Leech (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.
—Miracle Max, the Princess Bride

The leech is a practitioner of the art of health care. They use their knives to cut away unsightly hair, blemishes, to drain pustules, amputate limbs, and otherwise bring forth health and beauty through selective destruction. They use leeches to remove harmful substances, curses, and even spell effects. They use medicines to counter disease and ailments. They use massage to promote well-being and bring forth inner energy. Naturally, all this requires a practical knowledge of anatomy, which can also make leeches dangerous in combat when they get a good opening to use their skills for destruction.

At the same time, leeches work to improve their patients' physical well-being in other ways—through hygiene, cosmetics, hairdressing, and baths. In a civilized city everyone who can afford to visits a leech at least once a week, and their stalls are both health parlors and centers of news and gossip. Leeches are more than just cosmeticians and surgeons, they also provide a social outlet. They try to please the customer as best they can, and provide entertainment in the form of songs, stories, and interesting conversation as they work. Some leeches also have scientific ambitions, and become quite knowledgeable on a variety of subjects. Unlike true scholars, leeches always look at the practical application of knowledge and are not above experimentation.

Leeches thrive in cities and markets. Some travel from market to market, but most prefer to settle in a larger town and practice their profession where there are plenty of wealthy customers. Most are content with a life as a part of the social circuit of their towns, keeping track of gossip and subtly helping their favorites on the social scene, gaining influence through friends and favors rather than wealth and power.

The leech archetype represents a non-supernatural healing tradition. Because supernatural healing is the norm in Pathfinder, and natural healing is also rather quick and simple, the efficiency of the leech's healing abilities have to be rather cinematic to be at all competitive. The leech also uses some methods that are not recommended medical practice today but a part of medieval medicine—like bleeding. Do not try this at home.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games, Trailseeker Magazine.

Class Information

Unchained Leech

The leech incorporates changes to the rogue from Pathfinder Unchained. Pathfinder unchained additions are in brown. Ignore all brown text if not using the unchained rogue.

This is a rogue archetype.

Hit Dice: d8.

Class Skills

The leech's class skills are: Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft # (Int ), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform # (Cha), Profession # (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Class Features

A leech has all class features of the rogue, except as follows.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Leeches are proficient with all simple weapons and with the gnome pincher, kukri, quadrens, rapier, sanpkhang, sap, and shortsword. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Facing Death

A leech is used to facing death, and has Fortitude saving throws in the strong category (same as their Reflex saves). Facing death and healing method replaces trap sense.

Healing Method (Ex)

All leeches have Heal as a class skill, but use it in different manners and a different key attribute; medicine (Int), nursing (Wis), or surgery (Dex). Use the best of these attributes as the key ability for the Heal skill. This does not mean the leech cannot use other healing methods, the leech uses her full Heal skill modifier using any metod.

Each leech begins play with a talent. This must be picked from leech talents and may not be picked from normal rogue talents.

Medical Training

Each leech gets to choose a medical background. This is an indication of how she learned and will develop her medical skills. Choose one of the following. This replaces trapfinding.

Coddler (Ex): A coddler is a skilled healer and knows a little bit about everything, but lacks a proper education. Her medicine is home-grown and includes quite a bit of folk remedies. At first level, a coddler gains a bonus equal to half her leech level (minimum +1) on Heal checks, Diplomacy checks to influence attitude, and on unskilled Knowledge checks. She can make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.

Doctor of Medicine (Ex): A doctor has a proper education. She is able to read even the most diffuse writing and codes used to hide obtuse lore. Add all Knowledge skills to the doctor's list of class skills. The doctor gains a bonus equal to half her class level (minimum +1) on all Heal and Linguistics checks.

Field Medic (Ex): It is said that there are two ways to learn medicine—to study at a university, or to follow an army (or adventuring party). Field medics develop stern authority to handle unruly patients and an austerity with medicament. They gain a bonus on Intimidate and Heal checks equal to half their leech level (minimum +1) and do not expend charges when using a healer's kit.

Leech Talents

A leech has access to a special set of leech talents. These work like rogue talents but are not available to normal rogues. She gains a leech talent at level 1. This cannot be replaced with a rogue talent. At level 2 and up, a leech can pick leech talents or rogue talents. At level 10, a leech can pick advanced leech talents and advanced rogue talents.

Speed is Life (Ex)

A leech knows that their treatment can in itself be lethal if prolonged; the best treatment is the fast treatment.

