Plague Doctor Draft 2

Last week I was hard at work trying to make the plague doctor a reality. Not only did I come up with a few ideas (with a little inspiration from a Twitter friend), but I managed to work out an entire draft of the class. Keep in mind that the preview you are seeing is not the whole thing. I have many pages written, technical writing needs to be tacked on, editing passes need to be done, and some balance adjustments are bound to be made. That all being said I would love to here what you think so far. What you get below is the first 10 levels of one build of the class. The finished product will have three fields of study and three equipment specializations making for nine possible combinations that will be even further personalized by technique choices. If you are curious to learn more now is when I shamelessly plug the Patreon where Patrons got a PDF of the full draft as it looks right now. Enjoy!

As a plague doctor, you gain the following class features.

Hit Dice: 1d8 per plague doctor level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per plague doctor level after first

Armor: Light armor, Medium armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons
Tools: Healer’s Kit

Saving Throws: Intelligence, Charisma
Skills: Choose 3 from History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Persuasion, Survival

Field of Study
You may not have trained your whole life. Hells, you may not have finished schooling, but you did spend enough time to become well trained in a specific field of study. At 1st level you must choose what type of medicine you are most interested in, which one you are best at. You can choose from the following fields of study: anatomy, psychology, plagues. Your choice grants you features at 1st level and again at 7th level.

Stimulating Procedure
Your knowledge of medicine allows you to understand the needs of the body and how it works, allowing your allies to push themselves to greater heights. Use a bonus action on your turn to choose one creature within 20 feet of you that you can see. That creature gets one stimulation die, a d6. Once, within the next 5 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add that number to one ability check, saving throw, or attack it makes. The creature can use the stimulation die after seeing the result of the d20 roll but must choose to use it before the GM announces whether or not it was a success. Once the stimulation die is used it is lost. A creature can only have one stimulation die at a time. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses after a long rest. The stimulation die changes as you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5th level and a d10 at 10th level.

First Aid
Medical training makes you more adept at tending to the injuries of others while travelling. Beginning at 2nd level you may use a healer’s kit to tend the wounds of your adventuring party. You may spend charges to increase the amount healed during a short rest. Those who are treated and who spend one or more hit dice may add an additional 1d6 hit points for each charge spent. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier during a single rest, so long as you have healer’s kit charges available. Uses of First Aid may be distributed however you see fit. As you increase in level your ministrations become more effective and the number of times this can be used during a rest increases. This feature can be used a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier + 1 at 5th level and increases to Intelligence modifier + 3 at 10th level.

You may also make an Intelligence (Healer’s Kit) check to aid a creature in negating the effects of a poison or disease. This must be done as part of a rest and requires expending 3 charges from a kit. The DC for such a check is equal to the saving throw of the targeted effect and a success grants advantage on the patient’s next saving throw to overcome the condition.

Mystic Remedies
Your travels have exposed you to countless mystical rituals, strange cures, and home remedies. Your medical training has given you the insight to how these work, despite their arcane nature. Beginning at 2nd level you gain the ability to cast a spells. See the plague doctor spell list later in this document for a complete list of spells available to you.

Spell Slots
The plague doctor table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the plague doctor spell list. The spells known column of the plague doctor table shows when you learn more spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the plague doctor spells you know and replace it with another spell from the plague doctor spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Spellcasting Ability
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your plague doctor spells, since your magic draws on your ability to direct magical energies for medical procedures that would otherwise seem impossible. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability.

Medical Techniques
Beginning at 3rd level you have begun to develop and advance your medical techniques. Your choice of equipment specialization grants you the first of these techniques and you may choose two additional techniques. You will gain additional techniques as you level up in this class. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the techniques you know and replace it with another technique that you could learn at that level.

Equipment Specialization
No matter your area of study, you have developed a tendency to utilize specific tools of the trade. You may choose from the following tools to specialize in.

The censer is a tool for burning incense that allows you to spread your effects over a larger area. This selection grants you the stimulating vapors technique.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Always Learning
Having wandered for most of your medical career you have picked up on a few things. At 5th level you may choose one skill, tool, or language to become proficient in so long as you have had some exposure to it. As an alternative to choosing a new proficiency with this feature, you may choose something you are already proficient in and apply twice your proficiency to that skill or tool.


