Errata Suggestion for Natural Medicine


Rules Discussion

Grand Lodge

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I really like the idea of this feat but I think it needs to be altered for game play. As it stands right now it let's use treat wounds with Nature instead of Medicine. Unfortunately, the feats that improve treat wounds all depend on Medicine and most require expert and higher.

I suggest errata for the feat to include the ability to take feats that modify treat wounds as if your rank in medicine was equal to your rank in Nature. Otherwise the use of Natural Healing will be limited to the baseline and force people who want to help heal their party to take Medicine rather than offering an interesting alternative.

PS I would love to see a similar feat for Crafting, albeit with some fun caveats.


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Also it should let you use Nature to do Administer First Aid. Sure, you can try to do that anyway since it's an untrained use, but being able to apply your Nature proficiency would bring it in line with Treat Wounds.

I understand not wanting Nature to Treat Disease and Treat Poison too, but it seems to me that Administer First Aid is basically a baby version of Treat Wounds, so it's weird to be able to do the latter well but the former only poorly.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Taenia wrote:

I really like the idea of this feat but I think it needs to be altered for game play. As it stands right now it let's use treat wounds with Nature instead of Medicine. Unfortunately, the feats that improve treat wounds all depend on Medicine and most require expert and higher.

I suggest errata for the feat to include the ability to take feats that modify treat wounds as if your rank in medicine was equal to your rank in Nature. Otherwise the use of Natural Healing will be limited to the baseline and force people who want to help heal their party to take Medicine rather than offering an interesting alternative.

PS I would love to see a similar feat for Crafting, albeit with some fun caveats.

I made a house rule for the Chirugeon in my group that they can use their Crafting skill rank in place of Medicine to qualify for medicine feats as part of the Research Field. This way the player doesn't have to rank up both skills and it fits with being the healer/medic


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I disagree. This allows for Nature to do something for treating wounds, but I don't think it should be as good as investing in Medicine. Otherwise you end up with something strictly better.


BellyBeard wrote:
I disagree. This allows for Nature to do something for treating wounds, but I don't think it should be as good as investing in Medicine. Otherwise you end up with something strictly better.

It's not strictly better. You can't Treat Disease or Treat Poison (or do forensics) with Nature even with Natural Medicine.


I'm with BellyBeard on that. I would clearly house-rule that a Chirurgeon Alchemist can use his ranks in Crafting instead of his ranks in Medicine for feats prerequisites and Medicine uses but I would not do it for Natural Medicine. Being able to replace one skill for another on the most common Medicine use would be way overpowered for a first level feat.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
I disagree. This allows for Nature to do something for treating wounds, but I don't think it should be as good as investing in Medicine. Otherwise you end up with something strictly better.
It's not strictly better. You can't Treat Disease or Treat Poison (or do forensics) with Nature even with Natural Medicine.

It's still close enough in most cases. Being able to identify animals and primal magic, plus anything else nature does, is probably almost always better than the other medicine functions.

Or maybe my games just don't use enough poison and disease.

Maybe if it allowed you to take Treat Wounds feats as if your rank in Medicine were one lower than in Nature? Perhaps that could make for a meaningful choice.

I was gonna say just going to Expert in Medicine for the feats isn't a huge deal, as it's really the Master and Legendary upgrades that are most valuable, but I also GM with skill ups every level so my outlook may be skewed. ^^;


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
I disagree. This allows for Nature to do something for treating wounds, but I don't think it should be as good as investing in Medicine. Otherwise you end up with something strictly better.
It's not strictly better. You can't Treat Disease or Treat Poison (or do forensics) with Nature even with Natural Medicine.

That's true, and actually silly because those should be the best applications of Natural Medicine, in my mind. Your knowledge of nature should extend to natural poisons and diseases and how to counteract them.

I just think that it doesn't make sense (I learn more about Nature, which... teaches me triage and combat medic techniques?), and also is stepping on Medicine's toes too much to use Nature exclusively. A single level one skill feat shouldn't negate most of another skill, with specialized Treat Wounds being Medicine's most common application.

Radiant Oath

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BellyBeard wrote:
A single level one skill feat shouldn't negate most of another skill, with specialized Treat Wounds being Medicine's most common application.

Why not? A single level one skill feat gives you another skill. Obviously Natural Medicine would be better than taking Skill Training for Medicine because you would benefit from Proficiency upgrades, but Skill Training is generally weak choice anyway.


I disagree with this. We don't need 2 different skills doing the same thing. That would make medicine a lesser skill. Nature already has a use and adding the ability to something another skill can do equally doesn't make sense.

The feat allows you to use treat wounds with nature, so it gives you an alternative to treat wounds but it shouldn't rival medicine. I could see using feats coming out later that allow nature to do similar things but should never be as effective. Then what would be the purpose of the feat? As stated before allowing nature to copy medicine and do it equally better then medicine. Now it can do everything medicine can do and more.

Maybe an archetype that allows this or special class abilities. But as a skill overall no.


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Having taken Natural Medicine myself, I think for a single feat the benefits are good enough as they are - the only errata I'd add would be to clarify that you can use Expert Nature to try an Expert Treat Wounds, as some have reported doubts about that.

There's no need to add feat qualifications on top. If I wanted the advanced medicine feats, I would've taken Medicine. This is a backup option, not a main build.


My new PF2 campaign includes a 1st-level gnome herbalist stormborn druid named Stormdancer. She has Nature training and Natural Medicine from herbalist background. She also trained in Medicine and carried healer's tools to serve as the party healer. After her first uses of Treat Wounds in our second session, both successful, she remembered that she had Natural Medicine, too, and asked how that could help.

Right now, she has the same bonus from both Medicine and Nature since they are both Wisdom-based skills with trained proficiency. Treat Wounds with Natural Medicine will usually give her a +2 circumstance bonus, since this campaign will be a wilderness adventure.

My thoughts on a houserule for Natural Medicine would be:

Mathmuse's Natural Medicine feat 1
General, Skill
Prerequisites trained in Nature
You can apply natural cures to heal. You can Treat Wounds while untrained in Medicine. In the wilderness you might have access to fresh ingredients that serve as a replacement for healer's tools, subject to the GM’s determination. Combining both fresh ingredients and healer's tools gives a +2 item bonus to the Medicine check or increases the healer's tools existing item bonus by 2.

That would give a +2 item bonus to Administer First Aid with regular healer's tools in the wilderness, but the skill check is always Medicine. Rolling Medicine rather than Nature and an item bonus rather than circumstance bonus from fresh ingredients seem more appropriate.

Letting Stormdancer hand her healer's tools to another Medicine-trained party member so that they can Treat Wounds simultaneously on different people might come in handy. At least two other characters trained in Medicine but lacked the cash or strength to buy and carry healer's tools.


...Somehow that feels weaker. It reminds me of the old synergy bonuses, except it's feat-based. I can see a more widespread boost in the math being attractive, but somehow... this doesn't feel like a buff (it isn't one, as far as I can see - a circumstance +2 became an item +2, but stacking).
The benefit is in receiving the buff to other uses of Medicine, such as treat poison, but I don't see it as big enough to justify the loss of Treat Wound scaling off Nature.


Ediwir wrote:

...Somehow that feels weaker. It reminds me of the old synergy bonuses, except it's feat-based. I can see a more widespread boost in the math being attractive, but somehow... this doesn't feel like a buff (it isn't one, as far as I can see - a circumstance +2 became an item +2, but stacking).

The benefit is in receiving the buff to other uses of Medicine, such as treat poison, but I don't see it as big enough to justify the loss of Treat Wound scaling off Nature.

It is weaker in that a character who is untrained in Medicine still suffers the lack of proficiency in using Natural Medicine. Someone who wants to be a non-spell healer still has to invest in Medicine. I don't care for Nature skill substituting for Medicine skill. Medicine is expertise in healing and Nature isn't. An old-style synergy is a good way to look at how Nature contributes to Medicine.

