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Can anyone give their thoughts on how hit dice are added when leveling takes place?

Hit Points are pretty straight forward in that the new hit points that are gained through a level advancement are only added to the character's "maximum hit points" at that time. Their "current hit points" will not also go up until they take a long rest or use some other means to raise their "current" hit points (short rests, healer, potions…etc…etc.)

However, the PHB is a little more vague on hit dice. When a hit die is gained through a level advancement...what are your thoughts on how this should be added? Should it be like hit points and only be added to their "maximum hit dice" until a long rest allows the character to regenerate some of their hit dice? Or...should the newly gained hit die be added both to their "maximum hit dice" and the "current hit dice" they have available to use?

Thanks for anyone's thoughts!

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Are you looking for an official response or an opinion? If you're looking for opinion, what separates a "good" answer from a "Bad" one in this context? – wax eagle Aug 9 '14 at 22:39
Where does it say that you only get an increase to your max HP, and not current hp, when you level? – DuckTapeAl Aug 9 '14 at 22:46
DuckTape - Both in the PHB and the Basic Rules PDF. PHB, page 15: "Each time you gain a level, you gain 1 additional Hit Die. Roll that Hit Die, add your Constitution modifier to the roll, and add the total to your hit point maximum." – robbrauen Aug 11 '14 at 0:09
@DuckTapeAl It doesn't say that anywhere. However, it does say that you add it to your max HP, and doesn't say that you add it to your current HP. – GMJoe Aug 11 '14 at 5:22
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The relevant quote is this on page 15.

When your character gains a level, his or her class often grants additional features, as detailed in the class description.

No where it mentions that it takes any time to gain these features when you level. The only exception is that explicatley states that leveling increases the hit point maximum. Since 5e defines current hit points and maximum hit points as specific terms then you are right to conclude that the you don't gain your new hit point until you rest. However 5e doesn't not make that distinction in the terms of hit dice. Like your proficiency bonus, attribute gains, etc it takes effect immediately upon leveling.

It is reinforced by the fact Hit Dice advancement is in its own sentence.

Each time you gain a level, you gain 1 additional Hit Die.

Then the following sentence states

Roll that Hit Die, add your Constitution modifier to the roll, and add the total to your hit point maximum.

Which make it a separate point.

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This might depend on how "current hit points" is defined. If it's defined as "maximum hit points minus damage taken" then you would effectively get the current hit points increase. – corsiKa Aug 10 '14 at 3:20
It is defined on page 196 and it says. A creature's current hit points (usually called hit points) can be any number from the creature's hit point maximum to 0. This number changes frequently as the creatures takes damage or receives healing. I believe this support the OP's ruling that current hp doesn't increase as a result of leveling. – RS Conley Aug 10 '14 at 16:16
Thanks RS. I think those points make complete sense and both back up my thoughts on hit points as well as point to the correct direction for hit dice. Thanks! – robbrauen Aug 11 '14 at 0:14
In my groups it has been the case that level-ups don't happen mid-combat, but rather between sessions. The primary reasoning being that we don't want to stop the game so one of the participants can apply all the changes...They're likely to miss some changes and get others wrong in that scenario anyway. – Gus Jul 1 '15 at 18:49

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