We know that casting a spell often requires verbal and/or somatic components. Verbal and somatic components are clearly defined game concepts, but on discharging a spell, all I have is this:


Occasionally a spells lasts for a set duration or until triggered or discharged.

Sometimes, the discharging requirement is obvious, such as with True Strike. But what about those spells that require specific activation to discharge? How does the caster do that?

My specific situation: The party Wizard has been paralyzed. Can she take the swift action to discharge her Heart of Water spell (Complete Mage) while paralyzed?


1 Answer 1


Yes. Since it doesn't specify the type of action, I'd have to assume that you can.

The official FAQ has some relevant guidance (p.94) -- it discusses what counts as a "purely mental" action. In addition to spell-like abilities and spells without any components, it includes:

  • Concentrating to maintain a spell.
  • Dismissing a spell.
  • Directing or redirecting an active spell.

From these examples (especially the last one), I'd have to assume that, barring any specific reason otherwise (such as requiring speech), discharging a spell would also be "purely mental" and thus allowed while paralyzed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't there a line that specifies that controlling or redirecting a spell uses the same kinds of components as casting it in the first place? \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 7:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe No, not that I can find. (It's not under the sections that discuss components or redirecting.) \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 20:29

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