The Preservation Shield from Adventurer's Vault 2 has the following power:

Power (Daily): Minor Action. You and each ally within 5 squares of you gain temporary hit points equal to the number of healing surges you have remaining.

The ritual Soul Pool from the book Azagar's Book of Rituals allows the participants to put all their healing surges into a single pool from which they all draw (along with some other effects, such as all participants using the highest surge value among them).

Once the ritual is complete you and your companions' available healing surges become equal to the total number of all your healing surges combined. Thus, four characters with 7, 9, 12 and 8 healing surges would have a total of 36 available healing surges in their pool. In addition, the healing surge value for the pool becomes equal to the creature with the highest healing surge value, granting all creatures in the pool the same number of hit points whenever they spend a healing surge.

Any time you or one of your companions uses a healing surge during the duration of the ritual, the healing surge is taken from the pool of healing surges rather than their own individual pool, allowing a member of your group to spend more healing surges than he normally could. This does not change the function of the healing surge nor does it alter any ability, power, or magic item that affects healing surges, such as how many times a creature can use second wind or how many hit points you can receive from a potion of vitality.

So my question is: what would you use to determine how many temporary hit points would you receive if you used the Preservation Shield power while under the effects of Soul Pool? The total number of surges in the pool? Zero (since you technically put your surges into the pool)? Something else?


1 Answer 1


Dependent on DM Ruling

This ritual changes a basic mechanic of the game to the point that many things that interact with it end up with questions as controvert as this one. The author of the book assume Healing Surges would be used only to heal and activate potions, ignoring future implementations that could depend on the number of healing surges the character have left.

And at the time it could even made sense, since this book predates Adventurer's Vault 2 by a year.

For instance, Eager Hero's Tattoo also interacts with how many surges you have left, and would raise the same question. Or it can weaken a situational use of the Potion of Cure Light Wounds, since unless the entire party is out of surges (and thus, would end up doing an extended rest), they never "run out of surges".

Since this ritual has a duration that is not based on time, but only ends when the pool ends (and everyone is then at zero), or the party makes an extended rest (and everyone is at maximum), I would advise to treat those corner cases as if the character have the average number of surges based on the pool. So: Pool size, divided by party size, rounded down (or the character's maximum number of surges, whatever is lower).

  • \$\begingroup\$ The ritual does have rules for if it expires, except that it doesn't actually have a time-based duration listed. Technically, it only ends if the pool runs out of surges or everyone takes an Extended Rest. Were it somehow to expire early, the remaining surges get distributed to the participants as evenly as possible without anyone going over their max. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2015 at 21:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would advise to use that when considering how the shield power interact with the ritual, so consider the user have the same number of surges as the pool divided by the number of players, rounded down (or their maximum, if the maximum value is lower than the average). \$\endgroup\$
    – Nibelung
    Sep 20, 2015 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunate that there's not a more concrete answer, but this is probably as good as it gets, and averaging seems the most likely intended interpretation. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 22, 2015 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeKellogg This would be a reasonable homebrew solution. Worth mentioning that both the suggested interpretations in the question (all or none) would be reasonable rules interpretations. I would talk to my group about it and see which interpretation they thought was more fun (including any possible homebrew ideas, like this one), and then stick with it for any similar cases (like the tattoo or Cure Light Wounds). \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    Sep 24, 2015 at 22:19

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