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Pathfinder: Kingmaker

Concentration (Casting Defensively)

Nathan Garvin
Scott Peers

Casting spells takes uninterrupted focus - not only can the caster not be mentally distracted from the task at hand, but generally they’re more successful at castings spells when their gestures and incantations aren’t hindered. Combat, then, is a particularly tricky place to cast spells, as the odd arrow to the chest or troll clawing your face off - common hazards of adventuring, don’t you know - can be somewhat distracting. Fortunately any spellcasting adventurer worth their salt has trained to concentrate on their magical business, allowing them to deploy their arcane and divine payloads in spite of these nuisances.

When a caster in the midst of casting a spell is pestered, they must make a Concentration check to determine whether they keep their focus or not. Should they fail to do so, they’ll lose whatever spell they were casting - expending it as it if were cast, but without actually benefiting from the spell’s effects. A caster’s Concentration check is equal to their Caster Level and the Ability Score which modifies the spell of the class their casting. For example, Bards, Paladins and Sorcerers use Charisma, Clerics, Druids and Rangers use Wisdom, and Wizards use Intelligence (exceptions exist for class kits, of course). As with most checks, this Concentration check is added to the result of a d20 roll to determine success or failure.

Concentration Checks versus Injury

The two most common events in combat that require a Concentration check are Casting Defensively, or maintaining your focus while taking damage. In the latter case, the character must make a Concentration check whose DC is equal to 10 + damage dealt + spell level. If a goblin were to strike a Cleric casting Cure Light Wounds (1st-level spell) for five damage, the Cleric would need to succeed at a DC 16 Concentration check (10 + 5 + 1).

Casting Defensively

It’s probably safe to say that avoiding that damage in the first place would be more ideal than simply keeping your focus in spite of the pain. To that end, spellcasters will automatically attempt to Cast Defensively during combat, which will avoid provoking the usual Attack of Opportunity for casting a spell if successful. To do this, they’ll have to succeed at a Concentration (DC 15 + [spell level x2]) check. Failure means they provoke the Attack of Opportunity, as normal… which may necessitate another Concentration check if they take damage from said attack.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Deep Silver
  • Platforms
    Linux, Mac, PC
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    29 January 2020
  • Last Updated
    14 April 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin

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At the mansion of the Swordlord Jamandi Aldori, adventurers have gathered, lured by the promise of dominion should one of them conquer the nearby Stolen Lands and oust its current overlord - the Stag Lord. You are one such adventurer, and Jamandi’s offer isn’t just a benevolent call-to-arms to make the Stolen Lands safe for normal folk, there’s political angles to its conquest, and the ultimate allegience of its new ruler. More than that, however, a sinister, primordial force has her own interests in the Stolen Lands, and a desire to see new rulers rise… and fall. The Pathfinder: Kingmaker guide includes a full walkthrough of the game’s main campaign, including various side quests, companion quests and strategies.

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