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5E Material components

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Ignore. I mean, a ranger can just buy arrows....and a fighter can buy a sword. All easily. Why make a wizard find a bunch of rare items to do the thing they are meant to do?

That said, if you are playing a game where that is fun for you and yours, great.
 

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dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Because the rules tell them to? You CAN use specific material components if you want, but a focus or component pouch is so much simpler that it's no surprise few players choose to go with the specific components.
You might want to double-check the rules then:

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Yes, component pouches and foci can substitute for the need for any mundane material components and we allow them to do so since that is their function--it removes the need to know how many grasshopper hind legs you have, etc.

But for spells with components with a cost, especially those which the spell consumes, you must have them in order to cast the spells. That is what the rules "tell us." Component pouches and foci don't replace those costs and components. :)

A lot of groups find such bookkeeping tedious, but we find it adds to the verisimilitude of the game. YMMV of course.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
Ignore. I mean, a ranger can just buy arrows....and a fighter can buy a sword. All easily. Why make a wizard find a bunch of rare items to do the thing they are meant to do?

So that like the Ranger & the Fighter they can do their thing.
 

aco175

Hero
Mostly just for a diamond to raise dead. Although forcecage looks like something to track as well, with no save and taking someone out of a fight for an hour...
 

Undrave

Hero
Yes, component pouches and foci can substitute for the need for any mundane material components and we allow them to do so since that is their function--it removes the need to know how many grasshopper hind legs you have, etc.

But for spells with components with a cost, especially those which the spell consumes, you must have them in order to cast the spells. That is what the rules "tell us." Component pouches and foci don't replace those costs and components. :)

A lot of groups find such bookkeeping tedious, but we find it adds to the verisimilitude of the game. YMMV of course.

I think they did a good job with balancing out those mundane components for instantaneous effect you'd use in combat, and the more expensive ones for the spells you would normally cast when you have more time and that usually have longer lasting impact.

I wouldn't bother making people track the mundane components, that's for sure.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Mostly I run it by the book, which is to say, as long as you have a component pouch or a spellcasting focus, you only have to track components that say they are consumed by the spell or that have a specific cost (or both). I have considered using a house rule to treat a spellcasting focus like a weapon, component pouch like a quiver, and generic “spellcasting components” like ammunition. But, it mostly seems like more trouble than it’s worth for something my players probably wouldn’t find as cool as I do.
 


Nardgrog

Villager
Hey guys,

I would like to get some input on spell material components. Do you use it? Do you ignore it? How do you like it as a player, as a DM? What is your experience? etc ...
All of my friends pretty much ignore it, but I start to think it can give a very good flavor for a campaign and a bit more depth for resource management.

k.r.
Oriaxx
Components with a cost are tracked. Its also used as an adventuring hook early on. When your arcane caster takes identify and you have an item with a magic aura and they go to identify it and you ask them if they have a pearl and they say no. Well now you have a quest to find one. Whether it be to find a market or a NPC with a mission that rewards a pearl or simply having them do a shoreline quest and there are oysters nearby and they go diving to find a pearl and run into a Sharktopusses instead to get that pearl to identify that item that had Nystals Aura on it the whole time.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
If you can easily buy the components, great....but if not, why make it harder for them than for every other character?
Because what they can do has orders of magnitude more impact on the game. The fighter can hit stuff for lots of damage and get hit for lots of damage without dying. The ranger can also hit stuff for lots of damage and lets the party ignore most of the mechanics of overland travel. The wizard can teleport the party across the map, consult deities to learn all the campaign’s secrets, raise armies of undead minions, make clones of themselves to cast spells without using their own spell slots, and high enough levels wish for literally anything. Expensive components are a necessary limiting factor on casters’ ability to completely dominate the spotlight and set the tone for the whole campaign.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
I've always tracked my own components.
Its not hard, its not tedious.
Each of my casters simply has an extra page where I've listed all of their spells that use consumable components & any costs/notes.
I start by stocking 50 uses for each spell.
Or as much as I can afford if costs are involved.
So for ex, it'd be Fireball: 50.
Or Summon Familiar (10gp): 50

After that, as I cast spells i just keep a running tally mark next to each entry. If i hit 50, then I can't cast that spell again until I restock.


The people I play with also track their components/ammo. Each has their own format
If you can easily buy the components, great....but if not, why make it harder for them than for every other character?

Its not harder on them. Its the same as the ranger buying arrows. Or other classes buying the equipment they need for the job.
You track the ammo you use & replenish supplies as possible. Doesnt matter if that ammo is arrows or dried bat guano pellets. You run out of arrows? The bow doesn't fire anymore. You run out of bat poo? No more fireballs.

Of course things like foci, component pouches, some classes, & the Eschew Materials feat (3x/PF) have rendered replacing the zero cost components equal to the fighter losing/replacing his sword - sometimes happens, but not ussually.

On readily available components with a cost. How's this differ from arrows?
Both are often easy enough to get, but they aren't free.
If you think you'll be heading somewhere where replenishment of x will be hard/impossible? Stock up.

On things with expensive & rare components.... 1st, THIS is how you keep those so called quadratic Wizards (and other casters) in check.
Spell x causing you problems? Restrict the ammo flow....
Gathering some of these resources should be an adventure in and of itself!
Seriously, how many 10k gp value diamonds do you think there are? Entire adventuring parties squeal for joy at hoards totaling far less. But would you just automatically assume the caster had such a thing just because they've reached x lv & selected that spell? I dont.
And if those valuable components are consumed in the casting, howd this work? Every time you prep the spell this valuable thing just spawns in your pouch? No, thats silly.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
I've always tracked my own components.
Its not hard, its not tedious.
Each of my casters simply has an extra page where I've listed all of their spells that use consumable components & any costs/notes.
I start by stocking 50 uses for each spell.
Or as much as I can afford if costs are involved.
So for ex, it'd be Fireball: 50.
Or Summon Familiar (10gp): 50

After that, as I cast spells i just keep a running tally mark next to each entry. If i hit 50, then I can't cast that spell again until I restock.


The people I play with also track their components/ammo. Each has their own format, but if i asked them "hey, how much ___ does Alhorn have?" I'd get an accurate answer.
 

How I do it is this: If a Character has a Component Pouch or a Focus: then it's usually ignored. (Oh I need a live spider? Good thing my Components Pouch came stocked with a spider frozen in an amber/glass orb or marble/good thing Lolth is fueling the energy for those spider webs.)

If your missing a Focus or Component Pouch: well you can improvise with Material Components as long as you have said components in stocked.(oh thank goodness a spider crawled by when I needed it. But that bat can still burn in the abyss for hitting me with its droppings.)
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Arcane Lock - 25 gp gold dust C
Arcana Sword - 250 gp miniature platinum sword
Astral Projection -1,000 gp piece of Jacinth C, 100 gp silver bar for each creature C
Augury - 25 gp tokens
Awaken - 1,000 gp agate C
Ceremony – 25 gp powder silver C
Circle of Death - 500 gp black pearl
Chromatic Orb – 50 gp diamond
Clairvoyance Focus - 100 gp horn/ eye
Clone- 1,000 gp diamond C, 2,000 gp coffin
Contingency -1,500 gp statuette
Continual Flame - 50 gp ruby dust C
Create Homunculus – 1000 gp dagger
Create Undead - 150 gp black onyx per corpse
Dawn – 100 gp Sunburst pendant
Divination -25 gp offering incense C
Find Familiar - 10 gp of herbs and spices C, brass brazier
Find the Path- 100 gp divinatory tools
Forbiddance- 1000 gp ruby dust, rare incense
Forcecage -1,500 gp ruby dust
Gate- 5,000 gp diamond
Gentle Repose – 2 cp pinch of salt
Glyph of Warding - 200 gp diamond dust C and incense C
Greater restoration -100 gp diamond dust C
Guards and Wards -10 gp silver rod
Hallow -1,000 gp herbs & Spices C
Heroes’ Feast -1,000 gp gem encrusted bowl C
Holy Aura- 1,000 gp reliquary
Identify -100 gp pearl
Illusory Script -10 gp lead base ink C
Imprisonment -500 gp per hit die statuette
Instant Summons - 1,000 gp sapphire
Invulnerability – 500 gp adamantine C
Legend Lore - 250 gp incense C, 50 gp each 4 ivory strips
Magic Circle- 100 gp silver dust C
Magic Jar- 500 gp gem
Magic Mouth -10 gp jade dust C
Magnificent Mansion -15 gp polished marble, ivory door mini, silver spoon
Mighty Fortress – 500 gp diamond C
NonDetection- 25 gp diamond dust C
Planar Ally various min 100 gp
Planar Binding - 1,000 gp jewel C
Plane Shift- 250 gp tuning fork attuned to plane.
Programmed Illusion- 25 gp jade dust
Project Image - 5 gp replica
Protection from Evil and Good -1 gp silver dust & iron dust C, or 25 gp holy water C
Raise Dead -500 gp diamond C
Reincarnate -1,000 gp rare oils C
Resurrection- 1,000 gp diamond C
Reverse Gravity- 1 gp lodestone and iron filings
Revivify -300 gp loose diamonds C
Scrying -1,000 gp crystal ball focus
Secret Chest- 5,000 gp chest
50 gp replica chest
Sequester 5,000 gp mixture of diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire dust C
Shadow of Moil – 150 gp undead eyeball incase in gem
Shapechange 1,500 gp jade circlet
Simulacrum -1,500 gp ruby dust, snow man and piece of subject. Repair 100 gp per hit point
Soul Cage – 100 gp tiny silver cage
Steel Wind Strike – 1 sp melee weapon
Stoneskin- 100 gp diamond dust C
Sunbeam -100 gp magnifying glass
Symbol - 1,000 gp diamond & opal dust C
Temple of the Gods – 5 gp holy symbol
Teleportation Circle -50 gp rare chalk gem dust C, 18,250 gp + 1 year to be permanent
True Resurrection -25,000 gp loose diamonds C
True Seeing -25 gp ointment
Wall of Light – 5 gp hand mirror
Warding Bond- 100 gp 2 platinum rings
With C meaning consumed. How much does your spell caster need.? That reminds me. I have start tracking GP for my necromancer. 150 per body is alot. And it is a check in Adventure League too.
 

