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Take for instance, the spell Prayer of Healing (in the online Basic Rules):

Up to six creatures of your choice that you can see within range each regain hit points equal to 2d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

The "Damage Rolls" rule says that "If a spell or other effect deals damage to more than one target at the same time, roll the damage once for all of them." Does that same principle apply to "Healing Rolls"?

That is, if I target my whole party with a spell like this, is it a separate 2d8+modifier that gets rolled independently for each target, or do I just roll the once and that same amount is what each target gains?

Obviously the game "works" either way, and playing it however one's table finds most fun is great. But, I'm looking for official sources or references if available. If there aren't any, then I would accept any semi-official or well-informed well-reasoned arguments, preferably backed up by evidence that it's the usual way that groups handle this.

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It Can (and possibly should) Be but we don't have an official rule

The rules do specifically call out damage of AOE or Multi-target effects to be roll once apply to all. However, it doesn't say the same about healing AOE or Multi-target spells.

With this absence of a rule specifically about healing you can fall back on how damage works and just assume that is how it should be handled and that has one big advantage, less time rolling dice. If your table doesn't care to much for rolling dice and wants to get back to the story you just roll once. Everyone adds it to their health. Then you get back to the action.

However you can also roll for each recipient or have each recipient roll themselves. This has one big advantage, more time rolling dice. this might be preferable if your table likes rolling dice, everyone has enough dice to do it at the same time, or you are using a RNG dice rollers. This also gives the players more of a hand in how much they get healed.

The case can also be made that individual rolls for heals will be less swingy in over all healing. It can suck to do an AOE 2d6 heal and roll snake eyes, thus giving everyone in the group 2 health when the average would be 7. Where rolling for each recipient would tend closer to the average, even if one of the group only gets 2 health back.

Ultimately it comes down to how your table and GM want to handle it. It would be difficult to determine what general practice is without a poll of some sort, and baring a direct statement from a designer or an errata added there is not going to be a more authoritative than a table level.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like something that someone with a Twitter account should ask the developers. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Dec 17 '17 at 13:33
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As Darth Pseudonym has pointed out, I could not find an explicit statement for healing spells.

However, Jeremy Crawford has noted on Twitter that for multitarget spells like Magic Missile, the intent is for damage to be rolled once for all darts (Or I'd imagine, targets). Similarly for Burning Hands and the like.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Consider taking the tour when you get back to your desktop as well, it should provide insight on how to use this stack. \$\endgroup\$ – royalmurder Dec 13 '17 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer, but I'm not sure how it answers my question. It's well established how Damage Rolls work. I'm looking for the basis for why one would apply that same rule to Healing Rolls. \$\endgroup\$ – user37158 Dec 13 '17 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I suspect Horseman's point was concerning the multitarget part specifically; namely, that all targets are affected equally. \$\endgroup\$ – Bagahnoodles Dec 18 '17 at 20:54
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It isn't stated explicitly, but yes, the same rule should apply. It's not a balance thing, it's just for keeping play moving along quickly. Nobody wants to sit while you roll six times...

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would appreciate any references to official documentation saying so. And I'd think that each target could just roll their own dice to keep things moving, assuming that the table had enough dice at it. \$\endgroup\$ – user37158 Dec 1 '17 at 19:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can see how logically it'd make sense to be handled like damage rolls. But the rule is called "Damage Rolls", not 'Hit point change rolls", so it'd be nice to see some precedent or official statement that they're supposed to be handled the same way. \$\endgroup\$ – user37158 Dec 2 '17 at 21:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Luke Asking for an answer to provide supporting evidence is standard best practices here, not something that is limited to one tag. The [rules-as-written] tag is also explicitly not for adding a coded “please only official answers” signal to a question. Like all tags, it should only be used to describe the nature or source of the question's problem, not the requested types of answers. (The source of the problem here is not a RAW exercise so doesn't merit the tag.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 4 '17 at 21:20
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The healing should be constant for the spell.

To find out why we look to the PHB page 201 'What is a spell?'

A spell is a discrete magical effect, a single shaping of the magical energies that suffuse the multiverse into a specific, limited expression. In casting a spell, a character carefully plucks at the invisible strands of raw m agic suffusing the world, pins them in place in a particular pattern, sets them vibrating in a specific way, and then releases them to unleash the desired effect—in most cases, all in the span o f seconds.

This shows that the magical effect is unleashed implying that the same effect is uniform throughout the spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The part you quote does not actually support your point at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Dec 13 '17 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think he should have emphasised single shaping. That supports the uniformity being advocated. I have +1'd this as it is the closest to a rule that I have seen. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Dec 14 '17 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree. I think the answer should be reworded, but this does seem to be the closest to an official stance barring a twitter response. Single Shaping implies consistency, which is then supported by how damage rolls are handled. \$\endgroup\$ – Baergren Dec 14 '17 at 15:21

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