At second level, a leech can work faster with the Heal skill. Providing first aid, treating a wound, or treating poison can be done as an immediate action, but the leech needs to be adjacent to the target. Treating a disease or tending a creature wounded by caltrops etc. is a full-round action. Treating deadly wounds takes 10 minutes of work. Providing long-term care requires 2 hours of light activity, and the leech can treat a number of patients equal to her Heal skill modifier. By spending more time, she can treat more patients. She can apply a poison to a blade with no chance of poisoning herself, and can do so as a move action. This replaces evasion.


At 4th level, a leech can use mental and physical resiliency to avoid certain attacks. If she makes a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, she instead avoids the effect entirely. This ability can only be used if the leech is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless leech does not gain the benefit of the stalwart ability. This replaces uncanny dodge.

Improved Stalwart (Ex)

At 8th level, when the leech fails a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an effect that has a reduced effect on a successful saving throw, the leech is considered to have succeeded at the saving throw and suffers the lesser effect. This does not help against effects completely negated by a successful save. Improved stalwart replaces improved uncanny dodge.

Table: Leech

Level Base
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Finesse training, healing method, medical training, sneak attack +1d6
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Practiced healer, rogue talent, speed is life
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Finesse training, sneak attack +2d6
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Debilitating injury, rogue talent, stalwart
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Rogue's edge, sneak attack +3d6
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Rogue talent
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Sneak attack +4d6
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 Improved stalwart, rogue talent
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Sneak attack +5d6
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 Advanced talents, rogue talent, rogue's edge
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3 Finesse training, sneak attack +6d6
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Rogue talent
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Sneak attack +7d6
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4 Rogue talent
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +5 Rogue's edge, sneak attack +8d6
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Rogue talent
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Sneak attack +9d6
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Rogue talent
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Finesse training, sneak attack +10d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Master strike, rogue talent, rogue's edge

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Class Skills
  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency
  • Trapfinding
  • Uncanny Dodge
  • Rogue Talents
  • Trap Sense
  • Evasion
  • Improved Uncanny Dodge

Leech Talents

These additional talents are available to leeches. A GM may allow normal rogues to select these talents, but they will often lack the needed skills. Leech talents that inflict Constitution damage only work on creatures that have a Constitution score; they won't work on most constructs and undead. Beginning a treatment suspends the effect being treated; until the treatment is complete the condition will not harm the patient further.

Apothecary (Ex)

Prerequisite: Medical training

Benefit: You can create healing kits, medicines, alchemical itms, drugs, and poisons with astounding speed. This uses Craft (Alchemy). It takes you one-tenth the normal amount of time to create such items, and you can apply poison to a weapon as a swift action.

Bleed (Ex)

Benefit: By applying live leeches (part of a healer's kit) or precise surgery, a leech can remove harmful effects from a living creature. This removes enchantment, fear, poison, disease, drugs, sickened, spells, spell-like abilities, staggered (for reasons other than injury), stunned, temporary negative levels, and paralysis effects. Hit point and attribute damage cannot be healed in this way.

Make a Heal check against a DC of 20 + the caster level of the effect or hit dice of the creator, or against double the Saving throw DC of a poison or disease. Success removes the condition. Bleeding takes one minute. Bleeding, successful or not, inflicts one point of Constitution damage and can be retried as often as desired.

Expert Surgeon (Ex)

Time Con
1 hour 1d6 +5
15 minutes 1d4 ±0
5 minutes 1d3 -5
1 minute 1d2 -10
1 full round 1 -20

Prerequisite: Surgery

You can perform surgery in longer or shorter time. The Constitution damage varies depending on how much time you spend, and there is also a bonus or penalty on the Heal check.

Enthrall (Ex)

Benefit: By speaking continuously, the leech can enthrall creatures within 30 ft., as the spell. The Will saving throw DC is 10 + half the leech's class level + the leeches Charisma modifier. The leech can use this ability as often as she likes, but a target that passes the Saving throw is immune to further enthrall or suggestion attempts from her for 24 hours.

If the leech is currently grooming or operating on a target, that target's save DC is increased by 4, and they can't get out of the enthrallment automatically in case of danger. After all, they have a razor at their throat. They do get a chance to save each round while in danger.

First Aid (Ex)

Benefit: You can try to patch up damage. This is a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity during which both the patient and leech are flat-footed. Any attack or movement in the meantime ruins the effect. On the leech's turn in the next round, this restores a number of hit points equal to the leech's Heal skill modifier (no roll allowed). Each use of this ability inflicts one point of Constitution damage on the target, even if it is interrupted.

Grooming (Ex)

Benefit: By spending fifteen minutes and making a Heal skill check with a difficulty equal to the target's Charisma score, the leech gives that creature +1 alchemical bonus to all Charisma-based skill checks. For every ten points of margin on the skill check, the bonus increases by one. This lasts until the recipient's next rest period (never more than 24 hours).

