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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galithar View Post
    DM rulings. Of which yours is an acceptable, but generally negative for players, ruling.
    Please don't shove words in my mouth. At no point have I told you how I rule as a DM, or even if I agree with any of these rulings.

    I quoted the rulebooks, the SAC official rulings, and JC's comments on RAI. I also was very clear which was which.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    So a wizard is holding a stick, his arcane focus. When is he casting a spell? How can you tell? You can't. He's just holding a stick. He's always holding a stick. The stick does nothing and indicates nothing. Material components are even less conspicuous.

    The only indicator you have are rounds. It's his turn, so he's casting now. That's the only indication. Metagaming at its best.
    Last edited by sophontteks; 2019-05-07 at 11:11 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Please don't shove words in my mouth. At no point have I told you how I rule as a DM, or even if I agree with any of these rulings.

    I quoted the rulebooks, the SAC official rulings, and JC's comments on RAI. I also was very clear which was which.
    Actually you weren't, unless you've edited, because RAW isn't something you can quote. Which you had marked as the source for at least one quote. I double checked the SAC and what you stated is not in the SAC published document. It's a JC tweet.

    The SAC says only this on subtle spell

    "If a sorcerer casts a spell with only verbal or somatic components using Subtle Spell, can an opponent use counterspell against it? If a spell that’s altered by Subtle Spell has no material component, then it’s impossible for anyone to perceive the spell being cast. So, since you can’t see the casting, counterspell is of no use."

    No where does it say material components make it counterspellable presumably because it becomes situational and is left open for DM interpretation. You are passing your interpretation off as RAW at the very least even if it's not the ruling you use.

    Either way you're still not giving a RAW answer. You're giving optional rules without stating the book (or page) interpretations, and JC tweets and saying it's RAW.
    Last edited by Galithar; 2019-05-07 at 11:18 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Sleight of Hand? No way... Deception or (in the right circumstances) Performance to convince people you are doing something else? Maybe

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galithar View Post
    I double checked the SAC and what you stated is not in the SAC published document. It's a JC tweet.
    Please stop spreading false information.

    It's on page 13 of the 2019 SAC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galithar View Post
    You're giving optional rules without stating the book (or page) interpretations, and JC tweets and saying it's RAW.
    Please stop spreading false information.

    At no point have I said that JC's tweets were RAW. I said that both the rulebooks and JC's tweets suggest that a spell with only a material component is possible to perceive.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    That is literally what both the book and Crawford says that it does. I quoted the section on identifying spells being cast and everything.

    You're ignoring the other quote from the RAW that I just gave you.
    I’m not ignoring anything. What do you think “handle” means? Based on your posts, you seem to think it involves gesturing (which is clearly the S component), which it is not.

    It’s literally just holding it.

    Also, I quoted the RAW. JC’s comments and SA can go to RAI, and can be “official”, but those aren’t RAW. The RAW is what I quoted.

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Having a staff in-hand does not. Handling it in order to cast a spell does, which numerous sources provided for you confirm, and you've just ignored all of those sources rather than addressing any of them.
    Again, “handle that component” is holding it. What, in your opinion, is the difference between “handle” and “hold”?

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    What, in your opinion, is the difference between “handle” and “hold”?
    Handle:
    verb. manipulate with the hands.

    Hold:
    verb. grasp, carry, or support with one's arms or hands.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Please stop spreading false information.

    It's on page 13 of the 2019 SAC.


    Please stop spreading false information.

    At no point have I said that JC's tweets were RAW.
    Again, not spreading false information. THAT portion of the SAC, as I stated, says NOTHING about subtle, or counterspell for that matter. It says you have to have the material component in your hand. NOT that you have to DO anything with it. That's also not the portion I was talking about where you had a JC tweet cited as SAC. I'm not really concerned about that, people make mistakes. It's your insistence that the rules say something that they clearly don't.

    For everyone's reference, this is the portion of the SAC about components.

    "What’s the amount of interaction needed to use a spellcasting focus? Does it have to be included in the somatic component? If a spell has a material component, you need to handle that component when you cast the spell (PH, 203). The same rule applies if you’re using a spellcasting focus as the material component..."

