End material components!


Prerelease Discussion

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There is nothing more that I hate in pathfinder than Material Components. As a longtime player of spell-casters, both arcane and divine, I would like to ask, no beg, Paizo to do away with costly material components in the second edition! Please and thank you.

P.S.
And as a cheeky side-note, before one of you, less experienced folks, starts to claim how "material components are integral to the game balance", please go and have a look at Razmiran Priest Sorcerer in Pathfinder 1. He doesn't have to pay (buys a scroll once), so why should we?


I'd say Resonance would be a good way to "pay for" spells like Stoneskin that used to have expensive components...

Wouldn't be enough to balance something like Wish, but, that's on a different tier entirely.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

I'd say Resonance would be a good way to "pay for" spells like Stoneskin that used to have expensive components...

Wouldn't be enough to balance something like Wish, but, that's on a different tier entirely.

We'll have to see how that goes. Personally, I don't think Wish is something that should be in PC hands in the first place, anyway. That sort of magic really should be a MacGuffin, or locked behind powerful forces in the world that require some pretty serious adventuring to obtain.


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Lady Firebird wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

I'd say Resonance would be a good way to "pay for" spells like Stoneskin that used to have expensive components...

Wouldn't be enough to balance something like Wish, but, that's on a different tier entirely.

We'll have to see how that goes. Personally, I don't think Wish is something that should be in PC hands in the first place, anyway. That sort of magic really should be a MacGuffin, or locked behind powerful forces in the world that require some pretty serious adventuring to obtain.

I'm inclined to agree on Wish, or at the very least make it a 20th level capstone class ability like in Starfinder. But I can just see the outcry if they do...

Hell, I'd be okay if they took a page from 4E on "Rituals" for stuff like Raise Dead and other powerful effects with long casting times and high material costs. Set them partially or entirely outside the spell system entirely. But that will also cause a huge outcry because "yer getting FOR EEE in muh Pathfinder!", so I'm not sure there is a win-win for Paizo that will allow them to both balance the game and make everyone happy.


At least change the material component for color spray to RGB from RBY. It's a pattern spell, you are not throwing paint at them.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:


I'm inclined to agree on Wish, or at the very least make it a 20th level capstone class ability like in Starfinder. But I can just see the outcry if they do...

Hell, I'd be okay if they took a page from 4E on "Rituals" for stuff like Raise Dead and other powerful effects with long casting times and high material costs. Set them partially or entirely outside the spell system entirely. But that will also cause a huge outcry because "yer getting FOR EEE in muh Pathfinder!", so I'm not sure there is a win-win for Paizo that will allow them to both balance the game and make everyone happy.

I'd be OK with lengthy rituals but not with the material cost. I hate to be eternally broke, just because I keep resurrecting people.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

I'd say Resonance would be a good way to "pay for" spells like Stoneskin that used to have expensive components...

Wouldn't be enough to balance something like Wish, but, that's on a different tier entirely.

We'll have to see how that goes. Personally, I don't think Wish is something that should be in PC hands in the first place, anyway. That sort of magic really should be a MacGuffin, or locked behind powerful forces in the world that require some pretty serious adventuring to obtain.

I'm inclined to agree on Wish, or at the very least make it a 20th level capstone class ability like in Starfinder. But I can just see the outcry if they do...

Hell, I'd be okay if they took a page from 4E on "Rituals" for stuff like Raise Dead and other powerful effects with long casting times and high material costs. Set them partially or entirely outside the spell system entirely. But that will also cause a huge outcry because "yer getting FOR EEE in muh Pathfinder!", so I'm not sure there is a win-win for Paizo that will allow them to both balance the game and make everyone happy.

Yeah. Honestly, we might need a Wish spell to make that happen. Now, whether they go full-on with it or not, their stated design goals certainly seem in line with what would make me happy. I get the feeling a lot of the really hardcore naysayers, especially the ones that rage at the mere mention of 4E (which I didn't much like, either), won't be happy no matter what unless the game is like PF1.1E.

