I recognize that there are several Sildar-related questions answered in this forum, but my question is more related to procedure than his specific character.

The adventure guide says "Quick-acting characters can try to stabilize him before he dies (see "Damage, Healing, and Dying" in the rulebook)." But the rulebook, or my interpretation of it, is murky.

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.

But even if this works the creature

remains unconscious until it regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.

Does this mean if Sildar is shoved over the edge, someone will have to quickly stabilize him and then wait with him for 1d4 hours until he can move? I feel like I'm missing something here, but if the group's cleric is out of spell slots I don't see how else Sildar would regain the ability to move on his own.

My apologies, the question is buried in the preamble so I'll restate here: Without using cure wounds, what options are available to adventurers to heal Sildar Hallwinter if his HP drops to 0?


2 Answers 2


An unconscious but stable creature regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.

The rules for "Stabilizing a Creature" state:

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. A stable creature that isn’t healed regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.

So he regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours because that's the rule for an unconscious creature that has been stabilized. Once an unconscious creature is stabilized, no other intervention is required for them to regain consciousness, they automatically regain one hit point after 1d4 hours. If you have no access to some sort of healing (such as a spell, potion, or healing class feature), this is the only option to bring an unconscious character back to consciousness.


Wait it out

As you propose, and Thomas Markov explains, wait the d4 hours for the NPC to regain consciousness.

Cleric in a bottle

The OP asks how, absent cleric spells, can the NPC be healed. One of the PCs might be carrying a potion of healing, either purchased or won as treasure. Whether they are willing to use it on an NPC is another question.

Cleric in a pouch

If one of the PC's has the Healer Feat (PHB 167 and possible if the PC is a variant human and started with it at first level) there are two different ways to restore the NPC to consciousness. If the Healer is the one to stabilize:

When you use a healer's kit to stabilize a dying creature, that creature also regains 1 hit point.

If another character has already stabilized the NPC, the Healer may also:

spend one use of a healer's kit to tend to a creature and restore 1d6 + 4 hit points

The party is far more likely to spend the 0.5gp for one use of a Healer's Kit than the 50gp for a potion of healing, in my experience.

Slap them awake

Possibly immersion-breaking, but if the party has a reliable way of stabilizing the NPC (eg., spare the dying cantrip) they can take the stabilized NPC, deliberately damage them to force them to start making death saving throws, and hope that they roll a 20 and naturally regain 1hp and consciousness. If not, stabilize them again and repeat until they do roll a 20 (or roll a 1 and immediately die).

Convince them to take a short rest

Rules-murky, but RAW say that you need to be at positive hp to take a long rest, while they put no such explicit condition on taking a short rest, and neither rest requires consciousness (in fact, a long rest requires that you spend most of it unconscious or semi-conscious). Whether or not you can spend HD while unconscious and heal yourself on a short rest turns on whether your DM considers such healing to be 'more strenuous' than 'eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.' Both JC and Mearls have unofficially tweeted that spending HD to heal while unconscious is permitted (for the Mearls link, word-search on 'stabilized').

This method would require you to wait an hour, but one hour flat is better than d4 hours. As far as what your party can do to encourage the unconscious PC to spend its HD, well, roleplay. The out-of-spells cleric can pray, the barbarian can yell at the unconscious NPC, the fighter can dress their wounds, the bard can take their hand and with soothing words try to guide them back toward the light.


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