My sorcerer has just reached level 11 and I am to select my last level 2 spell.

I started out with a mere 9 in my constitution ability score and despite getting a toad familiar and finally getting my ability modifier up to 11 (so I no longer have to substract HP when I level) I still only have 23 hit points.

So I thought I might get Bear's Endurance, and cast it twice a day to boost my HP. In the 3.0 version it's 1 hour per level 1D4 + 1 constitution bonus. But the Player's Handbook leaves me in doubt:

The spell grants an enhancement bonus to Constitution, adding the usual benefits to hit points and Fortitude saving throws.

What is this? Do I gain HP retroactively as if I had had a higher constitution when I leveled? Because then I agree with the people who think this can be overpowered!

With my 11 constitution the spell can give either +1, +2 or +3 in my modifier... Does that mean I get 10, 20 or 30 extra HP for 11 hours?


1 Answer 1


It means exactly what you think it does. A higher Con score always increases hit points accordingly. It doesn't matter when you calculate it or where the Con score comes from, you always gain Con mod * levels extra hit points from a high Con score, and whenever it (or your number of HD/levels) changes, you add or subtract the difference. This means that your HP will go down again when the spell ends (for any reason), and if that leaves you at 0 or below, you'll suffer the usual results at that time. (This is not the way temporary hit points from e.g. aid work.) Because you always lose the same number of HP you gained, this spell is not overpowered. It's much like bull's strength allowing you to make attack and damage rolls at a higher bonus.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. Ah well, I see your point. I might actually die - that counter ballances the over-powered-ness :) I have 23 HP usually. So if I roll the 1D4 and get a 4 - I'll end up with a +3 in my modifier. If that means +30 HP - I have 53 HP, but if I get into a fight and don't get healed before the 11 hours are up, I will die, if I am below 20 HP at that time. Good to keep in mind! Thank you :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Christina
    Oct 18, 2016 at 21:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is also an excellent way to get killed by Dispel Magic or by accidentally walking into an Anti-magic Field. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Oct 18, 2016 at 21:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Might also be worth mentioning that, given this question is being asked, the 23 hit points might also be inaccurate if it wasn't retroactively adjusted for the ability score increases from Con 9 to Con 11. (If my math is right, having only 23 hp at level 11 with Con 11 would require having rolled an average of 1.9 on the d4 each level after 1st, which is possible but on the low side, at only a 6% chance of happening.) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 18, 2016 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ >.<* So many ways to die! When I got the ability score up to 11, i stopped substracting 1 HP when I leveled. I have been extremely unlucky with my HP rolls though. I don't remember how few HP I started out with, 5 or something (it was 10 years ago, there was a long pause over several years, the game was not supposed to continue, just introduce us to the DM's hobby) DM almost let me reroll my stats, because I was barely an adventurer. Thanks for the help here. I already died once, and the DM is pure evil, so I might wanna look out for all the anti-magic/dispell-possibilities :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Christina
    Oct 18, 2016 at 21:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ OH! You mean when I got the Con up to 11, I should have added a HP for every level I substracted one up to that point? I don't think we did that... But I don't remember at what level I got it up to 11 - have to ask my DM if he remembers. Thanks for pointing that out :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Christina
    Oct 18, 2016 at 21:48

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