Whether it’s at an Organized Play Event or the precious four hours at a friend’s house, sometimes in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game we want to get into character fast. Rapid immersion helps get a game moving, improves verisimilitude, and helps characters (and their players) get to know one another… And it can be really easy to do with a quick exercise. Today we present – Be Healed!….
Simple Immersion Exercise: Be Healed!
Player Characters in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game have one common ground that is nearly inevitable to share–they get hurt. While party role, equipment and sound strategies can distinctly reduce the danger of taking damage, the numbers stack up against our heroes and almost always they end up needed to be healed. While a lot of players and groups look at this exercise as simple number crunching and resource manage, there is a window to some amazing roleplaying with every wound :
- What or Who damaged the character? From acid traps to dragon fangs, the damage to the character probably came from somewhere interesting. Consider how it compares to older wounds. Is this going to be one your character remembers? Or another pale scar she ignores?
- Where is the wound? As that outside of critical wounds optional rules, aiming optional rules or specific weapon rules the game does not assign location, most wounds can be placed for roleplaying benefit. Take a nasty hit from a weapon? It was probably somewhere near your torso. Small scrape? Likely a limb. Collaborate with the GM or take notes of particularly graphic wounds. Today’s bleeding out is tomorrow’s tavern tale (we hope).
- When was the wound first treated? Was the wound partially healed during combat? The game has a number of Area-of-Effect heals that could easily cause a wound to be partially healed. What does it look like now? Is it bad enough to warrant more healing? How does it size up against older wounds? Should it have been healed already and do you need to have words with someone about that?
- Who can heal the wound? Does your party have a designated healer? Do you have to use potions or another expendable to deal with it? Can you borrow resources from someone else if needed? Wound treatment is an excellent opportunity to engage other party members, compare favors and cash in good sentiment. Just careful who you end up owing!
- Where is the healing coming from? The nature of the healing is certainly roleplaying worthy material. The swirling radiance of a alchemical extract might unnerve the primitive barbarian or the stoic monk may display irritation at the intoxicating potions of the God of Revelry’s healing magic. Given the option of dealing with downing a Demon’s cure light wounds draught you might just pass altogether.
- What does the healing feel like? It is likely that different sources of healing FEEL differently, the cold wash of the Winter God’s healing is probably far less pleasant than that of the Hearth Mother’s soft warmth. The admonition of the Law Giver may be for flesh to renew its contract of wholeness in a tightening seal or the Daughter of Chaos might have different effects each time, searing the wound with cauterizing heat one time and then numbing it senseless the next.
A moment of getting better can also be getting better at roleplaying and can turn regrets to rewards. If you need to sink into game, don’t forget the way that troll sank its teeth into you last week… …Its valuable fuel to get this week’s game all fired up.