Song of Rest 5e: A Helpful Gift For Wounded Allies

Song of Rest 5e Featured

Is your adventuring party running on fumes? Is everyone looking worse for wear? Well, don’t worry, there’s a song for that in Dungeons and Dragons! Song of rest in 5e can help revitalize your wounded allies and put a little pep in their step.

In this article, we discuss what the song of rest in 5e is, how it works, and answer common questions about it.

What is the Song of Rest in 5e?

Song of rest is an ability bards learn at 2nd level that is used during short rests. You play soothing music or sing a soothing song to help your wounded allies recover from their wounds.

Any friendly creatures (including yourself) who hear your performance regain hit points at the end of the short rest in the typical fashion (spending Hit Dice) plus an extra 1d6 hit points.

The extra hit points increase at the following levels:
9th level—1d8 extra hp
13th level—1d10 extra hp
17th level—1d12 extra hp

Art by SC4V3NG3R

Example

You and your companions stop to take a short rest. You’re all level 2. A fighter with 2/23 hit points, a wizard with 3/14 hit points, and a bard with 5/17 hit points.

The bard starts playing his song of rest.

The fighter rolls two Hit Dice, or 2d10, for a total of 13. Then add the fighter’s Constitution modifier of +2 to both rolls for a subtotal of 17 hp. Then the fighter rolls 1d6 for the hp he regains from song of rest and gets 3. That’s a total of 20 hit points the fighter heals, bringing his up up to 22/23.

The wizard rolls two Hit Dice, or 2d6, for a total of 3. Then add the wizard’s Constitution modifier of +0 to both rolls for a subtotal of 3 hp. Then the wizard rolls 1d6 for the hp he regains from song of rest and gets 6. That’s a total of 9 hit points the wizard heals, bringing his hp up to 12/14.

The bard rolls two Hit Dice, or 2d8, for a total of 5. Then add the bard’s Constitution modifier of +1 to both rolls for a subtotal of 7 hp. Then the bard rolls 1d6 for the hp he regains from song of rest and gets 3. That’s a total of 10 hit points the bard heals, bringing his hp up to 15/17.

Is Song of Rest in 5e good?

If this was a spell you could choose, I would tell you to pass on it. But this is an ability you gain at 2nd level just for choosing the bard class. So be the bard who looks out for his or her companions and gives them a free Hit Die EVERY short rest.

Additionally, song of rest isn’t limited to a number of uses per day. So if your adventuring party takes four short rests in a day, you can use song of rest four times. It must be done during a short rest, and only one bard can use song of rest per short rest.

WARNING—Song of rest does make noise. Because you know, that’s what music is. So if your party is taking a short rest in a sketchy area and you’re concerned about drawing unwanted attention, playing an instrument and/or singing is not advised.

Homebrew Variant: Band of Bards Song of Rest

If you have multiple bards in your party and your DM is open to some homebrew, do something other than just stacking multiple d6s per short rest.

Instead, the DM asks each bard to roll a Performance check to simulate the bards trying to play the song together. And if the bards fail the check, the song is wasted and the party doesn’t regain bonus hit points.

I don’t know about you, but if I was trying to rest and a few idiots were making a racket, I don’t know how much rest I would get. Also, 5th edition is already easy, let’s try to make things challenging, fam.

For example, if two bards attempt it, each bard needs to pass a DC 12. If three bards attempt it, each bard needs to pass a DC 15. Four bards, DC 18. So on and so forth.

Your DM can decide the DC. I recommend basing it around how annoying the bards are and whether or not they practice together.

Art by Ioana-Muresan

Song of Rest 5e FAQ

How does song of rest work?

Song of rest in 5e increases the hit points you regain during a short rest. The bard and any friendly creatures who hear the bard’s performance regain hit points at the end of the short rest by spending one or more Hit Dice and each of those creatures regains an extra 1d6 hit points. The extra hit points increase to 1d8 at 9th level, to 1d10 at 13th level, and to 1d12 at 17th level.

Can a bard use song of rest on himself?

Yes, the song of rest affects any friendly creatures including the bard who uses the ability. However, you have to spend Hit Dice in order to benefit from the ability, so if you don’t spend Hit Dice, you do not benefit from the song.

Who rolls for song of rest?

Each player who rolls Hit Dice during a short rest when song of rest is played also rolls an extra 1d6 for the hp they regain.

Can more than one bard play the song of rest during a short rest?

No, the ability does not stack. A short rest is approximately 1 hour long, so if the use of song of rest requires a short rest to work, then you can’t play multiple songs of rest within a single short rest. If you want a homebrew solution, check the section in this article titled Homebrew Variant: Band of Bards Song of Rest.

Does song of rest create noise?

Yes, playing an instrument and/or singing does in fact create noise. So if you’re worried about attracting unwanted attention, it is in your best interests not to use song of rest.

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