Skill Stunts and Epic Skill Stunts VIII – Heal, Profession/Physician, and Knowledge/Medicine.

Healing is going to be a have a lot of options. Not only is it a broad skill that covers a multitude of real-world disciplines and advances, but it’s always been regarded as semi-miraculous. Few other character types so consistently confront Death and win, and – in countless tales and legends – few other characters are quite so selflessly heroic. Even in reality healers often work long hours under great stress, go into danger to save others, risk deadly contagions, and stand up for their patients against threats and political pressure. That’s not to say that there aren’t incompetent, venial, and downright useless people making a living in the field – but it says something that Healers are one of the few types of professional workers who have been deified in many different cultures.

On the other hand, most of these stunts really shouldn’t need descriptions. As living human beings most of the readsers should have a pretty good idea of how healing works – and d20 makes magical healing cheap and easy anyway. After all, if you’re going to rely on combat for excitement you can’t leave the characters laid up for lengthy periods, It should also pretty much go without saying that healers – and especially highly skilled healers – usually make a pretty good living unless magical healing is easily and cheaply available to everyone. To even things up a bit, and because getting your cures ready to go is simply sensible, quite a few healing effects may be prepared in advance – but this doubles the DC and a healer may never have more than (Wis Mod + Level / 2) pre-prepared “medications”. Such preparations have no significant cost however.

  • DC 10 (normally no stunt required):
    • Craft simple but comfortable and reasonably effective prosthesis, such as peg legs or “hook hands”.
    • Deliver a baby if there are no major complications.
    • Make easily-digested high-energy foods for victims of starvation and malnutrition.
    • Make the dying comfortable and relieve their fears. This may include arranging an easy death.
    • Moderate pain.
    • Produce simple plant and mineral based poisons and remedies.
    • Split a simple break in a bone so that a limb will be usable within reasonable limits.
    • Spout confusing jargon that demonstrates that you are, in fact, a medical expert. (It is amazing how often this comes in handy).
  • DC 15 (may not require stunts):
    • Clearly explain the nature of an illness, injury, or dysfunction to someone with no medical background.
    • Determine a creatures cause of death.
    • Induce semi-permanent immunity to ordinary diseases.
    • Induce hybridization between species in a baseline d20 universe.
    • Make a death look natural.
    • Make advanced prosthesis, such as articulated hands that can be set in particular positions, legs with spring joints that are almost as good as a real leg, and so on.
    • Purify basic drugs from natural sources.
    • Set up a small infirmary without supplies.
  • DC 20 (require stunts to perform in a reasonable length of time):
    • Induce a +2 alchemical bonus to a physical attribute for a few hours.
    • Inflict great pain without inflicting much of any actual damage.
    • Make functional Charm-level prosthesis. (See The Practical Enchanter and HERE).
    • Perform cosmetic or dental surgery.
    • Produce advanced (modern) drugs (sadly, most are not very effective in d20 terms).
    • Relieve allergies and arthritis and reduce similar troubles to something manageable.
    • Safely deliver a baby despite all kinds of complications.
    • Splint multiply and badly broken limbs to allow healing and restore minimal function.
  • DC 25:
    • Detect traces of drugs, toxins, magic, psionics, and other outside influences in an individual or corpse.
    • Force a victim of a successful unarmed strike to save or be dazed/dazzled/deafened for 1-2/1-4/2-8 rounds.
    • Induce hybridization between very different types of creatures (EG, elementals and humans) in a baseline d20 universe.
    • Induce immunity to extremely deadly diseases for several years.
    • Make functional Talisman-level prosthesis.
    • Maximize the effect of a healing spell.
    • Perform simple surgery, curing 2d4 damage. Unfortunately, any given patient can only be healed via surgery once per day.
    • Set up professional-level facilities without supplies.
  • DC 30:
    • Cure (or inflict) blindness, deafness, or disease.
    • Determine what a creature was doing shortly before its death.
    • Heighten or inhibit sexual ability and/or fertility.
    • Induce a +4 alchemical bonus to a physical attribute or a +2 bonus to a mental attribute for a few hours.
    • Induce nerve regeneration.
    • Organize a hospital to double the effectiveness of healing effects used within it for the next week.
    • Perform a Lesser Restoration once per day per patient.
    • Sicken a target with an unarmed strike for 2d4 rounds.
  • DC 35:
    • Cure various neural disorders, including most insanities.
    • Inflict exhaustion with an unarmed strike.
    • Neutralize poison and heal it’s effects.
    • Perform organ transplants
    • Perform complex surgery, curing 3d6 damage – although patients can still only be treated with surgery once a day.
    • Produce “Pulp” drugs.
    • Revival (allows normal treatment and recovery for up to three minutes after “death”),
    • Set up hospital-level facilities without supplies.
  • DC 40:
    • Create a clone (either an “empty” physical copy or a normal infant).
    • Cure a supernatural disease,
    • Extend the duration of a patients current and remaining age categories by 3d6 years each.
    • Extract memories from a corpse.
    • Induce slow regeneration of limbs and organs.
    • Induce a +6 alchemical bonus to a physical attribute or a +4 bonus to a mental attribute for a few hours.
    • Inflict an appropriate (described in medical terms) Bestow Curse or Poison effect with an unarmed strike.
    • Provide a full Restoration (once per day per patient),
  • DC 50:
    • Create a tailored “disease” or plague. Note that this can be used to repair genetic damage or errors. This can also be used to create a strain of herbs with tailored medical uses.
    • Extend the duration of each remaining age category by an additional 3d6 years (totaling 6d6).
    • Induce a triple-strength Rite Of Chi (from Eclipse) effect for a patient, A second use on the same patient in the same day is DC 70, and a third is DC 100.
    • Induce a temporary version of “lycanthropy”, equivalent to the various “Bite” spells.
    • Inflict Enervation with an unarmed strike,
    • Perform advanced surgery (curing 4d12 damage) – although patients can still only be treated with surgery once per day each.
    • Quicken Recovery (as per the Epic Level Handbook),
    • Set up for advanced surgery or virtually any other medical procedure without supplies. Notably, this means that you can (if the GM consents) install cyberware, grafts, or other augmentations even when these things are not normally available in the setting. This can also be used to add Templates, although they must be paid for before further level advancement may occur or an additional template may be added. DC 50 for +1 ECL, 60 for +2 ECL, 75 for +3 ECL, 100 for +4 ECL, DC 180 for up to +7 ECL, and DC 250 for up to +10 ECL. Templates of up to +4 ECL may be made hereditary at +25 DC.
  • DC 60:
    • Animate the dead through mad science. You may control up to (Skill Total / 2) hit dice worth, although none may have more than one-fourth that many hit dice. If you have other means of creating or controlling undead, the totals are independent.
    • Cure (or inflict) Lycanthropy, Mummy Rot, and similar curse-diseases.
    • Induce a +8 alchemical bonus to a physical attribute or a +6 alchemical bonus to a mental attribute for a few hours.
    • Inflict an appropriate (described in medical terms) Greater Curse or Paralysis / Unconsciousness effect with an unarmed strike.
    • Perform ultra-advanced surgery (curing 5D20 damage) – although patients can still only be treated with surgery once a day.
    • Rebuild limbs, induce reasonably rapid regeneration, or redesign bodies.
    • Transfer a consciousness into another body, a golem, or a “prosthetic body”.
    • Treat a damaged local ecosystem – although a full recovery may require months or years.
  • DC 75:
    • Build a Flesh Golem. This bypasses the usual prerequisites and 80% of the GP cost – but does not bypass the experience point cost (in 3.5 anyway). Reducing both costs to 10% of normal is DC 100.
    • Create a “plague” that will swiftly spread across the land and spontaneously cure and provide a permanent immunity to a specified illness or disorder.
    • Create a clone body that’s linked to the original creature to receive it’s consciousness in case it dies.
    • Force a victim of an unarmed strike to save or die.
    • Induce symbiosis – for example, turning chunks of a gelatinous cube into “Bacta”.
    • Prevent a target from aging for 6d6 years.
    • Provide a permanent +2 inherent bonus to an attribute.
    • Rebuild a creature into a different kind of creature.
  • DC 100:
    • Create obedient living creatures. The user may maintain up to (Skill Total) hit dice worth of such creatures, although no single creature may have more than (Skill/5) hit dice in total.
    • Create a “plague” that radically alters it’s victims, perhaps adapting a species to a new environment.
    • Induce a Perfect Recovery (as per the Epic Level Handbook).
    • Induce +2 Positive Levels for twenty-four hours.
    • Raise the Dead
    • Render a living target immune to a particular type of energy or effect (including negative energy effects, poisons, radiation, etc) for twenty-four hours. Unfortunately, no single creature may have more than two such immunities active at any one time and inducing a second is DC 150.
    • Restore a target creatures youth.
    • Treat a damaged wide-area ecosystem.

