Recovery Spamming



I have a question about Recovery. I got the masters edition and all it seems to say about it is

At any time during play, sacrifice your TURN to pause, regain your breath, bind
a few cuts, and RECOVER your gusto. To do so, roll a D20 + your CON STAT, and
meet or beat the current TARGET. If you can do so, regain your CON STAT + 1 in
HP instantly. Now get back in the fight!

It seems to me that anything that could be done in a single turn, could easily be ‘spammed’ between combats and so the players get back to full very quickly even with high room DCs.

I did find that it was addressed in this forum post Recovery
but that really doesn’t make any sense to me or the players. Why can they spend 6 seconds (a round at my table, since I came from Pathfinder) and heal con+1 hp in combat (a stressful environment), but then in 10-100 times that time in peace and so have the time to do it right, they only get to heal con+1 once?

I am currently homebrewing that if they use the recovery option that every 10 hp that they recover with it reduces their max hp by 1 (they get it back with enough downtime), but was wanting to see if there was a better way that kept the recovery being a turn, but without rather arbitrarily just saying that they can only recover once or so between combats


In the second edition, there were three categories of time for recovery to take place;

In Mere Moments (combat): make a con check and if successful recover Con+1

In Hours (traveling, camping, between battles, etc): Only when in complete safety the character recovers a single full heart no roll. If not in safety the character recovers 1+ Con with no roll as they are not in combat but also not safe from potential harm. Safety is Key here and only the GM makes the determination if the characters are safe.

In Days (spending downtime, Resting at an inn or hospital): The character regains all Hearts with no roll. The idea here is that the character is completely safe from harm and does not need to split their focus for potential danger and healing themselves.

The master edition does not include these distinctions from the second edition, as it is a condensed version of the second edition, worlds, magic, and other separate works in one omnibus.

I will also offer this concept, since the game remains in constant turn order if between battles the players are only allowed one turn and they choose the recovery action while not in safety they are not able to declare that they are preparing rituals, finding spell components, repairing equipment, searching for secret corridors or traps.


If players have time to sit around and spam recovery rolls between combat, you might not be challenging them enough as a DM.

In my games, I usually run three “scenes” a night. Between scenes, players might have one round to lick their wounds before the next scene and a whole new series of problems or peril emerges. If players want to rest in the middle of a dungeon, that usually doesn’t pan out well, because more monsters show up. If players reach a place of safety, then there is no need for recovery rolls; they can just reset to full HP. But if they are adventuring, they don’t get to just rest.

I strongly encourage you to keep throwing events and complications at them, so they stay ragged over the course of a night’s play and don’t have time to spam any rolls, recovery or otherwise.


In practice, after playing and running ICRPG for the last four years, I find that “recovery spamming” really isn’t much of a problem, even though I will admit I was initially concerned about it when I first discovered the system.

If you want to pump the brakes on it in combat situations, you can always adopt the regulatory house rule I came up with when I first played Core 2.0. A injured player character can “suck it up” to recover CON+1 HP exactly once with no roll, sacrificing actions and movement for a turn. After that, until that PC is restored to full HP by some means, e.g., magical healing, overnight rest in safety, etc., the recovery action cannot be used again. Fair, simple, and easy to adjudicate. It’s a small-scope implementation of “hardcore mode” for ICRPG that should assuage any concerns you have.


One other wrinkle is the HP is so low that “Full HP” is still not very far from danger. Usually when I play it’s tough to justify spending a turn on recovery instead of getting something DONE.

As a GM I don’t see recovery used that much either. Players will Recover when there’s no healer in the party, but even then, the Recovery action eats up their turn and only gives them 1+CON HP back… It’s risky in my opinion.

Plus, given the 2e rules (which I still vaguely follow in my head), I just assumed of players have “hours of safety to do it right” they just heal up to full with no worries.

The main thing to me is, with only 10 HP, death is always just around the corner, whether you’re at 1 or at 10. I wouldn’t stress out about it.

(Edited to add) A simple fix to give players full options while keeping the turn order moving…

If out of immediate danger (GM’s discretion), Roll CON to Recover. On a successful roll, heal to full HP, on a failure, heal 1+CON.


I do what others above do, with the only caveat that if I have a rare break in the session where the players spend a bunch of “down time,” I’d have them reset to full HP. I say rarely, because the stuff we play at the table is normally the second-to-second, minute-to-minute stuff. We generally we don’t spend a lot of time playing turns over a time span of hours or days or weeks where it’d make sense to reset all their HP loss. Stuff like shopping for gear or whatever happens between sessions, or as part of prologue or epilogue to a night of play.

In that context, it makes sense that the best they can do is patch themselves up ala recovery, because I don’t typically have any sort of “long rest” mid session.

Finally, absolutely, I would double down on what Alex is saying. I keep a timer counting down basically every turn or round, so if a player really spent more than one turn in a row “recovering” they’d quickly be in some sort of action again, and very likely have missed an important opportunity related to timers. In D4 rounds the dead rise from the tombs, or the ship sinks, or the dragon is going to breath fire on the city again, etc., etc.


I have ran a total of 1 ICRPG games so far so no expert. Not sure who started it but we ended up calling the Recovery action between combat “First Aid” and I (the GM) explained they could do it only once after each combat. If you pass the roll you put on a bandage and stopped the bleeding. Once that is done adding additional bandages would not accomplish anything.


Thanks for all the replies,
it seems that recovery won’t be such a horrible thing even if they can spam it.


when you only got 10hp recovery only delays the inevitable