One PC is a multiclassed Grave Domain cleric/sorcerer. They cast a healing spell on a PC that has 0 health, and use the Twinned Spell Metamagic option to target another PC with the same spell.

Would the second PC also have its healing from the spell maximized by the Grave cleric's Circle of Mortality feature (XGtE, p. 20), even if the second PC is not also at 0 HP?


1 Answer 1


It depends on this question

From the description for Circle of Mortality (emphasis mine):

At 1st level, you gain the ability to manipulate the line between life and death. When you would normally roll one or more dice to restore hit points with a spell to a creature at 0 hit points, you instead use the highest number possible for each die.

Two possible scenarios from the linked question:

  1. You roll for each target. In this scenario, "when you would normally roll" only applies to the single target, since each roll applies to only the single target that roll was for.
  2. You roll once for the whole spell. In this scenario, "when you would normally roll" applies to every target, since the single roll applies to each target affected, and so replacing the roll with the maximum possible would affect every target.

I do not like option 2. Even if you normally rule spells like mass healing word heal the same amount for everyone, I do not think you should rule this way with Circle of Mortality. My reasoning is that it could result in shenanigans where it's sometimes more beneficial to drop someone to zero hp and then heal everyone from where they are, and that doesn't really make for an immersive experience.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "My reasoning is that it could result in shenanigans where it's sometimes more beneficial to drop someone to zero hp and then heal everyone from where they are" - that has no relevance to this question, though. The same logic would apply to healing a single creature and applying Circle of Mortality to it, even without Twinned Spell - you'd be potentially better off downing them and then healing them. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 19:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ However, this is unlikely to be the case regardless, since most healing spells don't heal that much, and in-universe, characters are unlikely to be okay with getting stabbed just because the healer promises to heal them afterwards. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 19:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast the potential is much greater with multi-target spells. Mass cure wounds (not upcast) on 6 creatures averages 81 + (6 * Mod) versus 144 + (6 * Mod) if one of those creatures is at 0. 63 hp is nearly as much as heal, a 6th level slot. I agree it doesn't make sense in-universe, and that's why I said what I did, because why emphasize a mechanic that encourages dropping friendlies to 0? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ A truly devious player wouldn't even use a PC. They would get a pet gerbil and knock it unconscious before casting a mass healing spell on it. If you have fewer than 6 party members who need healing you could boost the effectiveness of base level Prayer of Healing from 14 to 21 per party member (from 70 to 105) as a second level slot. \$\endgroup\$
    – user60913
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 5:25
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This question is now explicitly addressed in the latest Sage Advice Compendium: "If a Grave Domain cleric casts a spell that restores hit points to multiple creatures and one of those creatures has 0 hit points, does the spell restore the maximum number of hit points to all targets of the spell? No. Only a creature with 0 hit points benefits from the hit-point-restoration portion of the Circle of Mortality feature." You may want to update your answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 7:40

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