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

jgsugden

Explorer
Remember that spellcasting is obvious. It is loud. It can't be done stealthily or subtly (barring a particular feature)...
That is a bit of a question mark, even after Xanathar's guidance.

Per the PHB, the combination of sounds, specifically including pitch and resonance - but not specifically including volume - are what is necessary for a verbal component.

Somatic components are forceful gestures or intricate gestures. That creates a broad spectrum of possible motions required to cast a spell.

Xanathar's reminds us that spellcasting is perceptible, but being perceptible does not inherently mean automatically perceived. It means there is something there to be seen and/or heard. There is still the chance, as determined by the DM, that it is seen or heard. Generally, under the rules this would be a DC that is compared to passive perception, although the DM might allow the perceiving entity to roll to try to improve their check above the passive score.

In my game, I interpret these rules to mean that there needs to be spoken word at a normal speaking voice volume, and gestures similar to those seen on The Magicians (Syfy).

However, those can be disguised, covered, drowned out, blocked, etc... A wizard might perform the gestures beneath his robes, or hold something just in front of his face to muffle the sound of spellcasting. If a spellcaster has the tools to hide spellcasting and wishes to do so, I allow a stealth check, opposed by perception checks (usually just passive unless someone is trying to be perceptive), to do so. Advantage or disadvantage may apply based upon circumstances.

Also, the caster's reputation may impact how people consider the spellcasting. A respected local priest that makes gestures and blesses his follower with guidance before an athletic event might not raise an eyebrow ... while a well known adventuring wizard that goes to the tavern, raises a hand and calls out for the check might see the entire bar reach for their weapons.

With Guidance, I treat i as commonplace and widely accepted as reasonable behavior. However, that would not stop from someone noting that it took place and in a particular circumstance, objecting or raising a concern. It is subjective.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
That is a bit of a question mark, even after Xanathar's guidance.

Per the PHB, the combination of sounds, specifically including pitch and resonance - but not specifically including volume - are what is necessary for a verbal component.

Somatic components are forceful gestures or intricate gestures. That creates a broad spectrum of possible motions required to cast a spell.

Xanathar's reminds us that spellcasting is perceptible, but being perceptible does not inherently mean automatically perceived. It means there is something there to be seen and/or heard. There is still the chance, as determined by the DM, that it is seen or heard. Generally, under the rules this would be a DC that is compared to passive perception, although the DM might allow the perceiving entity to roll to try to improve their check above the passive score.

In my game, I interpret these rules to mean that there needs to be spoken word at a normal speaking voice volume, and gestures similar to those seen on The Magicians (Syfy).

However, those can be disguised, covered, drowned out, blocked, etc... A wizard might perform the gestures beneath his robes, or hold something just in front of his face to muffle the sound of spellcasting. If a spellcaster has the tools to hide spellcasting and wishes to do so, I allow a stealth check, opposed by perception checks (usually just passive unless someone is trying to be perceptive), to do so. Advantage or disadvantage may apply based upon circumstances.

Also, the caster's reputation may impact how people consider the spellcasting. A respected local priest that makes gestures and blesses his follower with guidance before an athletic event might not raise an eyebrow ... while a well known adventuring wizard that goes to the tavern, raises a hand and calls out for the check might see the entire bar reach for their weapons.

With Guidance, I treat i as commonplace and widely accepted as reasonable behavior. However, that would not stop from someone noting that it took place and in a particular circumstance, objecting or raising a concern. It is subjective.
Of course, if its commonplace and accepted, it's pretty much a wash right, as far as competitions go? Both sides get their juice from God and everyone expects folks to be juicin' so no big deal unless you are one of those competing clean.

But hey your lock picking is upped by sneaky cleric whispers, but then, when the lock was made or the security setup they likely had their cleric of order their too, so it's a little better made, right? Commonplace and accepted and all that.

Were you juicing when you forged your papers? Will the investigator be if they are scrutinized?
 

gyor

Adventurer
You know what is better then guidance? A Divine Sorcerer casting twin guidance.

And if there is grappling (skill check) and in a few other situations you can make use of Guidance in combat.

Or cast Guidance on someone taking the help action, then cast it on the character being helped.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Guidance has a greater impact on the game than a lot of cantrips. We better remove it. Oh, so does Eldritch Blast. And Spare the Dying. Light, Dancing Lights and Create Bonfire all pretty much negate the benefits of Darkvision. We can't allow that, either. Green Flame Blade and Shillelagh are way too strong on certain builds. Minor Illusion? What were they thinking! OK, Mage Hand just flat out negates most traps. Nope, nope, nope. Presitidigitation and Thaumaturgy are too hard to spell and way too versatile. Gone....

[10 minutes later] So, you can choose your three cantrip from Blade Ward and True Strike.
 

Wrathamon

Explorer
I have never had a player abuse this. Most of the time they forget they have it, and it only comes up so often. I think it is more the type of player using the spell, than the spell itself.
 

Reynard

Adventurer
In my game, I interpret these rules to mean that there needs to be spoken word at a normal speaking voice volume, and gestures similar to those seen on The Magicians (Syfy).
In the rulebook, verbal components must be "chanted" which implies, IMO, something that cannot be whispered. Somatic components must be either forceful or intricate, either of which obviates hiding under a blanket or whatever. Spells, even cantrips, are powerful and they should come with cost. The constant concerns about casters outshining martials is based on, IMO, the continuous reduction and removal of those costs.

First, people stopped tracking components. Then they gave wizards bonus spells for high Int. Then they made cantrips endless. Then they complained that casters were too powerful and decided to up martial power. It's confounding.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
In the rulebook, verbal components must be "chanted" which implies, IMO, something that cannot be whispered.
Most definitions of chant allow for words to be spoken *or* shouted.
Somatic components must be either forceful or intricate, either of which obviates hiding under a blanket or whatever.
Given the number of pervs masturbating on mass transit that get away with it, I think there is room for a wider range of options.
Spells, even cantrips, are powerful and they should come with cost. The constant concerns about casters outshining martials is based on, IMO, the continuous reduction and removal of those costs.

First, people stopped tracking components. Then they gave wizards bonus spells for high Int. Then they made cantrips endless. Then they complained that casters were too powerful and decided to up martial power. It's confounding.
As a player active since the 70s, component tracking rarely gets more than a hand wave of attention, older editions have more bonus spells for high attributes than 5E, and endless cantrips are more about preserving flavor than power.... a wizard feels more like a wizard if they have cantrips to cast when out of real spells than if they have to resort to a sling.
 

Bacon Bits

Explorer
And Spare the Dying.
I know you're just being hyperbolic, but Spare the Dying is truly awful. Not only can it be replaced with a skill check (with a chance of failure, but still), not only is it only useful when other characters are dying, the real kicker is that for 5 gp you can buy a Healer's Kit, which contains 10 potions of Spare the Dying.

Light at least replaces an ongoing cost, and torches have the problem of occupying a hand and risking going out.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Guidance has a greater impact on the game than a lot of cantrips. We better remove it. Oh, so does Eldritch Blast. And Spare the Dying. Light, Dancing Lights and Create Bonfire all pretty much negate the benefits of Darkvision. We can't allow that, either. Green Flame Blade and Shillelagh are way too strong on certain builds. Minor Illusion? What were they thinking! OK, Mage Hand just flat out negates most traps. Nope, nope, nope. Presitidigitation and Thaumaturgy are too hard to spell and way too versatile. Gone....

[10 minutes later] So, you can choose your three cantrip from Blade Ward and True Strike.
There is no spell that gets cast more often in my game than Guidance. Not even close. I bet a 3:1 ratio to the next most commonly casted spell is about right, heck maybe 4:1.

Most of your examples don't work, because the spell being used has alternatives. Spare the dying....medicine. Eldritch Blast, there are a million attacks spells in the game. Light....a torch. Prestidigitation, mostly used for fun flavor.

But a bonus to ability and therefore, skill checks? There are almost nothing in the game that gives a raw bonus to checks. And the one that does grant a +1d4 bonus and is at-will, when in 5e getting even a +1 to anything is a big deal.

So yeah...its pretty damn strong in the context of how much value 5e places on a bonus of any kind, let alone a bonus with this much versatility.
 

Hussar

Legend
OTOH, in play, an effective +2 generally isn't breaking anything. How often is the difference between success and failure the difference of the Guidance d4? Sure, it's handy, and I'll say that it's something every character that can cast it will have it in my group, but, overall? It's not really doing an awful lot. The Help action generally is more effective and pretty much anyone can do that.

AFAIC, it does what it's supposed to.
 

Reynard

Adventurer
OTOH, in play, an effective +2 generally isn't breaking anything. How often is the difference between success and failure the difference of the Guidance d4? Sure, it's handy, and I'll say that it's something every character that can cast it will have it in my group, but, overall? It's not really doing an awful lot. The Help action generally is more effective and pretty much anyone can do that.

AFAIC, it does what it's supposed to.
Help and Guidance are not mutually exclusive, of course, so in come cases you can double up. There are also lots of situations in which help doesn't apply. You can't help someone pick a lock, for example. But I think you are right about the impact: guidance does not break anything -- especially since almost all DCs in 5E are arbitrarily assigned by the DM anyway.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
OTOH, in play, an effective +2 generally isn't breaking anything. How often is the difference between success and failure the difference of the Guidance d4
12.5% (assuming the average 2.5 on the die), unless you had an auto success on the roll.

Further, it increases the chance of getting impossible DCs, which works against the notion of bounded accuracy.

Failing on a roll to disarm a trap, climb a wall, or investigating a key scene often has much greater consequences than missing one attack roll.
 

Hussar

Legend
Like I said, it's going to matter 1 in 8 times. You will succeed on a skill check 1 time more out of the 8 times you failed. This isn't going to make much of a difference in the long term. You are still failing 7 times. Can't really see how that's changing the game too much.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Like I said, it's going to matter 1 in 8 times. You will succeed on a skill check 1 time more out of the 8 times you failed. This isn't going to make much of a difference in the long term. You are still failing 7 times. Can't really see how that's changing the game too much.
Then why have bonuses at all if they don’t matter? 5e has gone out of its way to make any plus to the d20 rare, so it seems to think it matters.

Does that mean expertise is also a waste of ink, because for the majority of games out there that don’t go to 9th level, this little cantrip provides the same bonus.
 

Hussar

Legend
Then why have bonuses at all if they don’t matter? 5e has gone out of its way to make any plus to the d20 rare, so it seems to think it matters.

Does that mean expertise is also a waste of ink, because for the majority of games out there that don’t go to 9th level, this little cantrip provides the same bonus.
You can't have it both ways. You can't on one hand talk about how it's providing a 10% bump (on average) on a d20 roll and then talk about how that's game breaking. If it's only going to matter 1 in 8 times, which is what you said, then, well, that's pretty much precisely how useful it is. Why would you say that 5e thinks it matters? It is a cantrip after all. The writers seem to think that it's not going to impact that game any more than ray of frost or light. I'm just point out that, yup, they're right. It's having about the same level of impact on the game.

I wonder how much of the "oh its game breaking" is theory crafting and how much is confirmation bias. So, tell you what, I'll start tracking it in my game, you track it in yours. How often does it make the difference on a skill check? How much impact is it actually having, not, how much do you feel it has.
 

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