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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. Wearing armor or using a shield interfered with the somatic components of arcane spells, creating a risk of spell failure. Bards and some other arcane classes could cast spells in light armor without this risk.[1]

Each spellcasting tradition had its own somatic components.[2]


References

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