Sometimes I get ideas in my head and those ideas need to be let out, lest I go crazy. Today is one of those days. One of my only real complaints with 5E DND is the concentration system for spells. I get the idea behind it, to balance spellcasters vs non spellcasters, but it can feel incredibly limiting at times to only be able to have one “buff” or one “debuff” active at a given time, especially when there are so many options or choices available to a caster to use.
Because of this I got it in my head to come up with a way to allow a spellcaster to concentrate on more than one spell at a time while still having a significant trade off. Obviously, this allows casters to be more powerful in a general sense, so this feat would not be for everyone. I tend to play higher powered and unbalanced games anyway, so for me this really doesn’t impact me all that much.
Let’s start with the feat itself, and then I will explain the logic behind it.
- 15 Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma
- Ability to cast 3rd Level Spells
The spellcaster has become adept at splitting their focus and concentration, allowing them to hold 2 Concentration spells active at the same time. However, this is extremely straining to the spellcaster and cannot be maintained for long. When concentrating on a single spell, everything is as usual. However, if the spellcaster casts a second concentration spell, the following occurs:
- The caster must make a Constitution Saving Throw at the end of each turn that they have 2 Concentration Spells active. This includes the first turn that this effect is active. The DC of the save is equal to 10 + the Combined Spell Level of the spells (IE if they are concentrating on a level 1 spell and a level 3 spell, the save DC is 10 + 1 + 3 = DC 14). If they fail the save, BOTH spells immediately end.
- While concentrating on 2 spells, the caster will take damage at the start of each of their turns equal to three times the combined spell level of the spells. This damage cannot be avoided, mitigated, or reduced in any way. This damage does NOT trigger a Concentration Check however. (IE if they are concentrating on a level 1 and level 3 spell, they will take (1+3)x3 = 12 Damage a round).
- Anytime the caster takes damage (not including the damage from this feat), they must make a concentration check as normal for each spell individually. Failing either save causes both spells to end.
Seems like a lot I know, but let’s go over each part and why I did it that way. First the requirements: these are intended to make sure that primarily casters are the ones who pick this up, and it limits how early a caster can take this feat. The stat requirement means that if a secondary caster wants to take this (say a Paladin) they need to invest in going after it. Further a player won’t get 3rd level spells as a pure caster class till level 5, and other “secondary” caster types get 3rd level much much later, meaning this limits who can take this and when. Most in fact could take this around level 8, as that is when you would get the ASI that you could switch to a Feat.
Now the other parts. First there is the Con Save. This is chosen to represent first that you are straining to hold the two spells actively in your mind, and losing that focus will cause both spells to drop immediately. You start making these saves the same turn that you start concentrating on the second spell, and since Con Saves are not usually a save type that primary casters (Sorcerers, Bards, Clerics, Wizards, ect) this means they will, in general, have a lower total bonus to their saving throw. Additionally, the damage component means that they will in essence slowly be killing themselves to use this boost. The scaling amount of damage is intended to represent just how strong a spell is. Bless is only level 1, and holding that plus say Bane shouldn’t be TOO hard on a caster once they are high enough in level, but holding say Haste and Wall of Fire? That would be VASTLY different, more powerful, and thus more demanding. Finally, having both spells end on failing a single Concentration save means that the caster will not want to be in harm’s way.
Some of the values might need some tweaking, such as the damage per round or the save DC, but I think on the whole this could work out to be a “fairly” balanced way to allow casters who want to specialize as support types to really make use of all the amazing spells out there in 5e DND. Now if you are trying to play a more grounded game, with more grit and threat this is most likely not a feat you want to allow, as it WILL make the party stronger on the whole, even with the drawbacks.
Let me know what you think about the feat in the comments below! Would you use this feat in your own games? How would you change it? I am open to suggestions and I am curious as I know one of my patrons, Wandering Alchemist, had some thoughts about the number of dice rolls.
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For some other homebrew stuff I have done, check out the following: