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UA Subclass features - Is "(as if concentrating on spell)" the same as concentrating on a spell?

Volund

Explorer
I have noticed that some of the recent UA subclasses have features that last "until your concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell)." Wizard Order of Scribes' Manifest Mind and Undead Warlock's Spirit Projection are two examples. While this phrase appears in the MM, I haven't found it anywhere in the PHB. I'm curious if anyone has thought about whether a PC/NPC using one of these features can also concentrate on a spell.

Two plausible readings of "(as if concentrating on a spell)" occur to me:
1) Although this feature is not technically a spell it is the functional equivalent of a spell requiring concentration, and your concentration can be broken just like with a spell. If you are concentrating on using this feature you cannot also concentrate on a spell.
2) Although this feature isn't a spell, the same rules for ending concentration on a spell are used to end concentration on this feature. Class features are not spells, so the rule against concentrating on more than one spell does not apply.

Follow up question: If you are a DM in camp 2, would you have a single concentration check apply to both the spell and the feature, or ask for one check for the spell and another for the feature?
 

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Clearly the intent is 1). However, it might be worth asking for clarification in the survey feedback, given how many people who seem to make a hobby of misinterpreting rules there are about.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
It's likely intended to be #1.
But at my table (if it ever comes up) we'd probably play it as as #2.
 


The notion of thought 2 never crossed my mind, nor do I feel it's the intent. If you did go with thought 2, I'd probably have separate saves for each, since you consider them two separate effects.
 


Coroc

Hero
I have noticed that some of the recent UA subclasses have features that last "until your concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell)." Wizard Order of Scribes' Manifest Mind and Undead Warlock's Spirit Projection are two examples. While this phrase appears in the MM, I haven't found it anywhere in the PHB. I'm curious if anyone has thought about whether a PC/NPC using one of these features can also concentrate on a spell.

Two plausible readings of "(as if concentrating on a spell)" occur to me:
1) Although this feature is not technically a spell it is the functional equivalent of a spell requiring concentration, and your concentration can be broken just like with a spell. If you are concentrating on using this feature you cannot also concentrate on a spell.
2) Although this feature isn't a spell, the same rules for ending concentration on a spell are used to end concentration on this feature. Class features are not spells, so the rule against concentrating on more than one spell does not apply.

Follow up question: If you are a DM in camp 2, would you have a single concentration check apply to both the spell and the feature, or ask for one check for the spell and another for the feature?
If you read UA Mystic3, the imho best suggestion for a true psionic class, then you will see, that they even have got one exception (like a kind of action surge), when the psionic may concentrate on more than one effect at the same time, using up some special extra PSP.

I would read these subclasses like your interpretation 1 ), because they tend to write it explicitly, if there is possible misunderstanding of such things like dual or multiple concentration.

Also it seems to be clear to me, that breaking up concentration on such class features works exactly like with spells, thus ending these features.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I would read it as camp #2 in that if you take damage, you must make a concentration check to continue using the feature. If you had a concentration spell active as well and took damage, I would think separate rolls would be called for.

Enough people have posted about finding ways to expand the concentration mechanic to not include certain spells and/or allow for more than one. I see this as WotC perhaps addressing that.

However, since my table doesn't use UA material, it isn't an issue, so you'll have to go with what works best for you. Try it as camp #2, and if it is too powerful or whatever, switch to camp #1. :)
 

sulimo0310

Explorer
There is one example in the PHB that uses the same or similar language, the Trickery Domain Cleric's Channel Divinity feature, Invoke Duplicity. And I have always ruled that feature as option 1 from your post.
I have noticed that some of the recent UA subclasses have features that last "until your concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell)." Wizard Order of Scribes' Manifest Mind and Undead Warlock's Spirit Projection are two examples. While this phrase appears in the MM, I haven't found it anywhere in the PHB. I'm curious if anyone has thought about whether a PC/NPC using one of these features can also concentrate on a spell.

Two plausible readings of "(as if concentrating on a spell)" occur to me:
1) Although this feature is not technically a spell it is the functional equivalent of a spell requiring concentration, and your concentration can be broken just like with a spell. If you are concentrating on using this feature you cannot also concentrate on a spell.
2) Although this feature isn't a spell, the same rules for ending concentration on a spell are used to end concentration on this feature. Class features are not spells, so the rule against concentrating on more than one spell does not apply.

Follow up question: If you are a DM in camp 2, would you have a single concentration check apply to both the spell and the feature, or ask for one check for the spell and another for the feature?
 

Volund

Explorer
There is one example in the PHB that uses the same or similar language, the Trickery Domain Cleric's Channel Divinity feature, Invoke Duplicity. And I have always ruled that feature as option 1 from your post.
This was helpful. I didn't see that the Trickery domain used the same verbiage. I found a Sage Advice that answers my question - "If a feature says it requires concentration, as Invoke Duplicity does, you can't concentrate on it and a spell simultaneously."
 

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