And then there are some, like one guy in another thread, who actually stated that not only is martial/caster divide a myth, but that it's perpetrated by those who want to keep all the cool stuff to the martial characters and deny the poor casters any fun or relevance. So... yeah.

I'll just be happy if they go with what they've said, and addressed the high-level magic issues (which includes caster dominance).

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I'm a weirdo who likes components and the flavor they offer in general (even if coming with a cost).

But I'm reading this particularly as a problem with needing extremely costly components for spells like resurrection and the like rather than components necessarily in general (even if they can be inconveniencing to come). And I DO understand the problem, when it comes to high level play, of burning all your money on diamonds for raising rather than say the money you could spend on buying gear that might keep you from dying to begin with. Even that problem though is highly circumstantial based on play style--I've played games of Pathfinder where no one dies ever and no one has needed to pay for a raise, and I've played games where death was common. A lot of it has to do with the GM's style and the feel they're going for. I don't know how much the system can "fix" a GM who just loves to go for a TPK, costly spell components or no.

THAT SAID, cost of raising dead PCs could certainly be changed either way, e.g., balancing healing and death mechanics in some different manner. I would be all for that. (Lengthy ritual for dead-raising sounds good to me.)

(Not going to get into the wish sidebar.)

Otherwise I'd like to see components at least as an option--but as always sorcerers should not need normal material components (and that should really be a class feature) etc. etc. Otherwise maybe components could be optional but shorten casting time or something.


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DeathQuaker wrote:
I'm a weirdo who likes components and the flavor they offer in general (even if coming with a cost).

You are not the only weirdo. If anything I'd like more attention paid to them than already exists.

Some spells need expensive components like they are a metaphysical co-pay and I'm more than fine with that.

I'd also like expensive components that enhance spells cast through them. I'm very much a fan of that as well.


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Keep material components.
Thank you


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Stone Dog wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
I'm a weirdo who likes components and the flavor they offer in general (even if coming with a cost).

You are not the only weirdo. If anything I'd like more attention paid to them than already exists.

Some spells need expensive components like they are a metaphysical co-pay and I'm more than fine with that.

I'd also like expensive components that enhance spells cast through them. I'm very much a fan of that as well.

I agree with all of what you said. Indeed, half the fun of material components is that they can inspire an adventure all on their own. "I need this and this, which means traveling to the Caverns of Hanging Doom. Anyone interested?" And boom, instant adventure.


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Material Components are one of my favorite parts of the magic system.

Spellcasters are manipulating reality and in many cases a key to that puzzle is the right material component.

A piece of web for the Web Spell or some Bat Guano for fireball, these things are awesome.

It's not like we're in the old days where you have to track each minor component individually, just the valuable ones.


Wild Spirit wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:


I'm inclined to agree on Wish, or at the very least make it a 20th level capstone class ability like in Starfinder. But I can just see the outcry if they do...

Hell, I'd be okay if they took a page from 4E on "Rituals" for stuff like Raise Dead and other powerful effects with long casting times and high material costs. Set them partially or entirely outside the spell system entirely. But that will also cause a huge outcry because "yer getting FOR EEE in muh Pathfinder!", so I'm not sure there is a win-win for Paizo that will allow them to both balance the game and make everyone happy.

I'd be OK with lengthy rituals but not with the material cost. I hate to be eternally broke, just because I keep resurrecting people.

Mind if I inquire which characters in the team keep dying?


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I tend to ignore them myself other than as fluff.


Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
I tend to ignore them myself other than as fluff.

They are basically fluff... but very fun fluff with the occasional mechanical impact.


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Stone Dog wrote:
I'd also like expensive components that enhance spells cast through them. I'm very much a fan of that as well.

Power components that enhance a spell are wonderful and flavorful. Something which breaks reality like raising the dead also seems fine for necessitating a component in addition to a long casting time. I'm just not sold on all the spells that randomly cost a 100 gp pearl or 100-200 gp in diamond dust.


I'd like material components to still exist for the action economy. I'd prefer they have no cost, save for very specific ritual-like spells (rez is the only one I can think of right now). I also want the specific ones on non-ritual spells to disappear forever. It's one more unnecessary resource to track. The spell slot cost is more than enough, and the material costs have just encouraged my groups to avoid them.

For those very few, specific ritual ones, just list a cost. Leave the fluff up to me and the player.

And wish absolutely needs to go to a capstone ability.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
I tend to ignore them myself other than as fluff.
They are basically fluff... but very fun fluff with the occasional mechanical impact.

I ignore the second, and really only use the first if player wants to use it.


Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
I tend to ignore them myself other than as fluff.

Me too. It is easy to do, and other people enjoy them, so I see no point removing them


I would love components to be an optional system, maybe as an element of using a metamagic? Because honestly, they're in a weird place right now of being technically necessary but pretty much entirely irrelevant given component pouches.
WRT expensive components... idk. I kind of like the idea of rare components rather than just "insert several thousand gold for res" but that does kind of derail adventure paths.
(Also I would love to see Wish and Miracle restricted.)


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One thing that would really appeal to me is a rework of Eschew Materials allowing the caster to trade Time for the components. Something like below [these numbers are arbitary off the top of my head, not expected to be perfect]

One additional action for ordinary components up to 1 gold.

'Full Round Casting' [like Summoning in PF1] for components up to 10 gold.

'Full Round+1' [Like a Full Round Cast but also consumes the actions of the round the spell is cast] for components up to 100 gold.

'One Day' for components up to 1,000 gold

'One Week' for components up to 10,000 gold


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
I tend to ignore them myself other than as fluff.
Me too. It is easy to do, and other people enjoy them, so I see no point removing them

Move em to "optional" as some folks re strictly RAW.


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Are we talking about the little components that don't have a listed price, or like the 25000gp diamonds for resurrect?

because:

worldhopper wrote:
Because honestly, they're in a weird place right now of being technically necessary but pretty much entirely irrelevant given component pouches.

Yah. The no-cost ones basically don't exist anymore.

I've never felt sad because of cheap spell components, and the 'spell component pouch' thingy made them irrelevant anyways.

The high-cost ones are kinda scary. I think my previous cleric has something like 25% of her WBL tied up in diamonds >.<

The Sideromancer wrote:
At least change the material component for color spray to RGB from RBY. It's a pattern spell, you are not throwing paint at them.

Actually that's how the spell works. You throw the wrong colors, and the target becomes confused to the point of passing out. "W..why would you be using subtractive colors for a light-based effect? Why? It makes no sense! /faint /thud" ^.~


If there was no expensive material component for resurrection spells, what do you think would be a good or effective cost/consequence for death?

Gold prices for material components are most often reserved for spells that are generally pretty powerful. Stoneskin, Restoration, etc.

Admittedly I tend to play by letting my players convert coins directly into diamonds/diamond dust instead of having to hunt down and prepurchase gems, etc, but I still like the idea of there being a cost.


I don't know about expensive components (although my bet would be that they stay) but I do think that the cheap material components are going to stay. Mainly because I think it would fit nicesly with how we have seen spellcasting work. 1 Action per Component. Keeping V,S,M means that we will have spells of 1, 2 and 3 actions within a given spell level. I think that is a pretty useful way of breaking down spell strength for degrees that are less than a full level of difference.


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Half the fun of being a necromancer is hunting those Onyx gems!

If anything, I think Material components should be enforced more strictly. They cna be a good way of keeping spellcasters in check, if they need rare components for the overpowered spells.


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I agree that spells that are rare and major events, like Wish, Resurrection, or Raise Dead*, should cost something significant, although it doesn't have to be gold. But for stuff like Stoneskin and True Seeing, it's a bit ridiculous, and annoying. If these spells are overpowered, just move them to a high level rather than using gold as a limiter.

* If Raise Dead isn't a major event for you then maybe you need to revise your risk acceptance criteria...


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
I tend to ignore them myself other than as fluff.
They are basically fluff... but very fun fluff with the occasional mechanical impact.

Myself, it's been a few decades since I've found material components to be fun/enjoyable/useful/wanted. I'd happily see them go the way of the dodo.

ChibiNyan wrote:
They cna be a good way of keeping spellcasters in check, if they need rare components for the overpowered spells.