But my primary reason for the change is deeper. One of my players claims that PF2 is more complicated than PF1. She has a point. Where PF1 gives a bunch of tiny bonuses that are selected to stack, the player can write down one combined bonus and forget the details. I hated the abilities that gave things such as "+2 to Will saves agains enchantments" because they required remembering the details. Where PF2 gives a feat like Natural Medicine, it has limits, such as only Treat Wounds, that require remembering details. My Natural Medicine replacing or supplementing healer's tools in the wilderness uses the flavor for its detail.

I could have left the the +2 bonus as a circumstance bonus, except that it really isn't a circumstance bonus as the Core Rulebook flavors them.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Playing the Game chapter, page 445 wrote:

Circumstance bonuses typically involve the situation you find yourself in when attempting a check. For instance, using Raise a Shield with a buckler grants you a +1 circumstance bonus to AC. Being behind cover grants you a +2 circumstance bonus to AC.

...
Item bonuses are granted by some item that you are wearing or using, either mundane or magical. For example, armor gives you an item bonus to AC, while expanded alchemist’s tools grant you an item bonus to Crafting checks when making alchemical items.
...
Status bonuses typically come from spells, other magical effects, or something applying a helpful, often temporary, condition to you. For instance, the 3rd-level heroism spell grants a +1 status bonus to attack rolls, Perception checks, saving throws, and skill checks.

A circumstance bonus to Treat Wounds might be that the healer was right next to the person when he was injured, so he knows the exact injury. Having the right fresh herbs on hand is an item to be used in the skill check. A status bonus would be feeding the patient an herb that helps slow bleeding. Since I said that the fresh ingredients can replace healer's tools, they act like an item.


You're talking about the complexity shift from character building to gameplay. That's a valid point, and in fact I have seen a lot of "recent" PF1 players struggle where "old" PF1 players and recent 5e players seem to ease themselves into the game more easily.
There was some discussion on that in the Discord earlier today, it's pretty interesting.

That aside, all things considered, it seems to be an overall nerf, and not by a small amount. What made you think it needed one?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

A lot of people in this thread keep bringing up that you shouldn't be able to 'replace' a skill... but in effect that's what the feat already does.

It's just really bad at it because of the way proficiency requirements work. Same issue that alchemists run into with their 'replace medicine' feature.


Alchemist is objectively a lot worse, because it does not let you use the skill for Treat wounds, merely the modifier, stops you at Trained uses, and requires you to be Trained in medicine anyways.

What benefit does this give? Maybe a +2, as long as you rank up both skills. Just don’t rank up Crafting and you can instead focus on a different skill.

Natural Medicine lets you use Treat Wounds with Nature. It does not require you to rank up Medicine, it does not limit you to the Trained version, it does not have any further requirements. Granted, it does no give you treat poison or treat disease, and you need to rank up medicine if you want to take medicine skill feats, but if you wanted that you’d be ranking Medicine, not Nature.

Effectively this adds Treat Wounds to Nature and lets you be a secondary healer without skill rank investment. It’s a decent benefit for a first level feat.


Honestly, I don't think either solution is the correct one here. Giving access to all of the medicine feats definitely feels like too much. However, I think adding a Nature feat that was the equivalent of Ward Medic is probably a good idea. Still locks the nature boys out of all the other Medicine feats, but gives them access to solid out-of-combat healing. EDIT: And I think both of these should use your ranks in nature to determine how effective they are... Curious what the OP was suggesting, and what they consider to be modifying treat wounds, however, as this might have a similar scope.

Grand Lodge

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My main concern was Continual Recovery, though Ward Medic would be nice. The ability to treat someone every 10 minutes rather than every hour is huge especially at higher levels.

I understand the arguments against my proposal and to be honest I am quite glad to listen to those views. It comes down to the design did they want Nature with the feat to only be used for the base level of treat wounds? Or for it's full potential? I dont see it co-opting Medicine as that skill still has other uses and comes up in scenarios.

I know for my druid I went with Medicine as a focus with the idea of being a wandering Vet and helping people was confusing since I was used to more legs.

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