Can a character without arms cast spells with somatic components?

My DM and I have been having friendly arguments, and we recently came to what would happen if my character lost all their limbs.

As a gnome beastmaster I said I would always sit on my mount and use mage hand (from magic initiate) when I need to eat or lift things. HOWEVER he argues I wouldn’t be able to perform the somatic component.

So, I ask: is there a way to cast spells without arms? My argument is that since I am learning the cantrip after losing my arms I would have learned it in a way that works with my stumps, but he points out the PHB is pretty clear you need a free hand.

Casting Somatic Spells while handless (rules as intended) [duplicate]

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?

If a fighter multiclasses into sorcerer, when they cast spells do they also replace material components with somatic?

From the Sorcerer class page,

Because you’re a sorcerer, you can usually replace material components with somatic components, so you don’t need to use a material component pouch.

I interpret this to mean that whenever a sorcerer casts a spell that requires a material component (without a cost), then they can choose to replace that component with a somatic one. From the listing on spell components, this means that the spell would keep the manipulate trait, but one important thing would change: the spell no longer requires you to have a hand free to retrieve and manipulate the material component.

Now, if a fighter takes the sorcerer dedication, then from the dedication page,

You cast spells like a sorcerer.

I interpet this to mean that the fighter also gains the ability to replace any material component with a somatic component, and that as a consequence the fighter can cast sorcerer spells without needing a hand free.

Is my interpretation correct?

Dropping weapons to cast immediate spell with somatic components

While holding a quarterstaff, can you cast an immediate action spell with somatic components (such as Saving Finale) while ending his turn holding the staff in two hands?

I have a player that claims that you’re able to, the logic being that you can switch to from a two-handed to holding it in one hand as a free action and you can take "one or more free actions while taking another action normally" according to D20pfsrd and switching from a two-handed to a one-handed stance is a free action according to FAQ.

The logic behind not being able to do it is that you’re not able to begin casting the spell if you don’t have a free hand.

Can a kraken cast wizard spells which require verbal and somatic components?

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?

Can an Armorer Artificer wearing Guardian-model Arcane Armor cast a somatic spell without holding tools or having the Warcaster feat?

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.)

Which monsters &/or items can do ‘somatic’ components for the casting of a spell? [closed]

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.

Casting a spell with somatic and material components with a Heavy-crossbow that is a focus

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.