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Per the wording of the spell -

Choose up to five creatures within range that can hear you. For the duration, each affected creature gains 5 temporary hit points and has advantage on Wisdom saving throws. If an affected creature is hit by an attack, it has advantage on the next attack roll it makes. Once an affected creature loses the temporary hit points granted by this spell, the spell ends for that creature.

Since temp HP doesn't stack, my friend argues that any new source of temp HP would end this spell. I argue that the spell, which is rather weak for third level, is meant to work together with other buffs, and one could apply a better pool of temp HP from a different spell or ability to improve its duration. Otherwise, it amounts to (in my eyes) a less useful Beacon of Hope, and functionally non-castable if a player has any other source of temp HP already applied. Are there any explicit rules for this?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I’ve added the dnd-5e tag based on the quote from motivational speech. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31 at 0:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you read the PHB treatment of Temporary Hit Points? It is also in the SRD (which is free) and in the Basic Rules, which are free. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31 at 2:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the spell is just somewhat weak for third level, especially when you first get access to it. It might make more sense for a higher-level party (where they have multiple spell slots of levels higher than third) since advantage is great at any level. Keep in mind these are Acquisitions Inc spells, so I think designed for those characters in that campaign. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31 at 23:03

2 Answers 2

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Yes, assuming the player chooses the new temporary hit points over the ones granted by Motivational Speech

The spell is very explicit about this:

Once an affected creature loses the temporary hit points granted by this spell, the spell ends for that creature.

Since taking on temporary hit points from any other source gets rid of the existing ones granted by Motivational Speech, the spell's effect ends. If the spell was meant to transfer the other benefits to subsequent sources of temporary hit points, it at the very least wouldn't contain the explicit requirement that the temporary hit points in question have to be from the spell itself.

Of course, should the player wish to retain all the benefits of Motivational Speech, they may choose to keep their original temporary hit points and forgo gaining the new ones:

If you have temporary hit points and receive more of them, you decide whether to keep the ones you have or to gain the new ones.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I added a quote from the temp hp rules. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31 at 2:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you already have temp hp from a different source and decide to keep those, then you never gain or lose the hp from Motivational Speech, so does the spell never end? \$\endgroup\$
    – ronno
    Jan 31 at 14:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user2357112 Right. But that still gives a way to stack the rest of the effects with temp hp from another source, as long as Motivational Speech is cast later. \$\endgroup\$
    – ronno
    Jan 31 at 15:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ronno If you reject the temp hp offered by motivational speech when it is cast, then you lose those hp and the spell is over as soon as it starts. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 31 at 15:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Idran Thank you, that may indeed be ronno's perspective. To be clear, some things you have to have before you can lose them - these are typically tangible things, like your car keys. Other things you can lose without ever having had them - these are typically intangible things, like opportunities. 'I wasn't home when my sister called, so I lost the chance to talk to her'. Temporary hp are more like the second. When the spell is cast, you could accept the new hp; if you don't, they are then lost to you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 31 at 21:51
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The new source of hp does not end the spell,

but the choice to keep them does

Motivational speech says:

Once an affected creature loses the temporary hit points granted by this spell, the spell ends for that creature.

Any way that the target loses these hit points will result in the end of the spell.

They could be lost through damage:

Whenever a creature takes damage, that damage is subtracted from its hit points. The loss of hit points has no effect on a creature's capabilities until the creature drops to 0 hit points.

They could be lost through you making the choice to give them up:

If you have temporary hit points and receive more of them, you decide whether to keep the ones you have or to gain the new ones.

You have a choice: to keep the ones you have or to gain the new ones. The "or" indicates a binary choice; you must do one or the other. And making one choice explicitly rejects the other option. If you do not keep the old hp, you lose them - lose in this context is the opposite of keep. The rules do not say 'you decide whether to use the ones you have or to use the new ones'. They do not say that the hp you rejected when you made your choice were maintained or set aside.

Because accepting the new temporary hp results in the loss of the ones granted by motivational speech, it immediately ends the spell. If that is not a good option for you, you should keep the old temporary hp when you are presented with a source of new ones.

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