5E [Houserule] An Alternative Bless and Guidance

Stalker0

Adventurer
Some people love Bless and Guidance as they are, and some considering them OP. For me, its both there extreme power, and adds a lot of fiddly dice rolling.

This house rule addresses both parts.

EDIT: I adjusted Bless to be more in line with my intended use.

Bless

You have a +3 proficiency bonus to all attacks and saving throws. This does not stack with normal proficiency bonuses.

--So what this does is make bless give a powerful and consistent bonus but one that tapers with time. For first level characters, this is a solid buff. For 5th level ones (once everyone has +3 proficiencies), this allows you to shore up your saving throw weaknesses (or attack rolls if you happen to use a weird weapon). But it doesn't stack and just give you "moar powwa!". Its still very useful, but not as outright powerful as before...and no extra rolling needed.



Guidance
1st level Spell (not a cantrip)
Concentration: None

Duration: 1 hour
Targets: You and up to 6 creatures

Effect: Targets gain a +1 to skill checks.


--This addresses some of the "spam" concerns about guidance in certain areas. Its a solid, general buff, that helps the whole party in scenarios, and allows the cleric to help the whole team instead of giving 1 team member a big boost. It lasts an hour so you don't have to rush through things, but you also can't just use guidance all day long willy nilly. And again no rolling, just add the bonus, no muss no fuss. It also removes the constant DM calls on whether guidance is appropriate for certain situations.


Thoughts?
 
Last edited:
They are ok.

I don't have issues with Bless, but I do dislike Guidance spammability, and this HR takes it away.

Although I am not very fond of changing Guidance to a mass spell. It gives it a very different feel... I am ok with Guidance representing a single-target boost. I just don't like how it can be cast continuously.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Explorer
As written I don't think this revised Bless actually would shore up your weak saving throws. You only add your proficiency bonus to saves in which you are proficient. Reassigning your proficiency bonus to be a specific number will only affect rolls in which you add your proficiency bonus.

I'm guessing you also intend for the spells to apply the newly calculated proficiency bonus to all attacks and saving throws?

That being said I'm also not a fan of reassigning the proficiency bonus because it then means I have to on the fly recalculate a bunch of different numbers on my sheet. That number gets used in a lot of calculations. IMO this would be more fiddly than remembering to roll an additional die.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
As written I don't think this revised Bless actually would shore up your weak saving throws. You only add your proficiency bonus to saves in which you are proficient. Reassigning your proficiency bonus to be a specific number will only affect rolls in which you add your proficiency bonus.
Very good point. The intention was to provide this bonus to all saving throws.

So:

1) If your proficiency bonus = 0 (you aren't proficient). You now get a +3 prof
2) If your proficient at +2, its now +3.
3) If your proficient at +3 or higher, no bonus.

I'll edit the spell to make the language better, thank you very much.

I generally find that when my party uses bless they use it a lot. So yes there is some recalculation but then its done. With rolling its everytime.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
It looks good to me. Giving someone a different Proficiency value to track seems kind of weird, but it's not more weird than Barkskin. I can't really imagine anyone using this new version of Guidance, but there are plenty of dud spells out there, and it's better to be under-powered than over-powered.

Have you given any thought into upcastability? If you cast Bless in a level 3 spell slot, does it give a Proficiency bonus of +4?
 
I do not like your change to Bless at all. It changes it from a "fiddly dice roll" (I don't consider rolling an extra d4 to be fiddly or difficult) that is always helpful to a fiddly bonus that is only occasionally helpful.
At levels 1-4, it's essentially just a +1 bonus except for the saving throws you aren't proficient in. I don't think I would ever use it at those levels because there are too few spell slots and the bonus isn't worth it.
After that is useless for increasing attack bonus and only affects nonproficient saving throws. So it's only useful when you know you are going up against something that uses spells/abilities that target saving throws that your party is not proficient in. How often do you actually have that information? And also have a enough of a party that share that weakness for it to be worth the spell and concentration cost?

Personally, I have no problem with Bless as it is, but there are definitely better ways to change it. If you want it to give a consistent bonus without rolling, why not just a flat +1 or +2? Then it is at least useful at all levels. You could even say that it doesn't stack with magical bonuses if you're worried about it getting too strong.

And if you don't want to change it from your current iteration, I would change the wording a bit. As it is right now, if you cast it and have a +4 or higher proficiency bonus, it actually lowers it to a +3 based on how it's worded.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Guidance seems quite unappealing as a 1st level spell.

The Bless is an interesting idea . . . What if you just have Guidance give that +3 proficiency bonus to skills.
 

lumenbeing

Villager
Some people love Bless and Guidance as they are, and some considering them OP. For me, its both there extreme power, and adds a lot of fiddly dice rolling.

This house rule addresses both parts.

EDIT: I adjusted Bless to be more in line with my intended use.

Bless

You have a +3 proficiency bonus to all attacks and saving throws. This does not stack with normal proficiency bonuses.

--So what this does is make bless give a powerful and consistent bonus but one that tapers with time. For first level characters, this is a solid buff. For 5th level ones (once everyone has +3 proficiencies), this allows you to shore up your saving throw weaknesses (or attack rolls if you happen to use a weird weapon). But it doesn't stack and just give you "moar powwa!". Its still very useful, but not as outright powerful as before...and no extra rolling needed.



Guidance
1st level Spell (not a cantrip)
Concentration: None

Duration: 1 hour
Targets: You and up to 6 creatures

Effect: Targets gain a +1 to skill checks.


--This addresses some of the "spam" concerns about guidance in certain areas. Its a solid, general buff, that helps the whole party in scenarios, and allows the cleric to help the whole team instead of giving 1 team member a big boost. It lasts an hour so you don't have to rush through things, but you also can't just use guidance all day long willy nilly. And again no rolling, just add the bonus, no muss no fuss. It also removes the constant DM calls on whether guidance is appropriate for certain situations.


Thoughts?
If I was a cleric playing at your table under these rules, I would be pissed. These two spells are core to the cleric’s class. The whole idea is that a cleric is constantly in touch with her deity and can ask THEM for guidance at almost any time. Its like whispering a little prayer. “Lord of Light, guide my hand and show us your favor) It makes a cleric feel like a cleric. Its part if why you want a cleric in the party. The way to address “spam concerns” is to explain this fact to anyone concerned.
Nerfing bless is equally unnecessary and effectively removes one of a clerics best low level spells from play. That is inconsistent with the game’s design principles. A blessing from a god should absolutely stack with any other bonuses including proficiency. No mater what stage of life you are in or how good you are at something, everyone can use a little help from a higher power.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
What do you think is the main weakness. Bonus is too spell, duration is too short, simple fact of having to burn a spell slot period?
The magnitude of the effect is too small, compared to the spell slot cost.

If you have a bonus of +1, then that will only change one-in-twenty failures into a success, and it's fairly unlikely that the party will fail twenty skill checks over the course of an hour. Even if they do, randomly converting one failure into a success is fairly insignificant, because it's random and you've already accounted for nineteen other failures going unmitigated. (That is to say, the skill check which was converted from failure to success was probably not a very important one.)

I feel like it would start to even out if you increased the bonus to +3. Even then, the spell slot cost would prevent them from using it on every single skill check.
 
Maybe for guidance, keep it a cantrip with concentration, and make it:

You touch one willing creature. For the duration of the spell, the creature uses your wisdom modifier for making wisdom-based ability checks unless the creature's wisdom modifier is higher than yours.


Potentially the target gets more benefit, but for fewer skills. Since the effect doesn't end the first time you use it and still requires concentration, the spell won't be spammed as much.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Bless

You have a +3 proficiency bonus to all attacks and saving throws. This does not stack with normal proficiency bonuses.

