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Rules for Spell Power Components


Rules Questions


Haven't used them much, but I have a kinda batman caster for whom they should be appropriate.

Which book has the rules on the spell power components. I thought I remembered it in the UE, but now I can't find it. Search also doesn't seem to locate it.

Some of the specific questions I'm trying to address are:
1) Are they used up each casting?
2) Do different components that give the same bonus stack?
3) Can different ones that give different bonus be used on the same spell (say a +1 to damage and a +1 to DC)?
4) Any restrictions on use?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

1) yes
2) damage probably - other stuff maybe "ask your gm"
3) probably
4) can't add to item casting spells, just cases where you are casting from spell slots


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alchemical Power Components appear in Pathfinder Player Companion: Adventurer’s Armory, Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual, and possibly elsewhere or in yet to be published supplements.

1) Depends on the spell and the component.

Adventurer's Armory wrote:

Spells followed by an (M) expend the alchemical item as a material component; those followed by an (F) use the item as a focus and do not

expend it.

2) I can't think of a case where this can happen, but if there is, that would be a case-by-case determination.

3) Again, I can't think of a case where this can happen, as each component has a spell list of what a power components used with it can do.

4) At least this one.

Adventurer's Armory wrote:
You cannot use the same item as both a focus and a material component at the same time.

[Edit: so many spacing issues]


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Here is a good list.


There are also the Esoteric Material Components presented in Pathfinder Unchained, but they are an optional rule.


Examples:
2) Both the vial of Acid and Brimstone would add +1 damage to Acid Splash if they stacked.

3) Alchemical Grease gives +1 to save DC and vial of Acid gives +1 pt of damage to any in area of effect of the Grease spell.


Alchemical Reagents as Alchemical Power Components wrote:
Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another, and are expended after use.

You can only use one power component per spell.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Gallant Armor wrote:
Alchemical Reagents as Alchemical Power Components wrote:
Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another, and are expended after use.
You can only use one power component per spell.

There is a difference between not stacking with each other and only being able to use one. As long as the effects are different, you don't run into stacking issues.


MichaelCullen wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Alchemical Reagents as Alchemical Power Components wrote:
Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another, and are expended after use.
You can only use one power component per spell.
There is a difference between not stacking with each other and only being able to use one. As long as the effects are different, you don't run into stacking issues.

It says "Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another" it doesn't mention effect type. RAW you can only use one per spell.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Gallant Armor wrote:
MichaelCullen wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Alchemical Reagents as Alchemical Power Components wrote:
Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another, and are expended after use.
You can only use one power component per spell.
There is a difference between not stacking with each other and only being able to use one. As long as the effects are different, you don't run into stacking issues.
It says "Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another" it doesn't mention effect type. RAW you can only use one per spell.

I disagree, that is not what stacking means. What this is saying is that you can't combine something like black powder (+1 energy damage) with brimstone (+1 acid damage) for an acid splash spell. The effects would not stack.

Nor can you use brimestone twice. Its effects don't stack with itself.

But what you can do is use something like saltpeter (+1 fire damage) and a smokestick ( Increases the radius of the cloud by 5 feet and the duration by 2 rounds) on a Pyrotechnics spell.

As a reminder, this is how stacking is defined by the core rule book.

Stacking wrote:
Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.

If they don't apply to the same statistic, e.g. damage, range, caster level for x, then it is not stacking.


The problem I have with that is by that logic you could add alchemical grease, bladeguard and darkwood to a Wall of Iron spell which already has material components of a small iron sheet plus gold dust worth 50 gp. Gathering all that and being able to cast a spell is stretching a standard action to it's breaking point.

I would support an FAQ on this, but otherwise it would be up to GM rule.


I have a darkwood box with vials of grease and bladeguard inside. OK now? These things all take time and money to gather, presumably the player that's bothering with these details is playing a character that's bothering with these details.


Interesting idea. The rules for material components don't have many specifications from what I can see so it leaves it open to interpretation. I think placing limits makes sense, but things don't always make sense in rules systems.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Gallant Armor wrote:

The problem I have with that is by that logic you could add alchemical grease, bladeguard and darkwood to a Wall of Iron spell which already has material components of a small iron sheet plus gold dust worth 50 gp. Gathering all that and being able to cast a spell is stretching a standard action to it's breaking point.

I would support an FAQ on this, but otherwise it would be up to GM rule.

There is no need for a FAQ. There is no rules limit on the number of material components that can be added to a spell. This is similar to the argument that an archer should only be able to draw x number of arrows out of their quiver a round, even if they have the attacks to shoot more than x number of arrows. Almost no one would tell the archer you can only take 4 free actions this turn (it's a free action to draw an arrow), if they could normally make 6 attacks.


MichaelCullen wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:

The problem I have with that is by that logic you could add alchemical grease, bladeguard and darkwood to a Wall of Iron spell which already has material components of a small iron sheet plus gold dust worth 50 gp. Gathering all that and being able to cast a spell is stretching a standard action to it's breaking point.

I would support an FAQ on this, but otherwise it would be up to GM rule.

There is no need for a FAQ. There is no rules limit on the number of material components that can be added to a spell. This is similar to the argument that an archer should only be able to draw x number of arrows out of their quiver a round, even if they have the attacks to shoot more than x number of arrows. Almost no one would tell the archer you can only take 4 free actions this turn (it's a free action to draw an arrow), if they could normally make 6 attacks.

It depends on if you see Pathfinder as a permissive or restrictive rule system. Many see it at a permissive system where you can do the things that are outlined in the rules and everything else is forbidden (i.e. if there isn't a rule that says you can do something you can't do it). You seem to see it as a restrictive system where you can do anything as long as there isn't a rule saying you can't.

For your example with the archer, 16+ BAB, rapidshot and manyshot grant the ability to fire up to 6 arrows in a round so it is reasonable to allow the free actions to draw the needed arrows to make those attacks. The basis for this is allowed by the rules as drawing arrows as part of an attack is a free action and players can take as many free actions as they want up to what the GM finds reasonable. While a GM would technically be within the rules by limiting the amount of free actions (and arrows drawn) allowed per round to 5, I don't think this is something that most players would stand for.

As for your point of "There is no rules limit on the number of material components that can be added to a spell", there is also no rule that says you can use 2 or more different power components with a spell. The only official rule is "Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another". Some reagents have specific exceptions to allow multiple doses to be used (such as alchemical grease for wall of iron), but I don't see anything in the rules that would allow power components to be used as you describe.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Alchemy Manual wrote:
Each alchemical reagent may also be used as an alchemical power component, augmenting the effects of certain spells when used as an additional material component.

That's the rule that says they can be used.

Because the Stacking Rules normally allow for untyped bonuses to stack there is the additional language prohibiting stacking.

Alchemy Manual wrote:
Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another, and are expended after use.

Stacking is something specific in Pathfinder and is defined in the core rule book.

Core Rule Book wrote:
Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic.

If the effects added by the additional components do not affect the same statistic, then stacking doesn't come into play, the restriction is moot.

You are simply left with the rule stating that they may be used.


MichaelCullen wrote:
Alchemy Manual wrote:
Each alchemical reagent may also be used as an alchemical power component, augmenting the effects of certain spells when used as an additional material component.

That's the rule that says they can be used.

Because the Stacking Rules normally allow for untyped bonuses to stack there is the additional language prohibiting stacking.

Alchemy Manual wrote:
Reagents do not stack with either themselves or one another, and are expended after use.

Stacking is something specific in Pathfinder and is defined in the core rule book.

Core Rule Book wrote:
Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic.

If the effects added by the additional components do not affect the same statistic, then stacking doesn't come into play, the restriction is moot.

You are simply left with the rule stating that they may be used.

There is also no rule that says you can't wield 2 2-handed weapons at the same time but I doubt you could convince a GM of that. The rules tell you what you can do, not what you can't do. Just because there isn't a rule forbidding something doesn't mean it's allowed.


Whether you respect the rules or are only using them (and stay away from my daughter) is more or less proven by whether you've actually read them before you start saying you can't add X on top of Y separate items to the material components list, when the rules you are debating internally cite use of increasing numbers of items. Paraphrasing, "Use one of these for (effect). At (some level), use a second for (better effect). At (other level), use a third..."

So the argument that only a single item can be used is flagged false before you even leave the page.


Thornborn wrote:

Whether you respect the rules or are only using them (and stay away from my daughter) is more or less proven by whether you've actually read them before you start saying you can't add X on top of Y separate items to the material components list, when the rules you are debating internally cite use of increasing numbers of items. Paraphrasing, "Use one of these for (effect). At (some level), use a second for (better effect). At (other level), use a third..."

So the argument that only a single item can be used is flagged false before you even leave the page.

Resist energy is an exception to the general rule, not proof that the general rule allows for multiple different reagents.


It's proof that "you can only add one" is a false statement.

Calling a written and cited rule an exception to the general rule you've already been shown contradiction for rather suggests you've a desire to limit rather than to judge.

And if you will in turn suggest I have a desire to allow... Guilty. So guilty.

Something that adds depth, bleeds a little money out of the system, lets a player show they've done their homework, and adds maybe two points of damage all told? Not a problem. It's a whetstone on an archer build.

Let the guy feel smart.


Thornborn wrote:

It's proof that "you can only add one" is a false statement.

Calling a written and cited rule an exception to the general rule you've already been shown contradiction for rather suggests you've a desire to limit rather than to judge.

And if you will in turn suggest I have a desire to allow... Guilty. So guilty.

Something that adds depth, bleeds a little money out of the system, lets a player show they've done their homework, and adds maybe two points of damage all told? Not a problem. It's a whetstone on an archer build.

Let the guy feel smart.

I agree with a lot of what you said. I think some rules are open for a reason and GMs can decide how they want things to work. By the time players can afford to reliably use multiple reagents with spells, the bonuses won't have a huge impact overall.

I was speaking on my interpretation of the rules, which may be different from others.


I salute your having brought your own compass to the quest. It just doesn't point to the same place mine does. I'm glad we agree on the general direction, and can walk together, however far.

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