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

1of3

Explorer
After playing a cleric and using this cantrip a lot I can see some of the objections to it. Would this work, it only works on non proficient​ ability checks? Basically, it helps the unskilled only with divine favour.

I thought about the same thing myself.
 

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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Has anyone who has actually played with this spell in their game as written, encountered a problem in their game because of it?
 

Darkstar360

First Post
It's been no problem in our game really, it's only been used a lot as we are paying a very Crystal Maze adventure (British TV reference). So there have been lots of ability checks. I got a little bored of casting it all the time but it was just too useful not to cast. I did worry it was messing with the 'challenge' the DM was trying to make as, effectively, every DC was 1d4 lower than he intended. It became interesting when the whole group was being called on to make a succession of different checks and I could only influence one roll.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
It became interesting when the whole group was being called on to make a succession of different checks and I could only influence one roll.

That's been my experience as well. Generally I find if the game involves a lot of skill checks, it's been impossible for the Cleric to really alter the outcome with this spell as multiple characters are making skill checks in the same round. If everyone is climbing a wall to escape a horde of demon dogs, the Cleric can't even take the time to cast it once, because they need to get their butt over the wall themselves much less spend the time to help everyone else over with a one-spell-per-turn mechanic. And if they are engaging in diplomacy, they can really one cast it once before the first check, because casting a spell in front of whoever they are trying to influence doesn't go over so well.

Really the overwhelming majority of the time when the party can actually use Guidance for the entire skill check(s) involved in a challenge, I as the DM WANT them to get that skill check nailed down. If they are trying to recall information, or pick a lock, or make an arcane check - it's almost always a check to move the plot along...which is a good thing.

I am trying to figure out when someone has found this spell really harmed their game in actual practice. Maybe I missed it in this thread, but I don't recall anyone saying it did.
 


Darron

First Post
Been thinking about this some more and reviewing the last session we played. We were effectively trying to escape a sinking submarine (don't ask, just go with it), lots of running, jumping, climbing, turning stuck valves etc. All great fun and like I said, very heavy on the ability checks. I didn't keep count but I must have cast Guidance something like maybe 20-30 times in just that one evening, possibly more. I did get kinda sick of saying it every time a roll came up though but as I also said, it's just too useful not too.

Too useful on paper that is...

So, of all those rolls, it felt like on roughly somewhere between two thirds and three quarters of them the Guidance never even got used. Most of the time because the roll initially succeeded, some of the time because it was so low an extra d4 wouldn't have helped. The rest of the time the extra d4 just didn't cut it and they still failed. Only on one occasion do I remember the Guidance changing the outcome from a fail to a succeed – just once. Of all those rolls and all that effort and all that rigmarole of saying "I cast Guidance on him/her" over and over again, only once did it have any tangible effect on the outcome of a roll. Incidentally, it was on a non proficient ability check.

My conclusion, casting it all the time turned out to be just a big faff for no real return. In the future, I will probably choose to reserve it for only the "important rolls," or to help out a non proficient comrade. Because honestly, it's more of a pain for the player (me) to keep casting it every time than it is a hindrance to the DM.
 
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Paraxis

Explorer
Has anyone who has actually played with this spell in their game as written, encountered a problem in their game because of it?

Not at all, and have been running a weekly game shortly after the first playtest package came out. Just started a new campaign with the release of basic and still no issues with it.

Characters either like to do things by themselves to feel like they accomplished something so don't ask for the help or they are working together anyway and someone "Helps" + Guidance and it is all good.

I think it might have also a bit to do with that when people fail checks in my game I still move the story forward but with some sort of complication, I think the players enjoy the complications so making that successful while good isn't the only way forward.
 

And, as mentioned, a cleric that would spam blessings 'just in case' would be disciplined by his hierarchy or agents of his deity. His powers are given to him to further the goals of his deity and walking around saying 'bless you' every minute will certainly not help the prestige of his faith. As you say, magic should be magical and I would add holy power should be holy and awe inspiring. Using it constantly to give you +1d4 on your using the spittoon doesn't strike me as a respectful use of the power of a god.

That's fine as an opinion applying solely to your setting and game. If you are implying it extends any further than, and is RAW or RAI or Setting-as-Written or Setting-as-Intended, then I have to take issue with it, because that would very definitely not be generically true. Nothing I'm aware of in 5E suggests your interpretation there is the default way Clerical magic works. Indeed, I'm not even sure if any edition post-2E (except maybe RC) has suggested anything of the sort, and even 2E wasn't aggressive about it, trusting domains etc. to limit spells to appropriate ones.

At this point in the discussion it seems like the best and most simple solution would be just to delete the cantrip. It doesn't really seem to serve much of a purpose, beyond stamping on the Bard's toes.
 

Quartz

Hero
When I read about Guidance, my thought was, "Why didn't they make it give Advantage instead?" on the basis of KISS. Not having read much of the thread, did that come up in the playtest? Yes, it's a bigger average bonus and yes, it's differently countered, but equally it counters situations where the PC starts off with Disadvantage, like trying to sneak in full plate.
 

Antilles123

First Post
Guidance spam

Has anyone who has actually played with this spell in their game as written, encountered a problem in their game because of it?

I just DMd a game last night and it's the first time someone has had Guidance.
The character didn't really abuse it. The only time was for Stealth checks when someone was trying to sneak in a cave. And while they were sneaking and trying to do skill checks, Guidance wasn't an option because the heavily armoured cleric was nowhere near enough to touch the character.

I don't really have a problem with it because you can only give it to 1 person and if there are NPCs around, it's certainly going to be strange for them to see the cleric cast a spell in the middle of a conversation.

And besides, I'm trying not to get into the mindset of "winning" as the DM. If the characters can do better because of their skill checks, good on them.
 

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