Rather than flinging my question onto main and discussing possible duplicature later, I am going to preemptively ask about it here first, in order to determine if I should ask my new question or bounty an old one.

Here is my question (minor details subuject to change, per our usual editing processes):

When readying an action to cast a spell from a magic item, do you have to maintain concentration as though you were readying the Cast a Spell action?

Typically, when using the Ready action to cast a spell, the following rule applies (emphasis mine):

When you ready a spell, you cast it as normal but hold its energy, which you release with your reaction when the trigger occurs. To be readied, a spell must have a casting time of 1 action, and holding onto the spell's magic requires concentration.

Now, suppose I have a Wand of Polymorph. On my turn, I take the following course of action:

I take the Ready action to use the Wand of Polymorph on the Roc if it flies within 15 feet of me.

If I were just using the wand on my turn to cast polymorph, I would have to concentrate as usual, since the rules for Activating an Item state:

Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item. The spell is cast at the lowest possible spell and caster level, doesn't expend any of the user's spell slots, and requires no components, unless the item's description says otherwise. The spell uses its normal casting time, range, and duration, and the user of the item must concentrate if the spell requires concentration.

Since the action I am readying is not the Cast a Spell action, it is the "activate the Wand of Polymorph" action, do I have to concentrate to "hold its energy" until I release the spell on the Roc?

Now, this question is very similar to another question that was asked in 2019; it is brief, so I will reproduce it here:

How does readying an effect or spell granted by a magic item work?

Can a player hold the effect or spell granted to them by an item, and if so, does the spell or effect follow the normal "Readying spell" rule where if the trigger never occurs, the effect or the spell, or the charges on the item are wasted.

IE: "I hold the effect of my Cape of the Mountebank (dimension door) until the minotaur moves into melee with me."

The minotaur never moves into melee with said character.

This question appears to ask generally "how does this work", then asks about a very specific portion of the interaction, "if so, does the spell or effect follow the normal 'Readying spell' rule where if the trigger never occurs, the effect or the spell, or the charges on the item are wasted." It does not, however, ask specifically about what I ask in my proposed question above.

Finally, it should be noted that the accepted answer does contain a brief statement that is an answer to my question, though it does not appear to explore it to any depth (likely due to the general nature of the question):

Readying the spell requires casting the spell, and holding it with your concentration.

Should I post my question as written above as a new question, or should I bounty the old question requesting further exploration of that specific point because my question would be closed as a duplicate, or something else?


2 Answers 2


Your question is sufficiently different and more specific to stand on its own

Your question asks explicitly about something (concentration when readying a magic item activation) that was, at best, an implicit part of the title of the original and was completely missing from the body. I would also like to point out that only one of the three answers even tried to answer your question so even if it was intended by the OP, it struggled to get through to readers. As such, I would suggest a separate, more specific question for the case you are wondering about.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also worth noting that just because the answer to question A also answers question B does not make B a duplicate of A. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 4:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @oblivious And here I don't even think the answer to A does answer B. As shown by the fact that the majority of answers to A don't. Personally, if all three answers had tried to answer Thomas's question, I would probably say it is a duplicate because people clearly believed the question really was asking about that, even if I personally would not have said it was. I'd probably have suggested a bounty and an edit to explicitly add that to the question. That said, I could see people believing the new question is a sufficiently more specific case to be separate, I just wouldn't myself \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 14:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ As author of the accepted answer to the original question, I agree. I updated my answer to point to the new question as well, for the general case. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 15:36

The statement you quote from my accepted answer is specific to that question.

Readying the spell requires casting the spell, and holding it with your concentration.

Can be read as

[Satisfying the assumption made in the question that you are holding an effect or spell] requires [doing something from a quoted section above], and [doing another thing from the quoted section.]

So, it is not meant to be a statement that stands on its own and so lacks exploration, but rather is a summary of the starting assumption and what follows from it, based on quoted passages.

Your question doesn't require the assumption that I read from the body of the original question, and so therefore is a new question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Right, I didn’t mean to say that your claim was unsupported, I think it is just fine for the question you put it on, I just meant that for the purposes of my new question, it wasn’t a sufficient answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 16:34

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