D&D 5E How do you interpret the green-flame blade and booming blade somatic component?

Oofta

Legend
I don't care one whit about how the somatic component is described.

However, the effect of a spell can not go until the casting is completed. The attack is part of the effect, so it preforce can not be part of the casting.

Effect of spell does not happen until casting is complete. Attack is part of the effect in both BB and GFB. Therefore, attack is not part of casting.

Narratively, if you want to describe the start of a swing as the somatic component, please go ahead. Please do.

Mechanically though the attack doesn't start until the effect. If, for instance, the spell is counterspelled, there was no attack. If they try to cast the spell in an anti-magic sphere, there is no attack. Because mechanically the attack is the effect (clearly listed in the spell description and not up to debate) and not actually the somatic component.
I think you're just getting way too pedantic about the details. It really doesn't matter, all that matters is that you can use the sword as your material and somatic component. Beyond that it's descriptive fluff that changes nothing.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I think you're just getting way too pedantic about the details. It really doesn't matter, all that matters is that you can use the sword as your material and somatic component. Beyond that it's descriptive fluff that changes nothing.
I apologize, but I find this entirely wrong in every particular.

"Descriptive fluff that changes nothing" - if this was true, then the attack would still go off if the spell was counterspelled, because the attack would not be dependent on the success of the casting. This is untrue - the rules are clear that the effects fo the spell happen after the casting. It is no way just descriptive fluff.

"Way too pedantic" - others (Sword of Spirit and ECMO3) both were confused about the attack happening during the casting, not as an effect of the casting, with SoS even wondering if using the material component for something else negated the ability to use that hand for the somatic component, which would have major effects of the hands needed to cast this spell.

"It doesn't really matter" - The argument that the rules do not matter while debating the rules is inherently wrong. And the rules only support one interpretation.

It impacts if the attack happens with counterspells or in an anti-magic area the players don't know about. It impacts Sword of Spirit's discussion about not being able to do somatic and material components with the same hand if the material components are "doing something". It impacts if you are following the rules.

Again, none of this has anything to do with the description you give in the narrative, as I've said several times before. I have never been talking about the fluff.
 

Oofta

Legend
I apologize, but I find this entirely wrong in every particular.

"Descriptive fluff that changes nothing" - if this was true, then the attack would still go off if the spell was counterspelled, because the attack would not be dependent on the success of the casting. This is untrue - the rules are clear that the effects fo the spell happen after the casting. It is no way just descriptive fluff.

"Way too pedantic" - others (Sword of Spirit and ECMO3) both were confused about the attack happening during the casting, not as an effect of the casting, with SoS even wondering if using the material component for something else negated the ability to use that hand for the somatic component, which would have major effects of the hands needed to cast this spell.

"It doesn't really matter" - The argument that the rules do not matter while debating the rules is inherently wrong. And the rules only support one interpretation.

It impacts if the attack happens with counterspells or in an anti-magic area the players don't know about. It impacts Sword of Spirit's discussion about not being able to do somatic and material components with the same hand if the material components are "doing something". It impacts if you are following the rules.

Again, none of this has anything to do with the description you give in the narrative, as I've said several times before. I have never been talking about the fluff.
We disagree. There's no reason the counterspell or antimagic zones would not work. I have no idea why they would not.

In any case, it's not worth arguing about. The important thing is that you can use the hand holding the sword to do somatic components because it is the material component. The rules I quoted make that clear.

I don't see how the rest matters.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
We disagree. There's no reason the counterspell or antimagic zones would not work. I have no idea why they would not.
sigh Because if the attack is part of the casting instead of part of the effect, the attack would go off. Used as one of the examples why it is worth arguing about. You can not have both that it doesn't matter and that this is definitely true, because if it doesn't matter there is a case it's not true.

In any case, it's not worth arguing about.
I'm not arguing about it, I am repeatly explaining that the rules are definite about a matter. One you both claim doesn't matter, yet agree with the result about counterspell and antimagic which is only true if it matters.

This isn't a debate. This is me educating you about the rules, and you keep handwaving them away saying they doesn't matter. But the rules still exist even if you don't think they matter.

