Bat Guano Thread


General Discussion


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So, I know everyone's been thinking about it, but let's bring the elephant in the room up for discussion.

Fireball does not use a ball of bat guano as a material component in the Playtest, which is frankly unacceptable.

What if every casting class defaulted to Eschew Materials, but real spellcasters could spend an action to add material components to a spell to get a bonus either to damage or save DC?


It's bat guano crazy that they would slaughter this sacred cow.

I like the suggestion, but if going that way I start to feel you aren't assumed to have the components, and it has a weird campaogn-specific aspect to some components to see if they come up for your spell? If you are still assumed to have the components and it's just an extra action that sounds neat.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I mean... If they're not using Bat Guano for Fireball, why not overhaul the whole magic system already? Because it's exactly the same thing!

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

SOMEBODY clearly didn't get the super secret PT update Errata that added BG to all Arcane and Occult spells as a material component and removed the Bard class.

It's a shame they only let so many of us in on this, but I understand why, too many cooks and whatnot.


WatersLethe wrote:
What if every casting class defaulted to Eschew Materials, but real spellcasters could spend an action to add material components to a spell to get a bonus either to damage or save DC?

A similar scheme would be that most spells have only a verbal and somatic component, but arcane casters can substitute a material component for either one ("I cast Fireball silently because I have bat guano.") or add a third material component to enhance the spell.

We already have that clerics can substitute a divine focus for a material component and a bard can play a musical instrument as a component, so in fairness a wizard should have a substitution too. And arcane magic is the kind that would study the effects of materials on spellcasting.

In addition, I have had player characters try to steal a wizard's spell component pouch to stop the spellcasting. A rule that material components are an enhancement rather than a necessity would nullify that annoying scheme.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the implication of the loss of bat guano as a component is that the world has advanced. Some alchemist has discovered the Haber–Bosch Process and freed wizards from guano dependence, much like it did for Imperial Germany in WWI.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Well past supplements allowed special material components to have a beneficial impact on casting of specific spells. However, of course these components normally had a monetary cost associated with them which where not necessarily insignificant. Something like that could easily be introduced to the spell casting in second edition.

A very simple thing would be raising the DC by a certain amount (perhaps capped by a certain value). The corollary, if casting fireball normally involve Bat Guano, if you don't have it, you can substitute something else you may have, such as a piece of flint. However, it reduces your level bonus to your spell DC by 2 (minimum +0).

Expensive Guano from the volcano on a rare island that holds a portal to the elemental plane of fire gets consumed in each casting quickly, and is very expensive to obtain. (costing 100gp per dose) but it gives you a +4 DC (up to DC20) to your fireball, making critical failures far more likely. I'm sure my pricing is off, but it is an example of a 'magic/consumable' resource, not too unlike a potion/scroll or such. It can be rare and not available in unlimited supply, but can be used to boost a spell caster in individual situations. (not unlike how a rogue might used poisoned weapon, or any class a trinket. Basically, yes, some magical spell components could be priced not unlike some trinkets.

Although, BTW, I think stealing a spell component pouch should be more than a legal move. Granted, many casters might carry a second, for that very reason. If material components exist, that why can't that be a valid weakness of some casters? There might even be magic spell component pouches that are accessible magically, by a primary caster, but are physically worn by an apprentice/novice or other assistant, or might even remain accessible by the primary caster when they have been lifted by a thief and not taken past its connection range.


Loreguard wrote:
Although, BTW, I think stealing a spell component pouch should be more than a legal move. Granted, many casters might carry a second, for that very reason. If material components exist, that why can't that be a valid weakness of some casters? There might even be magic spell component pouches that are accessible magically, by a primary caster, but are physically worn by an apprentice/novice or other assistant, or might even remain accessible by the primary caster when they have been lifted by a thief and not taken past its connection range.

I remember one D&D 3.0 game where my daughter's character stole the holy symbol of an evil cleric. The cleric had to run back to his altar to use its holy symbol for casting. Stealing a necessary component can be fun.

But being able to shut down a character's primary ability with one combat maneuver is too much. In memory of my daughter's maneuver, my clerics started carrying a spare holy symbol, just in case. Likewise, fighters carry spare weapons in case of disarmment, though in PF2 they can easily use their fists. But a spell component pouch is harder to replace than a weapon or holy symbol if a player lacked the system mastery to carry a spare.

If a material component makes a wizard stronger but is not absolutely necessary for spellcasting, then stealing the spell component pouch would be fun. The wizard will be at 75% strength, but still fighting.

Also, the Steal combat maneuver was not carefully balanced. One case where a player character tried to to steal a spell component pouch was from the stone giant wizard Mokmurian. A stone giant wizard as the Combat Maneuver Defense of a stone giant. I told the player that Mokmurian had secured his spell component pouch with steel cables, because that was how secure his CMD made it.

Loreguard wrote:
Expensive Guano from the volcano on a rare island that holds a portal to the elemental plane of fire gets consumed in each casting quickly, and is very expensive to obtain. (costing 100gp per dose) but it gives you a +4 DC (up to DC20) to your fireball, making critical failures far more likely. I'm sure my pricing is off, but it is an example of a 'magic/consumable' resource, not too unlike a potion/scroll or such. It can be rare and not available in unlimited supply, but can be used to boost a spell caster in individual situations. (not unlike how a rogue might used poisoned weapon, or any class a trinket. Basically, yes, some magical spell components could be priced not unlike some trinkets.

That is a great idea. I hope to see it in Paizo PF2 supplemental material one day. It could be an item bonus to the spell DC.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Bat Guano Thread All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion