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The ghoul sorcerer bloodline arcana states, "Whenever you cast a spell of the necromancy school that deals hit point damage, you are healed of 1 hit point per spell level."

Does this happen when you cast the necromancy spell or is it only when you deal damage?

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The spell must both be cast and deal hp damage

The ghoul sorcerer bloodline arcana says that

Whenever you cast a spell of the necromancy school that deals hit point damage, you are healed of 1 hit point per spell level.

That means for each necromancy spell both that's cast and that deals damage, the sorcerer heals 1 hp per spell level. And it means that the effect occurs only once upon each iteration of both casting the spell and dealing hp damage with that spell.

For example, the first time the sorcerer deals at least 1 hp of damage with the spell chill touch after the spell's cast, the sorcerer heals 1 hp of damage due to his bloodline arcana, but on the second and successive touches with the same chill touch spell, the sorcerer heals no further hp damage.

For example, when the sorcerer casts wail of the banshee, if he deals with that spell at least 1 hp of damage, he heals 9 hp of damage due to his bloodline arcana, but he won't heal more than that 9 hp of damage, no matter how many creatures the wail damages.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that, as spells can deal hit point damage to inanimate objects, you can still use this arcana to (inefficiently) heal yourself while there are no hostile targets around. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Apr 27 '15 at 1:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe Necromancy spells that damage objects are rare, though. However, given that this bloodline arcane is really sad, I'd totally house rule that just casting the spell is sufficient to heal hp damage: "Man, guys," says the Sor18, "I wish Grond hand't killed that last kobold 'cause then I could have damaged it with my wail of the banshee and healed nine hit points. Guess I'll just have to wait." Worst resource manager ever. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 27 '15 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair point on most necromancy spells only working on living things. Still, a lot of the time there's at least some immobile plants or wall fungus nearby; I suspect a fair few GMs are generous enough to let those count. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Apr 28 '15 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sands of time is a necromancy spell that deals damage to undead and objects but not to living creatures. \$\endgroup\$ – Umbranus Jan 13 '17 at 9:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Umbranus Rare indeed! The existence of sands of time, however, I don't think makes the ghoul sorcerer bloodline arcana much better. It's still only 3 hp of healing in exchange for zapping a crowbar with a 3rd-level spell. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 13 '17 at 9:37

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