How many uses has a spell component pouch?


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

One of my players bought one of these, but I have no idea how many components can he take from the pouch before it exhaust. Any idea, anyone?

Grand Lodge

Because they only contain no GP value components they are generally considered unlimited.

Grand Lodge

Drake Brimstone wrote:
Because they only contain no GP value components they are generally considered unlimited.

Unlimited? But AFAIK it's a not-magical item.

Liberty's Edge

Roger Corbera wrote:
Drake Brimstone wrote:
Because they only contain no GP value components they are generally considered unlimited.
Unlimited? But AFAIK it's a not-magical item.

As I understand it, the assumption is that as you travel you are collecting the things you need to cast your spells. Travel near some caves, collect some bat guano. Walking through the forest, collect some spiderwebs. Stuff like that. 0gp Components are basically just flavor text.


To my knowledge there is little in the way of specifics. How we handle it is a wizard can refill it now and then from the pouches of fallen enemy casters and local flora and fauna. As long as he pays it a little lip service now and then he is good to go for anything in the standard pouch. He of course has to obtain the expensive stuff on a case by case like gems and foci etc...


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The idea is that they are replacing it as they go. If you wanted to put a restriction when they're trapped somewhere that they wouldn't be able to get more stuff that would be a reasonable house rule with a nod toward realism. If they're in a place where they surface every few days or so, though, there's no reason they wouldn't be able to refill it making it effectively limitless.

Some things aren't worth the hassle of tracking and the spell component pouch is a way of handling this one.


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Berinor wrote:
If you wanted to put a restriction when they're trapped somewhere that they wouldn't be able to get more stuff that would be a reasonable house rule with a nod toward realism.

I can't agree with this on the sole reason that it would be effectively nerfing the caster badly and indeed breaking the class. EX: The party is in a fairly extensive dungeon. After several days, oh no, he has run out of materials in his pouch, now he can cast no spells that have material components and is therefore equal to a much lower level character since he is basically near powerless. The rest of the party is fine an dandy. End EX. See the problem? A DM that does this to his player is garbage for he has effectively unbalanced the system and broken the casters class. Fact. If said DM made the campaign low magic, then for balance purposes, he'd have to make it so they(the players) have ways around magic.

Scarab Sages

Roger Corbera wrote:
Drake Brimstone wrote:
Because they only contain no GP value components they are generally considered unlimited.
Unlimited? But AFAIK it's a not-magical item.

It is assumed expended resources are replaced as used.


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I can't believe there is a GM out there micromanaging on such a level.

That said, here is what the rules say regarding material components.

Quote:
Material (M): A material component consists of 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.


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Infinite supply of sticks of butter and bat poop! Sticks of butter and bat poop for everyone!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Roger Corbera wrote:
Drake Brimstone wrote:
Because they only contain no GP value components they are generally considered unlimited.
Unlimited? But AFAIK it's a not-magical item.

Basically the non-costly listed material components are meant purely for flavor purposes. The game doesnt want you to have to keep an excel spreadsheet in order to keep track of all the different components you want. So the assumption is, there are enough of each item in there to keep the wizard going until he can find more in his travels. The whole point is you dont have to track it so long as the wizard has his component pouch on him. If that is too much of a stretch for you I'd simply eliminate non-costly material components as a house rule and move on. There really is no value in adding the tracking of dozens of pointless resources.

Personally I am inclined to give every arcane caster eschew materials and call it done, but thats just me.


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Meiliken wrote:
Berinor wrote:
If you wanted to put a restriction when they're trapped somewhere that they wouldn't be able to get more stuff that would be a reasonable house rule with a nod toward realism.
I can't agree with this on the sole reason that it would be effectively nerfing the caster badly and indeed breaking the class.

I have to admit, it's novel to see someone try to screw the casters over in the name of realism.

Normally it's the martials that suffer because Realism is More Important than Fun. If you wanted to have Fun you should go play a game or something.


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If any DM makes a caster track 0 GP spell components the only thing he's effectively doing is making anyone playing a caster take the eschew materials (or something that accomplishes the same).

Tracking Bat poop and bits of string isn't a fun time. Earlier versions can attest to that.


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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

If any DM makes a caster track 0 GP spell components the only thing he's effectively doing is making anyone playing a caster take the eschew materials (or something that accomplishes the same).

Tracking Bat poop and bits of string isn't a fun time. Earlier versions can attest to that.

not only that but all the power component alternate rules give a much more carrot way to encourage component tracking if it is a thing you want in your game....no stick needed.


