5E Homebrew: Removing Concentration From The Less Popular Spells

Gadget

Adventurer
In order for homebrew to be well designed and effective I believe it needs to follow KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.

In that regard removing Concentration from spells in order to buff them is a good solution.
The point I was making is that Concentration is not necessarily the problem with many of these spells, and a blanket "remove concentration from all these spells" is not going to "fix" them, KISS principle notwithstanding. Plus, seriously, Flame Arrows isn't on your list?
 

ad_hoc

Hero
The point I was making is that Concentration is not necessarily the problem with many of these spells, and a blanket "remove concentration from all these spells" is not going to "fix" them, KISS principle notwithstanding. Plus, seriously, Flame Arrows isn't on your list?
So make another thread about making different changes to spells.

You can also suggest adding or removing spells from my list without attacking me. I made a quick list to give us a starting point.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
The point I was making is that Concentration is not necessarily the problem with many of these spells, and a blanket "remove concentration from all these spells" is not going to "fix" them, KISS principle notwithstanding.
I realize that removing concentration from a couple of spells will probably not fix them all. After all there are some real stinker spells out there. But rebalancing individual spells it out of scope for me at this time simply because I'm lazy and balance is hard work. For now I'll be satisfied if at least a couple of spells become viable and get picked up by my group. It's not a lot but it's a start.

This preparatory work did require effort, but I think having guiding principles to help keep my evaluations consistent is worth it. This way I'm less likely to drift my criteria half way through evaluating all of the spells. It also can reduce work overall as I go through if I can categorize a spell and get a good idea of which way to go just based on that.
 

Laurefindel

Adventurer
I just had a thought...

What if the target of a concentration spell can remove the concentration requirement but it uses one of the target's attunement slots (without the one hour requirement)? If a concentration spell targets multiple creatures or objects, you cannot use this feature (or maybe every target must all use an attunement slot?). If you like the idea but don't want it as a free feature, make this ability a feat or per use class feature for spellcasting or something.

This way, low magic item games could garner more use from magic spells, and in ones with more magical items you would have to choose more.

Any appeal?
So three floating "slots" which can be used for attunement an/or concentration. This would allow a caster to concentrate on four different spells however, which I think is swinging to far the other way.

Also, I'd still be worried that characters would eschew more "flavorful" magic items for the opportunity to concentrate on multiple spells.

The basic idea however is not without merit; I always forget about the three attunement slots as a character ressource that could be tapped for other things.
 

ad_hoc

Hero
So three floating "slots" which can be used for attunement an/or concentration. This would allow a caster to concentrate on four different spells however, which I think is swinging to far the other way.

Also, I'd still be worried that characters would eschew more "flavorful" magic items for the opportunity to concentrate on multiple spells.

The basic idea however is not without merit; I always forget about the three attunement slots as a character ressource that could be tapped for other things.
That depends on how many items are in a game. I can't imagine coming close to the attunement limit in the games I play. Maybe a couple characters get 2.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
So three floating "slots" which can be used for attunement an/or concentration. This would allow a caster to concentrate on four different spells however, which I think is swinging to far the other way.

Also, I'd still be worried that characters would eschew more "flavorful" magic items for the opportunity to concentrate on multiple spells.

The basic idea however is not without merit; I always forget about the three attunement slots as a character ressource that could be tapped for other things.
A total of four might be too much, I don't know. But I think in a no- or low- magic item game it might work, and in a more typical game where most characters might have 1 or 2 attuned items, I don't think it would hurt...
YMMV of course.
 

Laurefindel

Adventurer
That depends on how many items are in a game. I can't imagine coming close to the attunement limit in the games I play. Maybe a couple characters get 2.
True. Now that I'm thinking of it, I can't recall any of my characters having more than two, let alone having to make hard choices to keep it down to three...
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
True. Now that I'm thinking of it, I can't recall any of my characters having more than two, let alone having to make hard choices to keep it down to three...
Yeah, but it seems (I could be wrong) most of the items that would really appeal to spellcasters have attunement as a requirement. The trick would be if it allowed the target of the spell to use their attunement slots, which was my original thought, and not just the caster....
 

ad_hoc

Hero
The point I was making is that Concentration is not necessarily the problem with many of these spells, and a blanket "remove concentration from all these spells" is not going to "fix" them, KISS principle notwithstanding. Plus, seriously, Flame Arrows isn't on your list?
I just looked it up. Flame Arrows isn't even in the PHB.

You were really reaching for something to complain about there.
 
Concentration is effectively a balancing tool. Consequently, the questions that we should probably ask for each spell that requires concentration are: (a) does the spell need to be balanced with other spells to avoid 'stacking' effects; and (b) if so, is concentration the best way to do so.

Stacking of buffs was such a problem in 3E that it seems the design philosophy for 5E is to err so far on the side of caution that the application of concentration to a lot of spells simply means that they are never seen in actual play. IMHO there are many, better ways of balancing spells than simply tacking "concentration" onto them.

[One thing I realised only a couple of weeks ago when prepping an NPC spellcaster was that stoneskin was a concentration spell; a concentration spell that required 100gp of diamond dust to cast that was consumed during casting. The immediate question I had was - if there's an inherent, expensive cost to casting a spell, why isn't that sufficient to ensure it's not spammed all the time. (And since stoneskin protects against non-magical weapon attacks only, it's pretty useless for NPCs once PCs are past 5th level or so). So, arbitrarily and without any concern for breaking the game, I ruled that stoneskin was not a concentration spell.]

Cheers, Al'kelhar
Because spells have to be balanced not only by their components but also by the fact that people are going to ignore the fact that they are balanced by their components and handwave them away in true old school style.
 

keynup

Explorer
Some thoughts to think about.

Increase the the concentration DC for each spell after the 1st. Either +1 or +2 for each, or more extreme 2/4/8/16.
or
When making a concentration check roll for each an every spell separately.
and/or
Make a concentration check every time you add a spell after the 1st.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Some thoughts to think about.

Increase the the concentration DC for each spell after the 1st. Either +1 or +2 for each, or more extreme 2/4/8/16.
or
When making a concentration check roll for each an every spell separately.
and/or
Make a concentration check every time you add a spell after the 1st.
That is an interesting idea. You can cast a second concentration spell, but risk losing both before you ever get attacked or anything. However, given how easy it is to make the check for optimized characters, this won't be much of a risk...
 
That is an interesting idea. You can cast a second concentration spell, but risk losing both before you ever get attacked or anything. However, given how easy it is to make the check for optimized characters, this won't be much of a risk...
To make something like this work you need something like 13th Age's Easy/Moderate/Hard Saves. (6+/11+/16+ roll on a D20 respectively).

So add a second spell make an easy save or lose both, a third spell make a moderate save etc.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That is an interesting idea. You can cast a second concentration spell, but risk losing both before you ever get attacked or anything. However, given how easy it is to make the check for optimized characters, this won't be much of a risk...
Should optimized characters really even be a significant design metric, though?
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Should optimized characters really even be a significant design metric, though?
After a fashion, yes. Of course not every table has a min/maxer but IME there are usually a couple.

Look at it this way, if you were a caster and knew losing your concentration would cost you your spells, wouldn't you do everything in your power to be better at it??

Adventuring, in theory if not in practice, is a dangerous career and because of HP dependency, you will most often see CON as a top three ability score, if not top two. IME rarely is it ever one of the lower scores (it happens, of course, but not often). Besides, for games with feats (most of them) War Caster is one of the top feats primarily for concentration (Resilient for CON taken by casters is a close second, and I have seen casters with both--almost overkill IMO).

We know enough people have griped about CON being the base for concentration and have encouraged making it based on your spellcasting ability score instead. It is a way to reduce MAD, which many players would like to see. Others have said also make it a check all casters are proficient in as well.

In the next game that I am running, I am helping reduce MAD by removing hit point dependency on CON (CON will still be important, but in other ways). But if you take concentration from it as well, it would become a dump stat for many casters... not necessarily a bad thing, but is a good thing??? shrug

Ultimately of course it is a balancing act between newbies who don't think about it or aren't aware of it, newbies who are, veterans who don't care and want to play more for flavor, veterans who will squeeze every point out of every thing they possibly can, and everyone in between!

That is why whenever a new house-rule or homebrew is suggested, one of the first questions is "Does this break anything or make it OP?"

Anyway, to balance out the optimized aspect, one thing you could do is make Concentration checks a special check, sort of like the Death Save. Keep the same DC, but have it based solely on proficiency bonus so a more experienced caster is like to retain concentration. Removing a linked ability score will reduce the necessity on CON and denying a link to the spellcasting ability score will keep the check a bit harder since it won't gain that bonus. I am not sure of the numbers, but to me that sounds like a good place for it. shrugs again
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
After a fashion, yes. Of course not every table has a min/maxer but IME there are usually a couple.

Look at it this way, if you were a caster and knew losing your concentration would cost you your spells, wouldn't you do everything in your power to be better at it??

Adventuring, in theory if not in practice, is a dangerous career and because of HP dependency, you will most often see CON as a top three ability score, if not top two. IME rarely is it ever one of the lower scores (it happens, of course, but not often). Besides, for games with feats (most of them) War Caster is one of the top feats primarily for concentration (Resilient for CON taken by casters is a close second, and I have seen casters with both--almost overkill IMO).

We know enough people have griped about CON being the base for concentration and have encouraged making it based on your spellcasting ability score instead. It is a way to reduce MAD, which many players would like to see. Others have said also make it a check all casters are proficient in as well.

In the next game that I am running, I am helping reduce MAD by removing hit point dependency on CON (CON will still be important, but in other ways). But if you take concentration from it as well, it would become a dump stat for many casters... not necessarily a bad thing, but is a good thing??? shrug

Ultimately of course it is a balancing act between newbies who don't think about it or aren't aware of it, newbies who are, veterans who don't care and want to play more for flavor, veterans who will squeeze every point out of every thing they possibly can, and everyone in between!

That is why whenever a new house-rule or homebrew is suggested, one of the first questions is "Does this break anything or make it OP?"

Anyway, to balance out the optimized aspect, one thing you could do is make Concentration checks a special check, sort of like the Death Save. Keep the same DC, but have it based solely on proficiency bonus so a more experienced caster is like to retain concentration. Removing a linked ability score will reduce the necessity on CON and denying a link to the spellcasting ability score will keep the check a bit harder since it won't gain that bonus. I am not sure of the numbers, but to me that sounds like a good place for it. shrugs again
int based spellcraft for wizard/ek/at/artificer, wis based belief for cleric/druid, cha based... spirit(?) for sorcerer/warlock/pally?
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
int based spellcraft for wizard/ek/at/artificer, wis based belief for cleric/druid, cha based... spirit(?) for sorcerer/warlock/pally?
I am not certain which part of my post you are going of from?

My last point, which upon reflection while I was writing it, was to decouple the concentration check from any ability score--not CON, nor INT, WIS, or CHA--none of them, and have it be solely proficiency-based.

But it seems more like you are agreeing with the camp of people who want to see it removed from CON and tied into spellcasting ability--whichever is used for each class? That's fine if that's the case, a lot of people have thought that would be a better solution than CON.
 

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