The Token Healer

RavenTDA

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Most times in RPGs when the characters have set classes there's always one character dedicated to healing. While they always play an important role in battle, because they usually are a permanent fixture to the party, what kind of personality do you give this person? What role do they have in the story? Healers are most times not the hero (who is usually a damage dealer of some sort).

The cliché is usually because they are so needed, they are the hero's love interest (hence the trope “staff chick”). They are usually well-to-do and kindhearted. While this makes sense since they are essentially magical doctors and it's most likely a humanitarian type of person that wants a role like that. But what about those simply born with the power to heal instead of learning it...? They may not necessarily have that type of good natured personality.

If you have a dedicated healer in your party, what kind of personality do you have for them? Have you ever seen a strange personality combination for a healer before and if so what was it? Has there ever been such thing as a villain being a healer (besides the stretch of necromancy)? Please discuss the aspects of the healer's personality and their role in the story.
 

Zeramae

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I like to give everyone a chance to become a healer if they need to be, if anything else so that the healer isn't a character being forced to become used throughout the whole game if healing is a must for the player. Of course by doing this the healing mechanic itself should be built in differently so no one is going completely heal happy every turn.

Kind of like mini limit breaks but with healing.

In any case, If I made a much smaller cast and gave one person healing powers; I'd probably make the healer the main's best buddy who's too funny/cute NOT to keep around. It really depends on the game, but with story ideas and healers in mind that's usually the route I went. Always the good friend and never the love interest...although I can definitely see the appeal that went into having your lover heal your deadly injuries via events.

If you want to see an interesting healing/buffing main villain just look up Jeala in the psx game Thousand Arms who acts as the healer and servant to the Dark Master. Honestly really one of the few I can think of whose mechanic is to be the healer in a battle.
 
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Ronove

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My main healer was my main character, Snowe. He was also your biggest magic damage-dealer. And he was a bit of a firecracker in terms of personality if you got him going. Though I notice in let's plays and the like, players sometimes made Astra the healer (she does get a heal-all before Snowe does but that's because his is really strong and I needed something that was a medium between too much healing and just enough) despite her attack spells dealing a good deal of damage. Sometimes I wonder if people did that just because Astra was a lady and she happened to have one healing spell that Snowe didn't have yet. But in any case: my goal was to make my main prince a fire-based healer who doesn't back down. Sure he has his meek moments, but I made sure he wasn't a wallflower kind of healer.

When I make a traditional RPG, I always try to flip around the healer and fighter personalities and all that. Most of my healers are snarky or hot-headed. I seldom like a shy healer (unless it's really adorable and done well). Likewise, I like subdued fighters who don't go rushing into things (seeing a healer get stupid and rush into something instead of thinking things through is a nice change of pace). As for one being a lady or a guy, I don't really mind either, but if you are going to make a lady healer, make sure to play with what's expected of a lady healer. Surprise your audience.
 

Des

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my game's healer is this guy:



he's certainly not a cleric girl with a staff! technically, his superpower is control over life and death to an extent (like he can make flowers bloom or wither and **** like that). he doesn't have very strong regular attack stats in battle; his most effective way of dealing damage to enemies is inflicting them with various "poison" status effects. it's not really the typical "white magic" approach; as he also has some pretty dark skills ("decay" and **** like that) that fall within the scope of life/death.

personalitywise; he's kind of somber and distant, but with a distinct "urban" quality to his speech and mannerisms. he doesn't talk too much, and when he does, it's usually something pessimistic. of all the heroes—he is the least interested in being a superhero and saving the world.
 

Ronove

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I like the sound of him Despain! That's actually a really clever way to do the "healer" thing in a modern game: have the character mess with life and death. Very good way to approach the traditional "healer" status and not make him useless! :D
 

McTricky

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The healer of my game is female, but to make her interesting I gave her the title of Thiefmage, instead of White Mage, meaning that she has the abilities of both a thief and white mage. Possess a high MAG and AGI stat, and a low DEF and ATK stat. Can steal and heal, which essentially would make her a main-stay of the party.

The personality is not so much like your standard soft-hearted person. The healer girl is rather down to earth, and I also made her have a bit of a wild/yandere/batshit insane side to her which I think would make her rather interesting.
 
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In the three games I'm (very slowly making), I noticed that in one, Royal Knights, the main magical healer, the Hightower Cleric was a girl, however she happens to be the main characters little sister; however I've also planned a lot of options so that at no point do you absolutely need to have her in the party unless you want her to be there, she just happens to be able to heal people magically. In Storm Twins my Main healer is a Witchdoctor, a male, who has a little bit of a crush of the main female lead, and he can do some major healing. And in Heart of the stars none of the characters have magic, so technically none of them can be a designated healer in that respect.

So looking at it, I suppose my healers are fairly balanced in regards that I don't just decide, yeah, need a healer in there, lets make them automatically the main characters love interest, or behave a certain way. However I have been toying with another idea (I know, I should seriously finish at least one of these other games first, but the muse will take you were you will), where the healer you play is going around healing people and things, but is actually doing more harm than good. (maybe more of a short story idea, but still, interest concept).

What about having a character that you just can't heal using magic? Like the character has some biological thing that means magic actually hurts them, even healing. Imagine a healer in the party trying to deal with that, how would you balance the party then? Traditional party balance of Healer, damage dealer, mage and theif/extra damage dealer/ranger would be shot to hell, especially if it was you main damage dealer that you couldn't heal... ooooh... that's actually a good idea...

Sorry, must go waste the time I should be sleeping to consider this idea some more.
 

Faladis

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My project uses a lot of what I like to call "bladelore" and incorporates a vary versatile Rune Knight. As such, there are numerous spell blades in the game. Some will restore health on hit, others allow the wielder to "unlock" the rune if properly trained and utilize it's abilities. So a Rune Knight that's been trained to heal can still hold their own in combat, but will also have the ability to heal party members.

Now, on a similar note, these healers don't have the ability to cast barriers, beneficial spells, or any sort of protecting aura on the party. That is spread out through the rune system to all party members. For example, a Berserker can invoke haste, and with a strong enough will(level up), it will benefit the entire party instead of just the one invoking the rune. A Defender can invoke barrier and shield runes that will protect against magic and physical damage respectively.

As for the role in the story, I'm not going to reveal mine. Main plot points, secrecy, hyping, all that lovely stuff. :3 I will say the healer is not the protagonist's love interest.
 
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amerk

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I'm doing a sort of comedy involving staff members from RPG Revolution. While I found out much too late some of the members are actually girls, I tailored their characters all around guys. So yeah, a bunch of guys out trying to stop a noob from destroying the community, and one of them is a primary healer. Certainly no love connection there. If anything, these guys are at each other throats and the only reason they are doing this is because (to some extent) they are sort of responsible for this noob's actions and it's either stop him or be banned from the community.
 

Probotector 200X

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I love making all kinds of different healers. Sometimes more than one in the same game, both wildly different.

In my first RMXP game, the main healer is a water fairy. She doesn't have the best magic power or magic defense (a healer usually has one or the other) but she's quick and nimble, and she can also attack with water magic. Her healing abilities are all water themed (think Cure Water from Secret of Mana). I didn't get very far in the game though, so there aren't really any other healers yet. But the game has "healing" versions of elementals, so elemental aligned characters like the water fairy get a bonus from water element healing abilities. So, she's resistant to water attacks, but is healed more by water than your other characters!

But usually when I'm just writing down ideas, the healer is usually an effeminate male, and when I say effeminate, I mean it, "traps" you know? It's like "Look! The healer is a cute white mage girl with a staff! Oh no wait she's a boy! Ha ha ha!"

And while Healers are often Light or Holy aligned, I like to mix things up. I have a Dark themed healer some where...

I also like giving healers some kind of "rage mode", like a Werewolf, or Power Armor, whatever. So, if they don't need to heal anybody they can just temporarily disable their healing abilities to beat some face in!

One more thing! When I make the healer the main character's love interest, they tend to be the same sex. That's just the way it turns out.

What about having a character that you just can't heal using magic? Like the character has some biological thing that means magic actually hurts them, even healing. Imagine a healer in the party trying to deal with that, how would you balance the party then? Traditional party balance of Healer, damage dealer, mage and theif/extra damage dealer/ranger would be shot to hell, especially if it was you main damage dealer that you couldn't heal... ooooh... that's actually a good idea...
I tend to work with that idea often. Like, I like having robots! What would magic that heals wounds or a magic potion do for a robot? Not much I'd imagine! (well, Robo and several other robot RPG characters beg to differ...) So, you gotta get different items to heal them, a specialized "Repairman" character to heal them with skills, a white mage won't do! But with that extra hassle, comes extra firepower! If you want lasers and missiles, it's worth the extra time and money!

Also, I try having Undead sometimes. I tend to make undead get hurt by healing...so...I even have a Zombie Nurse in one of my ideas! What a "conflict or interests"! She's an interesting character, weak against light and healing, resistant to dark and poison, she can heal wounds and cure states, but she's also great at inflicting states, with all of her syringes...But she can't rightly heal herself with her abilities! Well...she could have some type of "drain" attack, but she's not supposed to be that kind of zombie...
 

tpasmall

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My healer is a girl from a family of engineers who build healing tools. She was noticed for abilities early on and was drafted into the Royal Physicians Academy at the age of 7. She's now 16, and the Prince of Lucera's personal attendant. Her primary weapon is the whip.
 
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RachelTheSeeker

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Overall, I've been wanting to do away with the stereotypical healer in a game. If it's one thing I have a love-hate relationship with party members in JRPGs, it's having a character whose only purpose is to buff/heal, and who is near useless in any other aspect of combat. The typical, Final Fantasy style White Mage usually does little to no damage with weapons, is almost as squishy as a Black Mage, and rarely gets more than a single, high-tier damaging spell (typically Holy).

There are a few variants I've grown to love, however. My main favorite is the cleric of Dungeons and Dragons (3.5 edition, specifically), something I discovered in my middle school days (as I'd originally only experienced JRPGs prior to D&D). They learn healing and buff spells as their main shtick, yes, but they also get a few damaging and debuff spells -- the Inflict [insert severity of damage here] Wounds, Doom, Flame Strike, and Harm spells, to name a few. And that's only for the vanilla list that all clerics can use -- depending on its domains (specific aspects of their deity which they draw power from), they can even learn spells that other casters can use! That's not all, either -- in D&D 3.5, a cleric can wear any armor and use any shield (sans a tower shield, but it's really encumbering anyway), as well as use easy-to-wield "simple" weapons (or, in certain circumstances, a weapon associated with their deity). Though the cleric is not by any means an amazing warrior, s/he is, IMHO, five times better in melee combat than the White Mage of Final Fantasy, especially since their hit die (the die they roll to determine HP boosting each level-up) is a d8 -- an average number, considering sorcerers/wizards' are a d4 (the lowest) and a barbarian's is a d12 (the highest).

Still, there are also exceptions in even JRPGs. In Final Fantasy IV, the White Mage, Rosa, may be the hero's love interest, but she's no "staff chick" in terms of battle mechanics. While she is squishy in terms of defense and HP, she also is the only reason to equip any character in FF4 with a bow. Her "Aim" skill allows her to do decent damage with a bow, at the cost of attacking with a slight delay (as far as I recall). And in Etrian Odyssey 3, the Medic of the previous Etrian Odyssey games is replaced by the Monk. As you'd expect, not only is the Monk the premier healer in that game, using chi to heal injuries, purge sicknesses and even resurrect the dead at high levels, but s/he can also fight. In this case, they can use cudgels to deal a nasty amount of damage IMO, or they can fight unarmed -- the latter allowing them to learn chi-based strikes. I've only made it far enough in EO3 to have my monk learn "Kikouken", a paralyzing punch, but regardless, a monk can fight in EO3 as well as heal effectively. Only problem is balancing healing and offense when leveling them up, but hey.

Overall, my favorite proxy for healers in any game-based project of mine is a druid, which mechanics-wise is a bit inspired by those of D&D. The druid fits in as a nature-based priest, rather than a temple/church-going one; it addresses my qualms with healers as, like a very furry MMO called "Earth Eternal", they can wear chainmail at the tiers it appears, learn nature-based damage/debuff spells (lightning bolts, intense winds that rend foes apart, enemy-binding vines, polymorphing foes into toads), and aren't too shabby in melee thanks to their main weapons being polearms. Finally, I might or might not have them be able to shapeshift, enhancing their combat abilities for a time under different animals'/animal-based monsters' forms.

EDIT: Now that I think of it, the "Nurse" from Etrian Odyssey might actually be a "Medic". *derp*
 
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RyanA

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Most times in RPGs when the characters have set classes there's always one character dedicated to healing. While they always play an important role in battle, because they usually are a permanent fixture to the party, what kind of personality do you give this person? What role do they have in the story? Healers are most times not the hero (who is usually a damage dealer of some sort).

