You bless up to three creatures of your choice within range. Whenever a target makes an attack roll or a saving throw before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the attack roll or saving throw.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 1st.
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (a sprinkling of holy water)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
School: 1st-level enchantment
Player’s Handbook, pg. 219
Bless is a straightforward support spell that boosts both the defensive and offensive capabilities of multiple allies. It’s just the thing you need to tip the scales in a close fight.
Bless also scales well in the middle levels, especially against enemies that have high armor or ability-based attacks.
Who Can Cast Bless?
The following classes have Bless on their spell list:
The following subclasses get Bless for free:
What Does Bless Do?
Casting Bless instantly benefits 3 creatures within 30 feet of the caster. Any creature who is blessed can add 1d4 to any attack roll or saving throw for up to 1 minute, meaning blessed creatures are both offensively and defensively stronger than normal.
The average d4 roll is 2.5. That may not seem like much, but in a system of bounded accuracy, it’s actually fairly significant — especially in early levels of play.
Bless lasts for 1 minute, and since a round of combat takes 6 seconds, Bless can last for up 10 rounds of combat (so long as the caster’s concentration isn’t broken).
Upcasting Bless allows +1 creatures to be targeted for each slot above 1st-level.
What Are the Rules for Bless 5e?
The rules for Bless in DnD 5e are as follows:
You can add the d4 to multiple rolls in a single round. Importantly, the spell description since “whenever” you make a roll, and does not say anything about limiting the number of times you can use it per round of combat. So if you make multiple saving throws and attacks in one round of combat, you can add a d4 to each and every one of them.
You can Bless yourself. Bless’ only stipulation is that you target creatures within range. That means any creature, including yourself. Additionally, you can use the 1d4 on the saving throw to maintain concentration on Bless — pretty nifty.
Blessed creatures can move out of range. Once a creature is blessed, it may move outside of the spell’s initial 30-foot range and still benefit from Bless. Here’s a Sage Advice thread on the general topic of concentration spells and range.
Bless affects death saving throws. You can add a d4 to any saving throw, which includes death saves. Here’s Jeremy Crawford confirming that death saving throws are saves. However, if you are the one who cast Bless, then the spell will end if you fall unconscious (because your concentration will be broken).
You can add the 1d4 to any attack roll. This includes spell attacks.
You do not need to see the creature to Bless it. However, you do still need a clear path to the target (PHB 204).
How Do I Use Bless 5e?
Bless is a support spell built for combat situations. Here’s how to optimize your use of Bless:
Give it to physical attackers. Any melee or ranged attacker that has a chance to attack twice (or more) in a turn will get extra mileage out of Bless’s attack buff. Sneak attacking Rogues will also really appreciate the added chance to hit.
Bless players who are likely to make saving throws. If you’re up against a spell-casting enemy, think about who they’re more apt to attack (and who in your party is most vulnerable).
Use Bless early. Bless lasts for 10 whole rounds of combat if you can maintain concentration. In most scenarios, 10 rounds should see you through all or most of a melee. The earlier you use the buff, the more overall utility you’ll get out of it.
Avoid damage while Bless is active. If your Bless gets shut down early thanks to a botched Constitution check to maintain concentration, you’re going to lose a lot of Bless’ effectiveness. One way to make sure it lasts for the whole fight is to avoid damage (and the checks to maintain concentration) entirely.
Bless yourself. Bless gives a bonus to Constitution saving throws as well, so if you’re worried about your concentration being broken, be sure to Bless yourself as well as your allies.
Who Can I Target With Bless?
You can target any creature within 30 feet with Bless. This includes creatures you cannot see, however you must still have a clear path to the target.
You can target yourself with Bless. This can be worthwhile if you expect you’ll be attacked because you’ll get a boost to your Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration.
The creatures you target with Bless don’t have to be near each other. You can Bless one player 30 feet to your north and another 30 feet to your south at the same time.
Is Bless a Good Spell?
Yes, Bless is a good spell, especially at early levels. The ability to buff multiple allies’ offensive and defensive capabilities can help swing a close fight in your favor. As mentioned earlier, an average roll of +2.5 is fairly powerful when 20 is the highest number you can get.
Bless also lasts as long as most early-game bouts of combat, so it provides lasting utility for only one expended spell slot.
The only thing to look out for is creatures that will try to break your concentration. Try to put allies between yourself and foes, so that they won’t be able to approach you without provoking opportunity attacks.
As you level up, Bless becomes less attractive compared to other support spells that Clerics and Paladins receive. That being said, both classes can prepare any spell from their spellbook after a long rest, so if a player wants to pick up a cheap buff for one special encounter, Bless is never a terrible choice.
Bless Compared to Bane
If you read the spell description for Bane, you’ll see that it’s essentially Bless in reverse. Instead of adding a d4 to attack rolls and saving throws, Bane subtracts a d4 from up to 3 enemy’s attack rolls and saving throws.
Note that enemies must first fail a Charisma saving throw or Bane does nothing. Plus, blessed allies can tactfully utilize their blessing, while you can’t control how the DM plays creatures that you’ve cast Bane on.
Because of this, you’re more likely to get greater utility out of Bless. And if you’re thinking “why not cast both and get double the advantages,” you can’t — both spells require concentration.
On the other hand, Bane is really effective for spellcaster-heavy parties. -1d4 to enemy saving throws can be just the thing to make sure that spells like Toll The Dead and Fireball land and deal full damage to enemies.
All else being equal, Bless is stronger with martial-heavy groups, while Bane is the better choice for magical parties that rely on saving throw-based spells.
Bless 5e DM Tips
The only tricky thing that might come up at your table with Bless is whether it works on Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration on itself and/or death saving throws. It works on all saving throws, so yes, it works in both of those situations.
Another thing that may come up is the material cost of Bless (a sprinkling of holy water). Clerics and Paladins can both make flasks of Holy Water by performing an hour-long ritual, expending a first-level spell slot, and using powdered silver worth 25 gp (PHB 152).
But since Bless is a level one spell and it doesn’t consume the material components, most DMs will allow that such holy classes probably start their journey with at least “a sprinkling of holy water” on them, if not a whole flask.
Simple Bless Spell Text
Bless: (1st-level, 30 feet, concentration, up to 1 minute, V/S/M (a sprinkling of holy water)) Bless up to 3 creatures in range; they can add 1d4 to any attack roll or saving throw until the spell ends. | May affect +1 creature for every spell slot above 1st.