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In D&D 5e, as a Warlock, I can choose a feature that lets me speak in my own voice through my familiar. PHB 111:

Voice of the Chain Master

Prerequisite: Pact of the Chain feature

You can communicate telepathically with your familiar and perceive through your familiar’s senses as long as you are on the same plane of existence. Additionally, while perceiving through your familiar’s senses, you can also speak through your familiar in your own voice, even if your familiar is normally incapable of speech.

Consider the following spell with only a vocal component (PHB 249):

Healing Word

1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 bonus action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V

Duration: Instantaneous

A creature of your choice that you can see within range regains hit points equal to 1d4 + your spellcasting ability modifier.

The rules of spellcasting (PHB 203) say the sound of my voice alone is what causes the magic of this spell to happen:

Verbal (V)

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.

So, say my familiar is in another room, no matter how far away. Through my familiar's eyes, I see a target at 60 feet. From my familiar comes my own magic-infused voice. That particular combination of sounds, with specific pitch and resonance, sets the threads of magic in motion that travel to the target and heal it.

Is this possible?

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No.

Consider that:

Verbal (V)

...the particular combination of sounds, with specific pitch and resonance, sets the threads of magic in motion.

If you can argue that this is ALL that is needed to cast a purely verbal spell, then anyone or anything with a mouth can cast it.

Let's get more basic: suppose you don't have spell slots left to cast Healing Word. Will speaking the words that produce "the particular combination of sounds, with specific pitch and resonance" set the magic in motion?

It all boils down to the power to cast it, and I'm afraid your familiar does not have it.

Let's look more closely, then, at:

Voice of the Chain Master

Prerequisite: Pact of the Chain feature

You can communicate telepathically with your familiar and perceive through your familiar’s senses as long as you are on the same plane of existence. Additionally, while perceiving through your familiar’s senses, you can also speak through your familiar in your own voice, even if your familiar is normally incapable of speech.

There is nothing in there that ever mentioned -even vaguely- casting of any sort.

The argument of specific-beats-general here is also invalid because "specific" also denotes "explicit" and there is nothing here that explicitly and specifically grants you the power to cast verbal spells through the familiar. This case is more of a general-beats-vague.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ooooh! I really like this answer. I haven't found any of the others particularly satisfying, but this is simple, elegant, and effective. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 10 '15 at 5:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ You need to know the spell and spend a spell slot in order to produce the particular combination of sounds with your voice. (The warlock, not the familiar, is the one casting the spell. Therefore, the familiar does not need the power to cast it.) The argument I present in my question does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the voice of someone who does not know the spell, or who lacks the necessary spell slot, is capable of casting the spell. Therefore, the argument in this question is invalid. \$\endgroup\$ – Jordan Jul 10 '15 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jordan "You need to know the spell and spend a spell slot in order to produce the particular combination of sounds with your voice." is this from other edition's books? I can't find it in the 5e PHB. Still, I think with that logic, you can speak the Verbal components of Power Word: Kill without expending a spell slot, given enough time to practice producing the particular combination of sounds with your voice. \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 Aug 12 '15 at 12:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jordan That would allow an audio recording to cast a spell -- which would mean if a player ended up with an "ye old iPod" or "Walkman of Power" he could cast unlimited spells. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Oct 21 '15 at 22:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jordan can magic mouth cast verbal only spells? \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Oct 23 '18 at 12:35
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No, you can't do verbal spellcasting through your familiar.

From Find Familiar's last paragraph (PHB p240) we see you're granted permission only to "deliver" touch spells through your familiar, but you're not granted permission to do any other spellcasting through them (nor does the familiar itself cast the touch spell):

Finally, when you cast a spell with a range of touch, your familiar can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell. Your familiar must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to deliver the spell when you cast it. If the spell requires an attack roll, you use your attack modifier for the roll.

For verbal spells specifically, even if you can speak through your Familiar's mouth, they cannot cast the spell for you.

It is you casting the spell, not the familiar (the familiar is not a spellcaster) and the Pact of the Chain feature does not change or enhance your ability to cast spells through your familiar over and above what the Find Familiar spell allows.

For the specific spell you cite,

  1. The range must be measured from you since it is you who are casting the spell,
  2. You must be able to speak - "speak through your familiar" is probably OK.
  3. Within these limits, I would allow that, as a Warlock with this feature, you could target a creature that either you or your familiar could see (providing that there was a clear path between you and the target as per the targeting rules p 204) and if either of you could speak. Other spellcasters would need to be able to speak themselves and would have to choose whose eyes they were using as per the Find Familiar spell description:

While your familiar is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, as an action, you can see through your familiar’s eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits o f any special senses that the familiar has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own senses.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If I'm reading this right, can you use your familiar to speak and cast a spell from yourself, with range from yourself and line of sight if you are silenced or unable to speak yourself? \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Jul 10 '15 at 17:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think so., your results may vary. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Jul 10 '15 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Silence only affects sound and does not apply to telepathy, so as long as your familiar is outside the bubble you can indeed use the familiars senses as your own. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jul 13 '15 at 14:42
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I would allow it, but "in range" is iffy

For me the primary question here is what does "in range" mean, exactly? Does the target have to be in range of you (the caster), or the place that your voice happens to be coming from, when those are not the same place? The definition of "range" in the PHB does not say anywhere what the distance is measured from, though from the caster is implied.

So, do you envision the caster herself being some kind of a conduit for the magical energy? If so then she may not be able to locate her manipulation of the weave (and thus center the range) somewhere away from her body, even if she is able to perform the components (in this case verbal) in another location. If you held to this view, it would not be possible to cast a spell with verbal components if the caster's voice were originating somewhere other than her body. However, that vision of magic is not codified into the rules, and it may be perfectly reasonable for a caster to be able to "pluck at the invisible strands of raw magic" by remote control by throwing her voice to another location.

If you envision the manipulation of the weave as happening wherever the components may be performed, whether in proximity to the caster's body or not, then it would be reasonable to measure range from that location. In that case, then yes, you can perform the verbal components of the spell in another location, and you can see through the familiar's eyes to target a creature within range of the location where the spell is being performed, so yes, you could cast that spell.

So, bottom line, the rules are not specific about where the range of a spell is measured from, or whether the components need to be performed in the same location as the caster's body for the magic to work. Thus this is up to DM discretion according to how they interpret magic working in their world.

The fact that the description of the Find Familiar spell discusses delivering touch spells and doesn't mention being a conduit for Verbal only spells is not relevant to this discussion, in my opinion. The delivery of touch spells is an additional ability of a familiar that one would not otherwise assume or infer. It does not preclude using the familiar in other creative ways, such as as a conduit for the verbal component of a verbal spell.

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Yes, you can indeed cast the spell. The prerequisites are met by satisfying all of the conditions.

First off, the prerequisite of your familiar being able to cast a spell is covered adequately by Find Familiar. The familiar uses it's reaction, and you use your attack roll. This means YOU are casting the spell while the familiar simply physically delivers it, hence the touch requirement. The important part of this is that it establishes that your familiar CAN cast your spells as an extension of you.

Second, it's your voice, not your familiars. The familiar is not mimicing you, you are speaking and using it as a conduit.

Third, so long as your familiar is within range of the spell for the target, you are within range to cast using the familiar. Since you are casting it from the point originating from your familiar, this is clearly the origin of the spell. Yes your character is the one casting it, however you are looking, speaking and performing your actions through your familiar. This is very similar to how domination works.

Fourth, the flavour text does matter. “The particular combination of sounds, with specific pitch and resonance, sets the threads of magic in motion.” Only something capable of touching the weave could cast the spell. Otherwise spells without a verbal component could be cast by anybody as well. So if the requisite is being able to speak the spell into action because you as a caster are capable of touching the weave, then yes, with his pact he can do it through his familiar.

Fifth, all of the conditions to be able to cast through his familiar using a verbal spell are met, bar none. There's nothing preventing the player from being creative and doing this. In fact, if you consider utilizing gates and casting spells through portals, you need to understand that it is in effect the exact same thing as casting through the eyes of a familiar.

Bottom line: His class lets him utilize his familiar as an extension of himself. This pact trumps Find Familiar in that it adds on another specific ability which grants him access to using Verbal spells through his familiar as well, because his familiar is a conduit for him to utilize his voice, which Find Familiar does not normally provide.

This is a very creative use of his pact, and certainly isn't game breaking. While I see numerous No answers on this page, none of them have actually provided substantiation for why the answer is no. If the familiar can cast a touch spell, then the addition of the voice with a pact would obviously grant it the ability to cast a verbal only spell. The conditions are clearly met.

