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I have been playing Baldur's Gate 3, and the rules in the computer game are slightly different than the ones in paper 5e.

One that I found surprisingly OK in the game was that the duration of several concentration spells, like for example expeditous retreat, was extended to run until the next long rest. (Not all of them -- invisibility or fly for example not).

A computer game plays differently than an in-person RPG; for example scouting with a familiar is a lot more cumbersome to execute than just saying that the familiar moves ahead of you 90 feet at the game table, so you do not do it as routinely, making the familiar a lot weaker.

But I still wonder: how unbalancing would it be to allow expeditious retreat in the tabletop game to have concentration until the end of a long rest, (or until concentration ends, for example when you are incapacitated by sleeping, using the Xanathar rule that sleep is considered giving you the unconscious condition)? Does anyone see any dangerous exploits this would enable?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it until the initiation or the end of the next long rest? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2023 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov I think in the computer game that is the same -- I have not yet been ambushed in a long rest, so I cannot say, it seems the rest is just a single event that restores you when you start it. If it makes a difference for the paper game, I would say until end of the long rest (as a long rest does not really "happen" until its end). \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2023 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Something to consider there, for clarity of how the feature works, you probably can’t concentrate while asleep, so concentration until the end of a long rest probably doesn’t make sense. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2023 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Yes, good point being incapacitated would end it, as per normal concentration rules. So you could have it until you start sleeping in your long rest. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2023 at 19:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think we can answer the "and other minor buff spells" part. I think each spell is going to be a question of its own, and reasonable people can disagree about what constitutes a minor buff. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2023 at 22:30

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Most likely this won't be an issue for full casters, primarily because concentration is a very valuable resource that most casters won't want to tie up semi-permanently just to maintain a strong but situational movement bonus. That said, it might make expeditious retreat a more popular choice for the Magic Initiate feat or subclasses like the Eldritch Knight, where you may not intend to cast many other concentration spells anyway. Even so, I'm not sure it actually breaks the game or anything, since Rogues can do this anyway. At worst, it might make rogues and monks feel a bit less special as it steals one of their more visible combat abilities.

That said, this is likely to step on longstrider's niche even if you boost longstrider to an "until long rest" duration. Longstrider has a smaller bonus, but lasts a lot longer and doesn't interfere with concentration. Take away the duration benefit, and that spell just isn't very interesting (unless it's combined with expeditious retreat, I suppose). Actually, increasing longstrider to an "until rest" duration sounds pretty interesting -- might encourage people to actually use the most boring movement spell, if only for boosting overland travel speed!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I removed the "other minor buffs" to match the title question, I agree, that may make the scope a bit wide, and I did not expect an exhaustive treatment. I thought it might have an effect for low level combat against enemies without good ranged attacks too, as you could just perpetually dash away, and pelt them with firebolts. But I guess a thief can do that too, and most fights don't take that long, and I have not seen that tactic a lot in the wild. In the game you can have this and longstrider both (which even is a ritual!), for even more movement - both run to long rest. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 14, 2023 at 0:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Longstrider is also until long rest in BG3! Since it's also a ritual spell there, you can just cast it on everyone after a long rest and the only downside is that you have to keep it prepared... it's probably a bit too strong. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pyritie
    Dec 14, 2023 at 15:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyritie I am not sure about too strong, if bg3 got anything right it was movement, jumping and forcing movements. 10ft in 5e is almost nothing unless you have bonus action options to disengage or something, in bg3 it was often life or death and encourages usually unused spells. At least I thought, I didn't like the game too much otherwise. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Dec 14, 2023 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyritie can’t wizards just ritual cast any spell that they know? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 14, 2023 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @fyrepenguin In BG3 you have to prepare the spell to cast it as a ritual, and if you then reorganize your prepared spells to remove the ritual, it'll remove the effect. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 14, 2023 at 20:43

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