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Casting or duplicating an entire spell from an item requires concentration; this makes sense, no confusion there. However, concentration for gaining or duplicating the effect of a spell that normally would require concentration appears unclear. This is not to be confused with a spell-like effect, such as the potion of flying which grants flying independent of the fly spell. In that example you are not gaining the effect of a spell, it is a spell-like effect.

The potion of speed explicitly says you don't need to concentrate despite haste normally needing concentration:

When you drink this potion, you gain the effect of the haste spell for 1 minute (no concentration required).

The potion of mind reading does not have the same concentration clause seen in the potion of speed, even though detect thoughts also requires concentration:

When you drink this potion, you gain the effect of the detect thoughts spell (save DC 13).

If an item grants/duplicates a spells effect and not a spell-like effect, does the spell effect require concentration?

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There is no difference between duplicating the effects of a spell and duplicating a spell

This stems from a natural English reading of the words, a spell is its effects. I personally would see no difference between an item that duplicates detect thoughts and an item that duplicates the effects of detect thoughts. If the rules had wanted these to be markedly differently things I feel there would have been some general rule about spells / spell effects being duplicated stating that these are in fact different things. Lacking such a rule, I would conclude that these are identical.


I believe this is further supported by the fact that some, but not all, features that duplicate the effects of something include the line "no concentration required". If this was always the case, then there would be no reason to include such a line. An example of such a phrase is the potion of growth or the potion of speed:

When you drink this potion, you gain the "enlarge" effect of the enlarge/reduce spell for 1d4 hours (no concentration required).

When you drink this potion, you gain the effect of the haste spell for 1 minute (no concentration required).

The fact that these explicitly call out the fact that concentration is not required leads me to assume that without this phrase concentration would be required. Therefore, duplicating an effect of a spell is the same as duplicating a spell, at least when it comes to the concentration requirement.


Another supporting piece of evidence is the Sage Advice Compendium which states:

Q. If a potion doesn’t duplicate a spell, does it require concentration?

A. A potion’s effect requires concentration only if its description says so or if it duplicates a spell that requires concentration.

As far as I can find, every potion that duplicates a spell has the wording of duplicating a spell's effects. Thus, this answer must be about those sorts of potions, otherwise it would be talking about an item that doesn't even exist. From this we can conclude that duplicating a spell is the same as duplicating an effect (or the effects) of a spell, and if the spell requires concentration, so too do the duplicated effects.

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