I listened to the latest #dndnext podcast, and I have to say, I take issue with the discussion on warlords.
Specifically, Mike Mearls asks whether warlords should have martial healing, giving the following (paraphrased) example:
Mike Mearls: “If you get your hand cut off, and a warlord inspires you, the hand won’t grow back. He’s not really healing you.”
Now, I can kind of understand the point behind this. Words can’t heal a severed hand.
But you know what else can’t heal a severed hand? Ten minutes of rest and some bandages. Yet that is allowed to restore hit points.
Or, ignoring short rest mechanics, a month of bed rest can’t heal a severed hand, yet you’ll easily be at full HP due to that.
My issue with this statement by Mearls is that is flies in the face of what D&D hit points are, and have been since at least 1e AD&D. Hit points are a combination of stamina, skill, and even luck. In D&D, it only takes one blade to run you through – and hit points are what prevent every blade before that from doing so.
Significant wounds, like severed hands, have never been a part of core D&D, and aren’t represented by the hit point system. If such a thing is in a module, that’s fine. And if that module states that only magical healing can restore such lasting wounds, then I’m cool with that.
But that isn’t the base assumption of the D&D hit point system.
And so I ask you, Mike Mearls, why can Warlords not restore hit points (aka stamina/skill/luck/courage), when bandages and rest can?