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D&D 5E How do you remember concentration duration/checks?

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
While I was skeptical at first, I have really come around to loving 5E's leaning in on concentration as a duration and limiting spellcasting power in that way (I don't want to argue about how or if that is necessary, I'm just saying it feels like a move in the right direction for my sense of wonder), that said, I am having a hard time remembering that people need to make concentration checks when they take damage while one of those (MANY) spells is in effect.

In the session I ran today, twice I had a player bring it up after the fact and make the roll as soon as he remembered, because I just keep forgetting to call for them from players (and in their defense, this system is new to them as well) and I forget about them about half the time for opponents as well.

So does anyone have a trick for remembering? Or is it just a matter that we need to just get used to it? And also, if the latter - well, I've been running 5E since January 2020, so way over a year!
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
We use spell cards and if someone has a (C) spell up they put it in front of their character sheet.

An alternative would be to give each of the spellcasters a special d20 that they only use for (C) checks. Place it in front of their sheet when they have a spell up.
These are good ideas, but this group plays remotely. So not everyone has the same set up - but still a reminder on whatever is in front of them is a good idea. Hmmm. . . maybe a condition ring around their mini?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
These are good ideas, but this group plays remotely. So not everyone has the same set up - but still a reminder on whatever is in front of them is a good idea. Hmmm. . . maybe a condition ring around their mini?
In meat-space games that's usually the go to. Same with whatever conditions. If you can add a color ring to a virtual mini, that might be your best bet.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It's the players' responsibility in my view to remember to make saves if they need to to maintain concentration. If you're playing on a VTT, then you can set a condition marker on the token if needed (usually a swirly looking icon) for anyone who is concentrating on a spell.
 

for what I see in play, Honestly very badly,
occasionally two spell at once,
and damage save is often forget for PC, but always ask for monster. there is a kind of trend there!
 

aco175

Legend
We use condition rings on the caster. I try to keep the same color on the target as well to help. Red rings are for HP damage but any other color works.

My players generally remember to roll checks and may need to remind me at some point in the round. I also just make the spell not have concentration for some monsters. I may just have the goblin shaman cast shield of faith on the goblin front line brute for the +2 AC. I may not think about it again until the shaman dies to take it away.
 

For VTT: use a token marker. Could be just a colored dot or a specific concentration marker

For in-person with minis: place a small elastic around the mini

For in-person TotM (or w/ minis): place (or have player place) an index card with a C on it (or similar) in front of them
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
While I was skeptical at first, I have really come around to loving 5E's leaning in on concentration as a duration and limiting spellcasting power in that way (I don't want to argue about how or if that is necessary, I'm just saying it feels like a move in the right direction for my sense of wonder), that said, I am having a hard time remembering that people need to make concentration checks when they take damage while one of those (MANY) spells is in effect.

In the session I ran today, twice I had a player bring it up after the fact and make the roll as soon as he remembered, because I just keep forgetting to call for them from players (and in their defense, this system is new to them as well) and I forget about them about half the time for opponents as well.

So does anyone have a trick for remembering? Or is it just a matter that we need to just get used to it? And also, if the latter - well, I've been running 5E since January 2020, so way over a year!
It's a dc10 con save until it jumps to a whopping dc11 for a 22 point hit. I too frequently see players run multiple concentration spells without noticing it & just shrug off both the double concentrate as well as the con save if the player does/does not because of how overused concentration is in my case. Whatever the reason someone's reason for shrugging interally when they happen to notice forgotten con saves or double concentration spells the part that really annoys me is that shy of being a rules lawyering annoyance there's no good way to equalize things if there is a player at the table who does check all the right boxes as expected by the rules because rebalancing spells to strip concentration would be a huge ordeal.
 




Quickleaf

Legend
Not sure what you use for visualizing the scene (if anything), but I've found when I run combat online I still need a physical copy of the monster stats printed out in front of me. I highlight things that have concentration, and when they're active I use a sticky note next to that stat block.

When we use a VTT (Roll20 or Owlbear Rodeo right now), I tend to use a graphic to signal concentration. Roll20 has these colored dots you can put in the upper right of the minis. They're kiiiinda small for my liking, but we've adopted white dots to signal "concentrating", though I've seen it get overlooked quite a bit, so I've been thinking about a big white circle around the token instead.
 


While I was skeptical at first, I have really come around to loving 5E's leaning in on concentration as a duration and limiting spellcasting power in that way (I don't want to argue about how or if that is necessary, I'm just saying it feels like a move in the right direction for my sense of wonder), that said, I am having a hard time remembering that people need to make concentration checks when they take damage while one of those (MANY) spells is in effect.

In the session I ran today, twice I had a player bring it up after the fact and make the roll as soon as he remembered, because I just keep forgetting to call for them from players (and in their defense, this system is new to them as well) and I forget about them about half the time for opponents as well.

So does anyone have a trick for remembering? Or is it just a matter that we need to just get used to it? And also, if the latter - well, I've been running 5E since January 2020, so way over a year!
I don't remember that. Oops.
 

jgsugden

Legend
In physical games, I ask people to put a concentration marker on their HPs, as well as a ring on their mini.

In virtual table top, I add tracking it myself with a whiteboard next to my keyboard that tracks hp, AC, skill checks, spells on them, etc...
 

Hussar

Legend
VTT as well. Fantasy Grounds automatically tracks concentration checks, to the point of automatically rolling them when required. Does take a huge amount of processing load off of me.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Just need to set a goal to do better.
No kidding. 🙄
If it were that easy, it would already be done. The question is how to achieve that goal when it hasn’t been achieved so far.
When I’ve been on the player side, I’ve used spell cards. I’ll give that a try on the DM side, it may help me there too... or it would if I had more desktop space.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
No kidding. 🙄
If it were that easy, it would already be done. The question is how to achieve that goal when it hasn’t been achieved so far.
Just being mindful of it and wanting to be better at remembering it was enough for my group. We don't even use token markers on the VTT. I think part of it is wanting to disrupt or preserve concentration on a spell in a tactical sense.
 

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