Battle Medicine - How Many Hands?


Rules Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As graystone points out, this isn't really a question of "realism". At best, it is a nod to verisimilitude. IMO it's closer to throwing a smidgin of window dressing on a gaping hole.

By the RAW, you use an interact action, but need no free hands, and have no need of healer's tools. I'd be fine with this if it were labelled as a supernatural ability.

By this indirect podcast backdoor to somebody at Paizo (admitedly not an awe-inspiring perigree for an errata) you need one action, healer's tools in a bandolier, and free hand use isn't specified, but presumed to default to the 2 free hands that using a kit requires.

All things considered I prefer the second interpretation. But that isn't the point. It doesn't matter what I prefer or what other people in this thread think is "more realistic". The only question is how to play the rule at the table.

And this rule really needs official errata.


Squiggit wrote:

This is a crazy thread.

Had a good laugh from the guy righteously screeching about how one handed battle medicine would single handedly ruin an entire campaign, though.

Oh my god, the nerdier than thou fedora measuring contest was absolutely insufferable


graystone wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Can I do it in six seconds? No. But I *can* do it one-handed.
As I pointed out, number of hands really doesn't matter as there is no way to realistically render first aid in 2 seconds: this is why I'm saying it's moot when arguing needing hands for 'realism'.

Oh, sure. Which is why I'm in the "no hands, no tools" camp because the rules text does not list either. All it says is "use the DC from this other ability" and "requires: 1 action."

Do I think its silly? Yes. I'm also totally going to utilize that silliness during play because the rules don't say I can't.

(I will point out that I realized that it didn't take hands or tools and my Paladin during the playtest--uh, chapter 6--absolutely used it. And I made mention of all this in my feedback. The wording did not get changed).


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Draco18s wrote:
Do I think its silly? Yes. I'm also totally going to utilize that silliness during play because the rules don't say I can't.

LOL Yep it's totally silly no matter how you run it, but IMO it's being awesome/cool trumps that every day. It's like the old 'give the machine a whack and it starts working' repair check trope. Should it work? no, but that what make it great.

Draco18s wrote:
(I will point out that I realized that it didn't take hands or tools and my Paladin during the playtest--uh, chapter 6--absolutely used it. And I made mention of all this in my feedback. The wording did not get changed).

Yep, I pointed it out too [my alchemist had it].

And it should be noted that healers tools in NO way help out on the check required as it's NOT "Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds" so I have no idea why anyone would think it's needed. The tools are required for "Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds" and not for medicine rolls/checks in general and therefor you wouldn't even gain a bonus for Expanded healer's tools so if they errata that the tools are actually needed they'll need to errata what checks the tools affect too.


Nefreet wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:

Wow! This discussion is still going?

Thanks to Malfast for the Roll for Combat reference. It's kind of indirect, but it sounds like a good ruling, and counters what I've been calling the "stern glance" version of Battle Medicine.

So it's been stated, according to the guys at Roll for Combat, by Jason Buhlmann that Battle Medicine:
- requires a healer's tools
- requires one hand to use
- only requires one action IF your healer's are in a bandolier.

Although this does seem to contract the listed stats of healer's tools (requiring 2 hands) it seems like a good compromise.

Let's just hope that it makes it into print in the next errata.

This and other people's statements are incorrect. The video makes no mention of being able to do anything one-handed. According to this you can pull out your healers kit and use it from a bandolier as one action. Using a healer's kit still requires two hands...
Are you listening to the same video everyone else is?

Yes... in particular the section at 6:50 a previous post mentioned. If it's somewhere else in the video, I may have missed it... Did I? What's the timestamp/quote I should listen to that mentions number of required hands?


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tivadar27 wrote:
Yes... in particular the section at 6:50 a previous post mentioned. If it's somewhere else in the video, I may have missed it... Did I? What's the timestamp/quote I should listen to that mentions number of required hands?

Just listened to it. It only mentions actions. He even then goes on for some length about bandoliers not working with potions.

CRB 287 wrote:

Bandolier: A bandolier holds up to eight items of light

Bulk within easy reach and is usually used for alchemical
items or potions.

So, he's wrong about that.


Draco18s wrote:
CRB 287 wrote:

Bandolier: A bandolier holds up to eight items of light

Bulk within easy reach and is usually used for alchemical
items or potions.
So, he's wrong about that.

He is referring to the third sentence of Bandolier's description, the one that makes it jacked:

CRB 287 wrote:
A bandolier can be dedicated to a full set of tools, such as healer’s tools, allowing you to draw the tools as part of the action that requires them.

