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5E [Guidance] What, +1d4 to every check ever?

Juriel

Villager
Okay, Cleric/Druid cantrip, Guidance, gives you +1d4 to use on any ability check, after you've seen the roll. It only stays on you for a minute, but there is no limit to reapplying it.

So, as long as the Cleric/Druid keeps rubbing one of his mates (or touching himself), anything that doesn't require all of them to roll at once, happens at that average +2.5 bonus.

Did they really think this through? There's class features like Wild Mage's that do a similar thing, only it costs them actual resources.
 
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Paraxis

Registered User
Works fine for me.

Out of combat, it has some good roleplaying behind it.
"May the gods bless you and aid in your endeavours my child."
"The spirits will guide your actions."

In combat, action economy keeps it from being an issue better for the caster to use a cantrip or make an attack than give someone a +1d4.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Okay, Cleric/Druid cantrip, Guidance, gives you +1d4 to use on any ability check, after you've seen the roll. It only stays on you for a minute, but there is no limit to reapplying it.

So, as long as the Cleric/Druid keeps rubbing one of his mates (or touching himself), anything that doesn't require all of them to roll at once, happens at that average +2.5 bonus.

Did they really think this through? There's class features like Wild Mage's that do a similar thing, only it costs them actual resources.
It works well in practice. We've used it for a long time in the playtest, and it's never been an issue.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
It doesn't apply to attacks, just ability checks (so, presumably including skill checks).

But yeah, basically, with a cleric in the party, add +2 to all skill checks by one person unless the cleric needs to concentrate on something else.

Mistwell said:
It works well in practice.
I swear, this is the frickin' mantra for 5e. Not surprising given all the playtesting that happened: it looks weird in theorycraft, but functions fine at Actual Tables.
 

jodyjohnson

Villager
Personally, this falls under my general 'at-will' rule, which is 'you can functionally do this as many times as it serves the adventure; not - you can do this 10 times per minute, 600 times per hour, 14400 times per day, etc.'

I can swing a hammer 'at-will' but that doesn't mean I don't need to give my arm a rest after swinging it a few dozen times.

Basically, enough that you won't run out under normal usage (a few dozen times) but I'm willing to limit it if a player takes the 'at will' aspect literally.
 

Juriel

Villager
Out of combat, it has some good roleplaying behind it.
"May the gods bless you and aid in your endeavours my child."
"The spirits will guide your actions."
I think that kind of suffers inflation when you invoke your god for everything...
'Good luck for this mule trade haggle'
'Jump good over this fiendish gap! You too! And you!'
'My god knows how to scare this street urchin for info!'

It's just a +2.5 to everything out of combat. Which certainly makes having a divine member along desirable, but it is SO great, that it is better than any other ability you could pick up (for non-combat utility or, hell, with vigorous rubbing for one check at start of combat)... Which means someone should pick up a throw-away cleric/druid level for it, if no-one is playing those already.
 
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Falling Icicle

Villager
I pointed out the problems with guidance during the playtest. I'm disappointed that it wasn't changed. It really gets old to hear a player say "I cast guidance" a bazillion times each session, prior to almost every single out-of-combat roll that's ever made. I eventually got to the point where I just said "you don't even need to tell me you cast guidance, just add the 1d4." I like at-will cantrips for the most part, but this one is just ridiculous, and is cast at least 10 times as often as any other cantrip is, in my experience.
 

Juriel

Villager
With Cleric/Druid/Tome Warlock/Bard from lv6 onwards/anyone with Magic Initiate feat being able to pick it up, I think it's going to see a LOT of use.

I don't have a problem with the idea of it, but I dislike it being always applicable AND behind an extra roll.
 

Ashr

Villager
Bless, level 1 Cleric spell, add +1d4 to every d20 roll for the whole encounter. How is this different other than requiring a re-cast every round it is used?
 

