The description for Fireball says

You point your finger and determine the range (distance and height) at which the fireball is to burst. A glowing, pea-sized bead streaks from the pointing digit

If you use the Still Spell metamagic feat, which removes the somatic components to a spell, do you still have to aim with your finger?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you still have to point your finger.

The spell Descriptive Text is separate from Somatic Components. Somatic components have a specific description and are part of casting the spell; the description of the spell is the result. In the case of fireball, it describes how you aim the spell; that does not make it part of the Components.


A spell’s components explain what you must do or possess to cast the spell...

Somatic (S)

A somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand. You must have at least one hand free to provide a somatic component.

A stilled fireball is castable without the Somatic components... but then follows the text of the spell. The "pea-sized bead" will be directed from your fingertip, wherever it might be pointed at the time.

It's worth mentioning that this is a completely reasonable thing for a GM to homerule the other way, so ask your individual GM if you think it would be more fun to allow mentally aiming the spell instead.

Furthermore, WotC even clarified in the Spell Compendium that "Grand gestures" indicated in spell descriptions are unnecessary for Stilled spells; there is a strong precedence for ruling in this direction.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting that the first phrase of most spells are purely flavor. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jul 17, 2019 at 19:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Pathfinder branched from D&D before "no fluff" was declared. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Jul 17, 2019 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you want to comment on why you think this differs from 3.5e? Because Spell Compendium says that any gesture described in the spell is the somatic component; and I don't see your quote as addressing that issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – Topquark
    Jul 17, 2019 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @topquark Where does the Spell Compendium say that? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 17, 2019 at 23:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Shout your fireball from the hip like a cow-boy and ride into the sunset like a poor lonesome wizard \$\endgroup\$
    – Nyakouai
    Jul 18, 2019 at 11:40

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