Alright so I've been planning this huge quest for about a month now. And I am planning on using a character I create as a guiding tool. Only problem is, I know all my friends who are going to join are going to be either rangers or some type of fighter. So I've been looking for a character class that has some healing and fighting in D&D 3.5. So is there anyone that can offer advice. (we've only ever played 2.0)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the question you're trying to ask "What are interesting classes that can heal and fight rather well?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Mouhgouda
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose that if I could push the crusader class on one of my friends that would work. But the last campaign we played only one person played a spell caster, but he didn't like because of the slow pergression. But, here is were the confusing for us comes in. After about 3 years of playing we are just now upgrading to 3.5. All this time we have been playing 2.0 \$\endgroup\$
    – user20912
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 16:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ If they don't like them because of their slow progression you could point out that in 3.5E unlike 2E everyone shares the same level progression, so you reach level 2 at 1000XP regardless of if you are a wizard, a fighter, or whatever else you decide to be. \$\endgroup\$
    – diego
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user20912 Yeah, things are very different in 3.5; while 2e spellcasters could, at high levels, have true ultimate power, 3.5 spellcasters get that... pretty early. And even at level 1, have significant advantages over non-spellcasters. And level at the same rate, but get more with each level. But all of that is somewhat moot, because the crusader is not a spellcaster. He heals his allies by attacking his enemies: his zealous displays rally them and inspire them to overcome the pain. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


Crusader is the class you want, but not the class you need.

The crusader from Tome of Battle: Book of the Nine Swords is literally exactly what you describe. It’s not the only class that does what you describe, but no other class does it as well.

The crusader is also one of the best classes for new players, which I mention because you appear to be the DM in this situation, and usually a DM doesn’t get a character, and using a tag-along character like this (DMPC) usually doesn’t work out well. You have enough work to do as a DM without having to worry about also trying to separate your DM concerns from your play concerns, and if you do that poorly the DMPC is likely to be an annoying deus ex machina that’s following the players around. It would be far better to convince one of the players who wants to play a fighter or ranger to instead play a crusader.

Note also that fighter and ranger are some of the weakest classes in 3.5. You will, as DM, have to take that into consideration when deciding what challenges they face. Without strong magic, many challenges are simply going to be impossible for them, because the system assumes you’re going to have a cleric and a wizard with you (and cleric and wizard are two of the strongest classes). Convincing them to play stronger but similar classes, such as warblades instead of fighters and crusaders instead of rangers, may improve your game and make your job as DM a little easier (since those classes are closer to the middle of the road).

If you don’t, and everyone is playing a fighter or a ranger, well, rangers can use a wand of any spell on their spell list, without UMD, even if they don’t have their own spellcasting yet. Give the party a wand of lesser vigor and any ranger can keep the party topped off between fights. That’s usually enough healing for most groups, really. Because unless they optimize quite well, the crusader might be inappropriate – not too bad if it was another PC, but really obnoxious if it’s a DMPC.

Thus, even though crusader is the class that does best what you describe, crusader would be a really bad choice for you, in this situation. You want an NPC to follow the party around? That’s a bad idea, but if you insist: use an NPC class. You want weakness here. An adept would hang in the back and provide healing, but this character is supposed to hang in the back. Don’t take the spotlight away from the PCs; you have the entire world to shape around them, it’s no fun to “play” a game where you just watch the DM play.


Cleric and druids are a given, since they are the "Main healers" in the core book. Plus they are rather tanky. Favored souls can be decent, altho with little defences. Depending on the level you want the "heal" to happen, Paladin. Bards can be healer-ish, too, after a few levels, so can Rangers.

And lets not forget the multiclass, Fighter/Cleric, Fighter/Druid or else can be interesting while maintaining the overall magical power level of the helper-character low-ish.

And if you enjoy using really strange books and stuff, the Factotum from the Dungeonscape book.

But as KRyan mentionned, make sure not to steal the spotlight with a too strong/useful/immortal GMPC.

I have ran quite a few games with only 3 players, GM included, and there NEED to be something to help the "group" feel like an adventuring party (more than 1 or 2 person) and to actually have enough magical ressources to "just manage". I usually put in a multi-classed wiz(diviner)-cleric, with most of its build in STR-CON, he survives by its own, he can be useful but nothing of a powerhouse. Or a pair of adept/acolytes.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Factotum does not get substantial healing (actually, I'm not sure it gets any), but it is in Dungeonscape. Anyway, cleric or druid would be massively too powerful here, and for that matter even a bard probably would too. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a constructive subjective answer it'd be nice to explain more of the "why" and "how" ("are a given" is a bit anaemic), and include your own experiences on the matter as support for your suggestions. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd rather not delve deep into old anecdotes since the question is rather vague at the moment (it still sounds like "List the possibilities for fighter-healer types") \$\endgroup\$
    – Mouhgouda
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 16:28

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