Assume multiple people have used hit dice. When a bard casts Song of Rest, who rolls the 1d6?

Beginning at 2nd level, you can use soothing music or oration to help revitalize your wounded allies during a Short Rest. If you or any friendly creatures who can hear your performance regain hit points by spending Hit Dice at the end of the Short Rest, each of those creatures regains an extra 1d6 hit points.

My DM and I feel like it's probably intended to be that all creatures regain an equal amount, so the bard should roll one die and everyone who qualifies gains the same amount. Is there anything RAW or RAI (or from a developer) that clarifies it?

To clarify: the question isn't really about who physically rolls the die. The question is if there's evidence that either the bard is intended to make one roll that applies to everyone, or if each applicable party member should roll their own d6.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, is there any case when it actually matters mechanically who rolls it? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 5, 2018 at 0:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @rubiksmoose Technically no, but we play online in roll20 so it’s a difference of rolling inline in my spellcard once, or each person making their own rolls. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Mar 5, 2018 at 1:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose It might not matter who rolls the die, but if the amount of dice being rolled is modified as seems to be a suggestion that can have an affect in creating a more swingy heal. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Mar 5, 2018 at 11:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another way in which it matters is that if you roll once for using the ability, people might base their decision of using a HD or not on the result of the roll. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Mar 5, 2018 at 16:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I misunderstood you. In that case, there's no reason that you need to decide how many HD you roll before seeing what your party members got. If it's a simultaneous Song of Rest roll, which is one case, then you can decide after seeing your party members take their rest HP because you know what you'll get from it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Mar 6, 2018 at 3:30

3 Answers 3


The 'regains an extra' bit of phrasing makes this feature a bonus dice added to the roll the players' Hit Dice spending normally does, much like similarly-phrased damage features such as the Rogue's Sneak Attack do to their weapon damage rolls.

As such, the effect of the ability is not quite the same as 'You restore 1d6 hit points to everyone who spends hit dice at the end of a short rest'- you are not quite healing them directly in that way. Rather, it causes an effect on everyone hearing it that increases their hit die roll by 1d6.

Since it's a bonus to a roll each player is (separately) already doing, each player rolls their own bonus as part of their normal hit dice spending roll.

If it helps, consider there's no requirement that allies listening to your song end their short rests at the same time, and could be getting healed at different times as well.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The bard is not singing to each person seperately, it's the same magical song (effect) on every person. Shouldn't they all get the same amount of bonus from it. \$\endgroup\$
    – FenrirG
    Mar 5, 2018 at 8:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FenrirG It's not magical. Also, the effect of the ability is not 'You heal everyone for 1d6 HP when you use this at the end of a short rest'; it essentially applies an effect to each person hearing it that increases their hit dice healing roll by an extra 1d6 at the end of whatever short rest they're doing. It's a bonus to that roll, not a separate heal the Bard is doing. There's no requirement that your allies end a short rest at the same time as you (or each other), anyways. Besides, not everyone enjoys art the same amount. :-P \$\endgroup\$
    – CTWind
    Mar 5, 2018 at 9:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ fair point, though i doubt each individual's taste in art would factor in. :) @CTWind \$\endgroup\$
    – FenrirG
    Mar 5, 2018 at 9:22

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. For example, when a wizard casts fireball or a cleric casts flame strike, the spell's damage is rolled once for all creatures caught in the blast.

This is the ruling on simultaneous damage. However, it's very likely that healing should work the same way as there are many AoE spell effects which would benefit from the ruling, and it's quite common that people do the "roll once".

In this case, the only sense it makes is for a single person to roll this die, and it's usually the caster, unless the DM wants hidden rolls.

I can't find a similar ruling for healing, but I think it's important that this be added to the thread because it seems to indicate rules as intended.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Think of casting mass cure wounds, cleric rolls the dice once and everyone heals the same amount. Same logic. \$\endgroup\$
    – FenrirG
    Mar 5, 2018 at 8:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ With song of rest it is actually not necessarily applying the bonus to everyone at the same time. Characters could have started resting at different times and hp is only gained at the end of a short rest. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 5, 2018 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FenrirG While I agree that's how it should be, I couldn't for the life of me find that in the Player's Handbook, like I could with the simultaneous damage rule. \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Mar 6, 2018 at 3:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose This seems incorrect, unfortunately. The reading of it references a Short Rest, but it specifically references the Short Rest that the Bard is taking to play the Song of Rest. So, at the end of that Short Rest, party members can all add 1d6 HP to their recuperation HP for when they finish their Short Rest. Since they're all receiving this "healing-in-the-bank" at the same time, it might still be affected by the simultaneous rule, but in this case, I now doubt that it's even healing in the first place! It's more like an enhancement modifier on their Short Rest HP gain. \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Mar 6, 2018 at 3:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I think the main issue with the language of Song of Rest is that it assumes everyone's taking the same short rest. \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Mar 6, 2018 at 3:22

There are no rules to determine who makes the roll; it can be the DM, the players, or the Bard (i.e. the Caster) roll the extra die, similar to Cure Wounds or Healing Word. Talk to the party to determine who is in charge of this.

Sidenote: One restriction is that the PCs must also expend a Hit Die when they rest, to gain the benefit of the Song of Rest:

Song of Rest (p. 54). A creature regains the extra hit points only if it spends one or more Hit Dice at the end of the short rest.

PHB Errata 1.1

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your sidenote makes it sound like the player should roll since they are the one doing the healing due to the trigger. Interesting errata! Good catch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael W.
    Mar 5, 2018 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's up to interpretation. I.e. the Caster or the DM can roll, and only 3/4 PCs get the benefit, since 1 player didn't roll a hit die. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben
    Mar 6, 2018 at 1:24

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