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Leuenherz #736770 20/11/20 11:39 AM
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I have to disagree.

After reading all the answers and thinking about it i can say that concentration in itself may not be so bad an idea. But it should not stay the way it is. What a system like this needs is consistency. If you compare spells and wonder why one needs concentration and the other does not, something is not right. That maybe put a bit too simplistic
but i hope you get what i want to say.

If you have spells that are very similar in what they do and how they work but one needs concentration and one does not then that will surely lead to questioning.

As of now the amount of concentration checks seems way too high. I really would rename it to "maintain". In a way that it needs magical energy constantly poured in to keep it active. So that falling prone and other little diversions can be ignored and conc. checks for this can be removed and you just need to check when someting really impacts the caster.

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Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
Originally Posted by Sadurian
I play a wizard (currently 9th level) in tabletop D&D 5e and without Concentration to limit her, she'd be almost unstoppable. Concentration is a game-balance mechanism. It might not seem to be at lower levels, but when you get more spell casting slots and access to more spells it becomes important.


Since D&D was around casters always started pretty weak and got stronger later on, read some novels on Elmister, Khelben, Gromph, Mordenkainen, to list just a few. Rulewise you can still stop them. The other classes get better at mitigating the effects of spells too. With spells like "wish" in the pool such things are to be expected.

I do not say that i do not understand the logic or even the plan on the concentration mechanic. On some spells i think it fits pretty well. But compare "hold" and "sleep":

As of now you PUT people to sleep but have to concentrate to KEEP them paralyzed. OK. Works.

But could you not also say you paralyze people for a TIME (as has been) but you need to concentrate on the sleep spell to KEEP them sleeping (mostly during a very loud combat situation which would wake up even a drunken dwarf). Against both spells victims get a save but against hold there are much more ways to break it.

In case of hold, maybe give an extra save each time the victim takes damage.



Except the power curve has been flattened compared to older editions (for good reason), novels are not foundations for game design, and the spells you are comparing are the proverbial apple and orange.

The logic and plan for concentration are precisely what the poster you were quoting was talking about: keeping the power of higher-level casters within reasonable confines.

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I am aware that novels are not a foundation for game design. But they tend to give an insight as how the world we are playing in usally is thought to be. I am not saying it HAS to be that way. Every author has his or her own look at things, be it game, book or movie. I am not sure why powerful characters are such a problem for some. The adversaries and stories just need to be tailored around that. Not easy i guess. I have always had more problems designing advertures for higher level characters since the options they have grow. And talking about reasonable in a fantasy game is strange anyway. But i guess you are mainly talking about game blalance and i agree with you there.

About comparing apples and oranges, i don't really think it is. Sleep and Hold are both designed to take a creature out of combat most of the times. Looking at it logically BOTH would need concentration. Hold to fight against the resistance of the victim and sleep to keep the minds of the vichtims from awakening due to external influence like
noise.
I think if i go through the spell list there would be more spells where you ask yourself that exact question. Why does shield of faith reqiure concentration but spiritual weapon does not? Blur requires concentration, Mirror Image does not. I do not see logic or consistency behind that. Not much at least. Since it is all thought up you can always come up with an explanation.

Apart from logical explanations for why or why not i created this thread because it was something that i disliked every playthrough i did. Not the mechanic in itself but the way the game handles it. It feels awkward. Too many times where i was better off not using concentration spells because it was wasted effort. You can move and attack. So if i move my caster into a position where i hope he will not get hit an NPC either moves to hit anyway or throws grease or something else in the general direction. And that usually suffices to break the concentration. And often enough in the same turn so that the effect is wasted completely.

For me that is not much fun and that is why i think something should be done to mitigate this. At least somewhat but since this is still VeryEA we will see where it is going.

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Sleep doesn't require concentration because it can only affect creatures below a certain HP threshold that scales unfavorably compared to enemy HP (it's good lvls 1-4, then falls off rapidly) and can be broken both by receiving damage and by allies of the sleeping creatures waking them. Sleep is used to take enemies out of the fight to deal with *other* enemies first.

Hold Person does require concentration because it's a more powerful debuff. Individual hits do not break the effect on the target creature, so consecutive critical hits (which the paralysis condition guarantees on melee hits) are likely and increase in number as the party advances in levels. Because of this, even a single round of this effect on the right creature can be encounter-deciding. Hold Person/Monster are used to set up enemies for focus fire by the party *immediately*.

Shield of Faith and Spiritual Weapon are *very* different spells. Apples and oranges.
But to elaborate, duration-based defensive spells that decrease the enemy's chance to hit you are generally not meant to be stacked. Spiritual Weapon is a compromise to allow the Cleric's "at-will" damage to scale without giving them the Extra Attack feature. To be fair, though, it *is* an actual outlier, flawed comparison or not.

For Blur, see what I said about Shield of Faith. Mirror Image does not require concentration because its effect is diminished by incoming attacks and is increasingly less valuable the more attacks are aimed at you, whereas other defensive buffs provide consistent value.

5e is not perfect and there *are* spells that require concentration when they shouldn't or that do not when they perhaps should. But we are talking about a very small fraction of the full spellbook here, not a general issue.


As for concentration spells being disincentivized in BG3, we are in agreement. But that is purely an issue of Larian's own making. The easiest fix would be for them to dial back design decisions that led to the problem (enemy AI, prone condition not working correctly, too many sources of unavoidable damage), rather than slapping on other solutions that will, in turn, create problems of their own.

Last edited by Leuenherz; 20/11/20 02:17 PM.
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BG3 / Larian house rules need to stop punishing Concentration spells so hard.

Every monster seems to have some crazy jump ability that has an AoE prone effect that breaks concentration or ability to set the world, and you, on fire.

Less Concentration procs, please. These spells are supposed to be playable.

While you're at it, get rid of the Magic Missile augmenting necklace. Doubling the power of one 1st level spell makes all other 1st level spells obsolete. And 2nd level spells since you can cast Magic Missile at +1. Are we detecting a pattern here?

Why ever cast a 2nd level Scorching Ray (avg 10.5 damage assuming 50% hit chance) when a 2nd level Magic Missile hits with 100% accuracy for 24? How does this stuff get approved before it goes in?

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If you like to compare apples and oranges, here is a more detailed one:
Similarities:
- both Sleep and Hold Person/Monster are spells
Differences:
- without upcasting Sleep is designed to get rid of several small threats (avg. 3-4 goblins, 4-5 kobolds/stirges from MM) or one medium, Hold stops a single big threat (no HP limit)
- Sleep doesn't have saves, but is countered by slap (action) from an ally, Hold saves on WIS
- Sleep ends on hit, first hit is with adv. and autocrit from 5ft, Hold doesn't end on hit, so the whole party attacking paralyzed enemy (adv. + autocrit) effectively make caster holding concentration deal something like 50% of the entire party damage (all melee fighters damage that wouldn't hit without adv. and wouldn't crit is attributed to caster)
- Sleep is ineffective when enemies are spread or already in melee (can sleep your allies at low levels), Hold is targeted, upcasted can handle multiple threats coming from multiple directions

I believe we all agree concentration doesn't work well in BG3 and here are some reasons for that:
- Larian's homebrew prone breaks it (D&D prone doesn't)
- Larian's homebrew autohits from Fire Bolt cause multiple concentration saves
- Larian's homebrew acid surface break concentration
- lack of basic protection tool, i.e. Shield spell
- lack of relevant feats
- lack of Sorcerer (CON save prof) or multiclassing (e.g. Fighter 1 / Wizard X)
- silly AI (no DM would go after your casters in every battle)

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Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
I have to disagree.

After reading all the answers and thinking about it i can say that concentration in itself may not be so bad an idea. But it should not stay the way it is. What a system like this needs is consistency. If you compare spells and wonder why one needs concentration and the other does not, something is not right. That maybe put a bit too simplistic
but i hope you get what i want to say.

If you have spells that are very similar in what they do and how they work but one needs concentration and one does not then that will surely lead to questioning.

As @Leuenherz says, there is consistency in spells that require concentration but it is due to spell strength and ways of naturally ending the spell effects, not how similar in effect/class the spells are.
Concentration is a balance mechanic, not an immersion mechanic.

Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
As of now the amount of concentration checks seems way too high. I really would rename it to "maintain". In a way that it needs magical energy constantly poured in to keep it active. So that falling prone and other little diversions can be ignored and conc. checks for this can be removed and you just need to check when someting really impacts the caster.

