I'm playing D&D 5e in a group that has many years of experience with older versions of D&D but is new to 5th and our GM is new to being in charge. He has allowed feats (upon approval) and I wanted to make my healing more effective. If there are any official source feats to improve healing, I couldn't find them. D&DBeyond has a great many published homebrew feats, but between the GM and myself, we declined the majority of them for being either overpowered, underwhelming, or poorly written/exploitable. However, there were several very good ideas buried in the details, so I tried my hand at writing my own: Healing Adept.

Prerequisite: Ability to cast at least one healing spell, WIS score of 14+

After long practice, you have become especially adept at magical healing.

When you cast a healing spell with variable results, first roll a d10. On a roll of 10, your spell heals for the maximum amount.

You may add your Proficiency Bonus to your Spellcasting Modifier for healing spells you cast.

If an ally within 60 feet of you would fall unconscious due to damage, you may use your reaction to cast Healing Word at 1st level without expending a spell slot. This spell must target that ally. You may do this a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier (Minimum of Once).

You recover all expended charges after a long rest.

(((Intended Edit: Healing Word portion restricted to 1 use per long rest)))

After working with other members of the group who have experience with GMing and "Rules-Lawyering", I came up with the above. I tried to be both precise and concise in my wording to avoid any potential abuse. On review, our GM was unsure about one specific aspect:

You may add your Proficiency Bonus to your Spellcasting Modifier for healing spells you cast.

We discussed the PB adding 2-6 points (level-dependent) of flat bonus healing, and he wasn't sure that the amount is balanced. To Be Clear: He deferred judgement on the feat as a whole, stating "I do not want to allow something then realize it is overpowered and have to take it away."

So on to the question
GMs: Is this feat balanced, or if not what aspects do I need to change?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear; the reactive healing word goes off after they go unconscious, or before? The difference is pretty big and the wording of "would fall" makes it sound like it would take effect before they go down. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jan 12, 2021 at 11:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ What of non-Wis-based healers like Divine Soul Sorcerers or Celestial Warlocks? They can't fully utilize this feat because of the Wisdom restrictions and uses \$\endgroup\$
    – field158
    Jan 12, 2021 at 13:02
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The PHB already has a "Healer" feat. I think this is generally acknowledged to be underwhelming but is still good to compare against. \$\endgroup\$
    – PJRZ
    Jan 12, 2021 at 15:34
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For homebrew-review, you shouldn't edit your post with new changes. If you want to have a new version reviewed, then you should post it as a new question. If someone's answer leads you to make changes for such a review, then they probably deserve a checkmark. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Jan 12, 2021 at 16:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, what class/subclass are you and why do you feel that you need to improve your healing? It is flavour because you like healing or are your party dropping like flies? If it is the latter it might be worth posting a question along the lines of 'my xyz character can't keep my party of idiots alive, what can I do?', and get some advice beyond homebrewing a feat. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jan 12, 2021 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


I am not sure that your research was very thorough, so I am going to challenge the frame of your question a little bit here. I also observe that you are overcomplicating the issue somewhat - but that's not uncommon. I tried a homebrew druid sub class a while back that, on first review here, was found to be overcomplicated.

There are features and feats that already boost healing.

If you want to boost your healing ability the simplest way is to

Play a life domain cleric

(Citations are from the Basic Rules, p. 25 (same as PHB section on Life Domain Cleric).
Disciple of Life

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.

Channel Divinity: Preserve Life

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to heal the badly injured. As an action, you present your holy symbol and evoke healing energy that can restore a number of hit points equal to five times your cleric level. Choose any creatures within 30 feet of you, and divide those hit points among them. This feature can restore a creature to no more than half of its hit point maximum. You can’t use this feature on an undead or a construct.

Experience: My life clerics used this A Lot.

Blessed Healer

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.

You need not expend many, or any, resources healing yourself if you are healing others a lot.

Supreme Healing (if your game gets that far)

Starting at 17th level, when you would normally roll one or more dice to restore hit points with a spell, you instead use the highest number possible for each die. For example, instead of restoring 2d6 hit points to a creature, you restore 12.

When you upcast spells at a higher level, that's a huge boost to healing. Example: 4d6 averages 14, 4d6 with the above feaure is 24.

If you go variant Human for your player race, you can add a feat at level 1.

If there are any official source feats to improve healing, I couldn't find them.

