Surgeon (D&D class)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Despite the abundance of magical healing in a fantasy world, there are still those who try to learn how to heal using mundane means. Their services are sometimes cheaper than those of clerics, and unlike magical healers they never run out of power. Wherever magic is scare, persecuted or unknown, surgeons are the only available healing. Surgeons require medical knowledge. In a culture where medicine is poorly developed (such as medieval Europe), this class is simply not available. Surgeons may also be persecuted by clergy for providing services the gods demand a monopoly on. The class fits well in scientifically inclined cultures that disdain divine magic, whether magocracies or technocracies.

Surgeons do quite well as adventurers. There is an old adage; to become a surgeon, you can either go to the university, or you can follow an army on campaign. Adventuring parties create almost as many patients as armies do. But many surgeons will want to save any life and try to minimize bloodshed; the party will often have to face the fact that the surgeon will try to treat every wound inflicted and save every lift that can be saved. In the long run, this will often save the party many unnecessary conflicts. A few surgeons will demand a peaceful solution whenever possible, but most leave the fighting to the warriors and keep their mouths shut as they sew their sutures.

Depending on their religion, clerics can make excellent surgeons, but as they already have miraculous healing powers, they seldom take the class. Many religions also prohibit the shedding of blood, even for medicinal purposes. Even bloodthirsty cults may prohibit bloodletting outside of battles or religious, but in societies dominated by such societies surgeons might be the only healers available. Barbers often serve as doctors and surgeons of modest skill. Their talent with blades accounted in part for this medical bent. Thus, surgeons were often barbers earlier in their careers, and many still practice that profession as a sideline. In fact, the barber prestige class is a companion class to the surgeon; many of their abilities and qualifications mesh.


To qualify as a surgeon, the character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Skills: Heal: 4 ranks, Profession (surgeon): 8 ranks.

Feats: Weapon Finesse.

Table: The Surgeon

Level Base Attack Bonus Fortitude Save Reflex Save Will Save Special Abilities
1 +0 +2 +2 +0 First aid, Minor Surgery
2 +1 +3 +3 +0 Anatomist +1d6
3 +2 +3 +3 +1 Major Surgery
4 +3 +4 +4 +1 Anatomist +2d6
5 +3 +4 +4 +1 Great Surgery

Class Features

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

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Surgeons gain proficiency with the dagger and kukiri, but not with shields or armor.

Bandaging (ex)

You can try to patch up someone once after each time he takes damage. This is a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity and requires your patient to remain absolutely still (as if helpless) - any movement ruins the effect. It restores a number of hit points equal to your class level. You can only restore hit points lost in the last five minutes, and you can only bandage a particular patient every five minutes.

Surgery (ex)

The surgeon can use the Profession (Surgeon) skill to perform surgery. You cannot use surgery on yourself. Surgery takes fifteen minutes, during which both you and the patient are flat-footed. This exceptional ability can be used any number of times in a day (time permitting), but only once per day on a particular target. Creatures of intelligence 3 or more and non-evil alignment are queasy about a surgeon's work and will not wish to interfere while he is performing surgery; this takes the form of a sanctuary effect on you and your patient. The Will Saving Throw DC against this effect is 10 + your class level.

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

Minor Surgery: Make a Profession (Surgeon) skill check, the patient recovers this many hit points.

Major Surgery: You can use surgery to heal attribute damage. Make a Profession (Surgeon) check and divide the result by five, this is the number of attribute damage points that you restore. Major surgery will also cure the following conditions if the Profession (Surgeon) roll was 20 or more: dazed, dazzled, nauseated, sickened, and stunned. Poisons in the patients body are negated as are any sleep effects he might be suffering from (even permanent ones).

Great Surgery: You can use surgery to heal attribute drain. Make a Profession (Surgeon) roll and divide the result by ten, this is the number of points of ability drain restored. Great surgery will also cure the following conditions if the Profession (Surgeon) result was 30 or more: blinded, deafened, and paralyzed. If the target is under a confusion or feeblemind effect or suffering from disease or negative levels, that is cured as well.

Anatomist (ex)

Your expertise in anatomy allows you to strike lethal blows with a dagger or kukiri. You gain a bonus of 1d6 damage added to your normal damage roll, increasing to 2d6 at fourth level. Anatomist only works against living or formerly living creatures with discernible anatomies. Most creatures that are immune to critical hits (constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures) are not vulnerable to anatomist damage, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits (such as armor with fortification) also protects from this damage. The exception to this is that a surgeon can always use anatomist against corporeal undead and constructs made out of corpses or cadavers.