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The spell solid note creates a physical musical note. Among the description:

it always has a size approximately equal to that of your outstretched hand.

However the Bard I intend to play doesn't have hands (because it is a magical pony from the 3PP Ponyfinder). What will be the size of the notes she will be able to create?


Per inquiries, solid note does not require somatic components, it's V only, and anyway I have a 3rd party content racial feature that allows me to provide somatic components as a pony as well.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Sep 29 '17 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Answerers may be interested in the "fingerless rules" in the 3pp source now linked in the question. Thanks Anne! \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Sep 29 '17 at 16:21
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I suggest: Just go with the typical size of a hand according to the caster's Size category, as that would be the major trait affecting the note's size for any other casters.

So, if your pony is a Medium sized character, then same size as a typical human hand, if they are Large then about the size of an ogre's hand.

Trying to base it from other parts of an equine's anatomy (such as hooves) would perhaps make some logical sense, but 9 times out of 10 make no difference whatsoever to the use of the spell, and there is no clear guideline for why hands are used in the spell description as opposed to some arbitrary measure such as "a foot long".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Of course I have not tried this in play! But I think it will be hard to find someone who has. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Slater Sep 29 '17 at 12:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer is fine imo. I love "Back It Up!" as many of you know to your chagrin, but in this case, I'm not sure what it would add beyond "we did this and nazi frogmen failed to burst through the windows and shoot us" - it's a trivial ruling derived from rules guidance (size categories etc). \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Sep 29 '17 at 13:21
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I say fight silliness with silliness. The note is four inches high, or one "hand": a unit used to measure the heights of horses, ponies, and other equines. Which, conveniently, is traditionally based on the width of an outstretched human hand.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's the best way to fight silliness, indeed. \$\endgroup\$ – The Nate Sep 29 '17 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking about becoming king and get a hand bigger than Tyrion Lannister to make bigger notes, but your silly explanation is better. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Sep 30 '17 at 12:32
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That is left at GM discretion. But probaly the size of your hooves

According to James Jacobs (Paizo's Creative Director), when asked how can blink dogs be sorcerers (as they have no hands for somatic components), he answered that hands are only required for humanoid-like creatures and that another type of creature could use another part of their body to meet the somatic requirement:

If nagas can be sorcerers... I have no concerns or worries about blink dogs doing the same. Material components are the only things that are really a concern for handless spellcasters, and sorcerers get Eschew Materials for free.

For humanoids, somatic components include hand gestures. For things with other shaped bodies, somatic components include whatever gestures their body naturally makes, be that paw or leg movements, tail wagging, squirming bodies, or whatever.

However, what body part is left at GM discretion here. I don't recall any horse or pony-shaped NPC or monster in any of the books. The closest we got are kirins, unicorns and pegasi, but they all got spell-like abilities and not spellcasting abilities.

I personally can't imagine any other body part other than a horse's hooves to act as their hands for casting spells, so that is what I would use if you ask me. It is worth taking a look at the magic item body slots for unusual creatures and make a decision based on that, as it was designed for this kind of situation:

Additionally, GMs may use this table as a guide to determine what kinds of magical gear non-humanoid monsters can wear and use. Note that the rules in this section are merely suggestions, and ultimately it is up to the GM to decide what kinds of animals can use particular types of magic items.

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You can't cast that spell

Assuming you have the capacity to cast the spell...

The spell states the note is the size of your outstretched hand. You have no hand. There is no note.

I understand why it got downvoted, it's bad news for the caster. But I stand by my answer. No offence to the poster, but if a third party homebrew sourcebook contains rules for ponies, it will need to also address hooves.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @NeilSlater: this is not homebrew, just a use of 3rd party material with other races that specifically have a way to provide the somatic component without needing hands. I don't need someone to check that I read this 3rd party correctly. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Sep 29 '17 at 13:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ This spell actually has no somatic components (only a verbal component). \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Sep 29 '17 at 15:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ And, of course, by this same reasoning, such a creature couldn't cast burning hands because it says, "A cone of searing flame shoots from your fingertips." No fingertips, no cone of searing flame, too, I guess. (Not buying it… but also not downvoting it.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 29 '17 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've had to switch to downvote since @Philipp's note that solid note is V-only makes more than half of this answer RAW wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Sep 29 '17 at 18:57

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