I'll start by staying I'm brand new to D&D. I just made my first character and started my first campaign last week. I am playing 5e with a forest gnome ranger based on the specs in the PHB. We are in the midst of the Sunless Citadel adventure from Tales from the Yawning Portal.

My Ranger just reached level 2 and thus now gets some spellcasting abilities. However, being new to the game, I didn't know what sort of equipment to buy when I did my character creation, and so I never bought a component pouch. I'm now in the midst of a dungeon and picking my first spells.

I guess my question is a two-parter:

When am I likely to have an opportunity to buy a component pouch (or get material components); and if it's not soon, when picking my first spells, should I avoid ones with a material component, e.g. goodberry?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you ask about a component pouch specifically, or do you ask about material components? (you don't have a pouch in order to cast a spell with material component by the way, but you need the component itself) \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Aug 31, 2018 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Fair point. Edited to either component pouch or material components. Specifically a sprig of mistletoe which I'm guessing I'm not likely to find growing in a massive dungeon at the bottom of a chasm. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2018 at 0:05

2 Answers 2


Talk to your GM

The best answer will come from your GM.

There are a lot of reasonable answers:

  • do without - lots of good spells don't require material components
  • buy a pouch - when you can, might be a long wait
  • find a pouch or components - unlikely, but you never know; for instance, something someone else left behind
  • gather components - although tough to do underground
  • retcon that you bought one - with your GM's permission

To me it's pretty significant that this is your first character, and that you're new to the game, and new to the campaign. That makes it even more critical that you discuss it with the GM.

Here on rpg.se we can say what the rules say and we can point out alternatives, but your GM is the authority on your game.

Also, the D&D rules explicitly say "rulings, not rules", which makes your GM the authority even if the rules say otherwise.

And, by the way, welcome to a great game and a great pastime, and welcome to rpg.se. You and your forest gnome ranger (and a bunch of other characters you have yet to conceive) have a lot of good times ahead of you.


A lot of this depends on your DM. Under most circumstances you wont get a chance to buy a component pouch or components until you reach a town with someone selling what you need, (it would be up to your DM to decide if such a merchant exists in said town or not).

Some alternative ways to acquire a component pouch:

  • Make one yourself (not supported by rules as written as far as I know, discuss this option with your DM). And gather the material components yourself (again this would be up to your DM to place your material ingredients in a place you're likely to find them).
  • Pick up a material pouch off a dead druid or ranger, (also up to your DM to place).
  • Gather the material components required for a spell and worry about getting a dedicated pouch later. If you plan on only casting Goodberry, the only material component you need is a sprig of mistletoe. Depending on your location it might be possible to stumble across some mistletoe growing naturally, you can easily harvest some then use it to cast Goodberry. (Again like each other point this requires your DM to approve and have mistletoe growing somewhere nearby).
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    \$\begingroup\$ To add on this, there is a listed town that the Sunless Citadel is supposed to be near, that's described as a location for the players to rest and gather resources from. It's not very fleshed out, as most of the adventure takes place in the Citadel, but it is explicitly listed. Ask your DM about it. It should only be about an hour in-game time from the town. The Sunless Citadel is known throughout much of the town, despite it being an abandoned ruin in the bottom of a chasm. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2018 at 14:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Point of note: in The Sunless Citadel, there is an adventuring party that went down before you which included a ranger. Without giving anything away, perhaps there is a way you can convince him to let you use his component pouch if you meet up. I don't know if it's listed or not on his inventory, but I'm sure you could make a good argument for him having one if not specifically called out in the module. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Aug 31, 2018 at 16:01

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