Spell Archive: Bane

Last week we talked about Bless, which means it’s only fair if today we talk about Bane. You know what they say, opposites attract, and that’s certainly the case with these two.

Last week we talked about Bless, which means it’s only fair if today we talk about Bane. You know what they say, opposites attract, and that’s certainly the case with these two; if your party can manage to have both spells up, the baddies won’t stand a chance!


Bane

1st-level enchantment

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Components: V, S, M (a drop of blood)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Up to three creatures of your choice that you can see within range must make Charisma saving throws. Whenever a target that fails this saving throw makes an attack roll or a saving throw before the spell ends, the target must roll a d4 and subtract the number rolled from 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.


Spell Talk

Welcome to Bless’s more edgy twin brother/sister. Bane, much like Bless, is very useful but even more so at lower levels when anything can kill you. Rather than focus on helping your allies directly, Bane focuses on debuffing your enemies instead. But this spell also helps your allies in many ways, which we will go into a little more in the tips and tricks section. Not only is bane useful in giving enemies a -1d4 to their attack rolls and saving throws; if you target multiple enemies and only one fails against it, you still get a lot out of it. So cast your Bane and ask your ally casters to switch to save spells.

Tips & Tricks

First and foremost Bane excels at helping your allies with their spell Save DC. Your allies essentially get a boost to their spell save DC; if an enemy would normally just make the save, they now fail, and if they only succeed by 1-4 numbers then there is a chance of them now failing. Your wizard trying to cast Hold Person so that the paladin can smite them? Bane em. Your battlemaster fighter keep failing at tripping the enemy? Bane em. Keep in mind that some DMs may forget when the enemies are affected by Bane, so don’t be afraid to give a very soft reminder by screaming out “Bane!” like a dog that just saw a happy little squirrel scurry by.

Even though Bane is very useful early on, there are still some monsters later on that can be dilapidated by this spell. Elementals for one have an average wisdom score of 10 and a Charisma score of usually 10 or much lower. Not only does casting Bane already have a decent chance at working against them, it will make any future Hold monsters and Banishments that much easier for your allies to successfully cast.

Pro tip, dual clerics that cast bane and bless together are actually my favorite and should be praised for how much they are helping their teammates. 

Reflavors

If you are a psychic themed character then Bane can really drive home the little psychic jabs you are taking at your enemies as every attack seems to miss at the last moment. Or if an enemy is about to successfully dodge out of the way of your ally’s fireball, you give a simple flick of a wrist and suddenly that enemy is ashes. If you’re a techy themed character you can toss several little discs that stick onto and zap your enemies every time they try to attack or dodge from a blast. Or maybe you can reflavor it to be more dark themed, where your deity curses the targets and little ticking clocks appear above their heads, suddenly rewinding and shifting their position every time they are about to land a hit or dodge a fireball. Good luck with your Bane usage friends.


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