Falling prone should not break conc according to 5e. This is a thing Larian 100% needs to change. This will make conc spells so much better.
And they do have a "maintain" mechanic: concentration :P

I'm slightly in favor of @SaurianDruid's idea that small amounts of damage don't break conc. But then would magic missile not break conc, since each missile can do only 2-3 damage? If so, this strongly nerfs it...this idea should only be implemented if Larian adds Shield as a proper reaction.
Edit: Actually, I have the ^ backwards. Magic missile damage (if 2 or 3) not breaking conc could be instead of implementing Shield. Though obviously implementing Shield and proper reactions is better than this fix.

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I agree with a lot of the complaints here.

- The extra damage added by the Burning Status and damage from surfaces are extra concentration checks which were not intended for the 5e rules. This makes it far easier to lose concentration, because any roll under 10 is a failure even if you took only 1 point of damage.
- Going prone should NOT lose concentration.
- Additionally, most spells/conditions which require saving throws need to be made at the END of a turn, not the start.
- Higher level, more powerful spells do not solve the problem of Concentration checks being far too easy to fail.

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.


Any total under 10 is a failure for any Concentration check even with low damage. Max proficiency is +6 at level 17, Max Constitution is +5, for a total of +11. There's plenty of space to fail CON checks before you can get bonuses that high.

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Good conversation. Agreed with those are noting that surfaces breaking concentration is causing unintended effects. When every goblin has a vial of acid, when every firebolt and every poison attack produces a surface it seriously nerfs the buffer cleric. Good points @Passerby @Madscientist @Leuenherz

In addition to making surfaces optional the devs should include some magic items that increase the chances of maintaining concentration so casters don't have to waste a feat.



Somewhat OT but yes, like @firesnakearies I prefer the buffer cleric builds that one could make in 2nd and 3.5 -- there is no reason for hold person to be as weak as it is in 5th -- but 5th is the edition we have. When 5th first came out and the modules had instructions on how to modify them for use with previous editions I thought WotC was going to have an "use any edition you like" attitude but 5th has been so popular that I think they will want to see the ruleset accurately represented in its flagship title.

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Originally Posted by 1varangian

Why ever cast a 2nd level Scorching Ray (avg 10.5 damage assuming 50% hit chance) when a 2nd level Magic Missile hits with 100% accuracy for 24? How does this stuff get approved before it goes in?



I doubt that this will remain and I view Magic Missle as the only option anyways even without the necklace.
This is just an EarlyAccess fun-placing I think.

If we ever come around this sexy headgear again, it will undoubtedly be in some very hard to reach location.
And until then we will have much other useful headgear, making the coice a pain in the Asumar.

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Originally Posted by Leuenherz
Sleep doesn't require concentration because it can only affect creatures below a certain HP threshold that scales unfavorably compared to enemy HP (it's good lvls 1-4, then falls off rapidly) and can be broken both by receiving damage and by allies of the sleeping creatures waking them. Sleep is used to take enemies out of the fight to deal with *other* enemies first.

Hold Person does require concentration because it's a more powerful debuff. Individual hits do not break the effect on the target creature, so consecutive critical hits (which the paralysis condition guarantees on melee hits) are likely and increase in number as the party advances in levels. Because of this, even a single round of this effect on the right creature can be encounter-deciding. Hold Person/Monster are used to set up enemies for focus fire by the party *immediately*.

Shield of Faith and Spiritual Weapon are *very* different spells. Apples and oranges.
But to elaborate, duration-based defensive spells that decrease the enemy's chance to hit you are generally not meant to be stacked. Spiritual Weapon is a compromise to allow the Cleric's "at-will" damage to scale without giving them the Extra Attack feature. To be fair, though, it *is* an actual outlier, flawed comparison or not.

For Blur, see what I said about Shield of Faith. Mirror Image does not require concentration because its effect is diminished by incoming attacks and is increasingly less valuable the more attacks are aimed at you, whereas other defensive buffs provide consistent value.

5e is not perfect and there *are* spells that require concentration when they shouldn't or that do not when they perhaps should. But we are talking about a very small fraction of the full spellbook here, not a general issue.


As for concentration spells being disincentivized in BG3, we are in agreement. But that is purely an issue of Larian's own making. The easiest fix would be for them to dial back design decisions that led to the problem (enemy AI, prone condition not working correctly, too many sources of unavoidable damage), rather than slapping on other solutions that will, in turn, create problems of their own.


Thanks for that explanation. Gives an insight about how it was decided which spells require concentration and which do not. Helped since i do not have much XP with 5e. I still do not like some aspects of it. To eliminate stack buffing there would have been better ways. Having my cleric cast bless and after that not beeing able to use SoF on himself or to protect an ally still feels wrong to me. But i guess that comes from the older games i am used to.

Why i said "maintain" instead of concentration is simply a better wording for it. Same as having hits that do no dmg not be called miss. Gives (or takes) a certain feel. When i try to concentrate and fall prone its not easy to keep concentrating. "maintaining" some spell energy sounds more logical but that is only wording.

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After all these answers the conclusion is that it is not the concentration in itself that is broken but the way larian has implemented it? And if those aspects, like prone, the annoying ground effects and the way the AI reacts is fixed we will have more fun playing casters and using those spells?

If it comes to that i personally, can live with that. Even if i still don't like it overmuch laugh

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Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
Why i said "maintain" instead of concentration is simply a better wording for it. Same as having hits that do no dmg not be called miss. Gives (or takes) a certain feel. When i try to concentrate and fall prone its not easy to keep concentrating. "maintaining" some spell energy sounds more logical but that is only wording.

That makes sense. It does feel like some spells shouldn't require explicit concentration on them.
-I can understand concentration for e.g., Hold Person: you are continually pitting your will against the struggling enemy. You must expend mental effort = concentrate.
-But Protection From Evil and Good would seem more like an "expenditure of energy" type spell, where your continually feeding energy into the spell could be enough.

Alas, "concentration" is what we have, and I'm wary of Larian making changes to spells that do or don't require it.
Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
After all these answers the conclusion is that it is not the concentration in itself that is broken but the way larian has implemented it? And if those aspects, like prone, the annoying ground effects and the way the AI reacts is fixed we will have more fun playing casters and using those spells?

If it comes to that i personally, can live with that. Even if i still don't like it overmuch laugh

Mostly this. Higher-level spells and reduction of losing concentration from prone/ground effects/AI targetting should make concentration feel like a better option.

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Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
After all these answers the conclusion is that it is not the concentration in itself that is broken but the way larian has implemented it? And if those aspects, like prone, the annoying ground effects and the way the AI reacts is fixed we will have more fun playing casters and using those spells?

If it comes to that i personally, can live with that. Even if i still don't like it overmuch laugh


This is a bit meta -- but it comes down to how do you deal with perceived problems with the ruleset? I don't actually disagree with @mrfuji 's and @firesnakeaires examples of spells that 5th edition shouldn't have made subject to concentration but I don't think the way to fix perceived problems with 5th is the institution of homebrew rules.

Instead you introduce magic items that correct the perceived problem. Has the same positive effect as a homebrew but is easily ignored, sold or modded away for those who don't like it. And magic items don't create ripple effects through the system. So, if you have a perceived problem "I don't think it's very fun that my wizard's firebolt misses so often" Instead of instituting a homebrew -- surfaces on all cantrips -- you give the mage a wand that fires a single magic missile. Give it 50 charges and you have enough for the mage to do in combat until they reach higher levels.

Same goes for concentration effects -- make a ring of mental clarity if you like and give it the characters.

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Originally Posted by Leuenherz
Some people putting the cart before the horse here.

Concentration is fine the way it is. Prohibiting a caster from stacking buffs on top of each other is by design and a healthy thing for the game balance. No pre-cast orgies, no CoDzilla, no overpowered CC, less caster-martial imbalance.

The actual issue for tabletop is that some spells shouldn't require concentration. And for BG3, that there is too many instances of unavoidable damage at low levels, too many enemies with ranged weapons, enemies having additional attacks or instances of damage they shouldn't, and the prone condition causing concentration to be broken.

It's just one of many instances that shows that Larian either does not appreciate the extent to which their homebrew impacts the base system or that they were willing to experiment by throwing stuff at a wall and see what sticks during EA.

Exactly this. The spiraling set of consequences which makes it a worse game resulting from Larian's homebrew is staggering to behold. I hope they rethink it.

Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
I am aware that novels are not a foundation for game design. But they tend to give an insight as how the world we are playing in usally is thought to be.

No. Go read any licensed novel for any given franchise based on a game or videogame: the authors tend to show a gross ignorance of the source material and either retcon or outright ignore important facets of the game world in order to force their often ill-thought out plots. The Halo novels come to mind as an especially egregious example, but many of the books written in the various D&D settings suffer from this as well. The exception, of course, are the early Dragonlance books: legend has it that those were written to describe the actual campaign the authors played in.