Which is to say, you can put potions in your bandolier, but doing so won't save you any actions.


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theservantsllcleanitup wrote:
Which is to say, you can put potions in your bandolier, but doing so won't save you any actions.

Which is... odd to say the least. It means I can pull out an anvil [from a repair kit] without an extra action but pulling out a potion/elixir is an extra action... This means it can take longer to pull out and drink a potion than it takes to repair an item.


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Wheldrake wrote:

Wow! This discussion is still going?

Thanks to Malfast for the Roll for Combat reference. It's kind of indirect, but it sounds like a good ruling, and counters what I've been calling the "stern glance" version of Battle Medicine.

So it's been stated, according to the guys at Roll for Combat, by someone at Paizo, that Battle Medicine:
- requires a healer's tools
- requires one hand to use
- only requires one action IF your healer's are in a bandolier.

Although this does seem to contract the listed stats of healer's tools (requiring 2 hands) it seems like a good compromise.

Let's just hope that it makes it into print in the next errata.

Walked away from the thread for a couple months. Came back. Looks like common sense won. We'll see when the errata hits but thats how I've been playing with it.

I thought it was funny people assumed you could patch people up with no hands, or by rubbing your weapons against them or whatever.


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Melfast wrote:
Thorax Toothlicker wrote:
Melfast wrote:

On the Roll for Combat podcast, they relayed a comment from Mark Seifter, one of the lead designers, that the combat medic ability takes one action, and you need a free hand to pull materials from your healing kit out of your pouch as a second action.

If you put your materials in a bandolier, drawing materials to do combat healing is a free action that still needs a free hand.

Might you have a link I can use for Society?

Sure. About 6:50 into the podcast video (a podcast posted on YouTube, so whatever that's called):

https://youtu.be/hVabUZPcqc8

Transcript of the video referenced:

Quote:
It is actually possible to use Battle Medicine using one action. That's right. If you have a bandolier you can pull out your toolkit and use it as part of one action. If you don't have a bandolier you need to use one Interact to pull out your toolkit, your healing kit, and then you need to use another action to actually use Battle Medicine.

It doesn't directly say how many hands you need, but it does say you need to be able to get your healing kit into your hand(s).


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My are we geeks a weird bunch or what? We have quite literally just seen the 'how many angels can dance on the head of pin' argument play out in real time.

It's a nice little heal with some time limitations built into it, you use another rule's DC.

Not super hard, play it to the level of realism which suits your table. We abstract much of this, but it is also quite reasonable to play in games where you have to spend time catching birds to fletch your arrows, boiling down animals so you can oil your armour and describe the heft of your whet stone.

Its a big wide world out there and I'm sure you can find a group of folk that will play to the level of abstraction or realism which suits your needs.

Now go play a little and stop wasting internet paper.


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Thanks to all for providing the context here... Thought I was going crazy for a minute there after listening to the section a few times, or possibly not listening to the right section.

Either way, it seems this "clarification" hasn't really done a lot to provide clarification. If anything, it's provided credence to the argument that you need a healer's kit to perform the task, which would seem to indicate you need two hands. Then again, that's my opinion, as can be seen above, other people pulled other things from it.

Even outside of the fact that this came through unofficial channels, I think it's fair to say that we don't really have any official ruling on this as of now.


Its probably two hands but I let my players get away with one. I'm curious if its another action to put the healing kit back in the bandolier.


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If I was running PFS, I would not try to use an audio recording of someone talking about something a developer said to act in the place of errata. Until there is a change, or direct communication about a impending change from the developers to the community on a paizo sponsored source, mentioning the healer's tools in the feat itself, or within the description of the healer's tools to mention the action "Battle Medicine," it is clearly a house rule assume its requirement.

The fact that this has been a discussion for as long as it has been, without any clarification, makes it clear that there is not a unified consensus within house about how the feat is intended to be used. My guess is that there is a conflict between wanting to make the feat worth using, and having it fit within people's head cannon about what a non-magical battle medic does. The feat, as is, is garbage if it requires you to interact with a tool/kit as a part of its usage unless it can be used more than once a day.

If the goal is to have field medic as a viable character build, that is using tools to do so, then they have to be able to have the tools in hand and still have useful things to do in combat. Only the monk could even possibly manage this, and that might be ok, if it wasn't an ability limited to one use per day per character.

The point of the feat was to make non-magical combat healing possible, without being better than magical healing. A feat (divorced of all narrative) that allows for a character to heal each other character 1x a day in combat accomplishes that, but not if it requires 3 actions to use, and require you to be next to your ally.

