Monday, October 6, 2008

Heel vs. Heal: A tale about a player and their wolf.

My girlfriend is playing in a game I am DMing and this leads to questions about rules while I am trying to go to sleep. I don’t mind really, I am just glad she is playing. The following is just a funny little anecdote about new players and what they hear.

The party is in combat with a small, vicious fey creature and his very large, vicious bear. A few people are wounded and the Druid/Rogue is in the back of the party, away from the action, due to an earlier strength draining encounter with a shadow. The Cleric is out of healing spells and someone reminded her that she can “heal”. She chimes up “I heal him”. “Ok roll the dice.” That is one of her cure light wounds (CLW) spells. A round later “I heal him again.” That is two cure light wounds spells, she only has two in her inventory at this point. Another player falls back wounded, who would of thought a bear would do this much damage, and she says “I heal him too.” I look at her “How?” “You have no more CLW spells.” She replies “Spells, I thought I was using my heal skill?” “No, you were using your spells” “But the Favored Soul guy is ‘Healing’ stuff. How do you heal stuff without using your healing?” “That is through spells” I respond. “Can I use my heal skill anyways and oh, my wolf can heal too?” I look at her “Huh?”

At this point I am distracted by another player and I honestly thought she was pulling my chain, until we got home. We are lying in bed and she asks me about the differences in feats, skills, castings, etc and I go on to describe the differences. She brings up that often the Cleric will say “I heal you for this amount of damage.” “Why doesn’t he say I cast CLW?” My answer is not very helpful “I don’t know. I think it is because we all know what he is doing when he says that” Once again she brings up the “Heal.” She explains it to me that it upset her she could not find any spell that said heal on her character sheet but she could find the heal skill, so she thought she was “healing” people with that.
Here comes the kicker, She then says “Well, my wolf can heal too.” My response for the second time that day is “Huh?” “It says it on his sheet, under tricks; you told me to write down heal.” “At this point I am trying not to laugh “I said heel, not heal, darling.” She starts cracking up; she explains that, during the game, it was making her furious that we were not letting her wolf heal people.
(related here with the express permission of my girlfriend, thank you:)

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