5
\$\begingroup\$

The hex spell and the Hexblade's Curse feature don't list any saving throw in their descriptions. I would think that they would use a warlock's spell save DC and Charisma to save against it.

Do hex or Hexblade's Curse let the target make a saving throw against the effect?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Is there any particular reason you would expect that? \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Jul 7 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 7 at 22:13
13
\$\begingroup\$

There is no save against hex (the spell).

Each spell that requires a saving throw1 will indicate which ability the save is measured against: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. Since hex has no such text, there is no saving throw versus hex. (Great spell, eh?)

Hexblade's Curse, the class feature, also has no saving throw

Hexblade’s Curse

As a bonus action, choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. The target is cursed for 1 minute. The curse ends early if the target dies, you die, or you are incapacitated. Until the curse ends, you gain the following benefits: {snip details} You can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest. (XGtE, p. 55)

None of the text in the description of this class feature indicates a saving throw, nor an ability against which to make a save. We therefore conclude that there is no saving throw against Hexblade's Curse.

Compare that to the Archfey patron's Fey Presence class feature:

Fey Presence

Starting at 1st level, your patron bestows upon you the ability to project the beguiling and fearsome presence of the fey. As an action, you can cause each creature in a 10-foot cube originating from you to make a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. The creatures that fail their saving throws are all charmed or frightened by you (your choice) until the end of your next turn. (PHB, p. 109)

If the Hexblade's Curse required a saving throw, it would be in the description.


From your comment ...

as a DM, I like saves for everything

Not all spells call for saving throws. Sleep, for example, does not. Neither does color spray.

1Saving Throws
Many spells specify that a target can make a saving throw to avoid some or all of a spell’s effects. The spell specifies the ability that the target uses for the save and what happens on a success or failure. The DC to resist one of your spells equals 8 + your spellcasting ability modifier + your proficiency bonus + any special modifiers. (Basic Rules, p. 85)

Note that this does not say "all spells" but rather "many spells."


@Gandalfmeansme points out how Hex's effectiveness can be reduced: higher armor class.

a major element of Hex's effects are "resisted" by a high AC. If an enemy is rarely hit by attacks, then the +1d6 damage won't come up. It's similar to how there's no saving throw against Eldritch Blast.


@MikeQ makes a salient point about spells in the general sense that I think you'll find useful

Most effects in 5E are contingent on either an attack roll or a saving throw, but not both. Adding saves for everything would slow down the game, and render many attack-dependent spells less effective.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChristopherMcDaniel Adding a save to that significantly weakens the Warlock. Granted, a lot of us thing Hexblade (the sub class) was an over reaction to how under-powered Pact of the Blade seemed to be, but the Warlock is very unique in a lot of ways. This is one of them. There is also no saving throw against the Sleep spell. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 7 at 18:28
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ This is part of a broader pattern—things that require attack rolls (including when they are triggered by other things that require attacks, as in this case) don’t also allow saves. Anything with doubled failure modes like that would become either useless, or if the effect was strong enough to justify the risk, problematically swingy. This design is by far superior to any that involves double failure modes. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 7 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan: I think there are cases where there's a regular effect that's part of the attack, and then a save against a secondary effect (e.g. the smite spells, or the secondary effects imposed by many monsters' attacks). But yeah, you're generally correct. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 7 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Poison associated with the Giant Scorpion's attack comes to mind. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 7 at 22:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.