One of my player's asked me what happens if the number they choose for Lay on Hands is greater than the difference between the target's current and maximum HP. Will they will get refunded the difference to their pool?

I told them those points would be wasted, but just want to double check. Is that the correct ruling? Are there any major consequences to allowing the refund?

Instead, should I allow the player virtual knowledge of how much HP the target is missing for the purpose of the number selection?


1 Answer 1


Any extra points expended would be lost

Once spent the points are gone, and the rules do not make any mention of excess points spent. Beyond that, there is no clarification in the rules. However, the way I understand the description of the spell...

The paladin should know how much healing is needed

It's not metagaming to discuss your hitpoints with another player. While "hit points" don't exist in universe, they represent wounds and injuries that do. In the same vein, the paladin's pool of hit points to heal with represent an amount of injury able to be healed, which the paladin has control over the flow of. Healing with Lay on Hands allows the paladin to break up their healing into small, controlled portions. The player should know how much to spend as the paladin knows how much healing he needs to use from his pool to repair the wounds.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron I don't think that would be unfair, but I suppose in my mind the healing occurs gradually and the paladin can stem the flow of magic once they see the wounds are healed, rather than release a burst. But the rules don't clarify so either way works \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2018 at 17:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I disagree that discussion of game mechanics that are not obvious to the character is not meta-gaming. I have been at several tables that would vehemently disagree with discussions like that during play. This is a playstyle assumption and not fact everywhere. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Apr 27, 2018 at 17:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think that if you clarify that the 2nd section is your opinion on how'd you handle it at your table from your answer in the first, it may be received better. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 27, 2018 at 17:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth If game mechanic discussions are not allowed, then this becomes even easier. "I use lay on hands to fully heal the injuries of that player" should be a valid statement to the GM that would avoid point waste, and be mechanically identical to the above answer. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2018 at 21:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Winterborne That is exactly how it goes at my tables. This is, of course, a game and a bit of Meta is unavoidable but I try to keep it to a minimum. Players declare actions and ask questions and only roll dice if I require it. Hp in this edition are, for better or worse, more abstract than any other edition to the point that it is more of wearing someone down to finally land a telling blow to zero... table mileage varies of course. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Apr 28, 2018 at 0:55

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