Bucklers, Spell Combat and No Somatic Components


Rules Questions


So RAW I believe you can use spell combat and a buckler and retain the buckler's bonus provided you don't cast a spell requiring a somatic component.

I don't think that that is intended, but I don't see anywhere in the rules that breaks.

Spell combat requires a free hand (bucklers are ok) and bucklers say you lose your bonus if you use a weapon in that hand you lose its bonus.

I know spell combat is generally treated as two weapon fighting, but if you are not using somatic components the free hand isn't doing anything, it's jsut required by the rules of spell combat.


Given that the Shield Mastery feat Unhindering Shield exists, which states that it makes your buckler hand count as a free hand... I don't think that your buckler hand is considered free without the feat.

Unhindering Shield:
Prerequisite(s): Shield Focus, base attack bonus +6 or fighter level 4th, proficiency with bucklers.

Benefit(s): You still gain a buckler’s bonus to AC even if you use your shield hand for some other purpose. When you wield a buckler, your shield hand is considered free for the purposes of casting spells, wielding weapons, and using any other abilities that require you to have a free hand or interact with your shield, such as the swashbuckler’s precise strike deed or the Weapon Finesse feat.

Special: A monk with this feat is not considered to be using a shield for the purposes of his AC bonus, fast movement, or flurry of blows.


"At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast."

I dunno. Seems fairly clear the intent.


SpellCombat:
...To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand.

While a buckler allows you to wield a weapon or cast a spell with that hand, your buckler hand is NOT considered to be a free hand without Unhindering Shield.

Therefore, you CANNOT use a buckler with SpellCombat.

The answer is no.

If you have Upsetting Shield Style, or other means to shield bash with a buckler (a Fighter archetype does it), you can use your buckler as your weapon and have a free hand to qualify for SpellCombat. But I don't know why you would ever do such a thing.


VoodistMonk wrote:

SpellCombat:

...To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand.

While a buckler allows you to wield a weapon or cast a spell with that hand, your buckler hand is NOT considered to be a free hand without Unhindering Shield.

Therefore, you CANNOT use a buckler with SpellCombat.

The answer is no.

If you have Upsetting Shield Style, or other means to shield bash with a buckler (a Fighter archetype does it), you can use your buckler as your weapon and have a free hand to qualify for SpellCombat. But I don't know why you would ever do such a thing.

Unhindering Shield and similar feats have other benefits besides explicitly allowing your buckler hand to be free. Also there is precedent that a bucklered arm is considered a free hand. See the following FAQ for slashing grace for an example

Slashing Grace FAQ

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