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Suppose I have cast Aid on 3 of my allies, and those allies have all dropped to 0 hit points and fallen unconscious. I would like to get all of them back on their feet as quickly as possible. Can I cast Aid again to restore 5 hits points to each of my 3 allies who are already under the effect of another Aid spell?

I know that spells of the same name don't stack, so my 2nd casting of Aid won't increase their maximum hit points any further. However, it's not clear to me whether the hit point increase from Aid is any different from the healing provided by spells like Cure Wounds, so it's not clear to me whether there is a stacking issue that would prevent this from working.

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The second aid spell won't increase its current HP more

The description of the aid spell says

Each target's hit point maximum and current hit points increase by 5 for the duration.

Therefore, while the target is under the aid effect, it has its current hit points increased by 5. When the spell is gone, current hit points will be decreased.

A second instance of aid wouldn't increase the creature's current hit points even more, since they were already increased and the same spell effects don't stack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that, in this case, the target creatures have already had their HP reduced to 0. Given that hit points can't be negative (e.g. as a result of the first casting being suppressed), would you still rule this way? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Sep 6 '20 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Interesting, I hadn't actually considered that being at 0 HP specifically might make a difference, compared to simply not being at maximum HP. That was just meant as the motivating example for why I might want to use the spell in this way (essentially as a mini-Mass Cure Wounds). \$\endgroup\$ – Ryan C. Thompson Sep 6 '20 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast: "Given that hit points can't be negative (e.g. as a result of the first casting being suppressed), would you still rule this way?" -- not speaking for this answer's author, but... yes, I'd rule the same way. See e.g. rpg.stackexchange.com/a/45345. It is possible to die if you let the Aid spell lapse while the target's HP are too low. Casting a new higher-level Aid would increase HP only to the extent that the HP benefit exceeds the lower-level Aid spell, and a same-level Aid would have no new effect, other than extending the duration. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Duniho Sep 7 '20 at 3:19
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At the time of casting, the second casting is the more potent effect.

The rules for combining magical effects say:

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect — such as the highest bonus — from those castings applies while their durations overlap, or the most recent effect applies if the castings are equally potent and their durations overlap.

Now, since the targets of the first aid are at zero hitpoints, the first aid is not currently boosting their current hitpoints by 5, so at the time of the second casting, the second casting is more potent since it would be increasing their current hitpoints when the first instance would not be.

Then after this, the “most recent effect applies” rule would apply and the second casting would effectively become the “active” effect.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Sep 15 '20 at 1:23

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