Bless 5e Guide

Bless 5e Guide: How Does Blessing Work in D&D?

There are a lot of holy or buffing spells in D&D, some of which can heal for a lot and some of which can only heal for a little bit, and one of the best ones is the spell ‘Bless.’ While at first glance it doesn’t look to be supremely powerful, in the hands of the right spellcaster you can do a lot with it. It might even be a lifesaver in certain conditions.

Here’s our Bless 5e Guide, including how to cast it, when to cast it, and what it can do for your party.

What is the Bless Spell?

According to the Player’s Handbook, here are the stats for Bless:

  • Level: 1st
  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: 30 feet
  • Components: VSM (A sprinkling of holy water)
  • Duration: Concentration, Up to 1 minute
  • Classes: Cleric, Paladin
  • School: Enchantment
  • Attack/Save: None
  • Damage/Effect: Buff

You bless up to three creatures of your choice within range. Whenever a target makes an attack roll or a saving throw before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the attack roll or saving throw.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target an additional creature for each slot level above 1st.

Bless DnD Spell

Let’s break the spell down. It is a 1st level enhancement spell for clerics and paladins and costs one action to cast. The spell can be held with concentration for 1 minute (10 rounds), and can go up to 30 feet.

You can bless up to three creatures (including yourself) and they get to add a d4 to any attack rolls or saving throws that they take until the spell ends. For every spell slot above first that you expend, you can bless one additional person.

Bless is pretty underwhelming at first glance until you see it in action. For starters adding an extra D4 to attacks and saving throws for an entire minute of combat is very interesting. People underestimate how much an extra d4 can do until they miss a monster with an AC of 20 by rolling to 19, and then Bless saves the day.

It can be perfect for saving throws as well, and can just give you that little boost that you need to make sure that 14 wisdom save becomes an 18 and you shake off the negative effects.

Finally, at higher levels, you can target even more creatures. This is going to be situational as you will have other high level spells that will need slots, but it’s nice to cover all your allies in bless, and also have some left over for yourself or an NPC.

When to Use Bless in Combat

Most paladins and clerics tend to use bless right as combat starts, since the entire party is bunched up and within 30 feet if not closer anyways. Plus, since it lasts for 10 rounds of combat, that’s usually more than enough time to have bless fired up unless you are slogging through enemy waves or a boss fight.

You should also give bless to people who can benefit from the increased bonus to attack rolls. These include your rogue with sneak attack damage, your multi attack capable fighter, and your paladin with smite.

That doesn’t mean that other classes can’t benefit from blessing, as everyone can always use a little boost with their saving throws, but you should prioritize the hard hitters first.

Make sure to avoid combat yourself though when you cast it, because if you take damage while the spell is up, you will need to make a constitution saving through to keep the spell up. Thankfully, the saving throw is affected by blessing if you have cast the spell on yourself.

Does Bless Scale Well?

It scales pretty well in the early to mid game yes. The extra 1d4 to attack and saving throw rolls can really help your low leveled adventurers as they try to get through the various dangers of the campaign. As they get more powerful weapons and armor, the extra 1d4 can still help against foes with higher ACs and foes with stronger effects to save against.

However, by the late game it drops a bit. Not that Bless isn’t useful in the late game, but it does get outshone by some of the higher level concentration spells in game. Paladins and Clerics at high levels tend to get bigger and stronger spells, and they might want to avoid using a blessing with a higher level spell in order to cast a higher level spell.

Additionally, since only one concentration spell can be kept up at a time, they might forget about blessing in lieu of some stronger options. These can include Faerie Fire, Spirit Guardians, and Banishment. By the late game, it is still a valid choice in a spellcaster’s arsenal, it’s just not the only choice that they automatically go with,

Bless Vs Bane

If you are a cleric, you can get your hands on the bane spell as well. This spell is the opposite of Bless, and according to the player’s handbook here is what it can do.

  • 1st Level Enchantment
  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: 30 feet
  • Components: VSM (A drop of blood)
  • Duration: Concentration, Up to 1 minute
  • Classes: Bard, Cleric

Up to three creatures of your choice that you can see within range must make Charisma saving throws. Whenever a target that fails this saving throw makes an attack roll or a saving throw before the spell ends, the target must roll a d4 and subtract the number rolled from the attack roll or saving throw.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target an additional creature for each slot level above 1st.

bane spell dnd

We won’t break the spell down too much, but instead of boosting your allies with a +1d4, you harm your enemies with a -1d4. They will need to make charisma saving throws and will be affected by a -1d4 for their attack rolls and saving throughs until the spell ends. So, that’s about 10 rounds of combat. Also like bless, you can cast it with a higher level spell slot to affect more creatures.

