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D&D 5E How do you handle material components on feat spells or racial spells?

ECMO3

Adventurer
How do you do material components on feat spells, especially if you are a non-caster or go out of your school?

Say my Druid picks up Hex through magic initiate. Can he use his sprig of mistletoe or does he need to grab a component pouch, a Newt eye or an arcane focus just for that one spell?

How about racial spells?
 

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Stormonu

Legend
For me and mine:

Racial spells, no components.

Magic Initiate, if you already have a spellcasting class, use those rules. Otherwise, use the rules for the class whose spell you picked from. A lot of spells are on multiple class lists, so that gives you a choice how you want handle it.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Say my Druid picks up Hex through magic initiate. Can he use his sprig of mistletoe or does he need to grab a component pouch, a Newt eye or an arcane focus just for that one spell?
By the book, you can use the mistletoe.

The Spellcasting chapter only says that you can substitute a spellcasting focus for non-costed material components. That's all it has to say on the subject. The different types of spellcasting foci are laid out in the Equipment chapter, and the only restriction given is on the class of the user, not the class of the spell: "A druid can use [a druidic focus] as a spellcasting focus."

As I read that, a druid can use a druidic focus on any spell, including non-druidic spells. By the same token, a druid can't use an arcane focus--even on spells gained via Magic Initiate!--without taking at least one level in an arcane caster class. And a character without levels in any caster class is limited to using a component pouch.

How about racial spells?
By the book, it's the same deal. Personally, I would waive non-costly material components for racial spells.
 

TheSword

Legend
For me, magic initiate is about learning a way of casting a spell by dabbling in that kind of magic. So you use the method other folks casting that spell would use. Components, focus, etc.

You’ve been initiated into those types of spell casting. You haven’t adapted them to yours. That said their may be a good reason why this isn’t the case and mechanically it makes very little difference.

For racial abilities what spell were you thinking of? It may belp
to talk specifics?
 

I wouldn't enforce material components for for specific racial spells as more recently published races tend to explicitly say they don't require material components, and while in a very strict RAW reading this would seem to indicate that those without that proviso should have it enforced, I take it as a sign that WotC has recognized an oversight and corrected it going forward.

For magic initiate I would enforce the components (unless they took it for their own class then they can use their own focus like every other spell they choose from their class list). Also for free choice "racial spells" like the high elf choose a wizard cantrip feature.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
For racial abilities what spell were you thinking of? It may belp
to talk specifics?
None in specific. I do know my Glaysa tiefling Rogue that knew minor illusion started the game with a piece of fleece she would pull out and use to cast it.
 

pnewman

Explorer
None in specific. I do know my Glaysa tiefling Rogue that knew minor illusion started the game with a piece of fleece she would pull out and use to cast it.

Why was your character permitted to start with an item not on the equipment list? Did your DM house rule it?

RAW you cant cast the spell without the component, even the component without a specific cost unless 1) your class allows you to use an item instead and you have one OR 2) you have a component belt.

If your DM is a real rules lawyer note that "A component pouch is a small, watertight leather belt pouch that has compartments to hold all the material componenets and other special items to cast your spells, except for those components that have a specific cost (as indicated in a spell's description)."

Thus the component pouch has the compartments to hold the components but nothing says that it has the components themselves. Since the components are not on the equipment list you can't just buy them either. Therefore by RAW you would have to acquire the components through adventuring and would be unable to cast spells with material components until you did so.
 

Horwath

Hero
I do not bother with Material spell components if they do not have a cost specified.
If you are not in jail after being strip searched or have both(or all) hands bound you are able to manipulate as spell with M components.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Unless you cast innately, you need material components for all feat and racial spells. They say if you cast innately.

That said, I feel that the purpose of non-expensive material components are the same purpose weapons have - the ability to disarm captured opponents so killing isn't the first option, the occasional scenario (captured, etc.) where the PCs don't have access to them, and taking up a hand. So I generally handwave worrying about them except in those circumstances. Yes you may have to swap out a spellcasting foci, which is just like a fighter switching from greatsword to halberd when they want reach. That makes a component pouch a better pick when you have multiple caster types - as has been true for multiclass characters since the beginning.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Why was your character permitted to start with an item not on the equipment list? Did your DM house rule it?

RAW you cant cast the spell without the component, even the component without a specific cost unless 1) your class allows you to use an item instead and you have one OR 2) you have a component belt.

If your DM is a real rules lawyer note that "A component pouch is a small, watertight leather belt pouch that has compartments to hold all the material componenets and other special items to cast your spells, except for those components that have a specific cost (as indicated in a spell's description)."

Thus the component pouch has the compartments to hold the components but nothing says that it has the components themselves. Since the components are not on the equipment list you can't just buy them either. Therefore by RAW you would have to acquire the components through adventuring and would be unable to cast spells with material components until you did so.

Just to point out the bit about material components in the section on Casting a Spell:

Material (M)

Casting some spells requires particular objects, specified in parentheses in the component entry. A character can use a component pouch or a spellcasting focus (found in “Equipment”) in place of the components specified for a spell.
(underline mine)

RAW here is that a caster can use a component pouch "in place of" specified components, except for those with a gp cost (and arguably, those that are specifically noted as being consumed by the casting).
 

pnewman

Explorer
Just to point out the bit about material components in the section on Casting a Spell:


(underline mine)

RAW here is that a caster can use a component pouch "in place of" specified components, except for those with a gp cost (and arguably, those that are specifically noted as being consumed by the casting).

It also says [PHB pg 205] that "If you can't provide one or more of a spell's components, you are unable to cast the spell". The logical conclusion is that you are using a material component that you have taken from your component pouch.

This clearly will not work if the pouch is empty and the RAW says nothing to establish that the component pouch has any components in it. Therefore, if your DM goes by literal RAW, you may have to fill that component pouch first. Admittedly this makes a component pouch more of a "trap option" than 5th ed usually goes for, but it sure seems like the way Gary Gygax would have intended.
 

Dausuul

Legend
It also says [PHB pg 205] that "If you can't provide one or more of a spell's components, you are unable to cast the spell". The logical conclusion is that you are using a material component that you have taken from your component pouch.
You can't have it both ways. Either you are applying RAW strictly and literally, or you are applying common sense.

If you are going strictly by RAW, the spellcasting rules say you can use the pouch "in place of" non-costly material components. They do not say the pouch has to have anything in it. An empty pouch works just as well as a spell focus.

If you are applying common sense, then an empty pouch won't work... but common sense also says the pouch comes with components included, because a) 25 gp for an empty pouch is silly, and b) the rule saying the pouch can be used in place of components would do nothing if you had to stock up on components anyway.

And also, if a DM said I wasn't allowed to start the game with a piece of fleece because it's not on the equipment list, and then kicked up a fuss about a racial spell that requires fleece as a component, that DM would be looking for a new player in short order.
 
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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
It also says [PHB pg 205] that "If you can't provide one or more of a spell's components, you are unable to cast the spell". The logical conclusion is that you are using a material component that you have taken from your component pouch.

This clearly will not work if the pouch is empty and the RAW says nothing to establish that the component pouch has any components in it. Therefore, if your DM goes by literal RAW, you may have to fill that component pouch first. Admittedly this makes a component pouch more of a "trap option" than 5th ed usually goes for, but it sure seems like the way Gary Gygax would have intended.
By my reading of "in place of", literal RAW is that the component pouch replaces the need to track components; ie, it's assumed always to have the components in it. In the fiction, I just assume that the caster is constantly restocking it whenever they come across a pile of bat poop and whatnot.

And that seems fine to me, too. Most of the time, casters' components "just work." But there's this component pouch (like any other focus) that can be swept away in a flood or something, forcing the caster to track components for a little while until they can get a new one. If a player is into that sort of thing, it can be a minor, temporary hardship to impose on a caster, without being terribly onerous over the whole campaign.



ETA: It's not terribly relevant here, but in 3.5e RAW was "Don’t bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost," on the assumption that the pouch always contains the necessary items.
 
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pnewman

Explorer
And also, if a DM said I wasn't allowed to start the game with a piece of fleece because it's not on the equipment list, and then kicked up a fuss about a racial spell that requires fleece as a component, that DM would be looking for a new player in short order.

You should have known that the spell had material components when you chose it, and yet you chose not to have a component pouch or be a member of a class that permits implement substitution; and you expect the DM to save you from your folly by altering the equipment list, rather than just make you wait until you earn the money for a component pouch?

Well, that is certainly a play style that a person might have. Have fun with it.
 

You should have known that the spell had material components when you chose it, and yet you chose not to have a component pouch or be a member of a class that permits implement substitution; and you expect the DM to save you from your folly by altering the equipment list, rather than just make you wait until you earn the money for a component pouch?

Well, that is certainly a play style that a person might have. Have fun with it.
Two things:

First off, in Session 0 it's very likely the following conversation would happen:

Player: Oh, I want to have the Magic Initiate Feat. I'm going to take ___ spell.
DM: Just so you know, I'm a stickler for Material Components. Does your character start with a component pouch?
Player: No, but the material component is ___. Would it be reasonable for my character to start with that?
DM: Yeah, that's reasonable.

Or, in Session 1, this is likely to happen:

Player: Oh, I need a piece of fleece to cast this spell. Um... I dig into my coat and pull out some fleece.
 

