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The wording of spell Wish is:

"Wish is the mightiest spell a mortal creature can cast. By simply speaking aloud, you can alter the very foundations of reality in accord with your desires..."

Is there any limit to how long you can speak aloud or how many details of your wish you can stipulate this way?

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Wish takes less than six seconds to cast, but time isn't an issue

The casting time for Wish is 1 action. A combat round lasts approximately six seconds - so it cannot take longer than that to cast Wish - and it likely takes considerably less time.

However, the details of your wish are part of the meta game - not the in game casting process

The text says that when you cast Wish, you should:

State your wish to the GM as precisely as possible. The GM has great latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance; the greater the wish, the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong.

Your GM is not an in game character - they are the person sitting with you at the table. Providing them with details is therefore not an in game action, and not part of the in game casting of the spell.

Spells verbal components are described as:

'...mystic words. The words themselves aren’t the source of the spell’s power; rather, the particular combination of sounds, with specific pitch and resonance, sets the threads of magic in motion.' (SRD p.101)

The mystic words your PC speaks in game when they cast Wish are not your precise details. Your precise details are part of your meta game with your DM.

There are no time limits on how you choose to manage your own meta game experience, beyond houserules agreed at your table.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I just don't think it is standard English to use "you" twice in the same sentence to refer to different people: "you (the character) might suffer... as a result of how you (the player) worded the wish", but perhaps I am incorrect \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Aug 21 at 13:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree it's not standard - but I don't think that it makes sense reading it any other way. Referring to the GM specifically has introduced a blurring of the lines between the player and the PC which is confusing. \$\endgroup\$ – Tiggerous Aug 21 at 13:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2: Throughout all the D&D 5e rulebooks, they use "you" for both the player and the character, and assume that you can figure out which one they mean. There are certainly alternatives to using second person for everything, which each have their own pluses and minuses. Wizards presumably selected using second person in their style guide because they thought it to be the best compromise of how to clearly describe rules, although other people might have made different decisions. \$\endgroup\$ – user37158 Aug 21 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tiggerous your reading of wish may have some bearing on rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/153877/… where everyone implicitly assumes that "you" refers to the character. \$\endgroup\$ – The Great Java Aug 23 at 6:45
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If casting in combat, up to six seconds

Wish has a Casting Time of 1 action (PHB, p. 289) During combat, an Action is something that you take as part of your turn. Your turn is roughly six seconds long (ten turns make up a 1 minute round). (PHB, Chapter 9).

If casting out of combat - RAW do not limit the time it takes.

You can take as long to state that which you wish for as your DM requires or allows. The "verbal components" (such as they are) still take one action, but since the PC is not in combat that doesn't really matter.

State your wish to the DM as precisely as possible. The DM has great latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance; the greater the wish, the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong.

The bottom line is work with your DM.

There is some more discussion on wish in this related question.

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