Some simple hand motions used in the casting of a spell.

The somatic component was a basic part of spellcasting.[1]

Many spells required the caster to make a motion to cast the spell. If the caster was unable to make the correct motion, the spell could not be cast.[1] Wearing armor or using a shield interfered with the somatic components of arcane spells, creating a risk of spell failure.[2] Bards and some other arcane classes could cast spells in light armor without this risk, because their somatic components were less elaborate.[2][3]

Each spellcasting tradition had its own somatic components.[4]

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