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EN5ider #278 - Top Shelf Spell Components

Today's issue of EN5ider takes a good hard look at one of the fundamental aspects of spellcasting and considers one way to make it more engaging: better spell components! Frequent contributor Andrew Engelbrite has over two dozen suggestions on reagents that will bring the magic back to your D&D 5E table in an article that is hard to put down once you've started reading it.

Speaking of Andrew, he designed two classes in the A Touch More Class Kickstarter that launched on Tuesday to achieve mind-numbingly rapid success! See why with the free previews for the geomancer and savant classes, then join the 850+ folks that have pledged over $44,000/£34,000 to make these books (and snazzy cardcaster deck) a reality!

Lately on EN5ider:

  • #278. Top Shelf Components. All too often 5E groups wave away material components that are inexpensive, but there's no reason that aspect of spellcasting can't be made more exciting and engaging! In this EN5iderissue there are more than two dozen new material components (both expensive and otherwise) that modify and improve the spells they are used to cast, giving both mages and priests plenty of motivation to pay more attention to the reagents they need to work their magic. Written by Andrew Engelbrite; illustrated by Phil Stone.
  • #277. Archetypes of Antiquity. Take to the coliseum with the retiarius fighter archetype, a net-wielding combatant perfect for gladiator-style characters! Perhaps instead you might pierce the veil as a warlock of the Oracle patron, foreseeing what is to come just in time to dodge a lethal blow or even reveal to your enemy the final moment of its life? There's also the Family domain for clerics yearning for a sense of community and the means to protect it, as well as a new background appropriate for campaigns in ancient Greece or Rome (the Freed Slave). Written by Takeshi McFinn; illustrated by Marcel Budde.
  • #276. Mini-Adventure: Secret Faces of Velsburg. While traveling through the wilderness the adventurers come across a small hamlet plagued by a recent rash or murders committed by 'The Ghost'. The longer the party stay in Velsburg however, the quicker they realize that the supposedly bloodthirsty spirit preying upon the settlement is not the remote village's only mystery. In this sidequest to save Velsburg the PCs are confronted with a shocking truth underpinning it all and are presented with a dire dilemma: is it worth saving? This mini-adventure is for 4-5 PCs of 5th level. Written by Charlie Brooks; illustrated by Savage Mojo; cartography from Dyson Logos.
  • #275. Intriguing Organizations: The Osseous Dwarves of Hollow Mountain. In the ancient past the exiles of a dwarven kingdom made their own home by hollowing out a mountain and building a fortress atop it, embracing the defensive measure that saw them cast out by their kin—necromancy. Eventually the world saw their civilization undone but someone (perhaps even the party or someone they know) raided the entrance to their seemingly abandoned city. This trespass has disturbed the slumber of the stout folk and now they rise again as undead, masterless and deluded into believing they live still. The few who know of them call them the Osseus Dwarves for they believe the weapons and armor they forge is made of steel, unaware and unable to see not only their own changed forms, but also that they wield and wear the bones of the dead. This killer entry in the Intriguing Organizations series includes 2 new magic items (bone plate and the bone warhammer), 3 new monsters (Osseous Agent, their leader Blue Helm, and the awesome Siege Mammoth!), and all the details a GM might need to include this group in a game. Thanks to designer Eran Aviram for another brilliantly written article; amazing illustration by the inimitable Indi Martin!
  • #274. ZEITGEIST #7 - Schism: Part 1. Finally the party has a chance to infiltrate the Obscurati, master conspirators they've been chasing for much of the adventure path! On a bleak, remote isle, the gathered villains plot the final stages of their grand design. This heavily-guarded affair is the best chance to land a killing blow against the Obscurati, but to get close enough to strike the constables will need an invitation. Fortunately an old enemy of the party is having a bit of an identity crisis.
    Alexander Grappa crafted the mind of the conspiracy's colossus, then was slain when he had second thoughts. But the crafty mage managed to transfer his consciousness into Leone Quital, who is now responsible for ferrying conspirators to the meeting's secret location. If the constables can help Grappa get control of his new body, he can get them into the conclave. This adventure is provides the maps, narration, sidequests, and encounters that a GM needs to get right up to that point!
    For patrons not playing through the adventure path, this PDF includes 5 unique NPCs (including a headless fellow) and 3 railroad-themed maps (a train station, platform, and some rail cars).
Mike Myler



I have not read this, but we do this sort of stuff on the fly. If players say they want to burn up some cool component (often a creature's body part), I often improve the spell in some way, especially if there is some direct link, like red dragon blood and a fire spell.

A 3E book introduced this idea and I cannot remember what they called these super components, but ever since I have been open to casters modifying their spells on the fly if they choose to add components.

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters


Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters