Concentration while casting spells in threatened area


Skills & Feats


The problem with I (as GM AND Sorcerer-player) have with the Concentartion skill is when it is used when casting a spell in a threatened square. Not only do higher level casters always make the check and thus avoid AoO, but there is also no taking into account the opponent's training/ level, exp etc.

As was mention in the tumble threat, I would like to see an opposed mechanic for this perhaps Concentration vs. REF-save, removing the simple Concentration against spell DC rule. This would give the threatening character a better change to "take the opportunity" and interrupt spellcasting...


Maybe it should be a Combat Maneuver?


Beastman wrote:

The problem with I (as GM AND Sorcerer-player) have with the Concentartion skill is when it is used when casting a spell in a threatened square. Not only do higher level casters always make the check and thus avoid AoO, but there is also no taking into account the opponent's training/ level, exp etc.

As was mention in the tumble threat, I would like to see an opposed mechanic for this perhaps Concentration vs. REF-save, removing the simple Concentration against spell DC rule. This would give the threatening character a better change to "take the opportunity" and interrupt spellcasting...

I agree. This should be an opposed skill check just like acrobatics to avoid AoOs. Casting defensively has the same problem with static DCs - it leads to auto-success regardless of the competence of the opponent. It should be set against the opponent's BAB or similar mechanism.

Scarab Sages

I believe the DC should increase for every enemy within reach (just as it does for Tumble). Casting in the middle of 8 enemies should be more difficult than casting next to one enemy.

After all, ducking away from Opponent A, by definition, means you are ducking toward flanking Opponent B...

Shadow Lodge

What do y'all think about my idea at the end of this post:
Spellcraft (p. 47)

Perhaps change casting defensively to a Will save vs. opponents Ref save?

Thanks for the feedback!
Grace and Peace,
Jeff

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Beastman wrote:
Not only do higher level casters always make the check and thus avoid AoO, but there is also no taking into account the opponent's training/ level, exp etc.

In my mind, that's a feature, not a bug. The rules are designed to let experienced casters cast their spells, not flee in terror at the first sign of danger like scared apprentices.

Beastman wrote:
As was mention in the tumble threat, I would like to see an opposed mechanic for this perhaps Concentration vs. REF-save, removing the simple Concentration against spell DC rule. This would give the threatening character a better change to "take the opportunity" and interrupt spellcasting...

I don't know. I generally dislike any rule that has the potential to turn a combat into a handful of failed Concentration checks interspersed with an hour or more of watching everyone else at the table have fun.


Epic Meepo wrote:
In my mind, that's a feature, not a bug. The rules are designed to let experienced casters cast their spells, not flee in terror at the first sign of danger like scared apprentices.

Huh? Ok, then take a low-level fighter and a low-level wizard: wizard possibly makes concentration check and fighter possibly makes attack of opportunity.

now take a high level fighter and a high level wizard: wizard always makes concentration check and fighter never gets an attack of opportunity?

all i can say is: the poor fighter. hopefully he will never get into close combat with a wizard... so you have an expereinced wizard that casts his spells and does not flee and an experinced fighter who looses because of the rules? thats not a feature. thats a bug IMHO

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Beastman wrote:
... now take a high level fighter and a high level wizard: wizard always makes concentration check and fighter never gets an attack of opportunity?

Spellcasting Harrier.

Make it a fighter feat; change the requirements so it is non-epic (maybe just high-level).

-Skeld

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Or after the 1st time a caster Casts Defensively you Ready an Action to attack if they do it again!


I totally agree with both the Tumble and Concentration changes. they should be some form of opposed roles (concentration vs knowledge:tactics, or attack roll)

Tumble should be opposed by either knowledge:tactics, or attack roll

(knowledge:Tactics is a created skill to balance the equation, probably in class for Fighters, Paladins and Rangers)


Beastman wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
In my mind, that's a feature, not a bug. The rules are designed to let experienced casters cast their spells, not flee in terror at the first sign of danger like scared apprentices.

Huh? Ok, then take a low-level fighter and a low-level wizard: wizard possibly makes concentration check and fighter possibly makes attack of opportunity.

now take a high level fighter and a high level wizard: wizard always makes concentration check and fighter never gets an attack of opportunity?

all i can say is: the poor fighter. hopefully he will never get into close combat with a wizard... so you have an expereinced wizard that casts his spells and does not flee and an experinced fighter who looses because of the rules? thats not a feature. thats a bug IMHO

That's not a class feature, that's an attack of opportunity.

Hopefully the wizard won't be so stupid as to willingly engage in melee with a fighter and expect to hide behind his ranks of Concentration. As for disrupting spellcasting, kick it old school and ready an action.

