College of Spirits in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft seems to be a really great subclass. Powerful enough, and having an interesting spin for storytelling purposes. But, as a D&D Beyond author notes:



The big issue with the College of Spirits subclass, however, lies in the 6th-level Spiritual Focus feature. It specifies that you can only add a d6 to a spell that is cast through the focus. This means the spell must require material components. Spells such as Vicious Mockery and Healing Word won't benefit from this subclass feature as they only require verbal components.

Emphasis mine. Vicious mockery and healing word happen to be two of the most used spells for my current bard, so this limitation would really hurt my playstyle.

Is there a way around it? Is there something in 5e that would allow me to add material components to spells that do not require them, to be able to use Spiritual Focus?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I haven't ever seen any way to do that, but absence of proof is not proof of absence. The answer seems to be "there is no way", but would it be valid without any backup? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    May 27, 2021 at 12:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I think there is an answer that includes a way for some spells, which doesn't solve the issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    May 27, 2021 at 12:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu if you’re thinking “also be an artificer”, it won’t help; you can’t use bard class features when casting a spell as an artificer. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2021 at 12:29
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Enkryptor An answer stating that it cannot be done is a perfectly good answer, we have several like it across questions here. You can, to an extent, back it up by explaining your level of knowledge and any particularly hopeful or obscure locations that you already checked \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2021 at 12:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth posting a companion question as to whether a house rule allowing spellcasters (or just bards in specific) to choose to add a focus that isn't strictly necessary would cause any balance problems. It would certainly benefit bards for both the Spiritual Focus and Instruments of the Bards (both of which feel like the devs just forgot that many bard spells lack a material/focus component). \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2021 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


At this time there is no method

Unfortunately, there isn't a way to do this. The spell components are simply the spell components and there currently no way to add a component that isn't listed.

I had a similar issue with the Bardic Instruments and their ability to only work on spells that Charm to force disadvantage. There just weren't/aren't a lot that Bards can cast, so it felt a bit underwhelming.

Unfortunately, these are the limitations and we can't always get what we want.


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