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One of our party members got hit badly, so our cleric tried to heal him. I wanted to help him but someone noted that since I dont have medicine skills or positive modifier (had a -1) me helping shouldnt provide advantage.

The explanation of helping says that I can help if it is an action that could be done better with help (For example, threading a needle would be actually be harder to do with help). My logic is that the character doing the healing gives instructions to my character and therefore my modifier doesnt matter since im just helping. I just want to corroborate either logic with the experts

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closed as unclear what you're asking by NautArch, Rubiksmoose, Darth Pseudonym, Sdjz, T.J.L. Mar 25 at 20:14

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The context of your question implies a bit of an XY-problem. You say that the cleric tried to heal them, but you wanted to Help them to give advantage on their attempt to heal them: what was the Cleric doing that would have called for an Ability check? \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Mar 25 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have proficiency in medicine? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 25 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are we talking about a healing spell, or a medicine check to use a healer's kit? \$\endgroup\$ – Davo Mar 25 at 19:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ How was the cleric trying to heal the downed character? \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Mar 25 at 19:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm confused between the title of this question and the actual body of it. Is this about a spell, or skill proficiency? If you're helping with an ability check, what does a healing spell have to do with it? If somebody is casting a spell, how does the Help action become involved? \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Mar 25 at 19:50
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The DM is allowed to arbitrate between when a character is or is not able to "provide help" on an Ability Check

If the Cleric is attempting to perform a Wisdom(Medicine) check—which I am assuming is the case, since regular Healing (i.e. any effect that expressly increases a character's current hit points) would bring back up an unconscious character with no check needed—the DM is allowed to stipulate that Help cannot be provided by a character whose capabilities in the check would be detrimental:

Sometimes two or more characters team up to attempt a task. The character who's leading the effort—or the one with the highest ability modifier—can make an ability check with advantage, reflecting the help provided by the other characters. In combat, this requires the Help action (see chapter 9).

A character can only provide help if the task is one that he or she could attempt alone. For example, trying to open a lock requires proficiency with thieves' tools, so a character who lacks that proficiency can't help another character in that task. Moreover, a character can help only when two or more individuals working together would actually be productive. Some tasks, such as threading a needle, are no easier with help.

Working Together, PHB, pg. 175

Where this line gets drawn is a matter of DM purview. As DM, I would probably rule that a character with a negative modifier in their Wisdom(Medicine) score would be unable to provide help. Narratively, I'd justify this by arguing that with a negative score, your character is more likely to misunderstand a critical step of the process, and that their help would not contribute positively to the success of the check.

Not all DMs would agree with this though, and some DMs might allow a character to provide Help, regardless of their ability score. It's worth noting additionally that the language of this text implies that there is no requirement that a character have proficiency in order to help, unless the task in question requires proficiency. A Wisdom(Medicine) check is not such a task.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you're wrong, but it's unclear that this is what OP was asking about. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 25 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a very complete treatment of what I think is being asked. Thoroughness for the +1. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 25 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Assuming you are right about what OP means, you may want to add further disambiguation about what you mean by "regular Healing" \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 25 at 21:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think they just asking that his interpretation of the "help" rules is correct, so they are figuring that with trying to heal somebody, they can help out the healer by doing things like applying pressure, or something while the healer does something else, therefore working for the "help" rules, and allowing them to help the healer even though they aren't themselves good at medicine. They just want to clarify that with people that presumably know the rules better than them \$\endgroup\$ – Smart_TJ Mar 25 at 22:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ From a game mechanics perspective I agree with the above answer. But from a role playing perspective I disagree completely. From a role playing perspective the player has said that their character is "helping" the healer so that is what they are doing. They are not standing guard. They are not exploring. They are not resting. They are not giving 'Help' but they are "helping". The healer character might tell them "I've got this, you should go get some rest." but as a DM I would not tell them any of this. I would simply say "ok, you're helping" but not give any bonus to the healer's roll. \$\endgroup\$ – krb Mar 26 at 7:05

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