Material components for mage armor?

There is now a material component for mage armor - a piece of cured leather.

Now, flavorfully, this is pretty damn cool. But mechanically, it has issues.
Whenever I've played a mage, I've always had a contract of sorts with my DM - if I was awake, I'd have mage armor on. There was no reason not to. So perhapsit was a nessesary balanceing. But this is the thing: I can't tell if it is! There is not default cost, weight, or even SIZE specified in a "piece of leather". Can I use a piece the size of my fingernail, worth 1/4 of a CP? or is it a whole cow size piece? if I want to start my charater with 50 "pieces of cured leather" (which any wizard worth their salt would), how much does that COST?

These are really stupid questions to have to pester a new DM with.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

 My Psion for Next

Updated 31/4/14

 

This will sound very contrived and self-serving, but I spent a lot of time designing this class - so it Psionics is your thing, please give it a quick read and your two cents.

Cheers.

There is now a material component for mage armor - a piece of cured leather.

Now, flavorfully, this is pretty damn cool. But mechanically, it has issues.
Whenever I've played a mage, I've always had a contract of sorts with my DM - if I was awake, I'd have mage armor on. There was no reason not to. So perhapsit was a nessesary balanceing. But this is the thing: I can't tell if it is! There is not default cost, weight, or even SIZE specified in a "piece of leather". Can I use a piece the size of my fingernail, worth 1/4 of a CP? or is it a whole cow size piece? if I want to start my charater with 50 "pieces of cured leather" (which any wizard worth their salt would), how much does that COST?

These are really stupid questions to have to pester a new DM with.

Buy clothes. List leather gloves, belt, boots, ect. Buy waterskin or any other leather item. Use any as component, as all are cured leather. At most, blow a gp and cover yourself in leather.
The piece of leather should be of any size and neglect cost.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
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I took it as any size piece so just used the vagueness to add flavour. Got my mage a leather belt cord and just cut pieces off as needed.
The point of material components is not to buy a yard of leather and carefully cut it into as many pieces of the minimum allowable dimension as possible so as to make sure you get the most "pieces of cured leather" for your gold.

The point of material components is to encourage the player to come up with how they keep their supply of components stocked.

...me, I like chopping up old gloves, boots, and belts whenever I happen to run across some not in use.

Situations like the following are when material components are at their prime use:

GM: "You wake up cold, and a little wet. You appear to be stuck in a dirty cell as a rough-looking brute glares in at you. Someone has stripped you of your belongings."
Player "Do I still have my pants on?"
GM: "Yes, but that is about all you have on."
Player: "Good enough for me, I rib a bit off the end of one leg and cast Daze (a pinch of wool was the component for that spell at the time) at the guard so that I might be able to grab the keys and get the door open before he recovers."

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

The point of material components is to encourage the player to come up with how they keep their supply of components stocked. 

Components vanish in next? Is that new?

The point of material components is to encourage the player to come up with how they keep their supply of components stocked. 

Components vanish in next? Is that new?



um... components have never not vanished, though there have historically been a few that were re-usable (called focus in 3.x) and that has been re-done in Next as requirements for casting the spell like for destruction.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

The point of material components is to encourage the player to come up with how they keep their supply of components stocked. 

Components vanish in next? Is that new?



um... components have never not vanished, though there have historically been a few that were re-usable (called focus in 3.x) and that has been re-done in Next as requirements for casting the spell like for destruction.

Could you give me a quote and/or page number and PDF where it says this in next? How to play (magic) just says  "material components, particular items or objects that are required for the casting."

So, I not really asking is they vanished in any other d&d but in this d&d.
Could you give me a quote and/or page number and PDF where it says this in next? How to play (magic) just says  "material components, particular items or objects that are required for the casting."

So, I not really asking is they vanished in any other d&d but in this d&d.



060713 How to Play page 21, material components entry under "Reading a Spell Description"

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

cool, i'll just have my mage wear a leather duster so i can always cast mage armor. Actually i would have had him wear that anyway so he can look like a cowboy.

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Could you give me a quote and/or page number and PDF where it says this in next? How to play (magic) just says  "material components, particular items or objects that are required for the casting."

So, I not really asking is they vanished in any other d&d but in this d&d.



060713 How to Play page 21, material components entry under "Reading a Spell Description"

Ah....... Silly me, I thought it'd be under spell components. Well that explains why I didn't see it.
Whenever I've played a mage, I've always had a contract of sorts with my DM - if I was awake, I'd have mage armor on. There was no reason not to.

Hi, welcome to playing an edition other than 3.5.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Whenever I've played a mage, I've always had a contract of sorts with my DM - if I was awake, I'd have mage armor on. There was no reason not to.

Hi, welcome to playing an edition other than 3.5.

