Plague Doctor (3.5e Class)

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Plague Doctor[edit]

A black robed figure in a white bird mask stalks down the ruined street. He turns his mask to look at you, an involuntary shiver runs down your spine. Unnerving and often sadistic, plague doctors are masters of toxins and diseases.

Making a Plague Doctor[edit]

A strong support character with several abilities to keep the party going. A plague doctor's abilities also allow him to inflict enemies with debilitating status conditions to further help the party. By themselves, plague doctors aren't strong melee combatants although they can survive brief skirmishes without too much trouble.

Abilities: Intelligence powers most of the plague doctor's abilities. Dexterity and Constitution are necessary to counteract the lack of heavy armor and shields and aid in survival. Wisdom also helps make a more perceptive doctor helped by having Spot, Listen, and Sense Motive as class skills.

Races: Humans, with their knack for analytical thinking and a touch of sadism are most likely to pursue the path of plague doctor. Most other races turn to magic rather than science in the face of a plague.

Alignment: Any non-chaotic

Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Plague Doctor

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Plague Doctor's Gear, Medical Study, Vitriolic Touch 1d6 0
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Professionalism, Detect Malady 1
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Combat Medic 1
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 Professional Grade, Vitriolic Touch 2d6 2
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 Poison Touch 2 0
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 Composure 2 1
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 Placebo, Vitriolic Touch 3d6 3 1
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +2 3 2
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +3 Venom Immunity 4 2 0
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +3 Spiritual Healing, Vitriolic Touch 4d6 4 2 1
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +3 Anatomical Study 5 2 1
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 5 3 2
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Vitriolic Touch 5d6 5 3 2 0
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +4 Lecture 5 4 2 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +5 5 4 3 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Dissolving Touch, Vitriolic Touch 6d6 5 5 3 2
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 5 5 4 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 5 5 4 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Vitriolic Touch 7d6 5 5 5 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 5 5 5 4

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), (Int) Forgery (Int), Heal (Wis),Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge(Local, Nature, and History) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Heal (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the plague doctor.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A plague doctor has proficiency with Simple weapons, the Kukri, the Scalpel, the Syringe, and Light Armor, but not shields.

Spells: Beginning at 1th level, a plague doctor gains the ability to cast a number of arcane spells using alchemy. To cast a spell, a plague doctor must have an Intelligence score of at least 12 + the spell’s level, so a plague doctor with an Intelligence of 12 or lower cannot cast these spells. Plague doctor bonus spells are based on Intelligence, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 12 + spell level + the plague doctor's Intelligence bonus. When the plague doctor gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Intelligence score for that spell level.

Unlike a Wizard or Cleric, a plague doctor doesn't need to learn or prepare spells, he automatically knows all spells on his spell list and can cast them spontaneously. Additionally, he does not gain the typical arcane spell failure chance from casting in light armor, but heavier armor and shields still incur spell failure chance. If your campaign is using the spell point variant rule, a plague doctor receives spell points as a bard

Plague Doctor Spell List[edit]

Plague doctors choose their spells from the following list:

1st Level: Barkskin, Cause Fear, Cure Light Wounds, Delay Poison, Daze, Diminish Plants, Disguise Self, Feather Fall, Gentle Repose, Ghost Sound, Ghoul Touch, Inflict Light Wounds, Deathwatch, Doom, Pass without Trace, Remove Fear, Remove Paralysis, Resist Energy.

2nd Level: Alter Self, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Contagion, Cure Moderate Wounds, Eagle's Splendor, Fox's Cunning, Lesser Restoration, Neutralize Poison, Owl's Wisdom, Poison, Plant Growth, Remove Disease.

3rd Level: Animate Dead, Blight, Blindness/Deafness, Break Curse, Cure Serious Wounds, Death Knell, Death Ward, Detect Thoughts, Dispel Magic, False Life, Giant Vermin, Inflict Serious Wounds, Nondetection, Mind Fog, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Repel Vermin, Restoration, Rusting Grasp, Stone to Flesh.

4th Level: Animal Growth, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Commune with Nature, Cure Critical Wounds, Eyebite, Inflict Critical Wounds Wounds, Mass Inflict/Cure Light Wounds, Raise Dead, Panacea

Plague Doctor's Gear: A plague doctor starts the game with several pieces of equipment to help him carry out his job. These items are: Healer's Kit, Scalpels ×5, Syringe ×3, Duster, and a mask. The mask can be most any design but are typically that of a long beaked bird. Wearing the mask grants you a +2 equipment bonus to Intimidate and Bluff checks. These items all come free of charge.

Vitriolic Touch (Su): At 1st level, as a standard action usable at will, a plague doctor can make a melee touch attack that deals 1d6 acid damage. The damage increases with his plague doctor level as shown in the table. At higher levels, the plague doctor may also add effects to the touch. A fortitude (DC = 10 + 1/2 level + Int) halves the damage and negates any sickening or nauseating effect. Succeeding the save also renders the target immune to being sickened or nauseated by a vitriolic touch for one minute.

Sickening Touch (Su): At 7th level, creatures damaged by the plague doctor's vitriolic touch who fail their save are sickened for one round.

Nauseating Touch (Su): At 13th level, creatures damaged by the plague doctor's vitriolic touch who fail their save are nauseated for one round.

Medical Study: At 1st level, plague doctors may use their Intelligence modifier instead of their Wisdom modifier when making Heal and Survival checks.

Professionalism: At level two, plague doctors add 1/2 their class level to all Heal, Craft (Poisonmaking), Craft (Alchemy), and Profession checks involving medical knowledge. Additionally plague doctors are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.

Detect Malady (Su):At 2nd level a plague doctor knows the afflicted by sight. He may cast Detect Poison and Detect Disease at will.

