What prevents a cleric from casting the Guidance spell every single turn and having everyone have 1D4 extra for their rolls, especially since you can combo it with this:

It seems like every skill check should always be made with advantage due to the 'Working Together' rules. Is this accurate?

This can end with almost all the checks being a D20+1D4 plus advantage. Seems a bit broken mechanic without some houseruling that prevents the same spell on the same target for some time, or I am missing some rule that prevents this?

The same would affect Resistance, but since you probably are in the middle of a combat, the Touch range could prevent it effectively, but for normal skill rolls where the touch of the cleric is possible and the situation is not stressing?


5 Answers 5


Nothing prevents this in a normal, unpressed situation.

A lot of the same things that I said in my answer on the other question apply here as well.

Basically, if this is a strategy you don't want your PCs to employ, it's up to you as the DM to make the opportunity cost high enough that it's a significant trade.

There's not much issue with a cleric casting a 1 action cantrip while the thief picks a lock unless the thief needs to get through the room in order to hit a button to stop wave after wave of zombies. Then the Cleric is choosing between turning undead and helping the rogue.

Or perhaps there is a time pressure where there is something that has to be done within X rounds and casting guidance and then waiting a whole round for the rogue's turn to come back up isn't feasible.

Basically, this strategy is valid, until it's not. It's up to you to design situations that makes its use meaningful (though in the vast majority of cases, it's really kind of pointless to prevent this strategy).


I'd like to point out that Guidance has a duration of "Concentration, up to 1 minute". If you look at the first level cleric spells, the following also require concentration:

  • Bane
  • Bless
  • Detect Evil and Good
  • Detect Poison and Disease
  • Protection from Evil and Good
  • Shield of Faith

Generally speaking, most buff/de-buff spells require concentration. Since casting a spell that requires concentration causes you to lose concentration on any other spell you happen to have up means you can only have one buff/de-buff active at a time. A cleric couldn't have Bless and Shield of Faith active at the same time.

So from the player's perspective, it's a trade off. Let's imagine that a cleric casts Shield of Faith at the start of combat. The combat lasts a few rounds, so after the combat, the cleric still has most of the spell's 10 minute duration left. If they come to a point where they need to make an ability check, they have to decide if they want to give up the rest of that spell's duration in exchange for a +1d4 bonus.


I had the same doubts in the last session we had. But the more I think about it, the less of a problem it is for me. Let me explain...

What helped me a great deal was the blog post 5 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenaged Skill System by the angrygm (it is a long but great read. Give it a chance). What stood out for me was Rule #2: Only Roll When There is Chance of Success, A Chance of Failure, and A Risk or Cost of Failure. Only have a roll when there are consequences. When the Players have time to cast Guidance, then they should be able to do so. If you do not want that to happen, put them in a situation where there is no time for it. e.g.

Rogue: I am going to pick-lock the door.

Cleric: I am praying to my god to support the Rogue in pick-locking the door. (aka. Guidance)

DM: Sure you can do this. But the Zombies are hunting you. You need to concentrate for a short period, during which they will catch up a little. Are you sure you want to do this?

On the other hand, when my Players are talking to a NPC and the Rogue declares that he wants to intimidate him, I disallow the Cleric to cast Guidance. Because in the situation, it does not make sense. Does the Cleric know that the Rogue wants to intimidate? Is there time to to cast Guidance? It is the same with the Help action. Is it feasible to help another player thread a needle? If yes, they can Help. But I would rule it is not helpful. So no...

Again, the angrydm explains it in a great way. Plan your rolls. Every roll should have a very good reason, else drop it. And then you can decide, in the current situation, if it is possible/feasible to use Guidance and/or Help. In the end, if you put them in front of a closed door and there is no urgency, they should be able to pray to the gods and help each other. The problem is, that it is a boring situation and you are missing urgency/consequences. Guidance and/or Help is only the symptom, not the problem.


Generally, constantly casting a cantrip is RAW allowed, if annoyingly loud. Cantrips are free and at will, so you can simply persist that will. Whether it's Guidance, Blade Ward, or simply 'maintaining' the Dodge action. All three are permissible. You cannot, however, cast Guidance as a reaction to a check someone else has initiated. This requires anticipation/collaboration before the check is invoked.

There's a difference between "I'm going to go distract the guard" and "I distract the guard!" The former gives far more room for Guidance to be invoked, the latter does not.

Cantrips such as Guidance only affects one target at a time, so only one (declared) person can benefit from Guidance if a group check is made. Since it consumes your action EVERY turn you are maintaining it, you cannot make ability checks or perform other actions while doing so, and you need to stay within touch distance of your target if it is not yourself.

It's a pretty smart way of pushing through a dungeon, keeping Guidance on the person with the highest perception modifier or Resistance on the person taking point in case they hit a trap.

As a DM, narrative time is highly unruled territory, so it's important to use good judgement when players have an undefined amount of time at their disposal to approach a skill challenge, since the mechanics fall in their favor outside of turn order as long as it can be translated into a turn order set of actions.


Some actions take longer than a minute

The other answers here are plenty good, but I don't think anyone has mentioned the duration of the spell (one minute) with respect to the action being undertaken.

Suppose the rogue wants to pick a lock and the cleric says he will give guidance. If the DM determines that picking the lock will take 5 minutes, and doesn't announce when the check will be made (halfway through, at the end, at some non-specified time?), then one application of guidance will not be enough. So then the cleric has to choose whether to continually re-apply the spell for the entire duration of the activity, which means it will not be available for any other checks that come up during the same time period.

The same with the Help action - if you now have a five minute lock-picking job with three people involved, that is five minutes that 75% of the party is not doing something else. Sometimes that will have a big opportunity cost, sometimes not. If the lock is on an obviously-valuable and probably trapped tome, and the party is safely back in their lair, then it makes sense that they will devote every resource they have to this single, very important, roll. If the lock is on the gate of a manor house with guard patrols, maybe having almost all of them focused on the lock for five minutes instead of on lookout with a guided Perception isn't the best allocation of resources.


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