2 players are in combat, with no healing abilities except for 1 player has the Healing skill and also has a Healing Kit +1.

Can he use that kit in combat to heal his friend that is low on health or will the combat need to end, hopefully in the players favor, and then proceed to use the healing kit?

Also, if these are allowed in combat, how much would the Healing Kit +1 typically heal a character for?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was web searching for my question and found dandwiki.com/wiki/Healing_Kit_%283.5e_Equipment%29 and saw it listed several costs for different + kits. It only got me more confused with how the kit could work. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gamer Boy
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 2:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ GamerBoy, I have to warn you: dandwiki.com is notoriously bad for mixing official and fan-made content and not marking either. That kit is not actually part of the game, though it may not make a bad addition to it. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 2:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Aha, that explains it—if you look at the bottom (which is a terrible place for this to be marked) it's in the "Homebrew" category. If your DM is using them then cool, but otherwise the standard kit gives a better bonus, assuming you still care about healer's kits outside of combat. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 2, 2013 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I know for a fact that there are Healer's Kits +X in Dungeons and Dragons Online, which is a 3.5-mashup MMORPG and changes a lot of content. Maybe the idea came from there? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dakeyras
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


There is no “Healing Kit +1”

There is the “Healer’s Kit” which gives a flat +2 circumstance bonus on Heal checks. You can’t get it in +1 format that I know of.

Heal Skill: Long-term Care

In any event, the Heal skill in 3.5 doesn’t really heal HP anyway. There is “long-term care” which doubles the natural healing rate of 1 HP/level/(8 hours), but that’s extremely slow.


The Heal skill can, at least, stabilize a character so they don’t bleed out. That only takes a standard action. Getting him out of there now that he’s stable is going to be a problem.

Pathfinder: Treat Deadly Wounds

Pathfinder adds the “treat deadly wounds” option to the Heal skill. This heals the same amount as long-term care, but it takes 1 hour rather than 8. If you beat the DC by 5 or more, you get to add your Wisdom modifier to that, which speeds things up dramatically. It also requires two uses from the Healer’s Kit.

Dandwiki.com homebrew

The healing kit is what is known as “homebrew” – fan-made additions to the game. They can be quite good at times, but dandwiki.com is notorious for A. not visibly marking homebrew from homebrew (and, at times, simply mislabeling things), and B. having absolutely no quality control, so a lot of the homebrew is very bad.

This isn’t awful – the idea of having the Heal skill actually heal HP is a good one. As it is officially, Heal is nearly useless past like level 1. However, a number of its features are poorly chosen: it does not state how long the healing takes, and healing 1d20+(bonus to Heal skill) is enormous when you consider that actual magic heals quite a bit less than that. Also, apparently, each kit is one-time-use, which is weird.

Anyway, I cannot actually tell you if you can use this item in combat: it doesn’t actually say. The line about taking 20 (“When not threatened, a person may take 20 on a Heal check with a healing kit.”) implies that it does work in combat, but I have no idea how long it’s supposed to take. I think you can probably find material a little better than this, if you want a homebrew way for Heal to actually heal HP.

Conclusion: Get some magical healing

The Heal skill heals HP pretty slowly. The treat deadly wounds option in Pathfinder is massively better, but it’s still your level plus their Wisdom bonus per hour. That’s really slow. Magic is really the best way to heal, and the only way to heal in-combat, or even between combats if you’re in dangerous territory.

This advice may not help you right now, but in general, you guys need to find some magical healing.

You don’t need much, just enough to top you off between fights. A wand of cure light wounds does wonders; if you’re using 3.5’s Spell Compendium, a wand of lesser vigor can be even better. Anyone with even a single level in bard, cleric, druid, or ranger can use the wand of cure light wounds without using Use Magic Device; the druid and ranger also can use the wand of lesser vigor.

Alternatively, if you have no one in any of those classes, using a wand is a flat DC 20 on Use Magic Device anyway, which means anyone with a decent Charisma and some time to kill can just keep trying until they get it (unless they roll a nat-1 before they roll enough to hit 20). A few ranks in Use Magic Device can make this a pretty easy check; the skill is highly recommended.

Wands of CL 1, 1st-level spells (like both cure light wounds and lesser vigor are) cost 750 gp for 50 charges. That is too expensive for 1st level characters, but after you’ve earned some gold the group should pool money together for one.

If 3.5’s Magic Item Compendium is in play, there’s also the Healing Belt, which also costs 750 gp. These can be used by anyone, which is useful, and great in emergencies. They also recharge daily, which can make them a nice investment (though by the time you go through 50 charges of cure light wounds or lesser vigor, another 750 gp will be small change to your group).

Side Note: Combat Healing is overrated

In almost all cases, in-combat healing is wasteful; that same character could prevent more damage than he could heal by simply having the enemy die faster. The only real exceptions are emergencies (you don’t let your ally bleed out), high-level healing spells (namely heal and mass heal), or cases where you can heal while doing something else (e.g. several maneuvers from the Devoted Spirit school). Aside from those cases, though, healing just doesn’t keep up. The cure spells, in particular, are very weak, especially the higher-level ones. Save the healing for after the fighting’s over.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it deserves a whole separate answer, but here's a link to modern's Treat Injury skill. \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 17:17

The only use of the Heal skill during combat is to stabilise a dying character, by applying First Aid. There is no use of Heal that will restore hit points at speeds that can be used during combat.

A standard Healer's Kit gives a +2 circumstance bonus to this stabilisation roll, nothing more – it doesn't, for example, let you restore hit points during combat. (If you're using the variable-bonus Healer's Kit house rule from the D&D Wiki, then it's only a +1 circumstance bonus for a "Healing Kit +1".)

Basically, in this situation you have no healing abilities. Win that combat or you're in trouble!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Long-term care kind of does heal you, though it's glacially slow. But Pathfinder was thoughtful enough to add treat deadly wounds, which heals slightly faster. Still absolutely not combat healing. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 2:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Yeah, in the circumstances of the question, they're hooped. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 2, 2013 at 2:50

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