You know what? Take false focus.


Emmanuel Nouvellon-Pugh wrote:
You know what? Take false focus.

I'd take that and get a divine symbol tattoo.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

If any DM makes a caster track 0 GP spell components the only thing he's effectively doing is making anyone playing a caster take the eschew materials (or something that accomplishes the same).

Tracking Bat poop and bits of string isn't a fun time. Earlier versions can attest to that.

Yeah, it's not about power, it's because tracking bat poop is boring.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Generally I completely agree that a spell component pouch should not be tracked. However, I don't see anything wrong with, for a special (and fairly short term) situation coming up with a special rule for exhausting a spell component pouch.

This should, obviously, be an extremely rare event. At most once a campaign and not every campaign, but having a special situation where the normal rules don't apply is perfectly legitimate and can add a lot of dramatic tension. Just use with extreme care and planning.

Dark Archive

I have occasionally had to scrounge for components after being captured as a Wizard (at least till we got to my gear and the obligatory 15 spell component pouches that I always carry once I start getting to the level that steal combat maneuvers are a thing).

Having just 1 pouch is an unnecessary risk (much like having just 1 spellbook).

Its interesting as a level 1 wizard insisting the party go via the kitchen first so you can use grease on the encounters before you recover your gear.


The only time to worry about it is if the caster is, e.g., locked in a pristine cell for weeks on end and forced to cast spells with material components to stay alive. That sounds like a really boring game.

Apart from that, just have the pouch and handwave the rest per RAW's instruction. It really isn't fun tracking bat guano and powdered peas.

Grand Lodge

blahpers wrote:

The only time to worry about it is if the caster is, e.g., locked in a pristine cell for weeks on end and forced to cast spells with material components to stay alive. That sounds like a really boring game.

Apart from that, just have the pouch and handwave the rest per RAW's instruction. It really isn't fun tracking bat guano and powdered peas.

Heh... Playing through "Mask of the Living God" for PFS, my wizard did nearly that exact thing. At dinner the first night I asked the GM if there was butter on the table. He gave me a funny look and said "sure".

"I put a stick in my pocket... they took my spell component pouch."

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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Meiliken wrote:
Berinor wrote:
If you wanted to put a restriction when they're trapped somewhere that they wouldn't be able to get more stuff that would be a reasonable house rule with a nod toward realism.
I can't agree with this on the sole reason that it would be effectively nerfing the caster badly and indeed breaking the class. EX: The party is in a fairly extensive dungeon. After several days, oh no, he has run out of materials in his pouch, now he can cast no spells that have material components and is therefore equal to a much lower level character since he is basically near powerless. The rest of the party is fine an dandy. End EX. See the problem? A DM that does this to his player is garbage for he has effectively unbalanced the system and broken the casters class. Fact. If said DM made the campaign low magic, then for balance purposes, he'd have to make it so they(the players) have ways around magic.

How is this example different from arrows?

An archer needs to bring arrows with him when he goes into a dungeon. If its an extensive dungeon, he can run out.

I personally don't track spell components because, like most everyone else, I find it more trouble than its worth (and boring). I also prefer games that don't track mundane ammunition for the same reason. That said, I don't get bent out of shape when a GM wants me to track ammo, and I wouldn't get bent out of shape if he put a limit on uses of a spell component pouch.

So long as the restrictions are given up front, and are fair, I see no problem with it.

Grand Lodge

Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
Meiliken wrote:
Berinor wrote:
If you wanted to put a restriction when they're trapped somewhere that they wouldn't be able to get more stuff that would be a reasonable house rule with a nod toward realism.
I can't agree with this on the sole reason that it would be effectively nerfing the caster badly and indeed breaking the class. EX: The party is in a fairly extensive dungeon. After several days, oh no, he has run out of materials in his pouch, now he can cast no spells that have material components and is therefore equal to a much lower level character since he is basically near powerless. The rest of the party is fine an dandy. End EX. See the problem? A DM that does this to his player is garbage for he has effectively unbalanced the system and broken the casters class. Fact. If said DM made the campaign low magic, then for balance purposes, he'd have to make it so they(the players) have ways around magic.

How is this example different from arrows?

An archer needs to bring arrows with him when he goes into a dungeon. If its an extensive dungeon, he can run out.

I personally don't track spell components because, like most everyone else, I find it more trouble than its worth (and boring). I also prefer games that don't track mundane ammunition for the same reason. That said, I don't get bent out of shape when a GM wants me to track ammo, and I wouldn't get bent out of shape if he put a limit on uses of a spell component pouch.

