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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

Aaron L

Registered User
None of the above:

I keep Concentration, but I allow multiple Concentration spells at once. Maintaining Concentration on a 2nd spell adds +2 penalty to the DC, and every additional spell beyond the 2nd doubles the penalty. Maintaining Concentration on 2 spells simultaneously is DC 12, 3 spells is DC 14, 4 spells is DC 18, 5 spells is DC 26, 6 spells is DC 42, and so on up to a number of spells equal to the spellcaster's Intelligence modifier. When maintaining Concentration on more than 3 spells (when the DC becomes higher than 15) the spellcaster starts taking Psychic damage every round equal to the total number of spell levels being maintained, with blood pouring from the spellcaster's nose and ears from the strain (the Psychic Nosebleed trope) and it requires an automatic Concentration check each round (with standard DCs based of 10+ half damage taken that round plus the modifiers.)

I like the Concentration mechanic in principle, but a lot of the spells they gave Concentration requirements to seem ridiculous to me, such as Haste. I can see illusions requiring Concentration as the caster could need to controls the movements of the image, but a lot of the others don't make any sense to me except as a game mechanical limitation; It just feels way too gamist to me. D&D has always had spells that are independent magical effects that are activated by the spellcaster and then run their course once begun, but 5th Edition changed that to a Wheel of Time Channeller-style magic system, where the spellcaster has to actively maintain the Flows providing continued power to the magical effect.

I like my system because it's open-ended and allows just about any spellcaster who is basically competent at Concentration to maintain 2 or maybe 3 spells a once, but more than that will require some dedicated training to handle, like taking the Resilient: Concentration and Warcaster Feats (or being a Sorcerer, who are the best natural Concentration spellcasters by having proficiency in Constitution saving throws) and with dedicated training and high enough level spellcaster could pull of some extraordinary Concentration tricks.

But I also increased the spell progression tables to be closer to the 1st Edition Magic-User tables, increasing the max spells of any level to 4 instead of 3 (and 5 at 15th level and higher.) I compensate non-spellcaster by giving them bonus Feats at 5th and 15th level (the tales to change from the PHB until 5th level.) I absolutely love 5th Edition, but I also use several house rules to make things feel more like 1st Edition. I also increased the number of Attuned magic items allowed to 6+Charisma modifier, as I feel that limiting it to only 3 magic items is utterly ridiculous. And for spells that have an ongoing effect and allow continued saving throws every round to break out of the effect (such as Hold Person) the later saves are made with Disadvantage.
 
I've kept as is. With a minor exception- a caster's familiar, if around, can maintain a second concentration. I allow all casters to cast find familiar. The familiar then makes the appropriate checks on the spell it is concentrating on.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
I do want to remove Concentration from a bunch of Ranger spells, and let familiars and ranger companions maintain concentration for you, but that's about it.

Also, maybe burn another spell slot to succeed on a concentration check, used after the roll. Still not sure about that one.

I'd like more ways for martials to disrupt enemy casters, but I haven't found a rule yet that doesn't really suck when turned around on the PCs by enemy martials.
 

S'mon

Hero
I prefer it as-is, but if I were going to change it I'd make it into a casting check (casting attribute + Prof) since as-is it strongly favours the minority of casters with a good CON save, eg Eldritch Knights.
 

Sadras

Explorer
In our game we play as is until 9th level (the old name level).
Attaining 10th level requires something special to occur to the character (awashed by divine essences, obtain long forgotten lore, return from the dead...etc).

At 10th level, casters gain the ability to Concentrate on two spells. Martial characters gain their own perks at that level.
 

snickersnax

Explorer
I've kept as is. With a minor exception- a caster's familiar, if around, can maintain a second concentration. I allow all casters to cast find familiar. The familiar then makes the appropriate checks on the spell it is concentrating on.
I use familiars for a second concentration as well, but if the familiar dies the caster loses hit points equal to the familiar's hit points.
 

Gladius Legis

Explorer
The one change I'd make to it would be to require something to deal 20 or more damage in one instance before triggering a CON save. Keep everything else about it the same.
 

Fevvers

Villager
I really like the concentration mechanic. It requires casters to pick one powerful spell at a time, encouraging co-operation between casters if the party is going to stack a whole set of effects. It also encourages casters to avoid taking damage, in case of breaking concentration. This adds a level of wariness and caution to gish characters in comparison to pure melee characters, thinking particularly of Bladesingers and Hexblades.

Gish: "I can inflict xdx damage, with my insane AC, resistances and extra blah."
Fighter: "I don't throw a massive huff because I took a little damage and all my blah evaporated..."
 

wardler

Villager
House ruled it out immediately because it retcons every D&D fantasy story ever written by competely changing how magic users have always operated. Played AD&D with no such limitations and the paladins, barbarians, rangers, and fighters had just as much fun as magic users.

As a fighter you didn't worry about getting one shotted by an assassin or turned into a pin cushion by rangers and fighters. Magic users needed to be overpowered to survive in a fantasy world where a single silence spell might mean the end of your character.

There is no need for pseudo incentives and balancing to work as a team. The wizard had to sleep and study his spellbooks to get his Utley back after expending it. He wasn't a one man army at all times, but could also be devastation when prepared for a situation. Try killing a beholder with a group of wizards and tell me the game has no balance.

Class balance just makes the game boring by turning aesthetic into the only differentiating factor between the classes. If I wanted balance is play an MMO. I won't pretend to know what happened in 3e, but from what I hear this is largely the fault of that edition and the meta-game style of min max play that was adopted with it.

