Eschew Materials- To manipulate or Not to Manipulate...

Rules Discussion

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In playtest it worked like the sorcerers, effectively giving you a free hand for if you wanted a sword or something. It got nerfed from there for whatever reason.

But yeah, I doubt it was intentionally this bad.

Thanks to Draco18 for that further data mining... From what I can tell, other Tradition lists DON'T fare any better than Arcane for prevalence/relevance of Material spells (despite Heal/Harm being prominent example, "coincidentally" being 1-3 action spell), if anything Arcane seems to have a bit more while still be being so very sparse.

The thematic aspect on Disappearance (in any senses) was interesting, and directly I actually find that enjoyable... it's just that there isn't enough content all around to give the mechanic enough reason to exist. It seems reasonable that more "themes" could be identified which could be basis of extending/expanding it, even if that de facto meant certain Schools were more affected than others... IMHO that isn't really a problem. I mean Specialists aren't really that exclusive, and even if there is "Ultra-Specialist" options released in future it's just a "meta" design factor for which school/theme is more or less dependent/independent of Material component issues (i.e. some can be freely using 2H without the feat, some WILL need the feat to function while using 2H full at all, which can be balanced around). Could be something to consider if choosing which themes and possibly schools might be appropriate, though. And for that matter, if specific spells should be included/excluded from Material outside of theme/school constraints.

Yeah, on the illustration... I want to say it's "enjoy this picture, because this is all Eschew will ever do for you" LOL ;-), although to me the issue is really much bigger than Eschew Feat itself even if that is the "player presenting option" (Emblazon too).

I mean, technically it just doesn't matter for Sorcerors or Bards who can all substitute Somatic... And if they were the only casters, we might as well remove Material components from the game because there is no point. But for Clerics, Druids (who lack former's Emblazon), or other future casters who lack total Material substitution (possibly... Prep Occult Witches? seem VERY much about gonzo components but YMMV) there is POTENTIALLY a point in distinguishing Material components, the actual reality of spell lists just doesn't follow thru with that potential now.

It's easy to see "more Material spells" as just being a restriction and not liking that, but I think it opens interesting design tension where meaningful restrictions can open new possibilities, and play style distinctions. I think Wizard Eschew offering other benefits besides "free hand" (ala Sorceror) is actually interesting and desirable on it's own right (particularly considering these benefits would only be available for spells that normally had Material component in the first place).

Quandary wrote:
Thanks to Draco18 for that further data mining...

I'd already noticed the sever lack of Material casting requirements anecdotally, so I was more than happy to poke at things. Confirmed a suspicion.

I did a similar evaluation for the divine list for my warpriest to determine the gain from the Emblazon class feature in regards to not needing a free hand for the holy symbol in combat, of course Emblazon also provides other benefits.

Harm/Heal (3 action)
Continual flame
Circle of Protection - uncommon
Summon Celestial/Fiend
Blade Barrier
Antimagic Field - rare
Telepathic Demand

Of all the CRB spells of the divine list that you can actually cast in combat only a selected few seem like they will see repeated use. For my good aligned cleric this probably would be:

Heal (3 action variant and I'd rather cast the 2 action variant to heal unless undead are involved or I can heal 3+ targets at once)
Circle of Protection (if I ever get hold of it)
Blade Barrier (if our campaign ever progesses this far)

In addition I also have to cope with the Dazzling Flash focus spell requiring the holy symbol in hand.

However my overall synopsis was that the benefit of not requiring material components and freeing up the hand for a weapon or combat manoeuvres was no major selling point for Emblazon as too few in-combat spells require material components, so I fully agree that Eschew Materials as it is looks strange.

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