As far as Spell Components are concerned, what do “retrieve”, “manipulate” and “stow” mean?

From Core Rulebook (p. 303):

Focus: A focus is an object that funnels the magical energy of the spell. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to either have a free hand to retrieve the focus listed in the spell or already be holding the focus in your hand. As part of Casting the Spell, you retrieve the focus (if necessary), manipulate it, and can stow it again if you so choose.

And from Compoment Substitution section, on the same page:

If you’re a cleric Casting a Spell from the divine tradition while holding a divine focus (such as a religious symbol or text), you can replace any material component the spell requires by using the divine focus as a focus component instead. Unlike the normal rules for a focus component, you can’t retrieve or stow the focus when making this substitution.

I am having trouble understanding why the “retrieve”, “manipulate” and “stow” verbs are mentioned separately and what do they mean in this specific context. Also, why is it explicitly mentioned that you can’t do those things (“retrieve” and “stow”) if you are a cleric and you use your holy symbol as substitution? Does this somehow affect you, your religious symbol, your spell or anything else?

Could anyone provide some clarification or point me to a related page from the rulebook?

Does rolling on ‘you cast …’ on Wild Magic Surge table requires the usual components?

Several effects from the Wild Magic Surge table tell you, the sorcerer, to cast a spell as the result, for example:

You cast Fireball as a 3rd-level spell centered on yourself.

Fireball have verbal, somatic, and material components.

Does this mean I need to do the verbal and somatic component and have the material or arcane focus to cast fireball?

What if I don’t want to? Is it automatic? Can I remove component pouch or arcane focus (and only casts material-less spells) to avoid fireball?

If possible, please elaborate on your answer the consequences if it does not require components, or it does require components.

Does Shades/Shadow Conjuration/Evocation requires material components?

I’m pretty sure the answer is no, but I just wanted to be sure I didn’t miss a rule somewhere, after all it is an illusion.

Let’s say I use Shadow Conjuration, Greater to duplicate Acid Storm that normally requires A flask of acid (10 gp) since Shadow Conjuration states:

You use material from the Plane of Shadow

The Material components are not necessary Am-I right? If there’s such a spell that would require a focus/exp component is it ok to apply the same logic as well?

Do you need to provide Somatic Components when casting from a spell scroll?

The general rules provided in the DMG for Magic Item Scrolls states:

Most scrolls are spells stored in written form, […].


[…] Whatever the nature of the magic contained in a scroll, unleashing the magic requires the user to read the scroll. […]

Unless a scroll’s description says otherwise, any creature that can understand a written language can read the script on a scroll and attempt to activate it.

So the general rule for scrolls is that only reading is required to attempt to activate the magic stored on the scroll.

A spell scroll, and thus more specific, states (emphasis mine):

A spell scroll bears the words of a single spell, written in a mystical cipher. If the spell is on your class’s spell list, you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components. Otherwise, the scroll is unintelligible. Casting the spell by reading the scroll requires the spell’s normal casting time. Once the spell is cast, the words on the scroll fade, and it crumbles to dust. If the casting is interrupted, the scroll is not lost.

There are two sentences I’m concerned about in this description:

[…] you can read the scroll and cast its spell without providing any material components


Casting the spell by reading the scroll requires the spell’s normal casting time.

The first, pretty clearly, by any reading, removes the need for Material components from the underlying spell, but appears to say nothing about Somatic components. That being said, the m in material is not capitalised (intentionally? See action vs Action), so material could instead be using it’s regular english meaning (as opposed to it’s game proper noun meaning), which includes things like:

  • the matter from which a thing is or can be made. (“goats can eat more or less any plant material”)

  • things needed for an activity. (“cleaning materials”)

  • items, such as songs or jokes, comprising a performer’s act. (“a watchable band playing original material”)

  • significant; important. (“the insects did not do any material damage to the crop”)

  • denoting or consisting of physical objects rather than the mind or spirit. (“the material world”)

All of which could be reasonably interpreted to mean that any “physical” components like objects, or waving your hands in specific gestures, or indeed spell slots. This is ambiguous, and thus up to the DM, but isn’t definitive.

The second sentence, similarly, has a couple of potential interpretations in my eyes:

  1. It is calling out that the casting time remains the same when you use the scroll (and says nothing about
  2. It is calling out that you can cast the spell by simply reading the scroll (without needing to vocalise anything potentially), and no other components are required to cast it, but that doing so takes as long as it normally would to cast the spell without the scroll.

