Healer’s Tools in Pathfinder Explained (And How To Use Them)

Perhaps one of Pathfinder’s most potent low-level tools is the Healer’s Tools. They’re an excellent pickup for anyone who plans to spend their time playing combat medic for their friends.

They can help save early-level spell slots by moving the burden of healing from the realm of magic to the physical plane.

To start, players can buy two types of Healer’s Tools.

Healer’s Tools

Price 5 gp

Hands 2; Bulk 1

SourceCore Rulebook pg. 2902

This kit of bandages, herbs, and suturing tools is necessary for Medicine checks to Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds.  If you wear your healer’s tools, you can draw and replace them as part of the action that uses them.

Healer’s Tools (Expanded)

Price 50 gp

Hands 2; Bulk 1

SourceCore Rulebook pg. 2902

Expanded healer’s tools provide a +1 item bonus to such checks.

The Healer’s Tools are an excellent option to remove the need to use Cure Light Wounds, freeing up spell slots for other important spells. Since you can use an action to draw and stow the tools, you can use them in combat easily. 

The ideal user for the Healer’s Tools is a Cleric. While other healing spellcasters can certainly use these kits, they will not have the same flexibility to move around on the battlefield as the Cleric.

Since Clerics are primarily a martial class, they have more survivability which gets them more use of the Healer’s Tools in combat.

Another excellent use for the Healer’s Tools is on your tank. This way, your Barbarian or Paladin can do their light healing and save your healer a few spell slots that they can use for extra DPS or more potent heals.

Using the Healer’s Tools: a Quick Guide

The biggest challenge for people looking to get good use out of the Healer’s Tools is the need for a high Wisdom and Medicine modifier. Not many classes focus on Wisdom, and the lessons that do concentrate on Wisdom are often unwieldy for new players or less conventionally fun for the average murderhobo.

There are four checks a player with Healer’s Tools can make. Each differs slightly but allows them to make different checks for different situations. The first one is “Administer First Aid.”

The Administer First Aid check can either stabilize a downed player or stem the bleeding of a bleeding wound. This check does not restore hit points; it just prevents your allies from dying and bleeding out. 

A successful check with Administer First aid causes the player to either stabilize or perform a flat check to end their bleeding. A critical failure will cause the creature’s dying value to increase by one or cause the animal to instantly take damage equal to their persistent bleed’s damage value. To heal yourself or an ally, you’ll need to use the Treat Wounds check.

Secondly, we have the Treat Wounds check, which is, by far, the most important. Unlike using magic to treat wounds, the Treat Wounds ability does have some essential requirements. For starters, you need 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to attempt to treat the injury.

You’ll also need to pass a DC 15 Medicine (Wisdom) check, though your DM may adjust the DC up or down based on the wounds you’re attempting to treat. A success will restore up to 2d8 missing health and remove the Wounded status.

A critical hit will restore up to 4d8 missing health and remove the wounded group. At the same time, an acute failure will result in the character taking 1d8 damage.

The Healer’s Tools are more robust than a Cure Light Wounds spell. However, you pay for that efficiency in time and risk since you can accidentally hurt them more while trying to treat their wounds. It’s not strictly better than a Cure Light Wounds spell since it does require ten minutes and does carry a potential risk of harming your allies.

Treat Disease and Treat Poison are the same but treat different ailments. The Treat Disease and Treat Poison actions grant a bonus to your allies on their next save against the poison or disease. Success gives them an additional +2. A critical success gives them an additional +4. An acute failure grants them a -2.

Are the Healer’s Tools Good?

It’s hard to boil the Healer’s Tools down into a good-or-bad dichotomy. Sometimes, using the Healer’s Tools is more efficient than using magic, and that’s important. You also can’t “upcast” your Healer’s Tools. So, they’re going to be less efficient at treating grave injuries than the traditional magic.

Healer’s tools are best used during a short rest when you have a series of impending battles ahead. You won’t want to use spell slots to heal up if you need them for future actions.

Since you have some extra downtime, why not spend it tending to your allies? We’re sure it will help them get all comfy and appreciative of you!

Healer’s Tools and Healing Magic aren’t two oppositional sides. They’re meant to work together to keep your party healthy and ready to fight at a minute’s notice. 

What Are Other Ways to Boost My Healing?

Another fantastic way to boost your healing abilities is to take the Incredible Healer feat. This is great for Clerics who want to maximize their magical and non-magical healing skills.

The Incredible Healer feat requires five ranks in the Heal ability but increases the healing the player provides when they heal a creature afflicted with deadly wounds.

A creature with the Incredible Healer feat restores the heal’s base amount plus an additional amount to the animal equal to the healer’s healing modifier. This extra boon means that it’s easier than ever to get your friends back off the ground.

Taking the Incredible Healer feat on a character with potent healing magic and the Healer’s Tools is a great way to round out an already strong character with an even more powerful healing skill set.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Healer’s Tools

Is drawing and stowing a set of Healer’s Tools considered its action?

No. In combat, drawing your Healer’s Tools from their pouch is considered part of the action of using it as long as you’re wearing the tools on your belt.

Are the Healer’s Tools Good?

Healer’s Tools are suitable for just about anyone who can make use of them. The only thing you need to get use out of a set of Healer’s Tools is a mid-high Wisdom score.

Parting Thoughts

Choosing what to take on your character and what to buy between adventures is one of the most fun parts of customizing your Pathfinder character.

Healer’s Tools are just one of the many options at your disposal to make a unique and compelling character within the frameworks of the game. You need some tenacity to pull it off!

The essential part of any tabletop game is that you and your party are having fun. Don’t be afraid to bend or break the rules to improve your party’s overall experience with the game. As always, good luck, have fun, and happy questing!