Chirurgeon (5A)

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This is a Rogue subclass for 5A.

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 1987

The chirurgeon is a practitioner of the art of health care. They use their knives to cut away unsightly hair and 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 chirurgeons dangerous in combat when they get a good opening to use their skills for destruction.

Greyhawk Medicine is slowly taking off, but still in the shadow of magic.

Mundane Healing in the Game

Magical healing in the game is cheap and effective, and to compete mundane healing needs to be the same. The two main branches of mundane healing is the exemplar Physic and the rogue Chirurgeon. The fencer Medico is less proficient and a mix of the other two styles. To merit having two branches, they have to be different, which is expressed in the different classes they belong to. The Physic is focused on medicaments and the balance of the humors. From the Savant, it inherits stunts, and defense. The Chirurgeon is focused on the healing power of the knife, surgery. From the rogue it inherits sneak attack, cutting enemies with a surgeon's precision.

Archetype Features

Bonus Proficiencies

At 3rd level when you pick this archetype, you have already faced your share of death, and are now set on fighting plague and illness. You gain proficiency in the Medicine skill, the herbalism kit, and with Constitution saving throws. If you are already proficient with the Medicine skill you can replace this with another skill. If you are already proficient with the herbalism kit, you can replace this with another tool kit.

Healing Balms

At 3rd level during a short rest when you or an ally spend Hit Dice to recover Hit Points, you can add your Medicine bonus to the result. You only add this bonus once, even if several Hit Dice are spent during the short rest. Any saving throws made during a long or short rest can add your Medicine bonus to the result. Undead and constructs cannot benefit from this ability.

First Aid

At 3th level you can spend an action to give first aid to an adjacent willing creature to gain all of the following effects. Undead and constructs cannot benefit from this ability.

  • The ally gains a number of temporary hit points equal to your Medicine proficiency bonus. This cannot exceed the damage your ally has taken. Temporary hit points last until the next long rest.
  • Select one ongoing, non-permanent effect on the patient that allows a saving throw, and make an Wisdom (Medicine) check. If you succeed against the save DC, the effect ends. If you fail, you cannot try again until after a long rest.

Lesser Surgery

At 9th level you can use surgery to cure minor ailments. Undead and constructs cannot benefit from this ability. The patient is cured of any one effect or condition that is not permanent. This includes the effects of spells and magical abilities, but not curses, and cannot cure exhaustion. Lost limbs can be replaced if a limb is available, either the creature's own or that of another similar creature. Body parts must be no more than one day old to be used. Alternatively, make an Intelligence (medicine) check and restore this many hit points. Surgery takes 10 minutes and causes the patient one level of exhaustion. It can be done as a part of a short rest. The patient has to be restrained during the procedure.


At 13th level you can restore the recently dead to life. Undead and constructs cannot benefit from this ability. A creature that suffered instant death cannot be revivified, and the corpse can be no more than 3 days old. A revivification takes an hour and the patient has to be restrained during the procedure. The creature is restored to 1 hit point and gains 4 levels of exhaustion. This neutralizes any poisons and cures diseases that affected the creature at the time it died. Revivification doesn’t remove magical diseases, curses, or similar effects; they take effect when the creature returns to life. Revivification closes all mortal wounds, but it doesn’t restore missing body parts. If the creature is lacking body parts or organs integral for its survival—its head, for instance—revivification automatically fails.

Major Surgery

At 17th level your Lesser Surgery ability improves dramatically. The patient can be cured of any one effect except exhaustion. This includes permanent effects, magical effects, curses, and spells. A dead creature can be revived provided its head is available and preserved, but might need a transplant body or prosthetics such as an iron lung or even a fully artificial body, which must be supplied for this to work. Finally, major surgery can restore all hit points.

See Also