[RPG] How does one heal a creature that is petrified & made of stone


Whilst in a petrified condition (i.e. 'turned to stone') how does such a creature heal? In 5e D&D this condition on creatures presents as 'target is incapacitated + stone-flavoured' (PhB 'Conditions' / p.291).

How can damage to a petrified creature be healed?

Possible solutions mentioned by other DMs:

  1. This creature qualifies as 'incapacitated', thus it can heal as any other creature. Fed potions by allies (?), First Aid bandages or even a good night's rest.

  2. Petrified beings are obviously stone statues. A Mending spell (PhB, p. 259) will re-affix any damage to any construct (such as: broken finger, arm or even neck), so long as this is less than a square foot of surface area. Heals of any sort would not work because this thing cannot bleed, respirate or otherwise benefit from life-enhancing supports (magical or otherwise). Example: a badly injured / dying warrior is medically scratched by a Cockatrice (MM p.42) claw. Then the medic uses Stone Shape (PhB p.278) to fix all wounds and re-attach all parts – possibly even adding some muscles before the magic ends in 24 hours.

  3. This is a form of suspended animation and not subject to healing tomfoolery. If brought to zero hit points the stone creature suffers organ shock and bleeds out as pre-established by RAW.

  4. This is a role-playing fantasy game – work with the narrative. Logically, wounds before becoming a statue are healed with magical aid. Damage done after petrification is repaired magically as pottery or other stonewares. Non-magical means (Band-Aid®, Crazy Glue® or otherwise) simply do NOT work.

Are there any official rules (in books, including VGM or XGtE or Crawford's tweets) clarifying this matter?

Best Answer

The "petrified" condition applies several modifiers to a creature:

  • its weight increases by a factor of ten
  • it ceases aging
  • it is incapacitated, meaning it cannot take actions
  • it can't move or speak
  • it is unaware of its surroundings
  • attack rolls against it have advantage
  • it automatically fails strength and dexterity saving throws
  • it has resistance to all damage
  • it is immune to poison and disease

Nothing on that list says the creature can't be healed normally.

In D&D 5e, rules only do what they say, and no more than that. (The link points to discussion of a Crawford tweet, as requested.)

Rules As Written, that means that cure wounds will work on a petrified creature and mending will not work.

If the DM thinks the Rules As Written are not realistic in a given situation, the DM has the ability to add additional rules or to interpret existing rules in whatever way they want. But we can't tell you how your DM should do that.