I thought of this looking at this question, where contingency is used to cast revivify (which consumes 300 gp worth of diamonds). A more common example would be stoneskin, which consumes 100 gp worth of diamond dust.

The spell contingency reads, in part:

Choose a spell of 5th level or lower that you can cast, that has a casting time of 1 action, and that can target you. You cast that spell—called the contingent spell—as part of casting contingency, expending spell slots for both, but the contingent spell doesn’t come into effect. Instead, it takes effect when a certain circumstance occurs...

The contingent spell takes effect immediately after the circumstance is met for the first time, whether or not you want it to, and then contingency ends...

If you cast this spell again, the effect of another contingency spell on you ends. Also, contingency ends on you if its material component is ever not on your person.

Contingency says that you cast the contingent spell. Full stop. As long as you satisfy the listed requirements, the spell gets cast, and the contingency is set. The listed requirements are: it's a level 5 or lower spell; you can cast it; it has a casting time of 1 action; it can target you.

How is the material requirement for revivify handled? Is the 300 gp worth of diamonds consumed when the contingency spell is cast? What happens if someone swipes your 300 gp worth of diamonds part way into the casting of contingency?

Is the general idea that you have to burn a material component every time you set the contingency, whether it's triggered or not?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What is your exact question? Sorry, but I can't parse it. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Jul 12 '18 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Szega What are the material requirements-- i.e. are the material requirements of the contingent spell needed, and if so, when? \$\endgroup\$ – Greg Faust Jul 12 '18 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ "You cast that spell... as part of casting contingency". You cast the spell, with all that entails. Where's the confusion? \$\endgroup\$ – Tin Wizard Jul 12 '18 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Walt Contingency requires that you "choose a spell... that you can cast". A reasonable native speaker of English can parse this as meaning that it's a spell you know and have a slot for, just as they might say that they can make an omelet even if they don't have any eggs on their person. Actually casting the spell isn't a requirement for Contingency to succeed; rather, Contingency causes you to cast the spell successfully because that's what Contingency's description says it does. I'd agree that this is ridiculous, yet I don't see why a rules lawyer would be wrong to make this argument. \$\endgroup\$ – Greg Faust Jul 13 '18 at 3:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GregFaust The "choose a spell that you can cast" is unrelated to my statement. It explicitly says "You cast that spell." Not "the effects of that spell are imitated", not "you prepare that spell for casting", "You cast that spell." \$\endgroup\$ – Tin Wizard Jul 13 '18 at 4:37

All components are finished once the contingency trigger is set

Contingency states:

...You cast it as part of casting this spell, expending spell slots for both, but the contingent spell doesn’t come into effect. Instead, it takes effect when a certain circumstance that you describe occurs.

...The contingent spell takes effect immediately after the circumstance is met for the first time...

The charged spell is cast and spell slots spent, but has no initial effect. Consumable items are expended when the spell slot is spent.

The contingency spell also states that the contingency is canceled if you are removed from the MATERIAL component, the only remaining part of the contingency spell. At this time, it does not mention components the charged spell may require, such has Somatic or Verbal, which are equally as important as the material component.

It's assumed then that all of the components, besides the ivory statue, have already been accounted for by the time contingency has been cast.

This is compounded from the fact that the charged spell is cast "immediately" with no requirement for an action or reaction, or any mentions of any components.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a real limiter on the usefulness of the 'contingent revivify' idea, or setting up any contingent spell with a costly component, really. The component is expended when you create the contingency, but if you lose the statue (even for a minute), get dispelled, or the duration expires untriggered, you're just out that cash. \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Jul 12 '18 at 18:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ On the flipside, you can hold that charged spell for 10 days. When they stripped you naked, with no spellbook, no raw materials, no focus of any kind, they forgot to account for your contingency plan. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Jul 12 '18 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DanielZastoupil: Seems weird that they'd leave "a statuette of yourself carved from ivory and decorated with gems worth at least 1,500 gp" on your person if they strip you naked and take everything else... \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 12 '18 at 20:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast if you were the kind of wizard that enjoyed being incredibly frustrating, you could always use a contingent fireball, triggered in the event that someone tries to take away your ivory voodoo doll. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jul 12 '18 at 20:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Seems really circular to create a contingency for the specific purpose of punishing anyone who messes with your contingency. Also hitting yourself with a fireball seems like poor planning. \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Jul 12 '18 at 21:16

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