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I'm running a somewhat modified version of the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure.

I was DMing my second ever session, and decided to roll on the lingering injuries chart. I got a 3 and told the player, whose character was nearly killed by a group of orcs then and there, that they chopped off his leg and left him there. He made his death saves and stabilized, and another player character dragged him away to keep him safe.

I was not planning on the roll ending up being one to completely cut off his leg - but that's unimportant, as it's happened already, and I don't want to retcon it if I can help it.

I'm looking for a way he can regrow/regenerate his leg but I'm not sure how to go about it. It could be replaced with Regenerate but that is a 7th-level spell; I'm not sure how I should go about helping him to replace it, as the players are only 3rd level.

It's not important that the character necessarily recover immediately. I'm looking for options for how to go about this, as I'm new to all of this and want to do right.

In case it's relevant our party composition is a Variant (Winged) Tiefling Warlock of the Fiend and an Aarakocra Monk.

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The What

As far as I know, there are 2 basic ways to regrow a limb:

  • Regenerate, a 7th level Cleric/Bard/Druid spell
  • Ring of Regeneration (DMG p 191) - note that in order to regrow a limb, the user must be attuned to the ring for 1d6 + 1 days and have at least 1 hp for the entire peirod (meaning that if you die, the time period restarts)

Alternatively, you could theoretically regrow a limb by dying, and then being brought back to life using any of the following spells:

  • Reincarnate, a 5th level Druid spell
  • Resurrection, a 7th level Bard/Cleric spell
  • Clone, an 8th level Wizard spell

The How

However, as you outlined in your question, your party is at 3rd level, and these spells are beyond what could reasonably be cast by a 3rd level party. That being said, you're the DM - you can create a narrative hook to introduce some of these spells into your modified adventure.

For example, perhaps the party encounters a necromancer on their travels, who is willing to cast one of the above spells in return for some undertaking by the party (gold, slaying a monster, retrieving an item in the mines, etc). Or perhaps a member of your party has a patron god who is willing to lend their aid given the noble quest upon which the party has embarked.

Ultimately, as DM, you can build situations where the party will come across an entity capable of casting a spell which is of a higher level than the party can cast.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think I like that "perhaps a member of your party has a patron god who is willing to lend their aid" bit and will see if I can work that in. Unfortunately the closest thing we have as a party of two is a warlock (of the fiend naturally). Do you have any tips for working this in? I'm very new to DMing as a whole. \$\endgroup\$ – Himitsu_no_Yami Jun 25 at 20:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Since you need at least 1 HP for the entire time, being knocked unconscious would also prevent the limb from being regenerated as well as death. \$\endgroup\$ – Allan Mills Jun 25 at 23:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Himitsu_no_Yami powerful fiends will be more than happy to regenerate missing limbs... for a price. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jun 26 at 5:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Himitsu_no_Yami If you like the "aid-of-a-god" angle but don't have a cleric, your players could always provide a service for a temple or servant of said god. As for gaining the help of a fiend, I've always liked "you made a deal, with bad consequences, and now you need to undertake a quest/campaign to get out of it/deal with it" angle. They've worked for me! \$\endgroup\$ – Upper_Case Jun 26 at 15:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Upper_Case Thanks for that, I think the Warlock is going to entreat her patron for aid and we'll see what sort of compensation the fiend wants in return. \$\endgroup\$ – Himitsu_no_Yami Jun 26 at 16:24
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I'm still not convinced that my answer here doesn't duplicate this question, but I digress.

There are no "limb regrowth" options readily available at level 3

Your options, as I see them:

Retcon it.

Take it back. It feels bad, but we've all done it. No one is satisfied by it, but sometimes we, as DMs, get ourselves into situations that we're not prepared to get ourselves out of.

Peg Leg (or prosthesis)

The Bodily harm chart even mentions this. Make up a price, or offer it to them for free from a practicing doctor, or whatever. I haven't tried this, but it's in the book.

