|Treatment = Skill Level + Perceptive
|Esoteric Healing -or- Ars Thanatos
|Battle Chirurgery -or- Inner Wisdom
|Esoteric Healing -or- Ars Thanatos
|Perfect Aid -or- Salubrious Regimen
|Esoteric Healing -or- Ars Thanatos
|Forbidden Medicine -or- Beacon of Health
*this is the total amount of cp spent on the skill at the corresponding level
In order to apply any kind of Aid or Treatment, a healer must employ a Healer’s Kit, which is a tagged item created by the Craft skill. Healer’s kits may be as elaborate as the healer wishes, but at the bare minimum should consist of at least two of the following items as Phys-reps (note that most large drugstores have several of these items):
- Suture Needle & Thread
With this ability, a healer can determine if a character is suffering from a number of conditions, allowing them to begin treatment or aid. Examination starts by the healer approaching a patient, laying hands on (or over) them, and saying “Healing: Examination.” After this, the Healer may ask a number of simple diagnostic questions (with at least a second’s pause between receiving an answer and asking a new one) relating to the patient’s condition, in whichever order they wish. Improved Examination and Advanced Examination simply expand upon the questions a Healer can ask, according to the following table:
|Are you alive?
|Are you Critical?
|Where are you wounded?
|Are you Intoxicated?
|Are you Hallucinating?
|Do you suffer from (Persistent Condition), and if so at what level?
|What enchantments are you under?
|What are your Physical Traits?
|Are you corrupted?
After determining if a patient is Critical, a healer can use this ability to Stabilize them after a minute of care, during which time they must employ their Healing Kit. As soon as this process begins, the patient’s bleed out clock stops. If the Healer is interrupted during this minute, however, the process is aborted and the patient begins to bleed out again, resuming their old count. After Basic Aid has been successfully applied, the patient awakens. They are then considered Stable and will fully heal from all of their injuries, including wounded limbs, in one hour. Stabilized characters will go Critical again (with a new death count) upon moving at anything faster than a slow crawl (or aided walk), after casting a spell/activating a spell effect, being struck with a weapon or hostile spell, fighting, or after using a skill or physical feat. A healer must have the use of at least one arm in order to apply Aid or Treatment of any kind.
Improved Aid functions just as Basic Aid, but provides a level of enhanced healing, allowing the patient to fully heal in 30 minutes. Advanced Aid, similarly, adds two levels of enhanced healing, reducing healing time to 15 minutes.
A patient cannot benefit from multiple applications of aid; only the best level of enhanced healing they get from this skill is what is used. This does mean that a character stabilized by Basic Aid can subsequently be attended to by a healer possessing Improved or Advanced Aid, which “replaces” the less efficient application. Other sources of enhanced healing (most notably magic or Feats of Empathy) can stack with Aid, but the highest total healing enhancement a character can have with these basic abilities results in a 5 minute recovery time, regardless (1 hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes is the progression).
Limb wounds are taken care of in just the same manner as critical injuries; if left untreated, they do not heal at all; with Basic Aid they take 1 hour to heal to usability and so forth. Once treated, limb wounds will not worsen, though they remain unusable for the duration. All of a character’s wounds are assumed to be treated if Aid is applied to them, and they will all heal at the same rate. Healers may apply Aid to themselves, but only to heal limb wounds, of course, and they must have at least one usable arm.
Basic – 1 hour
Intermediate – 30 minutes
Advanced – 15 minutes
Perfect – 5 minutes
After an initial Examination, and assuming their patient is Stable, a healer can treat any persistent conditions they have (Poison, Disease, Blindness, Stillness, Quick Venom, Plague, Paralysis, Caging). A healer can begin Treatment even if they are not able to determine if the patient is suffering from conditions. This process begins by the healer saying “Healing: Treatment X” (where X is their skill level + their level in Perceptive) and then “using” their Healing Kit. After 1 minute of constant attention, all persistent conditions on the patient which are of a power equal to or less than the Healer’s treatment level are cured outright. Treatment has no effect on any condition higher than its level. Healers may Treat themselves freely, assuming they have the use of at least one arm.
