Chirurgeon and Medicine prerequisites


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The Chirurgeon research field says that you can roll Crafting in place of Medicine for checks. Does this also mean that you can use Crafting to meet Medicine-based feat prerequisites for Skill Feats?

For example, the Bard Versatile Performance feat allows you to use Performance in place of Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Deception in some cases, and also specifically says that you can use Performance in place of those skills to meet these prerequisites. The Chirurgeon ability doesn't have that explicit wording.

Anybody know if this has been covered in a video or FAQ or forum post? Thanks!


For first part no you still need medicine skill at it certain proficieny.


azjauthor wrote:
The Chirurgeon research field says that you can roll Crafting in place of Medicine for checks. Does this also mean that you can use Crafting to meet Medicine-based feat prerequisites for Skill Feats?

Nothing says it changes anything other than the bonuses on your d20 roll. So nothing about prerequisites for feats or even for raising your dc for treat wounds checks. Heck, you still have to use healers tools for the checks...


Despite that, this can still be helpful. As an Alchemist, you will likely have a higher Int than Wis, so being able to use the Int based Craft rather than the Wis based Medicine can be a reasonable buff all it's own.


beowulf99 wrote:
Despite that, this can still be helpful. As an Alchemist, you will likely have a higher Int than Wis, so being able to use the Int based Craft rather than the Wis based Medicine can be a reasonable buff all it's own.

You're losing out on the item bonus from items [up to +2] and you're most likely not tanking a save stat so it's not much of a boon for using a different stat. The higher your level, the smaller the "buff" gets until it vanishes altogether.


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What is this, the fourth thread?

At least four.

I don't feel like finding the others.


graystone wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
Despite that, this can still be helpful. As an Alchemist, you will likely have a higher Int than Wis, so being able to use the Int based Craft rather than the Wis based Medicine can be a reasonable buff all it's own.
You're losing out on the item bonus from items [up to +2] and you're most likely not tanking a save stat so it's not much of a boon for using a different stat. The higher your level, the smaller the "buff" gets until it vanishes altogether.

That is fair, though you can get commensurate item buffs like Crafter's eyepiece (overall a lower item bonus to be fair until much later levels) to Craft to overcome that difference. The real difference is that it allows you to leave Medicine at expert to qualify for feats, while focusing on Craft and other skills with your skill increases instead. Knowledges spring to mind.

Overall, for being a feature of the Chirurgeon and not a feat you have to take later, not that bad. Comparing this bonus to a stand alone feat isn't being too fair to the feature.

Then again, there isn't much else recommending Chirurgeon in the first place so YMMV.

Edit: I would also argue that Healer's Tools would actually apply to the checks you substitute Craft for anyway. Healer's Tools are required for Treat Wounds and similar abilities, Chirurgeon states that you can substitute a craft check instead.

Since you would have to be using the tools, why wouldn't expanded Healer's Tools apply?

Arguably even the bonus for Healer's Gloves would apply as well since you are rolling Craft for a Medicine check, and Healer's Gloves apply a bonus to Medicine checks.

That is much harder to justify, but I could see ruling it that way reasonably.

At the end of the day, I agree that there are a lot of problems with Chirurgeon. I don't think that THIS particular angle is the straw that broke the camel's back though.


beowulf99 wrote:
you can get commensurate item buffs like Crafter's eyepiece (overall a lower item bonus to be fair until much later levels) to Craft to overcome that difference.

True, but you're talking about an extra magic item vs healer's tools starting off as mundane items.

beowulf99 wrote:
The real difference is that it allows you to leave Medicine at expert to qualify for feats, while focusing on Craft and other skills with your skill increases instead. Knowledges spring to mind.

No it doesn't as you need to raise your medicine to qualify for the higher DC's to heal more and there is a legendary feat for medicine too.

beowulf99 wrote:
Overall, for being a feature of the Chirurgeon and not a feat you have to take later, not that bad. Comparing this bonus to a stand alone feat isn't being too fair to the feature.

At BEST it's the equivalent to a +1 or +2 to medicine... I'm not super impressed.

beowulf99 wrote:
Then again, there isn't much else recommending Chirurgeon in the first place so YMMV.

Honestly, I don't really see why every alchemist isn't a bomber... The other two don't offer much IMO.

beowulf99 wrote:
Edit: I would also argue that Healer's Tools would actually apply to the checks you substitute Craft for anyway. Healer's Tools are required for Treat Wounds and similar abilities, Chirurgeon states that you can substitute a craft check instead.

