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5E concentration in 5th edition, whats your fix?

Concentration

  • half duration

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • Wisdom save

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • do away with it

    Votes: 10 4.7%
  • or play as is

    Votes: 203 94.9%

  • Total voters
    214

schnee

Villager
Am I saying this would have been better? No - but it would have been less of an abrupt change from the mentality of prior editions, and I've had been worried about the knee jerk reaction to concentration that we saw when the edition was released.

I'm not worried about previous editions, or the people that prefer them. I'm worried about this one.

Like I said, I'm a gray Grognard, and I'm fine. If other Grognards can't be fine, it's because they are too sentimental, and want to play the old game, and not this new one. They should go play that old game. God knows I don't need them at the table with the literal line of new players we have waiting to get a spot at ours.

I'm fine with 95% of Concentration. It's made me a more mindful caster, and much more strategic, knowing I can't just stack effects until I'm unbeatable. Every spell has an upside and a downside, I don't always have an answer, and I'm there to 'stack' the battlefield in one direction to help my allies, not to trivialize the whole encounter by myself.

When I try to think through the few quibbles I have (i.e. Flame Blade is nerfed a bit too much), I see that fixing those edge cases would cause more problems than it solves. So, I just chalk it up to 'Pobody's Nerfect' and be thankful for the rest of the game being so good.

It's better than previous editions, and getting rid of all the stacking is one of the biggest reasons why.
 
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ad_hoc

Explorer
I did not think this level of agreement was possible when discussing ttrpgs on the internet :confused:
To be fair it is on the 5e forum.

The question is basically asking 'do you like 5e?' There will always be a few dissenters but the selection bias is strong.

Other interesting questions:

Should there be dungeons?

Is it necessary to have spells in the game?

Is water wet?
 

Thurmas

Villager
I'm fine with the Concentration mechanic as is. I would only slightly reduce the number of spells that actually require concentration. Some just don't make sense to require it in my mind.
 
Concentration is by far my favorite thing about fifth edition. I stopped running third edition because of the huge list of buffs and debuffs I always had to deal with, it slowed gameplay to a crawl and felt more like homework than a game.

Me: A pack of orcs kicks down the door!

*The tension drains away as the players spend forty minutes figuring out what spells are on, what spells should be cast, and what everyone is actually rolling*

The concentration mechanic, and the simple advantage/disadvantage system brought me back to D&D after 15 years with other systems.
 

Monayuris

Explorer
Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Concentration is up there with Advantage as being one of the 5E killer apps.

i remember my 3.5 days, where we would spend 4 rounds behind the door, before every combat to cast stacking buff spells. I’m SO glad that insanity is over with.

Along with tracking overly situational bonuses and individual initiative, that element of play has been dumped into my been there, never doing it again pile.
 

the_redbeard

Explorer
Given that my preferred edition is 1e, I don't see any problem with spells simply having a duration....

As the DM:
So if I were fixing this in a vacuum I'd just drop the concentration mechanic.
But I'm not fixing it in a vacuum. So I just let the players decide if they wanted to keep it as is or change it somehow.
For the time being they've chosen to play it as is. We'll revisit the question next campaign.
And as the DM my monsters are not hindered by this if I don't want them to be because monsters don't have to work exactly like PCs.:)

As a player? I'll let the table/DM know my preferences. Then I'll roll with whatever the group has decided.
It's just a question of do I solve the problem using x aproach or y.
I'm a long time runner of 1E and other OSR systems. I hate to ask (because it sounds condescending) but have you played/DMed high level casters in 3.x or 5e?

Sure, 1E doesn't have the Concentration mechanic, but here are limiting factors to spellcaster power in 1E that 3.x did away with:

1. If you cast a spell, you can't move that round. At all. Sure, maybe your ring of invisibility will pop back up, but with your spell you've given the enemy your location. In 3.x, you cast, you move, you're invisible again.
2. You had no way to improve the DC of the saving throws against your spells; in 3.x you had several ways to game your spell DC.
3. Every class and every monster decreased (improved) ALL of their saves as they leveled/had higher hit dice. The fighter wasn't a liability to a measly Charm Person spell, but could laugh off "save or die" effects and then slice the spell caster in half. In 3.x and 5e, a spellcaster has the repertoire to choose spells with a variety of ability saves and tailor their cast to the target, sometimes ensuring that it will fail its save. (At least 5e, while keeping some 'save or suck' spells, gives the power low save critters a chance to save each round.)
4. You couldn't pick your spells: each level you learned ONE random spell. You had to find the rest as treasure, purchase them, etc. Oh, your first level spell is Push. Yeah, you can be creative with it, but you know everyone wants Sleep. In 3.x, wizards get to choose, and they get 2 of them.
5. Spell memorization times. At higher levels, it can take days or even a week for a wizard to re-memorize their spells. You had to _very_ carefully conserve your spell slots. Want to re-memorize in the dungeon? Enjoy a zillion random encounter chances. It takes an hour in 3.x if I recall.
6. Magic Item creation. It was nearly impossible to create magic items besides potions and scrolls, considering that Permanency, an 8th level that requires a whole POINT of Constitution, was necessary. (Yep, according to the 6th level "Enchant an Item" spell, no magic would be permanent unless Permanency was cast). 3.x let you be a veritable custom to order factory of magic items.

