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Right now, three of my party's members are afflicted with the paranoia insanity. One effect is that paranoid characters cannot willingly accept aid, including healing, without making a Will save against the insanity DC.

However, things don't play out as I expected, in-game:

  1. the paranoid cleric will cast a cure spell on a paranoid PC.
  2. The paranoid PC will attempt a will save to accept healing and fail, as per the insanity's effect.
  3. the paranoid PC then argues that they should get a saving throw against it, because the cure spell is harmless. But by failing, the PC 'suffers' the effects of receive the cure spell.

My problem is that this approach seems to reward PCs who have low Will saves by having a failure on the spell's saving throw become a success for them. Is this just how it is, or are we handling this scenario wrong?

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The way this would work as it appears to me, is that the cleric who is doing the healing would declare their intent to heal the target. The user would then roll for a will save against the paranoia insanity DC. If he succeeds, he beats the paranoia and his strong will forces it down and he accepts the healing as normal. If he fails, his weak will is overcome by the paranoia and he avoids the healing as a dangerous attack.

Now, having decided that this healing is actually an attack, the cleric could continue with it as an attack, perform the touch attack (and succeed or fail) and then roll as needed for the healing if successful. The target would then be able to react to the 'attack' as he would normally be able to react to a touch attack spell, with appropriate attacks of opportunity and well displayed outrage and fear.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is my interpretation, whether the group is into roleplaying the paranoia or not. +1! \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 19, 2013 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would point out that should the cleric want to proceed with attempting to heal the paranoid character despite his refusal, he'd be best served to cast the cure spell from a distance and then move to melee to deliver the touch, negating the attack of opportunity he'd otherwise suffer. Also, if the paranoid character has Spellcraft, you might grant him a second save against the paranoia if he correctly identifies the spell as it is cast - on a second failure, he still believes the cleric managed to "fake" which spell he was casting, of course. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 8:53
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No, you've got that down right. The system doesn't really so much as reward low will saves in this scenario, it turns people with high saves into a problem and possibly a little side quest if it gets out of hand. The PC receiving the heal should make a will save and if he fails, he is healed. That is how the system works.

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Mechanically, that is basically correct. In addition, though, the cleric attempting to cast the heal spell on an unwilling target should probably also be making a touch attack, to be able to successfully touch the unwilling target.

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