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In 5e, does the Hydra regenerate 20 HP or 10 HP? It says per head regenerated, so does that mean per stump regenerated on or per new head?

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It gets 10 HP per head regrown

From the Hydra in the MM pg. 190, emphasis mine:

Whenever the hydra takes 25 or more damage in a single turn, one of its heads dies. If all its heads die, the hydra dies.

At the end of its turn, it grows two heads for each of its heads that died since its last turn, unless it has taken fire damage since its last turn. The hydra regains 10 hit points for each head regrown in this way.

The key word there is each. So, if at the end of it's turn, 3 heads have died but there is still 1 alive, the Hydra will grow 6 new heads, gaining 10 HP per head grown, for a total of 60 HP. The heads already alive do not regenerate HP.

The HP regeneration is per head regrown.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 12 '18 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, if I understand correctly, it only loses 1 head per round regardless of extra dmg? You can't chop off more than 1 head power round by dealing eg 50+ dmg? \$\endgroup\$ – Gnudiff Apr 19 '18 at 5:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ No. It can only lose 1 head per turn. Not per round. So for example: Your Barbarian swings and crits, deals 32 damage and severs a head. Next up is your Ranger who fires a barrage of arrows into the marked hydra, dealing 28 damage, severing another head. Then your paladin wades in smiting like a monster, dealing 61 damage, killing another head. Next up the Hydra goes, makes its attacks and moves about. At the end of the turn since nobody has prevented its regeneration, it regrows 6 heads and gains 60 HP back. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Apr 19 '18 at 12:51
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20 hp, if it lost one head

The hp gain is per head regrown not per head lost. The hydra 'regrows' 2 heads for each head it loses, so it gets 20 hp, effectively, for each head that was severed.

It isn't going to always be 20 hp, though, because the hydra might lose more than one head in a single round.

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