No matter where your campaign takes place, who your character is, or what exactly you’re doing, there is no doubt that you will eventually find yourself in a dangerous situation and in desperate need of healing. Even worse, maybe your dedicated healer is missing, knocked out, or even struggling to stay afloat. In these scenarios, you’ll probably need to get creative with the tools you have at your disposal, but what if all you’ve got is a healing kit?
Can you heal with a Healer’s Kit?
With a name like ‘Healer’s Kit’, you might think that restoring your party’s hit points is exactly what it’s meant to do. However, the intended purpose of it is actually a bit more narrow than that. A Healer’s Kit by default isn’t meant to keep your party healed up during a fight but instead is meant to be used to save dying companions. If you wanted to get the most from your Healing Kits, however, then you could take the feat “Healer”. This feat helps you to do a reasonable amount of healing with an item, and can be a very gold-efficient way to do so when compared to more expensive methods like healing potions. So the simple answer is yes, you can heal with a Healer’s Kit kit, but it does require a feat to be able to do so.
A Healer’s Kit can be used to stabilise another player without a Wisdom check
What does a Healer’s Kit do?
In DnD 5E, a Healer’s Kit contains 10 charges and allows a character to stabilise a dying creature by expending a charge as an action without the use of a Wisdom (Medicine) check.
Now at first, that may not sound very strong – some of my own players and, I’ll admit, I also have thought this in the past. But its strength does not lie in it being a powerful piece of adventuring gear, but instead its usability. Remember, a Healer’s Kit does not require proficiency nor a skill roll, making it a useful item for almost all characters.
How much does a Healer’s Kit heal?
So you want to take that feat I mentioned? Well here’s what it will allow you to do. Firstly, if you stabilise a dying creature with a Healer’s Kit, that creature immediately regains a hit point. That may not sound amazing, but remember, this is equivalent to someone rolling a natural 20 on a death save – it’s a pretty big deal. For the actual healing part; you can also spend an action and a Healer’s Kit charge to heal a creature for 1d6 + 4 + that creature’s maximum hit dice. But remember; a creature healed this way cannot be healed with the feat until they finish a short or long rest.
Does the Healer feat work with a Healer’s Kit?
Yes, the Healer feat is worded as follows: “As an action. You can spend one use of a Healer’s Kit to tend to a creature and restore 1d6 + 4 hit points to it, plus additional hit points equal to the creature’s maximum number of Hit Dice. The creature can’t regain hit points from this feat again until it finishes a short or long rest.” – Source: Player’s Handbook, p. 167
Can you use a Healer’s Kit without proficiency?
Yes, in DnD 5e a Healer’s Kit does not require proficiency. Healer’s Kits are not seen as tools in DnD and thus do not require proficiency, instead, they are considered adventuring gear.
A personal Healer’s Kit trick
Now you understand the basics of what a Healer’s Kit does. But remember, a Healer’s Kit counts as a ‘Use an object action’. You may be thinking why exactly that matters. Well, here’s one of my silly combinations: Thief Rogue + Healer’s Kit.
If you didn’t know, a rogue with the Thief subclass can make ‘Use an object action’ as a bonus action. This is better than the ‘Spare the Dying’ cantrip that requires you to be a healing class to get, which allows them to stabilise a creature that has gone down, stopping them from having to roll for death saves. However, this spell takes an action to cast unlike a Thief Rogue using a Healer’s Kit, which takes a bonus action.
So why is this better? Because you still have your main Action open to be used; which is what you use for most strong powers, spells, weapon attacks, and features.
Can Herbalism Kits heal?
Herbalism kits are a tool in DnD that are used to create medicinal remedies and potions that provide healing effects. This kit requires proficiency with it but allows you to add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks made to identify or apply herbs. It also allows you to create antitoxin and any potion of healing.
So can a Herbalism Kit heal? Well, it gives you a proficiency bonus when applying herbs, which can then increase the amount of healing you do. It can also make healing potions, many of which can be used to heal. But crucially, it can’t be used directly to heal. However, you could ask your DM and they might let you do medicine checks with the Herbalism Kit to heal every now and then.
Sometimes the best tools in DnD aren’t so obvious
Hopefully, you now have a slightly different perspective on Healer’s Kits, an often-overlooked piece of equipment. With the right know-how, a Healer’s Kit can make up an indispensable part of any adventurer’s inventory, so we recommend giving it a try and seeing what creative uses you can come up with!