Combat Medic (Su): A 3rd level plague doctor can heal allies up to Level×Int worth of hit points per day. A plague doctor may choose to divide his healing among multiple recipients, and he doesn’t have to use it all at once. Performing combat medicine is a standard action. This healing does not deal damage to undead like a Paladin's Lay on Hands would.

Professional Grade (Ex): At 4th level, a plague doctor gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Poison Touch (Su): At 5th level, the plague doctor has worked with poisons and other noxious chemicals for so long that he can spontaneously generate a single dose of poison from their body. By concentrating for 3 rounds and then making a successful touch attack or attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the attack has the additional effect of exposing the victim to poison. While concentrating, the plague doctor can undertake other actions so long as his attention stays focused. He must choose what type of poison he is creating when he starts and his poison loses potency after three rounds of non-use. The effects of the poisons are shown below. A poison touch may be used at the same time as a Vitriolic touch and its variants. The DC of a poison generated this way is 10 + 1/2 Plague Doctor level + Int.

Table: Poison Touch Effect
Plague Doctor Level Str/Dex Damage Con Damage Wis/Int/Cha Damage
5-7 1d2 1
8-9 1d3 1 1d2
10-11 1d4 1d2 1d3
12-13 1d6 1d3 1d4
14-20 2d4 1d4 1d6

At 9th level, the poison may be generated as a full round action and the expense of reducing the DC by 4.

Composure (Ex): Beginning at 6th level, a plague doctor can keep his composure regardless of external conditions and is immune to fear and other emotional effects (such as rage). Additionally, a plague doctor's will has been strengthened by their strenuous experiences, she gains the feat Iron Will as a bonus feat.

Placebo (Ex): The mind is a powerful thing and can trick the body into recovering. By 7th level, if a plague doctor fails a heal check, he may attempt another at a -5 penalty. If he succeeds the second heal check, the victim is affected as if the first check had succeeded.

Venom Immunity (Ex): At level nine, a plague doctor becomes immune to nonmagical poisons.

Spiritual Healing (Su): Many intellectuals don't understand the nature of the soul, or spirit or ki or whatever the patients decide to call it, but the best plague doctors know that there is some supernatural something that keeps the body alive. A 10th level plague doctor may make a Heal check to remove negative levels from an afflicted creature (including herself). The DC of the heal check is the same as the DC of the effect that caused the negative level. The number of negative levels that a plague doctor may remove per day is equal to their class level + Int. A plague doctor makes one check per negative level and may not retry if she fails the check. She can however, attempt to remove other negative levels affecting the subject assuming they have more than one negative level afflictimg them. This ability takes one minute for each attempt.

Anatomical Study (Ex): A good doctor learns that everything has its weak points, at 11th level, a plague doctor gain the ability to score critical hits on creatures typically immune to them if he succeeds a heal check (DC=10+Creatures's HD). He may affect constructs, plants and undead, but not oozes. Additionally, on a success, a plague doctor may ignore the effect of light fortification on foes.

Lecture (Ex): At 14th level, a plague doctor who has succeeds his heal check to allow critical hits via his Anatomical Study ability may convey this benefit to a total number of people equal to one fifth his plague doctor level. Rogues and Scouts given this bonus may use their sneak attack and skirmish abilities on creatures typically immune.

Dissolving Touch (Su): At 16th level, a plague doctor has learned poisons so vile that they can damage creatures typically immune to poison. Constructs can be corroded, undead flesh can be dissolved, and plants can be made to wither. If he succeeds a Anatomical Study check, he may use his poison touch to cause physical ability damage constructs, undead, and other creatures immune to poison. Since the poison literally dissolves their bodies, natural immunity to poison does not apply. However, the damage done by the poison is half of what would normally occur on a non-immune target (minimum of 1). The exception to this rule is plants who take full physical damage and can take mental ability damage as well.

Ex-Plague Doctors[edit]

A plague doctor who becomes chaotic cannot progress further as a plague doctor. Additionally, a plague doctor who multiclasses as a divine spellcaster has violated the necessary scientific mindset of a doctor and loses access to Detect Malady, Combat Medic, Spells, Poison Touch, Spells, immunities, and Placebo.

Epic Plague Doctor[edit]

Table: The Epic Plague Doctor

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat
24th Bonus Feat
27th Bonus Feat
30th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The epic plague doctor gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic plague doctor bonus feats) every third level starting at 21st level.

Poison Touch: An epic plague doctor's poison touch ability doesn't change after level 19.

Epic Plague Doctor Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Combat Archery, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Distant Shot, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Leadership, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Weapon Specialization, Exceptional Deflection, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Manyshot, Improved Stunning Fist, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Infinite Deflection, Instant Reload, Legendary Commander, Legendary Rider, Legendary Wrestler, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Reflect Arrows, Spellcasting Harrier, Storm of Throws, Superior Initiative, Swarm of Arrows, Two-Weapon Rend, Uncanny Accuracy.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Plague Doctor[edit]

Religion: Plague doctors typically scoff at religion, favoring science and arcane magic if necessary.

Other Classes: Paladins and clerics irritate the plague doctor with their willful ignorance of science, druids slightly less so. They often view barbarians as simpletons due to their lack of any education. They have a healthy respect for rogues and fighter for doing what they themselves cannot.

Combat: Plague doctors support and heal fellow adventurers while inflicting enemies with debilitating status ailments when the opportunity arises.

Every organism is fascinating in its own way. I love taking them apart to see how they work.
—Dr. Outa Vismind,Human Plague Doctor

Plague Doctor Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in heal can research plague doctors to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 While visually unnerving, plague doctors are experts at healing.
10 Plague doctors hold divine magic in disdain, thinking it a violation of science.
15 They use a variety of deadly toxins to fight.
20 Some say they have the ability to cure and inflict people with merely a touch.

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