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I have a level 20 Wizard. I'd like to mine for diamonds, but I don't want to spend literally years doing it, even if it's timeskipped.

We're sort of colonists for a new country in this world (it's just a large town / small city / port right now), so that's why we're gathering diamonds manually. The mother nation across the ocean demands monthly tax, but we have to do almost everything on our own.

I figured that you could Plane Shift to the Elemental Plane of Earth and get a Druid to cast Commune with Nature, and then use Mold Earth to dig. But is there any more efficient ways to collect these very important items (for resurrection, cloning, etc. spells)?

For this question, let's assume that I'm in a party of 8 level 20 characters, and the spell Wish has been banned by the DM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Move Earth to mine? You have one generous DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Nov 17, 2022 at 5:07

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This is a hard thing to give a 'most efficient' answer because that depends almost entirely on your DM. But here are some things for consideration.

Improving your initial idea

Rather than manually mucking around with Move Earth, employ Xorns. Xorns are elementals that just phase right through solid earth and can pinpoint precious metals and stones anywhere within 60' of them.

That said, as there is no reliable way to conjure them (they're an option for Conjure Elemental, but your DM might just as well give you a standard Earth Elemental), and they'd very much like to eat the gems they find, you'll need a good way to control them. Such as having a Cleric apply Geas, or using Planar Binding.

Outsource it

Make use of your favorite Divination Magic to figure out where a major vein of unexploited diamonds are. Hire workers to mine it. Or just animate a bunch of undead, or bind elementals, or whatever you wish to mine it if you don't feel like paying anyone.

Divine Intervention.

Wish may be banned, but Divine Intervention is often just as powerful. And it auto-succeeds when you're 20th level.

"Dear [deity], I really need a large volume of diamonds please."

Again, however, the DM decides how this goes down.

Just go shopping

As a party of 20th level characters, your personal wealth is probably at least on par with some entire civilizations. Given the magical (and thus social and political) importance of having diamonds, a lot of people who aren't ludicrously powerful and insanely wealthy have been putting a great deal of thought and effort into this exact thing. And they've been working on it way longer than you have.

Find out where major diamond mines are, travel to the mine by whatever your favorite high level means of transport are, and buy direct. Then just go to other mines until you're happy with how much you have.

Or if you're a bit lacking in scruples and are comfortable in your ability to defend it...just go conquer a mine and take over.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You could relatively reliably summon a specific Xorn if you know their name, by using a Gate spell. A few caveats, but significantly better than Conjure Elemental if a) Xorns do have names (they have language so seems reasonable) b) you know one, and c) it's on a different plane at the time of casting \$\endgroup\$
    – Ty Hayes
    Nov 18, 2022 at 15:14
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Summon and bind Xorn

A Xorn is an elemental that has a Treasure Sense ability to help it find diamonds:

Treasure Sense. The xorn can pinpoint, by scent, the location of precious metals and stones, such as coins and gems, within 60 feet of it.

You can summon it with Conjure Elemental and bind it with Planar Binding into months or years of service if you upcast the binding. As binding does away with concentration, you can even have a whole herd of them doing the dirty work for you.

It also has other helpful abilities like an Earth Glide ability, that allows it to move through rock.

[P.S. Honorary credit for this answer to @Jack, whose wizard did effectively this.]

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    \$\begingroup\$ @SuperYoshikong They do....but if 8 20th level characters don't have enough magic between them (Geas, Planar Binding, Mass Suggestion, etc) to bind the Xorns in your employ to bring you diamonds--y'all need to step up your game. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2022 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SuperYoshikong They do but when they are bound to your will that does not matter. Thats like asking peasants to hand over their crop to the lord, even though they rather would like to eat them. Conjure Elemental says "It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it", so just tell it to not eat them (they can eat all the others they find like rubies), but rather bring them to you. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2022 at 18:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SuperYoshikong hunting dogs are carnivores yet they do fetch preys IRL. I've also personally fetched and moved bags of food without eating all of it on the spot \$\endgroup\$
    – Rad80
    Nov 17, 2022 at 10:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SuperYoshikong Well, truffle pigs also eat truffles, and yet are used to find them. (Though I think for truffles people are switching to dogs for this precise reason) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 17, 2022 at 10:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rad80 That is not relatable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Turbo
    Nov 17, 2022 at 22:05
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Buy them from those who specialize in doing so

The most efficient way to get something without wasting your time is to pay someone for their time.

If your world does not have quantities you need readily available...don't forget that you are a wizard. The whole multiverse is accessible to you. Go to the City of Brass in the Elemental Plane of Fire, they would have resources from neighbouring Plane of Earth in abundance.

Trade with devils in Dis, surely nothing bad will happen and there will be no consequences spanning multiple adventures at all.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Surprised this is not more highly voted. Messing with invented "clever" ways to generate wealth in D&D is basically a meta game of "Mother, may I?" with the DM, and the 5E ruleset is bad at handling it. It might be a fun side-project, if the players and DM find a way to make it so, but it brings risks of derailing things. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 17, 2022 at 15:13
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Farm monsters with True Polymorph to achieve this, don't look into a mining operation.