I'd rather they find another way to do so if needed, or even better don't put overpowered spells that NEED a counterbalance outside the spell itself.

Subparhiggins wrote:
If there was no expensive material component for resurrection spells, what do you think would be a good or effective cost/consequence for death?

You can have good old resurrection sickness. Even something as simple as reducing your level for resonance can act as a cost/consequence or a reduction in combat actions or something else. Personally, I don't really see a need to have a cost past the spell slot/item used.


graystone wrote:
I'd rather they find another way to do so if needed, or even better don't put overpowered spells that NEED a counterbalance outside the spell itself.

That's always been my own feeling with material components. They seem to crop up on spells that could have used some revision. I'm really hoping for a pretty hefty overhaul on spell design in the next iteration.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

One thing that would really appeal to me is a rework of Eschew Materials allowing the caster to trade Time for the components. Something like below [these numbers are arbitary off the top of my head, not expected to be perfect]

One additional action for ordinary components up to 1 gold.

'Full Round Casting' [like Summoning in PF1] for components up to 10 gold.

'Full Round+1' [Like a Full Round Cast but also consumes the actions of the round the spell is cast] for components up to 100 gold.

'One Day' for components up to 1,000 gold

'One Week' for components up to 10,000 gold

I don't know. Those GP values are entirely dependent on the market value of the material components. If you used downtime to artificially induce scarcity to reduce supply and launch an aggressive marketing campaign to increase demand, those values would fluctuate pretty wildly, and given how alignment discussions normally go, market magic would shatter the fragile surface tension of what constitutes capital "G" Good.


I generally just give casters an extended benefit of Eschew Materials for most spells. It's when material costs go into the thousands of gold pieces that I begin to want to take it into account.


I love material components. I have my players write the required components next to their spells on their list and force them to mention the component when casting for the spell to work. It takes only a second and gives a lot more flavor to what they are doing.

And some things need to be balanced by more than spell slots. Spells with permanent benefits like permanency or animate dead become ridiculously powerful if they have no cost associated with them. And being able to lock away rare materials is another indirect means for a GM to prevent overuse of a problematic ability.

And quite frankly, death is already too cheap once PCs can cast resurrection spells, taking away the material cost is absurd. Might as well just make the PCs immortal.


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Makeitstop wrote:
And quite frankly, death is already too cheap once PCs can cast resurrection spells, taking away the material cost is absurd. Might as well just make the PCs immortal.

I suppose we could replace it with a different type of penalty, like X negative levels that cannot be removed until the party rests for a week, or permanent loss of 5% of experience points?


I agree for the inexpensive material components. They see no screen time they're irrelevant at this point. I'd love for an optional subsystem where material components conferred a bonus of some kind, but it would require they not just be handwaived. For expensive ones I'd be ok with removing them so long as they were rebalanced. Ideally there would be an option to spend gold to boost them up to their 1st ed power level. But overall they are rarely used or the cost is just an annoyance. Death included (Maybe require a shrine and a 24 hour ritual and the target has 1 HP can't regain HP for 1 week. Or spend the gold and have them in fighting condition within the 1st ed framework).


John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'd love for an optional subsystem where material components conferred a bonus of some kind

I wouldn't mind this, something similar to power components: if you want to buff your spell you can toss some cash at it. That way, people that like it can use it and other that don't aren't forced to use it.


I agree with just rebalancing most of the expensive spells so that material components aren't necessary. In the event that DR 10 is too much for a 4th tier spell, maybe Stoneskin is DR 5 when cast in a 4th level slot. Then it goes up to DR 10 when cast in a 5th level slot, DR 15 when cast in a 6th level slot, etc~

"Big event" spells that can't be reasonably balanced without an expensive or rare component maybe shouldn't even be spells. If they aren't going to have a Ritual system, they could still be implemented in other ways. Maybe "Raise Dead" can be a Healing/Life Domain ability, that improves to Resurrection and then True Resurrection at higher levels. "Create Demiplane" might be one of the class features a Conjuration specialist wizard can choose from, and so on.