The touch portion of Find Familiar is there to demonstrate that familiar can cast spells as if they were you. Since you are already in contact with your familiar telepathically thanks to Voice of the Chain Master at all times (that you should desire) so long as you are on the same plane. This is what actually makes a POC warlock an interesting choice, and is a completely different playstyle from a typical caster. People just seem hung on FF, but this pact modifies it to function in a different manner, and is specific with reference to the voice.

Since FF is cast as a ritual, you don't need to burn a spell getting your familiar out. Think along the lines of hunter pets. The addition of the Voice is what makes the Verbal only spells a viable option now. It's your voice, says it right in the description. Since it's your voice, that makes it your spell. FF already established that a familiar can cast your spells, and there's nothing preventing you from casting from your familiar anywhere in the rules. The thing here is that people are still treating it like FF, but ignoring the Voice of the Chain Master, which is the important part that the OP is actually asking about.

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The simplest answer is no because the rule says no, only flavor text vaguely indicates yes, and rules trump flavor text. D&D is a game, not a simulation of life in a fantasy world. The explanation of how the weave works is just flavor text and is merely an afterthought that makes the PHB somewhat more interesting to read. But the rule itself is what the balance of the game is based on.

The rule in question is on page 204 of the PHB:

To target something, you must have a clear path to it, so it can’t be behind total cover.

If you place an area of effect at a point that you can’t see and an obstruction, such as a wall, is between you and that point, the point of origin comes into being on the near side of that obstruction.

You, not simply the source of your voice, must have a clear path. The Find Familiar spell description creates an exception to the clear-path-from-you-to-target rule for touch spells, but no exception to that rule is ever created for ranged, verbal-only spells.

Now, there is a small benefit you can get from a familiar: if you have a clear path to a target but cannot see it through your own eyes (darkness, blindness, invisibility, etc.), then normally, you cannot cast a spell that specifies a target you can see. But when you look through the eyes of a familiar that can see the target, you gain the ability to target it. There is no rule that you must see it through your own eyes like there is a rule that there must be a path from your own body to it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I really, really, want to be wrong about this. In fact, I asked the question because I hoped someone would have a better argument than my own for justifying my desire to cast a spell from an invisible spider on the wall. :-P \$\endgroup\$ – Jordan Jul 10 '15 at 6:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the last paragraph, seeing through the familiar requires an Action, so you're limited to a Bonus Action or Reaction to cast. In addition, unless your familiar is literally on your head acting as your eyes, you're not gonna be as accurate. Case in point, have you ever tried to throw a dart when you can only see the target through a camera? You may see the target clearly and have a clear path to it but it's just not the same. I know we're talking about magic and the exact process of targeting isn't discussed thoroughly but for ranged spell attacks, at least, I'd give disadvantage. \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 Aug 12 '15 at 13:02
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I don't think the rules-as-written would allow it, because allowing logic to say "I can deliver this spell in a way that isn't explicitly specified" is usually broken.

However, the idea makes sense to me, if I were GM'ing I might well decide that you can provided:

  • The target is within 60 ft of you
  • And can hear your familiar.

That doesn't let you cast spells to the other side of the planet, but it does mean you can use your familiar's voice to cast a verbal spell if it can fly over a wall, or if you're gagged. That seems appropriate and not overpowered.

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Veteran DM here. Id have to say I think it could be cast because:

If it's your voice exactly, then it's some sort of telepathic magic that has completely translated your speech to the familiar in its exactness. At the end of the day, the spellcaster is not near the target of the healing spell, and I'd assume concentrating/targetting occurs on the wounded person while the words are spoken, and for this reason, and for balance, if I were the DM, I'd lower the effectiveness of the spell by 15–20% and tell the caster your focus was challenged since you were focusing on using your telepahty and you were focusing on targetting and casting, so you weren't able to cast with full intensity through the familiar. Since this spell is one that requires time to cast (albeit a short time) it implies requiring focus for more than an instant, which would be hard to maintain while doing multiple other mental tasks.

So DM options: Make the PC roll a concentration check, and take points off the spell based on the failure extent. Or make a rule that this spell can only be cast when your PC level is 3, 4 or 5 levels above the level normally require for the spell.

It's important to remember that this is a role playing game: anything that takes away from immersion, including strict rule adherence, ruins the role playing experience. Warlocks do magic, so simple legalistic rules would not feel immersive to a player playing a warlock.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can Magic Mouth cast verbals spells? \$\endgroup\$ – GcL Oct 23 '18 at 12:33

protected by Community Oct 1 '15 at 10:13

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