Mutants of the Eclipse Part X – The Healer

   To continue with Mutants in Eclipse, here are the power packages for Class I and Class II Healers – that is, at +1 and +2 ECL modifiers. As usual, their powers are built using Unlimited-Use Use-Activated Innate Enchantments – at an effective “Cost” of (Spell Level x Casting Level x 2000 GP x Modifiers).

   Healers are always a bit problematic. They allow characters to enter battle casually, to disregard wounds, and to endanger bystanders without worrying about it. They eliminate a lot of tension, spoil the drama of dying words, and make a lot of classical menaces more or less meaningless. Questions like “will he survive his injures?” really should provoke some tension, rather than phrases like “of course he will stupid!”.

   In superhero worlds, where most characters have unlimited use of their abilities, things are even worse. With a super-healer running about, no one will remain injured for more than a minute or two – and hospitals become redundant. Who needs them when a single healer can cure a thousand people or so a day?

   The standard solution in the comic books material is to drastically limit healers, sometimes by saying that healing drains their own strength, sometimes by saying that it drastically stresses the target, and usually by saying both.

   Thus we have:

  •    “Subjects cannot benefit from more than (Con/3) levels of healing effects per day. Healing effects which are partially in excess of this limit will cause Fatigue if the target has relevant injuries to be healed and will take time – until the next day, when they will fit within the target’s healing allowance – to take full effect. Healing effects in excess of this limit will cause the subject to become Exhausted if the subject has relevant injuries to be healed; applying – say – a “cure blindness” effect will not exhaust a target who has no blindness to he healed. Applying healing effects to a character who has already been Exhausted by excess healing attempts requires a Fortitude Save against the effect to avoid a total collapse and possible (GMO) death or long-term disability that CANNOT be repaired by healing effects.” That’s about (x .4), since it makes unlimited-use healing a great deal less useful.
  •    Secondarily to represent the personal limit on the Healer’s powers, lets say that “A healer must expend his or her own strength in healing. Each healing effect applied requires a Fortitude Save to avoid fatigue (the Arcanum Minimus life energy limitation from The Practical Enchanter, reducing the effective level of the user’s healing spells by one) that cannot be removed by supernatural powers. No matter how good the user’s saves are, he or she cannot use more than (twice his or her Constitution) total levels worth of healing effects in any one day (x.3).

   Now, normally you aren’t allowed to create unlimited-use healing abilities anyway. Enchantments are normally limited to a maximum of five uses per day or once per day per level, whichever is better, but those are pretty restrictive even on top of those limitations. A high-constitution healer can get away with more “Relieve Illness” or “Cure Light Wounds” effects under those two limitations than he or she could as a normal character – but he or she would be giving up all use of most of his or her other abilities to do it. That will work nicely.

   So, our Class-I Healers abilities will look something like this:

  • Level One Effects (Effectively Spell Level Zero x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 120 GP each). Effects in this group include Cure Light Wounds, Dentistry (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), Expel Parasites (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), Lesser Restoration, Relieve Illness (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), Relieve Poison (from the Hedge Wizardry list, this site), and Surgery I (makes minor cosmetic changes and corrects minor problems, including small congenital defects). That’s a total of 840 GP.
  • Level Two Effects (Effectively Spell Level One x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 240 GP each). Effects in this group include Calm Emotions, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, Remove Paralysis, and Surgery II (makes notable changes or corrects moderate problems, including most congenital defects). That’s a total of 1200 GP.
  • Level Three Effects (Effectively Spell Level Two x Caster Level Three x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 1440 GP each). Effects in this group include Cure Serious Wounds, Neutralize Poison, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, and Surgery III (makes major cosmetic changes and corrects major problems, including massive congenital defects. That’s a total of 8640 GP.
  • Level Four Effects (Effectively Spell Level Three x Caster Level Five x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 3600 GP each). Effects in this group include Cure Critical Wounds, Genetic Correction (undoes troublesome genetic damage or malign mutations), and Restoration for a total of 10,800 GP
  • Level Six Effects. These come with an additional Arcanum Minimus minus one level modifier – Ambient Magic, which means that they take a good deal of time to invoke (Effectively Spell Level Four x Caster Level Seven x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations =3600 GP each). Effects in this category include Heal and Revival (a spell to possibly bring back the very recently dead, from The Practical Enchanter), for a total of 7200 GP.
  • Finally, lets give him or her unlimited use of a set of three cantrips from the Hedge Wizardry list – Check Health, Contraception, and Painkiller. None of those actually heal anything, so truly unlimited use is appropriate – at a net cost of 3000 GP (three spells, each Spell Level Zero x Caster Level One x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated = 1000 GP each).

   That’s a grand total, for our Basic Class-I healing package, of 31,680 GP.

   Class-II Healers – also sometimes known as Messiah Class Healers – can do even more, although their three major abilities come with an additional Arcanum Minimus minus one level modifier – Ambient Magic. These effects require a good deal of time to attempt.

  • They can bring back people who have been dead for several days. That’s Raise Dead – but Raise Dead has a very expensive material component. ([Effectively Spell Level Three x Caster Level Five x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated + 5000 GP Material Component x 50 for Restricted Use] x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations x.3 Tends to attract the attention of supernatural beings that embody death, creatures that are involved with the dead, and various spirits = 10,080 GP.
  • They can regenerate limbs and organs. That’s Regenerate (Effectively Spell Level Five x Caster Level Nine x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 10,800 GP).
  • The can restore almost any other negative effect, although this costs the target some 500 XP. That’s Greater Restoration (Effectively Spell Level Five x Caster Level Nine x 2000 GP for Unlimited-Use Use-Activated x .4 Target limitations x .3 Total level limitations = 10,800 GP).

   That’s an additional total of another 31,680 GP.

   That does leave enough left over for a Class-II healer to have another unlimited-use cantrip. Personally I’d suggest Touch of Fatigue; that’s about as dangerous as a healer’s powers are really likely to get in the comics.

   Healers can be vitally important when you need one, but they really aren’t very exciting; they tend to help after battles, not during them. Now, if a healer is operating in a non-superhero world – where people are far less durable, medical treatment is usually more limited, and most special powers are limited-use anyway – they become far more important figures, and – like most of the other “Mutant” packages – their abilities would be a definite abuse of Innate Enchantment.

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