This question hasn’t popped up in any of my games, whether as DM or player, but I thought of it while coming up with character concepts and wondered how it should be ruled.
If a caster does not have hands, can they perform the somatic components of their spells?
For example, if a player has the idea to have a caster born without arms who uses somatic components using their "ghost limbs" should they be able to since the restriction that they’re not wielding weapons or a shield isn’t being infringed?
Alternatively, if the above is true, does that mean players couldn’t disable an enemy caster they captured by Skywalker-ing their hands so they don’t have a free hand to cast the spell with?
The Player’s handbook describes somatic components as:
Spellcasting gestures might include a forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures. If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.
But I don’t know how I’d interpret this.
I guess the main question is do somatic component rules emphasize having a (free) hand or do they emphasize not wielding an item/weapon? Are there any official rules for these edge cases or is there a way to interpret the rules on somatic components that answers these questions?