Short of leaving it the way it is and having a FAQ to explain it as a balance decision and not a narrative decision, I don't know that there is any simple way to save the feat (which new classes, like the investigator, are having entire builds centered around) AND require it to use healer's tools.

Do you change healer's tools so that they don't use two hands or have to be put away after usage? Basically making it more like a material component pouch? That might work, but it is something that will require changes in multiple places in the book.

Do you completely rewrite the feat to make it actually a kind of "treat wounds" action, but with special stipulations about how it doesn't require you to be running around with a two handed tool kit all combat until you have healed everyone one time and become useless as a character?

To make the feat work with the tool pretty much requires completely rebalancing the feat or changing a lot of things about how actions which require tools work. Because we haven't heard from the developers about a decision not to do that yet, it is possible, maybe even probable, that it is still in the works as an errata. But the reason they haven't told us yet, is because there have to be people asking in house if a major change like that is really even necessary?


Between Battle Medicine having the Manipulate trait, and all functions of Medicine requiring the (two-handed) Healer's Tools, I find the argument to the latter logically weak.

...

That said, here's some homebrew:

Quick Battle Medicine
(General) (Healing) (Manipulate) (Skill)
Pre-requisites: Expert in Medicine, Battle Medicine
As part of the action to use battle medicine, you may stow any number of held items on your person as a free action. You must have sufficient storage space to use this action, such as belt pouches, scroll cases, and sheaths, appropriate to the items you wish to quickly stow.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Looking forward to taking Godless Healing, if it becomes Society legal, because it changes the 24 hour cooldown to just 1 hour.


rainzax wrote:
Between Battle Medicine having the Manipulate trait, and all functions of Medicine requiring the (two-handed) Healer's Tools, I find the argument to the latter logically weak.

#1 manipulate requires physically manipulating an item or making gestures: neither of those require a free hand or the use of 2 hands.

#2 it is factually incorrect that all uses of medicine require a kit. "you can use it to Recall Knowledge": healers tools don't give a bonus on a recall knowledge check to recall medical facts...

So i find it "logically weak" to assume it has any requirement past what it comes out and states: none.

homebrew: so you need TWO feats to get the ability to work right? If it was a quick stow feat that allowed a generic use it'd be fine but JUST making the feat cost 2 feats for functionality seem lame.


graystone wrote:
rainzax wrote:

Between Battle Medicine having the Manipulate trait, and all functions of Medicine requiring the (two-handed) Healer's Tools, I find the argument to the latter logically weak.

...

That said, here's some homebrew:

Quick Battle Medicine
(General) (Healing) (Manipulate) (Skill)
Pre-requisites: Expert in Medicine, Battle Medicine
As part of the action to use battle medicine, you may stow any number of held items on your person as a free action. You must have sufficient storage space to use this action, such as belt pouches, scroll cases, and sheaths, appropriate to the items you wish to quickly stow.

#1 manipulate requires physically manipulating an item or making gestures: neither of those require a free hand or the use of 2 hands.

#2 it is factually incorrect that all uses of medicine require a kit. "you can use it to Recall Knowledge": healers tools don't give a bonus on a recall knowledge check to recall medical facts...

So i find it "logically weak" to assume it has any requirement past what it comes out and states: none.

homebrew: so you need TWO feats to get the ability to work right? If it was a quick stow feat that allowed a generic use it'd be fine but JUST making the feat cost 2 feats for functionality seem lame.

Manipulate

Spoiler:
You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can’t perform actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions.

...

I can see an argument for one-handed, but not zero-handed. As to your second point, though you are technically correct, what you bring up is, to me, logically inconsistent as a refutation to my original statement of opinion; tangential.

...

As for the homebrew, think of it this way: There are three "tiers" of healing "convenience". The first is magical healing: Fast and convenient, 0 skill feat cost. At the opposite end is Battle Medicine: Fast but inconvenient, 1 skill feat cost. Between these extremes sits my homebrew feat, Quick Battle Medicine: Fast and less inconvenient, 2 skill feat cost.

Not as good as magical healing, but incrementally more "convenient" by virtue of saving you some in-combat actions.

Cheers!

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
graystone wrote:
it is factually incorrect that all uses of medicine require a kit. "you can use it to Recall Knowledge"

I don't understand how this is important, or why you're taking the time to make it seem important.

All (listed) uses of Medicine require a kit
All (practical) uses of Medicine require a kit
All (relevant to the argument) uses of Medicine require a kit

Insert whatever word works for you. Of course Recall Knowledge wouldn't require anything more than... Recalling Knowledge.

