1 Minute Duration Spells


First Post
This is what's commonly known as the Rule 0 Fallacy: "it's not broken if you can fix it."
I don't understand that.

No rule can cover all edge-cases. This is how you get ridiculously complex legalese, because every known hole has to be covered. Which leaves no wiggle room for customisation or flavour changes.

So, its not broken. Croesus wants to not have to track it. He makes a houserule that extends durations for 5 minutes or an encounter.

Frankly, if you've got another encounter within 5 minutes travel time, versimilitude would dictate that it would be the same encounter, because outside of a small set of circumstances, they'll hear that fighting. (I once had a wizard/rogue who researched a wall of silence spell that he could silently cast, to block off noise down a corridor, while he then slaughtered everything in sight.)

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First Post
With 5 minute spells time spent outside of combat needs to be tracked more carefully and players will feel pressured to rush to the next encounter because 'buffs man'.

With 1 minute spells players can feel even more pressure to hurry on. The shorter the spell lasts, the more pressure there is to make the most out of it.


First Post
Because if they added encounter durations, most of the non-4e players will not touch the game with a 10 foot pole.

I don't like tracking spell durations in combat. Its distracting from the actual game/immerssion,etc.. out of combat is not so bad.

So I would prefer all spells to be instant, 1 minute/level, or 1 hour/level

The spells that last 1 round per level are just a pain in the ass.


First Post
Seems like we have a difference in experience of game play and combat.

How can combat both "last longer than 10 rounds" and "very rarely last that long"?

Is not that difficult to understand. I very rarely fill up my gas tank more than once a week, but I would still like to have gas stations open on other days in case I need to.

In a combat heavy game, combats may rarely go longer than ten rounds, but it is still a significant enough possibility that someone needs to track spell durations. If you have 3 or 4 spells going, that's 3 or 4 more independent things to track during the combat.

I think a house/optional rule where 1 minute = 1 encounter is a good solution. It allows groups to customize the game based on how much detail they want to track during combat, but seems unlikely to have any major ripple effects through the rest of the rules. I think it's a bit ridiculous to expect a single ruleset that works for absolutely everyone, but a fairly straightforward set of rules that is easy to customize for the preferences of different groups may be feasible.


It seems to me in actual play the instance of an encounter actually lasting 10 rounds (one minute) is going to be so incredibly rare, that on those occasions giving the caster a little "bonus" time by letting a 1-minute spell last out the encounter is a very minor trade-off for all the times they cast the spell to have the encounter end next round.

On the other side, the chance of having a second encounter occur before the minute is up will usually be so rare, that the caster's player should suck it up when the encounter ends with 54 seconds remaining in their spell duration.

In the middle, if you're still keeping track of initiative and more monsters show up after the first are down, it's still the same encounter and the spell keeps going.

I find 1-minute durations to be so perfectly close to 1-encounter durations that I don't see the need to differentiate.

But I doubt I'll convince anyone of anything!


Fitz, you didn't convince me, but that's because I already agree with you.
1 minute is synonymous with 1 encounter in these rules.

If it said 10 rounds, I would be more annoyed.

As for anecdotal evidence, we have run 2 encounters with kobolds, 1 with kobolds and rats, and 3 with orcs.
None of those 6 fights lasted more than 10 rounds. 1 lasted 9.
We fought these at different levels, some at 1st, some at 3rd.


First Post
If tracking 10 rounds - either counting up from 1 to 10, or down from 10 to 1 - is too much for people I'd hate to see how badly they mangle the tracking of their hp.


First Post
While I generally like the way they're handling spells in 5e, one thing that raised a big red flag for me was all of the spells with 1 minute durations. Granted, this is a big improvement over 1 round/level, but it still has a major problem. Many combats may last longer than 10 rounds (1 minute). This forces me to keep track of the duration of these spells, and I absolutely hate having to do that.

I think the sensible way for you would be to houserule those durations into "1 minute outside combat/entire encounter during combat"


First Post
Personally, I like what 4e brought to the table in this regard. I liked 4e durations because they were easy and generally few effect spanned encounters.

It was easy to keep track of and clearly set player expectations. Sure, it was "gamist" and a little "artifical", but frankly I dont care. For me it worked better than the previous editions and that I liked.

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