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#736389 19/11/20 11:03 AM
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While "concentration" is part of the 5e rules, i still wonder who thought that up. Or at least decided which spells require concentration and which not.

Since this is my first contact with 5e rules i was...surprised...to say it mildly. There are some spells/rituals where i can understand and accept such a mechanic but to think that a cleric can bless 3+ people OR give one person a Shield of faith is...BS laugh.
Spells like the "hold" line get ridicoulous this way. The victim gets a save each turn AND in addition his friends can just pummel the caster till he fails his CONSTITUTION save. Most casters surely have tons of that...

(Just fyi some enemies get their save at the beginning of the turn and can even act when they succeed, i forgot which fight it was but it seriously annoyed me. i think it was that "spike" guy)

So if some rules from 5e are ignored or changed please let this be one of them. Or keep it for spells that need actual effort AFTER the casting. Divination for example.

It really grinds my gears to see that you can conjure a blob of magical grease and then look elsewhere but to conjure a for of magical darkness you need to concetrate until you get slapped or the time runs out? Eh?

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Yeah I agree it was super annoying. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for this mechanic somewhere but I just find it annoying. Especially the bless bit you mentioned


Larian's Biggest Oversight, what to do about it, and My personal review of BG3 EA
"74.85% of you stood with the Tieflings, and 25.15% of you sided with Minthara. Good outweighs evil, it seems."
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Spells need concentration for the game to be balanced. If for example clerics could concentrate on multiple protection/buff spells at once they would be extremely overpowered. The action economy needs to make sense, and being able to fling all kinds of spells willy nilly while taking a bunch of hits, breaks that. Magic isn't supposed to be effortless.
Now I do think that in BG3, a lot of spells are buggy or badly implemented with regards to how their concentration works, but it's fixable. Removing concentration, a core spellcasting mechanic, is not going to happen. Making it more stable, however, is doable.

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If some spells are allowing STs at the start of turns, this is a very important bug that needs to be fixed. This makes some spells (hold person, etc) completely useless.

Compared to previous editions, casting has been made easier/less risky. There are no longer spells that take full rounds to cast, where taking damage during that time you can lose the spell. And casting a spell in melee range doesn't provoke an AoO, also possibly causing you to lose the spell.

The tradeoff is concentration; however this has been further heavily nerfed in BG3. Going prone instantly loses concentration, and any type of spash (fire surface) damage causes you to make a CONC save. But yeah, a lot of decisions in 5e spellcaster builds come down to which CONC spells you plan on typically using, and then choosing non-conc spells to complement those.

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Well, it is the 5th edition of D&D rules and the first game i see which has it. None of the prior games were broken. For example, 4th edition bless simply had a duration of 1 minute. On some spells, the concetration mechanic seems appropriate like a detect evil or even the witch bolt, which can be cast each round without spending a spell slot.
Having played through the EA a few times now, in most cases it makes tactics using some spells outright useless. As mentioned, a CON save on most casters has more than 50% chance of failing and that goes up dramatically with higher damage. Most of the time i end up casting magic missles because those cannot fail and do a decent amount of damage (especially with that psycho item, THAT unbalances the spell btw.)

It is just my opinion on this, mostly because it feels awkward. You see, spending my clerics action on a bless only to have it broken in the same round most of the time is hardly worth it. That action is better spent otherwise. I can't even use shield of faith to make the char harder to hit because i cannot bless anymore after that.

From a certain viewpoint it may be interesting to have need of choice of either strenghening your own party or weakening the enemy (Bless or Bane) but as the Mobs succeed in 2 out of 3 saves anyway it goes again to rather take some HP off before trying to weaken them. For me, it takes a lot of fun out of tactical combat.

So many fights failed trying to use buffs and debuffs. in the end i just hit them with damage and won. This definetly needs tweaking and even though i love a bit of logic in fantasy games, sometimes its better to leave it fantastic :P

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It's valid feedback. Especially in BG3 where ST/conc spells are much weaker than attack roll/auto damage spells.

Most casters in 5e want to take the War Caster Feat, which gives Advantage on Cont STs. This gives you a ~75-85% chance to succeed on Con saves.

However, this doesn't help with only being able to cast 1 concentration spell, this is true. Especially bless vs bane, Bless is ~strictly better because it doesn't have any chance of failing whereas Bane can be resisted by enemies.

mrfuji3 #736523 19/11/20 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
It's valid feedback. Especially in BG3 where ST/conc spells are much weaker than attack roll/auto damage spells.


I would argue this is EA bias though. This balance between spell-attack vs. ST will flip back to ST/conc spells being stronger once higher spells kick in, even with Larian's changes.

There are roughly (based on dnd beyond) 24 spell-attack spells in the Player's Handbook. Only a small amount (5 listed, but they missed Bigby's Hand) are 3rd level or above:

  • Vampiric Touch
  • Faithful Hound (summon - but uses your spell attack for melee)
  • Contagon (touch, but requires save too)
  • Dispel Good/Evil (touch for dismissal feature, but requires save)
  • Mordakainen's Sword (summon - but uses your spell attack for melee)
  • Bigby's Hand (summon - but uses your spell attack for 1 of its functions)


Once level 5 kicks in and you get access to Slow, Fireball, Hypnotic Pattern, ST spells that are completely game changers.



Last edited by Topgoon; 19/11/20 07:07 PM.
Topgoon #736528 19/11/20 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Topgoon
I would argue this is EA bias though. This balance between spell-attack vs. ST will flip back to ST/conc spells being stronger once higher spells kick in, even with Larian's changes.

There are 24 spell-attack spells in the Player's Handbook. Only 5 are 3rd level or above:

  • Vampiric Touch
  • Faithful Hound (summon - but uses your spell attack for melee)
  • Contagon (touch, but requires save too)
  • Dispel Good/Evil (touch for dismissal feature, but requires save)
  • Mordakainen's Sword (summon - but uses your spell attack for melee)


Once level 5 kicks in and you get access to Slow, Fireball, Hypnotic Pattern, ST spells that are completely game changers.

Sure, 5th+ levels will make ST spells more viable as you get access to these strong spells like fireball, etc. Especially as cantrips like firebolt will be less useful, only dealing 2d6 damage instead of PnP's 2d10.
Though, warlocks will still be heavily incentivized to use eldritch blast given the ease of hitting due to high ground Advantage.

But it will still remain easy to fail concentration checks, against enemies that can shove you prone or cause AoE damage with special arrows/flasks. Being set on fire will ~equally disrupt conc at level 6 compared to level 4 and I assume the # of enemies with these options won't go down at higher levels...

mrfuji3 #736532 19/11/20 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mrfuji3

Sure, 5th+ levels will make ST spells more viable as you get access to these strong spells like fireball, etc. Especially as cantrips like firebolt will be less useful, only dealing 2d6 damage instead of PnP's 2d10.
Though, warlocks will still be heavily incentivized to use eldritch blast given the ease of hitting due to high ground Advantage.


To be fair, Warlocks are always heavily incentivized to use Eldritch Blast by design. They are more magical ranged fighters than actual spell casters.

While PnP Warlocks won't have the benefit of high-ground advantage, a lot of their spells do revolve around gaining it anyway (Darkness + Devil's Sight, Shadow of Moil, etc), because they are Eldritch Blasters first and foremost.


Originally Posted by mrfuji3

But it will still remain easy to fail concentration checks, against enemies that can shove you prone or cause AoE damage with special arrows/flasks. Being set on fire will ~equally disrupt conc at level 6 compared to level 4 and I assume the # of enemies with these options won't go down at higher levels...


I agree with you that I think going prone = broken concentration is extremely dumb, and I'm hoping that is a bug vs. intentional (i.e. similar to wizards with Cure Wounds). Unfortunately we can't tell since there hasn't been much communication.

With that said, I can't say the current Larian implementation, as flawed as it is, is imbalanced towards casters because the imbalances swings both ways. If anything, the "meta" of using casters have simply changed if we accept the game for what it is.

I.e. right now, being able to action + bonus-action cast spells of any level is incredibly broken as it almost doubles your action economy and will scale even more. I.e. you can do weird things like drop a big AOE spell and than Misty Stepping far out of reach to basically remain unhittable.

#736544 19/11/20 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlus
Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
While "concentration" is part of the 5e rules, i still wonder who thought that up. Or at least decided which spells require concentration and which not.

Since this is my first contact with 5e rules i was...surprised...to say it mildly. There are some spells/rituals where i can understand and accept such a mechanic but to think that a cleric can bless 3+ people OR give one person a Shield of faith is...BS laugh.
Spells like the "hold" line get ridicoulous this way. The victim gets a save each turn AND in addition his friends can just pummel the caster till he fails his CONSTITUTION save. Most casters surely have tons of that...

(Just fyi some enemies get their save at the beginning of the turn and can even act when they succeed, i forgot which fight it was but it seriously annoyed me. i think it was that "spike" guy)

So if some rules from 5e are ignored or changed please let this be one of them. Or keep it for spells that need actual effort AFTER the casting. Divination for example.

It really grinds my gears to see that you can conjure a blob of magical grease and then look elsewhere but to conjure a for of magical darkness you need to concetrate until you get slapped or the time runs out? Eh?


I’m not exactly sure I understand your argument. Are you arguing that magic doesn’t follow a logical system. Your first example: bless is a action vs shield of faith is a bonus action. Mechanically, you’re choosing between one person or many. In TableTop, you would also have to consider spell components. Are you arguing that magic is arbitrary? In that case, I think you have to accept a level of abstraction due to the innate nature that is magic.

When you cast the spell hold, you take one entire character out of combat. Action economy is important and not having one character can destroy a team, additionally why wouldn’t thinking creatures attack the target that’s causing them to lose? Especially if it’s easy to hit (By this I mean I never had my Magee attacked because I use my movement to get them out of harm’s way when attacking.)

I think that if it bothers you that grease isn’t a concentration spell then every spell would be a concentration spell by default. The reason grease isn’t a concentration spell is because you take your spell components and turn that into the grease, you are transmuting their properties. You are actually concentrating on suppressing in the other spell.

Overall, it seems like you just don’t like how 5e does magic. That’s completely fine! You have to abstract magic to make it fit into a fighting and this is the method they choose to allow some flexibility while not letting wizard’s essentially build save or suck characters where if you fail a save, the other character wins which was a big problem in pathfinder and 3.5. With that being said, how would you balance the game once casters can use spells like black tentacles and then start laying on other spells like Otto’s irresistible dance?


No, i think you completely misunderstood me there smile

No, not completely, i do dislike how 5e does magic. Those rules are around since the 1980s and this is the first time they did something like this. The grease example won't hold. You can argue that keeping grease stay requires concetration like it does for darkness etc. I said somtimes it is better to NOT rely on logic.
The Bless vs. SoF has nothing to do with action or bonus action but with the fact that both require concetration. so casting SoF to get +2 AC will hold exactly to the moment you want to bless something. Or get slapped. Or shoved. Or need to fart.

mrfuji3 #736546 19/11/20 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mrfuji3
It's valid feedback. Especially in BG3 where ST/conc spells are much weaker than attack roll/auto damage spells.

Most casters in 5e want to take the War Caster Feat, which gives Advantage on Cont STs. This gives you a ~75-85% chance to succeed on Con saves.

However, this doesn't help with only being able to cast 1 concentration spell, this is true. Especially bless vs bane, Bless is ~strictly better because it doesn't have any chance of failing whereas Bane can be resisted by enemies.



THIS is exactly what makes me believe it is broken. "most casters in 5e want to take war caster", if a feat is more or less mandatory to be a good spellcaster then something is wrong.

I want to play a caster to see my spells succeed and not be useless more than 50% of the time. I have had way too many fights where my decsision to cast some spell made me lose. If i get the thought that by casting magic missles i would have won then...i'm pissed laugh

I would take concetration as an option, for example:

Bless w/o concentrating on it: 1 min duration 1d4-1 bonus to attack/save
Bless w concentration: 1 min duration and a stable +2 or +3 on the rolls. Concetrating on something usually gives more control.

The spells are simply not useful enough to have those restrictions and from playing those games for years now i have never felt those spells to be too powerful. Sometimes one spell can change the whole fight, sometimes it's just a fart in the wind...it's magic laugh

Again, just my opinion.

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Concentration seems to be more of a hindrance in this game than i think it is meant to be because of a few factors.

First, I have a real issue with Larian turning a couple of status effects into "miss turn, break concentration", when they are not supposed to. Prone should not break concentration, stun should not break concentration, you can still concentrate and have a limited turn when you are stunned or prone, but not in this game it seems. Things that do break concentration: being downed, being incapacitated, casting another concentration spell, failing your con save upon taking damage.

Second, by their own admission, larian have beefed up some of the enemies in this early part of the game, so if it seems like they are always saving out of effects, its probably because they are, their saving throws are higher than they should be. Also, environmental damage everywhere means more concentration checks, and you will feel like you're failing more often due to rolling more often. Its not a good combination.

Third, it seems like spells that should have their saving throw happen at the end of creatures turns, are happening at the start. I've not done a lot of testing on this, but I've noticed it, and seen at least one other person complaining about this. This shouldn't be a thing, spells like hold person should have their targets make saves at the END of their turns, not the start. Maybe it's an issue with EA, maybe they can't manage coding rolling saves on turn end?

Lastly, concentration is a hindering issue in 5e, you are not wrong about that. Spellcasting has had some limiters placed on their casting due to lingering 3.5 power creep issues. Earlier editions didn't have concentration and they also had issues with spellcaster power creep, as in after a certain point, unless you had min maxed your mundane class build to hell and back, spellcasters were usually the strongest characters. So we've been saddled with concentration, which i personally don't have too much issue with, but also with really restrictive changes disallowing multiple spells being cast per turn, prohibiting the casting of two non cantrip spell per turn, even if one is an action and one is a bonus action (i personally dislike this rule and don't enforce it when i DM).

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Originally Posted by Piff
Concentration seems to be more of a hindrance in this game than i think it is meant to be because of a few factors.

First, I have a real issue with Larian turning a couple of status effects into "miss turn, break concentration", when they are not supposed to. Prone should not break concentration, stun should not break concentration, you can still concentrate and have a limited turn when you are stunned or prone, but not in this game it seems. Things that do break concentration: being downed, being incapacitated, casting another concentration spell, failing your con save upon taking damage.


Stunned, like Paralyzed, includes the Incapacitated condition, so it does break concentration in tabletop as well.

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Ah, it is too early for me to be reading the handbook and making posts on forums it seems.

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It is possible to work within the concentration system. With the right stats and gear you can sit in the middle of combat and never have concentration broken - with a sub-optimal build and lacking the positioning and battlefield control to make up for it you'll have concentration broken constantly. I found it very annoying when I started playing but after a while it all started to make sense.

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Yes, decent Con + proficiency in Con saves means that with some levels in you, you won't fail any concentration checks unless things are hitting you for big damage (like 30+ damage hits). Throw in warcaster feat for added goodness.

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Concentration in BG3 can be frustrating, due to the increased amount of guaranteed Conc. saves you are forced to make compared to 5e, along with other factors that others have already mentioned.

The Concentration save that you make when you take damage is a Constitution Save DC = 10, or half of the damage received from that instance of damage. So whether you take 1 or 20 damage at once, you will make a DC 10 CON save. Once you take more than 20, the DC will begin to increase. When you take multiple sources of damage at once, you make a conc. save for each source of damage.

This is balanced in 5e, because there are realistically ways for your spellcaster to avoid taking damage, such as positioning, tactics, and character builds. Concentration can and will get broken, but it happens less frequently and doesn't feel as harsh, because you likely got at least a few rounds of use out of your spell anyway. Early levels generally don't have as many sources of damage that can't be evaded with AC or a passed spell save. In BG3, you are regularly subjected to attacks that can require you to make 3 conc. saves on a hit, or 2 conc. save even if you dodge the initial attack.

Larian compensated for the increased amounts of unavoidable damage that you can take to your HP, by letting everyone eat or drink a potion as a bonus action, but there hasn't been any compensation dedicated to preventing concentration being broken yet.

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Originally Posted by Piff
Yes, decent Con + proficiency in Con saves means that with some levels in you, you won't fail any concentration checks unless things are hitting you for big damage (like 30+ damage hits). Throw in warcaster feat for added goodness.


I get that you are just sharing insight to those unfamiliar with 5e, so don't take this as a slight against you, but this is a topic that's pretty frustrating to me so I need to speak my piece.

Being forced to take an early feat for Resilient(CON) or Warcaster at level 4, just to be able to maintain concentration for a decent amount of time in BG3, is bad design in my opinion. This prevents you from increasing your spellcasting modifier, so you will be less likely to land your spells. Spell casters that want to use their spells to hinder their enemies are going to be nerfed either way. Either they take the feat, and they will be less likely to be able to land their spells and make use of their concentration in the first place, or they boost their spell modifier so they can land spells, but lose concentration every other turn because they won't be able to pass the wave of concentration saves they are subjected to.

Not only that, but these feats still won't change the fact that you are making more DC 10 saves. Let's say you have a decent +2 CON with proficiency in CON saves. That's a +5 to conc. saves for most of the game, which means that you still need to roll higher than 4 to pass a minimum conc. save. 20% of your conc. saves still fail, so if you have to make 3x as many conc. saves than you should, the usually infallible Resilient(CON) or Warcaster still won't guarantee your ability to maintain concentration.

Feats are supposed be a way to add flavor or achieve a superior ability to solidify your role. You shouldn't be forced to take a feat just to be somewhat decent at what you were meant to do in the first place.

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I hate the way 5e does concentration. It's too limiting.

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If I was to tweak concentration rules I would probably do it through feats which allow you to concentrate on more than 1 spell at a time, with a downside which makes it dramatically easier to fail if something tries to interrupt your concentration.

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