• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E How do you RP material components for divine casters?

carkl3000

Explorer
I'm curious how you all handle a character learning about and acquiring expensive spell components for divine casters (or any casters other than wizards... and bards and artificers I guess?)

For a wizard it's obvious. Their spellcasting ability is a science. They learn a formula that someone else devised and wrote down.

... but how do you figure that a druid would learn that (for instance) they need to acquire a feather, a tuft of fur, and a fish tail, and that they need to encase these things in a gilded acorn worth 200gp before they can cast Summon Beast?

Then how do you go about acquiring these things in game? Does the druid have to commission a jeweler to make the item? What if there isn't a jeweler in town? How does owning such a precious manufactured item fit in with the ethos of a druid?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

aco175

Legend
Most of these things I/my group skim over and never really fleshed out. I guess it is assumed that in the pre 1st level training or background of the PC, they learn it from a mentor. An older druid trains the PC and teaches them the 'natural' ways, or the church has these formulas written down, like wizards, and the new initiates learn them.

How to go about and get the items is something I feel that D&D as a whole skim on. There could be good books and modules that develop this, but the more you make casters do something, the more some will think that martials need to be nerfed as well. I can see some saying that the fighter never got his sword sharpened while in town, so he needs to be at -1 to hit and damage until he does. Some of the this was dealt with by having a component pouch, but tracking that depends on the group. There are several threads here over the last few years dealing with how much groups track like food and torches and being more tracking or action game.

I'm more along the lines of allowing the PC to have the component unless it is rather expensive or unique. There should be some tracking if you need a 5,000gp item. Maybe this is why the players ask if every gem they find is a diamond.
 

Voadam

Legend
I generally run with divine magics as being simply a different spellcasting tradition than arcane magic, tapping divine power as its source instead of being granted directly by a god. So knowledge about spells are generally taught in the tradition as part of training for level 1.

When I go with weirder explanations of origins when using the mechanics of a class but reskinning a lot of the lore, like I did with a warforged artificer PC in my current game who was the creation of a technomage aided by a cleric of a tinkering god using a damaged robot chasis, I sometimes reskin some elements like the magic being super science tech with material components being changed as needed for the narrative theme, like the artificer's magic stone cantrip becoming "finger guns" on the robot.

A PC druid in my game was actually a mechanical execution of a White Wolf Werewolf the Apocalypse werewolf concept with specific werewolf powers and rites he had bargained with spirits to gain being represented in the spells he took which were renamed. I don't remember material components coming up as an issue.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Divine revelation.

But thanks for this thread, because in yesterday's session the druid cast Summon Beast for the first time and I was unaware of the component thing - which means it needs to be addressed going forward.
 

These kind of things would be much easier if there was a table with generic components like
  • 1 ounce of Irian glimmerdust ## gp
  • 1 drop of stabilized Fernian water ## gp
  • 1 Mabaran ebony leaf ## gp
  • etc
With the spells with costly components themselves calling for some amount of those things like 4 mabaran ebony leaves or 3 ounces iran glimmerdust instead of 300gp worth of $mundane thing. If the list has a good variety of components but not so many that they may as well be spell specific then a gm could confidently scatter them in treasure & split magic component shopping from the need for justifications why the world does/does not have the ability to commission mundane things like a chest made from materials worth 5000gp or ###gp worth of crushed diamonds
 
Last edited:

Teemu

Adventurer
I think the required knowledge would be part of the class kit. If you know how to perform druidic magic, you would know the components for the various spells.

I just let the characters purchase expensive components in suitable settlements.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don't play out most shopping trips, but unless it's a truly strange component the player just spends the money.

There might be some exceptions such as being in a remote area, but magic is common enough in my campaign world that there's a market for weird stuff like this.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I'm curious how you all handle a character learning about and acquiring expensive spell components for divine casters (or any casters other than wizards... and bards and artificers I guess?)

For a wizard it's obvious. Their spellcasting ability is a science. They learn a formula that someone else devised and wrote down.

... but how do you figure that a druid would learn that (for instance) they need to acquire a feather, a tuft of fur, and a fish tail, and that they need to encase these things in a gilded acorn worth 200gp before they can cast Summon Beast?
They'd learn that sort of thing during training for the level at which they receive those spells.

If you don't use training rules, explaining things like this becomes much trickier.
Then how do you go about acquiring these things in game? Does the druid have to commission a jeweler to make the item? What if there isn't a jeweler in town? How does owning such a precious manufactured item fit in with the ethos of a druid?
In order: however seems right; often yes*; the Druid would have to travel elsewhere to find a jeweler*; and always yes.

The last question re ethos is the key one. My take is that if ownership of such an item wasn't intended to fit the ethos of a Druid the spell wouldn't call for it.

* - or try doing the gilding herself, nothing says the job has to be perfect.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The exact same way the cleric or druid learns any of their spells.

Could be divine revelation, could be a growing understanding of what they can call upon and the hoops then need to jump through to engage that magic, could be institutionalized teachings or works passed down in the body of an organization they belong to.

They learn of what they can cast (their entire spell list) and what they do somehow, learning what components are part and parcel of that.
 


carkl3000

Explorer
In my current game, my character is multiclassing to druid. His story is such that he really doesn't have a druid mentor. He prays to Deneir for knowledge and guidance, but in the setting in which we're playing (Faerun during the spell plague) Deneir is a little... tied up and can't really spare the time or energy to be offering any divine revelation. So most of what he's learning is through observation and experimentation I suppose?

But anyway, I got my answer about how to RP acquiring expensive spell components at the game sesh yesterday. The answer from the DM is... don't. He doesn't particularly care about material component requirements except maybe for some that are very expensive and are consumed.

Honestly, I think it's fun to consider all the little stuff like that, but I understand him not wanting to spend too much time at the table on minutiae.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top