The important thing is that you can use the hand holding the sword to do somatic components because it is the material component. The rules I quoted make that clear.
I'm confused you're still on this. We've agreed about this point long ago. The rules that I quoted before you did, with page numbers, as the third post in the whole chain, show it's true.

I don't see how the rest matters.
The rules are the rules. It doesn't care if you don't understand why a rule is there. It's still a rule. The effects of a spell happen once the casting of the spell completes. That's all. Saying 'it doesn't matter" to if parts of the spell effects happen during casting - and therefore even if casting isn't completed successfully is just wrong.

At no point am I educating you on opinion.
 

Oofta

Legend
sigh Because if the attack is part of the casting instead of part of the effect, the attack would go off. Used as one of the examples why it is worth arguing about. You can not have both that it doesn't matter and that this is definitely true, because if it doesn't matter there is a case it's not true.


I'm not arguing about it, I am repeatly explaining that the rules are definite about a matter. One you both claim doesn't matter, yet agree with the result about counterspell and antimagic which is only true if it matters.

This isn't a debate. This is me educating you about the rules, and you keep handwaving them away saying they doesn't matter. But the rules still exist even if you don't think they matter.


I'm confused you're still on this. We've agreed about this point long ago. The rules that I quoted before you did, with page numbers, as the third post in the whole chain, show it's true.


The rules are the rules. It doesn't care if you don't understand why a rule is there. It's still a rule. The effects of a spell happen once the casting of the spell completes. That's all. Saying 'it doesn't matter" to if parts of the spell effects happen during casting - and therefore even if casting isn't completed successfully is just wrong.

At no point am I educating you on opinion.

I have no idea what you're going on about. Take Green Flame Blade.
You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects, and you can cause green fire to leap from the target to a different creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier.
The PC is attacking with a melee weapon. The weapon attack still happens no matter what, if the spell is not countered, green flame also does extra damage to a different creature.

I don't see any issue here no matter how you describe casting the spell. I see no way that the melee attack does not happen because the spell was somehow nullified if that's what you're trying to say.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I have no idea what you're going on about. Take Green Flame Blade.
You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects, and you can cause green fire to leap from the target to a different creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier.
The PC is attacking with a melee weapon. The weapon attack still happens no matter what, if the spell is not countered, green flame also does extra damage to a different creature.

I don't see any issue here no matter how you describe casting the spell. I see no way that the melee attack does not happen because the spell was somehow nullified if that's what you're trying to say.
That is NOT what the rules say. And that is why it matters. It is listed in what you have quoted.

Here are the actual rules.

The character takes the Cast a Spell action. PHB pg 192. Please note, it does not also grant an attack.

The spell, if not stopped in some way, is cast.

Only after being successfully cast does the effects of the spell happen.
One of the effects, as you listed is "make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you". This is the first and only part of this that grants an attack.

Say the spell is counterspelled. Counterspell (PHB 228) says "You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and has no effect."
No effect means the effect does not happen, including the only part of the entire action that grants an attack.

If you wish to disagree, please give me any page number of the what is granting the attack before the effect of the spell. There are plenty of spells that are cast on a hit and that is listed under the casting time as a trigger, and spells you cast before and have a duration and then trigger on a hit. This lists none of that.
 

Oofta

Legend
That is NOT what the rules say. And that is why it matters. It is listed in what you have quoted.

Here are the actual rules.

The character takes the Cast a Spell action. PHB pg 192. Please note, it does not also grant an attack.

The spell, if not stopped in some way, is cast.

Only after being successfully cast does the effects of the spell happen.
One of the effects, as you listed is "make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you". This is the first and only part of this that grants an attack.

Say the spell is counterspelled. Counterspell (PHB 228) says "You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and has no effect."
No effect means the effect does not happen, including the only part of the entire action that grants an attack.

If you wish to disagree, please give me any page number of the what is granting the attack before the effect of the spell. There are plenty of spells that are cast on a hit and that is listed under the casting time as a trigger, and spells you cast before and have a duration and then trigger on a hit. This lists none of that.

We disagree, I'm not going to argue about it any more. Have a good one.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
That is NOT what the rules say. And that is why it matters. It is listed in what you have quoted.

