June 26, 2012
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The Dungeon Master’s Guide presents this optional rule as an alternative to spending XP on spells and magic items. Instead of using XP to power a spell, a spellcaster may substitute a special material component. These “power components” are rare and very valuable, and might even be a secret known only to a few spellcasters.
I wanted to use this option, because I never felt right about spending XP for anything other than their intended use in gaining levels. In a search for some recommended components, I ran across the best article ever printed regarding power components in Dragon Magazine #317 – March 2004 It was in an article called “Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog”. Here are the suggested components for spells and magic items from that article:
Power Components For Spell XP Costs
- Atonement (evil or neutral caster): The heart of a ghaele eladrin worth 2,500 gp.
- Atonement (good or neutral caster): The heart of an ice devil worth 2,500 gp.
- Awaken: The vital essence of any elder elemental worth 1,250 gp.
- Commune (evil or neutral caster): The tail of a lillend worth 500 gp.
- Commune (good or neutral caster): The lips of a succubus worth 500 gp.
- Gate: The powdered brain of a horned devil worth 5,000 gp.
- Limited wish: The rib cage of a devourer worth 1,500 gp.
- Miracle (evil or neutral caster): All of the roots of an elder treant* worth 25,000 gp.
- Miracle (good or neutral caster): The eyes of a black salad* worth 25,000 gp.
- Darkvision: The eyes of a nightwalker worth 5,000 gp.
- Detect magic: All of the wrappings of a mummy lord worth 5,000 gp.
- Gust of wind: The tongue of an adult white dragon worth 7,500 gp
- Magic fang, greater: The fangs of a very old black dragon worth 7,500 gp.
- Phase door: The head blade of an anaxim* worth 17,500 gp.
- Prismatic sphere: The powered skull of a young adult celestial prismatic dragon* worth 22,500 gp.
- See invisible: The eyes of any mature adult dragon worth 5,000 gp.
- Symbol of death: The skull of a winterwright worth 20,000 gp.
- Symbol of pain: The scalp of an evil cleric (20th level or higher) worth 12,500 gp.
- Planar ally: All of the hooves of a nightmare worth 1,250 gp.
- Planar ally, greater: The crushed claws (all) of a death salad worth 2,500 gp.
- Planar ally, lesser: The powered fangs of a red salad worth 500 gp.
- Restoration, greater: The horn of a unicorn worth 2,500 gp.
- Simulacrum: The head of a greater stone golem worth 5,000 gp.
- Vision: The faceted eyes of an umber hulk worth 500 gp.
- Wish: The heart of a wyrm gold dragon worth 25,000 gp.
*From the Epic Level Handbook
Power Components for Magic Item XP Costs
- Banded mail of luck: All of the chest scales from an adult bronze dragon worth 3.780 gp.
- Breastplate of command: The wings from a planetar angel worth 5,080 gp.
- Demon armor: The complete hide of a 21+HD horned devil (cornugon) worth 10,450 gp.
- Spined shield: The tail of a 16+HD fendish manticore worth 1,115 gp.
- Winged shield: All of the flight feathers of a 14+HH trumpet archon worth 3,450 gp.
- Dagger of venom: The cranial spine of a barbed devil (hamatula) worth 1,660 gp.
- Flame tongue: The tongue of an adult red dragon worth 4,145 gp.
- Holy avenger: The spine of a solar paladin angel (1st lvl or higher) worth 24,125 gp.
- Slaying arrow: All of the spines of a basilisk worth 455 gp.
Potions and Oils
- Cat’s grace: The tail of a krenshar worth 60 gp.
- Cure moderate wounds: All of the royal jelly from a giant bee hive worth 60 gp.
- Cure serious wounds: The adrenal gland of a lion worth 150 gp.
- Eagle’s splendor: All of the feathers from a half-celestial eagle worth 80 gp.
- Fly: All 4 hooves from a Pegasus worth 150 gp.
- Fox’s cunning: All of the scales from a nixie sprite worth 60 gp.
- Haste: All of the claws from the toes of a deinonycbus (dinosaur) worth 150 gp.
- Invisibility: The antennae from a grig sprite worth 60 gp.
- Owl’s wisdom: All of the scales (crushed) from a pseudodragon worth 60 gp.
- Rage: The stinger (powdered) from a giant wasp worth 150 gp.
There is a lot more information available in that article. Recommended reading for anyone considering this option.