Medicine is not just the simple practice of stopping bleeding and cooling fevers. There are countless diseases, poisons, and types of injuries. One day you might be forced to set bones. The next you might have to mix a village worth of poultice. While you spent time studying and learning the different arts of healing, there were fields of study available to specialize in. You may find yourself attracted to one field over another, hoping to help people with certain problems. Or you may have just found yourself uniquely proficient in a specific area. Whatever it was, you have found a combination of talent and experience which allows you to develop interesting and new methods of treatment.

Plagues Expanded Spell List
1st: ray of sickness, hex
2nd: ray of enfeeblement, acid arrow
3rd: stinking cloud, bestow curse

One With Sickness
Your exposure to filth and disease has given you a keen insight into manipulating and getting rid of it. You know the poison spray, fire bolt, and resistance cantrips. Intelligence is your ability score for these spells. This insight also gives you resistance to poison damage.

From Red Hook Studios’ Darkest Dungeon

At 2nd level, you may regain some of your mystic remedies by gathering and preparing whatever scraps you can find. During a short rest, you can choose expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than one third your plague doctor level (rounded up), and none of the slots can be 4th level or higher. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Plague Bearer
You are the kind of doctor who give others of your vocation problems. You have developed a plague mask to hide your face and protect you from the messier diseases. When you reach 7th level you have also developed a collection of dark concoctions which you can weaponize when the time is needed. You may put together a number of these equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) at any one time and they take a form that utilizes your equipment specialization, as shown in the table below, and may deal psychic, poison, or necrotic damage. Attacks and saving throws from this feature utilize your Intelligence ability modifier and you are considered proficient. Saving throws for psychic damage are Wisdom-based and those for poison or necrotic are Constitution-based.

It is not just a field of study from which you derive your skill, but the medical techniques that you employ. A village healer might specialize in poultices, potions, or incense. You have no such limits. The adventures you have undergone, the things you have encountered, they have taught you things and given you strange insights to medicine that village healers and city doctors don’t have. Some of these would be recognizable, others look like miracles. Whatever the case, you do what is need to help those in need and perform the tasks at hand.

If a medical technique as prerequisites, you must meet them to learn it. You can learn the invocation at the same time that you meet the prerequisites. A level prerequisite refers to your level in this class.

Bedside Manner
Sometimes kindness and patience does not work. Desperate situations call for desperate measures. You gain proficiency in the intimidation and sleight of hand skills.

Code Red
Prerequisite: 9th level
You can cast revivify using plague doctor spell slot. You can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.

Depressive Measures
Prerequisite: 5th Level
Stimulants aren’t always the answer. Depressants can be equally effective in the right situations. You gain the ability to expend on of you uses of stimulating procedure as a reaction when a creature within range makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw. When you do roll the stimulation die and subtract that number from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the GM determines whether the check succeeds or fails.

Field Medic
Prerequisite: 5th Level
Your first aid feature die size improves to a d8. Additionally, when you stabilize a creature using your healer’s kit they also gain your Intelligence modifier + 1 HP.

Nothing helps the process of figuring out symptoms than speaking and understanding the patient’s language. You gain proficiency in two languages of your choice.

Stimulating Vapors
Prerequisite: censer equipment specialization feature
You have specialized in the use of vapors and incense in your procedures. When you use your stimulating procedure you may choose to reduce the die by one size (d6 becomes d4, d8 becomes d6, etc). and affect one additional creature in range. Both creatures gains the smaller stimulation die which works as normal.

Veterinary Medicine
Your knowledge extends beyond the range of humanoids and into that of beasts. You may use animal friendship without spending a spell slot.

Virulent Strain
Prerequisite: 7th level, plagues field of study
Your concoctions are especially effective. In addition to any damage dealt your plague bearer feature deals, affected targets become poisoned for 1 minute. This only works on failed saving throws (in the case of ampule or censer) or successful hits (in the case of needle).

Wilderness Doctor
You have been in tight spots before but that hasn’t stopped you. You gain proficiency in survival and nature.

The following spells are available for plague doctors.

Level 1
Cure Wounds
Healing Word
Hideous Laughter
Detect Poison & Disease
Purify Food & Drink

Level 2
Enhance Ability
Lesser Restoration
Gentle Repose
Prayer of Healing
Protection from Poison

Level 3
Mass healing word
Aura of vitality
Beacon of Hope
Protection From Energy

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