[RPG] What Conditions prevent a caster from using Somatic spells

conditionsdnd-5espell-componentsspells

The text from Somatic reads that the caster must have a hand free to gesture with when they cast a spell with a somatic component.

None of the conditions such as restrained or grappled seem to restrict hand motion.

Am I missing something or are these conditions useless for preventing the casting of somatic component spells?

Best Answer

Conditions that stop a character from casting a spell that requires somatic components include any situation where the character's hands are otherwise occupied or unable to use his hands. For example:

  • Wielding a weapon or a shield. If the caster has a weapon in hand, he is unable to use his hands to also cast a spell. This limitation is removed by the War Caster feat.
  • Not having hands. This applies to druids, as they can still cast spells in their Wild Shape at high enough level. If the Wild Shape has no hands however (i.e. an eagle), casting spells with somatic components is impossible unless the druid is at least 18th level.
  • Completely immobilized. This relates more to roleplaying a situation than it does to being restrained, for example if your character has been captured and is tied down completely. There is no way he would be able to use his hands, even thought the restrained condition applies no limit on this usually.

Overall, this is mostly a common sense rule. If the caster is in a situation where he clearly wouldn't be able to use his hands to cast a spell, he shouldn't have access to spells requiring somatic components unless he possesses a feat or a class feature specifying otherwise (aka the War Caster feat or the Druid's casting while in Wild Shape class feature).