Which of these interpretations is the correct one, or is there a rule/offical ruling I have missed which clarifies this?

References to the published rules, or official rulings from the Sage Advice Compendium will carry significant weight for the purposes of accepting an answer.

Note: Jeremy Crawford’s tweets and twitter feed are not an official source of rulings, nor is the unrelated Sage Advice website that collects such tweets

Does using material components in spells make D&D 5e more challenging?

In my campaigns we typically don’t rely on material components, allowing casters to use any spells as long as they have the right spell slots available. My impression is that using components would be more challenging, since players’ spells would be limited by gold, component availability, and carry weight. Is it significantly more challenging or cumbersome to include this feature? How do others incorporate components?

Are normal spell components consumed by the spell?

I was reading through the basic rules and noticed that the only time spell components were explicitly stated as being consumed was when they had a gp value attached to them. For example:

Arcane Lock
Components: V, S, M (gold dust worth at least 25 gp, which the spell consumes)


Arcane Eye
Components: V, S, M (a bit of bat fur)

Does this mean that cheap spell components are not consumed when a spell is cast?

Does a dragon need material components, specifically body bits, for a Simulacrum spell?

Please consider an ancient Green dragon with the variant ability to cast spells. She would like to cast Simulacrum.

Monster Manual Page 86 / Variant:

VARIANT: DRAGONS AS INNATE SPELLCASTERS: Dragons are innately magical creatures that can master a few spells as they age, using this variant.

A young or older dragon can innately cast a number of spells equal to its Charisma modifier. Each spell can be cast once per day, requiring no material components, and the spell’s level can be no higher than one-third the dragon’s challenge rating (rounded down) . The dragon’s bonus to hit with spell attacks is equal to its proficiency bonus+ its Charisma bonus. The dragon’s spell save DC equals 8 +its proficiency bonus + its Charisma modifier.

As noted she is CR: 22 with 19 charisma – giving her four spells to cast once per day / 7th level spell maximum. No problems thus far. She is concerned about the material components for this Simulacrum spell…

Components: V, S, M – 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.

… but she realizes (thanks to ‘variant’, above) that she casts all her spells ‘requiring no material components’. This is her lucky eon! She will have to choose fun spells like Awaken and Reincarnate so as to build up an immortal army of her favourite treasure-people-beasts! But she digresses.

This zero materials required means she need not worry over the expensive powdered ruby – nor even the snow for that matter. But what of the hair, clippings (or ‘other body parts’)? If ANY components are allowed, can she cast any humanoid or beast that has ever lived in history? She could theoretically magic-pretend that she procured these left over parts before that person or beast died. Can she even create duplicates of imaginary people with this casting? Is there a way that anyone could defend themselves from being copied? Some may have Mind Blank or Protection vs. Nasty &/or Goodness or reside on another plane of existence. How does one defend themselves from this 3D printer of doppelgängers?

The reason this is relevant: If she has access to any body parts without impunity, she could conjure up any high cleric or archmage in existence at no cost. The next day she could conjure up another, for free. This is bizarrely powerful. To be honest, even the ability to conjure up the same archmage from a specific ball of hair, gaining Wish on a daily basis (without limits) is a bit extreme.

Long story short: A dragon casts spells without need of ANY components. What kinds of Simulacrum persons &/or creatures can they make?

Does an artificer’s magical focus replace costly spell components?

To my knowledge, an artificer must use thieves’ tools, artisan’s tools they are proficient with, or an infusion as a magical focus when casting spells.

However, some artificer spells, such as Identify and Revivify, have material components that normally wouldn’t be handled via a spellcasting focus or component pouch and must be purchased.

Since artificers are unable to use traditional spellcasting material components, do they need to purchase costly material components for spells like Identify and Revivify, or does their focus replicate these material components too?

Does UA Psionic Wizard’s Though Form let you ignore non-consumed material components with a cost?

UA Psionic Wizards get a special ability called Thought Form where they become beings of pure energy. Part of that ability is Psionic Spellcasting.

Thought Form

Psionic Spellcasting.

When you cast a spell while in thought form, you can cast the spell psionically. If you do so, the spell doesn’t require verbal, somatic, or material components that lack a gold cost.

What does this mean? Functionally, you have an arcane focus as a class feature so material component usually doesn’t matter.

This means you can’t cast spells like Glyph of Warding (200gp dust, consumed) for free. However, can you cast spells that don’t consume the materials like Chromatic Orb (50gp, diamond)?

Otherwise, the “no material component” seems irrelevant as you have your psionic focus already to activate the ability.