I am in a D&D 3.5e campaign (custom setting) where the party is all 1st-level and consists of:

  • Halfling Druid with partial alternate class features, no animal companion yet and a quarterstaff & sling for weapons (me)
  • Catfolk Rogue with no UMD I know of, but Two-Weapon Fighting and a shortsword & dagger for weapons
  • Half-Orc Barbarian with a spiked and an unspiked cestus
  • Half-Orc Barbarian with an axe
  • Human Truenamer with good truenaming optimization (+13 to Truespeak). NOTE: THIS IS NOT A BASE/RAW TRUENAMER! It is the rewritten version from this GitP thread.
  • Human Monk (DMPC) who's decent in close combat and has a butterfly sword as a result

Our party supplies include holy water (as we are fighting undead in this early quest) but not healing potions; at the end of last session, our DM inserted a magical mass heal into the dungeon, though, as a form of intervention.

Thing is, I'm in a situation where due to the RL need for sleep, I have to leave the table roughly an hour or so early on a regular basis; this worries me somewhat, though, because D&D 3.5e, AIUI, is much more difficult when you have no supply of magic for such tasks as healing, dealing with damage reduction, buffing party mates, providing something else for the enemy to pick on, or doing damage to the incorporeal.

This leads me to the question: How well can a Truenamer, played using the rules from The Way Words Work, fill in for an absent Druid, especially when it comes to more critical tasks like making sure people don't die? Can they use their utterances to heal and deal with status effects, or have I already heard the limit of their ability in that aspect in the form of temporary HP? Should I be nudging the Rogue (and perhaps the Truenamer as well) to take advantage of the Artificer in town and taking levels in Use Magic Device while getting some used wands and the likes?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll admit to curiosity: if you have to leave at (say) 9:00, why does the group keep going 'til 10? \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Mar 21, 2015 at 5:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @minnmass -- the rest of the group doesn't need their sleep quite as much as I do ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Mar 21, 2015 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


Just as sysadmins have the insult "you can be replaced by a very small shell script." So too does the truenamer: "you can be replaced by a level 1 magical item". To strictly answer the question: "very poorly, but they can use items slightly better than some other classes due to a +5 untyped bonus in use magic device." Given that this question is situated in the middle of a dungeon, the answer is "not at all."

As a human, contrive to get use magical device as a in-class skill. Take "universal aptitude" as your utterance. Spend your starting gold on a partially depleted wand of lesser vigor. The wand can do out of combat healing, and heal checks can take care of emergency stabilization. While there are certainly better people who can hold a wand, there are certainly worse uses of the truenamer.

With your revised house-ruled... "class", they're not a healer. At all. But they do gain use magic device as a class skill, so my answer still applies, though if they can figure out how this new subsystem actually works they may want to contribute in combat instead.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Plus, he can really be replaced by a script. "When I'm at home... here, have my character sheet, spells included. He uses this if x happens, that if y happens. Don't get him killed." \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Mar 20, 2015 at 12:14

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