So long as the restrictions are given up front, and are fair, I see no problem with it.

Just a couple of points: Spell components would be expended when used. Period.

Arrows that miss have a 50% chance of being recoverable. And, if your campaign uses crafting rules, even the broken ones can provide arrowheads for making more. And that ignores whether teh campaign allows the use of special arrows, like durable arrows.

But, yeah, there are feats available that make a spell component pouch a red herring, like Eschew Materials or False Focus.


Caderyn wrote:

I have occasionally had to scrounge for components after being captured as a Wizard (at least till we got to my gear and the obligatory 15 spell component pouches that I always carry once I start getting to the level that steal combat maneuvers are a thing).

Having just 1 pouch is an unnecessary risk (much like having just 1 spellbook).

Its interesting as a level 1 wizard insisting the party go via the kitchen first so you can use grease on the encounters before you recover your gear.

Most of the fighters I play carry a spell component pouch for when the wizard/sorceror/cleric loses his in a fit of bad luck or incompetence.

Grand Lodge

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boring7 wrote:
Caderyn wrote:

I have occasionally had to scrounge for components after being captured as a Wizard (at least till we got to my gear and the obligatory 15 spell component pouches that I always carry once I start getting to the level that steal combat maneuvers are a thing).

Having just 1 pouch is an unnecessary risk (much like having just 1 spellbook).

Its interesting as a level 1 wizard insisting the party go via the kitchen first so you can use grease on the encounters before you recover your gear.

Most of the fighters I play carry a spell component pouch for when the wizard/sorceror/cleric loses his in a fit of bad luck or incompetence.

Consider: Fighter, glamered armor looking like robes, spell component pouch. Maybe some way to make your weapon look like something innocuous or wizardly instead. Wizard in mock armor, wielding something that looks like a nasty weapon...


This reasoning, and the threat of capture are why I often play spontaneous casters with eschew materials/Birthmark, and only learn spells that use non-expensive material components.

It may not lead to ULTIMATE COmsIC PWRRRRRRRR!!!!111!!!111!, but it does mean my power is mine own, and not reliant on physical items.


We've done that from time to time. Like the multi-character tournament that had a wizard with Still Spell and Shatter show up in fullplate pretending to be a Paladin right up until the other casters had finished trying to wipe each other out in the "win initiative and foof you dead" contest.

With illusion magic you make the sword a wand, make the shield (if you have one) a viper familiar (wrapped around your forearm), and your armor a set of robes.

But mostly my fighter just carries a component pouch because s/he has the carrying capacity and has watched enough casters forget to buy clothes, let alone a component pouch.

Issac Daneil wrote:

This reasoning, and the threat of capture are why I often play spontaneous casters with eschew materials/Birthmark, and only learn spells that use non-expensive material components.

It may not lead to ULTIMATE COmsIC PWRRRRRRRR!!!!111!!!111!, but it does mean my power is mine own, and not reliant on physical items.

Yeah yeah, everybody knows you slept through class at the academy, some of us are just smart enough to plan ahead.

/predictable joke


Just remember, if a spell component has a cost, say a gem worth 50gp, then they would have to purchase that separately. IIRC, such items generally work as catalysts and are not used up when a spell is cast.


wackyanne wrote:
Just remember, if a spell component has a cost, say a gem worth 50gp, then they would have to purchase that separately. IIRC, such items generally work as catalysts and are not used up when a spell is cast.

All material components are used up, regardless of cost. Focus components are catalysts and don't get used up, again regardless of cost.


Nope, they're used up. Only a Focus sticks around.

It's why some really good spells almost never get used, like Stoneskin and True Seeing. So expensive you can only afford to cast them in dire circumstances and you won't have them prepped or learned in those dire circumstances because you're rarely in such dire circumstances.

Unless you make a scroll, then it works out okay.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

remember best DMs sunder the pouch, at which point a super massive blackhole is unleashed causing a new big bang.


Well, it's a good thing I've not had cause to cast any spells like that! Thanks for the correction, Ipslore the Red & boring7!


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How many uses has a spell component pouch?
1) Store spell components
2) Paperweight
3) Pillow for a tiny creature
4) Improvised sap
5)


AsheiraTharine wrote:
blahpers wrote:

The only time to worry about it is if the caster is, e.g., locked in a pristine cell for weeks on end and forced to cast spells with material components to stay alive. That sounds like a really boring game.

Apart from that, just have the pouch and handwave the rest per RAW's instruction. It really isn't fun tracking bat guano and powdered peas.

Heh... Playing through "Mask of the Living God" for PFS, my wizard did nearly that exact thing. At dinner the first night I asked the GM if there was butter on the table. He gave me a funny look and said "sure".

"I put a stick in my pocket... they took my spell component pouch."

Having the pouch stolen is a whole other ball game. Welcome to accounting. : D Fortunately, that doesn't (well, shouldn't) happen often. Unless the wizard in question tends to get captured a lot or is a serial recidivist.

Grand Lodge

I think components exists for a reason: to limit magic somehow. If the player doesn't take his time collecting them, he doesn't deserve his power. Components are as important as prayers to the cleric or training to the warrior.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Roger Corbera wrote:
I think components exists for a reason: to limit magic somehow. If the player doesn't take his time collecting them, he doesn't deserve his power. Components are as important as prayers to the cleric or training to the warrior.

what is why several spells have worthwhile components and several do not. In fact this opens up to the place what the components are, as pathfinder does suggest that there are countless ways of making a certain spell. Stilled spells and Silent Spells along with eschew materials are the ways to show extra difficult ways of casting these spells, but as eschew materials is only a feat, you can see that pathfinder doesn't give heavy emphasis on components.

Dark Archive

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Never ever ever never ever never NEVER NEVER force a player to track his cost-less components! You are a very very bad GM if you do this and the player does not agree to it.
Because then what you have done is purposefully break the games rules for the sole purpose of making your players unhappy. This goes against everything I stand for in this game and I will personally fisticuffs anyone who does this to their players.

That said if your players are ok with it then go for it.


don't bother with tracking it, hover i can see two ways, that you make like, and appease others here. Share your thoughts on this please.

A) Ask your players to role play restocking their sell component pouch.
B) assume the pouch has all components that required for all lvl 0, and lvl 1 spells.
C)if thy learned a higher level spell that has a component cost, AND arn't in city or place that the new component wouldn't be available, then they don't have it because they couldn't/didn't plan ahead enough to have that component(with few exceptions)
D) Any component above 1gp isn't in there


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If you want something that avoids either extreme and might add a little flavor, consider making the pouch last for 1 adventure. It has to be replaced between adventures (a trivial cost for most PCs), and on the rare occasions that this isn't done - the character is trapped in a dungeon, or marooned on an island, or something equivalent - you can have the player roll a d20 every time they cast a spell with a material component. If they roll a 5 or less, the spell uses up the last of that component.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

it disturbs me that i just realized i put what instead of that as my first word, probably confusing many people.

edit: my whole comment feals badly worded.

basic points -

magic in pathfinder is weakly linked to components, or any of the things usually needed to cast a spell, as people with sufficient training can forgo them. people sufficiently trained can cast a spell with no components and while making no movements or any noise, they psychically cast the spell.

The game leaves components open so that way people in hugely different environments can cast spells without needing to buy stocks from far away places.

all options above me, simply, once again, make someone take eschew materials because they don't want to deal with it.


If a spell component pouch lasts forever, and there's never any inconvenience, then the Eschew Materials feat has no purpose except avoiding a one-time fee of 5 gp. That seems a little weak for a feat.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
JoeJ wrote:

If a spell component pouch lasts forever, and there's never any inconvenience, then the Eschew Materials feat has no purpose except avoiding a one-time fee of 5 gp. That seems a little weak for a feat.

you can't have your pouch sundered, ruined by weather or the environment, or have it taken from your person trough either theft or imprisonment.

it is weak, but does have it's purposes over a pouch.

oh and let's not forget that flavor. ;)


Bandw2 wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

If a spell component pouch lasts forever, and there's never any inconvenience, then the Eschew Materials feat has no purpose except avoiding a one-time fee of 5 gp. That seems a little weak for a feat.

you can't have your pouch sundered, ruined by weather or the environment, or have it taken from your person trough either theft or imprisonment.

it is weak, but does have it's purposes over a pouch.

oh and let's not forget that flavor. ;)

True, but that's only an advantage if the GM has those things actually happen sometimes.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
JoeJ wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

If a spell component pouch lasts forever, and there's never any inconvenience, then the Eschew Materials feat has no purpose except avoiding a one-time fee of 5 gp. That seems a little weak for a feat.

you can't have your pouch sundered, ruined by weather or the environment, or have it taken from your person trough either theft or imprisonment.

it is weak, but does have it's purposes over a pouch.

oh and let's not forget that flavor. ;)

True, but that's only an advantage if the GM has those things actually happen sometimes.

yes and improved trip is only an advantage if the GM sends things at you with legs. :P yes i know there are many more things with legs than reasons the party should be imprisoned, but understand just how silly that counter argument sounds.


It matter if you're grappled. Can't cast spells with material components while grappled unless you already have the components in hand. Granted, most such spells also have somatic components, which rules out casting them anyway....


Bandw2 wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

If a spell component pouch lasts forever, and there's never any inconvenience, then the Eschew Materials feat has no purpose except avoiding a one-time fee of 5 gp. That seems a little weak for a feat.

you can't have your pouch sundered, ruined by weather or the environment, or have it taken from your person trough either theft or imprisonment.

it is weak, but does have it's purposes over a pouch.

oh and let's not forget that flavor. ;)

True, but that's only an advantage if the GM has those things actually happen sometimes.

yes and improved trip is only an advantage if the GM sends things at you with legs. :P yes i know there are many more things with legs than reasons the party should be imprisoned, but understand just how silly that counter argument sounds.

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Are you implying that every GM makes an effort to take spell pouches away from the spellcasters?


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
JoeJ wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
stuff

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Are you implying that every GM makes an effort to take spell pouches away from the spellcasters?

sigh, no.

I said, yes it is weak, but i said it does have it's uses. saying they don't happen often, doesn't counter the fact that the feat does have uses.

Grand Lodge

Roger Corbera wrote:
I think components exists for a reason: to limit magic somehow. If the player doesn't take his time collecting them, he doesn't deserve his power. Components are as important as prayers to the cleric or training to the warrior.

I think you may have missed a rule in there, Roger.

Prayers to a Cleric are equivalent to studying his spellbook is to a Wizard. No more, no less. Both types of spells include M as requirements for spells. Clerics, on some spells, get to present their holy/unholy symbol instead of expending a material component. But many spells, on both spell lists, require material components, so a Cleric without a spell component pouch is almost as limited as a Wizard without a spell component pouch.

Abrir wrote:

don't bother with tracking it, hover i can see two ways, that you make like, and appease others here. Share your thoughts on this please.

A) Ask your players to role play restocking their sell component pouch.
B) assume the pouch has all components that required for all lvl 0, and lvl 1 spells.
C)if thy learned a higher level spell that has a component cost, AND arn't in city or place that the new component wouldn't be available, then they don't have it because they couldn't/didn't plan ahead enough to have that component(with few exceptions)
D) Any component above 1gp isn't in there

A) If your players are willing. Be ready to accept the RP as, "My Wizard always keeps his eyes open fort things that can be used a spell components."

B) It has all components that have no listed cost, for any level of spell.
C) Why do you make liufe difficult? And, please, explain why the material component for, say, burning hands would be a different component than for, say, scorching ray? Both of them are fire spells.
D) That is how a spell component pouch works, by RAW. Except if the PC puts such an item in the pouch as a "good" place to store it until needed. "Yes, I buy several onyx gems, worth, respectively, 25, 50, 75, and 100 gp, and store them in with my normal spell components, in my spell component pouch." They would need to be tracked, they don't reproduce just because they are in the spell component pouch, but I would see it as a valid place to keep other, costlier, spell components until they are needed.

In general:
And there are several reasons for a PC to take, or have taken, Eschew Materials or False Focus, including class or archetype or PrC requirements, or the ability to spoof beiong something you really aren't, or if you find your GM likes to run sunder or disarm opponents, and/or the PCs have a tendency to get on the wrong side of the law, and therefore get captured, or go to places/events where they can't, openly, have a cheap item like a spell component pouch obviously visible.

Dark Archive

I've made people track their components as a GM, but all I made them track was the weird stuff because it was a modern campaign. I asked them to find a place to buy bat guano online and how to store cool butter safely(this makes the campaign effectively low magic without any rule changes as spell component pouches just aren't a thing)


Bandw2 wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

If a spell component pouch lasts forever, and there's never any inconvenience, then the Eschew Materials feat has no purpose except avoiding a one-time fee of 5 gp. That seems a little weak for a feat.

you can't have your pouch sundered, ruined by weather or the environment, or have it taken from your person trough either theft or imprisonment.

it is weak, but does have it's purposes over a pouch.

oh and let's not forget that flavor. ;)

Let us not forget casting while polymorphed, like say Dragon Form.

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