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
  • Poll closed .

jgsugden

Adventurer
The game works well, as is, but I do think a little nuance can improve it. In my campaign, you get a number of concentration points equal to the highest level spell slot you can cast. Spells have 'concentration costs' which are generally equal to the spell level at which it was cast, but I have tailored a bit for certain spells.

* For each spell you're already concentrating upon, the concentration cost of concentrating on a new spell rises by one.
* If you concentrate on multiple spells, you must be the target of one of them.
* If you're concentrating on more than one spell, you have disadvantage on concentration saving throws, as well.

A wizard at level 3 you have 2 concentration points. You can concentrate on a second level spell, or a first level and a cantrip.

At 5th, the wizard could concentrate on 3 cantrips, a 2 and a cantrip, two ones or a three.

At 7th, the wizard tops out at 2 cantips +1st, a 2nd and a 1st, a 4th, a 3rd and a cantrip, etc...

At 11th level they could concentrate on 4 cantrips, a 3rd and a 2nd, or a 4th and 1st. They can never cast more than 4 spells.

At 17th or higher level you might be concentrating on 3 1st level spells and a cantrip, 3 2nd level spells, 2 4th level spells, a 6th and a 2nd, etc...
 
Right now I have two main rules:

1) Reliable: Concentration spells with this keyword follow stacking rules as normal. However, you do not need to make a concentration check when taking damage.

There are many defensive spells that I think its terrible that as soon as you get hit, the spell can just drop. That said, I still like the restriction to buffing, so this was my answer to that.

2) I made a consumable potion that lets a caster maintain a second concentration spell.

I am trying this out in my games right now as a test. This allows the casters to expand concentration but I maintain control....and if I find its not too bad I'll incorporate some more default house rules.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I really think the only problem with concentration is some of the spells that require it.

For instance, Rangers get totally hosed by concentration, as do most gish builds.
 

werecorpse

Explorer
Can I reanimate this thread a second time? Re re animated?

I tend to resist changing stuff until I’ve played it RAW for a while, my first instinct with the concentration rules was that I liked the fact that it reduced the 3e massive pre combat buffing which was a problem both in the amount of time taken up and the huge difference in power between a prepared party and an unprepared party. I didn’t think that spells like hold person, web or blindness needed to be concentration because I didn’t see what problem they were trying to fix by making them concentration and if an aspect of the game worked fine you don’t need to fix it. But I figured it had been playtested so I’d give it a go.

Ive now played enough 5e RAW that I’m beginning to be irritated by some of the effects of concentration. For me it’s an aspect that’s working ok some of the time but has begun to show some issues.

In a 1980’s game called Bushido they had a limit to stop people overbuffing. In that game they had certain spells that couldn’t be cast on the same subject. So it was the recipient of the spells that was limited not the caster. In 5e you can still have 5 casters buff up one person. So using that Bushido limit in 5e if a wizard had enough spell slots they could give the fighter stoneskin, make the rogue invisible and themselves resistant to fire. I quite liked this as it kept buffing simple but flexible.

I don’t see the requirement for battlefield control spells like entangle, web, fog cloud or evards to be concentration or spells like hold person or blindness. They already have secondary save escapes and the like.

sure some attack spells need a concentration mechanic to stop them ie the new to 5e spell Spirit Guardians needs to be concentration because otherwise it lasts 100 rounds and the cleric will upcast it to the max maybe get turned invisible and rip through huge sections of many adventures. But does mordenkainens Sword, which is just a wizards 7th level version of spiritual weapon but with concentration. Does flesh to stone?

Another alternative is to allow some spells to be upcast 1 or 2 levels to get rid of the concentration requirement. So say invisibility cast as a 3rd level spell doesn’t need concentration, maybe greater invisibility cast as a 6th level spell. Anyway that’s how I’m approaching it at the moment as I’m looking at tinkering with the game.
 

Nebulous

Hero
I played it as is. We'd discussed an optional rule to let you concentrate on a second spell by spending your action, so you could cast Fly turn 1, Invisibility turn 2, and thereafter spend your action to concentrate, so all you could do is move and take bonus actions.
I like that too. Did you ever try it in play?
 

Nebulous

Hero
Another alternative is to allow some spells to be upcast 1 or 2 levels to get rid of the concentration requirement. So say invisibility cast as a 3rd level spell doesn’t need concentration, maybe greater invisibility cast as a 6th level spell. Anyway that’s how I’m approaching it at the moment as I’m looking at tinkering with the game.
I like that as well. I don't have any great problems with the Concentration mechanic, although as DM it sometimes gets frustrating because I can't use my evil wizards to full effect because the con mechanic gimps them.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
For player characters, the Concentration mechanism is essentially fine.

For enemy casters, it's another matter.

Fortunately, the higher level, the more likely I am to bend or simply disregard the rules...

But seriously, there should totally be options for Archmages to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.

Let's say you need to be level 17 to access these abilities, because that justifies me giving them to any CR 17 spellcaster you meet... Bwhaha
 

neogod22

Explorer
I'm planning on house ruling a feat called "Advanced Concentration" which will allow a caster to conce trate on a 2nd spell. I might restrict it to requiring lvl 11+.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
I'm planning on house ruling a feat called "Advanced Concentration" which will allow a caster to conce trate on a 2nd spell. I might restrict it to requiring lvl 11+.
I was thinking of giving a magic item that would allow that. Requires attunement and perhaps has a level cap.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
That can work too.
I tend to ho with minion casters for the NPCs. So many bits of 5e vombat get more challenging and more engaging and reactive with underlings that kinda serve as active terrain.

For PCs, see no need for change. Thrir spellcasters are not being overshadowed and outdone by their non-spell teammates.

That ssid, there is a bit of good thought exercise around a rebuild where concentration switches yo bring some sort of "target lock-out". Idea would be only one of "lock-out" active on any one target. Then allow attacks on the target or dome such to break the link, ending the spell.
 

Vael

Adventurer
I really like the Concentration mechanic as-is, but I could see an argument made that a few spells that are Concentration should not be. For those, I'd be tempted to instead add "if you cast this spell again while the first spell is still active, the first effect ends immediately". Maybe keyword that to "Unique"?

Spells I'd consider changing from requiring Concentration to Unique:
Dancing Lights
Flame Blade
Mordenkainen's Sword

I'd like to take the smites off, but then I think they get hinky if you can stack different smites.
 

Undrave

Hero
I played it as is. We'd discussed an optional rule to let you concentrate on a second spell by spending your action, so you could cast Fly turn 1, Invisibility turn 2, and thereafter spend your action to concentrate, so all you could do is move and take bonus actions.
Feels like that could be the signature ability of some kind of Wizard sub class or something!
 
Multi spell concentration: When a caster takes damage the DC is 10 or half the damage taken whichever is higher. If the caster is concentrating on more than one spell each additional spell adds 5 to the DC. Failing the check automatically ends concentration on all spells.
 

neogod22

Explorer
Multi spell concentration: When a caster takes damage the DC is 10 or half the damage taken whichever is higher. If the caster is concentrating on more than one spell each additional spell adds 5 to the DC. Failing the check automatically ends concentration on all spells.
That's a good idea too. I might add that to the feat.
In actuality, concentration is broken anyway. Mainly becaise you have to concentrate to cast a spell, and concentrate to hold it. If concentrating on casting a spell that takes 1 round or less, does that mean if you're concentrating on spell A, and you cast spell B is a spell that takes concentration also, can you choose not to hold onto spell B to maintain spell A if you don't want the effects to last longer than 1 round? Some people will say no, but what's your opinions?
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I would concur with the majority that I think the Concentration mechanic is a great addition to the game. The most I would say is that there are probably a few spells that don't really need it.
 

Monayuris

Explorer
I would concur with the majority that I think the Concentration mechanic is a great addition to the game. The most I would say is that there are probably a few spells that don't really need it.
Agree. Concentration is a welcome addition to the game. There are minor oddities here and there with it. But removing it is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

My tweaks so far:
I allow rangers to use hunters mark with another concentration spell in combat. It temporarily drops the need for concentration (but you have to maintain concentration after the combat to keep it going)

The light cantrip requires concentration.
 

Undrave

Hero
My biggest beef with the Concentration mechanic is just how much Concentration spells there are on the Druid spell list, meaning that if you cast one of your Concentration spell you basically have almost nothing to spend your spell slots on and are stuck with Cantrips for most of a fight.

I had a Shepherd Druid and once I cast Conjure Animal that was it for doing anything. Only thing left to do was throwing Thorn Whip in there, otherwise every turn was just more of the same.

The most useful thing I had was Ice Knife from Xanathar, but Ice Knife hurts your allies if they're in melee with the target. Luckily I had a Bear Totem Barbarian as melee ally, but still. A few more single target instant spells would have been nice.

I guess it leaves me with more slots for Healing spells and out of combat utility...
 

valavaern

Villager
I really like the Concentration mechanic as-is, but I could see an argument made that a few spells that are Concentration should not be. For those, I'd be tempted to instead add "if you cast this spell again while the first spell is still active, the first effect ends immediately". Maybe keyword that to "Unique"?
I think the 'Unique' is a good start, but that could also be paired with an intermediate version of Concentration for spells that don't require you to actively control them. "Maintained" could be a good word. "You can maintain any number of spells, as long as their total spell slot level does not exceed your Highest spell slot level + your casting modifier. These spells immediately end if you are incapacitated, or if you spend more than one minute on another plane of existence from them." You could even have Concentration spell levels count against your Maintained limit.

This gives you Maintained for spells like Elemental Weapon, the Smites, Hunter's Mark, Hex, and most Conjure <insert monster> spells; things that you're powering, but not actively controlling. That leaves Concentration for things like Flaming Sphere or Major Image., where you're actively directing them.

For the problem of stacking smites, just have those spells explicitly state that no creature can be affected by more than one smite spell at a time. If another smite spell is cast on it while one is still going, the smite spell that was cast with the highest level spell slot wins.


Alternate-alternate option:
Willingly dropping concentration doesn't cancel a spell, the spell just becomes 'inert' for lack of a better term. You can resume your concentration on it later, so long as it still has time left. For example, a Paladin can be concentrating on his elemental weapon spell, drop concentration on it to cast a Smite spell. After he's done concentrating on the Smite spell, he can resume concentrating on the Elemental Weapon spell again for whatever remains of its hour, without having to re-cast it.

Losing concentration on an active spell due to damage would cancel it totally, as per current RaW. Being incapacitated would cause you to loose all 'unpowered' concentration spells as well.
 

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