Lose a Foot or Leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move unless you have a peg leg or other prosthesis.[snip]

Magical Story Mumbo Jumbo (aka a MacGuffin)

Make something up. A "magical leg of regrowth" or something similar. I've never done it with specifically a severed limb, but I have done it with "oops, I've gotten myself into a mess." If I recall correctly, I made a monster that had a fatal venom onset if you fail too many saves.

Spellcasting Services for Hire

Then you just need to find a caster that will do it for you and raise money (heh).

While not "rules", these can be considered "guidelines" for purchasing spells.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: How much should NPCs charge for spells cast as services to PCs? \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jun 25 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Adding to the peg leg suggestion, the asker could have a magic item that works like the ersatz eye (XGtE, p. 137) except it's a leg - it functions like a real leg, is a common magic item that requires attunement, and can't be removed by anyone else but the character. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 26 at 5:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ The Leg of Vecna! Not quite as good as the Eye or the Hand, does nothing much but -1 to Charisma. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Eberbach Jun 26 at 6:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just don't let the quest go far enough that they start looking for the 'Head of Vecna'! \$\endgroup\$ – Theo Brinkman Jun 26 at 21:08
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There is no way without higher level services

Unfortunately, you have given your player a problem without a solution in-hand to resolve it.

That leaves few options for them to try and resolve this, and all of them require access to either items or casters of sufficient level to fix the missing leg.

This question covers your options, but it's up to you as the DM to determine if they have a place, or if the player can afford it, in your world.

Plot hooks

I had a player die at level 2 in a campaign that I'm running. The death was a result of several bad decisions by his party, but I didn't want to force the player to reroll and create a new a character. There was a NPC whom they were currently working for that offered to resurrect the player , but at a cost. This wasn't a numerical cost, but one of in-kind payment. They were told that should she procure the services, they would be indebted to her to run 3 errands. She was already providing work for them that was paid, but these jobs would be outside of that. This created an opportunity for the party to bring back their compatriot, and it gave me a new plot hook to further the story.

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Let the player retire the character and create a new character to replace them.

Simply put, D&D is designed around the assumption that limb loss doesn't happen, which is why all the magic capable of fixing it is such high-level. As a result, if you cause it to happen anyway, there's no way of fixing it at low levels without house rules, and if it's a career-ending injury, which the loss of a leg certainly is, he'd be better off retiring that character and creating a new one with the same level.

If he likes his current character, he can simply employ the old trick of "this is my new character, who is my old character's twin brother, and he has the exact same stats as my old one, so I'll just erase his first name from the character sheet and write a new one".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The loss of a leg need not be career ending. If he gets a prosthetic or it is regrown via magic he could most certainly continue adventuring. Another thing is that in this particular case the character is a bird person (not spelling that race name) with a fly speed which I know I didn't mention before but still. Also if you look at some of the other answers you can see there are definitely ways without house rules to fix it at a low level. \$\endgroup\$ – Himitsu_no_Yami Jun 26 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The accepted answer is all high-level stuff that's unavailable to low-level characters, and the other two both say that there's no low-level options. That only leaves retiring the character and creating a new one, or bringing in your old character's twin brother. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Jun 26 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you look at the accepted answer it also has this bit "Perhaps the party encounters a necromancer on their travels, who is willing to cast one of the above spells in return for some undertaking by the party. Or perhaps a member of your party has a patron god who is willing to lend their aid" Neither of those are necessarily high level options in and of themselves. Both can be accomplished with the current party at level 3. Additionally there would be no need to retire the character even without getting the injury healed. Sure he only has on leg but he is still capable of adventuring. \$\endgroup\$ – Himitsu_no_Yami Jun 26 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hypothetical high-level characters casting spells out of the goodness of their hearts cannot be assumed, especially since the cost to get the spells cast is far outside the amount of gold that low-level characters can expect to earn on adventure. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Jun 26 at 16:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 As the DM, they can absolutely assume high-level characters being willing to cast the spell if they want such a character to exist. \$\endgroup\$ – John Montgomery Jun 26 at 21:26

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