It is almost laughable thinking about what my AD&D paladin would do to a lich who had to abide by the concentration mechanic. It would be over in minutes. There would be no flying away while the paladin was surrounded by a wall of fire--you can only do one of those! No going invisible and flying in for the surprise attack from above... Thinking about going invisible? You'll have to give up your fire shield and then you're mince meat. But 5e nerfs a lot of spells like magic missiles and fire shield anyway.

While I was at it I threw out attunement rules as well. You can use as many magical items as you can find, cart, and equip. Two rings at a time, protection not stacking with armor.
 
Last edited:

Elfcrusher

Explorer
House ruled it out immediately because it retcons every D&D fantasy story ever written
Wait...you modify D&D rules to more accurately reflect the novels?

I'm...I'm...stunned. (But only until my next turn so get your critical hits in quick.)

What other rules have you changed for this reason?
 

Gladius Legis

Explorer
House ruled it out immediately because it retcons every D&D fantasy story ever written by competely changing how magic users have always operated. Played AD&D with no such limitations and the paladins, barbarians, rangers, and fighters had just as much fun as magic users.

As a fighter you didn't worry about getting one shotted by an assassin or turned into a pin cushion by rangers and fighters. Magic users needed to be overpowered to survive in a fantasy world where a single silence spell might mean the end of your character.

There is no need for pseudo incentives and balancing to work as a team. The wizard had to sleep and study his spellbooks to get his Utley back after expending it. He wasn't a one man army at all times, but could also be devastation when prepared for a situation. Try killing a beholder with a group of wizards and tell me the game has no balance.

Class balance just makes the game boring by turning aesthetic into the only differentiating factor between the classes. If I wanted balance is play an MMO. I won't pretend to know what happened in 3e, but from what I hear this is largely the fault of that edition and the meta-game style of min max play that was adopted with it.

It is almost laughable thinking about what my AD&D paladin would do to a lich who had to abide by the concentration mechanic. It would be over in minutes. There would be no flying away while the paladin was surrounded by a wall of fire--you can only do one of those! No going invisible and flying in for the surprise attack from above... Thinking about going invisible? You'll have to give up your fire shield and then you're mince meat. But 5e nerfs a lot of spells like magic missiles and fire shield anyway.

While I was at it I threw out attunement rules as well. You can use as many magical items as you can find, cart, and equip. Two rings at a time, protection not stacking with armor.
... what did I just read?
 
It is almost laughable thinking about what my AD&D paladin would do to a lich who had to abide by the concentration mechanic. It would be over in minutes. There would be no flying away while the paladin was surrounded by a wall of fire--you can only do one of those! No going invisible and flying in for the surprise attack from above... Thinking about going invisible? You'll have to give up your fire shield and then you're mince meat. But 5e nerfs a lot of spells like magic missiles and fire shield anyway.
Just... give the lich magical items? Or just a natural levitate ability? There's nothing in the Concentration mechanic that limits what abilities a GM can give to monsters.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
Just... give the lich magical items? Or just a natural levitate ability? There's nothing in the Concentration mechanic that limits what abilities a GM can give to monsters.
Seriously. It's not hard.

Or even give the monsters a multiple-concentration ability, if other options are too hard for you.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
House ruled it out immediately because it retcons every D&D fantasy story ever written by competely changing how magic users have always operated. Played AD&D with no such limitations and the paladins, barbarians, rangers, and fighters had just as much fun as magic users.

As a fighter you didn't worry about getting one shotted by an assassin or turned into a pin cushion by rangers and fighters. Magic users needed to be overpowered to survive in a fantasy world where a single silence spell might mean the end of your character.

There is no need for pseudo incentives and balancing to work as a team. The wizard had to sleep and study his spellbooks to get his Utley back after expending it. He wasn't a one man army at all times, but could also be devastation when prepared for a situation. Try killing a beholder with a group of wizards and tell me the game has no balance.

Class balance just makes the game boring by turning aesthetic into the only differentiating factor between the classes. If I wanted balance is play an MMO. I won't pretend to know what happened in 3e, but from what I hear this is largely the fault of that edition and the meta-game style of min max play that was adopted with it.

It is almost laughable thinking about what my AD&D paladin would do to a lich who had to abide by the concentration mechanic. It would be over in minutes. There would be no flying away while the paladin was surrounded by a wall of fire--you can only do one of those! No going invisible and flying in for the surprise attack from above... Thinking about going invisible? You'll have to give up your fire shield and then you're mince meat. But 5e nerfs a lot of spells like magic missiles and fire shield anyway.

While I was at it I threw out attunement rules as well. You can use as many magical items as you can find, cart, and equip. Two rings at a time, protection not stacking with armor.
Why not just play the older edition rather than using those older edition rules with the new edition? I understand wanting to go for an old school FEEL with new rules, but actually blanket inserting old edition RULES without any concern for the impact it has on other things in the game seems to be asking for unpleasant results. How has it played out since you started doing it?
 

ad_hoc

Explorer
House ruled it out immediately because it retcons every D&D fantasy story ever written by competely changing how magic users have always operated. Played AD&D with no such limitations and the paladins, barbarians, rangers, and fighters had just as much fun as magic users.
Sounds like you want to play AD&D.

Game is still there. Nothing stopping you.

Just... give the lich magical items? Or just a natural levitate ability? There's nothing in the Concentration mechanic that limits what abilities a GM can give to monsters.
No need for magic items. Just let them ignore Concentration. Like you said, nothing stopping you from changing monster's abilities.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
... what did I just read?
A rules-nado - it flies across the land sweeping up stuff from all over and then just touches down now and again to fling a flurry of them on some poor unsuspecting forum.

Efforts to detect rules-nados before they touch down are still in the early stages and so many are just appearing out of the blue.
 

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