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From the description of guidance orison:

The creature gets a +1 competence bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. It must choose to use the bonus before making the roll to which it applies.

Gathering information with the diplomacy skill takes d4 hours. Can guidance help with it, even though it has a duration of 1 minute (or until discharged)?

The key question for answering this seems to be: When gaining a bonus to a skill check, does the bonus have to persist for the length of time of the check, or only when the dice are rolled?

Supposing the bonus has to persist for the entire time, can one use several guidance orisons to cover a longer period of time? I am not aware of any rules support for this.

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Yes, RAW doesn't care that you will be 'using' this bonus for longer than indicated as long as it applies to just one skill. You take +1 on your skill roll; if there are no subsequent rolls, it applies to that whole task.

In game, this could be justified as the spell lasting 1 minute, but once you've decided what to apply it to, Guidance instantly provides insight that only applies to your current task; to continue your example, divine energies provide a knack for knowing who to talk to to find information you need now. Even when the spell is gone, you retain the Guidance it provided (but it's not applicable to any other situation, no matter how similar).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the answer. It would be further improved by rules quotations which support the arguments. \$\endgroup\$ – Tommi May 31 '16 at 6:05
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Yes, guidance should be able to apply in that scenario.

  1. You could discharge the benefit of the spell early, granting yourself a +1 bonus on the check. The duration of the spell is intended to be short so that you don't hold a floating +1 to any check you want throughout the whole day - you should know what you're planning to do before you cast guidance.

  2. Guidance is a zero level spell, and in most cases, should be able to be cast at will. Ergo, the above example is a non-issue in most cases, as you would likely be able to spam the spell until the task was completed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited to question to specify where my doubt arises from. Can you help with that, preferably with rules quotes or showing where an answer is implicitly assumed? \$\endgroup\$ – Tommi May 29 '16 at 11:10

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