--So what this does is make bless give a powerful and consistent bonus but one that tapers with time. For first level characters, this is a solid buff. For 5th level ones (once everyone has +3 proficiencies), this allows you to shore up your saving throw weaknesses (or attack rolls if you happen to use a weird weapon). But it doesn't stack and just give you "moar powwa!". Its still very useful, but not as outright powerful as before...and no extra rolling needed.
No extra rolling, but loads more fiddliness and math. In the two games I'm in there are at least one person per game that needs to be coached through the math for every roll, even when it's written on their character sheet.

This spell now gives three different cases that are not obvious to that type of player:

I don't have a proficiency, so I need to add +3.
I have proficiency, but it's only +2 so I need to add +1.
I have proficiency, and it's already at +3 so it doesn't do anything.

From the wording "You", you may have made this a self only spell instead of three targets. If that's the case the math part should be okay (since players who chose spellcasters are often more knowledable about mechanics) but if so that's a huge debuff from 3+ targets fo chocie to self.

I'd much rather have something that adds regardless. And in that case, the reminder of a "bless d4" put in front of the player is just as useful as a "bardic inspiration d8".
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Bias - I dont have problems with Guidance or Bless as is in my games.

Changes to Guidance - I doubt you would ever see anyone spend a slot at any time slots matter at all for +1 to skills. Its just not worth it. It looks like you try and justify it with adding more targets, more time, no concen etc but the 1 in 20 chance it matters to the result is just not going to be worth a slot. You go from a cantrip casters want to take with their small number of cantrips to a spell that, well, would *you* choose to prep this as one of your limited number of spell slots?

If you want to hang more ribbons on your new guidance hoping somebody will cast it and prove you were right, make it a ritual. Thrn *maybe* somebody will spend time on it.

Of course, one could just raise casting time of the cantrip to "10m as a ritual)*

On Bless, this one I dont get the why behind. Burning concentration for d4s seems like a decent trade, but for low-side only +3 with de facto no gains to the high end. Seems like a trap spell after 5th. Do we need to take sprlls thst right now remain useful and turn more into spells that time out as you level?

If the issue is a personal dislike for d4, set it at +3 or +2 no rolls needed.

These spells both tend to make my selections for PC choices now. Both would ho awsy and not be chosen with these versions. Just ban them.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I set the bonus of both spells to a flat +2.
Ditto.

For Bless, no rolling an extra die and slowing things down.

For Guidance, we have been using a straight +2, but keeping it a cantrip and removing the concentration requirement. Each character can only receive it once until they take either a Short or Long Rest.

To the OP, your house-rules work fine, too IMO. :)
 

Satyrn

Villager
What do you think is the main weakness. Bonus is too spell, duration is too short, simple fact of having to burn a spell slot period?
The bonus is definitely too small, yeah.

As a player, I'd just be feeling that the spell's gonna have a real effect on only 1 out of every 20 rolls - because the only time +1 matters is when the DC is missed by 1. Like, the whole party's gonna have to make dozens of checks before I'd get the feeling of triumph that a successful command would provide (or the satisfying agony when command, is saved against).

I'm thinking there's no way the spell will have enough impact to enjoy, and so I'd just never bother preparing it.

(FYI: I'm definitely burned out on "collecting" all the little +1s that the last couple editions trafficked in. YMMV)
 
Last edited:

Staffan

Adventurer
If I felt guidance was out of hand, I'd change it to something like this:

Guidance
Divination cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V, S
Duration: 10 minutes

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, and the target can't be affected by another casting of this spell until they have finished a long rest.

When you reach 5th level, instead the target can't be affected by another casting of this spell until they have finished a short rest.

----------

The main problem I see with guidance is that it steps on the bard's toes. Sure, 1d4 is less than even the lowest-level bardic inspiration, and it only applies to ability checks, but unlike bardic inspiration it is unlimited. That means that a party with a cleric with guidance will essentially make every prepared ability check at +1d4, and I can see how that could be problematic. At this point I don't feel the need to change anything (it hasn't been a problem IMC), but if I did the change would look something like this.
 

Advertisement

Top