You are making a CRAFT check... Healer's tools do nothing for those checks. It's pretty straight forward.

beowulf99 wrote:
Since you would have to be using the tools, why wouldn't expanded Healer's Tools apply?

That's kind of like asking why my Disguise Kit (Elite) don't add to the roll too. Healer's tools add a bonus to medicine checks while a diguise kit adds a bonus to Deception skill: neither helps even a little with a craft check.

beowulf99 wrote:
Arguably even the bonus for Healer's Gloves would apply as well since you are rolling Craft for a Medicine check, and Healer's Gloves apply a bonus to Medicine checks.

You are mixing up terms: you are using a craft check for a medicine ACTION. No where in there is a medicine check involved. I don't think you've come within a mile of "Arguably".

beowulf99 wrote:
That is much harder to justify, but I could see ruling it that way reasonably.

Sure, I could see someone houseruling that: I can't see a way to do enough mental gymnastics to try to say it's RAW or RAI though.

beowulf99 wrote:
At the end of the day, I agree that there are a lot of problems with Chirurgeon. I don't think that THIS particular angle is the straw that broke the camel's back though.

No, it's just the cherry on top of the awful sandwich that is a Chirurgeon.


Actually, re-read expanded healer's tools:

CRB PG. 290 "Healer's Tools" 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.
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.

And Chirurgeon is worded thus:

CRB PG. 73 "Chirurgeon" wrote:

You concentrate on healing others with alchemy.

You start with the formulas for two of the
following in your formula book, in addition
to your other formulas: lesser antidote, lesser
antiplague, or lesser elixir of life.
As long as your proficiency rank in Medicine is trained
or better, you can attempt a Crafting check instead of
a Medicine check for any of Medicine’s untrained and
trained uses.

If your interpretation were correct, then you would never be able to attempt Treat Wounds with Craft, making the only check you could ever attempt with it recall knowledge. Or Battle Medicine, if you want to start that battle here.

If however you grant that you can use Healer's Tools for a trained use of Medicine that you attempt with Craft, then Expanded Healer's Tools have to also apply their bonus to that check. Especially given that Expanded Healer's Tools don't even specify a skill for "such checks" in the first place.

The ambiguity comes from rolling a skill instead of another skill. Well, logically if you are using a skill in place of another skill and for the same purpose, any conditions that apply to the first would apply to the second. If you had any penalties to Medicine checks for some reason for example, they would apply to your Craft check that you make instead of that Medicine check.

This applies to bonuses as well.

Yes, you are making a Craft check. But you are making that Craft check in the place of a Medicine check. At least that is how I read it.

Edit: It does feel weird to defend Chirurgeon I will admit. But how you treat this situation also applies to how you treat the OP's example of Versatile Performance. Are you saying that when you make a Performance check in place of say, an Intimidate check, you don't apply any bonuses or penalties that would normally be applied to that check?

Could you use Performance for Scare to Death? Battle Cry? Or just the "standard" uses of Intimidate? If so, then why?


Oh you still need the healer's tools. You just don't get the numerical benefit.

This is why most people house-rule that you can use an alchemy kit instead.


beowulf99 wrote:
Actually, re-read expanded healer's tools

Sure. "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." So, I didn't miss the words "Medicine checks" at all... Did you?

beowulf99 wrote:
If your interpretation were correct, then you would never be able to attempt Treat Wounds with Craft, making the only check you could ever attempt with it recall knowledge. Or Battle Medicine, if you want to start that battle here.

Not at all: here is what the tools would have to read for them to work with the ability. "This kit of bandages, herbs, and suturing tools is necessary for Craft checks to Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds." It doesn't say that though and the Chirurgeon ability doesn't do this to the tools AT ALL.

beowulf99 wrote:
The ambiguity comes from rolling a skill instead of another skill. Well, logically if you are using a skill in place of another skill and for the same purpose, any conditions that apply to the first would apply to the second.

So you are trying to tell me that you'd get both medicine and craft bonuses because... Why? You think they should? I don't see any of this in the ability. All I see is the ability to 100% switch check types, switch medicine for craft period.


So Healer's Tools are not required for a Chirurgeon performing Treat Wounds? Or for a character making use of Natural Medicine?

And actually, I do believe you could take advantage of multiple types of bonuses when you substitute one skill for another, that could very well be an advantage to doing so. But no matter what you do, you couldn't stack same typed bonuses on the same Check, even if you qualify for both an item bonus to Craft and an item bonus to Medicine simply because they are same typed bonuses applying to the same check.

I will agree that there are some bonuses and penalties that would not apply, simply because of how specific they are. A bonus to crafting Alchemical items for instance, would not apply as that is not the activity you are performing.

