15
\$\begingroup\$

Unearthed Arcana: That Old Black Magic provides Conjure Lesser Demon which allows up to eight demons to be summoned. They disappear when reduced to zero hit points or the spell ends. It is implied that they would all disappear if you failed a concentration check as the spell requires concentration.

Would it be reasonable to be able to voluntarily stop concentrating on some of those demons to make them disappear?

\$\endgroup\$
30
\$\begingroup\$

No

You can stop concentrating to make them all disappear but concentration is either on or off - it's never half on.

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

No, according to RAW, but I would argue for a special provision

According to RAW, concentration on a spell is all-or-nothing. There is no in-between where you can maintain only part of a spell, such as a certain section of a Darkness spell or a certain area of an Entangle spell.

However, given that the spells specifically mentions that it summons up to eight demons, you might be able to argue that the full spell still holds if less than eight demons are present, which is the case as one demon can be reduced to 0 hp and disappear without the others also vanishing. In that case, your DM could allow you to make a certain check (I would go for Int or your casting stat), to be able to isolate the part of the spell that governs the number of demons, and release one demon from that binding while maintaining control of the rest. Note that this would not allow you to add a demon should you have less than 8, as you would have to restart the entire summoning spell and thus lose the demons you would already have.

This provision can be rephrased in the following way:

The flavor of the spells sends the message that, although the spells summons a certain number of demons, each demon is individually bound to the spell, which is why it doesn't fail automatically when one of them is killed. Therefore, a caster with sufficient mastery over the spell (established here by a check using either your understanding of the spell's inner working (Int) or your magical proficiency (casting stat)), could release a certain number of demons from the summoning contract without canceling the entire spell. It's akin to firing one or two employees instead of shutting down the entire company.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I am torn. Dale M's answer is the correct for RAW but QuantumDM seems more RAI and provides a good option. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason Stallard May 22 '17 at 12:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.