D&D 5E How do you handle casting spells underwater?

Sailor Moon

Banned
Banned
I was reading through the PHB and while I saw something about ranged combat underwater, I saw nothing about spell casting. I was thinking about allowing only somatic and only allowing verbal if the person has water breathing. Now if they have a focus then they could use that in place of the material.
 

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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
No obvious rules, but I think not allowing someone to use Verbal components underwater unless they can breathe it (or are in some sort of diving helmet?) makes a lot of sense.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
"How do you handle casting spells underwater?"

Functionally the same as everywhere else.

All other solutions end up being too much work. And/or lead down that path to insanity that is discussing D&D from a logical, rational or scientific standpoint.

I like purely descriptive changes, though. A Fireball can be described as a Ball of Steam, as long as it works identical to every other Fireball.

Sorry if that wasn't the answer you were looking for.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I agree with CZ. Unless something like this really messes with the DM's mind, I play the game as written. If the DMG has rules on it, I'll use them. If not, there's no reason to house rule it.
 

Hannerdyn

Explorer
Grugggle-blurg-lurble

Gugugugugugug! Lurble-burp-per-lerber-gurgle.

<lightning bolt>

OOOGGGG-AGAGAGAGAGAGAG!
 
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Authweight

First Post
I would probably do one of two things:

If I want water to be a real problem for them, I would probably make them do some sort of check to successfully cast. On a failure they waste their action but keep the spell slot. I would only do this if A) there was an accessible way around the limitation, or B) being in the water is supposed to be a penalty.

If I wasn't trying to make water a penalty mechanic or something, or there was no accessible way to deal with it, I would just let them cast normally.

Importantly, I would not penalize spellcasters without also penalizing non-spellcasters, or vice-verse.
 

Sailor Moon

Banned
Banned
I would probably do one of two things:

If I want water to be a real problem for them, I would probably make them do some sort of check to successfully cast. On a failure they waste their action but keep the spell slot. I would only do this if A) there was an accessible way around the limitation, or B) being in the water is supposed to be a penalty.

If I wasn't trying to make water a penalty mechanic or something, or there was no accessible way to deal with it, I would just let them cast normally.

Importantly, I would not penalize spellcasters without also penalizing non-spellcasters, or vice-verse.

There already are separate rules for attacking underwater so the game does acknowledge that water is different.
 

Authweight

First Post
There already are separate rules for attacking underwater so the game does acknowledge that water is different.

Yeah, I figured that (I didn't have the rules in front of me), I was just saying as a general thing. I wouldn't want to penalize one without also penalizing the other.
 

Uchawi

First Post
You have to be careful if you allow spell casting under water, because then everyone should be able to talk under water. But since it is very abstract (not defined), then you probably need to keep it abstract across classes and characters and hopefully a survivor's handbook, manual of the planes, or something similar will add more detail
 

CapnZapp

Legend
There already are separate rules for attacking underwater so the game does acknowledge that water is different.
Please don't interpret the inclusion of underwater fighting rules as some sort of acknowledgement spells should work differently too.

Instead interpret the absence of any special rules for underwater spellcasting as directly as possible.
 

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