What are Hit Dice and how do you use Them?


Many people find themselves on our site looking for clarity on Hit Dice so…

Hit Dice are an abstract representation of your character's increasing capacity to survive as they grow.

Each class has a different amount of Hit Dice and they gain one more every time they level up. I’ll include a list of each class’s Hit Dice at the bottom of this article.

A character can spend one or more Hit Dice at the end of a short rest, up to the character’s maximum number of Hit Dice (detailed at the end of this article), which is equal to the character’s level.

For example: If you are a level 3 Barbarian you have 3 Barbarian Hit Dice at your disposal.

You do not have to use all of your hit die at once, you can ration them out and use as many at a time as you see fit. You do not regain used Hit Dice until you have Long Rested.

For each Hit Die spent in this way, the player rolls the die and adds the character’s Constitution modifier to the total roll. The character regains Hit Points equal to the total. The player can decide to spend an additional Hit Die after each roll. At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost Hit Points. A character regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character’s total number of them (minimum of one die). For example, if a character has eight Hit Dice, he or she can regain four spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest.

It helps to think of Hit Dice as belonging in a box. When you level up you roll your new Hit Dice and toss it in a box with the rest of your Hit Dice. Then when it comes time to spend Hit Dice you pull them out and roll them and set them aside until you recover them with a long rest and toss them back in the box.

Our real play D&D podcast doesn’t have anything specifically to do with this mechanic with the game. We just liked the sound of the title best out of a LARGE list of potential titles we came up with. It’s also worth mentioning that these rules are for Dungeons & Dragons 5E (Fifth Edition).

You gain an addition Hit Dice each level and you regain all of your used Hit Dice with each long rest.

Tl;Dr: You have a number of hit dice equal to your level, detailed in the table below, and you can use as many of them as you want on a short rest to regain hit points. You regain half of your hit dice with each long rest.

Hit Dice gained per level by class

Barbarian - 1d12

Bard - 1d8

Cleric - 1d8

Druid - 1d8

Fighter - 1d10

Monk - 1d8

Paladin - 1d10

Ranger - 1d10

Rogue - 1d8

Sorcerer - 1d6

Warlock - 1d8

Wizard - 1d6