    For the record, again, this is not the portion I called out as not being SAC. My mistake for not quoting sections, but I'm on my phone and it's difficult to properly multi quote.

    And finally that says HANDLE. Let me get you a definition of handle.

    "feel or manipulate with the hands"

    So if I can feel the object OR manipulate it with my hands I have handled it. Again OR, not and. Therefore if I'm holding the staff and doing NOTHING ELSE with it. It's been handled and satisfies the RAW requirement, and the SAC clarification. It may not meet a JC interpretation, but unless it's in SAC it doesn't matter.

    Edit: for good measure some synonyms for handle.
    synonym: hold, pick up, grasp, grip, lift
    Last edited by Galithar; 2019-05-07 at 11:38 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Handle:
    verb. manipulate with the hands.

    Hold:
    verb. grasp, carry, or support with one's arms or hands.
    So what, in your opinion, is required to be handling a focus?

    Obviously you think it’s more than holding. What is required?

    Edit: I’m just asking your opinion on what you think is the difference between “handling” as you see it and the S component, which involves movement.

    Note: Meriam defines Handle differently than you:

    “1a : to try or examine (as by touching, feeling, or moving) with the hand
    handle silk to judge its weight

    b : to manage with the hands
    handle a horse”

    As does Google:

    “feel or manipulate with the hands.”

    And Dictionary.com:

    “to touch, pick up, carry, or feel with the hand or hands; use the hands on; take hold of.”

    So it’s clear you’re not using a complete definition of “handle.” Going by any of these would include holding a staff as handling it.
    Last edited by Rsp29a; 2019-05-07 at 11:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefBigFeather View Post
    Dear community,

    do you think it would be unbalancing to allow subtle casting for all casters if they pass a slight of hand check vs the surroundings passive perception+the spell level? Maybe twice the spell level?

    I‘d only allow this is situation where obscurement would be reasonable. The Verbal component rules are kind of ambivalent about the loudness of casting, at least as far as I know. This could be a decent framework for determining who can hear a spell.

    What do you think?
    Yes, I'd allow casting to go unnoticed (until it was too late) under certain circumstances (probably using Deception, but Sleight of Hand is reasonable too). No, I wouldn't refer to this as "subtle casting" because that risks confusion with the Sorcerer Metamagic, which has the advantage of being impossible to detect instead of merely difficult.

    I view this as similar to Battlemaster Disarm vs. the regular Disarm maneuver anyone can attempt, or Battlemaster Trip vs. regular Shove Prone. Both characters can attempt the same action, but if you have a special feature you can get more mileage out of it (additional damage for Battlemaster, or less detectable for sorcerer). I am generally in favor of allowing improvised actions to do all kinds of extra things, from gagging spellcasters so they cannot speak, to feints in combat which deceive the enemy as to your intended next move (and therefore encourage erroneous countermeasures).

    Naturally there is nothing preventing a sorcerer from attempting unobtrusive casting using Deception or Sleight of Hand, if he doesn't want to spend the sorcery points right now. But when he really needs no one to ever know that he was the one who cast that spell, he will go Subtle.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Note: Meriam defines Handle differently than you
    Not really. It just used the word "manage" instead of "manipulate." They are synonyms, as pointed out by Merriam Webster itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    to manage with the hands
    handle a horse”
    Quote Originally Posted by Merriam Webster
    Synonyms for manage

    Synonyms: Verb

    address, contend (with), cope (with), field, grapple (with), hack, handle, maneuver, manipulate, negotiate, play, swing, take, treat

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Not really. It just used the word "manage" instead of "manipulate." They are synonyms, as pointed out by Merriam Webster itself.
    I guess you only want to focus on certain things I post, and ignore a whole lot of others.

    If a rider is on a horse, and the horse is doing what the rider wants, is the rider “managing” said horse? Doesn’t this allow holding the reins?

    Likewise, isn’t a Sorcerer whose holding a staff also managing that staff? Isn’t the staff doing what the Sorc wants?

