In D&D 5e can hit die spent during a short rest increase a character's hit points beyond their maximum number of hit points, thus giving then temporary hit points?

Example: Jed the 2nd level Fighter was wounded, and is at 11 HP. His HP Max is 12 + 8 = 20. (Constitution of 14). The party takes a short rest. Jed rolls a 10 and adds his Constitution bonus (+2) to get a 12 result: then 11+12 = 23.

Would Jed now have (effectively) 23 HP (20 + 3 Temp HP)?

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    – V2Blast
    Dec 30, 2019 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


This cannot be done

If you review the section of using Hit Dice, you will not find any text that shows that roll conferring Temporary Hit Points(THP) on a creature. That would need to be included for those die rolls to do that.

Some Spells and sp⁠ecial abi⁠lities confer Temporary Hit Points to a creature.

- Player's Handbook (Chapter 9: Combat).

The spending of hit dice during a short rest is described as follows:

A character can spend one or more Hit Dice at the end of a short rest, up to the character's maximum number of Hit Dice, which is equal to the character's level. For each Hit Die spent in this way, the player rolls the die and adds the character's Constitution modifier to it. The character regains hit points equal to the total (minimum of 0). The player can decide to spend an additional Hit Die after each roll. A character regains some spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest, as explained below.

You simply regain hit points, there is no mention of this granting temporary hit points, so they do not grant any. In fact, temporary hit points are entirely separate from your regular hit points:

Temporary hit points aren't actual hit points; they are a buffer against damage, a pool of hit points that protect you from injury.

[...] Because temporary hit points are separate from your actual hit points, they can exceed your hit point maximum. A character can, therefore, be at full hit points and receive temporary hit points.

Healing can't restore temporary hit points [...]

Since hit dice only restore hit points, they cannot grant temporary hit points and they can't exceed your maximum hit points because the section on "Hit Points" states:

[...] A creature's current hit points (usually just called hit points) can be any number from the creature's hit point maximum down to 0 [...]

Features which increase maximum hit points (such as the aid spell) say so, and features which grant temporary hit points (such as the heroism spell) say so. The section on short rests and spending hit dice do not mention either thing happening which means that they don't.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I think you have the right idea, and I added a "bottom line up front" that I hope you feel fits into the rest of your answer. (PS, good answer) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 30, 2019 at 16:08

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