Juriel

Villager
Bless, level 1 Cleric spell, add +1d4 to every d20 roll for the whole encounter. How is this different other than requiring a re-cast every round it is used?
Bless adds only to attack rolls and saves, and costs resources.
Combat use isn't the problem.
It's that outside combat, Guidance adds to ANY ability check, and is limitless.
 

Li Shenron

Adventurer
I pointed out the problems with guidance during the playtest. I'm disappointed that it wasn't changed. It really gets old to hear a player say "I cast guidance" a bazillion times each session, prior to almost every single out-of-combat roll that's ever made. I eventually got to the point where I just said "you don't even need to tell me you cast guidance, just add the 1d4." I like at-will cantrips for the most part, but this one is just ridiculous, and is cast at least 10 times as often as any other cantrip is, in my experience.
Ditto. This was one of the few negative feedbacks I wrote every time to WotC..

I am glad that apparently lots of gaming groups don't have any problems with this, but I also suspect that either they don't have nearly as many out-of-combat ability/skill checks as we usually do, or their players aren't paying attention and using Guidance every time they could.

At least, the bonus is minor, but I would have preferred Guidance granting a larger bonus (or lingering for the whole duration, applying to all checks of a certain type) but then be a full 1st-level spell.
 

Sadras

Explorer
It's that outside combat, Guidance adds to ANY ability check, and is limitless.
Easy fix, we will probably see an option in the DMG, especially for low magic campaigns, limit the number of Cantrips between Short or Long Rests. eg: Use Constitution Modifier + Level, or whatever.

DMs adjust magic any which way they wish to suit the level of magic within their campaign - I often disallow spells from the get go, like Invisibility & Fly. I have houseruled that the creation of permanent magic items results in a permanent loss in hit points. So limiting Cantrips converting them to a resource is not a huge stretch.
 

Ruin Explorer

Explorer
It works well in practice. We've used it for a long time in the playtest, and it's never been an issue.
A lot of people have reported a strong dislike for it, though - we've seen that discussed on this forum, and on other forums.

I note that in my group, they forgot to use it entirely - BUT if the player of the Cleric from my main 4E group had been there, no way in hell she wouldn't have been getting it applied to every possible/practical roll, nor would the player of the Shaman. Those people have buffing/supporting in their souls, and practically every non-combat rolled action would have been interrupted by "I pray for his success" or however one wants to RP it.

I know from other games that that kind of thing can get very tedious very fast.

It's also one of those idiotic spells that CLERICS can get, but BARDS can't, and it usurps the Bard roll.

I mean -

Bard - Can give you +1d8 (avg. 4.5) to a roll maybe 4-5 times a day before L5, maybe 8-15 times after that (and the die gets a bit bigger). You have to seriously think about when to use it, especially out of combat. In combat it slams into your action-economy, hard, too, because it requires a bonus action and must be used pre-emptively.

Cleric - Can give you +1d4 (avg. 2.5) to pretty much EVERY single non-combat roll ever. No thinking about it, no questions beyond "do I have an opportunity to cast it?". By level 5 or so, can easily be casting Bless most combats, giving you +1d4 to ALL the attacks and saves for the whole combat - no thinking about it, no questions, only limit is three targets (if cast with an L1 slot). Only impact on action economy is initial casting time.

Pretty sure the Cleric is a seriously more powerful buffer, because there's hardly ever any question of NOT using Guidance or Bless. Cleric is really stamping Bard toes here.
 

graywizard8

Villager
In the Basic rules 0.2 it reads

"You touch one willing creature. Once before the spell
ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled
to one ability check of its choice. It can roll the die before
or after making the ability check. The spell then ends."

So you only get it once per casting. Is it different in the Players Handbook?
 

Li Shenron

Adventurer
Easy fix, we will probably see an option in the DMG, especially for low magic campaigns, limit the number of Cantrips between Short or Long Rests. eg: Use Constitution Modifier + Level, or whatever.
Yeah but this is a variant rules which applies to all cantrips, while the problem here is specifically with guidance.

I know from other games that that kind of thing can get very tedious very fast.
Yes, this is the crux of the problem. I am not going to make any suggestion about it to my players, but I dread the moment when a smart player notices that this could be used all the times.

