One of the Eldritch Invocations warlocks can take is Maddening Hex (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 57):

(Prerequisite: 5th level, hex spell or a warlock feature that curses)

As a bonus action, you cause a psychic disturbance around the target cursed by your hex spell or by a warlock feature of yours, such as Hexblade’s Curse or Sign of Ill Omen. When you do so, you deal psychic damage to the cursed target and each creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The psychic damage equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1 damage). To use this invocation, you must be able to see the cursed target, and it must be within 30 feet of you.

The description says "around the target cursed by [hex or a warlock feature]". It does not say "a target" nor does it address the possibility of multiple targets active at a time for you to choose.

If I cast hex on a creature, and curse another creature with Hexblade's Curse, then if I activate Maddening Hex, do both creatures get damaged (and others in their vicinity)?

If this is true, this might be so broken because if the enemies are clumped together they will take a lot of damage!


You can only damage one cursed target (and creatures next to it) at a time

Jeremy Crawford, official rules designer for 5e, answers this question here:

For Maddening Hex, does the psychic damage trigger off of every target cursed by you within range, (One creature cursed by Hexblade's Curse and another cursed by the spell Hex, or the like) or only a single cursed target per turn?

Maddening Hex works on one cursed target at a time.

This fits the wording of the feature. You can have multiple targets cursed at a time using different warlock features and/or hex, but Maddening Hex only activates on one. As you point out, it says "the [cursed] target", singular - so even if you've cursed multiple targets, you can only use Maddening Hex to deal damage to one cursed target (and creatures adjacent to that one, of your choice) at a time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast: Um... they do. That's what my parentheticals state: you pick one creature cursed by you, and deal damage to that creature and the ones next to it of your choice. I've written them as parentheticals to distinguish OP's point of confusion: you pick one cursed target to affect with the ability, not all cursed targets. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 18 '18 at 23:03

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