A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Though there is not much info in PhB, i assume that there have to be differences..

    In this topic i want to discuss Comp.Pouch VS Arcane focus "crystal" &/or "orb".
    (i assume Wand, Rod & Staff are just flavor and maybe later a magic crafter could enchant 'em further, but these items are not to concern us now)

    So.. an arcane caster could use either.
    The only difference (other than cost, weight & flavor) i could spot is that most DMs could rule that at some point Comp.Pouch empties due to extensive use.
    Someone could go the extra step and rule that each arcane focus could have an expendable "power reservoir" but i don't see that happening cause 5e tries
    to simplify things and that would be a major setback..

    So.. my opinion is "go for the arcane focus crystal". Cost half the comp.pouch & a dm can't tell you that after a while you miss Mats cause of extended use.
    With the same money you can go for 2 crystals and give 1 to a party member for "safekeeping" in case you lost yours or get stolen by a Npc sent to disable you.

    Well.. to be honest, i kinda made my mind about it but i'd like your opinions.

    Thank you for your time
    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin.

    I had my players woke up on a beach with total amnesia with only thing to remember that smthing raided their convoy ship during a storm.. and told em: "Survive!"

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Ballarat
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    My opinion is...

    ...wait for it...

    ...it doesn't ****ing matter.

    Goddamn, why is it that players these days needs a "+1" to something for it to have a reason to exist? **** I hate 3.x.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by akaddk View Post
    My opinion is...

    ...wait for it...

    ...it doesn't ****ing matter.

    Goddamn, why is it that players these days needs a "+1" to something for it to have a reason to exist? **** I hate 3.x.
    So your opinion ..
    Quote Originally Posted by akaddk View Post
    doesn't ****ing matter.
    Thank you for your helpful attitude and your well spent time
    Last edited by hxolhpths; 2014-08-27 at 05:14 AM.
    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin.

    I had my players woke up on a beach with total amnesia with only thing to remember that smthing raided their convoy ship during a storm.. and told em: "Survive!"

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Mechanically, it seems to be a question of who you can share it with more than anything else. Maybe factor in getting it stolen. You're unlikely to have the staff in your hand stolen by a random pickpocket.

    Fluff-wise, I think it makes a big difference. You could, for examples, see a component pouch as your Bat Belt, or make you feel more like Raistlin, a wand as something Harry Potter-related, a staff to be more Gandalf, an orb as a way to get a focus that seems less phallic and more maternal, a crystal to seem more holistic or psionic, and so on.
    Last edited by hymer; 2014-08-27 at 05:29 AM.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    cobaltstarfire's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    I was thinking about this last night when I was putting together my first caster, and while I couldn't afford to have a pouch at creation and ended up with two holy symbols (gonna wear one on each wrist :D), it's definitely something I'd get once I have the gold for it.

    Mostly for fluff reasons I guess, it just seems right to have the components at your hip, even if you might not always use them, or only in an emergency (or maybe for more "potency" as a bit of rp I dunno, I really love fluff in general)

    I don't think it'd work for pouches to "run out" (going off cleric spells anyway) because some of the spells use things that wouldn't "run out". Ex: a small mirror, a tiny cloak- things like that. Yeah there is stuff that could run out too, but that seems like a pain to keep track of, especially in a system I'm interested in for being streamlined.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Pouch vs. Focus is only a matter of style.

    Of course, whenever you have neither, you may still have a spider web at hand to cast spider climb.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Giant2005's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Pouch is better if there is a chance you would ever multiclass into another casting class. Focus's only work for one spell type, pouches work for everything.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    If you're going to multiclass outside of arcane magic, use a component pouch.

    If not, use what you want. The component pouch is very fluffy, and I like it for Wizards, Rangers, and Druids. Sorcerers and Warlocks, however, are overflowing with magical energy (their own or someone else's) and it seems like a rod or staff would be a lot better for them.

    Bards get an instruments. Duh.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Dallas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    I'll put it this way. The components of a spell are listed (as well as if they are consumed when used or not) for a reason. They are part of the control mechanism for casters. Just as keeping track of arrows is important for your archer, making sure you have the fuel needed for your spells is also important.

    Ignoring this aspect of the spell control mechanic is of course your choice. But unrestricted access to spells is part of what makes casters such a problem at later levels.

    Yes, you should use (and enforce) all spell components. Powerful spells have likewise difficulty components to either acquire, or are very costly to the caster. I always explain this to my want to be casters. I will expect them to keep track of the spell components they need, and if they don't have them on their sheet at the time, well sorry, no spell for you. I wouldn't let the archer shoot someone if he didn't have arrows, the caster is no different.

    As far as which is better, focus or component... Personally, I would say use what you are comfortable with. I see a focus as the object needed to obtain your proficiency bonus to the save DC of your spells. It doesn't prevent casting it, but without the focus, its easier to resist your spells.
    Shhh, shhhh, It's Magic hunny. Space magic.

    http://imgur.com/gallery/lsOa0Lr

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyLee
    Archer 1: "I cast darkness, but I have devil's sight so it won't affect me."
    Archer 2: "I lay flat on my back. Your move, creep."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    For me, I've never liked the idea of a component pouch, so focus all day. It's a flavor/visual thing. Mechanically they're stated to be identical.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Fwiffo86 View Post
    I see a focus as the object needed to obtain your proficiency bonus to the save DC of your spells. It doesn't prevent casting it, but without the focus, its easier to resist your spells.
    Um... okay. That's an interesting houserule, but in RAW the specific mechanical advantage of a focus is to prevent you from needing components that don't have gold values in the spell listing. You still get your proficiency if you don't have it.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Dallas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Um... okay. That's an interesting houserule, but in RAW the specific mechanical advantage of a focus is to prevent you from needing components that don't have gold values in the spell listing. You still get your proficiency if you don't have it.
    This is true.
    Shhh, shhhh, It's Magic hunny. Space magic.

    http://imgur.com/gallery/lsOa0Lr

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyLee
    Archer 1: "I cast darkness, but I have devil's sight so it won't affect me."
    Archer 2: "I lay flat on my back. Your move, creep."

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Scirocco's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    PNW

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Aren't there magic item versions of foci? That's certainly one thing in favor of using them over a pouch (assuming you have one of these magic items).

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Scirocco View Post
    Aren't there magic item versions of foci? That's certainly one thing in favor of using them over a pouch (assuming you have one of these magic items).
    We've seen example of some but not all of the foci having magical counterparts. No magical holly berries, for example. Makes me wonder what an enchanted component pouch would do. If only my players were familiar with these boards, I could hand out a pouch that had a 50% chance of producing a chicken each time you used it...

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    We've seen example of some but not all of the foci having magical counterparts. No magical holly berries, for example. Makes me wonder what an enchanted component pouch would do. If only my players were familiar with these boards, I could hand out a pouch that had a 50% chance of producing a chicken each time you used it...
    And then the party retired to sell poultry.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    And then the party retired to sell poultry.
    Not a bad retirement plan from a life of adventuring. Once you've fulfilled all your "save the world" obligations you find a nice little town on a trade route and live out your days selling chicken dinners and feather art.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Dallas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Weirdest retirement object I ever picked up in D&D was a lizard that ate anything. Organic, non-organic etc. Then it passed chunks of copper instead of regular waste. Retirement. Feed the lizard, sell the copper.
    Shhh, shhhh, It's Magic hunny. Space magic.

    http://imgur.com/gallery/lsOa0Lr

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyLee
    Archer 1: "I cast darkness, but I have devil's sight so it won't affect me."
    Archer 2: "I lay flat on my back. Your move, creep."

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by hxolhpths View Post
    So.. my opinion is "go for the arcane focus crystal". Cost half the comp.pouch & a dm can't tell you that after a while you miss Mats cause of extended use.
    ...

    Well.. to be honest, i kinda made my mind about it but i'd like your opinions.

    Thank you for your time
    Sure. Focus typically makes more sense.

    Personally, I wouldn't have must respect for a DM who wants to play the "you run out of material components" card. The moment they try it... it is simply going to force players to do a ton of paperwork and roleplay mundane stuff at the table until the DM stops it.

    For example. Spider climb uses some bitumen and a spider. When you get into town buy a jar of butmen and hire some street kids to get you 500 spiders. (2 kids, 10 spiders per hour, 8 hours a day = 8 silver). You put them in a small box, get a piece of paper and write "Spider climb (500)" above it. Each time you cast, you put a dot on the page. Repeat the same for mica chips, mercury drops, grave yard dirt, etc. You then tell the DM that at the end of each long rest, you go to you 10lb box of all this stuff and refill your pouch. After roleplaying you through buying a year's supply of utterly mundane stuff for maybe a few gold... maybe your DM would get the point that this is a mundane activity which can be meta-gamed as part of your upkeep or general things you do between adventures.

    However, there are some cases when you might want to use components.

    a) You want to disguise that you are a caster or what type of caster you might be. A holy symbol, wand, crystal, etc. is pretty much screaming "Target me first!"

    b) You can't carry your focuses due to specific restrictions. A kingdom which has banned your god. A city where arcane casting is forbidden.

    c) It is harder to target, steel, or disarm.

    d) You are in a place where you are going to be disarmed and searched. Say... a lord's party, a meeting with a powerful crime boss, you are getting yourself arrested to talk with a prisoner, etc. Hiding a spider in your hair or some grave dirt in your boots is pretty easy. A crystal... probably not.

    On the flip side... I always love the idea of all party members walking around with random holy symbols, staves, wands, and symbols on their cloaks. Let the bad guys find out who the casters are... the hard way.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    linklele's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Italy

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Yorrin View Post
    For me, I've never liked the idea of a component pouch, so focus all day. It's a flavor/visual thing. Mechanically they're stated to be identical.
    Also, underwater fights: your pouch won't probably survive water (or most of the components inside it at least). Your orb/wand/staff/wathever will.
    Ask me to do your new avatar! (Payment is in cookies)
    "You have to deliver your craziness in little pieces, you can't do it all at once!" -Scrubs

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by linklele View Post
    Also, underwater fights: your pouch won't probably survive water (or most of the components inside it at least). Your orb/wand/staff/wathever will.
    IIRC, the component pouch is described as a series of watertight compartments, so you shouldn't be losing much more than you use to cast with.

    Edit: Nearly right. The component pouch is watertight, but it doesn't specify that the compartments are.
    Last edited by hymer; 2014-08-28 at 06:21 AM.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Ballarat
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    My sorceress uses a crystal tied to her wrist with a braided leather band. It is the only thing she has of her parents who abandoned her to a monastery of Tymora when she was a child.

    My wizard, however, would not be caught dead without his component pouch. It's just... unwizardly!

    Point being is that the tiny amount of gold difference for the items is irrelevant. It's just a flavour item and by the time you reach third or fourth level, you'll be wondering why the **** you even bothered to worry about such insignificant amounts of gold.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    linklele's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Italy

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    IIRC, the component pouch is described as a series of watertight compartments, so you shouldn't be losing much more than you use to cast with.

    Edit: Nearly right. The component pouch is watertight, but it doesn't specify that the compartments are.
    Yup. But No one ever consider that to get the component out of the pouch you have to open the pouch!
    Soo... hello water entering in!
    Also to me the pouch never made sense at all... there are always so many component inside!
    So: 1) You have on big pouch in wich you should search all times (like searching in backpack, so it would require an action too) and i never heard of Hevard Handypouch. (Nice idea though)
    2) You have compartments, but there are so many differen components that you should have like an hundred pockets all around your gear to separate them all... not very pratical or actuable for the matter.
    Last edited by linklele; 2014-08-28 at 06:47 AM.
    Ask me to do your new avatar! (Payment is in cookies)
    "You have to deliver your craziness in little pieces, you can't do it all at once!" -Scrubs

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by linklele View Post
    Soo... hello water entering in!
    Come to think of it, this probably isn't so bad. Components generally don't need to be dry to work, and most could be dried out like your clothes, bow string, etc.

    The first ten material compnents in the spell descriptions: 1: Strip of white cloth, 2: tiny bell and silver wire, 3: morsel of food (two times), 4: drop of blood & piece of flesh & pinch of bone dust, 5: powdered iron or iron filings, 6: alum soaked in vinegar, 7: drop of honey, 8: bat fur, 9: 25 gp gold dust (consumed) and 10: 1000gp jacinth and 100gp silver bar (consumed).
    As long as you're not about to cast animate dead (4) or antipathy/sympathy (6/7), the rest really shouldn't be irreparably damaged by water. The real danger would be it washing away, which I suppose isn't to dissimilar to dropping it above water while fumbling for it in combat.

    Writing all that out seems to me to be another reason to do away with the material component concept. It's too bureaucratic for the fluff it adds. No wonder they came up with the component pouch to keep it manageable.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    United States
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    People seem to be assuming that you use up what you cast with. I was under the impression that components to spells were only used up if they have a cost or are specifically mentioned as being used up in the spell.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    People seem to be assuming that you use up what you cast with. I was under the impression that components to spells were only used up if they have a cost or are specifically mentioned as being used up in the spell.
    Game technically, of course, you don't. But narratively, that may well be what's going on. Hark back to the days of swallowing live spiders to cast spider climb.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Component Pouch VS Arcane Focus

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    People seem to be assuming that you use up what you cast with. I was under the impression that components to spells were only used up if they have a cost or are specifically mentioned as being used up in the spell.
    To be honest, when i was playing 3,5 (i went from 3,5 straight to 5e) i assumed that spells with components (cost or not) that DIDN'T say, you "focus" on a X material, consumed the materials.
    Most spells though said: "You focus on a string and a tiny bell" or "you focus on a tiny cloak" etc...

    My Dm, back at those days, treated the Comp pouch as a consumable. He assumed that when we went into towns, we restock the pouch (for free), but when we were like a month away from shops or other sources of restocking, he loosely determined that after about 80-100 spells you run out. You could ofc use materials you found at the scene, as he conveniently had a bit of this & that lying around here and there, or that npc we killed had a half used comp. pouch, etc etc..
    78% of all DM's start their first campaign in a tavern. If you're among the 22% who didn't, copy and paste this into your signature and tell us where you DID begin.

    I had my players woke up on a beach with total amnesia with only thing to remember that smthing raided their convoy ship during a storm.. and told em: "Survive!"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •