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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Somatic and Verbal Components



R.Shackleford
2016-09-22, 09:19 AM
There are very little roleplaying rules for D&D. Sure groups can add their own rules and roleplay as much or as little as they like but... I feel like we are missing an awesome opportunity.

Verbal and Somatic Components Rules.

Currently these are ignored a lot of the times, also there is a lot of fluff about magic words and gestures but... they never tell us what these are. I would love a book that showed us these words and gestures.

So even if a player wants to use them, they really have nothing to go off besides Shonen screaming and Naruto hand gestures. Having a guide for this could allow DMs to use this system or players to use it sparingly.

Verbal: A player doesn't say I cast X, they say the words next to the verbal component for the spell. These can be changed with DM approval. Spells that take longer to cast need the player to speak more if they have verbal components (reading a page from a book or maybe the components to a chemical product).

Each spell will have specific wording.

This is much like Final Fantasy Tactics: "Layers upon layers, make your mark, haste!"

Somatic: A player must move their hands, arms, or sometimes feet (stomp/tap) in order to cast a spell. These aren't overly elaborate but will make the player look silly. The price for magic is quite high.

A combo of spell school and damage, debuff, or buff will determine how the player needs to hold their hands/arms.

More general than verbal components.

Example

PC (Wizard)

I move to where I can see a point between the 6 goblins between them. I yell out "Wrap around my enemies, searing their flesh, fahoobagood" (as the player is performing the somatic components).

Rolls damage: 8d6
DC: X

(Below is what fireball would look like)

Fireball
3rd-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components

V: Wrap around my enemies, searing their flesh... fahoobagood!

S: Hold your arms up like a Y and then bring them down and act like you are playing maracas. You then point at a point within range.

M: (a tiny ball of bat guano and sulfur)

Duration: Instantaneous

A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you choose within range and then blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The fire spreads around corners. It ignites flammable objects in the area that arent being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd.

=====


Does anyone else would like to see something like this?

PapaQuackers
2016-09-22, 09:43 AM
Only if I can force my players to say "In brightest day, in darkest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil's might--Beware my power Green Lantern's MIGHT!" and then they have to cast like the Light spell.

R.Shackleford
2016-09-22, 10:58 AM
Only if I can force my players to say "In brightest day, in darkest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil's might--Beware my power Green Lantern's MIGHT!" and then they have to cast like the Light spell.

Hell yeah.

I feel like the an At-Will metamagic sorcerer class, who is fluffed as the Lanterns and your bloodline is your color, would be allowed to change their verbal components to their oath. Actually they would have to do this at least once per session.

PapaQuackers
2016-09-22, 11:01 AM
Incoming homebrew Sorcery archtype. "The Lanterns". This is actually genius. I'm gonna make this happen.

JeenLeen
2016-09-22, 11:14 AM
If your group is cool with this, sounds fun, but I think many players would find it stymieing and just a way to make spellcasters annoying so folk won't play them. That is, even if your intention is cool RP, it will likely be perceived like a passive-aggressive DM trying to effectively ban spellcasting without banning it.

I recommend taking a token from Exalted and give a bonus anytime someone acts out a spell in cool or silly way (or, for this, systematic, that is, using the same words each time, a la FF Tactics.) In Exalted, there were 'stunts', which are effectively bonuses to your chance of success which you were awarded for describing what you did in an awesome way.

Perhaps something like, for each cool description, the player gets one of the following:

+1 to accuracy of an spell attack (maybe goes up as players level, but I'd imagine not much due to bounded accuracy. AC doesn't scale like HP. But I could see possibly +2 at level 10, +3 at level 20.)
+X damage (not sure how to balance this. +1 seems low, but +1/die makes spells with a lot of damage die a lot stronger. +spell level damage, maybe?)
+X temp HP (since some spells just don't have an easy to modify thing in 'em)

I'd put something about DC for saving throws in there, but a cheap +1 to that seems way better than other options.

Just give the same thing to fighters doing cool battle stuff as well. If spellcasters get a boon, martials should, too.

Gr7mm Bobb
2016-09-22, 11:49 AM
Only if I can force my players to say "In brightest day, in darkest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil's might--Beware my power Green Lantern's MIGHT!" and then they have to cast like the Light spell.

...I've done this with a radiant warlock. Inspiration was promptly handed out from the subsequent Nat20. Word or caution to this tale, do not invoke this to often, you might get peepee slapped.

R.Shackleford
2016-09-22, 12:17 PM
If your group is cool with this, sounds fun, but I think many players would find it stymieing and just a way to make spellcasters annoying so folk won't play them. That is, even if your intention is cool RP, it will likely be perceived like a passive-aggressive DM trying to effectively ban spellcasting without banning it.

I recommend taking a token from Exalted and give a bonus anytime someone acts out a spell in cool or silly way (or, for this, systematic, that is, using the same words each time, a la FF Tactics.) In Exalted, there were 'stunts', which are effectively bonuses to your chance of success which you were awarded for describing what you did in an awesome way.

Perhaps something like, for each cool description, the player gets one of the following:

+1 to accuracy of an spell attack (maybe goes up as players level, but I'd imagine not much due to bounded accuracy. AC doesn't scale like HP. But I could see possibly +2 at level 10, +3 at level 20.)
+X damage (not sure how to balance this. +1 seems low, but +1/die makes spells with a lot of damage die a lot stronger. +spell level damage, maybe?)
+X temp HP (since some spells just don't have an easy to modify thing in 'em)

I'd put something about DC for saving throws in there, but a cheap +1 to that seems way better than other options.

Just give the same thing to fighters doing cool battle stuff as well. If spellcasters get a boon, martials should, too.

This isn't banning anything. Instead of saying "spells have verbal and Somatic Components which we won't detail..." It is "here are Verbal and Somatic Components, which we will detail".

Even if you don't have the players specifically do this all the time you at least can explain what your wizard looks like/is doing instead of just saying "hand gestures and phrases".

Also, 5e doesn't work with small fiddly bonuses all that well. Especially when spells are already giving bonuses and being dynamic.

JeenLeen
2016-09-22, 02:08 PM
Even if you don't have the players specifically do this all the time you at least can explain what your wizard looks like/is doing instead of just saying "hand gestures and phrases".


Ah; I misunderstood that part. I thought you were saying you'd require the player to speak the vocal components and act out somatic components. Like, at the table a guy playing the wizard would have to say the words and act silly. And if they don't, or they do it wrong, the spell fails or something like that.

If you're just defining it in-game, it think that's pretty cool and adds some neat flavor (as well as neat options for some live RP if a player wants to do it).

PapaQuackers
2016-09-22, 02:22 PM
I mean, I was openly talking about forcing one of my players to take the Green Lantern oath because that would be just great.

R.Shackleford
2016-09-22, 09:34 PM
Ah; I misunderstood that part. I thought you were saying you'd require the player to speak the vocal components and act out somatic components. Like, at the table a guy playing the wizard would have to say the words and act silly. And if they don't, or they do it wrong, the spell fails or something like that.

If you're just defining it in-game, it think that's pretty cool and adds some neat flavor (as well as neat options for some live RP if a player wants to do it).

Yes.

And no.

Using these rules you get both.

Either you get explinations for the V and S components and players can keep on going the way they always have.

Or you can have them physically perform the verbal and Somatic components.

It works either way.

At the very least you stop the hand waving that wotc does with S and V components.