Your spell bolsters your allies with toughness and resolve. Choose up to three creatures within range. Each target’s hit point maximum and current hit points increase by 5 for the duration.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, a target’s hit points increase by an additional 5 for each slot level above 2nd.
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a tiny strip of white cloth)
Duration: 8 hours
School: 2nd-level abjuration
Player’s Handbook, pg. 211
Aid is a seeming straightforward support spell with the potential for both long-term party buffing and in-a-pinch “healing”. That said, there are plenty of rules questions that come up all the time.
We’ll cover all of that, as well as a few tips for using Aid effectively in your DnD game.
Who Can Cast Aid in 5e?
The following classes have Aid on their spell list:
The following subclasses get Aid for free:
- Cleric (Peace Domain) (TCoE 33)
Divine Soul Sorcerers (XGtE 50) also have access to Aid via their access to the Cleric spell list.
What Does Aid Do in 5e?
Aid increases the current hit points and hit point maximum of up to 3 allies by 5 for 8 hours. This provides both an instantaneous pseudo-“heal” effect, as well as increasing the pool of hit points a character can be healed up to.
Aid can be upcast for +5 hit points (both current and maximum) per spell slot level above 2nd.
Simple enough — now onto the common rules questions.
What Are the Rules for Aid in 5e?
The rules for Aid in DnD 5e are as follows:
Aid cannot stack with itself. As the Player’s Handbook points out, “the effects of the same spell cast multiple times don’t combine…instead, the most potent effect…applies while their durations overlap” (PHB 205).
In other words, if two Aid spells of +5 hit points are cast on the same character, they still only get +5 hit points. If one Aid spell of +10 hit points and one of +5 hit points is cast, the target has +10 hit points.
To be clear, this also goes for the creature’s current hit points. So if you want to “heal” a downed creature with Aid, but that creature is already benefiting from Aid, then targeting them with an Aid spell of the same level or lower will do nothing.
That being said, an upcast Aid will take priority over a lower-leveled Aid spell and can, therefore “heal” a player.
Aid can bring up a downed creature. As Jeremy Crawford points out in this Sage Advice thread, “if you have even 1 hit point,” you don’t have to worry about being stabilized anymore — you’re back on your feet.
Since Aid can bring your hit points from 0 to…not 0, it can effectively “heal” a creature who’s been brought down to 0 hit points.
Aid’s hit point increase is not the same as temporary hit points. In the same Sage Advice thread above, JC also clarifies that Aid does not provide temporary hit points (because the spell explicitly doesn’t call it that).
The implication of this is that Aid does stack with temporary hit points, whereas temporary hit points can’t stack wtih themselves.
Aid affects any other form a creature transforms into it. In the Sage Advice Compendium, the question is asked “can a creature under the effects of polymorph have other spell effects on them,” which is answered, “other effects, such as spells, still exist” (SAC 20)
This means that Aid functions both pre- and post-transformation, as well as when a creature reverts back to its regular form. This also applies to a Druid’s Wild Shape.
A Life Cleric’s Disciple of Life feature does not affect Aid. You’ll notice I’ve been very careful to put the word “heal” in quotes this whole time to describe Aid’s “increase current hit point” element.
That’s because, technically, Aid doesn’t actually heal — it increases current hit points (semantics do matter in DnD). As such, it has no interaction with a Life Cleric’s Disciple of Life feature.
Your current hit point bonus from the Aid drops when Aid ends. Since the wording of the spell is quite precise (“hit point maximum and current hit points increase by 5 for the duration”) — when the duration is complete, both the maximum and current hit points that Aid provides disappear.
Do note, however, that an 8-hour duration means that this is unlikely to actually occur/matter unless your DM is a real stickler for calculating how long an adventuring day takes and decides that the 8-hour mark occurs mid-combat for some reason.
Aid can only affect allies. While the second sentence of the spell says “choose up to three creatures,” the first line makes it clear that this spell can only “bolster allies.”
You can cast Aid on yourself. You’re a creature. You’re an ally. You’re an eligible target for Aid.
How Do I Use Aid in 5e?
Here are a few ways to use Aid in DnD 5e:
Save an ally (or 3) that’s been downed. While most players look at Aid as a long-term, low-power buff, the most potent application of Aid is actually putting a fallen ally back on their feet.
This can be extra impactful if multiple allies are downed simultaneously, as Aid becomes a poor man’s Mass Healing Word at that point (a 4th-level spell).
Take advantage of the 8-hour duration and no concentration requirement. When you do want to use Aid as a long-term buff, remember to take advantage of your extra health pool by taking short rests and spending those hit dice to top yourself off — it might make the difference between being taken down and staying on your feet to finish the fight.
Bonus tip: Elves can wait to rest until the final 4 hours, buff their party with Aid, then Trance for 4 hours to get their spell slot back. That’s a free (albeit half duration) Aid spell for your party.
Prepare for a big day of dungeon’ing. If you want to use Aid as a buff, you shouldn’t waste your time casting it in combat. Instead, cast it before your party takes off for the day, so you have your action ready for the first round of combat.
Spread and upcast wisely. Finally, consider where bonus hit points are most needed in your party. The answer isn’t always “the person with the lowest hit points.”
Sometimes it’s better to make your tank(s) extra beefy, while other times it’s all about keeping an NPC or two alive. Think about who will get the most long-term mileage out of Aid as well, with short rest heals and the like.
Finally, Aid scales quite nicely when upcast, but always keep in mind what you’re giving up to do so.
Who Can I Target With Aid 5e?
You can target up to 3 allies within 30 feet with Aid. They do not need to be within 30 feet of each other; just within 30 feet of you.
Is Aid 5e a Good Spell?
Yes, Aid is a good spell. It’s a solid buff to cast at the start of any adventuring day, and the fact that it stacks with temporary hit points allows for quite a nice extra layer of protection.
Additionally, Aid really shines in another niche – raising multiple downed allies, almost like a poor man’s Mass Healing Word (4th-level spell).
The only tricky thing is that you can’t use this tactic on an ally who’s already benefitting from Aid, so it’s tough to have your cake and eat it too.
Simple Aid 5e Spell Text
Aid: (2nd-level abjuration, 30 feet, 8 hours, V/S/M (a tiny strip of white cloth)) Choose up to 3 allies in range. Their hit point maximum and current hit points increase by 5 for the duration. | +5 hit points per slot level above 2nd.