On Wed, 28 Oct 1998, Gary V. Foss wrote:

> Personally, I tend to ignore spell components. Having to ask a player
where he got
> the glass rod and bit of fur is really just too much nit-pickiness for
me. For the
> most part, I don't require spell components unless they are rare items
that make a
> lot of sense to require as part of the spell or something that would
cost the PC a
> decent amount of money to acquire. Certain spells will require a
component (like the
> Magic Jar spell I appear to be so fond of lately) as a fundamental part
of the spell,
> so I am strict when those kinds of situations come up, but the itsy
bitsy stuff I let
> slide. Besides, I don't want to have to listen to a player's
explanation of how they
> are going to walk around with a bit of spider web in their pocket so
they can cast a
> Web spell.

Using material components during memorization has worked really well for
me. I don't mind wizards carrying around a knapsack of odds and end during
adventures, but it seemed a little much to have them rustle and clank
whenever they move when they're at court. Most players with wizard PC's
don't mind spending a little bit of creative time describing their
"magical laboratory" (or whatever private space they have for memorizing
spells), and I make them come up with sources for all spell components as
part of that (most PC's start with only 4-7 spells in their books, so this
isn't too difficult) and I do make them keep up with it between adventures
when they discover and transcribe new spells into their books. That way,
as long as they memorized their current load of spells in their
laboratories, I can just ignore components as automatically on hand, and
they can look at their lab descriptions when deciding what to take on the
next swamp-trudge.

I should mention, however, that a few components are required at the time
of casting. The gem in Magic Jar, for example, I would say had to be
present at the time of casting (and perhaps ALSO at the time of
memorization), and the same for the small jar required for Know Bloodline
Strength. If you recall, the spell reveals the strength of the bloodline
as the extent of crumpling in the jar, and so the jar is rather important
to have at the time of casting. In other words, whenever the material
component is crucial in the functioning of the spell as described, it must
be present.

Mark VanderMeulen