The party meet with Cicero Lodestone, gnomish delegate for the Council of Races. Politics ensue.
Original: a jewel worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: a 4-carat diamond, 6-carat emerald, or 15-carat ruby or sapphire, which the spell consumes
(Your DM may allow you to use other kinds of gems. I tried to keep it simple.)
Original: a forked, metal rod worth at least 250 gp, attuned to a particular plane of existence
Equivalent: a forked rod, weighing 4 pounds if made of gold, 40 pounds if made of silver, or one ton if made of iron, attuned to a particular plane of existence
Revised: a forked iron rod, attuned to a particular plane of existence and inlaid with golden sigils representing that plane, one foot long and one inch in diameter
(According to the Trade Goods table, 250gp will buy you 2500 pounds of iron.)
Original: a bit of fleece and jade dust worth at least 25 gp
Equivalent: a bit of fleece and 225 carats of jade dust
Original: a small replica of you made from materials worth at least 5 gp
Equivalent: a small silver replica of you, weighing one pound
(Defining the material makes components much easier to decouple from the economy.)
Original: a diamond worth at least 500 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: a 2-carat diamond, which the spell consumes
Original: rare oils and unguents worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: five gallons of rare oils and unguents, which the spell consumes
(Another component for which the SRD doesn’t actually provide a price! I will assume that rare oils and unguents – by the way, an unguent is a cream or ointment – have the same price as holy water, which is 25gp per pint.)
Original: a diamond worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: a 4-carat diamond, which the spell consumes
(There’s a nice escalation between Revivify, Raise Dead, and Resurrection. I just noticed that.)
Original: diamonds worth 300 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: one and a half carats’ worth of diamonds, which the spell consumes
Original: a focus worth at least 1,000 gp, such as a crystal ball, a silver mirror, or a font filled with holy water
Revised: a glass or crystal globe eight inches in diameter and inscribed around its circumference with a magic circle, a silver mirror one foot wide and eight inches across with seeing-eye sigils etched around its rim, or a font filled with five gallons of holy water
(I had to do some fudging with the crafting costs. I’m not sure a diviner wants to lug around a 400-pound silver mirror.)
Original: an exquisite chest, 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet, constructed from rare materials worth at least 5,000 gp, and a Tiny replica made from the same materials worth at least 50 gp
Equivalent: an exquisite chest, 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet, constructed from gold, ivory, and emeralds, and a replica made at 1:36 scale from the same materials
(These are an incredibly expensive components for a fourth-level spell!)
Original: a powder composed of diamond, emerald, ruby, and sapphire dust worth at least 5,000 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: a powder composed of 9 carats each of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, which the spell consumes.
(I chose to divide the powder equally between each type of gem. If you’d like, you can make each type’s cost equal instead, which gives 5 carats of diamonds, 8 of emeralds, and 19 each of rubies and sapphires.)
Original: a jade circlet worth at least 1,500 gp, which you must place on your head before you cast the spell
Equivalent: a jade circlet weighing six pounds, which you must place on your head before you cast the spell
Revised: a jade circlet, carved in the shape of multiple animals chasing each other and weighing at least four pounds, which you must place on your head before you cast the spell
(I added some flavor in order to remove some weight. Even a T-rex doesn’t want neck strain.)
Original: snow or ice in quantities sufficient to made a life-size copy of the duplicated creature; some hair, fingernail clippings, or other piece of that creature’s body placed inside the snow or ice; and powdered ruby worth 1,500 gp, sprinkled over the duplicate and consumed by the spell
Equivalent: …and 30 carats of powdered rubies…
(An aside: It’s interesting to notice the patterns that emerge in what’s required for spell components. Rubies explicitly show up in the original listings for Continual Flame, Forbiddance, Forcecage, and Sequester – spells that involve flame and force. In this case I think it’s metaphorical: the rubies provide the inner fire of animation and the force of personality.)
