My level 10 necromancer is trying to boost his skeletons. Usually I opt for skeletal archers, as mechanically it is easy and quick for me to roll 8d20's and not worry about them much (until the dragon kills them all in a breath and I make more). I have worked out with the DM that every day two 3rd level slots are gone to cast Animate Dead.

My skeletons have HP: 23 and Attack: +4 (1d6+6). Assuming 1/2 the attacks hit, generally damage tends to be 38 piercing--for a while I definitely was doing over 1/2 the party damage per round, but the enemies AC's have been increasing.

Occasionally the Oathbreaker paladin is around, and this can increase the skeletons melee damage to 1d6+10.

Also, I have been using the "Tiny" version of Animate Objects to have 10 attacks at 1d4+4, with a +8 to hit.

How can my party and I increase the Attack modifier or damage for a host of creatures like these, via spell or effect? For example, Bless, in 3.5, used to be "The caster and all allies within a 50-ft. burst, centered on the caster" but is now only 3 creatures.

Are there any spell buffs that effect larger amounts of creatures that can be used in these scenarios?


3 Answers 3


Increasing the attack modifiers of unlimited number of creatures is impossible

The best you can do is give 11 of them 1d4 to the attack rolls, with Bless cast in a 9th level slot.

Increasing the damage is not much better

As @zach said, Crusader's Mantle does not limit the number of targets. It is a significant increase, but needs a L9 Paladin or a L6 Bard to cast.

What can you do instead

Give those archers Advantage. There are many spells that can do this, prefer the ones that target more creature, so there is a smaller chance of a wasted action:

  • No concentration, like Blindness
  • No save after the first one, like Faerie Fire
  • Can be reused by pushing enemies later in the area, like Web


You seem to be around level 10, and a CR10 monster is supposed to have AC 17. This means your skeletons have a basic hit chance of 40%.

Increases the hit chance to 52.5%, so the DPR increase is 31,25%.

Crusader's Mantle:
26,31% increase in DPR (1d4+1d6+6 vs 1d6+6)

The hit chance goes to 64%, the DPR increase is 60% (plus a bit from the increased chance of criticals)


Giving Advantage is the easiest for you, but 1 level of Cleric is never a bad investment on a Wizard. Besides giving you access to Bless in a 6th level slot to to cover all your Skeletons, it usually improves your AC significantly.
And you can even combine Bless with Blindness, as only one of them requires concentration.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I suppose there aren't many options, other then looking for debuffs. Magic arrows, maybe. I know Slow reduces their AC by 2, so that adds up with many attacks. I see Bardic Inspiration--one target lol. OK. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 2:08

All that I could find was a the paladin spell Crusader's Mantle (phb 230):

Holy power radiates from you in an aura with a 30-foot radius, awakenening boldness in friendly creatures. Until the spell ends, the aura moves with you, centered on you. While in the aura, each nonhostile creature in the aura (including you) deals an extra 1d4 radiant damage when it hits with a weapon attack.

So your oathbreaker pally could double dip and if you use all melee skeletons you'd get (1d6 + 10) piercing + 1d4 radiant which isn't too bad. I skimmed as much as the PHB as I could, I don't think there are any other ways to give more than 1 creature a damage boost, or even give a creature a damage boost that is not concentration.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A 3rd level Wolf totem barbarian could also grant Advantage to all melee attacks against creatures within 5 feet of him. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 8:27

I suppose giving them magic (masterwork isn't in 5e) weapons or ammunition is too expensive?

As for buffing spells, don't forget that many buffing spells are "concentration" thus remember the rules on "concentration" if you plan on stacking "bless" spells (casting to different groups)

Casting another spell that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration. You can’t concentrate on two spells at once.

After saying that though, bless can affect more than 3 with a higher spell slot of course. Other than that I cant think of any spell that will buff attack modifier or damage AOE (individually there are a few of course). Mass haste isn't 5e, bless is fewer targets, prayer isn't 5e, no more mass bulls strength either. Not even bards can AOE attack buffs (only healing).


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