The Suggestion spell has a verbal component, and is described as :

You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two) and magically influence a creature [...] that can hear and understand you.

The Subtle Spell metamagic allows a sorcerer to cast a spell without any somatic or verbal components.

Is the sentence used to cast the spell a part of its verbal component?
Using Subtle Spell, can a sorcerer cast Suggestion without speaking at all?

If no, would it allow them to just say the sentence in a conversational tone?
Would the target, or bystanders, notice the spell being cast?

What would be the result of combining Suggestion and Subtle Spell?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Very related on The verbal component of Suggestion \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 21:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ If that clears up some of your questions, feel free to edit down to the remaining! \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch The answers of the other question say that "The rules don't clearly state whether or not the suggestion itself is the verbal component", also either the spell requires the chanting of "mystic words" or it can already be cast discreetly anyway. By RAW, the answer doesn't seem to be clear-cut, \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueBass
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 21:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh apologies I think I may have just misunderstood it, you're good ! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 21:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related on Can a spell cast with subtle spell and an arcane focus be counterspelled \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


This is answered, if not very directly, in the Sage Advice Compendium (version 2.3, if it matters).

Do you always know when you’re under the effect of a spell?


Some spells are so subtle that you might not know you were ever under their effects. A prime example of that sort of spell is suggestion. Assuming you failed to notice the spellcaster casting the spell, you might simply remember the caster saying, “The treasure you’re looking for isn’t here. Go look for it in the room at the top of the next tower.” You failed your saving throw, and off you went to the other tower, thinking it was your idea to go there.

Apparently, what the caster says is not part of "casting the spell".

Generally speaking, if a spell's text defines some activity that is required to use a spell, you still have to do that thing even if you can avoid using components of that type.

For example, if you have to touch the target of a spell, removing the somatic component doesn't remove the need to touch the target. By the same logic, removing the verbal component of suggestion doesn't remove the need to speak the suggestion; it just means you don't have to intone any words of power along the way, or present it in such a way that it is obviously spellcasting.

So judging by the Sage Advice example, you do have to speak, but you can speak conversationally, and there would be no clear indication that you're doing magic to either the target or the bystanders. (They still might guess that you'd used magic if you said something really absurd and the target immediately went along with it, though.)

There's still a material component, so you'd technically need to have the components in hand or be holding an arcane focus, but since there's no somatic component to suggestion, you don't have to go waving it around -- just hold it. Your DM might call for a check to palm the components or ready your arcane focus without being too obvious about it, but that depends entirely on the DM, the situation, and the nature of the tool you're using. Pulling a wand or orb out of your robes might be a lot more difficult to hide than using a staff you're always holding or leaning on, and if the item is already in hand it wouldn't necessarily be apparent that you're now using it rather than just holding it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer. Is using Subtle Spell any useful here? Does it make it harder to notice Suggestion? \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueBass
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 21:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CeriseStHilaire I added a bit to pull together the answer more clearly. But yes, in this case Subtle Spell would do as the SA quote indicates and make it nearly impossible to tell that you had used magic to make your suggestion supernaturally convincing. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 22:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to address that suggestion still has a material component that subtle doesn't hide. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 23:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's a good point. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 15:13

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