The Healer's Kit says:

As an Action, you can expend one use of the kit to stabilize a creature that has 0 Hit Points

Whereas the cantrip Spare the Dying says:

You touch a living creature that has 0 hit points. The creature becomes stable.

The latter does not really use the term "stabilizing".

Now if a rule were to state "When you successfully stabilize a creature, [apply effect]", would it apply to Spare the Dying too ?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a rule that says "when you stabilise a creature, do x'? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Sep 5, 2022 at 15:49
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri I didn't find an example in the base game but I'm using a french-based addendum for one of my campaigns. One of the feat in the addendum allows the following bonus (translated) : "When you successfully stabilize a creature with 0 hit points, you heal it for an amount of health points equal to your mastery." \$\endgroup\$
    – Oddrigue
    Sep 5, 2022 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


Spare the Dying is stabilizing a creature.

In plain English, "to become stable" means the same as "to stabilize". There is no reason to treat the different wordings of the same effect differently in any way.


"Stable" is actually the game term, "stabilize" is the verb form.

It might be useful to look at the rules for death and dying here:

Stabilizing A Creature
The best way to save a creature with 0 hit points is to heal it. If healing is unavailable, the creature can at least be stabilized so that it isn't killed by a failed death saving throw.
You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check.
A stable creature doesn't make death saving throws, even though it has 0 hit points, but it does remain unconscious. The creature stops being stable, and must start making death saving throws again, if it takes any damage...

And just above that, with regard to Death Saving Throws:

On your third success, you become stable...

As the bolded text (which is present in the original) shows, 'stable' is the game term, and 'stabilize' is the verb used to describe becoming stable, but they're used effectively interchangeably in the actual rules that relate to death and dying.


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