Dausuul

Legend
You should have known that the spell had material components when you chose it, and yet you chose not to have a component pouch or be a member of a class that permits implement substitution; and you expect the DM to save you from your folly by altering the equipment list, rather than just make you wait until you earn the money for a component pouch?

Well, that is certainly a play style that a person might have. Have fun with it.
Oh, the folly of a playstyle wherein a character can, without paying twenty-five gold pieces, start the game in possession of a bit of fluff from the back of a sheep! What madness!

Obviously, the only things that exist in the world are what is available on the equipment list. The only foods are meat, cheese, salt, and bread--no vegetables, no fruit, and don't ask how the cheese gets made, 'cause there ain't no milk. Houses must be built out of metal, because there's no such thing as brick, wood, or stone. (Oh, and the only metals are copper, iron, silver, gold, and platinum. The naming of bronze dragons is a great mystery.)

But wait! Sheep are on the equipment list. So I could spend the first session roleplaying the process of finding someone who has sheep, and negotiating the purchase of a bit of fluff. And then, having determined fair price for that fluff, I will buy the whole entire sheep for the list price of two gold pieces, and earn back my money selling fluff at market rates to the local wizard's guild.

There goes the first session of the campaign. Second session will be helping the party warlock justify their possession of a creepy little voodoo doll made of straw. Sometime around session six or so, we might actually leave town.
 

Horwath

Hero
You should have known that the spell had material components when you chose it, and yet you chose not to have a component pouch or be a member of a class that permits implement substitution; and you expect the DM to save you from your folly by altering the equipment list, rather than just make you wait until you earn the money for a component pouch?

Well, that is certainly a play style that a person might have. Have fun with it.
A spell component pouch hold Material components for ALL spells in the game that are not consuming a costly component in casting.

That is why it costs 25g.

You could even juggle one pouch between few casters of different classes in a single round(might require clever usage of free object interaction or/and them being next to each other).

Having your start gear not being able to have an extra item of next to no cost is splitting hairs and being a bad sport.
You also have some extra gold with every background, I'm sure you can spare few coppers on this item.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Why was your character permitted to start with an item not on the equipment list? Did your DM house rule it?
It was part of her background, she got a trinket and I decided that was a ball of fleece. As an aside, I would argue that wool is in most normal clothing as well, so I could have torn a corner off of my clothes (although who would want to do that).

She is a Rogue/Arcane Trickster and when she gained 3rd level she did not have an opportunity to pick up a component pouch, so I had her take some sand off of the floor to use as a material component for sleep. Her other spells did not have material components or they used the same fleece I already had.

Thus the component pouch has the compartments to hold the components but nothing says that it has the components themselves. Since the components are not on the equipment list you can't just buy them either. Therefore by RAW you would have to acquire the components through adventuring and would be unable to cast spells with material components until you did so.
I think a component pouch has all the components in it. If it didn't it would not say "except for those components that have a specific cost". There would be no reason to put this last bit in unless the pouch included the components. Certainly if the puch can hold rotten food, a newt eye and a cup of water in it, than it can hold a 125gp pearl in it. So it is assumed to have that other stuff (for the spells you know) already.
 

Oh, the folly of a playstyle wherein a character can, without paying twenty-five gold pieces, start the game in possession of a bit of fluff from the back of a sheep! What madness!

Obviously, the only things that exist in the world are what is available on the equipment list. The only foods are meat, cheese, salt, and bread--no vegetables, no fruit, and don't ask how the cheese gets made, 'cause there ain't no milk. Houses must be built out of metal, because there's no such thing as brick, wood, or stone. (Oh, and the only metals are copper, iron, silver, gold, and platinum. The naming of bronze dragons is a great mystery.)

But wait! Sheep are on the equipment list. So I could spend the first session roleplaying the process of finding someone who has sheep, and negotiating the purchase of a bit of fluff. And then, having determined fair price for that fluff, I will buy the whole entire sheep for the list price of two gold pieces, and earn back my money selling fluff at market rates to the local wizard's guild.

There goes the first session of the campaign. Second session will be helping the party warlock justify their possession of a creepy little voodoo doll made of straw. Sometime around session six or so, we might actually leave town.
Adventure Idea: someone has been torching all the Wizard Supply Stores in the district. It turns out to be a local merchant who wants to sell individual components at inflated prices. Do the characters bring the merchant to justice... or join in on the scheme???
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
For me and mine:

Racial spells, no components.

Magic Initiate, if you already have a spellcasting class, use those rules. Otherwise, use the rules for the class whose spell you picked from. A lot of spells are on multiple class lists, so that gives you a choice how you want handle it.
This.
 

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