[RPG] Does the Prepare Food ability from Cook’s Utensils stack


Here's the relevant ability from Xanathar's guide to Everything:

Prepare Meals. As part of a short rest, you can prepare a tasty meal that helps your companions regain their strength. You and up to five creatures of your choice regain 1 extra hit point per Hit Die spent during a short rest, provided you have access to your cook's utensils and sufficient food.

This ability comes as part of proficiency with cook's utensils.

Does this ability stack? Is there anything in the rules that would prevent it from stacking? I have a group where we allow custom backgrounds (per the rules in PHB), and three players out of the five independently took cook's utensils. I'm wondering if they all get +3 healing per Hit Die.

Best Answer

It's limited by the need to actually eat the food.

Because Xanathar's was written entirely inside a Magic Circle Against Editing, the writers didn't think to say "You and up to five other creatures can eat the meal to regain 1 extra Hit Point, etc." But that's clearly what's happening.

What you're describing is each member of the party eating three complete meals in one hour. That's probably impossible, and even if it was possible, it's not clear that you'd get extra healing from it. If that worked, then since you can make six servings of food with Prepare Food, you could just as well eat all six servings yourself and get +6 HP per hit die. Nothing in the ability indicates that you can do that--it's a buff that applies to up to six creatures, not six buffs that you can distribute among creatures.