Natural Healing and Hit Point Recovery

This article covers natural healing and hit point recovery.  Several different systems are listed below. It really depends on what type of game play you and your gaming group like. Realistic and gritty with slow HP recovery, fast heroic recovery, something in-between?


                                                     Short Rest                                        Long Rest

Difficult / Realistic                   No HP                                                   1 HP daily

(from TLG C&C)                                                                After 1 wk: + CON Bonus

                                                                     After 2 wks: doubles per day (vs. 1 wk)

                                                                       After 4 wks: triples per day (vs. 1 wk)


                                            Short Rest                                        Long Rest

In-between        Half 1 Hit die roll + CON bonus    1 Hit die roll + CON Bonus

(from AS&SH)

Alt (on top of prev)          + ½ (HP per level)                             + 1 HP per level


                                              Short Rest                                        Long Rest

Fast / Heroic Recovery   1 Hit die + CON bonus                     Full HP recovery

(from D&D 5E)    

                                                  Short Rest                                        Long Rest

Conan the RPG             3+CON Bonus+Level               2x (3+CON Bonus +Level)                                                      8 hrs rest                                              24 hr rest

(Mongoose)                                    Note: CON bonus min. 1 pt here


                                                  Short Rest                                        Long Rest

Pathfinder 2e                      CON Bonus x level                   CON Bonus x level x 2

                                                    8 hr rest                                             24 hrs rest

Note: CON Bonus min 1 point here


Situational Healing – you can mix up the healing rates depending on the environment or situation the players are in.

In dungeon or under duress: the realistic option or in-between option probably works best. In urban city environment and staying at inns for a week with minimal interruptions at night, try heroic recovery.

I don’t like resource management impacting my games to the point where the games become more about resource management vs. actual adventuring (unless of course the adventure is about survival/resource management). If you spend more time resting or worrying about hit points, the game isn’t really fun IMO. Should players be concerned about dying and healing? Yes, of course which is why I don’t like the Heroic recovery. They should get enough hit points back to continue the adventure but not enough that they can’t just not worry about it.

If you are running a heroic game or a game with kids, then heroic recovery make sense.  We’ve had several game sessions without a cleric/healer type character. You can have NPC hirelings to fill in the gap with low level travelling priests who have several cure light wound spells. Magical healing potions should be expensive and rare and won’t be at every magic shop. However, there should be healers / shaman / witches in city/town/village who can brew up a healing poultice (1d4 HP recovery) or healing salves (small – 1d4+1 HP / large – 1d6 HP), slow down disease, slow down poison etc. I’ve also introduced mead as a healing item 1d2 HP per tankard of mead for the Hyperboria Heroic Fantasy campaign. More than 3 mead drank – need to do a CON save or be hungover next morning (impact DEX, WIS, INT etc.)

Dungeon Crawl Classics also has an interesting healing system for Clerics. Lay on hands healing as a skill vs. a spell. Appears to not be limited by # of times you can use per day. You roll a standard spell casting check and based on your roll success will determine how many hit die the injured can recover. You can also heal conditions as well such as disease, paralysis, poison etc. Alignment similarity and difference between Cleric and injured impacts the # of possible hit die recovery.

I’m sure there are many other healing mechanics out there.