Sorry if this question has already been asked, but I just want to be sure that we have interpreted the rules on this right.

In our game, our Rogue was rendered unconscious and dying by a darkmantle latching onto his head. Naturally, our nearby Bard rushed over and used Cure Wounds on him. This unfortunately caused a small debate to break out about what the effect exactly is; if the magical healing only stabilized him first or if he automatically regained hit points and was made conscious.

My interpretation is the latter, but I am not 100% sure.

Can anyone clarify this for me?


1 Answer 1


The Cure Wounds spell would have restored hit points and consciousness to the Rogue. A dying creature isn't prevented from regaining hit points in any way. In fact, on page 197 of the PHB, under the Falling Unconscious section:

This unconsciousness ends if you regain any hit points.

Stabilizing is an entirely different process, which does not immediately give the dying creature any hit points, but prevents them from having to make death saving throws and causes them to regain consciousness and 1 hit point after 1d4 hours. Stabilizing is specifically listed as a weaker alternative to healing under Stabilizing A Creature on the same page:

If healing is unavailable, the creature can at least be stabilized so that it isn't killed by a failed death saving throw.

To put it slightly differently, you don't have to stabilize someone before you can heal them; it's a backup option if you haven't got any healing handy.


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