Concentration Skill Removal


Rules Questions

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Dabbler wrote:
I don't - because they get some free powers at that low level that mean they don't have to use spells. My 1st level druid got by on a firebolt from her bonus domain for most of her first level. By the time the spells get important, the character has better chances of success.

But all the 1st level attack powers are spell-like, even if most of them aren't based on specific spells (and thus dont' have a clear way to determine spell level for concentration). Spell-Like still needs to use Concentration, though.

Hopefully the next printing/Errata includes a standard way to derive Spell Level for abilities like this that don't explicitly list one. On the other hand, the Errata could just as well be either giving all Spell-Like Abilities a base spell to provide Spell Level, or making them Supernatural. The rules for Spell-Like Abilities clearly seem to assume every SLA has a spell it is based on, which the Bloodline Abilities are not conforming to.


Our DM never required a Concentration check for them, is all I can say. Mind you, I also made sure I stayed out of reach of any attackers anyway! In any event, D&D has always held to the principal that if you are caster, letting a fighter get within sword-swing distance of you is a bad idea; 3.x droped the ball on that a little, but Pathfinder has just tightened it up a little is all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Quandary wrote:
Hopefully the next printing/Errata includes a standard way to derive Spell Level for abilities like this that don't explicitly list one. On the other hand, the Errata could just as well be either giving all Spell-Like Abilities a base spell to provide Spell Level, or making them Supernatural. The rules for Spell-Like Abilities clearly seem to assume every SLA has a spell it is based on, which the Bloodline Abilities are not conforming to.

When one (be it Paizo or whoever) introduces new Spell-like abilities that don't mimic an existing spell, it's the book's responsibility to indicate what spell level that ability is. I argued for a LONG time that we should avoid creating spell-like abilities that don't mimic existing spells for pretty much this exact reason, but I obviously lost that argument.

So the best way to estimate what a spell-like ability's level is if it doesn't say in the description and it doesn't mimic a spell is to just look at what level the class gets the ability at and assume it's the highest-level spell that one could cast at that level.

Thus: an aberrant sorcerer gains acidic ray as a spell-like ability at 1st level, therefore that SLA is effectively a 1st level spell. The fey sorcerer gains fleeting glance at 9th level, and since the highest-level spell that sorcerer could cast is 4th at 9th level, fleeting glance is equivalent to a 4th level spell. And so on.

My personal preference would be, of course, to turn all of those into Supernatural abilities.

Sovereign Court

anthony Valente wrote:

Marcus Aurelious, 3 things which I advise working with the PF rules and speaking to the subtle shift in spell combat dynamics from 3.5 to PF:

1) Consider the party make up. If you have a greater proportion of casters to non-casters, it's difficult to protect them all, especially with greater numbers of foes. (You probably already know this, but it doesn't hurt to mention it). Nevertheless, getting more shields to compensate is a consideration (whether from the Leadership feat, hirelings, summoned creatures, NPC allies, etc).

2) Wands and other spell trigger items in hand ready for use in the unfortunate event that a caster is too close in combat. As GM, it might be useful to sprinkle a few of these in treasure hoards (I like placing a few myself, with just a few charges and see what the players make of it).

3) Spell selection. There is a healthier emphasis on having spells that mitigate AoOs, whether they were on before combat or are great candidates to cast in the opening rounds. In other words, in some situations, it's better to get your Mirror Image up first before you try that Sleep spell.

Hope that helps.

A bunch thanks. ;)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
My personal preference would be, of course, to turn all of those into Supernatural abilities.

That would be my preference, too. After all, how can they be spell-like when there's no spell to be like.

Grand Lodge

Dabbler wrote:
Our DM never required a Concentration check for them, is all I can say. Mind you, I also made sure I stayed out of reach of any attackers anyway! In any event, D&D has always held to the principal that if you are caster, letting a fighter get within sword-swing distance of you is a bad idea; 3.x droped the ball on that a little, but Pathfinder has just tightened it up a little is all.

So your against my DC plan because of a houserule...

Besides which, you may not have a something like firebolt depending of which domain/bloodline/school you pick. And spells matter from level 1 on. Color spray, sleep, entangle, obscuring mist all change the fight from the get go.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Hopefully the next printing/Errata includes a standard way to derive Spell Level for abilities like this that don't explicitly list one. On the other hand, the Errata could just as well be either giving all Spell-Like Abilities a base spell to provide Spell Level, or making them Supernatural. The rules for Spell-Like Abilities clearly seem to assume every SLA has a spell it is based on, which the Bloodline Abilities are not conforming to.

When one (be it Paizo or whoever) introduces new Spell-like abilities that don't mimic an existing spell, it's the book's responsibility to indicate what spell level that ability is. I argued for a LONG time that we should avoid creating spell-like abilities that don't mimic existing spells for pretty much this exact reason, but I obviously lost that argument.

So the best way to estimate what a spell-like ability's level is if it doesn't say in the description and it doesn't mimic a spell is to just look at what level the class gets the ability at and assume it's the highest-level spell that one could cast at that level.

Thus: an aberrant sorcerer gains acidic ray as a spell-like ability at 1st level, therefore that SLA is effectively a 1st level spell. The fey sorcerer gains fleeting glance at 9th level, and since the highest-level spell that sorcerer could cast is 4th at 9th level, fleeting glance is equivalent to a 4th level spell. And so on.

My personal preference would be, of course, to turn all of those into Supernatural abilities.

The problem with making its spell level equivalent to its normal spell counterpart (if there is one) is that many spells have differing spell levels based on which class list it is being cast from.

About concentration: The only thing I don't like about concentration in Pathfinder is that, since it is based on caster level, it totally hoses multiclassed casters. Other than that, it is better in every way over its 3.5 counterpart.


Presumably whenever you multiclass, what you you lose in sheer power/purity of class you gain in versatility. There's got to be some sort of opportunity cost to multiclassing, after all, and lower concentration checks are part of that cost.

A Fighter 1/Wizard 5 has certain advantages over a Wizard 6- slightly higher Fort saves, a combat feat, and nigh infinitely better weapon and armor proficiencies. On the flip side, the Wizard 6 will have more spells, better concentration checks, and stronger class abilities.

I've got absolutely no issue linking concentration to your class level. I vastly prefer it, in fact, because I hated taking ranks in Concentration when I could be putting ranks in other skills more related to my concept and party role-- Knowledge, for example, or Speak Language, or even rounding myself out and taking Tumble, Climb, or Jump. Now that Pathfinder has streamlined skill use, I'd still save that extra skill point per level for Perception, Acrobatics, Linguistics, or a Knowledge check rather than feel like I was forced into taking Concentration just to "break even."

I dislike the idea of taking ranks in a skill to perform the basic functions of the class, which is why I like how Bards don't HAVE to max out Perform if they don't choose (almost 100% of them will, but their Performances don't require it). I also love that a Bard doesn't have to keep knowledge skills maxed out because their Bardic Knowledge bonus keeps them fairly competitive with half the ranks. Same goes for Rangers and survival or Rogues and disable device. Many of these characters WILL chose to have max ranks PLUS their class bonus and be the epitome of that skill, but you don't HAVE to in order to fill the party role the class is intended for. I really, really like that.


Yet I do see the value in a Feat giving a bonus to Concentration but not to exceed your Character Level + Stat + other bonuses (however that can be phrased elegantly). Actually, never mind, that can be addressed by justr giving a Caster Level bump in the same manner. See, easy.

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