Inspired by this answer and subsequent comments, I am curious if a PC can opt to take only part of the benefits of a regenerate spell.

The regenerate spell description states:

The target's severed body members (fingers, legs, tails, and so on), if any, are restored after 2 minutes. If you have the severed part and hold it to the stump, the spell instantaneously causes the limb to knit to the stump.

However, using the example from the linked question, say a PC wanted their severed tail to regenerate, but not their self-mutilated horns - would the PC be able to partially reject the regenerate spell, thereby allowing their tail to regenerate and not their horns?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar Horns are not like fingernails or hair, which are dead matter - horns are a core of living bone with a keratin exterior. You'd definitely expect your bones to grow back as a result of Regenerate, horns shouldn't be any different. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Jul 4, 2017 at 18:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer I'm using the comparison in a very loose form, I concede. You have a very good point. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Jul 4, 2017 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer depends on the horns... eg rhino horns are all keratin, I believe. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Jul 5, 2017 at 5:26

2 Answers 2



Regenerate says (PHB, p.271, emphasis mine):

You touch a creature and stimulate its natural healing ability. The target regains 4d8 + 15 hit points. For the duration of the spell, the target regains 1 hit point at the start of each of its turns (10 hit points each minute).

The phrase "natural healing ability" implies that anyone subject to the spell would only have as much control over the healing as they would over their body's natural healing -- that is, not at all. Also note that the spell doesn't say "a willing creature", and there's no way to resist the spell. So based on the spell description, regeneration is irresistible and absolute.

As a DM, I might allow any of the following if the players expressed these intentions:

  • The caster of regeneration might be able to exclude some body parts from regenerating.

  • The subject of regeneration might be able to make a Constitution or Wisdom save to reject the entire spell.

  • A character with some control over their own natural healing — a monk being the most obvious example — might be able to make a Wisdom or Constitution check (not save) to control how the regeneration proceeds.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Well then ! As a mutilated Tiefling in hiding, I must now watch my backs for over-friendly clerics ! \$\endgroup\$
    – Gael L
    Jul 4, 2017 at 16:19
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If it is natural healing ability and the horns would normally not grow back naturally, does it still apply? I find the RAW wording ambiguous at least. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 4, 2017 at 17:25
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @JonasWielicki Limbs don't normally grow back either, but the spell specifically restores "severed body members". I emphasized "natural healing ability" in order to answer the question of target control, not the scope of the spell's effects, which are clearly spelled out. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Jul 4, 2017 at 17:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ As a side note, you could always just chop the horns off post-regen. \$\endgroup\$
    – Skathix
    Jul 4, 2017 at 23:33


From reading both the linked question and the spell I would say that the PC cannot pick and choose which limps/appendages are regrown.

I feel this is the case because of this line from the spell description: Regenerate (PHB, p.271) states:

You touch a creature and stimulate its natural healing ability

Based on this the body would start to regrow any missing body parts. For example if you have multiple illnesses, you can't get your immune system to focus on one or the other.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .