Can I no longer Treat Wounds after a failed Medicine check?


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Treat Wounds activity of the Medicine skill says the following: If you succeed at your check, you can continue treating the target to grant additional healing.

Does this mean that if I fail any checks to Treat Wounds, I can no longer keep treating my patient?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The benefit of continuing to treat the target is spelled out in the next sentence: "If you treat them for a total of 1 hour, double the Hit Points they regain from Treat Wounds."

If you failed the check, they recovered 0 hit points. So even if you continued to treat them, double 0 is still 0.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd be certain that was the case if the first sentence ended in a semicolon. With the period though, I'm much less sure. That period makes them into two independent thoughts.


As far as I know, nothing is stopping you from making another different treat wounds attempt after your "cool down" time has expired. If you have Continual Recovery for example, you could immediately make another attempt. If you don't have that feat you would have to wait for an hour to elapse.

It would be silly if failing to treat wounds a character once made you unable to treat them ever again. The passage you quoted is speaking about continuing to treat them over next hour to double their recovery, something that Continual Recovery makes moot.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
I'd be certain that was the case if the first sentence ended in a semicolon. With the period though, I'm much less sure. That period makes them into two independent thoughts.

The first sentence is an incomplete thought, though. It says you can do something, but does not describe what the result of doing that thing is. Meanwhile, the second sentence describes a benefit that is clearly linked to the action in the first sentence.

Neither sentence makes sense without taking them both together.


Ravingdork wrote:

The Treat Wounds activity of the Medicine skill says the following: If you succeed at your check, you can continue treating the target to grant additional healing.

Does this mean that if I fail any checks to Treat Wounds, I can no longer keep treating my patient?

You only make one check. It doesn't state anywhere that you make additional checks. If that one check is a success, you can either stop there and get the amount of healing you rolled, or you can change the duration from 10 minutes to 1 hour and get double the healing.

It's not really worth it though, as the Treat Wounds activity restores an insane amount of HP compared to its DCs, so it's unlikely you'll fail the check, and you could better spend the time treating your other compatriots and then coming back to the first one at the end of the hour.

With a +2 Wisdom modifier, and Expert in Medicine, at level 3, you only need to roll a 6 to succeed, and if you have Assurance, you are guaranteed to succeed even if you are only Trained. Because of how powerful the Critical Success is, there's literally no reason to ever increase the DC, until you get to the point where you are guaranteed to succeed at the next higher DC.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Aratorin wrote:
Because of how powerful the Critical Success is, there's literally no reason to ever increase the DC, until you get to the point where you are guaranteed to succeed at the next higher DC.

Just checking, because I made the same mistake at first - you know that the crit only doubles the dice, and not the bonus, right? Regardless of which DC you are targeting, a critical success only adds 2d8 healing.


MaxAstro wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Because of how powerful the Critical Success is, there's literally no reason to ever increase the DC, until you get to the point where you are guaranteed to succeed at the next higher DC.
Just checking, because I made the same mistake at first - you know that the crit only doubles the dice, and not the bonus, right? Regardless of which DC you are targeting, a critical success only adds 2d8 healing.

Yes, but an extra 2d8 healing is roughly equal to the +10 points you get for the higher DC. Sure, going from 20 to 30 and 30 to 40 gives you a boost of +20 instead of +10, but staying with a DC where you literally cannot fail is still better most of the time.


Aratorin wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Because of how powerful the Critical Success is, there's literally no reason to ever increase the DC, until you get to the point where you are guaranteed to succeed at the next higher DC.
Just checking, because I made the same mistake at first - you know that the crit only doubles the dice, and not the bonus, right? Regardless of which DC you are targeting, a critical success only adds 2d8 healing.
Yes, but an extra 2d8 healing is roughly equal to the +10 points you get for the higher DC. Sure, going from 20 to 30 and 30 to 40 gives you a boost of +20 instead of +10, but staying with a DC where you literally cannot fail is still better most of the time.

