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So I am a cleric in our party, and our Warlock has a fiend as a patron. During last night's session, I was casting guidance on everybody that I could, because I knew we were about to get in a possible situation we would need it. The Warlock was RP'ing correctly when he denied this blessing, because he has a pact with a fiend, so a holy blessing would seem counter to his character.

But that got me thinking, what would happen if the cleric did cast bless on a fiend warlock? I would be imbuing him with the power of my God, but would that potentially hurt him, as his patron is a fiend?

I know Bless is a spell on it's own. However in this context I am saying any buff I give to allies via my holy power is a blessing from my God.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's ultimately your call, but people generally give a day or two before accepting an answer. Seeing the green check on an answer often dissuades people from answering at all, and there could be somebody out there with a better answer than either myself or @NautArch. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Dec 19 '19 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. that makes sense to me. I will leave it open for today. \$\endgroup\$ – J. Wagner Dec 19 '19 at 15:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Minor note on "was casting guidance on everybody that I could": the spell needs concentration, so you wouldn't be able to keep it up on multiple people. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Dec 19 '19 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Szega thank you. I was playing a fighter before so spells fairly new to me. I knew some required concentration but went off a bad assumption that cantrips wouldn't. The issue moreso is no one else seemed to catch it, but a lot of stuff was going on at the time this was done. Will know for future situations. \$\endgroup\$ – J. Wagner Dec 19 '19 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ From the context of the question, are we to assume that the god your cleric serves is good aligned or is otherwise opposed to lower planes creatures? \$\endgroup\$ – krb Dec 19 '19 at 16:37
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The warlock would get the benefits of bless

Bless (PHB, 219) does not have any restrictions other than the targets must creatures:

You bless up to three creatures of your choice within range.

They don't even have to be willing, so even if the Warlock didn't want the bless, they could still get and receive the benefits of the spell.

The warlock could refuse Guidance

On the other hand, Guidance (PHB, 248) does require a willing creature:

You touch one willing creature...

Guidance is also a concentration spell that only lasts 1 minute. So you can't actually have simultaneous guidance on multiple party members. You can cast it on one, and then either after the minute duration is up you can recast it on someone else, or recast on someone else under that minute and have it end on the original target. The spell also ends immediately after the next ability check.

However, if they did not refuse it, then they would still get the benefits of guidance as the spell has no restrictions or penalties and neither does the warlock class.

Party Cohesion and buff spells

Players are free to roleplay as they wish, but I'd talk with your table and DM about whether or not the party is supposed to be working with, against, or parallel to each other. Refusing to work together may be a symptom of My Guy Syndrome.

If you are going to 'flavor' your spell to be specifically a blessing from your god, then you and your table are going to need to reconcile what that means. It isn't something we can tell you, but please see the paragraph above about how your party works as a group.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Yeesh, thank you! Updated. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Dec 19 '19 at 15:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I came to mention the 'willing subjects' bit - there are no (and there should be no) in game repercussions from this act. Roleplaying in game there's a million reasons why a fiend patron would appreciate or even revel in some other 'foolish mortal' conveying more power to your character. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshjurg Dec 19 '19 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Joshjurg what would be a reason why the fiend would appreciate the buff instead of being upset about it? Perhaps I can bring that context to light in game. \$\endgroup\$ – J. Wagner Dec 19 '19 at 15:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would a devil or a demon care where the blessing comes from, if it makes their servant stronger? Using the powers of good for evil deeds is like their go-to thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Dec 19 '19 at 15:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @J.Wagner: I may be reading you wrong but you - or the other player - also seem to have an implicit assumption that the fiend-pact warlock is necessarily evil themselves. Obviously the player is free to RP this way, but just want to point out that there is no alignment restriction on the warlock regardless of pact. There are many reasons how a pact with an evil fiend could have come about, and they don't all require the warlock to be evil! (Think: Ghost Rider!) \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Dec 19 '19 at 15:21
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Bless works, Guidance does not.

At least, not the way you think it does.

Both spells are Concentration spells. You can't cast...

guidance on everybody that I could, because I knew we were about to get in a possible situation we would need it.

As soon as you cast Guidance on a second character, or cast Bless, the prior Concentration effect goes away. You can only have one.

As for the Warlock

Spells only do what they say they do, and neither Bless nor Guidance deal any damage to the target. For Guidance, the warlock could refuse allowing the cleric to make contact - Guidance require the caster to touch a willing creature. Bless doesn't require a willing target, so the Warlock cannot mechanically refuse the benefits.

The warlock player could have the character react to it in-character in whatever way suits the roleplaying, but there is no mechanical effect unless the DM adds one. I could see the patron actually liking the idea of a cleric using divine power to aid the warlock. It could be seen as the first step towards forging a new pact.

On House Rules

If the DM does add a damage effect, you're into house rule territory. The DM should consider the upsides, downsides, and potential future implications of applying some sort of damage when Blessing particular creatures. Off the top of my head, I'd advise against it, because the irresistible nature of Bless would logically lead to irresistible damage on creatures other than the warlock, and that's not the kind of spell Bless is meant to be.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Crap I totally forgot that Guidance was concentration. Oops! Well I guess in the heat of the moment no one looked into it and let it fly, but I will absolutely pay attention to that next time! \$\endgroup\$ – J. Wagner Dec 19 '19 at 15:15

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