Temporary Hit Points in DnD 5e can be a godsend sometimes. Though it’s important to understand them, as they are different from normal Hit Points.
We looked at Hit Dice and how they correlate to Hit Points in a previous article. So, today we will be expanding on that in a way by talking about their counterpart – Temporary Hit Points.
We’ll also be listing all the ways that you can gain temporary hit points, or how to grant temporary hit points if you’re the dungeon master. We’ll do this by creating a handy list.
Let’s get right into it.
Table of Contents
What Are Temporary Hit Points in DnD 5e?
Temporary Hit Points are Hit Points that you get by certain means, be it a feat or a spell or whatever that adds on to your maximum health pool. These are great as they can invigorate you even further than what your maximum Hit Point pool is.
You should be careful though. They aren’t regular hit points, so don’t treat them as such. There’s a reason “temporary” is in the name, such things don’t last forever.
Temporary Hit Points last only until you undertake a long rest.
Any temporary hit points granted are afterward removed.
That’s the most important question answered. Now let’s look at the other notable qualities of Temporary Hit Points.
It’s important to keep in mind that they do not stack. You read that right. You cannot stack the bonuses of temporary hit points through the roof. If one source gives you 12 temporary hit points and another source gives you 10 – in that case you don’t get 22. You either get 10 or 12.
These kinds of Health Points are not to be regarded as healing. Don’t treat them as such. If an ally is knocked out you can’t save him by giving him Temporary Hit Points, he still has to make a successful death saving throw to survive. What they do help with though is preserving him alive for long enough for him to accomplish this. An enemy might want to rush to execute him while he is down, and those last few points just might be his saving grace.
Only true healing can be considered a solution to the problem. Receiving temporary hit points is only considered a temporary solution – if that at all. Let that be pretty clear.
That basically covers Temporary Hit Points. Now let’s look at how to get them.
How do You Get Temporary Hit Points?
The ways in which you get Temporary Hit Points are varied. This list will serve as a hint so that you may get a notion of the whole process. At the end of the day, this entirely depends on the rules you’ve agreed upon with your DM. Some of the things I mention here might not be valid in your game – while other rules that you might use I might totally overlook.
Without further ado. Here’s how you receive temporary hit points.
Spells are one of the main ways in which you can get Temporary Hit Points.
Heroism is one of the most commonly used spells that can grant this effect.
Other spells like False Life might offer you a more sinister approach to gaining more hit points.
The Inspiring Leader feat comes to mind here right away. Bards and Paladins like talking and talking some more, you’d be correct to assume that they like the sound of their voice. But hey, at least at the end you receive a boost equal to the caster’s level + their Charisma modifier.
Magic Weapons & Items
This part might not be applicable to your game if you opt-out of using magical items. But it is non the less one of the ways in which you can get temporary hp.
Blackrazor the Legendary Greatsword is one of the most famous items in this category. Another item in this category is the magical Bag of Beans. This item is more infamous than the previous one. The reason being that when consuming the fruits of this plant, you either get severely poisoned – or you get 5d6 to roll to nurture you back to health.
You decide if the rest is worth the reward. It will either kill you or grant you a temporary hit point or two.
That basically covers everything you need to know about Temporary Hit Points.
They aren’t a terribly difficult concept to grasp. Just a tad bit more complex than Hit Dice.
As always. I’d advise players who want specifics to consult the Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything as they are the source for most of the rules and mechanics that we look at.