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The PHB (page 115) defines the maximum hit points of the Arcane Ward but not the initial hit points.

Arcane Ward

The ward has a hit point maximum equal to twice your wizard level + your intelligence modifier

Does the ward begin at maximum hit points or does it start with hit points equal to twice the spell level as with recharging the ward?

Whenever you cast an abjuration spell of 1st level or higher, the ward regains a number of hit points equal to twice the level of the spell

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure on that first blockquote? My PHB says "...that lasts until you finish a long rest. The ward has hit points equal to twice your wizard level + your Intelligence modifier." Not maximum hit points, but "has hit points equal to...." Arcane ward's not in the PHB errata, so I'm curious if this is a change between printings? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Oct 8, 2016 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Yes it's definitely "maximum" in my copy of the book, in the section for the School of Abjuration. Interesting difference there. Is there an easy way for me to tell which version is more recent? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2016 at 22:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had a 1st edition that fell apart and the replacement they provided had corrections. My new copy matches his quote above. \$\endgroup\$
    – Orvir
    Oct 8, 2016 at 22:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PaulDonn which printing is this? has, luckily, already been asked and answered =) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Oct 8, 2016 at 23:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Bizzarely, though, there are differences between the printings which are not errata. (Like the one that generated this comment-chain!) It'd be nice if someone at WotC ran a diff(diff(1st printing, 2nd printing),errata) and released that. =\ \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Oct 8, 2016 at 23:21

1 Answer 1

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The ward begins at maximum hit-points. The first version of the PHB stated the same passage as:

The ward has hit points equal to twice your wizard level +your Intelligence modifier.

I believe the change in text was made to address questions about the maximum, but in doing so I guess it introduced this question.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes it looks like the clarity was lost a little with the addition of a hit point cap. Thanks for the quick answer. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 8, 2016 at 22:34

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