    Also, feel free to respond to any of the other definitions provided that prove the point of holding a staff being handling a staff.
    Last edited by Rsp29a; 2019-05-08 at 12:19 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Since it only removes S and V components, Subtle Spell doesn’t actually stop some 93 of the spells on the Sorcerer spell list from being detectable and counterspellable, due to the fact that you must still handle their material components in a recognizable way.
    If we're going all RAW here, note that Counterspell doesn't even require you to see any V, S, or M components in action. All you need is to see a creature within 60' of you casting a spell. A Subtle Spell is still a spell being cast, so a Sorcerer casting Subtle Magic Missile at you from 30' away is definitely a creature casting a spell and therefore you can (technically) use your reaction to Counterspell it.

    It's very reasonable for a DM to rule otherwise of course. "Technically, by RAW..." is not a compliment. It's generally a statement about a deficiency in the rules as written.
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    If we're going all RAW here, note that Counterspell doesn't even require you to see any V, S, or M components in action. All you need is to see a creature within 60' of you casting a spell. A Subtle Spell is still a spell being cast, so a Sorcerer casting Subtle Magic Missile at you from 30' away is definitely a creature casting a spell and therefore you can (technically) use your reaction to Counterspell it.

    It's very reasonable for a DM to rule otherwise of course. "Technically, by RAW..." is not a compliment. It's generally a statement about a deficiency in the rules as written.
    Going by this, why would the Counterspeller think a spell is being cast if all they see is a person holding a staff?

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Nope.

    But spells cast when there is a chance it might go unnoticed due to ambient circumstances (background noise, visually distracting environment) should be perception vs a fixed DC set by the DM. Same as noticing (hearing or seeing) any other thing it's possible to overlook.

    It's worth a DM setting said DC (or calling for a check at all) taking into account that within some unspecified range, it seems to be assumed you'll notice a creature casting a spell in combat without any checks. Which is potentially quite noisy and visually distracting.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    If we're going all RAW here, note that Counterspell doesn't even require you to see any V, S, or M components in action. All you need is to see a creature within 60' of you casting a spell. A Subtle Spell is still a spell being cast, so a Sorcerer casting Subtle Magic Missile at you from 30' away is definitely a creature casting a spell and therefore you can (technically) use your reaction to Counterspell it.

    It's very reasonable for a DM to rule otherwise of course. "Technically, by RAW..." is not a compliment. It's generally a statement about a deficiency in the rules as written.
    XtgE clarifies the RAW, you need a V, S or M component to perceive a spell being cast.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Please don't shove words in my mouth. At no point have I told you how I rule as a DM, or even if I agree with any of these rulings.

    I quoted the rulebooks, the SAC official rulings, and JC's comments on RAI. I also was very clear which was which.
    This was your first post in this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Since it only removes S and V components, Subtle Spell doesn’t actually stop some 93 of the spells on the Sorcerer spell list from being detectable and counterspellable, due to the fact that you must still handle their material components in a recognizable way.
    No mention is made of SAC or JC here. It sounds like you're giving your ruling right there. Aren't you? Then you use SAC and JC tweets later on to support your ruling, but it seems curious to claim that "at no time" have you told us your actual opinion.
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Subtle spell is the only reason I chose to play a sorcerer and not a bard. Lord knows there are not many goodies for sorc, don’t give them away cheaply.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    XtgE clarifies the RAW, you need a V, S or M component to perceive a spell being cast.
    Right.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    It's very reasonable for a DM to rule otherwise of course. "Technically, by RAW..." is not a compliment. It's generally a statement about a deficiency in the rules as written.
    Agreed!

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    It sounds like you're giving your ruling right there. Aren't you?
    No. I am commenting on what the rules appear to say and mean, rather than how I would personally rule as a DM.

    Namely, that the rules say you must handle the material components (per SAC) in a recognizable way (per XGtE's section that "provides clarifications to the PHB and DMG rules and new options" as well as JC's RAI comments on what is intended to be perceptible and counterspellable when using Subtle Spell).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Also, feel free to respond to any of the other definitions provided
    All 3 of the dictionaries you cited provide at least one meaning synonymous with "manipulate with the hands." Manipulate with the hands is one of the possible meanings of "handle" in English. The availability of additional definitions does not render that one "incomplete."