I won't even say this list was all-inclusive. Your hit points couldn't benefit from above a 14 constitution unless you were a fighter, for instance. There were so many ways that spell casters, for all that they did have Save or Die spells, were less powerful and more fragile than in 3.x

5e keeps many of the 3.x changes, but keeps spell casters somewhat in check with Concentration.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
I think if you just look at a list of spells regardless of class and which ones have concentration and which don't, you'll get a misleading impression of how the mechanic works. Having played in games with a few different spell casters now, it seems that some classes have concentration heavy spell lists by design as a way of balancing them.
Still doesn't answer the very many questions.

For instance, any buff that presupposes you will be in melee should not be breakable by taking damage, that's just elementary spell design. Spells like Stoneskin become "cast on others, never on self" spells.

The Paladin gets lots of Concentration spells. Only problem is, the Paladin is a melee combatant. It's much better to simply use those slots for smites and simply forget about the Paladin spell list, especially the Concentration spells. The opportunity cost of casting a Concentration spell is simply to high. Even if you only fail Concentration checks on rolling a 1, you might have to make three such rolls per round on average. Coupled with the fact your spellcasting cost you a couple of d8 smite dice, it just doesn't add up.

I agree the Light mechanism should have been utilized to a much larger degree. That is, removing Concentration and instead saying "As soon as you cast a second Aura (or whatever) the first one ends"

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

happyhermit

Explorer
He has a point. I'm not all that fond of 5E, and Concentration is close to the top of the list of reasons why.
Yes, but most people who would answer yes to "Do you like 5e?" have things about it that they don't care for or agree about. Pretty much every survey on here that I have seen, about classes or any other mechanic have been widely disagreed upon. I mean look at the recent survey about how many people houserule 5e, tons of people change the rules to suit their preferences and have no qualms about discussing it. Asking if people like 5e as a whole is completely different than asking if they like a particular mechanic. Even in this thread people have discussed how they aren't all that fond of all the details of the way the mechanic was implemented, but agree on it as a whole.
 

Dausuul

Legend
To be fair it is on the 5e forum.

The question is basically asking 'do you like 5e?' There will always be a few dissenters but the selection bias is strong.
It's nothing of the kind. It's asking whether people use a particular 5E mechanic by the book or not.

I'm not shy about hacking up the rules, and 5E is built to cater to rules-hackers. My love of 5E as a whole does not stop me from taking an axe to stuff I don't like. For example, I doubt I will ever again run a 5E game using the standard resting rules. If I didn't like concentration, it would be on the chopping block in short order.

Now, the OP did make a mistake by not including an "other" option. If you modify the concentration rules, but your change does not involve half duration, Wisdom save, or getting rid of concentration entirely, you are effectively blocked from participating in the poll. I wouldn't be surprised if that's skewing the results heavily.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
It's nothing of the kind. It's asking whether people use a particular 5E mechanic by the book or not.

I'm not shy about hacking up the rules, and 5E is built to cater to rules-hackers. My love of 5E as a whole does not stop me from taking an axe to stuff I don't like. For example, I doubt I will ever again run a 5E game using the standard resting rules. If I didn't like concentration, it would be on the chopping block in short order.

Now, the OP did make a mistake by not including an "other" option. If you modify the concentration rules, but your change does not involve half duration, Wisdom save, or getting rid of concentration entirely, you are effectively blocked from participating in the poll. I wouldn't be surprised if that's skewing the results heavily.
Yup. An "Other" category would have been great for things line "I removed Concentration from spells that I felt shouldn't have it" which is as far as I know a fairly common houserule.
 

redrick

Villager
But this may require a bit more grery matter than the kids have now days.
I appreciate a post that calls "the kids these days" stupid by misspelling the word "grey."

Don't come at "the kids these days," bro. The millennials are doing quite fine, thanks.
 

Wulffolk

Villager
I play Concentration pretty much RAW.

I can't remember ever seeing any other poll on this forum with as one-sided of a result as this poll.
 

snickersnax

Explorer
I've been playing a house rule where concentration checks from taking damage are eliminated, but casters can still only have one concentration spell active. Concentration is disrupted if the caster loses consciousness.

