Verbal and somatic components – and the majority of material components – are pretty useless. They have no hard mechanical effect, but instead serve to differentiate magic beyond damage types. This way the firebolt dealing an average of 10 damage feels different from a flaming arrow that also ends up dealing 10 damage. It makes magic more magical.

It can also cause some questions at the table. What happens when someone is deaf? What happens when the party is underwater? Can you quietly and discreetly cast a spell so that it’s unheard? The last question there tends to come up the most at my table, and there’s been some discussion of how visible and apparent magic is. Is magic bright and colourful like in Doctor Strange with glowing runes and sparks of magical energy as the limbs are wreathed in mystical energies? Or is it subtle like most spells in Supernatural where there’s just a strange wind and change in the lighting?