    A more relevant point is that there are additional possible definitions, at least one of which is simply holding an object. However, via context I do not think it is the meaning being used here.

    If you want to interpret it otherwise, that's fine by me. But then it just goes back to the various other sources that say that Subtle does not necessarily prevent counterspelling (which, incidentally, are part of what provides additional context on what meaning of "handle" was meant).

    Obviously if you have some other means of hiding the material component, then you're fine.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    All 3 of the dictionaries you cited provide at least one meaning synonymous with "manipulate with the hands." Manipulate with the hands is one of the possible meanings of "handle" in English. The availability of additional definitions does not render that one "incomplete."

    A more relevant point is that there are additional possible definitions, at least one of which is simply holding an object. However, via context I do not think it is the meaning being used here.

    If you want to interpret it otherwise, that's fine by me. But then it just goes back to the various other sources that say that Subtle may not necessarily prevent counterspelling (which, incidentally, are part of what provides additional context on what meaning of "handle" was meant).
    All the definitions include holding because holding an item is handling it. Manipulating it is handling it. Neither one is exclusive. Both are allowed under the definition. To say one is the only one, is wrong. It’s not an interpretation thing, it’s the meaning of the word.

    Now, yes, context matters, which is why I quoted the RAW earlier. You want to use JC’s use of “handle” to justify your claim, but even the RAW disagrees with you; “A spellcaster must have a hand free to access these components—or to hold a spellcasting focus—but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.”

    So does it really make sense to you that “handle” in this case doesn’t mean “to hold,” when the RAW explicitly states holding the focus is all that’s needed, and it’s included in the dictionary definition?
    Last edited by Rsp29a; 2019-05-08 at 01:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    To say one is the only one, is wrong.
    I just said as much.

    Now, yes, context matters, which is why I quoted the RAW earlier.
    Said quote does not contradict what I said. You can be required both to hold the focus and handle it in a recognizable way. Indeed, holding it would be necessary for handling it in a recognizable way.

    We are not told precisely why it can be recognized, merely that it can be. Perhaps there is some tell that something is being focused through the staff. Perhaps you need to actually manipulate it in some recognizable way. Or perhaps the devs had something else in mind (though I suspect it's one of the former based on past things that have been said).

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    I just said as much.

    Said quote does not contradict what I said. You can be required both to hold the focus and handle it in a recognizable way. Indeed, holding it would be necessary for handling it in a recognizable way.
    No. It's not "...necessary for handling it..." It IS handling it by every definition of the word. They all say (paraphrasing obviously) 'holding OR manipulating' you keep positing that the statements are connected by AND, this requiring both. But you only need ONE.

    I can handle something without holding for example.

    A staff is laying in the ground and I gently slide my hand across the top to roll the staff.

    I handled without holding.

    Now I pick up the staff and just hold it.

    I handled without manipulating.

    Both of those qualify as handling under every definition of handle I've seen. (I'm going to go back and double check the ones posted earlier to make sure I'm not mistaken. All three definitions, yes three. Merriam gives a two part definition the first of which includes simply touching and I see no reason to count that as separate definitions.)
    Last edited by Galithar; 2019-05-08 at 01:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Said quote does not contradict what I said. You can be required both to hold the focus and handle it in a recognizable way. Indeed, holding it would be necessary for handling it in a recognizable way.
    So where does needing to do anything more than just holding the focus come from?

    According to you and your previous post, it’s the SA and JC, both of which use “handle”. Now you apparently no longer think discussing what handle means is worthwhile to this discussion, but it was the crux of your post.

    However, the SA clarifies what they mean by “handle” (which you oddly excluded in your post quoting the SAC):

    “For example, a wizard who uses an orb as a spellcasting focus could hold a quarterstaff in one hand and the orb in the other, and he could cast lightning bolt by using the orb as the spell’s material component and the orb hand to perform the spell’s somatic component.
    Another example: a cleric’s holy symbol is emblazoned on her shield. She likes to wade into melee combat with a mace in one hand and a shield in the other. She uses the holy symbol as her spellcasting focus, so she needs to have the shield in hand when she casts a cleric spell that has a material component. If the spell, such as aid, also has a so- matic component, she can perform that component with the shield hand and keep holding the mace in the other.”

