Thursday 23 July 2015

Old School Doctor Class

T.V. Doctors are basically insane super-competent hyper-dramatic badasses who, when they aren't saving lives, are kicking ass. Its almost like the best thing you can possibly be because you can do the two most important things that a person can ever do to or for another, keep them alive, or end them.

Also you can bone them.

This is an idea that has swum about on this blog since the earliest days. Maybe it’s a repeat post, I don't know. Maybe its one of those ideas I will have again in five years time.

Fuck it.



Attack Bonus, Hit Points, Saves and Levelling like Fighter. The Doctor is a badass.

KUNG-FU. The Doctor knows KUNG FU and knows pressure points. You do d4 damage unarmed and can always grapple with a successful hit on any humanoid not wearing plate or natural armour. You can do this one handed, Mr Spock style, and still do something else with the other hand.

SCALPELS. You generally have a scalpel on you. This does d12 damage on those who are incapacitated or grappled and d2 on everyone else. You can do stuff like cut ropes with it.

KNOWS EVERYTHING. Once a day for each level you can effectively cast 'Identify' on any item or localised process. This can be an object, disease or 'how it works' question.

This isn't magic and can't be dispelled. You are drawing upon the vast learning you are assumed to be engaged in pretty much continually. You retain this knowledge so if you find the same object, situation, process or disease again you know what it is. For very complex illness or curses, working out what it is and how it is cured can be two, or more, separate things.

LANGUAGES. If you level up in a culture with a different language, you learn that language.

SCROLLS AND ITEMS. You can use magic scrolls and items like a thief of your level for the system you are in. At least until you choose, or roll SCULLY-ASS MOTHERFUCKER below. In which case you realise its all bullshit and never do it again.

HEALING. Out of combat you can heal d4 basic trauma damage per turn (10, minutes). This can be stuff like splinting arms and stitching wounds, but also possibly replacing a bit of someones broken skull with a coin.


SAVING LIVES. If in combat rounds for any reason (not just combat itself) you can heal and even restore to life by going to war with DEATH ITSELF.

The DM plays death (as always).

This is a mutual roll-off with you against death. It happens twice each round, on your turn and the DM's.

You both roll a d20.

You add your level and either INT, WIS or DEX bonus, whichever is higher.

The DM rolls d20 and adds the number of HP the target is under zero.

You need to win three times in sequence.

Stage 1 - Stabilises & stops the bleeding.
Stage 2 - Searches wound & removes any foreign object.
Stage 3 - closes and stabilises. Restarts heart if necessary. The target now has 1 hp.

Every time you lose the patient slips back one place. If they are in Stage 1 and you lose then they get closer to death in whichever way is usual for that system.

ACTING gives you a plus one to your roll and if you ACT CONTINUOUSLY then you get a cumulative bonus. +1 for the first turn, +2 for the second etc.



NO WEAPONS. No weapon proficiencies if those are normal for your system (I.e. 5th ed). If they are not normal for your system then you get minus d3 to hit when wielding any weapon other than a scalpel or your hands.

NO ARMOUR. You are not a violent person, you are a person who can do violence.

DO NO HARM. You cannot do *lethal* damage on another self-aware humanoid. This starts out humans only but each level you grow as a person and add another self-aware humanoid species that you May Not Kill. If you take them below zero hp you have to save their life.

If you break this rule you have a Dark Night Of The Soul and lose a level.

MEDICAL BAG. You have a medical bag with most of your medical stuff in it. You can't do much Doctoring without it. It’s boring when it goes missing so it generally doesn't.

Thats level one. For the other levels, choose or roll from below if you like.


You know some magic is real because you have evidence of that, you also know it’s entirely explicable and rarely what it seems, or claims to be, more delusion and madness than meaningful knowledge. The sooner everyone stops indulging in that claptrap, the better off everyone will be.

You gain a double save against any magical effect. Essentially meaning you save at advantage. This applies to positive effects as well.


Magic Stuff won't work for you. Not scrolls, spells or items of any kind.

Also you 'Scully' every imprecise conversation, thereby draining joy from the world.


Gods are just hyper-dimensional aliens or active psychic fields and PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW.

You are immune to non-physical Clerical or divine magic. I.e., if a divine rainstorm soaks everyone then you get soaked. But a Geas spell or soul-reading thing has no effect. If a god throws a rock at you the rock can hit, but if they slap you, nothing connects.


You cannot be healed by said magic. You wouldn’t want to be anyway.

Also you tend to irritate everyone by banging on like Dawkins twitter feed when you are under stress. You just will not let that shit go, and frankly are something of a liability when dealing with the religious.


Like Doc Savage, you are convinced you can make people, and monsters, 'better'. If you have the time and money you can, and will, try to do brain surgery on subdued monsters and 'evil' people.

Brain Surgery requires the living but sedated body of a person or humanish monster and a carefully prepared antiseptic environment. Simply transforming a normal room in this way with boiled sheets and vinegar swabs costs 500gp in an urban environment. In a privileged rural environment like a castle or monastery it costs 1000gp and may be impossible.