A leech is not completely occupied while grooming, she can converse or gather information meanwhile. However, he cannot engage in combat or other strenuous activity without spoiling the grooming attempt.

Makeup Artist (Ex)

Benefit: If the leech helps someone put on a disguise (including herself), there is a +4 circumstance modifier to all disguise checks as long as that disguise is in use, up to a maximum of 24 hours. A disguise can be touched up to extend the duration.

By taking 6 hours to build a specific disguise (whig, mask etc), a makeup artist can give a specific person who uses this kit a +4 Disguise for a specific role. The beneficiary can don the kit as a full-round action without aid from the makeup artist.

Suggestion (Ex)

Prerequisite: Enthrall

Benefit: By clever wording and verbal trickery, the leech can make almost any proposition seem reasonable. In this way, the leech can use suggestion (duration 1 hour per class level) on anyone he has first enthralled for three rounds or more. The Will Saving throw DC is 10 + half the leech's class level + the leech's Charisma modifier. The leech can use this ability as often as he likes, but a target that passes the Saving throw is immune to further suggestion attempts for 24 hours.

Surgery (Ex)

Benefit: The surgeon can use the Heal skill to perform surgery. Surgery takes fifteen minutes, during which both the patient and leech are flat-footed. This ability can be used any number of times in a day (time and Constitution permitting).

If surgery is aborted to do anything else (such as defending from an attack), the patient takes an immediate 1d6 Constitution damage. After completed surgery, the patient is exhausted and takes 1d6 points of Constitution damage, but also gains considerable benefits, depending on the type of surgery performed.

With surgery the surgeon can make a Heal skill check and the patient recovers this many hit points. Surgery can heal ability damage, except that it can never restore Constitution damage. Divide the result of the Heal skill by five, this is the number of points of ability damage restored. Surgery will also cure the following conditions if the Heal check result is 20 or more: bleed, blinded, deafened, entangled, shaken, and sickened. Damaged limbs can be restored to normal function. In general only long-lasting conditions are worth removing by surgery.

A newly dead creature can be resuscitated (made alive and stable), this requires a Heal check with a DC equal to the negative hit points the creature currently suffers from or the time in minutes since it died, whichever is greater. Count the time up to when the surgery begins.

Advanced Leech Talents

These abilities are available to a leech with the advanced talents ability.

Bleed, Greater (Ex)

Prerequisite: Advanced Talents, Bleed

Benefit: The leech can use the bleed ability to remove curses, madness, necromancy, supernatural, permanent negative levels, and transmutation effects.

Conditioning (Ex)

Prerequisite: Advanced Talents, Enthrall, Suggestion

Benefit: You can create a lasting suggestion that changes how the target behaves in a situation you specify. This works like suggestion, but has an unlimited duration and can be triggered multiple times. Each time it is triggered, the victim gains a new saving throw to negate the ability.

Cosmetic Surgery (Ex)

Prerequisite: Advanced Talents, Makeup Artist, Surgery

Benefit: You can create a lasting disguise by performing surgery on the target. The target gets a permanent +20 bonus on Disguise checks to impersonate the creature you surgically altered it to look like. The target cannot change size and retains their original creature type. If the target tries to adopt a different disguise, calculate disguise modifiers from the target's surgical form, but without the +20 bonus.

Final Touch (Ex)

Prerequisite: Advanced Talents, Grooming

Benefit: At this level of ability, your grooming skills have become legendary. Final touch allows you to groom several creatures with the aid of assistants. Assistants do the actual grooming, but the leech gets to make the skill check, as long as she spends at least a minute making final touch-ups.

Instant Apothecary (Ex)

Prerequisite: Advanced Talents, Apothecary, practiced healer

Benefit: The leech can create healing kits, medicines, alchemical items, drugs, and poisons with almost supernatural speed. She can create any such item a full-round action if she succeeds at the Craft (alchemy) check and has the appropriate resources at hand to fund the creation. She can apply poison to a weapon as a free action.

Surgery, Major (Ex)

Prerequisite: Advanced Talents, Surgery

Benefit: Major surgery has all the benefits and drawbacks of surgery and add the following extra effects. Major surgery can cure ability drain the same way surgery cures ability damage (including Constitution drain), reattach or transplant limbs, and remove all kinds of parasitic infection or physical injury.

A recently dead creature can be resuscitated, this requires a Heal check with a DC equal to half the negative hit points the creature currently suffers from or the time in hours since it died, whichever is greater.

See Also

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