Something that many D&D 5e players (especially new ones) find confusing is the Hit Dice mechanic.
This data is incredibly useful, but unfortunately many players ignore it! How many characters have suffered untimely deaths that could have been prevented if they had time to Hit Dice and catch their breath?
Especially when you're wandering around a dungeon where it's much harder to rest, managing your party's resources is key to making it out alive. This includes your Hit Dice!
So today we're demystifying this important mechanic to help your beloved characters have a long and rewarding career as adventurers!
Everything is Hit Dice in D&D 5e!
What is life data?
Think of Hit Dice as your character's ability to withstand punishment and survive your journey.
In D&D 5e, Hit Dice is used to restore Hit Points during a short rest, and to determine how much your HP increases as you level up.
Each time you level up, your number of available Hit Dice also increases. The number of hit dice you have is based on your level, and the type of dice you have depends on your class.
When you end a long pause, you restore half your total Hit Dice (minimum 1). Therefore, a 4th level character who has used up all of his Hit Dice would have to take two long rests to recover it.
Hit Dice by Class
This table shows which Hit Dice each class uses. This information can also be found atplayer's handbookin each class section.
classes hit data magical, magical d6 Builder, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Monk, Rogue, Warlock d8 fighter, paladin, ranger d10 parallel d12
The Hit Dice you get as you level up depends on the class you get.
If Kronus is a 3rd level wizard, he has 3d6 Hit Dice. Another level on the wizard at level 4 would give him 4d6 Hit Dice.
But what if Kronus decides to switch to multiple classes when he reaches level 4?
He takes an oath and reaches Paladin level at 4th level. He would now have 3d6 Hit Dice of his caster level and 1d10 of his paladin level.
Use of life data
Well, you know what life dice are and what they are for, but how do you use them?
The first feature of Hit Dice is pretty quick and easy!
As you level up, roll the appropriate Hit Dice for the class you are leveling up. Add your Constitution modifier to the result and add that total to your max hit points!
You can get more information about it.Level up by clicking here.
The second feature of hit dice is what they're primarily used for: you can restore hit points.
In a typical dungeon crawl, the biggest challenge is managing your resources. That means spells, items, and class abilities that are limited in how often they can be used.
If your cleric has to use all of his healing spells before he even reaches the final boss of the dungeon, you're in for a treat! In order to conserve some of those health potions and spell slots, it would be best to take a short break.
At the end of the short pause, you can spend Hit Dice to restore some hit points.
You do this by rolling a number of dice from your available Hit Dice pool. For each die you roll, you regain hit points equal to the result + your Constitution modifier.
Keep in mind that this is still a resource to manage, but running out of Hit Dice against the final boss is better than going into the encounter without potions or healing spells!
Use all your hit dice too early or never, and you'll chew through your healer potions and spell slots.
Don't be afraid to use hit dice (that's what they're for!), but remember that a balanced approach is often best!
Example: Using Life Dice
Let's go back to our old friend Kronus to see how to use the hit deal in action.
After an encounter with a nasty group of goblins, the group finds a place to retreat for a minute and catch their breath. Already having a few combat encounters, they take a short break to recuperate. They're sure the kobold boss is right in front of them, and they want to make sure they're ready!
Kronus has 12 HP of his max of 20. Since he adds his +2 Constitution modifier to every Hit Die roll and his Hit Die is a d6, he can even fully recover in a single roll!
He rolls a 2, adds +2 to his Constitution, and regains 4 hit points.
Since he now has 16 HP from his 20 max, Kronus rolls again. He rolls a 3, adds 2 to his Constitution and caps it at 20 HP. you're lucky
Kronus spent two of his three available Hit Dice. If things get rough again, but the party can get some rest, you'll have at least one free hit for later!
Since Kronus was able to restore his hit points with Hit Dice, the party's cleric can save his spells. When the party faces the Goblin Boss, they can now count on the Cleric to keep them fit for battle!
Get extra utility out of your Hit Die
Finding a place to rest is quite difficult in most dungeons. It's usually a safe assumption that you'll be able to find at least a few spots to rest, but those Hit Dice can go faster than you think!
Fortunately, there are some solid options out there to help you get the most out of every one of your life dice.
If your party has a bard, the bard's Song of Serenity ability is perfect for these situations. All party members can restore an additional die (based on the bard's level) of hit points using Hit Dice.
By the way...Bards are awesome! You can get more information atComplete Bard Guide!
The second best way to get some extra value out of your Hit Die is thisContinuotrick.
With the Durable feat, you gain an increase to your Constitution score. The real benefit, however, is that the minimum HP you can recover from your Hit Dice roll is half your Constitution modifier.
If you have a Constitution score of 18, you gain a +4 modifier. The Endurance feat allows you to recover no less than double your Constitution modifier in hit points (minimum 2) for each Hit Dice you roll. With your +4 modifier, you are guaranteed to gain at least 8 HP per Hit Die spent!
Related: You can learn everything about featsby clicking here!
The last option is reserved for dwarves.
The Dwarf Fortress feat inXanathar's Guide to Everythingit can be a lifesaver in an emergency!
This feat allows you to spend a hit die in combat to heal yourself when you take the dodge action!
Conclusion – Hit Dice in D&D 5e
I hope this cleared up any questions you may have about using hit dice in D&D 5e!
They are a very important part of your character's "toolbox" as you tackle dungeons and try to get the next big loot!
Still have questions about Hit Dice? Let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to help you!
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