“The 2-1B Is In” is an occasional segment focusing on various aspects of healing and medicine in Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars RPG.
Last month, I took a look at the EotE Doctor spec, and way back in December, the F&D Healer and Protector specs. Today, I finish up the primary medical-related specs (so far) with Age of Rebellion‘s Medic, part of the Soldier career. Mik-Los Arnet, whom I profiled recently, is a Medic.
Medic is the first responder medical specialization in FFGSW. There is only 1 instance of Bacta Specialist–but it is a situational, not near-useless, talent for a field medic. That +1 bonus applies to all types of long-term care, not just bacta tank treatment. But there are 3 instances of Stimpack Specialist, which is one of the strengths of the tree. A Medic with all 3 ranks can heal 4 wounds when giving the patient their fifth Stimpack of the day or the equivalent (Heal basic Force power or repair patch [with Engineered Redundancies from Special Modifications]).
Another set of high-value talents is the Stim Application/Improved Stim App/Supreme Stim App. As I pointed out in my Doctor discussion, you can boost 1 or 2 characteristics (depending on which talent/s you take) for a PC, including yourself, or an ally for a whole encounter, and can do this for multiple characters. Read that article for more details.
The one Medic-specific talent is the 25 XP It’s Not That Bad. It removes the Critical Hit effect of a successful attack from a character as an out-of-turn incidental–a literal lifesaver. It is only once/session, so you may not want to use it early. Since there isn’t a range and it is out-of-turn, you can narrate this several different ways, without mechanical effects: the injury literally looks worse than it is; yelling encouragement until your turn (“Easy, buddy I’ve got it! You’ll be fine.”); a simple first aid measure (apply pressure); or even that the attack just grazed your patient.
One thing to be aware of with Medic is that, even though it is part of the Soldier career, it isn’t combat-oriented, talent-wise. But there are many ways you can up your Medic’s combat prowess. The easiest and least expensive, of course, is starting with free ranks in the Career combat skills and/or Knowledge (Warfare), plus buying them up. Additionally, if the PC is Human, use those bonus skills for free ranks in other helpful skills (e.g., Cool, Perception, Stealth) and/or make them Career skills with Well Rounded for 15XP. Mik-Los is an example of this type of build. The whole left column of the tree is well-designed for making the Medic better when they aren’t patching someone up, so don’t neglect it just because it is separate.
Where To Go Next?
Picking up an another Soldier spec is the obvious answer to that question. You will gain, at most, just 2 career skills, however. (Cool and Perception, with Sharpshooter.) I think Commando just fits better narratively than Sharpshooter. Commando will give you a choice of a lot of what I call utility talents–talents that will help you out but don’t have flashy-awesome effects–like Toughened, Physical Training, and Grit. Other talents in this tree that go well with Medic include Durable, Unstoppable, and Armor Master/Improved Armor Master; they can save your life while you save others’ lives.
Now Sharpshooter does have some good applicable talents, especially lower-cost ones, for this kind of character. Ranks in Brace may remove some Setback from any checks, including Medicine, with your GM’s agreement. Expert Tracker is very helpful if you are doing a Search and Rescue (SAR) op. The ranged combat talents, such as True Aim, can help if you must defend helpless patients, civilian or military.
Other promising specs are Tactician and Instructor in the Commander Career. Even if you don’t intend to ever lead troops, the talents and additional Career skills are very handy. Depending on which you take, you will gain Discipline and/or Leadership. Bodyguard (both) and Encouraging Words (Instructor) protect or aid your allies. Physical Training and Conditioned (Instructor), or the Tactician’s Side Step, aid you. Tactician’s Outdoorsman, Natural Outdoorsman, and Swift are also good for those SAR missions. Finally, if Stimpack Spec 3 isn’t enough, Instructor has 2 more Instances.
While I have recommended Recruit for its utility talents or to help non-Soldier PCs in combat encounters, I don’t think it is that useful for a Medic. Probably not for new career skills. There are only 4 skills in Recruit that aren’t already Soldier/Medic career skills–Gunnery, Pilot (planetary), Core Worlds, and Outer Rim–and there are cheaper ways (Well Rounded and/or Human bonus skills) to make at least 2 of them career.What about Recruit talents? Granted, Recruit offers some nice talents, but they are more or less situational, or can be found in other trees, except for Second Wind. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Many of those who serve the Alliance believe “Nobody gets left behind!” is a very important part of their duties. As a Medic in the Rebellion, you play a key role in making sure that not only is no one left behind, but that as many as possible come back alive.