DM’s Pocket Guide Ep 14: Concentration

DMs Pocket Guide Podcast

Concentration DM’s Pocket Guide

"I hate this. This is my brain just literally turns off, reading the Player's Handbook." Can you relate?  The rules for maintaining spell concentration can be tedious, but we break it down for you in this week's episode of DM's Pocket Guide!  Please like, review, and share to support DM’s Pocket Guide! We’re Tricia and Rachel from Roar Cat Reads.  If you would like to learn about a specific D&D rule or spell, send us a request at roarcatreads@gmail.com.  Transcripts of every episode are available!   If you want more rules, buy a copy of the Player’s Handbook! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram  Artwork by Haley Boros DM’s Pocket Guide is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.


Welcome to DM’s Pocket Guide, where we discuss the rules, spells, and monsters of Dungeons and Dragons, 5th edition.

Tricia: Hello. Today, we are going to talk about Concentration.

Rachel: *straining to concentrate noise*

T: Specifically, concentrating on spells that require concentration. 

R: So, this rule is on page 203 of the Player’s Handbook. And it says that some spells require you to maintain concentration in order to keep their magic active, if you lose concentration, that spell will end. If a spell must be maintained with concentration, that fact appears in its duration entry. So on your spell description it’s going to say whether or not it’s a concentration spell and the spell specifies how long you can concentrate on it. You can end the concentration that any time it doesn’t require an action and and normal activity such as moving or attacking doesn’t appear interfere with concentration.

T: So as we go through this, let’s think about Call Lightning. It’s a spell that a druid in a game that we play together uses often and we have only realized that it’s a concentration spell that would have significant effect upon the use of this spell because he was extremely powerful at a very low level calling lightning, which is basically just like calling lightning from above but it’s a concentration cell up to 10 minutes that was just like boom more lightning, boom, more lightning, boom more lightning and not losing any spells slots and I was so pissed about it, but didn’t bother to look in to what concentration was. So let’s keep that in mind 

R: There’s a couple of things that could have ended that spell.

T: Great. 

R: The first one is casting another spell that requires concentration. Something that this player certainly did. So you lose concentration on spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration. You can’t concentrate on two spells once, 

T: Right? I try so hard in daily life to concentrate on multiple things at once and I can’t. And if I can, they’re not, they’re not good enough to make magic 

R: The Player’s Handbook agrees, it’s impossible to do two things at once.

T: Excellent. 

R: The next thing that will break your concentration is taking damage but it’s not a you take damage and it’s done. 

T: Yeah. So the one time I thought I understood concentration I thought it was just once you take damage then it’s done. 

R: No. No. If you take damage and while you’re concentrating on a spell you must make a constitution saving throw to maintain your concentration. Similar words that I stumble over all of the time. 

T: You did great, baby, 

R: The DC equals 10 or half the damage that you take. 

T: I hate this. This is my brain just literally turns off, reading the Player’s Handbook. 

R: Yeah, which one is depends on which one is higher. So it’s always 10. Remember 10 is your good baseline and unless you dealt a bunch of damage, like, the anytime it’s gonna be more than 10 is if you’ve dealt over 20 points of damage. So if you deal 30 points of damage to a player, the save DC now becomes 15 because that’s the higher. 

T: Because you’ve taken a lot of damage you have concentrate even harder. 

R: Yeah. 

T: Okay. 

R: So a big, if you really want to end a players concentration like drop a mountain them, that’ll do it. 

T: Yeah, well it has the 40 points of damage. assuming that they don’t have a bonus. To their constitution.

R: I mean you might as well just do 60 just to be sure.


R: I mean she’s only trying to break your concentration but oh, she seems to broken your spine. 

T: Yeah,

R: So way that you might try and do this as well is by having multiple attacks going in at the player to break their concentration, which means they make individual roles for each attack. You can’t like cumulative the damage and then have them try and meet half that amount of damage. 

T: Yeah, that makes sense to if a bunch of things are coming at me. I have to individually be able to be like I’m not bothered by you,  I’m not bothered by you, I’m not bothered by you. 

R: And I push my glasses at my nose and say, well technically speaking, it’s not to the players advantage to be making multiple roles one mega success would be better. 

T: More statistically advantageous. 

R: Yes. And oh, you get to push your glasses up you nose too now. Excellent. And the last condition that can break your concentration is being incapacitated or killed. You can’t concentrate, if you’re dead. 

T: You know what? I agree with that. Actually, you know what? We don’t know. I guess D&D does.

R: yeah D&D has called it on this one. And the last part of the entry in the players handbook, and just simply says that the DM might decide that other things break your concentration. And the example, it gives is a wave crashing over the side of a ship and knocking you flat. You know, it’s, it’s that kind of thing. Like, if it’s conceivable that it would break your concentration, then the DM might ask you to roll for it. 

T: Yeah. Doesn’t have to do damage but it cold glass of water to the face is hard to concentrate through 

R: Why do I feel like next time we play my character’s gonna get cold glasses of water thrown

T: Oh, I thought you meant in real life. I was like yeah, let’s show how hard it is. 

R: Oh yeah, I think that would work. 

T: That is concentration specifically with spell casting on players handbook, what page?

R: 283 and slightly 284. 

Thanks for listening!  If you have something you’d like us to cover, email it to roarcatreads@gmail.com or find us on Twitter and Instagram @roarcatreads. 

1 comment on “DM’s Pocket Guide Ep 14: Concentration

  1. Pingback: DM’s Pocket Guide Ep 16: Scrying – Roar Cat Reads

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