Note: I do not have a problem with trivial material components. I think those can be flavorful. Also as mentioned before, I especially like Power Components - optional material components with a thematic "sympathetic magic" link that you can add to a spell to increase or otherwise modify its effect.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Material components (in PF1.0) are a strange beast. On one hand, they're a part of the D&D heritage, on the other they are a limiting factor on some of the more powerful spells. Some inexpensive material components are really irksome, and have no business being in a spell component pouch, like a drop of devil's blood or a tuning fork of a very specific frequency. Those things should've had a material cost associated with them from the start, but I suppose we can consider them simple oversights.

Will there be any material components in PF2.0? We don't know. Maybe, given their role as a D&D legacy element, maybe not since one of the design goals of PF2.0 is to simplify some mechanics.

Also, since we do know that spellcasting will in most cases no longer scale with level, and that it is a form of the limited spellcasting rules from PF Unchained, we just might see esoteric power components come back, with some improved effect on the spell. That would be cool.

At the very least, we know that the guys at Paizo are not just cut & pasting spell listings from PF1.0 and that they will look long and hard at every element, to make sure everything is done to avoid ambiguity and misinterpretation.


Personally, I'd like to see them expanded and they're already overhauling the alchemy system, why not?

Mind you I'm not saying go big, just maybe more options. I think it's a cool idea to splice some sort of regent to alter a spell. Heck you could make an archetype out of doing that.


Optional material component for metanagic effects could be nice, like using X to extend spell or Y to make it wider. But please keep the basic components as little intrusive as they are now:, buy a pouch at lvl1 and forget about them


I love spell components and make them an integral part of spell casting for wizards, archanists, witches, etc. I'll often insert "special" components into the campaign for metamagic effects... such as a petrified bat guano from a fabled, ancient werebat that gives a few doses of intensified or maximized fireball for example.

If PF2 removes them, well... I'll be house ruling them right back in. Too much flavor and too many story lines around spell components have been in the campaigns I've been running for 39 years to toss out such a great plot device.

As for the expensive components, same thing. A 25,000 gp diamond needed for wish isn't something even the largest cities have available for sale. They are rare and must be found/acquired. To me these components are both plot devices and ways for me asa GM to control and restrain some of the overpowered portions of the game.

Scarab Sages

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Wild Spirit wrote:

P.S.
And as a cheeky side-note, before one of you, less experienced folks, starts to claim how "material components are integral to the game balance", please go and have a look at Razmiran Priest Sorcerer in Pathfinder 1. He doesn't have to pay (buys a scroll once), so why should we?

Here's an extremely experienced folk who feels material components should stay the same or become more prevalent.

Can you explain your reasoning instead of cheekily implying that all experienced folk agree with you by default?

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I played AD&D 1e with a DM who studiously tracked material components...I literally had an entire notebook page just documenting how many eyelashes and owl feathers and other crazy stuff my magic-user was carrying around. I would not go back to that.

I like the spell component pouch idea, but it bothers me that it has infinite "cheap" components. There are threads kicking around where someone's listed all the stuff you have a n infinite free supply of once you buy a single 5 gp pouch and it's fairly ridiculous. I think I'd prefer if the pouch held a certain number of charges, and spells used up variable charges based on the spell. But even that might be too much bookkeeping, although really not as bad as tracking ammo. YMMV.


Every spell should have material component that is annoying to buy even if not expensive and annoying to carry on.

Silver Crusade

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:


I'm inclined to agree on Wish, or at the very least make it a 20th level capstone class ability like in Starfinder. But I can just see the outcry if they do...

Hell, I'd be okay if they took a page from 4E on "Rituals" for stuff like Raise Dead and other powerful effects with long casting times and high material costs. Set them partially or entirely outside the spell system entirely. But that will also cause a huge outcry because "yer getting FOR EEE in muh Pathfinder!", so I'm not sure there is a win-win for Paizo that will allow them to both balance the game and make everyone happy.

I'd be OK with lengthy rituals but not with the material cost. I hate to be eternally broke, just because I keep resurrecting people.
Mind if I inquire which characters in the team keep dying?

To add to that, why is the group not sharing the cost of the Raise Dead/Resurrection spell? I would not bring their character back if they weren't willing to help pay the cost of ripping the soul from it's new plane of existence and stuffing it back into their body.

I think spells that require expensive material components should still require them, but replace misc. components with something like a Cleric's focus.

Perhaps each school of magic has a particular focus. Each of these costing 5 gold pieces.

Abjuration - A crystal bead
Conjuration - A candle
Divination - A piece of incense
Enchantment - A snake's tongue
Evocation - A petrified piece of bat guano
Illusion - A tail from a chameleon
Necromancy - A black opal
Transmutation - A piece of licorice root

Then you remove the need for the smaller components that most GMs will hand waive. However the more powerful spells should have an expensive material component and that should still be required (and if more GMs would enforce this than it would help bring more balance to the martial/caster disparity).

I myself rather enjoyed collecting odds and ends and specific gems, often times when our party divided up treasure I would opt for the things I needed to make my spells work. Not only that there are the need to quest for specific things to make things work.


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Wild Spirit wrote:
I'd be OK with lengthy rituals but not with the material cost. I hate to be eternally broke, just because I keep resurrecting people.

Then don't resurrect people.

I put a lot of time and effort into the characters I create. I have been heartbroken that certain ones died. However, I've only ever had 2 resurrected in all of the years I've played and one of those died again directly afterward.

They fought the good fight. Let them rest.


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Material components are a completely different balancing issue now.
Even the cheap ones now have the effect of increasing the casting time by an action. So probably or hopefully they'll become a bit more rare.

Also, there's the strange effect that eschew materials, still spell and silent spell should have the effect of speeding up the casting time. If they still exist, they're really useful now.


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graystone wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
If there was no expensive material component for resurrection spells, what do you think would be a good or effective cost/consequence for death?
You can have good old resurrection sickness. Even something as simple as reducing your level for resonance can act as a cost/consequence or a reduction in combat actions or something else. Personally, I don't really see a need to have a cost past the spell slot/item used.

I still prefer the old 1E Raise Dead and Resurrection restrictions to give it a real weight. "System Shock" saving throw to survive (or forever perish), being brought back from the dead incurs a permanent loss of 1 Constitution, and you can never be raised more times than your initial Constitution score, even if you manage to raise it later. Being brought back from the dead should be a major event from the character, with real risks and consequences.


ryric wrote:

I played AD&D 1e with a DM who studiously tracked material components...I literally had an entire notebook page just documenting how many eyelashes and owl feathers and other crazy stuff my magic-user was carrying around. I would not go back to that.

I like the spell component pouch idea, but it bothers me that it has infinite "cheap" components. There are threads kicking around where someone's listed all the stuff you have a n infinite free supply of once you buy a single 5 gp pouch and it's fairly ridiculous. I think I'd prefer if the pouch held a certain number of charges, and spells used up variable charges based on the spell. But even that might be too much bookkeeping, although really not as bad as tracking ammo. YMMV.

Gotta add an 'agree' to this. The flavor argument just doesn't hold water - 'cheap' component tracking existed to make things harder on the player for the sake of flavor. It's half the problem with Sacred Geometry, only instead of being overpowered it's done so the player can reach the designer-intended baseline.


Leyren wrote:

Material components are a completely different balancing issue now.

Even the cheap ones now have the effect of increasing the casting time by an action. So probably or hopefully they'll become a bit more rare.

Also, there's the strange effect that eschew materials, still spell and silent spell should have the effect of speeding up the casting time. If they still exist, they're really useful now.

If that means they do away with metamagic increasing casting time for spontaneous casters, I'm all for it. Btw, eschew materials isn't a metamagic feat, unlike the other two, so it doesn't even increase a spell's level (though it's basically "you don't need a spell component pouch").


Wild Spirit wrote:


P.S.
And as a cheeky side-note, before one of you, less experienced folks, starts to claim how "material components are integral to the game balance", please go and have a look at Razmiran Priest Sorcerer in Pathfinder 1. He doesn't have to pay (buys a scroll once), so why should we?

So, because Razmiran Priest is broken, the balance argument is invalid?

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