Most specialized healing items, beyond standard alchemical formulas and a basic Healer’s kit, require certain levels of Treatment in order to be employed.
When Investigating a dead body, accursed creature, or various forensic items or locations, a healer with Lesser Thanatology automatically gets a free Feat of Learning and Perception applied to the task. Greater Thanatology improves both of these to Greater Feats. Each level of Thanatology allows a healer to investigate one more applicable target per day, over and above the one investigation all characters are allowed (see Ch. 8: Game Concepts).
An expert healer can bring a recently slain character back from the edge of death. This ability may not be applied to those who have died from lethal persistent conditions (Poison, Disease, Quick Venom, or Plague), or to someone who was so afflicted when they died through other means. Similarly, a body that has been Mutilated (dismembered or defaced) may not receive a Coax Life. Finally, if the patient’s soul has already passed out of the body, which normally happens 5 minutes after death, Coax Life will be of no help and alternative means of bringing the character back must be considered.
Once the Coax Life process begins, the count for the spirit to leave the body ceases. Coax Life takes 5 minutes of intense treatment (started as “Healing: Coax Life”), and can only be performed with an item specifically designed for the technique, such as a Rejuvenator (Tinkering: unlimited uses), a Miracle Cure (Alchemy specialty: 1 use only), or certain Coin-crafted items. A use of Esoteric Healing may be expended to activate Coax Life without need of a phys rep other than the normal healing item it requires (see main entry). After this treatment is successful, the patient returns from the brink of death. Once back, the character is considered to be in the Stable condition and will fully heal in 1 hour: no enhanced healing can reduce this duration.
This strange healing ability allows an advanced healer to greatly improve any magical, alchemical, or otherwise arcane source of healing, up to a number of times per day equal to the number of times it is chosen as an ability.
The healer must be the caster of the spell or administrator of the healing item for this ability to work. Essentially, Esoteric Healing is activated (called as “Esoteric Healing”) when the healer uses an item/spell which stabilizes, enhances healing rate, or cures conditions.
Activating an instance of Esoteric Healing causes…
- …any effect which only stabilizes a character to also provide the maximal level of enhanced healing (5 minutes).
- …any effect which enhances healing rate to instead instantly heal the patient of all wounds. They need not be stable for this effect to function.
- …any effect which cures/reduces a persistent condition, regardless of type, to instead cure all persistent conditions on the patient, immediately.
- …any effect which somehow does any combination of the above to provide each appropriate form of improved healing.
Finally, note that mundane healing cannot be enhanced by this ability, nor can Feats of Empathy.
This ability improves upon the basic study of death (Thanatology), allowing a healer to prepare corpses with one minute of work, increasing the time it takes for the target’s soul to pass on to 1 hour and granting them a Boon if they do pass on. This ability may also be used to perform funeral rites on the body of a long departed soul, laying them to a peaceful rest. A character may expend a use of Ars Thanatos in order to double the final effectiveness of all other abilities called, by anyone, during a Thanatology investigation (only one instance of Ars Thanatos may be used in this way per investigation). There are rumored to be other, darker uses for Ars Thanatos, though it is up to players to unearth these.
The death arts are taxing and somber, and may only be performed once per day for every time this ability is chosen.
This ability allows a healer to stabilize a character with amazing speed. As a result, they may perform Aid with a mere 3 seconds of attention, rather than 1 minute. Also, they need not ask any examination questions before making the attempt (though they can if they want to), nor use any phys-reps other than their own hands. If the patient receiving Battle Chirurgery happens to not be critical, then nothing happens. A character treated with this ability is fully healed in 1 hour, but they may subsequently receive improved/advanced/perfect aid to minimize their healing rate, as normal.
