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Can I cast Sunbeam if both my hands are busy, even if one is holding the Material component?

Yes.

Otherwise, do I need to hold the Material component (or focus) in one hand while keeping the other one free?

No.

How does the casting of Sunbeam interact with the War Caster feat?

One hand alone can do all three: perform the somatic component, perform the material component, and emit the beam of light.

Not in a way that frees up a hand.

  • Can I cast Sunbeam if both my hands are busy, even if one is holding the Material component?

    Yes.

  • Otherwise, do I need to hold the Material component (or focus) in one hand while keeping the other one free?

    No.

  • How does the casting of Sunbeam interact with the War Caster feat?

    Not in a way that frees up a hand.

The rules for spellcasting state that you can use one free hand to fulfil both the material and somatic components of a spell. You also do not need to hold the material component in one hand and emit the beam from the other; the same hand can do both.

PHB p. 203

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access these components but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components

For sunbeam, the material component is a magnifying glass. There seems to be some confusion about how one can emit the spell from his or her hand while that hand is 'busy' performing the components. 

The rules make no mention of requiring your other hand to emit the beambeam; it can emit from the one casting the spell.

  To aid with this explanation, simply imagine that the hand holding the magnifying glass has the beam of light travelling from the palm, through the glass as the fingers hold the glass in front of the palm, and expanding to fill the cone AoE. (Pretty cool looking, and satisfies the mechanics in the book.)

The second bullet of War Caster is pertinent here, and sadly, does not help with sunbeam's material component.

PHB p. 170

You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

Since sunbeam requires the use of a material component, and since war caster makes no mention of material components, this part of the feat will not aid with the spell; a hand will still be required to manipulate the magnifying glass regardless of the other one now being able to perform the somatic component while holding weapons or shields.

Can I cast Sunbeam if both my hands are busy, even if one is holding the Material component?

Yes.

Otherwise, do I need to hold the Material component (or focus) in one hand while keeping the other one free?

No.

How does the casting of Sunbeam interact with the War Caster feat?

Not in a way that frees up a hand.

The rules for spellcasting state that you can use one free hand to fulfil both the material and somatic components of a spell. You also do not need to hold the material component in one hand and emit the beam from the other; the same hand can do both.

PHB p. 203

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access these components but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components

For sunbeam, the material component is a magnifying glass. There seems to be some confusion about how one can emit the spell from his or her hand while that hand is 'busy' performing the components. The rules make no mention of requiring your other hand to emit the beam.

  To aid with this explanation, simply imagine that the hand holding the magnifying glass has the beam of light travelling from the palm, through the glass as the fingers hold the glass in front of the palm, and expanding to fill the cone AoE. (Pretty cool looking, and satisfies the mechanics in the book.)

The second bullet of War Caster is pertinent here, and sadly, does not help with sunbeam's material component.

PHB p. 170

You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

Since sunbeam requires the use of a material component, and since war caster makes no mention of material components, this part of the feat will not aid with the spell; a hand will still be required to manipulate the magnifying glass regardless of the other one now being able to perform the somatic component while holding weapons or shields.

One hand alone can do all three: perform the somatic component, perform the material component, and emit the beam of light.

  • Can I cast Sunbeam if both my hands are busy, even if one is holding the Material component?

    Yes.

  • Otherwise, do I need to hold the Material component (or focus) in one hand while keeping the other one free?

    No.

  • How does the casting of Sunbeam interact with the War Caster feat?

    Not in a way that frees up a hand.

The rules for spellcasting state that you can use one free hand to fulfil both the material and somatic components of a spell. You also do not need to hold the material component in one hand and emit the beam from the other; the same hand can do both.

PHB p. 203

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access these components but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components

For sunbeam, the material component is a magnifying glass. There seems to be some confusion about how one can emit the spell from his or her hand while that hand is 'busy' performing the components. 

The rules make no mention of requiring your other hand to emit the beam; it can emit from the one casting the spell. To aid with this explanation, simply imagine that the hand holding the magnifying glass has the beam of light travelling from the palm, through the glass as the fingers hold the glass in front of the palm, and expanding to fill the cone AoE. (Pretty cool looking, and satisfies the mechanics in the book.)

The second bullet of War Caster is pertinent here, and sadly, does not help with sunbeam's material component.

PHB p. 170

You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

Since sunbeam requires the use of a material component, and since war caster makes no mention of material components, this part of the feat will not aid with the spell; a hand will still be required to manipulate the magnifying glass regardless of the other one now being able to perform the somatic component while holding weapons or shields.

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Can I cast Sunbeam if both my hands are busy, even if one is holding the Material component?

Yes.

Otherwise, do I need to hold the Material component (or focus) in one hand while keeping the other one free?

No.

How does the casting of Sunbeam interact with the War Caster feat?

Not in a way that frees up a hand.

The rules for spellcasting state that you can use one free hand to fulfil both the material and somatic components of a spell. You also do not need to hold the material component in one hand and emit the beam from the other; the same hand can do both.

PHB p. 203

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access these components but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components

For sunbeam, the material component is a magnifying glass. There seems to be some confusion about how one can emit the spell from his or her hand while that hand is 'busy' performing the components. The rules make no mention of requiring your other hand to emit the beam.

To aid with this explanation, simply imagine that the hand holding the magnifying glass has the beam of light travelling from the palm, through the glass as the fingers hold the glass in front of the palm, and expanding to fill the cone AoE. (Pretty cool looking, and satisfies the mechanics in the book.)

The second bullet of War Caster is pertinent here, and sadly, does not help with sunbeam's material component.

PHB p. 170

You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

Since sunbeam requires the use of a material component, and since war caster makes no mention of material components, this part of the feat will not aid with the spell; a hand will still be required to manipulate the magnifying glass regardless of the other one now being able to perform the somatic component while holding weapons or shields.