To make a long story short: for my first D&D campaign, I want to create a warlock that had to give up her voice as a part of her deal with her Patron.

As such, she is incapable of speaking, but she can still produce sounds with her mouth. I was wondering if that would incapacitate her from casting spells with a Verbal component.

Do spells needs a specific phrase to be cast, or does gibberish work?

Thank you all for your responses ! I brought your suggestions up to my DM and we agreed that she could not cast spells that very specificly required phrases to take effect (Suggestion for example)

For communication, she indeed made a Pact with the Great Old Ones, alllowing her to speak telepathically.

Thank you all for your help !


1 Answer 1


By the strictest rules, we can expect a character that cannot speak to be unable to cast spells with Verbal (V) components:

Most spells require the chanting of 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. Thus, a character who is gagged or in an area of silence, such as one created by the silence spell, can’t cast a spell with a verbal component.

However, since this is related to the Warlock’s specific pact with a patron, I would see no reason to say this particular Warlock doesn’t have their own special “verbal components” that can trigger the spells granted to them by their patron. It’s a decent bit of flavor for an interesting concept. But, of course, you will need to clear that with your DM.

  • 10
    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to note that some spells may be problematic (like suggestion) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 13:54
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Was just going to mention that. Not being able to communicate outside of grunts and gurgles is going to prevent most Commands or Suggestions from being understood. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 13:56
  • 12
    \$\begingroup\$ I might recommend stressing explicitly that a DM should require some sound to be made for verbal components since it is an important part of identifying spells and also making spells be hard to cast sneakily. Allowing spells to be cast with no sound would definitely reduce the value of Subtle Spell metamagic. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 13:56
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd argue you have a case because it says "the particular combination of sounds" which needn't be 'word' words. I agree this could be cleared with a DM first \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 14:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I do imagine that if you have some sort of clearly understood sign or body language with the target, you might be able to effectively communicate a course of action with suggestion. For people that don’t understand the language, it would be the same as if you did not have a language in common. It would be non-standard, but I think it would fit the feel of things. And it would definitely be limited in the number of targets it can affect. \$\endgroup\$
    – shhalahr
    Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 14:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .