[RPG] Considerations for assigning Constitution buff within the party

ability-scoresdnd-5emagic-itemsoptimizationparty

We've recently acquired the manual of bodily health, which grants a permanent +2 to Constitution score.

What are the optimisation considerations (e.g. increased HP, better at maintaining concentration) for who in the party to assign this buff to?

(I'm trying to pre-empt any responses discouraging optimisation – That's not what I'm interested in for this question.)

Best Answer

Rather than looking at the static details of the character sheets, I'd look at the actual in game results.

So don't ask "Who has the fewest HP?" or "Who gets hit the most?", but instead ask "Who gets knocked unconscious at bad times most often?".

Don't ask "Who is most likely to fail a concentration check?" and just ask "Who lost concentration on a critical spell most often?"

This has the advantage of not only being a lot easier to sell in-game, but also of addressing the direct problem. You don't need to buff the low-hp guy who never gets hit. You don't need to buff the tank who already never goes down.

You need to apply the buff to the person who has less Con than they'd like to have based on what's happening during your adventures. It might turn out to be the Rogue, who has neither the lowest HP nor takes the most damage, but is the one who always ends up getting knocked down before they can cripple the bad guy with their sneak attack.

It might be the Bard, who rarely casts Concentration spells, but does have Hypnotic Pattern and just cannot afford to have it broken.

Whoever it is, only your party can answer, but I wouldn't base it on their character sheets alone.