Why use "Bind Wounds"?

Is this simply a roleplaying kind of reaction to wounded characters (it's kind of how we play it)? There is no rule on wounds worsening until the recovery roll. What would be the need to bind wounds within an adventure?

Aside from story guide fiat (the most likely issue), I'd think that any recovery rolls forced by strenuous activity (end of page 178) might benefit from the wound binder's chirurgic skill.

Assuming we're talking about the specialization for Chirurgy?

As you say, recovery rolls are the main use for Chirurgy as a skill, so this specialty would add to the chirurgy score when dealing with injuries caused by cuts and lacerations.

The most important time would be if you have someone who is incapacitated, having been badly cut up after a fight. As incapacitating wounds require recovery rolls at sunset and sunrise treatment at the time of injury is very important, and that +1 from bind wounds can be quite important.

There is a huge need for spells like this! I consider this one of the most important effects for magi to have available. Sure, in the middle of a single fight it doesn't matter because

So you're fine (Wound penalties, but just the penalties themselves) for the combat you get injured in, but not for the rest of the adventure. But what about right after that combat ends? If you have enough Vis, know the appropriate ritual, and have the time to spend right after the combat in which you get injured, go ahead and cast the ritual. But that can't be all the time, and I would posit that that would be a rarity. And here is what that means for the rest of the adventure, because this is for even a -1 Wound penalty:

So now you're stuck with non-fatiguing spontaneous spells, formulaic spells for which you have Stalwart Casting, and formulaic spells you can avoid botching and for which you have high enough casting totals. That can be pretty limiting, especially since you're far from likely to have as favorable an Aura as you would at home.

The really big deal about this spell is

So the restrictions on activities are lifted. Sure, giving a big Recovery Roll bonus would likely prevent Wounds from worsening, but that bonus still doesn't let you do those important, restricted things.

This is why nearly all characters I design either have a variant (I prefer D: Concentration, sometimes R: Personal sometimes not.) of this spell or are easily good enough at CrCo that they can do this as a non-fatiguing spontaneous spell.

Callen, I agree mostly with what you write but there is one thing I always found worrying:

When a magus is casting a formulaic spell, he canno't be sure that he will or not expand fatigue.

-> if he succeeds, it may means

  • CT >= level => no fatigue
  • CT > level -10 => fatigue (or not if Mythic blooded)
    and fail
  • CT <= level -10 => fatigue.

Even if I have a CS of 30 on a 5 level spell for example, I may fail it due to bad auras (divine 10), PeVi or similar affect, wound penalties, etc. or the simple worse: rolling a botch.

So must the SG decide before hand if you can try to cast it or not? if that's the case, it's bothersome and counterintuitive... and even the SG can't prevent you from rolling a botch which then fatigue you ; meaning you couldn't cast that spell; meaning you never tried to cast it and erasing the botch you just rolled.

Isn't that a bit of an issue?

"Can't do" should be read as "can't do safely", at least in the field (seasonal work is a little more fuzzy) - if you have a situation where you unexpectedly aren't able to cast without gaining fatigue, you get an unexpected Recovery roll (with no possibility of improvement, only worsening).

[Page 178: "Characters are severely limited in what they can safely do when injured...Any character that does more than his injuries allow must make an immediate Recovery roll for his most serious injury. This roll can result in the wound worsening, but not in improvement."]

Yes, completely true. And this solve's ExarKun's problem above.

That's not really true. There is a middle ground between always being sure and never being sure. Just because you cannot always be sure does not mean you cannot ever be sure.

Let's take your CT 30 with a level-5 spell example. As for not botching, if the situation is calm that is automatic. If you have Mastery (or maybe Mythic Characteristic) and perhaps a Gold Cord or Cautious Sorcerer on top of it, there are many more situations where you cannot botch. As for casting totals, you could be in no aura or a magical aura, for example.

So, let's say you're in no aura or a magical aura in a calm situation. You get at worst 30 + (simple die) + (Wound penalties) v. 5. If you really need it, you can pick up a bonus with voice and gestures. As long as your Wound penalties don't reach -29 (or further if you have the aura's bonus) total, you're sure. Those are some pretty significant penalties.

So, yes, you can be sure. But, as Salutor explained, the issue is really never so terrible a decision for the SG as you suggested anyway.

When a character is not under stress they do not use a stress die for formulaic magic (core book pg 81). So if their casting total prior to die roll is one less than the spell level or higher they can't loose fatigue.

ArM5 p.129 Bind Wounds can repeatedly save the life of a companion, who often travels alone or at least without a magus around - in particular a Redcap. Being wounded and still needing to exert oneself just to escape is a typical predicament for these.

As there needs to be more than one effect in the enchanted device a Redcap usually gets (ArM5 p.48), Bind Wounds can be the second effect and near mandatory in a saga. Many Mercere magi not too interested in CrCo may have lab texts for a Bind Wounds effect. But also a knight errant, spy or merchant companion would cherish a ring of Bind Wounds, which is easy to make in most covenants.


Thank you. This has been helpful!

Sure, but not every magus knows he is under a PeVi, or under the influence of an infernal aura, divine aura, or harming power which reduce arts or CT, or stamina rolls.

Thus even without that it would bother.
The "can't cast safely" explains it better: you do it, if it fails, you may have a worsened wound. That is something I forgot because the ASG do not bother making the difference and used to say "can't" and not "can't safely".

So, to summarize it, with the "bind wounds" spell, you could exert yourself safely when you're wounded (though it doesn't suppress the malus, for that try Endurance of the berserkers).

Yes, that's right.