True Polymorph one monster per long rest, and turn it into a flawless uncut diamond of the monster's size. Concentrate on this for one hour, rendering the transformation permanent.

If there are some shenanigans about cutting the diamond down into multiple diamonds of varying value causing it to revert like a 0 HP creature, then just transform it into a cut diamond worth 25,000 gold and start collecting them. (I don't know the formal conversion for lbs. to Karats, but I'm sure 300 lbs. should cover that...) Anything CR 8 or lower should be cake for the wizard to ice, and there's plenty of large monstrosities available at that challenge or lower.

Because a stray dispel might return the creature to its original form, it's in your best interest to bring the creature down to 1 HP first.

RAW, there are monsters who can't pass the save even on a 20, netting you 750,000 gold worth of diamonds. I don't recommend trying to exceed the value of the Wish spell with your True Polymorph diamond, since Wish is already banned. If your table counts 20s as successes on saves, statistically this shouldn't drop lower than 700,000K with 2 saves out of 30 creatures.

  • Keeping in mind that a level 20 wizard has plenty of means to find a specific type of monster and can select one that will fail the will save on all except a 20.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Splitting up or cutting the diamond may not work., but just making them one a day from small enough animals should work. There is no clause against using them as a spell component, although they are "consumed", so you'll have to take up what you're doing with the druids. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2022 at 19:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ A couple things: 1) A 20 isn't an automatic success on a saving throw, so assuming a spell save DC of 19 for a 20th-level wizard (20 INT without magic items to boost the DC), anything with a WIS mod of -2 or less cannot make the save even with a 20. Giant Boar seems like a good option. 2) True Polymorph doesn't work on a creature with 0 hp, so you'd need to wait until the target is conscious again. Though I'm not sure why you're reducing them to zero anyway, doesn't seem necessary. \$\endgroup\$
    – smbailey
    Nov 20, 2022 at 22:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @smbailey Regarding point 1, you're right that spell saves don't, RAW, get the benefit of 20 being auto-success, but death saving throws do, and I've yet to play at a table that doesn't carry that to all saving throws, so I forgot :) I'll edit that part later. Regarding point 2, I can't find that restriction anywhere in the text. The text technically doesn't even say 'living creature' but the trick here is that by subduing it it's still alive, so it's not a corpse(object) and remains a valid target. But you're right, it's not necessary (unless there's another mob that might break conc.) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2022 at 7:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheFallen0ne Looks like if you have an older PHB it isn't in there, but as of the first PHB errata(2015) and subsequent printings, the second paragraph of True Polymorph begins "This spell has no effect on a shapechanger or a creature with 0 hit points." \$\endgroup\$
    – smbailey
    Nov 21, 2022 at 20:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @smbailey ...Gah. Noted. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21, 2022 at 21:44
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Performance of Creation, Creative Crescendo, Fabricate

Does your party of eight PC's of 20th level include a College of Creation Bard? If not, no matter, you need only one, of only 14th level, so we can assume that your party collectively can easily hire or compel one.

At 3rd level, a College of Creation Bard gets the class feature Performance of Creation, which says:

as an action, you can channel the magic of the Song of Creation to create one nonmagical item of your choice in an unoccupied space within 10 feet of you...The gp value of the item can't be more than 20 times your bard level, and the item must be Medium or smaller...The created item disappears after a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus...You can have only one item created by this feature at a time; if you use this action and already have an item from this feature, the first one immediately vanishes. The size of the item you can create with this feature increases by one size category when you reach 6th level (Large) and 14th level (Huge).

Note that unlike the Wizard spell Creation, this class feature does not contain any language restricting the items created from being used as material components. Also, note that the item created is explicitly stated to be "nonmagical", which will be important when we get to our next step below.

When this class ability is first obtained a third level bard may create only one diamond at a time for you, of 60gp value, which will last just two hours, so not particularly useful for your purpose of collecting valuable diamonds.

If we allow that bard to advance to 14th level, however, then the bard obtains Creative Crescendo, the most important aspect of which is that they

are no longer limited by gp value when creating items with Performance of Creation.

Further, since they may create a Huge object, they are now allowed to make a 15' cubic block of uncut diamond, at whatever the value of that is in your world. They can also make simultaneous additional, smaller blocks of uncut diamond. The only limitation now is that the block(s) will exist for just 6 hours.

The bard then passes off this uncut diamond to your wizard, who uses the 4th level spell Fabricate to "convert [nonmagical] raw materials into products". So long as they cast the spell within the six hours from when the uncut block was created, they can now use the single uncut diamond as the raw material to make as many, permanent, cut diamonds as will fit within a 5' cube. Your DM will need to determine the worth of them, but it is undoubtedly thousands and thousands of gp value for the investment of a 3rd level class ability and a 4th level spell.

Note that the quality of the cut gems will depend on the wizard's own ability at gem-cutting, so you will want to pick up proficiency in gem-cutter's tools.

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