The Kraken, according to the monster manual, can "Understand Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal, And Primordial But Can’t Speak, Telepathy 120 Ft." The Kraken also does not have hands. It seems as if the Kraken can barely cast any spells at all. Can these factors be somehow overcome or explained away, ideally whilst staying within the basic 5e rules?
The Guardian model described in the Arcane Armor feature of the Armorer Artificer includes "Thunder Gauntlets":
Each of the armor’s gauntlets counts as a simple melee weapon while you aren’t holding anything in it…
If the Artificer holds tools for a material component of a spell, the description above doesn’t apply. However, if the armor itself is used as the focus (assuming it’s an Infused Item), the Artificer is effectively holding a weapon in each hand.
To deal with this, must the Artificer have taken the Warcaster feat (to allow performing the somatic component of a spell while holding a weapon)? Or can the Thunder Gauntlets be considered "sheathed" when not attacking with them?
(Note: All Artificer spellcasting requires a material component, so performing a somatic-only spell is not an concern.)
I was thinking of making a character that has no hands, and was wondering if there’s any way to get around somatic components of spells. I made a list of all the spells that dont have somatic components, and they’re not that great, mostly.
In Dungeons & Dragons, many sentient beings or devices could learn spells &/or rituals. But who is able to perform somatic components normally done by a humanoid of 3′ to 6′ height? Previously StackExchange has suggested this is up to the DM – is such a ruling sufficient here?
- Oozes: ambulatory… possibly with pseudopods – is this enough detail?
- Fae: if only 3" tall (6-7 cm) are their hands still large enough?
- Magic items / animated parts: would an animate embossed cameo within a ring, necklace or coin be enough?
- Sentient / Awakened creatures: octopi, trees, wolves or squirrels: do paws, branches & tentacles count?
- Do gesturing images within mirrors (possibly up to full humanoid size) also count?
- Handicapped: how many fingers/thumbs can one lose and still cast spells?
- Is giving this ability to illusions, be they permanent, programmed or projected, a logical yet terrible precedent?
Obviously these are all answered just by knowing how much one needs move to trigger somatic components. I cannot find this answer, even in previous versions of D&D.
As stated in the title, I’ve read about casting spells with somatic component with two-handed weapons here.
The thing is that the Xanathar’s warlock invocation [Improved Pact Weapon] says that you can treat a weapon as a spellcasting focus. So the thing is, could I cast a spell of that type (fireball) with my two-handed crossbow?.
Thank you in advance.
The War Caster feat (PHB, p. 170) allows a player to avoid the somatic requirement of spells when casting. However, since you can drop a weapon for free and then pick it up as a free interaction, you can completely avoid the somatic requirement while still keeping a weapon equipped at the end of your turn.
Action economy used as follows:
- Drop weapon (free)
- Cast somatic spell (1 Action)
- Pick up weapon (Movement/free one-object interaction)
War Caster does have some additional perks, but considering other Feats (like Resilient) exist, War Caster seems almost useless.
I’ve discussed this with fellow players, and the consensus is that doing this works within the RAW, but it’s also silly to abuse the action economy in this way.
Is there a consensus on whether this sort of abuse of the action economy is allowed (i.e. not simply up to the DM) when using RAW?
Example: Wizard is silenced. He wants to cast a spell from a scroll. The spell normally requires a verbal and somatic component. Can he cast it?
Similar questions do not deal with “somatic only” spells (they only say “no” due to lack of access to verbal or material components, see the link)
Wild Shape states:
You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so.
Could a druid wild shaped into an ape still cast non-verbal & non-material (somatic only) spells, for example:
Thunderclap: [..] Components: S [..]
My logic: Ape has hands = can clap?
The general rules provided in the DMG for Magic Item Scrolls states:
Most scrolls are spells stored in written form, […].
[…] Whatever the nature of the magic contained in a scroll, unleashing the magic requires the user to read the scroll. […]
Unless a scroll’s description says otherwise, any creature that can understand a written language can read the script on a scroll and attempt to activate it.
So the general rule for scrolls is that only reading is required to attempt to activate the magic stored on the scroll.
A spell scroll, and thus more specific, states (emphasis mine):
A spell scroll bears the words of a single spell, written in a mystical cipher. If the spell is on your class’s spell list, you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible. Casting the spell by reading the scroll requires the spell’s normal casting time. Once the spell is cast, the words on the scroll fade, and it crumbles to dust. If the casting is interrupted, the scroll is not lost.
There are two sentences I’m concerned about in this description:
[…] you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components
Casting the spell by reading the scroll requires the spell’s normal casting time.
The first, pretty clearly, by any reading, removes the need for Material components from the underlying spell, but appears to say nothing about Somatic components. That being said, the m in material is not capitalised (intentionally? See action vs Action), so material could instead be using it’s regular english meaning (as opposed to it’s game proper noun meaning), which includes things like:
the matter from which a thing is or can be made. (“goats can eat more or less any plant material”)
things needed for an activity. (“cleaning materials”)
items, such as songs or jokes, comprising a performer’s act. (“a watchable band playing original material”)
significant; important. (“the insects did not do any material damage to the crop”)
denoting or consisting of physical objects rather than the mind or spirit. (“the material world”)
All of which could be reasonably interpreted to mean that any “physical” components like objects, or waving your hands in specific gestures, or indeed spell slots. This is ambiguous, and thus up to the DM, but isn’t definitive.
The second sentence, similarly, has a couple of potential interpretations in my eyes:
- It is calling out that the casting time remains the same when you use the scroll (and says nothing about
- It is calling out that you can cast the spell by simply reading the scroll (without needing to vocalise anything potentially), and no other components are required to cast it, but that doing so takes as long as it normally would to cast the spell without the scroll.
Which of these interpretations is the correct one, or is there a rule/offical ruling I have missed which clarifies this?
References to the published rules, or official rulings from the Sage Advice Compendium will carry significant weight for the purposes of accepting an answer.
Note: Jeremy Crawford’s tweets and twitter feed are not an official source of rulings, nor is the unrelated Sage Advice website that collects such tweets
Reading the War Caster feat again, I’m having a doubt about the following sentence:
You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.
I’m trying to figure out the implications of this feat when using a hand to grapple an opponent. It looks like wielding a shield would be enough to perform somatic components, but wielding a single weapon would not – the plural suggesting you must hold 2 weapons (potentially, in one hand…) to do so.
Am I reading this correctly, or am I paying my lack of involvement during english lessons ?
More context: I’m considering spells such as Primal Savagery, Shocking Grasp, Inflict Wounds, Vampiric Touch to deal reasonable damage to a grappled, prone opponent, while wearing a shield. Double-checking RAW here, and adding the “weapons” issue for the sake of completeness.