If you want to figure out whether you should use bless or bane for your character, try to think about what type of party you have as well as what type of cleric you want to be.

Do you believe in the gods of battle and war? Then you might need to cast bane to make it easier to take down your enemies because their attacks won’t hit. Do you believe in honor and protection? Then use Bless to help boost your allies and make sure they survive the battle.

Also, if your party is primarily spell casters, bane might be a good idea. The -1d4 for saving throws is fantastic if the spells they are casting have saving throws to reduce the damage. If the enemy can’t save, then they will take full damage.

If your party is primarily made up of melee fighters, then Bless will be helpful. Whether they can do one attack or four a turn, the boost to their rolls can turn a glancing blow into something that cuts deep and slaughters the enemy! You’ll be able to take a massive chunk out of the HP of your enemies, which is always helpful.

How to Flavor the Bless Spell?

Of course, the bless spell like all holy powers, comes from the god that your character worships. If your character follows Lathlander, the god of the dawn, vitality, and youth, you could have anyone blessed by him covered in sunlight.

Maybe if the blessing spell causes a successful hit to miss, the beam of sunlight fills the air and blinds the enemy, throwing off their aim.

If your character represents Umberlee, the goddess of the sea and the water, maybe the blessing spell allows your characters to flow like water. If an orc misses an attack on someone blessed by Umberlee, maybe the character pulls off some unnatural dodge and ducks out of the way.

It’s mostly for flavor, but it can be a lot of fun to customize your spells visually and make them all about your god. It can make every single cleric and paladin different and add some fun to combat. Plus, if your enemies cast bless on themselves, they might have some different cosmetic alterations as well.

Bless FAQ

Question: Can I Cast Bless on Myself?

Answer: This one is a commonly asked question from new players because most of the time you are casting spells on others. However, the text for bless states: You bless up to three creatures of your choice within range.

This can include you, as you can choose to bless yourself. This can be good if you are a Paladin who wants to get into the thick of the action, or if you are a cleric with a bad history of falling your saving throws.

In most cases, unless you are burning an extra spell slot to make sure everyone in the party is blessed, you should cast it on others. If you get hit and can’t pass your constitution saves, that 10 round 1 minute spell can be cut very fast, so it’s a good idea to either have a high consitution save, or stay in the back where you won’t get hit .

Question: Is Bless a One Time Use Spell?

Answer: Some buffing spells are only used once, and need to be used before the spell ends. However, Bless stays active for the full 10 rounds, meaning that every single saving through and attack roll you make during those 10 rounds will have a 1d4 added to it.

This is very powerful and one of the reasons that a blessing spell holds up during the mid and even late game. Especially when you add it to multiple creatures rather than just the standard three.

You just need to make sure that your caster doesn’t get hit or knocked out during the battle, as the bless spell will go away. Keep them protected and make sure they have their concentration up! Keeping the bless spell up can really mess with your tactics as well, as you might need to play defense for your caster.

Question: Are There Other Ways to Get Bless?

Answer: If your party does not have any holy warriors in the party, Then you might wonder if blessing can be gotten any other way. Thankfully, just like other spells, you can find it in potion and scroll form. The potion is called a ‘Potion of Heroism’ which gives you 10 temporary high points and also has you under the effects of the bless spell as well.

Now, the potion of heroism also gives you all those effects for 1 hour after drinking it! Bless for one hour is very interesting, allowing your character to go through multiple combats with the benefits of bless. Plus, it also doesn’t require any concentration as well, so it’s very powerful.

Due to the power, it is very rare and also very expensive. You might find only one or two per campaign, but they are things you want to keep with you for emergencies!

Additionally, you can find a scroll of blessing for about 120 GP after any modifiers. These items are very common and the scroll of blessing allows you to cast the blessing spell for a single use. Then the scroll is used up. If you don’t have a healer or want to stockpile these scrolls, you can find them in most magic shops.

Finally, you can easily homebrew a potion of blessing if you don’t like the duration or the temporary hitpoints. It would probably be pretty common and cheap, just based on the fact that the Bless is a low level spell.

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