Also, even if we disagree about how many hands it takes to use Battle Medicine after listening to the audio, the important take away is that you at least need a healing kit to do it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Second hand information on a random podcast by some guy who says he knows other people who asked one developer a question about this doesn't convince me that you need a healing kit for this.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I wouldn't take it as official errata for society games, but I would start letting players know that it's an advance look at what is likely coming. Plan accordingly. Ie something like:

'I know there's some been some ambiguity over battle medicine, we've been playing with the most lenient interpretation. From some unofficial comments from one of the developers, it looks likely they'll be an errata that adjust'll it to be more strict -- one hand required and healer tools. If they healer tools aren't in a bandolier, its an extra action. Until there's an official errata/campaign clarification I'll be allowing the lenient one we've been running with, but this is your advance warning if you need to consider retraining/future feat selection choices.'


Nefreet wrote:


Also, even if we disagree about how many hands it takes to use Battle Medicine after listening to the audio, the important take away is that you at least need a healing kit to do it.

This is not true. If the action requires you to use healer's tools, then healers tools use two hands and the feat requires two hands. Any other interpretation is a house rule.

Luckily, Battle Medicine makes no mention of healer's tools, and healer's tools do not mention Battle Medicine as an action in the very explicit list of actions they are required for. So there is no connection between the two within the rules as written.

Healer's tools could very easily have been written to specify that it is necessary for all Medicine checks. Or that it is necessary for all Medicine checks except Recall Knowledge. Or any exception of what checks do not require the tools could be listed in the abilities that grant checks without it. Any of those would be the precise way to write a rule set where the default assumption of making a medical check is that it requires healer's tools.

The developers deliberately wrote the rules a different way, which only allows the tools to be used for an explicit set of 4 actions.

Without a significant rewrite of rules, possibly in multiple places within the book, there is no way for Battle Medicine to be a one free-handed action that uses Healer's tools. The reason so many people want it to be, is because it is a useless feat if it requires two free hands. Luckily, such a hypothetical situation is not relevant to the situation because, by the rules of healer's tools, you actually can't use healer's tools to complete the action of Battle Medicine anyway.

Sovereign Court

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Unicore wrote:
The developers deliberately wrote the rules a different way, which only allows the tools to be used for an explicit set of 4 actions.

If we actually knew for sure what they meant then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

The reason this discussion keeps going on is because we're not sure if they left some stuff out on purpose or by accident.


I wish everyone would concede this game does not match reality. Patching up a wounded ally in real life in 6 seconds with a kit is not happening. That said, there is a balance to the game with skill/feats against other (often equally impossible) skills and feats. From a game mechanics standpoint, making battle medicine require two free hands is a significant gimp for what I consider a good skill. It will likely limit it to monks and a few wizards. Requiring one hand free makes sense to me and keeps it viable. No hands free breaks immersion and doesn’t seem right. As to the fix, who knows. A line of errata on the skill itself, or perhaps changes to the kit(s) in terms of number of hands. I’m pretty sure in real life I can open a scroll case one handed (likely with the tube secured in the armpit of my other arm) If I was a one armed rogue and you tossed some lock picks into my cell are they useless and I’m just trapped?


Isthisnametaken? wrote:
From a game mechanics standpoint, making battle medicine require two free hands is a significant gimp for what I consider a good skill. It will likely limit it to monks and a few wizards. Requiring one hand free makes sense to me and keeps it viable. No hands free breaks immersion and doesn’t seem right.

IMO, even requiring one free hand makes the feat non-viable for anyone that doesn't fight one handed (i.e. without a shield). Because you spend 1 action performing the healing and 1 action picking your shield/whatever back up, and possibly 1 action putting it away (depending on what it is, dropping a shield may not be a thing you can do for free and whether or not you're willing to drop it).

For the same reasons, the Quick Repair feat is pointless, even when you hit Legendary. Sure, you spend 1 action repairing an item, which seems like it happens at combat speeds, but once you realize you have to pull out a repair kit first (1 action), stow the repair kit (1 action, you don't want to drop it!), 1 action performing the repair (there's a turn), you still need two free hands, so there's 2 more actions "picking your stuff back up" even assuming you can drop both hands for free on the same turn.

Suddenly the insanely fast and unrealistic legendary repair isn't "one action" but five which lets you get "about 1 block" more out of your shield and no longer viable to perform mid-combat, as the only reason you'd repair your shield mid-combat is if your shield is about to break and you want to block some more, but you spend so long fixing "one block" worth of damage you will have wanted to block twice.


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We got through the shock/denial, then there was some pain, now people are bargaining...

