Wands of Cure Light Wounds

I had no idea this was “a thing.” Well, I knew that many magic items in 3E are basically pickled spells (potion of enlarge person, wand of lightning bolt, etc). I saw “wand of CLW” mentioned in some blog post, and I didn’t know what that was, so I did a web search. That led me to this thread with 200+ posts on the Paizo forums: The world without Wands of CLW.

Really, this is the “15 minute adventuring day” discussion in another guise.

For example, consider this post. He only sees three options: going back to the town after every encounter, having a healing surge mechanic, or having lots of magic items with healing powers (e.g., the wand of CLW). It never seems to occur to this person that another option is smart play so that characters are not always harmed.

From my point of view, it seems like many people no longer want to play games of adventure, they want to play games of combat. Combat games, coupled with campaign play, lead to a desire for consequence-free combat. Hence the desire for all the healing mechanics.

Here is another example from that thread:

Keep in mind that nobody said that having a purely support cleric is unneeded, but that cleric isn’t a healbot, yes he will do the occasional emergancy healing in combat but most of his time he will be removing conditions, buffing his allies and debuffing his enemies and between combat he will use wands of CLW to heal the damage of his allies because after UM even his channels might be more benefit for him in-combat.

No mention of problem solving, or exploration, or interpersonal interaction. This is not meant to be edition warring, more like edition exploration. This attitude is just very foreign to how I have experienced tabletop RPGs.

4 thoughts on “Wands of Cure Light Wounds

  1. seaofstarsrpg

    The current group I GM for Pathfinder usually does not have a cleric, they usually make do with potions and first aid between combats. But we also do a fair amount of exploration, roleplay and other things though this group does like its combat.

  2. LS

    What ever happened to “Bring a cleric?”

    In all my years of GMing D&D 3.5, and now Pathfinder, I think I’ve encountered one group who felt that a wand of CLW was necessary.

  3. Brendan

    Many of the people in those posts think that it is unfair to expect a player to take on the healer role. They also don’t seem to want to enter into any encounter without full HP.

    It seems to me that the real issue here is the expectation that combat is the solution to every encounter. (Maybe that is even implied by the balanced philosophy of encounter design?)

    No game I have ever played in has allowed the general purchase of magic items either. Maybe one or two here and there, but certainly not with the expectation that PCs would be able to buy any item in the book.

    I think people want to play the equivalent of Halo (rechargeable shields) now rather than games where your health does not recharge. That insight is lifted from this article:


  4. jeffro

    My first time picking up Labyrinth Lord, I could see the 15 minute workday coming and made sure to give players extra healing potions and let them come back from negative hit-points. I’d intended to have the monastery supplying the potions get overrun with hobgoblins, but I still felt like I was cheating.

    When I got my Moldvay set, I decided to try playing strictly by the rules. I was surprised at how the game changed so much– for the better. I don’t think the original ruleset is really designed to be played the way I’d been trying to “fix” it.


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