I also rule that casting a 1-action concentration spell can provoke attacks of opportunity during the casting. Damage during the casting of a spell does force a concentration check. Failing a concentration check during the casting of the spell causes it to be disrupted. This does not apply to concentration spells that are cast as a bonus action.

The benefits of these house rules are:

1) I no longer have to remember to have casters make concentration checks every time they take damage. Which is a common thing to forget. I've seen experienced 5e players and DMs forget occasionally.
2) Some spells that were crippled by concentration checks from taking damage are slightly improved:
compelled duel, divine favor, protection from evil, shield of faith, alter self, barkskin, flame blade, shadow blade.... come to mind.
3) I find that the story telling of having the concentration spells cast by the BBEG dissipate after he is finally defeated much more satisfying than having them dissipate because he took a scratch.
4) The players enjoy it more. Spell casters feel like their spells are more powerful. Non-casters feel like they have an extra tool against casters (AoO vs concentration spells).
5) Casters no longer feel feat taxed to take warcaster or resilient (con).
6) Combat plays slightly faster since since concentration checks for damage are removed
 

billd91

Earl of Cornbread
I'm a long time runner of 1E and other OSR systems. I hate to ask (because it sounds condescending) but have you played/DMed high level casters in 3.x or 5e?

Sure, 1E doesn't have the Concentration mechanic, but here are limiting factors to spellcaster power in 1E that 3.x did away with:

1. If you cast a spell, you can't move that round. At all. Sure, maybe your ring of invisibility will pop back up, but with your spell you've given the enemy your location. In 3.x, you cast, you move, you're invisible again.
2. You had no way to improve the DC of the saving throws against your spells; in 3.x you had several ways to game your spell DC.
3. Every class and every monster decreased (improved) ALL of their saves as they leveled/had higher hit dice. The fighter wasn't a liability to a measly Charm Person spell, but could laugh off "save or die" effects and then slice the spell caster in half. In 3.x and 5e, a spellcaster has the repertoire to choose spells with a variety of ability saves and tailor their cast to the target, sometimes ensuring that it will fail its save. (At least 5e, while keeping some 'save or suck' spells, gives the power low save critters a chance to save each round.)
4. You couldn't pick your spells: each level you learned ONE random spell. You had to find the rest as treasure, purchase them, etc. Oh, your first level spell is Push. Yeah, you can be creative with it, but you know everyone wants Sleep. In 3.x, wizards get to choose, and they get 2 of them.
5. Spell memorization times. At higher levels, it can take days or even a week for a wizard to re-memorize their spells. You had to _very_ carefully conserve your spell slots. Want to re-memorize in the dungeon? Enjoy a zillion random encounter chances. It takes an hour in 3.x if I recall.
6. Magic Item creation. It was nearly impossible to create magic items besides potions and scrolls, considering that Permanency, an 8th level that requires a whole POINT of Constitution, was necessary. (Yep, according to the 6th level "Enchant an Item" spell, no magic would be permanent unless Permanency was cast). 3.x let you be a veritable custom to order factory of magic items.

I won't even say this list was all-inclusive. Your hit points couldn't benefit from above a 14 constitution unless you were a fighter, for instance. There were so many ways that spell casters, for all that they did have Save or Die spells, were less powerful and more fragile than in 3.x

5e keeps many of the 3.x changes, but keeps spell casters somewhat in check with Concentration.
Oh, there's even more.
7. Random magic item selection was great for getting scrolls - randomly generated, so maybe not so useful for the average wizard. But it was very hard on wizard-based items for virtually everything else. Wands were rare, bracers of armor were rare. Aside from the scrolls and potions, the most likely items on the list were martial oriented - weapons and armors.
8. Wands were largely either weird utilitarian or combat. No wands of mage armor or any of the other overlapping buff varieties that a wizard could pop off on the cheap and at minimum level because a short combat duration was fine.
 

lluewhyn

Villager
6. Magic Item creation. It was nearly impossible to create magic items besides potions and scrolls, considering that Permanency, an 8th level that requires a whole POINT of Constitution, was necessary. (Yep, according to the 6th level "Enchant an Item" spell, no magic would be permanent unless Permanency was cast). 3.x let you be a veritable custom to order factory of magic items.
Off-topic, but I seem to recall (from 2nd Ed anyway, where I started), that the chances of success for creating an item were affected by only 1% per +X of Enchantment, so making a +1 weapon was ~75% of success, but going for broke with a +5 was only like 71%? I remember thinking that even as a kid back then this seemed ill thought out and didn't explain the plethora of weaker magic items since the cost was a permanent +1 Con each time.
 

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