The healing jumps by 20 HP each time (above expert), while increasing the DC by 10. This effectively turns a success at the lower DC into 10 more than a critical success at the higher one. I can run the math, but I think you're somewhat wrong here. First, a 1 is still going to be a failure (albeit not a critical failure). Beyond that, I'm guessing the cutoff is somewhere around needing a 5-6 or so to make the higher tier worth it. Let me run the numbers...

EDIT: For expert to master, I actually get the cutoff at right around the 50% mark (if you need a 10 or better for master success, use master, if it's an 11, use expert).


tivadar27 wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Because of how powerful the Critical Success is, there's literally no reason to ever increase the DC, until you get to the point where you are guaranteed to succeed at the next higher DC.
Just checking, because I made the same mistake at first - you know that the crit only doubles the dice, and not the bonus, right? Regardless of which DC you are targeting, a critical success only adds 2d8 healing.
Yes, but an extra 2d8 healing is roughly equal to the +10 points you get for the higher DC. Sure, going from 20 to 30 and 30 to 40 gives you a boost of +20 instead of +10, but staying with a DC where you literally cannot fail is still better most of the time.
The healing jumps by 20 HP each time (above expert), while increasing the DC by 10. This effectively turns a success at the lower DC into 10 more than a critical success at the higher one. I can run the math, but I think you're somewhat wrong here. First, a 1 is still going to be a failure (albeit not a critical failure). Beyond that, I'm guessing the cutoff is somewhere around needing a 5-6 or so to make the higher tier worth it. Let me run the numbers...

There are no numbers that need to be run. I'm talking about a judgement call. 2d8 only averages to 9, so from a purely mathematical point, yes the higher DC is better for total healing, but from a "we're in the middle of the dungeon and we just need to make sure we get some healing" point of view, something that you can't fail is a better option in my opinion.

Yes, you could still roll a 1 if you aren't using Assurance, but a critical failure, which could literally kill the character, isn't a possibility.


Aratorin wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Because of how powerful the Critical Success is, there's literally no reason to ever increase the DC, until you get to the point where you are guaranteed to succeed at the next higher DC.
Just checking, because I made the same mistake at first - you know that the crit only doubles the dice, and not the bonus, right? Regardless of which DC you are targeting, a critical success only adds 2d8 healing.
Yes, but an extra 2d8 healing is roughly equal to the +10 points you get for the higher DC. Sure, going from 20 to 30 and 30 to 40 gives you a boost of +20 instead of +10, but staying with a DC where you literally cannot fail is still better most of the time.
The healing jumps by 20 HP each time (above expert), while increasing the DC by 10. This effectively turns a success at the lower DC into 10 more than a critical success at the higher one. I can run the math, but I think you're somewhat wrong here. First, a 1 is still going to be a failure (albeit not a critical failure). Beyond that, I'm guessing the cutoff is somewhere around needing a 5-6 or so to make the higher tier worth it. Let me run the numbers...

There are no numbers that need to be run. I'm talking about a judgement call. 2d8 only averages to 9, so from a purely mathematical point, yes the higher DC is better for total healing, but from a "we're in the middle of the dungeon and we just need to make sure we get some healing" point of view, something that you can't fail is a better option in my opinion.

Yes, you could still roll a 1 if you aren't using Assurance, but a critical failure, which could literally kill the character, isn't a possibility.

I'd argue this is true if your character is unconscious and you're using Battle Medicine... If you need to heal up between fights, though, this is almost certainly *not* true. Though obviously it's a judgement call. Most of the time, I've found, our party wants to heal up to near-full between fights. If it looks like 9 will do it, great, if not, then the 10 minutes are effectively wasted, because the person will need additional healing anyways.

EDIT: Though I'd agree the averages I computed above aren't what I'd *really* go by. At the point where it's a near break-even, I'm choosing the more definite thing unless it's really needed. But at the point where I'm likely to heal 10hp more, I'll probably go that route (around needing a 5 or 6).

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Can I no longer Treat Wounds after a failed Medicine check? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.