I don't agree with the argument "but it's a small bonus anyway" by some people. Small bonuses are still bonuses, we've talking about the beauty of bounded accuracy ad nauseam... Just because it's small doesn't mean it doesn't matter, otherwise why not having a cantrip that permanently creates 1sp?
 

KarinsDad

Villager
I can see a similar issue with Blade Ward, and Resistance.

Both of these might see a lot of use immediately prior to combat if the player thinks that his PC is going to get into combat.

Granted, the downside of these is that the PC is not stealthy or whatever casting a spell with a verbal component, so they will not work all of the time, but they might still get a lot of use.


As a DM, I would let the players know that there are some ability checks that Guidance might not be well suited for. For example, Guidance has both a verbal and somatic component. NPCs will see PCs casting spells. So, many Charisma checks might be skewed against the PC if the NPC sees PCs casting spells. Ditto for many other checks.

If the PCs are off by themselves, sure, then they can pull it off. But NPCs might not appreciate PCs casting spells. And yes, there is always the player who casts the spell "outside" and then goes in to barter with the shopkeeper.

That too is easily handled if abused. The shopkeeper is busy with another customer. You'll have to wait your turn. A minute actually goes by fairly quickly when waiting and the concentration is gone.


Concentration spells also prevent other concentration spells from being cast.


So overall, yes, I think these spells will see a lot of use. It's up to the DM to control it. If it gets out of hand, house rule it with a limit of number of times per gaming day.
 

The Hitcher

Villager
In a similar way to the short rest rules, I see Guidance as one of the flags in the rules that tells us "this is a role-playing game". There are plenty of narrative reasons (for the players) and methods (for the DM) to limit its use, and the game will be deeper if you engage with those kinds of ideas. Yes, it does get silly if a player decides to spam it and the DM lets them do so, but as Mearls said: "we're not going to stop people playing the game in a boring way". That's up to you, kids.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
One thing you could do is require a small sacrifice for each casting. Say, each request for guidance means the cleric needs to tithe 1 cp at the next appropriate temple or shrine encountered.
 

Ruin Explorer

Explorer
In a similar way to the short rest rules, I see Guidance as one of the flags in the rules that tells us "this is a role-playing game". There are plenty of narrative reasons (for the players) and methods (for the DM) to limit its use, and the game will be deeper if you engage with those kinds of ideas. Yes, it does get silly if a player decides to spam it and the DM lets them do so, but as Mearls said: "we're not going to stop people playing the game in a boring way". That's up to you, kids.
This seems like a very circular argument indeed.

It also seems hollow to me. I've had long experience of spells and abilities like this in dozens of games, and they cause problems - not so much balance problems (though +2.5 to lots of stuff is pretty huge), but rather atmosphere problems, and when you design rules so they cause a problem with atmosphere, that's actually the opposite of what I expect to see in an RPG - it's much more like what I expect from a wargame or board game. It's lazy/bad design, imo, of a hard-to-defend kind.
 

Samurai

Explorer
Let me point out a few things about Guidance:

1) It is a spell, requiring verbal and somatic components. That means it is obvious spellcasting to viewers and listeners, which likely won't be taken kindly in many places. Casting an unknown spell in the middle of a delicate negotiation or the king's hall can cause a lot of problems. Casting Guidance while you are sneaking is highly audible. Think about all the times, places, and instances where you do not want to cast a spell because of the attention it draws.

2) Guidance is Concentration, up to 1 minute. That means you can only have it active on 1 person at a time, and you can't have any other, better spells that you could be concentrating on instead. You can't be Detecting Good and Evil, or Detecting Magic, or using Silence to help everyone in sneaking instead of +1d4 for 1 person. While it may occasionally be useful at the lower levels (if you are in a place where obvious spellcasting doesn't matter), eventually many other spells will prove to be more beneficial and using your concentration for +1d4 for 1 character for 1 roll will be a last resort.
 

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