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The term "a free hand" is not defined in the rules, so it is up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

What we do know know from the rules on Spellcasting Components is that:

[...] If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
Unless a specific rule says something, any rule regarding the "freeness" of a hand would be up to the GM


However, the sunbeam spell never says it requires a free hand

Note, the sunbeam spell has Verbal, Somatic, and Material components and its description states:

A beam of brilliant light flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 60-foot-long line...

You can create a new line of radiance as your action on any turn until the spell ends...

For the duration, a mote of brilliant radiance shines in your hand...

No part of the spell requires that yourthe hand emitting light must be free (the hand performing the material components, however, must be free). When things do require a free hand they typically say so (weapons are "handheld", components require a free hand, as does grappling). Thus it is likely that the spell does not require a free hand.


How does the War Caster feat interact?

Note, the War Caster feat states:

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

This doesn't help us much at all, the spell still has material components and in order to use material components (or a focus) we would need a free hand. The feat only helps in two scenarios:

  1. You have a spell with Somatic components but not Material components. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the components.
  2. You have a spell with all three but you have a focus engraved into a shield or some similar armor or weapon which you are already wielding. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the Somatic components only.

The term "a free hand" is not defined in the rules, so it is up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

What we do know know from the rules on Spellcasting Components is that:

[...] If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
Unless a specific rule says something, any rule regarding the "freeness" of a hand would be up to the GM


However, the sunbeam spell never says it requires a free hand

Note, the sunbeam spell has Verbal, Somatic, and Material components and its description states:

A beam of brilliant light flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 60-foot-long line...

You can create a new line of radiance as your action on any turn until the spell ends...

For the duration, a mote of brilliant radiance shines in your hand...

No part of the spell requires that your hand be free. When things do require a free hand they typically say so (weapons are "handheld", components require a free hand, as does grappling). Thus it is likely that the spell does not require a free hand.


How does the War Caster feat interact?

Note, the War Caster feat states:

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

This doesn't help us much at all, the spell still has material components and in order to use material components (or a focus) we would need a free hand. The feat only helps in two scenarios:

  1. You have a spell with Somatic components but not Material components. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the components.
  2. You have a spell with all three but you have a focus engraved into a shield or some similar armor or weapon which you are already wielding. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the Somatic components only.

The term "a free hand" is not defined in the rules, so it is up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

What we do know know from the rules on Spellcasting Components is that:

[...] If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
Unless a specific rule says something, any rule regarding the "freeness" of a hand would be up to the GM


However, the sunbeam spell never says it requires a free hand

Note, the sunbeam spell has Verbal, Somatic, and Material components and its description states:

A beam of brilliant light flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 60-foot-long line...

You can create a new line of radiance as your action on any turn until the spell ends...

For the duration, a mote of brilliant radiance shines in your hand...

No part of the spell requires that the hand emitting light must be free (the hand performing the material components, however, must be free). When things do require a free hand they typically say so (weapons are "handheld", components require a free hand, as does grappling). Thus it is likely that the spell does not require a free hand.


How does the War Caster feat interact?

Note, the War Caster feat states:

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

This doesn't help us much at all, the spell still has material components and in order to use material components (or a focus) we would need a free hand. The feat only helps in two scenarios:

  1. You have a spell with Somatic components but not Material components. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the components.
  2. You have a spell with all three but you have a focus engraved into a shield or some similar armor or weapon which you are already wielding. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the Somatic components only.
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The term "a free hand" is not defined in the rules, so it is up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

What we do know know from the rules on Spellcasting Components is that:

[...] If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
Unless a specific rule says sosomething, what things requireany rule regarding the "freeness" of a free hand and what things make your hand no longer free arewould be up to athe GM.


TheHowever, the sunbeam spell never says it requires a free hand

Note, the sunbeam spell has Verbal, Somatic, and Material components and its description states:

A beam of brilliant light flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 60-foot-long line...

You can create a new line of radiance as your action on any turn until the spell ends...

For the duration, a mote of brilliant radiance shines in your hand...

No part of the spell requires that your hand be free, so it would be up to a GM to decide whether this is the case.. When things do require a free hand they typically say so (weapons are "handheld", components require a free hand, as does grappling). Thus it is likely that the spell does not require a free hand.


How does the War Caster feat interact?

Note, the War Caster feat states:

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

This doesn't help us much at all, the spell still has material components and in order to use material components (or a focus) we would need a free hand. The feat only helps in two scenarios:

  1. You have a spell with Somatic components but not Material components. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the components.
  2. You have a spell with all three but you have a focus engraved into a shield or some similar armor or weapon which you are already wielding. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the Somatic components only.

The term "a free hand" is not defined in the rules, so it is up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

What we do know know from the rules on Spellcasting Components is that:

[...] If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
Unless a specific rule says so, what things require a free hand and what things make your hand no longer free are up to a GM.