Did this in 4e, too, with my Ranger (Essentials Hunter). Whenever I was travelling or in a dungeon, Pouncing Lynx stance. Of course, you're probably one of those "4e wasn't a REAL edition - I only play AD&D" type folks, so I shouldn't even try to argue, because logic will probably slam directly into that mage armor that is always on because you and your DM worked somethin - oh yeah.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

 My Psion for Next

Updated 31/4/14

 

This will sound very contrived and self-serving, but I spent a lot of time designing this class - so it Psionics is your thing, please give it a quick read and your two cents.

Cheers.

Of course, you're probably one of those "4e wasn't a REAL edition - I only play AD&D" type folks, so I shouldn't even try to argue, because logic will probably slam directly into that mage armor that is always on because you and your DM worked somethin - oh yeah.

Oh, sorry. I'm laughing too hard. Let me recover.

Okay, we're good.

Nope, still laughing.


Okay, I'm good this time. Now, lets tackle the two big problems here.

1: Mage Armor has a very long duration in 3.5, because spells in general are ridiculously powerful in 3.5; it's commonly known as "caster edition" in a most derogatory way, but it has a point - spells and casters in that edition can easily break the game.

2: Assuming an at will stance that is intended to be used in that fashion is a bit different.

My point was that only in 3.5 will Mage Armor be an assumed several-hour-long spell that you can just keep always on like some sort of class feature. The remaining editions of D&D don't really do that kind of thing, because they try to keep casters from being as ridiculously powerful for more-or-less free.

As a DM, I typically assume the first reaction, instinctive, the PCs have to any danger is to draw their weapons. I find that synonymous with rolling initiative; they never have to spend a minor/quick/whatever action to draw their weapons at the beginning of combat.

Moreover, how do you get "yeah 3.5 spells were crazy, other editions don't do that" means "gar i haet 4e rooor"?

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Of course, you're probably one of those "4e wasn't a REAL edition - I only play AD&D" type folks, so I shouldn't even try to argue, because logic will probably slam directly into that mage armor that is always on because you and your DM worked somethin - oh yeah.

Oh, sorry. I'm laughing too hard. Let me recover.

Okay, we're good.

Nope, still laughing.


Okay, I'm good this time. Now, lets tackle the two big problems here.

1: Mage Armor has a very long duration in 3.5, because spells in general are ridiculously powerful in 3.5; it's commonly known as "caster edition" in a most derogatory way, but it has a point - spells and casters in that edition can easily break the game.

2: Assuming an at will stance that is intended to be used in that fashion is a bit different.

My point was that only in 3.5 will Mage Armor be an assumed several-hour-long spell that you can just keep always on like some sort of class feature. The remaining editions of D&D don't really do that kind of thing, because they try to keep casters from being as ridiculously powerful for more-or-less free.

As a DM, I typically assume the first reaction, instinctive, the PCs have to any danger is to draw their weapons. I find that synonymous with rolling initiative; they never have to spend a minor/quick/whatever action to draw their weapons at the beginning of combat.

Moreover, how do you get "yeah 3.5 spells were crazy, other editions don't do that" means "gar i haet 4e rooor"?


Fair enough. I commend you for understanding my sence of humor.


Have a cookie. I mixed in a few little lambs, some full sized sheep and a couple of username puns.

Oh, and did you hear the one about the min/maxer and the happy, contented DM? No, neither did I. Ever.

Back on topic, I don't see how the component actually downgrades the spell (remember, several people just spent 1sp on a belt and dropped it), I just feel that it is so broad it annoys me, especially when we have a relitivly new DM who is struggling with the weight of it all.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)

 My Psion for Next

Updated 31/4/14

 

This will sound very contrived and self-serving, but I spent a lot of time designing this class - so it Psionics is your thing, please give it a quick read and your two cents.

Cheers.

A default cost would be good.

"Unless specified in the spell description, assume the component for casting a spell costs 10 silver per spel level."

The 10 silver figure was pulled out of thin air, it could be anything. The point is not what the default is, but that there be a default. The "lets not overload a new DM" point is an excellent one.
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@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

I am unhappy with the need for material components.

The bookkeeping sucks.

The gp values fail as a balance because the amount of money available depends on the campaign setting.

It makes the magic feel non-innate and external. Like mundane technology.



I can see a flavorful nominal component as a suggestion for a *ritual*, such as tasty food for an Animal Friendship ritual.

But I really, really, dont want my Wizard to fuss with material components.

For me, material components are a gamekiller.
I can see a flavorful nominal component as a suggestion for a *ritual*, such as tasty food for an Animal Friendship ritual.



And now we know the real reason the Hill Giant has been stealing villagers.  He was trying to cast Animal Friendship on a worg!

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Villagers? Tasty? Have you ever eaten one?

