I am a Wizard with 1 multiclass level of Cleric. Can I cast a spell if I have my other hand free? I thought I could but the text of the War Caster feat leads me to believe I might not be able to.



Only spells with a Somatic component require that you have a free hand.

If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures. - Player's Handbook, pg. 203

War Caster states:

You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands. - Player's Handbook, pg. 170

It does seem a little odd that the War Caster rules would bother talking about having only one hand full. I believe the purpose of the War Caster feat is to allow you to perform somatic components when you have both hands full.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, as discussed in the related question, a Cleric can have their holy symbol on their shield, enabling them to cast Cleric spells while still holding weapon & shield. Wizard spells, you'll need one free hand to hold your focus/material components and perform somatic gestures (or the War Caster feat). \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Apr 14 '15 at 23:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As the related question notes, even Clerics need to have a free hand in addition to their holy symbol when casting Somatic spells. However, I've found this is one rule that many DMs have never strictly enforced in any edition of D&D. \$\endgroup\$ – Justin T Apr 14 '15 at 23:38
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ You can use the same hand for material & somatic, it says so in the casting rules. Also, in one of the answers to the linked Q, there is a quote from the designers - "A divine focus can be emblazoned on a cleric’s shield, enabling the cleric to wield a weapon in the other hand and still cast spells. A wizard can hold an arcane focus in one hand and a weapon in another and still cast spells. A druid must hold mistletoe as an arcane focus, so druids must either stash their shield or their weapon to cast." \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Apr 15 '15 at 0:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Adeptus Except that, by default, you wouldn't be able to use a hand holding a shield for somatic components, even if it had the holy symbol on it. So without War Caster, you could only cast spells without Somatic components while holding weapon and shield. Such as Healing Word. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Apr 15 '15 at 2:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YogoZuno That is what rules as written imply... but the Rodney Thompson quote that Adeptus is referring to says even that isn't necessary. Which is silly IMO, but I've never given much attention to the free hand rules anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Justin T Apr 15 '15 at 2:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.