Two of them in the PHB boost healing quite a bit, although the second one relies on synergy with Life domain Cleric to really shine.

  • Healer Feat. This is extremely useful. Our Tempest Cleric in a Tier 3 campaign (we were at level 14) was still using the second feature on our party routinely.

    1. When you use a healer’s kit to stabilize a dying creature, that creature also regains 1 hit point.
    2. As an action, you can spend one use of a healer’s kit to tend to a creature and restore 1d6 + 4 hit points to it, plus additional hit points equal to the creature’s maximum number of Hit Dice. The creature can’t regain hit points from this feat again until it finishes a short or long rest (PHB Ch 6)

    That first feature is really nice for getting people up who are at 0 HP. The difference between 1 HP and 0 HP is mechanically significant. You can run, act, hide, whatever at 1 HP. At 0 HP, you are unconscious.

  • Magic Initiate: if you are playing the life domain cleric, take the Goodberry spell (it synergizes with disciple of Life, so you end up adding 3 points to each one point berry) and two other druid cantrips. (I took guidance and shillelagh). (PHB, Ch 6).
    At table experience: this really boosts the pool of HP you can heal your party with between encounters, particularly at low levels. 40 HP per long rest restored, and, your party never needs food since goodberry feeds them.

Temporary Hit Points: an ounce of prevention is worth a lot.

Damage that you and your allies don't take does not need to be healed.

Temporary hit points aren’t actual hit points; they are a buffer against damage, a pool of hit points that protect you from injury. When you have temporary hit points and take damage, the temporary hit points are lost first, and any leftover damage carries over to your normal hit points. For example, if you have 5 temporary hit points and take 7 damage, you lose the temporary hit points and then take 2 damage. (Basic Rules, p. 8)

If playing a non-cleric, non-druid class (particularly if they have high charisma like a bard, sorcerer or paladin) the Inspiring Leader Feat offers your allies temporary hit points once per short rest: damage they don't take does not have to be healed.

Each creature can gain temporary hit points equal to your level + your Charisma modifier. A creature can’t gain temporary hit points from this feat again until it has finished a short or long rest. (PHB Chapter 6)

If your bard with charisma 18 at level 4 applies this, the party each has 8 Temp HP. That's damage they don't take and thus don't need to heal during the next combat encounter.

A special shout out goes to the Artificer, Artillerist, who has a Protector option for their cannon that provides significant Temp HP as a bonus action each round. We have discovered in play that this is incredibly useful to the point of approaching overpowered. In one fight at 4th level, I tallied up all of the damage that temp HP had soaked up: it was over 100 HP for a five person party. (Me DM). Once again, damage you that don't take does not have to be healed.

One more spell that I will mention is Heroism. If you are playing a class that has access to this spell, it provides temporary hit points each round - and it refreshes each round. (Temp HP usually do not refresh). At low levels in particular, this prevents significant damage and precludes some of the need for healing

A willing creature you touch is imbued with bravery. Until the spell ends, the creature is immune to being frightened and gains temporary hit points equal to your spellcasting ability modifier at the start of each of its turns. When the spell ends, the target lose any remaining temporary hit points from this spell. (PHB, Spell Description, Heroism)

Caveat: the Temp HP go away after the spell ends. Normal Temporary Hit Points last until used up or a long rest is completed.

Unless a feature that grants you temporary hit points has a duration, they last until they’re depleted or you finish a long rest. Basic Rules, p. 80)

Play a Druid, Circle of the Shepherd

At 3rd level a very nice healing spell arrives (Healing Spirit), and, there's a spirit starting at second level that provides a temporary hit Points option. See above regarding temp HP. The druid also has access to normal healing spells.

The above is not an exhaustive list, just some of the ones I've seen in play that are very effective.

Bottom Line: you don't need this feat

There are already a number of features, and feats, that do what you want to do: boost healing, and/or prevent damage (which renders the need for healing moot). I suggest that you use them (being new players) and not overcomplicate the game with a feat that isn't built with a solid understanding of the game's balance point. (And this helps your DM out by not forcing them into a play test mode. Your question points out that this is a concern to your DM).

As an aside, I agree with SeriousBri's answer on this feat being out of balance/broken.

Make Use of Short Rest Organic Healing

Lastly: a lot of new players to this edition, and DMs, don't apply the use of Hit Die based healing very effectively.
Short Rest (Basic Rules, p. 70; PHB Chapter 8)

A short rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds. 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.

