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Are Goodberries affected by the Life domain class features? asked whether or not the Life domain cleric's Disciple of Life feature improved the healing of each berry.

My question is: does the Life cleric's 6th-level feature, Blessed Healer, heal the cleric every time anyone else eats a goodberry?

Beginning at 6th level, the healing spells you cast on others heal you as well. When you cast a spell of 1st level or higher that restores hit points to a creature other than you, you regain hit points equal to 2 + the spell’s level.

I'm leaning towards no, because unlike the Disciple of Life feature, Blessed Healer specifically says that you regain hit points when you cast a spell that restores hit points. Since the healing from goodberry takes place after you cast the spell, it makes sense that it doesn't trigger Blessed Healer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited y0ur question to make clear, via bold, what your question is. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 27 '16 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited the question to remove the unnecessary long-form repetition of the related question's question and answer. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 27 '16 at 18:20
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No.

As others have noted, if Blessed Healer were triggered by Goodberry, it would happen when you cast the spell and not when one of the berries is consumed.

However, casting Goodberry does not satisfy the trigger for Blessed Healer: "When you cast a spell...that restores hit points to a creature other than you". This is because, at the time that you cast the spell, it is possible that you yourself could eat all of the berries, or that no one eats them before they lose their potency.

Strictly speaking, when you cast Goodberry, it has yet to be seen whether it will restore hit points to a creature other than you. But Blessed Healer either triggers at that moment or not at all.

At the gaming table it might look like this:

Player: "I cast Goodberry. Does that trigger my Blessed Healer?"

DM: "When you cast it, did it restore hit points to a creature other than you?"

Player: "No..."

DM: "Then there's your answer."

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    \$\begingroup\$ How does it trigger Disciple of Life, then? No hit points are restored to anybody when that spell is cast either, yet it is RAW that it is triggered. Could you address the difference? \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jul 27 '16 at 22:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis I think you mean RAI there - a developer statement doesn't actually have any effect on RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 27 '16 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis Both features provide "hit points equal to 2 + the spell's level." However, only Blessed Healer happens when the spell is cast. Disciple of Life happens when the hit points are restored. With most healing spells these two things happen at the same time, but not with Goodberry, and it's that timing that matters. It has to be this way. Otherwise you would have to say, for Disciple of Life, that the characters who are going to eat the berries would immediately regain the additional hit points, not knowing whether they actually will end up eating the berries or not. \$\endgroup\$ – J. Foster Jul 27 '16 at 23:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can't cast Goodberry and eat the berries in the same turn. Both Take an action. \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic Jul 27 '16 at 23:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast They're certainly official - but by the literal meaning of the phrase "rules as written", they aren't RAW, since they aren't the rules as they are written. There's no official definition of RAW (it's purely a fan concept), so it's up to you, really. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 28 '16 at 13:42
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You Only Regain HP Once, Regardless of the Number of Berries Created

You cited it yourself, "When you cast a spell of 1st level or higher…". Casting the spell creates up to 10 berries. That's the casting, and you heal when you cast the spell. The effects are immaterial to when the spell was cast.

Your Question

[D]oes the Life cleric's 6th-level feature, Blessed Healer, heal the cleric every time anyone else eats a goodberry?

Each time a berry is eaten, you need to go through the checklist given in the class feature.

  • Is goodberry a spell of 1st level or higher? Yes.
  • Does it restore HP to someone other than you? Yes.
  • Are you casting it? No.

Since the spell has already been cast, the class feature doesn't trigger again. It only triggers when the spell is cast, not when a dingus made from a spell is used.

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    \$\begingroup\$ From what I understand, you wouldn't get healed at all? The spell isn't healing anyone, it's giving you an item, and then once an action is used to consume that item the healing is being done. They're being healed as a result of using the item and not via spell-cast. Maybe I'm being too literal? \$\endgroup\$ – RFKomos Jul 27 '16 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ One effect of the spell is healing 1HP, hence to me it meets the criteria of being a spell that restores HP. \$\endgroup\$ – Christopher Jul 28 '16 at 3:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Looking at your "checklist" - on casting Goodberry: Is goodberry a spell of 1st level or higher? Yes. Does it restore HP to someone other than you? Not instantly, maybe not at all. Are you casting it? Yes. \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Jul 28 '16 at 3:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ As @Adeptus said: Merely casting goodberry doesn't trigger Blessed Healer. The spell doesn't heal anyone at all. Maybe the berries get discarded or are lost after casting. \$\endgroup\$ – Olav Müller Jul 28 '16 at 11:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Might want to rephrase this. when a dingus made from a spell is used The spell makes goodberries, not dingusberries. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 28 '16 at 13:08
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No. You are not casting Goodberry to restore hit points. Instead, you creating a number of berries that can be eaten to restore hit points and sustain the party, via transmutation. It takes a subsequent action by a character given a berry to eat it and gain the benefits, e.g. hit points and sustenance.

There are two instances of "use a spell" in the PHB: Disciple of Life and the first paragraph of the Known and Prepared Spells section in Chapter 10.

Reviewing the wording of the class features, Cast and Use are mechanically distinct. Every spell the cleric casts that has the direct effect of restoring hit points is an Evocation. While Disciple of Life enriches the efforts you use to restore hit points, Blessed Healer is an echo of your efforts to evoke the powers of your deity.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the distinction you're drawing between Evocation and Transmutation. I do think that your argument would be made stronger by finding another boundary-case between "cast" and "use." I'll be taking a flip through the PHB during downtime at my AL table tonight to see if I can find any other places where that distinction seems to have obvious mechanical import. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 27 '16 at 21:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Notice there's a big difference between the RAW quote that says "cast a spell that restores hitpoints" and the explanation added by the OP saying "cast a spell to restore hitpoints" \$\endgroup\$ – Olorin Jul 27 '16 at 22:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Olorin Goodberry doesn't restore hit points, it just creates the berries. It takes a subsequent action, by a character given a berry, to eat the berry and regain hit points. \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic Jul 27 '16 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Transmutation/Evocation is a good start. But it still requires a great deal of interpretation in the RAW to make the distinction. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jul 27 '16 at 22:56
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Yes, it would.

Goodberry is enough to trigger Disciple of Life, Disciple of Life and Blessed Healer share a trigger, so Goodberry triggers Blessed Healer.


Let establish the ruling for Disciple of Life first, since it has direct bearing upon Blessed Healer.

The Sage Advice Compendium clearly states that Goodberries created by a Life Cleric with Disciple of Life restore 4 hit points per berry (p. 13):

If I’m a cleric/druid with the Disciple of Life feature, does the goodberry spell benefit from the feature? Yes. The Disciple of Life feature would make each berry restore 4 hit points, instead of 1, assuming you cast goodberry with a 1st-level spell slot.

The wording for Disciple of Life is "Whenever you use a spell of 1st level or higher to restore hit points to a creature".

The wording for Blessed Healer says, "When you cast a spell of 1st level or higher that restores hit points to a creature."

The only significant word change is "cast" instead of "use". The usages are functionally identical, though. Using a spell is pretty much the same as casting a spell. Based on the SA ruling on Disciple of Life, I would say that it applies to Blessed Healer in the same fashion. If the designers intended a different interpretation for the two features, it is highly unlikely they would use wording so similar.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Cast and Use are mechanically distinct. You are not casting the Goodberry spell to restore hit points. Instead, it is a Transmutation spell that creates a number of berries that can be used to restore hit points. In contrast, every spell you cast that has the direct effect of restoring hit points is an Evocation. While Disciple of Life enriches the efforts you use to restore hit points, Blessed Healer is an echo of your efforts to evoke the powers of your deity. \$\endgroup\$ – Drunk Cynic Jul 27 '16 at 20:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do not think this is borne out by the SA ruling. I do not see the distinction between DoL and BH that you are making in either RAW or RAI (SA). I also don't think that the comment section is the place for this anymore. Feel free to take it to chat if anyone wishes to discuss it further. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jul 27 '16 at 20:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DrunkCynic: One instance of a wording sounds more like an editorial oversight than a mechanical difference. Nowhere in the rules is this wording addressed. There are many instances of "use a spell" in the PHB, but I will certainly concede that they are always followed by "slot". I.e. "cast a spell" and "use a spell slot of x level". In the absence of anything describing what it means to "use" a spell, I can't support a different interpretation. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jul 27 '16 at 23:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW, I disagree with the SA ruling on Goodberry even for Disciple of Life. My argument is based on making a consistent interpretation based on official rulings. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jul 27 '16 at 23:59
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Only if the berries will actually be consumed by someone other than you for hp restoration in the future, and then only once at the time of casting

Let's break this down:

Say we have the situation in the question. You're a Life domain Cleric, you've cast goodberry. Someone else eats one. "Aha!", you think, "Now I shall heal me some hit points!". Alas, it is not to be so. The ability states:

When you cast a spell

So clearly you don't the hit points now. "Oh, well did I get them then, then?", you might respond. And the answer is yes!

If we look now, when someone has been healed, at your casting of goodberry, it's clear that you met the requirements for your class feature to trigger: you cast a spell of 1st level or higher, that spell healed hp to another character, and so you should have reaped the healing benefits accorded to you by that feature.

But what if you cast the spell and the berries get lost or you eat them all or something? Well, that case is equally clear! You didn't heal hp to another creature, so you don't get any hp yourself.

Ultimately, what this comes down to is that the behavior of the class feature at the time of casting depends on triggering conditions that can only happen in the future.

That means that when we cast the spell, we are retrocausally healed or not healed by the future use of the berries. Most other methods of determining the result of future outcomes contain this clause:

The spell doesn't take into account any possible circumstances that might change the outcome, such as the casting of additional Spells or the loss or gain of a companion.

Your GM may or may not decide to apply this common clause to this particular call for retrocausal outcome prediction.

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