Q: Dear Sage,
If my crusader (Tome of Battle, p.8) receives more healing from an effect that he needs to return to maximum hit points, do I have to apply the remainder to my damage pool?
You can split the amount of incoming healing between your hit points and damage pool however you wish. You can even apply more healing than you actually need to either category.
For example, imagine if you had 26 points of damage and 10 points in your damage pool, and the cleric cast cure critical wounds to restore 28 hit points. Since reducing your damage pool by even a point would lessen your furious counterstrike bonus, you could apply all 28 points of healing to your hit points, even though 2 points of that healing is wasted.
About the Author
The Sage is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central and southern China. Debate continues as to whether he is truly a bear or more related to the raccoon rather than the bear, or perhaps in a family of his own. When not eating bamboo and answering rules questions, he works under the nom de plume of Andy Collins as an RPG developer in Wizards of the Coast R&D, where his development credits include Complete Mage, Dragon Magic, and the Player's Handbook v.3.5. He can be easily recognized by his large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on his rotund body.