I don't really understand why this spell requires concentration.

"It lasts for the duration or until a wind of moderate or greater speed disperses it." So, the spell lasts for the duration. But why do we concentrate? In other spells, if you break the concentration the spell disappears. Specifically, I want to know if "lasts" means "stay in place." If that is true, then breaking concentration means you can't move it.

The spell's description also says that "the cloud moves 10 feet directly away from you in a direction that you choose at the start of each of your turns." Assuming the spell lasts and the cloud moves for the duration, do you need to maintain concentration?

I play in French, and in that translation the problem is the same. Is the way I am understanding it the same as in the English version?


1 Answer 1


From the Player's Handbook (p. 203):


A spell's duration is the length of time the spell persists. A duration can be expressed in rounds, minutes, hours, or even years. Some spells specify that their effects last until the spells are dispelled or destroyed.

Which is closely followed by:


Some spells require you to maintain concentration in order to keep their magic active. If you lose concentration, such a spell ends. If a spell must be maintained with concentration, that fact appears in its Duration entry, and the spell specifics how long you can concentrate on it. You can end concentration at any time (no action required).

(My own emphasis added).

In the entry for Incendiary Cloud (PHB p. 253) we can see Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute.

Considering the above references, if a caster of Incendiary Cloud loses Concentration for any reason, the spell ends. The fact that it moves away from the caster on his turn is secondary to the caster maintaining the spell.

For example: If you cast Incendiary Cloud and take damage within its duration (10 rounds), you must pass a Constitution saving throw. If you fail, the spell ends because your concentration has been broken. You can no longer determine its movement because it is no longer present in the game.


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