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5E The importance of concentration for clerics

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
Hello fellow travelers,

Gearing up to play again and I think I have my character mostly set. However, wondered about views on concentration and it’s importance.

I have rarely put many resources beyond a con score into concentration. I took resilient con once and warcaster in 2014!

wondered about how important it is for various classes in YOUR opinion.

for example, cleric, wizard etc.

I am guessing it might also vary with spell selection. Interested in opinions. I have altered parts of characters at times when I hear another perspective. Usually personality, class and alignment considerations are what got taken care of first but it’s these other bits that can shift e.g. resources spent in one area or another).
 

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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
You can build a quite viable cleric that doesn't heavily rely on concentration.

But for most clerics it's reasonably important because of the bread-and-butter tier 1 and 2 cleric combat spells that rely on it: bane, bless, spirit guardians, and banishment I'd say are the tops, and then there's also shield of faith and protection from evil and good. And at the table, I personally have gotten a lot of mileage out of enhance ability and holy weapon.

But you don't strictly NEED to use use any of those spells; it's just that they're great. Spiritual weapon and animate dead famously don't require concentration, nor do most healing spells, or most offensive spells. And there are a lot of utility spells that DO require concentration, but realistically you won't have those up during combat anyway.

But the thing about clerics is that they're more likely than wizards, sorcerers, and bards to be taking damage during a fight. So concentration is more likely to come into play.
 

aco175

Legend
The cleric in the party I DM for is always making Concentration checks and losing spells. Not to the point of taking the feat though. The party has a fighter, cleric, and 2 rogues- which one melee's a lot and the other shoots. This leaves the cleric to melee when the number of monsters is higher, so his spells take a beaten a lot.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
...
But the thing about clerics is that they're more likely than wizards, sorcerers, and bards to be taking damage during a fight. So concentration is more likely to come into play.

I'll have to let the players of my wizard and sorcerer know that they never get attacked, they'll be quite relieved. Unfortunately for them I believe in being an equal opportunity DM and would hate to have them miss out on the joy of being attacked. They're so squishy I just can't help myself! :devilish:
 

cmad1977

Hero
I can’t speak from having played done yet.
The clerics ive seen in play haven’t invested in a feat but seemed to be largely able to avoid losing TOO many spells(it happened sometimes).

In one case(war cleric), the player had a decent con and a high AC.

Nature cleric(currently running for him) has largely avoided direct combat in favor of range and support.

Both have made guiding bolt a common cast along with spiritual weapon.

Even when a bless spell HAS gone down it seems like it’s gotten at least 1-2 rounds of use.

I think ultimately taking the feat or investing into con is a character choice over a build choice and you’ll be fine in either direction.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Also somewhat depends on build, the campaign and the DM. If you have a high enough AC that you won't get hit often it doesn't matter as much.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Concentration is an important check-and-balance for my gaming group. (Same for magic item attunement slots, but that's a topic for another thread.) Several of our players came to the table from 3.5E/Pathfinder, so they are constantly looking for power builds and combos that let them use the "best" spells and magic items, over and over again, in every round of every battle. It is so prevalent in our games that we have a nickname for it: we call it "spamming the A-Button."

Without the concentration mechanic, our spellcasters would pile on every spell they could think of before combat began, and then beg for a long rest immediately after combat ended. (Before you scoff, remember that we are veterans of third edition, where this was the Standard of Practice for most battles. Remember when Scry-Buff-Teleport was a thing?) We already do this for hit points every 3-4 battles, which we have also nicknamed "the nap of supreme healing." Without the Concentration mechanic, I imagine it would be far worse: our casters would burn through half their spell slots before battle even began.

So you asked for my views on concentration? I think the importance of Concentration cannot be overstated.

-----

It occurs to me that perhaps the OP was asking about how important it is for clerics to prioritize Concentration checks. If that's the case? I'd say it is more important for the cleric than other spellcasting classes. The cleric has access to many of the best buff and debuff spells in the game, and most of them require concentration. If you are considering playing a melee cleric, I recommend prioritizing Constitution over Strength, and you will probably want to grab the heaviest armor and shield you can afford.

If your DM allows feats in the campaign, the War Caster feat is a fair choice for melee clerics...but honestly, you'll probably get more mileage out of a good suit of armor and a high Constitution score.
 
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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
I'll have to let the players of my wizard and sorcerer know that they never get attacked, they'll be quite relieved.

Not what I said, but sure.

I said that clerics are "more likely" than the other casters to be taking damage. In my experience, clerics are more likely to put themselves closer to a front line or at least more in the thick of combat than other casters; wizards, sorcerers, and bards will (mostly) prioritize being well out of harm's way (if they can help it) more than a cleric will. YMMV.
 

All I can think about when people talk about getting rid of concentration or something like that horrid double-concentration feat in Tal'Dorei is what happens when someone uses Wall of Force and Cloudkill together, or even just Fly and Greater Invisibility. Spellcasters become way more powerful. Sure, the DM can start using those same tactics, but the game will start to degrade at that point.

Without the concentration mechanic, our spellcasters would pile on every spell they could think of before combat began, and then beg for a long rest immediately after combat ended. (Before you scoff, remember that we are veterans of third edition, where this was the Standard of Practice for most battles. Remember when Scry-Buff-Teleport was a thing?) We already do this for hit points every 3-4 battles, which we have also nicknamed "the nap of supreme healing." Without the Concentration mechanic, I imagine it would be far worse: our casters would burn through half their spell slots before battle even began.

Clerics do get the benefit of wearing armor and having shields, but depending on build, are also more likely to enter melee than a wizard. I certainly wouldn't make a cleric with a dump stat of Con...
 

I think it is quite important. But not overly so. If you cast bless, make sure you include yourself and with 14-16 con you have an 80% chance to save against DC 10 Con checks. That is an average of 5 hits to break your spells. With a reasonable AC of 18 you are not hit easily, so expect your bless spell lasts for 2 to 10 rounds. And bless is one of the best spells to use your comcentration on for quite a while. At level 4 you can make an informed decision about the need of warcaster or resilient constitution.

Often however you just don't need a concentration spell, because usually they pay off over time. So in short encounters ask yourself if you need them. On other times, you might be happy that enemies try to hit you instead of the more lightly armored rogue or monk just to break your concentration.
 

Your build is important in determining how much you should worry about concentration. In general If you wade into melee regularly, you either need to limit your concentration spells or do something to increase the probability of passing. Warcaster is the most common solution, since advantage will help you hit the DC: 10 much more frequently. If you're a ranged caster, concentration shouldn't be as much of an issue, since overall you'll be hit less. Another option is to pick your concentration spells to either help (Bless including yourself) or assume you'll lose it after 1-2 rounds. Hold Person and other spells that grant a save each round are good examples, because it's unlikely you'll have them up for long anyway.

My current cleric is a focused on casting Spirit Guardians, so I aggro a LOT. To prepare for this, I have an 18 Con with Resilience, which allows me to to only fail on a roll of a 1 (for 20 damage or less), and if our paladin is close I can't fail unless the damage is well above 20. I take a lot of damage in the process, even with AC 20, so I'm much more likely to lose concentration due to going unconscious.
 

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