Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wondrous Equipment Wednesday - Leeches

Wondrous Equipment Wednesday
Leeches: Applying leeches to suck the black blood of the ill was a common medieval remedy. Healers can use this bloody and disturbing form of medicine to good effect. We warned though, as in the real world, leeching the sick carries risk.

When treating poison or tending a diseased patient, if you apply the leeches, you receive a +2 circumstance bonus on the Treat Injury check, which stacks with the equipment bonus provided by a Healer’s Kit. Applying leeches requires at least 1 minute, and requires between one and two dozen of the slimy, parasitic worms. For this treatment to be effective, the leeches must be allowed to feed at least a few hours.

Regardless of the effectiveness of the treatment, the patient suffers 1d3-1 points of temporary CON damage as a result of the blood loss, making this treatment especially risky in the case of feeble or badly anemic patients.
Leeches can typically be stored in a large stoppered vial or small aquarium, provided they are kept moist with a mixture of water and blood. Captive leeches can easily survive for 1d6+1 months, if properly fed and cared for. Collecting and tending a dozen leeches requires only a few minutes work and a DC 10 Survival check each week. A small jar filled with 2 dozen young leeches costs around 10 gp.   

Gentle Knife Leeches: Rare white and purple ‘gentle knife’ leeches are much preferred by surgeons, because they suck toxins and impurities from a patient without harm. Found only in swamps where good aligned clerics and heroic celestials have died, gentle knife leeches are extremely rare.

When using gentle knife leeches, the patient does not suffer CON damage from the procedure. Gentle knife leeches have much shorter lives than their mundane cousins, and have a lifespan of only 2d6 weeks.

A small jar filled with 2 dozen young “gentle knife” leeches costs around 100 gp.