The cliché is usually because they are so needed, they are the hero's love interest (hence the trope “staff chick”). They are usually well-to-do and kindhearted. While this makes sense since they are essentially magical doctors and it's most likely a humanitarian type of person that wants a role like that. But what about those simply born with the power to heal instead of learning it...? They may not necessarily have that type of good natured personality.

If you have a dedicated healer in your party, what kind of personality do you have for them? Have you ever seen a strange personality combination for a healer before and if so what was it? Has there ever been such thing as a villain being a healer (besides the stretch of necromancy)? Please discuss the aspects of the healer's personality and their role in the story.
Well, if I ever make an RPG game, at the minute I'm more into making silly little adventure games ;3 Kitty Quest in particular is like a bunch of mini games ^w^, but anyway back on topic...

If I ever make an RPG, I'll make the healer arrogant and highly strung, something similar to healers in WoW (omg tank you suck lol l2p (yeah totally not your fault the tank wasn't healed)) I think it would be interesting to have a healer who knows that everyone needs them and thinks himself/herself better than everyone else ;3 But I might also make the main character a healer and have the love interest as a warrior or something :3
 

Kaiser

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My healer will stick to what class I give them. If they are a white mage, healing. If I make a custom class for them they can do black magic and white magic. I like my healers to have a reason to heal, and care about the party members safety even if they hate them. In terms of strength however. Depending on their background I want them to be strong or not. (Good example of a strong healer(s) would be Dagger and Eiko from Final Fantasy IX). Also @Probotector 200X A zombie nurse is very interesting and probably one of few original nurse ideas.
 

Acetonide

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Personally I prefer having everyone knowing basic healing (I mean, most people can learn first aid, but not everyone can be a doctor. Or, well... Theoretically anyone can but nvm..) But then there can be specialized people who can heal..

I believe I have encountered weird personalities with healers before, probably in some media such as manga/anime though rather than a game.. I've probably encountered it in a game before, but I don't remember any specifics really.. Just usually they were abusive verbally and occasionally physically, and since they could heal they could hide all evidence of any injuries they caused..

That's all I'll say for now.. I'm... I am mentally exhausted today.. Not enough sleep I guess.. Besides, I'm still rewriting my characters and their personalities until I'm satisfied with them..

Good topic though... *Stalks it*
 

Emmych

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A spunky wee lass who regularly gives the more douchey characters tongue-lashings. She's a medic, but also punches monsters in the face! The staff goes to the hero, although it's less of a sailor moon wand and more a bo staff. UwU

In my other project, she's a paladin/magic knight, so she hits pretty hard as well.

In my SUPER SECRET PROJECT~ that isn't gonna happen for a looooong time, he's a pretty blond priest/paladin with a long and hard staff. B)

(giving male characters staves as weapons opens up a world of immature jokes, I tell ya)
 

Necromus

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If a char is able to do both healing and some damage, then it's ok.

Having good healing AND good damage is simply over the top, there is no need for both imo.

There would be no reason to actually have a Healer then, simply everyone could do the same.

Ofc if you have a system that actually promotes that (FF7 Materia, FF8 Junction, FFX Sphereboard), then that's another case.

But if you're making a RPG with set roles, make them set roles.

Healers wipping massive ass might be fun, but pretty imba.

Cause in the end, if your other chars are not doing more damage, what can they do if they can't heal?
 

The JJ

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Well my main healer is a scholar, Although healers are meant to be kind and whatever, he's Tough and doesn't care about anyone's feelings but himself. Also, he uses

daggers and also uses a wide range of magic so he's kind of a full house..
 

Thalzon

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I once made a healer who was a big yeti-like creature. He was top-tier for strength and HP, but slow. He wielded two massive clubs, and had the strongest healing skills. Some of the more interesting healing skills used his own HP instead of MP. In a hero roster of 9, he was the only "true" healer (ie, none of his spells damaged anyone but himself), though there were a couple of magic-heavy characters with some healing spells.
 
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Hum, in my game so far, there's no "healer" class. No love interest either. Then again, you don't play as the hero.

You start off with a life-force sucking overlord and a vampire who drains their victims of their health to restore their own.
 

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