Is there a way to increase the Battlefield Presence “aura” size of the paladin archetype Holy Tactician?

I was wondering if there was a core pathfinder method to increase the size of the "aura" that the Holy Tactician 3rd level ability grants. I am not looking for a combat application, but a out of combat one as the only teamwork feats I plan on sharing are stealth and favored terrain based. Best option is a reasonably priced magic item (10k), but while feats are tight I could spend ONE for this. I might even consider a level dip into something.

How much holy water is needed to cast Protection from Evil and Good?

In the PHB on page 270 we can read in the desription of Protection from Evil and Good that:

Components: V,S,M(holy water or powdered silver and iron, which the spell consumes)

Since the material components are consumed, they cannot be replaced with a spellcasting focus, as per the PHB (p.203)

If a spell states that a material component is consumed by the spell, the caster must provide this component for each casting of the spell.

This is reinforced by sage advice:

A spellcasting focus can be used in place of a material component only if that component has no cost noted in the spell’s description and if that component isn’t consumed.

The description does not list a cost in gp though. Which brings about the question above. While holy water is created in discrete 25gp “units”, powdered silver and iron are not, so we cannot just assume that you need 1 unit of holy water (ie. 25gp worth).

So, is a sprinkle of holy water enough? (Allowing the caster to use 1 unit for multiple castings.)

If one would use silver and iron, how much would they need? 25gp worth? Just “some”?

Will reducing the cost of Holy Water or improving its effectiveness break things

My L3 LMoP group are planning on picking up some holy water to help with zombies as they’ve heard to tales of undead (old owl well, and thunder tree), but I think they’re going to be very disappointed to find its 25Gp, but is single use, costs an action, affects a single target, and only does the same damage as a greatsword swing.

Essentially, it seems to be only as good as a single decent fighter attack, but uses an action and costs 25Gp. Given that an average L3 PC might expect to do say ~D6 +3 damage with a typical attack, this means they’re getting about 3 extra damage, once, for 25Gp, which seems absurd. Plus it only works on certain foes.

Am I missing something?!

I’d like to make this work for them, so I’m considering some changes to the rules for Holy Water:

  1. Reduce the cost – maybe as low as 5Gp, given that they have a paladin who is visiting a temple to make his oath (this allows me to keep the price higher on other occasions if they did find a way to abuse it)
  2. Make it more effective – maybe an AoE effect?

Will this break the game, or be something they can heavily abuse later?

Can a Cleric use Harness Divine Power without a Holy Symbol?

Harness Divine Power states (TCoE p.30):

As a bonus action, you touch your holy symbol, utter a prayer, and regain one expended spell slot […]

Does this mean this ability can only be used provided the Cleric has a holy symbol? In the Spellcasting feature for Cleric’s it says "You can use a holy symbol,[…]" which should mean they can cast spells with materials, they are not forced to use a holy symbol; if a player chooses to make a character that uses materials instead of a holy symbol, are they locked out of using this feature?

Must a Ranger’s spellcasting focus be druidic, or can it be arcane (or even holy)?

This question was inspired by the question about what constitutes a bardic spellcasting focus. It has been somewhat overcome by Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (p. 57) which explicitly describes a Ranger’s Spell focus as a druidic focus, but since not all tables will use that optional rule the question will remain up.

A Ranger’s spellcasting ability is described thusly:

By the time you reach 2nd level, you have learned to use the magical essence of nature to cast spells, much as a druid does.

As discussed here, a Ranger meets the definition of a spellcaster in that a class feature, not an item, grants the character the ability to cast spells. While that would support a Ranger using a spellcasting focus, only three spellcasting foci get explicit treatment in the rules (unless I missed a spot).

  • A Holy Symbol (Basic Rules p. 48.)
  • A Druidic Focus (Basic Rules p. 48.)
  • An Arcane Focus (Basic Rules p. 47.)

Aside: I may be making a leap. The text on druidic focus does not mention Rangers. The leap is based on the Ranger class spellcasting feature being explicitly tied to druidic spellcasting in the brief text covering that class feature.

  • Spellcasting Focus:

You can use a druidic focus (see “Equipment as a spellcasting focus for your druid spells).

  • Druidic Focus.

A druidic focus might be a sprig of mistletoe or holly, a wand or scepter made of yew or another special wood, a staff drawn whole out of a living tree, or a totem object incorporating feathers, fur, bones, and teeth from sacred animals. A druid can use such an object as a spellcasting focus.

In a case of specific over general, Paladins and Clerics are called out as being able to use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus (Rangers were left out). This left me with two questions, only one of which is germane to the Ranger2. The Ranger gets no specific call out (unlike the Paladin) on whether the character can use for a spellcasting focus a holy symbol, a druidic focus, or an arcane focus. (Since the Ranger is a spellcaster, there’s got to be something that the class can use to substitute for material components, right?)

Why would this matter?

A lot of Ranger spells have material components. Just reviewing the SRD (which isn’t the whole list) the following spells calling out "V,S,M" in the components line:
Level 1
Alarm, Animal Friendship, Detect poison and disease, Goodberry, Jump, Longstrider
Level 2
Animal Messenger, Barkskin, Darkvision, Locate Animals or Plants, Locate Object, Pass without a trace, Spike Growth
Level 3
Nondetection, Water Breathing, Water Walk, Wind Wall
Level 4
Conjure Woodland Beings, Freedom of Movement, Locate Creature, Stoneskin
Level 5
Commune with Nature

The adventuring Ranger won’t always be in a "home" environment

Considering that terrain types generally coincide with Druid Circles …

Arctic, Coast, Desert, Forest, Grassland, Mountain, Swamp (I’d call seaborne adventure close enough to Coast for these purposes)

… it might be impossible to find mistletoe in the desert when a material component is needed.

Question restated

Can the Ranger use an arcane focus or a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus, or is the ranger constrained to the druidic focus (a holly symbol1?) based on the class’ spell casting feature being heavily druidic in nature1?


1 Please excuse the puns. Sometimes we can’t help ourselves.
2 I leave the idea of druids being priest of nature (mostly gotten around with Nature Domain clerics) for another question regarding a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus for a druid.

Do you need a free hand for your holy symbol if you’re wearing it visibly?

I’ve been creating a Paladin who uses the Defense fighting style while wielding two weapons (instead of the more common Dueling style with weapon and shield). However, I was worried that spell components would make this too difficult because the character wouldn’t be able to use a shield emblazoned with a holy symbol as their spellcasting focus. However, I reread the section on holy symbols and it says the following:

A cleric or paladin can use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus, as described in chapter 10. To use the symbol in this way, the caster must hold it in hand, wear it visibly, or bear it on a shield. [PHB pg. 151, emphasis added]

By my reading of this, even absent a shield, the caster does NOT need a free hand for their focus. Simply wearing it on a chain outside their armor or clothing (or even affixing it to the outside of their armor) would be sufficient.

This surprised me, so I double-checked the material components section:

Casting some spells requires particular objects, specified in parentheses in the component entry. A character can use a component pouch or a spellcasting focus (found in chapter 5) in place of the components specified for a spell… A spellcaster must have a hand free to access these components, but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components. [PHB pg. 203]

At first glance, its seems that the statements "A character can use… a spellcasting focus… in place of the components specified for a spell" and "A spellcaster must have a hand free to access these components" would logically mean that a spellcaster must have a hand free to use a spellcasting focus.

However, is this a case of "specific beats general"? Using an arcane focus requires a free hand because it follows the general rule from pg. 203, but a holy symbol doesn’t as long as it’s visibly worn as written in the more specific rule on pg. 151?

(Related: Do these spellcasting foci from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything have to be held in a hand?)

Can a weapon be a holy symbol?

So I’m being part of a DnD campaign soon, and I’m making a tempest cleric that worships Thor. Since Thor’s weapon is a Warhammmer, and I also use a Warhammer, could the hammer count as a holy symbol or would there need to be some form of engraving/emblem on it for it to count?

Is a vampire’s specific vulnerability to holy water redundant?

Vampires and vampire spawn have regeneration. But..

if the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn. (MM 297, 298)

Holy water allows you to make a ranged attack. And…

if the target is a fiend or undead, it takes 2d6 radiant damage. (PHB 151)

What is the point of specifying that vampire regeneration is turned off by radiant damage or holy water if holy water does radiant damage to undead?

Are there vampires that are not undead?

While it may be possible to turn one spell damage type into another, I can’t find an example of being able to turn object damage from one type into another (that is, a way of making holy water do non-radiant damage but still being holy water).

Related: https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/58672/changing-elements-for-spells#:~:text=When%20you%20cast%20a%20spell,per%20casting%20of%20a%20spell).