The Life Domain cleric's Disciple of Life feature works with any spell that you use to restore hit points to a creature, so I know it works with Aura of Vitality to heal 2d6+5 as a bonus action:

Also starting at 1st level, your healing spells are more effective. Whenever you use a spell of 1st level or higher to restore hit points to a creature, the creature regains additional hit points equal to 2 + the spell's level.

But the Blessed Healer feature says it activates for spells you cast:

Beginning at 6th level, the healing spells you cast on others heal you as well. When you cast a spell of 1st level or higher that restores hit points to a creature other than you, you regain hit points equal to 2 + the spell's level.

Am I correct in assuming that using the bonus action to heal a creature with the Aura of Vitality spell only activates Disciple of Life, but not Blessed Healer?

If I'm wrong, then would I be recovering 5 HP every time I heal someone with Aura of Vitality?


2 Answers 2


This all comes down to what certain phrases mean

Let's look closely at the phrasing on both of these things and try to figure out what each seem to be intended to mean.

  • First, lets look at Disciple of Life.

    The key word we are looking at here is the word "use". When we look up the definition of this word in a dictionary, the definition for it being used in this way is:

    to employ for some purpose; put into service; make use of

    By this definition, this seems to mean that when you either cast a spell or use a spell's existing effects such that it will restore hit points to a creature, then the ability activates.

  • Now lets look at Blessed Healer.

    The word in question here is "cast". In this use of the word it is being used to describe the action of targeting something else with a spell, as it specifically says

    When you cast a spell ... that restores hit points to a creature other than you...

    This wording, especially specifically "when you cast a spell", that it simply means that when you cast a spell, and that spell directly heals another creature when you cast it, then you gain hit points from the ability

  • Finally, let's look at Aura of Vitality.

    It reads:

    Healing energy radiates from you in an aura with a 30-foot radius. Until the spell ends, the aura moves with you, centered on you. You can use a bonus action to cause one creature in the aura (including you) to regain 2d6 hit points.

    Since using this spell to heal someone is using the spell, but not casting the spell, then Disciple of Life would come into effect, but not Blessed Healer

  • \$\begingroup\$ Edit was for format. Your reasoning was very easy to follow (as an aside, this is how we played it/ruled it for the various Life Clerics that I have played and DM'd for). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 25, 2020 at 16:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question should be linked to rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/84800/… Jeremy Crawford does a decent job explaining that D&D doesn't care about hypothetical situations - only the situation at hand. Since no one is healed at the time of casting, and theoretically you could use it to heal yourself, Blessed Healer doesn't trigger. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cecilao
    Jan 26, 2020 at 19:57

Slightly different answer 2 years later since I was looking for this, and I noticed a slight error in the previous answer concerning the wording.

Specifically: "...and that spell directly heals another creature when you cast it..."

When you cast a spell ... that restores hit points to a creature other than you...

  • The Blessed Healer ability doesn't limit when the spell has to heal other creature, just that it does, and so, as long as you heal another creature with the spell, you should get 2+spell_LVL HP the moment you cast it, even if the healing effect of said spell happens in the future.
  • So as long as you heal someone with it in the future, you should get the heal from BH to yourself at the time of the casting. Wonky, right?
  • I repeat, the wording doesn't specify that the healing spell you cast has to heal on the same turn as you cast it, so the moment you would've healed someone with Aura of Vitality for the first time, you should've gotten healed for that 2+spell_LVL HP backwards in time when you casted the AoV spell since you fulfilled the BH condition.
  • Either way it would still only give you 2+spell_LVL once since you cast the spell once, not every time you use the bonus action to heal.

I myself would rule that you would get the Blessed Healer healing the first time you use the aura on a creature other than yourself.

If this is confusing or unconvincing, I'll break the language of Blessed Healer into parts:

  1. When you cast a spell - TRIGGER
  2. (spell) of 1st level or higher - CONDITION 1
  3. (spell) that restores hit points to a creature other than you - CONDITION 2
  4. you regain hit points - EFFECT
  5. equal to 2 + the spell's level (effect specifics)

Entirelly stripped bare sentence is therefore: "When you cast a spell, you regain hit points."

and that is what in Blessed Healer is time restricted by "when you cast a spell."

The CONDITION 2 has no time restrictions in terms of suddenness, just that it "...restores hit points to a creature other than you...". Where restores word only sets that it has to happen during OR after the casting. (or even technically the past if such a thing would be possible, a sceneario I can imagine out of my head is you somehow watching past events and being able to interact with them while still being in the present, like looking through a portal or something, and you heal someone there, altering history)

To pull out a non-D&D english sentence with similar wording

  • "When you sell a chocolate with 4 bars that makes someone happy, you get money for it."

Just like with the wording of Blessed Healer, the TRIGGER and EFFECT would be "When you sell a chocolate, you get money for it."

while the CONDITION1 would be "(chocolate) with 4 bars"

and the CONDITION2 would be "(chocolate) that makes someone happy" and just like "(spell) that restores hit points to a creature other than you" it is not restricted by when does it even make someone happy, just that it does.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to our stack! Please take the tour to learn more about how we operate and you can visit the help center for more info. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 19, 2022 at 20:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may have missed the first clause of the sentence that Smart_TJ cites: "When you cast a spell". That clause is what separates the ability at time of spellcasting vs whenever an active spell does it's thing. You may want to adjust or rescind your answer after taking a look at that. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 19, 2022 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch that's precisely the thing I was pointing at as being the misunderstanding. "When you cast a spell..." part in Blessed Healer only time restricts the "...you regain hitpoints..." bit. Not the condition under which the effect triggers. As far as English language goes it is not specified that the healing has to happen at the same time the casting happens. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2022 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was in the middle of typing a defense of @RhipeenRhosus's interpretation when I realized something that made me ultimately disagree. Consider a more straightforward spell as an example. Is Healing Word a "spell that restores hit points to a creature other than you"? You can't say definitively that it is a spell that does, because depending on who the caster targets, it may or may not be. Even with such a simple spell, it can't meet the criteria for Blessed Healer until it actually heals someone else. So it would be incorrect to say that being a spell that heals another creature is innate. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2022 at 4:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ With a spell like Aura of Vitality, the determination of whether or not the spell actually heals another creature doesn't happen until after it's already been cast, at which point the opportunity to trigger Blessed Healer has already passed. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2022 at 4:49

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