Surgery requires an hour per HD of the individual being 'improved'. Each hour costs 50gp in materials. The subject must make a save each hour to avoid death. If they fail a save they go below zero by the same amount they failed by. You can attempt to resuscitate them with your SAVING LIVES power.

On waking the D.M. rolls a loyalty value for the creation on 2d6. Also deduct this number from the INT of the creature. The very loyal are also very dumb.

If doubles are rolled then the Doctor has created a PERSONAL NEMESIS. Add d20 intelligence to the creatures base. If the total goes above 20 INT for every point above 20 give them a freaky mind-power like a Hypnotic Stare or a cool talent like an Eidetic Memory or Organ Music Savant. The Nemesis is OBSESSED WITH THEIR CREATOR and will dog their steps on and off until one of them is destroyed


You always have drugs on you. Not that boring herbal shit either. The real stuff. You always have Laudanum at least.

(Laudanum - save or pass out for minutes equal to your loss. d8 extra hit points from loss of pain. Immune to fear and panic. You save on advantage because you are a JUNKIE.)

If the PC's come into contact with a drug or druglike substance and its even slightly possible you could have bagged some behind the scenes then you can simply mention it and bang, looks like you did. d4 doses right there in your bag.

DM's choice as to how reasonable this is.


You are a goddammn junkie. In any environment and situation when the DM thinks its reasonable, the DM may say that you need to score (and you would be surprised where you can score), you lose 50% of your money. These regular losses fuel your drug 'creation' power.

You gain a Criminal Contact each time this occurs, they are a Horrible Person and they are familiar with you. This happens whether you like it or not.

In any urban environment, if the opportunity presents itself, you MUST CAROUSE.


yOU ARE a shit-hot psychologist, or maybe psychiatrist, or both. Probably you invented both those things. You know the secrets of the subconscious. You can heal people of madnesses and mental effects, but this takes TIME and they must COMMIT TO THE TREATMENT. Usually it takes an hour long intensive meeting once a week with the number of weeks equal to the level of the effect. The DM may ask the patient and Doctor to role-play out at least part of this treatment.

Your Identify effect now applies to secret motivations of people they meet, as well as to curses, geas's etc.


Fucking Nuts. You understand the crazies so much because you ARE a crazy. Roll a random Madness. You will refuse to have this treated in any meaningful way, if it is ever cured, you lose your mind-healing ability.


You are a Real Doctor and can prove it with a fancy diploma that you keep on you. This also includes stuff like an official pass saying 'This Person Is Really A Doctor' which applies to most reasonable social situations. It can get you into places and people won't disbelieve it unless they have good reason.


You have ACADEMIC ENEMIES  - a Rival Team of adventurers now exists somewhere in the world, lead by your Philosophical Opposite. You were best friends in college, maybe TOO CLOSE, they called you both radicals but they REALLY GOT YOU. Then after the accident, things went wrong and now you are FOES. This person levels as you do, has a team of roughly the same competence and ability as yours and has a belief system apparently similar yet in fact opposite to yours. They exist only to foil you and prove you wrong. They don't necessarily want to kill you, they just want you to admit that they are right, which might involve you being very close to death.

In cases of multiversal shift both the Diploma and Foe have equivalents in other realities.


Ok you can have one weapon proficiency or decent sword that you are good with. You have a 'name weapon' like a rapier or a sword stick or something and you can use weapons of that Exact Type as if you were proficient.


This proficiency only works in one-on-one duels or semi-formal fights (ie above Reichenbach falls). In a brawl or unstructured melee it has no effect.


You double any XP you might get from stealing, recovering, possessing or preserving books. You gain an always-on 'Identify' effect in regards to books or written materials. If you haven’t heard of it, you have heard of something quite like it. Even if you cant read the language you know what it is.


You think essentially all books belong to you. You will NEVER sell or surrender any of them. When they grow to heavy you must build, buy or rent a library and send all your books there (this can work across, or be mirrored across dimensions). The player must keep a detailed record of which books they have there.


You cannot heal or save anyone in combat rounds without starting and persisting in an entirely inappropriate conversation about your EMOTIONS. You have to talk about your RELATIONSHIP with another team member and YES it has to be NOW. You must continue and actively role-play this conversation for every round of healing.


It actually does make you better at your job. You gain a cumulative bonus for each round. This is in addition to any bonus you get from ACTING. So if you are both screaming "I need a pint of Troll Blood STAT" and "Janice this isn't about my career, this is about US." At the same time, then you get +2 cumulative for each round you do this.

(Thanks to everyone who contributed to this G+ post about Doctors.)


  1. a con one off with everyone playing a different doc
    or MASH the rpg

  2. I was also thinking MASH! I would love to role play that.

  3. I was also thinking MASH! I would love to role play that.

  4. I was also thinking MASH! I would love to role play that.