All turnip peels and sheep dung. Yuck. Give me a nice fat wine merchant any day. And they come pre-marinated!
Of course, you're probably one of those "4e wasn't a REAL edition - I only play AD&D" type folks, so I shouldn't even try to argue, because logic will probably slam directly into that mage armor that is always on because you and your DM worked somethin - oh yeah.

Oh, sorry. I'm laughing too hard. Let me recover.

Okay, we're good.

Nope, still laughing.




Got a choked laugh from here too but you are a familiar face
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At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I can see a flavorful nominal component as a suggestion for a *ritual*, such as tasty food for an Animal Friendship ritual.



And now we know the real reason the Hill Giant has been stealing villagers.  He was trying to cast Animal Friendship on a worg!


I like.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Material spell components, as always, have no cost unless a cost is mentioned. Like the "Spell Component Pouch" in D&D 3e, if you have your "pouch full of components", you are assumed to have the components required for any spell you cast, unless it lists an actual cost. The only reason they've gone back to writing out specific components is for flavor, and for corner cases like "You don't have your component pouch with you, you'll have to find some leather if you want to cast Mage Armor."
"Material spell components, as always, have no cost unless a cost is mentioned."

That's fine. In that case, you think the default cost should be "zero". I would have no qualms with that, but the rules need to SAY that.
I want the rules to say, material components are unnecessary. Because the Wizard is inherently magical. The external bat fur is mundane.
I want the rules to say, material components are unnecessary. Because the Wizard is inherently magical. The external bat fur is mundane.


It would be nice if material components were specifically said to be optional.  I've never seen a material component that actually balanced a spell's effects anyway.  So they're basically just there to improve the fluff.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Material Components shouldn't have to be tracked. As long as the player has a component pouch, he should be assumed to have all of the components for his spells (except those that list a gp cost, like precious gems). Looking through the playtest packet, I haven't found any mention of this, which means that, RAW, players have to keep track of every little piece of leather, bat fur, pinches of sand, etc. No thanks. I want to play DnD, not bookkeeping.
I dont want a material component pouch, because I dislike its flavor.
Maybe some spell components are tasty, but D&D wizards have a long history of being smelly.

Let's try to gather IRL what was required to cast classic spells, like guano for fireballs, and put all this crap in pouches we carry around for days. Then let's try to have some success in social encounters or basic hygiene.

Material components should impose Charisma and Constitution penalties.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Material components are one of those things that were meant to balance magic-user abilities, but I don't think anyone really paid that much attention to them because they couldn't be bothered with something that fiddly even in the most rules-heavy editions. It's okay as flavor but as an actual mechanic I've never seen it done well.
Here's an idea: break spells into common, uncommon, and rare. The intent would be to make the rarer spells harder to cast frequency by requiring more difficult to acquire reagents. I'd suggest time instead of cost, since time is usually harder to come by. Also, the GM can put "expiration dates" on the reagents of the truly broken-if-overused spells.

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Personally, I think the material components are done perfectly.  As they have no cost, you can assume that you don't have to pay for them as the default.

That makes it very easy to simply ignore them if you don't like them.  I happen to not like them, for example.  To me, it is both un-necessary book keeping and makes magic a bit silly.  Nothing like taking out little bits of scraps to really take the magic out of casting a cool spell.
I want the rules to say, material components are unnecessary. Because the Wizard is inherently magical. The external bat fur is mundane.



  It's more likely the bat is magical than the wizard.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

I want the rules to say, material components are unnecessary. Because the Wizard is inherently magical. The external bat fur is mundane.


 It's more likely the bat is magical than the wizard.


Heh, that is exactly the problem with material components.

As if the bat studies magic or is capable of magic!

Obviously, it is the Human who is capable of and doing the magic.

Humans are spiritual beings.

Heh, that is exactly the problem with material components.

As if the bat studies magic or is capable of magic!

Obviously, it is the Human who is capable of and doing the magic.

Humans are spiritual beings.



I'm a bit surprised so many have trouble 'getting' material components.  They're (loosely) modelled after real-world 'magickal' practices.

Humans aren't spiritual beings, they're physical beings with a spirit inside.  They exist and peceive on the physical.  For that reason, mnemonic focuses help to align the physical magician who is performing the magic with the spiritual self who ultimately must produce the effect.  It's the same reason an athame is used for drawing a circle, or various elements like salt or coals are used at the cardinal points of a 'magickal' circle.

Cured leather is the mnemonic for the most common type of armor (leather).  Fleece was the mnemonic for minor illusions ('pulling the wool over someones eyes') and so on.  It has jack to do with whether or not the bat is magickal.

Edit: For clarity, I'm not saying you should or shouldn't use them.  But this whole idea that they're utterly silly and is just something someone tossed in isn't accurate; they had an actual reason for including them at the time.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Heh, that is exactly the problem with material components.

As if the bat studies magic or is capable of magic!

Obviously, it is the Human who is capable of and doing the magic.