That is actually a pretty reasonable benefit if you stop and think about what is happening.

Are you saying that a Bard with Versatile Performance couldn't benefit from the bonus from Demon Mask when they use Perform to Intimidate? Why not? A prop sounds like just the thing someone that is acting angry would be able to benefit from.

A Chirurgeon using Craft to treat wounds still needs to use Healer's Tools as they are a requirement of the activity, so any bonus provided by those tools to "such checks" would naturally apply due simply to applying to the situation.

After all, when you determine bonuses and penalties, you do so for the Check just as much as you determine them for the skill you are using.

Basically, I see check's as being separate from the Skill used in the check. The skill is simply the Proficiency bonus you are adding to the check. But just like how you can sub in a different Ability Modifier to skill checks in certain situations, these abilities allow you to do the same with the proficiency bonus you apply.

Some bonuses would be precluded. Other's wouldn't. I believe that Healer's Tools are not.


beowulf99 wrote:
So Healer's Tools are not required for a Chirurgeon performing Treat Wounds? Or for a character making use of Natural Medicine?

Recall when I showed the distinction between the action and the check: Treat Wounds itself requires the tools, NOT the skill: there are medicine actions that do not use the tools. As such, altering the check in NO way removes the requirement for healer's tools.

beowulf99 wrote:
And actually, I do believe you could take advantage of multiple types of bonuses when you substitute one skill for another, that could very well be an advantage to doing so. But no matter what you do, you couldn't stack same typed bonuses on the same Check, even if you qualify for both an item bonus to Craft and an item bonus to Medicine simply because they are same typed bonuses applying to the same check.

I just can't see the rational that would allow you to gain the bonus to a roll you didn't make: IE how you can get a bonus to medicine rolls when you do not make such a check. The tools in this case have nothing to do with the roll in question: healer's tools and Climbing Kits are equally useful when making a craft check: as neither one does anything for that check.

beowulf99 wrote:
Are you saying that a Bard with Versatile Performance couldn't benefit from the bonus from Demon Mask when they use Perform to Intimidate?

I'm 1000% saying you don't get the bonus from the mask. "You can use Performance instead of Diplomacy to Make an Impression and instead of Intimidation to Demoralize." You performance "instead of" Intimidation to Demoralize. You are 100% using another skill so why on earth would you think you could gain a bonus that's specifically meant for another skill? I don't get the logic behind that.

beowulf99 wrote:
A Chirurgeon using Craft to treat wounds still needs to use Healer's Tools as they are a requirement of the activity, so any bonus provided by those tools to "such checks" would naturally apply due simply to applying to the situation.

Skills and actions are different things no matter how much you want to conflate them. The ACTION requires healer's tools but the TOOLS only add a bonus to a MEDICINE check: someone using the Chirurgeon ability no longer makes a MEDICINE check but a CRAFT check so there is nothing to add to as there is no MEDICINE check rolled.

beowulf99 wrote:
After all, when you determine bonuses and penalties, you do so for the Check just as much as you determine them for the skill you are using.

Correct and you're rolling craft, not medicine: the action ISN'T the skill or the check as in this case they both become the craft skill and a craft check through the ability and are no longer from medicine.

beowulf99 wrote:
Basically, I see check's as being separate from the Skill used in the check.

Why? Can you point out something that shows this? From what I can see skill and check are tied together and it's the the individual actions that are getting shuffles to other skills and skill checks.

Liberty's Edge

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I think many, perhaps most, reasonable GMs would bend or change the rules in this instance and have your Crafting rank count as Medicine for all purposes. I certainly would.

No, that's not the RAW, but I think it's the sort of thing you should definitely check with your GM about.


I simply see a "Check" as being different than the skill used for that check.

So when you declare that you are using "treat wounds" and the GM asks you for a Medicine check, you simply state that you substitute your proficiency bonus for Nature or Craft (if you have the relevant feats or abilities) and continue the check process as normal.

After all, you wouldn't argue that Treat Wounds is a Nature trained action would you? Or craft for that matter, right?

There is no general rule that 100% ties an action to a specific skill. It is heavily implied, and you could read it that way as graystone clearly does.

But to that I argue that Natural Medicine, or Chirurgeon or Versatile Performance are specific rules that overrule the general rule there.

So a versatile bard could definitely apply the intimidate bonus of Demon Mask to their Performance of "intimidate my enemy until they are scared".

A Chirurgeon using their academic knowledge of how the body works to apply life saving techniques is no different than a battle tested field medic using medicine; the result is the same, they are treating a wound.

Better bandages would help with that regardless of why you know to apply them.

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