Eschew Material Component gains new life with Polymorphing


Combat & Magic


All of the [polymorph] spells require a piece of the creature you want to turn into as an M component. This means that to get the good forms you need Eschew Material Component or a very nice DM.

The Exchange

That's actually a good fix in my Opinion. Make them take a feat to get the best forms so that way they are short one feat to become that broken Dwarven Ancestor. Good to know.

Dark Archive

Except, the "good forms" probably wouldn't work under Eschew Materials. What would the cost be for a sizeable enough piece of demon? Or dragon? I think Eschew Materials would only really work for common animals or low-powered beasts (ie: griffon), but more powerful creatures would be a costly material.


Thammuz wrote:
Except, the "good forms" probably wouldn't work under Eschew Materials. What would the cost be for a sizeable enough piece of demon? Or dragon? I think Eschew Materials would only really work for common animals or low-powered beasts (ie: griffon), but more powerful creatures would be a costly material.

If you say a component-sized piece of a dragon is worth at least 1 gp, then the body of a dead dragon is worth thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of gp.


It doesn't matter how much a material component could potentially be sold for. If it doesn't have a listed cost it is not a "costly material component." Eschew Materials will let you bypass the need for keeping live spiders (spider climb), fresh snake organs (acid arrow), or the underwear of 10th level Fighters (Heroics).

And no, I'm not making those up, those are actual components that don't count as "costly" components and are supposedly contained in a Component Pouch.

-Frank

Dark Archive

Frank Trollman wrote:
If it doesn't have a listed cost it is not a "costly material component."

I disagree, just because it isn't included on a price chart anywhere doesn't mean it isn't more expensive than 1gp. Also the size of the required piece isn't specified.


CrackedOzy wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:
If it doesn't have a listed cost it is not a "costly material component."
I disagree, just because it isn't included on a price chart anywhere doesn't mean it isn't more expensive than 1gp. Also the size of the required piece isn't specified.

No, Frank's right. The description of material components specifically states that unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible.

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An idea that I think could help clarify and somewhat limit polymorphing would be to bring back the monster frequency listings when Paizo does the Pathfinder Monster Manual. Prior to 3rd edition, monsters were listed as common, uncommon, rare, or very rare. Adding some indicator like that could help GMs figure out whether a PC has easy access to a piece of that creature. Things listed as common or uncommon might have no material cost, while things listed as rare might cost a bit of gold and very rare creatures would be quite difficult to obtain. That way, a PC could easily transform into most mundane or dire creatures, for example, but would have significant difficulty in transforming into a beholder or something more exotic.


Charlie Brooks wrote:
An idea that I think could help clarify and somewhat limit polymorphing would be to bring back the monster frequency listings when Paizo does the Pathfinder Monster Manual. Prior to 3rd edition, monsters were listed as common, uncommon, rare, or very rare. Adding some indicator like that could help GMs figure out whether a PC has easy access to a piece of that creature. Things listed as common or uncommon might have no material cost, while things listed as rare might cost a bit of gold and very rare creatures would be quite difficult to obtain. That way, a PC could easily transform into most mundane or dire creatures, for example, but would have significant difficulty in transforming into a beholder or something more exotic.

This seems like a step in the right direction. I personally like the fact that the caster has to have a bit of the creature in order to cast polymorph into that creature. Unless the creature is very common, I think that a gold piece cost should be applied.

How is a caster supposed to turn into a nergenwoofer if he doesn't know what a nergenwoofer is?

"I don't know what a 'nergenwoofer' is but I'm going to turn myself into one!!!"

This seems quite silly.

Personally, I think eschew materials should be eliminated as a feat anyway because nobody I know really tracks spell component materials to make sure that the caster is taking time to remove the proper materials. In a sense, a large number of people seem to have eschew materials on by default. Having the feat just makes it official.

Dark Archive

Frank Trollman wrote:

It doesn't matter how much a material component could potentially be sold for. If it doesn't have a listed cost it is not a "costly material component." Eschew Materials will let you bypass the need for keeping live spiders (spider climb), fresh snake organs (acid arrow), or the underwear of 10th level Fighters (Heroics).

And no, I'm not making those up, those are actual components that don't count as "costly" components and are supposedly contained in a Component Pouch.

-Frank

With that in mind, switching the component for polymorph spells from "Material Component" to "Focus" would prevent Eschew Materials from affecting them. This would make polymorphing relegated to forms you have encountered or are familiar enough with to get a focus for.


And getting that chunk of dragon can be an adventure session in itself.


lynora wrote:
CrackedOzy wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:
If it doesn't have a listed cost it is not a "costly material component."
I disagree, just because it isn't included on a price chart anywhere doesn't mean it isn't more expensive than 1gp. Also the size of the required piece isn't specified.
No, Frank's right. The description of material components specifically states that unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible.

He's not right. He's wrong. There are spells that have items that do not have a price listed in the spell, but do have a price tag associated with them. Commune, for example, requires holy (or unholy) water as a material component. Holy water has a price tag. Consecrate/desecrate also require a vial of holy/unholy water. Gentle repose requires actual copper pieces, but doesn't list a price for them. Ironwood turns the material component wood into ironwood, but doesn't list a price for it. There are plenty of others.

Note that Eschew Materials does not say "a material component without a listed cost". It says "a material component worth less than 1 gp".


Zurai wrote:
lynora wrote:
CrackedOzy wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:
If it doesn't have a listed cost it is not a "costly material component."
I disagree, just because it isn't included on a price chart anywhere doesn't mean it isn't more expensive than 1gp. Also the size of the required piece isn't specified.
No, Frank's right. The description of material components specifically states that unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible.

He's not right. He's wrong. There are spells that have items that do not have a price listed in the spell, but do have a price tag associated with them. Commune, for example, requires holy (or unholy) water as a material component. Holy water has a price tag. Consecrate/desecrate also require a vial of holy/unholy water. Gentle repose requires actual copper pieces, but doesn't list a price for them. Ironwood turns the material component wood into ironwood, but doesn't list a price for it. There are plenty of others.

Note that Eschew Materials does not say "a material component without a listed cost". It says "a material component worth less than 1 gp".

I was quoting from the text defining components. Sorry I wasn't clear about that.

The examples you give would not all be covered in the situation being described. Holy water does have a listed cost above 1gp and is therefore ineligible for eschew materials. The key point there is listed cost. It has a listed cost. It doesn't have to be listed in the spell because it's listed in the equipment section. The rules state that if something does not have a listed cost, the cost should be considered negligible. It would perhaps be better if negligible were better defined, but I've always taken that as less than 1 gp and therefore eligible for eschew materials. Gentle repose requires a cp for each eye, so assuming the subject has less than 100 eyes, eschew materials applies. And the description of the Ironwood spell renders it kinda silly to try to apply eschew materials to it. The point being argued involved components like snake tongues, spiders, or bat guano. There is no listed cost for those anywhere, and under the definition of components we are told to consider the cost for those as negligible. If there is no cost listed anywhere for a component, this is the assumption the rules ask us to make.

From the SRD:
Material (M)
A material component is one or more physical substances or objects that are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process. Unless a cost is given for a material component, the cost is negligible. Don’t bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch.

Now, this does not in any way mean that I am a proponent of abusing the eschew materials feat. I think that the polymorph spells could use an adjustment to either have the piece listed as a focus, or a gp cost given. I was merely pointing out that in this particular instance the point being made was supported by the RAW. I apologize for not being clearer.

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