    So again, the examples given for what “handle” means is literally to just hold it.

    I’ll ask you again: where do you think it states that more is required than just holding the focus for an M component?

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galithar View Post
    No. It's not "...necessary for handling it..." It IS handling it by every definition of the word.
    That's not what I meant.

    What I meant is that if you are required to manipulate something with your hands, you must also be required to hold the thing.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Another consideration:

    To know a spell is being cast, you must see the verbal, somatic, or material components of the spell.

    Note that a focus is a substitute. It's not the material component. It performs the same role but has its own rules, such as requiring proficiency (which material components do not) and being able to paint it on your shield if you're a cleric.

    Casting a Fireball requires bat guano or a bit of sulphur, which the spell consumes. If you Subtle Spell a Fireball, and are not using a focus, you need sulphur or bat poo. That's for all Fireball spells across all classes; so perhaps the M part of seeing a spell being cast is simply the fact that someone holding bats+^t in their hand while focusing intently is enough for people to guess what's going on if they're at all clued in.

    But holding a staff? Anyone can do that. There's nothing at all unusual. A cleric needs merely have their holy symbol on their shield. A bard can be idly fingering their instrument, surely something they do all the time.

    TL:DR; a focus is not a material component.
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    That's not what I meant.

    What I meant is that if you are required to manipulate something with your hands, you must also be required to hold the thing.
    Where does it state the requirement to manipulate the focus with your hands?

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirbear View Post
    TL:DR; a focus is not a material component.
    Very good point in regards to noticing a spell being cast.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    That's not what I meant.

    What I meant is that if you are required to manipulate something with your hands, you must also be required to hold the thing.
    Except you're not required to manipulate anything in RAW. That's something that was added by you, or possibly in one of the JC tweets. I honestly don't remember which right now. Neither of those sources of it are RAW though. Holding a focus satisfies the RAW requirement to 'handle' the focus.

    Edit: darn Shadow Monk'd what RSP said
    Last edited by Galithar; 2019-05-08 at 02:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    With regard to OP:

    No. I would not allow it.

    It's not overpowered. But it's like giving an Eldritch Knight Smite, or a Wizard Sneak Attack. You're taking something uniquely Sorcerer and giving it to all casters, and Sorcerers already get the short end of the stick in many ways (less versatile spell list, far fewer spells known, no ritual casting... Bards get more spells known, more hit points, more uses for their unique resource-based abilities, armor, more weapons...)
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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirbear View Post
    TL:DR; a focus is not a material component.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Very good point in regards to noticing a spell being cast.
    Here's what the rulebook has to say on the matter:

    Quote Originally Posted by PERCEIVING A CASTER AT WORK
    The form of a material component doesn't matter for the purposes of perception, whether it's an object specified in the spell's description, a component pouch, or a spellcasting focus.

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    Default Re: Allowing Subtle Casting with Slight of Hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Here's what the rulebook has to say on the matter:
    Huh. I looked for that. What page? DMG?

    But in my opinion, I guess you needn't bother getting the page number; I find that rule ridiculous. They don't say the focus starts glowing, or you carve symbols into the air around you.

    Fortunately I'm not overly concerned with the raw. I'm more concerned with logical consistency. If holding a staff is enough to permit identifying spellcasting, a mendicant monk would send peasants scurrying. Nothing says you need to wave your wand about in a pattern that shouts caster nor that you component pouch glows or your instrument plays by itself. If, as asserted, manipulating a focus means a particular movement of some unidentified and undistinguished way, then indeed Subtle Spell is actually useless for a Sorcerer.

    Thank you for the correction. I'm going to choose to ignore it. If only because I felt like a light bulb was going off and my erroneous 'genius idea' feels like it solves the issue perfectly.
    Avatar by the awesome Linklele!

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