be about it.
The topic is halfling self-healing. And since we are 500 words into this article, maybe it’s time to actually wander our way into the intended target subject. In fact, let’s make this visually clear by drawing a line between the somewhat ranty start to the article that came out of nowhere, surprising even me, and the informative part that I still owe you all.
Deep breathing. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Much better.
While most races can get Dragonmarks, halflings get the best one. Others may get Teleport, or Globe of Invulnerability, or a sometimes-difficult-to-use chance to bless a chest for better loot, but ours is better than that, better than any of the others. Halfling Dragonmarks can Heal.
The Least Dragonmark costs a feat, adds +2 to Heal skill, and allows the owner to cast Cure Light Wounds several times per rest.
The Lesser Dragonmark costs 2 enhancement points, and allows the owner to cast Cure Serious Wounds several times per rest.
The Greater Dragonmark costs 2 enhancement points, and allows the owner to cast Heal several times per rest.
Someone at Turbine who has an interesting sense of humor added Break Out the Leeches, an ability that costs another 2 enhancement points and allows the owner to remedy poison, disease, and best of all, negative levels.
Jorasco Dragonmark Focus costs 1 enhancement point per selection and adds another use of the Least feat, and to the Lesser, Greater, and Bring out the Leeches enhancements. It can be selected three times. If you take it all three times, you will end up with nine uses of Cure Light Wounds, six uses of Cure Serious or Bring Out the Leeches (they share a counter), and four uses of Heal.
All for the cost of one feat and 11 enhancement points. Such a deal.
Unlike all of the various kinds of self-healing that are itemized in the top half of this article, halfling Dragonmark healing is fast! It absolutely can be cast in melee. And it is effected by metamagics and Positive Spellpower. Simply building up one’s Heal skill is enough to make a big difference, although Chelena carries a Devotion maul of Healing Lore to further enhance the dragonmarks during those times when she is topping up between fights.
The only drawback, as far as I know the only one, is that you cannot use your Dragonmarks while under the effect of Barbarian Rage. Regular spell-cast Rage is fine, Skaldic Rage is fine, even Madstone Rage is fine. Only Barbarian Rage stops the use of the Dragonmark.
So there you have it. Instant self-healing, for the cost of one feat, 11 AP, and some skill points into Heal that you were probably going to just throw away on Jump, even though it caps at 40 and the Jump spell gives you most of that for free.
All you have to do is be a halfling.
Now if we just had our dinosaurs we’d be perfect!