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D&D 5E Concentration

Snoring Rock

Explorer
The rules state that you lose concentration on a spell that requires concentration if you cast another spell that requires concentration. So does this mean that you can cast another spell that does not require concentration? Seems simple, but quite different than any other edition.
 

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Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Yes. Non-concentration spells don't interfere with concentration. You can cast greater invisibility on yourself and cast fireball all the live-long day (well, all the live-long minute).

The one thing I don't know the answer to is when concentration ends exactly: At the completion of a spell-cast, or as soon as spell-casting begins. It matters for the purposes of counterspell. For example, if a wizard under the effects of greater invisibility begins to cast cloudkill, can he be counterspelled?
 
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The one thing I don't know the answer to is when concentration ends exactly: At the beginning of a spell-cast, or as soon as a spell-cast begins. It matters for the purposes of counterspell. For example, if a wizard under the effects of greater invisibility begins to cast cloudkill, can he be counterspelled?
Pretty sure that would be up to the DM.

I would end the spell at the completion of the casting, so you'd be Invisible for purposes of counterspell. However, if you had a concentration spell up and a new concentration spell was counterspelled, your old concentration spell would be lost too.
 


Unfortunately, it looks like concentration is broken as soon as you begin casting another concentration spell. Crawford tweeted an answer concerning the casting of Witchbolt after casting True Strike here.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Unfortunately, it looks like concentration is broken as soon as you begin casting another concentration spell. Crawford tweeted an answer concerning the casting of Witchbolt after casting True Strike here.
I'm afraid I must disagree with your interpretation. "The instant you cast a spell" is ambiguous. It could mean "The instant you begin casting a spell" or "The instant you finish casting a spell."
 

The rules do not break game your turn down into the beginning or end of casting a spell. In practical terms, when you say, 'I cast witchbolt on the orc.' you start casting witchbolt and True Strike ends. When you say, 'I cast Witchbolt on the orc' Your concentration goes to Witchbolt and stops being used for Greater Invisibility which ends. Counterspell could then be used.

It doesn't make much sense either to interpret it as 'when you finish casting witchbolt' because if you are playing a computer game, and then decide to start working on a calculus equation in your head, you don't lose concentration on the game when you arrive at the answer, you die in the game when you stop paying attention to what you're doing.
 

I'm afraid I must disagree with your interpretation. "The instant you cast a spell" is ambiguous. It could mean "The instant you begin casting a spell" or "The instant you finish casting a spell."
I agree that Crawford's response is unhelpful. Additionally, Sage Advice is not Errata and is thus still subject to DM interpretation.
 

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