Humans are spiritual beings.



I'm a bit surprised so many have trouble 'getting' material components.  They're (loosely) modelled after real-world 'magickal' practices.

Humans aren't spiritual beings, they're physical beings with a spirit inside.  They exist and peceive on the physical.  For that reason, mnemonic focuses help to align the physical magician who is performing the magic with the spiritual self who ultimately must produce the effect.  It's the same reason an athame is used for drawing a circle, or various elements like salt or coals are used at the cardinal points of a 'magickal' circle.

Cured leather is the mnemonic for the most common type of armor (leather).  Fleece was the mnemonic for minor illusions ('pulling the wool over someones eyes') and so on.  It has jack to do with whether or not the bat is magickal.

Edit: For clarity, I'm not saying you should or shouldn't use them.  But this whole idea that they're utterly silly and is just something someone tossed in isn't accurate; they had an actual reason for including them at the time.


Reallife has many (many) different kinds of spiritual tradititions.

Very few of them rely on “bat fur”.

Reallife has many (many) different kinds of spiritual tradititions.

Very few of them rely on “bat fur”.



Guano isn't fur.

But go on, completely overlook the point explaining where material components came from because other traditions that Gygax and others didn't investigate or decide to model had different methods.  I'm sure you'll come out looking so much more 'enlightened and inclusive', despite the fact I couldn't care less if you use them or not.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Edit: For clarity, I'm not saying you should or shouldn't use them.  But this whole idea that they're utterly silly and is just something someone tossed in isn't accurate; they had an actual reason for including them at the time.


They're not silly, but they are an entirely arbitrary holdover.  There are so many places where D&D magic strays (often heavily) from real world magical/spiritual traditions and yet this one they choose to keep while entirely discarding the rest of ritual that goes with it.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Edit: For clarity, I'm not saying you should or shouldn't use them.  But this whole idea that they're utterly silly and is just something someone tossed in isn't accurate; they had an actual reason for including them at the time.


They're not silly, but they are an entirely arbitrary holdover.  There are so many places where D&D magic strays (often heavily) from real world magical/spiritual traditions and yet this one they choose to keep while entirely discarding the rest of ritual that goes with it.



Yah, those are pretty much a holdover from tradition and the whole 'eye of a newt' thing mixed in with a dash of fantasy shows and a very vague 70's understanding of representational magic.  People take the knowledge of the modern post-internet world for granted though, and a -lot- of the disconnects people feel come from that.  The height of magical knowledge in the 70's for your average person was frickin' Rosemary's Baby!  But that was what D&D built on, so I can see why they leave it in for people who really enjoy that.  Myself, I enjoy them somewhat but as I'm working on what will be my new Sorceress class moving forward (and will mesh it with the finalized versions of casters in Next, of course), I'll prolly opt out of them.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

Edit: For clarity, I'm not saying you should or shouldn't use them.  But this whole idea that they're utterly silly and is just something someone tossed in isn't accurate; they had an actual reason for including them at the time.


They're not silly, but they are an entirely arbitrary holdover.  There are so many places where D&D magic strays (often heavily) from real world magical/spiritual traditions and yet this one they choose to keep while entirely discarding the rest of ritual that goes with it.



Yah, those are pretty much a holdover from tradition and the whole 'eye of a newt' thing mixed in with a dash of fantasy shows and a very vague 70's understanding of representational magic.  People take the knowledge of the modern post-internet world for granted though, and a -lot- of the disconnects people feel come from that.  The height of magical knowledge in the 70's for your average person was frickin' Rosemary's Baby!  But that was what D&D built on, so I can see why they leave it in for people who really enjoy that.  Myself, I enjoy them somewhat but as I'm working on what will be my new Sorceress class moving forward (and will mesh it with the finalized versions of casters in Next, of course), I'll prolly opt out of them.


That's interesting because I go the other way.  I really like my magic to be more ritualistic.  I liked the 3e Epic Level Handbook, Urban Arcana's presentation of Incantations, and the Sword & Sworcery Ritual book because you could include things like multiple patrticipants and song and dance elements to rituals (complete with DCs that you had to make for successfully completing the chants/dances).  To me, that feels far more magical than anything else D&D has presented as magic.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Material Components and Foci are a fine option/module.
I would prefer if they were not assumed default.

Some toggles specificly for Mage Armour:
Component Value: Negligible. This spell costs less than 1cp of components to cast (if you have a component bag, you can cast it)
                              Minimal. This spell cost 1cp/level of components to cast.
General Component: As listed, a piece of tanned leather.
Alternative Component: A piece of scrap from an actual set of armour.
Focus: A figurine of an Armoured Knight, Dragon, or other armoured or thick skinned creature. 
Alternative: Must be in contact with an actual suit of armour or creature with armoured hide/skin, or a statue thereof, ect...
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