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Old 01-11-2020, 10:53 AM
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Dear Sage,

I'm struggling with getting an overview/understanding which spells I can cast during a battle when holding a shield (with holy symbol) and a weapon in the other hand.

I'm unsure what the free interaction with an object in tandem with my action helps in this context?: When do I have to drop the weapon? when can I sheathe/stow it first?

Of course, I'm looking for a general understanding or a link to a comprehensive list or helpful online tool... but I currently play (here on this website) only a Half-Orc Life Cleric (lvl2) and a Hobgoblin Light Cleric (lvl1).

They don't have the warcaster feat yet. Also no component pouch but only(!) a holy symbol on the shield.

Currently my two clerics can cast the following spells and my best bet how the spell component affects the casting/weapon is indicated next to them. Is this about right?:

-Healing Word, Fairy Fire
V-- no problem

-Guidance, Sacred Flame, Cure Wounds, Guiding Bolt, Till the Dead:
VS -- free hand needed, so stow weapon before casting. So I can't do opportunity attacks until drawing the weapon again on my turn but at least I don't have to drop the weapon to the ground, right?

Burning Hands:
VS-- two hands needed in a special way according to spell description. So I can't cast it while holding a shield.

-Bless, Sanctuary, Bane:
VSM -- don't need free hand because holy symbol on shield

VSM -- description says I need to touch a creature. Can I do this when holding shield and spear?

PS: I'm aware that I likely won't cast Guidance/Resistance during a battle.

I think I understand that
-I need a whole action to doff a shield
-the holy symbol (shield) replaces material components (M) if they aren't consumed/costly
-I can use the shield to 'perform' the somatic component (S) only if the spell also has a material component (M). Otherwise I need a free hand. (Or the warcaster feat).
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:34 AM
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Gaijin Gaijin is offline
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In an exchange with Jeremy Crawford, the following was established.

Jeremy Crawford
"The intent is that the shield hand can be used for a somatic component if the holy shield is used to cast the spell.


Thus, if your spell allows you to use the Shield as an spell-casting focus, it also satisfies the somatic component. [Giddeon Strongbow raises his shield aloft (somatic) and it glows with divine light (material), shedding waves of healing energy upon the party.]

As for the specific spell description of burning hands, as a DM, I wouldn't personally get too caught up in the details. Somatic components are somatic components, and everyone discovers their own way of casting spells. The important thing to preserve is that somatic components require the hand performing the somatic components to be unrestrained.

Though yes, technically the description of the spell requires two free hands to cast.

As for sheathing a weapon: Yes, the Cleric can sheath a weapon as an Object Interaction to cast a spell such as Guiding Bolt.
Note: They will not be able to take attacks of opportunity with the weapon until they draw the weapon again.

Edit: Sorry for the messy response.

For spells like Resistance, "touching" can be considered part of the somatic component, so you can certainly use your shield to touch your target, so long as the spell also calls for a material component, enabling use of the holy symbol shield.

Warcaster makes this much less of a headache.
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Last edited by Gaijin; 01-13-2020 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:26 AM
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Honestly I was wondering quite some time if Jeremy Crawford talks only about VSM spells or also VS spells until I realized that the holy shield/symbol is only used to cast the spell if it has a material (component), otherwise a holy symbol can't be used to cast the spell. I wasn't clear about that too.

Regarding Burning Hands, ya, I will ask my DM!

I have to apologise for the messy question. But it is/was a big mess in my head. (It will get even more complicated when I multiclass to Wizard after reaching level 2 ... )

Thanks a lot.

Last edited by Goblin Man; 01-14-2020 at 01:27 AM.
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