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Old 05-21-2017, 04:36 AM   #1
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Default Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

A player has asked if they can: start to cast a multiple second concentration spell, then abandon it continuously and restart the concentration.

Eg concentrate on Great Haste... then restart concentration.

It sounds, in a word, stupid to me. But I said I'd ask on the forums.

What do you think?

Last edited by lachimba; 05-21-2017 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:59 AM   #2
Michael Cule
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

I cannot think of any reason why dithering pointlessly is forbidden by the rules but this feels like the set up for one of those Stupid Player Ideas where they get some advantage from doing something nobody had ever thought of doing before.
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:25 AM   #3
lachimba
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

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Originally Posted by Michael Cule View Post
I cannot think of any reason why dithering pointlessly is forbidden by the rules but this feels like the set up for one of those Stupid Player Ideas where they get some advantage from doing something nobody had ever thought of doing before.
Well they can always be one or two seconds along on a three second concentration spell
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:54 AM   #4
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

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Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
Well they can always be one or two seconds along on a three second concentration spell.
I'd let someone do that ... if they had a per-spell perk for the trick, and could not cast any other spell, or concentrate on anything else without losing it. They'd always count as being in the process of casting a spell while using it, so they'd have to make a Will roll if hit, can't go to sleep without losing it, etc. It's something that can be occasionally worthwhile, but isn't practical to use all the time.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:30 AM   #5
Imion
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

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Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
A player has asked if they can: start to cast a multiple second concentration spell, then abandon it continuously and restart the concentration.
(...)
Sure, why not? I'd remind him that restarting concentration on a spell, and thus the process of casting the spell, is exactely that, though. Starting from scratch and needing to concentrate for the full amount of time before the player can cast the spell.

IMO there is no advantage in doing such a thing, other than trying to trick the GM into allowing the player to take other maneuvers besides Concentrate while still being able to cast a spell quickly.

If the player wants to cast spells quickly then he should have to pay for it, as johndallman said. Not sure if I'd allow it for a perk or ask for more CP.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:38 AM   #6
Curmudgeon
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

Quote:
Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
A player has asked if they can: start to cast a multiple second concentration spell, then abandon it continuously and restart the concentration.

Eg concentrate on Great Haste... then restart concentration.

It sounds, in a word, stupid to me. But I said I'd ask on the forums.

What do you think?
Mmm, I'm with lachimba as far as what possible benefit he can see in doing this. However, I do wonder if your player missed that little bit on B366 about being limited to a Step for movement while concentrating. At a majestic and glacial 1 yard/second pace (only slightly faster than a military slow march at a state funeral [just in case you were wondering]), the rest of the party may solve the problem for you:

"We're not in combat. Hurry up and quit dawdling. The rest of us have doors to open and monsters to kill, you know, even if you don't."

"I swear, if he doesn't put in gear, I'm going to feed him to the next otyugh we find."

"Why? Otyughs' are noble creatures, they are. Why would you be down so hard on them?"

"Relax, guys. At least he can't accidentally trip and accidentally turn any one to stone, not like Lark's group. Their magician was so clumsy, she ended up decorating her garden with statuary. Mind you, I still think that's a pretty rude pose that Wolf ended up in."

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 05-21-2017 at 09:11 AM. Reason: homophone replacement
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:42 AM   #7
lachimba
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
At a majestic and glacial 1 yard/second pace (only slightly faster than a military slow march at a state funeral [just in case you were wondering]), the rest of the party may solve the problem for you:
"

A yard a second is pretty fast, its 100 yards in just over a minute and a half. I run about 200 yards a minute in real life, I'm not concentrating on a spell. The knight with heavy armour has move 3! If someone out front is searching for traps, its more than fast enough for a dungeon.

Regardless it will lead to him saying, 'ok I want to start casting the spell three seconds before we reach the door/corner'. Which I guess is a secondary option he will switch to depending on the answer to the first question.

Last edited by lachimba; 05-21-2017 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:02 AM   #8
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

Nothing in RAW compels a caster to finish casting a spell. You just drop it and start over. Strictly speaking, this means you can't "hold" a 3+ second spell one second from completion, as you're restarting from the beginning. But you'd always be at least one second into the spell.

As others have noted, to do so you have to Concentrate each and every turn. This uses up your action. Compare with the list of sample Concentrate action in the maneuver description -- making Sense rolls, making a Leadership roll, operating electronic sensors... These are all examples of alternatives that you can't do because you're Concentrating on the spell. The caster's ability to do anything else is highly restricted. Move is only a Step, for instance; he won't be able to keep up with the party walking down the dungeon corridor.

There are also the other side effects -- e.g., the wizard is constantly chanting and moving his hands about in mystical patterns (or whatever is required to cast spells). It's obvious that he's casting (and it's also possible to identify the spell if observers are knowledgeable enough). Then there's the constant Will - 3 rolls to maintain Concentration due to distractions (which don't have to be active defenses or injury). Since the wizard is concentrating on his one spell, he won't be able to follow topics of discussion, debate what to do next, help solve puzzles, recall relevant bits of lore, translate ancient text, etc.

I don't think there's any RAW on maintaining Concentration long term, out of combat time. Certainly it's superhuman to do so for hours on end, without a break or waver in thought. Also tiring -- even ordinary mental-only work is tiring.

In short, it's a large price for being able to claim that you're one second from finishing a spell. (Properly, a random number of seconds into the spell when combat time starts.)

I'd allow a Perk to "hold" a spell just short of completion, with a maintenance cost, and without Concentration -- though counting as a spell "on". Faced with an additional 1 CP cost, however, the wizard would probably just turn to Suspend Spell or Delay instead, however, as they're general-purpose solutions for doing such a thing with any spell, rather than a Perk for each.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:07 AM   #9
lachimba
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Move is only a Step, for instance; he won't be able to keep up with the party walking down the dungeon corridor.
Yes he will. Because you walk at a step a second. Thats approximate real life walking speed. In a dungeon we would likely go no faster.

A move is (almost) flat out speed.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:29 AM   #10
kdtipa
 
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Default Re: Concentrate for spell then abandon casting, continuosly

Quote:
Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
A player has asked if they can: start to cast a multiple second concentration spell, then abandon it continuously and restart the concentration.

Eg concentrate on Great Haste... then restart concentration.

It sounds, in a word, stupid to me. But I said I'd ask on the forums.

What do you think?
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but they want to do part of the concentration, do something else, and then finish the already started concentration? Or like what people are thinking based on the use of the word "restart" which implies concentrating on a spell, giving up on it, and then starting from the beginning?

If it's the second one, then there's no benefit to it like everyone has been saying. If it's the first one, then I'd "no"... it's not possible to do it that way. That opens the door to all kinds of unbalanced and unfair stuff.
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