I'm sure this is a simple matter but I'd love some clarification. I'm pretty new to the game (2nd session, first campaign) and I'm playing a bard with the Charm spell on 5e.

As far as I can tell, the instructions say that attacking does not disrupt concentration, but also that concentration costs an action.

So, as far as I understand it, I only get one action per turn. That would mean my action is consumed to maintain the concentration spell each turn until a time limit has passed or until I choose to end it, correct?

This would mean that even though attacking doesn't disrupt concentration, I can't attack really. Is this correct?

Is there some way to attack anyway? Otherwise, why would the instructions say attacks don't disrupt if there is no way to do both?


Maintaining concentration on a spell does not require an action

The rules for concentration appear in the Player's Handbook on p.203-204. You can only maintain concentration on one spell at a time, but it doesn't take an action.

Concentration can be broken against your will if you take damage, or if you cast another spell requiring concentration, or if you're killed or incapacitated, or other distracting circumstances the DM might impose.

Assuming you mean the spell charm person, you don't need to maintain concentration on that particular spell. It has a duration of 1 hour, rather than "concentration". Spells do not require concentration for their duration unless the spell specificies so. The spell friends, for example, requires concentration.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome. I read something online from Pathfinder without knowing it was something different and that had me kind of confused. Thanks for clarifying for me. You're right, it's charm person and that's not the spell that needed concentration. I'm going off what I remember from the session. I don't get access to the handbook until next session (or unless I find a pdf of it somewhere, which feels a lot like stealing. Not quite ready to invest $30 on the book at this point.) Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 21 '18 at 1:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ For many rules you can refer to the Player's Basic Rules, which are officially available online for free. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 21 '18 at 1:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ The only exception to this is that spells with casting times longer than a turn (e.g. 1 minute or 1 hour) require you to spend your action each turn on casting the spell and to maintain your concentration while doing so. (Obviously, such spells are not great for casting during combat.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 21 '18 at 3:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: some spells such a witch bolt, require concentration, and will use your action to do damage each round. \$\endgroup\$
    – ravery
    Jun 21 '18 at 4:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, sweet. @QuadraticWizard, that is a super useful resource. I've been looking for something like this. Much obliged. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22 '18 at 1:47

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