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I'm currently in a homebrew campaign and the DM has stated he doesn't mind my character using a circlet (what would essentially be her crown since she's a royal type) but it has to have some sort of symbolism. I read that an arcane focus could be a crystal so could I just have her still have her crown but the crystal as the focus and be embedded?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "using a circlet"? Using to do what? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 23, 2017 at 22:35

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Yes, but...

The character will need to hold the circlet in their hand when using it as a focus. From the section on Material Components in Chapter 10 of the PHB:

A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components - or to hold a spellcasting focus - but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components.

The exception to this rule would be a holy symbol, which a cleric can have displayed on a shield, for example.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You can of course hold the circlet in your hand without taking it off your head \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jul 23, 2017 at 22:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ True, but then she would probably have to perform the somatic components with her other hand. \$\endgroup\$
    – Orvir
    Jul 23, 2017 at 22:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not at all, the rules say you must hold it in your hand and can use that hand for the somatic components- there is no restriction on where you can hold your hand \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Jul 23, 2017 at 23:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Somatic components are described as "forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures" and that "free use of at least one hand" is required to perform them. If the circlet/focus is on the head and the caster grabs it without removing to cast, that is not free use of the hand. \$\endgroup\$
    – Orvir
    Jul 24, 2017 at 4:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Orvir You can perform the somatic components with a free right hand while holding the material components/spellcasting focus in the left hand. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2017 at 4:12

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