Shadow Lodge

Pneumonica wrote:


That's not a class feature, that's an attack of opportunity.

Hopefully the wizard won't be so stupid as to willingly engage in melee with a fighter and expect to hide behind his ranks of Concentration. As for disrupting spellcasting, kick it old school and ready an action.

But still, you've readied only a standard action, which has reduced the (presumably) fighter's effectiveness even more then it is already gimped. I've long had house rules for both tumble and concentration to be opposed by opponents attack roll to great success. Wizards still have a slight edge, except against heavily dedicated fighters or crazy strong barbarians-- which makes sense to me.

I'm all for opposed checks.


If I were said fighter, and I saw yon wizard I knew was going to cast his spell on me, I would simply make my move action to close in, and ready my standard action against him casting. Sure, he'll probably go into defensive casting to avoid AoO, but it's moot at that point, when he goes to cast, I'm getting a regular attack, turning on every damage enhancing feat I have, dealing major damage, which adds to his concentration DC, and likely foils the spell.

Granted, that's so long as I hit, but if I miss, I deserve to be Phantasmal Killed, no?

From this point on, I'll simply ready my full attack action each successive round until wizard is toast. Or, if he looks badly hurt enough after my first attack, I'll just take my full attack on turn and take a gamble that it finishes him off.

Every maneuver SHOULD have a counter, but if you wanted to make combat decisions simpler, they could just axe the whole concept of defensive casting, and say you casts in combat, you takes your chances. I would have no problem in seeing the defensive cast go bye. Echoing a statement above, I was playing D&D back when taking one point of damage while casting meant spoiling the spell, no rolls required, so even a Concentration roll at the AoO is more than that.

Scarab Sages

Doesn't the feat to deal with this already exist?
Mage Killer (or something like that...)

Liberty's Edge

Mage Slayer is the Worst Feat Evah. The first incarnation was so poorly written that they released a 'fix' for it. Basically mage-slayer makes it so a caster in a threatened square 'auto-fails' their attempt to cast defensively. So, the caster can try to cast defensively, but if they do, they lose the spell, but no attack of opportunity is generated.

The 're-write' explained that the caster KNEW that they would fail if they try to cast defensively.

The feat should grant an attack of opportunity to the person with the feat. The way it is written no attack of opportunity is generated unless the caster chooses not to cast defensively, but then EVERY threatening opponent gets an attack of opportunity, not just the character with the feat. It is stupid.

I would like to see opposed checks. If someone took a feat that allowed an attack of opportunity even if the opponent made their concentration check, I'd be for that. That isn't much different than feats like 'Close-Quarter Fighting' which allow you an attack of opportunity against a creature with Improved Grab, even though you're normally not allowed to do so. The caster should still have the option of taking a 5' step, or making sure they have enough ranks to make their check. The smart wizard (and they should all be smart) doesn't get into melee often, and should be able to 'get out of it', even if it means taking the AoO and running like a little girl. Without heavy armor, he should be able to outrun most fighters.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

DeadDMWalking wrote:
I would like to see opposed checks. If someone took a feat that allowed an attack of opportunity even if the opponent made their concentration check, I'd be for that.

I suppose I wouldn't mind a feat to counteract defensive casting. (In fact, there already is one.) I just don't think opposed rolls should be the default. The wizard has spent ranks to train at casting defensively, so an opponent should have to train in something else to counteract it.

DeadDMWalking wrote:
The smart wizard (and they should all be smart) doesn't get into melee often, and should be able to 'get out of it', even if it means taking the AoO and running like a little girl. Without heavy armor, he should be able to outrun most fighters.

I'm not worried about wizards outrunning fighters. I'm worried about wizards outrunning gigantic monsters with tentacles. Opposed check rules that work fine for humanoids have the potential to turn into a total spellcaster lockdown when fighting something with "Space/Reach: half of the battlefield/other half of the battlefield."

And keep in mind, the wizard isn't the only one who needs to cast defensively. The cleric requires Concentration to cast healing and buff spells. And the cleric should ideally remain relatively close to people in melee, so the "run from the scary fighter" option isn't on the table. To say nothing of trying to run from something like a kraken (60-foot reach).

Liberty's Edge

Good call, Meepo.

I usually try to keep in mind the monsters as well, and when it comes right down to it, making things better for the fighters will have the unintended consequence of making some monsters too powerful.

So, I agree. Making it opposed checks, while I like it better for many reasons, is actually a foolish idea.

A feat that allows a fighter to get an attack of opportunity on a caster while casting, however, is not so bad.

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