Hoping for a rules clarification, can a champion use Lay on Hands if they are using a Shield and One-handed weapon? If you can't use a shield and Lay on Hands would you have to release the shield, LoH, then use manipulate to get it back?

Shield Rules:

A shield can increase your character’s defense beyond the protection their armor provides. Your character must be wielding a shield in one hand to make use of it, and it grants its bonus to AC only if they use an action to Raise a Shield. This action grants the shield’s bonus to AC as a circumstance bonus until their next turn starts. A shield’s Speed penalty applies whenever your character is holding the shield, whether they have raised it or not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm Pretty sure this exact use case is why they changed the requirements for Somatic components. If a free hand is required, Paladins and Clerics can't use sword and board. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can Lay on Hands holding two things.

Lay on Hands is a Focus Spell with only a [Somatic] (touch) component.

Somatic/touch components are generally more lenient than in previous editions.

A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely.

Spells that require you to touch the target require a somatic component. You can do so while holding something as long as part of your hand is able to touch the target (even if it’s through a glove or gauntlet).

So, as long as you are able to reach out your sword hand, you're able to cast and administer Lay on Hands.

It is worth noting that Somatic components add a "hidden" [Manipulate] trait which interacts with Reactions including Attack of Opportunity.


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