Due to the long duration on Hex, it is clearly intended to function across multiple encounters as described in this answer.

Due to the extended duration, it seems feasible that a warlock could take a short rest to recover their spell slot and thus go into a future combat with a Hex at the ready and a full assortment of spell slots. Is this correct? RAW do not appear to prohibit this.


Yes, you can maintain concentration

Concentration is ended by (PH chapter 10):

  • Casting another spell that requires concentration.

  • Taking damage.

  • Being incapacitated or killed.

Or "The DM might also decide that certain environmental phenomena..."

As a short rest does not require casting any spells, cause damage, inflict the incapacitated condition, kill you, or cause any environmental phenomena, it does not end concentration.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As long rests and sleep are out of scope of this question and answer, please address them in a question about them, and not here. \$\endgroup\$ – Derek Stucki Nov 20 '17 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note this answer does not answer the inverse question "Can you benefit from a Short Rest while Concentrating" \$\endgroup\$ – Randomorph Jan 18 '18 at 19:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that this question does not ask the converse question. The inverse question would be "Can you not maintain concentration through anything other than a short rest?" \$\endgroup\$ – Derek Stucki Jan 18 '18 at 20:00

The only things that break concentration are listed in the PHB, the PHB says on 203-204:

Normal activity, such as moving and attacking, doesn't interfere with concentration. The following factors can break concentration:

Casting another spell that requires concentration. ...

Taking damage. ...

Being incapacitated or killed. ...

Unless you fall asleep, you are able to maintain concentration on the spell. There has been some question on forums about the reverse, that is "Can you really rest if you are concentrating on a spell?"

The answer to this question seems to be yes also, as:

[S]hort rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.

I'd argue reading would require a similar amount of focus as concentrating on a spell. The designers never commented on this aspect, but their posts about Hex make me believe you can indeed carry it through a rest, and benefit from the rest.

And Mearls answers this question on twitter, which indicates it is the developer's intention, even if it isn't an official RAW ruling (which it would be if Jeremy Crawford has tweeted it instead):

Q: Can I start a short rest while keeping concentration on a spell like Hex?

A: as long as you don't sleep

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Nov 20 '17 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! (To clarify, we didn't want to make it into an edit war with a third edit, which is generally the point where the term qualifies. Sometimes mod edits are necessary, but if they're reverted then a different approach than just re-editing tends to work better.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 22 '17 at 18:03

No, you can't maintain concentration

The definition of a short rest from the rules is as follows:

[A] short rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.

Concentrating on a spell is clearly not an activity which is trivial but rather requires mental effort; otherwise there would be no justification for the single spell limit and the term 'concentration' would make no sense. It implies that the character requires continual effort to maintain a spell and this breaks the 'nothing more strenuous' clause. A character therefore cannot take a short rest while concentrating on a spell.

So a character could maintain their spell whilst their companions took a short rest, but they could not gain the benefits themselves whilst maintaining concentration.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1. I feel that although the other answers saying yes have merit, this should be left to the DM. Personally, it doesn't feel right to be able to be concentrating intensely while resting. \$\endgroup\$ – Restioson Nov 21 '17 at 16:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't rule that concentration is strenuous activity, since it doesn't consume any action at all. If your reasoning would be accurate, then the palyer would have to choose between taking a short rest or keep concentrating on hex. The former would always be more benefecial, since it is better to recover two spell slots (for a warlock) and the re-spend it on hex, than recovering no spell slots at all, defeating completely the intention of keeping the concnetration for a very long period of time. \$\endgroup\$ – Mudo Nov 21 '17 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth noting that RAW doesn't definitively state that Concentration is "more strenuous than...". It's a reasonable interpretation (and the one I prefer), but it's ultimately the DM's call. \$\endgroup\$ – starchild Nov 21 '17 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mudo you are right that if the party wants to rest, this ruling requires the warlock to choose between resting with them or maintaining his buff, and resting is the obviously better choice. But that doesn't completely defeat the purpose of the long spell duration. In particular, the party could spend that time exploring a dangerous area, rather than resting. \$\endgroup\$ – starchild Nov 21 '17 at 22:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're relying on an interpretation of concentration outside the literal rules, wouldn't reading also require such concentration? \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Dec 8 '18 at 18:03

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