Original: diamond dust worth 100 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: a half-carat of powdered diamond, which the spell consumes
Original: mercury, phosphorus, and powdered diamond and opal with a total value of at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: 1 ounce of mercury, 1 ounce of phosphorus, 3 carats of powdered diamond, and 3 ounces of powdered opal, which the spell consumes
Original: rare chalks and inks infused with precious gems [worth] 50 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: rare chalks and inks infused with 40 carats of powdered sapphire, which the spell consumes
(Thank goodness, finally a “rare [something]” I don’t have to come up with a price for. I settled on sapphires for this because it’s what Instant Summons uses, so thematically they’re linked to magical movement.)
Original: a sprinkle of holy water and diamonds worth at least 25,000 gp, which the spell consumes
Equivalent: a sprinkle of holy water and 100 carats of diamonds, which the spell consumes
Original: an ointment for the eyes that costs 25 gp; is made from mushroom powder, saffron, and fat; and is consumed by the spell
Revised: one ounce an ointment made from mushrooms, saffron, and fat, which must be applied to the caster’s eyelids and is consumed by the spell
(Saffron is surprisingly expensive. This is roughly equivalent, but I marked it revised because I changed the wording.)
Original: a pair of platinum rings worth at least 50 gp each, which you and the target must wear for the duration
Revised: a pair of platinum rings which fit together when pressed together, weighing 1 ounce each, which you and the target must wear for the duration
(As with True Seeing, I changed the wording slightly, so I marked this as Revised rather than Equivalent.)
And that’s it! I have learned two things in this journey through de-economizing the D&D material components:
- It’s not clear to me that anyone’s actually thought about the costs or consequences of spells’ material components, like, ever. I was going to say “since first edition” but I’m pretty sure Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax just threw some stuff together and called it a day.
- The idea of a “spell components pouch” is laughable in the face of twenty pounds of powdered iron.
Thanks for reading – see you next time!
The moon has entered another Crystal Sphere. In this one, the world is on the back of a … giant space turtle?
#DnD #ActualPlay #Podcast
Gox is a Zealot barbarian kobold that I played in the Pack Tactics campaign. After that, Gox decided to open a Barbarian Dojo. This blog post is from Gox’s point-of-view, explaining why he opened a Dojo, and giving the reader a tour.
Hi! I’m Gox. Welcome to my Barbarian Dojo! I’m a follower of Bahamut, and my understanding is that Bahamut wants us to protect the weak. One really great way to do that is to make the weak stronger. That’s what my Barbarian Dojo is for.
Let me show you around! This grassy area out here is used at night for training practice. Things like practicing battle stance, learning how to use different types of weapons, and some light sparring with a partner. There’s always a few clerics of Bahamut standing by, just in case someone gets hurt.
The Dojo was built with kobolds in mind, so you might have to duck after we go inside. The entryway is always kept clear, to make it easier for groups of excited kobolds to get in and out without trampling each other.
The passageway to the left leads to the barracks. Every kobold gets their own bunk bed. I can’t take you in there right now, because kobolds sleep during the day. They’ll start waking up for breakfast when the sun starts going down.
The cafeteria is off to the right. It takes a lot of food to feed all these barbarians, so I’ve got some partnerships with local farms. They provide surplus food in exchange for protection from thieves, zombies, and the like. We have a rotating group of cooks that are sent here by a local cooking school. I hear they consider feeding this many barbarians to be an interesting challenge. Something to brag about.
Let’s go check out the armory. We’ve got pretty much anything a barbarian kobold would need, from weapons to armor. The dinged up stuff is for the newbies, to get them used to wearing armor and carrying a weapon. As they improve their skill, they get access to heavier stuff.
This hallway leads to a gymnasium, where one-one-one challenges can take place and barbarians can show off their skills. Crowds will gather on the bleachers to watch. The rule is a match cannot begin without at least two clerics present.
Over there is a huge bath area. Turns out, many barbarians don’t really care much about personal hygiene. Trust me, there are some things that not even prestidigitation can remove! Turns out barbarians can be enticed to get into what looks like a swimming pool with soap bubbles.
Down here is a huge amphitheater that was made thanks to the efforts of spellcasters who can do mold earth and barbarians who can lift heavy stone. This is where I turn into an ogre, or worst dog, or a dragon, and fight ten to twenty barbarians. It’s a safe way for them to learn what to watch out for when fighting a particular creature.
Ash reunites with his family while the rest of the party adjusts to life with 20 “helpful” kenku.