Taking short rests, and healing by rolling your hit dice makes for another healing resource that I have seen under used at most of the tables where I have played. When we started out, all of us having played previous editions, that mechanic was not well understood and barely used.

I can't emphasize this enough: as a party, and as a table, become very familiar with the use of HD to heal yourself (all PCs) during short rests. Apply it. Those HD are a healing resource. Use them.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a very detailed and well thought out response. I'm moving my green check here. As I stated in other comments, we use D&DBeyond and didn't have access to the full PHB. I have since reviewed the core feats. For edification: I am playing a Divine Soul Sorc, but plan to multi-class Life Cleric at 5th level. Seems like taking the Inspiring Leader feat at 4th and ASI at 8th to get 20 CHA will be the best course of action, both for character advancement, and making life easier on my DM. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2021 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SoylentJello Great choices - Divine Soul has a lot of good features, and your build plan looks pretty solid. Have a great time! 😎 \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2021 at 18:34

This is broken. Completely.

If an ally within 60 feet of you would fall unconscious due to damage, you may use your reaction to cast Healing Word at 1st level without expending a spell slot. This spell must target that ally. You may do this a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier (Minimum of Once).

Firstly; my reading of this is that your intention is to use the reaction and leave the target on 1d4+wis+pb hit points, rather than heal as the blow lands and basically reduce the incoming damage. If I have read that wrong please correct me.

If people are going down more than 5 times per long rest something is going very wrong*, otherwise this feat completely prevents player death. That is beyond broken.

Of additional note, the ability of Healing Word to get people back up easily is something that a lot of people hate, and I have heard the spell being banned entirely. At least in the usual situation there is a chance a player will miss a round, or get killed before the spell goes off, this removes that possibility entirely.

On top of that you are granting basically 5 casts of a first level spell per day, which is VERY powerful even if you cut the rest of the feat away. The power-gamer in me would be so tempted to take such a feat that I can't think of it as not broken. Most feats that grant free castings of a spell are 1/long rest, with only one that I know (off the top of my head) doing 1/short rest (aberrant dragonmark).

When you cast a healing spell with variable results, first roll a d10. On a roll of 10, your spell heals for the maximum amount.

Meh, a 1/10 chance of a few extra points of healing isn't much

You may add your Proficiency Bonus to your Spellcasting Modifier for healing spells you cast.

Also meh, at level 20 getting an additional 6hp is barely going to register


Some parts of this feat are so weak I wouldn't even look twice at it, other parts of this feat are beyond broken. Basically this feat gives your party immunity to death, but does very little to make it feel like you are a good healer.

I wouldn't let this feat anywhere close to my table.

Additional notes on healing in D&D

Healing in D&D is pretty poorly done in my opinion, a first level spell slot in the hands of a cleric can cause 4d6 damage (Guiding bolt: average 12) or heal 1d8+wis (Cure wounds: average at level 1 probably 8).

So immediately causing damage is 50% more efficient than healing magic, never mind that damage can be caused via mundane methods and healing can't (and I don't count the healer feat as mundane, because a feat is expensive).

Add to this, a character with 1hp is as useful in combat as a character with 100, so the best use of healing magic isn't to repair damage, but to rescue the action economy by using healing word to save a downed character.

The downed character then takes their turn as is nothing happened.

You seem to have identified this, and focussed your feat in that area, but what you are actually doing is exacerbating the problem, and just hiding it by removing the few seconds in unconsciousness. This actually makes wasting a spell slot (and the powergamer in my always thinks healing a conscious character is a waste) on someone who is still conscious even worse, despite your intentions of buffing the amount of HP gained.

The only saving grace at the moment is that during the moment of unconsciousness the character might miss a turn, but even that depends on the initiative order, and a well timed healing word already relieves the problem. Again this feat removes that possibility.

I would focus on what healing is supposed to be, which is something that keeps people properly healthy, rather than just keeping them conscious. How I would do this, I have no idea, but then again I would never waste a spell slot on a conscious character in the first place.

*The DMG suggests that a party can handle 6-8 medium or hard encounters each day, and a hard encounter suggests that 'weaker characters might get taken out of the fight' which is when this would come into play. If a specific character goes down in EVERY combat a day then they really need to do something to shake the 'weaker character' tag, because even the DMG is making fun of them. Maybe they should reconsider adventuring, because they are putting their lives in unnecessary danger

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Jan 13, 2021 at 23:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .