Healing Magic in Classical Fantasy and Ponies of the Eclipse – Mage Meadowbrook

Healing in Classical Fantasy Worlds

Healers aren’t especially uncommon. A lot of people like to help others – and being one of the people who makes it stop hurting, saves lives, and delivers babies comes with social respect, a certain amount of authority, and good-to-excellent pay.

Or at least it does if you’re good at it – and magical healers tend to be very, VERY, good at it.

That’s a problem with ponies, or any other setting, class, or effect which offers both access to healing magic and near-unlimited use of spells. If one of the local casters has “Cure Light Wounds”… then long-term injuries are not going to exist unless you make up special rules for them. If they know a few more spells – “Lesser Restoration”, “Cure Disease”, “Neutralize Poison”, and perhaps a few others along those lines (even if they’re lesser variants which have to be cast several times to obtain the same effect) then there won’t be hospitals, epidemics, or much in the way of medical problems outside of congenital defects (if there’s no spell for those) and the infirmities of extreme old age.

But Equestria DOES have hospitals. So even the most gifted healers are going to be limited to natural cures, alchemy, special-purpose items and potions, and the following spell list:

  • Cantrips: Check Health#, Congenital Cure* (fixes a congenital defect over the next month), Contraception#, Know Usage (identifies the medicinal potential of various substances and plants)*, Painkiller#, Stabilize (Standard), Transfuse#, and Wake Up (gets a living but unconscious or even a brain-damaged target awake and coherent for one minute/caster level)*
  • Level One Spells: Dentistry#, Expel Parasites#, Healing Lorecall (SC, Note that this works with the Healthful Rest spell, even if you don’t take the time to complete the rest), Healthful Rest (SC) (or the Restful Sleep Pathfinder version), Lesser Restoration, Pharmacist* (+10 to making medicines), Relieve Poison#, and Relieve Illness#.
    • #: From the Hedge Magic spell list. *: Original Spell.

The rarely-required Regeneration can be induced with a Dao Sigil Talisman (Charms and Talismans can be found in The Practical Enchanter), but takes a very long time. Instant Healing is available through the Sovereign Ointment Charm or the Rubydraught Talisman, but those are very limited use.

Mage Meadowbrook, Pillar of Healing

Level four (ECL 5) Earth Pony Physician and Artificer.

As a filly, Meadowbrook learned her mother’s healing skills – but when an epidemic of Swamp Fever (a magical disease with no known cure that turned its victims into trees) swept through the village and her mother fell ill, she surpassed her training to find a cure. With her village safe and it’s ponies recovering, she set forth to cure other stricken villages – and continued on to find and administer cures for many other magical ills, as well as learning to use the magical properties of the natural world to brew powerful potions and forge useful enchantments. In her travels across Equestria she, and her curious healers mask, became legendary while she was still quite young.

Mage Meadowbrook is principally noted for her Eight Enchanted Items, for her ability to make Magical Potions, Dusts, and Brews and other “:alchemical” concoctions, and for her Healing Skills. Secondarily, she’s quite agile and – as befits an earth pony – is quite tough and strong.

Eight Enchanted Items… Isn’t it pretty odd that the number is so definite but there’s no actual mention of what any of those items were? Wouldn’t there have been a time when she only had seven, and wouldn’t it have been possible for her to have picked up a ninth? Even Twilight didn’t seem to know what any of the eight items were – although she was sure that there were only eight. Even more puzzling… when Mage Meadowbrook actually made an appearance, she didn’t seem to need or use any items besides her potions and her mask.

Evidently her eight enchanted items were legendary, but (outside of her mask) they weren’t actually a part of HER panoply and legend – and that’s downright weird. When you read about King Arthur, you’ll read about Excalibur, it’s sheath, the Siege Perilous, and the Holy Grail, (among other items). If you listen to the legends about Thor you will hear about his chariot and goats, his belt and gauntlets, and his mighty hammer. And yet we don’t hear about Meadowbrooks Eight Enchanted Items or see her use any of them. Why not?

Perhaps because they were tools instead of independent items like Starswirls Mirror? Did she keep changing them out so they varied from story to story? Maybe she only used her Mask and loaned out the other seven items? Or perhaps all of those? Because I have a power package for that. Meadowlark was probably a Houngan Conjurer,

  • Create Relic, Specialized and Corrupted/only usable to make one-point relics, only usable with points from Enthusiast, requires that the user come up with a neat ritual, and all relics carry a disadvantage – although this does help reduce their cost (2 CP).
  • Enthusiast x3, Two Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect, one Specialized for Double Effect and Corrupted for Decreased Cost (8 CP to get 8 “floating” CP to be made into temporary relics) / points may only be used to create relics (known as “conjures”), relics have a maximum cost of one point and no one can use more than one at any one time. This will let her have eight conjures at any one time.
  • Adaption, with the same limitations (+1 CP) so that she can change them around in a day if she needs to instead of requiring a week or so.

There: for a mere 11 CP Mage Meadowbrook can provide a customized two-feat boost – albeit with an accompanying disadvantage – to each member of any party she is associated with. She can thus be famous for her Eight Enchanted Objects, and still have no one having any idea of what they actually were because they’d change from story to story.

Similarly, Mage Meadowbrooks “potions” do a lot more than what d20 potions can do. They can produce active, external, magical effects rather than being limited to things that affect the drinker. Fortunately, there is a power package ready for that too.

  • Create Relic: Specialized and Corrupted / only to make limited-use items (Apply “Specialized / Does Not Recover to the items created, only select abilities that normally offer a limited number of daily uses) costing a maximum of 3 CP each, only using points from Enthusiast (2 CP).
    • Mage Meadowbrook tends to talk about requiring rare ingredients and such – but this rarely actually seems to limit her, so it’s basically flavor text.A list of sample items that can be created can be found HERE, under “where does he get these wonderful toys”.
  • Double Enthusiast x2, Specialized for Increased Effect (provides four floating CP per instance) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / points may only be used with Create Relic, limited as above (8 CP).
    • This provides Mage Meadowbrook with a small magical arsenal. It will take quite some time – days or weeks – to rebuild it if she exhausts it, but she can stockpile or create quite a few things. The game master may allow her to use her base relic allotment in this way as well, substantially increasing her arsenal.

So…

To summarize the low-level adventurer template, those affected get:

  • A -3 penalty on unskilled skill checks.
  • Very slow level advancement, by direct session-based character point awards rather than experience points. Succeeding in goals helps, but killing things and taking their stuff does not.
  • The status of valuable trouble magnets – they’re rare and find trouble everywhere they go.
  • A +3 bonus on five skills which suit their backgrounds and training. Sadly, this cannot be applied to active magical skills.
  • Extra hit points equal to [12 + (2 x Con Mod)].
  • Two minor special talents. For the full list see the Template, for Meadowbrook we’ll take Plague Survivor (+4 on saves versus illnesses, -2 on any attribute damage taken) and Sensitive Nose (Can easily detect the scent of poisonous substances).

To summarize the Basic Pony Modifiers:

  • Quadruped. In general ponies are slow and have trouble moving while using tools or weapons.
  • Attribute Modifiers: -2 Dex, +2 Con. An additional +2 Con and +2 Chr are dispellable magical bonuses.
  • Damage Reduction 9/- versus both Physical and Energy Attacks, only DR 2/- versus melee attacks by living creatures.
  • Endure Elements. Ponies pretty much ignore the weather.
  • Ponies heal 1d8+1 damage per round for a round three times per day.
  • Ponies are always treated as having lots of pockets, even in the nude.
  • Ponies get minor cartoon effects, such as hair that responds to moods, blushing through fur, and so on.
  • Ponies may begin or participate in spontaneously choreographed musical numbers that provide bonuses for group tasks.
  • Have a base pool of 1d6+3 Mana, regaining 1d6 with an hours rest up to three times a day and 1-2 points per day regardless.
  • Get a +2 Racial Bonus to Perform/Sing

To Summarize the Earth Pony Modifiers:

  • Mana-Powered Berserker (+8 Str) with no fatigue. In effect, an Earth Pony with a Con of 14+ (their average) can run a continuous +8 bonus to their Strength.
  • Nature Sense (very vague save for items related to agriculture).
  • +4 to resist bull rushes and knockdowns
  • Pays half price for Rune Magic (Homesteading) Casting and Mastery, Knowledge/Nature, and Survival. (Homesteading Magic covers cooking, cleaning, making and mending basic clothing, helping make tools, agriculture, and general pioneering. Earth ponies can get lots of work done and raise crops in extremely dubious locations. Some appropriate spells for use with Homesteading Magic can be found under Hedge Magic). These skills also receive a +3 Racial Bonus.
  • Immunity to Fatigue and Exhaustion.
  • A +3 bonus on any one hoof-based Martial Art.

Basic Attributes (Pathfinder 25-Point Buy): Str 12 (+8 Ber = 20), Dex 14 (-2 Pony = 12), Con 14 (+2 Pony +2 M = 18), Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 13 (+2 M +1 Level = 16)

Available Character Points: 120 (L4 Base ) + 6 (Disadvantages; Obligations (Pillar of Equestria) and History) +8 (Duties as a Healer) +6 (First and Third Level Bonus Feats) = 140 CP.

Basic Abilities (68 CP):

  • Hit Dice: 10 (L1d10, 6 CP) +20 (12 + 2 x Con Mod Template) +14 (L2-4d6, 6 CP) +16 (4 x Con Mod) = 60 HP.
  • Skill Points: 25 (Purchased, 25 CP) + 14 (Int) +10 (Fast Learner) = 49 SP

Skills:

  • Acrobatics: +7 (3* SP) +1 (Dex) = +8 (Jump +12 due to speed).
  • Craft/Alchemy +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Diplomacy +1 (1 SP) +3 (Cha) = +4
  • Heal +7 (3* SP) +2 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Iron Hoof Skirmisher Style +7 (3* SP) +5 (Str) +3 (Race) = +15
  • Knowledge/Geography +4 (4 SP) +2 (Int) = +6
  • Knowledge/Local +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Knowledge/Nature +7 (3* SP) +2 (Int) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Linguistics +5 (2* SP) +2 (Int) = +7
  • Perception +7 (3* SP) +2 (Wis) +3 (Tem) = +12
  • Profession (Swamp Rat) +1 (1 SP) +2 (Wis) = +3
  • Perform (Sing) +2 (2 SP) +3 (Cha) +2 (Race) = +7
  • Rune Magic (Homesteading) Casting +5 (2* SP)+3 (Cha) +3 (Race) = +11 (Effective Caster Level Five)
  • Rune Magic (Homesteading) Mastery +5 (2* SP) +3 (Cha) +3 (Race) = +11 (Can use second level effects)
  • Spellcraft +2 (2 SP) +2 (Int) = +4
  • Stealth +7 (3* SP) +1 (Dex) = +8
  • Survival +7 (3* SP) +2 (Wis) = +9
  • Swim +1 (1 SP) +5 (Str) = +6

Specific Knowledges: Equestrian Diseases (1 SP).

Skill Specialties: Making Medicines, Natural Remedies,and Knowledge/Local/Where to find natural remedies (3 SP)

The Iron Hoof Skirmisher Style (Str):

Requires: Str 16+, Hooves

  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 4, Strike, Toughness 1, and Synergy/Acrobatics.
  • Advanced Techniques: Blinding Strike, Crippling Blow. Improved Disarm, and Mobility.
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Inner Strength, Light Foot, and Vanishing.

Known Techniques (8): Defenses 4, Strike, Crippling Blow, Inner Strength, and Light Foot.

  • BAB +2 (12 CP).
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude +2 (6 CP) +4 (Con) = +6
    • Reflex +2 (6 CP) +1 (Dex) = +3
    • Will +2 (6 CP) +2 (Wis) = +4
  • Proficiencies: Throwing Vials/Bottles (1 CP).
  • Initiative: +1 (Dex)
  • Move: 40 (four legs)
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) + 1 (Dex) +4 (Martial Art) +4 (Shimmermail) = 19
  • Usual Weapons:
    • Kick: +7 (+2 BAB +5 Str), 1d4+5 (+4d6 with Thunderhoof Strike), Crit 20/x2. May inflict lethal or nonlethal damage without penalty.
    • Thrown Container/Rock: +3 (+2 BAB +1 Dex), damage depends on contents, range increment as per Light Crossbow thanks to Bracers.

Other Abilities (72 CP):

  • Houngan Conjurer Package (As above, 11 CP).
  • Magical Brewing (As above, 10 CP).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for +2 SP/Level (6 CP).
  • Adept: Acrobatics, Craft/Alchemy, Heal, and Knowledge/Local (6 CP).
  • Adept: Iron Hoof Skirmisher, Perception, Stealth, and Linguistics (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Skills (6 CP)
  • Mana-Powered Inherent Spell: Thunderhoof Strike (L3, cast as a part of an attack action, adds 1d6/Level, 10d6 maximum, to the damage inflicted by a blow, 6 CP). At the moment this is only 4d6 with her single attack – but an extra 4d6 on your kick is actually pretty good.
  • Mana-Powered Occult Talent, Specialized for Increased Effect (Double Spell Formula: 8 Cantrips and 2 First Level Effects) / requires messing about with assorted herbs and medicines and a DC 20 Craft/Alchemy check – although she may “take 20” on this (6 CP).
  • Mana Powered Occult Talent, Specialized for Increased Effect (L0 slots count as L1, the L1 slot counts as two L1 Slots for a total of six level one slots) / requires messing about with assorted herbs and medicines and a DC 20 Heal check – although she may “take 20” on this (6 CP).
    • These two occult talents give her access to the full list of Equestrian Healing Spells (above), although she channels her magic through medications and skill instead of direct spellcasting.
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized in Saving Throws (6 CP).
  • Privilege: Mage Meadowbrook is recognized as an expert healer, a plaguebreaker, and a master of potions and brews throughout the land, and – as such – enjoys a welcome and local support everywhere she goes (3 CP).

Equipment:

  • Healers Mask: This is her personal Conjure, and provides two six-point Immunities – to swarms and to the side effects of magical plants – allowing her to gather her ingredients in relative safety. It’s unfortunate side effect is a -5 penalty on Perception rolls, since wearing it makes it difficult to see, hear, or smell properly.

Unlike most of the other Pillars, Meadowbrook is something of a specialist in enchanted items – and so it should be no surprise that she makes use of a full set of Charms and Talismans (from The Practical Enchanter).

  • Charms: Blemish Cream, Bracers of Hurling, Cleansing Wand, Druid Boxes, Ice Chest, Ring of Mist, and Sovereign Ointment.
  • Talismans: Dao Sigil, Rubydraught, and Shimmermail

By normal d20 standards Mage Meadowbrook isn’t an especially powerful healer. She can relieve illnesses and some conditions, accelerate healing, and fix a variety of minor problems all day long – but she can’t instantly heal massive wounds or wipe away major conditions without an appropriate potion or brew – and her brew-and-potion resources have to be split between healing, defensive, offensive, and utility effects. She can fight reasonably effectively too, but is no match for a dedicated warrior. She can provide basic boosting items for her friends, but cannot produce major enchantments for them.

And really, that’s about what you’d expect from healers apprentice who went adventuring as early as she possibly could. She did a lot of minor adventuring on her own, dabbles in pretty much everything you need for undertaking minor adventures / ingredient-gathering fetch-quests, and can take care of herself – but her skills are best used as party backup.

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2 Responses

  1. Meadowbrook and Zecora seem like two peas in a proverbial pod, given their specialties regarding herb-based medicinal magic. That makes it somewhat ironic that the latter needed the former’s old research to save her, but they’ll probably never meet otherwise (that we’ll see, at least).

    I also wanted to point out a small error in Meadowbrook’s Basic Abilities: she’s taken a d6 Hit Die for levels 2 through 4, which should be 6 CP, but the listing has it costing her 8 CP. I’d recommend moving the extra 2 CP into ranks in Spellcraft, since in Shadow Play – Part 2 she looks at a spell of Twilight’s and offers commentary on it.

    Additionally, does taking Adaption once allow it to apply to three instances of Enthusiast, the way it seems to in that first power package? Or is that where the other 2 CP should have gone?

    • I suspect that Mage Meadowbrook simply has a lot more experience than Zecora. After all, Mage Meadowbrook traveled all over Equestria – whereas if Zecora had that much experience she probably would have expected Ponyvilles reaction when she first showed up.

      And that is what I get for adjusting their level and other numbers on the fly. Thank you for pointing that out!

      And Spellcraft it shall be. I must admit that I’ve never seen any of their episodes, so I’m mostly working for the Wiki’s – and I didn’t see that bit anywhere.

      Adaption does usually carry over – it doesn’t have the “upgrades do not carry over” language on it. “Double” does not however (and should have such a tag). It’s in there to restrict the stuff you can buy with Enthusiast to a maximum of six points.

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