In most regions and societies, medicine is something only poorly understood. The body’s workings are seen as being nearly magical and almost incomprehensible.

Disease is vaguely defined and usually considered evil, and its causes are as mysterious as the whims of the gods who allow good folk to fall ill at all.

Physicians are those scholars who have dedicated their lives both to curing disease and also to understanding it. They see disease not as malign magic but rather as a part of nature that can be studied, understood, and conquered. Some physicians see death as an enemy to be fought, while others accept it as an inevitable end whose coming can be met without pain.

Clerics are the class most likely to embrace the path of Physician, as it allows them to advance their healing ability in a different direction from their peers. Rogues sometimes hear the call, as do Wizards whose research deals with infections and plagues. A few Bards have been known to become Physicians, but this is unusual.

Many Physicians are Experts or Aristocrats.

Hit die: d6.


To qualify to become a physician, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any non-evil.

Skills: Heal 6 ranks, Knowledge (medicine) 6 ranks.

Feats: Skill Focus (Heal).

Class Skills

The Physician’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (any) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (any) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (any) (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

The Physician
Level BAB Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +1 +0 +1 Improved Take 20, Round On My Patients
2nd +1 +1 +1 +1 Fix ‘Em Up (Light), +1 level of existing spellcaster class or bonus feat
3rd +1 +2 +1 +2 Send ‘Em Home
4th +2 +2 +1 +2 Quick Assessment, +1 level of existing spellcaster class or bonus feat
5th +2 +3 +2 +3 Fix ‘Em Up (Moderate)
6th +3 +3 +2 +3 Master Healer, +1 level of existing spellcaster class or bonus feat
7th +3 +4 +2 +4 Skill Focus (Alchemy)
8th +4 +4 +3 +4 Fix ‘Em Up (Severe), +1 level of existing spellcaster class or bonus feat
9th +4 +5 +3 +5 Restore Ability
10th +5 +5 +3 +5 Deny Death, +1 level of existing spellcaster class or bonus feat

Class Features

All of the following are features of the Physician prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Physicians gain no proficiency with any weapons or armor.

Spells per Day/Spells Known

At 2nd level and every even-numbered level thereafter, the Physician advances in spells per day and spells known as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before becoming a Physician. A spellcaster adds one half of his Physician level (rounded down, minimum +1) to his caster level. If the creature had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Physician, the player must decide which class to assign each level of Physician to for purposes of determining spells per day. If the creature does not have any spellcasting ability he receives a bonus feat.

Improved Take 20 (Ex)

A Physician learns how to treat injuries quickly, especially if he works in a large town or city where the next injured person may already be outside and bleeding. A Physician gains a +4 bonus when taking 10 or taking 20 on a Heal check.

Round On My Patients (Ex)

As the Physician learns more, he becomes capable of caring for problems with more ease. When the Physician provides long-term care with the Heal skill, he may care for the usual six patients, plus an additional one per Physician level (i.e., seven patients at 1st level, 16 patients at 10th level).

Fix ‘Em Up (Light) (Ex)

At 2nd level, a Physician can bandage and close wounds with such efficiency that the effects rival magical healing. A Physician can heal another creature’s hit points as if he had cast cure light wounds as a cleric of equal Physician level.

This ability takes one round per point of damage healed. A Physician can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Physician level, but may only use it once per day on any single creature.

Send ‘em Home (Ex)

At 3rd level, a Physician’s healing skills are such that he does not need to watch over a creature at all times to facilitate its healing. A creature who spends 10 minutes under a Physician’s care heals one extra hit point per day for 1d4 days.

Quick Assessment (Ex)

A Physician of 4th level who spends one full-round action surveying a scene can determine if a number of creatures equal to its Physician class level are dead, fragile, fighting off death, or healthy as per the spell deathwatch. This ability does not allow a Physician to identify whether a creature is undead or neither alive nor dead (e.g., a construct).

Fix ‘Em Up (Moderate) (Ex)

At 5th level, a Physician’s Fix ‘Em Up ability can be used as cure light wounds or cure moderate wounds and requires one round per two points of damage healed.

Master Healer (Ex)

At 6th level, a Physician’s bonus from Skill Focus (Heal) doubles.

Skill Focus (Alchemy) (Ex)

At 7th level, a Physician gains Skill Focus as a bonus feat applying to the skill Craft (alchemy). If the Physician already has Skill Focus on Craft (alchemy), or gains the same from another source, the bonuses granted by the feat double.

Fix ‘Em Up (Severe)

At 8th level, a Physician’s Fix ‘Em Up ability can be used as cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, or cure serious wounds and requires one round per three points of damage healed.

Restore Ability (Ex)

At 9th level, a Physician who spends one hour with a creature who has suffered ability damage restores 1d2 points from a single ability score to that creature. A Physician may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Physician level, but only once per day on any single creature.

Deny Death (Ex)

At 10th level, the Physician has acquired the skill (and the sheer bloody-mindedness) to fight off death itself from moment to moment. Any time a creature within 10 feet of the Physician would die, the Physician may take a full-round action to attempt a DC 30 Heal check. If the check succeeds, the creature stabilizes. If the cause of death was Constitution damage, the creature’s Constitution becomes 1. This stabilization does not address the cause of death; while a creature in combat may require only a single check to survive, a creature who is suffocating will continue to risk suffocation each round. The Physician may attempt this full-round action on subsequent rounds if needed, but the DC of the Heal check rises by 1 each round. At the GM’s discretion, Deny Death may not be able to save a creature from some forms of death, such as decapitation by a vorpal weapon or immersion in molten lava.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Insults & Injuries copyright 2021 Skirmisher Publishing LLC.

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