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There are many spells that have a duration of "concentration", sometimes with a max duration. I understand concentration checks and interruptions, but I can't find specific rules on maintaining a concentration based spell.

For example (because I happen to be looking at it) Precipitate:

Duration: concentration, up to 1 round/level (D)

Some specific questions I have:

  • What action am I allowed while I am concentrating? Can I move? Attack? Cast another spell?

  • Can I decide to stop concentrating at any time?

  • Do the effects end immediately on me ending my concentration (either through interruptions or voluntarily)?

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PFSRD > Magic > Duration > Concentration

Concentration

The spell lasts as long as you concentrate on it. Concentrating to maintain a spell is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Anything that could break your concentration when casting a spell can also break your concentration while you're maintaining one, causing the spell to end. See concentration.

You can’t cast a spell while concentrating on another one. Some spells last for a short time after you cease concentrating.

Thus,

  • What action am I allowed while I am concentrating? Can I move? Attack? Cast another spell?

It takes your standard action. You can use your other actions as you please, to move or attack (e.g. an attack of opportunity), so long as they don’t require a standard action. The only special exception is spellcasting; you can’t do that even if it’s a swift-action spell.

  • Can I decide to stop concentrating at any time?

Somewhat vaguely defined. Certainly, on your turn you can choose not to spend your standard action to concentrate and thus the spell immediately ends. And someone else can forcibly end your concentration outside your turn, by forcing a Concentration check that you fail. Thus, I feel that it would be unreasonable to deny you the ability to end concentration at any time you like.

  • Do the effects end immediately on me ending my concentration (either through interruptions or voluntarily)?

Depends on the spell. Precipitate, yes. Other spells have durations like “Concentration + one round,” and those would linger for the indicated amount of time.

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    \$\begingroup\$ On the last bullet point, be especially careful with summon swarm, the swarm is not under your control and persists for two rounds after you stop concentrating. I have accidentally eaten my allies with it. It was hilarious, but perhaps not tactically optimal. \$\endgroup\$ – gatherer818 Aug 12 '15 at 1:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @gatherer818 One of the very, very few cases where a warlock is superior to a wizard: the invocation version is Least (i.e. available from 1st, instead of 3rd), and has a duration of merely Concentration, meaning it goes away exactly when you want it to. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 12 '15 at 2:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ceasing to concentrate is formally a free action (see table), and thus may only be (actively) performed on your turn. \$\endgroup\$ – alttag Mar 23 '16 at 23:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, @alttag, i think ceasing concentration is not a free action, but an inmediate action or a not an action instead. If that's the case, then you can perform them at any moment. Otherwise, you can just use an inmediate action or not an action - stop thinking, wondering what's your cat doing at home, forget what you are doing, look to that fly in the wall - that will force a concentration check and you voluntarily fail it to end the concentration outside your turn... \$\endgroup\$ – cablop Dec 19 '17 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its in the rules on the official prd link he provided. You can only ceace concentration voluntarily on your turn, as a free action. Turns are simultaneously, even though we solve them by turns, so while you are casting a spell, someone is running, a monster is attacking, the cleric is healing, etc. All within the same 6 seconds. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 8 '18 at 10:05
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I feel like this is missing one obvious thing here folks. The (D) at the end, which means that you can dismiss the spell at will. ;)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This would've been better as a comment than an answer \$\endgroup\$ – JP Chapleau Feb 7 '18 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not to mention, the information is incorrect. Dismissing a (D) spell is actually a Standard Action...so, it is, in fact, less effort to stop concentrating than it is to actively Dismiss the spell. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Feb 7 '18 at 20:42

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