I can't find anything in the book that would allow me to prevent an enemy from using somatic components. Is there such a way to accomplish this?

I originally thought that Manacles would do this, but they don't seem to actually have any mechanical consequences listed.

  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe they didn't explicitly state it because they thought it was obvious? \$\endgroup\$
    – Joninean
    Sep 4, 2015 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


The somatic component states:

If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures.

Just make sure both their hands are tied and you're set. Or cut both of their hands off. The point is that you can restrict their somatic component by making sure they don't have "free use of at least one hand".

What exactly falls within the realm of not having "free use of at least one hand" is mostly left up to the DM. If they think being bound in manacles doesn't stop a caster from casting with the somatic component then you'd just have to bind their hands in another way.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Strill It does not say that you must be able to freely move the hand, it says that you must have free use of the hand. Manacles prevents using you hand freely—for instance, with the manacles behind your back, you can't use your hand to scratch you nose, wave above your head, fan your fingers in front of you, etc. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 4, 2015 at 13:53

If you can afford to mutilate them, removal of both hands at the wrist is more than adequate. If not, binding the two hands together tightly will work.

Another option is to imbed their hands in something. There are several spells which do this.

Paralytic poisons also work well. If the save is failed, they're unable to act, bonus act, and react, so they cannot cast spells. (I've yet to see a spell with a casting time of movement.)

Any condition which prevents acting blocks bonus action and action casting times inherently. Ritual spells require being able to act as well. Reactions are lost as well in most cases where actions are lost.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Unconscious would work too... Not that what I've seen in 5e is that most effects such as paralytic poisons offer the paralyzed user to attempt a save on each of his turn (at the end of the turn to be precise). So I would imagine that this would not work very well... \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2015 at 6:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some don't, @AlexisWilke... Couatl poison, for example, is single save or down for 24 hours. \$\endgroup\$
    – aramis
    Sep 5, 2015 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want to be less brutal, break a finger from each hand. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thoth19
    Apr 4, 2016 at 3:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ultimately, the degree of restraint is the province of the DM. Some may require that not even a finger be able to move, others may rule that simply binding the wrists together is sufficient. The rules are unclear on this point. Just work with your DM (if you aren't the DM yourself), and be consistent. \$\endgroup\$ May 21, 2016 at 4:13

You must log in to answer this question.

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