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The Wizard spell Strangling Hair has the listed duration "concentration, up to 1 round/level", but later on in the spell it states that "your hair continues to attack that target independently of your own actions."

This to me sounds like you can take other actions while your hair does its thing on your chosen target. It also says it keeps going on the same target unless you explicitly spend a move action on directing it otherwise. This is very similar to Aqueous Orb, which stays churning in place (doesn't dissolve) until you spend a move action to direct it elsewhere. You can still take other actions during Aqueous Orb with no problem.

Can you still take other standard actions during this spell?

I think this may be an incorrectly written duration since it really, really sucks for a level 3 spell if it requires concentration. It is pretty good if not, but not overpowered.

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I'm not sure how great this spell is optimization-wise, but it is a great thematic ability for a villein - dangerous, but not as instantly fatal as a lightning bolt - so he can monologue away while detaining someone. It can also be a creepy and useful interrogation tool when used right... – G0BLiN Aug 7 '14 at 7:24
up vote 8 down vote accepted

No, you may not take standard actions while concentrating to maintain a spell, though you can take move actions. The reason is in the description of "Concentration" under spell durations, see the d20PFSRD for more.


The spell lasts as long as you concentrate on it. Concentrating to maintain a spell is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Anything that could break your concentration when casting a spell can also break your concentration while you're maintaining one, causing the spell to end. See concentration.

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As explained by mxyzplk, you have to concentrate on the spell.

The interpretation you should take from this spell is that it won't change its target because you attacked someone else or verbally commanded it to attack someone else. You must spend a move action to change its target and that's the only way to have it stop attacking its original target.

I think you may have misunderstood the duration of the spell, so I'll explain it in case I'm right. Its duration is "concentration, up to 1 round/level". This means that it lasts for the entirety of the concentration, but that concentration cannot last longer than 1 round/level.

This is different from "concentration + 1 round/level" where the spell will linger for an additional 1 round/level after you break concentration.

In regard to the Aqueous Orb spell, the duration lacks the "concentration" term, which means it takes no effort other than casting to keep it in effect.

Last but not least:

This spell doesn't suck!

This spell makes the caster the equivalent of a level-equivalent Fighter with Improved Grapple. There is no save, it is simply a CMB check. It's almost strictly better because of the extra +5 bonus is has to KEEP targets grappled and the free +1d6 damage on maintained grapples without any attack roll.

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Note that the spell is somewhat better than a grappling fighter in some respects - it has a range of "25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels", and the hair can't be attacked, so even if the target succeeds in his grapple check, he won't be able to damage you back. Also, 1d6 lethal damage is better than the non-lethal 1d3+Str of an unarmed strike (although if the fighter use a dagger or similar, his damage will probably be higher...). – G0BLiN Aug 7 '14 at 7:21
@GoBLiN, I think you misread me, that's exactly what I was saying for your first comment. As for your second comment, you're completely right. I've never seen the spell used at such a distant range, but it can be. – Axoren Aug 8 '14 at 10:33
@Axoran - you are right - comment deleted :) – G0BLiN Aug 8 '14 at 12:02

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