False Focus and Additional Material Components


Rules Questions


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Hi there,
I just had a quick question about the uses of the False Focus feat and how it interacts with additional material components.

False Focus (https://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/false-focus/)

Example Additional Material Component (http://www.archivesofnethys.com/EquipmentMiscDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Varisia n%20idol)

Would we be able to "add" a Avidais Varisian idol (+2 to dispel checks) to a Dispel Magic, effectively treating Dispel Magic as having a required material cost of the Avidais Varisian idol? There are a lot of other interactions with other optional additional material components and I was hoping for some clarification or general consensus, seeing as there isn't really a hard rule here.


It works, false focus notes no difference between optional material components and material components.


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False Focus wrote:

you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component...

an arcane spell if its components...

If the spell requires a material component

Each of these bits of wording indicates that the False Focus feat applies only to the material components required for casting the spell, as listed in the spell's info block.

As such, additional components would not have their costs subsumed by False Focus.


I agree that the phrase 'require a component" is different the "optional"

So I wouldn't allow it.


How would you rule the spell Pellet Blast then? As the type of metal is optional to the spell.

Alchemical Power Components Wrote wrote:
An alchemical power component is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell’s normal effects.

It's used as a material component, and again false focus doesn't say it excludes optional components. Therefore as long as it's under 100g, it works.


I'd rule pellet blast as material components built into the spell.

Pellet blast says you have to choose one of three. So it's a requirement. That's the spell not an optional alchemical item add on. So false focus works just fine for it.

But alchemical items aren't spell component requirements. Just optional add one. And that's what false focus is for. Requirements not options.


Does that mean parchment swarm's material component of "M (blank parchment or magic scroll; see text)" (https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/p/parchment-swarm/) would be replaceable with false focus? Effectively letting us pick and choose a first level spell effect as a rider to the spell (1st level scrolls are 25 gold).

As Cavall Wrote wrote:
Pellet blast says you have to choose one of three. So it's a requirement. That's the spell not an optional alchemical item add on. So false focus works just fine for it.


When you add a power component to a spell, it adds a material component. I fail to see where this feat excludes optional components.

False Focus wrote wrote:
Benefit: By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component.

It says material component, which the varisian idols are. Optional doesn't matter as it's still a material component.

Varisian Idol wrote wrote:
If used as an additional material component when casting a spell the idol affects, a Varisian idol increases the effect of that spell.
Magic Chapter Wrote wrote:

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.


I can see where you'd fail to see it.

You are, after all, skipping over the word requirement in your quotes, so cognitive dissonance kicks in. If you look at the part I've been talking about the whole time, it may clear it up.

But it says requirement. Options are not requirements.


Nowhere does it say false focus only works with material components that are required for the spell only. It simply says material components, which optional material components still are. Alchemical Power Components adds material components to spells that normally don't have material components, which means we can use false focus on it. There might be some wiggle room on the idols, as they are additional components, but are still components none the less. And since it's a component, false focus lets use the components without paying the cost assuming you have a holy symbol that is at least the cost of the component.

You keep saying optional material components are different from optional material components, but you haven't provided how. If we add a material component to a spell via alchemical power component, it is now a requirement for the spell. In fact the only time the word requires comes up is for when the cost exceeds the cost of your focus. For reference here is the alchemical power component text:

Alchemical Power Component wrote wrote:
An alchemical power component is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell’s normal effects.


Correct no where does it say it only works with requirements.

No where does it say it works with alchemical items.

So the only thing I can judge one is the fact that while it doesn't say "only" it does say "required." Making it a more true statement then yours which has zero support at all.

If the spell requires a material component
that costs more than the value of the divine focus, you must have the material component on hand to cast the spell, as normal.

As the OP knew there was no concrete answer it asked.for general consensus. General consensus so far says you're in the minority.


>If the spell requires a material component that costs more than the value of the divine focus, you must have the material component on hand to cast the spell, as normal.

but what you quoted is for if the spell requires a material component that costs MORE than the holy symbol costs, not if one is required at all.

I don't really see why it wouldn't work, though personally I'd say you'd need one copy of each additional material component to "copy" fullpouch style (and just handwave it that the holy symbol does all the work), but that's just me.


It says material component, it doesn't care about optional or not. Did you even read alchemical components? An alchemical power component is an alchemical item used as a material component or focus for a spell in order to alter or augment the spell’s normal effects. The feat doesn't say "you can't use optional components". Adding a material component to a spell makes that spell have a material component, are material components not material components?

Likewise I already linked the definition for a material component, and I don't see where it differentiates between optional or not. The requires part you bolded is only in reference to if it's more than the value of the focus, which with a cap of 100g, the idols do not.


I don't think False Focus should work for additional material requirements.

False Focus wrote:
By using a divine focus as part of casting, you can cast any spell with a material component costing the value of that divine focus (maximum 100 gp) or less without needing that component. For example, if you use a silver holy symbol worth 25 gp, you do not have to provide material components for an arcane spell if its components are worth 25 gp or less. The casting of the spell still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. If the spell requires a material component that costs more than the value of the divine focus, you must have the material component on hand to cast the spell, as normal.

This, to me, indicates that it is referencing the material components referenced in the component block of a spell.

Otherwise, you could use this to stack every possible material component in the game for free, which I don't think anyone would allow.

Why not grab Toxic Spell and have every (fort negate) spell you cast deliver a dose of Drow Poison or whatever without the need of acquiring the poison first?

I see tons of shenanigans available for Create Armaments.

Create Armaments wrote:
You create one non-magical weapon, shield, or set of armor. To determine whether the item functions as intended, you must attempt an appropriate Craft check with the DC required to create the item normally. If you fail, the item is created with the broken condition. You can create items made of rare or unusual materials if you include a bit of that material as an additional material component when you cast the spell, but cannot create cold iron items with this spell.

What an easy way to get my Adamantine Dragonskin Silver Weapons and whatever else we want in there. Is there a limit?

Equipment Tricks with no equipment?

Trickster’s Mirror (Spell Focus [illusion]) wrote:
You can use a mirror worth at least 10 gp as an additional material component for an illusion (figment) spell. The spell is treated as 1 spell level higher (to a maximum of 9th level) for all purposes, including the calculation of saving throw DCs.
Like the Sun (ability to cast any spell with the light descriptor) wrote:
You can use a sunrod as an additional material component for any spell that bears the light descriptor. The spell is treated as one spell level higher (to a maximum of 9th level) for all purposes, including the calculation of saving throw DCs and its ability to overcome sources of magical darkness.
Deafening Component (ability to create bombs or cast any spell with the electricity, fire, or sonic descriptor) wrote:
You can add a thunderstone as an additional material component to any spell you cast with the electricity, fire, or sonic descriptor, or to any bomb you throw. Any creature damaged by that spell or bomb must also succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be deafened for 1 hour.

Looks like we can use Ragario idols and Thunderstones to modify some spells. Get both of them for free every time?

We can do Alchemist's Fire too with Alchemical Power components.

Scorching Ray =
Ragario = +2 to overcome SR
Thunderstone = Adds a deafen effect
Twilight Dagger = +1 alchemical bonus to overcome SR
Alchemist's Fire = Any one damaged catches on fire

Oh hey, False Focus and Alchemical Power Components means you just get to modify all your spells for free.

Glitterdust (M) wrote:
For each packet of itching powder used as a power component, you may designate one creature in the area to be affected by itching powder (DC 12).

I can add infinity packets of itching powder.

Heroes’ Feast (M) wrote:
For each vial of antiplague used as a power component, one creature eating the feast gains the benefits of antiplague for 12 hours. Antiplague’s normally foul taste does not change the taste of the feast.

Everyone benefits!

Wall of Ice wrote:
Wall of Ice (M): For each flask of acid used as a power component, you may designate one 10-foot square of ice wall that, if broken through, deals 1d6 acid damage in addition to the normal cold damage.

Free acid ice wall.

I'll just stop there for now.

If you allow False Focus to work replace additional material components, then you've allowed every caster to just get a whole bunch of bonus effects to their spells for free.

Anyway, the text of the ability sounds like it's using the material components of the spell. Not whatever random s@*+ you want to cast with it.


Agreed it's system abuse with loophole. The above examples show why it's a bad idea to allow.


You sure could stack them if you don't actually read the rules on it.

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

I agree that it's system abuse but he asked if it works, not about if it should. Just because you don't like that it works, doesn't mean that it doesn't work.

Mallecks wrote:
Why not grab Toxic Spell and have every (fort negate) spell you cast deliver a dose of Drow Poison or whatever without the need of acquiring the poison first?

Now it's a 2 feat investment, and still takes up a spell level higher. Likewise they need to fail 2 fort saves, and the poison dc will be low since only a select few things bump it.

Daggermark's Exchance with false focus already gets us free drow poison, although oil of taggit is better anyway.


Based on the ability itself, I would still argue it is restricted to the material components in the component block of a spell.

But you are right, I don't think I could actually prove it definitively.


No one's arguing a definitive anyways. So that's fine.


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Looking at the wording of the feat, I think RAW, False Focus would work even for optional material components.

That's RAW, though; RAI/table rules/GM allowance and game balance all pull strongly in the other direction; it creates a lot of loopholes (as demonstrated). In that sense, despite what RAW says, the GM shouldn't allow it.

Dark Archive

The real fun is spells like animate dead: 4HD undead every time, for free. I only wish the feat worked on divine spells too.

RAW "a material component" - not "a required material component"... So you could add salt, holy water, etc... To castings for free... Making this an "uber feat"... Might not be RAI.

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