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How does spell concentration interact with the Beastmaster's Share Spells Ability? If I'm concentrating on a spell that I am sharing with my companion, does it have its own concentration on that spell, does it rely on mine, or do we share concentration?

What I really need to know is:

  1. If my animal takes damage, dies, or falls unconscious do either of us need to make a concentration check?

  2. If the spell requires concentration only until an effect is triggered and my creature triggers the spell — for example, if my cobra is under the effect of 'Lightning Arrow' and makes a spit attack (a natural weapon) — , does the spell end for it, myself (and therefore both of us), or (because I'm the one who is concentrating) neither of us?

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Share Spells just changes who the spell affects, not anything else.

Share Spells (PHB p. 93):

Beginning at 15th level, when you cast a spell targeting yourself, you can also affect your beast companion with the spell if the beast is within 30 feet of you.

Nothing changes about the spell's duration or anything else. If it's a spell that requires concentration, since you (the ranger) cast it, you must make concentration checks to maintain it if you take damage. Your companion isn't you, so it never makes concentration checks for spells you cast.

Also note that use of Spell Sharing is optional; a ranger doesn't have to share the effects of a spell if they don't want to.

If my animal takes damage, dies, or falls unconscious do either of us need to make a concentration check?

No. Only you, the caster, need to make concentration checks, and only when you yourself take damage. Unless the spell says otherwise, it will continue to affect an unconscious animal companion.

If the spell requires concentration only until an effect is triggered and my creature triggers the spell — for example, if my cobra is under the effect of 'Lightning Arrow' and makes a spit attack (a natural weapon) — , does the spell end for it, myself (and therefore both of us), or (because I'm the one who is concentrating) neither of us?

You can figure this out by applying the effects of the Spell Sharing feature to the spell's description, changing the word 'you' to 'you or your companion'.

Looking at Lightning Arrow specifically (alterations mine):

The next time you or your animal companion make a ranged weapon attack during the spell’s duration, the weapon’s ammunition, or the weapon itself if it’s a thrown weapon, transforms into a bolt of lightning.

If your cobra spits, that's not a ranged weapon attack, so it won't trigger Lightning Arrow. Nothing that happens to the cobra, or that it does except making a ranged weapon attack, can end the spell.

Supposing somehow that the cobra could make a ranged weapon attack:

does the spell end for it, myself (and therefore both of us),

The spell ends. It was affecting both of you, and it has ended, so it is no longer affecting the cobra.

or (because I'm the one who is concentrating) neither of us?

The fact that you are concentrating on the spell has no bearing on whether the conditions that can end the spell will arise or not. If your cobra took some action to end the spell, the spell would end.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how a cobra spitting wouldn't be a ranged weapon attack. I couldn't find a cobra in the Monster Manual, so it's a theoretical creature, but as far as I've seen, there's four types of attacks: Melee weapon attacks, melee spell attacks, ranged weapon attacks, and ranged spell attacks. Spitting would definitely not be a spell attack of any kind, and it would make sense for it to be a ranged attack based on Dexterity rather than Strength, making it a ranged weapon attack, using a natural weapon. Other than that, good answer. \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Mar 7 '16 at 10:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast While unarmed strikes are not attacks with melee weapons, they are still melee weapon attacks, according to this tweet by Crawford: sageadvice.eu/2016/01/03/… \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Mar 7 '16 at 11:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ In other words, any melee attack made without the use of a spell is a melee weapon attack, for the purposes of the rules. Which, yes, means that you can smite using unarmed strikes if you're a paladin. \$\endgroup\$ – xanderh Mar 7 '16 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ A cobra spitting might be a ranged weapon attack with a natural weapon. Another example of a ranged weapon attack with a natural weapon would be a manticore's horns. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack Mar 7 '16 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Monster Manual Pg10: "...melee and ranged attacks. These can be Spell Attacks or Weapon Attacks, where the 'weapon' might be a manufactured item or a natural weapon, such as a claw or tail spike..." As much as I don't agree a Cobra can Lightning Arrow without ammunition or a thrown weapon (it's natural spit weapon MIGHT be ranged but it fills neither the thrown or ammunition requirements of the spell) just like a Summon Steed shouldn't Smite with it's Hove attack; A cobra's spit attack IS considered a Ranged Weapon Attack. A non thrown Ranged Weapon Attack that does not use ammunition. \$\endgroup\$ – Airatome Mar 7 '16 at 15:47

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