Just a lil while more and we will get to acceptance.

Grand Lodge

Wow, just wow. 4 pages of discussions for something as simple as a simple action in battle.

I thought I add one more bit of evidential evidence:

A bandolier holds up to eight items of light Bulk within easy reach and is usually used for alchemical items or potions. If you are carrying or stowing a bandolier rather than wearing it around your chest, it has light Bulk instead of negligible. A bandolier can be dedicated to a full set of tools, such as healer’s tools, allowing you to draw the tools as part of the action that requires them.

This is CRB p.287

This does add some additional weight to the podcast as it describes storing healer's tools in a bandolier to avoid additional actions.

I will describe in a moment how I use the CRB to interpret this problem.

Grand Lodge

This has now taken me a little bit longer ...

How I read the CRB:

Relevant rules parts:

Battle Medicine p258
You can patch up yourself or an adjacent ally, even in combat. Attempt a Medicine check with the same DC as for Treat Wounds, and restore a corresponding amount of Hit Points; this does not remove the wounded condition. As with Treat Wounds, you can attempt checks against higher DCs if you have the minimum proficiency rank. The target is then temporarily immune to your Battle Medicine for 1 day.

Healer's tools P.290
This kit of bandages, herbs, and suturing tools is necessary for Medicine checks to Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds. Expanded healer’s tools provide a +1 item bonus to such checks. When you carry the tools from place to place, you keep many of the components handy on your person, in pockets or bandoliers.

Table 6-9: Adventuring gear
Healer's tools, 5 gp, 1 bulk, 2 hands
Bandolier, 1sp, - weight, - hands

Bandolier p.287
A bandolier holds up to eight items of light Bulk within easy reach and is usually used for alchemical items or potions. If you are carrying or stowing a bandolier rather than wearing it around your chest, it has light Bulk instead of negligible. A bandolier can be dedicated to a full set of tools, such as healer’s tools, allowing you to draw the tools as part of the action that requires them.

Actions p.461
You affect the world around you primarily by using actions. Actions are most closely measured and restricted during the encounter mode of play, ...

Table 6.2 p273
draw, stow and pick up an item - 1 or 2 hands, interact action

Natural Medicine p.264
You can apply natural cures to heal your allies. You can use Nature instead of Medicine to Treat Wounds. If you’re in the wilderness, you might have easier access to fresh ingredients, allowing you to gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your check to Treat Wounds using Nature, subject to the GM’s determination.

Now how I put all of these together into a coherrent ruling

1) Battle Medicine mentions a medicine check. Healer's tools mention that they are needed for medicine checks including administer first aid, treat disease, treat poison or treat wounds. I do take the point that battle medicine doesn't explicitly mention the healers kit - it only implies it if we regard 'you can patch up yourself or an adjacent ally' as similar to treat wounds. I added Natural Medicine here as well as it suffers the same issue with wording.
2) The Healer's tools need 2 hands. No discussion here. They also mention the bandolier. The bandolier explicitly mentions a healers kit as one example of items to store. It also mentions that this will save you an action which allows you to draw items from the healers tools as part of the action to use it.
3) The draw action needs one or two hands. It is an action in itself but the bandlier description supersedes it.
4) The bandolier also mentions actions in regard of drawing items from the healers kit - this only makes sense in an encounter situation - the reason I added p.461 - this isn't needed in the exploration phase when you spend 10 minutes to treat wounds.
5) Natural Medicine does mention Treat Wounds. It doesn't mention Battle Medicine explicitly.

All boils down to explicit vs implicit wordings.

Situation 1:
The default is: you need 2 hands and you need to have retrieved your healer's tools before using battle medicine. I'm aware - this makes battle medicine pretty useless if you don't prepare ahead of time.

Situation 2:
You have a bandolier with healers tools stuffed in it. Under this situation retrieving the items is part of the action. This is grey area - but I allow 1 or 2 free hands - not zero free hands. This means a bandolier is a must purchase for battle medicine.

Situation 3:
You use Battle Medicine in conjunction with Natural Medicine. Natural Medicine has a similar wording as the healers tools as it mentions treat wounds and not battle medicine. But as I argue battle medicine just writes treat wounds in a flavourful text, then I would allow you to use a Nature Check if you have Natural Medicine. I will deny you the +2 bonus though. I should point out to the RAW brigade that argues you don't need free hands that you then have to disallow Natural Medicine in conjunction with Battle Medicine as battle medicine isn't explicitly mentioned.

Situation 4:
You spend the exploration phase gathering berries, herbs, etc. for your Natural Medicine when you suddenly run into an encounter. In this circumstance I will grant the use of nature lore as well as a +2 bonus to treat wounds in battle medicine. Number of hands still the same as above - so have a bandolier to store your herbs/berries/roots.

Situation 5:
You are enlarged. Battle medicine does mention that you have to be adjacent to the person you treat. Large gives you reach 10 feet. So as long as nobody is between you and the person to treat I would still allow the action without a 5 foot step needed. This is a lenient interpretation of the word 'adjacent'. But I thought I throw it in here.

To me these rulings seems to be in line with the podcast as well. They represent how I read/interpret the rules trying to balance game flow, usefulness vs exploitation, implicit vs explicit and general discussions here. Your own opinion might be different and I do accept that when I play at your table.

Interesting other situations:
Battle Medicine in low light / darkness or if the target is invisible. I have to think about these but guess there can be other situations that will cause table variation as well.

Grand Lodge

Draco10s - about quick repair. Read the description of the bandolier. It mentions healer's tools explicitly - but only as one example of tools.

To me this implies it should be handled the same way as battle medicine. With the same logic quick repair with/without bandolier would be the same as situation 1 and 2.

2 hands free without a bandolier (and it is hardly feasible) or 1 hand when you have a bandolier and drawing the item is part of the repair action(s).

Now the next question - how many bandoliers can you carry? You need one for medicine kit, one for repair kit. One for potions. What else?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice try, Thod, but you're rather late to the party. This discussion spans at least four threads and has fervent defenders on both sides. A couple comments, though:

Thod wrote:

Situation 2:

You have a bandolier with healers tools stuffed in it. Under this situation retrieving the items is part of the action. This is grey area - but I allow 1 or 2 free hands - not zero free hands. This means a bandolier is a must purchase for battle medicine.

The "grey area" isn't where you think it is. The RAW states that healer's tools require 2 hands, bandolier or no. The "grey area" is in whether or not Battle medicine requires healer's tools at all. So it's zero hands (by RAW) or two hands simply because that's the default for healer's tools (by the indirect evidence of a podcast referencing guys at Paizo).

Thod wrote:

Situation 3:

You use Battle Medicine in conjunction with Natural Medicine.

There is no synergy between Battle Medicine and Natural Medicine by the RAW. You either do Battle Medicine "with the same DC as for Treat Wounds" or you "use Natural Medicine to Treat Wounds", not both. There is no overlap.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Bandolier is the one holding the healer's tools, not the PC. You simply need a free hand for Battle Medicine's manipulate trait.

Grand Lodge

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Wheldrake

I'm aware of the entry table 6.9 that says 2 hands for the medicine tools. That is as clear as RAW goes - isn't it?

Have a look at the entry for sack (1 hand) and bag of holding: usage 2 hands. The sack actually specifies different situations where the number of hands can be 0, 1 or 2. Zero if it is light enough to have on your belt. 1 if you carry it (main use), 2 if you retrieve an item. The bag of holding says 2 hands because retrieval is what the usage describes.

RAW would you allow 1 hand to retrieve an item if a) you place the sack or bag of holding on the floor/some other surface or b) someone else holds it open for you? Interpreting RAW in the striktest form means retrieval should always need 2 hands - no matter what.

I regard the bandolier as the equivalent of someone else holding it for me / that the character frees one hand that holds the tools I don't use at the moment. You might rule differently here.

Another direction is the wording of the manipulate trait p.633.

manipulate (trait) You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can't perform actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions.

The main focus of arguments seems about the first sentence as far as I read this threat and at least a second threat by now. I haven't heard mentioning about a discussion of a 'suitable appendage'.

To me a free hand certainly is a suitable appendage, a hand grabbing a sword isn't suitable or at least not usable while holding the sword.

But I doubt any argument apart of a ruling from the developers will sway one camp or the other.

Grand Lodge

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Nefreet wrote:
The Bandolier is the one holding the healer's tools, not the PC. You simply need a free hand for Battle Medicine's manipulate trait.

You ninja'ed me. Took me too long to write / look up all the details ... But yes - that is the tldr; of my comment.


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So, the bandolier would give you a choice between 1 of 2 kits ( repair or healing ) and some potions / alchemical stuff.

That way I think a healing kit will receive the most benefits.


Thod wrote:

Another direction is the wording of the manipulate trait p.633.

manipulate (trait) You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can't perform actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions.

The main focus of arguments seems about the first sentence as far as I read this threat and at least a second threat by now. I haven't heard mentioning about a discussion of a 'suitable appendage'.

To me a free hand certainly is a suitable appendage, a hand grabbing a sword isn't suitable or at least not usable while holding the sword.

But I doubt any argument apart of a ruling from the developers will sway one camp or the other.

You're late to this argument too:

graystone wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Between Battle Medicine having the Manipulate trait, and all functions of Medicine requiring the (two-handed) Healer's Tools, I find the argument to the latter logically weak.

#1 manipulate requires physically manipulating an item or making gestures: neither of those require a free hand or the use of 2 hands.

#2 it is factually incorrect that all uses of medicine require a kit. "you can use it to Recall Knowledge": healers tools don't give a bonus on a recall knowledge check to recall medical facts...

So i find it "logically weak" to assume it has any requirement past what it comes out and states: none.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

#1 is patently false, and of course #2 doesn't require hands–it's recalling knowledge.


Nefreet wrote:
#1 is patently false, and of course #2 doesn't require hands–it's recalling knowledge.

Fine, let me go back to page 3 of this thread.

kitmehsu wrote:
I just want to point out that the manipulate trait never required an open hand in the playtest
playtest rulebook pg416 wrote:

Manipulate You must physically manipulate an item or make

gestures to use this type of action. Creatures without a suitable
appendage cannot perform actions with this trait. Manipulate
actions often trigger reactions.
the only thing that changed was somatic no longer requiring a free hand.

The wording is the same in the CRB.

Quote:

manipulate (trait) You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use

an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can’t perform
actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you only have two suitable appendages, and both are occupied with other things, then you indeed have no suitable appendages available.


Nefreet wrote:
If you only have two suitable appendages, and both are occupied with other things, then you indeed have no suitable appendages available.

That isn't what that phrase is referring to, and you know it.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How is it not?


CRB PG. 633 "Manipulate Trait" wrote:
You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can’t perform actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions.

The wording of the manipulate trait says nothing about "available" appendages. It simply states that creatures lacking a suitable appendage cannot make that action. This is likely to address polymorphed casters more than anything else.

To read that as saying you must have an "available" appendage is reaching, more so than assuming that HP are an abstraction of mental and physical health and that Battle Medicine could in fact just be a kind word or steadying an ally on their feat.

After all, it's not like Paizo don't have a history of having healing be tied to a yell or signal in some way.

Not the same game granted, but it does give us insight into Paizo's design philosophy.

Another point I thought about in the shower the other day regarding this well tread ground, I believe many in this thread and others are forgetting that Battle Medicine is a feat. Feats have a history of allowing characters to do simply amazing things.

So you have a point when you say it doesn't make much sense that you can patch up an ally in 2 seconds. It doesn't after all. Until you apply the "feat factor" wherein Battle Medicine is suddenly competing with allowing someone to walk up a wall as fast as they can run, or take the form of a giant in the case of a class feat.

Seems totally out of the ordinary to me. And I think that's the point.


graystone wrote:
#1 manipulate requires physically manipulating an item or making gestures: neither of those require a free hand or the use of 2 hands.
Nefreet wrote:
#1 is patently false, and of course #2 doesn't require hands–it's recalling knowledge.

If #1 is patently false, then no more casting heal or lay on hands with a sword and shield in hand. That will throw a wrench in a lot of combat cleric and champions plans.

I'll note, if you look at page 303 of the core rulebook, under spell components, and then somatic, you'll find the following:

A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely.

Emphasis mine.

If you want to argue that healing a fighter covered head to toe in the steel of full plate, whose body you can't touch, with 1 hand and a healer's kit in a single action is less silly than a reassuring thump on the back with the pommel of a sword to restore fighting spirit, that is a perfectly reasonable stance to take.

It also doesn't change the way the rest of the game is played.

But saying the manipulate trait by itself implies an empty free hand or a hand with a specific tool, changes the entire action economy of somatic spell casting, in a way most healers are not going to like. That paladin with a sword and shield now needs to:
1) Sheath the sword
2) Cast the 1 action lay on hands
3) Pull out the sword

Turning a fast quick heal into a full round action. There also wouldn't be much of a point of distinction of the 2-action and 3-action versions of the heal spell either, where the 3-action adds material component to the verbal and somatic components.


One could argue that "physically manipulating an item" requires a hand (though I suppose the relevant item would have to be in hand rather than the hand being free) while "making gestures" does not. Somatic components are explicitly gestures, so do not require a free hand. If this is the case, then other Manipulate actions would have to be categorised as 'gesture' or 'item' actions.

Then again, that seems a pretty awkward way to be required to read the rules...


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Genrally the action or item with the manipulate trait calls out if hands (and how many) are needed. Weapons are explicitly 1 or 2 handed. Healing kits explicitly call out 2 hands. Material component spells call out a free hand. And so on.

I'm not aware of any off the top of my head that don't, except possibly the currently discussed battle medicine, depending on your viewpoint.

So I think the gesture/item difference is already spelled out, just not as a tag. In fact most actions/items already have the finer gesture/1 hand item/2 hand item distinction. It also applies to things like the strike action, which uses an item, but doesn't have the manipulate trait.

A interesting manipulate action is Grab an Edge. A crticial success lets you do it even with your hands full. Your hands don't have to be empty, just unrestrained, to attempt it. So making gestures can prevent you from falling.

Its a good example of a non-spell, no free hand manipulate action.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I read the section you bolded as an exception only for somatic casting.

Indeed, if you read it any other way, manipulate means nothing.


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My take on the matter:

As written, Battle Medicine doesn't even require a Healer's Kit to work with. Hell, it doesn't even tell you what amount of healing it gives you!

Battle Medicine wrote:
You can patch up yourself or an adjacent ally, even in combat. Attempt a Medicine check with the same DC as for Treat Wounds, and restore a corresponding amount of Hit Points; this does not remove the wounded condition. As with Treat Wounds, you can attempt checks against higher DCs if you have the minimum proficiency rank. The target is then temporarily immune to your Battle Medicine for 1 day.

Nothing in there mentions requiring or using a healer's kit to do any of this. Even so, you don't need a Healer's Kit to perform a Medicine check unless they are specific kinds of checks. The kit tells us what checks those are.

Healer's Kit wrote:
This kit of bandages, herbs, and suturing tools is necessary for Medicine checks to Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds.

Battle Medicine does not fall under those named checks, and merely uses Treat Wounds for DC calculation. That's it. Nothing else!

Now, I'm sure some of you will say "It heals just as much as Treat Wounds does!" But it doesn't. It says again:

Battle Medicine wrote:
...restore a corresponding amount of Hit Points...

What constitutes a "corresponding amount"? It might be fair or reasonable to state it uses Treat Wounds scaling, but there's nothing definitive telling us that. It could also be equal to the same amount of healing as resting, level times constitution! This stuff isn't spelled out, so saying it's anything is purely conjecture at this point.

In the end, as written, Battle Medicine doesn't require any hands or any materials or anything. Just the feat and an action (and to probably not be restrained, since it is Manipulate, after all). But it's broken as written with assumptions of things that aren't there.

(P.S. Not sarcastic here. I'm 100% serious.)


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Quote:
What constitutes a "corresponding amount"? It might be fair or reasonable to state it uses Treat Wounds scaling, but there's nothing definitive telling us that. It could also be equal to the same amount of healing as resting, level times constitution! This stuff isn't spelled out, so saying it's anything is purely conjecture at this point.

It literally says treat wounds immediately before the start of the section you quoted.


Nefreet wrote:


Indeed, if you read it any other way, manipulate means nothing.

You know, except for...

...not being possible when you don't have hands.
...not being possible when you are restrained.
...triggering reactions that trigger off "manipulate."


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Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
What constitutes a "corresponding amount"? It might be fair or reasonable to state it uses Treat Wounds scaling, but there's nothing definitive telling us that. It could also be equal to the same amount of healing as resting, level times constitution! This stuff isn't spelled out, so saying it's anything is purely conjecture at this point.
It literally says treat wounds immediately before the start of the section you quoted.

Irrelevant because it's not in any way linked to what healing you receive. Just because it uses the DC of it doesn't mean it gives the same healing, nor can you assume the healing is identical either because, again, it's not clearly stated.

We have people saying you don't need a healer kit for Battle Medicine even though it uses most every mechanic from Treat Wounds, which involves a healer kit, or even that you don't need hands to use a healer kit with Battle Medicine via Manipulate traits, even though a lot of times (and GMs) require a hand, even though it uses healing and DCs and other mechanics of something that requires a kit and hands to do otherwise.

It makes no sense to not likewise be avid about the amount of healing Battle Medicine does since it's, again, not clearly defined or ambiguous in what it grants.

This is just what happens when Shenanigans is a two-way street. These people want to say hands or kits aren't required? Okay, that's cool, I see the rules support for it. With that same support though, now your heal doesn't work because it heals for an unknown amount. I could make it heal 0 because you have nothing being done to warrant any healing, which makes sense when you think a healer kit or manipulation isn't required.


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"Use the DC and heal a corresponding amount" seems pretty clear to me.

But you do you.

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