Unlike most of the prior skills, I have items for Heal with DC’s well in excess of 100. Other skills have such options as well of course; but for most of them so far I haven’t thought of enough of them to be worth listing.

  • DC 120:
    • Build a Flesh Colossus. This bypasses the usual prerequisites and 80% of the GP cost – but does not bypass the experience point cost (in 3.5 anyway). At DC 150, both costs are reduced by 90%.
    • Create new types of creatures.
    • Provide a permanent +3 Inherent Bonus to an attribute.
    • Purge all external influences from a target living creatures mind, body, and spirit – eliminating poisons, possessing entities, diseases, and all similar difficulties.
  • DC 180:
    • Create or awaken a Realm (or Planetary) Spirit , causing an entire ecosystem to become an intelligent entity – and one which is generally well-disposed towards the one who awakened it.
    • Force a victim of an unarmed strike to save or be permanently transformed into a different creature.
    • Provide a permanent +4 Inherent Bonus to an attribute.
    • Treat a damaged planetary ecosystem.
  • DC 250:
    • Bestow true immortality on a target creature, providing immunity to aging and 12 CP worth of Returning (from Eclipse) on a permanent basis.
    • Clone a body from near-dust and pull the original spirit (if willing) back to it.
    • Provide a permanent +5 Inherent Bonus to an attribute.
    • Revive a deceased planetary ecosystem (although a full recovery is likely to take centuries).

Epic Stunts for Healing:

Most of the Epic Stunts for Heal simply involve using one of the above stunts either very quickly and/or to affect a large number of creatures at once. As such, I’m not really going to bother listing anything beyond a few of the most obvious.

  • Healing Touch (As per Heal, Research Level 6, DC 34)
  • Healing Aura (as per Mass Heal, Research Level 9, DC 46),
  • Divine Radiance (Research Level 13, DC 62) Cause 24d6 of Divine Damage to Undead and 24d6 of healing to any living creatures you desire within a radius of (2 x Check Result Feet). Line of sight is not required (the effect will pass through solid barriers) and any undead destroyed by the blast must make a will save or suffer a final death.

3 Responses

  1. Glad to see this particular series being continued! I suspected that a few of the entries from Haurgrim’s write-ups would end up here.

    I had a quick question, though: given that the Genetic Adaptation spell in Eclipse is 12th level, how does that square with the relatively low DC of 25 here (and for a sub-epic stunt, too) for allowing wildly different creatures to successfully reproduce?

    Also, I think the DCs for those epic stunts are slightly off. In prior articles, the formula was DC 10 for Research Level 0, with a +4 increase for each higher Research Level. So Healing Touch should be DC 34, Healing Aura should be DC 46, and Divine Radiance should be DC 62, yes?

    • Well, as far as “Genetic Adaption” goes… it’s meant for worlds that actually have genetics, such as older editions and the early days of d20, back when there were half-elves, half-orcs, and celestial/infernal/draconic ancestry (mostly assumed to have been made possible by polymorph effects) and not a lot else – and things like Owlbears were created by mad wizards through much labor and mighty spells. It’s very high level because it has to sort out thousands of genes, project the interaction of the proteins they will produce in a cell, and pretty much design a new creature from the very beginning while maintaining a mixture of the characteristics of the parents.

      But the d20 system has added all kinds of halfbreeds, creatures with seriously exotic bloodlines, and more since then. The current default standard for d20 settings says that you can have kids with ghosts, masses of rock, animated fires, and pretty much anything else – and no real explanation is ever given, although it’s pretty obvious that “genetics” don’t apply. So for the stunts I’m just presuming that producing falcon-mammoths and other insane crossbreeds is a bit more complex than catching a male and female and applying a turkey baster (and so there is no reason to expect a man who drips a little semen onto the ground to father a child on a passing earth elemental or earthworm), but that it can’t be too hard since crossbreeding seems to be pretty common. Ergo, a stunt is required, but the DC is low enough that any healer who’s invested in Stunts should have a decent chance of making it happen if they try.

      And the epic stunt DC’s are what I get for trying to finish up just before falling asleep; I have no idea what formula I was using between yawns. Thank you for pointing it out so I could fix it!

  2. […] Part VIII: Heal, Profession/Physician, and Knowledge/Medicine. […]

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