Here are the actual rules.

The character takes the Cast a Spell action. PHB pg 192. Please note, it does not also grant an attack.

The spell, if not stopped in some way, is cast.

Only after being successfully cast does the effects of the spell happen.
One of the effects, as you listed is "make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you". This is the first and only part of this that grants an attack.

Say the spell is counterspelled. Counterspell (PHB 228) says "You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell of 3rd level or lower, its spell fails and has no effect."
No effect means the effect does not happen, including the only part of the entire action that grants an attack.

If you wish to disagree, please give me any page number of the what is granting the attack before the effect of the spell. There are plenty of spells that are cast on a hit and that is listed under the casting time as a trigger, and spells you cast before and have a duration and then trigger on a hit. This lists none of that.
You're looking for a bright red line that really isn't there, so chill out.
The spells in question here really don't say they grant you an attack with your melee weapon any more than it's forbidden to consider that attack with the focus of the spell as a portion of the somatic component. There's plenty of room for DM interpretation here where a DM could consider the "brandish the weapon used in the spells casting and make a melee attack" as part of the somatic component and thus the attack could proceed though the spell's magic enhancement is countered or the DM could choose to interpret it as you do.
It's honestly not all that big a deal which direction you go. I'd just recommend a DM handle it consistently for each case.
 

Oofta

Legend
You're looking for a bright red line that really isn't there, so chill out.
The spells in question here really don't say they grant you an attack with your melee weapon any more than it's forbidden to consider that attack with the focus of the spell as a portion of the somatic component. There's plenty of room for DM interpretation here where a DM could consider the "brandish the weapon used in the spells casting and make a melee attack" as part of the somatic component and thus the attack could proceed though the spell's magic enhancement is countered or the DM could choose to interpret it as you do.
It's honestly not all that big a deal which direction you go. I'd just recommend a DM handle it consistently for each case.
Yep. You're still making a melee weapon attack, not a melee spell attack. I simply don't see anything in the spell that indicates that the spell is granting the attack.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
You're looking for a bright red line that really isn't there, so chill out.
The spells in question here really don't say they grant you an attack with your melee weapon
Explicitly in the spell description.

Both Booming Blade and Green Flame Blade say:
"You brandish the weapon used in the spell's casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you."
(Tasha's, pgs 106 & 107).

If you are going to make a claim about what the rules say, please do the most trivial check to make sure you aren't incorrect. In both cases it was the very first line of each spell effect.

any more than it's forbidden to consider that attack with the focus of the spell as a portion of the somatic component.
Never said it was. I said it wasn't part of THIS spell. Some other spell could be developed that has that. And will list it. There are already spells that you can cast on a Hit, and spells you cast before and then go off when you hit. They have sigfnificantly different wording than this.

There's plenty of room for DM interpretation here where a DM could consider the "brandish the weapon used in the spells casting and make a melee attack" as part of the somatic component and thus the attack could proceed though the spell's magic enhancement is countered or the DM could choose to interpret it as you do.
I will apply this to other spells. Let's look at the first line of a few:

Cloudkill: You create a 20-foot-radius sphere of poisonous, yellow-green fog centered on a point you choose within range.

Conjure Fey: You summon a fey creature of challenge rating 6 or lower, or a fey spirit that takes the form of a beast of challenge rating 6 or lower.

Fireball: A bright streak flashes from your pointing linger to a point you choose within range and then blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame.

Mage Armor: You touch a willing creature who isn't wearing armor,
and a protective magical force surrounds it until the spell ends.

Each that I looked at has the description of a successful casting as the first line of the effect. None of them seemed to be descriptions of the casting.

A DM could say "this spell does not follow the pattern of the majority of other spells", but I don't believe a reasonable one would.

In addition, there are spells that take place due to action outside the spell, and they aren't worded like this. They have things in the Casting Time section.

All in all, this call for a DM interpretation doesn't pass the reasonable test.

It's honestly not all that big a deal which direction you go. I'd just recommend a DM handle it consistently for each case.
As said several times to Oofta when he kept repeating "it doesn't matter", the rules still exist regardless if you think they are a big deal.
 

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