The sunbeam spell never says it requires a free hand

Note, the sunbeam spell has Verbal, Somatic, and Material components and its description states:

A beam of brilliant light flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 60-foot-long line...

You can create a new line of radiance as your action on any turn until the spell ends...

For the duration, a mote of brilliant radiance shines in your hand...

No part of the spell requires that your hand be free, so it would be up to a GM to decide whether this is the case.


How does the War Caster feat interact?

Note, the War Caster feat states:

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

This doesn't help us much at all, the spell still has material components and in order to use material components (or a focus) we would need a free hand. The feat only helps in two scenarios:

  1. You have a spell with Somatic components but not Material components. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the components.
  2. You have a spell with all three but you have a focus engraved into a shield or some similar armor or weapon which you are already wielding. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the Somatic components only.

The term "a free hand" is not defined in the rules, so it is up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

What we do know know from the rules on Spellcasting Components is that:

[...] If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components -- or to hold a spellcasting focus -- but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
Unless a specific rule says something, any rule regarding the "freeness" of a hand would be up to the GM


However, the sunbeam spell never says it requires a free hand

Note, the sunbeam spell has Verbal, Somatic, and Material components and its description states:

A beam of brilliant light flashes out from your hand in a 5-foot-wide, 60-foot-long line...

You can create a new line of radiance as your action on any turn until the spell ends...

For the duration, a mote of brilliant radiance shines in your hand...

No part of the spell requires that your hand be free. When things do require a free hand they typically say so (weapons are "handheld", components require a free hand, as does grappling). Thus it is likely that the spell does not require a free hand.


How does the War Caster feat interact?

Note, the War Caster feat states:

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

This doesn't help us much at all, the spell still has material components and in order to use material components (or a focus) we would need a free hand. The feat only helps in two scenarios:

  1. You have a spell with Somatic components but not Material components. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the components.
  2. You have a spell with all three but you have a focus engraved into a shield or some similar armor or weapon which you are already wielding. It allows you to use a hand that is holding something else to perform the Somatic components only.
    Post Undeleted by Medix2
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You only need oneThe term "a free hand to performhand" is not defined in the Somatic and Material components; any hand can emit lightrules, regardless of anything elseso it is holding;up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

Before diving into an answer we need to understand what a free hand is.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free to access the material components or to hold a spellcasting focus""free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
WhatUnless a specific rule says so, what things actually require the use ofa free hand and what things make your hand, besides those which no longer free are explicitly called out as such, is left up to thea GM.

The sunbeam spell doesn't requirenever says it requires a free hand whatsoever

It never states that your must be free or describes having to do anything that would arguably make your hand no longer free; therefore it doesn't have to be free. Additionally a light can shine out from your hand even while you are holding something in it, this is easily demonstrated in the real world, let alone a world of magic.

The latter part of the spell also doesn't say that our hand needs to be free, just that there is a light in our hand. Thus it doesn't matter if there are other things in our hand, the light is simply also there.
The sunbeam spell does not requireNo part of the spell requires that your hand emitting light to be free, so it would be up to a GM to decide whether this is the case..

If a GM wanted this light to somehow make your hand no longer count as "free" then that would be their decision, but it is not supported in the rules.

You only need one free hand to perform the Somatic and Material components; any hand can emit light, regardless of anything else it is holding; the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

Before diving into an answer we need to understand what a free hand is.

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free to access the material components or to hold a spellcasting focus".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
What things actually require the use of your hand, besides those which are explicitly called out as such, is left up to the GM.

The sunbeam spell doesn't require a free hand whatsoever

It never states that your must be free or describes having to do anything that would arguably make your hand no longer free; therefore it doesn't have to be free. Additionally a light can shine out from your hand even while you are holding something in it, this is easily demonstrated in the real world, let alone a world of magic.

The latter part of the spell also doesn't say that our hand needs to be free, just that there is a light in our hand. Thus it doesn't matter if there are other things in our hand, the light is simply also there.
The sunbeam spell does not require the hand emitting light to be free.

If a GM wanted this light to somehow make your hand no longer count as "free" then that would be their decision, but it is not supported in the rules.

The term "a free hand" is not defined in the rules, so it is up to a GM; regardless, the second bullet of the War Caster feat does not help when casting the sunbeam spell

The sunbeam spell has both material and somatic components, so we can use one hand to perform both of them; the only requirement is that the hand be "free".

The rules never define the word "free" so it is left up to standard English; if your hand is free to do something, then it is "able or permitted to take a specified action." (definition from lexico).
Unless a specific rule says so, what things require a free hand and what things make your hand no longer free are up to a GM.

The sunbeam spell never says it requires a free hand

No part of the spell requires that your hand be free, so it would be up to a GM to decide whether this is the case.

    Post Deleted by Medix2
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