Either way, the books you are describing were written in the TSR days. Wizards of the Coast famously surveyed their players to find what they liked and didn't like and balance turned out to be a highly desired feature. After years of fumbling around, they eventually arrived at the massive success story that is 5E D&D: the franchise was basically dying prior to that. The resurgence in interest in Dungeons and Dragons is primarily due to 5E's design decisions: I would say balance is a key feature of that.


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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I don't think multiple concentration spells necessarily breaks action economy. If you can cast both Longstrider and Jump on someone (without concentrating at all), why can't you cast Bless and Shield of Faith? I thought it worked fine in previous editions when spells just had durations. Hold Person doesn't need to be a concentration spell, the target already gets a save every round, it might fail to even land, or it might break on their first turn, you're unlikely to get so lucky as to have it last more than a couple of rounds. It seems really arbitrary to me which spells require concentration and which don't. Spiritual Weapon actually does break action economy by basically giving the Cleric an extra attack every round, and it doesn't even require concentration! It just lasts a minute. It completely destroys whole character concepts. Want to play as a buffer? Too bad, cast your one buff and then shut up and cast Guiding Bolt. Want to play as a crowd control character? Too bad, cast your one control spell and then shut up and cast Scorching Ray. It just limits casters too much. I'm fine with it being harder to maintain concentration on multiple spells, that seems reasonable. But just not being able to use most of your spells because you're already concentrating on one feels bad.


Its easier to illustrate this with video games than using a tabletop example and fortunately, since this is a video game and not tabletop, it also makes my example even more justified :P Lets assume for a moment you could concentrate on multiple spells, how would you, as a player, be able to take advantage of it? Simple! Cast all the buffs you like outside of combat on the party, then initiate combat. Once everyone is in combat, throw on something like invisibility on the mage and put them more or less outside of the action so they are unlikely to take incidental damage and now you are fighting a battle with a significant advantage from the outset. The end result is combat becomes trivially easy for anyone who does this. Well, what is the problem here you might ask. The problem is, that if you want to have a difficulty within the game that challenges players who do things like this, that difficulty option immediately becomes unbeatable for most players who do not.

This is incidentally why Sawyer made buffs expire automatically outside of combat in Pillars of Eternity - he was trying to solve this problem. Now while I do not agree with his solution, I do acknowledge that the problem exists.

Now, how does concentration fit into all of this? Well, concentration as a mechanic has the following advantages.

1. The mechanic has verisimilitude. You can believe that a wizard who is trying to create an effect which persists, would need to concentrate on it in order to keep it persisting.
2. The mechanic solves a balance problem. Buff stacking is a major issue in video games which creates a gulf between players and by adding the mechanic, this gulf is made much smaller.

But it also destroys an entire playstyle. The buff wizard (which is incidentally, a playstyle I personally love to play), basically does not exist with the way concentration is implemented in 5e. I don't actually consider that to be a fault of concentration though, you could modify the rules of concentration to achieve some degree of balance while still allowing buff stacking, it just makes the rules a lot more complicated in the process. Its fairly obvious though whatever you implement, it needs to have a significant downside. Aside from things I have mentioned already like making you roll with disadvantage if you split your concentration between spells, some other possible drawbacks could be.

1. A Metamagic Feat called Effortless Concentration. Allows you to cast a concentration spell without concentration, but casting it raises the level of the spell by 3 spell levels (so for example, you would be casting a level 1 buff in a level 4 spell slot with the level 1 effect, but it won't take concentration).
2. A feat called split concentration, which allows you to concentrate on 1 additional spell, at a cost of having to ban an entire spell school.

I could propose other ideas, since I like an excuse to get creative, but seeing as I very much doubt they will be implemented, there isn't much point and they can stay in fantasy land :P

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Originally Posted by millenialboomer
Originally Posted by Leuenherz
Some people putting the cart before the horse here.

Concentration is fine the way it is. Prohibiting a caster from stacking buffs on top of each other is by design and a healthy thing for the game balance. No pre-cast orgies, no CoDzilla, no overpowered CC, less caster-martial imbalance.

The actual issue for tabletop is that some spells shouldn't require concentration. And for BG3, that there is too many instances of unavoidable damage at low levels, too many enemies with ranged weapons, enemies having additional attacks or instances of damage they shouldn't, and the prone condition causing concentration to be broken.

