Hit points seem to be a big sticking point in 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. Do characters get them back too quickly? Not quickly enough? What happens during a short rest or a long rest? There are four official variant ways to deal with regaining hit points in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (pgs. 266 – 267) and a brand new method in this month’s Unearthed Arcana. Although I like “Slow Natural Healing” (DMG pg 267) the best, I don’t really care for any of these five solutions, and I like Vitality – the new method linked to above – the least. Don’t get me wrong; I think it does account for damage “more realistically,” as is the intention, but it also adds a layer of bookkeeping that I’d like to avoid.
I bring all of this up, because I’m not a huge fan of the “official” method for regaining hit points after a long rest either. Maybe I’m just too “old school,” but something about regaining all of your lost hit points after a good night’s rest (or even a not so good night in a tent) just doesn’t sit well with me. So I’m proposing a sixth option for hit point recovery that I plan on trying out in the near future.
Here is my method:
After a long rest, instead of regaining all of your hit points you roll each of your available hit dice, including any you just gained back. That’s how many hit points you recover. These hit dice do not count as being “spent” as they would be during a short rest, and they are available to use during any subsequent short rests as normal.
This method is more forgiving than the “Slow Natural Healing” option in the DMG, which requires a character to spend hit dice after a long rest in the same way as during a short rest to recover hit points, but also feels more realistic to me than just recovering all lost hit points.
How do you handle hit point recovery? I’d be interested to read any other alternate methods out there.