I've read the section on healing in Deathwatch several times, and I can't quite seem to get my head around it. It says you can only attempt to heal once per wound, but it doesn't really seem to clarify how that works. Does it mean I can only heal a character as many times as he's been hit? Or as many times as he has hit points? Do I have to somehow track how much damage was done per each hit, and only heal that amount? I'd appreciate it if someone gave me a rundown on exactly how the healing works under that system; we're completely lost here.


2 Answers 2


Generally, the healing section is poorly worded.

Ok, Humor aside... The wording of the medicae skill (p.102) is not well done.

I've interpreted it in DH and DW, based upon experience with WFRP 1E and 2E, to mean this:

Method 1

When you are wounded, you can receive first aid once. If wounded again after receiving first aid, you can receive 1st aid again.

Jook has been hit 4 times, and of his 22 wounds and 70T, he's taken a total of 14 points. He's still lightly damaged, and so will get back the medic's Int Bonus on a successful first aid test.

Method 2

A more literal interpretation would be track each individual hit's damage as a separate number, and each hit can only be healed to 0. It's more work, and logic dictates that a given wound can only be healed to down to 0, tho it's not explicit in the rules that way.

Jook has been hit 4 times, and of his 22 wounds and 70T, he's taken a total of 14 points, with the individuals being 5, 4, 3, 2. He's still lightly damaged, and so will get back the Int Bonus on a successful first aid test on each wound, but you can't heal past the wound being worked on.

Method 3

Limit 1st aid to once per battle. Many GM's I've talked to do this, but it fails to match the rules.


Either is workable. Given the earlier editions, however, it's easiest to GM if you use method 1 or 3.

Note that
Method 1 makes first aid faster, but less effective over all. A medic can field process a dozen guys in a couple minutes. Method 2 makes first aide slower, often much so, but means the guy with a dozen small wounds is going to be nearly healed after a half-hour with the medic. Method 3 is the easiest to run, but it isn't the rules. It's very similar to Method 1.

Some Critical hits also require first aid to stop bleeding. Some GM's allow a bleeding stop roll to heal a point of damage as well. Others don't; the wording on p.260 implies strongly that it's a 3rd application of Medicae, and not covered on p.102. I don't allow it to heal a wound as well.

As an option, if using option 1, you might allow adding degrees of success to the amount healed, while with Option 2, it would often be moot.

Note also, based upon collating pages 262 and 102:

Lightly Damaged: total damage taken (after armor and toughness reductions) is less than 2* Toughness Bonus. Heals 1 point of damage naturally per day, doubled if receiving (successful) medical attention. First aid heals medic's Int Bonus points.

Heavily Damaged: Total does not exceed wounds score. Heal naturally 1 point of damage per week. Medical attention doubles this. First aid heals 1 point.

Critical Hits: Total exceeds wounds score. No natural healing. With medical attention, heals 1 point per week. First aid heals 1 point.


Taken from the Deathwatch living eratta:

Question: How does Medicae skill’s First Aid option work when multiple injuries are received and some are treated successfully and others are treated unsuccessfully?

Answer: First Aid is applied to all Damage that the character has taken and that has not been treated yet. A single application of First Aid treats all Damage taken, even if it came from multiple sources. If the First Aid was unsuccessful, or if it did not restore all Damage, the player should note the remaining Damage as being ‘Treated’ – thereafter it can only be treated with Extended Care Medicae Option or natural healing. For example: A Battle-Brother has 20 Wounds and is completely uninjured. He suffers 10 Damage leaving him with 10 Wounds. First Aid is applied and heals 8 Damage, the Space Marine now has 18 Wounds, and 2 points of Treated Damage. The Space Marine suffers another 10 Damage leaving him with 8 Wounds, 10 points of Untreated Damage, and 2 points of Treated Damage. First Aid is applied and heals 12 Damage, which would normally put the Space Marine right back up to 20 Wounds; however, because 2 points of Damage have already been treated, the Space Marine only heals 10 points of Damage (that were Untreated) and now has 18 Wounds. The Battle-Brother still has 2 points of Treated Damage that have not been healed and would need to rely on Extended Care or natural healing to recover these 2 points of Damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This ought to be marked correct by OP, considering it references official game errata rather than house rules, logical though they may be. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 18:12

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