Healing Without Magic - Steamscapes: Asia Teaser #3

As with many multi-genre systems, Savage Worlds has a very clear distinction between magical and non-magical healing. Magical healing is fast and powerful and can happen at any time. Non-magical healing is slow and difficult, unless you roll really well right after combat. In Steamscapes: Asia, we are introducing the Apothecary profession, approximately half of which is devoted to healing. But how do you make such a thing interesting and useful in a realistic setting without making it too powerful and "magical?"


The key to our approach has been to consider how we could make the existing non-magical healing mechanics more effective rather than trying to replace them with something new. This meant identifying those moments where characters engage with the healing mechanics and finding ways to improve them. In Savage Worlds, there are four common places where healing mechanics become relevant:

  • Wound penalties, both for regular actions and for making Healing rolls within the Golden Hour
  • Fatigue, which can be caused by anything from Bumps and Bruises to Radiation
  • Vigor checks following Incapacitation
  • Natural Healing rolls


In designing the Edges for the Apothecary profession, we addressed each of these game moments and developed realistic ways that the presence of an apothecary could improve the outcome for the patient. For instance:

Pharmacology: With a successful Healing roll, the apothecary may temporarily remove the immediate effects of most physical conditions, including Bumps and Bruises, Cold, Disease, Heat, Poison, and Radiation. In many cases, these effects will return if the condition is left untreated, so additional care may be necessary.

As with real life, treatment is not the same as cure, but it can be very useful to be able to take an analgesic to remove the Fatigue from your Bumps and Bruises, even for a little while. If you are more worried about those wound penalties, make sure your apothecary has the Anesthesia Edge. If you want to more about that and all the other things that apothecaries can do, you'll just have to wait for the book. However, I will leave you with a hint:


19th century Homer Simpson would call this the "cause of and solution to all of life's problems."


Keep watching for more teasers!

-Fairman Rogers