oriaxx77

Explorer
Arcane Lock - 25 gp gold dust C
Arcana Sword - 250 gp miniature platinum sword
Astral Projection -1,000 gp piece of Jacinth C, 100 gp silver bar for each creature C
Augury - 25 gp tokens
Awaken - 1,000 gp agate C
Ceremony – 25 gp powder silver C
Circle of Death - 500 gp black pearl
Chromatic Orb – 50 gp diamond
Clairvoyance Focus - 100 gp horn/ eye
Clone- 1,000 gp diamond C, 2,000 gp coffin
Contingency -1,500 gp statuette
Continual Flame - 50 gp ruby dust C
Create Homunculus – 1000 gp dagger
Create Undead - 150 gp black onyx per corpse
Dawn – 100 gp Sunburst pendant
Divination -25 gp offering incense C
Find Familiar - 10 gp of herbs and spices C, brass brazier
Find the Path- 100 gp divinatory tools
Forbiddance- 1000 gp ruby dust, rare incense
Forcecage -1,500 gp ruby dust
Gate- 5,000 gp diamond
Gentle Repose – 2 cp pinch of salt
Glyph of Warding - 200 gp diamond dust C and incense C
Greater restoration -100 gp diamond dust C
Guards and Wards -10 gp silver rod
Hallow -1,000 gp herbs & Spices C
Heroes’ Feast -1,000 gp gem encrusted bowl C
Holy Aura- 1,000 gp reliquary
Identify -100 gp pearl
Illusory Script -10 gp lead base ink C
Imprisonment -500 gp per hit die statuette
Instant Summons - 1,000 gp sapphire
Invulnerability – 500 gp adamantine C
Legend Lore - 250 gp incense C, 50 gp each 4 ivory strips
Magic Circle- 100 gp silver dust C
Magic Jar- 500 gp gem
Magic Mouth -10 gp jade dust C
Magnificent Mansion -15 gp polished marble, ivory door mini, silver spoon
Mighty Fortress – 500 gp diamond C
NonDetection- 25 gp diamond dust C
Planar Ally various min 100 gp
Planar Binding - 1,000 gp jewel C
Plane Shift- 250 gp tuning fork attuned to plane.
Programmed Illusion- 25 gp jade dust
Project Image - 5 gp replica
Protection from Evil and Good -1 gp silver dust & iron dust C, or 25 gp holy water C
Raise Dead -500 gp diamond C
Reincarnate -1,000 gp rare oils C
Resurrection- 1,000 gp diamond C
Reverse Gravity- 1 gp lodestone and iron filings
Revivify -300 gp loose diamonds C
Scrying -1,000 gp crystal ball focus
Secret Chest- 5,000 gp chest
50 gp replica chest
Sequester 5,000 gp mixture of diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire dust C
Shadow of Moil – 150 gp undead eyeball incase in gem
Shapechange 1,500 gp jade circlet
Simulacrum -1,500 gp ruby dust, snow man and piece of subject. Repair 100 gp per hit point
Soul Cage – 100 gp tiny silver cage
Steel Wind Strike – 1 sp melee weapon
Stoneskin- 100 gp diamond dust C
Sunbeam -100 gp magnifying glass
Symbol - 1,000 gp diamond & opal dust C
Temple of the Gods – 5 gp holy symbol
Teleportation Circle -50 gp rare chalk gem dust C, 18,250 gp + 1 year to be permanent
True Resurrection -25,000 gp loose diamonds C
True Seeing -25 gp ointment
Wall of Light – 5 gp hand mirror
Warding Bond- 100 gp 2 platinum rings
With C meaning consumed. How much does your spell caster need.? That reminds me. I have start tracking GP for my necromancer. 150 per body is alot. And it is a check in Adventure League too.
Thanks a lot sir! This list makes our lives much better!
 

Li Shenron

Legend
You might want to double-check the rules then:

View attachment 127431

Yes, component pouches and foci can substitute for the need for any mundane material components and we allow them to do so since that is their function--it removes the need to know how many grasshopper hind legs you have, etc.

But for spells with components with a cost, especially those which the spell consumes, you must have them in order to cast the spells. That is what the rules "tell us." Component pouches and foci don't replace those costs and components. :)

A lot of groups find such bookkeeping tedious, but we find it adds to the verisimilitude of the game. YMMV of course.

As if that part wasn't already clearly mentioned in previous comments... Nobody ignores expensive components. You were wondering how people ignore "components".
 

oriaxx77

Explorer
Have you ever run a game just to get some rare components to be able to cast a spell? How does it feel for your players? Does it make a spell more impactful?
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Have you ever run a game just to get some rare components to be able to cast a spell? How does it feel for your players? Does it make a spell more impactful?

I don't any more than I'd run a game for the fighter to get better armor. If I want to limit access to a spell, I'll just be open about it and limit it in one of my handful of house rules.

About the only exception would be if the group does not have normal resources available, but that's never happened. Resource management is a necessary evil, I keep it as minimal as practical.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
As if that part wasn't already clearly mentioned in previous comments... Nobody ignores expensive components. You were wondering how people ignore "components".
It wasn't part of the OP (discussing only mundane vs costly). My response was completely in reference to your response to my initial post. I am not required in any fashion to read all the replies prior to posting my own. I read the OP and replied to it.

And, judging from the tone of the OP (I could be wrong) but the initial post seemed more to me in regard to all components. If his group is ignoring all component, that includes the costly ones (which you feel "nobody ignores").
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Have you ever run a game just to get some rare components to be able to cast a spell? How does it feel for your players? Does it make a spell more impactful?
I just ran this a few weeks ago for my online group. A character died and they needed a raise dead spell. It took them three days to find a priest in a nearby town, who sent them to a ruined temple to search for the "Eyes of Malar", two diamonds. The priest agreed to raise the dead PC if the others found the Eyes of Malar and returned with them. The priest would use one for the raise dead spell and keep the other as payment.

They made it back with only one day to spare. It was quite fun. :)
 

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