Somattic, Material, Divine Focus Questions


Rules Questions


So, somatic is pretty clear. You need a hand free.

But, what about material and focus components?

Can a wizard with a wand in his hand, cast a spell that has somatic and material components?

Can a cleric with a heavy shield cast a spell with somatic and divine focus component?

Can a cleric with a heavy shield and a sword cast a spell that just has a divine focus component?


Vikingchris wrote:

So, somatic is pretty clear. You need a hand free.

But, what about material and focus components?

Can a wizard with a wand in his hand, cast a spell that has somatic and material components?

Can a cleric with a heavy shield cast a spell with somatic and divine focus component?

Can a cleric with a heavy shield and a sword cast a spell that just has a divine focus component?

The rules are vague. The rules state that "unless these components are

elaborate, preparing them is a free action" and that you need to "manipulate the material components or focus (if any)" in order to cast the spell.

Nothing there specifically prohibits using a hand holding something else or the same hand as you will use for somatic gestures to manipulate the materials components. In an old (3.5) Rules of the Game article, the latter is what Skip Williams said on the subject. Bascially, you need one free hand for anything with a somatic AND/OR material/divine focus component.

That's the safe way to rule. I would tend to be a little more liberal. If you think it is reasonable to reach into a pouch while still holding a [blank] then allow it. Holding a wand, maybe. Holding a crossbow in one hand and a quarterstaff in the other, not so much.

So, with that in mind I would answer: Yes, yes, and no.

Using the same hand as you gesture with OK. I don't think it's fair to give clerics a free pass either. They need just as much dexterity to maninpulate thier divine focus as would a mage casting the same spell with a material component and I wouldn't allow a mage to retrieve a material component with two large items in thier hands.


Thanks!

That's kind of what I was thinking as well. It just seems that the create reliquary feat in Ultimate Magic is pretty useless since most of the time you need a divine focus you also need a material component.


Vikingchris wrote:

Thanks!

That's kind of what I was thinking as well. It just seems that the create reliquary feat in Ultimate Magic is pretty useless since most of the time you need a divine focus you also need a material component.

I think you might be confused. Most cleric spells only require a divine focus and no material component.

"If the Components line includes F/DF or M/DF, the arcane version of the spell has a focus component or a material component (the abbreviation before the slash) and the divine version has a divine focus component (the abbreviation after the slash). (Core Rulebook, p. 213)"

The exception are spells with costly material components, such as raise dead which require both. Note on the raise dead description the M and DF are seperated by a comma, while for example, protection from evil they are seperated by a slash. A cleric casting raise dead needs both material components and a divine focus; while a cleric casting protection from evil needs only a divine focus (a wizard would only need material components and no divine focus).

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