Tuesday Magic Item – Physician’s Kit (and variant Heal skill rules)

19 October, 2010

The physician from the College of the Body arrived, a black case carried by his assistant.  Setting down to work, he opened the bag producing an ever changing array of tools, medicines and bandages.  Soon the wounds were tended, the physician collected he fee and left.  To this day, I am unsure how he managed to pack so many bandages in such a small case.

Physician’s Case

These sturdy bags are heavily made, often with an internal frame of wood or metal, and fold out to allow easy access to what they contain which is a wide collection of medical tools, bandages, medicines and other useful items for the medical trade.

Physician's Case

Physician's Case

The physician’s is fully stocked with all of the materials and tools needed to heal to sick and wounded.  It provides 20 ‘uses’ of a healer’s kit and replenishes fully each morning.  Anyone with skill points in the Heal skill can use the medicines and tools within for a +5 competence bonus to Heal checks.

Additionally, the bearer gains a +2 resistance bonus to saves against diseases.

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 5,000; Weight 2 lbs
Requirements Create Wondrous Item, bear’s endurance, fabricate, resistance, secret chest; Cost 2,500 (+200 xp for D&D)

This goes along with my attempt to make the Heal skill more useful and not make magical healing the be all and end all of wound treatment.  While Pathfinder makes a nod in that direction, it does not go nearly far enough.

HealNew skill use:

Battlefield Medicine (replaces Treat Deadly Wounds)- Takes one minute, on a successful DC 15 heal check heals a base of 1 hit points per HD of the treated character +1 hp for each 3 points the DC is exceeded by. The treatment of a wounded character must be begin within 15 minutes of taking the wounds.

If you take five minutes to make the check, you may add your Intelligence or Wisdom modifier (whichever is higher) to the amount healed.  Further, if you take a full hour to make the roll, you heal an additional 1 hp for each 2 points the DC is exceeded by rather than 1 per 3.

Only one battlefield medicine check may be made on a person in any hour.

You must expend two uses from a healer’s kit to perform this task.  You take a –2 penalty on your Heal skill check for each use from the healer’s kit that you lack (or a -5 for not having a healer’s kit at all).

A clean and warm room gives a +1 circumstance bonus to the battlefield medicine check, a first aid station +3 and a hospital +5.   While poor conditions adds +1-10 to the DC.

Note: A healer’s kit does not provide any bonuses for a battlefield medicine check, but it does negate penalties. A masterwork healer’s kit provides a +2 equipment bonus on a battlefield medicine checks but costs 100 and 40 to restock.

A healer’s kit provides enough supplies for ten uses. Restocking a healer’s kit costs 25.

Credit: Image from Living Archives: Doctor’s Medical Bag.


  1. I like how you tie intelligence to the heal skill. I often allow players to use either charisma or strength for intimidate checks, so I see no reason why heal couldn’t benefit from intelligence or wisdom. There are, after all, different schools of healing techniques.

    • Thank you. It just seemed appropriate, you can have learned doctors and those who just know what to do, both equally skilled in helping people.

  2. I don’t mean to appear like I’m just harvesting ideas, but this one also fits for what we’re working on with Gondal. The alternate healing rule, and healer’s kits like this, make perfect sense in a magocracy before the emergence of divine magic.

    I also like options for groups not to need a healer, since casting healing spells is one of the more boring aspects of D20 for a lot of players.

    • By all means. As I noted, it was part of my intention to broaden the scope of non-magical healing.

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