The principles of Healing, though primarily geared towards helping others, do allow an introspective character to attend to their own health and well-being. Indeed, knowing the secrets of the body can lead to a kind of self-actualization for those healers with an ascetic frame of mind.
Functionally, Inner Wisdom permanently endows a healer with three levels of naturally enhanced healing, meaning that, once stabilized, their wounds will heal in 5 minutes rather than 1 hour. Inner Wisdom also generates a free Heroic Feat of Learning when the healer formally Investigates their own internal state.
This ability simply follows the progression for Aid, Improved Aid, and Advanced Aid to its logical conclusion. As such, a healer who performs Perfect Aid (which still takes 1 minute and the appropriate phys-reps) upon a patient reduces their healing time to 5 minutes. As well, any patient who has received Perfect Aid plus some source of enhanced healing (Feat of Empathy, magic, alchemy, naturally rapid healing), breaks the normal healing limit and reduces their healing time to 1 minute.
In a manner similar to Inner Wisdom, though using much more energetic techniques, this ability—if applied vigilantly—will greatly increase personal fitness and health. A character with Salubrious Regimen must, in order to activate it, perform 10 minutes of exercise such as sparring, running, calisthenics, or whatever energetic activity would be appropriate for their world (actual combat does not count). After this, they must rest for a full 10 minutes.
Once Salubrious Regimen is completed, the character immediately gains 1 additional level in both the Strong and Tough traits for the remainder of the day (until the next sunset). For all purposes, treat these enhanced levels as if they were the natural values of the character, including any prowess/vitality increases. Though this ability will not grant a character any current feats of Strength or Toughness, it will boost the maximum number of such feats, where applicable. The 10 minutes of rest is treated as a normal rest period, and thus a character will come out of the regimen with full prowess and vitality at their enhanced levels. Note that this ability may be activated as often as the character needs, though the bonuses it confers are not, of course, cumulative.
Once per day, a healer with this ability may direct others through its required steps. Any such participant, assuming they perform the steps just as the healer directs, will be granted an additional point of maximum Vitality for the remainder of the day. The maximum number of participants that may join in is equal to the healer’s Treatment level, and the healer derives no benefit for themselves when directing a Salubrious Regimen for others. If the healer is interrupted while directing the regimen, they may perform it again: only a completed group regimen counts for the 1/day limit. The vitality boost is treated as a natural bonus and may stack with enchantments that provide the same effect.
A character who is suffering from a Persistent Condition, Intoxication, or Hallucination, or who is healing from injury of any kind, may not perform or participate in a Salubrious Regimen. Note also that the concentration required for this regimen prevents anyone from performing magical rituals during its duration. Finally, a character who undergoes a Coax Life, or is otherwise returned from the dead, loses any current bonuses derived from this ability.
This strange and frightening “ability” is the result of a cumulative understanding of the possible, with regards to the nature of living beings of all types, to untried medical procedures, and to the ultimate cycles of life and death.
A character who chooses the path of forbidden medicine has developed their mastery of the healing arts to such an extent that all the secrets of life itself must seem only just out of reach to them. Theories—many perhaps impossible—will suggest themselves to an enlightened healer; there is little they can do to stop them coming, in fact. Whatever applications these wild theories and experiments might suggest, however, are left up to the character to find out in play or during scholarly research.
Besides its mysterious, find-out-in-play abilities, Forbidden Medicine explicitly adds a character’s Treatment level to their Research ability for all Scholarship actions dedicated to the healing arts.
Beacon of Health
Through constant attention to their own physical health, along with long-running, self-administered “treatments,” a character who masters this ability will remain hale and vigorous throughout the course of their life.
Effectively, Beacon of Health renders a character completely immune to ALL Persistent Conditions (which at the moment covers Poison, Disease, Blindness, Stillness, Quick Venom, Plague, Caging, and Paralysis), calling “No Effect” when hit with such. Note that conditions that aren’t classified as Persistent, such as intoxication, hallucination, or any mental effect, are unaffected by this ability.