It's just one of many instances that shows that Larian either does not appreciate the extent to which their homebrew impacts the base system or that they were willing to experiment by throwing stuff at a wall and see what sticks during EA.

Exactly this. The spiraling set of consequences which makes it a worse game resulting from Larian's homebrew is staggering to behold. I hope they rethink it.

Originally Posted by UnknownEvil
I am aware that novels are not a foundation for game design. But they tend to give an insight as how the world we are playing in usally is thought to be.

No. Go read any licensed novel for any given franchise based on a game or videogame: the authors tend to show a gross ignorance of the source material and either retcon or outright ignore important facets of the game world in order to force their often ill-thought out plots. The Halo novels come to mind as an especially egregious example, but many of the books written in the various D&D settings suffer from this as well. The exception, of course, are the early Dragonlance books: legend has it that those were written to describe the actual campaign the authors played in.

Either way, the books you are describing were written in the TSR days. Wizards of the Coast famously surveyed their players to find what they liked and didn't like and balance turned out to be a highly desired feature. After years of fumbling around, they eventually arrived at the massive success story that is 5E D&D: the franchise was basically dying prior to that. The resurgence in interest in Dungeons and Dragons is primarily due to 5E's design decisions: I would say balance is a key feature of that.



Hmm. I can't really say if the novels are based on actual gameplay expieriences. I have read nearly every D&D novel that's out there. I think the Dragonlance Chronicles were one of the first i read. Awesome. The forgotten realms books do have kind of the same "feel" imo. That's why i say they show how that world was thought out to be.
Even if those campaigns were not played they must have been approved by Gygax at some time. And later on by the publisher.

Dragonlance feels different. As does Greyhawk or Ravenloft. Ever read the "Queen of the demonweb pits" series with the Justicar Evelyn? Laughed my ass off and THAT could have been a real played campaign. But i guess thats going too far and is only wishful thinking on my part. We get what we get and i just hope that everyone playing and contributing to this EA will have a positive impact on the finished game.

It happens too rarely.

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Originally Posted by Sharp

Its easier to illustrate this with video games than using a tabletop example and fortunately, since this is a video game and not tabletop, it also makes my example even more justified :P Lets assume for a moment you could concentrate on multiple spells, how would you, as a player, be able to take advantage of it? Simple! Cast all the buffs you like outside of combat on the party, then initiate combat. Once everyone is in combat, throw on something like invisibility on the mage and put them more or less outside of the action so they are unlikely to take incidental damage and now you are fighting a battle with a significant advantage from the outset. The end result is combat becomes trivially easy for anyone who does this. Well, what is the problem here you might ask. The problem is, that if you want to have a difficulty within the game that challenges players who do things like this, that difficulty option immediately becomes unbeatable for most players who do not.

This is incidentally why Sawyer made buffs expire automatically outside of combat in Pillars of Eternity - he was trying to solve this problem. Now while I do not agree with his solution, I do acknowledge that the problem exists.

Now, how does concentration fit into all of this? Well, concentration as a mechanic has the following advantages.

1. The mechanic has verisimilitude. You can believe that a wizard who is trying to create an effect which persists, would need to concentrate on it in order to keep it persisting.
2. The mechanic solves a balance problem. Buff stacking is a major issue in video games which creates a gulf between players and by adding the mechanic, this gulf is made much smaller.

But it also destroys an entire playstyle. The buff wizard (which is incidentally, a playstyle I personally love to play), basically does not exist with the way concentration is implemented in 5e. I don't actually consider that to be a fault of concentration though, you could modify the rules of concentration to achieve some degree of balance while still allowing buff stacking, it just makes the rules a lot more complicated in the process. Its fairly obvious though whatever you implement, it needs to have a significant downside. Aside from things I have mentioned already like making you roll with disadvantage if you split your concentration between spells, some other possible drawbacks could be.

1. A Metamagic Feat called Effortless Concentration. Allows you to cast a concentration spell without concentration, but casting it raises the level of the spell by 3 spell levels (so for example, you would be casting a level 1 buff in a level 4 spell slot with the level 1 effect, but it won't take concentration).
2. A feat called split concentration, which allows you to concentrate on 1 additional spell, at a cost of having to ban an entire spell school.

I could propose other ideas, since I like an excuse to get creative, but seeing as I very much doubt they will be implemented, there isn't much point and they can stay in fantasy land :P



Admittedly, I don't like pre-buffing and the pre-buff-heavy playstyle. I DMed a very high-level 3.5 campaign and it was absolute madness with the buffs. But you could make durations short enough that casting them much before combat would waste a lot of the buff, or make some buffs only castable while in combat, or specify certain buffs that don't stack with each other, or provide typed bonuses that don't stack with each other, or institute a sort of "buff limit" on characters (kinda like how you can only attune to 3 magic items, you could like, only be able to have 3 active spells on you or something).

I don't see how it has all that much verisimilitude when it's applied so unevenly, though. Either persistent effects require spellcasters to concentrate on them, or they don't. 5e can't seem to decide which it is.

Mage is like, "Wow, that summoned hammer thing is powerful, do you have to concentrate on that?"
- "Nah, I just cast it and it sticks around for a minute without further attention."
- "Wait, really? But I just made some little dancing lights, and I have to keep concentrating on those..."

Cleric is like, "Wow, that armor spell you cast is even better than my Shield of Faith (well, kinda), do you have to concentrate on that?"
- "Nah, I just cast it and it lasts eight hours without me ever thinking about it again, lol"
- "WAT."



Last edited by Firesnakearies; 21/11/20 12:34 AM.
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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

Admittedly, I don't like pre-buffing and the pre-buff-heavy playstyle. I DMed a very high-level 3.5 campaign and it was absolute madness with the buffs. But you could make durations short enough that casting them much before combat would waste a lot of the buff, or make some buffs only castable while in combat, or specify certain buffs that don't stack with each other, or provide typed bonuses that don't stack with each other, or institute a sort of "buff limit" on characters (kinda like how you can only attune to 3 magic items, you could like, only be able to have 3 active spells on you or something).

This was actually how Larian dealt with it in D:OS 2, buffs had really short durations (usually like 3 turns or so), so you couldn't get much benefit out of prebuffing. This still more or less achieves the same result though, it effectively kills off the buffer playstyle for those who enjoy it. Adding a buff limit also achieves the same result (killing off the buffbot playstyle) and functionally its very similar to concentration, but instead of concentrating to maintain the limit, you have now moved the limit onto the target instead of the caster. It is also more gamey than concentration, because its harder (although still possible) to explain.

My main concern is, is there a way to maintain this playstyle for those who enjoy it, without unbalancing the game for everyone else? I rather tentatively feel yes there is, but it will involve significant tradeoffs to achieve that result.

Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I don't see how it has all that much verisimilitude when it's applied so unevenly, though. Either persistent effects require spellcasters to concentrate on them, or they don't. 5e can't seem to decide which it is.

Mage is like, "Wow, that summoned hammer thing is powerful, do you have to concentrate on that?"
- "Nah, I just cast it and it sticks around for a minute without further attention."
- "Wait, really? But I just made some little dancing lights, and I have to keep concentrating on those..."

Cleric is like, "Wow, that armor spell you cast is even better than my Shield of Faith (well, kinda), do you have to concentrate on that?"
- "Nah, I just cast it and it lasts eight hours without me ever thinking about it again, lol"
- "WAT."



My comment about verisimilitude there had more to do with the concept of concentration itself, rather than how 5e applies it. I absolutely agree, the way it is applied in 5e is inconsistent, but that is not the fault of the mechanic itself, rather it is the fault of the implementation of it.

Last edited by Sharp; 21/11/20 12:54 AM.
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I do find it annoying that there are so many Concentration spells and cantrips for Clerics (Guidance and Resistance cantrips could have been "one active per person" instead), but I prefer to encourage Larian to follow the 5e rules. That is only my individual feedback and I will accept whatever Larian goes for, but I do care that Wizards of the Coast (WotC) did a lot of playtesting before and closely monitored feedback for years now, for the most popular edition of D&D ever. And WotC does not allow many video game companies to use their license, IP, or rules. You might as well do 5e with as much fidelity as possible, with some fun tweaks nonetheless (like the weapon special maneuvers are a fun addition that maybe 5e should add).

( again, that is just my individual preference or view : no problem )

( for fun, Concentration was invented mostly after the new edition removed the possibility of casters being interrupted in their casting, which was a radical change from past editions.)


Last edited by Baraz; 21/11/20 01:08 AM.
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